Scion of Conquered Earth (2016)

By: Michael J. Allen

A nameless teenager struggles to survive in an apocalyptic version of Earth where great, murderous machines and cannibalistic caravans of the Mad Max variety are out to get him at every turn. He ends up escaping on a run-down spaceship and takes off into the stars for an adventure across the star systems.

There were a lot of good parts about this novel. I liked the main character. I thought he was believable and well-crafted. And the chapters written in the P.O.V. of the AI were fascinating. I believe Allen did a great job showcasing the brainpower of a supercomputer, while still making it understandable for a human reader.

That being said, this book read like two completely different novels. One followed the Earth-bound nameless hero facing a plethora of unsavory acts to survive. The second followed a semi-seasoned pilot in his plight to save slaves and get money. It was quite jarring to transition between the two, especially as the chapter detailing him getting on the ship wasn’t clear in the first place. Things that should’ve been explained were glossed over, and difficult terminology was thrown around as though it was all commonplace.

This was a more difficult read, and a little hard to swallow, but overall an enjoyable book. Check it out if you either like Mad Max or Star Trek. It has elements of both.

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