Last month I got to do a 5MinuteInterview with Steve Umstead to celebrate the release of his latest book: Gabriel’s Return, book two of the Evan Gabriel series. Today, as promised, I’ve finally got for you my review of said book. Stay tuned to the end for details of how you can WIN your copy.
On the far-off icebound planet of Poliahu, North American Federation Navy Commander Evan Gabriel suffered the loss of several team members in order to free a native species and save his brother. Now he is being called away on a new mission by a friend in trouble, and by a name from his distant past. He and his surviving team must again travel across the galaxy to the planet where he lost his naval command, and his original team, so many years ago: Eden.
Evan Gabriel must face three distinct threats on Eden: the well-armed terrorist group that has been raiding Eden City, the dangerous planet itself, and his own haunting memories of his past.
Now, as I said, this is a sequel to Gabriel’s Redemption, and because of that I already knew Steve was a great writer with imagination and spunk and a killer grip of the tech-geeky-cool stuff that makes sci-fi like this so much fun.
There was no let-down with Gabriel’s Return. In fact, it’s better in my opinion. I complained a little at Steve after Redemption because I’m an impatient SOB and I wanted a faster pace. Wow, did he deliver that in Return. (To the point that I’m going back to re-read Redemption to brush up on all the ways the characters who developed further in Return were brought where they were because of things that happened in Return.)
One of the best parts is that Return takes us back, not only physically to the planet that started Gabriel’s fall into disgrace and haunting nightmares, but it brings it to an exciting and very satisfying resolution of that life-changing event in Gabriel’s life. (At least until the bad guys raise the stakes just in time for the final book…)
The action in this book rocks, complete with super-cool weapons and technology. (I want a set of neuretics, please.) Steve takes a complex cast and gives them each a distinct personality that makes the team dynamic just great. It propels you right along with them, and you feel it with the team when something happens to one of their own.
I’m being purposely vague; I hate spoilers. (Sometimes I won’t even read the back cover copy, just in case it gives away more than I want to know.) But trust me when I say, this one pays off in a big way and I know you’ll love it.
Don’t neglect to check out both of Steve’s books, Gabriel’s Redemption and the newly-released sequel, Gabriel’s Return. In fact, let’s help you out with that. One random commenter on this thread will WIN a copy of Gabriel’s Return. Just leave a comment below and make sure I have some way to contact you.
Steve Umstead has been the owner of a Caribbean & Mexico travel company for the past ten years, but never forgot his lifelong dream of becoming an author. After a successful stab at National Novel Writing Month, he decided to pursue his dream more vigorously…but hasn’t given up the traveling.
Steve lives in scenic (tongue-in-cheek) New Jersey with his wife, two kids, and several bookshelves full of other authors’ science fiction novels. Gabriel’s Redemption is his debut novel.
More information about Steve can be found on his blog here: www.SteveUmstead.com
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