Andromeda Dreaming – Part 4

Atica was sound asleep in her portable crystal chamber when she heard loud chatter coming from the main room of the hostel. She slowly opened the chamber door and crept out of the room she shared with Elanta. The chatter turned into a loud argument by the time she reached the end of the hallway. She peeked her head around the corner, careful not to be seen. The argument was about her.

“She has to go now,” Cristasha exclaimed as she paced about the room.

“And she will,” Mingule confirmed. “Just as soon as we get back home.”

“That won’t do. You weren’t there. You didn’t see the Morethans walking around with their white wigs and blue contacts.”

Gladia shrugged her shoulders. “Who cares who the Morethans mimic.”

“It wasn’t just the Morethans,” Timos said as he hung his head low. “Some Lessthans were also dressed up like Atica. This is all the Grand Master’s fault.”

Gladia clasped her hands over her mouth and inhaled sharply. She let out a deep sigh. “Did Elanta see them?”

Cristasha and Timos nodded their heads in unison.

“She was thrilled by it,” Cristasha said. “There was a stand set up with the wigs and contacts, a line of people stretched around the plaza to buy them.”

Gladia and Mingule exchanged glances for a long moment. They knew the inevitable had arrived. Atica was far too dangerous to keep around Elanta, even for a few more weeks. They nodded at one another and turned their attention to the other parents.

“She will leave tonight,” Mingule decided. “I will contact the Astroengineering Authorities and have them remove Atica’s things from the house.

Atica crept back to her room and crawled inside her crystal chamber. In a way, she was happy about the Morethans and Lessthans mimicking her. It showed a unifying force. A start of a revolution, perhaps. In another way, she was sad that she wouldn’t even get a chance to see the home she’d known for so long again. She was more than a little frightened. She was about to embark on a new journey, alone.


“Why do you have to go now?” Elanta asked as she sat on her cot.

Atica shrugged. “The parents said so.”

“It isn’t fair. You are going so far away. Why Astroengineering? You will be off-world. I won’t get to see you very often.” Elanta sat pouting and swinging her legs.

“I’ll visit as often as I am permitted. I promise.”

Atica finished tossing her clothes into a small suitcase, sat it aside and joined Elanta on the cot. She held the young one who’d become a sister to her and placed a kiss upon her forehead.

“It won’t be forever. Maybe when you are twelve, you can join me on Elune.”

Elanta shook her head. “I don’t like astroengineering. I am going to be an artisan,” she said with a big smile on her face.

Of course, she would, Atica thought to herself. Elanta had a way with clay and sculpturing. She would make fine sculptures and houseware. It was in her blood; Mata C was an artisan too.

“We’ll stay in touch. Now you’d better run off before the parents realize you are in here with me.”

Elanta gave Atica a hug and a kiss on the cheek. “I’ll never forget you,” she whispered as she skipped out of the room.

Atica remained seated. She stared around the room, the same room she’d shared with Elanta and Sasine for so many years at these birthday festivals. Sasine was away at the Maths Authority. Someday, she would be a famous mathematician. An asset to the family. Elanta would be a famous artisan. Another asset. All the boys studied at various Authorities. They’d be nautics, chemists, doctors, and engineers. The Klaufks would be proud of every one of their natural born children. Atica knew she would never receive praise for her chosen field, or for any other reason.

“Are you ready?” Dal M asked, standing in the doorway.

Atica nodded. She stood up, picked up her small suitcase and followed the Dal out of the hostel. They’d already boarded her portable crystal chamber. She walked out into the main room half-expecting a send-off, but the room was empty.

Dal M accompanied her through the dark streets of Hatash. Atica tried to memorize everything about the place. The plaza, the main square, the streets, and the children she’d met there for the past four years – Ito, the Lessthan boy who’d never befriended her, and Ostare, the Morethan girl who had. Their faces were burned into her memory.

As they crossed the landing field, Atica stared up at the large craft that would carry her to Elune, the smaller of the twin moons. Since the day her pod had landed on Marmooth, she’d never been off-world. The steel grey sky of night matched the color of the craft, and Atica’s mood. As they reached the craft’s entrance, Atica turned to say goodbye to Dal M, but he’d already turned around and was walking back toward the man streets of Hatash.

So, that was that. No send-off from the family and not even a goodbye from Dal M. Atica shouldn’t have been surprised, but for some reason, she was. Had she meant so little to them? Apparently. With her head hung low, she boarded the craft and took a seat far away from the others onboard. Most were older children and adults. Morethans, all of them. Atica was the youngest on the craft. She’d never felt so small nor so unwanted.

Fasten your seatbelts. A voice said over the intercom.

Atica fastened hers and curled up into a ball. She pulled the hood from her coat up over her head. It would be a five-hour trip. Atica figured she would just sleep through it. She closed her eyes, but the jolting of the craft prevented her from sleeping. Suddenly, she heard a voice.

“Atica! You’re here.”

Atica opened her eyes and there sat Ostare beside her. She wouldn’t be alone after all.

Andromeda Dreaming is a YA Science Fiction story. Young Atica has been marooned on an alien world, adopted by a family there. She longs for her parents who may or may not be alive, and Allura, her homewold in the Andromeda Galaxy. Will she ever see her parents again? Or will she have to accept a life on the foreign planet Marmooth where she fears she will never fit in?

Andromeda Dreaming ©2016-2017 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved. Permission must be granted to distribute or copy this serial (unless reblogging). Thank you.

In case you missed a part, click Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Or jump ahead to Part 5

What’s Lori Reading? 2017

I thought I would give you all a list of books I am reading so you will know what reviews will be coming up in the near future. Links are to reviews I’ve already written.

Note: I may not always read these in order. Depends on my mood and interest, or the urgency to read, if review was asked by author.

Latest Update03/05/17

Completed List:

**Splinterlands – John Feffer (100% complete)
*Miramar Bay – Davis Bunn (100% complete)
Kill Someone – Luke Smitherd (100% complete)
**Social Engineer – Ian Sutherland (100% complete)
**A Cerberus Jaw (short story) – Lee A. Jackson (100% complete)
**Escape from Witchwood Hollow – Jordan Elizabeth (100% complete)
**Lace Bone Beast (poetry) – N.L. Shompole (100% complete)
**Wind Catcher (Chosen #1) – Jeff Altabef and Erynn Altabef (by Feb. 24th) (100% complete)
*Boogerman’s House (novella/short story) – Dax Varley (100% complete)
*Who Watcheth – Helene Tursten (100% complete)
**The Murder of Manny Grimes – Angela Kay (100% complete)
**Nutribullet Soup Recipe Book: Low Carb Nutribullet Soup Recipes for Weight Loss, Detox, Anti-Aging & So Much More! (Recipes for a Healthy Life, #3) – Stephanie Shaw (100% complete)

Current Reading List:

#Hegira (The Brin Archives Book 1) (K) – Jim Cronin (31% Complete)
*Burning the Vines (Memoir) – Michelle Mazal (30% complete)
**Success Is Natural with Practical Benefits of Spirituality (K) – Rohit Chauhan (10% complete)
**Alien Infestation (K) – Peter Fugazzotto (by March 31st)
**Keep in a Cold, Dark Place (K) – Michael F. Stewart (by March 31st)
#The Spiritual Awakening Process: Coming Out of the Darkness and Into the Light (K) – Christine Hoeflich (ASAP)
*A Step Too Far: A Dryden Universe Corporate Wars Novel – Daniel B. Hunt (12% complete)
*Lyme Madness: Rescuing My Son Down the Rabbit Hole of Chronic Lyme Disease – Lori Dennis (4% complete)
*The Art of Finding Yourself – Fiona Robertson (18% complete)

Upcoming List:

#Soul Retrievers (K) – David C. Burton
#The Grid Trilogy/The Secret Bunker Trilogy  (K)- Paul Teague
The Eternals (The Eternals Book 1) (K) – Richard M. Ankers
Hunter Hunted (The Eternals Book 2) (K) – Richard M. Ankers
#Secrets in the Shallow (Book 1: The Monastery Murders) (K) – Kimberly Brouillette
#Desciccation (K) – Sarah Potter
#Broken Worlds (THE ALORIAN WARS Book 1) (K)  – Drew Avera
#Whisper (The Whispers of Rings Book 1) (K) – Catherine LaCroix
The Observer (short story) (K) – Lee A. Jackson
#The Untethered (K) – S.W. Southwick
#Hippie Mafia (Granola Gang Book 1) (K) – Jessica Evans
#Vengeance is Mine – Leon Opio
#Mr. Nimbus and the School Bullies – Leon Opio
##The Eternity Prophecy (K) – S. G. Basu
*Little Deaths – Emma Flint
*The Goddess of Fortune – Andrew Blencowe
*The Tale of Miss Berta London: “Recollections of Accomplishments” – Jihan Latimer
*Startup Your Life: Hustle and Hack Your Way to Happiness – Anna Akbari, PhD
*The Returning (Seer #3) – Rachelle Dekker
*Trojan (Andrew Harvey #1) (K) – Alan McDermott
*Fragile Dreams – Philip Fracassi
*Fate of Perfection (Finding Paradise #1) (K) – K.F. Breene
*Buried Biker (A Jesse Damon Crime Novel, #3) – K.M. Rockwood
*Siracusa – Delia Ephron
*Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1) – Vic James

Future List:

*The Art of Stone Painting: 30 Designs to Spark Your Creativity – F. Sehnaz Bac
*Last Hope Island: How Nazi-Occupied Europe Joined Forces with Britain to Help Win World War II – Lynne Olson
*Cynopolis (Nightscape #2) – David W. Edwards
*Berlin Calling – Kelly Durham
*Origins: A Dryden Universe Collection (K) – Daniel B. Hunt
*The Eclipsing of Sirus C: A Dryden Universe Novel – Daniel B. Hunt
*Crossings – Sarah Blake Johnson
Soul Survivor (Spirit Shield Saga Book 0) (K) – Susan Faw
Seer of Souls (Spirit Shield Saga Book 1) (K) – Susan Faw
Soul Sanctuary (Spirit Shield Saga Book 2) (K)   – Susan Faw
The Reapers (The Hunted series Book 1) (K) – Ali Winters
The Exodus (The Hunted series Book 2) (K) – Ali Winters
The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (The Road to Nowhere 1) (K) – Meg Elison
*The Book of Etta (The Road to Nowhere 2) (K) – Meg Elison
*The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence by Alyssa Palombo The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence: A Story of Botticelli – Alyssa Palombo
*The Shroud Conspiracy – John Heubusch
*This Book Needs a Title: Volume 1 (poetry) – Theodore Ficklestein
Brayden Rider: Tales of a Medieval Boy (K) – C.L. Barnett
*Brayden Rider and the Amulet of the Templars – C.L. Barnett
*Waking Lions – Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines Book 1) (K) – Marko Kloos
Lines of Departure (Frontlines Book 2) (K) – Marko Kloos
Angles of Attack (Frontlines Book 3) (K) – Marko Kloos
Chains of Command (Frontlines Book 4) (K) – Marko Kloos
*Fields of Fire (Frontlines, #5) (K) – Marko Kloos
The Last Pilgrim (Tommy Bergmann Series Book 1) (K) – Gard Sveen
*Hell Is Open (Tommy Bergmann #2) (K) – Gard Sveen
*The Hidden Light of Northern Fires – Daren Wang (by July 31st)
*Innocence; or, Murder on Steep Street – Heda Margolius Kovaly, Alex Zucker (Translation)
*Ordinary Light – Tracy K. Smith
*The Dead Play On (Cafferty and Quinn, #3) – Heather Graham
*Flappers: Six Women of a Dangerous Generation – Judith Mackrell
*Afterworld (Orion Rezner Chronicles, #1) – Michael James Ploof
*The Travelers – Keith Wayne McCoy
*Losing Faith – Adam Mitzner
*Finding the Lost Ones: A James & Lacey Ford Mystery – Sandra Olson
*The Memory Painter – Gwendolyn Womack
*A Little Blood, A Little Rain (poetry) – Mary Carroll-Hackett
Life Drawing – Robin Black
#Devil in the Details (Book 2: The Monastery Murders) (K) – Kimberly Brouillette and Karen Vance Hammond
#Method in the Madness (Book 3: The Monastery Murders) (K) – Kimberly Brouillette
#Recusant (The Brin Archives Book 2) (K) – Jim Cronin
#Assured Distruction Series (K) – Michael F. Stewart
**Into Darkness (K) – Peter Fugazzotto
**The Witch of the Sands (The Hounds of the North Book 1) (K) – Peter Fugazzotto

Side Reads (when I get the chance):

Our Revolution – Bernie Sanders (2% complete)
It Can’t Happen Here – Sinclair Lewis (2% complete)
*Robot Coconut Trees (on writing) – Kelsey Horton (15% complete)
The Writer’s Journey – Christopher Vogler (1% complete)
The Castle of the Pearl – Christopher Biffle (9% complete)
*Consciousness Archaeology – Maximus Freeman (8% complete)
*The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How To Fix It – W. Chris Winter, M.D.
Nutribullet: Recipe Book (Recipes for a Healthy Life #1) (K) – Stephanie Shaw
The Reader – Bernhard Schlink

* – books won via Goodreads Giveaways to review
**- books given from authors free for a review
# – Promised reviews, books purchased by me
## – books from Kindle Scout to read/review

Book Review – Firefly Haven by Aaron Gritsch


Firefly Haven by Aaron Gritsch is a series of tales within a tale, told by various characters and a narrator. The main plot involves a set of friends who enjoy hunting down hauntings and other paranormal events, and a family whose life has taken a series of bad turns. The friends and this family converge at a park called Firefly Haven, an idyllic location where things go horribly wrong.

What I love about this novel is the storytelling, especially the ghosts and other paranormal stories. I think switching around from tale to tale in the novel is well done. It gives the reader the sense that something sinister will happen, you just don’t know exactly when. I also enjoy the characteristics of the friends. They are well-defined and distinctive. I especially enjoy the dichotomy between Luci and Didi, who should have been unlikely friends as one is quite devious in nature (Luci) and the other a bit innocent and naive (Didi). With the family characters – Daniel, Jennifer, and Jessica – there is always that sense of foreboding with a touch of optimism. It too is an interesting contrast. Gritsch definitely nails plot, characterization and storytelling in this novel.

However, there are quite a few things wrong with this novel. It could use some serious professional editing. For instance, Gritsch’s constant misuse of ‘to’ that should be ‘too’. I thought this was a one-off, but it is instead a continual practice throughout the novel. Two other areas really distracted me – the overuse of the elliptical instead of proper punctuation and incorrect quote tags. I can forgive the elliptical being used in conversation because it can denote a pause, but this was not the case the majority of the time in the novel. It was used mostly within the narration of the story and far too often. The quote tags were badly constructed. Occasionally they were used correctly, but the majority of the time they weren’t. There was also a lot of odd wording for sentences, especially the constant use of ‘mainly due to the fact’ and ‘referring to the fact’. These are colloquialisms that would be okay if used in conversation, but they weren’t. They were used by the narrator and it was quite annoying. And finally, a few times, Gritsch changed verb tenses mid-sentence, or within the same paragraph.

All in all, this has the potential to be an amazing novel. The plot is exciting and intriguing. The characters are interesting. You want to know them and and discover what makes them do what they do. And the tales within this story really keep you on the edge of your seat. I would love to give this novel a high rating for those reasons alone, but sadly, I cannot. The novel really does need extreme editing and because of that, I just cannot give the high rating. Does this mean you shouldn’t read it? If you aren’t a literary snob like I am, then you will probably overlook most of the issues that I found and could enjoy the novel. The only things that may stop your enjoyment are the oddly worded sentences, but I could even be wrong there. All I can say is it isn’t the worst plotted novel I’ve ever read; however, it is one of the worst edited novels I’ve read so far.

Rating: 3 star

Genre: Horror/Ghost Tales

To Purchase: Amazon