April 22, 2013

Book Review & Giveaway: The Forever Saga: Flash by Sean C. Sousa

at 4/22/2013 04:26:00 PM
I have to confess, I wasn't exactly eager to read this book. I tend to stay away from sci-fi based novels, which is odd because of my love for Battlestar Galactica and Doctor Who, but I gotta say The Forever Saga: Flash was actually a well written and interesting book.
Long ago, the first reign of Grigori Geist nearly destroyed the Earth. Returned from exile, Geist is secretly rebuilding his kingdom beneath Antarctica, assembling his robotic Vaucan race to war against mankind. Only one obstacle remains: the war hero known as Brian Renney. Yet Brian is losing a battle against his fears. Scars of heart and mind linger from his days in Vietnam, fueling his failures as husband and father. This embitters his youngest son, Jason – a star athlete torn between pursuing the love of his life, and meeting the demands of a father who is far from the storied army captain he once was.And all the while, Geist is coming for them. In this dark hour, Brian and Jason encounter a war to end all others… and an unexpected ally who, once meant for evil, shall forever be a force for good.

This book was a bit overwhelming, but in a good way. It was quite a melting pot of different cultures, titles, customs, and lifestyles. Even though there were a lot of different pieces, Sean C. Sousa tied them all together beautifully. One of the main characters is Brian Renney, a survivor of the Vietnam war. He, like many others, still has strong memories and flashback of his time on the battlefield. His character is a little similar to the Walt Kowalski, of Gran Torino, but is more watered down. Brian is alienated from his sons, prideful, gruff billy goat personified, old-school, and retired, but he's not a bad guy. He does have moments of reproach where he does praise his son, despite otherwise. He also has bouts of PTSD that have increased since the accident. The things he's see and done during a period of blood and war still stays with him and causes a rift between him and his family. 

He knows he's sabotaging himself and his relationships, but it's like he has word vomit. The meanest things come out of his mouth, full of sarcasm, bitterness and anger, aimed at his family when he's projecting his self-hatred of himself. Despite this, his family refuses to give up on him and still love him, albeit from a distance. Brian has a love of skates, which one expects from Michiganians and was a hockey player back in the day. His youngest son, Jason, has picked up the mantel and is always under his father's constant scrutiny. Around Christmas time, everything changed for the Renney family. After an argument broke out during dinner, Brian is spirited away by Prince Ahya, later renamed Flash. From this point on, Brian is thrust into a journey that will ultimately lead to the battle of all battles.

As you read the book, Sousa switches back and forth between the realm of Regnum Aeturnum (a metropolis built under the continent of Antarctica) to flashbacks of the Vietnam war (told in Brian's POV) and then to present day. The mini world that exists is intricately designed and has a Game of Thrones feel to it with all of the politics and warmongering. :D There were many scenes that made my top 5, but my all time favorite stars Brian and his wife, Mary, when they are briefly reunited. I just couldn't help it; I'm a romantic. :) This book also kind of reminded me of this old movie I saw when I was a kid. It was called the Iron Giant. I kind of felt like it was similar in the sense that during their time together, Brian was teaching Flash to be more human and Flash challenged Brian's own view of his self-worth. The flashbacks and the ending made me tear up a little. Being Vietnamese with parents who fled Vietnam during the war, I appreciated Brian's flashbacks and his attempts to make things better. I don't quite remember if there are stories about real life soldiers who not only fought the war against communism in Vietnam, but also for the people. Brian is a fractured soul. He was described as quick to act and cared for the lives of others. This section made me tear up the most, 
He cared about the Vietnamese more than many of his fellow soldiers did. It didn’t matter to him that some folks back home hated us for fighting that war. He only wanted to win for the Vietnamese people.” (
Sean C. Sousa. The Forever Saga: Flash (Kindle Locations 7205-7207).) 

Despite his flaws, he was committed to the underdog and it cost him most of his mental stability, but it made him into the kind of hero you want to root for. 
This book was filled with imagery, adventure, pain, redemption, conspiracy, mystery, family, love, and fantasy. I am so glad Sean contacted me to read this book. I hope I have the luck of reading the next book by this up and coming writer! I give this book a rating of....

½ stars!!!!

Today only (4-23-13)! The Forever Saga: Flash Giveaway - Like The Forever Saga's Facebook Page and receive a free e-book copy of Flash!" 

For more info about The Forever Saga, click here and for more info about the author click here

SEAN C. SOUSA never planned on writing a novel – that is, until the idea for The Forever Saga came along. He first conceived it as a video game design concept, then a screenplay, and finally a written work of fiction. His debut novel, The Forever Saga: Flash, marks the end of one six-year journey toward publication, and also the beginning of another: to bring his stories to a worldwide audience.
His dream is to see fiction inspire positive social change in the world, calling attention to issues of social justice and mobilizing his readership to meet the needs of those afflicted.
Mr. Sousa resides in Southern California with his wife, Shelley, and when he is not writing further adventures about the Renney family, he is usually up to socially acceptable mischief with his friends and family.

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