Review of “MAN OF TWO PLANETS”
Amazon Customer on June 21st 2017
Although this reviewer makes the disclaimer that the book is not the sort of thing that appeals to him, and he has every right to do so, I am sorry he seems to have missed the main theme of the novel. That theme is the influence and effect which Circe, the sentient planet, has on the lives, not only of her own humans but also increasingly on the lives of humans from a different world. Instead, the reviewer concentrates on the parts where sexuality is used to drive the storyline, and so elevates sexuality to the position of the main theme – which it is not. However, we all read books in different ways, and if this reviewer does appear to have missed the central point, he has expressed his reservations well.
Man of Two Planets, by Judith Rook
This book leaves me in quite the quandary. You see, it’s really not aimed at me.
This is the second book in Rook’s Circe series, and it’s a tale of… well, partly romance, partly space opera, partly an exploration of a future society in which personal desire feels restricted, and yet in which sexuality is explored.
There isn’t a huge amount of action – instead, the book is driven almost by the kind of courtly behaviour of Arthurian times but driven into a future of societally-approved marriages and rules that rebellious hearts want to break.
Some of it is tough reading – and there’s some necessary spoilers to mention here to point that out. There’s hints at incest, there’s a rape scene in which the victim appears to enjoy being attacked, and there’s a scene where a woman tries to win a man’s friendship by torturing his colleague – an offer he spurns, and yet when her plan is foiled, he suddenly feels desire for her because now he feels he can dominate her.
In short, this really isn’t the book for me – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the book for someone who these themes appeal to. It’s not a lack of ability that means I don’t warm to it, just that it is about things that I don’t connect with. If those themes draw you in, you can absolutely add a star to my rating.
Review of FIRST STEPS FOR A HERO
Amazon Customer on September 26, 2016
“First Steps for a Hero” is classic science fiction at its best. The pacing and writing are excellent and I always had a clear picture in my mind of what was going on. The speculative elements in the first half of the story are light, but extremely intriguing. In the second half, the speculative elements are expanded upon. I had an idea of what might be going on, but the true answer was far better than what I expected. I’d definitely suggest “First Steps for a Hero” and can’t wait for whatever Judith Rook writes next!
Review of THE THREE WAYS OF DESIRE
Following is the text of a review of The Three Ways of Desire. You can read it on Goodreads but not on Amazon Kindle, because for some arcane reason, when the reviewer attempted to edit the review, Amazon removed it completely. However, the book is available on Amazon in its paperback publication.
Dec 27, 2015 Lorraine Loveit: “It was Amazing!”
I was pleasantly surprised by this story. Firstly, because I thoroughly enjoyed it despite it being a fantasy novel, not the usual genre I read. Secondly, because although I knew there would be sex scenes, I did not anticipate them to be so hot and steamy. Wow, definitely worth a read.
The main characters Yolande and her Controller Morraine were entertaining and I particularly liked Commander Hagen – he was my favourite in this story. The three had a very interesting relationship. Whilst Morraine wanted Yolande for himself it was not allowed – it was his duty to give her to another family’s Controller. At the same time Hagen wanted Yolande but his birth ranking was too low to offer for Yolande. As for the heroine, she wanted both men for different reasons. Theirs was an interesting love triangle, intermixed with suspense as the other houses wanted to kidnap her for themselves.
Well done Ms Rook, I look forward to reading more of your erotic fantasy tales. *Gifted for an honest review*
“Planet Woman” reviewed on Kindle. 5 July 2015
A WONDERFUL AND WACKY PREMISE
“Planet Woman” is a truly unique science fiction novel about a sentient planet, Circe, and the humans who live on her surface. A threat emerges from a neighbouring galaxy and Circe must do what she can to save herself and her people. Lewis Brock meets a woman from Circe called Tethyn who does not simply fall at his feet as women on his own planet would. She is strong, independent, and seemingly disinterested as she escorts Lewis and his entourage to her home, but as the pair learn more about one another, feelings, and complications, develop.
Rook offers a real kaleidoscope of creativity with fresh ideas on every page; at times it feels like too much is going on, but one thing this book never is, is dull. The subtext explores relationships on many levels from the diplomatic to the romantic, and each character not only adds to the story but helps carry the author’s messages about human nature and the world in which we live. Rook clearly has a lot to say, and the planet Circe is a wonderful tool for her to share her philosophical musings. The characters’ personalities add a sense of dynamism to proceedings which really drive the story forward; it is they rather than the wacky premise which act as the main draw here.
There are some syntactical errors and wordiness that can lead to confusion, but the overall writing quality is certainly passable. More of a problem was the near continuous info-dumping – the author needs to look up the show-don’t-tell rule; maybe a professional editor could help. One thing Rook has on her side is a prodigious imagination, and in “Planet Woman” she has conjured up the ingredients of a potential classic. As it stands some polish is required for this one to reach its potential. For those that are not put off, you will find a dazzling piece of escapism which provides plenty of food for thought.
A response posted on “Judith Rook’s Book(s)”
Reviews of PLANET WOMAN
By Six readers from Indie Book Reviewers
- “Planet Woman” by Judith Rook is by far one of the most original, well-crafted, and best-written novels I’ve read in a long time! I was completely drawn in from the get-go, and absolutely loved the author’s use of description of the World, the different scenery and locales, and her attention to detail with the characters. LOVE this concept behind this. There is something of everything… Besides the obvious science/fiction/fantasy angle… it is also part mystery, mystical, thriller, action, drama, and of course romance! Excellent editing, and I will love to read more from Ms. Rook in the future!
- To say this novel is totally unlike anything I’ve ever read before would be an understatement! I’m not sure how to even describe this book as sooo much happens, and it seems to touch on so many elements, themes, and subjects. It is fantastical and creative, yet very intelligently so. I think that you need to take your time while reading it to really grasp everything the author is saying, as it will require some deeper thought and reasoning. I think that the pacing was done well, a nice mix with narrative and dialogue, and in my opinion, the supporting cast of characters were almost more dynamic than the main ones (almost, but not… a great balance). This is a longer book, as are most space operas, and when I reached the ending, although it wraps up satisfactorily, it seems the door could be open for a continuation of the storyline in the future. I for one hope it continues, I’d love to read it! Recommend for fans of sci-fi/fantasy/romance.
- I admit it took me some time to get into this book, and at first I wasn’t really sure where it was going. But the more I read the more I got into it, and thoroughly enjoyed this new world and reality the author writes of. The interweaving plotlines were complex, but not convoluted… and certainly not predictable. I’ve read my fair share of epic science fiction and space romance, but this one felt wholly original on many levels. I appreciated the intricate world building and plot development. But there were times I felt the story wasn’t as focused as I’d like, with some conversations and scenes maybe weren’t necessary and perhaps could have been eliminated to tighten the narrative some. It’s not a fast and easy read by any stretch, but it will take you through new concepts and perspectives that you’ve never thought of before, the writing is great, and it is easy to get lost in for hours. Very cool. Highly recommend.
- Well this book took me a while to read, but in the end I’d definitely say it was worth it! It’s like all these amazing elements came together to create an incredible book that I can honestly say is one of the better ones I’ve read in a long time… and honestly I’m not even a huge Science Fiction fan! (but I love Romance).Anyways, the themes and events that happen are relatable to modern day, yet with a new spin. The author writes VERY well… very descriptive and strong and we feel like we are there almost like watching a movie or something. The editing is near flawless (I notice these things) and professionally presented. Overall an interesting, if not surreal novel that pushes the boundaries of typical sci-fi literature. Hope to read more from Judith Rook in the future, and I could see some of the secondary characters perhaps getting their own spin off novels. Seems there is more story to tell!
- Wow… what an insane book! Holy bananas!! Okay, I don’t even know where to begin because so much happens and I don’t want to give anything away… “Planet Woman” by author Judith Rook is one of the most original and just flat out interesting fantasy/ science fiction novels I’ve ever read. I liked it for so many different reasons, first the writing was stellar. The strong word choice and fluid prose makes it a very easy book to sink into. There are enough descriptions where you can picture everything perfectly, but not so much that it bogs down the pacing. I wish I knew what the characters looked like better though, because some of them I had hard time keeping straight. I liked that there were things I haven’t seen in other books like this before, and it just felt more “intelligent” than others I’ve read. This almost seems like it could be a movie or a miniseries…
- I was hooked pretty early on in Planet Woman by Judith Rook and my interest never wavered for a moment! I loved the creative and strong characters and plots that continued to build and shock and surprise. Just when you think you know what’s happening, something comes along to throw a wrench in it. This is good because I HATE books that are super predictable. And this one definitely isn’t. Although there are some familiar themes and tropes at play, the author brings a fresh voice and makes it all her own. I’ve read a ton of fantasy and science fiction over the years so I’m rarely surprised by anything anymore but I can say that this author managed to do it. I appreciated the solid pace and the descriptive details that really brought the story to life – world building is absolutely crucial in selling a ‘fantasy’ story and it is done quite nicely here… brilliantly at times, actually. I’d like to see this book go into a series as there is so much potential with these amazing characters! Recommend for anyone (adults) who enjoy a well-written, action packed, alternative-reality novel with unexpected twists.