Book Review: The Dome by Nova Sparks


Title: The Dome

Author: Nova Sparks

Publication date: April 29, 2011

Genre: Science Fiction / Suspense / Romance

Format: Kindle

Price: Kindle- $0.99 | Paperback – $9.74

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Reviewer: Alice Saunders

Synopsis (No Spoilers):

“What if you knew the exact date and time the world will end, what would you do? Sam Tucker was faced with that dilemma when he began getting visions of the Earth’s demise. Luckily for him, he was able to save his family and as many people as he could before the tragic event occurred, and he did so with the help of unknown visitors. With Earth now destroyed, Sam, his family, and thousands of other lucky survivors must live the rest of their lives on a faraway planet in a Dome that simulates life on Earth. But Sam’s mind can’t seem to rest as a few questions arise. Why did the aliens save them? How did they know about Earth’s sure fate? And exactly what are they hiding? Emma Tucker begged for an escape from her boring life but never in a million years did she think it would come at the destruction of Earth. Living on a new planet and finding it difficult to get rid of her rebellious habits, Emma finds herself making friends with a member of the alien race and it soon develops into an unexplainable love; a love that is more dangerous than she could ever imagine. While her father is searching for his own truths, she has no idea that she is stumbling on a truth of her own.”

My Review:

I don’t normally read science fiction books as much as I watch science fiction movies but when Nova Sparks sent me a request to read and review her book, The Dome, I was definitely intrigued by the synopsis.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers but The Dome is an amazing story that is very well written. Although there are some places where editing is needed, it doesn’t take away from the elements of the story that make this such a great read. From the beginning to the end, the character development is strong and smooth as is the consistency in building up the tension so the story doesn’t feel rushed. It’s well paced, giving readers enough resolution to satisfy their literary appetite so they don’t feel cheated once they reach the end. At the same time however, Sparks leaves enough of the bigger plot open to make room for the second book in this trilogy. I finished this book excited, as I eagerly wanted to know what would happen next. With this, I also want to mention that the story is neither boring nor predictable. Simultaneously, the author, Sparks, doesn’t spend a lot time weaving in complicated subplots that are hard to keep up with. The story has balance. Even with the use of the multiple points of view, I as a reader never felt lost or left behind in the story.

Another point that I really love about this story is how it reminds me of something Peggy Blair blogged about one day when she stated how “character drives plot but plot shapes character.” This perfectly sums up the flow of Sparks’ novel, The Dome. Her characters are well written with Sam and Emma being two of my favorite people in the story. The situations, feelings, and conflicts that the characters face are made perfectly clear and as the plot evolves so do the characters. These developments add a beautiful realism effect to the overall story. I wanted to keep reading. I wanted to continue turning the pages just to see how they would resolve the present situation. I was intrigued and I wanted to learn more about why they acted and responded to their situations the way they did. Throughout the story, my view of the characters changed as more was revealed because it’s well-known that our responses show the true nature of our character. I also loved toying around with the question, what would I do if I were in Sam’s position or Emma’s for that matter?

In addition, did I mention that this story has a bit of romance? I’m a sucker for great romance stories, even if it isn’t the main theme. Love will create the suspense, regardless of whether the characters are trying to obtain it or keep it, or in some situations get rid of it. With The Dome, it’s obvious that love is the motivation. It may not be the only motivation for the characters’ actions, but it is part of their motivation nevertheless. Without giving away too much I will say that this story involves several types of love’s complexities. This is something else that I enjoy about this story. It reveals what people will do for love, and how too often, people fail to realize how their actions can threaten what they have. This story likewise exposes how lackluster our lives can become when void of simple love and affection. Also, please note that this story does have some sexual graphic content.

Moreover, I really enjoyed Spark’s writing style. The dialogue of the characters is witty and intriguing, not to mention, I didn’t run across any overused clichés and I often found myself laughing during the conversations that took place between the characters.

Furthermore, if I had to pick a favorite part of the story, it would be the beginning of the middle when they arrive at the Dome, that point in the transition where we get the first glimpse at a new setting that will bring us closer to the development of the theme. I must also point out that the theme itself is entertaining and unique. It’s not overdone or overused. The same thing goes for the plot as well. I was curious as to how Sparks would execute the plot but as I mentioned earlier, she did so very smoothly. The introduction, suspense, climax, and conclusion were well written in my opinion.

Final Assessment:

Looking back on everything, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars because even though some slight edits are needed, it doesn’t affect the overall story. This book is definitely a page-turner that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a good story that perfectly combines science fiction, romance, and suspense that also delivers on its emotional promise to provide readers with an entertaining story.

I leave you with the humble confession that I am eagerly awaiting the release of the next book in what is sure to be another brilliant installment of this trilogy. Be sure to purchase your copy of The Dome today on Amazon. If you have already read the book, please feel to share your comments below. I would love to know what you thought about the story.

Also, check back soon for a special interview with the author, Nova Sparks!

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