I love my new poster, so why not use it as a portal to some of the ideas that inspired me while writing Shimmer In The Dark: Rogue Genesis? From sticky clusters to the effect on the brain of an energy vortex, to fantastical travel through space-time. Just click on poster.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book gets five stars for sheer stamina as the author carefully introduces his numerous characters, and the building blocks necessary for the involved story to follow. There are so many characters (given varying degrees of weight throughout) that it’s hard to name the protagonist.
I’d say the story belongs to both Adam and Barry, two deeply flawed characters. Adam gets fleeced in a business deal and then proceeds to wreck his life trying to recover the money he has lost, while Barry wants to make money, stay out of jail, make people pay for doing to him what he does to others, while all the time evading a nasty death at the hands of those he has hurt/conned/attacked along the way. Nice guy, not.
Electra is Barry’s sister. I don’t care about her hard childhood. She is nuts, evil to the core. Even her love for her brother (a love mutually shared) is twisted. Barry is more complex. Every now and again, I experienced a fleeting empathy for his predicament, but by the end of the book, his catastrophic, self-serving ruthlessness eradicated every shred of pity I should never have felt for him.
On the side of law enforcement, we glimpse the start of Ben’s career in the CIA and Cat’s in the FBI. As they climb the ranks, their professional goals bring them into contact with Barry, and each other. I would have liked more of these two. The author pens a realistic portrayal of the intelligence world and the complex operations they manage on a daily basis with a Jack Bauer-style injection of good old-fashioned heroism.
Meanwhile, Adam (our protagonist) is determined to get his money back and his actions set in motion the disasters to follow as the ripple of vengeance spreads and implodes.
Overall, The Tilted Truth weaves a complex tangle of truth, lies and half-truths moving steadily towards an ultimately nail-biting climax in a clean and direct writing style. A sustained tale of one man’s fight for personal justice against a background of revenge, drugs, terrorism, sex, hi-tech espionage, politics and family, this story provides an insight of what can happen to those who get crushed between the messy worlds of crime and law enforcement.
I vetted this book before offering it to my teenage daughter to read. It’s definitely for the older teenager, but The Shepherd has a young voice and portrays a real understanding of life for a teen in the modern world. It’s also a gripping paranormal story in a popular genre for Young Adults.
But beware, the author doesn’t hold back, this book walks a fine line of young love, and there is plenty of graphic horror, but (in my opinion) no worse than can be found in many a 15+ film.
The gem in this story is Mike. This young man makes compelling reading. He has a strong moral compass and yet he gets so many things wrong! Like girls; relationships with his friends; and understanding Nadia, the strange girl/waif that has wandered into his life. Watching him weave a chaotic path through the disasters befalling him, [SPOILER: as he tries to cope with the responsibility of knowing people’s fate, powerless to stop the domino effect his decisions have created], is totally absorbing.
I found my daughter reading The Shepherd late into the night. She wants to know when Mr T.W. Luedke’s next book will be out. She tells me it wasn’t so much the genre or the story that held her attention, it was the way the story was written. She just had to know what came next.
So I believe teenagers will love it. But do yourself a favour and read The Shepherd first! It’s too good to miss.
(Advance Review Copy for Honest Review)
The dynamics between Sophie (eminent scientist) and the pilot assigned to transport her to a biosphere facility hooked me into this story. Sadly, the pilot moved on and new characters moved in, and I was unimpressed by Sophie’s “boss” as his introduction of the Biosphere facility left much to be desired, but there were reasons for this that were divulged later.
What kept me hooked (and compels me to give five stars) is that ORBS proved scary. This story plays on the fragility of Earth’s ecosystem and mankind’s resilience to alien invasion. The alien monsters are described with bloodcurdling realism.
There was interesting character development, even for the AI on the biosphere team. I went from liking Sophie to being unsure about her before warming to her again. I enjoyed the military characters. Overton’s perception of kids as ankle biters fitted him well. Timothy? I wanted to understand him, but the value he should have offered the team eluded me. Each character responded differently to the stresses they were under and by the end a new team dynamic was emerging.
The inclusion of material from Solar Storms (the prequel) could have been a little smoother, but overall the story developed at a fast pace to reach a satisfying end with plenty of nail-biting moments that left me ready to devour the next story. This promises to develop into an exciting series.