Thursday, May 2, 2013

Book Review of The McKenzie Files: Book 1

Book Review of The McKenzie Files: Book 1
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Title: McKenzie Files. Book 1
Author: Barry K. Nelson
Genre: Science Fiction / Adventure

Blurb : 

The first book in the series introduces Colin McKenzie, Diane Christy, and Kelly Lytton. Genetically engineered human weapons known as Reploids. Given powerful psionic based abilities they fight to defend the Human empire of colony planets, The United Protectorate, against the invading alien enemy, the Brelac. But can they stop the Brelac from creating a super weapon capable of bringing the Protectorate to it’s knees?

About the Author:

Barry K. Nelson is a writer living in Clairton PA area. He is 53. Single. No kids. The author of the McKenzie Files science fiction series. His two books are on the market now. McKenzie Files, book 1. And Assassination Anxiety, McKenzie Files book 2. He is currently working on the third installment of the series. Which will be titled, Obliteration. McKenzie Files Book 3. His interests are reading, writing, movies, gardening, video gaming. He also likes Marvel comics, Hell on Wheels, Walking Dead, and Pawn Stars.


Purchase on Createspace :

McKenzie Files is available on books and Barnes and Print version $10.99. E Book version $2.99.

Purchase from Createspace:

He can also be found on Facebook under Barry K. Nelson.


For a moment the Brelac stood before Fenlow and remained silent. Fenlow was apprehensive as to what would happen next. He had limited personal involvement with these creatures, but knew that they were as unpredictable as they were vicious.
The Brelac spoke, uttering a deep growl to slowly form a single name, “Fenlow. So, you’re the Great Doctor Fenlow. One of the first traitors in the brief history of this war. We finally meet.”
Fenlow was quick to voice his indignity to that unsavory title. “I find the word, traitor to be a little too malignant to suit my purpose. I’d like to think of myself as an entrepreneur.”
The Brelac growled again. Showing rows of sharp teeth. “Traitor, entrepreneur. It’s all the same to me. The point is that you’re here. Now the question is why are you here?”
“I’m here to speak to Bane Mariner. I have a proposition for him.”
“You are addressing Governor General Bane Mariner. Supreme Commander of the Brelac Empire. And I hope that your proposition is worth my time.”
“It is,” Fenlow assured him. “What I’m about to propose will greatly benefit both you and my company.”
“Carp Technologies,” Mariner stated. “I admire your company. Playing both sides of the war for their own benefit. All the while maintaining the facade of a benevolent corporation serving your little corner of the universe. I wonder what your people would say if they knew that you and your company were working with us to create the Reploid menace?”
Fenlow had unfortunate news that he was sure that Mariner would not like. “I’m afraid that the Reploid program has been discontinued for the present time. Especially the advanced Reploids. En-route to Helios on the planet Meridan one of your shuttles carrying several advanced Reploid units was shot down by Protectorate forces. Three Reploids were captured by the military. Carp considered this to be a threat to company security and decided to halt the project.”
Fenlow was withholding the fact that he had recommended halting the Reploid project. Aided by Carp’s resources, Fenlow produced the Reploids in a laboratory within a company research vessel that was stationed at a secret location in space. Fenlow notified his Brelac contact on a secured channel when each shipment of Reploids would be due for delivery. The ship would then set a course to meet a Brelac transport shuttle at a designated rendezvous point in space.
Curious about the Brelac’s vision without the use of physical eyes Fenlow had asked to examine their psionic implants. After months of extensive research Fenlow was able to create a more advanced version of the implants. He promised to deliver dozens of Reploids armed with the implants to help the Brelac achieve a swifter victory. This was Fenlow’s and Carp Technologies darkest secret. These were highly treasonous acts that would certainly earn Fenlow and others within Carp Technologies a swift death sentence.
“Those Reploids in the hands of your military could pose a problem,” Mariner stated.
“They’re no threat. There’s only three of them. The military will make limited use of their abilities. And I’ve already taken steps to diminish their effectiveness,” Fenlow paused. “Carp’s board of directors have decided to move forward with Operation Broad Axe. I have to do what I can to insure that the plan is successful. This means that I have to begin some of the more advanced projects that I’ve been working on.”
“And you need my help to pull all this off,” Mariner added. He turned silent as he studied Fenlow. “Let him go,” he growled to the guards escorting Fenlow. Both guards raised their left hands to their heads in a military salute and exited the hall with haste.
Fenlow thought that it was curious how the two Brelac saluted in such a fashion. As if they were mimicking Human troopers. He suspected that he would learn a great deal about these creatures by working closely among them in the days ahead.
“Fix this man a seat next to mine,” Mariner blared out. “He’s my guest of honor.”
The attendants serving food and drink quickly provided a place at the table on Mariner’s right side. As soon as Fenlow sat down he found a dinner plate waiting for him. Using a long, two pronged fork the attendant quickly loaded his plate with three long sections of those pale, snake-like meats. He next received two of the centipedes, steam still rising from their cooked bodies. Lastly the attendant gave him a section of the red meat with three rib bones poking out. Fenlow stared at his plate. The appearance of the food before him was nauseating enough. But it’s oily smell combined with a sour milk odor left him paralyzed. Mariner silently faced him. As if he were studying Fenlow. A thin stream of saliva dripped out of the right side of his mouth. Fenlow received an eerie feeling from the close sight of Mariner’s scaley face with the long pointed teeth constantly grinning.
Fenlow nervously cleared his throat. “I suppose you’re not serving any salads.”
A faint, hoarse growl came from Mariner’s throat. “Nothing so elaborate here.”
Fenlow nodded, “I see.” He looked to the left and right side of his plate and saw that there were no silverware items present. He quietly groaned in frustration. It was evident that the Brelac were eating with their hands. Still, Fenlow desired to blend in here with his hosts. He picked up a centipede. It was warm and soft to the touch. He held it up to his face. At least he was able to distinguish which item smelled like sour milk.
A deep grunt came from Mariner’s mouth. “You look like you were just kissed by Pandora. Don’t worry, Doctor. It won’t bite you back.”
Kissed by Pandora. Fenlow thought that it was a strange terminology to use. He thought that perhaps it was an example of their alien culture. But the name, Pandora stuck in his mind. There was something familiar about it. He thought that this would be the perfect time to get a little more background on his allies. He laid his centipede back down on his plate but kept his hand on it.
“So, I’ve done a little research and found that you Brelac are Reploids yourselves.”
“To a degree we are all the same,” Mariner sluggishly droned out. “Our race needed a technological means to insure it’s continuation.”
“A technological means,” Fenlow repeated. “And what of your females? I noticed that through all the grunting and growling from you Brelac you all sound male.”
“We are all the same, as I have already explained,” said Mariner. “We have created the means of producing the perfect military force. Our soldiers originate from templates that are devoid of fear, unhindered by compassionate doubts, and minds that are not mired by the frivolous aberrations that obstruct you Humans.”
“What about these original templates that you mentioned? I’m assuming that it’s some sort of original genetic stock.”
Mariner explained, “Our original source is centuries old and continues to endure. But it’s history is not important. All that matters is that it serves us as we produce our numbers en-masse in order to achieve our objective.”
“And that objective would be?” asked Fenlow. Suspecting what the answer would be.
“To spread ourselves across this universe and administer retribution to all opposition. That is our mission passed down to us through the generations. This is what we will achieve. You will help us.”
Fenlow pondered Mariner’s words. The Brelac mission of conquest and retribution. It was a chilling thought. But his job was to find a way to work Carp Technologies’s interests into this mission so that their plans could materialize unscathed. “I’ll help you,” Fenlow told him. He took a long look at the centipede he was holding. He picked it up and slowly raised it to his face. He held his breath to try and avoid it’s smell. He opened his mouth.


            While I enjoyed the idea, the book was chunky and it was difficult to keep track of all the players.  I had difficulty following the story as it jumped from point of view to point of view, including a complete change in characters, setting, and more.

            That said, I did enjoy the premise and underlying concept for the story.  I enjoyed the images that I was able to see in my mind’s eye.  I thought the ending was a bit abrupt, but overall I enjoyed the book.

I give the book 3.5 out of 5 clouds.

This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.