Author: Arshad Ahsanuddin
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Arshad Ahsanuddin
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 07/01/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Action/Adventure, Bisexual, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, Science Fiction
Edward has one chance to save a man he forgot he ever loved.
All he has to do is destroy the world.
The disastrous events of the Zenith mission behind them, Marty and Edward lead very different lives at either end of time.
Martin has been tapped to lead an elite military operation designed to curtail and ultimately eliminate the threat of time travelers. But Henry Bradford has other ideas, and seeks to entice him into taking up the role of captain of the rechristened starship Azimuth.
Almost a quarter century in the future, Edward lives a life of wealth and influence as the adopted son of Starfire’s CEO, Trevor Sutton. But the mystery of his birth father’s murder still weighs heavily on his mind, eclipsed only by the baffling appearance of Martin’s dogtags around his neck. The distance he will go for answers will determine the ultimate course of human history, as he is pitted head to head once more against the destructive agenda of the time traveler he knows only as Gifford.
Ya know, if I weren’t such a wordy fucker, this would be my review: if I had a dick, I’d have the biggest sci-fi boner everrrrrrrr. Jussayin’.
Yup, that’s the long and short of it. Well, ok only the short but, holy shiznoly, where to begin with the long. I’m gonna give it a go because this book… this book! I never would have imagined enjoying this even more than, Zenith, book one – I mean, we’re talking a near guaranteed impossibility, folks – but I think I sorta kinda might have to say that YES. I. DID.
For as much as we learn in that first book, even more is piled at our literary feet here in Azimuth, whether we want it or not. The title refers to space-faring vessel, just like Zenith. That’s where the similarities end, in all ways. Connections between characters, including across Iterations (timelines), grow simultaneously clearer and more complex. Knowing more as things move along, I was experiencing stronger emotional investment in these people. This was especially true when witnessing the birth of a new Iteration —
Sidebar: Ok, I’m declaring today’s word of day to be ‘Iteration’. Mind you, there are many word o’ the day candidates in this story thanks to Ahsanuddin and his gorgeous writing.
— as these events aren’t happening in an emotional vacuum, despite being out in space. (I had to. Sorry, not sorry.) These people know the effects they’re having on the past, present, and future every time they attempt to time travel and change the outcome of this or that. Even more, they know they’re having an incredible impact and are unable to accurately measure or anticipate the ripples they cause in the timelines. Some care a great deal about the consequences of their actions, some care not one iota. All of them are clear in their motivations, though, and most of them are prepared to go to the extreme to force the end result they want or think is right or appears vital to their survival or the survival of those they love… or hate.
Intrigue! Masterful Machinations! Unforeseen Complications! Life and Death! Love!!
What would you do for love? For the love you feel and share with the one who, across Iterations, has managed to remember? To remember you, and how much they love you? Lawdy, this informs so many of the decisions, smart and not so much, these characters make. And it all takes place in spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace!
Martin, Charles, Edward, Knox, Sophia, Anette, Jacob —
Sidebar: another delish thing about this story is that, depending on which Iteration we’re in, some of the characters have different names, whether first or last, and their parentage, genetic or adopted, can change, too. SO. EFFING. COOL. The possibilities are endless, and yet Ahsanuddin manages to keep me firmly in the loop without feeling overwhelmed. The characters often think the same thoughts and ask the same questions I am while reading.
— Gifford (grrrr), Trevor, and many of the characters from book one are here. I picture them all as constantly moving pieces on a multi-level game of chess, their experiences and memories and destinies altered as they move around the boards. (Ya know, like that version they played on Star Trek: Next Gen.) Things become more weighted in importance as Iterations are born and, even more, they begin to blur and bleed into one another. It’s like when you fix one thing and two more things break because of the actions taken. This is happening, more and more the deeper we go into these timelines.
Course, all of these lead to more and more of the supposed rules to be broken, ignored, tossed into the garbage shoot, never to appear the same again, if ever. The feelings of rebellion, of spontaneity and unpredictability, they grow and spread, feeding the adrenaline as intentions and consequences bounce off of each other, creating chaos. Giddy. I’m giddy with the sci-fi joy of it all.
Shout out to Jacob and Knox… your story, oh lawdy, I think you stole the show from Martin and Edward. For a time anyway. 😉
I could go on and on for pages and pages about this story, the MASSIVE cool factor, the diverse in all ways characters, twists and surprises, the beautiful writing, and the accessible way that complex scientific facts and theories are woven together in this spectacular book. I’m not going to, though, because that means I would delay you even longer in starting this series. Also, I’m sure you’re sick ‘n tired of all of my word type things here but you’re polite and don’t want to tell me to just shut up and let you read already.
So I’m telling myself: shut up, Lirtle, let the awesome folks get to reading Zenith, and then Azimuth, and try to catch up with me… as I begin book three. 😉
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.
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