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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
VanWest: The Past is a work of fiction in the dystopian and science fiction sub-genres and was penned by author Kenneth Thomas. The opening book in the VanWest series, this first adventure focuses on titular character Captain VanWest, who currently works as an Enforcer for the all-encompassing leadership of the Universal Council. When the captain is tasked with a time travel mission to stop rebels from changing the past (and therefore the future), he comes to learn much about his own dark history, as well as the desires of the heart which may change his allegiance to the dystopian world he knows.
Author Kenneth Thomas presents a stylish and solidly built science fiction work with plenty for fans of hard sci-fi and dystopia to get their teeth into. There is also a great deal of drama and emotional involvement throughout the plot, which makes for a well-rounded read and helps to place the characters realistically in their fantastical setting. One of the things which I particularly enjoyed about the tale was a blending of new futuristic science fiction with classic sci-fi ideas from the past, which were meshed really well by the 1950s setting. As we visit many familiar places and times in Earth’s recent past, so realism and surrealism blend to perfection: we are in safe hands with a capable narrator who holds the story together well. Overall, I would highly recommend VanWest: The Past for dystopian and space-and-time adventure fans everywhere: an exciting start to what promises to be an excellent new series.