Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Rising Storm by Ian Kane, It’s 33 years in the future and corporations have taken over. The people are ruled by the super-rich who can afford soldiers for hire to keep the populace in line. The worst of the worst is Arlington Gibb, the super-rich banker. He’s striking down immediate threats and people who may become threats in the future. There are pockets of resistance. One of those pockets is led by former super soldier, Leonard Kilbane. Is all hope for the future lost?
Rising Storm is the first book in a planned Fading Empire series. The author, Ian Kane, gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.
There is a great Canadian science fiction show called “Continuum” that airs on Syfy. The premise of the show is that a police officer and several members of an organization that is considered a terrorist organization travel to the present. Viewers see very little of the future but we know that it’s ruled by mega-corps. Kane’s Rising Storm embraces the feel of this sci-fi show focusing on the machinations of the grand manipulators. We sketch out how the world got to this place and now the focus should be how to stand against the powerful few. In reflection of our current world, we see the divide between the super rich and super poor expanding and the middle-class disappearing. Is it so out of the realm of possibility that we may one day find ourselves at the mercy of the elite? The idea of mega-corps ruling and the super-rich living in protected safe zones is so farfetched and yet at the same time not so farfetched. Rising Storm is bone-chillingly plausible.
Despite the wonderful idea of the plot, Rising Storm is the first in a planned twelve novel series, Kane is playing an extremely long game. While first books in a series tend to be weaker than those that follow, Kane has a strong start but suffers from an almost anecdotal type feel as it shifts perspective. In the fullness of the series, reading the books in succession, the switches will likely seem less abrupt. A reader has time in a series to adjust to a writing style and also to connect where an author is going with a character. Rising Storm despite its 298-page length and that it covers a lot of ground, leaves a number of unanswered questions.
Kane does give readers the sense that people become who they are in extreme circumstances. Those with more of a human edge who look at people suffering with compassion will retain that compassion while those who might have seemed good and solid people before things become what they are, will develop a cruel edge. Who would you be, Kane seems to ask the reader, when forced to live in the cruel environment of the Underzone where security is a notion of the long past.
The corporate police state is beautifully written and vividly drawn for the reader. Rising Storm is a story with a lot of moving parts and one this reader cannot help but imagine involves a detailed storyboard. There are certainly 12 books in the idea introduced to readers in Book 1. I can see this story also being translated well to our screens in one hour per week increments. Kane’s writing style is very visual and exactly where the trend seems to be going in fiction.
If you like sci-fi and series, pick this one up. Rising Storm is a unique and well-written work of fiction and one that I highly recommend for readers who are in it for the long haul.
Rising Storm is the first book of the twelve epic novels of the Fading Empires series.
Read an excerpt and buy Rising Storm by Ian Kane on