By: Mike Saxton
Publisher: Eloquent Books
Publication Date: May 2010
Reviewed by: Bill Alberts
Review Date: November 2010
May 7th was the day the world changed. Daily life was interrupted by the voice of Zodiac, a man who called himself, “hatred incarnate.” Sending a video feed through every cellular phone, computer and television, he warned humanity that the world was about to be purged of all people. Moments later colossal explosions destroyed every large city in the world. Now all Zodiac had to do was level smaller cities and towns, as well as kill the few remaining survivors. And all this action happened within the first two pages of 7 Scorpions: Rebellion.
Once the reader is introduced to the history of the “Flash Storm,” and the destruction it caused, author Mike Saxton takes us to Hartford, Connecticut where we meet a mysterious man with amazing fighting abilities. This man, Vincent Black, was singlehandedly taking on the Zodiac’s “Seekers,” armed, robot-like fighters who send out a “fear aura” to keep their foes in check. But Vincent is immune to the Seekers fear aura and he seems to be enjoying this battle. While killing many Seekers, Vincent is also able to save three rebel fighters desperately trying to escape. Once he gets the rebels to safety, he decides it is time to come out of his self-imposed exile and join the revolt against Zodiac.
Vincent and his new friends head to upstate New York to a government complex where, it turns out, Vincent was given his superpower abilities. The amazing fighting machine was altered as part of a government project and is able to sense when danger is near, heal at incredible rates, and posses the strength of several men. As the rebel band slowly grows in numbers, Vincent becomes their leader. Will the rag-tag band of fighters be able to thwart the advancing Seeker army and stop Zodiac before he achieves total world domination?
The action keeps coming in this fast-paced novel as Vincent and his friends try to outwit Zodiac. As they struggle to keep their hiding place secret, they also urgently seek to discover how Zodiac maintains total control over his army of Seekers. If they are to fight these zombie-like humans, they will have to ascertain the secret to the Seekers’ fear aura. Can it be done? Can a group with no real organization fight off a well-controlled, trained group of fighters?
It was easy to get involved in the lives of the rebel fighters in 7 Scorpions. Vincent, while being a heroic fighter for the cause, was very human. He had several “issues” to deal with, the least of which is how/why he became such an incredible fighter. Lexi, another fighter who is not affected by the Seekers’ fear aura, is Vincent’s counterpart and equal in many ways. There was give-and-take between the two and a slight hint of sexual tension that revved up the heat. Perhaps we’ll see this relationship grow in the next book of this trilogy, 7 Scorpions: Revolution.
While the rebel camp and their exploits were the highlight of this book, I found some of the antagonists, with their frequently campy dialogue and clichéd actions a bit over the top. Zodiac, with his mesh armor, spikes extending from his shoulders and knees, as well as a black, flowing cape reminded me more of an old Batman cartoon than a sinister madman for today’s readers. An evil scientist and a captured commander, who at first appeared to be pure evil like their leader, gave up clues to Zodiac’s plans far too easily. With dialogue such as “ Hmph, you are aware of less than I thought. Oh well, I will enjoy educating one as lovely as you,“ (pg. 256), it was hard to take many of these potential conquerors seriously. Overall, however, the story was unique and a lot of fun. I look forward to seeing what the author has in store for Vincent and his group of rebels in the next book.
Quill says: A good start to a new science fiction trilogy.
For more information on 7 Scorpions: Rebellion, please visit the book's website at: www.7scorpions.com