In the opening of this sci-fi debut and proposed trilogy, children of three expectant mothers inheriting energy-infused power may someday pose a threat to a nefarious, formidable individual.
Engineers Chris Machiano, Rin Sunhei, and Danny Shaughnessy have been lying low since a lab explosion. They have good reason to fear Farrow, the man who hired them to conduct tests on meteor stones the engineers had found, stones containing an energy known as the meridian flux. Farrow, a reputed mercenary with CIA ties, may have sabotaged their experiments, wanting the energy for himself. This all stems from a legion of centurions long ago battling a warlord who’d absorbed the stones’ power. The centurions built a prison to hold the warlord, and Farrow, it seems, is looking for a way to breach the structure for the warlord’s energy. Chris et al. somehow have attained energy as well, which they’ll likely pass to their children—all three of the engineers’ wives are pregnant (Danny’s wife, Denise, with triplets). Apparently Farrow sees the children as menaces-to-be and consequently targets the families. Years later, anonymous youngsters, including a trio of identical hackers, work a job together stealing digital information. Canale drops readers into the story at full tilt: after the lab explosion and with Farrow getting close to the prison. It effectively sets up a mystery that progressively unravels. Characters are similarly established, some initially unnamed before their purposes are made clear (for example, centurions acting as the families’ protectors). The bulk of the narrative is speedily delivered dialogue. Chris, for one, ensures details are relayed efficiently: “Spit it out, Rin; I’m kind of busy over here.” But dialogue occasionally stunts the action; a few significant characters are known—and sometimes die—only through others’ conversations. Not all of the grown children, orphans at (roughly) age 12, are protagonists in this tale, but untangling their enigmatic origins presents great potential for the series to come.
Barely an introduction to the titular five, but with enough riveting back story for sci-fi fans.