The Minus Faction – Episode Seven: Outbreak, by Rick Wayne
Genre: Superhero, aliens, action, explosions, zombies, awesome
The final chapter of this series sees our “heroes” going up against the big bad… the boss fight… whatever you want to call it. The team is at their finest, putting themselves in mortal danger to stop The Red King from dominating all humanity. The clock runs down. The more steps they take forward, the more wild and insane stuff gets in their way. This whole book is packed with action and madness!
I want to say more. I want to gush about the successes and failures, the twists and turns, but I don’t do spoilers. If you want to see an absolutely amazing finish to a fantastic series, you’re just going to have to read it for yourself.
And when you do read it (you should. Seriously.), make sure you read through, or at least flip through, all the back matter. There’s a bonus scene that had me cheering!
There better be more of these characters in the future. With the big teaser at the end, there’s no way this fight is over. And the villain they’re up against next is awefantastamazing!!!
Here’s the link to the first one: The Minus Faction – Episode One: Breakout
The Kindle version is free. You have no excuse.
The Minus Faction – Episode Six: Shockwave, by Rick Wayne
Genre: Action, Adventure, Super Hero
Rating: 5 stars
The team is separated, and the characters need to figure out what their priorities are.
This episode is packed with explosive action, and psychological torment. Basically, my favourite kind of story. We’re learning a lot more about the ever-present countdown and those behind it. And this is one of the things that I really like about the story, is the villains have a purpose. A noble purpose, even. They’re certainly not going about it in the best of ways (if there is a best way), but you can almost sympathize with them.
And this is really the only time that a cliffhanger ending is okay. I might not have agreed with myself back when the series was incomplete. I might have torn my hair out. But the series is done now, so I don’t need to wait. I’m going to jump right into the final episode with both feet and get carried along for the ride.
You should come on the ride, too. This series is too good to miss!
The Minus Faction – Episode Five: Aftershock, by Rick Wayne
Genre: Action, Super Powers, Messin’ with my head and my heart
Rating: 5 stars
I’m all in. Wayne put the episodes on sale for Christmas shopping or something, and I bought the last three. No regrets. There are so many moving, intricate parts that it all feels like a dance. New villains take centre stage before you get back to the part that you really wanted to see after the end of the previous episode.
It’s heart wrenching. Xana is my favourite character, and watching her go through what she does is soul crushing. The team is a mess, a team of villains is coming for them, and the end of this episode blew me away. I knew there was something fishy for a long time, but I didn’t see it coming. I was so happy I had the next episode on my Kindle, ready to go, because I started it immediately after finishing this one.
This series is masterfully done up to this point, and I expect excellence for the rest.
The Minus Faction – Episode Four: Blackout, by Rick Wayne
Genre: Science fantasy superhero action adventure awwwweeeesome
Rating: 5 stars
The team’s assembled. Cohesive? No. Not even a little bit. But they’ve got a job to do, and they’re going to fuck it up. And when a job goes sideways for these guys, hooooolyyyyy shit.
Sorry, I don’t usually swear a whole lot, but this story hit me like an ambulance with rocket boosters.
I’m getting used to the head-hopping POV, so I don’t have to re-read sections too often once I figure out whose head I’m in. It mostly happens in quieter parts of the story, as though both writer and story are a little unfocused. But when the action hits, there’s no question where you are. This cast of misfits takes a lot to bond, but it’s amazing when they do.
And the ending had me all misty-eyed. This is the second time Wayne has done this to me, and I curse his name again. So good.
If you aren’t reading this series, why not? The first episode is permanently free. Go get it.
Silent Clarion: The Full Collection, by Matthew Graybosch
Rating: 5 stars
I want to start off by saying I received a copy of Silent Clarion to beta read.
The story follows Adversary Naomi Bradleigh. If you’ve read Matthew Graybosch’s first novel, Without Bloodshed, then you’ll be familiar with this character already. Born with CPMD, a condition that gives people cat-like features, Naomi is as tough as they come. Using her position to whip police officers into line and keep the peace, she’s a force of nature.
But even officers of the law need some down time, and the majority of this story takes place during her “vacation” which is anything but. A hint of trouble presents itself, and she follows the trail, uncovering twist after twist, always finding more questions than answers. The pace is fast, and I never had any idea what was going to happen next. I loved this story, and look forward to more!
The Minus Faction – Episode Three: Meltdown, by Rick Wayne
Genre: Science fantasy action adventure super-hero…? (I hate trying to figure out what his genre is :P)
Rating: 4 stars
Once again, I was swept along in the story Wayne has created. This one is big on intrigue, as the new protagonist Ian finds himself on a terrorist watch list for no reason that he can fathom. He’s a sort of “every man” character, who’s devastated by his recent breakup when his life gets further complicated by the FBI and secret organizations. And then a foul-mouthed, super-intelligent 11 (and a half) year old girl comes into the picture – and, well, I think Ian was swept up in the story, too.
There are a lot of fantastic events along the way, and the characters from all three stories come together at the end of this one.
And here’s where this story fell down to 4 stars. I got confused when the POV hopped from one character to another without scene breaks. You’re in Ian’s head, then John without warning. I think it happened a couple times at the end where I wasn’t sure where I was in terms of head-space. I’d noticed very minor cases of this in previous stories, where something would be seen from a minor character’s viewpoint for one line, but it wasn’t a problem to follow. Don’t get me wrong, the story is still excellent, and I’m going to be continuing on with this series. I just hope future stories are clearer about whose POV we’re seeing through, and don’t become jumbled now that all the stories have come together.
The Minus Faction – Episode Two: Crossfire, by Rick Wayne
Genre: Action adventure with a superhero sort of feel
Rating: 5 stars
This story was a slow build with a big pay off. After enjoying the first episode, I was hooked. When it started out, I noticed straight away that the writing style felt different from the first episode. The writing was in short, simple sentences. It felt a bit broken. But the reason for that became clear as we got to know Xana, the protagonist in this episode. She’s a hulking woman who can’t stop growing. She’s immensely powerful, but pretty simple-minded. So when we see the story from (mostly) her POV, it makes sense that it’s broken into smaller chunks.
The story itself is packed with emotion, as Xana looks for her son who has disappeared. There are layers to this story, and like a master storyteller, Wayne reveals them slowly, teasing the reader with bits of knowledge so you think you know what’s happening, and then another layer is peeled back. The character might think of herself as stupid and ugly, but I felt highly sympathetic to her plight. So far in these two episodes, Wayne has managed to take damaged characters and make them interesting and lovable – quite the feat for short segments.
I will definitely be picking up the third installment soon. The situations and characters that Wayne creates are too interesting for me to walk away. I need to know what happens next!