Review copy was received from Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey by Shawn Speakman
Published by Grim Oak Press on April 1, 2021
Genres: Science Fiction Fantasy
Forever shamed for family actions a century earlier, Antiquity Grey is a young woman living in a far-future city of Erth. It is a life of danger and hardship, dragons and advanced technology.
But when she discovers an outlawed and operational mech buried in the sands of her planet, she realizes its secrets hold the power to reverse her family's dishonor while challenging the Imperium's off-world oppressive might.
The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey is kind of like Pacific Rim + Godzilla + Star Wars. It is the journey of a girl who finds the mechanical suit of her family once lost in the desert. All the other fighting suits of its kind were destroyed in the war with the Imperium years ago. Since then, there has mostly been peace on her planet, but it is a peace where you know you lost the war and you are not your own leaders.
Finding the suit throws everything in Antiquity’s life into upheaval and she is forced to flee her home with both friends and past enemies in hopes of making it to one of the last cities where she could be trained and learn what the secrets of her family are.
This is one of those stories I have to really be in the mood for to enjoy. There are a lot of versions of the reluctant hero, finding a mentor to become the awesome power they were always meant to be, standing up to the political military force in front of them. I had a few issues connecting with a couple characters that came off really bad at first meeting and I never quite forgave them for how they behaved. While I liked Antiquity, she was very young and naïve and most of the story just happens to her.
This isn’t a heavy fantasy book where the mechanics of the suit or how it is set up for people to travel in is really ever addressed. It also doesn’t hit on how the suits connect to one family’s minds to be able to work. As an avid fantasy reader, these are usually the deeper questions I like to have answered.
Still there is some awesomeness in the fighting and her robot sidekick who is always trying to keep her out of trouble and I did enjoy the sword-wielding mentor she picked up along the way. It is a fun story, but it isn’t the kind of story you can dig deep into. A better choice for when you just want to go along for the ride.
The purchase link is for the hardcover which seems to be the only option available at this time.
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