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A Question of Will (volume 1) by Alex Albrinck was my first read of June. The story follows Will Stark: father, husband, and entrepreneur. Told from both Will and his foe’s perspectives, we learn about the ancient order of the Aliomenti and their plans for any who seek to betray them.
The story begins in 2030, with Will having built up his own empire from nothing. Time travel is a feature that comes later in the book, taking Will all the way to the year 2219. There, we learn more about the Aliomenti’s insidious plans for the world. Should someone desecrate one or all of the ancient order’s sacred oaths, they are sentenced to death, or much worse.
The story flowed well, though at times I had to pause and re-read a sentence, in order to get a grip on the time and location. There were many interesting twists and turns that I didn’t see coming, keeping me reading. There are ancient secrets at work: elite groups having exclusive access to secret technology and supernatural abilities, all hidden from ordinary people. Luckily, an Alliance has formed to slowly bring these powers to the rest of humankind, while fighting the cruel Aliomenti.
Protagonist: Will Stark
Will’s sense of decency toward his fellow people is refreshing. It is soon evident that he is willing to risk anything for the good of mankind. he is a strong, compassionate character that also admits to his own faults.
I found it particularly admirable that despite a neglected childhood and terrible parents, Will vows never to be like them, adopting a different approach to life, which leads to his eventual success.
Villains: The Aliomenti
The lead members of the Aliomenti: three hunters, one key assassin, and their leader are all callous individuals with a clear distaste for humankind. I instantly hated their narcissism, the very notion that they are the most important beings on the planet due to their abilities seeming laughable when I considered their growing arrogance.
They dismiss their vile actions as being necessary for the ‘greater good,’ but good for who, I found myself asking. All they served was to further their own wealth, power, control, and self-importance.
Quick note on Time Travel
I thought I’d add a quick note on the time travel used in the book. Time travel is included in the later half of the story. Using nano-technology, members of the Alliance are able to create many cool inventions, such as shape-shifting buildings, air-ships, and more.
The sheer imagination being displayed here had me in awe.
When reading a new book, I often pick out what I feel to be memorable quotes, relative to our modern lives. In A Question of Will, I found many such quotes. It was hard to pick just one to showcase but I finally settled on the following.
‘Sometimes, the easiest thing to do, the emotional response, is exactly the wrong thing to do.’
So often now, especially when using the internet, people seem to feel compelled to share their initial emotional reactions to things, no matter how much pain they leave in their wake. I’ve been guilty of this, as I’m sure we all have at some point or another. Hey, we’re only human, after all.
However, I think it’s crucial that we catch ourselves in the act because if we carry on reacting immediately, I fear that we do more harm than good.
A Question of Will explored one man’s journey from losing everything he held dear, to becoming a true force for good in the world. I couldn’t stop reading and would recommend this series to fans of science fiction and action thrillers.
I’m rating this 5 stars.