Monday, December 3, 2012

Gabriel's Redemption

Remember the 12 Days of Christmas Blog hop!  See below this review.

I always enjoy a good SciFi, even if it is simply a shoot 'em up and a more shot 'em up.  Of course, it is always better if there is a story behind all that action and especially if there is background story to help the shooting make sense.  Not in the bad guy bad / good guy good sense but in the how did they get here type of sense.  Just like a good action movie is made so much better when there is more than action for the sake of action, so is a book. Steve Umstead, author of Garbriel's Redemption, does a good job of giving enough background information to create something more than just a knock down drag out action thriller.

Gabriel's Redemption
 by Steve Umstead
 Length: 277 pages
 ISBN: 1460901320
Publisher: ReactionMass Media; 1 edition
ASIN  B004LZ5686

From Smashwords:
   North American Federation Navy Commander Evan Gabriel was dishonorably discharged after losing his covert team on a far off world called Eden. Now, he’s being offered an opportunity to command a new team, on a new world, with a new mission, but the true motives behind the mission are unclear. Book One of the Evan Gabriel Trilogy.

About the Book:
   Gabriel has been removed from National Service for an incident on a world called Eden. Nightmares of that long ago, far away fire fight where he lost his covert team haunt him waking and sleeping but it isn't the only thing haunting Gabriel.  The relationship he has with his brother seems strained and he dreams of his childhood rivalry. And though Gabriel thinks he's safe from all but his dreams, the military come knocking once more, demanding his service.  It isn't long before we readers are clued into why he was recruited for this mission. This is important because a dishonorably discharged soldier would never be brought back into service, would they? Maybe if someone needed a fall guy for a mission that might or might not be on the books, such a dishonorable veteran would be the perfect choice.
   Someone is spreading a seriously evil drug throughout known space but how they are getting the drug is even more evil.  The drug comes from the brain of a simple animal native to and living on another planet. Gabriel is shown detailed information about the deaths including the fact the animals are butchered for the substance while still alive. His mission is to stop this slaughter. After the briefing he is more than anxious to go but slightly concerned as to why they need him.
And who can Gabriel trust?  Is one of his team against him? Gabriel is rightly wary of Vice Admiral MacFarland but what about MacFarland's aide, Lieutenant Gesselli?

My take:
    I am less of an action oriented reader than many so I found the action in this book about right. Those who go in for more nonstop action may be slightly disappointed but if you give up on this book because of that, you will miss so much more. The truth about the failed mission on Eden comes in bits and pieces, similar to the way you learn about a new friend's backstory. I especially liked the dream at the beginning of the book, which is a dip back into Gabriel's early teen years, because it tells us a bit about the main character and his brother. 
   The writing is clear and clean, which is always a big plus.  The story was quite solid, though a bit predictable at times. The intrigue kept me hanging in there because I knew, just knew there was more going on. 
     Of particular interest to science fiction readers and James Bond type readers is the fascinating gadgets and technology scattered throughout the story. The neuretics are quite interesting, not only the idea, but also their use. The only thing that bothered me enough to mention was the difference between what happened when the bad guys with armor got shot and when the good guys with armor got shot. I fear I missed something important but couldn't find it.

My recommendation.  While the book tends to be a little predictable, I found the intrigue interesting and the plot calling me by name. So I would recommend this to anyone who wants a quick science fiction read with a good look at where are current technology might take us. 

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