Self-Publishing Review of Arklight

It’s been an incredible Labor Day weekend! Operation Nightfall won a Bronze Medal in the Readers’ Favorite international book competition, and Force Interdiction had a great review from SPR! Here’s what the professionals had to say about Arklight: Force Interdiction: 4 1/2 out of 5 Stars!

“Novels that could easily fit into 5 or 6 different sections of a bookstore don’t come around very often. Arklight: Force Interdiction by J.M. Myrick is one such creation, a sweeping and creative ride that transcends time, heroic ideals and the traditions of genre.

The plot and premise that Myrick began with Operation: Nightfall is sharpened and expanded in this sophomore offering, with the ancient weapons of the Knights Templar once again being fought over, and the fate of humanity hanging in the balance. Many of the same compelling characters from the first book reappear on Spear Team, the special ops group around which this novel centers.  Myrick also maintains the same delicate balance of action, philosophy, spirituality and suspense that made the opening salvo of this series such a success.

This book has a far more ambitious edge than its predecessor, in that time is now a malleable variable and scenes take place in different time periods with different special ops groups. This temporal disparity could have made the plot difficult to follow, but Myrick has a clear and powerful vision for this series, and a broad enough perspective to keep the plot lines smooth and the holes minimal.

The level of detail in these different time periods, and the shifting tone of the prose, are equally impressive, particularly between soldiers separated by centuries. Even with that broad space to work in, the theme and message of the story remains strong throughout – protecting the oblivious citizens of the world from the evil that lies waiting in their midst.

One of the weak points in the novel is the character development, as Myrick seems more concerned with plot complexity and ensuring that all the pieces fit, rather than focusing on whether the characters are the most believable vessels for such a story. Some of the key characters receive ample attention and have well-constructed interactions with other players, but many others seem like caricatures of recognizable “warriors” and don’t seem to grow or evolve throughout the course of the book. A bit more time spent on creating cohesive relationships between characters (in all relevant time periods) would make the read more engaging and increase reader investment.

When it comes to the technical side of the novel, the editing is solid and the prose is tight. The dialogue is one of the strongest pillars of the book, utilizing the rough-around-the-edges attitudes of hardened soldiers, but also finding time to explicate larger issues and philosophical debates in a natural way. The visceral descriptions of visually striking scenes are also impactful and succinct, and perfectly placed to welcome readers into a new place (or time).

While keeping track of all the varied events between the centuries makes this read a bit demanding on one’s attention, the end of the novel is very satisfying, and readers finally see how all of the pieces fit together. That sort of well-planned payoff – as well as the promise of more books in the future – makes J.M. Myrick an exciting voice in science fiction, and in his own unique genre.”

There’s always something you can do better, and I’ll certainly work hard to improve my craft. However, the takeaway here – “My own genre” – WHAT?! That’s a pretty solid complement, considering I set out to redefine how a book can be perceived. To some, Arklight is science fiction – to others a thriller. It certainly contains those elements, as-well-as Christian-based fiction, action-adventure, historical fiction, military and some have even suggested it to be something entirely different – a hybrid-screenplay. Isn’t that what a novel should be? Something new, or unusual, written in a fictitious prose?

I’m just starting down this path. It’s a path built upon my past, but my past will not define my future. I might stop writing tomorrow, but I can feel it… God is trying to teach me something on this journey. Whatever that may be, I’m listening harder than ever before. Wherever this leads, I’m thankful and it has purpose. Whoever I can positively impact through my story, I’m ready. As a good friend, teammate, and writer once said to me, “Here’s to the journey!”

Arklight: Force Interdiction

I’m getting pretty close to having Force Interdiction ready for release. It’s in the final stages of editing and I plan on announcing a release date in the very near future. If you haven’t read Nightfall, book two may get you a little more curious. Force Interdiction will pick up roughly 6 months after the events of Nightfall (Maybe I should say Knightfall – hmmm). The same group of characters return as they tumble even deeper into their true purpose, revealing some eye-popping truths. More Arma Christi is up for grabs, a dangerous foe emerges, and Nashville gets turned upside down in a battle you won’t believe.

I’m happy to say that fiction meets reality with a vengeance in this upcoming installment of the Arklight series. I researched some very interesting history and you won’t believe where it takes the story. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements. Also, let me know what you think of the cover art from my friends at ebook launch. Stay safe!

It’s the small things…

A man stands on the side of the busiest roadway in the state. It’s dark, rainy, and traffic is unrelenting. Car lights flash from the shoulder of the road, people pass him without a second thought. He’s in crisis, because life simply got in the way. A small flashlight illuminates his silhouette as cars continue to miss him, only by a couple of feet.

A car finally stops, edging even closer to the wave of blurry lights and buzzing cars on their way home. It’s parked behind the car with the flashing lights, someone to help. A flash of electric blue catches the night fog, the man immediately knows everything will somehow be okay.

With tears in his eyes and a soft crack in his voice, he struggles for the words.

“My phone and my wallet are somewhere in the median… I just cashed my entire paycheck. I – I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

An effort begins, the man who stopped to help has a plan.

“Sir, we’ll figure it out. Let us go out there. You stay here.”

The man; older, handicapped, and upset, shakes his newfound helper’s hand. The man is wearing a red cap, tattered and worn. It displays – ‘USMC – Do or Die!’

A glance is shared between the men, something is uttered by the helper.

“Semper Fi.”

Almost an hour later; hundreds of more cars have passed, the helper has enlisted some of his friends to assist. Finally, a wet phone is located, still functioning. A wallet is found later; the man is overcome with joy and thankfulness.

Another hand shake is offered, and accepted. The helper and his friends simply leave, only to find someone else in need. They don’t want the thanks, they only want to see the effects of what they do. Making an impact; simply doing a small thing – often elicits the greatest reward. A simple feeling; knowing you made a difference for someone else. The helper and his friends? Cops.

These are the stories happening everyday as people pass those electric blue lights. Don’t forget those who are here to help you. Don’t pass on an opportunity to help someone else.

For the Marines out there, Semper Fi – Always Faithful

Arklight: Force Interdiction

Book 2 is getting close to it’s April 2018 release date! To celebrate, I’m giving away a few Ecopies of Book 1, Arklight: Operation Nightfall on Amazon. Follow the link for your chance to win!

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/cce4593c732ab6a5

 

TOM CLANCY MEETS DAN BROWN

The Latest Review… 5 of 5 Stars

“For real. The military and tactical accuracy is worthy of the best military authors, and the pace of action and brilliantly structured tension would be enough to make this book a winner. But overlay a metaphysical mystery which will keep you guessing and Googling historical factoids (they all check out!). Non-Christians, don’t be deterred. While clearly written by a believing warrior (TYFYS), the story requires no basic piety to follow, and the conclusion will blow your mind regardless of your faith tradition, or lack thereof. Strongly recommended!”

You be the judge.

ARKLIGHT: Force Interdiction coming soon!

Man Down!

The real battle begins:

BOOM – The shaped charge cut through the brick sending micro-pulverized particles exploding through the air. Most of the debris shattered into dust, but some pieces escaped destruction. A rectangular flash of light was the last thing Magnus saw before the blast fragments caused him to close his eyes.

He felt the familiar concussion of an explosive breach to his front. The force threw him backwards through the brick Murphy door collapsing him on his backside. Debris impacted him all over, but two places in particular burned with the sting of punctures. Magnus rounded his back flipping over to his hands and knees still facing the new threat. His formative British SAS training took hold despite the intense pain felt on his body and the deafening ring in his ears. The burning sensation on his face was quickly followed by a steady stream of blood.

The hope of an easy heist faded away as his mission now became infinity more difficult. Magnus struggled to reorient himself and focused through the distraction. His head throbbed from the concussion while the sting of injury pestered his senses. He instinctively reached for his twin pistols staggering upwards to his feet. The dust floated thick in the air and his confusion built into a dangerous rage.

Rico created another perfect doorway and Chappy stepped through the breach followed by Zip. The dust was hanging thick in the air while John moved his jaw about to ease the ringing between his ears. The over pressure was almost nonexistent and the team cleared inside. John entered the breach point walking behind Wisp on the right side. On the wall to the right was the painting, still perfectly intact.

John gazed upon the artwork for an instant before hearing shots ring out from the next room straight ahead. He swiveled his head to react, seeing Chappy disappear into the dust cloud. “I’m hit!”

  • In Force Interdiction, the team will come face-to-face with a savage and determined enemy. Stay tuned for more as book two gets closer to completion.

Zip holds aim, ready to engage

It’s heating up in Nashville…

Zip scaled a large tree not far from the bank of the Cumberland River. Once on his perch, he assembled the Desert Tactical Hardened Armor Interdiction (HAI) .375 Cheytac sniper rifle. An advanced bull-pup design, the HAI served as a purpose built platform capable of 1500 yard accuracy through the integrated suppressed heavy-barrel. The night-vision with thermal coalesced optics proved capable in Bizerte, and tonight the team needed them once again. The assembly took Zip only a minute, as he quickly powered up the scope adjusting his dope for the heavy short range subsonic round. The Navajo warrior and former Marine Recon sniper quietly radioed, “Steady, I can see the longboat – 200 yards ahead… I see seven, no… nine men.”

I’m in the final rewrite before beta release and things are starting to get interesting.