Price of Vengeance (book review)
Price of Vengeance was written by Kurt D. Springs. It is the first book in his Dreamscape Warriors series. This post has been organized by iRead Book Tours. I was provided with a copy in exchange for my honest book review. All opinions are my own.
About the book:
Suddenly, irrationally angry, Liam straightened. “How can you defend him after what he did? To you, to Mom, to my birth parents, to everyone we cared about?”
With a howl of despair and emotional agony, Liam dashed forward, through the shade of his father, blindly running into the sewers.
What is the Price of Vengeance? One could understand why Liam was angry. He was orphaned at the age of two by a group of giant carnivorous insects called the chitin. Adopted by High Councilor Marcus and his wife, Lidia, Liam was raised with their older son, Randolf in New Olympia, the last remaining city on the planet Etrusci. As an adult, Liam becomes a soldier. After being cut off from the city, Liam finds that there is an alien intelligence behind the chitin. To defeat it, he must discover who he is and how to use his powers. Then, Liam discovers that a traitor, responsible for his birth parents’ deaths, had murdered his beloved foster parents. Will the price he has to pay in his quest for vengeance prove to be an even more unbeatable foe?
Total sci-fi, action, adventure. It had a very "Ender's Game" vibe to me... with the one man/boy best equipped to fight the enemy... and the enemy armies consisting of huge insect like hive-mind creatures. The story building was very detailed, with a lot of history. I liked that that background history wasn't unloaded on the reader all at once, but unfolded as Liam and Randolf learned the past events. I also enjoyed that, while the story was FULL of fight scenes and action, there were enough quieter, thoughtful scenes interspersed. Heartfelt, thoughtful talks, between many of the characters.
While I loved Liam's character (and how much he grew through the story) I have to say a couple of supporting characters stole the show for me. Swift-Hunter, a bear-lizard who communicates telepathically, brought a sweet and humorous note to the story that really helped balance some of the stress and violence. While he was every bit of the strong and capable warrior you would assume a "bear-lizard" sounds... his compassion and loyalty was pleasantly unexpected. Jarek had a similar feel. As he trained Liam in the Dreamscape... he still had a quality that kept things light. His sense of humor had me laughing a couple of times. The majority of the book was focused on battles and violence... so the touches of humor, love, and lightness were nicely placed.
While the book was full of action and adventure and all things sci-fi... it was clear to me that the story also had a theme of acceptance running through it. Acceptance of things not at face value. Breaking of stereotypes and prejudice. Liam was a Finnian adopted into an Etrucian society. He was shorter, and darker, and just... different. Society wasn't accepting of him and so he kept himself separated... even though those that DID get to know him loved him and respected him. Swift-Hunter was one of a species that was feared simply from afar because of their appearance. In reality he was trustworthy, and loyal, and compassionate (although still something to be fear if crossed). Things are not always as they seem.
About the author:
Kurt D. Springs is presently an adjunct professor of anthropology and archaeology in New Hampshire. He holds a PhD. in anthropology from the State University of New York at Buffalo, as well as a Master of Literature in archaeology from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and a Master of Liberal Arts in anthropology and archaeology from the Harvard University Extension School. His main area of interest is megalithic landscapes in prehistoric Ireland. He also reviews science fiction and fantasy on his blog Kurt’s Frontier.