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May 28, 2017

Sci-fi Review: Paroxysm Effect by Ashleigh Reynolds

by MK French

In Paroxysm Effect, Gemi is startled when everyone around her suddenly becomes aggressive. Chips had been installed to suppress emotions, and they failed; the sudden surge in emotions drove most people insane, and they became incredibly violent. She is saved by a military group trying to contain the violence, and their trek back to the military base is full of dangers. Suddenly, Gemi doesn't know who to trust, and who might help her. Getting to the base is an ordeal, and it's one that isn't even over when she gets there.

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post. A free book was provided for an honest review.

Paroxysm Effect
February 2016; Legendary Books; 9781523449231
ebook, print (296 pages); science fiction
The plot of Paroxysm Effect is intriguing and very straightforward. It reads like an action film, one where the violence and blood get worse as the story moves along and people fall more and more out of control. (Think 28 Days Later and its rage virus, and you'll have an idea of the violence involved).

 It's very much science fiction, as emotional control chips are everywhere in this future world, yet there are also no such things as review boards to go over the ethics of human experimentation or citizens' rights.

The twists in the book are rather sudden, as are some of the characters' reactions to each other. It seems to be very out of place to have such disjointed responses, even with malfunctioning chips. The military doesn't even have chips, so they don't have that as an excuse, either! I didn't enjoy the disjointed emotional whiplash in the first half of the book; Ms. Reynolds really shines when she laid on the tension and mystery in the earlier and later chapters than with the out-of-nowhere romance. Even explaining it as not exactly out of nowhere didn't really help me get a better sense of the relationship.

While this is the first book in a series, it is fairly self-contained as is. There are inevitable questions for future books to answer, but this is still wrapped up fairly neatly.

Buy Paroxysm Effect at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever. 

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