3 out of 4 stars
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Mineran Influence is the first book in a five-book science fiction/fantasy series. The author, P. N. Burrows, was born in England and raised in Wales, which is the setting for this story.
Sam Shepard is an ex-soldier who is trying to find his place in this world after twenty years of service to his country. He recently attended a friend’s wedding in North Wales. He used the time there to trek the countryside and think about his future plans.
While attempting to hike Minera Mountain in rural Wales, Sam thinks he has stumbled upon criminal activity. After a series of events that draw upon Sam’s skills in stealth, surveillance and combat, he discovers the criminal element he has been searching for is instead a technologically superior race of aliens, known as Minerans. They came to Earth through secret portals and have been guarding this planet for centuries. They call on Sam to join their ranks as a human liaison and aid them in protecting Earth. The things he learned from the Minerans will change his life forever.
The author has written a gripping adventure with believable alien forces. However, the first few pages of the book seemed to have too much explanation and details of things we really didn’t need to know to follow the story. It took me a few pages to really get into the flow of things. On the other hand, it did show that the author thoroughly researched his material.
This novel shows great imagination and made me really think about things I don’t normally dwell on in sci-fi stories. For example, how many times have aliens potentially protected our planet? If “good” aliens exist, there must be “bad” ones, also. Are they constantly having battles between good and evil?
Sam Shepard, the main character, is well described. I was quickly drawn to his personality and the mysterious events he was pulled into. The alien characters were interesting and had unique, racial features. The contrast, yet similarity, between them and Sam was cleverly portrayed. The dialogue between the characters was descriptive and kept me engaged. Many things in this story were unexpected and kept me on my toes.
The book appeared to be edited, although I found several grammatical mistakes. A more thorough editing would be beneficial. All in all, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story. Based on the previous observations, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars.
I believe any sci-fi/fantasy fan will enjoy this novel. Mr. Burrows has caught my interest and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.
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