The Circuit: Executor Rising – Rhett C. Bruno
When I first read the book summary I was not sure that this book was going to be to my liking. It did not pull me in instantly. However, after reading the book and even just flipping through the first chapter I can say that the summary does not do the book justice. This was a wild ride of mercenaries, thieving and political sabotage. Add a dash of sexual tension and I was hooked.
From the get-go I was launched into perilous action. I wasn’t even sure I was reading, it felt more like I was watching a movie as ADIM, the robotic assassin brought men to their knees. The story flew by with very little down time and I can definitely say I was never bored. Bruno does an amazing job at world building. Post-Earth is definitely incredibly different from anything we could imagine and his take on how humans would survive if Earth was no longer habitable was very creative and realistic. I loved how certain colonies are known for certain things like the mining colony where the blue death is always a threat or New Terrene, the capital city and home of the Tribune, the cult-like organization that currently rules The Circuit.
His character creation was also really well done. All of his actors I felt were well rounded and defined. It was hard to hate the bad guys because even though they were all kind of crazy, there was also logic to what both sides were doing and I personally have yet to decide whose side I am on. The Tribune is a controlling, manipulative, horrible organization, but so is Cassius Vale and what he does in the name of justice and vengeance against the Tribune. Both are mad hatters and yet, both have reasons for what they do. You will be torn with who your loyalty lies with.
The other leading actors being Sage and Talon, both loveable and fascinating in their own right. As a woman, I appreciate a strong female character who can take care of herself. Sage can do more than take care of herself as a trained assassin with her awesome metal/mechanical arm. I felt Bruno did a darn good job at her characterization. Her conflict between duty and faith and personal struggle was compelling to witness. I am excited to see what happens to her and how she changes in the books to follow. I think her character was one of the more mysterious and exciting to observe.
Talon is the loveable, nice guy, AKA gentle giant –even though he is an experienced killer. His softness is what pulls you in. The contrast between hard Sage and soft Talon was a nice combination.
My only complaint that I have is that I think the romance needed more development. I felt based on the female love interest’s past that it all happened a little too fast and there was not enough build-up and reasoning for why she would have the feelings she does. It all seemed to hinge more on sexual attraction than anything else, and I didn’t really buy it. However, I still loved both of the characters and felt that with more development they were an excellent pairing.
It has been centuries since Earth was rendered a barren, volatile wasteland. With their homeworld left uninhabitable, humanity founded a system of colonies throughout their local solar system. Known as the Kepler Circuit, these settlements are strung together by a network of nonaligned Solar-Ark transports, locked in continuous motion. They have served to provide an influx of resources to every faction ruling over the remnants of humankind, most importantly the newly discovered element Gravitum which is found only in the Earth’s unstable mantle.
By 500 K.C. a religious sect known as the New Earth Tribunal has risen to preside over most of The Circuit. Though there is barely a faction left remaining to challenge them, a string of attacks on their transports force them to summon the enigmatic, yet brilliant, Cassius Vale for help. What they don’t know is that together with his intelligent android creation, ADIM, he is the one orchestrating the raids.
His actions lead to the involvement of Sage Volus, a beautiful Tribunal Executor sent by her masters to spy on their mortal enemies – the Ceresian Pact. In order to find out who is behind the attacks, she infiltrates the ranks of a roguish mercenary named Talon Rayne. Against all her intentions, however, she finds her faith tested by him and his ragtag squad.
While Sage and Talon are engaged in a futile hunt, Cassius Vale initiates his strategy to bring down the narrow-minded Tribune once and for all. But will anyone be able to survive what he has in store for the Circuit?
Rhett Bruno grew up in Hauppauge, New York, and studied at the Syracuse University School of Architecture where he graduated cum laude.
He has been writing since he can remember, scribbling down what he thought were epic short stories when he was young to show to his parents. When he reached high school he decided to take that a step further and write the “Isinda Trilogy”. After the encouragement of his favorite English teacher he decided to self-publish the “Isinda Trilogy” so that the people closest to him could enjoy his early work.
While studying architecture Rhett continued to write as much as he could, but finding the time during the brutal curriculum proved difficult. It wasn’t until he was a senior that he decided to finally pursue his passion for Science Fiction. After rededicating himself to reading works of the Science Fiction author’s he always loved, (Frank Herbert, Timothy Zahn, Heinlein, etc.) he began writing “The Circuit: Executor Rising”, The first part of what he hopes will be a successful Adult Science Fiction Series.
Since then Rhett has been hired by an Architecture firm in Mount Kisco, NY. But that hasn’t stopped him from continuing to work on “The Circuit” and all of the other stories bouncing around in his head. He is also currently studying at the New School to earn a Certificate in Screenwriting in the hopes of one day writing for TV or Video Games.
Check out his author website: http://rhettbruno.com
* I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.