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Reviewed by Essien Asian for Readers' Favorite
Ryker Vaughn is part of an explosives detection team. During one of their campaigns, his team came across an unusual device with Ryker’s name on it. When the team tries to transport it back to base, it explodes, killing all his team members except him and leaving him a double amputee with a sense of guilt. On the other side of the world, the discovery of a similar device and an aggressively worded message from an extraterrestrial source puts world leaders on edge and people on high alert. The countdown is on as it looks like war is almost a certainty. The only person capable of stopping it is Ryker. Now he must face his demons to save the planet in Dustin Williams’s Return To Duty.
State-of-the-art technology and riveting storytelling come together explosively in Dustin Williams’s Return To Duty. The storyline has an injured war veteran take on extraterrestrial aggressors in a winner-takes-all battle. Williams focuses this gripping tale on the one resource the planet has in abundance and crafts an elaborate origin story around it with such dexterity that it is completely believable. The fighting scenes where Maazi’s forces take on the world’s might are described in such intricate detail that they are as immersive as they are suspense-filled. Williams’s concept of spacecraft that utilize lesser-known microorganisms abundant within our ecosystem sets the bar very high in science fiction. The best part of Return To Duty is the way Williams humanizes the principal character with bouts of self-doubt and wanting to emulate his father, pushing the narrative of a less-than-perfect hero. Williams deserves plaudits for an excellently crafted science-fiction masterpiece.