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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Sword of Agrippa by Gregory Lloyd Has Me Excited!

Today, I'm doing something vastly different from the norm.

After being contacted by the author, I've elected to review a sampler of his soon to be released novel. That means I've only read the prologue and the first two chapters.

image via http://www.longandshortreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/SWORD.jpg

The Sword of Agrippa is a yet-to-be-released, metaphysical sci-fi novel written by Gregory Lloyd.

So what's it about?

Ever since the death of the woman he loved, Roy Swenson has searched for a new energy source: something that will make the world a better place for everyone. He has also self-experimented with lucid dreaming as a way to find complete freedom of thought. He does find a type of freedom... by viewing the ancient past through the eyes of Agrippa, a soldier that journeyed within Emperor Caesar's entourage trip during a journey to Alexandria.

I was a bit nervous about this one, having never reviewed a sampler before. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about reading such a small portion of an ebook. What if I truly like it? Can I recommend something I haven't read through to the end?

Those questions and more swirled about within my brain, threatening to suffocate me with my own anxieties. But then I realized something...

If you don't try something different, you'll always wonder what could have happened if you did.

And you know what?

I'm glad I did. Lloyd is an immensely intelligent person that has no fear of metaphor - and uses it with great effect. Adjectives, which have a tendency to slow down the action in most stories, are used aplenty... but they're all necessary here, adding to the story, rather than detracting from it. Not only that, but he's an author with the ability to make science seem like poetry.

Oh, wait... I'm biased. I have a degree in geology.  

But this wasn't geology that he wrote about - it was theoretical physics... something I'm not prone to getting excited about. Yet, I did. Dark energy became beautiful. A discussion about energy and sensors? Riveting.

Lloyd took a risk.

Sword of Agrippa is set in the very near future. The reason I call this a risk is that it could backfire. If specific social scenarios within the reality-based portions of the novel don't occur in the next few years, some readers may hold it against him.

Personally, though, I liked that.

It's a calculated risk, and it's very low-key. At the moment, the political and social atmosphere he created is very believable. Those of us with a more pessimistic worldview would even go as far as to say it's accurate.

In Sword of Agrippa, Lloyd makes a good case about the intellectual dangers inherent in our society. As various religious, political, or even scientific groups become more and more staunchly certain that their ideas are the only true and correct ones, we shove true creativity and innovation to the sidelines. Fitting in becomes more important than thinking independently.

If you're looking for easy reading, you won't find it in Sword of Agrippa. 

But! If you want a story that flows well and makes you think, you'll find it within these pages.

As I said previously, I've only read the prologue and the first two chapters. Having not read the entire ebook, I can't recommend it... but what I can do is say that if the rest of the book is as intriguing as the first few chapters, it'll be a great one!

The Sword of Agrippa sampler can currently be found on Kindle.

(Expect updates on links to the full ebook once it goes live)

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