Project Amber

The Milestone Incident

Fiction - Thriller - General
340 Pages
Reviewed on 01/17/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Carl Lakeland lives on a property with his wife in the sleepy town of Snake Valley, 36 kilometres south west of Ballarat in Australia. Lakeland grew up during the early seventies, western suburbs of Sydney. Having enlisted into the military at the age of seventeen, he draws on his experience to create powerful and engaging speculative fiction.

“Sometimes, I can’t let things be,” says Lakeland. “I write stories with passion that others might see as being obsessive. I live and breathe it. I dream it when I sleep. But I never write down my dreams. If I can’t remember those things I’ve dreamt, they’re not important enough.”

Lakeland’s stories revolve around the element of ‘what if?’ He pushes the boundaries of his stories to the edge of the Official Secrets Act, which will leave the reader wondering about the aspect of creative license, or the possibility of fact in his writing. Either way, the reader will be left to make up their own mind. His books are fast paced, edge of your seat thrillers which are distinctively written in a way that will have the reader guessing which way the story is about to head.

“As a writer, unpredictability is key essence. If I write something that can be foreseen in coming chapters, it’s not good enough. I will scrap it. My goal is to keep the reader wondering, even sometimes to the detriment of my good guys!”

    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Project Amber: The Milestone Incident by Carl Lakeland is a powerful thriller that melds the elements of suspense and crime fiction to give readers a tremendous ride. Meet Angel, a clever and unflinching journalist who would do anything to get a good story out. Her work is very satisfactory and she enjoys the limelight into which it thrusts her, but things aren’t going to be the way they have always been. She suddenly discovers a very sinister plan, a secret buried in the heart of Australia, and the world could be about to be hit by its consequences. What is more alarming is that Angel’s life has been planned and manipulated without her being aware of it. Does she have what it takes to face the truth and fight the evil that could destroy the world as she knows it?

Carl Lakeland takes readers across beautiful landscapes and well-documented Australian settings to follow the story of a compelling woman poised against a complex and powerful enemy. I enjoyed the plot and the surprises that are reserved for readers. It isn’t difficult to develop a great liking for the protagonist — she is strong, real, and genuinely flawed — and the internal conflict she experiences is overwhelming. There were moments I felt pain for her, moments I literally got worried that something awful could happen to her, and this feeling accompanied a great portion of my reading experience. Project Amber: The Milestone Incident is intelligently plotted, brilliantly imagined with compelling characters, and executed to a great and triumphant finish. You can’t stop reading until the very last page.

Divine Zape

Fast-paced and well-plotted, Project Amber: The Milestone Incident by Carl Lakeland is a riveting story that features intrigue and a woman’s unwitting journey to the discovery of who she really is and what she’s meant to be. Angelique “Angel” enjoys a lot of popularity and respect in the media world, thanks to her uncanny ability to unearth interesting news stories. This time around, Angel is about to uncover a startling truth — a nuclear powered aircraft entering Australian territory, and without permission. There is a secret, and an ominous project that could unleash something worse than humanity has known before, but as she pursues this story, she begins to understand that every step she’s taken thus far has been designed and laid out for her — but by whom? Has she been working for herself or has someone been behind the scenes, pushing her on a path that seems to be hers, but which could end up in her own destruction?

I loved the pacing, the drama, the intensity, and the sense of realism injected into this story. It starts with a bang and the reader’s attention is arrested from the very first page with the intense action. But there is no slowing down, as the author leads the reader from one fascinating page to the next gripping one, each page filled with well-crafted scenes, great dialogues, and awesome descriptions. The setting in Australia is well done, and the reader feels like the author is part of the landscapes and the culture he describes. Carl Lakeland’s writing is crisp and he knows how to create colorful and strong images in the minds of readers. I particularly enjoyed the excellent prose, the balance in the overall writing, and the way the conflict is handled. Project Amber: The Milestone Incident is a great entry for a series and I can’t wait to read the next book. It’s a story that will appeal to a wide range of reader interests — thriller fans, plus crime, suspense, and general fiction fans. This is a book for you if you are into writing that is upbeat, characters that are real, and plot lines that compel you to keep on turning the pages.

Grant Leishman

Don’t worry about aliens coming to earth – they’re already here and they have been for eons. They look like us, they talk like us and they’re almost impossible to distinguish from us. This is the scenario presented to us in Carl Lakeland’s Project Amber: The Milestone Incident. When a successful young television journalist, Angel, has the temerity to ask the U.S. Secretary of State about the visit to Australia of a nuclear powered carrier, all hell breaks loose for this young woman. Unbeknownst to her, Angel is someone special and has been groomed all her life for the new role she will undertake as a member of Australia’s elite Secret Service (ASIO). In a story set principally in the outback of Australia, Angel will join forces with an elite team to try to stop the destructive events that are unfolding around the world that could easily see life on earth, as we know it, end. She alone has the ability to stop Project Amber and Operation Milestone from devastating our world in a nuclear holocaust.

I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to read about another country’s Secret Service, rather than the USA. It is clear that Carl Lakeland has done his research well in Project Amber: The Milestone Incident. From his descriptions of the facilities at Pine Gap and Nurrangar, right through to the weaponry used and the attitudes and beliefs of these dedicated elite forces, it all rang very true for me. As an ex-pat New Zealander, it was refreshing to read some good old-fashioned “Aussie” banter, with its unique phrases and expressions. The story is super-fast and action-filled, quite often literally leaving the reader panting for breath. I found the premise of aliens always living among us to be believable and even the seemingly impossible “magic” to be acceptable, and this is a credit to Lakeland’s skill as a writer. I was intrigued to read the short excerpt at the end of the next book. It looks fascinating and I will be checking it out when it becomes available. The ability to prime a reader for the next book in a series is critical to authors and Lakeland has done that well. It’s an excellent fast-paced, science fiction thriller for fans of the genre.

Marta Tandori

Australian television journalist, Angelique (Angel), is about to have a very memorable thirtieth birthday. She’s scored a major career coup in that she’s about to sit down to a one-on-one interview with the U.S. Secretary of State. The protocols for the interview are already in place, with the benign interview questions and prepared responses provided – and a twenty-second delayed buffer on the broadcast insisted upon. Angel has no intention of sticking to the boring question and answer script after finding out from her colleague that the USS John Steinbeck, a U.S. nuclear-powered super carrier, is berthed in Melbourne harbor despite having been refused entry by the Nuclear Safety Commission. Throwing caution to the wind, she has the interview switched to a live telecast and confronts the Secretary of State about the super carrier’s unauthorized entry into the harbor. However, Angel doesn’t get any response as the other woman is quickly whisked off set. Expecting a huge pushback from her boss the next day, Angel is shocked to learn from him that a dozen Chinook helicopters had left the Steinbeck’s flight deck in the early hours of the morning, heading inland, further tightening the shroud of secrecy surrounding the presence of the super carrier. Angel is given the assignment to uncover the truth, but she soon finds herself in the middle of something she hadn’t bargained for…

Strap on your seat belt and hold on tight because you’re in for a helluva ride! Project Amber: The Milestone Incident by Carl Lakeland sucks you in from the very first page and doesn’t let up. There’s a nice balance between the narrative, dialogue and the action. The story is fast-paced and hard to peg into a particular genre as it is part military thriller and part sci-fi. No matter how you want to characterize Lakeland’s work, it’s one hundred percent entertaining. Angel’s character is sympathetic, likable and flawed, which makes her the ideal protagonist. She’s got some baggage from her past and her struggles with these inner demons give her character such intensity and dimension. There are many plot twists to this story and, while too many plot twists can confuse readers and ultimately lose them, that’s not the case here. Project Amber: The Milestone Incident delivers what it promises – a great story from beginning to end!