Rebirth (The Praegressus Project Book 1)

A thrilling new scifi by New York Times Bestselling Author Aaron Hodges.

For centuries, our evolution has stagnated.
Surrounded by technology, we ceased to adapt.
Until now…

In 2051, the Western Allies States have risen as the new power in North America. Now a mysterious epidemic is spreading across the countryside, igniting terror wherever it touches. But its victims do not die – they change. People call them the Chead, and destruction follows in their footsteps.

Amidst the wealth of San Francisco, eighteen year old Chris is caught in the cross-hairs of the government when his mother is accused of treason. Spirited away in the night, he wakes in a facility hidden deep in the Californian mountains. There he must face the horrors of the Praegressus Project. Chances of survival are slim; but only the lucky get to die…

Before I start my review you should know I’m not a huge fan of sci-fi and it’s not my go to genre. I decided to review this book because I’m in the middle of a long list of books to review for my website Artistic Bent and didn’t have anything like this so I figured why not? If I have to be even more honest I was ready to hate it just because like I said I’m not a big fan of this genre and figured it would take an Act of Congress to get through this book. If I was in a good mood I might even give it a pity 2-3 star with pulling some nice stuff out of the heavens. I really shouldn’t pre-judge a book by its genre cause this was actually good – honest to goodness decent story with talented writing that didn’t require me creating any BS to do a review.

 Aaron Hodges is one of those fantasy / sci fi writers you should add to your favorite author list. If you haven’t given the genre(s) a fair chance then try him; his writing might make you a convert. If you never read any of his previous work then this is an excellent introduction.

 This is one incredible ride that engrosses the mind and will make you want to stay up late to read. In an era where so many writers feel the need to up the gore factor and get borderline, if not over the boundary of XXX, he is one of the golden few who knows how to write vividly without the crassness and obviousness. He gave the right amount of background in his plot set up so you know what you’re getting into, how this world was formed, who the characters are, everything you need to contextualize the story so you can easily enjoy this.

 As part of his plot setting Hodges gives you a good long exposition on what is done to the people, AKA experimental subjects, who are taken against their will to be part of this perverse research. I liked that he spent so much time focusing on this part of the story instead of rushing it because it helps to drill into you the types and lengths of evil humanity will aspire to while finding ways to justify it. No matter what justification is used, human beings are still human beings and shouldn’t be treated like lab rats with no rights. The author does a good job in character development so these become real people who your heart aches for at their treatment and hate those who do it.

 One of the things I liked was getting different points of view so you can get a clearer picture of what is going on and how it impacts various types of people. I’m also a fan of this writing technique because I think it’s a quick and easy way to measure how talented a writer is by how well he handles the changes. You either get something that is easy to tell who is talking and the perfect experience of the major characters involved or you get crap. This was thankfully NOT crap.

 Overall it’s just very well-written and takes the dystopian genre into a different area since it adds a pretty cool sci-fi theme. Even better, Hodges really knows how to write an ending that pulls at the heartstrings so be prepared.

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