Tag Archives: Nathan Farrugia

Farrugia, Nathan M.: The Phoenix Variant (The Fifth Column III) (2014)

The Phoenix Variant - Nathan M Farrugia

I like authors that make me curious about the background of their stories. The first thing about The Phonix Variant that set me off was Denton’s trip to Ekne, Norway. Shame on me for not knowing my own country’s history well enough. I had to look the place up. Now I kind of know where Ekne is and I also know that there was indeed a prison camp located there. That is another thing I like in authors – that they do their home-work.

Denton is a fascinating character. Amorality is a state that at times seems enviable and at others horrifying. Not liking Denton is at times impossible because he is so enthusiastic about his projects. Even when he goes against Sophia’s team, he does it with such pleasure and glee that I am unable to dislike him. A well-written antagonist is what he is.

Sophia still struggles with the results of her actions. But at the beginning of the story she goes through a cathartic episode with Aviary. What names people give their children, especially in the US. Aviary cracks her way into Fifth Column’s ones and zeros like nerd she is. Because Aviary is not an operative Sophia and her team underestimate her ability to help. Tsk, tsk. They should know better by now. But they learn to appreciate Aviary for her abilities rather than excluding her from helping due to what she lacks.

The gang needs to keep Denton from getting all three of the Phoenix Variants, and boy are they going to have to work for it. Hurricane Isaac adds to the vectors they need to factor into their battle. For battle it is. As with the previous two installments of the Fifth Column serial, the Phoenix Variant is filled with action and close-up fighting. A lot of property is destroyed while most of the lives taken are operative ones. The action is fun. What gore there is makes sense.

Once again Nathan M. Farrugia’s writing is definitely recommended.


Reviews


The Phonix Variant available on iTunes, Kindle, Momentum


My reviews of

  1. The Chimera Vector
  2. The Seraphim Sequence

CIA’s Support to the Nazi War Criminal Investigations

Falstad concentration camp, Norway (ch. 1)

Nemesis theory (hypothetical star)

Farrugia, Nathan M.: The Seraphim Sequence (The Fifth Column II)

The Seraphim Sequence - Nathan M Farrugia

The main question in The Seraphim Sequence seems to be “who is really on Sophia’s side” in her battle against the Fifth Column. She trusts five people. These are Jay, Damian, Nasira and Benito. Her hero is Freeman, the leader of the Akhana. Anyone else is questionable in her mind, although there are a couple who seem to grow on her. Feeling as though you are able to trust as many as five people, considering Sophia’s background, is actually pretty good.

A group of psychopaths deciding the way the world is run doesn’t seem that far-fetched to me. At one point in the story Jay even feels as though he is in a Dan Brown story to which Damien responds “Please don’t make this any worse than it has to be,”. Jay does his best to keep the fighting off them, but a Farrugia novel will not leave its characters in peace. I can only hope that the main characters survive Mr. Farrugia’s clever pen.

Sophia is still dealing with her guilt regarding the 400 million women she inadvertently caused to die horrific deaths. Therein lies the difference between Sophia and the pscyhopaths, like Cecilia and Denton, that have been and are in charge. One has regrets and one does not. On one point, I will give the psychopaths their due. One of them states that being relieved of feelings of guilt would make Sophia more efficient. That is true. Guilt does slow a person down. It makes us rethink our options and try to find less destructive ones – for the people we wish to save. Destruction for the other side should be as complete as possible. Maybe we are all psychopaths to one degree or another.

There is a lot of action and plenty of fun weapons that aren’t too terribly different to what is available today. The weapons that do deviate are within the realm of possibility – at least they are to my non-weapon knowledgeable mind.

Definitely recommended.


Reviews:


The Seraphim Sequence available on Kindle


My review of The Chimera Vector


Can Genes be Turned on and Off in Cells?

DNA building blocks can be made in space, NASA

Human Genome is Part Bonavirus, Tina Hesman Saey

Microwave Mind Control, Tim Rafat

No, diatoms have not been found in a meteorite, Phil Plait

Pseudogenes (from Farrugia’s website)

The Psychology of the Mob Mentality, Nicola Davies

The Roots of Evil by Erwin Staub

Farrugia, Nathan: The Chimera Vector (The Fifth Column) (2012)

The Chimera Vector
Cover design by Keerati Sarakun and Patrick Naoum
Cover typography by Andrei Stefan-Cosmin
Edited by Nicola O’Shea

The Chimera Vector portrait

The Chimera Vector set me into research mode. I started looking into “chimera vector” and discovered quite a few articles on the research into this type of transportation on the net. I have included four of them below. Chimera: a DNA molecule with sequences derived from two or more different organisms, formed by laboratory manipulation.

According to Psychology Today a psychopath is a person who exhibits a long list of character traits. One needs to show a lack of empathy (cold-heartedness, an inability to feel deeply); show a lack of shame, guilt, fear or embarrassment at ones actions; a tendency to blame others for their own failures, or no shame if confronted; show a strong ability to remain focused on a task; appear charming yet have a tendency toward pathological lying, and they seem comfortable even when found out; incredibly overconfident, as if they cannot fail; impulsive; incredibly selfish and parasitic; lack realistic long-term goals; and finally be prone to violence.

In The Chimera Vector we get to meet several people who fit the bill of a psychopath. The whole concept of psychopathy or sociopathy is extremely fascinating. It is one of those terms that we bandy about as if being a psychopath was a common thing. Looking at the list above, I see many of them that could fit myself and most other people I know. But when I take a closer look at the people I meet, I think I can say that there is probably only one one person that I could definitely call a psychopath. Long-term planning was no problem for him at all and holding power is something he has definitely been concerned with. Power behind the throne, not the apparent one that is more image than real.

Power is what The Chimera Vector is all about. The lengths people are willing to go in their hunger for power. We see people playing power games every day – within families, at work and at play. But seldom do we see power games taken to the extreme that The Chimera Vector shows. But we wouldn’t, would we. That is the whole point of The Fifth Column. People must not see the games the leaders of The Fifth Column play, for their real power lies in their secrecy. To them all the death and mayhem they deal is part of the games.

Programming soldiers like Sofia, Jay and Damien into becoming unquestioning killer robots is fun. Killing innocent people to keep the world going their way is fun. Watching countries erupt into cauldrons of fire is fun. Power is fun. Fun and addictive.

I see all this and I believe it. The Chimera Vector is believable. If some scientist manages to discover how to create weapons like The Fifth Column use, soldiers like this will be developed. Perhaps I have too cynical a view of the world, but this is what I believe. History has shown us time and again that once a power-hungry leader gains control of research and development gruesome consequences evolve. In fact, history has shown us (and shows us) that in their grasp for power the world itself becomes expendable to the power-players.

And yes, I did enjoy The Chimera Factor. A great deal, in fact.

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Reviews:

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I was given this novel by the author. Whether that affected my review is difficult to say. I’ve tried to be as objective as possible.