Friday, October 27, 2017

Book Review: 'Titanborn' by Rhett C. Bruno

New York author/screenwriter Rhett C. Bruno began his interest in art by studying (quite with honors) architecture at Syracuse University School of Architecture. But the writing bug entered rather early (epic stories composed as a child) and proceeded to high school where he penned his ISINDA TRILOGY, later publishing it at the urging of his teachers and mentors. Though committed to further his interest in architecture, he continued his passion for science fiction reading and writing and by his senior year at university he began his book - THE CIRCUIT: EXECUTOR RISING. His day job remains that of an architect in Mount Kisco, New York but in addition to working on THE CIRCUIT he pushed his boundaries a bit further, exploring Screenwriting at New School in New York. His dream? Writing for television or Video Games.

Hopefully all of these interests will not dissuade him from writing novels because he most assuredly has the knack for it. Successful science fiction writing is a challenge - avoiding the tendency to repeat the stories of space exploration or android monsters or the devastation of this planet in favor of other planets as we see almost continually in the theaters. Yes, sci-fi stories are escapisms as well as mental challenges to normalcy, but the world needs to pay attention to quality art, too, as a means of allowing our minds to create situations more acceptable than what we are seeing at present globally. And that is precisely how Bruno approaches his story - not just bigger than life monstrous make believe, but situations that are peopled with credible (and for the most part likeable) characters. He touches the imagination but fortunately keeps us grounded with the human aspects of his characters and their impact on his `new worlds'.

After a very mysterious Prologue in which we meet tow Ringers who set the mood: ‘Somewhere outside of New London, Earth, a tall, lanky Ringer named Nash stood within the cargo hold of an unmarked transport shuttle. He was human, but three centuries of his people living on Titan had stretched their bodies and bleached their flesh. He wore a white, armored suit with an orange circle painted on the chest. His helmet was off, revealing a soaring forehead, a long, tapered jaw, and a sanitary mask pulled tight over his mouth. Across from him stood a Ringer many years his senior. He was equally tall, but unlike Nash, he was dressed in nothing but an unmarked boiler suit and his sanitary mask was covered in grime. Bloodshot eyes were made redder by his ashen skin, but they were resolute. “When our ancestors fled Earth with Trass before the Meteorite struck, I bet they never thought any of us would return,” Nash said.’ And that is how moodsetting Rhett makes his novell open – and continue.
The synopsis: ‘Malcolm Graves lives by two rules: finish the job, and get paid. After thirty years as a Collector, chasing bounties and extinguishing rebellions throughout the solar system, Malcolm does what he's told, takes what he's earned, and leaves the questions to someone else--especially when it comes to the affairs of offworlders. But his latest mission doesn't afford him that luxury. After a high profile bombing on Earth, the men who sign Malcolm's paychecks are clamoring for answers. Before he can object, the corporation teams him up with a strange new partner who's more interested in statistics than instinct and ships them both off to Titan, the disputed moon where humans have been living for centuries. Their assignment is to hunt down a group of extremists: Titanborn dissidents who will go to any length to free their home from the tyranny of Earth. Heading into hostile territory, Malcolm will have to use everything he's learned to stay alive. But he soon realizes that the situation on the ground is much more complex than he anticipated . . . and much more personal.’

Fine science fiction writing as we have come to expect form Rhett, but this is probably his best to date. To enjoy Rhett Bruno to the fullest the reader must jump into this new place and not miss a page of the beautifully scripted story. Grady Harp, August 16

I received a free copy of this item for review.

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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