Reviewer Dr. Wesley Britton: Dr. Britton is the author of four non-fiction books on espionage in literature and the media. Starting in fall 2015, his new six-book science fiction series, The Beta-Earth Chronicles, debuted via BearManor Media. For seven years, he was co-host of online radio’s Dave White Presents where he contributed interviews with a host of entertainment insiders. Before his retirement in 2016, Dr. Britton taught English at Harrisburg Area Community College. Learn more about Dr. Britton at his WEBSITE
Author: MG Hardie
Publisher: MoorRey Publishing
Release Date: April 12, 2016
"Them make every symbol mean something. Them regulate. Them silence. Them monitor. Them protect. Them control and change the world. Them are chaos. Them are order. Them build. Them destroy. Them are everywhere, yet, nowhere."
Most readers experiencing a 40 page story will hesitate to call it a novel, or even a novelette or novella. Still, author MG Hardie insists the first installment of his Them series, The Awakening, should be considered a book. O.K. Obviously, it’s a short, packed read intended to whet your appetite for the volumes to come.
The Awakening centers on day trader Devon Heathrow who finds a mysterious set of glasses that are apparently a wearable computer. But when Heathrow puts them on, his perceptions change and he’s able to see dark figures not visible to anyone else. After a seemingly normal evening home with his wife and daughter, Heathrow is kidnapped and finds himself strapped to an operating table where his body is surgically and chemically altered by someone wanting to give him extra abilities. Why?
Considering the story’s length, The Awakening is surprisingly vivid and descriptive. In particular, the characters of Devon and his wife Sarah are extremely detailed and we learn much about their relationship, their likes and dislikes, their motivations behind the couple’s decisions. Told from Devon’s point-of-view, we hear many observations about what Devon feels about his job, his traveling to work, and what he thinks city vs. suburban life Means to him. After strange mysteries begin to alter his perceptions, the ordinariness of Hethrow’s existence gives way to a very believable tale of horror as he learns about two unseen “species” apparently at war over the fate of humankind. Much of the second half of the book is a very graphic description of how Heathrow is transformed and enhanced as he discovers what role he will be forced to play in the conflict.
I admit, I’m intrigued enough to want to read future chapters in this dense saga. In a sense, if future editions are equally short, it will be like waiting for new episodes of a TV series. With luck, there won’t be long gaps between them, especially now that those Them have been awakened.