Length: 302 Pages
Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review.
Nuclear war has destroyed human civilisation.
Captain Jake Phillips wakes in his crash landed ship and finds Earth transformed into a dangerous new world. He faces two immediate threats that will test his survival skills to the limit.
Discovery leads to danger.
Skye Reed, a tracker from one of the strongholds built to protect humanity, uncovers evidence that could spell the end for their fragile society. With friends and enemies revealing truths about the past, she will need to decide who to trust.
Darren Wearmouth spent six years in the army before pursuing a career in corporate technology. After fifteen years working for large telecommunications firm and a start-up, he decided to follow his passion for writing. He currently lives in Manchester, England. Carl Sinclair spent several years working in software engineering, insurance, and being a chef. After years of changing careers to find something that fit, he decided to follow his passion for writing. He currently lives in Perth, Australia.
Praise for Sixth Cycle:
“A unique twist on the apocalypse, packed full of suspense and action.” – Nick Smith, best-selling author of the ORBS series.
“An exciting ride that will keep you turning the pages.” – W.J. Lundy, best-selling author of the WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT series.
In the Sixth Cycle Jake is in cryogenic sleep on the Endeavor Three one of the ships in his fleet. He awakens to find all his fellow crew’s pods open and the ship empty. Disoriented and confused about the lack of crew and his waking alone Jake slowly explores his ship for answers only to find everybody gone and the ship has been scavenged. He makes his way through the ship to the main doors and finds them open, having either landed or crashed he isn’t sure. Once outside he has more questions than answers and the confusion is ten fold. Jake has been asleep for 130 years and his ship has become an exhibit, he is a tourist attraction, the year is 2205, and the new world isn’t what it used to be.
Darren and Carl set the book off to a great pace and immediately fill our heads with as many or more questions than Jake probably had. I was completed enthralled within two chapters and was pretty excited to read what had happened to the world Jake knew. He finds himself in the middle of a small town and is surprised when people are shouting and shooting at him. He escapes with his head spinning and tries to regroup in the nearby woods and figure out what is going on and where if any place is safe.
The stage is well set for an adventure beyond Jake’s wildest dreams. The story has a great plot and attention to detail within the world the authors have built. There are many military details and socially filled themes that I found completely realistic possibility in a not too distant future. I love the characters as we see them react in this delicate new world. Jake learns that small groups of people are living in “strong holds” and there is a maximum to each groups population. Interesting idea for a society trying to rebuild after the end of the world. They all have a mayor and the entire group is kept in check by a man called “The Trader” who is more important than Jake knows.
Jake comes across Skye who helps him when “wastelanders”, those who are affected by the remaining radiation from the nuclear war, have crossed his path in the forest. Skye is a great character and we see her grow up in a matter of days as she and all she knows is in danger. Major Finch from her “home stronghold” is a character I loved hating from the moment he is introduced. He gives you the feeling of disgust and he comes off as eccentric or maybe just plain crazy. I love authors who are able to create a character who can be despised right along with those we can get behind, all the while keeping them all believable. The characters all have a ‘real’ feel to them and the conversations and interactions all flow really well.
The suspense during numerous fights and battles grips your attention and soon I had my favorite characters and a few I waited to see how they would develop. There are plenty of characters to love, hate and even feel sorry for in the Sixth Cycle. The story covers a few days in time and has plenty of action and story line to keep you guessing who is who, who are the good guys and where everyone stands. Skye is sent on a mission to kill an “outlaw” that is giving the citizens around her home trouble. Soon Skye realizes the man Ryder she is sent to kill isn’t the enemy but an Allie she can count on. Shortly after finding Ryder there is a brutal attack from the wastelanders and I really liked the battle scene in the caves. Plenty of nail-biting action and bloodshed, along with slim hopes everyone won’t be slaughtered. The final battle I leave you to read for yourself, but I can say Karma is a wonderful thing and I was glad to see Darren and Carl use it to wrap up the story.
The storytelling was well done and clever, I didn’t see many of the unknowns until the authors meant me too. As the book comes to its climax and the answers start to become apparent I was pleasantly surprised and was really glad to see how it all wrapped up. I would have liked another chapter or two to explain further back story but in the end Jake aligns himself with the right people and eventually comes to understand his place in his new world and how he will move on. Again I am not disappointed with Darren Wearmouth, he tells a well written story and his co-author Carl Sinclair is now an author I will be reading.