Full disclosure, no punches pulled, and get your riot gear; this is will be a review of the fourth libation “Assault Ruinland”, a chalice filled with blood. Similar yet slightly differently than Nietzsche before him, CJ Anderson has stared long and hard into the abyss only to find nothing staring back, only the rules and limitations of our physical universe, plus the clear and present danger of a future razed by the hell fires of faith. I welcome you, dear reader, to the demise of the Phoenix and the silent wait thereafter, as nothing rises from the ashes.
The breakneck pace of Assault will upend you from the start, The Fate of Chiron echoing in the bridge of a salvage ship, as the sad empty face of a combat synthetic comes to terms with it’s insignificance within the cosmos. An interesting way to start the fourth sacrificial tome of the Ruinland series, with an emphasis on the human conflict; but want not, as the evolutionary synthetic mind is given a new voice later in the wake of a manhunt for the murderer of Fort Bragg’s golden calf Lexa.
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Chiron the centaur, educating the young Achilles on the lyre, providing tension and reverence guiding the soul of Dante in the seventh level of hell, and the human-beast amalgamation matching the skills of even the Apollonian Gods. The focus and antagonist in “Fate of Chiron”, CJ Anderson’s third entry into the Ruinland series, treads new territory in this easily recognizable world. The ash and soot figure prominently once again, but with a new pace, a new face, and the fate of a world cindered by faith.
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Is it possible to hide away from the world? Could a collective just weld the doors; thus, with the right amount of scientific and social planning, create a self-sustaining ecology, capable of a blissful ignorance? “An isolationist xenophobic’s wet dream” you may mumble under your breath, as examples of non uniform thought in even the most aligned civilizations since the beginning of humanity, invade your consciousness.
It is in this light I wish to paint this review of the second portion of the Ruinland Series from C.J. Anderson; patience, all will be explained shortly…
“Survive Ruinland” begins immediately after the first entry, “Enter Ruinland“, and to my inward smile, as the blended, godless lecture, and descriptive stylings have now become synonymous with the rigid geometry of C.J’s worlds. Our protagonist, or antagonist as you may see when we finish this verbal sparing, Petty Officer Lauren Vasquez has breached an oasis in the irradiated dust, graciously invited in like a protein through the wall of a cell.
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Naturally, one is supposed to be left feeling incomplete and mistreated by the first installment of a dystopian short story, rife with intentionally coarse and jagged imagery, right? Walking into this title knowing only the inspirations cited by the author and his religious history leading to the complete dismissal of faith; I braced myself for a Nietzchean Übermensch battling the relentless ash layered ruinscapes of Macarthy’s roads. To varying degrees I was entertained by many emotional peaks and valleys as my expectations were met, surpassed, and in some cases left wanting.
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