Eagle SHIELD: Milestone Rising, first published in Australia by Aurora House 2018 copyright and written by Carl Lakeland. This Kindle edition ISBN: 978064822690.
Plot: The story opens in Alice Springs, a settled area in Australia’s ‘Outback” with Nathan being assigned to be the guardian/new parent for orphaned 10-year-old Angel whom he is informed has some ‘most ‘unusual talents’. Nathan Masters, nicknamed Canter, is a former special services soldier who had lost part of a leg in combat, but still works for ASIS, the Australian CIA/FBI type of organization. They are engaged in clandestine defensive activities against an organization that intends to devastate earth by nuclear fission. Purportedly, the organization is composed of worldwide, highly placed government and large company CEO’s along with Mafia and similar groups. These individuals are aligned with aliens who have infiltrated and lived among earth people for years and have provided these ‘privileged’ individuals with the opportunity to harvest large personal gains for their aiding the aliens while assuring them they would be provided with a means of escape from the devastated planet. The reason for the ‘Oudarretians’ desire to devastate earth is because the remnants of nuclear fission produce a substance they need to survive and gradually their source is being depleted. Angel is part human and part of this alien origin. Nathan’s assignment is titled Eagle Shield, presumably associated with an unusual relationship she appears to have with these birds. His instructions are to deliver Angel from Alice Springs to a safe house in Melbourne and then remain as her new parent/guardian while helping to prepare her to become an ASIS agent when she becomes an adult. Along with Angel he is given an important disc and other pertinent material about the Milestone Project that must never be out of his sight and control. With this attempted elimination of some of the early confusion of this story, the reader can embark upon pursuing the well written, fast paced abundant action that follows.
Discussion: The author has a most creative mind with which he has set forth a very interesting high-octane action plot, often on the edge of credibility, but acceptable with its occult/fantasy, alien/paranormal thread. His characters also gradually become increasingly interesting as more about them is revealed as is the plot, even though a certain amount of confusion still persists. Unfortunately, Canter is not as careful as his instructions require, numerous complications result and the action moves forward at a decidedly accelerated pace. So, readers who enjoy fast, often violent action with a touch of the paranormal will discover an enjoyable romp. Buy it and enjoy it but DON”T read the next paragraph.
A SPOILER ALERT must be offered for readers who, if like this reviewer, are not particularly attracted to lead characters who are quite inept in other than certain situations, here active combat. Specifically, if Canter were more mentally agile, listened to and followed instructions provided, he would be an individual more in line with expectations of an operative in a government’s intelligence service. But then, and most regrettably and apologetically, this perhaps is simply ‘one person’s opinion’.
3* 5* For violent action devotees; caveat regrettably and apologetically offered for others.
The Broadcast, an e-book published, copyright and written by Liam Fialkov.
Plot: The author has provided an interesting plot that is quite closely allied with thoughts arising from Erich von Dänilien books. However as provided, little description of the plot may be set forth without a ‘spoiler alert’ for presenting too much of it and/or its component parts. Briefly however, the story centers around a series of blockbuster broadcasts that at first present photographic evidence of situations that lead to solving ‘dead case’ murders. It then switches to documentary productions of historic events that the producer states gradually will go back to zero AD. As these latter increasingly reveal graphic descriptions of well-known/accepted factors of history, mounting pressure is exerted against their production by both Christian and Muslim groups who fear revelation of various activities that may be contrary to their long held beliefs and/or teachings.
Characters: Leading characters include Jonathan and his brother Walter, who as small children had been put up for adoption when their family was killed in a car crash. Walter was fortunate in being adopted by a loving family, well-educated and became a well-known TV producer. Jonathan became the product of several foster families and was only variously educated. He was intelligent and extended his education into several areas, however. Jonathan’s wife Sarah, disowned by her family for becoming pregnant at sixteen (actually raped) was sent from St. Louis to Phoenix where she delivered a baby that was taken from her at the convent causing her endless remorse. McPherson is an award winning journalist who believed the productions by Walter were phony and set in motion an attempt to expose them. HH a former debatably crooked cop who had served time and now was a bitter, occasionally vicious PI. Michael, a young adopted boy who is hired by Walter and plays an increasing part in the story. Numerous others who play roles of varied importance. Additionally, Jonathan and Sarah’s large, heavily forested area of residence contains an unusual portion that also plays an important part in the tale as the plot advances until it gradually reaches a fitting finale.
Discussion: As described, the story begins with the TV’s Hype for the unusual clip that had come into Walter’s possession that reveals the perpetrator of a twenty-five-year-old murder, followed by similar before switching to the historical documentary productions. The method of provision is to quite constantly switch between scenes with intermediate chapters. 1 – the TV hype; 2 – a chapter describing Johnathan and Sarah; 3 -one of Sarah; 4 – the Broadcast; 5 – Johnathan; 6 – the Broadcast; 7 – Michael; 8 – the Broadcast, etc. This approach does provide important bits and pieces of the story and the interrelationship of numerous characters as they move inexorably toward the finish. Unfortunately, the format results in a large amount of repetition and/or redundancy that if removed, would greatly enhance the progression of an intriguing story. Some, more prosaic, readers may find a little difficulty in accepting some character activity and many will find character development sketchy. Some will find the ending ‘proper and emotionally satisfying’ while others may believe it to be a little too ‘pat’.
4* For fascinating story; -1 at least for numerous hiccups.