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Bane of Kings reviews John Charles Scott’s Ghosts of Earth, the military sci-fi follow up to The Legend of Adam Caine, self-published and set in the same Universe as Scott’s Recon One-Five.
“JCS keeps improving with every novel he writes. This is an example of why you shouldn’t dismiss self-publishing – it can provide some great novels, such as this one.” ~The Founding Fields
There’s badass, and then there’s Adam Caine. Seriously. Adam Caine is probably among my top 10 most badass fictional characters that I’ve read, among the ranks of Judge Dredd, and more. Ghosts of Earth was a welcome return to the universe of the Nineteen Galaxies, and I will be very interested in reading future books, particularly if they keep improving like this one has been. It’s got everything a military-sci-fi fan could want, influenced by the likes of Dan Abnett and the rest of Black Library among others, Ghosts of Earth is a great piece of fiction that I really enjoyed.
The Core are conquerors, wiping out worlds and civilisations without hesitation on their path to victory. For twenty years, they have been preparing the way for their hordes of warriors; manipulating others to do their dirty work.
Many are willing to bow to them, or treat with them.
But there are a brave few that will stand in their way.
Can Adam Caine and his trusted allies stand and fight? Or will they be lost in the coming conflict?
Like The Legend of Adam Caine, size is something that you have to get used to with this book. It’s huge. Although not as big as its predecessor, it’s still quite a large book, and like I discovered, it’s certainly not going to be any light reading particularly with its many interlinked plots, characters and themes that allow for a complex and enthralling read. It picks up ten years after the events of the first novel and expands events from the epilogue, expanding the world that we were first introduced to in the novel to even greater levels, and keeps us entertained right the way through.
The world building is great – JSC really manages to help us understand the universe that we’re in and manages to do so in a way that doesn’t involve excessive info-dumping. It’s fast paced, and the action is well written with mostly mature prose that has improved from The Legend of Adam Caine a lot. JSC makes sure that the tension is consistently high, and there’s never a dull moment.
Something that I liked about this novel that I just thought that I’d point out now is the naming of the places. The universe itself seems like a combination of Warhammer 40k and Halo, with a touch of Star Wars thrown in, and as a result the names are wide and varied. We get the aliens, the main antagonists, The Core, for one example, New Amsterdam another, and we even get a spaceship named after a place that’s not too far away from my house - Saunton Sands. The Kara Mazarov, is of course – back, and better than ever. The characters that we first met in The Legend of Adam Caine are expanded upon in more depth here, and we get lots of development from a wide range across the dramatis personae that’s far from a short range.
The action is also well written, with plenty of description allowing the reader to get a sense of the future, adding up to be an all-round enjoyable read – and I will certainly be sticking for more. Great stuff.