The Northern Star

Civil War

Fiction - Science Fiction
309 Pages
Reviewed on 11/01/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Mike Gullickson writes science fiction and fantasy novels. He lives in Manhattan Beach, California with his wife and two children. His debut novel, the cyberpunk bestseller "The Northern Star: The Beginning," was hailed by Examiner in 2013 as one of "The Top 5 Indie Published Books You Haven't Read But Should." Its sequel, "The Northern Star: Civil War," is out now. To learn more go to www.mikegullickson.com

    Book Review

Reviewed by Michael Alexander Beas for Readers' Favorite

John Raimey returns in epic fashion in “The Northern Star: Civil War” by Author Mike Gullicksonas. Ten years after Raimey gives up all that is dear to him for love of country, he finds himself leaping out of a plane into the heart of a town for another mission. Death is everywhere and around every corner, which is pretty typical for Raimey in Africa. But this time its personal as he must save his own daughter before it is to late.

“The Northern Star: Civil War” by Author Mike Gullickson is, in my opinion one of the best Science Fiction novels I have had a chance to read in quite some time. Having not read the first book in the series, I can say that this book can be read as a stand-alone. Quickly, in a fast paced manner, “The Northern Star: Civil War,” aligns and brings the reader up to date with what happened in the first book and then pushes forth in a brilliant manner the current events that are taking shape in the current storyline. This is one aspect of the book that I enjoyed because without having read the first book I was easily able to pick up were the story left off and gave me the chance to appreciate all that was going on without having to guess or wonder what happened before.

Author Mike Gullickson does not holding back either when it comes to the pace and flow of the plot theme and character development. The real life elements and vivid description of the landscapes, coupled with the deep POV of the character drew me deep into the heart of the story and did not let go till the very end. The possibility that sometime, perhaps in the very near future the events described; such as limited natural reserves, terrorist attacks and the power of the internet taking over our minds, can in-fact, very well transpire and happen. Having read many Sci-Fi tales in the past, some I felt could be over the top with what reality can deem possible. That was not the case with “The Northern Star: Civil War.” For my personal taste I felt that it is perfect and real, with an unending possibility of a real life struggles that all of us can face if we continue let technology take over our lives. I would highly recommend this book to all, and can’t wait to see what Author Mike Gullickson comes up with next.

Ray Simmons

Northern Star: Civil War is a well written, well plotted, military science-fiction novel. Mike Gullickson has thought long and hard about the future of warfare as well as future politics, science, and society. The result is a great book with the feel of a realistic future that is at once fascinating and scary. There are realistic characters you can relate to and even come to love here. The novel opens with a look at the future American military force and its greatest weapon, a Tank Major. This is a cybernetic soldier with devastating destructive power at its command, but at a huge emotional price. There are also Tank Minors. They aren't as powerful as a Tank Major. They are more human than machines but still make awesome assassins and shock troops.

But as fascinating as the military technology in Northern Star: Civil War is, the portrait of a future where corporations are as rich as most nation-states, and individual technocrat/entrepreneurs determine the fate of the species is what captivated me most. Mike Gullickson writes warfare like a soldier and writes politics better than any politician I ever read. Northern Star: Civil War is vividly depicted and you can see the scenes as clearly as if they were on the big screen. This is the first book in a series and I think this series has the potential to become a science-fiction classic and if it makes it to the big screen, it will definitely give The Matrix a run for its money.

Lex Allen

Having not read the first book in the series (The Northern Star: The Beginning), I feared that I might not be able to “hook in” to the storyline. Thanks to Mr. Gullickson’s narrative in the opening chapter, that was not the case. In fact, I was able to get right into the story and, as the tale progressed, continued to get input from past events that impacted the current story. For a synopsis, here’s a quote directly from the book. “The oil was almost gone, the U.S. had united with the EU and China as the Coalition to take what was left, and MindCorp’s mind-freeing virtual technology had created a new online universe that was more important than the real one.” Politicians are practically useless in this dystopian world as a genius in bionics, Dr. Evan Lindo, sets out to take over the world. Cynthia Revo, the primary founder of MindCorp, overrides everyone else in her efforts to stop him.

Multiple characters play large roles in this science fiction fantasy that spans not only the real world, but includes cyberspace worlds as well. One of the lead actors is John Raimey, a product of Lindo’s technology. He’s a giant at thirteen feet and six tons of armor and bionic technology. He’s called a Tank Major and he’s an awesome weapon. Smaller versions (less than half the size with more human parts) of the Tank Major are Tank Minors. Suspension of disbelief is a bit difficult with these characters as one would think such “creatures” would have little impact or effect in a world that was completely dominated by the alternate realities of cyberspace. To this end, the story is occasionally hard to follow as the author jumps from one scene to the next, one character’s point of view to another’s. It remains, however, an intriguing tale with lots of action and suspense.

Maria Beltran

Mike Gullickson’s novel The Northern Star: Civil War describes a new world order where humans are no longer dependent on oil, where the hunger for power and greed still exists, and humans, in various forms, are still capable of love. John Raimey, a crippled soldier, faces a very uncertain future. His wife, Tiffany, is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and they have a young daughter whose future is now at stake. When he gets an offer to turn himself into a Tank Major in exchange for his wife’s treatment and a good life for his daughter, he decides to take it, but it comes at a great cost to him. Using the Mindlink technology, Dr. Evan Lindo, a U.S. military advisor, has created the Tank Major, a bionic battle chassis designed to protect the interests of the Coalition, but he has another plan that is already set in motion.

The Northern Star: The Beginning is hailed as one of the Top 5 Indie-Published Books You Haven't Read, But Should, and is one of those science fiction books that may well happen in the future. The world has become completely dependent on technology and the new world order is ruled by the Coalition, which is composed of China, the European Union and the United States of America. Mike Gullickson belongs to a breed of science fiction authors who has a great talent, not only to imagine a vivid and possible scenario in the future, but also to give his readers an amazingly detailed description of this world. And this is not all because he also has an interesting story to tell. After reading The Northern Star, one cannot help but ponder on the future of the universe, hoping against hope that humanity will prevail in the end.

Lit Amri

Mike Gullickson’s The Northern Star: The Civil War is part of a sci-fi saga of a brutal, technological world in the distant future. In the first installment, The Northern Star: The Beginning, readers were introduced to a world controlled by the Coalition – United States, European Union, China – monopolizing the scarce source of oil. The second installment takes readers further into the conflict, where Tank Major John Raimey discovers a terrible conspiracy that will endanger the life of his estranged daughter, Vanessa.

The technologies such as the military’s bionic soldiers and the Mindlink are not just fascinating, but do have the credible possibilities to exist. The technological progress sticks in my mind, so it somewhat makes me look at the world today differently. The political situations of the distant future are potentially factual, and this enthralls and alarms me at the same time. It is obvious that readers could picture the possible impact of politic matters today. It definitely makes one contemplate further, if not be more aware, of the latest world issues.

Gullickson’s prose is solid and clean. The plot and characters have substantial depth to satisfy an avid sci-fi reader like myself. Although this is the second book in the series, I find the background story is more than enough to make it a standalone read. However, there are minor inconsistencies regarding the usage of the characters’ first names and surnames. That said, this is the only flaw of the book and hardly put a dent on my enjoyable read.