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Procythian Reign (The Proceena Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
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"The Silent Shield" by Jeff Wheeler
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Top customer reviews
Good morning, literary foodies! It’s time to open up the pantry and pull out a new recipe to sample. Today’s narrative treat is a military space opera from local Florida chef, T. Allen Diaz. Promising thrills, action, intrigue, and sci fi drama, Procythian Reign sounds like the perfect treat for a connoisseur of science fiction and fantasy as yours truly is … but will it fill me up or leave me wanting?
Before we find out, let’s speak the oaths of the Starving Reviewer:
1. I attempt to rate every book from the perspective of a fan of the genre
2. I attempt to make every review as spoiler-free as possible
The best way to find out is the usual way, targeting the usual trifecta of characters, plot, and theme. First off, Reign does a pretty great job fleshing out and giving that certain spice of life to its wide cast of characters. Much of this future alien world makes sense and is fairly well grounded in our own world and that makes our major players relatable, transferring much of the class tension of 21st century Earth to this distant world.However, this does dovetail into my one big criticism of
However, this does dovetail into my one big criticism of Reign: there are too many characters given too much time to the point that it makes it a bit hard to truly bond with anyone. It’s an ensemble piece, which can work, but there was a very disturbing tendency that every character I started to really connect with died. It’s not that I mind a character I love dying (I’ve even killed my fair share of those I love the most in my own books) but if they ALL die, it leads me to check out. This is a very subjective criticism, though, and others may very much enjoy that aspect of the tale.
The plot is a deeply tangled one, living up to the promises of political intrigue. Alliances, betrayals, spycraft, deal making and breaking, pretty much every aspect of the political thriller is alive and well here. Most importantly, it all works. Everything weaves together and you can work out the threads of each move and countermove. One of the biggest sins that a plot so full of this style of intrigue is to not have it hold together so the chef really gets it together on this aspect.
Thematically, Reign paints a dark picture of a space opera, definitely more Empire Strikes Back than Return of the Jedi, regardless of how the plot winds up. There are few truly ‘good’ people with most painted in varying shades of gray, even the ‘bad guys’. Death is common, the galaxy is a pretty crappy place, idealism outside of a few centers of faith seems pretty dead, and the military engagements are played straight for deadly seriousness. The theme is steady consistent and for fans of dark sci-fi, it should be a treat.
A side-note, a minor critique that isn’t critical, is that while the majority of the world building is solid, there are elements that are vague, especially in terms of the actual technology level of the galaxy. While this isn’t a hard sci-fi book, there was enough vagueness and a lack of explanation of several major bits that I had to do some rereads to get the proper inference of things (I really thought that indigos were actually, you know, indigo for a large portion of the book). I don’t think it’s anything that readers won’t be able to figure out but still worth a note.
To sum everything up, Procythian Reign is a solid military space opera cake, run through with dark flavors, with only a few flaws to muddle the mix! If you love dark themes, political intrigue, and military elements mixed with your space opera, you should pick this one up. If you prefer brighter themes or more straightforward plots, you might want to go for a more ‘pure’ space opera.
FINAL VERDICT: **** (A solid military space opera cake, run through with dark flavors, with only a few flaws to muddle the mix!)
Author T.Allen Diaz really hits the mark in this futuristic look at the human struggle between socio-economic classes. Procythian society is split between the lower class, “Indigo” and the upper class, “Blanch” elitists, an almost Marxian space-age adaptation of the haves and have-nots.
Set far from our Earth and in the distant future, Indigo citizens are fighting for liberation,
Diaz’s depiction of the future pits corporate leaders who have become almost tyrannical world leaders reigning with complete autonomy over entire planets can be unsettling, but he is certainly not alone in the genre. Futurists have long debated the corporate trajectory, but Diaz gives it form and substance.
The book looks at the stranglehold that these elitists have over people, holding them hostage for the preservation of power and the continuation of an elitist society.
Taking a page from history, Diaz’s world finds hope in The Guild — a futuristic labor union for the workers, run by the workers and what appears to be growing into a revolutionary force. That is, they might, if people weren’t so predictable and easily distracted from such a movement by simple pleasures.
Diaz takes today’s common distractions to an almost epidemic level as alcohol and sex become the carrots that hide the sticks that preserve the balance of power. Heavy on political strife, these deep and profound examinations of human society don’t stop Diaz from painting a vivid picture of a dystopian future where struggles that are as old as time remains at the heart of humanities strife and the crux of the action of this fast-paced sci-fi journey into space.
An author described Space-Opera, this book was extremely entertaining and is packed with some great action. In a typical to sci-fi manner, the thin ambiguous and murky line separating the good guys and the bad, helps readers explore the gray areas of human morality and governance. As readers finish this book, they may be surprised that Diaz is nothing if not honest about the overwhelming temptations of power, its gain, and its influence over those who seek it out, even with the best intentions. Be careful for what you wish.
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