Every so often (or perhaps once in a red moon) my friend Mr Bricknell, of the Techfoolery team and general techy blogger, is going to Guest Post on here with his own book reviews. Enjoy!
Bored with an internet connection is, sometimes a problem. There are only so many LOLcats I can see before the urge to start killing again becomes too great. On this day my boredom took me to Wil Wheaton’s (of Star Trek fame) Google Plus page, and there I found my first story to write about.
The Returners is a different kind of book. The writer is actually a script writer for video games, having worked on Brother in Arms and the Borderlands series, and it shows in the fast paced, story driven action of the book. With this book the writer wanted to make an episodic novel so each chapter was sold on the Kindle store for 50p each week. I actually picked up the complete first season for £2.25 which is a pretty good deal in the Kindle world.
This style of writing has a few disadvantages however. Each chapter ends on some sort of climax. It feels like each chapter is an episode of some American crime drama, so it has to end with a flourish. The downside to that is an inherent disconnect between chapters, it’s like a frog on a hot plate and keeping up is sometimes a chore.
The story is centered around Alex, a young man of some handsomeness by all accounts with a nutty girlfriend and a good job. He is a pretty fun character for the most part although he does have a few issues.
1) People keep trying to kill him and
2) He is Alexander the Great reborn.
It seems that something has occurred that is bringing the heroes of the past back. Maybe heroes is the wrong term, historical figures is more accurate I suppose. While Albert Einstein is a hero of mine I don’t think he fits in the same category as Alexander or Genghis Khan.
The story hops from Alex to other notable figures as the book progresses until by the last “episode” we get some deeper plot points.
Is this is a good book? I’m not sure. It was a fun read, having figures from the past interact with the modern world is enjoyable and the book is a new form of novel, one born in the internet age and trying a new way of being. I like that idea and think by the end of the journey reading it again as a cohesive novel will be a must.
I think its worth a solid 3/5 at this point and as the book unfolds it may reach even greater heights.