“Sekret Machines: A Fire Within” is the fictional follow up to to “Sekret Machines: Chasing Shadows,” which is the Tom DeLonge/ A.J. Hartley penned novel series based off historical accounts.
While “Chasing Shadows” was a strong introduction into the world To The Stars is creating, “A Fire Within” doesn’t quite have the magic the first book had.
It’s an entertaining , light read that advances the plot, but the parts “based on factual accounts” seem to be more of centered around certain phenomenons as a whole like cattle mutilation, mind control and crop circles, rather specific pinpoint-able incidents in “Chasing Shadows.” The events in the final act seem to either be a stretch from the “historical accounts” or To The Stars is revealing some interesting stuff here veiled through a fiction novel.
Hartley does a splendid job taking DeLonge’s ideas, testimony from members of To The Stars Academy and weaves entertaining, character-driven narratives.
One glaring knock is the length of the book. Both books so far in the series clock in at 704 pages and 673 pages respectively, and at times the book feels bloated and overly drawn out. The story could be told in a more effective, concise manner in half the page count.
Bring on the next “Sekret Machines” non-fiction Peter Levenda penned book.
-By MIKE DAMANTE