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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Some of the latest March reviews for the IX

 
At this point - May I express my heartfelt thanks to those who have gone to the effort of leaving a review. Both I, and my publishers at Perseid Press, really appreciate your contribution to our cause.
Andrew P. Weston
 
This was an exceptionally bold effort that blends several things into a wild mix that left me tired but satisfied. First, there is the theme of warriors transported to battle a horde of monsters, and the battle scenes are wild and all that one could wish for. We've seen this before, even though they are taken through both space AND time. But Mr. Weston doesn't take just one group (and here the title is a sly poke at the reader's expectations for the Roman Ninth Legion is just one of the groups), he scoops up the combatants from EACH side of three different battles in very different eras. The six opposing forces must find a way to work together, and all become part of the white hats against the monstrous horde. Oh, and there are the survivors of previous intakes, this being the ninth, who direct the war from the last remaining fortress.

So, settling in to an already complicated version of an alternative history mil sci fi, the reader is slowly introduced to the OTHER side of the war, and it is even more complex! As the story unfolds, the logic behind the choice of warriors is explained, sort of, and they all have roles to play. There is a big reveal that works but leaves some confusing shards that I chose not to sift through afterwards due to sheer exhaustion.

This is a fine mash-up of combat, American Indian mysticism, and high concept science fiction. Mr. Weston threw it all into the pot and it mostly works very well. Four and one-half stars.
*******
British author Andrew P Weston served as a military and police veteran in the UK. His background includes degrees in criminal law and astronomy and he is a member of the British Science Fiction Association and British Fantasy Society, and assists NASA on one of their research projects. Obviously his imagination takes these basic ingredients and interests beyond where most of us can imagine and manages to write books that deal with fantasy, science fiction, time shifting and a hefty dose of thriller adventure. That is why THE IX works so well.

A hefty book of 565 pages is tough to condense in plot, but the following synopsis manages to pull us into the wild madness of this story and seduce us into staying with this story until the end.' What could unite a Roman Legion and the Caledonian army they are fighting? 
Or a US Cavalry Company with the Native American tribes arrayed against them?
 How about a highly trained and motivated Special Forces unit and the terrorists they have been sent to wipe out at all costs?
 Yes...
What could such a diverse and mutually aggressive group possibly have in common?
 Arden - and the Horde, that's what!
 Arden, home to a culture that has existed for thousands of years and which spans dozens of worlds. Regardless, their sophistication cannot prevent calamity at the hands of an unstoppable nemesis. Known only as the Horde, this enemy has proven relentless. They have not only stripped the outer colonies bare, but now threaten the existence of the entire Ardenese way of life. 
 Realizing there is nothing they can do to prevent the inevitable march toward extinction, the Ardenese governing body comes to a drastic decision. They gather together at their capital city, Rhomane, and place their remaining genetic heritage in a vast underground ark, in the care of an advanced AI construct called the Architect. Its mission? To use Rhomane's dwindling reserves and safeguard their race by reaching out across time and space toward those who might be in a position to help reseed a devastated world at some time in the future.
 That's how soldiers from varying eras and vastly different backgrounds find themselves together. Snatched away from Earth at the moment of their passing they are transported to the far side of the galaxy. Thinking they have been granted a reprieve, their relief turns to horror when they discover they face a simple but stark ultimatum: 
 Put aside your former animosities and preconceptions in order to survive. Yes...
Fight or die!
 How does this group of mismatched and antagonistic misfits fare? 
Do they survive?
 Find out for yourselves, in The IX.
... And remember...
Sometimes, death is only the beginning of the adventure!'

Andrew's writing style is a muscular as his physique and he knows how to keep the reader on the edge of the seat without feeling as though the mission will never end. This is a strange (in a good way) and complex a combination of history and imagination and science fiction magic as is available today. It is a strong book by a solid author.
*******
As a child and teen, one of my favorite things to read about were the Romans. I loved the history, the mythology, the tales and legends. It all fascinated me. Picking up The IX, I anticipated having a ride much like that. I was pleasantly surprised to experience not only nostalgia, but a beautiful blend of history and science-fiction like I've never read.

Initially, it was not the tale but the writing style that blew me away. I connected immediately with the author as I was pulled into the story. The characters brought a sense of urgency with them; everything seemed to threaten them and their safety. The suspense of the story was second-to-none and left me flipping through the pages with my own urgency. I just had to know what happened next. I loved the descriptions of settings, the flow of the tale, and the unique direction the author took with the work. The "fight or die" adage turned into "read or die" for me.

If you enjoy novels with your heroes and villains firmly set, with a bit of historical flair, loads of action, and just the right amount of sci-fi to keep things interesting, this is the book for you. Highly recommended!
*******
Amazing. This is one of those rare books that pull you in right from the start, place you squarely within the narrative, and won't let go. I was there, I was in the story....and what a Unique and entertaining story it is.

Other reviews have covered the basic storyline, no spoilers here. Suffice it to saty that the premise is unique, well thought out and implemented, and most of all engaging..
I add my wholehearted endorsement--get this book and "experience it".

Must read, if you are a fan of History meshed with Science Fiction this book is for you, if you just like Science Fiction or a damn good read, this book is for you.
.
I would be very surprised if this was not made into a movie
(or better yet, a well planned out mini-series).
*******
'The IX' by Andrew P. Weston is a superb sc-fi read that takes you on a a wild roller-coaster ride. It's packed with action, great descriptive and life-like characters. It's both an interesting story from a historical point of view and so realistic sometimes you wonder if the author knows more and an intriguingly well told tale. Highly recommended to lovers of epic sci-fi.
*******
What a talented writer - combining history and science fiction, adventure, and suspense into one entertaining read. Well done Mr Weston; I'll be looking out for more novels from you!
*******
 
My apologies, I can't put every review within my blog pages. But rest assured, I do see them all and endeavour to learn from what my readers have said. I'm here to create worlds for you to loose yourselves in, places where your imagination can run free. Your comments help me to improve, and do that better.
Thank you.

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