Independently Published (2020)
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (03/2021)
“Escape Reality” is the first book in a new Sci-Fi thriller series by debut author, Kayla Frost. The story is dark and addicting and seeps into your subconscious – be warned – it’s an intense ride and you may find your mind wandering back to the story long after you turn the last page.
Edith, a Gen 1 Synth of Orin Enterprise and Associates, is the last of her kind and she’s in trouble. She awakens in a prison capsule on the way to a Rip Planet, a Research Institute and Prison planet, and is alarmed to discover glitches in her memory. With her systems weakened from her journey, Edith has two objectives: 1.) to heal quickly and fill in the memory gaps to discover why she was sent to a corporate prison planet, and 2.) plan and execute her escape. Edith’s reputation precedes her though and the task won’t be easy. It’s a race against time as she negotiates an alien world full of diverse species, but Edith’s biggest battle may come from within as she learns betrayal may hold the key to her imprisonment.
As a fan of complex, dark sci-fi, I appreciate all the effort that goes into creating such sophisticated work and I was blown away to learn “Escape Reality” is Kayla Frost’s debut novel. She writes with such authority and depth it is hard to reconcile this is her first venture into the literary world. The clarity and intensity of the writing immediately draws the reader into the story with stunning imagery seen through precise and intricate details. Readers will know the characters intimately and clearly visualize the planet, the labs, the environment, the different species – every aspect is thorough and concise. From the graphic details displayed in every gory battle to the hard-core technology defining the story and the psychological twists that invade the minds of the characters, “Escape Reality” is a hypnotizing journey into the depths of reality, and that which is just out of reach.
Telling the story from multiple points of views gives readers a well-rounded experience and shows captivating sides of each character as we learn their backstories and what makes them tick. “Fleshed-out” seems inappropriate as many of the characters have very few human traits but Frost’s characters are so well constructed readers will easily connect and invest in their outcomes – just don’t get too attached. Edith is a marvelous study in contrast and your opinion of her will flip back and forth as the story evolves. She is the most complex and intriguing character I have read in some time.
“Escape Reality” is not a book you want to rush through. Even though the pace is top speed, there are so many exciting elements to consume you might just want to take it a bit slower, and enjoy all the subtleties, if you can. “Escape Reality” by Kayla Frost – it’s dark, it’s twisted, it’s superb – a wonderful introduction to an exciting new series by a notable debut author. If you like disturbing, hardcore Sci-Fi thrillers, you don’t want to miss this one.