- File Size: 363 KB
- Print Length: 124 pages
- Publisher: Gary Bloom; 1 edition (March 25, 2011)
- Publication Date: March 25, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004VF67SY
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,562,333 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Olympus Union - The Past Repeated Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
Olympus Union explores the not "too-too-distant" future of humankind as we make our way slowly across (and leave our imprimatur upon) the solar system. Of course, cosmically speaking, the solar system is relatively small, and in Bloom's work, we have not yet lost our emotional or political connection to our "Great Mother" Earth, from whence stems political might and infrastructural resources.
In this book, which is clearly designed to kick-off a series, Bloom introduces us to the main characters, sets up the primary and secondary plots (i.e. intrigues), and provides a brief discussion on "whence-we-came-and-where-are-we-now."
He does a nice job of balancing the future as a dust-free Disney ride (i.e. the original Star Trek) and the gritty, sweaty, swallowing-your-own vomit moments of Ridley Scott's Alien.
It's a fast read. I finished the 14 chapters over the course of a weekend, managing to fit in time to do laundry, clean my bathroom and make turkey chili. And the $6.39 it cost me to download it onto the Kindle Reader app of my Droid X was money well spent.
Without a doubt, the book needs a good editor. The first chapter needs to be tightened and the tenth chapter needs to be seriously reworked. His use of a highly addictive drug to serve as a plot device to allow for gang violence, governmental retribution and the introduction of, well, some sort of "masked avenger" vigilante comes across as contrived and naïve and does not do much to advance the storyline... at least not in this book. No doubt future volumes will continue to weave these issues and characters into the general fold.
Personally, I would have liked to have had a bit more corporate intrigue. Something a bit more William Gibson as it were. An exploration of the nefarious pharmaceutical company in cahoots with the government, drugging the citizenry and keeping them docile. Bloom touches on this briefly in his description of the penal colonies that orbit the earth but does not (imho) take it far enough.
Bloom also needs to work on his dialogue. Conversations often feel a bit forced and I found myself asking more than once: "Who talks like that?"
But even with the flaws, there are chapters in this book that are sublime. Moments when I did not want to put the book down, turkey chili be damned. Bloom may not be the world's best writer, but he is a fabulously decent storyteller.
Mr. Bloom sets the stage slowly but once the scene is set the action moves quickly and I found myself turning pages to see what happens next. I am anxiously anticipating the next book.
This is clearly the beginning of a series. I can't wait to see what happens next.
The year is 2171 and there are several settings for Bloom's story. One of them is on one of the ten nations of a futuristic Earth. To eradicate war and promote peace, the earth has been divided into ten realms that coexist under one prime minister if the Olympus Union. There are also fully functioning cities on Mars and space stations set up around Jupiter. The story begins in one of three prison clutches named after Greek goddesses: Hera, Demeter, Athena. A prisoner, Duncan Lab, is in the newest and largest of the three, Athena's clutch. The reader is given a recap of the how the former engineer ended up in prison. And then the reader is introduced to the rehab centers located in Athena's clutch. Next we find Prime Minister Oden and his female minister of Peace, Anat Meron debating over the affairs of the Olympus Union, OU. There is political unrest in the Jovian system: rebel activity threatening to overturn years of peaceful co-existence and research, riots breaking out in the state formerly known as Texas. A new drug called Raylax has been developed. The primary purpose is to instill calm in the OU's citizens and Prime Minister Oden has his job cut out.
The next chapters introduce the reader to a host of the OU's characters. There's the brash Captain Dondo Kryz and the witty, but highly intelligent mercenary named Kro. The author does a superb job of weaving the three story lines mentioned in the previous paragraph into one gathering of sub-plots which isn't an easy task to accomplish. By the time we see Kro cross paths with Duncan Lab, Mr. Bloom has done such an intriguing job of setting up the story that you don't realize you've been pulled into the core conflict until Kro blatantly says so. And the way Kro manages to pull off his contracted jail break is one of the most unique scenarios I think I've seen in a novel.
Seamless interaction between the space colonies, prisons, and the earthly provinces makes the story fun and easy to follow. I truly felt as if I'd been transported into a different time within Bloom's world. The one small issue I found in the story was that in some areas I couldn't tell who was speaking. A simple addition of a few dialogue tags in those areas would solve that minor problem. Also, I was left feeling as if there was more to come by the time the story ended. Even though the main storyline was pretty much wrapped up, I had a feeling there should've been more. This was more than likely the author's intention, to leave the reader wanting more of the next installment. It worked for me, anyway.
Overall, this was a fun read that took me out of my paranormal and fantastical comfort zones. If you're into political thrillers, intergalactic sci-fi adventures, and even prison stories in a sense, then you'll enjoy Mr. Bloom's Olympus Union. I look forward to the next installment in this series.
A world on the path of self destruction is united into a union of dissimilar sections. Current national boundaries are rewritten and dissent is smothered all for the benefit of mankind or those who end up as the governing lords.
The most memorable character in the book is the black eyed mercenary. He demonstrates a self confident arrogance that successfully conquers all efforts to thwart his goal of rescuing an unassuming prisoner in a penal orbital prison.
The book clearly shows that unification may have laudable goals but the implementation of those goals may swamp all of the well meaning impetus. Gary Bloom creates a dysfunctional world with the same fragility as the time worn existence it is trying to replace.
All is not easy in the new utopia and dissent is hidden behind facades of power. This is a dystopian disaster brewing with multiple sequels. Gary brings a fresh new voice to the scifi arena.