4 out of 4 stars
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The third installment of The Unborn Series, Siege Forces, written by Tayma Tameem, takes place in a post-apocalyptic scenario. There’s hardly any water left in the world, an all-powerful, greedy, and oppressive conglomerate holds the rights to the scarce water resources. It enslaves individuals and uses a scientific initiative to seize all unborn children from pregnant women and form super-soldiers. There are many threats, including heavily-armed militias and bounty hunters.
The book’s protagonist, Jake Hurst, is part of the Navigator clan and has to deal with the aftermath of a coup that left Compound 17 in chaos, without leadership, and up for grabs. The power structure was fluid, with everyone turning on everyone else. Desperate and ready to face death, Jake, formerly a director of Compound 17 who fled with a militia, gets caught but then escapes and wanders in the desert looking for a way to save his wife Summer, their children, and the clan.
There are several positives to this imaginative novel. What I liked the most was its rich myriad of characters. Jake is a likable protagonist that makes us root for him the whole time. He is an idealist who dreams of uniting the clans and forming a functional society and is ready to confront mighty adversarial forces, which include Colonel Horrocks, from Command Battalion of Compound 1, the militia’s hybrid super-soldiers, and Nash, the unpredictable and treacherous bounty hunter. Nash, for instance, is a markedly fluid character that enriches the plot with his deceptive nature, and I felt that Tameem developed him very well.
The writing style and the plot are also engaging, with several threads that work together nicely. I particularly enjoyed Jake’s reunion with Summer. I thought it was touching that he acknowledged that he hadn’t made her and the kids a priority because he was obsessed with his work, but he vowed to change. Jake’s son Junior’s side story was also absorbing, especially his relationship with a woman named Donna, aka Doodle, whom he wants to marry.
Lastly, I gladly rate this entertaining book 4 out of 4 stars. I have no negative aspects worth mentioning. It seemed professionally edited, for I only found a minor mishap, a capitalization inconsistency, in it. Also, although the book is part of a series, it does stand well on its own. I highly recommend it to readers who enjoy an adventurous and suspenseful plot with a touch of sci-fi and dystopian scenarios.
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