Book Review: Fires of Man by Dan Levinson

firesofmanIn a world where a gifted few can manipulate reality with their minds, two great nations—Calchis and Orion—employ these psionic powers in a covert war for global superiority. In the heart of Calchis, a powerful young psion named Aaron Waverly is kidnapped, and forcibly conscripted. To the north, in the capital, a plan is hatched to decimate Orion, to be carried out by the ruthless operative known only as “Agent.”

In Orion, fresh recruit Stockton Finn comes to terms with his incredible new powers, and learns firsthand how dangerous they can be. Meanwhile, officers Nyne Allen and Kay Barrett navigate the aftermath of their shattered love affair, oblivious to the fact that Calchis draws ever closer to destroying the tenuous peace.

Finally, in the arctic land of Zenith, Calchan archaeologist Faith Santia unearths a millennia-old ruin. This lost temple might just hold the hidden history of psionic powers, as well as hints of a deeper mystery . . . that could shake the foundations of all mankind

Sent to me by the author in return for a review. I have done an interview with Dan previously and it is here

Set in an alternative 2012, in an Earth equivalent, there is a secret war being waged, and both sides are training up their psionics in secret to launch a new attack. Aaron and Finn, recruited to their own sides – forcibly in Aaron’s case – have to come to terms with dealing with their new powers whilst knowing that they will be used as weapons some time in the future. Both men have a feeling of isolation, Aaron because he has been physically isolated as part of his training, Finn because he is initially bullied in the training camp, and has to be extracted out to another facility for everyone’s safety.

There are other strands to the story – Kay Barrett and Nyne Allen are both soldiers that are coming to terms (badly) with the fallout from their affair. It doesnt help that Kay’s brother Tiberian has resurfaced after 7 years and seems to have defected to the other side. Nyne gets himself transferred an outpost (essentially Japan) to investigate whether they have any psionics themselves, and this makes him question what he was taught by his own government.  Kay, in the mean time, has a rebound affair with Cole, who has been recruited by the mysterious Agent to help execute a plan to destroy the Orion training camp.

Meanwhile, Faith, an archaeologist hand picked by Tiberian, is investigating a pyramid packed in ice, but whose dig is interrupted just as she finds out something she still cant comprehend.  Apart from the link to Tiberian, she has no other link to the psionics or what happens next, so it’ll be interesting to see where her story goes next.

The last part of the book is the attack on the Orion training base, that is executed well, and demonstrates the heat of battle, where you have both psionics and non psionics fighting together. Damage is done, people are lost, and grieving begins. We also begin to get an indication of the significance of the Figure In Red.

Anyway: I thought this was a great first in a series, with all the main characters being well rounded individuals, with some being placed in difficult situations. Training didnt get bogged down in too much detail, and some people might be disappointed with that, but I thought it was pitched at about the right level. It would have been too easy to make everyone like Agent (the cold, calculating, agent of death), but this brought that even experienced soldiers are still human.

Would easily consider reading the next book in this series (at least!).

 

Published by JollyFishPress

Additional information about Dan and his books can be found at the interview done previously

 

 

 

 

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