A BREATH of HOPE was written by Robert E Taylor as his first novel some 20 years ago. It is the first in a trilogy
of stories under the umbrella name, the Humal Sequence.
The story is told from the viewpoint of a tough veteran, an anti-hero archetype by the name of Hamilton. Like all good
leading men Hamilton has friends in low places that he can call on for aid, as well as acquaintences, such as the half android
Klane, that he would trust with his life.
The story has Hamilton, Klane and a number of other mercenary types hired by a wealthy magnate called Vogerian
to go into deep space in search of Humal relics on a Humal ship and planet. The crew are a typical motley bunch of
which one, Lewis, Hamilton takes an immediate dislike to. He is also wary of Carl, Volgerian's bodyguard, who is not
all, if any, human.
The journey into deep space is long and virtually uneventful until they reach the main ship and the shuttle taking the crew
they are relieving explodes within seconds of its departure, naturally killing all on board. Later a crew member is found dead.
The reason for his death is never fully explained, except that it puts Hamilton more on his guard than ever.
I do not want to spoil the tale by giving too much away, so I shall suffice it to say that virtually all is explained and the story
ends with an obvious opening for continuation, which 20 years later Rob Taylor has obliged with; stating right at the start
that a third volume is imminent (hence why I called it a trilogy although this is not actually mentioned previously).
My personal view is that Rob has created some good characters but hasn't rounded them off enough to be much more
than average stereotypes; and just when one or two of them begin to get really interesting their part in the affair ends, which
is maybe realistic but a shame as there was a lot more mileage, especially in a trilogy, to be had from them. The actual telling
of the story is at times slow and thus laborious and sometimes over described. Instead of saying "He did this" or "He did that"
Rob uses the surname over and over so you get "Hamilton did this, then Hamilton did that, then Hamilton looked at his watch,
and then Hamilton knew that it was time that he, Hamilton and Klane, should go here..." That was not actual text from the book
but just an example of how it too occasionally reads.
I understand that this was Rob's first book and it should be applauded as a fine effort. I read it from beginning to end and then
started on the second in the series almost immediately, which shows I want to know what happens next, as well as how Rob's
writing has altered in the 20 year gap.
Rob's books are easy to download and cost very little. You can read more about Rob at http://www.hipoint.co.uk
A Breath of Hope is now available on download:
A Breath of Hope can be purchased at the following outlets:
Apple iTunes iBooks Store £1.99 GBP
Or download direct to your iDevice using iTunes on your iPad, iPhone, iPod, etc.
Amazon.com Purchase options. Other more localised Amazon sites are available.
A Breath of Hope Manufacturer: CreateSpace
Amazon Price: $8.99 Offers - Buy New From: $8.99