By Richard Bard
Typically when an author requests I review a series of books I explain to them that I can read the first one when it comes up in the queue and then possibly get to the others when they come up again in the queue. Well ladies and gentlemen, I broke my rule and it's the fault of Richard Bard and his Brainrush Duology Everlast and Ephemeral. Wow! What a pair of books! I was so excited reading these two books and then compound the level of excitement by a trillion now that rumor has it that the duo may actually turn in to a trilogy. I wish if there truly is going to be a third that Mr. Bard gets it out to me quickly so I can put it in the queue and read it soon! Having said all of this, I can say in all truthfulness that Mr. Bard semi-forced my hand into reading Ephemeral because Everlast ends in one of the most extreme cliffhangers I have ever come across! All I can say is thank you Mr. Bard!
Jake Bronson is no stranger to saving the world. He, along with his wife, Francesca, and son, Alex, are all three empaths. And along with daughter, Sarafina and son, Ahmed, and extended family of friends who all have played a part in their danger soaked past are accustomed to living on the edge with no idea of what lurks around the next corner.
As we begin our adventure along with the lives of the group, a warning comes from inside the government - where many of the group work - someone who works in the government with Jake and immediately he tries to set his family and extended family of friends who were involved in the past on emergency alert except he's got someone after him already, as does everyone else. Just before his wife is captured she's able to set the emergency protocol in action but it's too late for many of them, including Francesca herself and their three children.
Man this book - or duology of books - is full of non-stop action from the very beginning. Although touted as a mystery book, I'd certainly call it more of an action/adventure/mystery. And rumor has it that there's another one on the way, making it an awesome trilogy!
Aside from the beginning, the setting for these books is mainly in rural areas of China where the great nemesis Jaiolong brings them all for his ultimate plan of revenge. His extremely high tech game, referred to as Spyder, where the player wears an apparatus of some type on their head which connects directly to the brain to control the play has gained him access to some of the greatest brains in the world including Jake's son Alex who actually has been borrowing it from a friend of the family, one of the men Jaiolong wanted access to.
Jaiolong is fascinated because Alex's brain has figured out ways to bypass and block the hidden elements in the game that allow Jaiolong access to classified information the player might have but again, he thinks it's someone else who he is desperate to get his talons in.
These books are an adventure about a group of friends and their loved ones who struggle to free those held captive and meet up to find one another before Jaiolong does. I truly enjoyed the switch in POV between Jake's son Alex and 3rd party. Alex gave an unusually interesting view and insight in to the entire story.
I always like to warn my readers about certain things in the books I review. In these two I'd have to say be weary of adult situations and violence. Being an action-packed book sort of prepares you for this but I mention it anyhow.
I loved the pace of both Everlast and Ephemeral. They keep your interest so that even when you aren't reading one of them you're eager to know what's next. The writing is a cut above as well as them both having impeccable editing.
In summation I can say I can't wait to read the next one coming out that focuses much more on Alex. I loved his POV throughout the first two. I definitely give these books a perfect score and hope everyone checks them out.