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The Illumination Query

(The Speed of Darkness #1)

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  15 ratings  ·  14 reviews
A surreal romp about a dissatisfied zookeeper’s endeavor to contemplate his toxic new allies as they create an terrible situation for his unintended enemy to grapple with.

What makes someone a monster?

The zookeeper Ronald Carpenter needs help recovering his escaped charges and is grateful when the secretive Eclipse company steps in to help. Little does Ronald know just
Paperback, print, 165 pages
Published June 10th 2018 by Sarah Baethge
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Average rating 3.53  · 
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Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
What started as a mutual professional aid situation becomes a living nightmare for one zookeeper who discovers that if an offer is too good to be true, it probably isn’t. Sarah Baethge’s THE ILLUMINATION QUERY is a chaotic journey told through the eyes and voice of dedicated, yet underappreciated zookeeper, Ronald Carpenter is like watching an impending train wreck and you have no way to stop it.

When Ronald’s zoo had an escaping bat problem, he is offered assistance from the Eclipse Company, of
Marcia Carrington
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
THE ILLUMINATION QUERY by Sarah Baethge is an entertaining, irreverent science fiction novella. At first glance the plot seems simplistic, but the author has created an intricate, labyrinthine chain of events which carried me along with the exploits of the characters until the satisfying conclusion. The scientific terminology was utilized in a proper, but not excessive manner, and not alienating to the reader unfamiliar with these. I also liked the subtle comic tone employed throughout which pro ...more
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A simple tale of a zoo keeper takes a dark turn in author Sarah Baethge’s novel The Illumination Query. Here’s the synopsis:

A surreal romp about a dissatisfied zookeeper’s endeavor to contemplate his toxic new allies as they create an terrible situation for his unintended enemy to grapple with.

What makes someone a monster? 

The zookeeper Ronald Carpenter needs help recovering his escaped char
3 no 7
Jul 29, 2018 rated it liked it
“The Illumination Query” by Sarah Baethge is the first book in “The speed of Darkness” series. The book is presented as journal entries by Ronald Carpenter and Dr. Nigel Hunter who each tell their version of events to the narrator, Joel, who transcribes their accounts. This structure makes the narrative appealing and convincing. The tone is casual and conversational, without an excess of unintelligible science terminology or science fiction jargon.

Through his account, Carpenter presents himself
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I started ‘The Illumination Query (The Speed of Darkness)’ by Sarah Baethge quite late in the night, not expecting much partially because I’m not a very keen sci-fi fan, and also because the cover of the book looked so drab. But after just a few pages, I was swept in the story of former zookeeper, Ronald Carpenter who now (or later) worked as some kind of security head guy for The Eclipse, a nefarious company involved in tons of evil testing experiments on living subjects. By the time I paused t ...more
Katie Blythe
May 17, 2018 rated it liked it
*This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review*

Ronald is a zookeeper because he loves animals so much. One day a swarm of bats somehow escape, and through internet research, Ronald comes across a company called “Eclipse” that says they can help him find and get his bats back to the zoo. However, they tell him that if they help him, he will one day have to do them a favor which he reluctantly agrees to. Others find out about him hiring Eclipse for help and a lot of back
Romancing the Book
Reviewed by Robin
Book provided by Sarah Baethge
Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

I am not a big fan of science fiction but I am always willing to give it a try. I have to say…I am still not a fan but this was certainly an interesting story.

I liked that Ms. Baethge was able to bring Ronald to life and give me the opportunity to see things come alive through his eyes and his voice as he tells the story the way he sees it. Ronald was a zookeeper and a good one until he was fired for be
Mandy Parmenter
Aug 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Ronald Carpenter is a zookeeper and is struggling to find some escaped creatures when a mysterious and secretive company called Eclipse however it then becomes clear that they use nefarious means and so he struggles with his conscience when they offer him a job earning more money - can he leave the job he loves and helps then to do something he feels is wrong? Nigel Hunter has a theory on how to give people the move amazing movement capabilities so Eclipse agree to repeating his experiment on hi ...more
Destiny Bridwell
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this for a fair and honest review. I have never been much of a science fiction fan, but it did not take long for this tale to get me all wrapped up in it. The tale is twisted, sinister, and hold an edge the never lets up. It makes you want to watch your back. It stars a zookeeper named Ronald.  Who loves his job and loves animals, but some bats escape and he needs help to get them back. That is how he comes across a company called Eclipse. Like does he know that they are not ...more
Amy Shannon
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
A journey of sorts

I enjoyed going on this journey, following along with the records of Nigel's notebook. It's a well written story that brings the reader right along. Ronald is not the typical zookeeper, and it's his narrative, and he is a very interesting character. I thought of how he perceives colors, and how he writes "Yes, I realize that the majority of people don’t hear in color, but that feeling doesn’t mean I’m crazy, I don’t believe. There is even a word that someone else came up with t
Mfonemana Uduak
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
So the cover kind of threw me off, but this was next in my review list so, I had no choice. But it surprised me. Great writing style.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Imagine a dimly lit room with only a desk in the center, accompanied by a single chair. One man sits in the chair as he nervously explains his account of the story to the authority figure behind the desk. It's a professional, top-secret interview that is being recorded. And all we can do is listen to the account of two men in order to make our judgement in trusting them about the story unfolded.

This is how I imagined The Illumination Query taking place. The story is told to us through the notebo
Mark Engels
Nov 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Author Baethge treats readers to thrilling conflict and engaging character development, though they'll require patience to progress to the story's closing pages to enjoy them. This reader found Hunter's portion of the book far more interesting and entertaining then Carpenter's, being left to wonder whether the latter's POV was ultimately worth dedicating page space to. The "notebook" style our author employs hampered this reader's ability to connect with the characters, having much preferred to ...more
AJ Deane
Oct 02, 2018 rated it liked it
'The Illumination Query' (The Speed of Darkness #1) by Sarah Baethge is an interesting read with some unusual ideas; a mash-up of Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Horror, with a relatively solid storyline and some good characters / characterisation. Given its '#1' hashtag, there is obviously more to come, and I would be happy to read those, too.
However, where this first installment - in what Baethge is saying may be a 5 or 6 book series - fell down for me was in clarity and coherence. There were formatting i
Aylen Ramirez
rated it it was amazing
May 02, 2018
Lorrea - WhatChaReadin'?
marked it as to-read
Jun 17, 2018
Emma Donovan
marked it as to-read
Jul 08, 2018
Sarah Baethge
Aug 17, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: written
David Rose
marked it as to-read
Jul 15, 2018
Sarah Baethge is a fan of Science-fiction and fantasy who lives and writes in central Texas.

Other books in the series

The Speed of Darkness (3 books)
  • The Speed of Darkness
  • If You Believe in Love At First Sight (The Speed of Darkness)

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