Review: The Legend of Adam Caine / Author: John Charles Scott / Publisher: Self-published / Release Date: Out Now
It’s hard to know what exactly to make of The Legend of Adam Caine. While hardly bad, it seems to almost work in spite of itself. Beginning in mid-2006, a group of travellers on-board a tube service are flung out of their time by an inhuman stranger lurking in their midst. The reason for their abduction lurks in the ambitions of a race far ahead of their time, and it does not bode well for any of them…
The plot itself contains plenty of points people will be familiar with. An alien abduction, time travel, a race bent upon subjugation and extermination, but a big part of the book’s charm is that it displays an awareness of these traits. It reminds us why such ideas were originally enjoyed, while throwing in esoteric references which will please major fans of this genre and putting a new spin on others. While some of these are laid on a bit too heavily, especially one Gaunt’s Ghosts reference early on, they are rarely so intrusive they will confuse those not familiar with what is being referenced.
Much of the actual meat of the story originates from the battle scenes, which emphasise the confusion and chaos of battle. Thanks in large part to the fast pacing of these scenes and the graphic descriptions, the book holds your attention and rarely feels as if it is dragging, despite being over 700 pages long
The titular Adam Caine is often at the heart of things, and it’s his delineation which will ultimately split audiences. Pushing the super-soldier angle a little too hard without initial reasoning, Caine seems to repeatedly survive things which should kill him. While a likeable enough character, and hardly the only protagonist to show remarkable recuperative abilities, he would have benefited from a stronger backstory. The same might be said of the other characters in the book, few of whom are as well-established as one might wish.
A good, solid book then, but its flaws are apparent for all to see. Buy it if you like the concept, but don’t expect a masterpiece.