September 22, 2023
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Book Reviews SCI-FI

Vermilion Sunrise by Lydia P. Brownlow: An interesting mix of unconventional elements

Author: Lydia P. Brownlow

Genre: YA science fiction

Year Published: 2023

Nerdection Rating:

“Nerdection Worth to Read”

Spoiler-free Plot

Leigh is a teenager that wakes up and realizes that she is part of a human colony that is in another solar system. This leads to her finding a way home but also having to deal with a planet where the water can’t be drunk and the technology can’t be used, which leads to a lot of different challenges and obstacles for our protagonist. She ventures into the world and tries to find a lot of answers…

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My take on Vermilion Sunrise

One thing that struck me when reading Vermilion Sunrise was how the premise is reminiscent of sci-fi literature of the early 20th century. I’m a huge fan of those kinds of stories and I started to notice that author Lydia P. Brownlow was going for something of that ilk, which is something that definitely struck a chord with me.

The character of Leigh works as a protagonist because of a very important reason: she is just as oblivious to the entire situation as we are. This is very important and is something that a lot of people don’t seem to grasp: the importance of showing, not telling, and not having to rely on a lot of clunky exposition.

Leigh works as our eyes during the story and when she discovers something, we discover something. This may sound like a very obvious thing to say but is something that works quite well with the world-building that the author is executing. This is not the world you and I are familiar with so there is a constant need for exposition and explanation and since Leigh also has doubts, we as the audience can get our answers in a manner that feels natural and works quite well.

This is very important because world-building is a major aspect of this type of story: you are supposed to connect with the world that the author is building and you are supposed to have an understanding of how things work in that setting. That gives context to a lot of different plot points and motivations for the cast in that story, which is something worth taking into account.

The world in Vermilion Sunrise feels vivid, vast, and with a lot of elements to explore, which one of its defining traits is: the fact that it has a lot of different plot threads and themes to explore. There is a discussion about colonialism in the story which is done in a way that doesn’t feel contrived or forced and adds to the magic of the world-building, giving the book a much more mature feel.

Perhaps the pacing was a bit off from time to time, which makes the story progress a bit too fast, but it has to be said that the story as a whole flows well and it doesn’t overstay its welcome. From my perspective, it’s better for the book to be a bit short than a bit too long, although I understand if others have a different perspective on that front.

As a series with a lot of young characters, author Lydia P. Brownlow adds a lot of themes that are often brought up when it comes to the youth but she does it in a way that doesn’t feel forced or superficial. Her characters have exactly that: character. They smile, they laugh, they win, they struggle, and all of that is essential to build a story that is exciting and compelling.

Vermilion Sunrise is a wonderful read and is a book that deserves a lot more accolades and recognition.

About The Author Of Vermilion Sunrise

Lydia P. Brownlow grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. Fortunately, her parents didn’t make her choose between being a literature kid or a science kid, so she became both. She majored in English at Rice University and earned a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in Austin. Though a lawyer by training, Lydia has often found herself in the classroom instead of the courtroom. She’s taught high school, junior high, college, and law school. She is a determined optimist who loves adventures big and small, especially those taken with her husband and two sons. For more information about Lydia and her writing, please visit

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