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Book Review: Flames Of Rebellion by Jay Allan
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Flames Of Rebellion book banner Jay Allan

Flames Of Rebellion
Flames Of Rebellion Book 1
Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook
By Jay Allan
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release date: March 21, 2017

In Flames Of Rebellion, author Jay Allan creates a futuristic galactic tale where Earth’s Federal America has become an authoritarian society that rules over several extraterrestrial colony worlds, including Alpha 2, commonly referred to as “Haven” by its inhabitants. Haven is on the brink of revolution, with protests against Federal America become more and more frequent, with one in the works to occur at a federal mining prison camp that can only lead to disastrous outcomes for both the prisoners and the soldiers deployed to quell the riot. It becomes clear right away that the respective powerful forces behind both the Federal American government and the Rebellion have a bigger end game in mind and have no problem using people as pawns to achieve it.

Since this novel is the first installment in a planned trilogy by the Crimson Worlds author, there’s a lot of set-up and world building. We follow a female space pirate sympathetic to the Rebellion; a Federal retired war hero who just wants to live a quiet life on his farm who’s reluctantly pulled back into the conflict; a (hopefully) soon-to-be-released mining camp prisoner who’s a victim of the regime’s harsh sentencing practices that guarantee them free labor; Haven’s governor, who tries to keep the peace, but is undermined by the Federal government, who sends in their own leader to crush the resistance in the colony; the group who’s funding and fanning the flames of the rebellion on Haven, who at times seems even more terrible than the evil government their fighting against; and many more.

This book is filled with political intrigue, as well as military scifi action. I almost skipped over this book because I assumed it would be nonstop military warfare, which I’m not big into. I’ve tried to read stories like that before, but when it gets too into weaponry, tech, and military jargon, without much human interest, I find it doesn’t keep my attention. I like my scifi to have heart, and Flames Of Rebellion has plenty of that. Along with the action and, yes, the multiple military conflicts, comes human emotions as we get to know each character, even the minor ones who will die as casualties within the next few pages. Allan lets us know that every life is important and every death has a heavy weight, whether it’s a starship crew member sympathetic to the rebellion, or a foot soldier just doing their duty, or even a hardened convicted criminal who the world would likely be better off without. The death and hardships of the characters never feel gratuitous.

Flames Of Rebellion is a fast-paced, interesting read that keeps your attention as the story moves back and forth amongst all the various groups involved, and thankfully never becomes confusing. The brief Prologue provides a history lesson of this universe’s Great Civil War and the details of the current situation between Federal America and Haven, which I found to be helpful to glance back at after I got to know the characters a little better. There’s also a map at the front (gotta love a novel that begins with a map!) that will be come more relevant later on in the story. With the current political climate what it is in America right now, this book hits close to home a few times. The dystopian novel is making a comeback right now, and Flames Of Rebellion fits in perfectly in that genre. This is one book that should definitely be getting more attention right now. Author Jay Allan has absolutely won me over with this one.

A group of rebels fighting for independence sows the seeds of revolution across the galaxy in this blockbuster military sci-fi adventure from the author of the Crimson Worlds and Far Stars series.

The planet Haven slides closer to revolution against its parent nation, Federal America. Everett Wells, the fair-minded planetary governor, has tried to create a peaceful resolution, but his failure has caused the government to send Asha Stanton, a ruthless federal operative, to quell the insurgency.

Wells quickly realizes that Stanton has the true power . . . and two battalions of government security troops””specifically trained to put down unrest””under her control. Unlike Wells, Stanton is prepared to resort to extreme methods to break the back of the gathering rebellion, including unleashing Colonel Robert Semmes, the psychopathic commander of her soldiers, on the Havenites.

But the people of Haven have their own ideas. They are not the beaten-down masses of Earth, but men and women with the courage and fortitude to tame a new world.

Damian Ward is such a resident of Haven, a retired veteran and decorated war hero, who has watched events on his adopted world with growing apprehension. He sympathizes with the revolutionaries, his friends and neighbors, but he is loath to rebel against the flag he fought to defend. That is, until Stanton’s reign of terror intrudes into his life””and threatens those he knows and loves. Then he does what he must, rallying Haven’s other veterans and leading them to the aid of the revolutionaries.

Yet the battle-scarred warrior knows that even if Haven’s freedom fighters defeat the federalists, the rebellion is far from over . . . it’s only just begun.

Flames Of Rebellion book cover Jay Allan

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