“The space race was a lie, and the cold war wasn’t as cold as you thought. While we were playing spy versus spy, conducting an arms race and a space race on Earth, things were heating up in the solar system.
In 1959, an alien vessel crashed on the Navajo reservation, ushering forth a colonial space race in the solar system between the two superpowers. The prize is the mysterious metal known only as alloy-x and the alien technology that promises to make one nation or the other the dominant superpower in the arms race. The American commander finds himself fighting with the toughest antagonist of his career. He had finally met his nemesis. The stakes are high. Losing the struggle could tip the balance of power on the Earth, giving the Soviets the advantage in Earth’s cold war.”
Thank you to the author, Morris E. Graham, for gifting me with a copy of Warzone: Nemesis in exchange for an honest review!
This is one of those times that I hate having to give a star rating to a book. I’ve been mulling this over for the past few days and I’m still not totally satisfied with my choice.
Now after I finished the book, I had a review drafted up (this was a couple weeks ago) but I just couldn’t get this feeling out of my head that I was misreading things. So I sent an email to Mr. Graham and we had a chat about the premise of his book and the reality of many of the things he incorporated. I researched some things (such as the gravity on different planets) and he explained why he did certain things. All in all, it was very beneficial for the both of us: a lot of my confusion was cleared up and I suggested places he could add a sentence or two to clarify things. After that, he sent me a revised version which I read and then reworked my review. I won’t tell you what my original star rating was because that will just set a certain image in your mind. So without further ado, here’s the new and improved review!
The main idea presented in this book was very interesting indeed. Especially with secret government activity and such because honestly, who think that the government tells the people absolutely everything? It’d be a threat to security and all that. So that made it very intriguing.
I do think that the middle of the book was lacking a bit of direction. Because at that point, the first conflict was mostly resolved and the second one (and the one that carries into possible future books) hadn’t arrived yet. So I think something could have been added there or it could have been shortened up a bit or something.
I really liked seeing how Kahless was dealing with… well everything. His life was really full of loss which is never a good thing. He’s definitely a complex character to get to know.
The whole space thing intrigued me from the start. I did wonder why, when they found the UFO, they didn’t try to find where the aliens came from or anything about them. They were just interested in the technology.
I loved the ending! I don’t want to say too much and give away anything but it’s unlike any ending I’ve read before which is truly a feat. If you read this book and you find you don’t particularly like it, give the ending a shot!
The Final Verdict:
As I said at the beginning, I’m not that satisfied with my star rating choice but I didn’t know what else to rate it. I mean, it did have a wonderful idea with a complex MC but I… waded through it. I don’t know how else to describe it. It was almost tedious to read. However, there are plenty of good things as well: the main idea, the MC, the ending, the space setting, etc etc. So a mostly even split I think but erring on the good side.
Interview With Mr. Graham
1. How did you get the inspiration for Warzone: Nemesis?
I was the webmaster for a gaming clan and was archiving some short stories based on the theme of the game “Battlezone” and I said to myself I can write something as good as this. It started out being an 8 page short story that grew into a novel series.
2. How did you write it? By writing certain scenes and then connecting the dots, writing one continuous story, or some other way?
Actually, I started in approximately the beginning of the second novel, a work in progress entitled, “Warzone: Operation Wolf Hunt.” I had the ending written for book two before I even started on book one. Originally Warzone: Operation Wolf Hunt was the name of the first book, with a second and final book to follow. WOWH got so huge @175k words and growing, that I had to split the novel into two. That was when Warzone: Nemesis was born. The original version did not include chapters “Blaze” or “MAJ Norsemun”, and I completely rewrote the end of “The Killing of COL Kiknadze” for Warzone: Nemesis second edition. Sometimes I have to connect the dots after I have other major events already complete. The end of WOWH was complete in 2006, before much of the first novel was written, and before much of the interior work for WOWH was even started. So… I guess I pretty much visualize the end of the story and work towards getting there.
3. When you write is there a certain place where you get more ideas or can you focus anywhere?
I can focus anywhere as long as people are not interrupting me. I need an internet connection for quick access to research.
4. On average, how much do you write a day (productive or just random things)?
During a project, I may write 5 or 40 pages, depending on how much research I have to do to get it right.
5. What in the sci-fi genre appeals to you? If you couldn’t write sci-fi, what other genre would you pick?
Sci-Fi appeals to me because it is embarking on an adventure, where much of it is unknown and there can be surprises, and danger. If I couldn’t write about sci-fi, it would probably be about action and adventure. My favorite twist on adventure is where two totally different cultures intersect.
6. Do you connect the characters and scenes in your stories (specifically Warzone: Nemesis) to your real life or is it all from your imagination?
Both. I relate my characters, especially my MC, by building some things about his life that is common with my own experiences. For instance, COL Kahless’ favorite blend of tea in black pekoe and black currant, which I have tried and I like. UGh, no Earl Gray for me!
7. Have you always wanted to be an author?
No. As a kid, I dreamed of being a superhero. It was only after I became an adult that i felt the urge to write.
8. If you couldn’t be an author, what would you want to do for a living?
I presently work in trouble shooting and analysis for a telecommunications company. I like to find and fix troubles.
9. Any advice for aspiring authors or for authors who are looking to be published?
I self-published my own work, so I can only speak to that. Make sure you have a compelling story, that your characters are unique and well rounded (have depth), and you do a professional job editing the book. Proofreaders and getting help with the editing is a must,