Plot: Carter’s novel is carefully plotted, with a fast-moving pace that will keep readers engaged until the very end. The storyline is gripping and stays intact through several twists and turns.
Prose/Style: Carter’s sharp prose bolsters her intense plot. Her writing is both satisfying and disquieting, with natural dialogue and extraordinary worldbuilding.
Originality: I, Cassandra is a stunningly innovative sci-fi novel, with just the right mix of romantic dystopia to send it over the edge.
Character Development/Execution: Carter’s characters are laser-focused, with a subtle blend of complexity and hollowness. Readers will embrace the raw power and yearning of Ryan Maddox, and Cassandra Vallis is unforgettable in her vulnerability and longing.
Blurb: A desperately passionate dystopian novel, teeming with thrills and anticipation.
Date Submitted: August 13, 2021
I've read a few sci-fi books with super soldiers and supernatural elements, but they're usually spread out over a series. This didn't suffer at all for being told in a single novel, with the detail weaving together to world build without being bogged down by detail and excessive exposition. The story itself was heartbreaking from the start, with the feeling of hopelessness a constant undercurrent to the main events. Futile actions in the face of overwhelming conditions that the characters can only react to, but not change, left me feeling desperate for something to go right for them, despite it all. Ryan as a character, I adored. His care, his focus, his duty. He really had me at "smuggling in cat food in his underwear" and only got better from there. We meet him as he wakes up in a new super soldier body and he is the perfect introduction to the story. Blue, we meet under less favourable circumstances. I adored Blue's resilience, her practicality, and the way she survives horrific cruelty, yet it didn't make her cruel. I think that might be why she and Ryan work so well, because, in the face of everything they endured, they are still kind.
Amadi's story was heartbreaking, and resonant in the way he wanted to be a good man who did good things, and in another time, perhaps that's who he would have been. Alas, he was born into a fucked up world where fucked up things are done, and the rigidity of that world shaped him into something else, so there was a great sadness attached to him and his story.
The way their tales spun together was wonderful, even when I wasn't reading the story, I was thinking about it, so immersive was the language used. I look forward to reading it again, but for now will let it simmer in my mind as I sit with my cats, and give them each a kiss, for Miro.
E.A. Carter is already a master of epic fantasy romance, and she does not disappoint in her sci-fi debut.
I, Cassandra follows super-soldier Ryan Maddox and the titular Cassandra straight through the end of the world and out the other side. Rather than drag the reader through long-winded explanations of how this version of Earth came to be, Carter takes advantage of apocalyptic fiction in the cultural zeitgeist (and, unnervingly, the current state of our own world) and brings Earth in the 2080s to life through gorgeous and effective detail. The impeccably researched and brilliantly imagined possibilities of our planet in the post-apocalypse are both fascinating and haunting.
The scale of I, Cassandra is truly awesome, but it's a fast and accessible read, and the human element shines. Carter balances a gritty apocalyptic setting with emotive conflict — it's tragic yet hopeful, and beautifully written.
“A stunningly innovative sci-fi novel, with just the right mix of romantic dystopia.”
— The BookLife Prize Critic's Review
“Stirring SF on a mythic scale... ”
— Kirkus Reviews
Absolutely thrilled to announce I, Cassandra was chosen as a Winner in the 2021 Writer's Digest Self Published e-Book Awards and awarded Honorable Mention in the Sci-Fi genre.
"The theme of apocalyptic climate change is very current, and the late 21st century world is a believable extrapolation of our current situation. While the concept of a cybernetic organism and a personality "sleeved" into a body isn't new, it's handled with a unique perspective here, and the scale of the story elevates it to a new level. The twist at the center of the story is powerful and effective without being overwrought."
— Judge, 9th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published E-Book Awards
“Carter’s sharp prose bolsters her intense plot. Her writing is both satisfying and disquieting, with natural dialogue and extraordinary worldbuilding.”
— The BookLife Prize Critic's Review
“I was on the edge of my seat...”
”Original and deeply satisfying...”
”Echoes of Oryx & Crake, Earth Abides, and Altered Carbon...”
”Ryan had me at ‘smuggling cat food in his underwear’...”
— Goodreads reviews
If you like the dystopian atmospheres of Blade Runner, Ex Machina, and Elysium, you’ll love I, Cassandra.
She is a prisoner who can alter reality. He is a dead soldier brought back to life as a sentient machine. A forbidden love affair that transcends time, the end of the world, and what it means to be human.
I have since discovered sci-fi is where my writerly heart beats and am excited to share my next book is a sci-fi reimagining of the Hades and Persephone myth. It will be my most ambitious project to date with multiple love affairs between the star-crossed lovers over thousands of years and a story arc that challenges the very boundaries of reality. I can’t wait to release this one!