Review: Fluency by Jennifer Foehner Wells

NASA discovered the alien ship lurking in the asteroid belt in the 1960s. They kept the Target under intense surveillance for decades, letting the public believe they were exploring the solar system, while they worked feverishly to refine the technology needed to reach it.

The ship itself remained silent, drifting.

Dr. Jane Holloway is content documenting nearly-extinct languages and had never contemplated becoming an astronaut. But when NASA recruits her to join a team of military scientists for an expedition to the Target, it’s an adventure she can’t refuse.

The ship isn’t vacant, as they presumed.

A disembodied voice rumbles inside Jane’s head, “You are home.”

Jane fights the growing doubts of her colleagues as she attempts to decipher what the alien wants from her. As the derelict ship devolves into chaos and the crew gets cut off from their escape route, Jane must decide if she can trust the alien’s help to survive.

Fluency by Jennifer Foehner Wells. Book 1 in the Confluency series.  I have the Kindle Edition, 377 pages. Published June 2014 by Blue Bedlam Science Fiction. Read this as part of the January 2019 group read for the Goodreads group Creatures, Creatures Everywhere!

I find the subject of space very fascinating. The history of space travel, future plans for space travel, exploration of the planets and stars, searching for other signs of life… all of it. So when this book was picked for a group read for one of my groups on Goodreads, I was super excited! The plot sounded uber up my alley! I couldn’t wait to begin!

I have never read anything from this author before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. She could write a gripping plot, that is for sure. There were plenty of interesting things that went on and she definitely had me hooked with the story. I did have a few small problems with the writing though. For starters, the main character, Jane, was a little too perfect. Yes, she had some doubt and fear, but it just seemed like she was a little bit too amazing with her abilities and backstory. Jane wasn’t the only character that I had problems with. Another main character, Alan, very angsty and became very whinny towards the end. I liked him at first but he just became more childish as the book went on. Finally, towards the end I was just yelling “OMG!! SHUT UP AND GET OVER IT ALREADY!!!!! 😡 ” at him all the time. Another small problem I had with the writing is the sometimes lack of details we got from the author. Yes, I know, lack of details means you can imagine something more epic on your own, blah blah blah… I totally get that. BUT. Sometimes it was just annoying when the author was talking about what Jane was seeing in her head, yet not really telling us what she was seeing!! Sometimes it was a vague statement but hardly any description. Well what did that person look like? What did that creature look like? What did that device look like? I’m not saying you have to Stephen King it and detail us to death, but the author could have given us a little bit more to work with a majority of the time. And the thing is, sometimes the author gave you no to little details and other times she gave you plenty… it was just very inconsistent.

I am not a big fan of romance in my fiction, and I was unprepared for all the sexual angst that was in this book. I don’t read romance stuff, the closet I get is cozy mysteries with light romance, so I’m not the best judge when it comes to sexy time stuff in a book… but, all the sex / romance / angst felt a little bit like…. fan fiction maybe? I don’t know. *To me* it just felt out of place. I mean… you are going on this historic voyage of scientific research to an alien vessel that you have NO clue what is waiting for you there, shit goes wrong and the life of the crew is at stake multiple times, you don’t know when or if you will be able to return home, you might all be dying from killer creatures on the ship and a plague. I’m sorry, but now isn’t the time to have sex or cry because your hot crew member doesn’t want you the way you want her / him. There are more things at stake then your love life, ok? I totally get being attracted to your team member, but when shit hits the fan, you have more things on your plate then how hot you are for them, ok? I was glad to see at the end of the book Jane actually said basically that to Alan, because… seriously…. more is going on then just you, ok Alan? *eye roll*

I know after all of that, it sounds like I must have hated the book, right? I promise you I didn’t. There were some really fun this going on with this book. I actually enjoyed the plot a lot. It was entertaining reading about the alien creatures and what had happened to the previous crew as well as the new NASA crew. There is a curious little mystery about sabotage going on that I’m dying to know what’s up with that. Some of my above complaints did slow the book down some for me, but over all it was entertaining and it left me curious about what will happen in book 2. Overall it was an alright read and I’m happy to have read it.

Fluency had a great plot and was an entertaining. Some of the writing needed a little bit of tightening up but it was mostly fine. My only complaints are a few character annoyances and more romance than I normally care for in a story. The alien creatures and the mystery of what is really going on makes up for those few small complaints though. I enjoyed it and I’m curious about the next book in the series.

One thought on “Review: Fluency by Jennifer Foehner Wells

  1. I read this quite some time ago and can’t remember that much about it after reading a ton of books since then. I do recall that I enjoyed it:)

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