Tag Archives: Thomas Locke

Review: Recruits, by Thomas Locke

Recruits, by Thomas LockeRecruits, by Thomas Locke (Revell, 2017)

Seventeen-year-old twins Dillon and Sean have never had a happy home life, but for the past ten years they’ve been imagining this amazing, gravity-defying train station that couldn’t exist on Earth.

Now they discover it’s real – and on another planet. One they can create a portal and step onto.

They may be the first gifted humans found on Earth, and an ex-military human from still another planet is assigned to train them. He, at least, sees their potential. Unlike the Examiner, who’s waiting for a chance to fail them and wipe their memories.

The twins face unexpected danger, and the authorities don’t believe their version of events. Suddenly it’s Dillon and Sean against the adults (with a few exceptions), racing against time to save an innocent man and possibly stop an invasion.

Recruits is a fast-paced, entertaining read that should appeal not only to young adult males but to anyone who enjoys a good, clean adventure. Written by a Christian author, the book doesn’t have a spiritual thread that I saw, and I consider it a mainstream novel.

Favourite lines:

…they probably saw the scar at the same moment, because Dillon dragged in the breath Sean had trouble finding. [page 13]

Baran’s voice was delicate, like he wanted to speak without actually disturbing the air. [page 305]

Thomas Locke is the pseudonym of well-known writer Davis Bunn. The Thomas Locke books are fantasy, science fiction and techno-thrillers, and for more about them and the author, visit tlocke.com.

[Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.]

Review: Trial Run, by Thomas Locke

Trial Run, by Thomas LockeTrial Run, by Thomas Locke (Revell, 2015)

With Trial Run, Thomas Locke delivers an international techno-thriller set just beyond our current technology. Gabriella Speciale’s research team has fled danger in the US and set up a secret base in Switzerland, where their experiments with out-of-body consciousness have resulted in an unexpected casualty.

In the US, a shadow group within the government wants to replicate their work for the purposes of espionage.

The third key players are two California university students, Trent Major and a girl named Shane Schearer. The information Trent receives in dreams from an older version of himself puts them in the shadow group’s sights.

This is one of those novels you start reading without a clue about what’s going on. In the hands of a skilled writer like Thomas Locke, it makes for a good ride. (If you want an easier entry, read his free ebook novella, Double Edge, which introduces Gabriella and Charlie Hazard and explains the experiments.)

Trial Run is book one in the Fault Lines series, and I suspect questions that aren’t answered yet will be resolved in future books. (For example, does Trent really see a future version of himself, or who is it really? And how does future-Trent do this?)

The writing is tight and evocative. Some of my favourite lines:

He felt it too. Like the dark had grown claws that scraped the skin off his spine. [page 9]

It was a warrior’s grin. A drawing back of every facial muscle, exposing the raw power of a man who knew the business of death. [page 278]

Part of the plot involves quantum theory, which is presented in small, layperson-level instalments. I didn’t get it, but apparently most people don’t, and it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story. Two minor things that did act as speed bumps: the use of “lay/laying” instead of “lie/lying” (I work so hard to get this right, myself) and the expression “Indian territory” for dangerous territory.

Revell is a Christian publisher, but Trial Run is a clean mainstream novel. If you’re looking for a faith thread, the closest you’ll get is one character’s unexplained compulsion to forgive select people. If you just want a fun read, this is it.

Thomas Locke is the pen name of well-known Christian author Davis Bunn. Under the Locke name, he’s writing this sort of near-future suspense as well as epic fantasy. I’ve reviewed his fantasy novel, Emissary, here. For more about Thomas Locke’s books or to sign up for his newsletter, visit tlocke.com.

[Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.]

Review: Emissary, by Thomas Locke

Emissary, by Thomas LockeEmissary, by Thomas Locke (Revell, 2014)

Hyam is an honest and unremarkable farmer in a world where magic is only permitted within the confines of  Long Halls: places of training for wizards. He was a Long Hall acolyte for a time, until the wizards threw him out. Not that he wanted to stay. To be an acolyte was much like being a prisoner.

Now, as Hyam reaches his coming-of-age birthday (21), his mother’s deathbed request sends him back to the Long Hall with a message. The unwelcome news he receives there, plus the sudden onset of what seems to be magical ability, thrusts him from his home and into a life of adventure.

Emissary is mainstream fantasy fiction, in the classic reluctant hero’s journey style. It’s been called epic, but I wouldn’t go that far. It’s a fun read with plenty of action and struggle, enjoyable characters and a well-developed world and magic system, but epic fantasy has a weight to it. Emissary, for all the great danger Hyam faces, is a lighter read.

The dangers are huge and at times spectacular, but he always comes through them with ease – even when survival looks impossible at first. [I’m excluding the ending from this comment, because I don’t want to give any spoilers. Perhaps they all die. You’ll have to read the book to find out!]

Thomas Locke is a pseudonym for Davis Bunn, a well-known, award-winning novelist. I understand the choice to use a pen name for this series. It’s an entirely different genre (fantasy instead of suspense) and it’s also a clean mainstream story instead of Davis Bunn’s overtly Christian novels. This way, readers know not to have the same expectations they’d have of his other work.

If you want to know more about Emissary, there’s a free ebook excerpt called The Captive available through the author’s site: The Captive. This may be only available in Kindle format. It’s Joelle’s story (she’s one of the key characters in Emissary). There’s also a book trailer for Emissary and a sample chapter on the Thomas Locke website.

Emissary is book 1 in the Legends of the Realm series, and book 2 is scheduled to release in 2016. Also to come from Thomas Locke is Trial Run, book 1 in the Fault Lines series. This one looks more like science fiction from the brief description at the end of Emissary, and I’m eager to learn more about it.

[Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.]