Erik Wecks is a writer and blogger and has published a small number of books and Aetna Adrift caught my attention. From the dust cover “What do you do when every aspect of life is regulated by a soul-sucking bureaucracy and constant surveillance is the norm? You run. You find the out-of-the-way places no one watches. You make sure no one depends upon you, and you beat the system. That’s what Jack did, and it worked…until now. It starts to go wrong when Jack breaks his rule and takes Anna home more than once. Then, Administrator Timothy Randall arrives and turns Jack’s backwater moon upside down. On a mission from the central government which no one understands, Randall and his staff do whatever it takes to accomplish their goals. When the killing starts, Jack finds himself blackmailed, tortured, and enslaved to a ruthless political faction. Now he must figure out who to trust, how to escape, and decide between Anna and his freedom. Aetna Adrift is a full length high octane thriller in Erik Wecks’ PAX Imperium universe.”
My Ebook review: This for me was a book that started and ended really well. The opening section was interesting, well described and gripping and the set scene for a futuristic adventure / techno space fantasy. The author has a splendid imagination conjuring up an elaborate selection of characters each with diverse interests within a complex overarching plot that includes conflicting agenda, conspiracy and big brother style bureaucracy.
For me the middle section executed the plot well but was perhaps caught up in its own confusion and requires the main characters to be very lucky. This is of course a common feature of almost every blockbuster extravaganza, no holds barred, fight to stay alive book or especially movies there is a fine balance somehow. I recall watching 2012 and getting annoyed at how many times “Hold on!” was shouted about as if a good grip works well against an exploding super volcano, but I digress! Wecks’ balance left me feeling flat at a point where the crescendo was otherwise building nicely. To be fair therefore, there will certainly be readers who absolutely get carried by the story, the inner turmoil of the main character as he finds and has to deal with his vulnerability and human nature.
A good read.