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"The action in this series rocks, complete with super-cool weapons and technology. Umstead takes a complex cast and gives them each a distinct personality that makes the team dynamic just great." - Leah Petersen, author of science fiction Fighting Gravity
"Umstead has created what I can only describe as a Tom Clancy-esque world a few hundred years into the future." - W.E. Linde, author of fantasy The Prince of Graves
About the Author
Steve Umstead has been the owner of a Caribbean & Mexico travel company for the past ten years, but never forgot his lifelong dream of becoming an author. After a successful stab at National Novel Writing Month, he decided to pursue his dream more vigorously...but hasn't given up the traveling.
Steve lives in scenic (tongue-in-cheek) New Jersey with his wife, two kids, and several bookshelves full of other authors' science fiction novels. More information is at SteveUmstead.com, and you can always find him on Twitter (@SteveUmstead).
I've been a fan of spec op type books and sci-fi my whole life - this trilogy combines both and the author is EXCELLENT, not only that I could not find ONE, not one typo like so many of our wannabee's out there. I can't really compare him properly but take a James Rollins, a Clive Cussler, add a character like Kurt Russell's "Soldier" and its a really great mix. He made his future one where humans, who've spread into our galaxy, having the humor that we do, name things after our fav sci-fi names, but then there are moons named after bible family names so... like I said, if it was us in 2178 I think we'd really do that. Thats what I like about the realism, there are still power hungry and corrupt people, but there are the soldiers and the space tactical info that make this trilogy top notch in my book! ...lest I forget-aliens too.
This is an awesome series of books, from the first chapter of Gabriel's Redemption to the last chapter of Revenge, this series brings me back to the old days* when Sci-Fi was about ass kicking, great friends, loyalty and action.
Often today Sci-Fi and Fantasy presents our heroes with challenges so huge and insurmountable that 10 books later you just want it to be over. Sometimes it feels like authors are afraid too make the hero seem to powerful, so instead she ends up being the underdog, barely scraping by and winning every battle through luck or by a hair. Maybe it's a way to sell more books... Not Steve Umstead, he found the perfect balance of giving our hero and his team the power to kick ass and chew bubble gum, all the while making you shiver with excitement during each battle, yet with the perfect balance of setbacks to make things interesting and keep you from putting the kindle down.
And with each book, you get sucked deeper into the world of Evan Gabriel. I personally finished the whole thing in 5-6 sittings.
The masterfully crafted world introduced in the trilogy, neatly joins sci-fi and cyberpunk, being set in a period somewhere in-between the two, and for anyone who enjoys either, this will be treat. No doubt this universe holds a great many more stories, and can no doubt stand on it's own.
Anything to pick on, you ask? I suppose that if there was a criticism of any sort, it would be for anyone who dislikes the strong military focus. The books are all military all the way, but without being too rigid... I thought back to the glory days of Jack O'Neill's team in Stargate SG-1 and how they often nicely balanced military discipline with the occasional need to do what needed to be done, orders be damned.
And on a more specific note, would be that I felt the epilogue to Gabriel's Revenge may have been a little bit too cringe-worthy, and somewhat out of character with the rest of the series.
All in all, if you like Sci-fi or cyberpunk, and want to immerse yourself in an journey unlike any other, get the Gabriel books (I recommend the trilogy, you won't be able to resist getting all the books anyway!).
Now I'm just sad it's over and eagerly await many more stories from this awesome new author!
I tripped over this author and began reading the first book of the series with the 'Another newbie writers first book' squint. I have to tell you, I was very surprised! For a 'First Effort', Steve has a very polished way of writing. I can't imagine how he nailed it with his first book. As others have said before me, this doesn't read as a debut series. The characters are deeper than you'd expect and the descriptions of the settings detailed, but not overly so. You never get the impression of the author 'trying too hard'. It all seems so natural and flows with its own life.
I read and purchased each book separately, but if I were to do this over, I'd buy the whole trilogy in the 'Gabriel's Journey' form. You'll not want to stop and go buy the next installment! In the Kindle format, there were no memorable formatting errors, misspellings, etc. very nice!
Without reservation, go buy and read this mil-Sci-Fi series. I believe you will not be disappointed and will seriously enjoy the story.
I hope Steve continues with Sci-Fi.. He does it VERY well.