Before a Million Universes

by T.W.R. Shelton on Apr 11, 2016 in Featured, Young Adult via Best Books
featured image icon

“Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.”

Walt Whitman

Winged creatures are falling from the sky. Untruths are surfacing. A city is dying. Seventeen-year-old Maxwell Odyssey never wanted to save the world. Now she has no choice.

About the author:

T.W.R. Shelton is currently a substitute teacher in Ferndale, WA. She is obsessed with the night sky, the ocean, and all other things great and wondrous. She lives in Washington with her quirky cat, Eleanor. This is her first book. For more information, visit

Available at:

One response to “Before a Million Universes”

  1. Before a Million Universes, the first book of the Odyssey Duology (book two coming soon), is centered around the seventeen-year-old protagonist, Maxwell Odyssey. This post-apocalyptic dystopian story takes place in Chicago, in the year 2165. There are many other characters, as well—both humans and fallen angels. When Maxwell learns of her being a nephilim (half angel, half human), she is also made aware that she and those like her are now the only source of hope for their world. It was plot twists like these that kept me on my toes up until the very end. This book was a page-turner, through and through.

    There were themes of religion vs. atheism, with actual biblical names of the angel characters. With that being said, this book proved well researched, in addition to being well expressed. The element of rebellion, with the characters standing up against oppression and unjust authority figures, was moving to me. The government in this world was ridiculously crooked. Not to get political, but I think that there were eerily foreshadowing parallels to what we are facing and will most probably face in the future (hopefully only metaphorically). Their employing population control through unjust laws and murder was gruesome. There were areas of this book that were grisly, but to make me feel was the result of excellent sensory details. One of the components of this book that proved most striking to me was the brilliant use of time. Going back and forth between the present and the past was a superb way of incorporating backstory in a manner that continued moving the plot forward.

    By the end of the book, I was feeling rather emotional. Shelton did a lovely job with characterization, which made the conclusion heart-wrenching and then relieving. I thought the ending was so satisfying, yet simultaneously left me so hungry for the sequel. Before a Million Universes holds a great balance of love, family, relationships, friendship, sacrifice, bravery, self-discovery, fantasy, religion, and justice. I am glad that she ended this first book as she did so that the possibility of a sequel can exist. It was I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of We Are Untranslatable! I truly enjoyed reading this book and am sure that all of you will, as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *