#RRSciFiMonth Audiobook Review | “Rimrider” (Book One: Rimrider Adventures) by L.A. Kelley (narrated by Cassandra Richardson)

Posted Tuesday, 7 November, 2017 by jorielov , , , , 4 Comments

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Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I have been hosting for nearly a year now and I appreciate the diversity of genre selections and styles of stories to choose from whilst I navigate the audiobook realms!

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Rimrider” via Audiobookworm Promotions in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why this particular audiobook interested me:

Each Sci Fi November, I like to take stock of #newtomeauthors, Classic stories within the realms of SF I love to read and overall, have this plethora of bookish and geekery fun throughout the month – where I not only read the stories, but I seek out the tv series or movies which also interest me as well. When it came to choosing to listen to ‘Rimrider’ – I nearly came to the party a bit late – I was happiy surprised I could jump on the blog tour, as at the time I was sorting out how to re-listen to the first novel in a series of Cosy Mysteries whilst finishing two other reviews I had to re-schedule as well for audiobooks. Those were for ‘The Supernatural Pet Sitter’ (see also review) and the Non-Fiction Memoir which truly touched my heart: ‘Life as a Spectrum Mom’ (see also review) which showcases being a Mum to special needs children who live on the Autism spectrum. Truly a captivating read!

I personally LOVE Space Operas – I grew up on ‘Star Wars’ (still only watch the films Lucas created!), ‘Star Trek’ (only watching Roddenberry’s vision of the franchise) whilst having an appreciation for ‘Battlestar Galactica’ (the original series) and several other impressionable ‘Classics’ which set the standard for the genre being explored in motion pictures and television. Space Opera held an equal interest for me in written form – which is why I like to explore new story-tellers who are carving out their own niche within this wicked sweet genre we all have a mutual passion for exploring.

I had a good feeling about ‘Rimrider’ – I wasn’t sure if I liked the tagline – as I never liked the expression ‘fight like a girl’ – but in regards to the potential for the setting and the layered narrative scope – I had a sixth sense about this one – almost as if it was the one title which might happily take me by surprise and wouldn’t have expected to have found otherwise; had I not been on the blog tour! This also ‘fit’ well with being the ‘first’ featured story during my showcases for #RRSciFiMonth – wherein, I’ll be happily surprising both the participants and visitors of the event throughout November by the stories I am reading but not disclosing in advance! I think it makes it more enjoyable, really – to just happily duck into whichever story interests you in the moment to read and then, talk about how it impressed you. For me, it’s a new approach — I had always pre-planned a tight schedule for Sci Fi November – this year? I’m going to be a vagabond travelling through Science Fiction!

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#RRSciFiMonth Audiobook Review | “Rimrider” (Book One: Rimrider Adventures) by L.A. Kelley (narrated by Cassandra Richardson)Rimrider
Subtitle: A real space pirate fights like a girl
by L.A. Kelley
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Cassandra Richardson

Awakened by her father, teenager Jane Benedict is ordered to memorize a mysterious code. Hours later, Mathias Benedict is dead and Jane and her brother, Will, are wards of United Earth Corporation.

To evade the company's murderous clutches and uncover the meaning of her father's last message, Jane leads Will on a desperate escape across the galaxy aboard the Freetrader smuggler ship, Solar Vortex.

Tangled in the crew's fight for freedom, Jane saves the life of young smuggler, Mac Sawyer, and learns her father's code identifies a secret cargo shipment. The trail leads to the planet Rimrock and the massive prison complex of Golgotha.

Undercover as a spy, Jane stumbles into a conspiracy that can spell doom for the entire Freetrader cause and the extinction of an alien race. Can she escape the prison confines and deliver a warning before it's too late?

Piracy, intrigue, romance, space battles, and a daring rebellion from Earth wait on the galactic rim. Will Jane answer the call to adventure and find new purpose, or is death for high treason her fate?

Genres: Science Fiction, Space Opera

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing


Published by Self Published

on 22nd August, 2017

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 9 hours, 57 minutes (Unabridged)

Self Published Audiobook

The Rimrider Adventure series:
Rimrider (Book One)
Outlaw Jane (Book Two) | Synopsis
The Boneyard (Book Three) | Synopsis

Formats Available: Paperback, Ebook and Audiobook

About L.A. Kelley

Photo Credit: L.A. Kelley

L. A. Kelley is from Florida and has been writing Fantasy and Science Fiction adventure stories for all ages since she was old enough to chew on a number two pencil. All her books have adventure, humor, and a little romance because life is dull without them. She doesn’t write graphic sex or gore so your mama would approve, but does add a touch of cheeky sass so maybe she wouldn’t. In her spare time she calls in Bigfoot sightings to the Florida Department of Fish and Wildlife. They are heartily sick of hearing from her.

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my review of rimrider:

As we enter into the story, Jane is fifteen nearly sixteen whereas her younger brother is only twelve – where the harrowing realities of life in Space starts to take an ugly turn in their lives when the ‘worst’ of what could befall them, does! Straight from the moment you start to listen to this audiobook – there is a burst of cheeky humour in the undertone – where you cannot help but feel pulled into Jane’s life. She’s a disillusioned student who is getting fed up with the regulations of how ‘for every citizen, there is a job and a placement’ being the reason behind why ‘school life’ is so dearly important in her world – where even if you dreamt of having a different kind of life; it was useless to even speculate because no one would understand your reasons.

Jane shares a special moment with her father – where he reveals she reminds her of her mother – of whom had passed on during an ordinary excursion which was not considered high risk – it was one of those times where you question why something could disrupt the happiness you had in your life by an incident which robs you of the innocence of your youth whilst trying not to find yourself hardening by the senselessness of it all. Shortly thereafter, Jane and her brother, Will are cheekily bantering with each other – about how taking a ‘hover’ without permission would be a fast ticket to the ‘Rim’ – this ill-fated place they were taught were only for the ‘unwantables’ of their society – where criminals and other rift rafts would be sent to ‘sort out their ills’ before being allowed to return to their lives. Will in particular, had an interest in the Rim which was not considered healthy for the youth of their generation – whereas Jane, was happy in her routines – of keeping herself focused on what she needed to do even if there wasn’t a lot of joy in the execution of it. She was the kind of student who liked to test the wills of her teachers – especially when they would annoy her to no end about asking her vexing questions which she knew she would lengthen into a nettling of angst for the teacher but a lively bout of joy for Jane.

You can happily feel the vexations Jane is feeling in her voice – the narrator truly gives you the full presence of teen angst by how she voiced Jane’s misgivings about her future. The track she was currently on was being controlled by the ‘school’ or rather the governing body of this ‘world’ – where everyone was directed into a path ‘they’ felt was merited against what contributions they could give back to this society on Earth. You gather there is more ‘behind’ the incident involving her father, simply by how things are slowly growing more complicated in the aftermath. Prior to this, Jane’s life was organised by what was considered appropriate for a girl her age to desire – if you have seen Bee Movie, you know how insanely particular they are about having everyone ‘catagorised’ into a ‘job’.

Information about the ‘Rim’ starts to emerge – first through a bit of a prank against Jane’s teacher and then, as Will (her brother) insisted to hear more about this mysteriously unknown ‘Aunt’, you get the vibe the ‘Rim’ isn’t quite the place only befit to the outlaws everyone is ‘told’ lives there. Adaline is the siblings Aunt (their mother’s step-sister who had been kept a secret from them) who was living on the Rim. The reasons the Aunt was kept from them, mused Jane was because their parents worked for UEC (United Earth Corp.) and their Aunt was living rather avant-garde away from the regulatory body who controlled everything in their lives.

As the realities of a ‘change in tide’ in the direction of where their lives were about to lead them – Will’s pleas for Jane to rectify this left an uneasiness in Jane’s heart. She couldn’t do anything until she was finished with schooling – their world is regulated through the school system where they were not just exiting with knowledge but with an ordered path towards employment. Yet, even as Jane took in this consideration – she couldn’t help but think about how sometimes life presents you an opportunity – a chance to ‘change your own stars’ and do something radical.

It was this unexpected realisation their father had booked them passage on a ship headed for Rimrock which provided it’s own solution to their expanding problems. Jane hesitated a bit – worried how they could pull this off, of seeking out on their own and going against the ‘protocols’ Mr Gunter was so enthused about reminding them about! You wanted them to find a way out of this situation as soon as Mr Gunter made his presence overly obvious for being unethical and intentionally misgiving of the proposed intentions he likes to trout as his ‘reasons’ for being in their lives right now. As the siblings sort out a cheeky and clever exit strategy, your already packed and ready to follow in their footsteps to see what the Rim will reveal to all of you.

I immediately liked the ship – it was quirky, industrial and held within it’s hold a ragtag crew who you could tell enjoyed their respective duties. This was an efficiently run ship – where everyone had their own sense of duty and honour. What surprised Jane was how their were families on board, not just free traders but there were children running about who also had their own tasks and duties to occupy themselves with alongside the adults. Jane’s first impression of the ship was through the kitchen and the cooks – but it wasn’t until she was drinking ‘bug juice’ to alter how your body reacts to foreign planetary biological changes where she knew she was definitely nowhere near Earth anymore!

The Solar Vortex is a free trader ship – where they were heavily controlled by the UEC – they had to do their biding even if they were engaged in their own affairs. This made it complicated to find balance between keeping themselves self-sufficient and being ordered to do import/export jobs for their nemesis the UEC. This put Jane and Will in a unique position of understanding more about why the UEC was not entirely working for the best of others but was self-informed to do what worked best for their interests only. Soon after they were aboard, Jane was shocked to find how adaptable Will had become – volunteering to attend school and taking on chores he would never have thought to do back home. Jane noticed ship life was agreeing with her brother in ways she never thought possible – Will was finding himself here, of sorting out who he wanted to be when he was older whilst she still felt overwhelmed by everything all at once.

The Doc and Jane had an easy friendship – he wanted to encourage her to find her path on the ship, whilst Jane didn’t want to always follow his lead. He was a doctor afterall, and medicine wasn’t exactly her favourite pursuit – she knew about the medical sciences due to her mother, but it’s the nitty gritty bits which are involved in medicine Jane knew wasn’t her personal cuppa tea to pursue. This made Doc chuckle – as it’s a sentiment he shared himself but despite this, he had a natural bedside manner and he genuinely felt concerned for his patients.

Deva (my favourite crew member) introduces Jane to the critical attention to the cargo being transported – it was here, where Deva explained how each crate was digitally archived, monitored and tracked. This was important because all freight shipped through UEC space was heavily regulated – to where if the UEC enforcers found any discrepancies they would arrest the crew on any ship finding such anomalies would face charges of piracy. This clued Jane into a secret the crew was keeping from her, even if she didn’t realise it at the time. To get more flexible movement around the ship, Jane volunteered to monitor the classroom in order to both gain trust from the crew but also, to give her a way to get a hold of one of the cargo scanners. She had a feeling she knew why she had been entrusted with the code by her father – but to confirm this, she had to be crafty in how to ‘work round’ the established routines on aboard the Solar Vortex.

Rimrock is a planet which is home for free traders but for the UEC, it’s a place to exploit for their own reward. UEC purposely directing people to the Rim to find cheap labour and a measure of keeping more undesirables away from their regular societies on Earth. Despite the ‘public notices’ about how going to the Rim is meant to be punishment – the Rim Riders – those who have ‘freed themselves’ from the UEC, see themselves as the trailblazers of this new age of Spacers who are taking it upon themselves to heighten humanity towards a new realisation of what is possible for their lives. This information is as radical to accept as the actions Jane endeavoured to take to get her and Will to the Solar Vortex but what would this mean for their own futures? Would they find themselves at odds with the UEC themselves or would they take a traditional trajectory already expected of them?

There was an incident on Patcha which was putting Jane and Will’s presence on the Solar Vortex in jeopardy – as the Captain pointed out rather decisively – without trust, there was no future for them here. Jane had a nickname for people of whom she was never meant to trust – a name which made me smile each time I heard it – but in this instance, it was a defining moment for Jane to realise she could trust this crew. This is also when Jane and Will learn the key differences between free traders vs UEC agents as well as how delicate it was for the traders to operate in UEC space. Part of what occurred on Patcha – allowed Jane and Will to know the guarded secret of the crew but it also, allowed her a chance to save someone else who was fast becoming her new best friend (Mac).

During this time of disclosure, Jane and Will decide to do something to safeguard themselves in this changing atmosphere of where UEC and free traders are all but at war with each other. It is also where the siblings realise the importance of finding ways of keeping humanity grounded in traditions which were not limited to technology – or gadgets; traditional modes of expression, such as through pen, ink and paper offered a passageway back into how humanity was not always run and controlled through technologic advancements which erased how we interact with tangible means of leaving behind a trace of our presence.

Mac and Jane share something in common by having to start without any security of knowing how their lives would turn out. Both of them lost their homes and parents which gave them leverage to draw closer together at a point in their lives where so much was still uncertain for both of them. Jane was taking Mac under her wing, as he was recently injured during the incident on Patcha; this gave her a reason to visit him but in turn, it gave Mac a chance to befriend someone as he wasn’t socially motivated to form alliances with others since he lost his family. The crew had taken Mac under their protection and guidance since his parents died – the fuller story paints a rather keen insight into how UEC operates and how cruel the UEC is about responding to free trader settlements.

As Jane started to muse about the changes she was observing in herself and Will, she started to overlay her life on Earth with her life on the Solar Vortex – noticing in Space, her and Will had the freedom to solve their own problems and find they were more self-directing themselves to become more acutely aware of how contributing to the general whole of a community was beneficial not only for their well-being but for everyone. It was here, where Kelley was inserting certain life lessons about how differences in how children are raised could benefit certain children who thrive with less rules and more personal freedoms to discover who they are without the constrictions of certain expectations placed upon them. This is also when Will discovered he liked tinkering with mechanical things which he had a certain knack for fixing. It was here – where Jane wondered about the path she was taking in life – how now that her parents were gone, it was truly on her shoulders to decide what would become of her and Will. Whether or not, her parents would accept her choices – this was a defining moment where they were taking control of their own destinies.

Paralax was a ship in need of rescuing – which is why the crew of the Solar Vortex immediately went to its location to see if they could aide the crew since one of the enforcers from UEC was targeting the ship. This leads both crews to consider the evidence the UEC had knowledge they weren’t aware of – the layout and blueprints for the ships themselves. Despite taking down the enforcer, there were other more pressing things to address now that he had been found. Both Captains were seriously concerned but Doc, Jane and Will were curiously up to the challenge of getting back to business. Mac and Jane were still being placed together – as during a daring stunt by Jane, Mac had to intervene in order to keep her alive.

I love how Jane is trying to sort out her feelings for Mac – especially when she groaned about how all the boys she’d previously had known were ‘too UEC’ whereas Mac is happily full-on Rimrider! Laughs. What attracts her to Mac is how they’ve both decided to take an unorthodox about-turn on how to direct their lives forward – of finding purpose and self-worth living as Rimriders.

At the very same time, Doc provides a missing link in Jane’s life – he’s more like a surrogate father to Jane but at his heart, he’s also the first person she can confide in knowing he will give her sound advice. It is her understanding of medicine which helps their friendship grow – through Doc’s knowledge, the crew finds out about an ominous new threat towards their welfare. Not just the health of the Paralax or the Solar Vortex but all Rimriders! Part of this story thread did remind me of some of the tech involved in a recent reading of mine: Watcher.

As Jane learns more about how free traders can lay claim on both ships and land – she gets a wider picture of how her life can play out. She doesn’t want to make too many plans too far ahead – not that you can blame her truly, she’s lost a lot and is just starting to gain her confidence back in knowing she’s living for the moment. Except even in this new life of hers, she has hard choices to make – including how to help someone whose dying but who has a lost daughter. She surprises herself for the rising strength inside her bones – of being able to table her own anguished emotions and focus on someone else who needs someone to care about them more than worrying about things which cannot be changed. It was here – in those hard moments where Jane was no longer a teenager but a young woman – one step closer to being an adult, Jane emerged as a leader.

From this moment forward – Jane is coming into her own skin. She’s taking on more responsibilities but also finding within her the strength she needs to carve out her own niche amongst the free traders by sorting out how she can help take a stand against the UEC. There is so much going on – I simply found myself fully absorbed into the action of it all! When Jane goes undercover in order to seek out the ‘missing’ – you get caught up in the fuller back-story of how the UEC is truly working against the will of humans and aliens alike – you start to see how what is held back from sight is really right there waiting for someone to take notice and do something to affect change!

I am in love with the fuzzy aliens with paws on Rimrock! Jem and Jane are a dynamic duo of a team – there are elements of telepathy and inter-species communications which I found fascinating as it showed how despite the differences between species, there is a general acceptance for what is ‘right and what is wrong’. The overlays between this culture and ours are clearly present – especially when it comes to scathingly horrid practices of non-environmental friendly industrial mining – this in of itself, is worth watching unfold.

Honestly – the narrator nailed the characters and the theatrical mannerisms which make this audiobook ‘SING’ to the reader – meaning, you can easily forsake whatever else you intended to do and simply ‘listen’ to this Space Opera! The humour is bang-on brilliant, the setting is intoxicating because you dearly want to know ‘more’ rather than ‘less’ and if this first installment is the gateway into the series at large – your going to want to consume the next books in sequence! I truly loved this audiobook – it was wonderfully produced, but it’s more than that — my sci-fi geeky heart was overjoyed getting caught inside a world which simply gripped me from the first moment I heard ‘Jane’ come through my headphones!

On the writing style of la kelley:

I truly loved the humourous takes on Spacer life through the pen of Ms Kelley – mostly because, I never had the chance to watch Firefly starring Nathan Fillon; despite wanting to see it! I really ought to resolve if I can borrow this series through my library (via ILL). I knew from the jump-start this was going to be a fast moving story, as soon as Jane’s voice filled my earphones – the was something happily different about this Space Opera. It was written from the perspective of teens – wherein this would fit well with Young Adult SF, but it’s more layered than your typical teen angst novel set in Space. No, it’s more about the curious way how if you have the fortitude to change your own destiny, you can do incredible things!

I definitely could see how the author used her own ancestral relative to inspire this story – there are overtures of this evident throughout how Jane is approaching her own situations – they each tackled everything ‘at hand’ with courage and a willingness to believe in how having faith to see how things will resolve is important but so too, is the daring risks you might need to take to see it come into fruition.

The author kept the ‘pirate’ traditions and legacies of their rituals in place throughout Rimrider – including sorting out how to ‘insert’ this culture into a Spacer’s experiences. Basically if your familiar with this culture, the interesting bit is watching how even in outer space, pirates can surprise you! There was one aspect of their lives which took me back to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl – especially when we are treated to another ‘parlay’.

The hardest part for me was not listening to this straight-through without taking notes – because finding out a way to ‘talk’ about why I loved this story as much as I do was harder than I felt possible! I just loved so much of how this story was crafted – it has such a unique voice, filled with characters you want to know more about and rightly, a smart start to a new series you know you’ll continue to devour as each new installment is released. Therefore, I hope what I was able to relate in this review, owns to the beauty of listening to it because it was such a refreshing ‘treat’ as Sci Fi November gets kicked-off!

Special Note to #RRSciFiMonth visitors:

I wished I had expanded my notes as I listened to all the lovely tech being implemented – between the medical gear and the gadgets used aboard ship – there was a lot to love about the tech in this world! However, what kept with me more is how well developed the world-building was and how you could easily insert yourself into the timeline of when this is written. It’s futuristic but without feeling like you couldn’t align yourself next to Jane. There is a community aspect too – about how the Spacers who become free traders have more leeway to move freely than the ones who are buying into the beliefs of humanity’s future by the UEC. You gather there is a distinctive difference in awareness per each region the humans are living – those in Space have an advantage over those on Earth – lending me to wonder if there was going to be a catalyst at some point which brings everything full circle somewhere in the series which concludes with the UEC being overtaken by the Spacers.

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specifically in regards to the audiobook:

As I am relatively new to reviewing audiobooks and listening to them with a greater frequency than of the past, I am appreciative of Ms Jess providing a cursory outline of how best to articulate my listening hours on behalf of this audiobook and the others I shall be blogging about or reviewing in future. I’ve modified the suggestions to what I felt were pertinent to respond too on my own behalf as well as keeping to the questions I felt were relevant to share.

About Cassandra Richardson

Cassandra Richardson

Cassandra Richardson is a multi-discipline artist specializing in Audiobooks, Musical Theatre, and Film. Her eclectic background has resulted in a varied and exciting career. You can see her on the stages of Southern California and in three indie features coming out in 2018. Her audiobooks are primarily Young Adult Fantasy / SciFi and The Rimrider Series is among her favorites! Who doesn't love the idea of being a space pirate? Giving voice to Jane and her band of fellow pirates has been a wonderfully creative experience.

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Listening Habit:

The first time I listened to this audiobook I was playing Solitaire games – allowing myself to feel absorbed into the narrator’s voice and letting the story wash over me.

Number of Narrators:

Only one – yet you wouldn’t necessarily believe this once you get settled into the narrative because it simply bursts ‘alive’ as if it had a full cast!

Number of Times I’ve heard the Narrators):

This is the first time I’ve listened to a story by Cassandra Richardson.

Regards to the Narrator’s Individual Character performances:

The father: His voice was reassuring and strong; full of compassion and paternal protection. His voice was the kind you would expect of a father who had to give his daughter a message of importance but not to reveal anything else despite the gravity of the situation.

Mrs Lee: She had this uppity presence about her – almost as if it was in her veins to be the overbearing teacher who was constantly challenging her students to do the best they could but in Jane’s case – the friction, was caused by finding a student who did not always want to toy the line in regards to what was required of them. Her passages were quite humourous and some of my favourites!

Mr Gunter: His monotone approach to dealing with tragedy and trauma was a bit off-putting at first and then, concerning because it distracted from his real purpose in their lives. I felt the narrator did well in keeping his shifting priorities well in place. He didn’t have the kind of voice which allowed you to feel ‘calm’ but rather, impressed upon you to have a heightened awareness of his presence.

Deva, the Captain, Jane, the Doctor and even Jem – all were equally my favourites as the story progressed forward.

Special Note: One of the most gut wrenching performances I have heard is how she perfected an emotional scene between Jane and a dying man. The way in which she performed his final testimony and Jane’s emotional collapse knowing she had helped give him a bit of peace as he was passing on — was a quiet balm, but it was the heaviness of what was happening through his words – of understanding what he was saying and the hard twistings of her heart and soul; knowing this was the first time she said good-bye to someone she’s lost.

How the Novel sounded to me as it was being Read: (theatrical or narrative) & Regards to Articulation & Performance of different sections of the novel:

I was completely blown away by the performance of this audiobook – as soon as you turn on the volume – either through speakers or headphones, you are ‘there’ – amongst the Rimriders; fascinated by what your listening too. She has a way of keying into the lifestyle of the Rims but also of how to pull you into a high tech world without making it sound bogged down or muddled. This has a high octane pacing to it – the narrative it tightly written, its narrated at a high pace of delivery and the overall pace of the story itself? It’s one adventure you don’t want to slow down – I could easily ‘listen’ for the murmurs of differences between each of the characters – of my favourite audiobooks, this is amongst the top of the list due to how I could identity the characters simply by ‘hearing’ them – they had individual preferences for speaking – including some of them had unique turns of phrase only they would use!

There is a dimension here which isn’t oft included in a performance by a singular narrator – it felt larger, like an ensemble cast was filling out the parts whilst finding wicked fun in rounding out the narrative. In this, I felt immediately intrigued by how the narrator honed in on this story to such a degree of clarity to give such a wonderful performance. I even liked how she made the ‘tech bots’ sound – trust me, ‘wait for it’. There are other secondary sounds you just smirk over hearing because she’s adding in little touches of what you might have heard if you were tagging along with Jane!

Preference after listening to re-Listen or pick up the book in Print?

I would definitely like to get all the stories of this series in both print & audiobook – the treat for me would be to ‘read and listen’ to the series start to finish – which is a wicked experience, as it adds something to how I find myself attached into a world I love residing inside. I would definitely seek out the next installments in both print and audio as I want to know what happens to Jane! How can you end her journey here and not be deeply curious about what comes NEXT?

In closing, would I seek out another (narrator) audiobook?

I am seriously hoping this narrator is going to be the series narrator – it could honestly make/break the series in audiobook because of the quality of the performance given in this first installment! I would love to see what else she is narrating but to be truthful? I think for me, because she clearly owns this world and the characters who are inside it – it might prove difficult to re-adjust into a different setting, timescape or even genre! I’ll have to think about how I proceed seeking out her other titles — however, if she is the series narrator, I’d make the choice to listen to all of Rimrider ‘first’!

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Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

Talk about joining a blog tour right before it launches into the book blogosphere – I came across this particular Sci-Fi series a bit late in the game – most of the tour had already been booked, #RRSciFiMonth was on fast approach and I read this incredible synopsis which gave me an itch to feature both a review & an Q&A with the author! Of whom, graciously agreed – our conversation is below – you’ll find, I crafted the questions around our mutual love of Science Fiction with some bits about the series, too.

I wanted this to mark my beginnings with Sci Fi November – as I am getting my feet wet into the annual event a bit late this month – as I’m reading & posting as I go along vs having a schedule pre-planned & sorted. I truly loved ‘Rimrider’ and hope, through cross-promoting this with #RRSciFiMonth more readers who love the same kind of Sci-Fi I love to consume might find a new author to love themselves!

As this is the best part about #RRSciFiMonth – the recommendations!!

Grab your cuppa – settle in & enjoy our conversation!

What first inspired you about the Science Fiction bracket of ‘Space Opera’s and the idea of how we can create a whole world out of the interstellar worlds we know so little about but can invent?

Kelley responds: Space opera is the Science Fiction genre with the most fun. It doesn’t rely strictly on  technology and is, generally, more character driven. You don’t find whiny, mopey characters wandering through a Dystopian future agonizing over how they can find their “specialness.”  Blech. The story should have action, adventure, some humor, and of course, an uplifting ending. The inspiration for the heroine in Rimrider was actually a distant ancestor. She joined the flood of Eastern European immigrants who braved the trip across the Atlantic in the late nineteenth century. Barely sixteen, she traveled alone with no knowledge of English or American customs and culture. She had no money, few skills, and carried nothing more than a few beat-up suitcases held together with rope and a burning desire for a better life.

As I thought of her, it struck me a girl crossing the ocean in 1900 might have a lot in common with an interplanetary settler. Both trips would most likely be one-way, and communication with people left behind difficult and certainly not as instantaneous as a phone call. Expense and political unrest might make return visits impossible. The scariest part for past and future travelers is the same; abandoning all that’s familiar and loved. Whether leaving home for a new land or a new planet, only the most adventurous spirit dares to say, “Let’s go!”

What do you think is the greatest challenge for space travel today, in the 21st Century vs the challenges your characters have to circumvent in Rimrider?

Kelley responds: So many barriers exist to deep space exploration today, it’s hard to know where to begin. The people in Rimrider have solved the problems of effective radiation shielding in space and artificial gravity both of which have unhealthy effects on astronauts on the space station. Not to mention, the biological hazard of germs on a new planet would probably kill new colonists. My characters have solved these issues and instead have to deal with the devastating effects of good old greed. Even if we conquer the mechanical problems of space travel we still have to deal with baser elements of human nature. They cause more problems than technology ever will.

When you think about the heroes and heroines of Science Fiction – both in fiction and motion pictures, whom do you think about most or which characters resonated best with you over the years?

Kelley responds: My favorite was, and still is, Meg Murry in A Wrinkle in Time. She didn’t need a gun or mad ninja skills to rescue her father and brother. She has courage and a good head on her shoulders. A true heroine doesn’t need more than that. I’m also crazy about Rita Vrataski in Edge of Tomorrow, just because she looks great with a machete. Ellen Ripley in Aliens (the second movie) is another favorite. She’s tough, but tender. I especially like her relationship with the girl, Newt.

Do you prefer Hard Sci Fi or Soft Sci Fi stories? What do you feel is a good bridge into both based on the stories you’ve previously read for someone first picking up Rimrider?

Kelley responds: I don’t have any preference, however, I find the women in Hard Science Fiction tend to be written badly; cardboard cutouts stuffed into a shiny spandex space suit. (Seriously, who uses spandex in space?) The only Hard Sci Fi book I read in recent years where the female characters were well-defined is The Martian by Andy Weir. I’d like to find another, but haven’t so far. Anyone who enjoys action/adventure with a touch of humor as in Star Wars or Firefly would enjoy Rimrider.

For me, it’s Sira in #TheClanChronicles, which I’ve heavily showcased these past three years, as I’ve read the whole series start to finish – the 9th novel is an upcoming featured review this #RRSciFiMonth – as it is the conclusion to the epic journey I’ve taken with the Clan!

What are your top three Science Fiction settings and/or worlds? What makes them a cosy comfort choice for you?

Kelley responds: Star Wars is a favorite because it deals with many worlds. I dig the whole Jedi mind trip thing and lightsabers are cool.  Doctor Who because I’m sucker for time travel stories. I’d like to go back in time and kick folks I don’t like in the pants and then book to the present before they catch me. Also, Jules Verne’s submarine, the Nautilus, in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.  It has a funky mixture of technology intertwined with Victorian manners and morals, not to mention a pipe organ. How awesome is that?

What kinds of themes in Science Fiction do you like exploring through your own writings? Are there things you haven’t yet explored which interest you to tackle?

Kelley responds: I don’t like to beat people over the head with moral lessons. Instead I tend to give a gentle nudge. The words heroine and hero are overused today. I like to  plop ordinary people into extraordinary situations to see what they’re made of. Real heroines and heroes are plain folks that meet challenges squarely and rise to the occasion. When you start with someone who’s an average Joe (or, in the case of Rimrider, an average Jane) like the rest of us, then you can get people to think.  Did she do the right thing? Would I do the right thing?

What do you think the best gift of having Sci-Fi in your life can give you? What are your personal favourite takeways?

Kelley responds: If you talk to any scientist, odds are he or she has read their share of Science Fiction. That about says it all. Sci Fi not only allows you to dream the impossible, it demands it. It often has a hopeful, optimistic outlook on the future which we all need to get through the day.

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Sci-Fi November | Hosted by Rinn Reads

This marks my first review for #RRSciFiMonth! Stay tuned for more throughout November as I will be showcasing more lovelies within the Science Fiction genres & subgenres as November unfolds! Find out a bit more about my approach this 5th Year via #WWWeds!

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Rimrider”, book synopsis, author & narrator biographies, photographs of L.A. Kelley and Cassandra Richardson as well as the Audiobookworm Promotions badge and the audiobook tour badge were all provided by Audiobookworm Promotions and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Audiobook Review Banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Tuesday, 7 November, 2017 by jorielov in Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host, Brothers and Sisters, Coming-Of Age, Family Drama, Family Life, Hard Science Fiction, Indie Author, Life Shift, School Life & Situations, Science Fiction, Self-Published Author, Siblings, Space Opera, Speculative Fiction, Teacher & Student Relationships, Teenage Relationships & Friendships

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4 responses to “#RRSciFiMonth Audiobook Review | “Rimrider” (Book One: Rimrider Adventures) by L.A. Kelley (narrated by Cassandra Richardson)

    • Hallo, Hallo Avalinah!

      :) I had a sort of a slow start to Sci Fi November – my bout of illness kept me from reading quite a bit, as I am trying to pull my #currentreads from both Sci Fi November titles & the Spooky Reads of October – thereby, keeping my reading wanderings quite diverse this month! I also have a short stack of Non Fiction I’m keen on devouring, too! As I get recovered from my ills, I’m finding my energies are slowly being restored to focus on the stories! :) Therefore, moving into this latter part of the week & into the last two weeks of the month, you’ll find me much more active!

      So happy you’ve stopped by for my ‘first’ entry into #RRSciFiMonth! I thought I spied some Space Opera on your blog — my blog visits have been absent for the past month and a half – I need to start to swing by everyone again! I lost my footing in September, which is why I’ve been focused on getting things turnt round before I start to visit again. You’ll find me soon chattering on your blog, though! Thanks for dropping by — I hope if you pick Rimrider, you’ll love the cheeky humour, the convicting drama and the whole arc of the story-line!! Cheers!

    • Hallo, Hallo Deanna!

      Ooh, my! Your in for a wicked treat if you pick up Rimrider! :) Honestly, I cannot wait to re-listen to this one whilst colouring – as the first go-round, I simply had to focus on the story whilst trying to articulate my responses as I reviewed it! My migraine and bout of illness these past few weeks didn’t quite give me a longer patch of time to re-listen to this more than once – however, I am truly thankful knowing what I was able to speak about it has resonated so well with you! Cheers! I truly am thankful I could pull my thoughts together as well as I could to inspire a (potential) next listen of yours! #awesomesauce

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