Friday, June 07, 2024




By Van Allen Plexico

White Rocket Books

264 pgs


The earth has been invaded by a confederation of alien warmongers. They maintain control of the remnants of humanity via an army of robots called Kratons. Then one day a human slave worker named Jack Gael discovers a silver belt buried deep in the ground. Upon wrapping it around his waist, he is instantly encased in an impenetrable force field. A field he can mentally command to do his bidding. That includes destroying Kratons and anything else thrown at him. Within days, Gael becomes a hero in the alien sponsored arena combats and his called the Gladiator. Could he possibly be the hero mankind has waited to for to lead a revolt to ultimately freedom?

With “Union” writer Van Allen Plexico has whipped a truly fast paced, action-adventure science fiction tale that owes it roots to the comics of the sixties, seventies and eighties. Here are echoes of Marvel’s Iron Man and Valiant Comic’s X-O Man of War; never mind Dell’s Magnus Robot Fighter. All of which the author unashamedly declares his personal inspiration for this grandiose tale. Regardless, Plexico’s inspiration takes on its own life, its own approach to the genre of superbeings versus aliens. This from his keen sense of characterization from Gael to Jack Smith, the manipulative immortal travels through itself multiple times in order to orchestrate Gael’s final cataclysmic confrontation between humans and their alien overlords. Plexico is a master at bringing his characters, no matter how fantastic, to life and we readers quickly found ourselves rooting them on.

Having won lots of writing awards in the past, this reviewer confidently predicts “Union” may be the latest to deliver him another.

No comments: