Book Review: REVENANT: ADVENT, Valerie Dugie – A Sci-Fi Thrill-Ride

Revent: Advent by Valerie Dugie

The Book: Revenant: Advent

Author: Valerie Dugie

Published: 2010

Genre: Science fiction

Indie books are fun. I came upon Revenant: Advent because I happen to know the author personally. When I found out recently that Valerie Dugie had published her first book in 2010, I promised I would read it.

And I really enjoyed it.

Valerie Dugie presents a world far into the future where humans have expanded across the universe, and many are augmented by bionic technology. This is particularly true for the members of Sigma Battalion, an elite fighting force deployed by the Terran Excursionary Armed Forces for particularly difficult – and dangerous – operations.

Thrilling Narrative + Solid Characters

What is immediately apparent in Dugie’s writing is the natural, quip-like flow of the soldiers’ dialogue, at once strutting with bravado and peppered with technical and military terminology.

The story opens at a breakneck pace as the characters literally dive-bomb out of a high-altitude vessel to conduct a rapid strike on their target. Once the reader realizes that this mission has gone terribly wrong, the plot never stops moving.

Tara Allister is easy to like as a protagonist. She’s strong, decisive, and will do anything to save her squad. She also encapsulates the microcosm of this story, and the sci-fi genre as a whole. Tara is augmented by technology, notably with a robotic shoulder, but she sees it only as a practical tool, nothing more. Once she realizes that the same technology can and will be used to destroy her humanity, and that of her team, she turns rogue.

Minor Proofreading Issues

Some of the peripheral characters seem to get lost in the narrative a little bit, and I would have liked to spend more time with them — Stripe and Kezo in particular. However, I was enthralled by the overall plot enough that I did not really notice their light development until after I was nearly finished with the story. Also, it is never a bad thing for readers to want to spend more time with the characters.

One flaw became apparent very early into my reading. This novel could have used a solid dose of proofreading. I’m the type of reader who can be turned off by grammatical mistakes in a piece, but this story was honestly too exciting not to finish. Still, it would be great to see a more polished version of it.

Summary

Overall, Valerie delivers a fast-paced narrative with engaging characters in a believable setting. The story is compelling and fits perfectly with the grand dilemma of science fiction: humanity vs. technology. Valerie details the mannerisms, dialogue, and banter of her soldiers perfectly, bringing their entire story to life. The fast-paced narrative at times leaves peripheral characters in the dust, but it is thrilling from beginning to end.

While grammatical errors in parts of Revenant: Advent may turn off some readers, I would encourage them to take the novel for what it is: a fun, enjoyable ride through an indie author’s creative, detail-oriented mind.

The only real question I have upon completing this book is: when will we get a sequel?

Steve D

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