The Cerberus Group is back, and this time the stakes are even higher. Filled with high-octane action, a grand mystery, and enough adventure to turn even Indiana Jones himself into Roger Murtaugh (“I’m too old for this… stuff.”), Robinson and Ellis have outdone even their previous amazing outing with this group.
King travels through time on quite possibly his goriest adventure yet (though much of it off screen), against one of the most vile monsters he has ever encountered in this latest installment of the Continuum series of novellas that takes place during the period in the middle of the Chess Team book OMEGA.
As always when either Robinson or Holloway is involved, simply a tremendous book full of action, adventure, and intrigue. Though I gotta admit, my single favorite part of the entire story is the epilogue where they spin the rest of the book on its head and reveal King to be a very famous literary character. Which one? Well, read the tale and find out. 😀
The Chess Team is back in their latest adventure, picking up shortly after the events of CANNIBAL. The Team is dealing with the repercussions and fallout from that story when they get dragged into yet another mission to save the world. While ENDGAME and the Chess Team story from SNAFU help explain some setup/ references, this book can be read directly after CANNIBAL with no real gaps – and is one of the best Chess Team books yet.
Another solid entry in the tales of Jack Sigler’s journey through time. In this one, we first encounter a group of Americans searching for a treasure that can secure the fledgling United States of America in their war against their British masters. Soon enough, Jack Sigler shows up and the real mission is revealed. Good mystery, unique monsters, and the always great writing makes this yet another tale from Robinson (this time with Holloway) that you NEED to read.
In this spinoff from the Chess Team/ Jack Sigler series, we see George Pierce – best friend of Jack Sigler aka King – begin working outright with the Herculean Society, taking over from where the Chess Team left that group. In this first adventure, Pierce and his allies – several characters introduced in the Chess Team series, even if it has been a few missions since they were mentioned – begin encountering strange chimeras. As they investigate, they encounter the Cerberus Group as both organizations race for the birthplace of all monsters. Cerberus to unleash untold destruction, Herculean Society to stop them.
Yet another fast paced, surprising entry from the true master of the genre, you won’t be able to put this one down – yet you don’t have to read anything that came before it to understand and enjoy all that is happening here.
CANNIBAL picks up shortly after the events of SAVAGE, with the Team facing some doubts for the first time in a long time. Meanwhile, they don’t know it yet but they are about to face one of their greatest, and gravest, challenges yet. Along the way, the Team will be rocked to its very core unlike ever before… So sit down, strap in, and get ready for one of the wildest rides yet from the master of the wild ride.
Oh, and unfortunately you will never look at BBQ the same again – a true shame, if you are a Southerner like me who eats it regularly… 😀
This is the first Chess Team book to occur post-Ridley Saga, and is designed to be much more stand alone. As such, it makes a good entry point into the series for new fans – and they will be fans by the end of the book, mark my words on that one.
The back story here starts with Henry Morton Stanley trying to find the money to get back to Africa. It seems that Dr. Livingstone had told him a fantastical tale that he just had to go see for himself…
Flash forward nearly a century, and a man running from the constant wars of mid 20th century Africa finds a mysterious cave that two of his friends quickly die in.
And then we come to the modern era, where we are quickly introduced to a bunch of tourists in Egypt. One is Chinese, two appears to be a German couple, and two more appear to be tourists from some other Arab country. Of course they are none other than Shin Dae-jung, call sign KNIGHT, Stan Tremblay, call sign ROOK, Zelda Baker, call sign QUEEN, Erik Sommers, call sign BISHOP, and the man who has now lived through millenia, Jack Sigler – call sign KING. Yes, all of these tourists are our Chess Team, and they are on yet another mission to set up yet another book.
The tale this time mostly centers in Africa, but with a couple of side trips – QUEEN and ROOK only – to Europe to save a President and kill some bad guys, CHESS TEAM style. Along the way, we get a spin on the Team that is becoming somewhat the norm in these later books with the story splitting the team up in different objectives before bringing them all back together for the final battle. Along the way, we encounter at least a couple of people who are holdovers from the Ridley Saga, we get some great action, some funny humor… and a gut punch about mid way through.
But that midpoint gut punch is NOTHING like the haymaker that lands in the final 12% of the book. To the tune that I actually sent Jeremy this message via Facebook:
NO. I’m 89% in. If you do what it looks like you’re about to do, there *will* be cursing involved. A lot of it.
Hence the title of this review. But I have to admit, it is *because* of this haymaker that this story stands head and shoulders above any CHESS TEAM book before it. Because of this haymaker, I recommend reading at least a few of the previous books first, just to get the full weight of what is happening, though it isn’t strictly necessary. (But seriously, who starts reading a series with Book 6?? Seriously – you’ll have a LOT more fun if you start off with PRIME or PULSE, then skip ahead and read this one if you must. Hell, go ahead and buy all three!
This haymaker will change the course of the team forever… Or will it? As with Marvel’s Avenger Series movies, make sure you stay through the end credits. Or in this case, the “Coda” after the Epilogue…
First, let me say this: READ OMEGA by Jeremy and Kane Gilmour FIRST. This book, by necessity, has several major spoilers to that book.
Now, if you don’t mind spoilers and simply want a GREAT introduction to one of the best single characters in modern fiction, pick up GUARDIAN even if you haven’t read any other CHESS TEAM book.
In GUARDIAN, we see King being just that – a GUARDIAN – to Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson (yes, that Nebuchadnezzar – as in, Daniel and the Lion’s Den. Writing on the wall, etc etc etc). Now, if you’re wondering how a modern super-Delta soldier is somehow in the time of an old Nebuchadnezzar… READ OMEGA!
Great twist on the monster tale, having a modern soldier go back in time to battle ancient monsters… and make some interesting discoveries along the way. Great introduction to who King is – leader, soldier, guardian, tactician, etc etc etc.
Looking forward to the next in the Continuum Series! 😀
Picking up right where RAGNAROK leaves us, we think we know what is coming. Particularly with a title like OMEGA, you’re expecting an ending.
And an ending you get. But it is NOT going to be one you see coming.
Along the way, you get classic CHESS TEAM level kicking of ass. You get old bad guys. You get a couple of new ones. You get old friends. You get new ones. You get old players switching teams.
And in the end, you get…
Jeremy and Kane throw plenty of loops in that were not expected, as well as a couple of kick ass scenes that are. One fight that you know is coming you do indeed get – but not in the way you expect. One fight that you expect gets one of the players changed – and quite possibly becomes a bit cooler because of it, particularly due to the setup of this particular fight in some regards.
Long time fans may be torn by how this plays out – I know I am. But it is absolutely one of the best books out there and deserving of the full 5 stars and then some. Read this book and you’ll see what I mean about the stars, and possibly understand why I am torn. But then, long time fans are already going to pick this up. For people considering Jeremy and the CHESS TEAM, I’ll say this: Go ahead and buy every single one of them. You’ll want them available as you finish them. Then read them in the order they were published: PULSE, INSTINCT, THRESHOLD, the CALLSIGN novellas, PRIME, OMEGA. You will be in for the ride of your life!
The latest edition of the Chess Team saga takes it back to before it all began – when Jack Sigler was known as “Elvis” and before he had ever met Stan Tremblay, Shin Dae Jung, Erik Somers, and Zelda Baker.
I’m not going to get into the plot on this review, suffice it to say that it is a classic Chess Team rollercoaster that has them travel over much of the globe while explaining the need for just such a team very well.
If you’ve never read a Jeremy Robinson book, particularly from the Chess Team series, this one is the first one in storyline order and serves as an excellent origins story. If you’re a long time fan, this is another wild ride you’ve come to expect, with a few geek out moments thrown in – such as when “Elvis” becomes “King”, and even moreso when Stan, Shin, Erik, and Zelda become “Rook”, “Knight”, “Bishop”, and “Queen”.
The introductions to each character are done very well indeed, and some classic moments that have never before been put in the books are revealed. Among them:
How does Stan get his Desert Eagles?
How do Zelda and Jack meet, and how does Jack gain Zelda’s trust?
Who the hell is this “Richard” guy that seems to be financing the bad guys?
The most important question (as far as the future of Chess Team goes) is left unanswered:
How do the events of PRIME – the story of the beginnings of Chess Team – affect what long time fans know and expect to see in OMEGA – the story of the endings of Chess Team, coming out later this year? I have my suspicions, but at this point the only thing any of us other than Robinson and his coauthor for OMEGA, Kane Gilmour, know for sure:
No matter what happens, it will be one hell of a ride!