- Series: Gateways to Alissia (Book 1)
- Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse (March 1, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 006245191X
- ISBN-13: 978-0062451910
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 66 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,459,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Rogue Retrieval (Gateways to Alissia) Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 2016
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Attention Science Fiction Fans
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"Don't come looking for dark, life changing soul searing fiction here - this is an adventure novel, and you're going to get adventure, whether you like it or not. Quinn is the sort of character who you want to see win--or at least survive to run away another day."
About the Author
Dan Koboldt is a genetics researcher and fantasy/science fiction author. He has co-authored more than 60 publications in Nature, Human Mutation, Genome Research, The New England Journal of Medicine, Cell, and other scientific journals. Dan is also an avid hunter and outdoorsman. He lives with his wife and children in St. Louis, where the deer take their revenge by eating the flowers in his backyard.
The Rogue Retrieval is his first novel.
Top customer reviews
The Rogue Retrieval is a fun read that breaks out from the typical fantasy story and explores what happens when a regular guy comes into a fantastic scenario. Quinn Bradley isn't a hero, and to me, that's the best part of the book. He's a Vegas stage magician with quick hands and a quick mind, and that's really all he has to rely on as he faces a new, magical world beyond a portal.
We've all read portal fantasies, but to me, Rogue takes that to the next level. The author injects a great note of capitalist realism. What if the portal to a magical (and unexploited) land fell into the hands of a (marginally ethical) global technology company? What if not everyone in that company served the same agenda? And of course throw in rival companies, high tech weaponry, and corporate espionage, just to make things more interesting. Enter Quinn, who doesn't fit the corporate mold, and isn't sure where all the agendas lie. The mix works well and ties together in a way where you really don't know what to expect (in a good way.)
In the end, that's my favorite part of the book. This is not good versus evil. It's agenda vs agenda, man vs world, and it's filled with flawed characters who you sometimes like and sometimes wonder about. Just like real life. Who's the bad guy? I suppose that depends on who's writing the history book.
There's a slight bit of lag around the one third mark of the book. The beginning is a great, but then it bogs down a bit as we first explore the magic world and set up the story. But push through that and you reach a second half that rips along at high speed and leads to an ending that is both satisfying and sets up an obvious sequel.
Another thing I loved about the book was the mix of modern technology in a world with magic. You want a magic sword? How about one made out of a super-strong light-weigh alloy developed by the best scientific minds of the 21st century? Who wins a fight between a wizard and an MP-5?
All in all The Rogue Retrieval is worth a read. It's fun, and more than that it's unique in a space where sometimes books tend to run together.
Quinn is a stage magician in Vegas looking for his big break on the strip. After a stellar performance, he thinks he's finally going to be offered his dream job. Instead, reps from CASE Global make him an offer he can't refuse, with the catch that it's a secret mission. They bring him to an island they own harboring a secret portal to another world called Alissia, reminiscent of medieval Europe. Their head researcher, Holt, has disappeared into this world, endangering CASE's goals and Alissian society. Quinn's job is to help retrieve Holt using his illusions along the way, which will be particularly helpful because in this world, real magic exists.
This is very much an adventure story, and I really enjoyed learning about Alissia and the details of its society and culture, as well as what CASE intended on doing with it. I liked the combination of science, technology, and illusion as magic, and how it juxtaposes with the subtlety of the real magic in Alissia. This read was also unique in that things didn't always turn out as you'd expect them to, even though sometimes information is withheld that prevents the reader from figuring things out on their own. Also, characters were able to talk themselves out of sticky situations a little too easily. But overall, it was a fast read with fun characters and action-packed scenes, and I'm looking forward to the next book(s) in the series!
Being transported into a low-tech alternate world was portrayed very well. The difficulties of dealing with a low-tech environment unexpectedly. The difficulties of trying to pass yourself off as a native resident of a place you'd never visited (though, I feel the favor was given to Quinn a bit more than is entirely plausible on that one. Being surrounded by a culture you've studied but never been among, the locals notice anything you mess up, and there wasn't enough of that). Quinn's discomfort and slow acclimation was palpable.
I've also never had the title of a book go from unhelpful to crystal clear so quickly. In the space of about one sentence, actually, somewhere in the first couple chapters.
A few things seemed a little too convenient, but not enough to spoil the enjoyment. The "polyglossia," for example, is a cute way to circumvent the language barrier, but as someone fascinated by languages and studying foreign languages and linguistics, it only distracted me, wondering how multiple languages even manifested if everyone understood each other. Wouldn't everything sound the same? Wouldn't children grow up saying the same sounds, and all the languages would blend together into one? How can you even tell they're speaking another language?
All in all, highly recommend this, and I'll be waiting for the second book.
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