On this page I’d like to gather the reviews so far.
Review by: SawneyDWebb on July 19, 2014:
“OPALESCENCE tells a story of the future turned back into the distant past, leading humanity from terrible dystopian conclusion to a hopeful renewal in tune with Nature. The two heroes, Tom and Julie, adapt to a wonderful world that turns out to be California 15 million years ago. This world is rich with land and sea creatures, and many ecological settings beautifully drawn by a very knowledgeable author. Our two heroes survive many trials in this novel wilderness setting and also, in the denoument, overcome a powerful villain who, ironically, was sent as Julie’s bodyguard. My favorite of our heroes’ many adventures involves the domestication, each independently, of a dog-like Aelurodon, and a Hypohippus, three-toed horse.
At the heart of this adventure are the lush life and dynamic geography of California in the middle Miocene. The many sketches of the heroes’ encounters are both lovely and lively. I’d gladly get a ticket to travel to that same opalescent place.”
Note: You can see more about S. David Webb, in my post A Great Honor.
Review by: Michael Harris on Feb. 07, 2014:
“If you want an exciting adventure story with scientific heft and philosophical depth, read Ron Rayborne’s debut novel, “Opalescence.” It’s set in a near-future of overpopulation and environmental collapse, when the human experiment seems a colossal failure and there’s no way out — except for time travel to the unspoiled Earth of 15 million years ago. Scientist Julie Pine is sent back to the Miocene, along with a bodyguard, Jaqzen, who represents the greedy, rapacious side of humankind that brought about the crisis in the first place. When they don’t return, Julie’s husband is sent in search of her. Because of a control-room shootout between rebels and the fascistic government, Tom lands at the right time in the past but at the wrong place — 600 miles away from where Julie and Jaqzen are. He must hike the whole length of what will become California, surviving its terrors and savoring its beauties, before the showdown that will determine what kind of second chance, if any, the human race is going to have.
A natural storyteller as well as a dogged researcher, Rayborne keeps us turning the pages even as we learn about this fascinating lost world.”
Michael Harris is a writer in his own right. He was also a reporter, editor and book reviewer for the Los Angeles Times (30 years).
Review by: R.C. Butler of Bulldog Press on Sept. 15, 2014:
“Opalescence is an intriguing tale that takes place, primarily 15,000,000 years past in Miocene California as a man slung out of time struggles to overcome dangers he never knew existed in order to set things right. Ron does an amazing job capturing the risks and beauty of the lost paradise that was the Midocene era. It’s a fantastic read and well worth the purchase.”
Review by Cwn:
“A fascinating and thought provoking story. Holds ones interest until the end and reminds us that we are caretakers of this planet.”
From Midwest Book Review
“Opalescence” is a fantastic and deftly written tale set in a very real world of the middle Miocene some 15,000,000 years ago. A time of incredible biodiversity and the perfect setting for a science fiction action/adventure. Impressively well written and consistently compelling from beginning to end, “Opalescence” is very highly recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. For the personal reading lists of science fiction fans it should be noted that “Opalescence” is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).
Some months back I sent a copy of the ebook version of Opalescence to Writer’s Digest for their 2nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards. It wasn’t really finished editorial-wise but I had to make the deadline so I sent it anyway. There are no names for the judges, thus, mine was “Judge Number 39”. Following in full are comments I received back today, December 29, 2014.
In Opalescence by Ron Rayborne we are presented with a story that fully researched and also richly imagined, a true life tale that is completely and convincingly imagined. By placing the richness of the past in the far reaches of the future, the author has crafted something memorable and original, something that gives the reader a bit of many different genres while also transporting them across years and miles while leaving them with memories of their time on the trail. The title seems to this reader to be not very unique or particular to the ideas of this book. Something more directly related to the themes and ideas addressed in the novel might have been more appropriate. The overall design of the book is professional and the cover image for the book is intriguing and evocative, suggesting the pristine beauty of the world which the novel will detail. Julie is an interesting character, one so focused on her role that we seem to learn only about her devotion to science. Switching the focus to Tom, and his quest, opens up a new world for the reader. The narrative meanders a bit and while there are scenes of great emotional or psychological interest, these are few and far between leaving the bulk of the novel to a kind of relentless push through the exposition of the story itself. Seeing Tom come to terms with himself, and his alien surroundings, is one of the great rewards in this book.
All-in-all not a bad review, but I received a second notice that Opalescence did not place as a winning entry. While obviously there are areas where I’d disagree, still I take these comments seriously and am grateful for the time that Judge 39 took to read the book. Thank you Writer’s Digest.
For more thoughts on reviewers, see my post Reviewing Reviewers