Milestone

The Complete Trilogy

Fiction - Thriller - Espionage
654 Pages
Reviewed on 07/29/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I currently live in a sleepy town called Snake Valley, 36 kilometres southwest of Ballarat in Australia.

I grew up during the early seventies western suburbs of Sydney. Having enlisted in the military at the age of seventeen, I use my experience to create powerful and engaging speculative fiction.

But, sometimes I can't let things be. I write stories with a passion that others might see as being obsessive. I live and breathe it. I dream about it when I sleep. But I never write down my dreams. If I can’t remember those things, they’re not important enough.

My stories revolve around the element of ‘what if?’ Sometimes I push the boundaries to the edge of what may be real, treading a fine line between official secrecy and pure fiction. I'll have you wondering about the creative license, or if there is the possibility of fact. Either way, you'll be left to make up your own mind. My books are fast-paced, 'edge of your seat' thrillers which are distinctively written in a way that will have you guessing which way the story is about to head.

As a writer, unpredictability is the key essence. If I write something that can be predicted in the coming chapters, it’s not good enough. I'll scrap it and start over. My goal is to keep you wondering, even sometimes to the detriment of my good guys!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

I have never before embarked on reading a trilogy, and I might not have lasted the experience if it weren’t for the excellence of Carl Lakeland’s writing. What an amazing imagination Lakeland has, one that steers clear of anything predictable. So refreshing. Each book stands alone, but all three are connected and the characters we meet in the first book, Eagle Shield, appear and disappear in the second book, Project Amber, and resurface in a new way in the final book, The Lost Ones. Along the way, readers are treated to a marvelous mix of characters, both good and evil, and unpredictable plots that never stand still. Eagle Shield focusses on the tough military soldier with a heart of gold, Nathan Masters, who battles hell and high water to fulfill his mission to bring a very special child, Angel, to safety and ultimately to what is her pre-ordained, glorious destiny as a savior.

Where Masters’ covert Eagle Shield mission concludes, the now-adult Angel, a journalist, picks up the narrative in Project Amber. What a narrative it is...a mixture of science fiction and a not impossible future for planet Earth should nuclear warfare ever become a reality. Perhaps the current interest in living on Mars isn’t all that far-fetched if what happens in Project Amber eventuates. The world readers experience in the final book of the Milestone trilogy is vastly different from that in the first two books, and I’m sure it’s one I would never want to live in. Through a new narrator, Lakeland depicts the future of a radioactive planet Earth, where cannibalism, cruelty, and survival of the fittest rule. His rendering of this world is horrific yet oddly credible. One cannot come away from reading The Lost Ones...indeed all three books...without feeling you have just completed a fantastic and unforgettable voyage.

Style-wise, Lakeland expertly uses every literary tool: excellent descriptions that appeal to all the senses; colorful and touching characters with whom we can easily identify; superbly rendered dialogue that captures growing tension one minute, deep love the next; and for those who enjoy military rationale and details before, during and after battle, riveting plots. By allowing each protagonist to narrate his/her book in the first person, Lakeland adds to the immediacy and credibility of the events and those who make them happen. Having lived in Australia for several years, I was particularly drawn to and intrigued by Lakeland setting this trilogy down under. Those unfamiliar with the Aussie “lingo” might need a few minutes to catch on to some turns of phrase, but by using these, Lakeland adds even more color to the narratives. And for readers who believe in the Bible and its stories of angels and devils, Lakeland offers another most unexpected touch, fulfilling his own mandate to keep readers guessing and asking themselves, “what if?” Indeed, what if?

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Milestone by Carl Lakeland is the complete trilogy in one volume. Special forces soldier Nathan Master lost a leg in the Iraqi conflict and is sent to work with the Australian Intelligence Service on a mission called Eagle Shield. His task is to protect a 10-year-old orphaned girl named Angel. She isn’t all she seems to be at first glance though, possessing a special gift. She has a destiny that is set to change the world and it is Nathan’s job to protect her and a disk containing details of Milestone. His journey is just beginning. In Project Amber, Angel is now a journalist and is about to find out that her entire life may just have been a lie. Recruited to join the Intelligence Service, she stumbles on a secret project. A noted journalist unafraid of the limelight, Angel questions the arrival of a nuclear-powered carrier in Australia and life changes in an instant for her. Whatever happens, Project Amber and Milestone both must be destroyed before they destroy the world. The Lost Ones – in a post-apocalyptic world, the USS John Steinbeck has been stranded in Antarctica. With winter looming and no heat, Richard Gabriel needs to save his family and to do that, they need to head to Australia. Is it still there? Has it changed beyond all recognition? Can they make it in this brand new world? Things are never as they seem and Richard and his family will face horrors they never dreamed of. Some things are worth fighting for but at what cost?

Milestone: The Complete Trilogy by Carl Lakeland is all three books in one volume with lots of never-seen-before content added in. The trilogy starts out as a spy thriller and ends as a dystopian thriller. All the way through, these books were packed with action, thrilling, edge-of-your-seat action that grips you in a tight hold. Carl Lakeland is a master of his craft. Three stories, inextricably linked and written in a way that has you hanging onto every word. There are plenty of twists and unexpected turns, and every chapter left you wanting more and wanting it now. The characters were fantastic, incredibly likable and so very easy to relate to. The emotions run high through all three stories, and you feel it all. All three books ran steadily, and although the plots were complex, they were easy to follow which made it easier to get involved in the story. Great idea to have all three books together; I thoroughly enjoyed this series and would recommend it to anyone who loves a good thriller with plenty of twists.

Lit Amri

Milestone (The Complete Trilogy) by Carl Lakeland starts with Book One, Eagle Shield: Milestone Rising. Readers will follow the story through the eyes of Nathan Masters, a former special forces soldier who lost his leg in Iraq. Now he works for the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) under the codename ‘Canter’, tasked to protect Angel, a 10-year-old with special abilities, and a disk that contains vital intelligence. He must relocate her to Melbourne and ‘nurture’ her for future induction into ASIS. It’s a nice surprise to find that there's an otherworldly force involved in what I thought to be a familiar espionage story. It’s a solid start for the series, where the story premise is developed well into the plot and establishes all the main characters.

In Book Two, Project Amber: The Milestone Incident, 30-year-old Angel is the youngest journalist in history who’s managed to do a one-on-one interview with the US Secretary of State, which is entertainingly edgy as she breaks protocol and asks questions that shouldn’t be asked. It’s the catalyst that will reveal all to Angel about her true heritage, what ASIS had planned for her, and her role to save humanity. Angel’s character growth is surprising in certain parts and there is some interesting development regarding a couple of characters. That said, the plot for this second installment is wrapped up nicely.

It’s a post-apocalyptic world in Book 3, The Lost Ones: Nothing is How it Seems. It’s the year 2157, and the descendants of the marooned USS John Steinbeck in Antartica are facing an imminent blackout as their nuclear reactor is dying. Richard Gabriel wanted to escape to Australia with his wife, Chloe, and their unborn child-a plan that got him caught, chained to an iceberg and left to die. Yet he survives, hoping to return to the Steinbeck and get his family out of there. Unfortunately, there are unexpected obstacles, particularly the fearsome enemies known as The Takers. This third book is slightly more standalone than its predecessors and has a bit more of a supernatural tone with reference to the angels and prophecies.

Overall, it’s a unique espionage series infused with enough suspense, adventure, drama, and action for fans. The writing is clear, the plots are well thought out and the characters are well-developed. Out of the three, Book Two is my favorite. A commendable work from Lakeland and I’m intrigued to know how the story will continue.

Rabia Tanveer

Milestone: The Complete Trilogy by Carl Lakeland started with the story of a young girl named Angel and how her decisions would affect the whole human race. The story began when an ex-soldier named Nathan was given the task of protecting and taking little Angel somewhere safe. As Angel is not ordinary, she has something special that must be protected and cultivated. Years go by and she has grown into a sharp and very intelligent young woman. However, her world comes crashing down when she realizes that what she has known about herself and her life is all a lie. It was all preplanned and she was just someone who was being used. Becoming a part of an intelligent community was not at the top of her list, but she realizes soon that it might just be what she was waiting for. Her one good step can save generations to come, but if she is wrong, she might bring the end a little too soon. What will she do? Can she take the responsibility? Can she let herself be who she was meant to be?

I fell in love with the characters when I first read Eagle Shield last year. I fell in love with Nathan and how he treated Angel. I also loved the fact that the author gave Angel an opportunity to grow, to learn and shape her own future the way she wanted and now it was expected of her. The conclusion of the trilogy was a surprise, one that I was not expecting but thoroughly enjoyed. The characters were given ample page space and the author did a wonderful job at keeping the suspense and action alive until the very end. I was feeling nostalgic and a little sad as I said goodbye to some amazing characters, but the end was very fitting for the story. I also enjoyed the new content added and how it gave more insight into the lives of the characters that made this trilogy an instant hit. As always, great and impressive!

K.C. Finn

Milestone: The Complete Trilogy is a collected anthology of the complete Milestone series of spy thriller books, penned by author Carl Lakeland. Recommended for mature readers due to violent imagery and coarse language, this edition includes Eagle Shield, Project Amber and The Lost Ones, plus additional chapters with bonus content throughout. We begin our journey with former SAS soldier Nathan Masters in his new guise as a recruit for the Australian Secret Service. When he is tasked to protect the ten-year-old Angel, so begins her training and career for the service herself. As the books and time progress, we see the Service go through trials and terrors of its own.

One of the things I really enjoyed about reading this collection was the fact that author Carl Lakeland doesn’t just rehash the first story again: he allows Angel to grow up and take over as times, technologies, politics, and influences change the way that things are done. The spy mechanics of the plot are well maintained to give a good balance of intrigue, information and personal moments for the characters, whilst the overall story arc of Milestone is building piece by piece at a satisfying rate. Lakeland’s characters are capable but realistically so, and setting them against the incredible scenery and culture of Australia brings a new dimension to the tale, as well as plenty of atmosphere. Overall, Milestone: The Complete Trilogy is an excellent collection of spy tales with thrilling plotlines, gorgeous descriptions, and realistic characters.