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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 05/2015
  • 978-1942708063 B00XZHCOMC
  • 255 pages
  • $2.99
Paperback Details
  • 05/2015
  • 978-1942708063 B00XZHCOMC
  • 294 pages
  • $10.99
J. M. Erickson
Author
The Prince: Lucifer's Origins
Prince Victor Venture the Ninth is a young twelve year old prince who has successfully avoided his call to serve, and has remained unnoticed on the university planet Pax where he studies old manuscripts and documents called “books” of ancient civilizations. Unfortunately, his luck has run out. His brother, Prince Jason of the Sagittarius Sector has made room in his court for the young prince, and the Royal Guard has been sent to collect him. \tAll is not as simple as it would appear. Palace intrigues, conspiracies and lust for power pervades the Kingdom. And even under the watchful eyes of the ancient species, the Xenon, violence, atrocities and greed flourish. \tThe prince's mentor, Bishop Miles, suspects more danger lurks for his young ward. To prepare him for the future, a “free thinking” artificial intelligent symbiont” is implanted in the prince's cortex instead of the traditional royal AI that focuses on duty and royal doctrine. Further, Bishop Miles enlists the services of two free thinking, moral soldiers – Sergeant Marcia Devin and Commander Jana Virgil, to insure safe passage. These vital steps are hoped to keep the prince safe. \tBut nothing could prepare the prince and his supporters from the harsh world of the planet “Hell.” Located in the ancient Sol System in the Origins Sector, the prince's transport is attacked and he is launched to the planet's surface so he can hopefully be rescued later. From Prince Victor's perspective, he is marooned in Hell for five year. \tThis is a classic story of adaption, survival of the fittest, good versus and evil, the will to live, and the strength loyalty and friendship.
Plot/Idea: 6 out of 10
Originality: 4 out of 10
Prose: 5 out of 10
Character/Execution: 6 out of 10
Overall: 5.25 out of 10

Assessment:

With the help of a symbiont, Prince Victor Venture must learn to survive both his royal family’s machinations and the dangerous environment of the planet Hell in this military sci-fi novel. Pluses include a large female cast, intrigue involving an implanted Artificial Intelligence, and a planet subject to time shifts. However, the narrative is hampered by the overextended metaphor of Lucifer’s fall, while the chapter quotes from The Prince belabor the plot point of Victor’s political education.

Date Submitted: September 20, 2016

Reviews
Self-Publishing Review

The Prince: Lucifer’s Origins is a science fiction, coming-of-age adventure tale by prolific independent author J. M. Erickson, whose list of past releases include the award-winning Birds of Flight series.  The Prince follows Sergeant Marcia Devin and her scrappy squad of combat veterans – disillusioned members of the royal army who are burdened with a dangerous, career-ending mission for disobeying questionable orders.

That mission is providing safe passage for the young prince Victor Venture IX of the royal family – whose radical opinions have drawn the hostility of the rest of his monarchical relations.  In an attempt to stymie Prince Victor’s liberalism, monarchist forces converge on Sergeant Devin’s transport, seeking to put an end to Victor’s troublesome views before he comes into age and maturity.  The prince’s life seems doomed to end in adolescence – but not if Sergeant Devin has anything to say about it.  She will condemn the prince to Hell itself before allowing the death of her charge.  On the ancient, savage world of Earth, Prince Victor will surely die…or become something Sergeant Devin can’t possibly imagine.

The Prince is a compelling novel of action, survival, and stark morality, where the struggles range from unique and personal to galaxy-shaking.  Erickson’s creation is a fully realized place, and it results in a universe that is pleasantly complex.  Various peoples, planets, societies, aliens, customs, and technologies populate the book, which creates a setting that feels viable and a depth that is palpable as the plot progresses.

A portion of Erickson’s cast of characters, such as primary character Victor Venture, are well presented.  Providing a function in the story that realistically allows Prince Victor to talk to himself, thereby easily communicating information through dialogue, is particularly helpful in orienting readers with events.  (Though the means of this communication, Rose, is a bit on the annoying side).  The writing is intelligent, especially concerning technological advances and brain functions, and is adequately descriptive.  Erickson writes like an author who is both familiar and comfortable with his writing style – and it shows.

Despite Erickson’s writing, however, characters (especially semi-secondary characters like Regina Devin) can sometimes come off as hard to relate to, and there are some long-running gags throughout the story that become more irritating than amusing.  As for problems in the plot, the whole narrative seems a bit staged.  Large portions of story, characters, etc. are taken straight from the Bible, and, as a caution to possible audiences, some readers may find the parallels drawn between a character known as Lucifer One and Jesus to be offensive.

The Prince: Lucifer’s Origins is a fast-paced, survivalist nail-biter, with a large helping of science fiction adventure, a dash of military action, and a pinch of coming-of-age drama.  Science fiction enthusiasts will no doubt find The Prince entertaining, and there are elements enough of other genres to draw a readership from a far larger crowd.  In spite of a plot that is not especially original, Erickson’s veteran writing chops set this novel apart from a big portion of the self-publishing pack.

US Review of Books

"Devin was clear of the rubble and had to make concerted efforts to avoid the still smoldering fires and beheaded bodies littering the campus."

Sergeant Marcia Devin is a career soldier with a sudden crisis of faith. Seeing the monarchy she defends committing human rights violations during an operation and refusing to participate has her demoted and disenfranchised. At the same time, Prince Victor Venture IX is set to begin preparing for ruling a system of his own, leaving the scholarly planet of Pax that he loves behind. With no interest in leaving, he is forced to make a change he does not want to. The paths of these two intersect with Devin to guard the prince and escort him from Pax, but she is instantly made aware through an ally that one of Victor's brothers intends to kill him during transport. Having to improvise, she and a small crew help Victor escape by sending him to the ruined planet of Hell, also known as Earth. What Victor experiences here will transform him emotionally and physically, and sets the stage for a coup against his family that will free citizens from the tyranny of the monarchy he was intended to ascend to.

Mixing classic literature, science fiction, and religious texts as its inspiration, the unique setting of this book is quick to stimulate the imaginations of its readers. The author separates this from typical messiah-oriented liberation fantasy by both avoiding and embracing the clichés that come with this kind of story. At the same time, by having a major piece of the action take place on the ruined surface of Earth, the far out story is able to root itself in the real-world events of human history that readers will be familiar with. With exciting action, a fantastical plot, and a handful of genuinely enjoyable characters, this book follows in the footsteps of the author's previous work, continuing to showcase his superb balance of the challenge his characters face and the ways they internalize it and interact with one another. - Michael Radon
RECOMMENDED by the USR

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 05/2015
  • 978-1942708063 B00XZHCOMC
  • 255 pages
  • $2.99
Paperback Details
  • 05/2015
  • 978-1942708063 B00XZHCOMC
  • 294 pages
  • $10.99

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