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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The IX - June Reviews

Just look at what's happening in the world of The IX.
It's only the beginning of June, and the reviews are still rolling in.
I loved it and am waiting on the movie.
Ever wondered what happened to those lost Roman Legionnaires? What about the US cavalry, engaged in a secret mission for President Lincoln? And whatever happened to the Special Forces Unit from a future time who disappeared during their mission to stop a nuclear disaster?

The IX has the answers and they are out of this world. Literally.

I gotta say, this fascinated me. What a great way to explain the disappearance of thousands. And what a world the author built.

At the point of death, these people were whisked away to a distant galaxy by an alien race. The inhabitants of that planet are being killed off and face extinction. They need warriors, now. Told they fight or die, these people must work together, live by the code, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” if they are going to survive.

There’s no going back. There’s only the the Horde, an enemy that doesn’t hesitate to die by the thousands. They must be stopped or all perish. And what’s to stop them from finding Earth and doing to us what they are doing to these beings? And then to another planet, and another.

What a movie this would be! I’d kill, just kidding, to have a part in it. Even as an ugly Kresh!

My description is simplified. There’s so much happening. This book comes in at a whopping 565 pages. But don’t let that deter you. By the time you reach the end, you’ll be wishing it was longer.

Though I stumbled over some of the alien names and terms, laughed at my own attempts to pronounce them, I quickly came to recognize them, along with the numerous human characters. There are a lot, yet it doesn’t take long to recognize the individual voices.

The plot for The IX is mind blowing. The author gives you many sub plots, plenty of history, and an amazing world to explore. He was able to make this all flow easily. You’ll fly through this in to time.

The writing is superb. Ever read a book and see the entire story play out like on the big screen. Except for not being too sure what those nasty Kresh looked like, I could see this in vivid color and detail. Imagination is a wonderful thing, as is this authors talent.
You don't want to miss this awesome sci-fi read
When I first picked up this book, I couldn't put it down. The longer I read it the more involved it became. There were so many characters. I loved the plot twists and the fast pace of the story. I was totally fascinated by the characters from different times managing to become a cohesive force against the enemy. It's hard to say much without spoiling it for anyone but if you love sci-fi this is a read you don't want to miss.
Not just science fiction
As one the previous reviewers put it "Will there be a better book written in 2015". In my opinion, even within the science fiction/fantasy genre, I very much doubt it. However there is another level, when looked at without the genre spectacles on, it also serves as an allegory of modern times where the co-operation of very diverse groups can offer hope in combating and stopping a seemingly implacable, unstoppable horde.

Even when reading it s a pure science fiction novel it exceeds the norm. For one thing, Andrew knows his science. It is solid science from the here and now, combined with the latest thinking in the fields of quantum mechanics, theoretical physics, etc., put together in such a way that it becomes merely part of the narrative, not the reason for it. Neither do the separate historical perspectives disappoint. Whatever did happen to the Ninth Legion in Caledonia? Andrew's view is actually just as valid in the context of the novel as many others.

The way the plot is woven together is masterful. Everyone of the groups skill sets and experience is used well. No one group has an overriding command. For example, the SBS may be the masters with explosives and tactical surveillance, but without the siege warfare knowledge of the Romans or ability to scout whilst living off the land, as do the Caledonions, they would not be effective enough to affect the final outcome.

Characterisation is likewise very well done. Some of the people involved, lend themselves to be likeable and respected, whilst others, even some of the good guys, don't. However, the author helps you understand, through their historical and societal pressures, why they are the way they are. This can lead you to empathise with them, which in itself is unusual in the genre.

All in all an excellent read which I cannot recommend thoroughly enough. I cannot wait for the next novel from this author, hint, hint.
 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?
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.
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!


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