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Aether Ones

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Long ago, the Great Sundering ripped the universe apart, creating two separate realities. The kuldain realm developed advanced technology, and its inhabitants travel the universe on massive ships to colonize and expand their empire. The aether realm, meanwhile, harnessed the magic of the massively powerful eldrich energy that connects everything within their realm. Now, a tentative peace reigns between the two realms, maintained by a treaty and by the Imperial Investigative Service--a force designed to monitor interactions between the realms and ensure that most kuldain inhabitants don't even know aether space exists. Leilani Falconi, a talented agent of the IIS, polices the galaxy with quick sarcasm and a quicker temper. When a series of suspicious deaths in kuldain space threatens the secrecy and peace, Lei must solve the mystery--fast--before both her realities change forever.

320 pages, Paperback

Published October 13, 2020

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Wendi Coffman-Porter

17 books1 follower

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 23 of 23 reviews
Profile Image for Gina  Mitchell.
1,010 reviews61 followers
February 23, 2021
Aether Ones is a gripping science fiction novel presenting two opposing worlds, each convinced of their supremacy. Fighting for justice in a world where nothing is as it seems is the heroine, Leilani Falconi.

Lei makes an extraordinary lead character. She’s a sarcasm spouting firebrand willing to sacrifice all to bring peace and the rightful ruler back to power.

The author gives us fantastic creatures and technology from her fertile mind. The story’s nonstop action and intricate twists & turns will keep you on your toes as you turn the pages.

If mystery, mayhem, and battles are what you look for in a science fiction thriller, Aether Ones is the book for you.

I received a copy of the book for a blog tour. This is my honest, unbiased opinion.
Profile Image for Jenny (jenjenreviews).
415 reviews6 followers
March 2, 2021
Thank you so much to The Write Reads and Wendi Coffman-Porter for providing me with a complimentary physical copy in exchange for an honest review!

For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

I think this book expanded my brain! Have you ever read a book where once you finish you feel like your head is fuller?

Aether Ones follows Agent Leilani Falconi who finds herself stuck in the middle of a deeply rooted political scandal, full of murder and suspicious occurrences. I had a really hard time keeping up with everything that was happening because this book is chalk-full of information. I can’t even begin to imagine how much work Wendi Coffman-Porter had to put into making such a fantastically complex world. I’ll definitely have to re-read this book again when I have a clearer headspace because I feel like I really only comprehended around 20% of it. I think it might have been easier to follow if the pacing slowed down a bit to build the world up more comprehensively but it could have just been me tbh.

Throughout the book we are introduced to multiple types of characters, species, magics, and realms. It was fascinating to read about all of these creatures existed and how they interact with each other. I would recommend keeping track of the character names as you read because the narration switches back and forth between referring to them by their first name, last name, and/or their rank. There are also quite a few time jumps, so if you aren’t good at remembering names (like me) than this list will keep you from having to flip back and forth between chapters to remember who someone is.

The book ending paves the way for a second (or perhaps even more?) book so it will be interesting to see where these characters are headed!

Read my full post here.
Profile Image for Hollylovesbooks.
759 reviews
February 25, 2021
When I first read the synopsis for this book, I knew it was going to be something that I would enjoy. But, I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I flew through this book so fast!
I’m not going to lie though, the first couple of chapters or so, I was so confused, I didn’t actually know what was going on but, I liked that it sort of drops you into this world and you learn as you go.
The main character (Leilani) adds to the grip and hold this book has on you right from the very start. She takes every challenge thrown at her in her stride. I enjoyed reading from her perspective so much, She takes no bs from anyone, she’s short tempered, highly sarcastic and I loved every second of it hehe. There were other characsts but, we didn’t get to see them as often as I would of liked but, I really enjoyed Rothar as a character and his dynamic with Lei and I’m interested to see more of him and Lei!
The world itself is very intriguing, complex and so interesting to learn about. It’s also very easy to learn about, if that makes sense. It may be complex but, it is explained in a way that makes it really easy to understand. There are also ships and battles, fights and military training, all of which I love in a good sci-fi book and it added to the vivid picture that I could make of this world in my mind.
I really enjoyed the ending of this book, for the most part. It was kind of abrupt in my opinion but, I am still interested to see where the story is going to go next and what is next for these characters. If you love sci-fi, sarcastic and strong female leads, politics, great world building and military soldiers in space, I recommend giving this one a try.
Profile Image for A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol).
1,974 reviews1 follower
February 27, 2021
Book source ~ The Write Reads Tour

Leilani “Lei” Falconi is an agent for the Imperial Investigative Service and has been for many years. The IIS polices the two areas of space that was brought about by the Great Sundering. Aether space is where magic or eldrich is used and kuldain is where technology excelled. There’s been an uneasy peace between the two realities, but something or someone is stirring up trouble and that makes Lei’s job even harder. She stumbles upon a case involving suspicious deaths and the further she gets pulled into the investigation the more tangled and dangerous it becomes. Will this be the one to retire her permanently?

This is a rich and layered world with a great many varied inhabitants. There’s magic and technology galore, too. While this story is told from Lei’s POV there are several other characters who are front and center. There’s a shitton of action. Lei is always in the thick of things and she’s always the biggest badass around. Which is not always favorable. I’m a bit disappointed that Lei gets out of every situation because she is nearly literally pulling some kind of technology out of her ass to help her succeed and advance the story. She’s like this Uber Character that can never do wrong, always kicks ass, and everyone admires her. However, I like her despite this flaw in how she is written. The characters around her are many and varied so it takes some time to sort them all out. The worlds are complicated, the politics even more so. And that’s before you toss a mystery into the mix. But Lei’s story will pick you up and carry you right along until the end. Or is it?
Profile Image for TheBookDude.
130 reviews21 followers
February 25, 2021
I quite enjoyed this one. But how to describe it?

Bad Ass heroine? - Check
Space? - Check
Magic? - Check
Fast Paced? -Check
Mysterious? - Check

So I mean yes it gets 4 stars straight away just for those things and I would say if you see this on offer during a sale or something it is well worth taking a punt on it. Odds are you will enjoy it if you enjoy any or all of the above. How to describe this book though? Well at it's most basic it is a space mystery ... woohoo! At its most complex it is a socio-political commentary with some echoes, deliberate or accidental of the real world. As others have said the main character just leaps off the page, but it doesn't stop there, there is a rich supporting cast too. I don't want to go too much into spoilery territory but I did find the plot was a little tricky to follow at times but that is probably more down to me than the writing.

Overall 4 out of 5 stars. A good book.

I received a free copy from the publishers and tour organiser as part of a tour for this book but that has in no way impacted my rating
Profile Image for Lisa.
66 reviews
February 23, 2021
I would like to thank BrownBooks and TWR for gifting me a digital copy in return for an honest review.

This is the story of Leilani Falconi, a badass female agent for the Imperial Investigative Service, a police force that operates across realities. There are two distinct realities in this universe, one where magic reigns supreme, and one where technology is in the ascendency. A great backdrop for an unusual sci fi, but for me this book is far more about the lead character (awesome) than the worldbuilding (not bad).

In a nutshell Lei kicks ass. A whole lot of ass. If you like strong female leads then you'll love Lei. She gets the job done and usually kicks butt while doing it. The book as a whole has a range of sassy characters and alien races, but for me Lei is head and shoulders above the rest. If you want an interesting sci-fi with magic, aliens, and most importantly that amazing female lead then I'd recommend this one for your TBR.

A solid 4 stars
Profile Image for Lili  Marcus.
715 reviews406 followers
April 7, 2021
Aether Ones with its incredible protagonist and refreshing take on a science fiction slash fantasy genre is a very engaging, fast-paced read and I want this to be a series.

I do read science fiction but only so rarely that if you ask for a Sci-Fi book recommendation from me, I wouldn’t be able to give you one. But I think I will now because Aether Ones proved to be a fine read that I want more people to read it.

Let me start with the main character. I found Leilani Falconi intriguing right from the start. I was hooked because of her. I think she’s a very well-written character because even when I didn’t see her doing anything spectacular yet, I already can tell that she’s no damsel in distress, and that she is a strong, brave woman. And I was right. Leilani is an agent whose task is to look into the veil between two realities in this book’s universe and even though I thought this would be like the usual espionage story, it’s more than that.

Leilani is no ordinary agent. Her ability to face everything that is thrown her way is amazing. She is so brave, just dealing with every challenge she encountered in her supposedly just-another-assignment. And man, there a LOT of challenges, and one after another, Leilani deals with them bravely.

Speaking of challenges…I think Aether Ones has a very well-crafted plot. Even though there are so many things happening, they’re very well-timed that the plot didn’t feel overwhelming. It didn’t end up being all over the place. And of course, this is a very fast-paced read. There was never a dull moment. I always felt elated following Leilani’s current mission knowing that afterwards, she’ll face an even bigger challenge. Really, I can’t stress this enough. Lailani has faced lots of challenges in this book.

I think for that alone, I want to see this book as a part of a series. I’m kind of wondering why this isn’t marketed as a series, or did I miss it? Anyway, there are so many possibilities with a character like Leilani.

LOL!!! I almost forgot the setting.

Aside from the protagonist, the setting promises great potential for a series. The author created a unique fictional world where there is a division and to avoid spoiling it, I won’t elaborate how it happened. Just imagine two worlds in one world. I’m sure you’re thinking, ‘well, that’s not very unique’ and I agree. But in Aether Ones, one of the two worlds is magical (one we often see in fantasy novels) and the other is technological (one we often see in science fiction novels) I think this is a very refreshing way of introducing a fictional world that fits two major genres – fantasy and science fiction.

My only issue, a tiny one, is that there were times I get confused as to where Leilani is in time. I mentioned that this a very fast-paced story and that Leilani faces one challenge after another but the thing is the time jumps a lot and there is no consistency in it. Sometimes, it’s just a day, sometimes a week. This isn’t usually an issue to me, I mean there is no rule that there should be a consistency in the span of time jumps in a story but for some reason, in this novel, I was bothered by it. (If you’ve read this book, please let me know if I made sense in this area. 🙂 )

Overall, this is a very engaging, fast-paced read, with its incredible protagonist and refreshing take on a science fiction slash fantasy genre.
Profile Image for Darina.
118 reviews4 followers
February 28, 2021
Aether Ones features a set of intriguing characters and a universe with limitless possibilities. Friends often become foes as fights break out in an attempt to solve unusual crimes. This upbeat pace and constant change in setting at the beginning showed promise for the rest of the book.

The main character, Leilani, is feisty and courageous and the perfect example of how a strong female lead can sometimes be enough even without the addition of minor characters. My main concern throughout the book was the huge mix of other more minor characters and I often found it difficult to understand how characters were related to each other.

The science fiction elements in Aether Ones are at times too ambitious and it felt like the author struggled to fit all the descriptions of the settings into the book. Despite the commendable effort I was sometimes lost and could not understand where one setting was in relation to another. However, the narrative for each setting was original and interesting and I was absorbed by the intensity and imagery of the world building.

Aether Ones has the potential for a sequel, especially with its impressive and original world building. I would have preferred to see less characters and a deeper focus on only a few of the species and worlds. Nevertheless, it was an entertaining read and a book which transported me to a fascinating and vivid universe.

Many thanks to Dave at TheWriteReads for providing an advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Aether Ones is now out to buy!
Profile Image for Dini - dinipandareads.
880 reviews99 followers
February 25, 2021
TL;DR: If you're looking for a fast-paced sci-fi set in space with an intense mystery and one of the most badass heroines I've ever had the pleasure to encounter, then this could be the book for you. We've got secret agents, corrupt military/navy forces, power-hungry royals, a huge mix of alien races, a special kind of magic and crazy cool futuristic technology, and lots of battles. While so many elements made this an entertaining read, I did struggle a bit with the time jumps and minimal world-building. Still, this was a very run read and I enjoyed seeing how the mystery unfolded!

Check out my full review on my blog!
Profile Image for Alexandra.
367 reviews19 followers
October 16, 2020

Full review here: https://www.allcharacterswanted.com/b...

Thank you to Brown Books Publishing Group for sending me an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest, personal review.

I'm a fan of sci-fi as a genre because I love that authors can essentially create any kind of futuristic world they want. While I don't read it often, it's really just because I'm sadly too lazy to look up new authors in the genre (it's really bad on my part). Thankfully, Brown Books Publishing reached out to me with this book and I immediately said yes!

Moves Fast
I thought it was interesting how quickly this book moves, giving us both benefits and drawbacks. In terms of benefits, it allows readers to jump into this world, learning about things as we go, and the action moves quickly. However… I did find that there was a lot of moments where I was confused or had to reread sections to figure out what was going on. I sometimes felt like I was missing information because time jumps would happen, space in between events would either be days or weeks later and it was somewhat hard to track where Leilani was at different points in the story.

Interesting Characters
I really enjoy getting to know Leilani in this book. I liked her ability to jump in any situation, she’s not afraid to deal with challenges head-on, and she just kind of goes for it at different points. She is faced with so many challenges that it’s really great to see how she deals with them all. Like she says at one point in the story, there are very few agents that it would have to deal with the number of chaotic events that she has to deal with, and she handles it pretty well. I did think there was some moments that were a little out of character or just didn’t seem to make sense to me, but overall I found her really compelling and I liked her story.

LOTS of Problems to Solve
Another interesting part of this book is that there’s just so many problems to solve. The book starts off with Leilani being conscripted to becoming a footsoldier on one of the space stations; she then realizes that there’s some troubling things happening. She solves the problem really quickly only to stumble into another massive problem which results in the fabric of the universe in incredible danger.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. It was a fun opportunity to read a piece of science fiction, a genre that I don’t read that often. I liked the way the story was told and I really liked the characters, so I’m hoping we see more of these characters in the future… Maybe some kind of series?
Profile Image for Mani.
644 reviews
March 18, 2021
Aether Ones is a fast moving Sci-fi that kept me swiping those pages on my tablet. I loved how the book just jumps straight into the action and new world. I like when books do this is it makes me want to keep reading. Now, although I loved the fast paced throughout there were times where things moved so fast that I actually had to go back and reread parts to work out what was happening. There were also a couple of sections where I thought I had missed something, this was usually when there was a time jump in the book. Sometimes it was days, and sometimes it was several weeks but it wasn’t clear until you read on.

Now the character, well what an interesting lot they were. I found them to be very unique and interesting. The majority of them were well developed but I did find one or two that I would probably would have liked to know more about. I felt that there was a good balance of likeable and unlikeable characters. The protagonist Leilani was definitely my favourite. I liked how she was not afraid to jump in and deal with any situation heads on.

I’ve not gone into much detail about the plot as I feel this is one of those books you need to go in knowing little as possible.

Overall I enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a unique and engaging read.
Profile Image for Steph.
70 reviews21 followers
March 2, 2021
3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars.

This was a book that could have been great but in my opinion just missed the mark a little. Some really good ideas in it and I do admit I really liked the main character (and it kept me reading to the end) and the general idea, magic dimension science dimension is not something I have come across before, but I just found it a bit confusing in places. I think it just needed to be a bit tighter, maybe that is just me but from a quick look at some other reviews I see one or two saying similar. Now, don’t get me wrong it is not a bad book and indeed it is a pretty good book, it is just I think it falls a little short of being a great book. I would still recommend that it is worth giving it a go, for the main character if nothing else.

I got this for free as part of a TWR book tour but that has not affected my review.
Profile Image for Crystina.
80 reviews
February 19, 2023
Special thanks to theWriteReads for providing me with an arc.

Every so often I come across a book that I struggle to get through. A big part of that was my own fault as I struggled to focus on what was going on. I’m glad I pushed through though because I ended up really enjoying this read. This book sort of felt like returning home after a long time away. Science fiction holds a special place in my heart but for whatever reason, I haven’t found myself reading much of it as of late. Aether Ones was the perfect return to the genre, as it blends fantasy and science fiction seamlessly.

Full review on geekdeclassified.com
Profile Image for Michael.
1,042 reviews39 followers
August 9, 2023
Aether Ones by Wendi Coffman-Porter is a space opera/military science fiction/mystery with tons of political intrigue.
It can be confusing until you understand how the two different realities work and connect together. When you do however, strap in for a fun and action-packed science fiction adventure. There is a mixture of magic and technology that work well together. The characters are for the most part likable and interesting. An overall good read.
Profile Image for Nikki.
964 reviews50 followers
February 21, 2021
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Aether Ones gives you a mystery set in a sci-fi environment, and I think the way we get to focus on the mystery elements but still get such a big influence from the space setting was pretty good.

Unfortunately, I don't think we got to see enough of the world - what we see is really intriguing and I needed more world building to really understand some of the implications of the events. There are some serious political implications, and we don't really get time to establish the players or their motivations. We also don't get to see why Leilani is doing what she is at the start. After that, her actions are mostly clear, but the lack of world building around it makes it harder to follow. This mostly impacts the mystery - the science seems fairly solid and some of the details we do get are utterly fab. I especially love Leilani's little friend doing all the tiny tech things!

The book also jumps around a little bit (one page they rescue someone, the next there are inside jokes about getting them drunk etc) in a way that makes it a little jarring.

Having said all this, I did still enjoy it - it's fast-paced, action-filled and intriguing. I think I'd happily have given it four stars if we had the world-building elements, but because I struggled to follow it a little, I had to knock it down.

3 stars.
1 review
January 4, 2022

I bought this book from the author Wendi Coffman-Porter at an event, which is unusual for me, but I'm glad I did. I love a good sci-fi story and I'm looking forward to the sequel. The book creates a new world almost from scratch leading to a lot of unique concepts and vocabulary, which is both interesting and sometimes requires rereading to grasp. This was the rare book that I thought would be even better if it was 30% longer.

I wish there had been more indicators of time in the text as I was often caught off guard by references to things that could only happen with the passage of time but which I hadn't known about. What I thought was the same day I would later realize was apparently weeks later. For a story that takes place across multiple galaxies, I understand why time would be tricky however.

Overall the book was engaging and unique, and I am glad I stumbled upon it.

2 reviews
October 31, 2020
There are some books that you read that immerse you into a universe that compels you to want more. Intriguing characters. Great twists. The main character is a government agent , think James/Jane Bond, but one that has to operate in both science fiction and magical universes. This one has a lot of snarky goodness and heroic force of will that helps propel her forward even when things have gone off the rails. It happens. Often. I hope they make this a series. Getting more from this universe, let alone this character, would be great.
Profile Image for Hannah.
114 reviews10 followers
March 8, 2021
I wasn’t really sure what was expected when I begun this book​ but I was slowly drawn in to the point I couldn’t put it down. I really enjoyed the space and magical element of the book. Lei is a very strong main character, I found myself laughing at her sarcasm and constantly hoping that she is going to make the world peaceful again. There’s so many little elements in this book which makes it enjoyable and some very sassy characters who help make the book light and easy to read.
September 28, 2020
The main character was original and the story kept me flipping the page to see what came next. The introduction of magic as simply an energy source inspired my sense of Science fiction.

The 'great sundering!' What a phenomenal thought experiment that takes science into SCI-FI.

If you are looking for something new and engaging? Aether Ones fits that with ease!
1 review
October 19, 2020
This was a great mix of sci-fi, fantasy and mystery that had a modern feel. The author created not one, but two very rich deep worlds that draw you in. These worlds are filled with colorful characters, and then topped off with a strong, original female lead. I highly recommend this book and can’t wait to read the next chapter.
Profile Image for Emma Reale.
15 reviews
March 8, 2022
I would like to give this book more of a 3.5 than a 3 because I did love the world and the characters. Sadly with the last 5-10 chapters I just felt like there was one too many things going on and being uncovered and because of this one too many things having to be checked off at the end. I do plan to read book two because like I said, I loved the characters and the world.
777 reviews3 followers
November 28, 2021
Great World Building Highly imaginative

Once you figure out how the worlds work this is a very good read. It can be confusing for the first third of the book . I reread the first third of the book to figure it out.
1 review
October 19, 2020
One of the most original takes on split sci-fi I've seen. Lots of interesting characters twisted into a well paced plot with a good leaving of uncertainty and surprise.
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