A new review for "Lifeline," the first book in "The STARLING Series," is up on Amazon.com. This review is written by Kevin E. Lake, Iraq war vet and author of "Off Switch."
I've been fortunate that dedicated readers and authors, including Scott Emerson, Joseph Madia, Jr., Tamara Woods, and Michelle Bowser, are willing not only to take the time to read my books, but also to write down their insights. The reviews teach me a thing or two about my books, how others see the story, and the reviews get me looking at my writing from other angles.
Being an Iraq war vet, Mr. Lake adds a dimension with his review that is a critical, key element in "The STARLING Series." I'm an Iraq war vet myself, and have waded through some of the same mud/sand. My experiences both with the Iraq war and with my early work in high school/college with "underground" newspapers are the main source of the "STARLING" story, informing every word of the series.
There is an Iraq war vet in "The STARLING Series." He is the grandfather of Jaya Ceyes (and thus would be a member of our generation today). By the time 2045 rolls around, Jaya's grandfather is dead. He never appears physically in books 1-4 that comprise "The STARLING Connection."
However, throughout the series, we hear this veteran's thoughts and can see his spirit, through Jaya Ceyes. We can see him through Jaya's own thoughts and actions. And we can see that Jaya would not be who she is without her grandfather being who he is. Jaya is fighting to take back everything her grandfather struggled for (but which has been lost by 2045), the rights/Liberty in The Bill of Rights.
At times, Jaya quotes what she remembers her grandfather telling her. Sometimes she reads directly from letters he wrote to her before he died. Jaya also wears her grandfather's tattered desert camouflage fatigue shirt like a jacket. These are all brief scenes interspersed throughout the books, but I consider them absolutely critical to the story.
Below is an excerpt from Kevin E. Lake's review (I'm trying to post excerpts of new reviews on this website as they come out; if you've written a review for "STARLING" on Amazon and want it to appear in full here at theodorewebb.com, then let me know...)
"The 'way things are' fifty years out are realistic, based on where we stand today with some of our technologies and state of a heavily medicated (American) society. And this is what drew me into the story more than anything. The stark reality that we are already on our way to the life that Webb describes fifty years out. Our freedoms taken away from us for our own 'safety.' Genetically synthesized foods. Soda pop the drink of choice, even and especially over water. And drones. Drones everywhere, making sure everyone is staying in their place.
Webb picks up where Orwell left off, and he does so with the next generation of rag tags, who are off in their attempts to create change, via the creation of a unique, unregulated, underground web page on the "Supernet," where they hope to expose the truth. I will be reading book two of this series within the next several days to see just how successful our group of four misfits are in this endeavor."