Reviews












Veterans of the Psychic Wars

M. Thompson "Mike Thompson" (London, United Kingdom)

This is a well written and well thought out book. From the outset it brings together the 'ordinary' in the main character (Roman Doyle) and the vastness of the galaxy with the psychic wars, spread over many worlds and beings.
It is obvious that much work went into working out the background (in the full book there are appendices on the characters, medals, and a glossary of terms from the Talisian language and the story).

The many characters are well crafted and do not change throughout the book (except due to events in the story). I found that I got a bit lost in all of the names, however, the author does ensure the reader knows the main names by using them often and in context.

It is not obvious from the Product Description of the vastness of the story world; during the initial stages of the book this is hinted at through Chi-Ro Jin, who provides history and background for Roman (and hence the reader). However, in the latter stages of the book, the reader begins to feel at first hand (through Roman himself) the hugeness and importance of the world that he is forced into.

The book had some of the imperialistic feel of Dune (Frank Herbert), the ideas from the Matrix (training within dream worlds), the Primes within the Talents (Anne McCaffrey), and the technology of Babylon 5 and Star Wars. While I made rather heavy of the reading, I enjoyed the book and its ending.

For Kindle readers: this is the first 'self-published' book that I have read that has not had typos in it and was well laid out.

Amazon Customer

Veterans of the Psychic Wars by Wayne Gerard Trotman, is a Hollywood blockbuster compressed in a book. Action abounds with little let up in this fast paced, thoughtful, imminently entertaining science fiction novel.

Roman Doyle is an unassuming school teacher, husband, and soon-to-be-father on a midnight snack run for his pregnant wife when he's assailed by strangers he presumes to be common street thugs. Events take a further turn when a good Samitarian intervenes on Roman's behalf. His rescuer soon reveals that Roman is an exiled prince, an heir to the throne of an Interstellar Empire currently ruled by a usurper. From that moment of revelation, Roman must battle forces bent on eliminating him. In the process, he must train his mind and body to master the superhuman skills required to triumph over his enemies. The task is supremely difficult, and all is not as it appears as Roman and his wise mentor fight to regain a throne and save an empire from destruction.

Superbly crafted fight scenes populate this book, from single combat to massive space battles. There's wonder, drama and mystery, bearing promise of a sequel. The author takes a medley of science fiction tropes, from aliens and spaceships to telepathy and artificial intelligence and creates an epic, universe-building tale. Veterans of the Psychic Wars is a must read.

Rayven (California, USA)

When given this book to review by Darkiss, I was unsure if I would like it or not. I am not a huge Sci-Fi fan. However, from the very first page Veterans of the Psychic War grabbed my attention. This book is jam packed with action and it grabs hold of you as we follow Roman a school teacher, married to the love of his life and soon to be father, being swept up into a nightmare that he can't escape. As a martial artist I was enthralled with the way the fight scenes played out. The author has a unique writing style that placed me smack dab in the middle of elaborate fight scenes. I found myself fighting alongside of Roman and Chi-Ro on more than one occasion. I was transported into a world where the boundaries of time did not exist and anything was possible with the sheer power of thought.

The depth of the characters held me captive and I felt my heart ache for Roman who is trying to grasp and understand the truth of who he truly is. He is driven by loss and the love of this wife and unborn child. The author did a fantastic job of creating supporting characters that you either hated or loved. He gave glimpses of their stories and I was caught up in all the gamete of emotions that each character went through.

The authors writing style is truly brilliant and his ability to draw you into his universe is second to none. From the start you are as confused as the books hero but together you are led forward into an incredible conclusion that left me stunned, shocked and greatly satisfied. I have to say that the conclusion to this tale was practically orgasmic. I can not recommend it enough just on the merit of it's plot twist. Throughout the book there are many memorable quotes, but one that stuck with me the most was " Death whispers your name to me"

I highly recommend this book if you are a Sci-fi lover for it has everything you are looking for; Star Wars meets Enter the Dragon. Be prepared to be hanging off the edge of your seat wanting more. I am looking forward to the next book in the series, and on that note I give this book a 4.5 star rating.

Wayne Gerard Trotman is a British writer, filmmaker, artist, photographer, composer and producer of electronic music.

Clayton Clifford Bye (Ontario, Canada)

Reviewer's Note

As Veterans of the Psychic Wars by Wayne Gerard Trotman is something of an unusual story, and my review is long, I want to mention right away that I enjoyed his story, especially when I found the Appendices and the Glossary of Terms at the back of his book.

News Release
On January 18, 2011 – Red Moon Productions Ltd. announced the recent publication of ‘Veterans of the Psychic Wars’, a 416-page epic science fiction novel described as ‘Star Wars’ meets ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’. It is the first book of a proposed ‘Psychic Wars’ series.

Review
‘Star Wars’ meets ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ is a fine description of Veterans of the Psychic Wars, as long as you realize that the hero isn’t a wimp like Luke Skywalker and that the amazing warriors of Crouching Tiger would be toast before this story hits its stride.

Roman Doyle is an ordinary guy. He’s a 25 year-old British school teacher in a situation many will remember quite fondly. Roman is out on a 1 a.m. run for peanut butter and ice cream for his pregnant wife. But, mere moments after grabbing some cash from a banking machine he finds himself battling for his life against 5 intergalactic thugs. Knocked silly and forced to begin strangling himself at the psychic command of one of the thugs, Roman is rescued by Chi-Ro Jin, a veteran of the Psychic Wars. After rescuing him, Chi-Ro Jin (Fu Manchu mustache and all) insists that Roman is really Armon Sakara, who must now be returned to his father, the Emperor Sakara Rey. But first they must steal the enemy’s space ship in order to get off the planet, and then they must further avoid the minions of Baron Seti Aljyk, Armon’s evil uncle, who has usurped his father’s throne and brought about another Psychic War.

Okay, so it does sound like Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Obi-wan and The Force. The choking thing sure seems like a nod to Star Wars, doesn’t it? But let me assure you, this is no made-for-the big screen, spoon-fed, pottage. In this story, we don’t have The Force. Instead, virtually every soldier is scientifically enhanced for psychic warfare and various forms of deadly martial arts. Like real life, some are good at what they do and some aren’t. The elite can create astral forms or become astral beings with the power to smite almost anything. One of the characters, a physicist, even postulates that the astral forms may be connected to black matter. As for others, the technical can only bring out and enhance what talent is already there.

In Star Wars, an overwhelmed Luke must quickly learn to use the “mysterious” force or perish; in Veterans of the Psychic Wars, Roman is already a master in several disciplines of the martial arts but finds them terribly inadequate for the challenges he faces: real science must help him multiply his inherent talents. And when Roman’s psychic power reaches a certain level, it’s only then he becomes a force to be reckoned with. One example of this is the ability to glean knowledge telepathically by sharing minds with his teacher, Chi-Ro Jin and later in the story, with his many enemies.

Okay, enough Star Wars and such. Writers borrow structure (plots) and ideas (androids, for example) all the time. Its what they do with them that matters. So, lets proceed on this basis: why should you buy and read Veterans of the Psychic Wars? First and foremost it’s science fiction all the way. It’s also strong story telling from someone who’s used to being behind a camera. Trotman, a veteran film maker, uses this experience to take us from one scene to another with blazing speed and precision. Unable to show us (visually) what’s in his view screen, Trotman must show us with words. This is something that’s all-important and that I think he does very well. Because, even though this is science fiction, good story telling comes first.

With what must have been strenuous effort and research, Trotman ties his story inextricably to Earth’s human history, builds a realistic but distant galaxy where we’re introduced to all sorts of people, embroils us in close-up and planetary scaled battles and bombards us with information—not just as it would come to the character in the book, but from within the minds of many.

Trotman has also created a language (maybe he borrowed one, but I can’t tell) for his book. Character names, spaceship names, planets, animals, phrases, etc. are all presented in this unknown language, and it took me most of the book before these alien words were rolling off my tongue with ease. This is something that will turn off many potential customers but should delight the true science fiction buff. Trotman doesn’t deal with “machine technical” unless absolutely necessary, but his attention to “language technical” is every bit as deep and intriguing as the former. An example of this would be the naming of each of the numerous and differing martial art forms and the way he describes some of the moves.

So, while I confess to having difficulty with the first third of Veterans of the Psychic Wars: the author throws us headlong into a complex alien war that’s waged with weapons and techniques so advanced they seem like magic, and he expects us, at the same time, to follow a strange language which peppers the pages… It all works in the end: it’s as if we’re Roman, dropped into an alien life, and our heads are spinning with the newness of everything. We’ll come around in a while. And I’m just fine with that.

Copyright © Clayton Clifford Bye 2011


 

Kaya Abaniah and the Father of the Forest

Nandini

After his epic Veterans of the Psychic Wars, Trotman does an excellent job of writing to a younger audience in Kaya Abaniah. He expertly blends science fiction with the local folklore and pressing environmental issues of his native Trinidad. In an age where youngsters seem to be losing the magic of the written word, Kaya Abaniah has strong appeal for teenage readers. Its pages come alive with suspense, intrigue, local history, teenage romance, and above all - vivid and realistic depictions of alien life - leaving the reader eagerly anticipating the next installment in Trotman's trilogy. As a Trinidadian, I feel very strongly that Kaya Abaniah should be included in the local Secondary School English Literature curriculum, not least because Trotman provides powerful inspiration for the budding authors and artists of Trinidad and Tobago.

Amazon Customer

I liked this novel from the start, and for a number of reasons. When I taught summer school in Jamaica for more than ten seasons, I looked everywhere for books such as Kaya Abaniah, and couldn't find very many, if any. The reason? People are generally reluctant to say more than a few words about the old stories told by granny & c. Some think they're quaint, cute or merely aphoristic, good for a couple of laughs. But to find a serious work like Kaya Abaniah, you really had to look far and wide. So here is the bottom line on this excellent book for young readers -- it is the real thing. If you like the idea of Papa Bois, the Father of the Forest and you actually believe such a thing could be true, or perhaps was true, historically, during a time when mythologies were the sacred history of a people, then this novel is for you. It is not a fantasy, nor is it written like one.

While you are following the storytline, you may also pick up a lot of useful information about the culture of Trinidad and Tobago. For instance, I have had sorrel wine but I did not know that it was as old as ancient Egypt. Mr. Trotman explains that it comes from hibiscus and is good for "the pressure", as they say in Jamaica. Bob Marley said, "Everything has a season, find its reason." And that's what this excellent novel does -- it tells you the reason behind things. Did you know that the Father of the Forest was yet another incarnation of the Greek god Pan? Maybe you did, but did you know that Pan and the word "panic" are brethren? Makes sense, doesn't it. When magic is explored, not as delirious mayhem, but as a kind of "science", it is so-called black magic. But, I believe, we need more magic of all kinds today, especially the kind Wayne Gerard Trotman offers in this novel of myths and legends that come across as probable and true.

Melissa Reese Etheridge

Kaya Abaniah and the Father of the Forest by Wayne Gerard Trotman delves into several themes of friendship, family, bullying, and wildlife conservation. Kaya Abaniah is a typical fourteen-year-old boy. He and his mother live on the island of Trinidad. Kaya attends a local school where is close friends with Tom and Raima. He has frequent run-ins with a group of bullies. All is as it should be until strange things begin to happen. The strange things occur when Kaya is ill with a fever and hears a man tell him to watch his food and what he eats. Then Kaya can read minds and perform tasks with above normal ability. Kaya, Tom, and Raima encounter danger on a school trip and meet who they believe is Papa Bois, the father of the forest. Kaya learns his own father’s identity and becomes a student of a group of characters from Trinidadian mythology.

Trotman, a native of Trinidad, brings his personal knowledge of Trinidadian culture to the book. The novel explores the animals, food, and religion of the island in great detail. Trotman relies on his experiences to create likeable characters who grow as the plot progresses. The reader learns a great deal about Trinidad, its animals, and food and culture in great detail.

The ideas and themes of the story are very focused and well-developed. The organization is easy to follow. Trotman’s real talent is in descriptive word choice. The story navigates between Standard English and Trinidad Creole. The dialogue moves the plot forward.

The novel is intended for young adults; I recommend high school as there are violence and some suggestion of typical high school flirtations and sexual innuendoes. The Creole dialect and slang do require close reading to understand the characters. I read the book in about five hours. My verdict? Fans of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter will love this original story steeped in tradition and culture.

Lesley H

I was feeling a bit jaded after reading a number of books lately where sex and violence were very much the order of the day. I hoped that this book would make a refreshing change, and I certainly wasn't disappointed. Aimed primarily at a teenage audience, the book is wonderfully imaginative and thankfully devoid of bad language and gratuitous violence. Extremely entertaining, the author takes you on a magical journey where telepathy is commonplace, and shape-shifting vampires and mysterious men in black abound. I loved that the book was set in an exotic location; Trinidad, and I found that the realistic dialogue added a great deal to the story.

All in all this is a great book for teenagers and young adults, and for those of us grown-ups who fancy escaping the stresses and strains of everyday life by entering the mystical world of Kaya Abaniah and Papa Bois; if only for a while!


 

Ashes to Ashes: Screenplay

Beryl Stafford

This screenplay to the film Ashes to Ashes is itself a compelling read. Which figures, as Trotman is clearly a masterful screenwriter. The pacing of the story, a caper involving a young man who escorts women, and winds up having to deal with some seriously dark and sadistic characters. The action jumps off the page, and sharp dialogue really adds a lot to keep the plot moving. Each scene has something that draws you in, with that "what will happen next?" factor. The fact that I could never second guess the author's motives told me how sharp this script was. It's funny, too. Best script I've read in a long, long time.