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In a world where a gifted few can manipulate reality with their minds, two great nations?Calchis and Orion?employ these psionic powers in a covert war for global superiority. In the heart of Calchis, a young psion named Aaron is kidnapped and forcibly conscripted into the Calchan army. To the north, in the capital, a dastardly plan is hatched to decimate Orion, to be carried out by the ruthless operative known only as ?Agent.? Meanwhile, across the vast desert that separates the two warring states, Orion recruit ...
In a world where a gifted few can manipulate reality with their minds, two great nations—Calchis and Orion—employ these psionic powers in a covert war for global superiority. In the heart of Calchis, a young psion named Aaron is kidnapped and forcibly conscripted into the Calchan army. To the north, in the capital, a dastardly plan is hatched to decimate Orion, to be carried out by the ruthless operative known only as “Agent.” Meanwhile, across the vast desert that separates the two warring states, Orion recruit Stockton Finn finds himself thrown into a new world of incredible powers he has never dreamed of. And Orion officers Nyne Allen and Kay Barrett navigate the aftermath of their shattered love affair, oblivious to the fact that Calchis is drawing ever closer to destroying the tenuous peace between their two lands. Finally, in the arctic land of Zenith, Calchan archaeologist Faith Santia unearths a millennia-old ruin that may shed light on the history of psionic powers and a deeper mystery that could shake the foundations of all mankind.
Posted July 17, 2014
Although I’m an avid reader, I only finish about half the novels I start. Some I’m done in the first fifty pages, while others I make a decision to continue around the halfway mark. No author is immune; I’ve quit bestselling authors I’ve loved previously. This novel I read and couldn’t put down, devouring close to half the first night. That said, it was an even bigger surprise because I’m not a fan of science fiction or anything with superpowers. Star Wars would’ve been far better in my opinion if Luke Skywalker had been killed by the sand people fifteen minutes in, leaving Han Solo to gallivant around the galaxy. Levinson’s characters are so vivid and fun, I couldn’t pick a favorite. Additionally I have never read a novel with this many characters where I didn’t get a little lost in the cast, trying to remember who was doing what. Not true here. Levinson writes male and female characters equally well.
I found the prose easy, fast-paced and vibrant with very few extra words or redundancies. The scenes were immersive and I can’t remember a place where the novel read slowly. Write on, Mr. Levinson. I’m looking forward to book two!
Posted July 16, 2014
A page turner-- can't wait for the next installment! As a "Trekkie" (from the original 1960s Star Trek series, not the other "generations"), this was a great read for me. Unlike the simplistic, monochromatic extra terrestrial cultures of many sci-fi stories, Levinson has crafted a complex, multi-cultural world in The Fires of Man. However, it should be noted... this is present day Earth, somehow familiar-- yet an alien, alternate world nonetheless.
The book is beautifully written with characters that are fully fleshed out and true to life--psionic powers not withstanding. Levinson does an excellent job of portraying female characters who, like their male counterparts, feel the ravages of war. Characters-- and countries-- for that matter, are neither evil nor good; but rather shades of gray along the spectrum of good and evil.
I did enjoy the literary device of chapters devoted to single characters. Although the thread that connects the characters is not fully explored in the first book of the series, I suspect the thread will be tighten in the next two installments.
This is an imaginative, well written novel that would translate well to the big screen, in my opinion. Until that happens, I'm eagerly awaiting Book 2 of the series.
Posted July 2, 2014
What a thrill ride! Levinson had me on my toes guessing right from the very first page. This is definitely an action packed novel. Even the downtime has a sense of urgency, pushing you forward. I thoroughly enjoyed how real personal issues combine with work and the overarching plot of the story to create a completely captivating whole. There are also a number of theories and concepts running as undercurrent to the entire story that make everything all the more vivid for the reader. Every element in this story serves to introduce the reader to this new world while taking them on the journey of a lifetime.
By switching perspectives between characters from chapter to chapter Levinson is able to individually develop the major players in an intimate yet action packed manner, while simultaneously developing his multifaceted storyline. I was also struck by the characters’ names. They are simultaneously ordinary yet out of the ordinary. They stand out without making you rack your brain to remember, making everything that much more memorable. Levinson’s character development doesn’t stop with individual characters. He develops entire races, nations, and factions of people. This entire world is developed to the fullest.
Levinson has created a uniquely multifaceted work that stands out in the SciFi genre. This is not a light read but it was definitely very enjoyable and well worth the time. I’d recommend it to any who enjoy science fiction with a twist.
Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
Posted June 15, 2014
Fires of Man by Dan Levinson is an interesting book. It's well written and the settings are quite unique. You will experience an alternative world, which is somewhat similar to ours and yet very different. There are two worlds - Calchis and Orion - which are on the edge of a war, wanting nothing less than a supremacy.
Let me start with saying, that even though it's a first novel in a series, it can't be read as stand alone book. Fires of Man introduces you the two superpowers, the worlds of Calchis and Orion and to its people. It consists of many subplots which characters are crossing each others paths and a lot of characters who doesn't. It builds up to a whole lot to happen, but it doesn't conclude anything. There is no clear ending, you are left with many questions about what will happen to the characters.
What's also specific for Fires of Man is, that I couldn't in point clear main characters. It's not necessarily a bad thing, because they all have a story to tell and the characters are very engaging and well written. It's just that there is nobody specific whose story is more significant than others. There are some similarities to George R.R. Martin where you never know what's going to happen next and which characters is going to be killed off in a book. The emphasis is not only on one or two characters, but on many and their stories are equally important and fascinating.
What I loved about Fires of Man is that it emphasizes a lot on how war influences people, be it how the characters grow from kids to a man and then forced to develop into men to soldiers. I think that part of the story I liked the best. It builds tension where first there is a cold war and you know, even before it happens, that there will be a real one.
It's well written and the dialogue was very good, it seemed real and believable, even though it dealt with different worlds and with people with psionic powers. I also think that it would be suitable for the big screen, meaning that it was written in a way which created pictures, it's very visual in my opinion. It's like you get scenes of different situations and people and then it switches to a parallel story in the book.
Fires of Man gives a great start for the series. Well done!