Book Review by Mel: Life Within Parole, by RoAnna Sylver

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life within parole roanna sylver

Life Within Parole, by RoAnna Sylver
Series: Chameleon Moon Short Stories, Book #1
Release Date: November 11, 2016

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Living in a city whose population has been quarantined and imprisoned over an eternally burning lake of fire isn’t what most people would call a ‘normal life.’ Then there are the superhuman abilities. Thousands of people with wings, scales, telepathy, sonic blasts – ‘normal’ seems long gone. But life goes on. Eventually, everyone discovers that life within Parole is just as real, meaningful, fun, frightening, mundane, and survivable, as any other. Sometimes it’s just a little more super-natural.

This collection of seven short stories from the universe of Chameleon Moon gives readers a look at everyday life in Parole, and the colorful, memorable, and thoroughly human characters who call it home.

1. The Library Ghost
2. Happy REGARDS
3. Runtime
4. Group Therapy
5. Phoenix Down
6. Un-Dead

7. Come Home Alone
8. “What You Remember,” theme to Chameleon Moon, Book 1
9. “Dream Sweet,” Memory Lullaby Waltz


Science Fiction
Dystopian Fiction
Diverse Character Cast
Trans Character
Asexual Character
Polyamorous Relationship

Review by Mel

chameleon moon roanna slyverYou might remember that I reviewed Chameleon Moon a few months ago and was utterly blown away by how amazing it was. The sequel, The Lifeline Signal, will be out on Dec 11 and you can now read some short stories to get back into the mood and revive the story for you.

Most of the stories in this collection take place before Chameleon Moon and show some great interactions between our beloved characters and give more insights into them and what is happening as well. Undead and Come Home Alone, however, are set between book 1 and 2 and I cannot fucking wait to read more. I am so excited and want to read it all right now.

There are several things that I find most appealing about these books and I can’t even decide what I love the most.

The world building and plot is dense but written with a swift and light hand, so it never feels overwhelming or burdening. There’s a lot of mystery around Parole, the dystopian place the story takes place in, and lots to discover and reveal.

There are also a bunch of super interesting characters who have distinct backgrounds, voices, and abilities. By now, I feel like I know them quite well, and this short story collection helped with this, too. And I don’t only know them, I care for them and want to see them happy and surviving and hopeful.

The character cast is also really diverse: There are one asexual and two transgender characters. There are female characters with agency, just like male ones. There are younger and older characters, disabled ones, and what I also really love are the polyamorous relationship(s). Regarding the diversity of the characters this story is a simple joy!

Through every character and every page you can see that the author is

[…] a firm believer that beauty, love and basic human goodness [can] be found even in the most terrible of circumstances.

And I don’t know about you, but I get a lot out of reading such stories, especially when they are written well and with love.

This book is a must read for fans of dystopian stories, and if you’re looking for portrayals of marginalised people doing cool stuff and getting hopeful and positive stories, then yes, you’ve come to the right place. Highly recommended!


roanna sylverRoAnna Sylver is passionate about stories that give hope, healing and even fun for LGBT, disabled and other marginalized people, and thinks we need a lot more. Aside from writing oddly optimistic dystopia books, RoAnna is a blogger, artist, singer and voice actor.

She lives with family and a small snorking dog, and probably spends too much time playing videogames.

Chameleon Moon is the first book in a series, and the latest in RoAnna’s extensive short-fiction publishing history. RoAnna has worked as a contributing fiction writer, concept artist and voice actor for videogame company Phoenix Online Studios, been a background actor on several episodes of NBC’s Portland-based TV series Grimm, and now writes for entertainment news website


You can purchase Life Within Parole from:

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