THE ACTUATOR 2: RETURN OF THE SABOTEUR, by James Wymore and Aiden James
Genre: Science-Fiction Fantasy Thriller
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Release: 07/20/15
Cover Artist: Michelle Johnson at Blue Sky Design
The Machine Monks fight to keep control of the Actuator while enemies attack the base. As besiegers wear them down, the rest of the world struggles to adapt to the chaos left in the wake of the great change. Their only choice is to push forward and find the next key and shutdown the fantasy realm surrounding the base. When they do, Xenwyn will die.
Haunted by the incalculable death toll all over the earth, Jon accepts the mission to recover the next key. Despite his injuries and as much as he hates to leave his newfound love, he refuses to let all of humanity suffer if he can fix it.
Desperate to keep Xenwyn alive, Red determines to find a magical cure before Jon gets back with the key. Each time he takes her across a border, might be the end.
Seeing all his friends in turmoil, Dragon Star sets out to find the saboteur. If the architect of this dark world cannot offer any means of setting things right, he will at least see consequences for the horrors he unleashed.
None of them ever imagined the Actuator could still make the world even worse.
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
Having read the first book in this series, I was pretty eager to read the second. I was really glad to have the opportunity to see more of the world (or worlds) and characters.
I did like seeing more of the characters I recognised and liked from the previous book, though it was somewhat difficult to have the book keep jumping between three to four different plots. I still enjoyed seeing how things changed from world to world… and I had a lot of sympathy for Glass, after she got hurt.
I thought it was good to see how Choi was having to deal with his actions in the previous book. I wasn’t quite sure I liked Red’s obsession with saving Xenwyn, to the extent that he was ignoring the needs of everyone else. I did like the romance, but I preferred Jon and Glass to Red and Xenwyn.
I thought that some of the worlds were a whole lot stranger than others, such as the one where people were playing out games. I was intrigued by the fact that the Actuator was trying to ‘force’ people into the roles designed in the world. I found Ricky and Michelle to be interesting characters as I grew to know more about them due to the different worlds they travelled to… and I felt that the zombies were a particularly creepy aspect. Then again, I also thought that the clowns were really scary. I couldn’t have stood the thought of being trapped on the train like they were.
It was good to see more of the Machine Monks in this book and the different worlds that were their obsessions. I did feel some sympathy for Elizabeth, since she had to force a romance that wasn’t really real. I did find myself confused by Dawn and exactly what she was trying to do in her world.
I am hoping that there’ll be a third book in this series, since it would be good to see more of the characters and how they work together. Plus, there’s a lot about this world and the characters that drew me in and made me care about what happened to them. The scary part is that I could actually see myself in the same mindset as many of the Machine Monks.
About The Authors
Moving often as a youth, James Wymore’s family finally settled in the desert paradise of Utah.
He spent a couple years in Korea contemplating the balance of opposing forces. After learning chaos theory in college he found the ideal environment to continue his studies of the uncontrollable, and became a teacher. He earned a Master’s degree before departing from the academic path to seek the greater freedoms of fiction. Still fascinated by the borders of randomness, he now spends his free time playing and creating games with his friends and children.
Although he patiently awaits the Tallest Writer in History award, James Wymore has won several awards for his short stories.
His early books, rumored to have been written as young as sixteen, are forever locked away. Now a published author, he has realized one of his childhood dreams.
In his dwindling free time, he draws a line of death themed comics called Parting Shots. You can see them along with games he makes and his disorderly blog at http://jameswymore.wordpress.com
I began writing stories roughly fourteen years ago, after pursuing a career as a singer/songwriter in Denver and later in Nashville. My writing career could’ve been a brief one, as it started one night when it was my turn to read a bedtime story to my two young sons. Rather than read the ‘Mouse birthday book’ for the umpteenth time, I began a ramble about a mystical world parallel to our own, a world where sinister creatures sought to take a little boy into their hidden lair… forever.
My first critical reviews from my young audience were mixed. My youngest child, Tyler, was enthralled about the magical place I created, and eagerly awaited more. However, my oldest, Christopher, thought it was the dumbest tale he had ever heard! Luckily, my wife, Fiona, listened nearby. She thought the idea had potential, although she kept that fact a secret until the following spring, 1997. When she suggested I create a fuller blown version of this story, it marked the beginning of my love affair with writing stories.
I wish I could tell you that the experience has always been a glorious progression, where crafting characters, incredible landscapes with captivating plots, and surprising twists was easy. Far from it. It took nearly three years for me to complete my first novel–based on the bedtime story to my boys who by then were young teenagers—and another two years to decide if I liked it enough to show it to anyone else.
Since then, I have written nine more novels, and presently have five established book series out there, with a brand new sixth series set to start in the fall with Curiosity Quills Press. The first installment of this new series is entitled “The Serendipitous Curse of Solomon Brandt”, and will be a serialized project before it is released as a full book in early 2013. After this series, which explores the true nature of good and evil, who knows what will be on the menu next? Something dark and creepy… Or, perhaps something light and fun?
Definitely, I intend for it to be something well worth your time to check out—Just wait n’ see!
About Curiosity Quills Press
Curiosity Quills Press (CQ) is a small hybrid publishing company specializing in genre fiction of the highest quality. With 150+ titles in our catalog already and approximately 6 new books coming out each month, there’s never a dull moment at CQ. We work with major retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Audible to ensure that you, the reader, can find whatever you are looking for at your convenience.
Founded in 2011 by Eugene Teplitsky and Lisa Gus, CQ was initially a resource portal for writing and publishing, created in an effort to help writers, like themselves, survive the publishing industry. After rapid success, CQ morphed into publishing press that over time has solidified its share in the market. Now we spend our days searching for the next great escape!