The Reloaded Edition

Christian - Fiction
270 Pages
Reviewed on 08/17/2012
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Tony Ross has been part of the ministry team at Calvary Apostolic Church in Clintonville, Wisconsin since 2004. He is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Tony's writing debut was a short testimonial called "The Ugly Duckling's Revenge," which detailed his early struggles with alcohol and depression and what God did to deliver him. His next step was the novel "Victor," a futuristic thriller with elements of sci-fi and the supernatural. published by WestBow Press. Tony later improved upon the original story and re-released it as "Victor: The Reloaded Edition," published by Booklocker.

Tony's next book, "Orion," the sequel to "Victor," is expected to be on the market in the fall of 2013. He has at least two more books planned for that storyline.

When Tony isn't writing, he enjoys quiet country living and outdoor sports such as football and baseball. He is happily married and has five children.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

Detective David Johansen of the Sunlight City Police was an expert in weird cases. When his boss brought him a surveillance tape from a small diner of a woman escaping from a man with a gun, he knew he had to take the case. Johansen recognized the man with the gun. The gunman went by many names and could be connected to many murders. The assassin had been killed and the body claimed on several occasions. The man looked like Johansen's father who died in Iraq 2003. Mona managed to escape her employer. She knew he would send Victor to murder her. Josef Hirigawa was extremely wealthy but money meant little to him; he craved power; he wanted to be God. Victor was part of a group of Assassins known as the Black Cats. Victor was considered the greatest and known as the Alpha Cat. Sunlight City was on an island where corporates made the rules, offered bribes and sent out assassins. There were few Christians in the city; most of the Reverends had left town quite some time before, leaving only Father Joshua.

"Victor" is an exciting fast-paced thriller. I attempted to be a bit vague in my review of this book for it would be very easy to give away too much information and spoil this great read for others. "Victor" has a strong Christian undertone which does not detract from the plot. There is a controversial topic broached in this tale. The author handled it very well, successfully demonstrating the danger of some scientific advancement. Author Tony Ross’s plot grabbed my attention from the very first chapter. The last few chapters were my favorite part of this book. Ross managed to keep the action going throughout the whole tale. The ending was magnificent. I found the interconnection of Victor, David and Mona to be fascinating. Watching Victor discover his true identity was mesmerizing. Tony Ross is a talented author not afraid to allow his opinions and beliefs to shine through his art. I look forward to more books by this author.

Anna del C. Dye

What a ride I had with this exciting and well-paced book! It is a thrilling story of elite assassins, gangs, and clones filled with suspense. I love this story full of chases, twists, and surprises to the very last page. Tony uses a creative way to tell a suspense story to keep you at the edge of your seat to the end. His technique is fantastic and futuristic and, it is after all a great tale that will keep your blood pumping. Sunlight City is what you and I would consider at free city, in the sense that anything is possible and no one worries much about it. There is corruption, crime, and moral liberties all along the street. Mona Macheski was a scientist employed by the wealthiest and very insane guy who owns Sunlight City. Josef Hirigawa believes himself to be God and, as such, has command of an elite group of assassins. The best of them is Victor and he has awakened Victor with one purpose alone, to kill Mona. She has stolen the very key that will make him and his band eternal. Mona, for her part, has discovered the way to make eternity happen and she knows what Josef wants it for. She will not let him become a God; no, not this being who has no remorse nor charity for any human being.

This is an essential book for all lovers of spy and assassin stories. You won’t be disappointed. I recommend it for all readers from young adults to adults alike.

Stephanie D.

"Victor" by Tony Ross is an impelling technological thriller with a strong underpinning of religious faith. It is set in the futuristic Sunlight City which doesn’t live up to its name. There we follow three key characters. Mona is in a lot of trouble. She has run off from her employer, the menacing and powerful Hirigawa who wants to be a god, and knows some valuable secrets which involve influential people and corporations. Victor, a Black Cat assassin, the alpha, has been set on her trail by Hirigawa. Victor knows Mona well and so can be relied on to track her down easily. But Victor is increasingly troubled by confused memories and the realization this this particular job is wrong. He faces an immense threat too. And there is the occult investigator David with his own secrets but he is Mona’s best hope. David knows beyond doubt that Victor is dead. David faces a tough challenge but as usual relies on his dependable back-up - God.

This is an imaginative, exciting book based on good versus evil, faith versus free-for-all immorality. But it is subtle and intelligently argued with no preaching or moralizing. The readers can draw their own conclusions. Cloning, advanced technology, different forms of power, religious convictions, self-image and cults are all issues that come under the author’s scrutiny as we are swept along by this action-packed and thought-provoking novel. The complex characters we meet draw us into their troubled worlds and we are there with them as they resolve the problems they face. We share their despair in the desperate hours but also their hope, optimism and trust. This is quite a book!

Fiona I.

Sunlight City is a futuristic shrine to decadent splendor, where anything is possible, from drugs and alcohol to prostitution and gambling, and inhabitants can pursue their pleasures without fear of retribution. It is a sensual paradise and possibly a hell on earth. However, as with everything else in Sunlight City, the giant corporations control life. The police force exists to protect the big money bosses. When Mona Macheski runs away from ruthless billionaire businessman Josef Hirigawa, owner of Bifrost Technologies, she unleashes a fury second to none. If Victor, Josef’s assassin, doesn’t get her, Omega (the backup) will. Victor, a gifted assassin with no memory of his past, is someone special. He has been reported dead quite a few times, so how come he has popped up over the last thirty years, seemingly ageless? Killing Mona is the most controversial assignment of his career. The problem is that fragmented memories are starting to return and disturb his thinking. Mona developed a program for Josef’s murder squad, an elite group of super-assassins, with adjustments to their DNA that border on the controversial. When she refuses to cooperate with Josef any longer, she leaves, taking with her the vital information Josef needs to continue his genetics program. Her only hope lies in David, a detective with problems and secrets of his own. He must defend Mona, and perhaps save her from someone who is vitally important to him.

This is a very interesting novel and author Tony Ross raises some controversial questions about the meaning of life, the immortality of the soul, the dangers of tampering with genetic experimentation, and ultimately belief in God. He also includes a thought-provoking Q&A at the end of the book for interested readers. While I found the Christian elements slightly at odds with the level of violence and decadence portrayed, the plot is really gripping. The main characters wrestle with revelations about themselves and the meaning of existence, and come to decisions that reveal their ultimate understanding. There are hints of “Blade Runner” here, but this is a unique story with fascinating twists and turns in the tale. The pace is slow at first, but then it speeds up to create a first-rate, runaway thriller. It is sci-fi with a difference, and will certainly satisfy readers looking for a stimulating read with a surprise ending.

Alice D.

Sunlight City is located on a newly formed Pacific island where the prevailing order believes the dictum "Give the people what they want." There Mona Macheski is running for her life from her boss, Josef Hirigawa, who is the CEO of Bifrost Technology which is named after the bridge in Norse mythology which connects the land of man with that of the Gods. Josef is not a good person. He killed both his Japanese father and his Russian mother and then sold their software business to invest in his own future. Josef wants to bridge the gap between man and gods as long as he's the god. Mona is too brilliant, too knowledgeable and valuable to Josef's company to have her escape. Josef has taken her invention, cloning, twisted it for his own purposes and has created hell on earth. He sends two killers after Mona. One of them is Victor with his device, Bloodhound, that follows Mona's every movement and the other is Omega, whose job is to kill Victor once Mona is eliminated. The Reverend Joshua Hayden reaches out to help Mona who has strayed from her belief in God as does Policeman David Johansen. Can their prayers to an all powerful God save Mona and the people she meets along the way to her attempted escape?

"Victor" is a highly well-written Christian thriller that is set in the near future in a thriving city established on a newly-created Pacific island. Author Tony Ross sets the basis for an exciting plot line with his opening chapter that tells the reader what is happening and why it is. The action and suspense throughout "Victor" are sustained continually and stay true to the plot line. Mona, Victor, David Johansen, Omega and all the other characters mesh well with each other and help tell the story. The theme of trust and faith in God is nicely presented throughout the entire book. Believers and non-believers alike will delight in reading "Victor" which belongs on reading lists everywhere.

Karen P.

"Victor" by Tony Ross is a fascinating study of a futuristic city in which personal freedoms are taken to the extreme, placing ordinary citizens in fear for their lives. Sunlight City (which appears to be a take-off on Las Vegas) is a place where anything goes and moral absolutes are nonexistent. Hirigawa is the human controller and he manipulates everyone including Victor who has been sent to destroy Mona, a woman with deep, dark secrets who jeopardizes Hirigawa's operations. But, Victor is not the clone he appears to be. When he develops feelings and memories, he is bound and is determined to set things straight. He has help in the form of the godly David, a patient and moral man who firmly believes moral boundaries do and should exist and be followed by human beings.

The book is thought-provoking and it begs the questions raised about cloning, artificial intelligence and rampant, unchecked technology in general. The novel sets up a dichotomy of belief systems pitting cloning against a God-made world. I liked the believability of this novel and also the fact that it made the reader think about traditional religious beliefs without "preaching to the choir." One of the most intriguing aspects of the story for me was the ongoing struggle Victor had with his own identity. That struggle makes the reader think about what constitutes humanness and what makes many humans non-humane in their thoughts, feelings and actions. Well done, Mr. Ross. You have provided your readers with good fuel for self-exploration!