Book: Rising Leviathan, book 3 in the After Eden series
Author: Austin Dragon
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Free from author
Readability Rating: 4 stars
Morality Rating: PG-13
Target Audience: People with military backgrounds or political interest
Buy it: Amazon
About the Author (from his website)
Austin Dragon is a native New Yorker, but has called Los Angeles, California home for the last twenty years. Words to describe him, in no particular order: U.S. Army; English teacher; one-time resident of Paris; political junkie; movie buff; campaign manager and staffer of presidential and gubernatorial campaigns; Fortune 500 corporate recruiter; renaissance man; dreamer.
Rising Leviathan Book Summery (from Amazon)
The year is 2096–just three years until the 22nd century!
A Russian summit in Saint Petersburg with all the superpowers: America, the Islamic Caliphate, the Chinese-Indian Alliance. The Russian President inexplicably…dies. Or was it murder? One moment world peace was in sight, now world war seems unstoppable. Will the Russian Bloc (Russian and Eastern Europe) erupt in civil war? Or will it be a global war–or both?
As one leader falls, a deadly power rises. New enemies. New conspiracies. New dangers.
The march to the explosion of World War III continues–the first global war of the Tek Age, a hell we have never seen before.
Rising Leviathan is book three of the epic After Eden series–a dramatic mix of politics, religion, technology, and intrigue set eighty years in the future.
Some readers do not like this series based on the religious portrayals in the story, as well as a lot of readers who dislike the somewhat conservative leanings of many of the characters, but that didn’t bother me. Coming from a conservative, military background myself (did you know I was once in Civil Air Patrol, the auxiliary of the Air Force?), I understand how this image of the future came about ( update from the author: He says he was politically liberal at the time of his military service). Everything is exaggerated of course, but this is meant to be fiction, as you can easily tell by the inclusion of things like demons, witches, and vampires (although no-one is as typically portrayed in other stories; Twilight, it is not). Anyone with a passing interest in politics, religion, and the possible near-ish future should enjoy reading this book. In fact, it reminded me a lot of the Orson Scott Card book, Empire.
Plot: It was a little difficult to come into this story on the third book. I wasn’t familiar with the characters or original plot, but basically, it appears that the world is going to hell quickly, and religious groups have become political and started to take over the world (nothing new there). The main groups are a hybrid of China and India (which calls themselves the CHIN), Mormons, Russia, Wiccan women, and Islamic peoples. I’m not sure what happens to all the other people groups over the next 80 years, but I can go with it. I found the plot exciting and I wanted to continue to read to see the resolution, which is the mark of a well-written book in my eyes.
Characters: These characters are what I have come to expect from the Science Fiction genre as it exists today (but I am excited for women who are starting to challenge that idea, like author Sara Mason). The men are all sort of rough and tumble or oily scum bags, and the women are harsh, ice queens who act more like men than women. Although filled with somewhat typical characters, I found them engaging enough to want to know the resolution of their story lines.
Setting: This story is set only about 80 years into the future, which I thought was a little too near, simply because I can’t imagine all of that happening in 80 years. In my experience, change is much slower than that. After all, it is possible that some of us could very well be alive in 80 years. I bet my kids will be at least. I think for this dramatic of a political change, it would take at least 4 generations. But that is nit-picking. I liked how the universe was somewhat like what we have today, but enough different to make it seem like it really could be the future.
Writing: The writing for this book is done in present tense, which is unusual for a science fiction book, but it wasn’t noticeable after a while. I have read some truly deplorable science fiction writing, and this was much better than that, and better even than some books published by large sci-fi publishers. I was pleased with the writing style and felt it fit with the universe. It was a lot of action scenes with little internal thoughts or descriptions.
I think any fans of military-style fiction would enjoy reading this book. I liked it, and I wouldn’t even consider myself a huge political or military fan. It is a solid piece of somewhat realistic science fiction for events that could happen in the near future. However, if you are looking for science fiction on the level of Dune, this is not it.
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