The Protectorate Wars: Born Hero

The Protectorate Wars: Born Hero. Assumed published, copyright and written by S. A. Shaffer, Esq.

This is the story that takes place in a mythical land “of vast wealth and power, towering mountains and lush plains ….a bastion of hope between sweltering deserts and the raging ocean.” Within this land are individual countries that have been peaceful for a number of years but now unrest again is arising both within the countries and among them producing further tensions. The protagonist, David Ike, is a very young man who is the son and grandson of heroic pilots who are legends as saviors of the country in which he lives. Presently, his circumstances are rather dire. His father was killed heroically saving the boy and his mother in a disastrous air crash and his illustrious grandfather passed away shortly thereafter. He lost an arm in the crash and the bionic replacement, although quite adequate, precludes continuing his air cadet training. Responsible for his mother’s care, an invalid unable even to speak, he is her caretaker and ekes out a meager living until by routine mandatory public testing, it is discovered that he is of superior intelligence and is hired by one of the major representatives in the country’s parliament. Unfortunately, David is a quite naive, sincere individual with a strong work ethic and a strong belief in principles. As a result, from this initiating step, he is poorly fitted to be involved in the political arena replete with maneuvering that involves deceit, distrust, betrayal, treachery and even murder. The story continues until somewhat unexpected activity produces a conclusion that leaves little closure and only begs for further action.

Discussion: A somewhat unusual book with an interesting plot, set in a mythical world of the future with many sci-fi features, some mystery and a hint of romance. The characters are well portrayed and the plot provides several surprises. As such the reader will enjoy, but must be aware of a rather slow beginning consisting of largely unbroken prose with few conversational or other breaks – a tendency that persists throughout much of the ensuing material.

4* 5*Interesting multi-generic plot; -1 with questionable feature for some.

Trinity’s Legacy

Trinity’s Legacy a Sci-Fi Alien thriller assumed published, copyright and written by P. A. Vasey.

The book opens with an explanation, Trinity’s Legacy: The Vu-Hak are “An ancient and malevolent alien race, once organic, now entities of pure thought, drifting between the stars, limitless and immortal. An alpha species. A species that colonizes on a galactic-scale.” (Destroying the original populations en route.) Supposedly their galaxy is far too removed from ours for their malevolence to be of concern. However this is not the case. Apparently the early atomic bomb experimentation during the Cold War Era had opened a ‘knothole’, or small slit through which aliens could enter our world, and our scientific attempts to contact other civilizations in some manner had aided the attraction, So, for whatever unfathomable reason, the breach had opened and reached far beyond our galaxy to one at the very edge of the universe. The tale itself, opens with Kate Morgan, single parent of charming 5-year-old Kelly whom she has been forced to bring with her upon occasion as she functions in her position as ER physician in a Chicago hospital. She left the child, entranced with a program on her little personal computer, with an understanding Chief Resident in the waiting area as she is called to treat a ‘gang’ member with a bleeding abdominal wound. Other apparent members were with him and when a rival gang member appeared with gun in hand at the same time Kelly rushed in to see her mother, shooting began and little Kelly tragically was killed. Kate, obviously devastated, begins a downhill slide but eventually recovers sufficiently to move to a small hospital in Indian Springs, Nevada, where she again begins to function in a more normal fashion. Still desperately grieving, she had chosen this sparsely populated area as a place where she had once known some degree of happiness when her father had been stationed in the area during her childhood. Unfortunately, one morning a man is brought into the ER who was struck and thrown completely over a truck going 50 mph. Amazingly, there were none of the extensive injuries evident that usually would be encountered in such an accident, and the patient, although seemingly alive, produced none of the vital signs and Cat Scan results were unbelievable. Gradually he awakens, at first communicates with Kate through mental telepathy then changing to normal means of communication. Gradually, he explains his relationship to the aliens, and his need for her aid to save earth’s population and the tale begins to unfold and progress to a strange ending. An epilogue opens the way to the subsequent volumes that supposedly will provide possibilities of saving earth’s population from annihilation, although as here presented, makes one wonder as to what that survival might be like.

Discussion: This is the first in a trilogy to be followed by Trinity’s Fall to be released in 2019 and Trinity: Extinction with an expected 2030 publication date. This initial offering opens and continues for a considerable time in a ‘different’ and intriguing manner. However and regrettably from this reviewer’s perspective, the action climbs to a chaotic level that moves the story and a subsequent Adam/Karen relationship into a questionable area if the thought is for them to remain in this world as it exists. However, the story as presented along with the material set forth in the epilogue conjure up thoughtfully speculative ruminations. As presented in this first volume, both characters have been empathically provided in a ‘normal’ earth environment. But then as stated, the Epilogue leaves the reader in a thoughtfully speculative status.

Summary: An intriguing alien/sci-fi tale that provides several messages in a vehicle basically interestingly written, but with a few hiccups. Thus, readers’ scoring can range quite widely depending upon his/her mind-set and subsequent evaluation. Sci-fi/alien aficionados will discover a unique and intriguing possibility.

4* with wide variation dependent upon readers’ mind set and evaluation.

Find the Needle

Find the Needle, Part 1: Diary of a Digital Outlaw. Copyright by 514 Entertainment, Inc. written by Frank Perrotto.

The protagonist is an AI video game character functioning in California as an Estonian immigrant member of an Eastern Mob, the leader of which is his former immigrant buddie. The story evolves with Dmitry suffering from increasing frustrations heaped upon underlying but vaguely unformed thoughts on morality, a vaguely remembered life-threatening childhood event, his mother’s development of cancer that requires extensive and expensive therapy, and an ununderstood dissatisfaction with his life in general. The fast paced tale moves rapidly toward a finale that prepares the reader for Part II.

Discussion: The author has set forth a well-written description of an AI character set in California as a human with acquired street-wise intelligence and little education who is attempting to exist within a life situation that he finds to be totally confusing. For this reader it is difficult to discern whether the supportive characters of his sister, as well as his mother, girlfriend and his boss and associates, each with his/her own unpleasant and interrelated life situations are of similar origin.  In the author’s preface he explains that this most unusual story is in itself of an experimental nature and is the first in a projected series of three following the life of Dmitry, who is the subject of an A.I. video game living in a digital environment. As a reader totally unfamiliar with video games but aware of AI, its present limitations and attempts at further development, I am sure I have missed some significant aspects of this novel. However, as a fast-paced thriller centered in a seamier part of society, the story explores interesting aspects of individuals with the described deficiencies who might be caught in similar circumstances. As such, at least to this reader, the tale explores the thought processes of humans of lesser intelligence with minimal education and the vagaries of thought and frustrations they constantly must endure. Thus from this perspective, the author’s experiment appears to be highly successful. A caveat is required in that more sensitive readers should be aware that the language employed often is explicitly raw but typical for the level of individuals described.

5* Interesting thriller as the author’s ‘experiment’ appears successful.

APEX

APEX, A Max Algren novel ISBN: 9781543966428 Design and Production by Book Baby. Copyright and written by Ryan W. Aslesen.

Max Alegren, a former Special Forces, CIA, and now private operative is still attempting to avenge the death of his family but requires another name for his ‘hit list’. Congressman, former General Marklin, for whom he works sporadically, has such a name but will not provide it until Max has accomplished a seek and extract operation for a senator’s son who has disappeared. He encounters a rather weird young woman reporter who is interested in the situation and manages to be helpful enough to join him. Together they deduce where the young budding geneticist is probably being held. It is an island in the infamous “Devil’s Island” group owned by the French Government. Indications are that it also is under control of a dangerous geneticist who has escaped other missions to apprehend him. The French closely guard all evidence of the island’s existence which is rumored to house dinosaur-like creatures and even more vague tales of a hunting area where humans can be hunted for a million/day. Max assembles his team from former acquaintances and the story proceeds at break-neck speed, with only an occasional ‘break’ to provide pertinent material.

Discussion: The author is a former Marine officer and now security consultant as well as “a bestselling writer of military science fiction that is both authentic and replete with intense action and suspense”. This volume is another in the same pattern. The only regrettably negative aspect, and possibly from this reader’s overly developed pragmatic perspective, is a degree of discomfort mostly with parts of the action and the realities of weaponry, its supply, usage and results which in this volume seem to have moved, unfortunately, into the realm of difficulty with respect to credibility. But to reiterate, this could be as a result of many years spent in very practical activity.

3* Most enjoyable but providing an unfortunate personal impression as explained.

Hunt for Harald’s Gold

Hunt for Harald’s Gold ISBN: 9780996657396, assumed published, copyright and written by Jack Dancer.

This book is sub-titled A Scottish DNA Love Story and appears in part to have some semblance to these elements. Ostensibly a group of twosomes has been gathered together who have been discovered to be DNA-matched lovers to journey to Scotland to search for a huge gold nugget that has been lost for centuries. The group’s leader is a physician specializing in DNA research who had spent time in Africa where she encountered strange characters who pop up later in the story while the couples are searching for the huge nugget. Simultaneously it seems that a large group of African school girls had been captured by Boko Haram, transferred to an evil woman doctor who dismembers them to sell body parts as requested, on the black-market. Her headquarters and laboratories are on the Isle of Skye. One of the recruited members of the DNA couples is Tucker, who is the designated partner of Billie, the DNA specialist leading the couples on the nugget search. The reader discovers that he has had a former encounter with the evil doctor that has left scars, in spite of being partially successful. The other group members are of varied backgrounds and many not what they supposedly represent. The body part suppliers and the gold hunters cross paths by design as we discover and the tale proceeds to no ending but rather this volume serves as a first installment for the next.

Discussion: On the good side, readers may find much of the book to be an amusing read with a mass of action contributing in a highly confusing manner. A caveat must be include however in that there is abundant, often irrelevant sexual activity and most graphic depiction of un-anesthetized anatomical destruction. Furthermore and regrettably, from this reviewer’s perspective, the author has written a totally confusing volume with a bizarre admixture of Scottish legend, the fairy world, romance, a bit of science, activity by an unusual transgender hero and many improbabilities typically found in the fantasy genre. It also apparently is the first in a series.

Summary: A multi-genre book for readers who enjoy zany tales and don’t mind reading serials.

3* 4* Multi-genre zany tale for devotees; others 3 – 2*.

The Seventh Guard: Destiny Expires

The Seventh Guard – Destiny Expires. This version of Paperback ISBN: 9781732450400 Copyright and written by Francis A. Halpin presents a fantasy sci/fi alien suspense tale in an e-book version.

The story centers around, Robert Lowden, who has only acquired his GED but appears to be extremely bright especially with computers. The only job he seems able to get is as a computer repairman at a local store selling electronics. He is able to retain the position as long as he does NOT converse with any of the store’s shoppers. He is rude to them completely lacking in social sense, never seems to be fully engaged but instead appears to live on the edge of reality. He has one friend, David, a well-educated individual on his way up the usual ladder to success and Jennifer, his similarly situated girlfriend, both of whom ‘see something of almost compelling interest’ in him. Robert becomes involved in numerous unusual and humorous as well as dangerous situations not the least of which is deciding a flashing light bulb in the store’s rest room is providing an alien code. He involves David with disastrous, but simultaneously rather amusing, results and the story gathers steam to advance to a most unusual, but logical conclusion.

Discussion: Entry into the story begins with a quote from Albert Einstein along with another by Stephen Hawking. Einstein: “Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect, as well as the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.” Hawking: “I have noticed that even those who assert that everything is predestined and that we can change nothing about it still look both ways before they cross the street.” Combined they very nicely set the tone of the book. It is thought producing, yet humorous in many contrasting ways. It is a suspenseful alien thriller/mystery, yet provides slow moving areas that editing could correct. In all, the author has provided a fascinating tale of secret codes existing in commonly occurring phenomena surrounding us that should provide thoughtful moments for the alien theory devotee. Definitely a 4*- 5* for such readers and probably for computer addicts. Regrettably somewhat less for others.

4-5* for alien theory devotees, computer addicts; somewhat less for others.