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: Escape from Oz
Series: Falken Chronicles #1
Author: Piers Platt
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital Edition
Sirio Falken, a mixed martial arts fighter, has fallen on hard times when the World Council banned MMA. He has taken to giving lessons and participating in underground fights. When he finds out that his girlfriend has cheated on him, he beats the other man to death. He is sentenced to a prison planet where he can be rehabilitated.
Unfortunately, Falken finds out that almost everything about the presentation of the prison world was a lie. The space elevator lies in ruins, there is no prison facility, there are no guards and there is no way to contact his lawyer. Prisoners are parachuted down to the planet in wooden crates, which the survivors salvage as best they can.
Falken falls in with a former prison guard, Archos, who rules the small island through a series of fights. Archos regularly raids a non-violent set of prisoners who are just trying to live. Falken escapes Archos and joins up with the Community. There he comes under the care of a former biologist and learns lots of things. Everyone’s dream is to contact Earth and let the right people know what is going on. Falken also meets Weaver, a man falsely convicted of murdering his wife and children.
Falken and Weaver end up finding a buried spaceship from the original space surveyors and it has one pod capable of making it back to Earth. They just need to excavate it and get enough electronics working to push the pod into space.
Oz, the name of the planet, holds a secret though. With 6 moons, there are no tides. Except for every 40 or so year when they all line up perfectly. This is such a time. The island is in danger of being inundated and there are monsters in the water, eating everything. Archos also discovers what they are up and wants to return to Earth himself. So Falken must fight nature and man to survive. Falken ends up knocking Weaver out and putting him in the pod and blasting it off since he’s an innocent and not a prisoner.
Then Falken is woken up and finds out everything was a computer simulation. His choices prove that he has been rehabilitated and he now has a chance at becoming a space surveyor.
Oh for fracks sake.
That cover is so misleading. I was expecting spaceship fights and wicked cool stuff. Nope, what I got was some Mass-hole’s idea that all prisoners are really just misunderstood poor blighters who really, really, really actually do want to be good little boys but just can’t “quite” make it. Even if they murder people by punching them to death. Poor little misunderstood MMA character. Look at me cry.
Prisons are meant as punishment. First Degree Murderers should be killed by the State. Rehabilitation is a pipe dream. If anyone think otherwise, they are as much part of the problem as Charles Manson and Ted Bundy and at the Final Judgement they will be held just as culpable.
The story was pretty good. I was really enjoying everything right up until the reveal about it all being a rehab computer sim. I liked just about everything up to that point and this was bordering between 3.5 and 4, as a prison break from a dangerous world is just plain awesome as a storyline. A MMA character made for some good fights and the voracious eel monsters were cool. Archos was a great villain too.
Definitely going to be reading the next book. I just hope Platt doesn’t pull that kind of ridiculous plot twist stunt again. I felt like it ruined the whole book that I had been enjoying so much.