Warning: The following synopsis does contain some spoilers for the first book. If you haven't read that book yet, why not read my review of Fractured Earth.
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.
Thanks to the Publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review during this blog review tour!
Luckily, after the large cliffhanger at the end of the first book, this book starts off right where we left it. Having recovered the base and the actuator, they are besieged by an army of orcs who want it for their own. At the same time they are both looking for the rest of the keys, mostly the one in front of Cenwyn's key and perhaps even more importantly they are looking for the person who's responsible for all this mess.
Everything I liked from the first book was here again. The style and different genres change really fast but it works. I was always looking forward for the next change and wondering what would happen to them there. Some regions were of course more interesting than others (the romance novel), but that's something you'll always find. It also felt a little less repetitive, even though they are basically doing the same things as in the first book.
There's a large cast of characters but thanks to their specific genre, it gets easier to keep all of them apart. It also helps that they all enjoy reading, of course. The big twist in the end I saw coming, but I'm still not sure how they are going to battle it. So, unfortunately, another cliffhanger ending. And I'll have to wait for the next book and can only hope it won't take too long!
Return of the Saboteur is the second book in the Actuator series. The first book is Fractured Earth. There is also an anthology with stories from the different genres/regions, called Borderlands.
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!