The year is 0011NE, and mankind is under attack. Hostile forces from other worlds have come to Earth, their motivations a mystery, their objectives unknown. In the face of the alien threat, a global military called the Earth Defense Network - EDEN - was created. Dawn of Destiny begins the story of Scott Remington, a new graduate of EDEN Academy. It is the first chapter in an epic that will carry him to the ends of the Earth, challenging the very faith he clings to as he confronts a purpose he can barely understand. For Scott, war is more than an occupation. It is the place God has led him. It is his destiny. Only one thing remains to be seen. Is it a place he's willing to go?
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This review was originally published way before the Audible release
First thing that drew my attention about Dawn of Destiny was the fact that it was not available on Audible. According to Lee Stephen, Audible does something to the audio quality and he did not want to chance it being degraded in any way. Knowing that Audible is one of, if not the largest audiobook marketplace, I hope he doesn’t loose any of his potential audience.
Full of highly technical battles scenes that, literally, had me frozen on the edge of my seat. Leaving me with nothing else to do but breath a huge sigh of relief, with my heart pounding, when the action has subsided.
There were extended lengths of time between action sequences, for, I assume, character and story building. There are strong religious undertones and periods that will smack you in the face. I didn’t see this coming at all. Earth Defense Network (EDEN), the main character Scott prayed to God several times. While this was all done tastefully, I didn’t think that it added anything to the story at all.
Looking for a fast paced alien invasion military science fiction adventure? Dawn of Destiny will not disappoint.
The audio production was up there with the best “movie” style audiobooks I have listened to. Boasting 30 voice actors all on the top of their game. It is difficult to single any single one out as they all were very enjoyable.
The only fault I could find was the music. Often times being much louder than the performer, leading to me having no idea what was just said. Because of this interference I could not give this category a 5 star rating.
Audiobook provided for review by the author.
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God's destiny? and for one man it is war? Yikes!
I was very reluctant to pick up this book based on that little intro. Anyone who knows will tell you that the best Sci-fi is usually written by people without a social, religious or ideological bias. And if they do have them, they make a conscious effort to separate them from their books. After all the "Sci" in Sci-fi denotes "Science", which historically has always been at odds with religion. So it goes that a religious undertone in science fiction tends to be more of a detractor than an enhancer. You will also find that most authors with a religious message usually also have a conservative message intertwined with their stories, and while a good story can be good whether its conservative or not, it is important to understand what you are getting into when you get a book from an author with those biases. Anyone who doubts this should read any of the Honor Harrington books. As a liberal I found that whole series beyond unrealistic, and quite appalling. With this book, it wasn’t as bad, but that is not an endorsement. Far from it, this book suffers from some of the more creative fatal flaws as the HH series, but not to the extent as those books. Don't get me wrong, it’s well written, but suffers all the typical propaganda histrionics you find with such authors. This includes - One dimensional Enemies: the aliens in this story (Backma...put an L and N in this and you could end up with BlackMan) are so one dimensional its difficult to enjoy the story because of that absence.
- The reluctant hero: In this case our hero is not reluctant but actually very full of confidence in his own abilities. This is the same hero who espouses his belief that God wants him to be a warrior, and so he just happens to also be better than others in the book at being heroic, and saving his team in some poorly imagined and often half baked scenarios so unoriginal in the imagination that devised them, that you would have to wander if the person who wrote this had researched any experience with actual military combat before crafting the scenarios.
- Symbolic names that telegraph the author’s intent: here it’s not so subtle. The main characters name is Remington. Yes, that’s right, Remington like the gun maker. With a name like “Remington” would anyone be surprised at latent message underlying the character rigidity and steadfast belief in his cause. Like many gun nuts who feel a sense of purpose in their right to gun ownership, the goal being the self righteous belief in their right to end another’s life and willingness to do so.
- Other equally telling forms of symbolism: There are other not so subtle uses of symbolism to telegraph the intended message of the book. For example the hero is awarded something called “the golden lion” medal…I mean seriously?, straight of the pages of Narnia. The lion meant to symbolic of religious undertones in this well meaning story.
- Unrealistic turns of events: Plasma bolts pepper a van full of 5 personnel, and none of them were hit – the reader is supposed to accept that God was watching over him during this incident. He is asked during an interview how he prepared for the mission, and he says “with prayer” – not combat training, not studying the terrain and knowledge of his enemies tactics, not a confidence in the skillset of his companions…just prayer.
- One dimensional and stereotypical characters: The one black guy in the beginning uses a lot of “Ebonics” (in the future no less), the medical members of the team are both women, oh and one of them promptly jumps into bed with the Irish member of the team (all done very tastefully through implications…don’t want to mess up your ears with more direct descriptive after all), the major sounds like a drill instructor, and the girlfriend at home is a blubbering mess with emotional problems, and the aliens are also just as one dimensional…and the list goes on.
Guys, I am not hating on this book, though there is a lot not to like. I am sure it is meant clearly for an audience of Religious believers who also want to enjoy sci-fi. The irony of it is that religion and science don’t mix and it shows when well meaning writers try to force the two into some sort of compromise. This one is no different as the exception after exception the writer makes in the interest of maintaining a moral experience in reading this only serves to make you even more aware of how unrealistic it is.
Some may wander what gives me the right to question these so-called absurdities. Well I served 8 years in the US marines, 4 as an enlisted NCO and another 4 as an officer, and I can assure you, people in the military curse…yes. They curse, and use very colorful language during moments of high stress such as training and combat. I can also assure you that very many of them, DO NOT BELIEVE IN A GOD as many would have you believe. Rather they are trained to believe in their country, their leadership, their common cause, and above all else, themselves. So for me reading books like this is usually more than a little bit of a let down.
Hard core sci-fi fans will see this for nothing more than it is. Another Honor Harrington, religious conservative message disguised as science fiction that falls far from what it could have been.
If you are Atheist – stay away from this one as the story will have you rolling your eyes at cliché after cliché the author invokes in trying to move this along.
If you are a religious person, especially a Christian, and looking for good sci-fi, gets something more realistic. It does you no good only listening to stories that reinforce the shaky grounds of any faith based beliefs that constantly needs to remind you of a need to rely on it.
Read something that doesn’t try to preach to you without actually preaching to you. To me that is what this book does in more ways than one. Its nothing more than an endorsement of the Christian right belief that some god is active in the military, which for anyone who has any common sense, is a very frightening if not altogether disturbing position by itself as it is a dangerous equivalent to what the terrorist subscribe to themselves.