Haunter Grey - Origin

Last Ark - Haunter Grey

Fiction - Science Fiction
473 Pages
Reviewed on 09/04/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Haunter Grey: Origin is a sci-fi space opera novel in Ross C. Miller's Last Ark series. Born into an influential family on the planet Meridian, Castor Efrata-Landeez's life takes a dark turn when the Unity attacks the planet and kills off its people, including his family. After being taken captive to the Unity's prison planet, Regia, Castor finds himself trapped in the bulboar tunnels, where a blind old man teaches him how to control his numbers. He instructs Castor to keep his faith in Jesus and find Anselmi Taskinen on Termina Two. Castor somehow manages to steal a Unity ship and escape from Regia. But he soon learns that the Resistance is nowhere near as organized to take on the Unity. Now, as an Admiral, he must gather allies to fend off the Unity and rescue the people imprisoned on Regia.

If you're a fan of sci-fi stories set in space, such as Star Wars or Star Trek, Haunter Grey: Origin is just the book you need to read. Ross C. Miller has created a sprawling sci-fi universe featuring unique races, exotic worlds, and a compelling cast of characters whose stories will enthrall you as much as the setting itself. Miller's epic tale is divided into six parts, each following the different phases of Castor Efrata-Landeez's journey as he pursues his destiny. The book is very well-paced, and even the secondary characters have well-defined personalities that leave an impression on the reader. I particularly enjoyed the dynamic between Castor and Garrant and the friendship between Triillian and Moriah. I urge sci-fi space opera lovers not to miss out on this one!

Tammy Ruggles

Haunter Grey - Origin by Ross C Miller is a gripping science fiction novel that won't let you go. Set in the Last Ark universe, it still has the power to stand on its own, but it's always helpful to brush up on the overall story. In this entertaining offering, you have vicious predators to contend with, wars that have been waged by The Unity against sub-humans for thousands of years, a prison planet to escape, and a reluctant hero in Castor Efrata-Landeez, who can't recall his past or make sense of the numbers in his head, and is aided by his blind mentor, who can see the future.

The author's quick launch into action from the first page lets you know you're in for a careening ride, but there are thought-provoking themes along the way, like what does it take to be a hero, how far would you go to help others, and do you really have a purpose. The fast pace sets the stage for the plot and character arcs to come. Castor is a compelling character. He doesn't think he's cut out to be a leader, but that's what The Resistance needs to bring freedom to those dominated by The Unity. They have some skills. They just need someone to bring out the best in them and help them believe in themselves and in liberty itself. Garrant is an interesting character too. The events that unfold are intriguing and unpredictable. Miller's characters feel real, not caricature--they are imperfect, and that's what makes them relatable. His world-building and execution skills are outstanding, the dialogue crackles with life, and you really feel caught up in this nail-biting thriller. Fans of Alien and other space war sagas will love Haunter Grey - Origin by Ross C. Miller.

K.C. Finn

Haunter Grey: Origin is a work of fiction penned by author Ross C Miller in the science fiction, action, and adventure subgenres, and is the first of a new series set in the Last Ark story universe. The work is best suited to the general adult reading audience. Readers are introduced to Castor Efrata-Landeez, a man thrown into a millennia-old war against the Unity, a force that has been destroying planets and subhumans for thousands of years. Castor, with no memory of his life before training, is tasked with finding Anselmi Taskinen. However, he finds himself thrust into the midst of a one-sided war as part of a Resistance that seems weak and ineffective.

Author Ross C Miller has crafted a truly gripping exploration of warfare, memory, and the quest for freedom. He has developed a particularly compelling protagonist in Castor: a man struggling with his past but thrust into a leadership role where the stakes are high. The story unfolds with a mix of action and introspection, delving into the complexities of war and the dynamics between those who fight for liberty, and it all strikes a great balance between the excitement of the adventure and the emotional and psychological journey of the central characters. I also found the choices of atmospheric lexis and description impactful and impressive, crafting an immersive experience with the settings that tie together the elements of science fiction, war narrative, and character-driven storytelling. The novel sets the stage for a larger conflict within the Last Ark universe, leaving readers eager to explore the other developments in this epic world of resistance and freedom. Overall, I would certainly recommend Haunter Grey: Origin for science fiction fans everywhere seeking a new hero to get invested in.

Jamie Michele

In Haunter Grey: Origin by Ross C. Miller, Castor Efrata-Landeez, having endured tests and survived a Unity attack, finds himself imprisoned on the harsh planet of Regia. He advocates for solidarity, and in the mining tunnels, Castor encounters a blind mentor who teaches him to visualize and control "numbers." Planning to board a Unity hauler, he meets Rabid, a scarred man seeking refuge. Together, they plot a course for Termina Two, envisaging the disruption of a Bulboar shipment to the Unity fleet. Upon arrival, Castor impresses Major Garrant and assumes command of the Resistance. Excelling in combat pilot training, he grows dissatisfied with the Resistance's disorganization, prompting a journey to beef up their capabilities. Facing resistance on Valhalla, Castor plans a risky mission against the Unity, securing support from unexpected allies and assuming the rank of Rear Admiral aboard the newly named ship, the Haunter Grey.

Haunter Grey: Origin by Ross C. Miller is a creative entry to the Last Ark, Haunter Grey series. Miller merges a storyline that has a literary nod to classic rising action found in the training of The Count of Monte Cristo with a character arc in Castor that is reminiscent of the Star Wars cult favorite, Cassian Andor. Miller's writing style is effortless and straightforward, using an omniscient voice that occasionally, whether intentional or not, breaks the fourth wall. I enjoyed the immersion into Regia, which serves the universe as a prison planet. The tunnels, the bay, and the hauler provide a near-visual backdrop, and the sense of the environment's vastness and the challenges it poses to those unfortunate enough to be stuck there is well executed by Miller. The author adeptly incorporates themes of faith and higher purpose with lines like, "You are part of God’s plan, and he will not abandon you.” Overall, this is a promising, immersive start to the series. Recommended.

Asher Syed

Haunter Grey—Origin by Ross C. Miller is book one in the literary quintet that forms the Last Ark, Haunter Grey science fiction adventure space opera series. The main character, Castor Efrata-Landeez, suffers from dissociative amnesia when the oppressive regime of the Unity punishes him with hard labor on the planet Regia, an interstellar penal colony. Castor grows as a unifier against the ironically named authoritarians, more as a coping mechanism than a genuine desire to become a liberator, spurred on by a blind mentor who works to teach him what he's lost. Escape from Regia is dangerous, and the downfall of the Unity seems impossible. Whether or not Castor can rise to a calling and its feebly plagued resistance will depend on his ability to command the book's namesake vessel.

Ross C. Miller starts Haunter Grey—Origin as an underdog fight with huge amounts of action centered around Castor's journey, but without making it all about Castor. Space operas are nothing without powerful adversaries and the Unity is a robustly designed antagonist. Their highly advanced organization requires very little suspension of disbelief when a reader sees their grip tighten, especially with things like their potential to reprogram 'cyclers' for survival. Salvation is expressed in a lot of ways, Jesus being among them, with justice and the possibility of redemption, presenting situations that are entrenched in moral choices involving different factions. Miller is a prolific writer, and a good one, which works out perfectly for binge-readers since the four books that come after Origin are available, and are all critically acclaimed reads.