Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“The world will remember this day. Decisions made by your leaders are not without consequence. This is just the beginning.”
I really enjoyed this book! As heavy as this one can be in parts, it’s such a detailed book with an ending that’s incredibly rewarding. With such great characters and a plot you can almost get involved with on a personal level, this book has a lot to offer a range of readers and fans of many genres. A strong four star read for me!
Humanity is under siege, simultaneous attacks of unknown origin against government leaders around the world have shaken society to its core. Foundations such as democracy, rule of law, and long-held alliances will be tested in this stark new reality. This story follows America on its path to take on this never-before-seen global calamity. Beginning with deciding how to rapidly address the vacuum of power to be ready to take action and also bring the culprits responsible for the heinous attacks to justice. The task may be insurmountable as the responsible party possesses unheard of technology, implying the events are otherworldly.
Dante’s love for dogs was the first thing that really made me love this main character. (Because how can anyone not love dogs?!) With such fantastic character description early on, we get to learn so much about Dante and his life, which really sets the reader up for what’s to come. He works for a space exploration start-up which sounded cool enough in itself, but when a new opportunity arises, we get even more of a surprise. The introduction to the story was nice and after the first chapter, I felt like I’d known Dante all my life! However, things suddenly turn a bit dark which sold this story for me completely. The way things changed so quickly was enough to keep any reader hooked and I was sat wondering what on Earth was about to happen. With worries of a global act of terrorism, panic sets in for the country and it was at this moment when I knew we were about to experience one hell of a story.
After applying to become a new leader of his country on a whim, he didn’t expect to actually get this role in a million years. What has Dante got himself in for?! After a brief meeting with the other successful candidates, they’re thrown straight into the deep end and told to prep for a press conference. It was good getting to know these other characters and my mind was quickly filling with potential directions for the story to explore. The book flows rather quickly in parts and more slowly in others, but I feel the author has managed to include all the essential details and ensure his readers can follow what is happening. So far, so good! Throughout all this however, my mind was still transfixed on what we saw in that detailed first chapter, and just how the theme of terrorism will be explored throughout the book.
It quickly becomes apparent just how important Dante’s new role is as one of the Archons. Maintaining the security of the country would be no easy feat, but I enjoyed seeing how all their plans began to come together. Reports of a chemical or biological attack sparked worry across the board and it was up to the Archons to understand and fix what had happened which was turning into quite an exciting journey. The mystery elements in this book became so interesting and I loved trying to solve these in my own head before the characters had a stab at them! Dante’s first important mission was to visit the Prime Minister in Canada, and even though Dante’s trip is successful, the journey of one of his fellow Archons had been jeopardised. As shocking as this was, the cliffhanger at the end of this particular chapter was just too much! Why do I secretly love things like this?!
“Congratulations on becoming one of the five new leaders of the country, America’s future is now in your hands.”
Danger begins to escalate and the excitement continues to build. The Archons begin to get much more than they bargained for as they work together to solve a number of problems that arise. I liked the author’s attention to detail and just how much he’s made his readers connect with each character, and I liked how each character had their own unique personality. Dante is a brilliant character and it was particularly interesting to travel this journey with him, think his thoughts and see how his decisions and actions play out for the greater good. The beginning of the book was strong and really set us up for what was to come. Just how much more dangerous could things get? Have we even seen the worst of it yet? Thinking up possibilities for the direction of the story in the middle of the book, as well as for the five Archons was rather fun!
Things begin to get much more political as we get further into the book and the Archons continue to face trouble. With the number of protests growing and certain presidents around the world refusing to cooperate with the Archons’ plans, the leaders would have to think outside the box to make things work. I admired how the Archons worked together as a team, always looked out for one another and shared their views and ideas to overcome their problems, and this really made their bond secure in my eyes. It was enjoyable to read about their journey, but as things heat up, the story does get a bit heavy (drink the coffee and make sure you stay alert while reading!) I don’t necessarily think this is a negative as I’ve read a few books recently needing the same amount of reading concentration, but just something for readers to be aware of before picking up this book!
A mysterious substance kept cropping up in the book which was a huge problem – were the Archons being targeted? The leaders must watch their backs as they carry out a serious cyber attack, and I was really worried for what might happen as a result! The book continues to surprise and intrigue the reader throughout and there doesn’t seem to be a dull moment. I found myself always wanting to know what was coming next and just how the team would work together to execute their plans or to create new ones. I loved the danger and the mystery surrounding the middle of the book and I secretly didn’t want it to end! The reader continues to be involved in the story, almost as if we’re a silent sixth member of the Archon leaders. I think any book that manages to draw you in so much you lose track of time is something very special – the author has done a great job!
Dante becomes overwhelmed with new responsibilities and the stress of his role, but he’s determined to keep at it to really make a difference to his country alongside the rest of the Archons. The mystery of the unknown substance is explored further, and how the characters did their detective work made for some real great reading. There’s such a wide range of genres neatly packed into this book and I really think it makes this story well suited to so many readers. There was a particular part of the story where Dante and the rest of the Archons discussed their plans, and it was interesting to see how their plans were supported (or not) by the other members of the group, and their reasons for each decision. Things began to get more exciting for Dante as he gets the go ahead for his visions for the country, but I couldn’t help but wonder if there would be any consequences to his actions. There was a good pace in the story at this point and it was particularly difficult to take a break!
“Solidarity can be found within chaos, if one only knows where to look.”
The story is very involving throughout the middle of the book and as a reader, we’re given an intense inside look into these leaders’ minds and their motives. I found myself nodding in agreement to some of their decisions almost making me think I was running the country along with these guys! With so much left to uncover, what would the future look like with these new measures in place? Would all countries be willing to work alongside each other as allies, or would there be more attacks due to further disagreements? What will the fate of humanity be? It’s evident that the leaders have gone through so much on their journey – from the worry of a world with no control or order, to the satisfied feeling of knowing they’ve contributed to the good of the world. With so many thoughts about how the ending of the book could go, I was looking forward to seeing whether any of my own predictions were correct!
There’s an unexpected visit from the Chinese and Russian ambassadors to the United States, and they’re far from happy. With alarming news of potential military conflict, the Archons need to deal with this attack in a way that suits everyone, which is no easy task. With so many countries to please, I wondered how on Earth things were going to be put right, and the Archons have quite the task on their hands! Would there be more unplanned attacks? With such powerful countries coming to the Archons for help, it was crucial they all worked together to diffuse the situation. The story was getting more exciting and I wondered whether the leaders could settle this dispute. What would happen if things got out of hand? With how the Archons dealt with issues up to this point, I was confident they’d make the right decisions collectively.
A shocking phone call soon changes everything – I loved how unexpected this was! A potential security breach sparks worry for the Archons and made them question a lot of things. I was left wondering if there was much more to this than meets the eye, and I was excited for the characters to explore this further. I admired how the author puts such a spin on the story and makes us think about so much as a result. This sent my imagination into overdrive! With the reader’s attention well and truly captured here, I felt the author had really found his niche. What more could the Archon’s possibly encounter? How would they react to a security breech and ensure the nation and their team of leaders stayed safe? The ending of the book was a nail-biting experience which had not only been written extremely well, but also captured my attention and held it there!
The Archons receive some heart stopping news which made my jaw drop in horror. The ending of the book was quickly turning into a collection of some of the most action-packed scenes from across the world, which were about to create one hell of a job for the group of leaders. There are serious threats from France which made me worried for the leaders and the rest of the country, and it created such an on-the-edge-of-your-seat type reading experience. With things becoming so heated this late on in the book, I could only imagine what book two of this series would be like! The Archons dealt with everything so well, bringing countries together and engaging in further plans and discussions for the safety of humanity. Again, things get heavy, but the story is really rewarding if you stick with it!
“When the threat of war against a formidable foe is on the table, all options must be considered, even if it means that we must swallow our pride.”
The ending of the book sets us up nicely for book two. We learn some crucial information about the mysterious substance, see more missiles fired and witness one incredible scene which leaves the leaders speechless. How much more would they have to endure? Can they ensure the safety of humanity or is this beyond their control? It was a pretty explosive ending which really caught my full attention and kept me hanging on every word. Everything the Archons experienced so far in their roles set them up for an experience such as this and it was remarkable seeing these coming together in times of need. Such a great, captivating ending to the book, with something far from human making an appearance…get me book two already!
An explosive first book in the Humanity’s Gauntlet series! This story shows exactly what a good team of leaders can do when working together, and is filled with action packed scenes and gripping dialogue to keep you invested from chapter one. I think it would be particularly difficult not to get attached to the group of characters in this book as they attempt to keep the world under control, and we get such an impressive surprise at the end which made me desperate for book two. A really detailed story with gripping twists and turns that will keep you guessing. I’d recommend this one for action and sci-fi lovers!
Huge thanks to the author, Brian A. Sieteski, for my copy of this book to read and review! You can purchase your own copy of The Archons Rise (Humanity’s Gauntlet Book 1) on Amazon, available on Kindle and in paperback. You can follow the author over on Instagram for more updates!