Rath’s Deception (Janus Group #1) ★★★☆☆

rathsdeception (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Rath’s Deception
Series: Janus Group #1
Author: Piers Platt
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 350
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Rath grows up with very options. His older brother is in a gang but wants Rath to graduate so he can join the cops and move up to middle society. Unfortunately, said brother is caught working for the cops and his gang kills him. Rath’s parents are druggies and end up killing themselves and burning their dwelling down. Rath moves out on his own and finishes school.

He is approached by a recruiter and goes through some trials and becomes part of the Janus Group. Their motto is “50 for 50”. Make fifty successful kills and half the bounty is yours and live the high life for the rest of your life. With virtually no organized crime, the Janus Group is the only game in town if you need something impossible and illegal pulled off.

Rath becomes Operator 621. Considered a Tier 4, odds are he won’t make his 50. On one particular mission he is sent after a rogue Operator, Operator 339 and gets 2 kills from killing her. Rath goes on to slowly climb up the ladder one harrowing mission after another. He finally makes his 50th kill.

However, when he goes back to the base camp, he’s met by a welcoming committee of merc’s hired by the Janus Group who specialize in taking out Janus Operatives. See, the Janus Group makes a LOT more money if they never have to pay out. Thankfully, Rath’s encounter with Operative 339 prepared him for just this eventuality (she revealed the truth to him when he was hunting her down) and now he’s a free agent, ready to go after the Janus Group with help from Operative 339.

 

My Thoughts:

This was much better than the Falken Chronicles books by the same author. Much more action oriented.

But first, the bad and mediocre and downward trending stuff. Platt seems to be all in favor of legalized prostitution if one of the page long soliquy’s a side character goes on is anything to judge by. Prostitution is evil, period. You don’t make it better by making the conditions better or safer or anything. You make it better by stamping it out. You call it the evil it is and do your damnedest to destroy it. And you start with people calling for the legalization of it. They are the real danger.

Secondly, Platt does his “reformed” prisoner thing but goes a step further. Rath meets the boss gang member years later and he claims to be born again, “but not in a religious way”, oh no. He had his memory wiped and now he’s just a perfect Mother Teresa giving sanctuary to an old grandmother and her 2 little grand kids. I’m not sure where to even start with such stupidity. Humans are fundamentally broken, that is known as the Doctrine of Total Depravity. It states that human nature is thoroughly corrupt and sinful due to the Fall of Adam and Eve. So for a human to fundamentally change, the change must come from outside themselves because any change by themselves will be broken since it comes from a broken source. This idea by Platt also buys into the thought that you are no more than your memories. If you are a mean, selfish, murderous asshole one minute and suddenly wake up with no memories, your body remembers and you’re going to act that way. It has became your “Nature” and that is way more than just your memories.

On to the stuff I actually liked 🙂

This had some really good action scenes. Rath’s completing his training evaluation to see if he even qualified was good. I also liked when he went on missions. I do wish there had been a couple more of those instead of showing Rath being a lonely teenager. The author also did a good job of interjecting the view from the Controllers of the Operatives and this gave us our first clue that all wasn’t as it was purported to be. So when Rath and Operative 339 had their little clash, it was obvious that Rath had been turned.

I enjoyed this and I’m looking forward to the next book. However, if Platt keeps up his “all criminals are really misunderstood cuddle bears” or keeps on promoting evil as good, I’ll have to seriously evaluate if I want to keep on reading this series.

★★★☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

16 thoughts on “Rath’s Deception (Janus Group #1) ★★★☆☆

  1. “reborn again” huh I always have a problem with it in any books… Some people believe that wiping out memories helps to go back to the state Adam and Eve were in in the Garden if Eden. Therefore not sinful anymore. As they say ignorance is blessed…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. coilerxii says:

    Seems a little “Spacesuit Commando” to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      Hey, you’re still around! I figured you’d gone off the grid with your “no more reviews” post last month. Glad to see that isn’t the case.

      The only problem is that NONE of this takes place in space. The cover is extremely misleading.
      Oh wait, I take that back. There was one mission on a space station’ish kind of thing. So yep, you nailed it 🙂

      Like

  3. I’m surprised it didn’t already lead you to drop the series hahah Pretty interesting that you view complete eradication as the solution to prostitution/crime/evil 😀 You wouldn’t even consider putting them all on an island away from society? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      It was a close thing 🙂 If the soliloquy had gone on any longer, I might very well have dropped it like a hot potato.

      I think my view comes from the fact that at the end of time Evil will be eradicated. As a 7th Day Adventist, we believe that souls are not immortal until given the gift of eternal life by God. So sinners going to hell don’t get that gift and they eventually burn up in hell into oblivion.

      It also comes down to my very black and white view of the world. The reality is a lot more of what you suggest. Personally, I’d just as soon kill anyone who makes use of a prostitute and try to rehabilitate the prostitute. Pimps, Madames, Jons, they can all die though…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The memory wipe theme reminded me of a similar narrative thread from Babylon 5: in that case a certified telepath did the mind-wiping and in a specific episode we saw one such “reformed” criminal who had taken vows as a monk and spent his life helping others (of course that did not last because the relative of one of his victims caused the memories to resurface and the criminal-turned-monk ended badly). That said, the idea poses an interesting question: once a personality is erased, once a new one is installed on the resulting blank slate, how can we see this persons’ former acts? To me that’s an open question, with no easy answer either way…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      I like the idea of a mindwipe on a tv show, as its fluffiness doesn’t matter. But in a book, I expect a bit more.

      The thing is, a mind isn’t a hard drive nor are we just our minds. A human is a tripart being of body, mind and soul. Even if someone doesn’t fully agree on every point, to simply ignore that we are made up of various parts is more than I can overlook.

      It IS a great area of speculation and I can foresee a lot of fun interactions based on how one views the whole.

      Liked by 1 person

      • While the body and the mind are more… tangible (for want of a better word) entities, the soul remains an intangible one, and subject to personal belief, of course. That said, if the mind can be… rewritten (again, for want of a better term), and a new personality installed (not unlike a computer, that can be formatted so that a new operative system may be installed), what remains of the former personality? Is the new person coming out of this change a different one, and is there something – what you called “muscle memory” – that goes back to the former ‘owner’? A fascinating set of questions, indeed, and none of them with an easy answer at hand…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Bookstooge says:

          And our little conversation here shows that this is a complicated subject. And it should be treated a little better than a movie or tv show in my opinion.
          But what really set me off, was the deliberate word usage by Platt of “Born again” but then categorically denying any involvement with Christ, or even the supernatural. It was deliberate and I consider it a fighting stance.

          Back to the mind/computer thingy….
          I think our minds are way more complex than we truly realize and that comparing them to a computer is simplistic and wrong, in terms of reality I mean. Now, for a fluffy SF show or something, I’m all for it, just like faster than light travel.

          Liked by 1 person

          • In reality yes, the mind is more complicated than a computer and when not watching a tv show (though B5 is far from fluffy 😛 ) I rationally understand that. But once we posit the existence of telepaths and their powers of affecting another’s mind – let alone read it – anything is possible. That’s what speculative fiction is about in my book, making me believe that, for a little while… 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  5. savageddt says:

    Sounds like a sci-fi I can get through. Prostitution is evil, just a shame it has never been able to be totaly destroyed.

    Liked by 1 person

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