Callisto 2.0 by Susan English

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Three out of Five Stars

Summary: 

She had to travel beyond the planet to discover her true self. Will she find the courage to walk through the doorway to a new future?

Shambhala Space Station, 2097. Solitary physicist Callisto (physics, after all, is a jealous mistress) never accepted conventional wisdom. So when she’s recruited to work on faster-than-light technology by a beautiful and mysterious older woman, she eagerly accepts the career opportunity at the women-only research station orbiting Earth’s moon. But her enthusiasm suffers when her first discovery is unexpected heartbreak.

Throwing herself into work on a problematic warp drive prototype, Calli blossoms in the utopian female community that shows her love and acceptance for the first time in her life. But when a twisted conspiracy, a disingenuous affair, and a disastrous betrayal test her place in this unique environment, the brilliant scientist must dig deep to find her moment of truth.
Will Calli embrace her destiny in an unexplored cosmos?

Callisto 2.0 is the transformative first book in the Shambhala Saga feminist science fiction series. If you like compassionate characters, deep-space intrigue, and hopeful visions of the future, then you’ll adore Susan English’s cosmic adventure.

The Review

Callisto, a physicist, is recruited to live and work on the Shambhala Space Station. Her area of study isn’t common and finding a position that encourages her to research warp technology is like a dream come true. Working with an all-woman crew, that hypes each other up and pushes each scientist on board to do their best work, is a eutopia of sorts. While there is competition to do your best work, there isn’t any undercutting nastiness or discrepancy is pay or standing. All women have equal footing and the cattiness you would expect to find is nonexistent.

In this first book, the reader is adjusting to the Shambhala Space Station. Each character we learn about has an essential function to keeping the station going. The majority of this novel, we follow Calli through her first weeks working and the excitement of finding a career she loves. It’s a slice of life all the way until the last fifty or so pages. This is where you get to see the little seeds of dissent from citizens outside of the space station. I wanted there to be more conflict that what was presented. Calli made a disastrous mistake, but there seemed to be little consequence. The end pages, we finally get a clear idea of what this series is going to be about and I wish there would have been a little more direction earlier in the novel.

The science in this novel was easy to follow, but there were a few moments that had me bogged down in all the terminology used. It was essential in understanding Calli and all of her colleagues and because of that, it didn’t bother me.

If you are looking for romance, there are brief moments off it, but it is not the driving force behind this book. The science and discovery are the stars here.

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