Heretics (Nel Bentley #4) by V.S. Holmes Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

In the ashes of utter devastation, adventurer Nel Bentley must decide where her true loyalties lie and find a way to prevent Earth’s total annihilation in author V.S. Holmes’s “Heretics”, the fourth novel in the Nel Bentley series.


The Synopsis

Without Earth, Nel has nowhere left to run

Hot-tempered Dr. Nel Bently is not cut out to save the world. After her last project ended in fire and death, Nel must put aside her distrust of just about everyone and embark on a lo-fi search for a deadly radio transmission.

Earth’s survivors are torn between the austere superpower of IDH and the high-tech grassroots Los Pobledores. At every turn more allies go missing and Nel questions where everyone’s true loyalties lie–and on which side Lin will fall when a line is finally drawn.

They need experts. They need firepower. But it looks like the only thing standing between Earth and devastation is Nel: archaeologist, asshole, and functioning alcoholic with anger issues.

The Review

A powerful new entry into this exhilarating and inviting sci-fi series! Author VS Holmes has crafted a marvelous and emotionally-driven new narrative that highlights the struggle to go back home again, and how our past determines who we will become in the future. The world-building and the way the author wove in similar conflicts and struggles our own world is facing today into the very sci-fi-centric narrative was amazing to see come to fruition, and allowed readers to feel more connected to the narrative. 

This book, much like the rest of the series, all blossomed from the incredible character development the author has created here. Nel is such a complex and engaging protagonist, as her often destructive personality clashes with others in her field and yet her sense of what’s right and wrong becomes a leading light in the darkness around her. The relationship between Nel and Lin felt not only passionate but real, as their personalities may clash often, but their love for one another is felt on a very deep level. The twists and turns the author took these two amazing characters throughout this novel will leave longtime fans reeling and on the edge of their seat for the next book in this series.

The Verdict

A memorable, heart-pounding, and engaging sci-fi read, author V.S. Holmes’s “Heretics” is a must-read sci-fi novel of 2021! The world-building and mythos that the author employs here, as well as the tension and mystery surrounding who Nel can and cannot trust, make for some truly entertaining reading. The cliffhanger ending leaves open a host of possibilities for the future of this series, and readers will be hard-pressed to find a more emotionally charged and action-packed sci-fi novel with an LGBTQ-forward roster of characters to get behind. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

V. S. Holmes is an international bestselling author. They created the REFORGED series and the NEL BENTLY BOOKS. Smoke and Rain, the first book in their fantasy quartet, won New Apple Literary’s Excellence in Independent Publishing Award in 2015. In addition, they have published short fiction in several anthologies.

When not writing, they work as a contract archaeologist throughout the northeastern U.S. They live in a Tiny House with their spouse, a fellow archaeologist, their not-so-tiny dog, and own too many books for such a small abode. As a disabled and queer human, they work as an advocate and educator for representation in SFF worlds.


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