Review+Giveaway: Sentient by Michael Leon

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Sentient


A science fiction by Michael Leon
cover of Sentient by Michael Leon

A century has passed and yes, the human race stumbled into evolutionary compromise. But it’s not the androids who are the victors. Post-humans have exploded into preeminence, gaining tech superiority and a tech immunity against the global environmental degradation. Humans are trivialised, a minority species, their one last significant task, restore the environmental damage they inflicted on Earth and terraform off-planets. One human and his ‘biot’ android embark on such a journey to Mars, opening the possibility for an evolutionary path back to greatness, but hostile post-human agents have infiltrated their mission.

Excerpt

The reconnaissance soldier, Harvey, was the first to walk into the cave, his adversary not just Draven, but to his shock, four Dravens. The soldier attempted to fire his pulse gun, but it failed to activate, causing him to back away to com Jarvis, when it too failed.

Draven was unarmed except for a single dagger, which he removed from his sheath and pointed his assailant’s way, inviting him to battle. Harvey, like all military biots, were robotized killers, programmed to fight in the fires of hades if their commander required it. He welcomed Draven’s challenge, exchanging a steel salute with his blade.

In that moment between standoff and battle, both combatants exchanged an inscrutable glance that signaled the opening gesture, acceptance that what they now started would only end with one standing. War-like adrenaline saturated the cave like the Martian dust as they began a dance, they’d spent their lives honing. Both were masters of the blade.

The soldier relished rather than feared Draven’s advantage as he rotated 360 degrees to confront the four assailants that encircled him. It was a Russian roulette encounter, with only one holding the real weapon of death. 340 Sentient But which? The soldier flicked his handle, extending his knife to a sword, showing he too brought tricks to the arena. Masterfully, he swept the sword in a Samurai-like movement of grace and skill glancing all four assailants, clicking real metal on only one, establishing his real target.

He attacked Draven, slicing, carving and driving his sword in every possible direction and angle but each time Draven evaded his assault untouched, toying with him. The soldier grew bolder with every exchange as if the challenge was all that mattered. Ever faster, he launched attacks that ultimately pushed Draven into the rock wall. Cornering Draven, he felt emboldened to make a devastating but risky assault, successfully finding the small opening in his defense allowing Harvey to plunge his sword deep into Draven’s core.

The sound of steel driving through Draven’s body echoed through the cathedral signaling victory, but to the soldier’s shock, Draven stood tall, before the flickering of his holograph gave way to the cold rock where he stood. “You’re fast, soldier. But I’m as quick as light,” he said, pulling his knife from the soldier’s back, spilling his blood to the Martian dust, decommissioning the young soldier with a single decisive incision.


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Review

This isn’t my usual sci-fi reading grounds, but I enjoyed it, nonetheless. It settled somewhere between space opera and action-exploration. Lots of action with vivid descriptions. The societal food chain of humans and non-humans was built well, and I felt all the tensions between groups.

While the action was great, I didn’t quite connect to the characters. This was partly due to some distanced POV choices. Those choices actually worked very well for the story. They just kept me from connecting as deeply as I would have liked. The other factor was relationships I felt I didn’t get to see enough of. I got descriptions of histories between characters, which were then translated into bonds. I felt a bit lost sometimes, as if I’d missed years of these people’s lives. Which, I guess, I had. None of this was a deal breaker in any way. The book was balanced between action and character growth. There were some neat twists—some I saw coming, some I didn’t.

All in all, a quick and action-packed read that tackles some interesting questions about humanity and colonization. Definitely worth a read.

About Michael Leon

Michael Leon author image

Michael Leon is an explorer, writer and author of the new novel, Sentient. Professionally trained in international trade, Michael has spent the last decade reading and writing SFF novels about new worlds to be explored in the future. His latest work, Sentient, imagines Earth in the year 2120. Michael has traveled extensively around Europe, walking the paths of his characters, from the famous European opera houses in Phantoms to the mountain tops of Switzerland in Emissary.


Find him online:
-website
-Twitter
-blog
-Goodreads
-Amazon

Giveaway

Michael Leon will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Comments

  1. Thanks to Kit ’N Kabookle for hosting this stop on my tour. Thanks also for the review and your positive comments.

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  2. Thanks for sharing the great post and awesome giveaway :)

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  3. I liked the excerpt. Thank you for sharing.

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  4. Good morning and thank you for the book description and giveaway.   I appreciate both of them.

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome, James. Good luck with the giveaway!

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