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Belt Three Paperback – February 28, 2017
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‘Read this book. It’s got one of the best characters in years, and you’d be crazy to miss out on her’ Rob Boffard, author of TRACER
‘Belt Three is an intriguing and intense sci-fi novel … Worth reading if you’re looking for a post-apocalyptic science fiction universe, with some great character relationships, and some interesting musings on what makes us human, and how far we’re willing to go, both for ourselves and for others’ SciFi and Fantasy Reviews
‘An enjoyable first instalment with a good ending. We have a decent plot, savage baddies and an evil scheming snake in the grass living amidst them all. I would say it has a YA feel and is a good start to an action/adventure/hero type story’ Lynn’s Books
About the Author
John Ayliff lives in Vancouver, Canada. He honed his writing skills while working in the computer games industry, and still sometimes calls his protagonist the 'player character' by mistake. Outside of writing, his hobbies include tabletop roleplaying games and going to the opera. He can be found on Twitter @johnayliff
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Top customer reviews
The story appears to be that of Gabriel Reinhardt, one of the "names" - members of the 1,000 or so families that escaped Earth. But Gabriel has a secret - one which makes him unusually willing to fight Keldra, a pirate, instead of being ransomed out. Keldra, although funding herself via piracy, actually has a plan of her own, which involves fighting the irresistible aliens. Their interactions in this ruined Solar System are gripping and epic.
Having said that, the book isn't very long - probably 250 printed pages. Even more of a miracle, it's a complete-in-one-volume story. Do yourself a favor and buy "Belt Three."
I found this to be a highly enjoyable read. It is set in a time frame where Earth and other planets have been destroyed by unstoppable alien Von Neumann probes called Worldbreakers. Humans have colonized asteroid belt systems and are struggling to survive. A Worldbreaker has arrived in belt three and people are trying to get out of the path of destruction.
Gabriel is a miner, fleeing the Worldbreaker with his crew. He is captured by Keldra, the female pirate, so that he and the crew can be transformed into slaves and sold. The highlight of the book was the relationship between the two main characters, Gabriel and Keldra. Initially out to destroy one another, circumstances find their lots tossed together for basic survival. The two are constantly having a battle of wits. Gabriel is out to survive at all costs. Keldra has an ultimate goal and will take down anyone who stands in her way. There is lots of character growth on both sides which is what I enjoyed the most.
Of course this novel is also action packed with lots of space battles and trickery and plot twists. I loved the end-of-the world setting. It felt different to have the humans be facing extinction and yet still struggling against all odds. They have amazing technology concerning cloning and mind control. Yet for all the tech, humans seem to have hardly evolved at all. The technology is also used as a plot device concerning memory and I loved it.
For $2.99 it was a bargain. A fast read, I heartily recommend it to me crew.
And everything gets wrapped up in a single book. Could it be expanded to a 12-volume epic, like so much other SF we see? Sure. But it's a nice, solid story in and of itself, and a satisfying read.
I'll read it again.