Contact – Mason Chronicles (Part 1) by Richard Jones

Contact by Rich Jones

two-stars
Contact follows a mysterious character called Mason as he assembles gifted people for an unexplained purpose. Each character he collects, drawn to him through a unique bond referred to as ‘the Contact’, serves a greater purpose. For me, it had a strong sense of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, where Roland draws the Three and travels to the great city to board the train.

 

While each of the characters who accompany Mason is given a brief backstory, his own origin is not revealed. Tank, for me, was the best character and the only one who really broke the stereotypical mould of gun-toting action hero. He is a giant with the mind of a child, yet gifted with an almost instinctual understanding of machinery which makes him indispensable to both his friends and the story.

 

The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting referred to simply as the ‘After’. It is clear that technology from the ‘Before’ was ahead of present day, leaving Mason with a bad-ass energy rifle and allowing dangerous encounters with hover tanks and sentinel robots. Otherwise, the world and story is much akin to Mad Max, The Book of Eli and many others within this genre.

 

The bad guys of the story, leather-clad Raiders, are a stereotypical bunch. Many of whom are given a cursory introduction to explain to the reader how bad they are, usually through rape. Their leader on the other hand is curious, his motivations and methods giving a certain intrigue to the plot.

 

Due to post-apocalyptic loss of knowledge there are several areas where the author attempts to describe a piece of technology to the reader. I can understand what the author is trying to achieve, but these moments are often tedious. The descriptions are often for mundane items such as escalators, a lighter and a train.

 

Another issue for me was where the author effectively repeats himself several times whilst describing a scene. There are entire paragraphs wholly dedicated to talking about how a yellow light illuminates a room or how large a door is, without progressing the story or adding anything extra to the scene.

 

Overall, it is apparent that this story requires a thorough proofread. Innumerable typos, missed or misplaced words, and improper punctuation was noted throughout:

 

“As the initial explosion echoed I to silence it, a burst of rapid gunfire followed.”

 

However, with a round of editing most of these nagging issues could be tidied up. Leaving the reader to enjoy what is essentially a rip-roaring action story with some strong characters and an enjoyable plot.

 

The first part of the Mason chronicles, unfortunately, is not a stand alone story. And, although it ends with a dramatic scene, there wasn’t a satisfying plot resolution. It also doesn’t address who Mason is, what his purpose is or generally what is going on. By the time the characters had reached the hub I felt I had just gotten into the story, only for it to have come crashing to a halt. I certainly believe there is strong potential here but it is a short piece that feels incomplete and lacks a rounded finish.

 

Contact, The Mason Chronicles Part 1 Book Cover Contact, The Mason Chronicles Part 1
The Mason Chronicles
Rich Jones
Fiction
Self-Published
March 2014
127

 

"No one knew what had happened to the world Before.
Or why.
Or how.
Only that what had been Before was now gone and all that was left was After.

Of course, none of that was Mason's concern at this moment. His concern was that of making contact."

The world was ruined long ago. How that happened, or why it did, is unknown to those who remain. Life has moved on and the apocalypse that created the world of After has forever altered the world. Mutations have occurred in all forms of life creating a new biosphere. Even the genealogy of man is now as unclear as the altered and burned atmosphere itself. Some men remain unchanged and as normal as the ancients from Before, while some have developed strange and wondrous abilities. Society has been reduced to small entities trying to carve out an existence in whatever way they can.

Now someone has decided that the destruction of the world has gone far enough. Unfortunately, that someone has chosen its Paladin, and he is not the Paladin sort. Mason never asked for the tasks that have been bestowed upon him to complete. Still he finds himself gathering others to his side. Each new 'Contact' leads him further down the path of correcting the wrongs of the world of After. Sometimes in little ways, and sometimes in ways beyond his understanding.
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“Part 1 - Contact” Introduces the darkly rich, Post Apocalyptic world of After. A harsh Dystopian world on the edge of either rebirth or deeper ruin. Here we meet the dark and powerful people who struggle to push it in one direction or the other.

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3 thoughts on “Contact – Mason Chronicles (Part 1) by Richard Jones

  1. I am the author of this story and wanted to thank you for the review.

    I started re-reading Contact and Connect (the second book in the series) in preparation for writing the third book. I actually cringed several times. So what started as a re-read for research became a full on edit. I have posted the updated versions and I believe it addresses some of the comments above.

    Again, I appreciate the feedback tremendously!

    1. It was my pleasure, if you ever want us to take a look at some of your other work we would be happy to. I know I experienced a similar feeling with some of my own early writing, that even led me to throw away a near complete manuscript as I felt it’d be better to start again.

      I wish you the best of luck with the third installment.

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