Publishing Date: January 2019
Publisher: Books Go Social
Publisher’s Description: Michael Taylor is an ordinary man with an ordinary life. One day, he wakes up to find himself a prisoner on a mysterious ship with more than forty strangers, and none of them have any recollection of how they got there. Those who survive the voyage soon learn that their lives will be forever changed. Taylor struggles to endure against lethal enemies and his own internal conflicts in a distant, alien world that has been ravaged by decades of warfare. This story chronicles the odyssey that transforms an unassuming English teacher into the legendary warrior known as SHAKER.
Review: The beginning is completely compelling due to the movement that is wrapped around an abduction and tucked inside an alien intervention. What quickly becomes apparent is that the first person narrative is never going to go away like a bad case of monkey butt.
I had a hard time swallowing this story line as the plot is fairly weak in construction. Why would technically advanced aliens go, presumably, across the galaxy to gather other aliens to fight against each other in a genocidal war on their home planet? Well I am glad you asked because it seems that they ran out of their own kind and decided alien slaves in another part of the galaxy (universe?) would be better at fighting their planetary bid for complete control. Really not buying the whole idea, especially a species that may have FTL travel wasting their time and resources on stupid shjt.
So what else is amiss in all this war like splendor? The home planet as built by the writer is not supportable. You really can’t have a moon orbiting a gas giant that has a breathable atmosphere, oceans and a complex ecosystem without an in depth explanation as to HOW. One of the big issues not discussed or developed is the issue of tidal locking. This would have been a real believable novel if the author had embraced a plausible world built on tidal locking with regard to gas giant satellites and the life they may harbor. Additionally a tidally locked satellite or moon in this case would have no day/night cycle.
I thought the writing was pretty good but the story line languished in trenchant narrative as did life as an alien conscripted slave warrior. Michael comes off as a know-it-all douche bag and suddenly becomes this legend known as “Shaker”. Riiiight. I really thought the Shaker was going to be someone that overcomes his oppressors and unites an alien habitable moon. Nope. This just spent too much time in the daily life of one abductee never embracing the alien-ess that was apparent.
Towards the end of the novel I was waiting to give a shjt what happened to any character and found that Malcom and Swag were the only ones worth the emotion. I think the narrative put a great deal of distance between the reader and the main character that could never be bridged with any tribulation.