Harrison Hickman introduces us to a world that has survived calamity. The central point of his story is that the world has collapsed into chaos. A visionary leader, Lady Joanne, tried to ensure the triumph of good. Twenty-four brotherhoods were formed to keep the world safe from harm. At the start of the book, only one of these brotherhoods – the Epsilon Brotherhood – is left. Benedict Nettlefold is an Epsilon Commander who has fallen victim to the power politics of the Brotherhood, having made a dangerous enemy in an influential Epsilon figure, Dr. Philip MacIntyre. Then the Epsilon Brotherhood detect something strange in the atmosphere – black light – and the Epsilon King, Christopher, decides to send a team to investigate. Benedict Nettlefold is called back from obscurity to lead the team because he is a skilled soldier, and Dr. MacIntyre is appointed as the medical officer.
That is all the plot that you need to know. What follows is carnage in the best traditions of a Philip K. Dick or Isaac Asimov story. There is treachery, villainy, massacre, murder, sex, developing love affairs and all sorts in the 185 pages of the story. The question at the heart of the story is a simple one: who will win? Of course, the reader wants it to be Benedict Nettlefold, because he is the hero. It would be more honest to say, though, that he is the anti-hero. He is a sort of Jack Reacher figure, caught up in a war and having the super-weaponry that is available in a science fiction novel.
What you have to do is suspend your disbelief, do not worry about whether or not the science is accurate (I have no idea) and just enjoy the ride. I think you will do that. It is an adventure story. Think of a young Harrison Ford in the Benedict Nettlefold role. That should give you an idea about what you are going to get.
One thing, however, has to be said. The production values are not good. I doubt that anyone actually proof-read the book before publication. There are numerous spelling and other mistakes throughout the book. This is not the kind of slapdash, haphazard, sloppy work that I would expect to find. A new author, trying to establish a name, does not deserve this kind of treatment.
Despite that, the book is fun