Independently Published (2020)
ISBN 9798565585100 979-8565585100
Review by Megan Weiss for Reader Views (02/2021)
In Kayla Frost’s debut novel, “Escape Reality,” protagonist Edith is in trouble. She wakes up in an auto-piloted prison capsule which is about to land on an infamous prison planet. Weak and disoriented from the three-month journey, she is startled to find that there are glitches in her memories. There are large gaps missing, including whatever happened that landed her on a prison planet. Unable to trust her own thoughts, Edith must learn quickly how to navigate this new and vicious planet. She is more than up for the challenge, though, as Synths are programmed to do one thing above all else: survive. In order to escape, Edith will need to make some alliances, be willing to sacrifice those who stand in her way and uncover dangerous corporate secrets.
“Escape Reality” is unlike any book I have ever read. The language and tone used by Frost are sharp and intuitive, shooting readers through the story at lightspeed along with the characters. The world the book takes place in is drastically different than our current one on Earth, but the strong details and consistency used by the author help make it easier for readers to visualize the characters’ surroundings.
“Escape Reality” is incredibly fast-paced and filled with a myriad of different species of characters. While the more central characters, such as Edith, Colonel Mills and Tekrin are fleshed out well, some of the more minor characters were a little hard to differentiate between. There were a lot of changing points of view used to narrate the story, and while I do think this helped contribute to the suspense of the book, sometimes it did feel a little disorienting.
“Escape Reality” is definitely a book geared toward hardcore science-fiction lovers. Since I am not quite as familiar with this genre, it was a little hard to get accustomed to the strange terminology and dense plotline, but I think this has more to do with personal tastes and familiarity with this kind of reading atmosphere than it is a fault of the author’s writing. To the contrary, it is clear that Frost spent lots of time building and fleshing out her novel.
There were points in “Escape Reality” where I felt like I had unanswered questions, but I almost felt like this was intentional. As this appears to be the first book in a series, it would not surprise me if these questions are meant to be answered at a later time. After all, some frustrations we experience as readers are intentional in order to keep us hooked and clamoring to get our hands on the next installment of a series.
Overall, “Escape Reality” was a unique book that offered an intense reading experience. Though innately a dark story, the emotions of the characters and the struggles of their worlds helped connect me to the story and want to keep turning the pages. I have no doubt that the author’s follow-up will knock it out of the park.