Book Review: The McKenzie Files by Barry Nelson

5273619Title: The McKenzie Files
Author: Barry Nelson
Genre: Science-Fiction, Adventure
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Createspace, Amazon, B&N

The first book in the series introduces Colin McKenzie, Diane Christy, and Kelly Lytton. Genetically engineered human weapons known as Reploids. Given powerful psionic based abilities they fight to defend the Human empire of colony planets, The United Protectorate, against the invading alien enemy, the Brelac. But can they stop the Brelac from creating a super weapon capable of bringing the Protectorate to it’s knees?

 I had a bit of trouble getting into this book at first. I always have that with science-fiction though. Since most of these books are set in the distant future, thousands of years have passed and the world has completely changed.In The McKenzie Files, it’s no different. A lot has changed for earth and humanity. Earth was taken over by a virus named Pandora Simplex that greatly diminished its population, and the survivors were forced to turn to a deep space development program that could possibly save the human race. The surviving population embarked on a journey to find a new home. They founded the United Protectorate, a colony in outer space, one of the last remnants of human civilization. On one of the planets in the United Protectorate  lives Colin Mckenzie, the main character of this series. Colin is a soldier fighting against the Brelac, but he’s not exactly human. He’s a second-generation Reploid with powerful abilities and an undying desire to kill Brelac.

But things are more complicated than they seem at first. Colin is captured and re-programmed to serve the Brelacs, instead of destroying them. A powerful weapon is forged in an unforeseen alliance, and the future of the United Protectorate is at stake.

Set in this science-fiction world, Colin is actually a very complicated character. He goes through a myriad of ever-changing emotions. He’s a clone, a Reploid, but he’s unaware of that, at least at first. I liked his personality. He’s a natural-born leader but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t doubt himself sometimes. He’s intelligent and strong and just the right amount of stubborn.

What really impressed me though was the setting. The futuristic world author Barry Nelson has created, is simply amazing. It’s so complicated, with so many parties at play, from the Protectorate to the Brelac to the Vendetta, and the main characters all stuck in the middle of that. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the world better, reading more about the colonies, space ships and the alien races, clones and weapons.

I enjoyed The McKenzie Files. The story was a bit confusing at first with the switching POVs, but I quickly got the hang of it. I liked the characters, the setting and of course, the action. This book is nothing if not suspenseful. It actually reads pretty much like a movie. Some of the descriptions are so vivid that I could picture the scenes happening right in front of me.


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