Red Smoke Rising by Rick Anthony really surprised me as I have read a couple of books published through some of the smaller, independent publishers and have not really been impressed by the quality of the writing or the story – however Red Smoke Rising was good. In fact it was really good!
Over a hundred years have passed since the invaders came to steal the drug, since Mia’s homeland was occupied. Once they understood the drug’s secrets, the Nor army was unstoppable, superhuman. Mia’s people were overwhelmed and defeated – slaves in their own lands.
In the time that has passed, Mia and the Underground have stolen the drug, along with the knowledge of how to use it to create an army of their own. Now, the time has come for the resistance army of shapeshifters, Masters and Trademasters to stand against the Nor Empire and take back their homeland… before their chance is gone forever.
While there was nothing too original in the story and to some extent it feels like you have started in the middle of a series versus right from the beginning, Rick Anthony does a really good job of providing details on the back story and who each of the key characters are. There is definitely room for further expansion in this universe and a continuation of the story further as the rebellion progresses.
With some really strong characters and equally strong supporting characters as well as a new and interesting magic system, you will enjoy reading this book and finding out what happens.