Spirit Runner, Published by Windsor Graphics is a fascinating story in e-book by Richard Ferguson
Ron Campbell is a 7-year old who wants to be a runner like his father who had been an Olympian. He is doing well until a devastating auto accident kills his immediate family and leaves him with mangled legs that physicians say may not even allow him to walk again. A kind, child oriented nurse sympathetically helps him through his somewhat extended hospital stay. Upon release, his grandfather, a wealthy rancher and former sheriff, assumes responsibility and bring him home to live with his daughter and her husband. They resent the child and are physically abusive because he provides an interference with their secret schemes to obtain the father’s money and land. Fortunately, a man who had stopped by for a time to earn money to continue his journey to California is a graduate rehabilitation therapist from his native Australia. He sees the boy and suggests to the grandfather that he can help him to walk but it would be best if he could monitor him on a 24-hour basis. Ron moves in with him and his therapy sessions begin and are aided by two friends, a young girl and slightly older boy from neighboring ranches. Ron gradually improves with his sessions but is plagued with mean tricks instigated by his aunt and uncle. From this point the story accelerates even more as through the years Ron’s legs strengthen and the aunt and uncle become more desperate and escalate their attacks even into attempts to cause his death and that of others because the grandfather considers changing his will in favor of Ron. The climax(s) actually are two. One describes the ultimate family situation finalization and the second concentrates on what happens with respect to Ron’s initial desire to emulate his father.
Discussion: The author has produced a fast-paced, well written tale about a likeable young protagonist with unsurpassed strength and fortitude, enjoyably believable friends and a credible plot. Granted, the story’s ending becomes pretty much predictable, but for any reader who appreciates a truly well written ‘feel good story’ this is a thoroughly enjoyable read that one does not want to miss.
5* Thoroughly enjoyable ‘feel-good’ tale not to be missed.
Dawn of Infinity ISBN: 9781775210108, a sci-fi thriller in e-book by V. J. Deanes,
The story opens with Kalen Mars severely beating an attacking a Bully during his high school lunch break. His friends are concerned that they, as such, now will be a target. However, Devon Granger who has recently moved into their small town of Hadley’s Crossing agrees that his actions not only were justified but also correct – an important impacting fact on later activity in the book. The plot then begins to expand into a convoluted series of activities involving a small group of brilliant scientists who have extended their abilities in editing human genetics. They are able to reproduce mammals in artificial wombs, store digital information in DNA, use a digital ‘switch’ from one state to another based on external stimuli, and additional means for ultimately producing robots in human forms that are so ‘human’ in all aspects that they even are able to obtain citizenship. The reaction of the general public when a few of their earlier clones go rogue is, as might be expected, horrendously violent. Fear leads to rioting, destruction of anyone/thing thought to be a ‘non-human’ and ultimately actual division of the country into differing zones. Simultaneously, distrust, duplicity, betrayal, deceit and treachery enter the scientific community stimulated by the usual individual motivations. Some of the individual human-like clones are made and used as spies and as destructive instruments in all things ‘requiring correction’ in the scientific community. Also surfacing, is the shocking revelation to Kalen that he may or may not be a clone following an attempt by Vern Gedder, who looks exactly like him, to kill him. From this point the action accelerates even more as Kalen must escape killers from several sources until he can discover his true identity. His home town of Hadley’s Crossing becomes of increasing importance. The position of importance of formerly introduced characters re-emerges, and numerous other pertinent figures are introduced. The subsequent activity regarding Kalen’s questionable identity is most interesting to follow as its correlation with the scientific group becomes more evident and the final revelation provides an intriguing closure to the volume.
Conclusion: The author has set forth a fascinating, fast-moving, nicely characterized sci-fi thriller that provides closure for the story but with plenty of space for additional volumes. More importantly, perhaps, he has provided the reader with a most engaging look into science’s possible future. He has presented the production of a technique that makes an organ that can transmit information from a computer to a human brain so as to open the “dawn of post-human evolution”. This “Affinity” allows the human’s unity with artificial intelligence so as to provide a mind that can be “One with the World”. The technique is a product of sci-fi fiction and obviously presents many problems including simply those of ‘hacking’. HOWEVER, in the light of what has been accomplished already by science with respect to DNA, cloning, robots, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and more, the world already has advanced far down, and even passed, some of the Sci-Fi paths set forth by novelists in their tales during the last century. Who actually can say what lies ahead in this century?
5* Thoroughly enjoyable sci-fi thriller with engrossing considerations.