Coulter, Steven A. “Chronicles of Spartak: Freedom’s Hope”, Jubilation Media, 2018.
San Francisco, the 22nd Century
A little over a year ago, I received a copy of Steven Coulter’s “Chronicles of Spartak: Rising Son” and I was a bit dismayed on how to approach it. By and large, I do not read science fiction and thought this might hinder how I feel about the book. On the other hand, I know how much work goes into writing a book and I believe that our literature must be read and spoken about. The surprise came in how much I enjoyed the read even though my mind was conditioned to not like it.
I noted in my review that it seemed to me that “Rising Son” left the door open for a sequel and now we have “Freedom’s Hope” and while it is a sequel each book stands alone and on its own. Even though this is true let me refresh my reader’s mind as to just who Spartak is.
When he was sixteen-years-old, Spartak Jones was betrayed, kidnapped and sold. this was in the year 2115 and America is split into factions and the ruling elite are involved in a power struggle. Spartak becomes a hero as he fights for right. His
exploits are famous and they have indirectly caused the feeling of liberalism to again take hold in underground and he becomes a symbol of hope for the people representing both what was and what can be. And just to note, Spartak is gay but his
sexuality is a non-issue. He immediately wins us over with his personality and his prowess. Writer Steven Coulter sharply and adroitly manages to mix in themes from what we are experiencing in our culture today to give relevance to the story and he gives us a hero who thinks as much of others as he thinks of himself and he champions equality and peace in a world where that does not seem likely.
In looking at the new volume, “Freedom’s Hope”, I suppose we can say that it is about a young man who finds love as a revolution takes place all around him We move ahead to the year 2116, Spartak is now 17 and the war between the ruling classes is picking up momentum. He has now become his own man after the terrible ordeal of having been kidnapped in “Rising Son”. The liberal underground uses his wholesome and swashbuckling image to build support for democracy even while others plot Spartak’s destruction. From the Space Elevator, some 22,000 miles above the earth, Spartak and Zinc McClain, scion of the nation’s richest family, begin “an audacious scheme to thwart a religious war and a military coup.” From this point on things move very quickly and writer Coulter wonderfully brings together science fiction, fantasy and politics.
There is so much to like about this book and its characters and I found myself reading the entire book in one sitting after having shut myself off from the rest of the world. I deliberately have said very little about the plot because I learned that when I tried to do so I was also writing a spoiler so you will have to take my word for it and read this. I am sure that our opinions will be in sync.