A New Beginning
by Melanie D. Budiarto

ISBN13: 978-1-4257-3572-2 (Trade Paperback)
ISBN13: 978-1-4257-3573-9 (Hardback)
247 pages
Pub. Date: January 2007
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation

This is a story of a young girl. A very enterprising woman who is an artist. Her name is Blue, a name give to her by her mother because she liked the color. Blue lives in a place called Paradise, somewhere in what once had been eastern Pennsylvania. In 2184 destruction fell upon the former world and now the surrounding countryside is simply known as Paradise. Paradise is set up like the old feudal systems of an even distant past. Blue lives in the Commons, which is between Paradise and the Bottoms, the place for the lazy, thieving, murderous, and foul smelling citizens who make up the rest of society.

Blue and her friend Luke, thought it is risky, visit the Bottoms to find plants and interesting artifacts from the past. It is during one of these “digs” that Blue stumbles across a strange object. So taken with the strange devise, she’s unaware that hooligans have spotted her. It’s not good for a young, attractive woman to be digging alone in the Bottoms. All kinds of terrible things can happen to such a girl. These hooligans have just one thing on their lusting minds and they are going to get her and have a little fun. In the ensuing chase, Blue has plants in one hand and the strange devise in the other. So intense is the chase that Blue can only focus on escape. She has to get away. As these thoughts race through her mind, the only thing she can think of is getting  to the safety of her own home. Poof! Just like that, Blue is in the her own front yard, safe and sound, no hooligans in pursuit. Luke is astonished by Blue’s sudden appearance. Blue’s strange devise has the ability to teleport those who posses it to any place or time they are thinking. So begins the time traveling adventures of Blue and Luke.

Blue is classified as a romantic fantasy. It borders as a science fiction adventure story, but there is more romance than science fiction or fantasy. For the most part, the book is written in the first person. However, points of view change throughout the story which lends to confusing moments for this reader. Despite the point of view switching, this isn’t a bad first novel. A little more science fiction and adventure and less romance should be the order for any other books in the series. Ms. Budiarto has written a good story that should appeal to the romantic in heart. – Stefanie Longwood