Origins: Centurion’s Rise
Centurions Rise is book two in a fantastic historical fiction series written by hot new author Mark Henrikson. I picked up this series on book two and was immediately caught up in the fantastic action and epic story-line. This amazing book takes us back to the ongoing the battle between two Alien species; the Novi and the Alphas each of whom are trapped on planet earth. The Novi strive to move humanity forward in an effort to reach their home world deeper in the galaxy but are battling the Alpha who are looking to do the same but in their own way while thwarting the Novi. The Novi are looking to bring a balance for humanity while the Alpha; a dog like species are looking for control and each have their own unique powers and abilities. In this book of the series, Novi leader Hastelloy, is in a mental institution and recounts him and his crew’s missions and experiences over the last few thousand years while trapped on earth to his therapist whose brother, an NSA agent, is searching for the aliens.
Centurions Rise takes the reader through some of the biggest events in human history and Henrikson breathlessly moves through them while bringing us right into the middle of events we have only read about in history books. He offers a very thorough and detailed description of how these events unravel in the lives of his character. What events you ask? Well…the rise and fall of Gaius Julius Caesar for one. The epic story of Mark Antony and Cleopatra is there as well. The end all be all of stories, the rise and death of Jesus Christ and the birth of Christianity is there also. These are retold by Novi leader Hastelloy, as he explains how his Novi crew had a hand in and influenced these epic human events. At one point in the story Hastelloy is none other than Marcus Brutus; famous murderer of Julius Caesar.
Through Henrikson’s imagination and keen knowledge of history we see an interesting and often plausible retelling of historical events which are guided by beings not of this world. I had trouble putting this book and down although I am notorious for slow reading I finished this book rather quickly. The plots twist and turns and fabulous storytelling kept me going. By the end of the book I was excited to start the next book in the series (Origins: Reformation) and already picked it up using my Amazon Prime.
One of the things I keep asking myself is who are the good guys when it comes to the Aliens? The Alphas or the Novi? I am still not sure so far and that is one of the things that keeps me reading besides the history. Is the man behind the curtain good or evil? While reading the book there were certain things that made me reflect on our modern day world and current events which I wasn’t expecting and loved. This book really sets the stage rather well for what will happen in the next and future books.
This is one of the rare books I would highly suggest for anyone who likes science fiction, #sciencefaction, alternative history or just good old fashioned dramatic fiction.
My only complaint about the book is at times the story felt like it was lagging and taking too long to progress in certain parts. However, the rich attention to details and history made it totally worthwhile when it was all said and done. Also, once I realized it was coming I was wondering how Henrikson would handle the life and death of Jesus. I thought the way he did it was interesting, plausible (in context of the story) and non-offensive. I think he accomplish writing about a touchy subject with grace and tact while keeping it interesting and decently paced. However, some people of a particular religious nature may take offence at the subject even being broached. To them I would say: The story you need to believe in hasn’t changed. Just give it a chance and enjoy a fun read.
Here are some of my favorite lines from the book
“Elected officials in a democracy must represent out of duty and dedication to the state and the greater good of the people.” – Hastelloy
“We cannot just tell people that everything they believe and base their life on is a lie. If anything that will only entrench their belief system further since they feel it is under attack and must be defended.” Nero Tonwen (a Novi)
“Drinks and twats are on me tonight my dear.” – Tomal
“As he moved along the path he noted the journey was much easier with the oppressive weight of his burden lifted off his shoulders by the man dying on the cross for his benefit.” – Simon
“The self-destructive behavior of pushing everyone away suggests your subconscious is punishing you. Part of you may still think the act of moving on with your life is a betrayal of the person you are leaving behind”. Jeffrey the therapist. ( This quote hits home since I still feel guilt everyday about losing my dog Harley)