Hello Dear Followers,
Today, my friend Frederick H. Crook is celebrating the Official Release of his Sci-Fi Story called “Campanelli: Sentinel.” I was lucky enough to have received an Advanced Reading Copy of it, and enjoyed the story very much. Today, not only will I share the books information with you, but I’ll also share my review.
First, let’s learn a little bit about the Author:
Frederick was born in Chicago in 1970 and now lives in Villa Park with his wife, Rae and their three miniature dachshunds. He began by writing fictional works all through high school, earned an Associate Degree of Applied Science in Electronics in 1994 and the Bachelor of Science in Technical Management from DeVry University in 2005.
In 2009, Frederick began writing his first novel, The Dregs of Exodus, which was self-published in late 2010. This was followed up with another novel, The Pirates of Exodus in 2012.
Throughout that year and early 2013, he continued writing and published four short stories in eBook form for Kindle and Nook. All of these stories share the same premise, but all are independent from one another, though the short eBook, Campanelli: The Ping Tom Affair and his third novel, issued by Solstice Publishing, Campanelli: Sentinel, share the same main characters.
He loves writing and enjoys meeting and talking to readers at book signing events.
It is 2110 and migration to the colony planet, Alethea, has depleted Earth of billions of people. As a result, migration has been declared illegal by all world governments. Human trafficking becomes highly profitable for organized crime and their influence reaches beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. Many starships returning from Alethea are diverted from the scrapping process and secretly refurbished, allowing the population to shrink further.
Frank Campanelli is a blind Chicago Police detective who depends on his fully functional bio-electronic implants to see and do his job. After assisting on a botched infiltration of a top human trafficking network, he and his partner, Marcus Williams, are transferred into the CPD’s Organized Crime Division to head the newly formed Sentinel group and bring down the Ignatola family business.
Frank took manual control of the car and set its alert status to ‘Condition Two’. The car’s computer sent out its signal to traffic lights and other computerized vehicles, clearing the way for them. The blue lights flashed and the siren whooped and warbled to warn pedestrians and non-computerized vehicles of their presence.
Campanelli adjusted his lenses to zoom in just enough that he saw the leading edge of his vehicle’s hood and beyond. This gave him advanced warning of upcoming pavement hazards. He kept his thought commands on visual adjustments, putting them back to default when the car was in traffic and zooming forward again once the road was clear ahead. Frank’s full-service lenses had an advantage over the standard bio-electronic breed. His fully encompassed the surface of the eyes to give him the benefit of peripheral vision. When he magnified his view, it was not merely like looking through binoculars, it was akin to being physically thrust forward a few feet, albeit with some distortion at the edges of his field of view. With this advantage, Frank Campanelli had the reputation of being a rather insane driver, but from his point of view, he simply saw more detail than others and drove to match.
As it was Saturday morning, the traffic was light. As a result, Frank could get the car up to eighty miles an hour at times, broken up by sudden slowing and lane changing to avoid a vehicle or road hazard. This unsettled Marcus Williams to no end, forcing the veteran to increase his serotonin levels as he held on to the door handle and center console while plastering his feet into the floorboards.
The engine whined and whistled with acceleration, alternating with the crying of rubber whenever the brakes were hit hard or the steering yoke was twitched to go around something.
Marcus was just glad they were not in pursuit, otherwise Frank would be in a real hurry.
Campanelli slowed at the corner of State and Madison and hung a tight left. The powerful car accelerated like a shot, but the siren went quiet. Marcus dared to open his eyes and saw that the road ahead was deserted of pedestrians, cars and potholes.
The siren sounded again as they approached the intersection at Dearborn. Dodging around a CTA bus, Frank made the turn and accelerated again, though only briefly as they were close to their destination.
Suddenly, the siren quieted and the motor wound down to its near-silent normalcy. Marcus opened his eyes in time to see the blue lights cycle one last time before going out. The light at West Washington Street still turned green for them, indicating that Frank had set the car to ‘Condition Four’: ‘No lights, no sirens, just an officer in kind of a hurry’, as it had been explained to him once by someone he could not remember.
Here is my review:
The year is 2110 and LOTS of things have changed on earth.
In the year 2031 there was another world found that was like earth but better—it was a type of Eden. The name of the planet is Alethea, meaning ‘Truth’ in Greek. Earthlings are now taking voyage among the stars to populate that planet, leaving earth behind like a wasteland, along with those whom cannot afford the trip, as all of the earths resources have been depleted.
A century later leaving earth has become outlawed; in comes Frank Campanelli, a police officer who is blind, but strong, and while he may not agree with the law he makes it his priority to follow and defend it.
This book can be classified as a Sci-Fi due to the futuristic aspects, and the implementation of futuristic technologies, but at its core it’s more of a Crime Thriller.
Here you will find many characters that will come to life and stand out in your mind. Some of my personal favorites were Luke McKay and his dog Old Bill, as well as Tam (Tamara Billingsley), Franks girlfriend.
The book is well written and a great read. Following I will list the things I liked the most about it. However, I will make mention of one thing, that while not necessarily a con, can be a bit awkward. That is:
1) The book has not been written in chapters, but is divided into 3 segments (Parts 1-3) and during each part, separate scenes are divided with asterisk. Now, this can be a bit of a challenge for a person like me because I’m the type that reads from chapter to chapter. So, when you have a segment that can be up to 70+ in length, even though it’s divided with asterisk you will still consider it a run on chapter and try to reach the end.
That can be quite a fete.
But if that doesn’t bother you, than you should be fine.
Now for the Pros:
1) The story is very well written, syntax is on point and the author has a way with words. There were many a sentence that I fell in love with. Here are a couple of examples.
“A dream unmemorable faded and he opened his eyes routinely, revealing only more blackness.“
There is something so attractive about that verbiage. Love it! And…
“With the sliding patio door opened, the breeze, which now bordered on a stout wind, cascaded through his living space, cooling it in nature’s indelible efficiency.“
That right there…? Total “heck yeah” moment for us book worms’ who love when an author romances his/her words.
2) Every single character came to life, EVEN the dog. I could really, truly feel as though I knew each character.
3) Frank was amazing, and while blind he made it a point of not letting it stop him. Yes, he has his (what I’m going to call) fake-computer-eyes which he used out of pure necessity, but he was still awesome. A definite ‘take the bull by the horns’ type with a rough exterior, but a big heart.
4) I was actually surprised to see who was in cahoots with the bad guy (Jimmy Antony).
All in all, I would say that this is a great story, fabulously written and incredibly entertaining. Any reader that enjoys Sci-Fi and Crime Thrillers will love Campanelli: Sentinel. Truth be told, my favorite thing about the book was that while it is Sci-Fi, it IS NOT inundated with technobabble making it easy to follow. Most of all, the author made sure that every word was absolutely necessary, moreover they were written in such a lovely manner that you get absorbed.
Highly recommended read.
Those who know me best, know that I would not give a book 5 stars unless it really merited it. I say that to say this; I’m happy to be able to host Mr. Crooks’ book on my blog, because I know from personal experience that it’s a book worth reading.