Junior Inquisitor

Junior Inquisitor

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Jessica Alter's Dome Trilogy

This week we are going sci-fi via Jessica Alter's Dome Trilogy. I have had the pleasure of reading all of the books, and it was time well spent. I recommend you block off some time during the holidays, and sink into a new world, under the Dome.

Still life with author

And to answer your questions, yes, Jess actually uses a pink Olivetti typewriter for writing. She also has a stunt typewriter for those tricky scenes.

                                    Beneath a Sunless  Sky


Ten years after child prodigy Remy had an accident which robbed her of a prestigious future, she walks the edge between life on Solaray-lit Level One and the gloom of the UnderDome, waiting for an opportunity to return to her place among the elite ruling class and put the nightmare of living as a sub-human behind her. In the first book of the Dome Trilogy, Remy’s life spirals from her control; she is condemned to live her life in the most reviled pit in the Dome world, known to be populated by brutish beasts too inhuman to even live on the edge of society. When she arrives, however, she discovers that humanity does not belong only to the citizen, life on Level One is not what she had believed it to be, and a threat more grave than the UnderDome, itself, lurks just beyond its shadows.

Beneath a Sunless Sky is a coming of age story in the same way Dune is a story of a boy named Paul becoming a man. Under Jess' careful hand, the story, Remy, the main character, and all of the other inhabitants of this world come alive. Almost everyone lives in a dome controlled by a central computer, placed into a rather rigid caste system depending upon skills and testing. At the same time what appears to be a utopia has a dark side, and there are hints the central computer is acting more of a puppet master, than benevolent deity. Information has been suppressed, history sanitized, and the obstinate eradicated. This is not a free society, but one where obedience is compelled.
Remy's biggest problem, and one she does even seem to quite understand is that men want to possess her, like a trophy. They do not want her love, marriage is only offered as a gilded cage, these men want to collect her. It is from this many of her problems spring forth.
Remy is penned in detail, she is real, alive. She makes mistakes, and shows brilliant flashes of insight, she can both be the naïve little sister and the ingénue. She picks fights where she shouldn't and avoids help when she should. She comes across as fallible, human.
This is not a fast read with lots of explosions and pirates fighting ninjas, this is a thinking book one best digested over time. Even after you put it down, it will linger with you asking questions fostering internal debates on the nature of people, how civil society is, versus how it should be, and why did Remy make a particular choice.
For me, a book that lingers, that I remember long after I hit “The End,” is the best type to read, even if there were no dinosaur rampages or zombie outbreaks. If I'd been charged 9.95 for this book it would have been money well spent.


                 Links http://www.indieimprint.com/dometrilogy/

                                     Nightmare Specters


In the second novel of the Dome Trilogy, Remy is glorified as the long-awaited messianic leader of a devoutly religious populace and promises them the Dome above their heads as a homeland -- a vow even their revered Messiah Ami was unable to fulfill. Vengeance turns to apprehension as Remy realizes that not everything is as simple as it seems and even the best intentions can produce devastating consequences.


Remy is back, but has now managed to escape the dome society and their rigid ways. Rescued or kidnapped depending upon how one looks at it, she's now a part of the resistance, those cast away by dome society, those independent spirits that do not wish to bow down to central computer and actively fighting to replace the plutocracy of colors. But there is a problem, this revolution like many, will give rise to a tyranny even worse than what preceded it, and Remy at first an avenging angel, is quickly becoming a liability.

               Links http://www.indieimprint.com/dometrilogy/

                                          Solaray Dawn


Forced from the shadows and into the Solaray light . . .

On Level One, every citizen wants to see the face of the most envied woman in the Dome world; UnderDome, two factions prepare for a war which will determine control of Central Computer and humanity's future. In the third installment of the Dome Trilogy, Remy reluctantly re-enters the Dome as a citizen, carefully shielded from public view - until her husband disappears under questionable circumstances.

Forced to dodge admirers and assassins, Remy realizes it is finally time to change the Dome world . . . but at what price?


In this third and final installment Remy becomes a leader, not a figurehead, not a puppet of another, but a formidable person of power in her own right. Gone are the days of passiveness and indecision, of hiding behind others; Remy has grown up. However, with power comes enemies, and Remy has plenty, some want her dead, some want her physically, and some just want her power. Lastly Remy's past has been checkered, her actions dubious and illegal, her very existence a matter of debate. Will her past come back to haunt her? Oh yes. Will it kill her? Read and find out for yourself.


                Links http://www.indieimprint.com/dometrilogy/


Lexa Cain said...

Holy cow! I haven't typed on a typewriter for almost 40 years! No way could I work on one now. I'd be lost without my autocorrect and a quick way to delete stuff. I enjoyed the reviews. Wishing Jessica much success! :)
~ LX Cain

Jess Alter said...

Hi Lexa!

I abandoned using typewriters in the late 1980s for pretty-much the same reason you did--autocorrect and easy cut-copy-paste BEFORE it's committed to paper. I'm a terrible typist and need both the cut-copy-paste function to make my writing cohesive and the spellchecker/autocorrect function to sweep along behind me.

I returned to the typewriter for my new book series because my prose overflows when I use a word processor. Editing is a nightmare for a 250K to 300K word manuscript; I found mistakes precisely where I expect my eyes were glazing over from exhaustion at the enormity of the task. While adding the typewriter takes far longer to get a manuscript through the process, the end result is much tighter.

Thank you very much for your well-wishes Lexa. I really do appreciate it, and I agree that Lincoln did a wonderful job reviewing the Dome Trilogy. :-)