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Comments And Reviews
"Readers are in for a wild ride in this adrenaline-packed tale."
4 out of 4 stars
Makers of Destiny is a sequel to David Crane's 2013 science-fiction post-apocalyptic novel Die to Live Again. The story skips over more than 50 years to follow the narrator-protagonist Tanya Gray in her new life in a world still recovering from the devastating consequences of a nuclear holocaust.
The novel belongs to that special category of works of fiction with a catchy first sentence that lures the readers into the realm of fantasy: "Every time I enter a forest, I am reminded of the best years of my human life. Civilization ends where wilderness begins." Tanya Gray used to be an ordinary college girl. Not anymore. The black trees have changed her into a Panther. The same happened to many others who had to choose whether to survive or die. Now Tanya is a warrior-healer and adviser to President Gaetani of New America. Everything becomes a round-the-clock battle for supremacy.
What I loved most about Makers of Destiny is David Crane's ability to give birth to a whole new world populated with fascinating creatures such as Hunter Leeches, mutant wolves and bears, tree-jumping snakes or smoke cacti. There are some really beautiful pages describing the metamorphosis process from a human into a Panther. Unlike humans, sapphire-eyed Panthers have a 400-year lifespan and they do not suffer from the viruses and bacteria that affect ordinary humans. Although they are physically and intellectually superior to humans, they made a pledge not to harm them without a cause and to help them whenever they need the serum made of their own blood. Fans of the Avatar movie would be thrilled to read a story which basically reiterates the same key elements: Panthers are magnificent apparitions and they live peacefully in their tribes until humans' lust for power and control threatens not only their lifestyle, but their very existence.
With President Gaetani's death, New America plunges into chaos. The balance between the two species she struggled so hard to preserve can no longer be taken for granted. On the contrary, extremists emerge on both sides: the Human Liberation Front (HLF) and the Pure Humanity Order (PHO) gain more and more adepts whereas tough Panthers use atrocious killings to ensure the victory of the strongest species. Apart from them, an even more dangerous enemy comes to light. The Neo Spartans rely on advanced cybernetics and biotechnology to make a move against Panthers and gain access to Helios 2, the nuclear-powered laser canon in space used by New America for global dominance. Among all these players, Tanya Gray is true to her words: "Fortune always favors the bold". She is caught up in a twirling up-and-down adventure to save her family and her tribe and to protect the world from a new catastrophic failure.
With an alert and gripping storyline, the novel also excels in a large number of characters ranging from innocent victims of cruelty and terror to representatives of the high echelons of power. Moreover, there are detailed explanations about what happened to some of the characters in the first novel of the series for those who have read it to fill in the missing data. At times, these explanations were obsessively repeated and became rather tiresome especially since the second book of the series is a good independent read.
Last but not least, David Crane shows talent in portraying the image of the Other impersonated by Tanya and her fellow Panthers who are time and again subjected to prejudice and racial hatred; this is also the reason why Panther tribes do everything they can not to share the fate of the Native Americans who were violently forced from their lands and placed onto reservations. Besides, with all major religions gone, a Neo-Paganism takes hold and fathers numerous cults praising the forces of nature. In addition, the author makes pertinent mythological references with Tanya fighting the Hunter Weed feeling like the almighty Hercules confronting the deadly Hydra or the American eagle rising from the ashes like the legendary Phoenix.
Since there are only a few minor typos, I find the editing more than satisfactory. Due to both plot and character complexity, I am rating this book 4 out of 4 stars. Nevertheless, I have to strongly warn sensitive readers that the novel has its amount of blood and gore scenes. Some may find them far too shocking and off-putting although I could understand their role in the narrative since it is after all a post-apocalyptic novel based on the survival of the strongest.
Makers of Destiny by David Crane is the sequel to Die to Live Again, a compelling sci-fi read with a dystopian setting in the US. It's been fifty years since the nuclear war and it has been a long and painful road for America to regain her place in the world as the new Superpower. But peace is far from being a reality as new groups of powerful people rise, factions that still desire to control the destiny of the nation.
It is in this tumultuous setting that a woman, the warrior-healer Tanya Gray, becomes the presidential advisor. She has hoped for a time of peace and prosperity after the disastrous Second Civil War, but then suddenly, a deadly enemy from the past threatens to get a grip on the country. This time, Tanya must fight to nip evil in the bud to prevent America from being dragged irrevocably to its knees. But can she succeed?
David Crane is a master storyteller and readers will be captivated by the dystopian setting. The setting is captured in very vivid descriptions and the images of war and the sentiments of despair are powerfully portrayed in the writing. The characters are interesting, well-imagined and beautifully developed. Although this is a work of fiction set in the future, the story has a ring of truth to it, thanks to author's mastery of the art of storytelling. I was captivated by the excellent prose, the gripping plot, and the memorable characters in Makers of Destiny, and found myself turning the pages nonstop.
Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
Fifty years have passed since the nuclear nightmare gripped the world in David Crane's novel Die to Live Again, and the New United States rises from the ashes. Now a new faction bent on conquest threatens to destroy everything that Tanya Gray holds dear. David Crane weaves a marvelous tale in Makers of Destiny. From beginning to end, every page grips the reader and urges them on to the next.
David Crane blends fiction and history into a tale filled with amazing characters battling for the control of the New United States. Makers of Destiny plunges the reader into a world continuing to rebuild itself, but hatred and racism lurks beneath the surface. David Crane shows us through Makers of Destiny the difficulties the world is facing today. Makers of Destiny is not only a fantastically crafted novel but a mirror of tribulations gripping our society today.
Through wondrous imagery and character interaction Makers of Destiny takes the reader on an unparalleled journey. Makers of Destiny is an adventure that is a perfect mixture of political intrigue, high adventure, and science fiction.
Steven Eutsler, author of The End's Beginning and Reunion
Makers of Destiny: Sequel to Die to Live Again by David Crane is set in a post-apocalyptic world. It has been fifty years since the nuclear war ended, and since then America has risen once again to become one of the super powers of the world. However, that took some sacrifices. Even though this nation is new and ready to battle it all, these people are still not one. There are some political and religious groups and parties that are still fighting for the upper hand.
In the midst of all this, Tanya Gray, the presidential advisor, finally has her own family that she loves. Surrounded by the people she loves, she is hoping for a better tomorrow and a future in which her family is safe. However, this is short lived because an old threat is back once again. Tanya never thought that she would be fighting for the resources of her people, but it looks like they have a new civil war. It's now up to Tanya to stop this war before it engulfs everything in flames and there is nothing to save anymore. But can she do it?
Makers of Destiny is an action packed novel that takes you on a journey in a not so distant future. I liked Tanya and her determination. She had a very "all-for-one, one-for-all" personality that suited her. She took her responsibility very seriously and knew what she must do for the greater good of all. She was charismatic and intelligent, she knew what was at stake and she was not scared to take the necessary steps. She was a strong character, not a shrinking wall flower hiding behind the men in her life. I really enjoyed this novel. Entertaining, thrilling and action packed! The cover is awesome!
Reviewed By Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
Makers of Destiny: Sequel to Die to Live Again by David Crane is a delightful read for sci-fi fans, a rollicking ride with awesome characters. What will immediately grab the attention of any reader is the post-war setting with the US fragmented by the Second Civil War and after surviving the Armageddon. Although the war has been put behind them and the nation is set on a journey towards healing, there are still political and religious factions that are determined to gain control of power. When a powerful and mysterious force from the past returns with claims over America, the warrior-healer turned presidential adviser, Tanya Gray, knows she must do something to save the country she's fought too hard to preserve, or have it destroyed forever. Can she stop this evil before it has a chance to destroy the American way of life again?
This is a gripping tale, masterfully written with a strong setting in the future, a story that reflects on the political conflict and warns readers of a frightening world for which they could be headed. David Crane is a gifted writer and readers will enjoy the power of his prose, the vivid descriptions of setting, and the strong plot lines. The social commentaries are mixed with the great art of storytelling to create a world that is exciting for readers to navigate. I was thrilled by the exquisite writing, the compelling characters, and the well-imagined setting. Although Makers of Destiny: Sequel to Die to Live Again is set in a fictitious future, it is hard to read it without imagining the setting and the events described as real because of the author's strong storytelling skills.
Reviewed By Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite
David Crane pulled me into his novel, Makers of Destiny, from the very first page. He has a descriptive style of writing that I can relate to. I also like the complex characters that he is able to create.
The story takes place in post-apocalyptic America a generation or so
after a nuclear holocaust had almost destroyed the world and mankind
with it. The protagonist, a mutant who is no longer human, has
superhuman powers, but she also possesses some of the frailties and
weaknesses that define our species. Faced with incalculable odds by a
mysterious and ruthless enemy who is hell-bent on destroying
civilization, she battles the forces of evil. There are a number of real-life social and political parallels that one can draw from Makers of
Destiny and the slightly less charred world we live in today. The
heroine's fight for righteousness seemed relevant, as we are
confronted with the same problems: prejudice, bigotry, and religious
persecution. The story may be a fantasy, but it made me wonder which
of the events described in the book might actually come true. The
terrorists that exist in our world today do not possess super human
powers, but they are not that dissimilar from the ones that David
Crane describes. They, too, threaten the existence of a societal
structure that believes in the virtues of morality, free will, and the rule
Makers of Destiny, which is a sequel to Die to Live Again, brings the
story of post-ravaged Earth to a satisfactory conclusion.
Michael Cole, author of Not of This Earth, the Star Walkers Trilogy, and others
Makers of Destiny is a sequel to David Crane's science fiction post-apocalyptic novel, Die to Live Again. Tanya Gray's story of survival and revenge is far from over; this is a new story of Tanya, a mutant with a human heart, a warrior, a healer, and an explorer.
Tanya Gray once was an ordinary American citizen who wanted nothing more than a
peaceful life. Everything changed when her plans and dreams were shattered by a
single phone call from her father. As the missiles took flight, Tanya made a
promise to her father to survive the incoming nuclear holocaust at any cost.
Finding refuge at a high-tech shelter, she survives only to be exiled into a
nuclear wasteland for standing up to the tyrannical military regime. Dying from
radiation sickness, Tanya is saved from death by the mysterious black trees and
transformed into a powerful new being impervious to radiation and conventional
weaponry. Her survival mission soon turns into a mission of vengeance, and she
makes certain that people responsible for five billion deaths are punished for their
crimes against humanity.
Now, fifty years later, Tanya Gray is a devoted wife and mother and a
proud citizen of New America. But New America has enemies and Tanya’s species
called Panthers still evoke mixed feelings of awe and fear from humans about their
true purpose on earth. The wounded country is divided, and only half of it remains
under civilized rule. When the aged American president dies and her chosen
replacement is assassinated, Tanya Gray faces enemies without and within. A new
mysterious and powerful foe wielding a vastly superior technology makes an
appearance along with a fanatical religious movement determined to exterminate
Tanya’s people. To end the next brutal Civil War, Tanya Gray must once again
spill blood in the name of justice and peace.
In this sequel, Crane explores the true depth of his main character. This is not a story just about survival. It is a story about what makes us better or worse when we are faced with very hard choices.
"A compelling sci fi tale with deep themes is unputdownable."
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