Review: Stormblood (The Common #1) by Jeremy Szal

Rating: 10/10

Synopsis:

Vakov Fukasawa used to be a Reaper, a biosoldier fighting for the intergalactic governing body of Harmony against a brutal invading empire. Now, he fights against the stormtech: the DNA of an extinct alien race Harmony injected into him, altering his body chemistry and making him permanently addicted to adrenaline and aggression. It made him the perfect soldier, but it also opened a new drug market that has millions hopelessly addicted to their own body chemistry.

But when Harmony tells him that his former ally Reapers are being murdered, Vakov is appalled to discover his estranged brother is likely involved in the killings. They haven’t spoken in years, but Vakov can’t let his brother down, and investigates. But the deeper he goes, the more addicted to stormtech he becomes, and Vakov discovers that the war might not be over after all. It’ll take everything he has to unearth this terrible secret, although doing so might mean betraying his brother. If his own body doesn’t betray him first.

A vibrant and talented new voice in SFF: alien technology, addictive upgrades, a soldier determined to protect his family, and a thief who is prepared to burn the world down

Review:

Thank you to Will and Gollancz for sending me an ARC of this amazing book. The book cover is so professional it looks straight out of a Hollywood movie poster. Kudos to the book cover designer!

Stormblood is one of those novels that blew me away. I finished reading this book in one day. Not only was I impressed with how beautiful this story is, I was also seeing the subject of wars and their brutal effects on humanity itself. Its an impressive debut. I read during the end Jeremy said he wished to see this book onto the bookshelves and worked hard on it. No doubt. He’s done an amazing piece of work. Amazing. The writing is mind-staggering. The dialogue is actually AMAZING. I cannot repeat it again. Oh. I will. It is AMAZING.

I loved every single second of this novel. Pat yourself on the back, you’ve made an amazing piece of work here. There is so much good in this. I felt I was watching a movie half the time. Cue in the references: The Orville, Star Trek, Cyberpunk 2077, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Star Wars, Marvel movies. I could point out to a lot of references within this novel. This novel is fantastic.

I don’t really have much to say but I don’t wish to spoil the story too much. But it follows a certain arc…that you’ll be quick to soon realise when you read this book. I loved Katherine, who I think is a great emotional character and has a great chemistry with Vakov. I also like the idea of the combination of the Russians and the Japanese – once at war in 1905 – and many generations later, you have new breeds of humans. That go away from all the racial conflicts that plagued them from the start. Vakov grew me on throughout the entire novel – and you’ll see why. He’s brave. He’s courageous. But he doesn’t act stupid. He knows when he makes mistakes. And Grim? A great character, I really need more of him. He’s a great complement and a great addition to the story.

There is a lot of blood-pumping action in this story. Brotherhood plays a big theme. And the Kaiji are now my new favorite alien species especially with their….you’ll figure it out. I won’t reveal much, but there’s war, there’s amazing descriptions of cities that make you feel really immersed into the sci-fi world that is introduced by Jeremy. You feel like, why the heck is this not a Netflix series or an amazing Hollywood adaption? It has all the right elements in place.

A great novel. Fantastic. Loved every single second of it. SO much amazing visual, splendour, it feels like a Hollywood movie. I cannot wait to read more adventures of Vakov, Katherine and Grim!

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