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on December 14, 2006
James Somers did an excellent job keeping you on the edge of your easy chair with this exciting sci-fi story. Not unlike many other science fiction novels, James presents the reader with a variety of characters and races which include the Barudii (a noble race of warriors with kinetic abilities), the Vorn (a dark, evil race), and the Horva (a cloned race created by the Vorn). In addition, the reader is presented with a fantastic new reality involving space ships and travel between universes as the Barudii discover previously unknown effects on their kinetic abilities whilst they align themselves with the common races in an attempt to save the universe from evil rule.

The novel also took on a quiet, Christian-based theme which remained subtle until the end of the novel at which point I did feel a bit uncomfortable at the first-mention/last-ditch display to "print" the name of God. I am a Christian myself, but I just didn't feel like it was natural in light of the idea being very apparent, yet subdued throughout the rest of the book.

Also, although I was very impressed with the story, I must agree with a previous comment regarding the grammatical quality of the novel. Editing mistakes often interrupted the flow of the book, but although distracting, definitely not a deal-breaker. As mentioned, the novel may have been released too soon, or possibly there was simply a lack of editorial expertise. This is the biggest reason that I would give the book a 3.5/5.0 .

In short, I found this book to be a quick, yet inspiring read. All of the elements you'd want in a great science fiction novel.
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on December 8, 2006
This book is an exciting page-turner. I too was skeptical when starting it. A first-time author, a little-known publisher. Hmmmm. But, I was pleasantly surprised. The story moves at a brisk pace. Somers doesn't waste time describing rocks and trees in multiple literary ways. He keeps the story moving. No one should get bored with this!!!! My only real criticism - and it's what has kept me from giving this five stars -- is that the publisher rushed this to print w/ several typographical, spelling, and grammatical errors. They were a little distracting. But...don't let that stop you from buying and enjoying this book. It is WORTH it!!!
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on January 25, 2007
The action never stops in this story of futuristic war pitting races of humans with various super powers and mass produced war clones. I became wrapped up in the families involved in their struggle of survival in this centuries old war. James tells a story as only the best authors can. You will not be disappointed when you read this book.
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on November 24, 2006
I can admire any writer who has the courage to create characters/places, imagine a plotline, slave for countless hours over a computer, edit, shop the thing around, and so on (hence the two stars). However, in this particular case, why go through all that "exercise" and not at least try and create something unique? It's not like there isn't limitless possibility within the imagination, especially when dealing with science-fiction/fantasy. Granted, George Lucas mined an aweful lot of mythologic structure in order to tell what amounted to a 6 episode story in which only 2 really deserve any real praise, 2 more have moments of pure entertainment, and the final 2 are barely worth mentioning... in other words, I am not a Star Wars apologist and I completely realize that most of Lucas' ideas are ripoffs themselves, but nonetheless, Lucas and his Star Wars franchise are now the benchmark (where that benchmark sits is highly debatable) for science-fantasy in it's most pulp sense (Dune could be considered science-fantasy but it represents a wholly unique experience which is something that Star Wars cannot claim - just read Lucas' initial drafts of Star Wars and you can see how heavily he borrowed from Dune).

I don't know about others who have read this book but I was instantly struck by not only the similarities, but the direct references to Star Wars, as if lifted from those pages and planted in this story with only slight alteration of their name/setting/plotline.

1) Barudii = Jedi: At least Jedi is an actual word (Hindi), and draws direct allusion to the characters that call themselves such in the Star Wars Universe. These Barudii have hyper-kinetic powers; sounds like Jedi powers to me (the ability to jump/leap great distances as well as move quickly). Within the first 5 pages a Barudii warrior levitates people (children)... I mean, come one.

2) The Barudii's "sword": This thing, although explained as a "molecular destabilizer", reads exactly like a light-sabre.

3) Clones: of course clones and cloned armies have been used before Lucas put them in his Star Wars stories, but to blatently use them again, although these clones are more feral in their appearance and attack methods, is just one more example of this author's lack of imagination.

There are numerous other examples (an evil empire, rebellion...) of the similarities of these two stories but if you really want to read this novel I'll leave these up to you to discover.

The other thing I don't appreciate is the blatant attempt to couch this as Christian Science Fantasy. Somer's is allowed to believe whatever he wants, write about whatever he wants, but this feels like an exercise in marketing rather than a genuine attempt at creating such a genre. The reason I say this is because of the forced way in which this concept is introduced, as if an afterthought or marketing gimmick - the very first line of the first chapter is "Not so long ago, in another creation of God", and I'm not going to go into detail about the direct ripoff job of "A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away"...

I'm sure that some people may get a kick out of this novel, and perhaps I'll even read the second and third novels from this series when they come out simply to see just what the author does (will he continue to ripoff and blatently copy? or will he stretch his imagination and write something a little more original?). However, I cannot recommend this novel to those that are searching for a great or even good science-fantasy read. The author does pack an aweful lot of action in his story which seems to stem from the Lucasian tenent of "all an audience really wants is a rollercoaster". At least Somer's has achieved this in spades. Just remember, there are great and even good rollercoasters, and there are "barely made me yawn rollercoasters", this is one of those.

I would very much love to read a truely unique Christian-based piece of science-fantasy. I am not Christian myself, but I used to be, and I've read the works of Stephen R. Lawhead, John White, Frank Peretti... and I still enjoy a good story no matter what the subject matter is or the inspiration behind the piece.

*This review is not an attack against the author's personal character or spiritual/religious beliefs*
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on November 27, 2006
This is an amazing, action-packed thrill ride of a story. The hopes of the The Barudii, a race of fierce warriors almost completely wiped out by the Vorn Clan, rest in the skilled hands of Tiet Soone, an heir to Barudii throne, and a small band of noble fighters. They are outnumbered and outgunned, but right is on their side. It's a classic struggle of good versus evil wrapped in a breakneck style of writing that really packs a punch. At the same time, Somers has crafted a spiritual adventure that adds depth to the narrative. George Lucas, Gene Roddenberry, and now James Somers use grand space epics to explore the basic tenets of religion and God without force-feeding it to the audience. Count me as a Chronicles of Soone fan. I'm eagerly awaiting Book Two.
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on December 8, 2006
I have to disagree with a previous reviewer; this is not Star Wars. While the barudii are similar to the jedi in several ways, that is where the similarities between the two stories end.

This was a very pleasant and entertaining story, with likable characters and some interesting twists. The clones in the book are not like the Star Wars clones at all (at least, not the clones I spent time with in the book). In fact, my favorite character in the book is General Grod...a clone. I won't tell you why, though...y'all can discover that for yourselves ;).

Anyway, there's a good, solid story here, and I will be looking forward to the next one, which according to Somers' website, is already under way.
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on February 5, 2007
Everything an action sci-fi fan could ask for: Full of battle scenes packed with blazing swords and "ray" guns. From the opening scene I was captivated. Woven into the action are moral dilemmas and tragedy, coupled with a unique perspective on the battle between good and evil. An excellent read.
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on February 2, 2007
THE CHRONICLES OF SOONE: HEIR TO THE KING, by Rev. James Somers is a no-stop roller-coaster ride of adventure, terror, love and hate. The plot starts out pretty straight-forward, but then does an odd, but enjoyable twist. Soon the reader becomes caught up in a maze of adventure, battles, wisdom, love, hate and sorrow that is hard to find elsewhere. For his first novel this is a most remarkable story. It is in some ways simple and straight-forward, yet in others it is almost unbearably complex. As a mystery writer I like the fact that I couldn't quite get a handle on the story. I mean, I could never predict what was coming next. With the introduction of new terms, that make their way into your vocabulary as if you'd know them all your life, the clan of Barudii warriors and the races of Castaillan, Vorn and Baruk all seem to make sense. I would love to say more, but if I did I'm afraid I would start giving away pieces of the story that would take away from your uncovering them for yourself. Treat this story like a gold mine in which you have found a vein of gold. As you follow that vein and mine it just as it seems to thin out and threaten to disappear altogether it breaks open into a new and larger vein. And this Somers is able to keep up throughout this epic novel. You just know the next one is going to be just as fantastic. - David Brollier; author of THE 3RD COVENANT

(You're wondering why I didn't give it a 5? That's because of some mechanical problems with the writing that the editors failed to pick up on or imposed on his otherwise great story. Otherwise it would definitely have been a 5)
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on January 18, 2007
If you like Star Wars, Star Trek, or Stargate this is the book for you.

Never have been much of a scifi reader, but the artwork for this book caught my eye. Book was mention through a local book store newsletter and when I read about the book and saw about James doing a book signing I knew the book was going to great. Better then I thought it would be.

Yeah some last posters have said there is some errors but it is not a author that is on part of the publisher end. The book is face placed and every page seems like a new adventure but everything ties in with the other stuff and it makes sense unlike other books. Even with not many pages the book seemed like it was neverending. Now I am dying to read the second book. Which is suppose to come out in Nov 07 as states on James's official site.
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on November 12, 2006
I am a HUGE fan of Star Wars and this just might have topped it! I'm a fan of the Chronicles of Narnia and Star Wars. Now I get to add the Chronicles of Soone to my list. I just finished reading it and now I have to do the book report on it that's due next Monday. This is the best book I've ever read.
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