The Final Wars Begin

Final Wars Trilogy Book 1

Fiction - Science Fiction
303 Pages
Reviewed on 01/02/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I like to write about robots, spaceships, and explosions. Also, blood. Learn more on my site - SAwritesSF.com

    Book Review

Reviewed by Fiona Ingram for Readers' Favorite

Could one man tip the balance of world power to set off the final wars? It’s possible. Bastien Lyons, once an orphan in New Paris on Earth, finds himself back in his old stomping ground as he escapes the colony on Mars, Port Sydney, where he was accused of a heinous crime. Everyone seems to be after him because there’s a bounty on his head. After World War 3, Earth is uninhabitable on the surface, and not much remains anyway. Earth has the colony of New Paris; the Moon has Nippon One; and Mars has Port Sydney. New Paris is the sewer-like habitat of the remnants of humanity, ruled over by self-styled Queen Marie, part cyborg, and the rest of her a drug-riddled, narcissistic egomaniac. But although he’s being hunted, New Paris is Bastien’s best place of refuge since he knows it so well. But if only he wasn’t so conspicuous with those yellow irises as well as being hunted by a seven-foot robot…

This is a short read and serves as a prelude for undoubtedly a much longer exposition by the author in the subsequent books of this trilogy. I really enjoyed it! The Final Wars Begin by S. A. Asthana is well written, with touches of unexpected humour. The author’s ability to describe the fetid, stinking atmosphere of New Paris, then contrast that with the sterility of Port Sydney makes for an excellent visual, almost cinematic unfolding of events. The main characters are developed into real people, although Bastien is by far the most realistic and charismatic. Interestingly, I found the bounty hunter robot Cube to be very appealing, with his penchant for the piano piece Fur Elise.

I enjoyed the various themes and questions raised in this story: does the butterfly effect exist, and could artificial intelligence become so self-aware that it takes over humanity? The chapters move from one character’s perspective to another, which gives the reader a very detailed look at the back history of the war, the colonies, and past events, as well as clarifying just what everyone wants to get in the end – all this without the proverbial info dump. The story starts with a bang, and the pace continues at the same speed. The end is a cliff-hanger but surprisingly, it works, and one closes the book not feeling dissatisfied but eager to get the next instalment. This is the kind of story that sci fi and dystopian fans will love. A hero with standards and a conscience, a believable dystopian world, a complex plot driven by the main players’ needs and greed, and the promise of more action and adventure.

Charles Remington

Lieutenant General Bastien Lyons is on the run but in a dystopian future where humans inhabit only three enclaves; one on Mars, one on the Moon and one in the sewers of Paris - his choice of hiding place is severely limited. The Final Wars Begin by S. A. Asthana describes how, as an orphan from the Parisian sewers, Bastien feels he has the best chance of blending into his original home. The filth and stench of New Paris are a shock initially but he soon becomes re-accustomed to the squalor. His bright yellow irises are difficult to disguise, however, and that, coupled with the huge bounty offered for his capture, soon brings him before the queen of this subterranean, verminous society. But the meeting has a very different outcome to that expected and leads to a series of breath-taking escapades where Bastien fights for his very survival against seemingly invincible robotic foes. Can he save the squalid, beleaguered city of his birth? Can he even save himself?

The Final Wars Begin is a fast-paced science fiction thriller set a couple of centuries hence, where a third world war has pretty much destroyed the surface of planet Earth. The narrative throws you straight into the action and pulls no punches. Be prepared for gory action sequences where limbs, entrails and brain matter frequently fly around rat-infested tunnels. I found the F word and its various derivatives somewhat overused, particularly by the central characters, which seemed to blend them together rather than create solid, identifiable, individual voices. But the book presents some intriguing and original ideas which I am sure will be further developed in S. A. Asthana’s next instalments. A worthy addition to the sci-fi/dystopian genre.

Jessica Barbosa

In S. A. Asthana’s The Final Wars Begin, book one, war has ravaged earth and left humanity in chaos. The peace achieved after World War III is in a delicate balance. Enter Bastien Lyons. He was once a golden boy Parisian who had a stellar military career. A military Lieutenant General who fell from grace, with a clear view on what he thinks is right and what he thinks is wrong. He is on the run from the very people he once served and fought beside, who have placed a heavy bounty on his head. Bastien’s moral compass has gotten him into trouble before, but now, desperately trying to survive in the harsh world of New Paris, will he forsake everything he knows about being a good man for a small chance of freedom or will he continue to fight for what he believes to be right and damn the consequences?

S. A. Asthana's The Final Wars Begin is set in 2209 after humanity has been nearly destroyed by the last World War. Humanity has been skewed by the war, famine abounds, corruption is everywhere, people are barely surviving; even the religions and the beliefs of the people have been twisted to suit a power-hungry monarchy. The peace achieved after the great war was tenuous at best. It’s scary but not hard to imagine the world ending up this way some day. The way S. A. Asthana has written this book paints a vivid, terrifyingly powerful image in my head. I am mesmerized by how this whole story came together, Bastien’s constant prayer for forgiveness with every deed he deemed a sin is humanizing. I loved the way his character develops throughout the entire ordeal, how he is not only at war with those who hunt him but also with himself. The best thing about this book is how easy it is to picture such a world whose balance is so tenuous that it could have been tipped by a person’s choices. This is truly an unforgettable, interesting read and the way it ended has me itching to get my hands on the second part.

Lex Allen

In 2209 C.E., humanity is fragmented following World War III and living in three colonies; New Paris on Earth, Nippon One on the Moon, and Port Sydney on Mars. Lieutenant General Bastien, second in command of the Mars colony army, is ordered to commit an unconscionable act that goes against everything he believes in. He refuses and, instantly, becomes a traitor and a fugitive. He seeks refuge in the Paris colony where he was born and raised, but soon finds himself under the thumb of a cruel dictator. In order to survive, Bastien must alternatively abandon and embrace his high moral standards as he encounters one insane situation after another.

The Final Wars Begin by S. A. Asthana is the first book in what will become an epic science fiction/dystopian trilogy. The author has gone to extraordinary lengths to set up The Final Wars series with appendices that include "The Trilateral Treaty of Peace" between Nippon One, Port Sydney, and New Paris, "The Butterfly Effect" definition, and a historical outline with ruler lineage of each of the three colonies at the end of the book.

The story itself is fast paced and filled with imaginative weaponry, geography, and a cast of disparate characters that will simultaneously amaze, shock, and entertain fans of sci-fi/dystopian novels. Bastien proves to be a fascinating hero caught between the greed and exorbitant personalities of colony rulers and power-brokers. Recommended for open-minded adults as the story includes explicit language and sexual situations that may be offensive to some.

Samantha Gregory

The Final Wars Begin (Final Wars Trilogy Book 1) by S. A. Asthana is the story of Bastien Lyons, a man on the run in the year 2209. After World War 3, the world had been split into three different groups. One on Earth, one on the moon and one on Mars. People live in tunnels, with no food or money. Because of his actions, Bastien might be the one to bring the whole system down. I enjoyed the world described by the author; it was detailed and I could really picture it. I think that Bastien is kind of an anti hero in a sense; he doesn't set out to change things, it just happens through his actions. I like the little touches like some of the people still wanting to hold onto the old ways by continuing to speak French. I've read a few books where the future language is Chinese, so this was a change.

S. A. Asthana has written an interesting story in The Final Wars Begin (Final Wars Trilogy Book 1). I would read on to book 2 to find out what happens next. A lot of stories set in the future often have a kind of dystopian viewpoint and this is no different. Of course, given how humans behave, this isn't surprising. There is still greed and political stuff affecting the lives of people. I think the reader can relate to this, despite future worlds, other planets and robots. I think there is a big market for this kind of science fiction book and I think it will do well.