Ghosts of the Forgotten Empire

Foy book cover

Ghosts of Forgotten Empires Vol 1

by Michael J Foy (Telemachus Press).

Right off the bat, the prelude says the millennially ancient warbot that lost power may not have made it to its destination but “other planet-killers made it.” Then why the hell is the world repopulated? With a new species, even! I mean, the way it was written I expected a debris field where the old planet was, like the meteor zone between Mars and Jupiter. And—surprise—the planet is now called Earth. The thing reprograms itself and lays in wait for . . . opportunities. Still, so far, so good.

Okay, so our main character (says so right on the book jacket) Cord Devlin is Bond, James Bond, except he works as a freelancer for the CIA since he’s not good at working under a hierarchy. And he’s mad since someone killed the woman he was thinking of proposing to. And he has these weird dreams. Fair enough.

He and three other people become mated to alien artifacts that are tied to the self-reprogrammed warbot from the past that we met in the prequel. So the POV has to split into at least four to see where the artifacts take them. I was cool with that.

What I was not cool with was things splitting into other POVs for Cord’s boss, and any number of other minor characters. Then the flashbacks started to happen. It seems the nefarious warbot has been fomenting wars through out history, feeding off the negative energy in some soft scifi magic not explained. Shaka Zulu, Irish resistance fighters, Hitler, native American chiefs. . . the influence of the alien nasty has been causing our conflicts for a long time, since Viking days. We get treated to the various POVs of these historical figures, and those around them. It’s handy that each section has a date and maybe a location, but I still got lost. I started to skim the secret history bits, even when they were presented as Cord’s dreams.

I also started to skim Cord Devlin’s various sexual adventures. Like I said, Bond, James Bond with the ladies. It seems the book is a male wish-fulfillment fantasy in that regard, although the frequency and descriptions were not the worst in that category I’ve seen.

Or at least I thought they were not. Until he shapeshifts to score with a hot woman, and, like Uther Pendragon in the movie Excalibur, is not found out. Until he tells her and apologizes, and she slaps him, and then they make mad passionate love on the spot. It seems he’s just so sexy she has to forgive what amounts to rape.

I only thought I was skimming to book up until that point. There is an end scene where the villain set him up for a dastardly death, makes a speech, and leaves. And if you want to know how Cord Devlin survives this evil plan (not if, but how, for this is volume one of a series of his adventures) you need to buy the next book in the series.

I think I’ll rent Excalibur, instead.

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