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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Twenty-five-year-old Robert has a hard time keeping his job at Best Buy, Portland, Oregon, and he hasn’t changed his job role since he started with the company — staying as a repair agent and working in the back room, removing various forms of malware from computers — because of his lack of people skills. He is not just good at talking to people. Even when his friend, David, visits, Robert has to think if David is welcome or not and brings out his timer, ready to unceremoniously send his friend away when their time is up. In The Seventh Guard: Destiny Expires, a man who seems to live on the edge of reality, without fully getting involved, decides to write a harmless program and install it on 100 of the computers he’s repaired. This is just the beginning of a path fraught with danger and a powerful adversary that will make Robert question everything he’s ever believed in, a journey that will test him beyond limits.
Francis Halpin’s story is one of an unusual character following a message that takes him on an adventure filled with danger. This is a compelling tale with one of the best characters I have read in science fiction. The author creates a profile of the protagonist, a man who is very intelligent, but who feels more connected with the computers he works with than with his girlfriend, Jennifer, who strangely seems to cherish his “sharp sense of humor.” The writing is beautiful, the humor filling the pages, and the suspense skillfully designed to keep the reader’s attention from one engaging page to the next. From the very first page, one notices something strange about the protagonist — a loner, but one who is extremely gifted. The elegant prose grabs your attention from the first page, thanks to its fluidity. Robert is a character you can’t ignore. He is unique and seems not to care about it. He is a risk taker who creates a sense of excitement in readers who watch him doing what he knows best. The Seventh Guard: Destiny Expires is utterly entertaining, one of the few books with an irresistible narrative voice and a strong setting.