Friday, June 7, 2013
Review::Telepaths and Traitors (Book 1 of Phoenix Chronicles) by K.J. Blaine
There are some outstanding things about this book. The first is that it was free so I didn't read the blurb or anything and the cover is okay but not outstanding, so I wasn't judging that. I didn't even do the usual read of ten or twenty pages or whatever was offered. So I went into it pretty cold.
It starts out with what I'd describe as a juvenile fiction style that was border-lining on putting me off. In a way it's a bit of a sleeper and creeps up on the reader. The characters and the plot had enough going that I couldn't abandon it and it eventually paid off. I really loved this book with its deftly developed plot.
There were even eventually some moments when, just like Vinny, I was going "Yes!"
Another interesting thing about Telepaths and Traitors was that I had to keep looking to make sure this was really the first book. There is so much back-story that is deftly inserted into this story that there must be room for three more books as prefaces to this collection.
I was delighted to obtain all the insertions of prior activities to explain things, but I kept honestly wondering if there are some books out there I need to get to really fill me in on those details.
The story begins with Tim MacDonald recovering from having been tortured to give up secret codes to his ship. He's shamed by his betrayal, although everyone aboard ship tries to ensure him that they know that he did not willingly put them all in harms way. He's being treated by Dr. Linda Heshen who seems to be a physician/ psychiatrist/ psion (Psi that is like ESP) One of the things done to Tim was having been zapped by a Genome Wave Energy DNA Disruptor which is used normally to control Trans-humans. This has possibly heightened Tim's sensitivity to Psion forces.
The ship Phoenix is peopled with Trans-humans and intelligent chimps. George and Bravo respectively.
Tim is vegetarian which figures into the rest of the story. I particularly found it funny that a MacDonald is vegetarian.(understanding there is an extra letter in the name.)
Tim's sensitivity and another crew members apparent sensitivity to Psi figure into a sub plot having to do with an old colleague of Linda's who abuses psion to attempt to steal something from Phoenix. The real meat of the story happens after this; when Captain Jason Armstrong, Tim, and the teen computer specialist Steve go on R&R.
We learn that there are people who have their eyes on Phoenix and her captain and crew; people who would like to remove a few of the crew from the equation. Despite her reticence after her friend betrayed them Linda finds she may have to rely on other psion friends to help get her captain and shipmates out of a deadly situation.
This story is well paced and I was surprised when the real plot kicked in and left our characters out to sea, so to speak. There was at least one point there where it was predictable that things were being stacked up, but knowing that didn't spoil it one bit.
It's always a pleasure when the plot and pace work up to the point where the readers find themselves cheering.
This is a great read for anyone interested in Bio enhancement fiction and Sci-Fi and even the military type. Lots of stuff in space and on land and sea. Somewhat of a political/psychological thriller in the making too.
I see there are at least four more books to this series (which I will be reading) and whenever K.J. Blaine decides to write the prequels I'll be looking out for them also. Keep them coming.