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The Key To The Chains

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Jenna Slade: convicted of manslaughter and about to spend 10 years in jail for her crimes. But she won't give up the thing she calls freedom without a fight...

Peace Officer Kim West: a woman that loves the law and her God - and a woman that ensures that no prisoner ever escapes from her custody.

When the two women's shuttle is attacked by pirates, who will be the loser? Who holds the key?
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About the author

Allison Tebo

19 books354 followers
Allison Tebo is a Christian writer committed to creating magical stories full of larger-than-life characters, a dash of grit, and plenty of laughs. She is the author of the Tales of Ambia, a series of romantic comedy retellings of popular fairy tales and her flash fiction and short stories have been published in Splickety, Spark, Inklings Press, Rogue Blades Entertainment, and Pole to Pole Publishing.

Allison graduated with merit from London Art College after studying cartooning and children’s illustration and, when not creating new worlds with words or paint, she enjoys reading, baking, and defending her championship title of Gif Master.

You can find out more about her work at www.allisonteboauthor.com or follow her on Facebook at Allison Tebo Author.

Allison can also be found writing for T Spec Fiction under the pen name Al Thibeaux.

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5 stars
18 (37%)
4 stars
21 (43%)
3 stars
9 (18%)
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Displaying 1 - 27 of 27 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah Grace Grzy.
629 reviews839 followers
May 21, 2017
This was amazing! I am not a huge sci-fi person, but when my dear friend asked me to beta read for her, I jumped at the chance!

The characters are amazing; Slade, the rough and tumble criminal, who thinks God doesn't care. And West, a passionate follower of Jesus, with a deep compassion for others. I loved both of the characters' story arcs, especially Slade's. The gospel message was woven effortlessly throughout the story, and was actually a main part, which I liked, as opposed to just being a background, afterthought. The ending was both surprising and heartwarming, and I had tears trickling down my face as I read it!

This is a must read! It is not only a great read, but is very inspiring as well! Definitely check it out!

Profile Image for Victoria Lynn.
Author 9 books713 followers
February 5, 2017
This story was so good! The writing was fantastic and the moral so artfully woven throughout! It had me laughing and crying and I loved that the author was able to achieve that in only nine pages! AMAZING! Even if you aren't a fan of Sci-fi, you will probably enjoy this book!
Profile Image for Angela R. Watts.
Author 39 books209 followers
October 1, 2017
One of the best short stories I've ever read. Fast paced, immediately intriguing, and the Biblical message... was so cool. And it dealt with a subject some Christians may cower and run from- but we forget God knows what He's doing. No sin, no darkness, nothing- can take Him off guard. So why should we let ourselves make the darkness impregnable- when GOD has already saved us.... all we must do is ask Him...
An amazing short story by Ms. Tebo, gave me something to think about.
Profile Image for Olivia.
678 reviews112 followers
July 20, 2017
{2.5 stars}

A very powerful read! The message was great, and although it isn't my favorie type of genre, I found it intriguing and full of hope to the unbeliever. Sci-fi is totally not my thing, and I'm still not won over to it :P But I was still surprised that this was a little more realistic than others I've heard of.

Just a note: there is some violence and detail of blood.

Thanks for giving me a chance to read this, Allison!! :D
Profile Image for Mary Herceg.
146 reviews
November 12, 2018
"The Key to the Chains" is a phenomenal story that blew me away completely and most definitely remains quality upon re-reading. It's a brilliant showcase of the author's masterful skill in plot, theme, character, and so much more.

There are so many wonderful things packed into this story despite its relatively short length.

-The characterization is extraordinary, riveting, and intriguing. Slade and West are both incredibly vivid, complex, and real. They feel and seem like actual living people, and I can see them clearly and expect them to walk off the page at any moment - and they did walk off the page straight into my mind and heart. Both characters are driven by realistic motivation, and their mannerisms, emotions, and actions are vivid and believable. Also, Slade's character arc and development were sensational.
-Despite the short length, there's plenty of explosive action and riveting excitement, complete with laser guns. My teenaged younger brother was engaged the whole time and said he loved the fight scenes, and the same was true for me. The plot and pacing are both fabulous, and there's suspense from the first page as the reader is drawn in by the intriguing characters, backstory, and setting.
-The story has such depth and power of theme and emotion in addition to its deep characters. It made me think and feel deeply, to the point of sobbing and tears. The themes of grace and redemption are incredibly vivid, poignant, beautiful, and profound, and they subtle recur and are interwoven throughout the story. There is such deep and essential truth subtly, clearly, and accessibly portrayed within this story - the truth of all truths, the gospel. Yet it's never blatant, invasive, or preachy and always feels natural and gentle. The gorgeous and understated symbolism and imagery representing this truth absolutely blew my mind. And I was amazed the way a certain meaningful verse was woven into the story - it brought me to tears.
-There's humor included as well, and I laughed often in addition to my tears - even both at once at one point. Slade's bitterly biting, witty, and often sarcastic dialogue and narration is entertaining to read.
-I love the subtle worldbuilding and interesting setting of the story. The reader is given the opportunity to figure out the details of the world as they're described while always feeling grounded in and sure of the realistic setting. Mildly futuristic details are worked in naturally, and the author's vivid imagination shines - and invites the reader along on a journey through outer space. It made me feel as if I was present with the characters and amid the action.
-The author has such a powerful and lovely writing style. Her descriptions, metaphors, and general wordcraft and skill are wonderful.

"The Key to the Chains" is a fantastic story for all teens and adults, whether or not they love science fiction or futuristic tales. I hardly ever read or enjoy sci-fi, but I adore this story, and it's exactly the sort of futuristic story I do love. There's some non-gratuitous violence, so young teens who are more sensitive should wait till they're slightly older. However, it didn't bother me in the least, and I recommend it highly to teens and up. I've enjoyed sharing this book with my siblings, and I enjoy recommending it to many others.

I look forward to reading more from this author as she writes other amazing stories such as this one in the wide range of genres she's skilled in.

(I was privileged to beta-read this story, but it did not affect my honest review.)
Profile Image for Perry.
Author 33 books179 followers
January 11, 2018

This short packs a lot in. Only at the beginning did the spiritual conversation feel a little on the nose. BUT I totally get that it had to be pretty to-the-point because the overall length of the story doesn’t leave a lot of time for a slow build up. The best part is when the officer gets to exemplify what she’s been telling Jenna about. Very poignant, and it realistically gets Jenna’s attention.
Profile Image for R.A..
Author 32 books89 followers
March 9, 2018
Well, this wasn't my favourite - as it's a sci-fi short story, and I'm not a fan of those - but I did like the salvation message in the book! And poor West! But I'm glad Jenna learns!

I don't think I recommend this, but for those who'd like to know, there was some rather violent scenes throughout.
Profile Image for Gabriellyn.
Author 1 book42 followers
May 25, 2017
Nice little novella. Very poignant, beautifully written with a clear point. Well done, Allison!
Profile Image for S.G. Willoughby.
Author 11 books112 followers
December 17, 2018
Between this and the Reluctant Godfather, I think I rather like this author. :) This was action-packed and fun... I liked the two characters a lot and the world building is impressive for a short story. The only thing I'd be wary of is the gore and blood... it was a bit much even for me, and that's saying something. Well, I'm off to read The Royal Masquerade!
Profile Image for Angie Thompson.
Author 32 books1,079 followers
January 14, 2019
I really enjoyed this story! The characters were believable, the message was great, and the sci-fi setting added another whole layer of interest!

The almost exclusive use of last names through most of the story gave it an almost detatched, clinical feel--sort of like a police drama (at least in my mind). I feel like a lot of stories wouldn't work with this style, but this one really did. Once the action started, I was definitely hooked and very curious how everything was going to turn out. And I was not disappointed in the ending!

Content--mentions of cursing (no words); fights with various weapons, including deaths; some descriptions of injuries and blood
Profile Image for Katelyn Buxton.
Author 13 books79 followers
November 27, 2017
Well coming into this, I really had no idea what to expect, and I ended up loving what I found. It’s a short, powerful story about God’s amazing grace in any situation, under any circumstances, and though I thought it might come across a little heavy-handed for a non-believer, it was truly inspired and I enjoyed it. There was quite a bit of blood mentioned, but I thought it added to the overall gravity and power of this story. Thank you, Tebo, for writing this little gem!
Profile Image for Grace Morris.
Author 6 books1,514 followers
December 9, 2019
4.5 Stars! If only it was longer, because I loved it! =D

First of all, can I just say how beautiful the cover is? IT IS SO PRETTY!!!

This is a very precious sci-fi story. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. In a short amount of time we are given very in-depth characters. Jenna is incriminated for manslaughter, and West, an officer, is bringing Jenna to prison.

West is so caring (but not in the way you might think) and wonderful and I love how Jenna mistakes her to be reading love letters (because in a sense that is what the Bible is =). West is so precious with her faith.

Jenna. Jenna. You suffered so. I'm so glad you had West in your life. I love how Jenna's arc came out in the end.

The message is great, the story is great, and I mean, sci-fi! You can't go wrong with that. =D

The main thing that I didn't like with this book is how short it is. I really think this would have made a great start for a whole novel or even a series. I really enjoyed it! =D

Content in Book:

1. A mention of manslaughter (the person was going to prison because of it).

2. Jenna making comments of wanting to kill West.

3. Violence. ()

Who I Would Recommend This Book Too:

Those who want a short sci-fi story with a great Christian message in it.
Profile Image for Sarah.
Author 41 books416 followers
September 18, 2019
Age Appropriate For: 13 and up for violence
Best for Ages: 13-20

Read on Kindle Unlimited

Short stories can be hard to do well. This was one of the short stories that did a great job creating great characters and real tension in a short amount of time. Tebo should be commended.

I have to be honest and say the amount of violence, injuries, and blood was a bit much for my taste. However, they added to the authenticity and the impact of the story.

Both Slade and West were likable and understandable characters, which is saying a lot for a short story. I felt like I understood where both were coming from.

The faith message of this story was powerful, another thing that is hard to achieve in a short story. I felt moved by it.

I highly recommend this short story to those who don’t mind violence, like science fiction, and enjoy thought-provoking tales.
Profile Image for mary liz.
213 reviews18 followers
December 12, 2017
This was really good! I would have connected more emotionally if I hadn't been in the car with peppy Christmas music playing (ahem), but I still enjoyed it. The characters were nicely developed for such a short story, the message was VERY WELL-DONE, and the setting was interesting enough to make me want to know more.

Great short read with even greater themes!

3.5 stars!
Profile Image for Mukta A.
90 reviews10 followers
April 27, 2019
A good, short read. The sci-fi theme felt a tad bit forced, but the characters and plot were well done. :)
Profile Image for Becca.
437 reviews18 followers
December 19, 2019
A hard-hitting short story, this has an entirely different flavor than Allison Tebo's other books. Apparently she is not bound to one genre or writing style. I read this six days before Christmas, and while this isn't a Christmas tale, it captures the essence of Christ's sacrificial love. It did more to put me in the "Christmas spirit" than listening to countless carols (maybe because I was doing algebra while listening to said carols?)
861 reviews5 followers
December 22, 2019

Wish it had been longer. I would have enjoyed seeing more of this world. It was gripping and pulled me in fast.
Profile Image for K.C. Nicola.
Author 3 books21 followers
April 16, 2019
I’m atheist. I don’t believe in a god. And nothing can change that, not even good books.

Nonetheless, this was a beautifully crafted story with excellent writing and great characters. Slade reminded me of myself in ways, and the sci-fi setting was a nice touch I personally found appealing. My only complaint is that I wish the world had been explored more in depth, since it seemed to have a lot of potential when combined with religious subject matter.
Profile Image for Rebel Rider.
145 reviews17 followers
April 5, 2019
The story was well-written and had a good message. One thing readers should know is that the entire story is a message. There's not much outside the message to enjoy. As a message story, it works really well, but I would have preferred it to have a bit more story that wasn't just a message.
Profile Image for Hannah Kaye.
Author 4 books34 followers
June 2, 2021
Everything about this short book is vivid: the settings, the intense stakes, even the sound effects of sci-fi blasters and explosions. I’ve never read something that’s been able to convey such complete scenes in so few words. The writing is truly masterful (though I can’t say I’m surprised; I’ve come to expect as much from this author.)

Beyond that, the Biblical message is clear and powerful, heart-wrenching and sharp. I kept thinking of Romans 5:8 - “But God demonstrates his own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

I loved this short story. The pages are few, but the impact is massive.
May 17, 2023
To only be 28 pages, this book is impactful and sticks with the reader long after the story is done.

I liked how clear and precise the Biblical Message it contained was presented.

The storyline, mental imagery, and world-building is excellent: the fact that you can be fully immersed in such a short story really speaks to the wonderful writing of Author Allison Tebo.
As a bonus, the Sci-Fi elements were believable.

In conclusion, I definitely recommend this book!
Profile Image for D.T. Powell.
Author 5 books7 followers
August 8, 2023
I appreciated the author's presentation of the Gospel message in this. That being said, some of the techincal execution was lacking. For a good portion of the middle of the story, it was difficult to tell what was going on, and the characters came across as flat (at least, they did for me). With this being an earlier work from this author, I don't believe it should be used as a litmus test to evaluate their writing, and I'm interested to see other stories from them.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
479 reviews
March 9, 2021
If you are looking for a super short, person being saved, story that happens to take place in a sci-fi universe, this book is for you.

If you aren't looking for a fictional, person coming to know Jesus story, this book isn't for you.

Because that is the entire story
Displaying 1 - 27 of 27 reviews

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