Earth can no longer sustain itself…
I was granted eARC access to The Prism Affect via the publisher by way of NetGalley and subsequently offered audio ARC access by the author through Author’s Direct. Thank you to all involved in affording me this opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
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About the Book
The Prism Affect
Skylight Book One
by J. Wint
Published 3 September 2021
Page Count: 370
Published 10 September 2021
Narrator: Geremy G.
Length: 6 hours and 56 minutes
Genre: Science Fantasy
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Earth can no longer sustain itself…
Massive storms blanket the planet, and the future of the human race is uncertain.
All hope seems lost until the creation of the Skylight System. The orbiting wonder rekindles hope for everyone, including one young man by the name of Jet Stroud. When he arrives at Skylight University, he sees an opportunity to live the life he never dreamt possible. There’s just one problem.
He’ll be dead soon.
Thanks to his rare condition known as ephebus mortem, a.k.a. The Youthful Death, he learns that legend says he will die before his twenty-fourth birthday. He can’t outrun his fate, but he may be able to outsmart it… if he acts fast.
Ephebus mortem comes with one very noticeable trait, though… his eyes glow. The stigma of the disease has followed him throughout his life, and unfortunately, he is labeled an outcast when the semester begins.
However, a young man from Jet’s home back on earth is also there and reluctantly agrees to help him. Together they locate the remaining students with ephebus mortem and begin their quest to find a cure for the strangest disease ever known.
As the semester rolls on, Jet’s condition worsens and his eyes glow brighter. He begins to see hallucinations, hidden symbols, and holographic prophecies. But the most disturbing symptom shocks him to the core. The ghost of a former student named Solan Alexander, who died a decade ago, begins to follow him. Are his eyes seeing reality or fiction?
Can Jet pull the group of misfits together in time to defeat the legend of ephebus mortem? Will he break the curse and save himself and the others before the semester closes? In the end, he will discover something so profound that it may change the fate of the human race forever.
Science becomes magic in this epic Sci-Fantasy thriller. Dive head-first into this shadowy quest with Jet and the gang as they tackle the mystery of ephebus mortem. Stay tuned for book two of The Skylight Series.
My Rating: 4 Stars
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I’ll start by saying I started with the eBook, remembered I had access to the audiobook, switched to that for a bit, and then finished with the eBook, so I got a good feel for both formats. I don’t normally switch twice (or at all, normally if I’ve got the audio I only use the audio) so I’ll address why when I get to the format-specific part of the review.
The Prism Effect is a fascinating story about scholastically elite youth who have earned their admissions into Skylight University, an elite school in the outer atmosphere of post-apocalyptic Earth. Jet and a few of the students and faculty he’s about to meet have one dreadful thing in common: a disease called ephebus mortem. No one identified to have lived with the disease makes it past 24. But why? Jet soon finds that those deaths weren’t exactly natural. What’s really going on?
I absolutely loved the premise of this book, I was 100% with Jet and his gang of unlikely allies, and I love where the plot ended up going. I didn’t see it coming quite the way it played out but I’m eager to learn more. Please tell me there’s more coming soon!
When NetGalley presents its myriad of ARCs and backlist review titles to us, the genre information we get is limited. Books in the broader “Science Fiction and Fantasy” category are just that, SF&F, no further details unless the blurb cares to elaborate. It turns out this is one of those true Science-Fantasy books that blurs the line between the two sides of the category. Is it a scifi first? Is it more a fantasy? Impossible to say, really. It’s both. It’s also mystery, and without giving too much away I think people who enjoy action thrillers like The Kingsman, or perhaps avid readers of dark academia, will enjoy this flavour of SFF with a mystery element.
In terms of the audiobook, I wish I could say I liked it because I prefer to listen to books (I can listen faster than I can read) and nothing beats a great narrative performance. Alas, in this case, I prefer the robotic way Alexa reads my Kindle editions. When I was reading this book for myself or letting Alexa read it to me, each character was distinct, the dialogue was enjoyable, and lines that were internalized thoughts were clearly not dialogue. Normally when all of that is in place in the text, the narrator is set up for a great performance. Somehow, however, this one didn’t work out. Every character sounded exactly the same, internalized thoughts and spoken dialogue became indistinguishable, and something about the narrator’s inflection on questions really irked me. I went back to the mobi file when the plot got really twisty so that I could focus better.
Overall this is a really good book and a great start to what seems like a promising series. I love this dark future world, I love the mystery behind ephebus mortem, and I want to know more! If you’re an SFF reader, I think you’ll enjoy it, too.
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