The Acts of Androkles
by Ryan English
Elevator pitch: '300' meets 'Lone Wolf and Cub'. A retired veteran has to keep some orphans from being eaten by horrible monsters.
This fiction contains the professionally-published novel Obstacles as well as the ongoing sequels.
Back Cover Copy:
Androkles, son of Paramonos, spent twenty-five years in the world’s greatest army trying to earn enough money to buy back his good name. He’s battle-scarred, weary, and heartbroken after decades of watching dear friends die, but he survived. He’s ready to retire and be welcomed as a hero, finally able to see the reward he sacrificed so much to achieve.
There’s only one problem: his wife just fled civilization with all his hard-won savings. Now he must pursue her north, through desperate bandits, ravening beasts, and worse. But after he rescues a pair of orphans from starvation, he is faced with his most difficult challenge yet: a question that goes to the very heart of honor. The consequences might be deeper than he realizes, and it’s not just his life on the line…
Updates: Irregular but Ongoing
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Grammer was professional grade, there was some minor nitpicks where the sentence didn't make sence but that was very minor.
The style of the book was great throughout, from the beginning where there was only one pov to minor instances of sceondary mc pov to explain what their feeling during a tumultuous time. The major problem that I had with the style is it changed genre from action/adventure to a tragedy slog fest half-way through book 2.
The story of book 1 was like something straight out of a greek epic like others pointed out. There was a very obvious problem though, We the reader had no idea where they were most of the time, it was always "north". We knew in the beginning sort of(south Mediterranean-like terrain). Most of the time I was imagining ancient greece, but then the author really wants you to know that it is not. The story does evovle though from a typical revenge journey to a greater destiny in the hands of those up above in their world. Book 2 was where it faltered however, to travelling and experiencing hardships along the road, where new friends and enemies reveal themselves to something akin to multiple concentration camp diaries... Seriously it was a slog to get through, it was like the author really wanted you to skip whole chapters to finally get to the end. It could have been a couple chapters maybe of hardship(with this authors word count per chapter thats already a lot), then the heroic victory but even when you sit through and read all that masochistic nonsense it ends in a cliffhanger to book 3.
Besides the story, the characters evovle and learn from their mistakes. They don't stay monotonous grey characters that you learn to live with. No they worm their way into your heart strings. You will cry, laugh, and eventually love the characters for who they are... then book 2 happened. I cant say it enough, book 2 I hate it.
In closing book one was something out of a greek epic! There was action, tragedy, adventure and some good old fashion bravery. Book 2 started great! Ended poorly.