Our first impressions of Icon-Violet

Find out The Space Girls’ first impressions of SPSFC contestant, Icon-Violet by Simon Fay.

As part of the Self-Published Sci-Fi Competition, my team (The Space Girls) has been given 25 books to read. Of this initial allocation (or ‘slush pile’), we are reading the first 30% and then voting Yes or No on whether we’d like to continue reading further. You can see our full allocation in my previous blog.

Here are the team’s first impressions of Icon-Violet by Simon Fay. (You can find all of our first impressions posts here.)

The cover of Icon-VioletBook blurb

At the far reaches of space, Violet has been betrayed by Yellow and left to certain death.

Once, they shared a common pool of memories. Now, Yellow has destroyed their bond. And so starts Violet’s perilous journey across the galaxy, whereupon questions of fate will force them to confront mistakes that continue to haunt them both…

Icon-Violet: Find out what happens when one mind is split in two.

Goodreads / Amazon

Our first impressions

Nancy: I really enjoyed this book! While most of the books I have sampled so far have had female characters I didn’t care about, June is so multifaceted and I loved her secret which serves huge implications in the story. This is one of the books I have read 100%. I loved how June and the robot named Violet spend half of the book wanting to tear each other apart but they have to keep the lie going on because they both fear getting executed by the space station’s governor. I also felt the worldbuilding was very well thought out and the book has plenty of directions where it could go in any potential sequels.

There is just one issue: it needs editing. If I had to drink a shot of tequila every time I saw the word it in a given page, I probably would not reach page 2. For this round, I am giving the book a thumbs up, but I believe it should be cut prior to the finals to give the author a chance to get the professional editing it direly needs. I hope the book gets resubmitted in the future in a much more polished package so that it receives the attention it deserves. (Y)

Katherine: Technically: The print format the author sent didn’t format that well, unfortunately, so this may explain some excessively long paragraphs if the indentation wasn’t correct. Otherwise, though, I found the narration quite passive and telling, with some misplaced apostrophes and missing words. I found the head-hopping disorientating, especially when it came to several people’s thoughts in the same paragraph, and couldn’t really get into any of the characters’ heads that well. In places the tense gets muddy, and it’s meant to be Violet thinking about events in the past, I think, but it doesn’t seem very internally consistent and therefore doesn’t work too well. Many ‘to who’s that should be ‘to whom’s. Lack of hyphens needed for clarity/smooth reading. Sentence structure often odd and not in a good way, focussing on the object before the action and the person doing it, or sometimes with one clause that makes no sense within the whole.

Otherwise: Interesting start with an inexperienced security guy on the night shift accidentally getting a bunch of people killed by the Icon Spectrum, which are like… AI ghost apparition thingies? And one of them is called Icon Violet, and feels bad about having to kill them. In any case, Icons Violet and Yellow(?) get sent off with full discretion to deal with something, and something makes Yellow go rogue, so Violet has to find out what and stop them causing too many problems. The moment of splitting and betrayal was quite nice but honestly, the writing style made it hard for me to get into or keep track of the action, and a whole lot of monologuing followed it.

Dropped because the concept was interesting but it was stylistically boring to read. (N)

Our verdict: Cut

Please note that these opinions are the judges’ initial impressions of only a part of each book. A book being cut doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad or not worth reading.