Sunday, July 13, 2014

'Invader: Death Beach' by Simon Scarrow & T.J. Andrews

As much as I hate giving out my eMail to be notified of stuff, I might have to reconsider since I missed the release of Simon Scarrow’s new eBook by almost a month. As I’m prone to do on a regular basis, I was trolling around looking for something new to read.  Somehow I came across this new one by Scarrow and Andrews and yelled at my computer! I HATE missing new releases from authors I enjoy, so I promptly went over to the website and signed up for his newsletter.

This is the first installment in the new ‘Invader’ series and it is damn good! But I warn you, it reads very fast so be ready for that. The setting is familiar, fighting in Britannia on the island of Vectis, but the characters are different. At just around 300 pages Simon sets the stage for us to like, loathe, root for, and hope for death these new characters.

Rome might have been glorious, but she also had her fair share of corruption. Understatement of the week right? Enter Centurion Ocella. Prideful, stupid, arrogant, and a pain-in-the-gladius. Then there is Option Figulus. A soldier’s soldier and a man who shuns the spotlight. You just know these two are going to go heads up! 

Simon gives us a short-story that is only a small morsel of a bigger meal. But damn… this morsel is prime Grade-A served on Pickard China with a dry red on Lord Howe Island with Misty Copeland as the waitress. If I seem a little over the top, so be it. One thing that Simon does well is putting you front and center of the action. His descriptions of battle are as exciting as they are bloodthirsty. There were a few parts that I read twice. Twice because I literally cringed the first time I read it.

Friendships are forged, enemies are destroyed, “important” men swindle their way in front of better men, and no rest is had for a weary brave legionary. When writing a story that will be an ongoing series, too many author make the mistake of wasting time setting up the story while the story becomes a damn blood bore! Simon doesn’t have that problem and as a reader, I’m happy as a clam. The setting up of the characters is done with the deft skill of an author who knows what the hell he’s doing.

Their last eBook series were five eBook novellas that were released about two months apart. I searched the web and I can see at least two more titles in this series but came up blank after that. Let’s hope for at least that this time.

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