THE WAR BRINGER by J.D. Martin

THE WAR BRINGER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An adventure features technologically advanced heroes of myth as they oppose the resurrection of Ares, Greek god of war.

Helena Schwan works the late shift at a diner in Kansas City, Missouri. Dreary adulthood is nothing like she’d hoped, growing up as a child in love with life. The spark has left her relationship with Carl, who plays video games endlessly. On perhaps the worst—though freeing—day of her life, she’s fired from the diner only to reach home early enough to find Carl cheating on her with a neighbor. After Helena throws a book at her ex-boyfriend’s head, the police convince Carl to press assault charges. Her best friend, Kimmie, pays her bail, but before Helena gets home, she’s attacked by a strangely garbed trio led by a man named Leonidas. Luckily, someone with a bow and bright, energized arrows halts the kidnapping. The armored individuals battle with weapons that seem both archaic and futuristic. After a dazzling explosion, Helena wakes up in a Manhattan penthouse. Her rescuer, Archer, explains that Greek gods are real and the Pythia device has prophesied her involvement in the resurrection of Ares. In starting a new fantasy series, Martin (Blood Week, 2013) threads together elements from various subgenres, including aliens and superheroes. He woos fans of big-budget action films with macho lines like “Death was taking attendance, and his name had just been called.” At times, the author flaunts his love of comic books without fully explaining the references; when a character is killed, the starkly lit room and resulting blood “was like looking into a world taken over by Frank Miller” (the comic creator and graphic novelist). Action fans should nevertheless enjoy blowout sequences involving the winged Erinyes of myth and modern-day versions of gods like Hermes, Apollo, and Hephaestus. Extra lives for these characters come in the form of Bio-synthetic Drone Replacements, which predictably extend the plots beyond the most vicious fights, but also hopefully maintain the creative potential in future installments.

A feverish blend of sci-fi and myth that offers enjoyable mayhem.

Publisher: Ten & Two Publishing
Program: Kirkus Indie
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