How far would you go to change humanity’s fate?
Jared Cartwright grew up in a loving, caring community, completely isolated from the horrors of the outside world. When tragedy leaves him alone and untethered, Jared sets out to explore the unknown; a world where twisted, scarred creatures roam an earth ravaged by nuclear war while the rich fled to the skies on floating utopias, escaping destruction and leaving the rest of humanity to die.
To face his new reality, Jared must learn to survive in a cold, harsh world. A twist of fate changes Jared’s destiny when he discovers dragons are real. The dragon unlocks a hidden technology within his body, giving him powers he never imagined existed.
With deadly adversaries above and below, he must evolve beyond mere human limitations to defeat the powerful rulers of the cities and the rabid beasts lurking in the shadows.
Youtube Review (Pending)
Title: Radioactive Evolution
Author: Richard Hummel
Series: Radioactive Evolution 1
Publisher: Hummel Books
Length and Cost: 492 pages at $4.99 ebook, $16.99 paperback, $31.49 hardcover, $21.99 audiobook, available on Kindle Unlimited
Overall Experience Rating: 8 / 10
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fantasy, Post Apocalyptic, Survival, Futuristic Apocalypse, GameLit
Disclosure: I received an advanced copy of this book for my honest review, and purchased a copy when it was released.
Intelligent and feeling characters, with their own motivations and histories. A living and breathing world that is doing its own thing, and reacts appropriately to interactions with other characters and creatures, often feeling likes a simulation more than a story, which is really cool.
Hints and views of a wider world, which means future books have room to grow, and the main characters increase in power will not reach over powered levels as they have challenges to rise up to.
Some serious incongruities with physics, biology, chemistry, and firearms, which for those who know them well may be a bit jarring or hurt immersion, but once these incongruities are accepted as plot necessary liberties, the rest of the story makes sense, and is quite consistent.
Fairly decent writing, with just enough typos to be noticed, but not cause issues.
Overall, A very enjoyable read, and I expect will be quite liked by most who enjoy post-apocalyptic books with a dash science-fantasy and a hint of GameLit.
Rating break down:
Quality/Depth of Characters: 8 / 10
All the characters, and even creatures, had degrees of history and background, with the backstory of some even being clearly expanded upon, and most having it hinted at with contextual clues and hints. This was a great way of increasing the depth of the world and making the story really live and breath. While an extremely small number were portrayed as shallow in motivation, I expect for more deep meaning and information to be revealed in the sequel. The only points I ended up taking away here were for wonky reactions to some select instances that just did not make sense based on the characters personalities.
Quality and Depth of World: 6 / 10
This was the only section I had any issues, and they were significant. Most readers will likely not notice or be bothered, but for me, the more than noticeable number of firearm, physics, chemistry, and biology incongruities pushed the book from sci-fi into science fantasy or fantasy. While not necessarily bad, it is important to keep it in mind based on your preferences. For me, such incongruities are very jarring and break immersion. Extra point given back with how cool the various mutations and creatures introduced are, and the fact the author did do some cool stuff expanding on how the environment shifted and changed into complex biomes.
Detail Balance and Completeness: 8 / 10
World details are fairly consistent in how they impact the characters and events, with just a few instances where information conflicted with earlier information. The nanite percentage levels hint at a more detailed system, but do not really delve into it as much as I would have liked, ending up more like extra post-apocalyptic technology flavor, with just a hint of gamelit. The story does not hinge on these things though, so it does not detract from the story.
Quality of Story: 9 / 10
First off, the story mechanics were well done, with the way the two main characters rapidly come to trust each other and work togethering fitting the way their world works, and this helps speed up the initial pace of the book, and kept events moving along without potential hangups.
The characters face moral and emotional dilemmas realistically, and grow in ways that fit their personalities and the time frame shown. I also liked the feeling of a larger world around them due to areas they visit or peoples they encounter, and look forward to how this will give more vibrancy to the post-apocalyptic US and Earth. This also makes fan-fiction a possibility which could be fun to see.
My only story gripe was that the main characters rapid acceptance of their new ‘life quests’ is a bit sudden, even when taking into account the ‘bond’ and their life experiences. It is a pretty radical shift.
I again loved the creatures introduced, and the skills and abilities that could be attributed to them. I want to avoid spoilers, but hope others geek out just as much as I did at the possibilities of the various ‘powers’ the characters develop.
Quality of Writing: 8 / 10
The author used a healthy variety of vocabulary without making the reader grab a dictionary to understand, and words and sentence structures used made sense throughout the book. A moderate number of typos in the version I read, but some of them have been corrected since then, and the score has been increased accordingly.
Narration Performance: N/A
Score: 8 out of 10
Book Sales Link: https://amzn.to/2X7f4O8
Authors Primary Link: https://www.hummelbooks.com/
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