Mercury's Shadow by P.J. Garcin Book Review
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Publisher: Rawktron Productions | Length: 308 Pages
Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera, Action Adventure
Age Category: Young Adult/New Adult | Date Published: July 5, 2020
One man's lust for power threatens the future of humanity—can a young girl from the outer system stop it all?
Imogen “Chim” Esper is thrust into the center of an interplanetary conflict when her family is torn apart by the cruel and indifferent Kardashev Corporation. Forced to run, along with her robotic best friend, Chim struggles to find her place in a society that is poised for revolutionary transformation.
The Kardashev Corporation dominates all commerce and politics in the solar system. Its megalomaniac CEO, Alton Neal, is hell-bent on transforming society by capturing the full energy output of the sun through the creation of a Dyson Swarm.
Citizens of Earth and the stations throughout the system must band together to protect access to the lifeblood of the system or risk becoming permanently enslaved to the Kardashev Corporation.
Mercury’s Shadow is a thrilling adventure that blends real science, big ideas, grand adventure and high stakes to introduce a new heroine and a deep universe that will leave readers asking for more.
Thank you to BBNYA for providing me with a copy of this book! I voluntarily leave this review!
The Kardashev Corporation controls trade, power, and just about everything in the solar system. And when CEO Alton Neal unveils his latest creation, the Swarm, he’s ready to control the power of the sun as well. Horrified at what this would mean, civilizations begin to band together to fight back against Kardashev. Thrown into the mix is Chim, a girl with the skills to manipulate almost any technology. Drawn into the conflict as her father is held captive by the Kardashev company, her abilities may be the tipping point the resistance needs. But is it too little too late?
Mercury’s Shadow is a sci-fi that shows how the advancement of technology may not be for the better of mankind. While it may provide faster transportation or other conveniences in life, how far can technology go before it harms more than helps? Add to that the greed of one corporation and Alton Neal’s desire to control the lives of everyone in the solar system.
While the politics and impact on a wider scale were well planned and the conflicts were engaging, the character relationships needed a bit more detail. The relationship between Chim and her father is one of the first introduced to readers. But the moments they have together give readers only a glance at how they interact. There is time spent building up her father’s influence on her hobbies, and how they worked on the robot Quince together. However, the information wasn’t spread out over enough of the book to make an emotional connection between the reader and the characters. I would have loved to see more moments between Chim and her father before the main conflict began.
One of the strengths of Mercury’s Shadow was the portrayal of villainy. Alton Neal is crafted to be an egomaniac who cares only for his company’s advancement. Readers will instantly dislike his mannerism and conceited viewpoint. He is quick to anger and strikes out whenever he thinks he can gain the upper hand. He is a worthy adversary for the reader to loathe, as he attempts to undermine the civilizations resisting him.
When a villain willing to risk everything to gain what he desires, goes up against a girl backed by a galaxy of resistance, a fierce space battle begins. If you enjoy sci-fi stories that deal with politics on a galaxy-wide scale, then make sure to pick up a copy of Mercury’s Shadow.
PJ Garcin has been writing stories, music and games for most of his life. He writes from the beautiful east coast of Canada where he has worked extensively in video games and technology for the past 20 years. Picking up a long running writing thread, he recently completed the first book in the Kardashev Cycle — Mercury’s Shadow.
The Kardashev Cycle follows the rise and expansion of the dominant Kardashev Corporation and its near universal control over the solar system. The first book in the series, Mercury’s Shadow, introduces the young Imogen Esper — a resourceful young girl from a mining station in the asteroid belt who finds herself caught up in an interplanetary conflict when her father is injured during a routine maintenance mission. The second book, Chimera’s Prism, continued the adventure in 2021.
PJ is a regular speaker at technology conferences on topics ranging from interactive narrative to machine learning. He has an undergrad degree in English, Rhetoric and Professional Writing as well as a Master’s degree in Communication.
He worked as Executive Producer in games on titles that sold more than 27 million units in total. He worked on large franchises such as FIFA, Madden, and Guitar Hero while helping to launch successful indie franchises like The Golf Club (now PGA Tour) and Infinite Air. He currently works as Director of Product Management for an open-source-focused SaaS company.