Saturday, April 16, 2011

Review: Contra Alliance: Shadows of the Past

The year is 2035. America's preeminence has withered. Global warming, scarce resources, and conflict have pushed the world to its breaking point. Throughout the increasing turmoil, a rogue group called The Revolution has risen to prominence seeking domination over humanity.
Shadows of the Past explores the adventures of a NATO Counter-Revolutionary (CONTRA) Strike Force as it battles against the mysterious organization. Elite Special Forces operators use advanced military technology to hunt The Revolution, finding its feared wickedness is worse than imagined. When secrets of the enemy's origin threaten accepted reality, dangers intensify.
Disturbing evidence exposed by CONTRA uncovers stunning truths about the galaxies. A covert faction of extraordinary messengers race to save Earth. Legends of the past and visions of the future collide when a long-dormant evil resurfaces to challenge the most powerful space alliance in the universe. The course of human history irrevocably alters, setting the world on an unforeseen path.

The first third of this book was a little hard to get into. There was quite a bit of infodumping and very little of the actual story. It made things hard to read and I think definitely could have been done more smoothly. The story takes place in the future, and it seems we were given every detail about what had previously gone on, the state of things now, etc. And then we got background details on just about every character. It began to get tedious.

Once I got past 100 pages or so, we got into the real meat of the story and it moved at a nice pace. There were still times when I was taken out of the story when the author stopped telling the story to give us more information. I did enjoy the story, but I think I could have liked it a whole lot better if not for that.

There were a lot of characters and I did get them confused at times, especially because they all had code names like Xxplosive, Justice, Rapidfire, Breakdown, and a lot more. And the bad guys had code names too (or their names were just weird like that), so when the story switched to the bad guy POV, it always took me a minute to realize.

I really think fans of military science fiction would like this one. It's not my usual genre, which may be why I struggled a bit with it. The book seems to be a very well thought out, well planned start to a series, and even though this book includes quite a lot of setup, I still liked it, and will continue on with the series. I'm quite interested to see what happens next. 

Book Details
Author: Tom Kolega
Genre: Military Science Fiction
Page Count: 365
Publishing Info: January 2010
Why I Read It: review copy from author
Grade: B- (good, but with a few flaws)
Cover Thoughts: The cover is pretty cool.  It almost reminds me of X-Men, especially with the Professor X looking guy on the right.


  1. I'm wondering if this would be a good read alike for those Ender's Game fans....


  2. I love Ender's Game, and I enjoyed this one, but I think they're very different in style.