Although A.B. Shepherd’s Lifeboat begins with Graham watching helplessly as his friends Cass and Rhys are abducted by an alien ship, Graham is quickly reduced to a minor character in a story with more twists and turns than a Coney Island roller coaster. The main character, readers soon discover, is Cass, a woman who, along with her family, has lost everything, and who is seeking some meaning in her life.
Shepherd uses multiple points of view and shifting timelines to fairly good effect in building tension and suspense in this tale of alien abduction – with a dramatic twist at midpoint that I won’t spoil for potential readers by revealing.
While it was a bit disconcerting at first, the way Shepherd takes us directly to the alien vessel with Rhys, while weaving back and forth in time with Cass from Australia to the ‘lifeboat,’ the longer you read, the more it makes sense, and it certainly helps build the tension.
A good first novel, it does, however, suffer a bit from a few formatting glitches in the e-Book version which was provided to me for review. Chapters run on to each other, which could be fixed rather easily with a few well-placed page breaks in the document file. The opening chapter, written from Graham’s point of view, sets the reader up to expect Graham to appear prominently in later chapters, but alas, he never really does. This might be better told as a third person prologue – but, that’s just my personal bias.
Shepherd has, as I noted earlier, written a good first novel, and one wonders if there might be a sequel in the offing. Lifeboat is scheduled for a December 2013 release, and is recommended reading for ‘future earth’ sci-fi fans.
About the Author
A.B. Shepherd grew up in Lansing, Michigan, but moved to Australia in 2009. She now lives in the Limestone Coast region of South Australia, with her husband and their imaginary friends. She can usually be found seaside at Port MacDonnell, or lost in a fantasy world. Lifeboat is her debut novel. The Beacon, her second novel, has an anticipated release date of Christmas 2013.
A.B. loves to hear from readers. Feel free to contact her with your thoughts on Lifeboat, or anything else that takes your fancy. If you’d like to learn more about A.B. Shepherd please visit her website at abshepherd.net.
You can also connect with her on Twitter @ABHPShepherd and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/AB-Shepherd/336336493057737.