Monday, 5 June 2017

Day Moon by Brett Armstrong

Day Moon (Tomorrow’s Edge Book 1)
By:  Brett Armstrong
Publish Date:  March 26, 2017
Published By:  Clean Reads
Genre:  Young Adult, Futurist, Fantasy, Christian
Pages:  389 Kindle
Source:  Ultimate Fantasy Books
In A.D. 2039, a prodigious seventeen year old, Elliott, is assigned to work on a global software initiative his deceased grandfather helped found. Project Alexandria is intended to provide the entire world secure and equal access to all accumulated human knowledge. All forms of print are destroyed in good faith, to ensure everyone has equal footing, and Elliott knows he must soon part with his final treasure: a book of Shakespeare's complete works gifted him by his grandfather.

Before it is destroyed, Elliott notices something is amiss with the book, or rather Project Alexandria. The two do not match, including an extra sonnet titled "Day Moon". When Elliott investigates, he uncovers far more than he bargained for. There are sinister forces backing Project Alexandria who have no intention of using it for its public purpose.

Elliott soon finds himself on the run from federal authorities and facing betrayals and deceit from those closest to him. Following clues left by his grandfather, with agents close at hand, Elliott desperately hopes to find a way to stop Project Alexandria. All of history past and yet to be depends on it. 
Right away I get the horrible feeling that I’m looking at a very near future scenario that I definitely do not like. Physical books are being done away with by powers that be after being entered into an online repository. Then I realize that this is actually sort of happening to me right now as I haven’t read a physical book for probably two or three years. On one hand it’s great not having to lug heavy hard copy around but where is this possibly leading us?

In Elliott’s slightly future forward world we discover to a not very good or even safe place that is subject to manipulation by those that hold the keys of control to such online repositories. At the moment it seems impossible that our currently self/boutique-published works and even the vast world literature on the incredible Project Gutenberg digital library might ever see such a fate, but reading Day Moon has made me wonder.

After realizing the gift his grandfather left him on his passing is more than just a revered Shakespearean tome, Elliott, John and Lara somehow are forced together to embark on a dangerous and mysterious trail of clues on the road to finding the truth about Project Alexandria. We see themes of near future technology, cyber security, secret codes, mysterious clues, upper level forces that are orchestrating lives in the background, and faith. I thought the idea of electromagnetically controlled mostly self-driving cars fascinating though pretty awful, but then I’m a rebelliously independent type who dislikes even just the digitization of cars.

Elliott and Lara begin a sweet relationship that nevertheless is not all smooth sailing, especially as they are besieged by dangers from the beginning that bring on suspicion and distrust. Lara has a mind of her own but is by nature very supportive.

There were a couple of good twists that I didn’t see coming that take the story down some unexpected paths.  The pacing of the story is very even and while the ending leaves us at the bridge to book II, I didn’t feel wrung out to dry, but hopeful for Elliott’s continued quest. He’s pretty brave and at least willing to take a stand against what he sees as wrong-doing even if it pits him against powerful forces.

Overall I found book 1 in the series very intriguing, if somewhat too even-headed in writing style/pace, but readers will relish Day Moon for its near future scenarios that pinpoint pitfalls of what may be coming our way if we don’t pay attention. A great clean read. 4.4 stars!
From an early age Brett Armstrong had a love for literature and history. At age nine he combined the two for his first time in a short story set in the last days of the Aztec Empire. After that, writing’s role in his life waxed and waned periodically, always a dream on the horizon, till he reached college. At West Virginia University he entered the Computer Engineering program and spent two years pursuing that degree before an opportunity to take a creative writing class for fun came along. It was so enjoyable he took another and in that course he discovered two things. The first was the plot for a short story called Destitutio Quod Remissio, which the others students really seemed to love. The second, he realized he absolutely loved writing. For him, it was like the proverbial light bulb coming on. In the years since, describing that epiphany has been difficult for him but he found the words of 1924 Olympian Eric Liddell are the most eloquent expression for it: “God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” God gave Brett a passion for writing, and so feels His pleasure when writing.

After a few years passed, Brett got his Computer Engineering degree, but also completed a minor in each of his real passions: history and creative writing. In 2013, he began graduate school to earn an MA in Creative Writing. During that time he completed the novelization of Destitutio Quod Remissio and entered the 2013-2014 CrossBooks Writing Contest, which won the contest's grand prize. As of March 2015, Brett completed his MA and is presently employed in the West Virginia Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology as a programmer analyst.

Brett lives in Saint Albans, West Virginia, with his beautiful wife, Shelly. In the summer the pair garden together, and each day Brett continues writing his next novel.