Visions of doom. A growing evil. A new hero emerges as old alliances unravel.
An epic science fiction and fantasy tale with a rich array of characters and settings, Ephemeris: The Questrison Saga: Book Two is the sequel to Heliopause: The Questrison Saga: Book One. Plucked from space and raised in a starcity of androids, impetuous Galla-Deia looks human but is not. Chosen to stop the dual threats of a galactic natural disaster and a malevolent alien entity, she must grow as a commander and gain the trust of both humans and non-humans alike. Unknown to her, the entity draws zealots to its cause, destabilizing interstellar order, and threatening all life in the galaxy.
Dianne’s short fiction is featured in anthologies and magazines. She is known for writing characters people fall in love with, in extraordinary settings with intricate world-building.
As a convention guest, Dianne provides insight into science fiction writing and characters (featured at San Diego Comic-Con, WonderCon, Cymera Festival in Scotland, and BristolCon in England), the science of science fiction films, and offers lectures on world-building and workshops at conventions about social media for writers.
Dianne is a member of the Science Fiction Writers Association, the Horror Writers Association, the British Fantasy Society, the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and the British Science Fiction Association. She lives with her family in Los Angeles, California, and in Bristol, England, and is married to British science fiction author Gareth L. Powell.
Ephemeris is the second book in the Questrison Saga by J. Dianne Dotson, a sweeping fairytale of space travel and sorcery, eternal conflict between good and evil, and the paramount importance of friendship. It intersects with Heliopause and creates elaborations beyond that of typical exposition. Our understanding of the Questrison universe deepens, and we get to know the main characters like family. Mysterious devices, telepathy, sentient insects, clandestine organizations, and an ancient evil; our heroes have more than enough to handle. As a reader I get pulled in, and my curiosity deepens with the plot. Is Aeriod good or bad? What is the enigmatic enemy? I beg for more details. What is the nature of the propulsion system on Galla’s ship? How does the cloak work, and does it have a shield? Are their weapons kinetic or energy based? I can’t wait to read the rest of this magical saga.
Where to begin? JDD knows what makes characters resonate with the reader and uses that insight when writing them. Galla is introduced to us and quickly becomes a favorite. Aeroid is far more rounded out here than his introduction in Book 1. He strikes me as a Goth Gandalf. Lots of power, cares more than he lets on, lots of responsibility, but seemingly pissed off at the latter. Beetle is a classic fish-out-of-water and already a favorite. Rob reminds me of Firefly’s Wash mixed with a little more Han Solo. Ariel stands out. From her ‘Rebel Without A Cause’ beginning subtly develops into a new level of maturity which gets rewarded. It isn’t a development many authors can handle, but JDD did it without me noticing.
I’m pleasantly surprised with her handling of the threat. Paosh (and sorry if I’m getting any spelling wrong. Autocorrect hell at play) is the type of off-screen threat that most would add a more central villain. A Vader to the Emperor. A Witch-King to the Sauron. A Karl to the Hans Gruber. She managed to keep the suspense of the main threat alive without needing to create an Evil’s Chief Lieutenant character. In a Space Opera, no less. *That’s* impressive.
So keep it going and I’m setting aside money to get Book 3 when it comes out. And 4.
When I finished book one, Heliopause, I was overwhelmed. It filled every expectation I had as a science fiction and space opera fan. Drama, adventure, sinister villains, flawed heroes, battles. Characters you can identify with. Ephemeris came out and I wondered if the sequel could be as good. It was not, it surpassed it! Galla, Ariel, Jana, Meredith, and yes Rob (wannabe stud who still has a good heart) became friends. Trent, Dagovaby, Kein, Aeriod, and many more. Beetle? Yep, an alien bug I admire (I hate beetles too!). Poignant, with romance, great action, cliffhangers, and surprises. This is the novel that all Star Wars authors should aspire to!
Yes, Star Wars built the mold, the Questrison Saga broke it! Literally MY FAVORITE SPACE OPERA!!!
Kudos to J. Dianne Dotson, and now on to Accretion!
Heroes come in many forms. Some wear capes. Some come into the world fully-formed. Others need to find their place and discover their powers. And Galla-Deia isn’t your typical heroine. Part Princess in the Tower, part Chosen One, part Coming of Age Story woman, she inhabits a fresh, new center to the Hero Monomyth Venn Diagram.
While “Ephemeris” is technically the second book in the Questrison Saga, chronologically it’s the first... at least part of it is. It’s also infinitely readable as a stand-alone novel. This story of Light and Dark (and Gray) / Good and Evil (and True Neutral) will take you on a journey across time and space, to worlds both unique yet starangey familiar. A diverse cast of characters (both great and small) drawn from the best and worst of Humanity(ish) accompanies us on that journey. But at the end, it’s all about Galla and HER journey. She loses the only family she’s ever known yet finds another, stronger one... with just a few speed bumps on the way. And just when you think you have the arc of the story figured out, it swerves in a direction you didn’t expect, but leaves you satisfied at the same time. Galla isnt perfect (her hair would never allow that misconception), but that’s what makes her endearing, engaging, and exciting.
Come for the Space Opera, stay for the characters. Especially the Coleopteran one!
The second installment of the Questrison Saga is a genuine page-turner that will keep you on the edge of your seat for a raucous ride of unexpected twists and outright fun! Author J Dianne Dotson is creating a universe. “Ephemeris” does not simply extend the story that begins with “Heliopause”, but rather builds a three-dimensional experience that provides context to the first installment while still remaining a stand alone work of science fiction. It’s clear that much thought has gone into the structure of the story and development of characters that are real and likable and some that are deeply flawed. Allies become enemies, strangers become friends, lovers become estranged, all set against the backdrop of distant worlds and the deep dark open space of the galaxy. Ultimately, this is a novel about Relationships as our heroine constructs a team to take on an impending disaster and an unseen evil force. It should also be noted, if you are looking for SciFi with strong female leads...look no further! This is out of this world “Woman Power!”
Ephemeris is just as spellbinding as its predecessor, Heliopause. "Spellbinding" isn't normally a word I'd used when describing a science fiction novel but it's an apt term for Ephemeris due to the book's dream-like quality. It's a story about alien worlds and alien beings that also feels like a fairytale.
As with the first book, the characters feel believable and sympathetic. You yearn for them to succeed since their primary goal is to live in peace with their loved ones. I won't spoil anything, but the new characters are every bit as compelling as those from the inaugural novel. The stakes are considerably higher this time around and you wonder how this diverse cast will ultimately save the universe.
This is another winner from J. Dianne Dotson and I look forward to reading the follow-up novel, Accretion.
I couldn’t wait to read this book after finishing the first entry in the Questrison series, and I’m glad I dove right in. This is an excellent follow up to the first book; doing far more than just easing my small concerns that I had about the ending of the preceding “Heliopause.” In essence, a whole new cast and world is built in this volume, but the ties to the events (and people) of the opening chapter of the series become more evident as the pages go by. Dotson is building a vast fictional universe here, with a loony history and se staggering depth. It’s the characters that will keep you hooked, of course, and all of them are interesting and likable. The threat is real, as well, and the action ramps up quickly, as do the stakes. I am stingy with the 5 star ratings on here, but this is a strong, strong 4. I’ll be reading the next two books in this series soon, no doubt!
I finished Book 2 of The Questrison Saga last night and immediately bought Book 3. The first book hooked me with its comfortable, yet exciting storyline that created a beautiful balance between hard-core sci-fi topics and down-to-earth characterizations. The second book took the story to another level. It made me care about the characters even more. It also introduced a level of passion and humanity that Heliopause held back. I’m not sure what else to say about the story other than I just want to know what happens next.
After enjoying the first book, Heliopause, I was really looking forward to the next book as it hints at adventures to come. Where the Heliopause story develops on a space station, Ephemeris takes you on a galactic journey. There are many moments in this book where you learn more about the characters in the first book, but the stories are strong on their own and can be read independent of each other. Already looking forward to book 3 to see how this cast of characters continues to evolve.
The world building in this second book in the series really takes off, and we get a much bigger picture of the universe and its inhabitants. I felt like this one really moved the action along while allowing for a nice amount of character development. All I know is that I'm hooked and am ready to jump into the next one. This is some solid sci-fi, and I am here for it! Someone needs to pick this up for the screen, because I would watch the heck out of it.
This book is a page turner. I enjoyed all the new characters and the timeline convergence. You will find something about each character that makes you have feelings.This is very good Sci-Fi. I can't wait until book 3. Very excited for it.
Interesting structural shift from the first book, where the first 1/3-1/2 is a Girl in the Tower arc (https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...) before merging with some of the cast of the first book into a more traditional ensemble scifi story.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
This book was entered in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. This is what our readers thought: Title: Ephemeris, The Questrison Saga: Book Two Author: J. Dianne Dotson
Star Rating: 4 Stars Number of Readers: 19 Stats Editing: 7/10 Writing Style: 8/10 Content: 7/10 Cover: 8/10 Of the 19 readers: 17 would read another book by this author. 16 thought the cover was good or excellent. 18 felt it was easy to follow. 18 would recommend this story to another reader to try. Of all the readers, 11 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘plotting a story’. Of all the readers, 8 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘developing the characters’. 13 felt the pacing was good or excellent. 17 thought the author understood the readership and what they wanted.
Readers’ Comments ‘This is a an exciting sci-fi on a large scale. I loved the sense of scale in this story. Also, Gala is a fascinating protagonist, worthy of the adventure. I did prefer the first book and I did feel this lacked the pace of Heliopause, but it’ still a great story for sci-fi addicts.’ Male reader, aged 54 ‘I must say I think I’m getting addicted to this author’s books. Although this book did feel like a ‘middle’ book and the adventure is still going on, I did love it. To me, it was more character development, than plot. The hero is complex, trying to find her way and where she belongs. The whole intergalactic setting is also marvelous; this author has a wonderful imagination for writing sci-fi books.’ Female reader, aged 48 ‘Good plot, complex but not too complex. Elements of fantasy, gung-ho adventure and, of course, sci-fi. The protagonist is trying to find (her! – sort of) feet. This is good old good battling evil. I will read the next installment.’ Male reader, aged 37
To Sum It Up: ‘A smart, cleverly plotted sequel to Heliopause.’ The Wishing Shelf Book Awards
This is the second J. Dianne Dotson book I’ve read and I loved it! Her writing style flows well and keeps you turning the page. I loved the addition of Galla (she’s my new favorite) and the backstory of Aeriod. Excited to see where the story will go next. 5/5 stars!
A young woman born from a diamethyst geode, raised by robots (mostly Oni-Odi and Pliip), trained by Aeriod, tortured by Bitikk, socialized by Kein and Rez, wrapped in a quilt made for her by Meredith, and assigned a mission by the Associates (who manage the known galaxy) whether she wants to or not.
This book is the second in The Questrison Saga (and we actually get our first clue as to what "Questrison" means near the end of it).
The first book was stand alone. This book is not. It leads directly into the third book as a sequel. This became obvious about 80% of the way through the book when she and her crew had only been to a handful of the "device planets".
I lost momentum a bit during her training but, overall, the story is interesting and compelling with sympathetic characters (Ariel, Dagovaby, Rob, Trent, Jana, Beetle, and Meredith as well as the mostly human telepathic addition late in the book, Paul) and evil villains (Veronica, Derry, and Paosh Tahon).
I wonder if Forster is still alive and will appear in the third book.
The third book can't become available quick enough.
This is a very good sequel. I continue to not know what will happen next, and yet, when it happens, it works. I don't want to spoil anything, but there are some well drawn original characters as well as surprising twists. I very much look forward to the next book, Accretion.
Very unusually for me, I went straight into Ephemeris immediately after finishing Heliopause. I have so many books on my TBR that I tend to like jumping around, like sampling everything at a buffet. But this time, I went straight from book one to book two in the same series! Ephemeris has an odd description: it’s a prequel, sequel and concurrent companion piece to Heliopause all at the same time. This kind of out of the box thinking is one of the many reasons I have come to love indie publishing. It’s a lot of weight to put on a single book. And I tell you, it accomplishes all of those things with aplomb. It thoroughly expands on what was introduced in the first book with epic scale and places it in its proper context. Imagine being in the TARDIS; the Doctor flips the switch with a wink and a grin, then tells you to open the door. And when you do, you’re in the middle of space surrounded by stars and nebulae, and looking down upon a huge galaxy, where moments before you were just in your living room at home. That’s the leap in scale Ephemeris achieves here.
How can I follow up on that introductory paragraph? Seriously this book is excellent. But more than that, it’s a lot of fun too. I think I’ve covered the general impressions I have about the worldbuilding, but just to expand a little more: we’re introduced to a rich, diverse galaxy with lots of distinct worlds and cultures, from flying castles to barren deserts to cyberpunk dystopias. It pays off a lot of the questions from the first book while still leaving a lot to mystery. It’s fully space opera, but also unashamedly straddling the line between SF and Fantasy, and leaning more towards the latter in places than something like Star Wars. Put simply, there’s magic here, and not the kind that gets explained away as “sufficiently advanced technology” but it is handled in a restrained manner. It’s another one of those books that gives me a “John Harris” vibe. Impressionistic, ethereal; some of the edges are a bit fuzzy and many of the shapes are improbable, and it all comes together in just the right way to tingle the brain and set the imagination running wild.Ephemeris unfolds at a blistering pace, with action and excitement in every one its short chapters. Similarly to how I felt with Heliopause, perhaps in places it could have done with slowing down a bit and dwelling on certain things a little more before moving on to the next thing - particularly when it came to the relationship between Galla-Deia and Aeriod, I think we could’ve gone a bit deeper with it. There��s a lot of ideas here and a lot of things happening all at once with great drama.There’s a huge amount of characters, many new and some returning. A lot of the side characters are really fun. I particularly enjoyed Sumond, who reminded me of Kamaji, the boiler-room servant from Spirited Away. The main character, Galla-Deia is great fun, too. She’s childlike, whimsical, naive and so very alive. And this is pretty much how she’s described by the other characters in the book, too. The author absolutely nailed it in that regard. Aeriod’s expansion in this book is intriguing. In Heliopause, we see a certain side of him and he gives off this mysterious impression but also like he’s a heroic figure. We see him revealed in a much more nuanced light here in Ephemeris; a window into his true motivations that may not be as selfless as they seemed. Though earnest, he’s much more morally grey character than we’re presented in the first book. It’s great to explore his and Galla’s relationship at the start, but as I said above, I would like to have gone a little deeper especially towards the two-thirds mark of the book.
The plot was enjoyable and kept my attention throughout. What we’ve got here is essentially a fantasy-style quest, and I do love me a quest. They are a great vehicle for travel, giving a compelling reason to move around and sight-see in the book’s universe. I particularly enjoyed how the first book fitted into the continuity here, and following it through to see what happened to the characters afterwards. Without getting into spoilers, If I were being really picky it could be said the fast pace gives the impression that one or two things just happen for the sake of it, to give the feeling of being out-of-control, chaotic etc… (why does my head go immediately to Farscape, here?) But based on how much this book pays off the mysteries of the first, I have no doubt these seemingly random occurrences will have a important part to play later on. It’ll be very interesting to see the pay off in Accretion and Luminiferous.
Overall, great second book in the series, even better than the first. Highly recommended.
This is the second book in this series and unusually it is both a sequel and prequel to the first. The main character Galla-Deia, is introduced as a somewhat mysterious character. As the novel progresses she becomes more mature as a character and as a strong leader in the quest set before her. The book contains a variety of interesting characters and greatly emphasizes strong female role models of different ages. One can hope the author will continue the series as soon as possible.
The Questrison Saga just got a whole lot more epic!
In J. Dianne Dotson’s second book, she takes readers mind-first into the expanse of the universe we only got a small glimpse of in Heliopause. However, in Ephemeris, we follow along with a new humanoid protagonist Galla-Deia, along her quest to stop the rising evil and malevolence of Paosh Tohon; which is causing cosmic destabilization and destruction.
Moreover, Like any great mythic story, Galla must face her fears, choose between destiny and love, leave the comforts of one planet to explore into the vast unknowns of many worlds (some quite dangerous) to find answers. There, amongst the stars, she is faced with her most significant trials and tribulations. Each one is more vital than the last. Also, each one a building block into molding her into becoming the leader she was meant to be. And along her journey, we meet others, some new and old faces, and piece by piece; she begins to understand her purpose.
Dotson does an excellent job forming her story with those hints of ancient myths and setting up the grueling journey of Galla-Deia. And as Galla finds her crew, Dotson nails down the feelings of home and friendship beautifully. For this is not just a space story, it’s much more than that. It’s a story about growth, death and rebirth, friendship, love, teamwork, diversity, betrayal, and the old age question of sacrifice for destiny and good vs. evil. It has many fantasy elements too, from telepaths, empaths, strange Devices, and floating fortresses. It will make you daydream (especially about all the fantastic and exotic planets and moon Dotson creates), laugh, cry, scream, and be left wanting more.
There is a whole host of new characters, and I would recommend (if haven’t already) reading Heliopause before venturing into Ephemeris.
An excellent book and I can’t wait for book 3 of the Questrison Saga.