Friday, October 6, 2017

Book Review: 'The Alliance' by Chris G. Wright

The strikingly handsome British author Chris G. Wright was born in Corfu, Greece, the son of a Greek father and Northern Irish mother. He grew up in Greece, served in the army as part of Greece's national military service, then studied Business & Management at Aberystwyth University, Wales and committed to a career in Digital Marketing as a daytime job. Chris now lives in Bath, England where he writes and dreams of a world that could become a better place. THE ALLIANCE is Volume I of what is promised to be a six part series.

Chris takes a giant leap in presenting his debut novel for publication, but immediately upon opening his book the sense of conviction that he is a competent science fiction author is readily apparent. He makes a Timeline (very important to understanding the sequence of events of the novel), a definitive list of characters who populate not only this volume but will appear in future volumes, and sets the tone for his dystopian dream in a very fine Prologue: ‘The entity had no name. It had no flesh, no bones, no beating heart. Nothing about it was organic. It was energy, pure energy brought together as a semi-transparent, lanky humanoid form. Its title was ‘Director,’ its universal purpose to stimulate the amusement of its superiors. ‘Have you finished your project?’ said the Aide as it stepped into the void. The supernova in the starry background highlighted the Director’s lithe silhouette with a prism effect, making it easy to spot within its vibrant domain. ‘The Spectators are eager to see what you are preparing.’ ‘They will have to wait.’ The Director’s tone was abrupt, the outline of its transparent body flashing a bright purple with agitation. It kept its unseen eyes on the projection of war weaved by a myriad of beams, but it sensed the Aide approach with caution. ‘They simply cannot get enough of your work. You cannot blame them for being impatient.’ The Aide drifted across and stepped next to its boss. ‘I can blame them for not understanding the complications of the algorithm, the passing of time as perceived by the mortals … and the effect of consequence on the material world.’ The Aide watched the ensuing warfare between two civilisations with mounting intrigue. It could almost guess what sort of material the Director was preparing. ‘Are you incorporating the Evox Cores into your theme?’ ‘So far, they have been a success. Their absence from my new project would be unwise.’ The Director waved its lanky hand across the projection, causing it to shift to a different region of the planet during the same time instance. ‘Have you found a protagonist as I requested?’ The Aide, much smaller in size from its superior, expressed its contentment with a glow equal to that of a star. ‘Yes. A most interesting find.’ ‘Show me.’ Although the Director’s voice was stern, the Aide sensed its curiosity. It took control of the projection and focused on a particular scene. It glided out of the way and waited for the customary modest feedback. The Director’s interest piqued when the protagonist pushed through a sea of human refugees, a determined face swimming in the terror and utter disarray of two worlds at war. ‘An interesting choice,’ said the Director, already scheming, calculating. Not surprised by the expected modest feedback, the Aide said, ‘I believe he is perfect for this project.’ ‘And have you run the algorithm?’ ‘The probabilities, should you choose him, are three times the amount of any other human. He will provide a variety of designs to choose from. Keep the one you see fit,’ said the Aide. The Director searched through the billions of scenarios in the span of a millisecond. A brief orange blush in its translucent head expressed its approval. ‘Have you found a probability?’ asked the Aide. ‘I have,’ said the Director. ‘The Spectators will be most pleased.’ etc into November of 2014.

But where to begin in describing the plot? Chris offers that for us also: ‘Human extinction has been decided and the alien invasion shows no signs of abating. City ruins will be the only proof that Humans ever existed on Earth. For mankind, hope dies along with the mounting casualties. But survival is still possible for the pockets of dystopian societies scattered across the globe. Humans must look to the stars for help, for the Alliance, for salvation from the alien invasion. Driven by ambition, the malicious Sky Tyrants use the Humans as bait to lure out their nemesis hiding in the stars. The alien invasion was not a coincidence or conquest, but an age-old vendetta between two civilizations from the other side of the Milky Way. To find salvation, the Humans must trust in the promise of an ambiguous ally who claims to know their species better than they think. Outnumbered and outmatched, two civilizations from different parts of the galaxy must learn to coexist and collaborate to save Earth from a conflict that knows no boundaries. However, the Alliance doesn't only depend on their coexistence as one, united colony in the shadow of a mothership, but on the shoulders of two men who have the potential to turn the tide against the Sky Tyrants. But Humans have their flaws, and Ethan Alexander Colt and Donovan Ford are no different. Will they be able to see beyond their own aspirations and keep the Alliance afloat? Or will they jeopardize a plan that has been three centuries in the making? To overcome their limitations and lead the Alliance to victory, Ethan and Donovan must solve the universe’s greatest mystery. One will need to make the ultimate sacrifice and carry out a plan he does not agree with. The other must conquer his ghosts and embrace his destiny as a soldier.'

Splendid is the first word that comes to mind after closing the last page of this hefty book. Chris G. Wright clearly has a solid career in following his dream. Well painted stagecraft, credible characters, and a pace that leaves the reader breathless. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, February 17
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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