Friday Review: The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey by Shawn Speakman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Antiquity’s family name has been removed and the remaining members designated “Grey”, meaning that in their past involvement in the war against invaders, her family’s misdeeds have made them outcasts. Antiquity is searching for scrap metal to help her family survive when she stumbles on a functional battle mech buried in the desert sand. She knows this mech could be the key to not only restoring her family name, but also to challenging the rule of the Imperium, a conquering force that has oppressed Erth for many years. But the Imperium is not going to allow Antiquity, or anyone else, to challenge their rule, and they send their own mech to make sure that doesn’t happen. On the run from the Imperium, Antiquity is joined by her two best friends, and the son of her family’s enemy. They are joined in their quest to free Erth from the domination of the Imperium by a ninja-like warrior from an ancient religion who possesses mystical abilities. Along the way, they encounter friends who may be enemies, enemies who may not be what they seem, dragons, and more.

This was a fun read. It can perhaps be labeled as YA since most of the main group of characters are young adults, but it is definitely suited to a much wider audience. There is plenty of action which sets it in the realm of space opera, and there are mystical elements that tip it toward space fantasy. The plot runs along well, with little interruption of the action. Speakman’s writing style is easy to read, with a rhythm that flows well. Worldbuilding is good. The desert, which is the only part of Erth that Antiquity has known, is sparse and harsh, and the sense of wonder when the fleeing group encounters other parts of the world is well drawn. The mechs, although they don’t change form, reminded me a bit of Transformers, and the whole story had a bit of a Star Wars feel to it. Neither of those are a bad thing in my opinion.

Overall, a well-written coming of age story with strong sci-fi elements, and just a touch of fantasy. Fans of fast-paced sci-fi and action-driven plotting should find this enjoyable.

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“Crossed Wires and Other Very Short Stories”. Twelve scifi and twelve fantasy short stories that can each be read in minutes. Available now Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and most other e-book retailers. More information here

I have written science fiction, fantasy, and urban fantasy stories. There are novels, novellas, and shorter pieces to fit everyone’s reading time. There are even some free stories, both here on the site and in other places. You can go here to find out more about the books I have published. They are available at Amazon, Smashwords, and most ebook retailers. Thank You