a review of a taste of ashes (echo 2) by kent wayne

Overview.
I would first warn people that this book details a battle. As a result there is a lot of violence and swearing in it. This is not a criticism, though. In a battle such as the one Atriya and his collegues are in there would be both violence and swearing.
The book takes place over one day, and has a profound effect on Atriya.

Blurb
Most of us change gradually—over the course of decades. For Crusader Atriya, it will happen in a single, agonizing day. On the edge of a decaying cityscape, Atriya struggles to hold onto his identity as he faces death from both enemies and allies alike. In the process, his old self is torn away, and he catches a glimpse of what he may one day become.

Twelve hundred years ago, humanity left Earth to settle on Echo. Despite hopes for a golden age, an era of darkness fell. Government and corporations merged into the Regime. The military and police merged into the Department of Enforcement. Over half the planet is covered by crumbling cityscapes and the elite live high above, removed and remote from the greater populace on the moon-city of Ascension. Hope lies in Atriya, but before he can break the cycle of darkness and ignorance on Echo, he has to do it within himself.

Story
During book 1, Approaching Shatter, Atriya has fallen foul of the Jury, a religious organisation.
Now he is sent on this mission to be killed. If he does not get killed during the mission, his superior officers have orders to shoot him.
He performs some amazing deeds during the battle, saving his comrades many times. Will his deeds persuade then to override their orders and allow him to live?

Characters
Wayne has built a cast of believable characters. Atriya is a man with many demons, good points and bad. He wrestles with these throughout the book during the battle. And he changes gradually during this encounter.
Clement is a thoroughly unpleasant character whom Wayne has built into a believable person. A bully and a coward. I hated him!
I did like the retrieval office, Liber, though. He had not lost all semblance of humanity as many others had. He does have some sympathy for others.

Writing
The writing is, on the whole, good. Mr Wayne builds the tension throughout the story.
There were one or two little places that grammar could have been improved, but, unless, like me, you are a member of the Grammar Police, I don’t think you’d notice. It’s not enough to warrant removing a star.
The descriptions of the battle are vivid (including the injuries and people being blown to bits). The story moves at a fast pace, as it should in such a time.

Conclusion
An excellent read for anyone who enjoys fast-action and adventure stories. Having said that, don’t read it before reading Book 1, Approaching Shatter.

I have awarded this book 5*

I hope you enjoy my reviews. I try to review all books I read. As an author myself, I realise how important reviews are to authors, and to readers, too, of course.

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