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Condemned

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Imagine waking up covered in blood. Without knowing where you are. Who you are. Hunted by a team of the deadliest soldiers in the galaxy. This is the nightmare Arigus Vanes faces. Arigus has no idea who he is or what happened when he wakes up at the site of gruesome murders. Government Enforcers storm in, and he flees for his life.


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Imagine waking up covered in blood. Without knowing where you are. Who you are. Hunted by a team of the deadliest soldiers in the galaxy. This is the nightmare Arigus Vanes faces. Arigus has no idea who he is or what happened when he wakes up at the site of gruesome murders. Government Enforcers storm in, and he flees for his life.

39 review for Condemned

  1. 4 out of 5

    K.A. Krisko

    Action, action, action! Wow. If you want non-stop action, all the way through, this sci-fi book is for you. It plunges you into the action with the first sentence and from there on out it’s basically one big running superhero fight. The characters are basically mighty-men types in advanced costumes who can smash through walls, doors, withstand laser hits, survive being run over, jump from tall buildings, and repair themselves. The book reads like an extended, detailed description of a graphic no Action, action, action! Wow. If you want non-stop action, all the way through, this sci-fi book is for you. It plunges you into the action with the first sentence and from there on out it’s basically one big running superhero fight. The characters are basically mighty-men types in advanced costumes who can smash through walls, doors, withstand laser hits, survive being run over, jump from tall buildings, and repair themselves. The book reads like an extended, detailed description of a graphic novel, complete with sound effects (“Thunk. Thunk.” “Thud. Thud.” “Boom. Boom”). There are short, choppy, often incomplete sentences to add to the sense of urgency. There are good, detailed descriptions of suits of armor and battle scenes ranging from street fights to otherworldly super-tech clashes. There’s a mystery character or two whose backgrounds aren’t revealed until the end. The writing is generally good and appropriate for the subject matter (think dystopian urban corrupt double-crossing super-technology planet). Unfortunately, I was totally lost the whole way through the book. Most of the time I had no idea who anybody was, what they were doing, where they were at, what the society was like, what the planet was like, why things are the way they are...they appeared to have fallen into some sort of an underworld. The guy didn’t know who he was, I got that much. There was a woman who seemed to have adopted him on sight, along with her robot slave. The description of the environment, though, was limited to specific buildings and objects; I didn’t even realize the underground was actually underground for a long time. Part of this is undoubtedly due to the amnesia of the main character, and you certainly feel as lost as he probably does, so in one way it’s a good technique. I’m at a loss as to how to rate this. It’s well-written, as far as the descriptions of armor and battle scenes go, but the lack of place, the lack of history, never resolved. I know this book wasn’t aimed at me; I’m a middle-aged woman, and this was obviously written for a young male audience who enjoys graphic-novel-type action and super-tech characters, and I’m trying to look at it from that standpoint. If you want to read non-stop action, battle scenes, gore, without worrying too much about who is who, what the background is, or whether anyone is going to survive, this is for you, and you’ll really enjoy it. It’s really good that way, impressively detailed, in fact. And I did get to like Arigus (main character) by the end and care about him, although the rest - less so. There’s undoubtedly a richly-imagined and complete universe behind this, and we get to see glimpses of it - but not a lot of it. This would be good as part of a series where you’re introduced first to the rest of the universe - or perhaps, as a script for a graphic novel.

  2. 4 out of 5

    S.R. Howen

    Condemned Book One of the Deus Ex Machina Series By Eric Dulin, drops the reader into the future at an undetermined time, when humanity has expanded beyond earth. Clearly from page one, all is not right with the universe. There are wars, and the population is divided between the have’s of the Overworld, and the various degrees of have not’s in the Undercroft. The story is hard broiled SciFi, with advanced weapons, androids, spaceships, and Orwellian type politics and government. We are introduce Condemned Book One of the Deus Ex Machina Series By Eric Dulin, drops the reader into the future at an undetermined time, when humanity has expanded beyond earth. Clearly from page one, all is not right with the universe. There are wars, and the population is divided between the have’s of the Overworld, and the various degrees of have not’s in the Undercroft. The story is hard broiled SciFi, with advanced weapons, androids, spaceships, and Orwellian type politics and government. We are introduced to Bannon, a down and, almost out, soldier who has lost his family, but is pressed back into service. Next up, we meet, Arigus—on first meeting the reader doesn’t know if he is a good guy or a bad guy, he seems more machine than human, but that may just be his lost memories. The two are on a collision course. With a cast of characters that surround them, both good and bad, as they choose sides. Arigus comes face to face with who he is, his mother, and his brothers, all of them involved with who he really is. The story is action packed from the start. You hit the ground running, with fantastic battle after battle, immersing you, in the best way, showing, in the battles and the world that the author has created. It’s a breathless run from start to finish, even if many of the situations and plot points are cliché. The author understands how to show, doesn’t info dump, which is very easy to do in SciFi and Fantasy. At times, this made this reader frown as she read, but the answers were given as the story went on, and the deeper the reader got, the more the world the author created was understood. The ending clearly left an opening for the second book, In the first few pages of the book, the lead in and the prologue, this reader thought the book would rate 4 or even 4.5 stars, but as I went on, I settled on a solid 3, sometimes a 2 in the way the words were used. There were careless errors, that detracted and distracted from the story. Your and you’re used interchangeably, a few other word usage errors. Head hopping mid-scene, that made the reader go back and reread to figure out who was thinking what. And an over use of as, that often times made the order of things impossible, an indication that things happened at the same time when they couldn't work that way, so many uses of as that it became a distraction. Despite the errors, I still enjoyed the book. I never felt that I didn’t want to finish it, though fixing the issues would make the ride a bit more comfortable. I decided on 3 stars for the plot, the action, and the world created.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Allie Cresswell

    Welcome to the dark and violent world of Korscia, where despotic and sometimes competing military and political forces hold sway above ground, and criminality rules in the Undercroft – the subterranean resort of surplus population, gangs and hoodlums, the poor and the downtrodden. Arigus wakes up in the roughest sector of the Undercroft with no memory of anything beforehand, and sets out to discover who he is and the source of the disturbing flash-backs which occasionally come unbidden to his min Welcome to the dark and violent world of Korscia, where despotic and sometimes competing military and political forces hold sway above ground, and criminality rules in the Undercroft – the subterranean resort of surplus population, gangs and hoodlums, the poor and the downtrodden. Arigus wakes up in the roughest sector of the Undercroft with no memory of anything beforehand, and sets out to discover who he is and the source of the disturbing flash-backs which occasionally come unbidden to his mind. He has only two advantages in this hostile environment. One is an amazing suit, at once defensive and offensive; a complex arrangement of shields and self-repairing cells, powerful weaponry and computerised wizardry. The second is simply this: he’s a really nice guy; fast, athletic, courageous, good-looking – yes, all of those, but also self-effacing, kind, polite and honest. In the relentless onslaught of fighting and destruction it was him – and only him – which kept me going. His suit – and I am afraid I could hardly get a clear understanding of it, or, as the story progressed, where the suit ended and Arigus began – is only one element in this author’s panoply of futuristic technological innovations for which he has created names and functions which he seems to think are self-explanatory; perhaps to a younger audience, they are, but they largely went over my head. This is a whole new world. If you like the idea of the universe started again and invented from scratch, then you’ll like this. It isn’t pretty, but it’s different. I found it very hard to grasp an understanding of the political powers at play. Several different factions needed Arigus to be caught, or to escape, or to lead them to something important, or to destroy that important thing. Some of them were in allegiance with each other, some of them were working alone. The pre-prologue and the prologue didn’t help me, neither did the introduction of characters halfway through who suddenly seemed to have some involvement in the situation, with names as nebulous as their roles: phantom, ghost. But while the framing of the story isn’t well realised, and some of the technology isn’t fully explained, what was expounded in blow-by blow detail was the fighting. Every punch and wound, each roll and kick was described in forensic detail. The story reads like a computer role play game on paper as one battle morphs into the next, different opponents clashing with bodies and weapons, with the carnage you would expect as a result also graphically described. If you like that, you’re going to love this. I found the language to be staccato in style, especially the speech of Sapphire, Arigus’ love interest, whose dialogue was a pidgin-latino-hood hybrid I found hard to get along with. The italicised sections of ‘thought’ also sat uncomfortably with me. Some of the verb tenses were awkward; ‘shined’ instead of ‘shone’, ‘grinded’ instead of ‘ground’. Yes, this novel needs some polishing, but it seems churlish to mention this at all when you consider that the author of this book is only eighteen years of age. He has evolved a concept and got it down on the page, something many writers take a lifetime to achieve. Three stars for that alone.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hock Tjoa

    This is an action-packed story and shows much work in sequencing the scenes and in polishing the language. There are many who would argue that the amnesiac main character (Total Recall, Wolverine, Jason Bourne, etc.) is an overused device; in this story there could have been an argument made for it if only there were a stronger plot. I don't think having the MC regret what he remembers of what he has done is particularly useful. I believe also that the novel needs an editorial edit to make the sto This is an action-packed story and shows much work in sequencing the scenes and in polishing the language. There are many who would argue that the amnesiac main character (Total Recall, Wolverine, Jason Bourne, etc.) is an overused device; in this story there could have been an argument made for it if only there were a stronger plot. I don't think having the MC regret what he remembers of what he has done is particularly useful. I believe also that the novel needs an editorial edit to make the story line clearer. For instance, the early scenes have bewildering references to "spores" (the "volley of spores eviscerated men and bug alike") about which we learn nothing more. It seems reasonable that they do not appear again; but why do they appear at all in the first place? Then towards the end, when the MC hears from his "mother" about his own origin together with that of Alpha and Omega as the culmination of the process to make the best combination of man and machine, it is entirely unclear how/why Alpha and Omega appear as commentators on the action from "above the fray." Furthermore, the writing appears to need the literary equivalent of a "dialect coach" for much of the language problem consists of the use of a plausible but wrong word; "trying to sedate [quench?] the unending thirst of the flames," something taking the "blunt [brunt?] of the impact," the main character thanking someone for "your gratitude [hospitality?]" in chapter 2, an android's comment on the MC's work that "only prodigal [prodigious] humans can work on such complicated encryptions." There is an overwhelming number of similar instances. I am reminded of a scene in a movie in which an European dismisses an American complaint as a "large" deal when he means to say "big" deal. No dictionary is going to tell you the difference.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jonel

    This was a very fast paced, phenomenally well written novel. Dulin creates a world that is so well developed you can’t help but picture it. I feel like I’ve been there. The author describes everything in such vivid detail and clarity that you can envision the novel in its entirety. Everything becomes quite lifelike. The storyline itself is also very well developed and exceedingly well put together. He took the notion of AI to an entirely new level with his very unique take on it. His AI ‘machine This was a very fast paced, phenomenally well written novel. Dulin creates a world that is so well developed you can’t help but picture it. I feel like I’ve been there. The author describes everything in such vivid detail and clarity that you can envision the novel in its entirety. Everything becomes quite lifelike. The storyline itself is also very well developed and exceedingly well put together. He took the notion of AI to an entirely new level with his very unique take on it. His AI ‘machines’ are so lifelike that it’s hard to fathom. Through them, this novel provides a complete and utter escape from reality as we know it. This unique cast of characters was quite well developed. Not only was this cast of characters unique as a whole, each individual was also unique within the novel. It was very interesting to see where each of these characters came from and how they all came together to be in their current situation. Some of them even have unique speech patterns that stay consistent throughout the novel. His characters also embrace the best and the worst of humanity, creating both hope and catastrophe. This novel was a brilliant introduction to Dulin’s new series. It draws you in, creating a picture that you can’t help but immerse yourself in. Although this novel is complete in and of itself (something unique for many series published recently), it also leaves you wanting to know more and travel further with these characters. Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Devon McAvoy

    I was recommended Condemned as written by a new young author. I appreciated that the book was a faced paced, action based, science fiction novel that took into account popular culture, technological advancements, and successful video games. I enjoyed the fact that the action was broken up by exploration into the universe the book is set in and some mild romance. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Classical Science Fiction (Hard Science Fiction) with parallels to Military Science Fic I was recommended Condemned as written by a new young author. I appreciated that the book was a faced paced, action based, science fiction novel that took into account popular culture, technological advancements, and successful video games. I enjoyed the fact that the action was broken up by exploration into the universe the book is set in and some mild romance. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Classical Science Fiction (Hard Science Fiction) with parallels to Military Science Fiction and Cyberpunk. As a great fan of video games such as the Crysis franchise and a member of the computer industry I enjoyed some of the parallels drawn from these great games and others like it. As well as research being done in the scientific community to make these "Dreams" possible. I would highly recommend this book to any one who watched anime in their youth or still does, or enjoys exploring the minds of video game developers in their spare time. I look forward to seeing more from this author, Eric Dulin, in the near future. -Arrorn- Devon R.K. McAvoy

  7. 4 out of 5

    Wayland Smith

    Condemned by Eric Dulin is an action-heavy science fiction story. There’s a great deal of combat, explosions, and various high tech weaponry. It’s a bit reminiscent of the Warhammer: Space Marines stories, featuring futuristic soldiers in powerful, weapon-studded combat armor. It’s a somewhat dystopian future, with corrupt government, lower class people walled off in essentially an underground ghetto, and power-mad people grasping for even more. The main characters are some spins on a few archet Condemned by Eric Dulin is an action-heavy science fiction story. There’s a great deal of combat, explosions, and various high tech weaponry. It’s a bit reminiscent of the Warhammer: Space Marines stories, featuring futuristic soldiers in powerful, weapon-studded combat armor. It’s a somewhat dystopian future, with corrupt government, lower class people walled off in essentially an underground ghetto, and power-mad people grasping for even more. The main characters are some spins on a few archetypes we’ve seen before: tough girl with a heart of gold, amnesiac hero, tough soldier pulled out of retirement for “this one last mission,” and a helpful android. The social system and government are interesting creations, and there’s a lot of potential in this story. Unfortunately, it reads more like a first draft than a finished novel. There are a great many language problems throughout the book, including words being used incorrectly, sometimes so jarringly they pull you completely out of the story. I thought I had missed something when a character was described as pulling her arms out of their sockets, but it was a poorly worded description of her taking off a suit. Much of the text is in sentence fragments. This works fine if you’re trying to convey how a character talks, but less so as parts of the descriptions and narrative. I’m an action fan, and have spent a lot of time reading such stories and watching them in movies and on television. The action here suffers from the above mentioned language issues, as well as some simply bad fight choreography. The number of opponents seems to change in some fights, and the flow of the fight is hard to follow on occasion. There are also a few too many similar names, especially ones that start with “A,” and it leads to some confusion at times. For a rating I am giving this book 2 stars. I think it could easily be three or maybe higher with some proper editing and a general tune up. Mr. Dulin has some interesting ideas, but they don’t quite emerge clearly here. This book is the beginning of a series, but I’d encourage the author to go back and rework this one before continuing

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    What if you woke up covered in blood and didn't know who you were, but discovered you were being chased by commandos. This story started off like a shot on this note and didn't stop. We meet Arigus Vanes who is being hunted as he pursues questions about his identity. He meets up with a small group of individuals who help him as he tries to stay one step ahead of the assassins. This outstanding, fast-paced story is set in a futuristic world and is filled with great fighting scenes. It is very acti What if you woke up covered in blood and didn't know who you were, but discovered you were being chased by commandos. This story started off like a shot on this note and didn't stop. We meet Arigus Vanes who is being hunted as he pursues questions about his identity. He meets up with a small group of individuals who help him as he tries to stay one step ahead of the assassins. This outstanding, fast-paced story is set in a futuristic world and is filled with great fighting scenes. It is very action-driven with a little romance thrown in. It takes many surprising twists and kept me guessing right up to the end. Many parts of the plot are not exactly as they seem. This really added to the complexity of the story. Frankly, I loved it. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves action-driven science fiction, such as the Star Wars novels.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kanwarpreet Grewal

    "Condemned" is a science fiction/fantasy story set in a futuristic world with advanced weapons, robots/machines and armor. The book reads like a graphic novel- there are long fight scenes with countless dead bodies and blood spattered all over. I found it very difficult to complete the book. I did not find the story interesting enough and had to skip over the several pages long fight scenes. The author should focus on building the characters and the technologically advanced world in which the sto "Condemned" is a science fiction/fantasy story set in a futuristic world with advanced weapons, robots/machines and armor. The book reads like a graphic novel- there are long fight scenes with countless dead bodies and blood spattered all over. I found it very difficult to complete the book. I did not find the story interesting enough and had to skip over the several pages long fight scenes. The author should focus on building the characters and the technologically advanced world in which the story takes place and maybe reduce the length of the fight scenes( and if possible decrease the number of dead people).

  10. 5 out of 5

    Choucku S

    I attend the same High School as the author, and when I learned he wrote a book, I figured I'd give it a shot. I am simply amazed at how well written and coordinated this book is. I originally had my bar fairly low, as I didn't think a student at a high school would be even remotely capable of writing a novel, but I was hooked the moment I read the first sentence. The story itself just draws you in, and action scenes make up so much of the book that it's essentially an action movie. I attend the same High School as the author, and when I learned he wrote a book, I figured I'd give it a shot. I am simply amazed at how well written and coordinated this book is. I originally had my bar fairly low, as I didn't think a student at a high school would be even remotely capable of writing a novel, but I was hooked the moment I read the first sentence. The story itself just draws you in, and action scenes make up so much of the book that it's essentially an action movie.

  11. 4 out of 5

    BJ Almeda

    first of all, Im not a fan of action and mystery book but this book is well written by Eric Dulin. It is action-packed and mysterious. It was so intriguing. The plot wasnt predictable. It was surprising and it can surely make you think what will happen next and you don't want the book to sit down because you are so captivated by it. Over-all, the book quenched my thirst of reading another genre of books, action and mystery. It was an awesome read. Can't wait for the sequel. first of all, Im not a fan of action and mystery book but this book is well written by Eric Dulin. It is action-packed and mysterious. It was so intriguing. The plot wasnt predictable. It was surprising and it can surely make you think what will happen next and you don't want the book to sit down because you are so captivated by it. Over-all, the book quenched my thirst of reading another genre of books, action and mystery. It was an awesome read. Can't wait for the sequel.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chris Van Kouwenberg

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Ohashi

  15. 4 out of 5

    Hamilton Stone

  16. 4 out of 5

    Naomi

  17. 4 out of 5

    Latoya

  18. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  19. 5 out of 5

    David

  20. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Miller

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amanda K

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nick Campbell

  23. 5 out of 5

    Eric Dulin

  24. 5 out of 5

    Miranda

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lu

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dana Balcom

  27. 5 out of 5

    Meinos Kaen

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bryce Fischer

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mommasaysread

  30. 5 out of 5

    Vardan Partamyan

  31. 5 out of 5

    Elise

  32. 5 out of 5

    Ty Wilson

  33. 4 out of 5

    Nancy (The Avid Reader)

  34. 5 out of 5

    Mike Metzler

  35. 5 out of 5

    Hazel *Craves the Angst Reviews*

  36. 4 out of 5

    ♥Scout Paige♥

  37. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

  38. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

  39. 4 out of 5

    Holly

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