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Redemption (The Spades Trilogy Book 1) by Mike Schlossberg

REDEMPTION (BOOK ONE OF THE SPADES TRILOGY), Book Review by On My Kindle Book Reviews
Twenty young people wake aboard the spaceship Redemption with no memory how they got there.

Asher Maddox went to sleep a college dropout with clinical depression and anxiety. He wakes one hundred sixty years in the future to assume the role as captain aboard a spaceship he knows nothing about, with a crew as in the dark as he is.

Yanked from their everyday lives, the crew learns that Earth has been ravaged by the Spades virus – a deadly disease planted by aliens. They are tasked with obtaining the vaccine that will save humanity, while forced to hide from an unidentified, but highly advanced enemy.

Half a galaxy away from Earth, the crew sets out to complete the quest against impossible odds. As the enemy draws closer, they learn to run the ship despite their own flaws and rivalries. But they have another enemy . . . time. And it’s running out.
Source: I received a free copy of this book and opted to post a review.
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Format: eBook, Print
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Series: The Spades Trilogy

 REDEMPTION (BOOK ONE OF THE SPADES TRILOGY by Mike Schlossberg, Reviewed by On My Kindle Book Reviews


A wonderful first novel in a futuristic science fiction trilogy that de-stigmatizes depression and other mental disorders!

The first couple of chapters or so seem completely chaotic. Like the protagonists, you are literally thrust into a futuristic setting with no clue of what is happening. I have to admit, I was a bit worried that the premise would end up becoming Schlossberg's interpretation of the book, "Lord of the Flies;" however, these fears were assuaged as the group of teens seemed to recognize Ash's innate leadership abilities.

The plot felt like a "Star Trek: Next Generation" episode, which is a compliment as I enjoyed the show's social commentary, character development, its disregard for conventional thinking, and its overall disdainful attitude towards discriminatory assumptions. I liked how Schlossberg portrayed the characters because they each had realistic strengths, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities but they worked as a team and grew as individuals.

I particularly appreciated how Ash was portrayed. Ash had innate leadership skills and ended up being the captain of the crew; he had personality flaws, he made mistakes, he owned those mistakes, and he suffered from depression and panic attacks. As someone who is dealing with PTSD, I thought Schlossberg's descriptions of panic attacks and depression were thoughtful, accurate, and sensitive. I also appreciated the fact that Ash was the captain; I cannot begin to tell you how many times I've been overlooked for a leadership position because I have PTSD and was considered too "emotionally fragile" for the job. The issues that Ash dealt with as a leader and the methods he used to cope demonstrate how with a little support and outside-the-box-thinking, Ash was able to fulfill his duties admirably.

The ship's equipment intrigued me as it was a combination of older and future tech. The tech for all of the stations was the same, but the UI and appearance of the stations were customized for the intended user while taking into account which time period the user originated from. As someone who had access to some of the first computers and game consoles, I found this element fascinating.

The premise also caught my attention as it was equal parts cautionary and hopeful. There was some discussion of climate change, pollution, companies merging to become mega-corporations that achieve world domination, discrimination, and the potential hazards of acquiring resources from other planets. However, there is a glimmer of hope; someone has sent a group of young adults forward (or back) in time to save Earth from its inevitable destruction, young adults who have different perspectives and different histories working together to achieve one goal. Don't get me wrong, it's not all starlight and happy endings. Mistakes, misunderstandings, and tragedies occur; however, they still manage to work together and move forward towards a single goal.

Folks, this is classic science fiction at its best! The author's ability to combine these elements with accurate character portrayal and a realistic-for-science-fiction setting makes it stand out from the crowd. If Schlossberg and the "Spades Trilogy" aren't on your list of books and authors to watch, they should be.

About Mike Schlossberg

Mike Schlossberg, author of REDEMPTION
Mike Schlossberg, author. Courtesy of Goodreads.
Mike Schlossberg has been a writer since he wrote his first short story in eighth grade, a Star Wars fanfiction. While he claims it was terrible, the creative passion followed him into adulthood.

Serving as a State Representative in Pennsylvania, Mike has had the chance to make a difference. The problem closest to his heart is mental health, where he strives to break the stigma surrounding those who suffer from mental illnesses and give them hope. For Mike, this issue is personal, as he has been treated for depression and anxiety related disorders since he was 18. It was this desire to help which drove him to write Redemption, his first novel, but not his first book. That honor goes to Tweets and Consequences, an anthology about the varied ways elected officials have destroyed their careers via social media.

When not writing, Mike plays video games (both modern and old school), watches anything related to the Muppets (specifically Fraggle Rock!), reads, attempts to get to the gym, and calls his constituents on their birthdays.

Mike lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania, with his wife Brenna and his two wonderful children: Auron, born in 2011, and Ayla, born in 2012.

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REDEMPTION BY MIKE SCHLOSSBERG, Reviewed by Charity at On My Kindle Book Reviews