The Augmented Man First Printing ed. Edition
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"... a masterful tale of how greed and power can corrupt the better judgement of a man." -Rox Burkey, co-author of the award-winning Enigma Series
"Emotional and touching." -John R. Beyer, ex-SWAT, author of Black Opal Books Police Thrillers
From the Back Cover
Not only did the story grab my attention from the first scene opening in the bar, but it enthralled me until the very end. I felt drawn to Nick Trailer from the outset with a compassion for the life he was forced to live. He is a warrior who struggles to find his way in a world against him from the start. Nick's relationship with Major Donaldson is one which I suspect many leaders have with their men. I liked both of these characters for very different reasons because they were so well developed. Learning all the whys and wherefores of Trailer's life from both men's perspective had me turning the pages until the surprising end.
All of the scenes set the perfect stage for a movie playing in my mind as I raced through the story. The descriptions were vivid and certainly exacting for gruesome military combat actions, yet realistic and plausible. Covert squads, spies, behind closed doors actions, and intrigue create great action stories. Carrabis has no shortage of action or intrigue as he lifts the curtain to reveal actions sanctioned by government leaders in a crass offhanded manner like changing shoes after stepping into a few inches of mud. I would certainly recommend this story to any reader who likes to consider the possible while reading a complex story with a heavy lacing of conspiracy, which I do hope is purely fiction, yet ... what do I know about what the military does behind closed doors at the direction of powerful leaders?
- Rox Burkey, CoAuthor of the award winning Enigma Series
In the same vein as Orson Scott Card's, Ender's Game - Joseph Carrabis's newest novel, The Augmented Man, thrusts the reader into an unknown but realistic world of the future where governments create devastating war weapons of their choosing. In this fast paced thriller those weapons are nothing more than abused children who grow up in a society which has no room for them until Captain James Donaldson finds a useful purpose for these cast offs. These poor wretches who have never felt the love of another human being and have no hope at a normal life eventually learn of their future. A future so terrifying and painful all they can do is suffer through it at the hands of Donaldson. What he creates for them is a living hell. His plan was to genetically modify the children and as they mature becoming the very tools of destruction which are nothing less than terrifying. After their usefulness is complete there is another plan of Donaldson's which goes horribly wrong. Instead of termination for all of these manufactured miscreants as planned, a miscalculation arises leaving Donaldson fighting for his life as well as humankind. His own perverted experiment has come back to haunt him. This exciting story will make the reader truly question if such things as The Augmented Man could or does exist under the blackness of government secrecy. At the conclusion of the novel, the reader can only pray it is strictly fiction and not a harbinger of things to come in the near future.
- John R. Beyer, award winning author of fictional short stories and novels
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I struggled a bit with the first half of the book while the characters were being developed. Somewhat dark, and it triggered empathetic and deep emotions as I was reading.
Once I got into the second half of the book, it was riveting and fast paced and difficult to put down. There were a few twists and turns that made the story even more interesting.
I was glad I read it on my Kindle because there was a bit of medical and military terminology that I could look up as I read which helped to clarify parts of the story.
Overall, a very good read. I am looking forward to Joseph’s next book.
Then, it hits me: The extent to which I am judgemental and the monster named fear...
Captivating. The nature of momentum.
Brilliant character driven storytelling, packed with suspense - and the potential for revelation.
However, the plot comes to a halt with a 100+ page psychoanalysis session in the middle of the book. In a novel that is marketed and begins as a military sci-fi thriller, this slowdown is jarring. While the information revealed in this section is useful for understanding Trailer and Donaldson's backgrounds, the delivery comes off as somewhat heavy-handed. Carrabis makes an effort to reveal a more few details about the war that helped shape Trailer's psychology, but this intriguing backstory is outweighed by plodding psychotherapeutic exchanges. A similar critique applies to the frequent use of imagery—some are successful, but at least half are not and seem forced, with a few bewildering mixed metaphors thrown in.
Fortunately, the final third of the book is fast-paced and thoroughly engrossing. I was so caught up in the last few pages that I missed my bus stop. There is also some payoff from the middle section, as the traits revealed in that part of the story make Donaldson, Trailer and his wife, Karen, characters I eagerly rooted for. Overall, it's clear that Carrabis is a smart and talented writer, and when he steps back and allows his characters, plot and attention to detail to take over, The Augmented Man really shines.
It honestly feels like ~3 good book ideas crammed into one book, and suffers a bit from that. I feel like another round of editing would have tightened it up, and left the read feeling a bit cleaner and less chaotic.
There are a few minor mistakes in the book (pupils dilating to pinpoints, etc), but nothing really outstanding as to make you wonder exactly how that made it past the first round of editing or proofing.
All in all, it's a decent book that could have been a lot better, but also could have been a lot worse. A solid 3 star book.
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Top international reviews
The writing is masterful with the author displaying a depth of understanding of:
• Empathy – love, camaraderie and bond-ship
• Communication (verbal, none verbal, visual)
• Intelligence based warfare
I was hooked by this line - ‘The function of intelligence isn’t to discover secrets, it’s to instil fear…’
I’m delighted to find an author who has a great catalogue of work ranging from fiction to state of the art Artificial Intelligence and expertise in IT.