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!”

AWARD WINNER!

My debut novel, and 1st book in the series, Arklight: Operation Nightfall has won the 2018 Readers’ Favorite Bronze Medal for Christian Thrillers. It was an inspired tale that came to me in such a way; it begged to be written. I am very honored to receive a major international award. I have entered Arklight: Force Interdiction in the 2019 competition, so I’m hoping for much of the same!

I’m really happy to announce that Operation Nightfall will be on display at the Miami Book Fair, November 11-18, 2018, by Readers’ Favorite. My book placed third out of thousands of submissions and that’s a pretty awesome milestone. I hope to have the final book in the series through the initial write by sometime in early 2019. For now, I will seriously enjoy this moment!