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Veterans of the Psychic Wars by Wayne Gerard Trotman

May 23, 2011

"May it be written; May it be done."

Present-day Earth: Schoolteacher Roman Doyle – 25, is married; and his wife is pregnant. He remains unaware he is Prince Armon Sakara, heir of the Emperor of a distant galaxy. That is, until he encounters Chi-Ro Jin, a veteran of the Psychic Wars.

Chi-Ro’s mission is to return Roman to the Emperor. And so, with his dormant psychic and astral abilities awakened by an alien drug, Roman journeys to the distant galaxy known as The Cosmic Sea, where he joins the Second Psychic War: An interstellar battle between the forces of his father, the Emperor,
and those of his uncle, the Baron.

Torn between his princely responsibilities and those to his wife and unborn child, Roman discovers a shocking alien plot that threatens humanity.

Full Disclosure: Many Thanks to Wayne Gerard Trotman for kindly sending me a review copy.

Favorite Line: “Death whispers your name to me.”

Props must be given to Mr. Trotman for his ability to really suck a reader into the story from page one, sentence one.

We begin with Roman Doyle. The schoolteacher is out getting, of all things, peanut butter and rum n’ rice ice cream for his pregnant wife. This outting changes life as he has known it forever, once he has crossed paths with the stoic Chi-Ro Jin. A man who has devoted his life to the protection of the Heir of Sakara Rey.

Chi-Ro, it has to be said, was of my favorite characters. He had some of the most memorable dialogue, and his devotion to his charge completely won me over from his first introduction. Two other characters I came to adore were Nuri Nemysis, a character rife with mystery and intrigue, …and then there’s (as not to spoil you) “the Cat”.  And you know you’ve created a good baddie when you have me reluctantly admitting to myself how badass he is. Brakis Tarn is one such baddie that isn’t easily forgotten….or killed apparantly.

I found the insertion of Trinidadian folklore, customs and dialect especially charming. I’m an Island girl myself, albeit Bahamian, but my mother was born in Trinidad. I did wonder why Soraya’s (Roman’s wife’s) dialect only became articulated in controlled spurts. There were times  in the narrative where her accent was laid on very thick and other times when she didn’t appear to have any accent at all. It may have been that she’d been “conditioned” to English life and had started to adapt to a British accent.

I found the mechanics of the story to be intelligently written, and the story is clearly an Epic one. I could very easily compare it to Star Wars, the Matrix, etc. But therein lies one of the (very few) problems I had with the novel as I continued to read.

Veterans of the Psychic Wars more often than not read like a screenplay rather than a novel and that sometimes jarred me out of the story. It makes sense when I take into account that Mr. Trotman is a filmmaker in his own right (not to mention a composer, photographer and artist, clearly a talented guy on various levels!) . But I sometimes felt I was being told something rather than being shown it, and sometimes told more than necessary. I think I’m self-aware enough to admit that this is mere nitpicking on my part. It’s not like any of this is exactly unheard of considering it’s his first novel. On that note, it’s actually quite ambitious and I respect Trotman for going all out especially in his world building. I think it’s a testament to Mr. Trotman’s abilities as a storyteller that I stuck around until the very end. Because I had to know the end. I had to know who Nuri really was. If Chi-Ro would live or die as so often happens to the “mentor” types. And what was the Cat’s real agenda…? Because the characters are well-rounded and fleshed out. You may not know their allegiances initially, but you find you end up rooting for them regardless.

Veterans of the Psychic Wars can be purchased in Print at Amazon US, UK, and CA, B&N, Book Depository, Waterstones, and Emporium Books AU. It can be purchased as an e-book at Amazon US and UK, B&N, Diesel, Kobo, Smashwords, and Sony!

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