7 Scorpions: Rebellion
Eloquent Books (2010)
Reviewed by Marty Shaw for Reader Views (10/10)
In the not too distant future, a man who calls himself Zodiac triggers what becomes known as the Flash Storm, and the world as we know it ceases to exist. He soon takes over what’s left of civilization and begins to seek out and destroy those who try to stand against him. Zodiac’s triumph seems imminent until a scientifically-enhanced super-soldier steps out of the shadows to offer hope to the resistance fighters who remain.
“7 Scorpions: Rebellion” blends sci-fi action with the everyday real world in a story that could almost come true. Although it’s never actually stated, there are indications that Zodiac spent some time behind the scenes before initiating his attack, guiding the government to unwittingly help him with his plan for world domination. He and his supporters successfully lobbied to enact the 28th Amendment to the Constitution, removing citizen’s rights to have weapons. This action, along with a few others, effectively weakened society so that there is very little chance for resistance when he makes his move. Using information and technology that the military and government kept from the general public, he is able to create an unstoppable army that follows his every command. However, not every secret is to Zodiac’s benefit. A classified project that attempted to turn ordinary men into super-soldiers transforms a vigilante into an unstoppable force that stands against Zodiac and his plans for world domination.
Anyone who enjoys a good conspiracy theory will enjoy some of the details of this in-depth plot as it becomes obvious that the government’s secrets play a large role in allowing Zodiac to take complete control with little effort. While some of the dialogue seems a little overly dramatic at times, the characters are interesting and, for the most part, believable. Vincent Black, who was once known as the vigilante called Night Viper, is the super-soldier who finds himself in charge of a group of rebels who view him as their only hope. While his strength and speed make him a formidable opponent, it’s his heart that makes him a true hero. His sidekick who knows no fear, Lexi, provides a needed dose of levity with her spunky attitude and knack for saying exactly what she’s thinking. While Vincent’s ragtag team of rebels includes many more detailed characters, none of them really stand out from the crowd the way Vincent and Lexi do. Another of my personal favorites is Commander Jade. I was surprised to find that I actually liked her because she initially appears to be a one-dimensional villain with absolutely no individuality but she becomes more detailed as the story progresses.
As a villain, Zodiac seemed a little over-the-top at times and he didn’t seem as frightening as he could have been because of lines such as this:
“Remember me, for I am the Zodiac, I am hatred incarnate, and I will watch this world burn in the cleansing fires of the apocalypse, and be reborn in my image!”
In an otherwise realistic setting, this type of campy dialogue really stands out because it destroys the illusion of reality. Another thing I found to be disquieting was the use of ALL CAPS in certain instances. I understand that this was done to imply that a character is shouting but something like…
“SPEAK UP, I CAN’T HEAR YOU WORM,” Jade shouted.
… seems a bit redundant when we’re actually told that Jade is indeed shouting.
Fortunately, the plot is strong enough to make it easy to overlook little things like that by providing us with plenty of action and characters that are real enough for us to have genuine concern for them. “7 Scorpions: Rebellion” is the first book in a new trilogy and I’m looking forward to catching up with Vincent and his group of rebels in the second book, “7 Scorpions: Revolution.”