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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 10/2022
  • 9780645510508 B0B1TGN5FM
  • 458 pages
  • $4.99
Paperback Details
  • 9780645510522 0645510521
  • 440 pages
  • $25
Alexandra Almeida
Author
Unanimity (Spiral Worlds Book 1)
  • The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The Story Shadow is a reluctant god with a broken mind and a death wish. He used to be Thomas Astley-Byron, an affluent young screenwriter whose creativity and idealism saved a world from the brink of collapse. Together with Henry Nowak, an AI expert, Tom created heaven on earth by inventing a Jungian simulated reality that helps humans confront their dark sides. The benevolent manipulation platform turned the two unelected leaders into beloved gods, but now everything is failing. The worlds suffer as a sentimental Tom descends into his own personal hell, becoming the embodiment of everything he despises and a shadow of who he used to be.
  • His journey from optimistic, joyful Tom to a gloomy Shadow is paved with heartache and sinister interference from emerging technology. Humans and bots fight for his heart, but their aims differ: some want to own it, some to dissect it, and others to end its foolish beat. Estranged from the love of his life—the activist poet Nathan Storm—Tom fails to realize the biggest threat comes from within. None of the sticky stories that steer his life end well.
  • Now, a young goddess—Estelle Ngoie—has been appointed to replace him, and unlike Shadow, Stella takes no prisoners, and her heart bleeds for no one. Who’s pulling on Shadow’s heartstrings? Are their intentions malign or benign? It’s all a matter of perspective, and Shadow has none left.
  • The Series Themes:  An epic tale spanning across six days—one per book—and forty past decades of life lived across ten worlds and two universes. Weaving hard sci-fi elements with social commentary and queer romantic suspense, Spiral Worlds explores the nature of consciousness and how it's connected to a not-so-secret ingredient—story. As software consumes the world, intelligence is nothing but the appetizer; the human heart is the main course. There is no black or white in this story about a contrast-making machine.
Reviews
In the first entry of the Spiral Worlds series, Almeida draws on cyberpunk technology to imagine a calculated scheme that charges emotionally damaged characters with saving both their digital domain and the world of the living. In 2068, nineteen-year-old Stella resurrects the digital embodiment of Thomas, known as “Shadow,” co-creator of the simulated reality called Spiral Worlds, consisting of eight experience levels where living people in Up Above—the real world—can act out their darkest desires. With the help of Sibyl, the Spiral Worlds’ omniscient operating system, Stella also resurrects the stored souls of people from Shadow’s past: poet and love of his life Nate Storm, best friend and Spiral Worlds co-creator Harry, a.k.a. “Twist,” and Thorn, Shadow’s female lover who murdered him. Sibyl has predicted that the soulless demons of Down Below will rise up and threaten both worlds.

Only the four of them can stop it, if only they can set aside the intense feelings of hatred, blame, and guilt they harbor for each other. Setting all that up takes some pages, but the slow, sometimes cryptic beginning eventually builds to an emotionally complex and expansive world that questions the nature of the soul, equality, and forgiveness. Shadow and Twist had set themselves up as Gods of the Spiral Worlds but fell after tragedy struck. Stella, who exists as both a digital and living person, is the fresh new Goddess ready to take their place. Stella plans to use Shadow as a mediator with the soulless and must get his friends and enemies to keep the overly emotional God from killing himself in the next six days.

Fleshing out the diverse characters, Almeida laces the epic story with moving insight into their poignant and anguished relationships. Patient readers will be treated to an intricate narrative with multifaceted characters propelled by both selfishness and altruism, in a ragged online setting that offers relatable lessons and warnings for our lives today.

Takeaway: This epic of vulnerable digital landscapes that draws readers in with its emotional punch and existential quandaries.

Great for fans of: Becky Chambers’s A Closed and Common Orbit, Daniel Suarez’s Daemon.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

​SPR

​​★★★★½

"A wildly original start to a sci-fi series, this intricately woven tale is intoxicatingly original, teasing the edges of reality and fiction. With a subtle storytelling style that is both immersive and patiently coy, Almeida has crafted an ambitious existential treat for fans of near-future sci-fi."
 

Readers Views

★★★★★

"I’m completely captivated by this first book, “Unanimity” and can’t wait for the rest of the story to unfold in the upcoming books. This series will resonate highly with sci-fi enthusiasts that enjoy intricate, well-developed stories with remarkable characters, skillful world-building, and the draw of the ever-expanding role of science in our lives." 
 

Readers' Favorite

★★★★★

"I adored this work by Alexandra Almeida from cover to cover for its modern take on fantasy and the subversion of so many typical themes and ideas that have become tired and overdone in the genre." "The queer storytelling elements are included beautifully and never made into a gimmick or overdone for the sake of themselves, and as such, they flow naturally with the fantasy and emotional elements of the narrative. I would not hesitate to recommend Unanimity as a sensational opening novel to a very promising series." 
 

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 10/2022
  • 9780645510508 B0B1TGN5FM
  • 458 pages
  • $4.99
Paperback Details
  • 9780645510522 0645510521
  • 440 pages
  • $25

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