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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Tool by Magus Tor (Numbered, #2) - Book Review - Indie

4/5 Stars

Born for war, war for bonds...

23631810

Edition: Kindle
Pages: 175 (Roughly.)
Chapters: 23
Publisher: Magus Tor Books and Games

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Amazon
                      Author's Website

Review

Tool has been on my TBR for far too long, which is surprising, because I absolutely adore the first entry, Want. But I'm back and glad. The Numbered series strikes me as a space opera/dystopian, and if you love advanced technology, adventure and fun futuristic fantasies, you're in the right place. Tool embodies these qualities, delivering a concise and capable story full of intrigue.

You will have to suspend your disbelief, but it's a rewarding experience. A lightning-quick pace doesn't blunt the themes of equality and the stark reality of a world governed by fear. 

Conspiracies abound, betrayal is the flavour for the day, and the future of fairness is threatened in this fantastic sequel.

SPOILER WARNING

Synopsis (Not a copy from the book, but I always keep my interpretations close.)

Aurelia Cole has been dragged into a fight well above her pay grade.
Allied with the Resistance and their semi-leader Jonathon Hansen, evil lurks in the shadows, waiting to ruin them.
Nicholas, a clone seeking equality for his people, has decided hiding from the authorities is no longer viable under the dome of Lunar City.
When Aurelia finds her friend missing, she sets out after Nicholas, to the surface of the moon.
Where dangers can end you in the silence of space...

Plot - 4/5 Stars

Tool has good and bad recap sections. Now, it's been a while since I read the first entry to the series, so going into this one I couldn't remember all of the pertinent details. Magus uses the first quarter to try and remedy this. There are some great parts that are natural and smooth, recalling those lost parts of the plot. It's slipped into the dialogue, too, meaning the pace isn't affected like it would be if the author had used paragraph after paragraph of info-dumping.

The bad thing is it comes just short. While every bit of backstory you need to fully appreciate Tool on its own is there, the overarching plot isn't. Giving a brief rundown: The Elite rule both the Lunar City and the ravaged Earth, using people as pawns and discarding of them accordingly (what else is new, huh?). Similarly, clones are treated as second-class citizens unworthy of common decency. Hansen seeks to change the way the rich treat the poor; Nicholas aims to give clones equal rights.

There's of course more to it, more sinister and startling threads that are touched on in Want. A little more on the overarching plot could have gone a long way.

Dismissing that, though, Tool is a wonderful continuation. It's tense and exciting, packed with adventure and stunning imaginative visuals. While the political aspects are fuzzy, the feel of rebellion and resistance is infectious. The series is building to something epic, and I cannot wait to reach that conclusion.

There are some enjoyable surprises in store along the way, even if the major one isn't as shocking as it could be. The group are betrayed, pointed out in the official blurb even before you start the novel, and the person in question practically walks about with a neon sign of obviousness. It's still fun, and that's something I can't praise this story for enough: The amount of things you enjoy.

The end is a bit rushed, but with more in the series, it's hardly an issue.

Pace - 5/5 Stars

Furiously fast. The structure balances action, exposition and adventure in a way that demands the reader to continue without stopping. The intrigue in the world, or should I say, the moon, is perfect. I love the futuristic feel, with the author managing to use both the standard and more creative versions of technology. All without being overbearing.

Characters - 3.5/5 Stars

The cast is alright. Engaging, but not too remarkable. I remember loving them in the first entry, and for Tool I feel it's the instalove and love triangle that pulls everything down. It's only been a few weeks since any of the characters even met, but our main, Aurelia, is already in love with someone, namely Jonathon, with Nicholas making the third part of the triangle.

It just feels off, and they highlight the tendency for happy coincidences. Sometimes the plot and its cast just have things too easy, almost like you can see where the author is pushing the plot to go, rather than there being a natural progression.

Aurelia is smart and capable, no doubt about it, and as our viewpoint she's interesting.

It isn't all bad, though. New characters slip in to heal the cracks, and by the end, everyone feels more like a team.

Writing - 4/5 Stars

Love, love, love the way Magus Tor brings to life the vivid visuals of space and futuristic technology. Things flow well and the dialogue is A+. There are few errors and the length of the novel is just perfect for a little light reading.

Overall - 4/5 Stars

I could never go into space, it freaks me out, and I certainly couldn't be involved in a war for power, because I'd suck.

So I'm glad I get to read about it instead! 


Previous Instalment: Want
Next Instalment: Tree


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