The Antpod Faction

Rated 4.00/5 based on 3 reviews
Alex James’ debut novel is a science-fiction spy story inspired by his experience with Asperger Syndrome. His character, Mase, embodies social differences and represents a force for change because of her unique blend of talents and weaknesses.
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About Alex James

I’m a science fiction/fantasy writer who lives in Leeds, United Kingdom. I’m an avid reader, of indie and traditionally published books. Most of my inspiration comes from the neurological disorder/condition Asperger Syndrome, which I am diagnosed with, and characters I create also have traits of this condition. It’s inevitable, I suppose.

I’ve been writing since 2009/2010, when I wanted to explore an idea about aliens who thought and interacted differently on a sandy planet. Since then I’ve written and self-published science fantasy and epic fantasy novels 2012-2015, which I consider to be the beginning of my writing career.

Recently I’ve been reading and researching science fantasy, in particular space opera and sword-and-planet, because I have a special connection with these genres. It could be because of heroism and the freedom the writer has in writing science fantasy, or maybe it’s just because it’s fascinating.

My interest in science fiction and fantasy began when I dropped out of university, having struggled to cope with the system of learning. I used to pop down to local libraries to satisfy my intellectual stimulation, picking up books with the nicest covers then seeing if the descriptions struck a chord with me. I discovered Alastair Reynolds, Peter F Hamilton, R Scott Bakker, Drew Karpyshyn, Philip K Dick and Mark Charan Newton. I identified with their stories, opening my interest and imagination, and paving the way for self-discovery and self-expression in the form of writing.

Learn more about Alex James

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Reviews of The Antpod Faction by Alex James

James Jackson reviewed on Sep. 24, 2014

I very much enjoyed this story. The various elements held my interest and kept me wanting to find out more. I would read this authors work again. :)
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)
JP Wilder reviewed on May 13, 2014

The Antpod Faction is a highly detailed spy thriller disguised as science fiction—or, if you prefer, a spy thriller set in a highly-detailed science fiction setting. Either way it had significant components of both spy thrillers and traditional science fiction. I am not usually a sci-fi reader, preferring usually to stick with fantasy, or contemporary thrillers. But, I had read this author before and enjoyed his work. So, I wanted to try another of his books. I am not disappointed that I did.

I found the characters to be deep enough to draw me in and make me care for them, which can make reading portions of this story somewhat emotional (that is a good thing). The main character in particular was a whole person, full of sufficient contradictions and internal conflict as to be definitely “real”. I enjoyed getting to know her very much.

Although I did not think that this story was as good as the author’s other fiction, the story itself was full of conflict and the plotline pulled me along, without too much effort. There was never really a moment that I wanted to put the book down. I think, the deeper I got into the book, the more that the detail of the setting and the depth of the characters made me want to go on. The plot is interesting and demanding enough that it keeps the reader wondering what is around the next corner. I won’t give any spoilers except to say that the climax and the build up to it was excellent.

If you like thrillers or sci-fi, I think you will like this book. I did. Please take a read.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Kayla West reviewed on May 3, 2014

Okay, so I absolutely loved the world that was created with this book. It definitely had a science fiction feel to it, maybe not the clean and streamlined science fiction that some write about, but the grungy, kind of back alley science fiction that I adore wholeheartedly. That kind of science fiction is just so much more interesting to me because there is so much more contrast. There is so much more of a chance for characters to grow.

With that said, while the beginning did its job and definitely introduced us to the characters that would be important throughout the rest of the story, I felt like some events were a bit jumbled. I kind of wanted Mase's specialness to be introduced, but not explained. And after the massacre occurs, I kind of wanted things to escalate. Maybe have a nice chase scene, or have Mase be forced to hide out while she figures out what is going on, and then have her specialness finally explained and connect it with her role and overall destiny in the story. I mean, up until events start to kind of fall into place with Ethbert's eventual capture, I felt like the story was flat-lining. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. It was okay.

I truly did want to love this book, but I guess I can settle for liking it. It was still worth the read to me, because I really did love the main character, and I can say that this is a book that I might possibly read again in the future.

Also, I must add that I was quite surprised with the spy/political aspect of this entire thing. It's obviously not a new concept for science fiction, but one that probably is not used as often as it could be in this genre. So a round of applause to the author.
(reviewed 25 days after purchase)

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