Michael Brachman's Rome's Evolution was published in May 2013.
Information about Michael Brachman:
Michael Brachman has a Ph.D. in Sensory Science with a minor in Computer Science. Rome's Revolution is his first science fiction series, depicting the enduring love between a man from the 21st century and a woman from the 35th century. Between the two of them, they fend off various threats to mankind. The science behind the science fiction is meticulously researched. It is so realistic, you will believe that these stories are true, they just haven't happened yet.
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Information about Rome's Evolution:
Past and future collide in this riveting conclusion to the Rome's Revolution series.
For the last two years, Rei and Rome have enjoyed a measure of peace in which to raise their son Aason on the little world of Deucado. One day, without warning, that peace is shattered by an intentional explosion, destroying their house and leaving Rei severely injured. Who planted the bomb and why? Their faithful starship MINIMCOM takes them on a dizzying quest for answers ending up at The Hand, the most spectacular geological formation ever seen on the worlds of Man. A confrontation with the would-be assassins reveals the plot to kill Rei and Rome runs far deeper than they ever imagined. The conspiracy stretches all the way to the Earth with Aason caught directly in the cross-hairs.
Time is running out. Can they save their son? Can they save themselves? Action and adventure, along with a stiff dose of hard science, are awaiting you as you experience Rome's Evolution.
A REVIEW OF MICHAEL BRACHMAN'S ROME EVOLUTION
Rome's Evolution successfully continues the inventive and original science fiction saga that started in Rome's Revolution and The Ark Lords. It ties up several loose ends and reveals many things to the readers (the readers will find out what has happened to Sussen, Virga, Bonnie and Captain Keller etc).
Here's a bit of information about the plot:
The events take place two years after the events of The Ark Lords. Rome's Evolution starts in an intriguing way, because at the beginning of the book Rei is injured badly. Rei and Rome think that somebody tries to kill them and their son, Aason. Rei and Rome have to find out who threatens their lives. As they try to find out who's threatening their lives, they travel from one place to another...
Rome's Evolution doesn't disappoint the fans of the series, because the story of Rei and Rome continues in a natural way. This book differs a bit from the previous books, because in the previous books Rei and Rome have fought against forces that try to exterminate mankind. In this book Rei and Rome have to deal with a threat that is directed to them and their family. This feels refreshing and it adds a more personal touch to the storyline.
There are several good moments and scenes in this book:
What MINIMCOM is capable of doing is truly amazing and intriguing, because his abilities surprise the characters and the readers often. He has interesting surgical abilities and he's able to perform new kind of surgeries.
Reading about Rei and Rome's visit to Helome and their meeting with Virga was delightful, because Virga is now living with Captain Keller and has had a child and is expecting another. It was also interesting to read about how the exiled people had adapted to their life on Helome. I also enjoyed reading about Virga's genetic experiments.
It was also fun to read about how Rome reacted to beer, because she wasn't used to it. This short scene was delightfully humorous. I'll also mention that there are other humorous moments, but I won't reveal what they are so that I don't write too many spoilers.
I think that writing about Rei's past was a good idea, because it added depth to the storyline. There are two intermezzoes which reveal what happened in the past.
I have to admit that I've been a bit disappointed with several science fiction series, because they feel distant in many ways and it's difficult to create any kind of emotional connection to the characters. Fortunately everything's different in this series, because this series is one of those series that grow on you and the more you read about the characters and the happenings the more you like them.
The protagonists are endearing three-dimensional characters. What I like most about the the protagonist is that they feel realistic. Although they're intelligent and they seem to be perfect, they also have human traits and faults that make them vulnerable. This kind of characterization is a bit rare in hard science fiction, because there are several sci-fi authors who use characters to push the story forward and don't develop them much (as most readers may know hard science fiction means that the authors emphasize scientific accuracy and technical details, and this is often done at the expense of character development). Fortunately Michael Brachman has understood that it's also important to develop the characters. He develops his characters in an interesting way by writing about their problems and how they deal with them (his characters learn from their mistakes and try to solve problems as well as they can, and at the same time they grow as persons).
In the previous books the author showed how Rei fell in love with Rome, and how many problems it caused for both of them. Despite all the problems they've had they love each other very much and they have a son, Aason. I think it's great that the author writes about their love life, because it adds romance to the story arc.
In my opinion Michael Brachman writes fluently about sexual situations. This book has an interesting scene in which Rome tries to learn a new ability by using sex as a tool to train herself. I think that several readers will be pleased with this scene, because it's a perfectly written scene that combines eroticism and science in an interesting way.
Worldbuilding works well in this series, because the author has created an interesting future world. Descriptions about the different places are interesting (for example, The Hand that can be seen in the cover image is an awe-inspiring place). The Vuduri culture and society is a great achievement, because the author has managed to create an interesting vision of a possible future world where people have evolved quite a lot and differ greatly from the 21st century human beings. The Vuduri have 24 chromosomes and they're mind connected to their collective consciousness (The Overmind).
One of the best things about this book and the whole series is that the author shows that development isn't always a good thing, because it can lead to several problems. If we forget who we are and what we're capable of doing, we may lose something important and it can cause us problems in the long run.
Michael Brachman has developed quite a lot as an author since the first two books. He now writes more fluently than before. His prose is accessible and easy to read (this kind of prose suits the story arc of this series well, because there are plenty of action and adventure elements in these books). In the first books the his prose felt a bit awkward and unfinished, but now he writes much better and more fluent prose. It was nice to see that he has developed so much, because he has brilliant ideas and he isn't afraid of writing about them. I especially enjoy the way he writes about science and scientific inventions. I'm sure that he will continue to develop as an author and his forthcoming books will be worth waiting for.
It's great that the author has managed to tie up all the loose ends in Rome's Revolution. This book is the culmination of the Rome's Revolution series, because the author has created a satisfying story that gives answers to several questions that readers may have wondered about. The author has clearly thought about several things in this book and also in the whole series, because the epilogue shows readers what happens in the future. The epilogue can be seen as the beginning of a new series of books starring Rei and Rome's children. According to the end of the book, the next book will be called The Milk Run and it will be published in 2014.
I thought about giving this book four or four and a half stars, but I decided to give it full five stars, because it's an entertaining and well constructed science fiction book that manages to deliver plenty of surprises. In my opinion this kind of good and harmless science fiction entertainment is wonderful escapism for all kinds of readers who are interested in entertaining science fiction stories and plot twists.
Rome's Evolution offers plenty of science, humour, action, romance and intriguing inventions to its readers. It's a perfectly balanced combination of different elements from romance to science fiction. I think that this book will appeal to newcomers and experienced readers alike, because it offers something for both readerships: easy and accessible prose with plenty of action to newcomers and interesting scientific inventions and technical details to experienced sci-fi readers. It isn't easy to write this kind of science fiction, but Michael Brachman has managed to write a splendid sci-fi book that will please several readers. It's space opera with a heart.
Enjoyable and intriguing science fiction entertainment!