Book review – “Oblivion Threshold” by J.R. Mabry and B.J. West

Oblivion Threshold

If you are into sci-fi and loved tv-show Stargate 1 you will enjoy the Oblivion Threshold by J.R. Mabry and B.J. West. You are looking at the first novel of the science fiction series, The Oblivion Saga. While some famous(ly) prolonged series may have made you cautious to start the next series a good news about the Oblivion saga is that it comes in four books and they are all written and available. No need for years of wait and/or worry about the author passing away before the story is finished (nothing like an anticipation of the next book to make you worry about a strangers health and wellness). Another good news is that the book is actually a good read.

Oblivion Threshold starts with Captain Jeff Bowers, the sole survivor of the first attack by the hostile alien race, Prox. SG1 fans would probably notice the similarity between Prox and Replicators – a swarm of crab-like aliens attacking: check, next to impossible to destroy: check, not communicating but targeting all living: check.

Due to his solitary habits (amplified by the survivor’s guilt), Captain Bower is uniquely qualified to a solo-mission. He is sent out to collect info about Prox “Before I cross the invisible line that separates pain-in-the-ass from a liability” as he points out himself. His assignment necessitates him to spend nine months alone on a spaceship and when he approaches the target he dies. If you are staring at the screen now cursing me for luring you into a spoiler, there is no need to worry. This is just the beginning. When he wakes up, he has powers that could save the humankind, or destroy the whole universe, but nobody is perfect, right?

This book drew me in with an excellent storytelling, sarcastic humor and a good pace.  Authors have done a good amount of research to make the science and the military setting sound believable. The way the chain of command is followed sounds convincing for a layman while not being patronizingly explained on every step. Character building is to the point, even side characters give you an impression that they have their own lives and real problems behind the scenes.

There are some quality self-irony and sarcasm along the way as the protagonist doesn’t take the world (or himself) too seriously while he is still willing to make a full effort to save it. For example, describing the rooms given to the protagonist: “They’d provided him with a very comfortable apartment, oppressively cheery in décor, specially designed to offend few and please none. He hated it.”

The storytelling is captivating, well paced and there are some nice ideas involving almost-science along the way.  All in all the Oblivion Threshold is a good kickoff for the four-book series The Oblivion Saga (psst – this right here is an affiliate link. You can get some of that good stuff and I get a bit funds for books). I am willing to boldly recommend at least the first book (and will keep you updated on others to come) of the series to any sci-fi space travels fan.

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The full review is published in the OnlineBookClub review page.  I was provided a  reviewers copy of the book. All opinions are my own.