Review of From The Grave Of The Gods: The Augment Saga Book 1, by Alan K. Dell

(I received a copy of this novel in return for a fair and honest review.)

I do love a good near-future sci fi tale, and FTGOTG, the first book of the author’s Augment Saga, definitely fits the bill. Anything that opens with a quote from Nikola Tesla gets my vote.

The plot is pacey and the characters well drawn and relatable, although the slightly tired trope of a Russian cosmonaut speaking stilted English is in evidence, and by the end of the book you will know the author’s favourite phrases include ‘the two companions’ and ‘detritus’.

But this is minor quibbling and doesn’t detract from the strong storyline. Trying not to give away any spoilers here, it centres around an astronaut who becomes embroiled in an increasingly wide conspiracy through no fault of his own, and struggles with guilt and personal relationships, alongside more physical issues.

The scenes are well described and varied, ranging from a spaceship journeying to the surface of Mars, to places across London and the south east, and an American desert military facility. You feel the onboard claustrophobia, the sweaty summertime offices, the cool beachside nights. The constricting space suits and stifling helmets.

There is an opening prologue featuring the astronaut, the quite disturbing subject of which doesn’t appear again in the book, so I assume it’s part of a teaser for the next in the series, The Shadow of Arcadia. I will definitely be looking out for it.

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