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James Fox
Author
Revolution (The Sol Saga Book 1)
James Fox, author
General Keith Brennan would rather face an army with his trusty rifle than attend another state dinner. When the President of the solar system is assassinated on Mars, Brennan is the obvious choice to investigate. If he comes up with the wrong answer, though, his career will be over. However, duty is never so simple. When the investigation uncovers a trail of corruption and a conspiracy on a system-wide scale, Brennan’s career is the least of his worries. With Earth and Mars on the brink of a shooting war and forces behind the scenes determined to push them over the edge, only Marine General Keith Brennan can stop the slaughter before it’s too late. Unless, of course, it already is…
Reviews
Fox takes readers on an epic journey of murder and corruption in this heart-racing futuristic sci-fi thriller, the first book of the Sol Saga, an epic set in our near future. Just over two centuries from now, General Keith Brennan breathes, eats, and sleeps the military. When an assassination on Mars takes place moments before the planet’s official independence from Earth, Brennan is thrust into a web of conspiracies and lies that leave him questioning his values and loyalty. Brennan— along with a newbie pilot, the governor of Mars, a hot-shot fleet ace, a government homeland defense worker, and a low-level criminal—becomes the solar system’s only hope at preventing a war between Earth and Mars.

Brennan is one of many dynamic and sympathetic characters with flawed, engaging personalities that readers will quickly come to love. While Brennan is the type of man to follow orders without question, his growing suspicion of foul play mixed with a softness towards Helena Chu, the governor of Mars, chip away at his harsh exterior and make him a standout protagonist. Each point-of-view character holds a small piece of the larger puzzle that builds up to a big revelation, but they must come face-to-face with their own shortcomings in order to make the pieces fit together. The tension escalates quickly, as Fox balances action with scenes of reflection, immersing readers in the world and these lives while offering a welcome breather.

Fox creates a dynamic future where the colonization of Mars has led to a thriving economy. Sprinkled into the background are exciting elements such as genetic enhancement for Marines, organic food printers as an inexpensive alternative to real food, and a variety of transportation options—including individual seat vacuum tubes and autonomously piloted ground-air-vehicles. Mars and this future come to life in a truly immersive experience as Fox spins a dynamic story of conspiracy and action that will sweep away lovers of local space opera.

Takeaway: SF fans eager to explore a deep-rooted conspiracy with a vibrant cast will relish the first book in this promising saga.

Great for fans of: A.K. DuBoff, J. Barton Mitchell’s The Razor.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A+
Illustrations: : N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A-

Kirkus Reviews

 

"A densely plotted and riveting futuristic thriller.” 

“In this SF debut, native Martians suspect a coverup following a political assassination on their home planet.By the mid-23rd century, colonized Mars is finally getting its independence. But during a ceremony honoring the red planet, someone assassinates the president of the United Nations Interplanetary Council. Brig. Gen. Keith Brennan of the Protectorate Forces joins the investigation, which quickly identifies the shooter, dead from an apparent suicide. But higher-ups look increasingly dubious, as they subsequently tie a local businessman and his son—two obvious scapegoats—to the assassination. The UNIC puts Mars’ independence on indefinite hold. It further orders Gov. Helena Chu, who was to become Mars’ president, to declare martial law. Meanwhile, pirate attacks on Mars have soared, including an alarmingly successful strike against one of the Protectorate Forces’ elite units. This only exacerbates the planet’s growing civil unrest. Helena, Brennan, and others surmise a conspiracy of some kind that, perhaps, starts with the UNIC. But it’s soon clear anyone questioning the authorities or somehow linked to the assassination will wind up accused, suppressed, or something much more permanent. Fox’s Mars-set series opener is primarily a conspiracy-laden mystery. The narrative centers on a handful of absorbing characters, all with their own stories that connect to the main plot. For example, Cadet Lisa Colt’s peers unfairly disregard her because of her admiral mother, though the military leader often debases Lisa. While the author aptly describes the familiar environment, the characters’ gradual unease and the developing tensions actually propel the gripping story. In the same vein, Fox laces his prose in cynicism: If Brennan “were the beach that was holding back the ocean of corruption,” Helena “was a rock outcropping being eroded away in the breakers. The analogy brought a painful realization, he had always wanted to visit the beaches on Earth.” Much of the tale is unresolved at the end, and a number of uncertain fates will surely leave readers eagerly anticipating the sequel."

 

Rachel Aukes, Best-selling Author of Black Sheep

"The heart of classic science fiction in a fast-paced modern sci-fi thriller!" 

Readers Favorite

"I am hooked on this story! "

"A perfect, action-packed, and adrenaline-inducing novel."

 "James Fox is an author who outfoxes readers, crafting a twisty tale that is hard to put down, keeping readers guessing what happens next. It was delightful to read this opening book in the series, and I must say that I was completely immersed in the story, gripped from the first to the last page, thanks to the author’s expert storytelling skills and the deft plotting."

"Revolution is filled to the brim with action, suspense, and twists and turns you won’t see coming, making it difficult to put the book down from the moment you start reading."

"Revolution is a real nail-biter from the start right up to the end; this rapid-fire thriller left me wanting to know what will happen in the next book in the series. It is written in gorgeous prose and paints images that will stay in the minds of readers long after they have put the book down."

"James Fox is a terrific writer who knows how to engage readers with robust writing and a conflict that is extraordinarily captivating."

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