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Voidstalker Kindle Edition
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|Length: 257 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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An example of the facility with which John writes is evident in this short passage – ‘“Robots lack the capacity to second-guess their superiors,” The first voice remarked. “They also lack something much more crucial,” Red-eye replied. “Which is?” “The spark of Humanity,” Red-eye explained, “The voidstalker programme has long-term purposes which transcend its immediate utility as a tool of deep-space intelligence operations. They hinge on the long-term survival of Humanity as a whole, and it is therefore vital that the voidstalkers actually be Human, anger and all.”
To set the tone of the book John opens with a palpable atmosphere - ‘Real nightmares are rooted in memory, and this nightmare was no different. The door to the depressurized chamber opened and he felt a spike of adrenaline pierce his heart as he was ejected into the cold and lonely void. Twisting and spinning through space with his sense of direction thrown into confusion, he felt like he was suffocating as he hyperventilated from sheer panic. He had to force himself to slow his breathing, taking shallower and shallower gulps of air until his pulse had settled and he was no longer panicking; then he extended his limbs and relaxed. Without an EVA jetpack, there was nothing else he could do, and by the time he had calmed down, the vessel that had carried him there was already gone. The darkness that surrounded him was so thick he could almost touch it. Save for the countless tiny points of light that dotted the background, the distance between himself and the stars was a never-ending expanse of pure emptiness, extending in all directions. The sheer immensity of space made him feel like a grain of sand in a vast ocean, or a speck of dust floating in a planetary atmosphere. Worse still was the sheer nothingness of it all. At least in the ocean or the atmosphere, you could feel the currents making their presence known and their power felt, buffeting you back and forth, reminding you constantly that it surrounded you. In the vacuum of space, there truly was nothing, not even gravity. The eternal abyss exerted no push or pull, no awesome reminder of its infinite power, because there was nothing there to exert such power. To be trapped in space was to be just another particle drifting forever. But perhaps worst of all was the total loss of orientation.’
But sharing excerpts of this startlingly fine book may be addictive but the plot line is very important – ‘What glitters is gold, but beneath it is rot. Humanity has a sprawling interstellar empire. Advances in science and the resources of countless frontier worlds have brought untold prosperity to its citizens. But how much of this wealth comes from dangerous experiments with alien technology? As an elite intelligence operative, that question plagues Gabriel Thorn constantly. When contact is lost with a mysterious research facility, he is sent to investigate. But he finds a web of secrecy and lies which extends through the corridors of power and industry, and finds himself unprepared to confront the ancient evil buried deep within.’
Well-written, finely composed plotline, and a well-crafted arc and dénouement assures us that John Graham’s hobby of science fiction has found a solid home in writing. Grady Harp, January 18
Voidstalker is a fun read the pulls the reader in. It is as much a thriller as it is a piece of science fiction. Gabriel is an interesting character who is always on the hunt for the truth, but is unprepared for what is hiding under some of the rocks he is turning over. The city known as Asgard City lives up to its name: in the reader's mind it appears to be a city existing in the clouds where everything sparkles and shines as the mythical city would. But again, things that are shiny tend to be forged in fire and this city will burn you if you are not careful. The narrative moved at a steady pace and was well thought out. The author has taken his time to create an excellent final product. I look forward to more.