Monday, January 14, 2019

Book Review: 'Warden's Folly: A Sci Fi Adventure (The Ancient Guardians Book 2)' by Tony James Slater

Warden's Folly by Tony James Slater

‘Tristan, only nineteen years old, hailed from Earth’

Everything about Tony James Slater invites you to enter his life – at least as a voyeur. He seems to be from Australia (or at least someplace British with all the ’whilst’ and substituting s for z in verbs, jocular nicknames and terms we don’t hear often in the US). He describes himself as a ‘very, very strange man. He believes himself to be indestructible, despite considerable evidence to the contrary. He is often to be found making strange faces whilst pretending to be attacked by inanimate objects. It is for this reason (amongst others) that he chooses to spend his life far from mainstream civilization, tackling ridiculous challenges and subjecting himself to constant danger. He gets hurt quite a lot.’ That, by the way, is a fine example of his writing style – infectious is too benign an adjective. Tony also is an inordinately handsome man of movie star/model quality. But that is all peripheral information. Tony (and his wife Roo) are adventurers and that is usually what his thunderously wonderful books are all about – travelling and howling with anecdotes.

But now Tony has entered the realm of Science Fiction and he feels very at home there. He opens his Book 2 of The Ancient Guardians series novel with the following gentle intro – ‘From the relative safety of his tiny freighter’s cockpit, Darius Gartzen watched his planet die. It was nothing he could ever have imagined. Massive black shafts like spears of pure darkness penetrated the surface; as he watched the crust buckled and cracked, jetting great geysers of flame into the upper atmosphere. As a young man, He’d loathed being trapped on what he considered a backwater hell-hole. His friends, all equally bored with Arixia’s pace of life, concocted elaborate end-of-the-world scenarios, imagining an infinite procession of falling asteroids and viral apocalypses that would force them to escape the stars. In subsequent years he’d grown first to appreciate the peace and simplicity that came form remoteness, and then to love it. More specifically, he’d grown to love a girl that could only be a product of such a planet; her naïveté and childlike wonder at the strangeness of the universe still made him smile. Or, it had…’

The synopsis helps seduce you into his very strange world - ‘Lord Anakreon, Warden of the First Circle, has lost a weapon. Not just any weapon; the Planet Forge is an ancient alien artefact with the power to create worlds…And to end them. His arch-rival, the traitor Lord Demios, is hell-bent on conquering Earth. He aims to dissect and sell both the planet and its human population. As sworn guardians of Earth, Anakreon and his hand-picked crew of fighters must stop him, no matter how terrible the cost. But that is not their only challenge…Because there are far, far worse things than rogue Wardens in the galaxy. As the people of the planet Arixia are about to find out.’

Book 2 in the series is even better – hopefully more will follow! A winner, here. 

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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