SFcrowsnest Reviews An Island of Light!
It’s a strong writeup and the reviewer, Kelly Jensen, recognizes the contradiction in the book’s title. As the first line of the review states, it’s the darkest chapter yet. I’m very proud of this novel. At my recent book signing, I described it as a “gripping prison break … and the prison is underwater.” That phrase seemed to resonate with readers.
Here’s a portion of the review; you can read the full text here.
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“An Island Of Light, the fourth book in Timothy S. Johnston’s The Rise Of Oceania series, is perhaps the darkest chapter in the saga yet …
… Megan did it, no question. She also didn’t have a plan beyond simple revenge, so when the USSF comes looking for their missing admiral, Mac and the rest of the team scramble to hide the evidence, to no avail. When the USSF leaves Trieste with Megan and Mac’s chief of security in their custody, Mac has to gather the shreds of his current plans and tie them off to the dangling threads of what comes next: rescue his sister while interrupting the USSF occupation of a neighbouring colony …
… The question that comes with this sort of breakthrough, however, underlines the themes of this book: what is the true cost of a weapon of mass destruction and how are we supposed to feel about such an invention? The technology can be used for good, adapted toward medicine, for instance. But right now, the cost will be in lives and Truman McClusky is going to be the one to pay the bill.
While I enjoyed the action sequences in this book, as always, there are many, the true value of An Island Of Light is in Mac’s war with himself. He’s not alone in his struggle. His sister was unable to live with the fact her father’s killer remained alive, free and in the position to make her life hell. The USSF, in fact all the submarine fleets, are known for their use and abuse of the underwater colonies.
A former agent of Trieste’s intelligence agency surfaces with his own case of trauma and the scars of his protracted torture will make Mac’s mission to rescue Meg all the more difficult. As author Johnston explores the morality of torture, murder, and retribution, he manages to keep Mac’s moral compass pointing north but only just. It’s this aspect of the book that will stay with the reader. Mac has always been a very real character. One the reader can empathise with and one we’re willing to follow into the depths. So it’s very fitting that he should struggle so mightily before pulling off the most inventive and daring rescue yet.
An Island Of Light is a worthy instalment in the Rise Of Oceania series and I look forward to the next book.” — SFcrowsnest
Thank you to SFcrowsnest!
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THE WAR BENEATH: FIRST PLACE 2018 GLOBAL THRILLER Action / Adventure Category Winner, 2019 Silver Falchion Award Finalist, 2018 CLUE Award Semi-Finalist, & 2019 CYGNUS Award Shortlister
THE SAVAGE DEEPS: FIRST PLACE 2020 CYGNUS Award Winner, 2019 GLOBAL THRILLER Awards Finalist, 2019 CLUE Award Shortlister
Praise for THE WAR BENEATH
“If you’re looking for a techno-thriller combining Ian Fleming, Tom Clancy and John Le Carré, The War Beneath will satisfy … a ripping good yarn, a genuine page-turner.” — Amazing Stories
“One very riveting, intelligent read!” — Readers’ Favorite
“If you like novels like The Hunt for Red October and Red Storm Rising,
you will certainly enjoy The War Beneath.” — A Thrill A Week
“If you’re here for thrills, the book will deliver.” — The Cambridge Geek
“… an engaging world that is highly believable …” — The Future Fire
“This is a tense, gripping science fiction/thriller of which Tom Clancy might well be proud . . . When I say it is gripping, that is the simple truth.” — Ardath Mayhar
“… a thrill ride from beginning to end …” — SFcrowsnest
“… if you like Clancy and le Carré with a hint of Forsyth thrown in,
you’ll love The War Beneath.” — Colonel Jonathan P. Brazee (RET),
2017 Nebula Award & 2018 Dragon Award Finalist
“Fast-paced, good old-fashioned Cold War espionage … a great escape!” — The Minerva Reader