5 Star Review
The world is a deeply troubled place—years of crippling unemployment, a collapsed economy, and rampant crime have left people feeling desperate, but Adam Wesley and his friends don't care about that. They've finished classes for the final time and are looking forward to a carefree summer of parties, camping, and enjoying their first authentic tastes of freedom after high school!
Fate has another plan for them.
On their inaugural outing of the summer, the friends encounter a reconnaissance robot, or 'bot' as they are known—with disastrous results. One of the friends is grievously wounded in the exchange, kicking off a race against time to get help before it's too late!
When the friends finally make it back to the city, they find the streets are overrun with bots; martial law is in effect. People are being loaded onto buses and taken to transition camps. Anyone caught in the open is pacified and detained; not all will survive. Adam and his friends go underground, taking up with Skip, a brilliant but eccentric hacker. Skip has built a tech hideout called The Nest—a faraday cage suspended in the maintenance tunnels beneath the city. Using antiquated technology—dial-up modems and BBSs—the friends, begin to organize. Together, they will fight desperately to survive, unintentionally planting the seeds of a resistance that will become more important than any of them can imagine.
Of Courage and Sacrifice by Matt Hartle is a science fiction and action-adventure novel that follows Adam Wesley and his friends. They have just graduated and are looking forward to having a fun-filled summer until one day they come face to face with a reconnaissance robot. This was just the beginning of what was to come that summer. The plot is consistent throughout the book, and it flows well. The story is well-developed, and the descriptions of the scenes really draw the reader in. Hartle really has a knack for keeping the plot tight and getting it to flow evenly.
The protagonist Adam Wesley is well-written and relatable. Hartle doesn’t tell everything about the characters upfront, instead, he allows you to discover them as you read. Adam encounters a robot early in the book and its erratic movement makes Adam aware that something is not quite right. Throughout the book you see him, and his friends organize in a tech hideout called the Nest with a guy named Skip. Together they fight against all odds, making it one of the most important plot points in the book. The book has one of the most well-developed characters I’ve seen recently.
This is one of the better sci-fi books and it really keeps the reader immersed in the story throughout the entire book. The well-written characters and great plot help this book be a great read for anyone that loves sci-fi. The story deals with human violence and artificial intelligence and how making decisions can really affect the way things come out. There is a lesson to be learned about how decisions can lead to consequences. This is a great starting book to a trilogy, and I would recommend this to anyone that loves sci-fi. I hope to see more from this author in the future. Overall, the novel was entertaining because of Hartle’s exceptional writing.
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About the Author
Matt Hartle is a writer, director, designer, and VFX artist. He lives in northern Montana with his wife, two children, and their dogs, Nana and Jaque.
Matt has worked in theatrical advertising and visual effects for several decades, at first in Los Angeles and later remotely from Montana. As a partner and the Executive Creative Director at Baked Studios (NY, CA), Matt spends his days helping others to realize their dreams, but at night (or very early in the morning), he works to manifest his own! Matt has been fortunate to contribute to dozens of films over the years. Some notable projects include several Harry Potter films, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the Lionsgate logo, to name a few.
In Montana, he and his family ski, bike, swim, camp, hike--anything to be out of doors in the beautiful place they live! They also enjoy traveling, meeting new people, seeing new places, and visiting as many museums as possible!
Matt has written several screenplays and directed several short films, including the award-winning short film, ‘Agent.’ ‘Of Courage and Sacrifice’ is Matt’s debut novel and the first in a planned trilogy. His next book, ‘The Magu Program,’ will be released in the next few months.