Friday, 31 January 2014

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Burden of Sisyphus by Jon Messenger

I received a copy of Burden of Sisyphus, book 1 of The Brink of Distinction in exchange for my review.

Vance is the leader of a special ops team in the covert war between the Alliance and the Terrans, and is sent on to a city where communication was lost suddenly, sure there is more to the mission than meets the eye, he and his fellow captain, Decker, proceed with caution, until it is too late and pure luck is what is keeping them alive. Keryn is the sister of one of Vance's team, and is going against the traditions of her race by training to become a pilot instead of giving in to the voice and becoming a weapon.

Link to Goodreads
Link to amazon
Link to Clean Teen Publishing

Oh my goodness, the ending of this book got me good, somehow it really made an emotional impact, far more than I had expected it to when I started reading. Though in some ways it was a pretty satisfactory ending as well, resolving the main issues but allowing certain, larger, problems to remain in order to be faced in the next book (which I'm already feeling quite impatient about reading!).

There was quite a large contrast between the two main stories of this book, you had the covert operations team who were facing the unknown and dangerous situations, and then you have Keryn's story, which is basically about college life (though with really cool flying games that make me want to play even though I know I would be rubbish!). Somehow the contrast worked, though I do believe it will be there less going forward.

The characters themselves were all described vividly. I could imagine how each of the races looked like from the written word (though I did end up a little surprised by the Lithids when I saw the illustration at the back!) and I didn't actually accidentally turn them human in my head (has happened once or twice in the past).

All in all, a fantastic sci-fi book, well worth getting your teeth into!



This review is a part of the Blog Tour that trips down imagination road is doing on behalf of Clean Teen Publishing (and a big thanks to them for it!) Check out the other books offered by Clean Teen Publishing on their website, and don't forget to check out the other reviews I am doing for them this week!

You can also enter the giveaway which is for all of the awesome books I'm reviewing this week!


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BRINK OF DISTINCTION SERIES by Jon Messenger


Adult Sci-Fi Series Published Through Crimson Tree Publishing

Guest Post: Humanity and Science Fiction


Before I started writing the Brink of Distinction trilogy, I buried myself in science fiction novels, absorbing everything I could about the genre. One of the last series I read before I started writing was The Lost Fleet by Jack Campbell. The story centered on two factions of humans fighting with one another as they both laid claim to the explored space. Near the end of the series (sorry for the spoilers), they discover that there’s probably an alien race existing beyond their borders, one that is a threat to all humanity, if only they could set aside their differences.


It was a great series, one that I devoured, book after book. The idea that humanity would have to band together against an alien threat is a staple of science fiction, from Ender’s Game to Starship Troopers. 



But is it realistic?



These stories paint the picture of a humanity expanding to the stars, with the original colonists described as heroes to those who awaited word of their settlements from Earth. When they encounter aliens, the aliens are always hostile with the intent of wiping out the colonies before turning their attention to Earth itself.



Except I’ve study world history. Humanity doesn’t have a good track record of benevolence when meeting new cultures. In fact, 95% of the time, the invading culture wipes out the indigenous population. If that were the case, then why would we assume that humanity would be the victims in an intergalactic war?



That train of thought became the premise for the Brink of Distinction trilogy. It’s always been my belief that the only thing that would push humanity to colonize the stars would be overpopulation or over polluting of Earth. If that were the case, humanity would colonize under a manifest destiny mentality. The establishment of colonies would be priority number one, regardless of the alien races that might have already existed in the worlds they discover.



I invite you to come read the trilogy, consisting of BURDEN OF SISYPHUS, FALL OF ICARUS, and PURGE OF PROMETHEUS. It’s an interesting take on the science fiction genre, with humanity clearly the antagonists throughout the story.


Burden of Sisyphus
Between the alien Alliance and the Terran Empire, a neutral zone stretches between the galaxies, a demilitarized zone that was established 150 years previous, following the Great War. The peace accord granted a semblance of peace to the universe. The peace, however, is a facade, and it is the responsibility of Michael Vance and his covert operations team to maintain that illusion.

Recently, the Alliance lost contact with one of their outposts near the neutral zone. Surveillance scans show an abandoned city and no signs of life. The Alliance does what it always does: send in the best. But an unexpected betrayal leaves Vance and his team stranded. Worse, the city that was supposed to be dead is quite alive. And the monsters that now roam its streets are slaughtering his team, one at a time.




Fall of Icarus

The Terran Empire has broken the Taisa Accord and invaded Alliance space in this exciting second novel in the Brink of Distinction series. Survivors of the Empire's first assault, Yen Xiao and Adam Decker swore vengeance against the Terrans. Joining forces with the enigmatic Keryn Riddell, the three warriors must find a way to destroy the Terran fleet. But the Terrans have a secret weapon: a biological agent sold to them by an renegade smuggler. Now it's a race against the clock to capture the smuggler before the Terrans decimate the Alliance home worlds.

When everything they do proves to be not enough to stop the Empire's violent invasion, the Alliance takes the fight directly to the Empire by invading Earth! But Earth may not be the biggest threat to the safety of the Alliance. The biggest danger may be one of their own.



Purge of Prometheus

The final confrontation between the Alien Alliance and the Terran Empire begins in this exciting conclusion to the Brink of Distinction trilogy.

One-by-one, the brilliant suns of Alliance space are disappearing, left cold and lifeless after exposure to the Terran biological epidemic. Trapped on one of the sunless worlds, Keryn Riddell, the ruthless Wyndgaart warrior, fights against both a frozen landscape and her Terran captors.

As Keryn fights for her life, the psychic Yen Xiao leads the Alliance fleet in pursuit of the Terran Destroyers threatening the Alliance homeworlds. Yearning for leadership of the fleet, Yen begins to wonder just how far he’ll go for the power he craves.


I invite you to come read the trilogy, consisting of BURDEN OF SISYPHUS, FALL OF ICARUS, and PURGE OF PROMETHEUS. It’s an interesting take on the science fiction genre, with humanity clearly the antagonists throughout the story.

About Jon Messenger


Jon Messenger (Born 1979 in London, England) serves as an United States Army Major in the Medical Service Corps. Since graduating from the University of Southern California in 2002, writing Science Fiction has remained his passion, a passion that has continued through two deployments to Iraq, a humanitarian relief mission to Haiti, and an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. Jon wrote the "Brink of Distinction" trilogy, of which "Burden of Sisyphus" is the first book, while serving a 16-month deployment in Baghdad, Iraq.

Jon's books include Wind Warrior, Flame Caller and Water Shaper which was published through Clean Teen Publishing and quickly hit the best selling lists of Amazon. Jon Messenger has won a readers choice award as well as the Clean Teen Publishing writing contest for his Novella of Wind Warrior, which is also featured in Wonderstruck. Messenger's sci-fi series, Brink of Distinction, was picked up by Clean Teen Publishing's adult imprint: Crimson Tree Publishing in the Fall of 2013. 


Twitter: @JonMessenger