Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Review: Gabriel's Sacrifice by Noah Fregger

Title: Gabriel's Sacrifice (The Scrapman Trilogy #2)
Author: Noah Fregger
Publication Date: September 19, 2014
Publisher: T-16 Publishing
Pages: 236
Add to Goodreads

I received this book from the author 
in exchange for an honest review.
It's been only weeks since the war ended, since those things came down to offer humanity a second chance in the aftermath. But as the remaining survivors begin to hunt down the new species left behind, the rifleman stays tucked within the safety of his home, content to keep the chaos on the outside--until the hunt comes straight to his back door. And there, coming face to face with a member of this new race, the rifleman must decide whether to take part in this genocide, or to aid that which is hunted ... even if he becomes hunted in the process. 

The author of Gabriel's Sacrifice first contacted me whenever he released his first novel, Gabriel's Watch. I enjoyed that one and now he's back with Gabriel's Watch, a prequel to the first installment. It's kind of strange to see a second book in a trilogy as a prequel, but it was an interesting read, nonetheless. I don't read a lot in the sci-fi genre, so I can't really speak with too much confidence here, but I believe the concept is original and well executed.

Gabriel's Sacrifice begins when Mohammad meets Radia, the lone survivor of an alien race sent to earth. Radia is being hunted by Maddox, one of the humans who has holed up in a store to defend their own personal stockpile. Maddox has a posse of badasses, which really seems like the three stooges at times, who are responsible for his security. Unfortunately, after a bad move on their part, Mohammad comes at them with a vengeance and this is where the action begins.

The character development in this book was well done. Following Mohammad's journey from the guy who was holed up in his own fortress and hoping to stay out of view to a total badass out for blood was pretty awesome. It was unfortunate to see Radia go so soon - I would've liked to have seen more from her. I do understand why she had to leave for the sake of the story, though. Maddox was evil from start to finish, as were his cronies. It would've been nice to see more growth on the villain side of things. My number one problem with the characters was that I often got confused about who was talking at any given time. Some characters are given multiple titles - for example, Mohammad is called "the Fijian" and Maddox is called "the hunter." Honestly, I was halfway through the book before I realized that Maddox and "the hunter" were the same person!

One side note on characters: One character in particular was really weird for me to read. The son of "the hunter" is named Coda, which is my husband's name (Noah asked my husband for permission to use it). As you can imagine, this is a very rare name - Coda, not short for anything - and I've never met anyone else with it or read the name anywhere unless it was referring to music. I was so thrown off! I kept comparing the character to my husband and thinking, "no..." Of course, this has no bearing on the way anyone else will experience the book, I just thought it was funny.

Back to the point: The world of Gabriel's Sacrifice was interesting enough, though I do wish that the author had gone into more detail about the state of the world and how it came to be this way. I know this is touched on in both books, but I still wanted more. That being said, I felt like I could see the layout of the town and its buildings in my mind, which says something for quality of writing. In true Fregger fashion, little mythological tidbits were thrown in, which is always fun!

Connections to Gabriel's Watch were few, but it was just enough to make sense within the world the author has created. While it does fit with the first book, Gabriel's Sacrifice could definitely be read as a stand-alone novel or even before the first book in the series. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of adult sci-fi and post-apocalyptic fiction.