Friday, January 29, 2010

Review: Armistice Day AND Free Book Friday!


Title: Armistice Day
Author: David Drazul
Genre: science fiction
Price: $15.58
Publisher: Lulu
ISBN: 978-0557212385
Point of Sale: Amazon / Lulu
Reviewed by: Chris Gerrib

David Drazul’s first novel, Armistice Day, is an unusual take on the old alien invasion trope. Set approximately 30 years in the future, the United States has been struck by fragments from a comet and hit by a nuclear warhead. Aaron Osborne is a grunt, fighting in Saudi Arabia, when the aliens arrive. The aliens quickly announce that they are staging an intervention for our own good, and inducting humanity into their Empire. Humanity’s desires as to the matter are not considered.

Now, right about there your typical aliens invade story launches into the battle between humans and aliens. Drazul takes a different path. The struggle between humanity and aliens, at least from the point of the United States, is brief and apparently fairly bloodless. Or at least bloodless enough that, 15 months later, Aaron is working for the aliens as head of a private security firm. Aaron’s firm gets contracted to assist with the security for an Armistice Day treaty signing, scheduled to take place in Shea Stadium in the ruined New York City.

To say things get interesting from there is an understatement. I should also add that Drazul’s aliens are not the monolithic race of TV fiction nor are they the “Walton Family in Space” of Star Trek. There has clearly been some thought put into both alien society and human development.

Armistice Day is a fast-paced action adventure, but one with solid character development. I’ve discussed in previous reviews the need to establish a sense of place – the idea that, wherever the novel is set, it’s a real place and not a movie soundstage. All but the first chapter of Armistice Day takes place in New York City, and Drazul’s native eye paints a very believable picture of a ruined and abandoned place.

Although I found Armistice Day extremely enjoyable, there are a couple of nits I need to pick. In general, Drazul does a great job of handling exposition seamlessly, always an issue in science fiction. However, towards the end his villain does a James-Bond-style speech about why he’s doing what he’s doing. Without some support, such as making the villain a known gasbag, it felt a little flat. Lastly, there were a few minor format errors, including some random italicization. In general, only names of ships or titles of books, movies or TV shows should be italicized.

With Armistice Day, Drazul has delivered a debut novel that anybody should be proud of, and something that’s an example of the good that can be self-publishing.

This book is this month's Free Book Friday! To win, post a comment below and we'll draw a name out of a hat. Please put an email address in your reply!

RATING 8/10

Note – I received a hard copy of the book reviewed, which will be raffled off.

25 comments:

Jess said...

This sounds great - count me in.

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Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

sharon54220 said...

Sounds interesting!! Please enter me.

sharon54220@gmail.com

Sue said...

Thanks for the giveaway.

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

Kaye said...

How cool is this...count me in on this one please

mverno said...

i love to read this type of book
mverno@roadrunner.com

Confessions of an Overworked Mom said...

My kind of book! Sounds fantastic! Please enter me!

Benita said...

Sounds like fun. Count me in!

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abfantom said...

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Nickolay said...

What a super awesome book! Thanks for the chance

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slb3334 said...

I would love to read this.

Kylee said...

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AEKZ2 said...

Sounds like something I would enjoy.

annettekz2@yahoo.com

Renee G said...

Would love to read this.
rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

buddyt said...

I haven't read an alien invasion novel for quite a long time.

Plus I am always open to reading debut novels from new authors.

If this is open Internationally, then please enter me.

Thanks

Neville

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

Jessica said...

Thanks for the giveaway
jjak2003 at gmail dot com

David Johnson said...

Sounds good, please count me in, thanks.

clynsg said...

Sounds like a pretty good one to put on my TBR pile

clynsg at yahoo.com

DED said...

For those of you who don't win the book, there's a free preview of the first three chapters (PDF format) available on my website.

It's also available in eBook format from Lulu for $5.

Thanks for the great review, Chris. :)

mindy said...

sounds like a great read thanks minsthins at optonline dot net

karen said...

This sounds like an entertaining book. Thanks.

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Autumn Embers said...

autumn_embers@live.co.uk

Deborah Wellenstein said...

Throw my name in the hat, please! Thank you!

kathy pease said...

Thank you for the Great giveaway please count me in :)

Gianna said...

Please enter me :)