News Reviews The Ascension Machine

Book Launch Recap

Shiny shiny cover

The Ascension Machine is now three weeks old! I’ve been a published novelist for almost a month, and the shine is still on it. I don’t have exact sales numbers (and if I did, it would probably be gauche to share them), but we’ve sold enough that my publisher is happy, and that I know they can’t all have been bought by family and friends, so, I’m thinking to call that a success. Thanks to everybody who has bought, read, commented, or simply supported and encouraged the book launch.

And if you didn’t buy it yet, don’t delay:

If you somehow missed my social media blitz around launch, here are a few highlights.

The Readings

I couldn’t resist a little bit of a reading of The Ascension Machine. You can listen to the first two chapters on my podcast, or watch the top of my head as I read chapter one on YouTube!

The Interviews

The Behind the Mask podcast interview! Catch me talking all things Ascension Machine on the podcast available to listen or watch!

I regret my camera position makes it look like I’m looking away from Franklin!

Short is the New Long podcast interview! Technically I was talking about some of my short fiction in this, but I couldn’t resist chatting about The Ascension Machine too!

And if you’d rather read an interview, we had a bushel of those too:

The Reviews

I’m delighted with the early reviews for the book, we have four on the UK Amazon and four on the US site, plus one from Mexico, for a total of nine reviews so far. And all of them five stars! I’m sure I’ll get a few more tempered views to come, but right now, I got so excited, I had an Inklings buddy do me a few brag graphics!

To read the reviews in full, visit the Amazon page of your choice!

The Sequel?

I’ve been focused so much on marketing this last few weeks that my daily writing targets have suffered. But work on the sequel is well underway. I’m hoping to get it out for … mmm no, no promises, except I’m writing as quickly as I can. If only this blank page would stop staring at me. Anyway, as it stands, I’m about 40k words into the first draft of The Crossover Paradox, and I am really enjoying where the book is heading.

Just a working title… but it does look pretty.

Anyway, thank again for all the support. Grey’s adventures will continue!

News Reviews The Ascension Machine

Reviews for The Ascension Machine

We’re still a ways off from the release of The Ascension Machine, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to find out what people are saying about it.

First up, I sent lead writer at Mad Robot Comics, Matt Hardy, a copy of the book, and he said:

Inventive, gripping and fun. Where do I sign up to be a trainee, alien space hero?

Mad Robot Comics

Then my publisher sent a copy to Kirkus Reviews, a huge review site in the US. Check out the full review here. Headline:

An entertaining and action-packed journey that will appeal to Marvel and DC comics fans.

Kikus Reviews

Then the Manhattan Book Review got in on the act with a review which starts by calling The Ascension Machine “the ideal science fiction novel for any fans of the genre” and ends with:

… a fun read that leaves you with a smile on your face.

Manhattan Book Review

A Twist in Time: Review

A Twist in Time, the latest novel from Brent A Harris, takes some familiar Dickens characters and locations and adds in a layer of Steampunk. Oliver Twist pickpockets a time-travelling pocket watch and his life changes direction yet again! Overall the result is an engaging mix of the familiar and the strange.

This is not a stodgy Dickens pastiche. It’s a an ambitious, genre-spanning re-imagining of Dickens’s London with time travel, steampunk and a splash of the superheroic. There’s plenty of action, a dastardly villain with an evil plot and a satisfyingly explosive finale.

Harris has done his research, and there’s plenty of period detail on show, but there’s no getting away from the sense that this is an English classic tackled by a modern American writer. That’s neither a positive, nor a negative, by the way, it’s just a thing. If that sounds like your kind of thing, then I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

There are, however, a couple of things I have to mark it down for. The book is largely told first person, but with occasional asides in third person. While they do give some insight into the supporting cast, for me they undercut the pacing of the narrative and completely break immersion. These sections are short, but distracting. The other negative may be a misunderstanding on my part, as certain elements of the villain’s dastardly plan don’t make sense to me. Often the way with villainous plans, of course, but the practicalities of the plan left me scratching my head on more than one occasion.

Make no mistake though, those quibbles aside, I thoroughly enjoyed delving into Harris’s imagining of this world. We learn with Oliver as the mystery unravels, we get some entertaining training montages, some clever play with time travel, and an epic conclusion.

Recommended with 4 stars.