The second book that I’m reviewing is Neosol: Maelstrom, the first of science fiction series ‘The Neosol Saga’ by Andrew Wales. Andrew and I were both students at Pacific Lutheran University, and he was a great help to me with understanding Amazon’s self-publishing process. We published our respective books within a week or so of each other, and I’m proud to give his work a review now.
Neosol: Maelstrom follows the life of a college student and mall cop named Jon Enger, who becomes an unwilling warrior in an extraterrestrial war against a race of evil lizard-people called The Brotherhood. The book draws extensively on the modern-day mythos of Ufology, with references to flying saucers, Grey and Nordic aliens, the “Roswell event”, international conspiracies and government cover-ups, and of course villainous shapeshifting Lizard People bent on galactic domination. The book’s main setting is Seattle, WA, a city both Andrew and I are quite familiar with. The fine details of the known real-world setting and the investigable alien background lends a degree of credibility which benefits the story greatly.
Jon Enger, our protagonist, has a storyline which has parallels to any number of superhero stories. Through events beyond his control (in this case, alien abduction), he develops abilities which turn him into an engine of total destruction, a Neosol soldier. The chaos and violence which stem from his abilities becomes a force he must learn to control, and the sudden pressure of being drafted to battle aliens becomes cause for a difficult double-life. Part of Jon’s crisis is keeping his life as a Neosol separate from his ordinary human life, and the narrative’s develop shows this to be impossible. Beyond the madness and mayhem of the alien warrior story is the story of a young man struggling to hold his life together. This struggle is conveyed in very human and very believable terms. Jon Enger is an action hero, but he is also a struggling college student. The balance between the two is struck very well.
I was particularly impressed with the book’s fight scenes. Each one is carefully plotted and choreographed. As far as I could tell, no details were overlooked. The violence was, however, quite over-the-top at times. When he gets going, Jon Enger fights like The Terminator or like a character from a video game. The fights are described with every burn, slash, and bullet wound included. Certain readers might be turned off by that, but for others it might be exactly what is desired in an action thriller.
Now, I know that Andrew has released two editions of this book, and the one I read was the first edition. The first edition had quite a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes (though they were mostly concentrated at the beginning and became fewer as the story progressed) and the sentences would have benefitted from being more concise. I know that he corrected many of the mistakes in the second edition, which I have not read and which I am giving him the benefit of the doubt on.
Fans of sci-fi action and conspiracy buffs will take a great deal of pleasure from this book. I enjoyed it, and I can imagine somebody from a more specific target audience enjoying it even more.
Now, the plug. If you liked this book review, you can see my others here: