Bioweapon: New Beginnings

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Bioweapon: New Beginnings

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781477159804
  • Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
  • Publication date: 8/29/2012
  • Pages: 318
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.71 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 23, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Katelyn Hensel for Readers' Favorite I was surprise

    Reviewed by Katelyn Hensel for Readers' Favorite

    I was surprised to find that Bioweapon: New Beginnings was J.K. Bowden's debut novel. With a writing style containing a healthy mixture of depth, candor, and imagery, I wouldn't have been surprised to find that he was a well-written and successful author already. As it is, that will most definitely come in time for such a prolific writer. 

    The introduction was well written, with the perfect blend of dark world building and realistic history to make it seem like this world, this possibility, really happened. This continued throughout the expanse of the novel, as J.K. eloquently crafted together an intelligent and action packed plot that was fraught with darkness, hopelessness, and just a hint of possibility. I'm a big-ole fan of dystopian fiction, and I have been ever since reading The Giver in my 8th grade literature class. Bioweapon shows a world that has been brought to its knees by environmental and technological destruction. In the face of this apocalyptic landscape, the world has finally come together to form a united government to protect the remains of the human race. Peace is gained, at the loss of all freedom. Humans exist in ignorant bliss of what control the world government has over them, all but the Hackers and the Rebels, who are fighting for their own freedom at the expense of the peace and control that has been established. 

    This book has gained entry to my list of favorite dystopians and is right up there with The Hunger Games,and The Giver for me, and it is because of J.K. Bowden's obvious passion and emotion that has been interspersed into all of the writing in the book. I really enjoyed the read, and it was doubly clear that J.K. enjoyed writing it. From the expertly researched factual information that makes the futuristic real and believable, to the intelligently woven aspects of the plot, Bioweapon: New Beginnings is just the start of a cold and frightening adventure into the "what-if's" of our own future.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2013

    New Beginnings, J. K. Bowden¿s premier novel and the first in th

    New Beginnings, J. K. Bowden’s premier novel and the first in the Bioweapon Series, sets a solid and tantalizing foundation for what is promising to be an action-packed, but intelligently woven series that comes close to painting a chillingly accurate portrait of the future of humankind. While not flawless in plot or writing style, J. K. Bowden’s passion and expansive ideas shine through in a fast paced story that is difficult to set aside.

    Set at an unspecified date in the coming century, New Beginnings depicts a world that has been united in the face of environmental catastrophe and technological destruction.  A World Government has been instated to combat these threats; but most importantly, to protect humankind from itself. Founded on ideals of peace and prosperity, and on commonalities rather than difference, peace reigns for the first time in human history under the control of this new government. But all is not as it seems in this dystopian future. Peace exists only at the expense of freedom – the citizens of the New World are controlled via neurological microchips that allow unprecedented immediate access to information through a biological world wide web, but which also have the potential to restrict information and subliminally influence thought and behaviour that could lead to dissent.

    Unaware of this subtle puppetry, humankind exists in an ignorant and yet blissful state of induced peace and controlled freedom – perhaps a necessary sacrifice to ensure the survival of our world. Pulling at the strings of the entire population and hidden from the public in a secret lair, sit the Tribunal, an elite group of sixteen individuals that quite literally have the world at their fingertips. But among the oblivious population, not everyone is unaware of the deeper reality of the New World. Fighting for the freedom of the world are two groups, the Rebels and the Hackers. The former have managed to escape the compulsory microchip insertion and therefore live hidden on the peripheries of society, forever on the run from the brutal government forces that severely and secretively violate the New World Order’s promise of peace and non-violence. The latter have learned how to control and manipulate the microchips to their advantage using advanced mental defense and offense techniques that place them in a position to bring down the system from within.

    After the background stories and scene setting, the story really kicks off when these groups form an alliance and pledge to bring down the World Government, freeing humankind from their shackles of captivity. This sets the premise for the rest of the book, as they travel the face of the earth recruiting support and assistance from other Rebel factions, the Machinists and their notorious creations, the Bioweapons (experimental human beings artificially fused with a range of scientific and technological advancements that afford them superhuman abilities).

    New Beginnings becomes an archetypal battle between the forces of good and evil. What is interesting about the execution, however, is that this battle is not simply black and white – there are many grey areas which blur the ability to make a judgment call on who is fighting for the right cause. The consequences of releasing an entire population from blissful ignorance is called into question, and the outcome remains precariously uncertain. The subversion of the good versus evil stereotype is a major strength in this book, conveying an understanding of the complexities of life and indicating that the author is not merely philosophical idealist, but also a practical realist.

    The essence of New Beginnings is in its social commentary, which provides its ideological structure and defines the story as socially engaged and aware. The commentary, however, is not J. K. Bowden’s alone - it successfully captures an entire generation’s dissatisfaction with current society and its institutions, as well as its genuine hope in the potentialities and inherent goodness of humankind. New Beginnings gives voice to an upcoming generation of socially critical youth that are increasingly disgruntled with the efforts of the previous generations. As such, anyone from this generation, or who identifies with this type of social commentary, will find much to satiate their hopes and fears in this epic adventure.

    While the social commentary provides the foundation, however, the fast paced action and suspense spur the novel on. With battles that engage superhuman abilities and mental hacking and fortification, the potentialities for action are almost limitless, and it certainly seems as though the author has taken every chance to demonstrate the incredible abilities of his characters. At times, it can seem tiring when launching into a new battle between parties that are too well matched to put a quick and painless end to the fight. These scenes can be lengthy and wordy at times, which is disorienting for those not accustomed to reading battle scenes or action-thrillers. Other times, the action is punctuated by flashbacks which can disrupt the flow of action and leave the reader even more confused when suddenly plunged back into blow-by-blow fight scenes.

    That being said, the non-action lover will still find plenty to interest them in between battle scenes, and Bowden makes a valiant attempt to balance the physical action scenes with philosophical and theoretical undercurrents of science and spirituality. From a strictly scientific perspective the theories may not always be sound and may sometimes cross the line into speculation rather than practical application. But for those without a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, they quite easily pass the test of believability. It is not all cold hard science however, as Bowden is careful to balance the logical mind with compassionate heart as he maintains a strong theme of spirituality throughout the first book, especially through the concept of the Spiritual Warrior. While the spiritual aspects of this story have the potential to easily stray into New-Age-esque territory, Bowden manages to rein these elements back into a spirituality integrated seamlessly into a realistic scientific worldview. The manner in which he has approached this interesting dialogue touches on some critical issues in postmodern debates, rendering it appealing to a wide audience.

    As the action becomes more intense and frequent as we move into the second novel, it will be interesting to see how the author balances this with social commentary and philosophical theories to support his grand claims and assumptions. Whether or not this is achievable is yet to be seen with the release of Deliverance later this year.

    Perhaps the greatest criticism for the first part of the Bioweapon series is the character development which begins slowly and at times frustratingly as the characters seem to endlessly refuse to accept their fate and role in the greater scheme of things. While their special abilities make them suitable for heroic roles, their thoughts and actions often betray them and at times they can seem like sniveling stubborn children, not freedom fighters defending the world from evil. Rin is perhaps the biggest offender in this department, consistently underestimating his skills despite always coming out on top after a fight, and getting caught up in the emotional storyline of his father, which often makes it impossible for him to see the bigger picture. To Bowden’s credit, however, the slow character development can in part be attributed to the long journey that remains ahead of the cast, and it is highly likely that we will see some significant improvements in the coming release.

    This novel is not for the faint of heart, or anyone looking merely for a light read. The complexity of issues and social commentary give this book a depth of intelligence that surpasses your standard action-adventure story, while mainta

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