Monday, 5 July 2010

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Autumn Rain Trilogy - David J Williams


In this thrilling debut, David J. Williams delivers a hard-hitting blend of military SF and dystopian cyberpunk, set in a futuristic landscape where hostilities rage from the Eastern and Western hemispheres to the outer ranges of space.

In the 22nd century, the first wonder of a brave new world is the Phoenix Space Elevator, designed to give mankind greater access to the frontier beyond Earth. Built by the U.S./Pan-Asian Coalition, the Elevator is also a grand symbol of superpower alliance following a second cold war. And it's just been destroyed.

The South American insurgent group Autumn Rain claims responsibility for the attack, but with suspicions rampant, armies and espionage teams are mobilized across the globe and beyond. Enter Claire Haskell and Jason Marlowe, U.S. counterintelligence agents, and former lovers—though their memories may only be constructs implanted by their spymaster. Forced to set aside the enigma of their past, their agenda is to trust no one. For in a time of shifting loyalties, the enemy could be anyone—from a shadowy assassin working a questionable mission on the dark side of the moon, to a Euro data thief working under deep cover and wooed into a dangerous pact.

As the crisis mounts, and the search for Autumn Rain spans both Earth and Moon, the lives of all those involved will converge in one explosive finale—and a startling aftermath that will rewrite everything they've ever known—about their mission, their world, and themselves


To be honest, I only read this novel as I’d been approached by the author and wasn’t really too sure either who he was or what exactly to expect from within the pages. Firstly what I’ve got to let you know is that this title is an amalgamation of Sci-fi and thriller which blends the best of both genres that will keep readers of both pretty damn happy.

The prose is descent, the dialogue first class and the story arc is something that has to be read to be believed at just how much David has managed to cram into this offering. It’s a great start to a new series and one that is definitely going to help the author make a mark in the genre. Luckily for me I’ve got the second novel (Burning Sky) to enjoy pretty soon after. A real guilty pleasure to enjoy especially on a boring Saturday with a couple of beers (or beverage of your own choice.)


In his electrifying debut, The Mirrored Heavens, David J. Williams created a dark futuristic world grounded in the military rivalries, terror tactics, and political wrangling of our own time. Now he takes his masterful blend of military SF, espionage thriller, and dystopian cyberpunk one step further - to the edge of annihilation . . . .

Life as U.S. counterintelligence agent Claire Haskell once knew it is in tatters - her mission betrayed, her lover dead, and her memories of the past suspect. Worse, the defeat of the mysterious insurgent group known as Autumn Rain was not as complete as many believed. It is quickly becoming clear that the group's ultimate goal is not simply to destroy the tenuous global alliances of the 22nd century - but to rule all of humanity. And they're starting with the violent destruction of the Net and the assassination of the U.S. president. Now it's up to Claire, with her ability to jack her brain into the systems of the enemy, to win this impossible war.

Battling ferociously across the Earth-Moon system, and navigating a complex world filled with both steadfast loyalists and ruthless traitors, Claire must be ready for the Rain's next move. But the true enemy may already be one step ahead of her.


Having loved the original title by the author I felt pretty lucky to have this secondary offering ready to roll about five minutes after finishing the original. (Which if I’m honest with you I normally love to reread prior to beginning the next title.) However what David has managed to do with this title however is provide something that a new reader can delve into without having read the previous title that makes it not only user friendly but also keeps it fresh and accessible for all.

So what did the author deliver? Was the title worth a read or was it the much lamented Second Novel Blues?

What unfurled within this offering was a thriller that kept up a pretty descent pace, the characters realistic and had a reasonable growth throughout and it allowed the Author’s Universe to continue to expand without feeling rushed or contradictory. Back that up with great dialogue alongside what feels like well deserved author confidence and I’m definitely making this a top author recommendation this year. Great fun.


With The Machinery of Light, David J. Williams completes his furiously paced, stunningly imagined trilogy - a work of vision, beauty, and pulse-pounding futuristic action.

September 26, 2110. 10:22 GMT. Following the assassination of the American president, the generals who have seized power initiate World War Three, launching a surprise attack against the Eurasian Coalition's forces throughout the Earth-Moon system. Across the orbits, tens of thousands of particle beams and lasers blast away at one another. The goal: crush the other side's weaponry, paving the way for nuclear bombardment of the cities.

As inferno becomes Armageddon, the rogue commando unit Autumn Rain embarks on one last run. Matthew Sinclair, an imprisoned spymaster, plots his escape. And his former protégé Claire Haskell, capable of hacking into both nets and minds, is realizing that all her powers may merely be playing into Sinclair's plans. For even as Claire evades the soldiers of East and West amid carnage in the lunar tunnels, the surviving members of the Rain converge upon the Moon, one step ahead of the Eurasian fleets but one step behind the mastermind who created Autumn Rain - and his terrible final secret.


So we’re onto the third part in David’s Autumn Rain’s Series to date and I’m still just as enamoured. The writing is crisp the characters fully rounded. The dialogue is just as crisp and to finish off we have a great overall story arc with enough surprises to keep even a good number of picky readers happy. David J Williams is definitely an author to enjoy if you like your Sci-Fi and whilst he isn’t groundbreaking like some of the other more recent ones, what he writes he does exceedingly well. A real treat without too much technical know how required.

No comments: