Blue Into the Rip by Kev Heritage is the first in a series of books (at least two) planned by the author. It tells the story of Blue, a teen literally ripped from his own time to a time several hundred years into the future when Earth’s environment is not nearly so hospitable as now.
When he arrives in 2454, he finds himself forcibly drafted into the Earth Corps Academy, a military training organization which is run with a mostly-iron fist by Commander Dauntless (yes, Dauntless). Blue is assigned to Saturn Squad, a group of misfits who aren’t expected to amount to much, and all Blue cares about is trying to get back to his own time. Dauntless tells him that won’t ever happen, and this provides a major part of the conflict throughout the book.
The author frequently uses an unconventional method of paragraph construction involving sentence fragments (for example, “A tiny footprint on the ground, glowing through the thin foliage.” from the prologue). This made it more difficult for me to immerse myself in the story because my inner editor kept yanking me out whenever I ran across one of those fragments. I think I got used to it after a while, though, because I noticed them less as I got further into the story.
Heritage also liked to harp on global warming a lot, and it got a little annoying at times. This can be forgiven a bit because a dystopian future is the setting of the story. Thankfully, he didn’t get into preaching mode too often.
The plot has multiple layers and twists which actually work, something refreshing in a self-published work. Heritage does a good job leading you down one path only to have you find out you should have been on another, so some of the twists aren’t immediately obvious. While many of the characters never got beyond two-dimensional, there was some character development which made this novel above average, but only by a little bit.
Overall, I enjoyed the story, and it kept me interested until the very end. I think the author has an unpolished knack for storytelling, and I think he will only improve if he keeps at it. Blue Into the Rip could be polished into a work a standard publisher would buy without too much effort and with the help of a good editor. It was a fun read.
Release Date: October 7, 2013 (USA)
Publisher: Kev Heritage
Language: 1 (a few scattered expletives)
Violence: 2 (monstrous animal attacks, assassination attempts, fisticuffs)
Review e-copy kindly provided by the author.