|Average Fan Rating:||
Rating from TwistedSciFi
Set in the far future where Earth is now an uninhabitable wasteland, The Circuit: Executor Rising follows four people who want to defend or destroy (or both) The Kepler Circuit, a system of colonies spread through the local solar system, and its deeply religious government: the New Earth Tribunal. After a series of raids on transports carrying the newly discovered element Gravitum, the Tribunal asks a former Tribune Cassius Vale for help. Vale, unbeknownst to the Tribunal, is the one orchestrating the raids by using his seemingly unstoppable android ADIM to carry them out. This also leads the Tribunal to send the beautiful, but extremely deadly Tribunal Executor Sage Volus to spy on their most hated foe – The Ceresian Pact, who they believe are behind the raids. When Sage arrives on Ceres, she happens to fall upon the dying mercenary Talon Rayne. Sage finds her loyalty and faith to the Tribunal tested tested as Cassius Vale moves to bring down The New Earth Tribunal to its knees.
I have to mention that throughout the novel there were a few mistakes. They were mostly spelling errors which I can forgive. However, in some of the chapters (which are told from different POVs) there are mistakes with characters names, an example when having a POV character meet another character for the first time, their name should not be mentioned until the character has actually said what it is. Also, Talon (who does not know Sage’s true Identity) should not say they’re name nor have it in an inner monologue. It just took me out of the story a little bit and made it look carelessly written. Although even with these mistakes, I continued on with it.
From the first few pages the novel sets quite a dark in tone with descriptions of gruesome murders/killings throughout and uses the common dystopian fiction tropes – oppressed populace, strict governmental regime, rebels, seedy bars, prostitutes, anti-heroes etc… Now I have no problem with these tropes and I think the world of the novel is a interesting, well thought out and I can see what the author’s intent was. However, the dystopian-ness did get a little too on the nose e.g. having a bar where people could do drugs and have sex with the stripping prostitutes in front everyone else. It can become quite clichéd or sometimes ridiculous and I think the lack of subtlety is a bit of a problem. And example, although it is clear to see what they’re overall motivation is, the characters actions can be a bit on the nose. Benjar Vakari acts pleasant, sexually advances himself on Sage, apologises, gets angry – this is all done to make him look a bit of a creep, but it comes off rather like mood swings that swing faster than the speed of light. There’s no flow to his emotions. It needs a subtle build up. There is also a sort of reveal where a character has a previous connection with a dead character, which is never hinted at and looks to just be put there to advance the plot and therefore it doesn’t really work. It’s this lack of subtlety and steady-build up with in the novel’s story.
What is also obvious is that the author plans to write more novels set in this world, which is perfectly fine as I said it’s an interesting world to explore. However, the novel seemed to be setting up for further novels to be written. This again is perfectly fine, but the story suffered from it as it felt rushed in places and things happened to advance to the plot and set up cliff hangers. It needed to be a more fully rounded contained story and not try to be a set up for later novels.
In my opinion, what the novel could have done with is: at least was a polishing over, at most another draft.
All in all, I do think the characters (despite on the nose action and dialogue) and the world of the story is interesting. The novel does have its problems: spelling and wrong name mistakes, the lack of subtlety and it’s events that advance the plot to possibly set up more novels. Having said all this, I will give the author the benefit of the doubt, as it is his first adult SF novel so he can hopefully improve on some of the problems that this book has.
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About the Reviewer: Born in Blackburn Lancashire in the UK, Luke grew up watching the original Star Wars films and found a love for Science Fiction. At the age of 16, while following a career at being a groundsman, he decided to take the idea of being a writer seriously and started reading novels, this is where he discovered the wonderful world of reading, particularly Science Fiction literature. He has studied film making at the University of Wales, Newport and is a big film buff He is a keen writer of Science Fiction and hopes to get his work published soon.