My rating: 4 of 5 stars
There is never a dull moment in this first book of Steven Lochran’s Vanguard Prime series. From the outset, as Sam Lee is dropped off by his parents to join the ranks of Vanguard Prime as its youngest-ever member, we know we are in for a ride and a half. We get to know Sam, piece by piece, and little by little we understand he is a reluctant recruit, totally overwhelmed by the prospect of being “Goldrush” and in the company of his childhood idols, Agent Alpha and Gaia. Sam’s superpower is supersonic speed, but he tries very hard to avoid using it because of a horrific event in his recent past.
We follow Sam as he becomes Goldrush and learns what is expected of him as a member of Vanguard Prime. Lochran gives us great details here, and the sequence where Sam learns what NOT to do with his uniform brought a smile and a chuckle to my face.
The book switches between following Sam, and following those around him. This takes a little getting used to, but by chapter four I had my had around it.
There are villains too (of course) and Cronus and The Overman are formidable ones. When they escape from “The Gallery” all hell breaks loose and Goldrush and the rest of the Vanguard Prime team are in a fight to the death for control of the planet.
Along the way we discover some really cool superpowers. Machina, shaping up to be a close mate to Goldrush, can manipulate electronic devices; Gaia, who can control the elements; Agent Alpha, who can channel energy and is able to fly and heal himself quickly. These are some awesome superheroes, up against some truly scary villains. I will not post spoilers, except to say that there is an epic conflict in the closing stages of this book and there IS a second (and I believe a third) book in the series. You can take what you will from that. A terrific SciFi/Fantasy series from an Aussie author who clearly has many more stories to bring us. Can’t wait to read Book #2, Wild Card. Review to be posted soon.