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Apex Five: The Plane, Book One

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  34 reviews
For millennia, the people of the Plane have worshipped five megaliths as relics of the mysterious Zaam.

In recent years, the nation of Tabira has employed remarkably advanced technology to subjugate the entire Plane and eradicate all belief in the Zaam. Now, the three remaining nations must uncover the secret behind Tabira's sudden forward leap in civilization.

At the fo
Kindle Edition, 338 pages
Published April 16th 2018 by Stepping Stones Publishing
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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May 舞
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Apex Five is your typical post-apocalyptic science fiction novel where some catastrophic event destroys a highly advanced civilization and those who "remain" struggle with each other over resources and strangely, over faith.

You see, one of the main conflicts in Apex Five is that the dominant nation, Tabira, is trying to stop people from following a certain religion, and uses violence to do so (for no reason, apparently). If Katz's message had been that humans need spirituality solely in the for
Sean Robins
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. The advanced technology described here is amazing, especially the water-based weaponry and the AI. The author combines technological modernity with ancient faith. The characters are very interesting and relatable. What I really like about them is there are no clear heroes or villains; everyone seems to have their good sides and their bad sides. I also liked the light and playful tone of the story. Katz has done a wonderful job building a detailed alien word which at tim ...more
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Science fiction should be a lend through which we view ourselves. It’s the new philosophy, the path to introspection. Apex Five: The Plane, Book One is no exception. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be seen through the post-genocide Lirians trying to coexist with the desert-dwellers of Garo after they flee to their ancestral land. Meanwhile the jungle people echo Native Americans and victims of Imperialism. In this highly religious world, homosexuality is punished by death, even as some of t ...more
Sahreth Bowden
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Science fiction is one of my favorite genres and this book did not disappoint! The author has crafted an absolutely intriguing world that is easy to get drawn into. The characters are all interesting and well-developed from the problems they face, both internal and external, right down to their species/abilities/skills. The world itself is believable while introducing cultural aspects that are both fresh and relatable to our own world. Probably my favorite thing about Apex Five are the beings th ...more
Eric Borgerson
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Sarah Katz opens her Apex Five fantasy/sci-fi series in kaleidoscopic splendor. The Plane, Book One is delightful and intriguing, leaving one hungry for the books to follow.

After a brief peek at an ancient cataclysm, The Plane opens in a fictional world where five societies, Tabira, Lir, Garo, Ayam, and an extinct polity known as the Opal nation, comprise a cultural and political tapestry of overlapping history and ancestry. Glowing and mysterious megaliths from a lost civilization tower over

Martin Freznell
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very interesting story and setting. I'm sure it's not for everyone: the language used is sometimes a bit alienating. To me, it felt a bit like I was a kid again trying to wrap my head around the Jack Vance books of my father. It's worth reading every bit, though.

Maybe that's a good comparison? Jack Vance meets Yoko Tsuno.
Nick Braker
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story takes place on a futuristic Earth-like world where the people worship 5 megalithic structures. The story starts out where you learn about Nesin and then Rohom. I enjoyed both characters and could sympathize with their plight as the author began to reveal the twists and turns of their world. Highly recommend.
Mark Ferguson
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Apex Five by Sarah Katz is an ambitious and creative work set in an unfathomably futuristic Earth that is scarcely recognizable, populated by strange beings with exotic biology and technology. The degree of care focused into the sheer worldbuilding effort is impressive, as is the political plot featuring an arms race, terrorism, and the combustible ingredient of religion playing rolls across several nations simultaneously.

The in media res narration is executed consistently, avoiding info-dumps
Christine Rose
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Apex Five is a post-apocalyptic, science fiction novel. It’s taking place 12,000 years after a catastrophic event, called The Storm, destroys the Plane. After The Storm, five structures survived named megaliths and we see the existence of five countries who worship these structures: Garo, Opal, Lir, Tabira, and Ayam. Tabira, the place where technology thrives and religion is forbidden, has obliterated Opal but the county’s power and stability are threatened by an attempt to overthrow Mak Eta, Ta ...more
Ursula Visser
A complex story, in which the author takes time to explain the Plain and its inhabitants, their relations and their progress in development after the destruction of (most of) man-kind at the beginning of the book.

The five sections are different, and some are ruled by a ruthless leader. What happens are things that also happen in our current world: trying to wipe out a religion, or suppressing women. The question is: what have we learned?

It was sometimes a bit difficult to follow, because persp
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, let me preface this review by saying that I am not a huge fan of sci-fi. I read Apex Five because I wanted to branch out from my usual reading preferences and I wanted to support an independent author.
Katz’ writing is excellent, truly poetic and at times utterly beautiful. I found her attention to detail and her world-building amazing. The world she created in this novel is profoundly complex and rich with its own history, and without her writing skills, I would have found myself lost in
Paula Costello
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book opens with a fiery apocalypse and then picks up 12,042 years later in a world referred to as the Plane. The Plane consists of five countries, Opal, Tabira, Lir, Garo and Ayam and five worshipped relics of the past, the megaliths. As the story progresses we learn more about the origins of these mysterious megastructures. Its book one of a planned The Plane series.

I loved the prologue but then did struggle a little with the beginning chapters as there was a lot of information given abo
Perry Wolfecastle
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apex Five is a solid debut by Sarah Katz. I enjoyed my time in Katz’s world. She has excelled in building a world full of vibrant and diverse cultures that still feels earth like. The book is very much a book of character and world building which gives the planned series a strong foundation. Personally, I will be planning on reading the next book and look forward to seeing how the world develops and events unfold.
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Number of stars 4.5 out of 5 stars.

I really like this book because of the action and adventure it give you. I don't like space/ sci-fi but I can't stop reading this book. I really love the characters, the details and the why the author writes this book.

I also like that she give you a list of characters, places so that it helps you who is who or who is where.

I really excited for book two, and you guys really need to pick up this book.
Quintero Morgan
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The kind of Sci-fi that takes me back to the great days. Dune, 2001 A space odyssey, Hyperion...
Mystery, good banter, great story and concept, sci fi from an author that understands and loves technology.

I have visited many different worlds and universes through reading, but only a few expand my imagination and leave me wondering and wanting to set foot in those worlds, see more, experience the corners I didn't get to see, learn about the culture and people.
This is one of them.
Tamara Soussan
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Creative New World

I couldn't put the book down once I was immersed in this imaginative, creative world. The characters were well developed and although the book provided some resolution I wanted the story to continue. Thank you for the glossary, it provided a welcome summary.
Britt Wynn
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sarah’s novel is highly recommend and she sheds light through her work via her characters and the world she’s created. You can easily visualize this as a series playing in your mind. If you love reading good science fiction and drama, I highly recommend!
Hourmazd Marduk
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As an IT professional, I was highly impressed by the various types of creative technology explored in "Apex Five". From water-based weaponry to advanced computer intelligence, this story interweaves politics and war with the overarching threat of unchecked evolution.

Katz provides an astounding yet bizarre juxtaposition of technological modernity and ancient faith, against a backdrop of conflicting convictions surrounding “enlightenment.” She portrays villainy and heroism while depicting all char
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads
Lacking access to a proper keyboard, this is just going to be a short placeholder until I'm able to write a full review.

Apex Five is a refreshingly original novel by indie author Sarah Katz. Boasting a politically-fueled storyline and some memorable characters/alien races, this is a book I won't be forgetting soon. There were a few very minor qualms I had with some of the POV transitioning, which is the only reason this didn't get the full 5 stars. Still, coming from such a small publishing hous
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apex Five is an interesting read for sci-fi fans who enjoy their reads to be more deep and philosophical than for those looking for a ton of action. The author does a great job of weaving the concepts of politics and religion into the world she’s created as the driving force of her story. I did feel like quite a bit was left unresolved in the end, pending the next book in the series.

My biggest complaint about the book is the formatting. I have pretty good eyes, and the text was still far too sma
Kyle Olson
Apex Five is a good first novel, but as with many first novels, it does have a few issues.

The world-building is decent enough and most of the main characters are fleshed out and have *character*. For the most part, you can begin to guess how certain characters will react or behave in a given situation with some nuance. I'd say these are the two things I enjoyed most.
While the plot made sense and followed logical flows, there were more few parts that left me suspicious it was an element of conven
Alexander Findlay
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If this was the first actual novel by this author then please believe me when I say that I am going to be ordering subsequent publications – it was a really good start!

Set on The Plane, the story of Apex Five follows the struggles and tribulations of different nations and their leaders as they cope to come to terms with issues such as religion, technology and conflict. Each main character harbours his or her own opinion about the Zaam (godlike beings which feature in the religious narrative of T
Bernie Bernard
"Apex Five" is a good and intriguing read full of well delivered characters. It is a combination sci fi with interwoven political strife all in one. The book is well written with alot inforformation that the reader navigates before realizing the meat of the story. This is definitely a worthy, enjoyable and intense novel.

Bernie Shore
Author of Skinny Bernard Experimental Short Stories



 "Apex Five" is a good and intriguing read full of well delivered characters. It is a combination sci fi
Rebecca McGee
Ugh. I was so bored for the first two thirds of this book. The pacing was just too slow. There was so much information thrown at you in such a small space and I could barely keep up. Luckily there was a glossary containing definitions and descriptions of the various nations, characters and terms, unfortunately, I didn’t look at it until I finished reading since it wasn’t listed on the table of contents. Sigh. Things did start to get interesting towards the end, but by then I was just happy that ...more
J.R. Schuyler
I'm a little torn on how to rate this book. On one hand, the world was very well-developed and there were a lot of interesting concepts. The writing style was mostly good as well. On the other hand, the characters were underdeveloped, and I wasn’t really invested in what happened to them. Like other reviewers, I think the problem is that there are too many characters for the size of the book.

The author has a lot of potential, so I will most likely read the next installment in the series.
I'm afraid this one is a DNF for now. It's hard for me to put into words what the problem was. It's well-written, and not a typo in sight, but it's also extremely confusing and disjointed in the beginning. There was nothing to get me hooked. I had no investment in characters.

I'll keep it in mind for another day.
Linda Teppler
I wanted to like this book, and I at times I really did, but I have to admit, it was confusing. Lots of great sci-fi elements were present and the base storyline was very interesting. The execution just kind of went from place to place though. It was hard to follow, especially when one character changed multiple times. Trying to keep track of who was who, and where everyone was became difficult to the point of being a chore. What I really liked was the interactions between characters. When I foc ...more
Mark Higbee
***I received this as a Goodreads Advanced Reader

I had a hard time with this book. I had a really hard time following along and figuring out who was who, and how it all fit together. Maybe a map would have helped. Or more tie-in details.

The end was underwhelming and did little to bring it all together. And the part about the slime guys seemed completely unnecessary.

It had much more potential but fell short
Jon-david Mafia Hairdresser
I picked up Sarah Katz' book because I hear chatter of it on Twitter. I would certainly genre-ize this novel as Sci-fi but the author's good world building and tone had a bit of fantasy laced feel to it.
The character's in this post apocalyptic world where civilizations are trying to work out food, water and simply existing with one another are so sympathetic. Rohem!
The terrain these being live on seems beautiful and treacherous. And religion is both used to control and to be feared.
This is not
Jeremiah Whitehead
Unfortunately I cannot give this book a positive review, even though it has some potential. It starts out difficult with a steep learning curve for new terminology and politics. The religious overtones and political nuances are confusing, as is the word flow.

The worst part of attempting to read this book is the many POV characters. I realized halfway through the book that I did not know who half of the characters were; and I didn’t care, because I didn’t have enough time with any single charact
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Sarah Katz is an author and cyber security engineer. Her books include science fiction novel "Apex Five", historical fiction novel "The Messenger from the Mountain" and children's picture book "Talking Tummy". Her nonfiction work includes research published in Cyber Defense Magazine, Dark Reading and Infosecurity Magazine.

While not writing or uncovering the latest in medical device cyber threats,

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