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5.0 out of 5 starsFantastic!
Reviewed in the United States on April 22, 2020
Five stars for creativity and awesome entertainment, a well executed and written sci-fi tale with a whole cup of lovecraftian fantasy as if the author knew my liking of H. P. Lovecraft horror stories. For those who enjoy H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos, this book is for ya, and then some!
5.0 out of 5 starsA retired agent must navigate different realms to find a powerful relic in this enthralling novel!
Reviewed in the United States on August 7, 2017
Abby is a man retired from the special operations team at the Homeland Security Bureau. A man of unique talents, he is a special agent who also specializes in archeological antiquities. When his past and his present collide, he’s paired with agent Leta, an Umbra from another plane of existence, to solve the case. However, what he must find is a long-lost artifact only rumored to exist, an artifact that in the wrong hands, could change all of the universes for the worse!
This novel has a lot of different elements. It’s a dystopian police procedural. It’s a cyberpunk noir thriller. It’s a horror novel that explores the unknown aspects of the universe. But most importantly, it’s a science fiction novel that has different planes of existence and points of intersection between them. Each plane is filled with interesting ideas, environments, creatures, myths, and history.
Creatures such as the Maro and its war clans, Syns who are synthetic humans with artificial intelligence and the tribal Yeti, to name but a few. Each plane is also bursting with so many imaginative ideas and detailed history, like the Spectral Wars, that this novel only scratches the surface of some of them along its fast-moving and formidable journey.
We’re immersed in the intriguing mystery surrounding this artifact while the history of this existence and its many planes are woven into the first third of the novel. While it's sumptuous world(s) building and different environments are being established, the characters like Abby, his friend Jazz and Leta are also fascinating people, with rich histories, extraordinary abilities, and deep personality. When the novel combines these components together, it swept me into its absorbing world, captivating cultures, and spine-tingling adventure.
The possible directions the story can go (and does go) in are truly limitless. There’s plenty of dangerous realms and unforeseeable surprises in store for the reader to discover, as there is so much innovation and imagination here. Together, it perfectly meshes all of these pieces together into an adrenaline-fueled, unpredictable and riveting finale with consequences for the entire universe. And the ending just blows this already compelling story wide open.
This is the first novel planned in a series of novels that take place in this universe. The author has also written some short stories about it already, featured in issues 11, 12, 14, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 27, 28, 29, 32, 33 & 34 of the
Tales from the Canyons of the Damned (18 Book Series)
to date, with more to come. There are other short stories set in this universe, such as "Gazer: A Spectral Worlds Story". This also includes tales published in the anthologies "Chronicle Worlds: Tails of Dystopia" and "UnCommon Lands: A Collection of Rising Tides, Outer Space, and Foreign Realms".
I've read many of the author's short stories, novellas, and novels before and this is easily the most ambitious, boldest and most visionary novel he's written to date. It's a universe, or I should say, universes, that are brimming with endless storytelling possibilities and I can't wait to read more of them!
5.0 out of 5 starsThis story just carried me away to another place and time. Wonderful writing.
Reviewed in the United States on August 8, 2017
I was given this book as an advanced reader copy in exchange for a honest review. I have to say I found this book really awesome!
Called out of retirement Abernathy Squire, known to his friends as Abby, is contacted by a long time colleague of the his from the bureau he retired from. He is asked to come back into service and help them find a missing artifact of great value. This artifact is said to have mystical and magical properties. He reluctantly agrees.
Abby is living in a world where everyone around him is trying to appear to be something or someone else. With the help of 'mods' each person can change most aspects of who and what they are. But having superior 'mods' himself, he is capable of working around people wearing such devices.
Now, lumbered with an assistant he doesn't want, he must dip once more into the murky world of his past to find the missing artifact before someone else does.
This is an interesting mixed species romp whose characters can flit from one 'plane' to another. Filled with red eyed bad guys and near naked dominatrix henchwomen, this story just grows more and more interesting as you get into it. I really enjoyed the clever twists and turns in the plot, they kept it interesting and very enjoyable. And the ending...I did NOT see that coming! Loved it. It made me hungry for more.
I think the author, Daniel Arthur Smith, is definitely a man to watch...he seems to have a really cool grasp on this genre.
5.0 out of 5 starsIf you like Bladerunner, you'll love this
Reviewed in the United States on August 10, 2017
Spectral Shift is a fun, fantastic read that could be the start of a terrific series should Smith continue on with it.
Years after the Spectral Wars, there is a case that needs the attention of a retired agent. The further the reader delves into the book, the more the reader discovers and unearths about this fascinating world Smith has created in the not-too-distant future. New abilities and planes of existence show that humanity has much further to progress.
Smith isn't afraid to showcase the depths of his story, told in a noir cyperpunk way, ala Bladerunner. I highly recommend this book.
The world has changed in the years since the Spectral Wars. Humans can be forever young, different races co-exist and travel is possible between planes. Arcadia is where the elite live, away from the congestion o normal folk, with blue skies and tangerine light. But it's not all paradise: an artefact believed to hold great power has been stolen and a long retired agent from Homeland is commissioned to find it.
Well written and with great imagination, this is a swirling colourful action story set in a future and different world. Although complete in itself, it is the first of what should prove to be an excellent series as Commander 'Abby' squire and his Homeland Security Special Agent 'babysitter', Captain Leta Serene chase the almost mythical jade statuette, the Jasper Stone. An excellent read.
2.0 out of 5 starsInteresting concept on different planes of existence, but the characters and plot didn't grab me.
Reviewed in the United States on June 24, 2018
I read this book as part of the Dominion Rising anthology. The environment created in this novel feels like it's Blade Runner on steriods. It has an interesting concept of having different planes of existence, and how the main character Abbey spectrally shifts to other planes, but really plays out as a detective story with a cyberpunk overlays. My main issues are that the characters do not have enough depth, and the women are all supermodels whose body is the main focus. This is the first book, and I have no desire to read the second book.