Top positive review
A triumph of dystopian science fiction writing!
Reviewed in the United States on May 11, 2020
Having read all the books, I couldn't pass up the chance for the box set. Bruno is simply one of the best in today's science fiction circles. Here's my take on each book (some spoilers follow!)
Titanborn (Book 1)
Gritty Sci-fi Noir
Think dystopian stories like Blade Runner and the old gumshoe noir films, oh, and even a touch of James Bond all set in a verse somewhere between Firefly and The Expanse. Did I mention doomsday already came and went? The protagonist, Malcom Graves, is a gritty, strung-out "Collector" hunting bounties on the company dollar. After botching his latest job, fate hands him a second chance at redemption in more than just his employer's eyes. While on vacation, he finds himself at ground zero for a terrorist attack. He must then take on a cyborg partner he doesn't want while they chase the attackers across first the earth and then the solar system. All the while, Malcom feels the past chasing him.
Post-apocalyptic and sci-fi gumshoe fans will love this story. I know I did!
Titan’s Son (Book 2)
The Darker, Edgier Side of Book 1
If you didn't find Book 1's dystopian sci-fi world to be all sugar and rainbows, then Book 2 cranks the angst up to an eleven. From page 1, Rhett vividly paints the bleak world of Titan and the suffering that Ringers endure at the hands of their Earther oppressors. I've seldom seen world-building done as well. The character dev is also top notch. The tragic hero, Kale, is as sympathetic as he is morally wrongheaded: a desperate man who tries to straddle the line between crime and honest work to save his dying mother. He'll soon learn the true cost of his choices. It's not a story for the faint of heart. It certainly sent me on a roller coaster ride of visceral thrills, while making me feel utterly depressed at others--sometimes within the same chapter. It is, put simply, an excellently crafted story designed to drag the unsuspecting reader through the very worst side of humanity that history is built on: a cautionary tale in the grandest tradition of science fiction.
Titan’s Rise (Book 3)
Family has a way of deciding the destiny of empires and Rhett C. Bruno uses this to full effect in Titan’s Rise. Book 3 in the Children of Titan saga builds steam like a runaway freight train, following Kale Trass’ and his rebel Titanborns’ struggle for freedom against the mega-corporations that oppressed and murdered their kind for decades. Tossed into the mix are retired Collector, Malcom Graves, and his alienated daughter, Aria. All three are people struggling to find their way in a world full of loyalties divided by blood and violence. The story is heart-tugging, pulse-pounding and full of the messy aftermath born from the questionable life choices humans are famous for making. If you liked books 1 & 2, you won’t be disappointed. And with R.C. Bray narrating the audiobook, you know it will be a fun ride!
Titan’s Fury (Book 4)
Rhett continues to impress in Book 4 with his seamless world-building, rich characters and enthralling action. He hoists the banner of the Titan Rebellion one final time while pulling the tension knots into something only a ship rat couldn’t chew through. As always, even the “bad guys” have sympathetic sides and the good guys ruthless ones to the point it is hard to know who to root for. The lines are blurred as is so often the case in real life. Either way, the story is as compelling as its predecessors, and all the more so with RC Bray narrating the audiobook.