Review: The Ignota by Tom Calen

The Ignota by Tom Calen
Series: Scars of Tomorrow (# 2)
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Permuted Press
Pages: 367
Source: book provided by the publisher for review
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Assassination has rocked the Global Alliance. As one Family falls, the others rush to claim the spoils. The victims of treason seek revenge, but the layers of manipulation and deceit thicken around them.

The unrest the Alliance was so desperate to suppress has spread. Enemies are forced to align, though mistrust gnaws the bonds of their fragile alliances. Torrance, the man from the woods, a figure feared by both friend and foe, knows his tortured past is driving him towards an unwanted future. Worse, he can find no alternative path and no way to stop what others have decided for him.

In the shadows, a new agent, known only as the Soothsayer, whose allegiance and aims are as shrouded as his identity, plucks the first notes in the song of war.
And a divided rebellion fears the price of casting off the anonymity that has kept it safe for a century. But when the empowered clash, the weak must unite or be crushed. One decision, one impossible act, will set the resistance on a new and irrevocable course. The world will know the Ignota.

Amidst all the lies in war and politics, the stouthearted might still unearth some truths. Truths of the Ignota’s origin. Truths of the Alliance’s endgame. But, it is war and it is politics, so even those truths cannot be fully trusted.

The pieces are on the board. But who are the kings, and who are the pawns? And who moves them both?

So continues the story of Torrance, the Ignota, and the Scars of Tomorrow.

 

Review: I love novels about the future, especially when it comes to a dystopian future. Both 1984 and Brave New World hold permanent residence in both my Kindle and my bookshelf. Whether dark and philosophical or fast paced and brimming with action, every time I open one of these books it makes me smile. Thus, going into another novel about a near-future here on Earth, I quite enjoyed what I found in the pages of The Ignota by Tom Calen.

The Ignota, as we soon find out, is a terrorist organization (er-hem, I meant rebel alliance) that stretches far and wide; our main protagonists are all in this clandestine organization. They are fighting a corrupt government, world-wide government bent on consuming all the power they can. One man, Torrance, holds sway over several of the Ignota’s cells without joining their organization, and much of the book revolves around the enigma that is Torrance. Both he and the other cell leaders in the book must struggle with what it means to be in a rebellion, drawing the line between rebelling and terrorism, and staying hidden from the malevolent and omnipresent Alliance.

Overall, I liked this book. This is the second book in the Scars of Tomorrow series, and the author wrote this in a manner where you can jump in and read from here without needing to cover the first book. The pace was a constant low roar, moving between 3 or 4 separate story lines at a constant pace. He did a good job of transitioning right when one story was getting good, leaving you excited to get back to it and read more. There was plenty of action, intrigue, and even a little bit of romance. It was well-rounded, and held my attention for more than a couple nights.

My one complaint, however, probably stems from the fact that this is the second book in the series. While the tempo was fast, the book lacked a plot other than “We hate the government!” until about half-way through. I kept looking, hoping to find it, and when I finally did it felt more contrived as a way to keep the story moving than anything. When I finally finished the last sentence in the book, I felt as though I had only read half the book, and that this book was only to set up the third in the series.

Granted, this does definitely set up the third book to be a good one. I know that I, for sure, will be looking forward to the third one. If you don’t mind that this book feels like a set up for the next in the series, or if you are willing to wait for the third book, it is definitely worth a read. If you want a stand-alone novel, this might not be the book for you. It has action throughout, and good pacing, but it felt shallow and like I was only given half of a book. Would I read it again? Yes, but only as a refresher before diving into the final book of the series.

 

Justin