Tag: Science Fiction

Book Review: Echo Volume 1: Approaching Shatter

Welcome to Echo Volume 1: Approaching Shatter by Author Kent Wayne!

Author Kent Wayne does a good job with this first book in his Echo series titled  Echo 1: Approaching Shatter. His writing style is lively and at times humorous. The characters are well developed, and it is truly a compelling story.

Shatter

His book is an interesting look at a futuristic version of humanity. Global warming has made Earth uninhabitable, and now humans live on similar planet called Echo. Governments and corporations have merged and created the Department of Enforcement to crush the Dissident rebels who are fighting to make their lives better. Much of Echo is in a rapidly deteriorating state, but the elite live up in the sky where they can ignore the chaos below … that is threatening to destroy Echo.

In Approaching Shatter, the main character, Atriya, is one of the Department of Enforcement’s highly-trained Enforcers. As a good soldier, he follows orders. However lately, he has been having second thoughts and strange ideas. He wonders about things that he shouldn’t and wants to do something, but is unsure of what path to take. This is the source of the story’s conflict and the narrative unfolds from there.

I do not usually read a lot of science fiction, but I do like military fiction, so I took a chance on it. This book was pretty darn good because it is not just about the action. It also explores the ideas of humanity, courage, strength, bureaucracy run amuck, war, and even religion.

I have one minor comment/complaint. I’ve always loved westerns, especially Louis L’Amour. But I could never get into Zane Gray. That was because Zane Gray included way to much detail. I have an imagination. Let me use it. Echo 1 is kind of that way. Maybe not as bad as Zane Gray!

But I must admit, whether or not there is too much detail, often depends on the reader. Many readers loved Zane Gray westerns. In my novel, Serpents Underfoot, a couple reviews complained I gave too much detail on things like military weapons or tactics. Then again, some readers eat that stuff up.  I guess the point is that a lot of this is subjective and depends on the readers personal preferences.

I haggled over 4 or 5 stars for this book for a few days, and settled in on 4.5 … which rounds off to 5 anyway. Military science fiction readers will love it!

Don’t forget to check out my novel as well!

Review: SoulGuard by Christopher Woods

SoulGuardI had the pleasure of meeting Christopher Woods at McKay’s Used Book Store in Knoxville, Tennessee a few months ago.

A science fiction / fantasy author, Christopher Woods was holding a book signing for the newest installment in his series of five SoulGuard books.  Since I was also an aspiring author, I stopped by his table to chat for a few minutes. Christopher Woods was very gracious and even shared a few pointers that he had picked up along the way to becoming a self-published author himself. I figured the least I could do then, was buy one of his books in appreciation for his being willing to share a few tips.  So, I bought a hardcover copy of the first book in his series, titled SoulGuard, which Mr. Woods kindly autographed.

Over the last few weeks, I finally got around to reading his book. I must admit, upfront, that I am not a big science fiction / fantasy reader.  I typically prefer genre’s such as historical fiction, or spy novels and political thrillers.  This is probably why it took me so long to read it. But, this book was a pretty darn good read!  I cannot say I have been “converted,” but I probably will read the rest of the series.

This first installment centered around the main character, Colin Rourke, who has been doggedly hunted his entire life by a race of creatures known as Demons.  Demons  travel through portals to our world to kill or capture and enslave our people. The Soulguard, a mysterious warrior group  with knowledge of how to harness and use the power of the Soul to combat these demons, wage a secret war against them to protect the people of our world.

Colin, who is special, has been kept hidden and raised in secret by two legendary Soulguards. He has now reached the age where he can take his place in their ranks and help protect the people of our world. Colin has abilities that have not been seen a very long time (at least a thousand years) and his very existence has the potential to start an all out war with the Demons who are desperate to destroy him.  This war could quickly evolve into a holocaust that threatens to destroy our entire world.  Only Colin and the Soulguard have any chance of stopping what is coming.  Will they succeed?  Or, will our world become enslaved by this race of Demons?

I did enjoy reading this first book in Christopher Woods’ series! It is a great story with darn good dialogue. The action is fast paced throughout the book and keeps things moving nicely. The interaction between characters is nicely done. The character development is pretty darn good. I especially enjoyed the interesting thread of humor throughout the dialogue, but then … I do have a strange sense of humor.

My only complaint is that, for me, there could be a bit more development around the SoulGuard and their training or development and use of their “Soul” power.  But, that may just be the martial artist in me … I like the long-suffering, dutiful warrior arts training scenes! I guess not everyone needs that. I just think that would be interesting for me and perhaps, add just a bit to the story line.

All in all, I think this is a great first book in the series and would definitely recommend it to anyone, and especially those who really enjoy this genre!  As I stated earlier, despite being a genre I do not typically read, I will probably read the rest of the series before I am done.  It is available from Amazon Books.