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Citadel by C. M. Alongi


Citadel, the only city on the planet Edalide, has a holy mission: exterminate the demons from the Flooded Forest. The unholy, vicious animals were a mistake made by their god that must be corrected.

Or at least, that’s what everyone’s been told.

When Olivia, a nonverbal autistic nineteen-year-old, has a chance run-in with a “demon,” she realizes that these beings are not vicious, animals, or unholy, but sentient people. Forever scarred by her mother’s legally sanctioned murder, and determined to prevent either side from losing more loved ones, Olivia embarks on a hazardous journey into the Flooded Forest where she faces flesh-eating predators, telekinetic zealot-warriors, and the demons of her own past.

Olivia’s quest for answers forces her to decide to either seek justice for both sides, or continue the cycle of war, revenge, and death.


It’s been a while since I’ve read a science fiction/fantasy and I’m glad I picked this one up.  Ms. Alongi has created a captivating sci-fi/dystopia with compelling characters and a gripping storyline about a brave young mute autistic woman named Olivia who is fighting for truth and justice in a city of repression and unnecessary executions.

Citadel is a patriarchal, righteous city run by a selfish, entitled governor determined to kill the deadly winged demons who live around the periphery of the city. However, on a research run to find a miracle plant in the Flooded Forest, Olivia has a chance encounter with a demon that proves to be a sentient being. More determined than ever to find out why her mate and soldier were killed earlier that year, she goes off to the forest to connect with the demons and find out the truth. What Olivia finds is a species fighting for their lives like her and willing to find peace and harmony to survive.

Olivia steals the show in this story as she overcomes bullying and losing her mother to become the one person capable to save her family and friends from dying at the hands of a maniacal man hiding the secret of their existence.

Olivia’s good friend Riley is her number one supporter and the disowned son of the governor of Citadel. Ormus is Olivia’s father and the Captain of Citadel’s forces. He struggles with loving his daughter and adhering to his duties as a soldier to keep everyone safe in Citadel is important. 

I love the characters, the setting, and the plot of this engrossing and incredible story that I couldn’t put down. Read it; you won’t be disappointed.

Thank you to Ms. Alongi for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.



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Author, YouTuber, and overall feminist know-it-all, Christina Marie Alongi earned a bachelor’s in history and social justice from Hamline University in 2017. Immediately after graduating, she worked as a community support staff (sort of a personal care assistant plus job coach) for people with disabilities for over two years, including adults with autism, which helped inspire the main character for her debut sci-fi novel Citadel.

In addition to writing, Alongi runs a YouTube channel (previously called Dragons, Zombies & Aliens, now just called C. M. Alongi) where she discusses writing advice, tropes, and SFF through a feminist lens.

When she’s not writing, reading, or YouTubing, Alongi enjoys bouldering, knitting, and defending her furniture from her roommate’s evil cat.

Follow C. M. on her website, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.


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