So I picked this little novella up due to the hilarious ads that a fellow blogger, Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha, writes for it. He is the author by the way. I mention this because unlike a large portion of my previous reviews, this was a purchase by me, and not given to me.

Not that would really change how I write about this. Lets start with the Blurb from Goodreads:

“In the far future, humanity has settled Echo, where it has endured over a thousand years of dark age. Corporations and government have merged, becoming the oppressive authority known as the Regime. Military and police have merged into the Department of Enforcement, their only mission to crush a huge rebel network known as the Dissidents. Over half the planet is covered by decaying cityscapes and the elite live high above; removed and remote from the populace on the moon-city of Ascension. Hope lies in one man, a bitter and crippled former Enforcer named Atriya. But before he can break the cycle of darkness and ignorance on Echo, he has to do it within himself.”

Lets be honest here: This needs work. Not on the technical level no. The world building in this volume is fascinating, and the mythos are well done. Further, knowing that Kent was a former military man (I think Marines) lends the military bits some authenticity, as well as the philosophical bits about being a solider versus a warrior. The one action scene in the book is very well done as well.

There is a LOT of Philosophical bits too. More then I would care to have in a “sci fi dystopian action story” that is billed as having cybernetic ninjas. In fact, the only time a ninja is referenced is at the tail end of the story…when we hit my major issue with this novella.

Its not a story. Its pure setup. It ends in a blatant cliffhanger and the entire time in the novella is spent building up the main characters mental issues and his “approaching shatter”, a term they use to describe the moment when a Crew members world basically falls apart due to stress and they can’t take the pressure anymore.

What I got from reading this mostly was a sense that the author himself was trying to work through some issues he himself might have been having. Maybe things he had to do while in the service, or his own philosophical beliefs.

Its not bad, its actually really interesting.

But the fact that the “story” by itself goes nowhere pisses me off. I paid $3 for this, and I wanted a story. I got an ending that literally could have had an announcer at the end going “Join us Next Time as we find out what happens in the Warehouse Raid!”

Now, Kent is working on “Volume 2” which at the last post I saw of his was at something like 32k words.

My hope is that he gives those who already purchased Volume 1 a discount or even gives Volume 2 to us for free, because frankly I am not going to pay for another Volume with the possibility that there is no ending again. Also I suggest that once Volume 2 is created, that Kent takes both Volumes and combines them into a single story and takes Volume 1 off the market.

I give this a 3/5. The lack of ending absolutely kills it for me. Completely and irrevocably. And I am really tired of authors doing this.

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Echo Volume 1: Approaching Shatter by Kent Wayne – A Review
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