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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Rome's Revolution
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:$17.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on February 16, 2012
This novel is almost three books in one. A page-turner in every sense of the word. I could not put it down even when I needed to. The author has truly created a brave, new universe. My favorite character was MINIMCOM but the heroes, Rei and Rome, showed true growth and resourcefulness when dealing with the escalating crises. The science was crisp, even heavy-duty but did not get in the way of the plot. I would love to see this made into a movie but it would really be three movies. I highly recommend it.
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on December 18, 2013
I really got invested in the main characters. It held my interest from one chapter to the next. There were some parts that were a little far-fetched, but over all it was an enjoyable ready and I'm looking forward to reading the other books.
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on December 16, 2012
Both my wife and I read this and we both really enjoyed the story - a very fun read. Lots of twists and turns, good science and enjoyable characters. Excellent read and we look forward to more from this author.
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on March 9, 2013
Good story lines with interesting characters. It was nice to read about a woman who was able to be successful and grow personally in a male dominated societies.
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on September 7, 2013
Michael Brachman has come up with an interesting and thought provoking read in this space opera.

This is a rollicking good read that addresses some interesting themes about technology and the impact of artificial intelligences running our worlds for us.

The novel works as a true sci fi adventure and as a warning about our ever increasing over reliance on technology and our over confidence about our ability to control ever more intelligent and capable applications.

Well worth a read.
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on December 8, 2011
Very unique and fresh story plot. It's refreshing when you come across a new idea in sci-fi, and all too rare. As the story unfolds, problems of logic start appearing though. A good example would be, <spoiler> it's not logical for a starship captain to wake from a 1400 year slumber, be told by a crewman that there are major issues about missing their destination, sleeping 1200 years too long, and everyone here wants to kill them, and to this the captain replies, "I don't have time for this", and starts breaking out the nukes to go to war within 24hrs of waking. Dialog at times is very good, but often is exceedingly mechanical.

Outside of some of the absurd situations and lapses in logic, there is a good story here.

For the price, recommended..
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on February 28, 2014
The story has a distinctly episodic feel, as the protagonists confront and deal with a progression of challenges. It was habit forming.
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on December 21, 2012
Because Rome's Revolution and The Ark Lords are both part of the Rome's Revolution series, I'll write a joint review about them.

I have to confess that I'm bit hard to please when it comes to science fiction, because I tend to read only "good stuff" (a.k.a. quality science fiction) and entertaining science fiction, but I'm always willing to try new books, because there are lots of good books out there. Because Michael Brachman's books seemed to be entertaining books, I was eager to get my hands on them.

I was positively surprised by Michael Brachman's Rome's Revolution and The Ark Lords, because the author has interesting ideas and he writes about the characters and happenings in an entertaining way. There were a couple of rough spots (I'll write more about them later), but I enjoyed the story. In my opinion both books are good and enjoyable entertainment for adult readers.

I think it's good to explain certain terms before I write more about Rome's Revolution and The Ark Lords, so here's information about the terms:

- The Vuduri are humans of the future. They have 24 chromosomes and they're mind-connected to the Overmind.

- The Essessoni are humans from the 21st century. The Vuduri hold the Essessoni responsible for the near extinction of the human race.

- The Erklirte or The Ark Lords were ruthless and cruel people who reintroduced slavery and tried to rule the Earth.

- The mandasurte are people who are mind-deaf to the Vuduri and can't connect to the Overmind.

- The Overmind is the collective consciousness of the Vuduri.

And here's a bit of information about the main characters:

- Rei Bierak is an engineer who was one of the frozen passengers aboard Ark II which was launched from Earth. The Ark was discovered 1400 later and Rei was the first human awakened. He was awakened by the Vuduri.

- Rome is a beautiful Vuduri woman. She falls in love with Rei and becomes a Cesdiud (she is cast out from the Overmind).

In Rome's Revolution Rei Bierak has been asleep for 1400 years and when he wakes up from the cryo sleep, he finds that humankind has changed quite a lot. He was supposed to travel to Tau Ceti, but ended elsewhere. He is awakened by the Vuduri and learns things about them.

Rei feels a bit disoriented and lost, because he is the only human who has been awakened. The Vuduri are totally different from Rei - their way of life differs greatly from Rei's way of life (for example, they don't eat spicy food or wear beautiful clothes). The Vuduri are connected to the Overmind and share thoughts through the link. They have no conflicts and they live in peace.

Rei falls in love with Rome. Because they fall in love, Rome is cut off from the Overmind and can't hear what the Overmind is thinking. Although becoming mandasurte feels bad at first, Rome begins to admire the ability to think for herself. She thinks that the Vuduri lost something when they joined the Overmind and now she has found what they have lost. Rome begins to think that having independent thoughts and feelings is a good thing for the Vuduri. She finds out that she is able to change things by talking to the Overmind and other persons.

Rei and Rome soon finds out that a separate section within the Vuduri wants to kill all the mandasurte to maintain ethnic purity. In other words, they want to perform a genocide. But what is really happening...? (The readers will find out what's happening in the books, but in order to avoid writing spoilers I won't write more about the happenings here.)

In The Ark Lords the adventures of Rei and Rome continue in a fascinating way. They have to deal with the possible return of the new Ark Lords. This threat causes them lots of problems, because they have to save the human race from extinction. In other words, they have to find a way to defeat the Ark Lords. Rome also wants to build a library of history.

In these two books Rei learns many things about mankind's history and learns to know that his generation is considered to be a murderous generation who was responsible for the almost near extinction of mankind. He is treated differently and with fear, because the Vuduri fear that he will cause them harm.

As Rei and Rome journey through space, they face several problems and threatening situations. For example, they have to deal with Rome's pregnancy, oppressed mandasurte people, the VIRUS units, Stareaters, the Vuduri Overmind which is different from other Overminds etc. Their adventures are entertaining and there are lots of small surprises in store for the readers.

Rome's Revolution and The Ark Lords are clearly hard science fiction, but they aren't your usual kind of hard science fiction, because there's a bit of humour in them. What I liked most about these books is that the science is interesting - the new scientific wonders are truly fascinating. The author has spent quite a lot of time developing the scientific elements and it shows in the story arc, because each elements seems to fit into the story. (There are a couple of things, which are a bit difficult to imagine to ever be possible to achieve, but the author writes about them with passion.)

Michael Brachman has created a fascinating vision of mankind's future. Several authors have already written about utopian and dystopian societies, but there's something fresh and entertaining in Michael Brachman's world. Although his vision of the future is a bit bleak, he manages not to dwell too much on dystopian things and infuses the story arc with gentle and inventive humour.

The protagonists, Rei and Rome, are interesting characters, because they're totally different from each other. I think that readers wil enjoy reading about the differences between Rei and Rome and how they learn to trust and love each other.

The computers, OMCOM and MINIMCOM, are also interesting "characters". They help Rei and Rome in various problems and have quite a few unusual, but useful ideas. Because I'm an IT engineer by profession, it was nice to read about intelligent computers who were almost like humans and we're able to do all kinds of things. I'm not sure how much I should write about the computers, because I want to avoid writing spoilers, but I'll mention that the computers have interesting personalities and they feel human.

I won't write much about the minor characters, but I'll mention that the evil characters were fascinating. I'm sure that readers will be pleasantly surprised when they find out what's really causing all the problems at the end of Rome's Revolution.

Rome's Revolution and The Ark Lords contain several interesting ideas. For example, the Stareater is a good and original idea, because they're responsible for making stars disappear. The connection between a mother and a baby is also a brilliant idea, because Rome is able to communicate with her child.

I think the author has done an excellent choice by writing about how Rei feels about the new technology and how difficult it is for him to understand all the changes and advancements that have happened during his sleep, because it's a great way to introduce new things and terms to the reader without too much info dumping. There's quite a lot of information - and especially science - in these books, but I'm sure that every intelligent and mature reader is able to understand what's going on.

The author also writes fluently about sexual situations. I especially enjoyed reading about how Rei meets a Vuduri woman in The Ark Lords and what happens to him during the meeting. It was a funny and well written scene.

By the way, the use of the word "sleek" is interesting, because Rei uses it often. (I think it's interesting how certain authors manage to associate themselves with unusual words which make their prose easily identifiable.)

I almost forgot to mention that I enjoyed reading about how Rome was able to learn formal English fast. It took her a while to understand all the words and expressions used in contemporary English, but learning formal English was easy for her.

The structure of this series is interesting: Rome's Revolution consists of three different parts (Tabit, Tau Ceti and Earth), so it can be called an omnibus. The Ark Lords is however an independent continuation of the story arc and can be read after you've finished reading Rome's Revolution. The story of Rei and Rome will continue in the near future, because the author is currently writing more books, so readers who enjoy this series will soon get to read more about Rei and Rome.

Although I enjoyed Rome's Revolution and The Ark Lords, I have to be honest and mention that the prose and the dialogue felt at first a bit awkward and unfinished, because they weren't as good and fluent as they could've been. I'll also mention that the love affair between Rei and Rome felt slightly unbelievable (their romance reminded me a bit of the unbelievable and annoying romances in paranormal romance books), but considering that they both shared a deep connection, it was gradually easy to believe that they truly love each other deeply and were devoted and faithful to each other.

Fortunately the author has developed quite a lot as an author since the first part and has learned to avoid stylistic mistakes. The other parts were much better and more fluent in several ways, because the author concentrated on developing the story arc and took the focus away from the romance. In the later parts the love between Rei and Rome plays an important role, but the action scenes and several happenings feel more epic than before and they act as a counterbalance for the romantic side of the story.

Rome's Revolution and The Ark Lords are delightful sci-fi romps and space opera books for readers who are interested in entertaining science fiction and want to be hooked by a good story. I think that readers who aren't familiar with science fiction will love these books, because they're accessible and fluently written books with lots of science. Experienced readers will enjoy reading about the science and scientific things and I'm sure that they will also enjoy the story.

If you are interested in science and scientific things, enjoy reading sci-fi adventure stories, want a little romance, and like action scenes, these books offer you all these things and more in an entertaining all-in-one package. These books are good and harmless fun!
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on June 22, 2014
As a human being, Rei Bierak is not the sharpest tool in the shed. People, especially women, and their motivations seem a mystery to him. But he is one damned fine engineer. In fact, he is sort of an archetype of engineers: when it comes to making things work, he is endlessly resourceful and innovative, but with people, he’s totally winging it from moment to moment. Having said that, it makes perfect sense that sharing some futuristically intimate high tech device with a woman would lead him to fall madly in love with her just a few minutes into their first “date.” Add to that the fact that he met this woman 1400 years in his future and you’ve got the makings of a pretty cool sci-fi adventure.

Rei (short for Reinard) and the rest of a planet-colonization crew were supposed to be in suspended animation for 120 years, but, due to a collision with an unknown object, he has been awakened 1400 years later by the Vuduri, who you can think of as mankind 2.0, people with enhanced genetic structure, telepathy, and an ever-present connection to a collective intelligence called “the Overmind.”

Culture shock ensues.

Fortunately for Rei, the Vuduri assign an official liaison to him, a woman named Rome. She is an outlier among the Vuduri; their interdependence with the Overmind has left them without much in the way of ego—they tend to see their interests and accomplishments only in terms of the collective, but Rome has inherited a sort of family tradition of taking a break from the Overmind now and then. This is what leads to Rei and Rome’s literal, if electronic, tête-a- tête and... love. That love is going to lead to the “revolution” in Rome’s life, pitting her and Rei against Vuduri culture and politics, a certain faction of which would like nothing better than to get rid of all humans 1.0.

The other major character is OMCOM, the primary artificial intelligence (AI). Rei finds the computer very helpful in acclimating himself to this new culture, but Rome warns him that there are certain things AIs are not allowed to do, like have access to faster-than-light propulsion or be allowed to add processing power to or make more of themselves. The computers, Rome says, “are not always...completely forthcoming.”

Ominous foreshadowing, right? Wrong. Trust me, you will enjoy the book much more if you know that nothing ever comes of that idea. OMCOM and his little buddy, MINIMCOM, are totally helpful throughout the book. But this false foreshadowing turns out to be only a minor annoyance—there will be evil AI, jumping out from behind a door when you least expect it, so to speak.

One of the strengths of this book is action. Just when you think the protagonists have earned a bit of downtime, the complexities of their situation generate new dangers to be overcome. Kinda felt sorry for them sometimes but it was great fun. Ultimately, at the top of the food chain of adversaries is one that literally dwarfs them all and threatens everyone. Something is making stars disappear, and it appears to be headed their way.

This book is kind of an engineer’s dream: it is chock full of carefully thought out applications and extrapolations of real science in many fields, including space travel and medicine. One brilliant idea, for example, is that the mysterious (in real life) energy that is evident in experiments involving the Casimir Effect is used as a super-efficient means and energy source for space travel. However, one of the things that keeps this from being a 5-star book is that the author sometimes waits until many pages after the introduction of a futuristic technology, like said Casimir Effect, to explain it, and even then the explanations are geared toward those with prior knowledge of the subjects (it will help to keep Google at the ready). What was missing were the kind of science-for-the-layman explanations we got from Michael Crichton in Jurassic Park.

In explanation of my title for this review, the emotional tone of this novel is like the serious-but-in-a-light-hearted-kind-of-way we saw in Star Wars. For instance, the AIs, OMCOM and MINIMCOM, are engineering marvels and do serious work, but they are personalized in a style just short of C3PO and R2D2, including the ability to make jokes and become indignant.

To summarize, this book is 500 pages (in 12-point type) of technology-oriented adventure. The characters are kind of standard sci-fi types, but at least the protagonist, Rei, grows a bit, because , like many of us geeks lost in the universe, it takes the love of a good telepathic woman (and eventually their telepathic baby) to bring out the hero in him.
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on January 23, 2013
A great science fiction book, which holds the reader's attention with both the science and the emotional intrigue of a romantic, unique relationship. The author creates a very imaginative and creative universe and society of peoples, as the backdrop of intrigue.
I especially loved experiencing the bio psychosocial, maturational development of the main characters. I loved the computers, which had character, but still remained computers. One of the real treasures of the book was "the baby". I fell in love with the baby and his relationship with his mother. The book was definitely mutltifaceted on so many different levels. There was never a dull or slow moment. I heartily recommend this book as a very good read.
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