Let me start by saying the writing is good! This is something I scrutinize since I do a bit of critiquing and self-editing. At least three times I had been so swept away with the prose that I had to set my Kindle Paper-white down and make the statement. Not that people in a car dealership waiting room cared! My wife seemed mildly interested, but only reads the fiction I write. That smarty pants…
There is a fair amount of political maneuvering and mental chess going on with a couple key characters, namely Jariq and Duran. Orson Scott-Card and Frank Hebert employ the same method, but I have grown impatient with both sci fi legends because I’m an action guy and though their books are well written, they are written about people who just sit around and plot ten steps ahead because they are strategic masterminds. Swift-Hook avoided Alvin Maker’s fate on my digital book shelf. There was a good mix of action and much of the deep scheming came from people with the life experiences that would enable them to benefit. This was not a book about smart people spacing out with their twenty steps to victory planning. This was action packed political intrigue. I used to think I was averse to the POV of scheming so and so, but Swift-Hook has renewed my faith in the architype. I love the Ender’s Game and Dune books, by the way, but tolerated the scheming in the doing, then enough was enough.
Don’t try to figure out the story line and set up before chapter 14. Just enjoy the ride through an exotic and dangerous desert backwater world of a space empire. I wasn’t even sure who the book was really about until the mid-point, but every person we meet gives us a unique glimpse that no other could, and I wouldn’t recommend editing any of them out.
I received a free copy in exchange for a review. Any review. That fact that it’s a good one is because the book is good. Which has nothing to do with how awesome I am. You’ll have to find that out for yourself @S_Shane_Thomas on Twitter.
Do buy this book, but know that the story spans all three parts of the trilogy and part 1 ends without the mandatory- hero gives it a fourth desperate/ unexpected/ ballsy/ beyond imagination try, manages to vanquish ultimate evil, then we spend 5-15 pages seeing that all’s well that ends well. It cliff hangs, leaving me in a lurch and desperate for volume two and the precious time to read it! That said, just buy them all. Go on, I’m done ranting.