Title: Anthem’s Fall
Authors: S.L. Dunn
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Prospect Hill Press
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Pages: 381 pages
About the Book:
Above a horrified New York City, genetics and ethics collide as the fallen emperor and a banished exile of the same herculean race ignite into battle over the city’s rooftops. In the streets below, a brilliant young scientist has discovered a technology that can defeat them both, yet might be more terrible than either.
Set both in modern New York City and in the technologically sophisticated yet politically savage world of Anthem, Anthem’s Fall unfurls into a plot where larger than life characters born with the prowess of gods are pitted against the shrewd brilliance of a familiar and unlikely heroine.
The young emperor Vengelis Epsilon narrowly escapes the reckoning of his empire at the hands of strange machines known as Felixes. The Felixes are identical in every respect to the godlike men of Vengelis’s world save for their mechanical blue eyes. Feared to be indestructible, the wanton holocaust of the Felix appears inescapable. His family murdered and his empire maimed under a shadow of destruction, Vengelis pursues the pained final words of his dying mentor, and sets course for a remote and unchartered world–our world.
The son of the man who created the Felixes, Gravitas Nerol has spent four years in lonely exile. His crime? When the Lord General of the Epsilon Army ordered the genocide of a vastly inferior race, Gravitas refused him. A warrior to his marrow, Gravitas has cast aside his former life and committed himself to the pursuit of knowledge.
Kristen Jordan is a young and talented graduate student working on a cutting edge research team. Their wildly inventive new biotechnology, the Vatruvian cell, is the celebrated milestone of modern science. Yet Kristen remains uneasy about the capabilities of the inexplicable Vatruvian cell, and as their project develops, it begins to ring oddly familiar to the perilous technology of Vengelis’s home.
Anthem’s Fall starts out as an intelligent, thought-provoking read. Kristen Jordan, the brilliant young research scientist is forced to deal with ethics issues beyond any we, as a society, have had to handle thus far. How far is too far to go in the world of genetic modifications? Kirsten’s mentor draws the line a bit farther out than she does, and that creates a lot of conflict.
Then Kirsten meets Ryan Craig and finds in him a common sense of morality and justice. Ryan raises valid arguments against the status quo in genetics research, such as:
The greater good is an opinion, and a dangerous one if it’s used to force a group to act against its will….It’s even more dangerous if that group doesn’t have a voice in the government.”
The ethics battling waging in Kristen’s world reminds me of some of the logic debates between Kirk, Spock and McCoy in Star Trek (“the needs of the many outweight the needs of the few, or the one.”). Ryan compares it to Victor Frankenstein’s love-hate relationship with his monster.
After the intellectual tone of the first chapters, the book takes a drastic turn into the world of Vengelis Epsilon and Gravitas Nerol – a world of superheroes and epic battles. I loved the change of pace – it gave me a bit of a break from all the thinking, LOL. When the superhero world collides with the “real” world, it is a battle I could never imagine. The author made me feel like I was right there in the middle of it, and for that I am most grateful.
Anthem’s Fall is a stimulating read for intellectuals and adventure seekers alike. The ending is a cliffhanger, but it does leave the reader with an inkling of what is to come, plus some hope for the future.
I give Anthem’s Fall five stars. A must read!!! Don’t miss this book!!
I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review through Promotional Book Tours. All opinions are 100% my own.
About the Author:
S.L. Dunn is the debut author of Anthem’s Fall, a novel he wrote amid the wanderings of his mid twenties. He has written while living intermittently in St. John USVI, Boston, Maine and Seattle. Raised on big screen superhero movies and pop science fiction, he sought to create a novel that bridged a near-sci-fi thriller with a grand new fantasy. He currently resides in Seattle with his girlfriend Liz and their dog Lucy, and is hard at work completing the next book of the Anthem’s Fall series.
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