Blog Tour: The Phobos Series

Hi friends! Welcome to the first blog tour stop for the Phobos series by Victor Dixen! I’m so excited to share with you my thoughts on the first book and an article written by Victor himself about his writing journey! Don’t forget to check below for the other tour stops!

First off, I’d like to thank Pansing for sending me both copies of Ascension and Distortion and if you would like a copy, they’re available at all good bookstores!😍

*picture of Ascension and Distortion, taken by me for my bookstagram, @joyfulreader



Author: Victor Dixen

Pages: 496

Blurb from Goodreads: Six girls, six boys. Each in the two separate bays of a single spaceship. They have six minutes each week to seduce and to make their choices, under the unblinking eye of the onboard cameras. They are the contenders in the Genesis programme, the world’s craziest speed-dating show ever, aimed at creating the first human colony on Mars.

Leonor, an 18-year-old orphan, is one of the chosen ones.
She has signed up for glory.
She has signed up for love.
She has signed up for a one-way ticket.
Even if the dream turns into a nightmare, it is too late for regrets.

My thoughts on this book:

So basically this book revolves around 12 people, six females and six males, sent up to Mars to colonize and pave the way for future generations while being broadcasted live on TV 24/7. Before they reach Mars, they have to pair up with the opposite gender through a speed dating show in which they get to meet each other only six minutes each day. Along the way, they face some drama and lots of shocking discoveries😱

The writing throughout the books was very simplistic and easy to understand. The original language was in Dutch but I was so surprised to see how well translated it was! Although I wished that the writing was more complex, the overall story and the theme was very unique and unlike anything I’ve ever read. The plot of the story is really cool and I just couldn’t put the book down once I started reading.

The storyline was super interesting, lots of plot twists, and I like how there was like a space speed-dating show incorporated in that ran for 24 hours a day😂😍 kinda like the Truman Show 😂

The characters of the book are really unique and you can really see each and every one of their personalities shines through the pages. I really like Leonor’s character, her struggle with her scar and self-doubt brought realistic situations into the storyline.

I wished that we got to maybe read from the other 11 characters’ POVs besides Leonor’s,  to learn more about the story from their perspective but it was overall an amazing book filled with so many amazing and beautiful moments.

My rating for this book is 4/5 stars

Would I recommend this book?

Absolutely!!😍 Especially if you’re really into sci-fi and adventure with hints of romance!😍 basically space-themed Tinder 😂😂



What brought me to writing

Each writer’s path is unique.

I always had a huge appetite for stories. Even before I could read, I kept asking adults to tell me stories over and over again, and I was especially fond of fairy tales. Later, I spent most of my childhood years buried in books. Around age 10, I began to write short stories of my own. But the real “start” came a bit later and is linked to a condition that I once considered bothersome.

You see, I’m a very light sleeper and when I was younger I was subjected to sleepwalking and waking up very early at night. I spent several nights in “sleep laboratories”, special units in hospitals specialized in sleep disturbances. With time and therapy, sleepwalking eventually disappeared, but not insomnia. Then, in my twenties, I decided to stop fighting against it, and rather use it as a gift: extra time to write.

This change of perspective actually changed everything, and prompted me to write my first novel, The Strange Case of Jack Spark: the story of a teenage boy subjected to mysterious, unexplained insomnia…

Image result for The Strange Case of Jack Spark:

Cover for the first edition of The Strange Case of Jack Spark

My writing routine

I do most of my writing at night, when I wake up long before dawn, at my large desk in front of a window through which I can see the sky and stars (and also, these days, the New York skyline).

Not only does the night give me the time I need to write, but it also offers me inspiration. Nighttime is dream time for the ones who fall asleep. Nighttime is imagination time for the ones who stay awake – whether they read in their bed, or write at their desk. I believe that night shadows are not empty: they are full of things strange and beautiful, that books can reveal.


Where I write

Most of the time, I write at my desk – it has traveled with me in the different places where I have lived: Denver (Colorado), Dublin, Paris, Singapore and now New York.

As I still travel quite a lot, specifically for book festivals, I often write when I’m on planes, trains or boats.

I think that the most unexpected place where I spent some time writing is a remote wooden cabin in Patagonia surrounded by immense lakes, but a close second is another equally remote wooden cabin in Tasmania, surrounded by kangaroos!

There was also one time when I needed to be away from everything to finish a manuscript. I rented a lighthouse on the Western Irish coast, no too far from Galway.

This was a retreat in the most isolated conditions, in the heart of winter, surrounded by a mist so thick I could not see through more than 3 meters in front of me. All and all, a wonderful, magical experience, that helped me finish my novel!

Writing tip #1: fairy tales for inspiration

As I told you, when I was a child I was very fond of fairy tales – and I still am!

I think that fairy tales are the matrix of all stories. They resonate in each of us individually, and more generally in our common human psyche. They often seem very simple on the surface, but in reality, they hide huge depths of wisdom, meaning, and emotion. I can always re-read them and find new treasures – and also new inspiration.

Among my favorites are Charles Perrault’s and Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales.

Writing tip #2: creating lifelike characters

There are some literary forms like poetry or some kind of short stories where characters are not necessarily the most important ingredient. But when it comes to a novel, I am convinced that characters are at the very core. This is true whatever the genre: thriller, science-fiction, fantasy or a literary novel. Characters are the medium through which readers will get interested in the story… or not.

In my opinion, the most important aspect here is psychological consistency. As in life, there is no consequence without a cause; the way a character thinks and acts must reflect his or her intimate psychological logic, the prism through which he or she sees the world. This is the most important rule to follow, that will result in a character who feels real.

In a way, I think that “lifelike” characters are never boring because we can relate to them, observe the world through their eyes and share their desires and aspirations. As a writer, I know it works when my characters start making their own decisions, different from the plot I had in mind while drafting my story. Decisions that I had not planned before, taking me to unexpected paths. This sensation of discovery is really exhilarating!

Victor Dixen –


Other tour stops (make sure to pop by and check them out!): 

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this blog post and I hope you’ll give this book a go!

Until the next blog post,

-The Joyful Reader

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: