- Series: Ronos Trilogy (Book 1)
- Paperback: 316 pages
- Publisher: Booklocker.com, Inc. (August 31, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1621417514
- ISBN-13: 978-1621417514
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,280,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Catalyst - Book 1 of the Ronos Trilogy Paperback – August 31, 2012
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The plot flow in "Catalyst" was good. We had two storylines which came together in a very logical sense. Lynn is looking for her husband, Scott, who has been institutionalized when he attempted to expose the war as fake and refused to sell the government ammunition. Mac is at home with his family and it seems, as someone able to think for themselves, he's been kept pretty far away from the frontline. When the explosion happens, survivors are being slaughtered. Lynn manages to reconnect her Imp long enough to send a video to social media which goes viral denouncing the war and showing the carnage after the explosion. Mac escapes with a fellow soldier to find his family. The two decide that they must find Lynn and see the proof she has that the war has been faked. Mac has some things to do before he goes into custody and then the two stories merge.
Some of the action in "Catalyst" is a bit too easy. Mac's initial escape and his ability to hide himself from the enemy, both a little too simple. But then, we're led to believe that these are people who rely heavily on technology. The action propels the story in a way that makes sense but more than once I thought, "I'd like more of a challenge on that." I suppose that doing so could make a novel last for years and it's up to authors to make those hard choices but as a reader it would have been nice to have that choice made once or twice. Another challenge is that there's a lot of telling instead of showing. For example:
"Orange put the gun away. As much as he wanted Mac to be guilty, he knew there was nothing he could do right now." (Kindle Location 431)
We don't know this guy's name and we're in his head. For me as a reader, it would have been perfectly okay for Orange to have said the quoted line and maybe had more impact because he's showing Mac how he feels.
The end of the Catalyst is really compelling and promises quite the ride for the next novel. Catalyst is what I would call "clean sci-fi" and is suited for all ages but I'm not sure I'd give it to my 10-year-old to read as the scene in which Mac finds his family, though not terribly graphic, may be a little mature for her. Oh yes, and the junkies of the future? They are addicted to alternate reality through their Imps. Who doesn't know someone who can't go 10 minutes without Facebook? Food for thought.
I read Catalyst in one go while sitting on a flight over the Atlantic. I'd heard a few things here and there about the book, was aware of the names of the main characters and of a select number of things concerning the storyline; however, the book turned out to be a delightful, captivating story that simply got progressively better towards the end. The plot is devised well, and the storytelling keeps the reader focused - and even delivers some fascinating twists and turns here and there. For anyone looking for a good read - especially within science fiction - I'd warmly recommend Catalyst. For anyone planning on reading it who is also interested in some of the background, check out the authors blog Chortle At My Girth (at http://chortleatmygirth.com/ronos/) which has all kinds of interesting background information about the story and its writing process. It may even make you chortle at a few things in the book here and there... Or perhaps you'll begin your hunt for the secret V-word. Who knows!
Definitely worth the time, money and effort. Looking forward to Book 2.
Whenever I find a new author that I enjoy I always try to figure out what it is that they excel at. What is clear is that Tyler Hall has a gift for painting settings with incredible detail while also being concise. That is an incredible feat to pull off. Tyler Hall can pull off a description in one paragraph that Robert Jordan would have spent nine pages on.
Character detail is a critical component for me. I get bored with stories that are simply about, well, the story. I need to get inside the characters deeply to get in tune with the book and that is accomplished with Catalyst.
The story itself is a futuristic yarn telling of a society full of conspiracies and an over reliance on technology during an alien war. Catalyst is a smart and cerebral book but not preachy. The over reliance on technology is an interesting facet that really makes sense to me and is something that is very much reality today. In this setting in lieu of handheld devises people have Implants or, "IMPS" as they are referred to here.
I obviously don't want to post any spoilers but the book favorably reminds me of Starship Troopers. The stories are very different but the tone compares to it which is very much a positive trait for me.
The one negative for me was I sometimes felt the book lacked the edge of despair or desperation for some of the character struggles. Not that it needed more violence but the path ahead seemed too clear at times.
This book is an interesting look into the future laced with both sci-fi fantasy and realism. Highly recommended and readily suitable for young adult on up.
As a side note...from what I understand there is a sequel looming and I will be getting a copy.