Steve Umstead has been the owner of a Caribbean & Mexico travel company for the past ten years, but never forgot his lifelong dream of becoming an author. After a successful stab at National Novel Writing Month, he decided to pursue his dream more vigorously...but hasn't given up the traveling.
Steve lives in scenic (tongue-in-cheek) New Jersey with his wife, two kids, and several bookshelves full of other authors' science fiction novels. More information is at SteveUmstead.com, and you can always find him on Twitter (@SteveUmstead).
on Jan. 01, 2014 :
*Please note that I haven’t read the rest of this trilogy, so I went into this novella with a blank slate. The description mentions this could be read before or after reading the other. I’m sure my reaction would be a little different had I read it after the other books.*
Gabriel: Zero Point was a pretty good novella. There isn’t that much to it in terms of building the futuristic world that it’s set in, but it does a great job of setting up Gabriel, the main character. Being that he is the main character of the trilogy that follows this novella, I think getting the story of where he started is probably better than getting the grander world view. The novels have more room for that. Still, this is only, for the most part, a small glimpse into what is to come and I felt like maybe just a little more info would have made it that much more enjoyable for me.
Overall, it’s filled with action, there aren’t any lulls to the story, and it’s gotten me interested in the other books. I think Umstead has much in store for me, once I start the trilogy. I’m looking forward to it.
(review of free book)
on April 10, 2013 :
abriel:Zero Point (Evan Gabriel Trilogy) by Steve Umstead
Sometimes the problem with a short intro story to a trilogy; is that it’s difficult to fully capture the nuances of the character that shows up in the real story.
Having not read the rest of the story I can’t make a judgement.
I love Trevanian and especially his Shibumi and I love Ludlum and his Jason Borne series. But these are not really the type of book I particularly go out of my way to pick up.
The reason I mention them is that the story of Evan Gabriel- in this short brought them to mind.
We have the focused killer who has a little bit of heart somewhere buried under his hard core. The trick for them is to not let on to too many people or it might compromise your effectiveness.
This story takes Evan from not so humble beginnings - at the top of his class at the academy- to his ultimate final evolution to the super soldier. There’s an element in this story that I found predictable- maybe not everyone will. I can’t say because it’s a spoiler.
Anyway the story seems to revolve just on the edge of trying to explain Evan’s motivation for being where he is in this military program- while at the same time making it clear that he’s more hijacked into it than anything.
The disturbing part is that his superior is painted as a rather ruthless individual who will do anything at all costs to ensure the security of the federation.
We really don’t get a chance to see much of how good or evil that thought may be though we see a bit of life in Evan as he struggles with the whole concept. I’ll assume that in the later stories that we see where Even’s heart lies in this matter. I’m not at all sure about Biermann.
Anyone who loves those thriller suspense novels with the spies and agents of exceptional ability should love these stories.
It will be interesting to see how Evan makes it through all this and if he can retain his humanity.
(review of free book)