2 out of 4 stars
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What would you do if you suddenly discovered you are wanted by ancient intergalactic beings and that you have nearly unlimited powers? This is exactly the question Trent must answer in Trent Foster and the Council of 10 by Matt Whiteside. Lately, Trent has been depressed. His life feels empty, and his job as a personal trainer just isn’t fulfilling anymore. Everything changes, though, when Trent’s apartment is blown up and Trent is kidnapped.
Rainjier is a Sentinel, a being with magnificent abilities tasked with keeping the galaxy safe. When the Council (ten beings who give the Sentinels their assignments) start gunning for Trent, Rainjier knows something’s wrong. Trent has no history of violence and can’t possibly be a threat to the galaxy. He rushes to Earth and gets Trent before the real bad guys can. Along with Trent’s dog and co-worker, Trent and Rainjier must figure out why the Council wants Trent, as well as what Trent’s powers are, before the other Sentinels catch them.
This book contains a fantastic adventure. From the first explosion, the action takes off running. Once Trent comes into his powers, things get even more interesting, as his abilities seem almost limitless. This could have had the effect of making Trent overcome everything too easily, but the author did a great job of keeping the threat real.
Speaking of the threat, the Sentinels were my favorite part of this book. There were several from different planets. Their various appearances added a nice touch. For example, a giant Sentinel captures Trent’s friend Ferra. At one point aboard the Sentinel’s ship, Ferra has to use the facilities, which are appropriately sized for her captor. The result was quite humorous. The array of powers was fascinating, too. One Sentinel could create stunningly realistic visual and auditory illusions. Another has abilities similar to the sirens of Greek myth, and it turns out she’s descended from them.
While the story had a lot of potential, the writing left me wanting. The attitudes of many of the characters were cynical, which is putting it mildly. Almost any time someone was genuine or heartfelt, at least two other characters would make fun of that person for thinking something nice. I wonder if this was supposed to be humorous, and if it had been a few isolated incidents, it may have been. But it happened so much that I got to the point where I just wanted anyone to be supportive of anything.
The book also was not very well-edited. There were punctuation marks missing or misused throughout. There were also many typos, such as “off” rather than “of” when Trent is filling his dog’s food bowl early on in the book. The book is mainly in past tense, but there were several places where a paragraph or two would suddenly shift to present. This jarred me from the story every time it happened, and it took me a bit to get back in.
Due to the errors and a general discontent with the writing’s overall tone, I rate Trent Foster and the Council of 10 2 out of 4 stars. The story concept brings my rating up from 1. Toward the end, I briefly thought about giving this 3, but without spoiling, the ending did something strange that confused me and lowered my rating back to 2. There are quite a few instances of adult language and thoughts in this book, which means I recommend it only for readers aged eighteen and up. Fans of superhero fiction or science fiction adventure stories might enjoy this book. If it bothers you, beware the cynicism. Otherwise, hop aboard a ship and join Trent on a journey into the unknown.
Trent Foster & The Council of 10
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