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“Crystal and Flint (The Journey Missions Book 1)” by Holly Ash - IHIBRP 4-Star Book Review

Two Competitive Young Women Struggle To Save Their Futuristic World!

In Author Holly Ash’s “Crystal and Flint”, two embittered and highly-competitive young women must find a way to work together despite their caustic rivalry. At stake is their ship, an underwater colony under the threat of an oppressive government, and the possible outbreak of an all-out war.

Ash introduces an intriguing and absorbing plotline in “Crystal and Flint” with a duo of formidable women from two separate worlds who are each opposed to each other’s values and methods. With the deadline for the completion of their ship and the training of their crew looming, the stakes are high as one seeks the means to unseat her commanding officer, putting the entire crew and mission at risk.

Ash’s story is both driven and tense—Impossible-to-meet project deadlines are constantly on the horizon, relationships are often strained to the breaking point, romances and friendships seem fleeting and elusive, and self-doubt rules the day. Readers will certainly appreciate the openness of self-reflection and candor that these characters go through to go above and beyond the call of duty to achieve their common goals while Sci-Fi fans will marvel at the civilizations Ash has created along with the technology that supports this unique futuristic world.

Ash’s characters are well-grounded and the relationships between them have great depth, however, her tale is generally limited to two women in a sea of men and her cast is notably missing any other significant women with the exception of one who has a lesser role in the plotline. I mention this point not so much as a critique but as a means of polishing this diamond in the rough, for in a novel like this that features two strong female leads, it’s an unfortunate omission that the author provides little competition from or support for any alternative females other than the aforementioned side-character and those women referenced in each protagonist’s past. As a result, alternate female role models for young women to look up to are overlooked and Crystal and Desi’s roles are greatly idealized, causing most of the entourage of males surrounding them to either cater to or fawn over them since they have basically no distraction, comparisons, or competition from any other female peers. Hopefully, as the series progresses, Ash will see fit to place more women in her new world as commanding officers, counterparts, and professionals.

“Crystal and Flint” contains some PG-rated violence and some adult romance—But, romance is not the chief aim of this story. Rather, the author depicts two incredibly strong and powerful women who must put aside their differences and resentments to come together and save a world threatened by tyranny and oppression. If you enjoy fast-paced futuristic fantasy action-adventures with likable and entertaining characters, “Crystal and Flint” certainly makes the grade. I recommend this novel for ages 15 and up.

Find “Crystal and Flint (The Journey Missions Book 1)” by Holly Ash on Amazon & Kindle here.

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