Disclosure: Some of the below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Ardent readers of modern sci-fi can attest the genre is dominated by series. Some consider the trend obnoxious. I, on the other hand, love it. Readers get books delivered in a reasonable amount of time, and the authors can create a universe and develop it. Win Win. Last month I tackled The Ember War Saga series written by Richard Fox. So far there are three books in the series.
The first book in the series released in June 2015 is aptly named The Ember War. In The Ember War, we are introduced to the protagonist Marc Ibarra by an alien probe which identifies him as the best chance humanity has to survive an imminent alien invasion. Sound like a million other books you have read? It did to me as well. Honestly, I dreaded the download of this book. Every time I logged into Amazon, it recommended it to me. The giant Amazon recommendation brain was correct. The book is good. I will try to keep spoilers to a minimum as I continue. We are immediately thrust into the future 60 years where Ibarra has almost complete control of the planet and is seemingly preparing it for war. War with the Xaros, the antagonist of this book.
In true military sci-fi fashion, there are significant space battles and advanced technologies. There are some areas where you have to accept some technical weaknesses and allow the story to continue. I find this is the case with 99 percent of space opera and military sci-fi books. The exceptions to the rule are so technical they are almost unreadable. It is a trade-off. Do you want to be entertained or educated? This book entertains.
Book two, The Ruins of Anthalas is the next step in Earths war with the Xaros. The world Anthalas is broadcasting the key to eternal life yet the inhabitants of the planet are all dead… Creepy. I find the second books in series like this to be less engaging generally. The Ruins of Anthalas was engaging through to the end. Was it as good as the first, no, but it was still excellent. The most prominent downfall is that Ibarra is no longer the protagonist and the replacement is not well defined. The book follows Captain Valdar and a marine contingent. There are tons of good characters in this book. My favorite is the Armor soldiers. The marine contingent and the Armor soldiers are expanded significantly in this book and replace Ibarra as the main character. In my opinion, there were too many characters to develop, and I had to re-read a few pages a couple of times to remember who was whom. Fox does pull of this book, and I found myself understanding the characters much better by the end.
Book thee, Blood of Heroes I eagerly downloaded at the conclusion of The Ruins of Anthalas. Fox continues building the characters successfully. In this book, I start to feel more connected to the character’s individuality. My only complaint with book three is that the Xaros are controlled by characters that feel much too similar to Ancients – Ori of Stargate Atlantis. I am holding out hope that in book four Fox will differentiate the masters of the Xaros in a way that will not feel so familiar. So far Fox has successfully borrowed hints from other sci-fi universes and spun them in a new and unique way.
Overall I think this is a good series worth picking up. If you get it on kindle, it is relatively cheap. The second and third books were released within two weeks of each other. I am hopeful book four will be out this month.
There are 9 total books in the series. you can get them here: The Ember War Saga – 9 book series
You can reach Richard Fox here.
If you have read any of these books feel free to tell me what you think in the comments.
**As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases**
**When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network**
Book 1 the ember war
- Well thought out, Fast paced, Likable characters
- Unoriginal, Needs a Mark Ibarra prequel