I won a digital copy of Suffocate, Book 1 in The Breathless Novelette series by S.R. Johannes, in a giveaway (fancy that, me winning a giveaway)! I read it one lazy Sunday afternoon when I wanted something quick and exciting to occupy my brain. I hadn’t ventured much into the world of novelettes prior to this, but this one sounded like a lot of fun.
Since I’m bad at writing summaries that are short, and since this is a review of a novelette and I don’t want my review to be longer than the book itself, I’m copying the blurb from Goodreads:
“For centuries, the world outside the Biome has been unlivable. Today, marks the first time anyone will attempt to leave the suffocating ecosphere. Eria is not worried because her scientist father has successfully tested the new Bio-Suit many times. It’s a celebratory day until something goes horribly wrong. In the midst of tragedy, Eria uncovers a deep conspiracy in her perfect bubble. If those responsible find out what she knows, they won’t stop hunting her until she takes her last breath.”
If novels are like a television series or mini-series, a novelette is like a single episode. Suffocate didn’t waste any time in getting to the heart of the story: a terrible accident, and Eria’s frantic search to discover what went wrong, accompanied by her father’s intern, Ash. As they search through the mysterious innards of the Biome for the truth, they are pursued by mysterious baddies, and lots of crazy sci-fi discoveries are made amidst nonstop action. There’s even a brief moment of romance squeezed in. And then it winds up with a great twist ending that I kind of suspected (but not really).
This book was fun, fast and furious. I liked reading about the world of the Biome, and even though the book is short, the world-building was decent and the pacing was good. I never felt like I was being rushed or that the story was being crammed into a too-small space; this is just one of those stories that didn’t need 100,000 words to tell it properly.
If you’re looking for a quick, exciting sci-fi read to fill a couple hours by the pool or on a rainy day, I’d recommend picking this one up!
Content Guide: Contains violence, death