The A-Men – John Trevillian

I love this blog.  Really, I do.  I get to share my opinion about books and any other random thoughts I want with all you wonderful readers, and people send me books to review.  Seriously, they just send them to me.  It’s great, especially when they are good books.  Occasionally they are only mediocre books, or entertaining but not thought provoking books, or would be great with better editing books…so yeah, there is a downside, since I still feel obligated to read and post about them (fortunately I have yet to receive a bad book).  But that isn’t the case today.

Today I finished reading The A-Men by John Trevillian, the first book in a trilogy.  First of all, he has the coolest name I’ve run across in a while.  Second, he has a fast paced writing style that kept me interested the whole time – this is one of those books I finished in one day.  There were no lags, no places where it seemed like a good time to take a break.  In fact, my little guy was wondering why I had my nose in the book all day!  And third, he has created a cast of characters that keep me guessing.

The A-Men is set in a future Earth, in a dystopian society where governments are largely useless and a handful of major corporations run the world.  The book cuts between five major characters, each chapter focusing on one of them.  It is told from first person point of view, but each chapter is titled with the name of the character who is speaking, so it is less confusing than you might think.  There is D’Alessandro, a scientist developing the X-Isle project – using the brain of a whale to power an organic computer and create a new sort of virtual world – unaware that most of ‘civilization’ has left Earth and moved into massive space stations orbiting the planet.  And Pure, a young woman on the ground who gets caught up in the collapse all around her.  And Sister Midnight, a soldier trying to survive after being sent to keep order on the planet while the corporations pulled out, then abandoned by her own leaders.  And 23rdxenturyboy, an experiment in combining human and animal DNA – more human than not, he escaped from the lab he was being held in along with another prisoner.  And lastly, Nowhereman, also called Jack, who erased his own memory after setting himself up to be in the group of soldiers sent planetside.   The characters are eventually brought together as they struggle to survive, and to understand their situation.

The A-Men is action packed and exciting, and while it may not be deeply thought provoking, it will certainly keep the mind busy with all it’s twists and turns.  My only complaint is that it ends rather abruptly, with a lot of unresolved issues.  So if you read The A-Men, plan on reading The A-Men Return and A-Men Forever as well.  I certainly do.

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3 Responses to The A-Men – John Trevillian

  1. Hayley Cross says:

    I found this review searching for more info on The A-Men and wondered what other people thought of it. Great review, btw. I think you really nailed the highs and lows of this novel. But after I finished the book I was left with some nagging questions about Jack and why he did things… and decided to re-read to get things straight.

    When I did I noticed two things:
    (i) Jack’s memory wipe renders him a very unreliable narrator (and his behaviour is very immature because he’s basically a big kid because of it). On a second read I found many places where he blacksout and misses big chunks of plot, and scenes that are either big fat lies or delusion dreams of what really happened.
    (ii) The entire story is in fact a big fairy tale. Every scene is begged, borrowed or stolen from the likes of Peter Pan, Wizard of Oz, Brothers Grimm or whoever.

    Taken on this level the novel is far more intriguing than the all-action cover that it’s being judged on, and there’s hints that something else is to come in the following books.

    Just wanted to share and to try to answer some nagging questions!

  2. taharmjigal says:

    I will have to check this out!

  3. Larry Moran says:

    I’m a scifi lover, so this book seems like it would be right up my alley. Thanks for sharing about it.

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