Rise of a New Enemy
The first book of a trilogy from this author serves as a story within a story within a story. At level one, the narrator is fulfilling a promise to her father - to tell the history of the Ninjateers. As the story begins, she reverts to a conversation between four Ninjateers and their newest apprentices. That conversation concludes with the apprentices asking for details of the Humanot War, which occurred six years earlier. It is the story of that war which occupies most of the book.
It is Spring in the year is 2196. Due to a number of environmental factors, earth's geography, though it still exists, has changed considerably - with continents shifting and merging to form new and unexpected landmasses. The calamities that led to these changes have served to create a modern Luddite culture - one which would avoid modern technology at all costs. And one which is ill-prepared to do battle with others that had no fear of using modern technology to win a war.
The story held this reader's interest - requiring at least two nights of late reading to reach the climax and conclusion of the great battle in which the Ninjateers found themselves. The story leaves the reader feeling as if he or she is again following the lives of such men as the Scarlet Pimpernel or Robin Hood and His Merry Men. Though placed well into the future, this dystopian adventure seemed realistic and believable. With no reference to eschatology as normally expressed by the church, the Ninjateers still have a faith rooted in scripture, both theologically and practically, as they live out their lives.
Though this reader is somewhat past middle age, I suspect that the young teenager (or even a well-read pre-teen) would find the story and adventure of interest. Lessons of faith are both explicit and implicit as the story moves through to its final scenes. That being said, the book leaves room for more excitement as it prepares for volume 2 of the trilogy.
The plot, character development. Etc., are well-done. On the other hand, this reader has one concern: the number of grammatical and punctuation errors found throughout the book. As a college instructor in the fields of computer science and religion, I would ask myself as I read student writing, “Do the errors I encounter distract from my reading?” In the case of this book, the answer would be, “Yes.” In my private correspondence with the author I have encouraged the use of an editor or grammar checker. Hopefully, he will make use of these tools as he continues to market the book.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the author for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.