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The Colony

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When Lydia is pulled through spacetime into Jordan’s plane of existence, she finds herself immersed in a world controlled by the Guardian, an artificial intelligence. The Guardian’s sole purpose is to protect the power source that runs the planet; but it does so at the cost of all who live outside of its city.

Sheltered in the Colony, beyond the city’s borders, Lydia is befriended by an advanced race of hunters and warriors, who do all they can to protect her and themselves from the Guardian. To survive in this new world, she must find courage and strength, and learn to face her fears. But to save her soulmate and the colonists from the Guardian, she must overcome those fears and embrace her inner strength.

290 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 30, 2015

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About the author

R.M. Gilmour

2 books87 followers
RMGilmour was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, and currently resides in sunny Florida with her two children, two cats and a turtle.

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Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews
Profile Image for Claudia.
942 reviews506 followers
Shelved as 'dnf-not-my-cup-of-coffee'
August 28, 2020
I usually read sci-fi of authors I know or based on recommendations from people I trust. However, the blurb for this one piqued my interest, so I gave it a shot. Sad to say I abandoned it at 16%.

I wouldn’t have catalogued it as sci-fi ever. Just because our main character is having a conversation in her head with some guy from an alternate Earth and then miraculously finds herself in that alternate world, doesn’t make it sci-fi.

The writing is childish, to put it mildly. There is no worldbuilding, we jump directly into that romance. The behavior is unrealistic for both, more so when she finds herself on that new world. There is no way one could act like that given the circumstances. That was the moment when I gave up.

Bottom line, for me it was just a fiction/romance book. The science part from science-fiction is definitely nonexistent so far and nothing appeals to me to read further.

>>> ARC received thanks to BooksGoSocial via NetGalley <<<
Profile Image for N.N. Heaven.
Author 6 books1,782 followers
February 15, 2018
Lydia believes her life is over and that she’s a shell of her former self. The five most important people in her life are gone and she’s left all alone in the world. Worst of all, she’s scarred both physically and mentally. How can she go on when there’s nothing to live for?



One day, she starts hearing a male voice in her head. At first, she thinks it’s just herself going crazy but it feels different somehow. His name is Jordan and he says he’s from another world. They grow close and she starts to fall for him. But when he asks her if she’d leave her Earth life behind, she vows she’s go wherever he is. Jordan bends the construct of time and she transports to his dimension.



Little does she know what she has gotten herself into. All is not as it seems and the more she learns about Jordan’s world, the more Lydia must channel the strength inside her. She meets a band of outcasts and no one seems to mind her scarred face. Jordan is nowhere to be found and she must come to grips with her new reality. She called on to fight along with the others rebelling against what I can only describe as the big bad. Can Lydia reunite with Jordan and free those in captive or is she trapped forever in The Colony?



I’m at a loss at how to quantify The Colony. While it’s a beautiful story of incredible loss and finding a reason to live, it’s also a science fiction romance with intense action scenes with dystopian undertones. Fans of Divergent will love this book (and the series).



Gilmour’s writing style is one of emotional attachment to not only Lydia but minor characters as well. Her world-building is impressive, especially given that this is a debut novel. I did, at times, feel it was too wordy where the action should propel the plot but it’s just a personal preference.



A must read for speculative fiction fans and I look forward to reading the next in the series.



Favorite Character/Quote:

With each moment that passed, his presence grew stronger, and I gasped at the sensation. The warmth that coursed through me fluttered to the surface, reaching for him, searching for the sound of his voice and his image as though a part of me was missing, was too far away. I needed him with me, to hear him and see him, even if only for a brief moment.



My Rating: 4.5 stars



This review first appeared: https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/si...
Profile Image for Connie Lacy.
Author 12 books56 followers
May 5, 2018
A fascinating idea – a parallel universe – where a depressed young woman is drawn from Earth to another plane to be with a man she falls in love with as he repeatedly enters her mind. But when Lydia arrives, she finds a fractured, dystopian society controlled by The Guardian and its Wards, where people are reprocessed and reprogrammed to do The Guardian’s bidding. Where others who’ve also been lured by loving voices in their minds have created their own colony outside the walled city.

A bit of “The Giver” and “Divergent” here, but with some interesting twists. And lots of character development, which I always enjoy. Lydia goes from being an almost paralyzed soul from the losses she suffered on Earth to finding love with Jordan. She also finds meaning in her life as she forms a bond with those in the colony doing their best to fight The Guardian.

An equal balance of Sci-fi and Romance with plenty of action, a heart-pounding finale and a satisfying conclusion setting up the reader for book #2.
Profile Image for Nikki Landis.
Author 105 books1,588 followers
April 30, 2018


Wow, this book was amazing!!!

I love a good science fiction novel and toss in a sweet romance with soulmates and I'm hooked. One of the best science fiction romances I've ever read, The Colony kept me riveted from start to finish. Jordan and Lydia's story melted my heart over and over, their undying love for one another superbly written. LOVED it!

This is a well-crafted sci-fi story with so many unique plot twists, anxiety ridden moments, and action that I was gripping my kindle tight and completely sucked in. I had a hard time putting the story down at all! I found the deep and interwoven layers of the story pure genius and the sci-fi world building right on for the genre. Totally thrilled with this novel and so glad I read.

An amazing Sci-fi romance that you MUST READ. HIGHLY Recommended!!!

Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Word Building: 5/5
Story Flow: 5/5

Picky Bitches OVERALL SCORE: 5/5
Profile Image for Heike.
620 reviews41 followers
March 25, 2018
2.5 stars rounded up for good story idea

Lydia lost her family one after the other, and when she starts to hear a voice in her head she is not surprised that she is finally going crazy. But the voice, Jordan, convinces her that he is real, and with nothing to lose in her current life she agrees to join him in his dimension.
However – his world is not what she expected, and not what she had been told. The city is controlled by a machine, and she ends up in a colony of involuntary rebels.

This book started out captivating with an amazing story to tell. Unfortunately the author seems to love physical fights and seems to revel in physical as well as psychological pain. Thus we get pages full of those while the logic of the story falls apart and laws of this world that were set in one chapter were forgotten in the next. The fairly likeable but coward heroine who tended to vomit or almost vomit whenever something less agreeable came up, became a martyr towards the end – completely out of character, it’s not as if she grew into it.

I was giddy when I started reading the book and looking forward to an unexpected 4+ star read, to get disappointed when the action ceased and the questions came “Why is that?”, still hoping for the book to pick up again, but the questions just became more. I wished the author would have put more effort into explaining (and following her own!) rules when she did the world building, as the basic idea was really good.
Alas – I am not intrigued enough to pick up the next book in the series. Even if it has a good story to tell as this one did – if the main question is “Why could/would/should they do this?” it’s not for me.

Narration: 1st person female protagonist’s POV
Sexual content: kissing, touching, closing doors
Main Location: Earthlike planet in another dimension with more technical progress
Profile Image for Ellie Midwood.
Author 39 books755 followers
January 7, 2019
“The Colony” was one of the most original, imaginative stories I’ve read in a long time. After losing her husband to a car accident which left her scarred both physically and mentally, Lydia only hopes for those scars to heal, or at least forget the pain she’d been experiencing daily. Soon, however, a strange voice starts talking to her inside her head, belonging to Jordan - a man, who will literally offer her a whole new world, if she decides to follow him, that is.
The Colony and its inhabitants were so interesting to read about, I found myself completely riveted to the book. The idea of parallel universes (or Earth planets) and the city in which a machine runs the scene was masterfully executed. The scenery, the lifestyle - everything was painted so vividly, I could easily picture everything before my eyes. I also enjoyed the mystery aspect, when it wasn’t clear why exactly the machine lures people into its world and if there’s a traitor in the midst of a peaceful Colony.
Engrossing and very well-written, “The Colony” would be a perfect choice for all fans of the genre.
Profile Image for Lana Campbell.
Author 17 books148 followers
September 25, 2018
Intriguing sci-fi/fantasy. Lydia has hit rock bottom in her life after the untimely death of her husband in a car wreck that also left her scarred. She battles a void in her that threatens her sanity. She really thinks she's loosing it when one night a man speaks to her in her head. But there is such warmth and gentleness of spirit in this voice she begins to listen to and communicate with. His name is Jordon and soon Lydia not only realizes Jordon is a real person on a different plane living a life like hers but, she starts to fall in love with him. Lydia has lost so much during her short time on earth. So when Jordon offers to bring her to him she accepts.
Lydia falls into a dangerous world where a city is controlled by a thing called the Guardian. She doesn't find Jordon when she arrives, but a man named Grid who takes her to a colony of people who live outside the city. She's confused by the colonists at first and doesn't want to be a part of them. Her soul purpose is to find Jordon. Eventually she does and upon meeting him they experience a soul-binding love so powerful they vow that nothing will keep them apart. Unfortunately, Jordon lives in the city controlled by the guardian who Lydia discovers brings people to it's world by luring them there with their soulmate, just like Jordon lured her there. Oddly all the colonists have no soulmates living with them. There are no children in the colony either. Eventually, Lydia befriends a number of the colonists who are from different planets. Some are hunters, some warriors, but she learns that their purpose is to go to war with the Guardian that controls the people in the city and seeks to destroy the colonists and make them a part of it's evil plan. Somewhere in the city waits the soulmates of so many of the colonists, Jordon included. Will Lydia along with the colonists be able to stop the Guardian and be re-united with their lost loves or will they become prisoners of the Guardian, stripped of freedom and doomed to do it's bidding?
This story is gripping and intense and keeps you so engaged with the characters you can't wait to see what happens next. The editing was very good and the writing well paced. The romance part of it was sweet and hot, but tasteful. The conflict between the world's two factions was a thrilling drama, which I enjoyed despite the fact I'm not a big fan of this genre. However if you like futuristic sci-fi/fantasy you'll love this book.
Profile Image for Joshua Grant.
Author 20 books233 followers
May 27, 2018
Have you ever had a conversation with yourself as you tried to pick through some difficult emotions? In RM Gilmour’s The Colony our main character certainly has plenty of those, but she never has to go it alone. On one early reverie, she is suddenly joined by a mysterious voice named Jordan. This leads to some fun conversations as Jordan innocently asks a slew of naïve questions. It was also very interesting and touching to see how this simple daily interaction can lead to so much change in a character’s heart.

The story quickly builds to something greater than an in-head conversation, but I found the basic humanity of it all to be very intriguing. RM Gilmour does a fantastic job putting raw human emotion to page and I can’t wait to be drawn through another one of Gilmour’s emotional suites!
1,002 reviews8 followers
March 24, 2018
Title: The Colony
Author: R. M. Gilmour
Publisher: BookBaby
ISBN: B0117UGHIU
Buy Link: https://www.rmgilmour.com/the-colony
Reviewer: Teresa Fallen Angel
Blurb:
Dimensions could not keep them apart, but can the A.I. controlling his world?
Lydia felt him before she heard him.  His presence filled her, he warmed her soul.  His voice moved her, awakening the life inside her that she thought was lost forever. For he was her soulmate, Jordan, and he lived in another plane of existence.
When he pulled her through spacetime to be with him in his dimension, she found herself in a world without him.  A world controlled by an artificial intelligence – the Guardian, whose sole purpose was to protect the power source that ran the planet.  But it did so at the cost of all who lived outside of its perfect city.
Within the Colony she was sheltered and protected from the Guardian, by two advanced races, also from other dimensions.  But even they didn’t know how far the Guardian would go to get to her.
To survive, she must find within herself the courage and strength to fight for her life.  But how far will she need to go to save Jordan and the colonists from the Guardian?

Total Score: 5/5

Summary:
Lydia's life was almost destroyed the day she lost her husband in a car accident that left her disfigured and alone. She was trying to put her life together when she began to hear another voice, Jordan, in her head. Even though she wasn't sure if she was going crazy, she held back from telling her doctor what was happening until she was sure what was going on. Jordan seemed to fill avoid in her life giving her hope and when he told her he was from another dimension she believed him. Their feelings grew until he told her the possibility of her joining him leading to the day she was drawn to his world. Things in Jordan's world were not a clear cut leaving Lydia to wonder who to believe. She was found and taken to a The Colony where other people like her lived after being taken form their homes. Add the that the Guardian, computer, that was determined to control and contain its citizens. Unfortunately, that left outsiders like Lydia in hiding while Jordan was kept inside a domed city. The fight for their love has just begun!

This was a fascinating and complex story about a world both like our own and also vastly different. The idea of being overseen and controlled by a computer is one that many people fear thus allowing them to see one possible outcome that the future could hold. The love between Jordan and Lydia may be strong enough if they keep their love for each other alive in their hearts in spite of the odds against them. The many other unique and alien characters brought depth and suspense as the story unfolded.
Profile Image for Angela.
Author 70 books239 followers
April 9, 2018
I adored the premise of this story. Part The Host, part Daughter's of Smoke And Bone, and part The Divergent this sci-fi novel is intriguing from page one and something about the clarity of the world building drew me in. With strong characters and a unique parallel world there wasn't one moment when I wanted to skim over the pages (which I admit I often do with sci-fi novels). At times the book reminded me of Soylent Green, The Giver, or Logan's Run, and the author did just as good a job at turning the utopian society of The Colony on it's head and revealing the dystopian horrors of the Guardian and the Spire. All I can say is I. Loved. It!
Profile Image for Don Viecelli.
Author 23 books25 followers
March 5, 2017
My Review Number 137:

This review is on The Colony by Roslyn Gilmour. This is the first book I have read by this debut author, but it won’t be the last. Welcome to the Writers of SciFi world.

The story begins by introducing the main character, a single woman named Lydia Henchwick. Lydia seems to be a fearful, lonely, depressed woman who is still suffering from a recent tragedy in her young life. Lydia is currently seeing a therapy doctor who is trying to help her cope with her pain and personal losses, especially the loss of her husband in a tragic car accident three years ago in which Lydia barely survived.

Lydia likes to walk to a nearby forest and river to help alleviate the pain and sorrow she feels each day. This time, however, the walk produces an unexpected result. She begins to hear a voice inside her head. Instead of shock, Lydia believes she is now suffering from more than just sorrow; she may be going insane.

As the voice inside Lydia’s mind continues to communicate with her, Lydia comes to the realization that she is not crazy, but is actually talking to another human being who has mysteriously found a way to bridge dimensions and can hear and see thoughts of another human being.

This new voice belongs to a new character named Jordan who explains his people have a Central Unit machine with AI capabilities that can communicate through space and time. The Central Unit has the ability for other people in different dimensions to connect similar biological signatures. Lydia and Jordan have almost perfect signatures and their loneliness brought them together.

Although both Lydia’s and Jordan’s worlds are very different, they develop a bond only soul mates can achieve that produces a very strong romantic relationship. Their love grows quickly and is so powerful that Jordan wants to transport Lydia to his world and she agrees.

Lydia decides to join Jordan in his new world and this is where the story makes dramatic changes in plot and storyline. Lydia finds herself in a mysterious new world run by an intelligent Central Unit that watches over the people and gives then everything they need through scientific and technical achievements. Lydia soon discovers, however, that not all is peaceful and safe for the people living on the planet. Another entity called the Guardian becomes a threat to everyone’s existence and survival. Lydia must adapt and use her human qualities keep herself, Jordan and everyone else safe from the Guardian who has developed antisocial tendencies.

I give this book Five Stars because I found story is so original and the writing and dialog so beautifully written you cannot help yourself from becoming emotionally involved with the characters and hoping for their survival. The story has interesting science that is believable, great characters and enough action to keep the story exciting and mysterious to the very end. There are certain questions left unanswered at the end of the story that I hope the author decides to write a sequel and soon.

Keep reading good science fiction and let me know when you find an interesting novel or author.
Profile Image for Mary Yarde.
Author 6 books135 followers
March 12, 2016
If you are a fan of Stephenie Meyers, The Host, then you are going to love this book.


The Colony draws you in from the beginning, and keeps your attention. The writing is super-engaging. Spellbinding. It is one of those books where you think you have it all figured out. Then BOOM! - something completely extraordinary and unexpected happens. However, you don’t have time to sit back and contemplate these change of events, because the story is so fast paced you have to keep reading.


The Colony is all about human emotions. Love. Hate. Pain. Joy. Grief. Hope. This book explores every emotion you can think of. It was very gripping and very easy to relate to.


Gilmour paints a vivid portrait of her protagonist, Lydia. By the close of the first chapter I felt like I had known her forever. Lydia bled on those pages -- there is no other way to describe it. I felt everything that was happening, or had happened to her. Her fear became my fear, as did her joy, as did her love.


The supporting characters were equally well developed. There personalities shone through, it was all very believable and very well crafted.


The whole A.I. taking control of the world is hardly anything new, but The Colony is not a recycled story in any way. Gilmour brings a refreshing new slant to the A.I. concept. I thought it was great.


I really liked this book and I am hoping there is going to be a sequel, because I am sure Glimour is not done with this story, or this world, yet.


I Highly Recommend.
200 reviews
July 16, 2017
Excellent writer. I am a little exhausted though....grin. Every time I thought I had this figured out there was another twist or turn. This is SciFi, thriller, and mystery all together
Profile Image for Tabi Slick.
Author 11 books110 followers
August 27, 2018
Lydia has had a hard couple of years. Not only is she mourning the loss of her husband, but also the loss of her entire family. She has chosen a life of solitude, except for her therapist who believes she should institutionalize herself. That is, until one day a voice speaks to her that fills her heart with the promises of hope. The only problem is, the voice belongs to a guy living in an entirely different dimension...

The characters:
The main character is Lydia, who is contacted by a guy named Jordan. Jordan could be her soulmate, but we aren't entirely sure if he exists or not. When she gets pulled into this dimension, forces prevent her from finding Jordan, leading her to a place called the Colony where other beings have been brought to the dimension. At the Colony she is guided by Grid, someone we are unsure if he's good or bad. At one point the story leaves you guessing who the good guys are and who the bad guys are! Haize, Lena, and Morris are the other characters alongside Lydia battling unseen forces. I enjoyed Lena, although I wish she were introduced earlier on. She is a wonderful character, brave and strong.

My thoughts on the story:
It was rather interesting reading RM Gilmour's creative description of being pulled into another dimension. I wish that this was further explored in more scientific detail, however, I'm sure that this would be difficult to do without taking away from the romance side of the story. It is a very creative idea and I loved how the Colony and the City were portrayed. It effectively allowed me to see the various differences in the two. However, there were areas that lacked sensory that I desperately wanted to experience more. For example, the smells and textures of the environment.

Although this book felt as though it could be split into two different novels, there's plenty of adventures to keep you thoroughly engrossed in the story. I personally enjoyed the romance, although I feel the twist that I began to anticipate early on should've arrived before it did. Jordan and Lydia's dialogue portrays two souls who desperately long and care for each other. The Colony is a gripping love story that will enchant you and delight your heart in time and space.

Report Card: 3.5 Stars
1. Character development - ★★★
2. Overall pace - ★★★
3. Plot & Consistency - ★★★★★
4. Conflict - ★★★★
5. Experience - ★★

This review can be found here: TabiSlick.com/2018/08/thecolonyreview.html
Profile Image for Mary.
13 reviews3 followers
May 18, 2018
This book was movingly well-written when describing Lydia's (the main character) grief in losing her loved ones, as well as, describing the connection between Lydia and her love interest. I was emotionally impacted by many passages in the book and felt very connected to Lydia's experiences.

I have become a bit bored of the YA-dystopia-love-triangle-romance trend and I do find that, though well-written, this book followed the recipe for this sort of trend too closely for my taste. This is great for the author because I think it will be a hit but I personally will probably not continue reading new books in the series as I am satisfied with the conclusion as it is in this first book.

All that said, I truly enjoyed this book and will be looking out for any stand-alone books that R M Gilmour writes in the future!
52 reviews1 follower
November 23, 2018
I really enjoyed this story. The main character Lydia is going through a very difficult time in her life and finds herself falling in love with someone from another dimension. The man’s name is Jordan and after a while he asks Lydia to come be with him, and she does. Once she gets there, she sees what his world is like, and it’s not a nice place. It’s controlled by a machine and she learns more about how she was lured there, and that she isn’t the first to be brought in such a fashion. I don’t want to include a spoiler, so I’ll just say it is creepy. As the storyline progresses, the love between her and Jordan grows, and Lydia makes friends with some of the colonists. They are also from different planets like she is, and they want to rebel against the Guardian who controls them. A very good Dystopian Romance. It had a little of everything and was quite an engaging read.
Profile Image for Cindy Davis.
Author 124 books30 followers
February 9, 2019
Romance and adventure in a parallel world.
The concept is very good. This story is intriguing. The reader has to feel for the disfigured and grieving Lydia who rarely leaves her home after a devastating accident. Then she meets Jordan--is he really in another world via computer or is he in her head? For a long time I wasn't sure, but it didn't matter since he was helping her get over her phobia. For about half the book the scenes were mostly all in Lydia's home.
THEN the story took a change when she is pulled into Jordan's dimension and sets out to find him. After this point there is a lot of action and adventure, and the romance flourishes. I guess I would like to have seen more action and scene development in the first part of the book.
81 reviews
September 1, 2018
Surprised and pleased.

If you had asked me to give a rating on the first half of the book, it would have been a four. Not because the writing isn't good but because the story was okay. It was interesting, but not engrossing. Then we come to the second half the book and I say wow! I ran the gamut of emotions, and the story picked up and raced to the end with one action after another. It has it all, love, surprise, mystery, action, friendship, and villains. You can't go wrong with this book. The author truly takes you on a unique journey. It does not end on a true cliffhanger, but it does setup for the next book leaving you ready for the next book.
Profile Image for Joshua Griffith.
Author 15 books19 followers
November 12, 2018
An intriguing and wonderfully written story

I thoroughly enjoyed this one! The story revolves around Lydia and her dark depressing life due to losing her family and husband. As if things couldn't get any bleaker, she starts hearing a voice in her head that goes by the name Jordan. She soon learns that he lives in a different dimension and they're soulmates. Lydia gets pulled into his world and finds it both wondrous and deadly. There's plenty of action and suspense that will keep you turning the pages just to see how things play out. I highly recommend this one!
Profile Image for Ed Ryder.
Author 4 books10 followers
June 4, 2016
Lydia is a broken woman weighed down by grief and trauma, both mentally and physically. Then one day she starts hearing a voice in her head claiming to be a person called Jordan from another plane of existence. At first she dismisses it, but then it won’t go away and she feels strangely drawn to it, his presence making her feel whole again. After a while Jordan explains to Lydia that he can bring her to him, and before she knows it she’s on a strange world outside a walled city she can’t enter.
And she’s not the only one there; there’s a whole colony of people in fact, made up of people from different worlds and not all of them came willingly. But why are they there, why do they need to protect themselves at night, and will Lydia ever find Jordan so they can be together at last?

Colony is billed as a sci-fi romance, so it should come as no surprise that there is a substantial amount of angst and longing within its pages. If you’re not into that kind of thing, however, there’s still plenty of sci-fi ideas and action to see you through.


Lydia initially meets a man called Grid, a human colonist who shows her (and us) around the colony. It’s a good introduction to the world and Grid himself is a very interesting and conflicted character. Lydia’s relationship with Grid, a who’s been there quite a while, is a fairly odd one though (friends with cuddles I guess you could call it), and she sends him some very mixed signals throughout the book.
Lydia herself is an interesting character. Initially self-conscious about her appearance and how other people perceive her, she gains in mental strength as the story progresses as she is accepted and finds her place in the world. When there is nowhere to hide from yours and others’ feelings, the only way is forward.

The two other races (or at least alternative humans) are the Heart and the Rathe. The Heart are a Spartan-type warrior race, who constantly battle and train against one-another for status. This is exemplified the character Lena, who helps Lydia out and gives her inner strength. The other main Heart character is Haize, who is regarded in a strange light by her peers because she is a medic.
The Rathe are centuries ahead of Earth in developing advanced technology but didn’t pursue it as they saw the dangers, preferring to do things like creating food the old-fashioned way. Aleric, the main Rathe character, acts as Lydia’s guide and a go-between with her and the characters she meets from the city.

Colony is quite a long book and I feel it could have been made better with some trimming down. The first 15% or so of the book is made up of Lydia reflecting on her trauma and getting to know Jordan. While this is important for character development (Lydia is isolated by her own choice and about to be sectioned), there does seem quite a lot of repetition in this early section as they are basically either in her house or by the river.
Later on in the book there is a couple of chapters devoted to the warrior race the Heart and their battle training methods, which Lydia then has a go at. The problem with this is that whilst Lydia is gaining mental strength I didn’t think there was really a huge need for a Katniss-style (and / or whatever the main character in Divergent was called) montage section, especially as is isn’t really paid off later. I felt this could have been cut, or at least reduced. The story also pulls the ‘character thinks someone is dead but they’re not quite’ card more than once, and occasionally falls into the Lost method of storytelling by withholding things from the reader because it’s not time to know it yet. The characters do explain why certain information isn’t told, but it rang slightly hollow.

That said, there are some very exciting scenes in the story (the bait and chase scene springs to mind) and the third act races along at a pace, so much that I finished the last quarter of the book in one sitting. There are also quite a few plot twists and moments of revelation along the way which I enjoyed greatly (and won’t spoil here). The best twists in fiction are ones that are there in plain sight and these were handled very deftly I thought. There are also lots of good ideas on how the colony functions and the hidden price they all have to pay.

Colony is told in a first person perspective (well, 99% of it is anyway). I have to admit it’s not my personal favourite way of storytelling as although it adds a very personal touch, it tends to limit the scope and breadth of the narrative. We don’t really find out much about the city and its inhabitants, for example, apart from that they are given everything they need from a central computer. How they live day to day and why a lot of them seem so empty that they need to reach out to other worlds is left to our imagination. Still, this is just my personal choice and has no reflection on the final rating.

I enjoyed The Colony and I’d recommend it to science fiction fans looking for something a bit different, or to romance readers wanting a bit of a change of scene.

Profile Image for Richard Abbott.
Author 9 books53 followers
July 16, 2016
I was drawn to The Colony by reading an extract online—not a very long extract, but it convinced me that here was an interesting main character, dropped into a challenging situation. I was hooked.

RM Gilmour's story begins in a familiar Earth, but quite rapidly shifts to a wider focus. "Our" Earth is only one among a small set of alternate parallel worlds. The inhabitants are recognisable, but each has pursued a slightly different line of development, both biological and technological. There is a complementarity about the various groups; like any other kind of diversity, this has the potential to go well for the separate groups, or to go really badly. There are a lot of echoes of today's world, as a diverse group of people plucked from their own context tries to establish a kind of refugee existence.

The central character, Lydia, would be interesting in any story, but her complex and painful back story fits particularly well in this setting. She is constantly having to reassess who can be trusted and why, and whether she can rely on her own perceptions of the situation. Her personal history does not predispose her to depend on others, nor to feel that she herself is anything other than a destructive influence. Ironically, this very capacity for destruction proves to be crucial for the plot, once properly directed.

The story takes many twists and turns—it is at times a love story, an abduction, a rebellion, or a desperate defence against unthinking aggressors. It is to the author's credit that she has handled these possibilities without the story becoming bogged down and confusing. Since we follow Lydia throughout, these changes seem natural developments as her own awareness grows.

The book provokes thought about important personal issues. The one I grappled with most was what draws two people together. The book proposes that it is our similarities which make for compatibility and love. I feel it is more to do with complementarity and difference, but I appreciated the fact that the book tackled the question head on.

In terms of editing, there were a few more slips than I had expected, chiefly around homonym words such as your / you're. A few of them had me puzzled for a moment, but none of them interfered with my great enjoyment of the book.

The Colony ends with the defeat of the enemy, once its identity has been finally clarified. However, the closing words suggest that the victory has brought new risks, almost before the dust settles, which I am sure will be explored in a second story.

In short, The Colony is an engaging and stimulating book, providing a new twist on the theme of parallel worlds. Well worth reading.

This review was originally written for the New Podler Review of Books, http://thenewpodlerreviews.blogspot.c...
Profile Image for Jonathan Spradlin.
Author 2 books5 followers
Read
June 24, 2016
Lydia is a scarred woman- mentally, physically, emotionally. She suffered profound losses, and her face and body were damaged by the accident that took much more from her than her looks. In self-imposed exile, her life has become a maze of depression, analysis, and memories of loss. Out walking alone, she believes her mind has finally snapped as she begins to converse with the voice of a man in her head, Jordan. Jordan tells her that they are connected by a powerful resonance,and that he is a five-hundred year old trans-dimensional (human) alien living in a city that is controlled by a seemingly all-powerful computer. If such a thing were to happen to me, I'm sure I'd go to the nearest bar and get very, very wasted. But, so strong was the bond between she and Jordan during their first conversation that she really didn't care whether he was real or not. She needed the contact. Later in the book, resilience is considered the greatest trait of humans from earth vis a vis the strength, intelligence, agility, and so forth of the other beings she finds herself with. It is this resilience within Lydia that calls for Jordan, perhaps the very trait that resonates his being from across dimensions.
For indeed Jordan is no imaginary figment. He devises a way to transport Lydia from our dimension to his (this all occurs very early on in the story) and thus she enters and becomes a member of 'The Colony.' Conflict ensues.
Gilmour's writing style reminds me of early Anne McCaffrey, the author of the great Dragonriders of Pern series. This is her debut novel, and for this reason I give The Colony five stars- she was able to convey a sense of intimacy between the characters that caused me to truly care about them and their dilemma. Her sense of balance is superb, and she displays a great deal of control over the narrative. I enjoyed the book thoroughly, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.
Profile Image for Harry Fox.
Author 9 books128 followers
February 25, 2016
Interesting and Provocative

The Colony is an interesting and provocative read. The writing is brilliant and strong. But it is not the typical sci-fi space opera, nor is it the usual fantasy with mythological creatures. It is a human story, even though the humans are not all of this earth. The interactions are deep and persuasive. I was particularly impressed by the love interest between Lydia (the narrator) and Jordan and the delicacy that the author used in describing the lover's relationship. There is plenty of action and strong female characters, but this is handled in a believable way.
I also liked the first-person narrative and the deep insights that it offered. First-person writing, it seems to me, is difficult to pull off, but the author has managed to give Lydia a true voice.The world we experience is strange and exotic, but still cohesive and integrated. It is true to itself.
If you enjoy speculative fiction, you will find this well-written tale a treat.
The author gave me a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Mjke.
Author 15 books15 followers
April 10, 2017
A fascinating and totally different read. The opening scenario, in which 1st person protagonist, Lydia, hears a voice in her head, is haunting and hard to put down. The voice is not a mental disorder. Lydia soon realises that it belongs to a real person, someone with empathy and understanding. She becomes enthralled by the person, who identifies himself as Jordan, and she wants to meet him, properly, not just as a presence in her mind. And here is the first problem. Jordon is not of this Earth. He is in another place, another dimension. Lydia pleads: is there a way to reach him? Jordon says he will help, and then, days later, Lydia passes out beside the river near her home. When she wakes she is in a different place. And then the drama really begins to unfold. We learn of others who have been brought to this place, and of the dark secret of the Spire, deep within the walled city, and the Wards who are controlled by it.
I found this book compelling and different, and highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Jo.
652 reviews4 followers
June 6, 2018
#TheColony #NetGalley

Good story and passionate characters. This is a good choice to read during a travel
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