Reader Reviews

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Scott S

     Fascinating book. Exploring both societal and self-imposed gender roles and identification. Very thought provoking and creative.

 

Bob F

     I really enjoyed this book. The twists and turns keep you interested and guessing. Set in the Stanford University environment of high powered academics, the story explores a unique and intriguing situation—a pandemic that reverses every adult’s physical sex and threatens to wipe out the human race. The main characters must save the human race, and survive their own sex change. Hold on to your seats. Silky smooth with a compelling set of characters and understated sophistication, this is a fun read.

 

Elaine R

     Choose the Sun by Kent Safford engages the reader from the very first scene. The author creates a world which challenges us with completely new and complex ideas, including what we think about gender roles and identities. Intelligent characters who come alive and a surprise at every turn, this remarkable debut novel is a must read for non-science fiction fans alike. Looking for more…we can only hope for a sequel.

 

Phyllis M

     I really enjoyed Kent Safford’s novel “Choose the Sun.” It had my attention and drew me into the story right away. The Characters were fleshed out, interesting and well drawn out. The story held my interest throughout. I would love to see more by Mr. Safford.

 

 

Brenda S

     I have been meaning to tell you for quite some time how much I enjoyed your book this summer. I thought it was a great read and kept my interest till the end. I was quite surprised with the twist in folks changing genders and found that concept something to ponder. Well written, well thought out, as well as thought provoking.  I thoroughly enjoyed your book, your wit, your research, how you wove your experiences and the current pandemic into the book. Hope it has been a success for you and will look forward to your next publication. 

 

Dorothy L

     Ok I finished it on Thursday, couldn’t put it down. It made me think about a lot of things. It’s well written, good character development, thought provoking, full of surprises. Loved it!

 

Misuk P

     Reading in the time of pandemics.

I find it strangely entertaining to read about a mysterious pandemic in the midst of an actual, mostly tedious, pandemic. It’s particularly enjoyable if you live near Stanford University. Or maybe you’re a grumpy old man who thinks teenagers should be seen but not heard. Whatever the reason, Kent’s novel is a brisk, and dare I say, fun mystery to keep your mind off the current state of the world.

     I only wish I had gotten the paperback copy of it instead of the Kindle. I like reading before I go to sleep; staring at an electronic screen keeps me up at night.


 

 

Rick T 

     In life we’re often offered choices, or make better decisions when we have an array of options to choose from. At the end of this novel the main character reflects on their new reality and how to accept it and decides … to choose the sun.


     In this medical science fiction narrative, all characters and everyone alive are presented with a radical new reality and must decide how to react. Some choose the darkest of all possible options and others choose the sun.


     This is a tale of time travel interwoven with a deep medical mystery. It takes the reader on a journey where they are invited to do a thought experiment on how they’d react to the experiences that the characters go through. I personally was uncomfortable admitting to myself that I’d be hard-pressed to choose the sun. The book compels its readers to consider life from another person’s perspective in a very literal way. This is one of the things science fiction does well. An essay on understanding folks by considering things from their point of view might be an interesting read. However, being invited into the new reality of the characters in this novel moves the reader to imagine themselves in that new reality and nudges then to own up to their biases. In my opinion it's more thought-provoking than reading an essay. One of the highest compliments I have for a book is that it's unputdownable. That was certainly true for me while I was reading this book.


     When I finished reading Kent's novel, I did decide that I’d Choose The Sun. I hope you will, too.

 

To list all the things I liked about Choose the Sun would take a couple of pages.
Here are a few random thoughts I had on what I liked:

  1. The cover illustration and title
  2. The quote about choosing the sun ... a short lyrical poem, really
  3. Being invited to do the thought experiment of my personal sex change
  4. That the virus/plague wasn't contagious which made following along much,          much easier
  5. The unexpected side effects of a sex shift: suicides, pre-shift gang rapes and  pregnancies 
  6. The phrase 'metabolize into your biological potential' 
  7. The characters names and acronyms all worked well for me, especially  Cassidy/Cass
  8. The local to me locale
  9. The theme of considering things from another person's point of view from the  To Kill A Mockingbird quote 
   
       Sci-fi works well at getting us readers to consider a novel idea which your book explores.

Cindy H

     I finished your book! I am so impressed that you wrote a book and what a fascinating story. I totally enjoyed it and it really makes you think about gender identities. You have an amazing creative mind and great attention to detail. Is there another book in your future?


 

 

Jeanne A

     I’m lining up with others who have found your debut novel a major achievement. Unlike other novels which have that “lag in the middle” problem, the suspense and drama never stopped. The author’s knowledge of how the Pandemic unfolded was written with such expertise you would never have known it was written BEFORE he experienced one. In fact, though the cause of the Pandemic in “Choose the Sun” is not a virus, there is an eerie foreboding of our current events throughout the first pages and beyond.

 

     Though this is a great science-fiction “yarn” what I found compelling was the theme that winds its way throughout which, for me, is “identity” and understanding other people “from their point of view.” The metaphor for this point of view theme is the transition that each person in the story undergoes as part of the Moon Plague which forces each one to rethink their views of the world (also very timely in light of our current civil unrest—what if, tomorrow, I woke up a black man…).

 

     There are so many creative touches which linger with me—including all the new expressions which developed as part of the Moon Plague, just as we have seen with the Covid-19 Pandemic. In one scene the writer describes a character returning to her home as a short person and finding everything too tall for her body. The details in the writer’s imagining remain with me. I agree with Kirpal that the naming conventions, which might have been confusing, were another area handled well. I love the cover and the title “Choose the Sun,” the meaning of which becomes clear toward the end of the book. So, fellow writers, if you haven’t gotten your copy yet—please order. It will be a treat! Thank you Kent. It’s a privilege to know you and have you participate in A-Z! Jeanne

 

 

Kirpal K

     I just want to congratulate you on this major achievement!

 

     There are no spoilers in this note, but I  encourage everyone to read it so we can discuss the finer points as a group.

 

     It surely is destined to be a hit given the subject matter of the pandemic and the prescient manner in which  your main  character, Lawrence Williams, becomes a national media spokesperson similar to Dr. Anthony Fauci. Then the reader gets a barrage of surprises and carefully orchestrated suspense. The contemporary themes are presented with  great sensitivity.

 

     The writing is so smooth,  I sailed through it very quickly.  I particularly love how you handled the naming of your characters.  Brilliant! 

 

Doug M 

     The book was very well written and the conversations flowed naturally. Choose the Sun had a natural flow to it and because of that, it was great to read and at the end of each chapter, you wanted more. It was not easy to put down. The only thing I wanted to know more about was the Emitter. That caught my attention big time. This is a great Sunday afternoon read with a glass of wine. Well done to the author on his first book... I am looking forward to reading more of his works...and I hope there is a followup to this one....

Deb A

     What a great read!

I'm at the UC ROV section and water spreading thing

It's just brilliant -- thank you!!!

 

Susan S

     I'm anting to add my hearty congratulations. What a MAJOR accomplishment! This is really exciting and you must feel a great sense of fulfillment to have your book see the light of day and be available to the public. As Kelda says, we are all in to say “we knew you when...” 😁

 

     The book cover (front AND back) is beautiful - what a nice job BookBaby did. Yes, based on the synopsis on the back cover, it does sounds like the storyline will make the present pandemic seem mild by comparison! I wish you great success with it and, as others have said, (we) will look forward to having copies in our midst. And we’ll hope to see you in our midst at some point when we’re back in action on campus.

 

Steve C

     Congratulations Kent!! I know how hard you've worked on this book.

 

Marie C

     I just got mine today. And how perfect. I'm spending the evening curled up with my dogs and a good book. Now I have one

 

Linda M

     CAVEAT: Once into this book, it is hard to put down!

Jan D

     Finally got the time to read your most interesting book. It’s far out and I think it would make a fabulous movie. I liked the spiritual with the sci-fi. Hope you write another book. I would sure read another.

 

KJC

     I really enjoyed reading Choose the Sun. It sucked me right in!

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15-DEC-2020: Writer’s Digest Self Published Book Awards

 

 

     Below is a brief commentary for your entry in the 28th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards, thank you for your participation!

 

 

Entry Title:  CHOOSE THE SUN

Author:  Kent Safford  

Judge Number: 17

Entry Category: Genre Fiction

Judge’s Commentary*:

 

     What a timely and interesting novel with a fascinating concept, well presented and skillfully written. The plot – a non-viral pandemic – would have piqued my interest in ordinary times, but especially so because of current events. What could such a pandemic mean for the human race? Why would survivors contemplate suicide? The blurb really drew me in and I was hooked from the start. And then as the story progresses, there is layer after layer of intrigue. Nobody’s immune, people are affected according to age groups, and then the ultimate twist – the end result (for those who survive) is that the person undergoes a change of gender – another topical issue that’s explored in this very cleverly written novel. The novel begins with Edgar Marten’s accident and we soon learn of the mysterious Emitter and then the question throughout of whether it caused the pandemic. Then there’s the rehabilitation of survivors trying to adjust to life after changing genders – which affects the main characters just like anyone else – the team of scientists brought together to tackle the problems. It’s interesting to witness some of their transformations toward the end and how they cope in their new bodies and roles. 

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