About the Book
Author: Daniel Shwabauer
Genre: Christian Fiction, Futuristic Action & Adventure
It’s the war story he’s dreamed of. But the battle may cost him his mind.
Military journalist Raymin Dahl thinks he’s finally getting the story of a lifetime. Secret peace talks on a remote tropical moon are about to surrender five colonized worlds—and six hundred million civilians—to a ruthless enemy.
But when his commanding officer, Captain Ansell Sterling, is fatally wounded before the negotiations can begin, Dahl can no longer just report on the mission. He’s ordered to complete it. With help from the AI embedded in Sterling’s comms bracelet, Dahl must impersonate his commander—a Marine Corps hero and psychological operations expert.
However, Sterling’s AI may be luring him to surrender more than he realizes. And the mission Corporal Dahl thinks he’s running isn’t the only operation underway.
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This futuristic novel is a psychological exploration of truth and the telling of lies to advance a cause. Much of the novel is about memories, whether real or manufactured. There is quite a bit of backstory interspersed with the present action but sometimes that backstory is itself a lie. It is an era when people wear a comms bracelet that can be invaded and reality, or the perception of it, manufactured. Like some of the characters, I was unsure of what was really happening or who was really telling the story.
One aspect of speculative fiction or science fiction is world building. There is next to no world building in this novel. I felt like the action was taking place on a bare stage. A case in point was a hike through the jungle for several hours. There was no description, not of a tree, a rock, anything. It seemed like the action was somewhere but was not grounded anywhere. We readers are initially thrust into a world and society and impending war without any framework. We learn much more about the history of the main characters than we do about the history of the situation they find themselves in.
This novel is for readers who like one with a plot centered on mind games. You'll experience contradictory memories of events. You'll wonder which of the characters are who they claim to be and whether some of them are actually real. And you'll have a twist at the end that may surprise you.
This novel is sometimes listed within the Christian fiction genre but there is nothing about Christianity in it. In fact, at one point the hero remembers going for a weekend with a woman he's not married to and speaks of “our hotel room.” (315/3755) The hero also frequents night clubs (374/3755) and likes to drink bourbon. (315/3755) Don't expect any spiritual insights from this novel. It is purely psychological and adventurous fiction.
My rating: 3/5 stars.
About the Author
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deb’s Book Review, April 11
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I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)