Steel Reign follows a super-soldier turned bounty hunter who must rescue his sister from pirates before a deadly virus consumes him. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?
Steel Reign represents a segue novel that will connect the two worlds of my Scifi Universe of THE RED GEMINI CHRONICLES. It takes place in a nearby galaxy called Proxima Centauri, where two twin Red Dwarf stars have gone Supernova and merged with one another. This happened in the previous series called THE STAR-CROSSED SAGA, which won multiple awards for science fiction, including Readers’ Favorite, CLS International Book Awards, and Literary Titan Book of the month. This was a trilogy that spanned both Proxima Centauri and our galaxy, The Milky Way. Once it was completed, the main characters of the story, William and Sydney, relocated back to Proxima Centauri on William’s homeworld of Fabricius. That’s where William now reigns as the king and faces challenges from the neighboring five Houses and mercenary factions spread across ten Inner and Outer Colony planets. They would all love to conquer Fabricius since it has the most optimal living conditions and, therefore, prime resources.
I was inspired to write Steel Reign’s story because once I finished with THE STAR-CROSSED SAGAS TRILOGY of books, PROTOSTAR, SUPERNOVA, and SOLSTICE, I wanted to build out this fabricated universe of mine and I needed to have a fulcrum on which to work from. Steel’s character was so impressive that I chose to build an exposition narrative through him to smoothly transition readers into the next phase of my storytelling. Steel Reign is a Bounty Hunter that was introduced in THE STAR-CROSSED SAGA and had a growing character story arc in book three SOLSTICE. The story, in particular, STEEL REIGN: FLIGHT OF THE STARSHIP CONCORD, builds on his character development and provide more history of Proxima Centauri and sets up the more extensive series that I am working on called THE RED GEMINI CHRONICLES, which I compare to a Game of Thrones in Space.
Steel Reign is a character that was fun to follow. Where did the idea for his character come from and how did that change as you wrote?
Who doesn’t love a bad guy, turned good, right? It’s the original prose of writing where you try to force the reader into believing the unthinkable and fall in love with either the character or the story. Reign gave me a chance to do both since I had already built out THE STAR-CROSSED SAGA and was looking to glue things together in a separate transition novel. Reign had been introduced as a badass character, hat you weren’t sure you could trust when he is introduced in SOLSTICE, but then you soon realize he’s the real deal and you quickly cling to him. A lot of readers of THE STAR-CROSSED SAGA expressed that they wanted to know more about him, so it seemed very obvious of the direction in which I would go to fuse more of the story of Proxima Centauri along.
I love science fiction adventure stories like this. What draws you to this genre?
Science fiction to me is the last plane of existence (in a fictional world) where race, creed, and color really don’t matter. Because you’re dealing with alines, right? So who cares if you’re different. All that ever really matters is the journey of the characters and the story at hand. What’s important to them? What makes them tick? The challenge in scripting Steel Reign’s story was finding the right amount of conflict to continually move the story along while trusting that the readers love both the Sci-Fi world I was building out and remaining attached to Reign and not getting lost in the details. But since I, fell in love with the world on my own, the transition began to develop with increased ease over time. The duality between Reign and the galaxy of Proxima Centauri – a complex world, ever-changing, while containing equal parts volatility and predictability – was quite remarkable in the end.
Will there be more stories to come following Steel Reign?
Well, that is absolutely a truth! but not just Reign himself, but the entire cast of THE STARCROSSED SAGA. Once THE RED GEMINI CHRONICLES is created, you will read about all of them coming together in an epic, long story that will have a lot to offer readers of all genres.
A Thief turned Spy, turned Bounty Hunter, turned Hero!After surviving an all-out implosion of catastrophic proportions following the failed fusion of twin stars Mira A and B in a class B Supernova, the people of galaxy Proxima Centauri have pressed forward with dreams and hopes of finally living in peace. But for Bounty Hunter Steel Reign, the clock of destiny is speeding ahead at a steadfast pace as he desires to hunt down a group of rogue super-soldiers before they can plot against King William Derry and his kingdom on planet Fabricius. Consistent work as a Hunter in Proxima Centauri has always been a feast or famine occupation, and when the flow of credits slow to a snail’s pace, Reign must find a secondary means of funding to finance his seek and destroy assignment by way of scalping a precious artifact on the open Black Market. That is, until his supplier comes up short, forcing him to pump the brakes and fall back to Plan B: finding his long lost sister Olia who was captured by the space pirate Forge, and forced to compete in a deadly game of chance aboard the Eclipse. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the stakes have just been raised when he discovers that she is the only source of an antibody that can offer a cure for the deadly, venomous DX virus lurking in his blood, just waiting to consume him. To survive, Reign will have to test not only his skills as a legendary assassin, but also his patience, as he takes on a rogue band of misfits to steal and crew the prototype starship Concord to thwart Forge’s plans once and for all.
Steel Reign: Flight of The Starship Concord by Braxton Cosby begins with an intriguing and haunting scene. The protagonist, Steel Reign is expressing his regret over a massive mistake that he has made. Just from this singular scene, it is clear that he will go to any means to bring back his lost sister, Olia. She is aboard the ship Eclipse and involved in a treacherous game under the space pirate, Forge. Reign does not have the means or credits to find her. His sole plan to acquire an artifact and exchange it for credits has fallen through. He keeps having to devise Plan Bs to reach his sister. Along the way he manages to acquire a ragtag bunch of friends and colleagues: nerdy Gifford, the novice Stink, and Sereas. On top of these struggles, he is also combatting the deadly virus DX that has practically taken his eyes.
Steel Reign: Flight of The Starship Concord manages to hold a quick-paced, thrilling tone, as Reign is thrown from one dangerous situation to another. The prologue also returns in a more meaningful way later in the story as Forge’s sick game becomes clearer.
Throughout the story, a lot of different species and creatures kept cropping up. At first it was a bit jarring and difficult to keep up with, but the descriptions were so fun that I couldn’t resist being drawn in anyway. Take for example the Donthras that are described as being “multi-sexual” and “open to trying anyone and anything” Although there was an underlying intense tone to the story, the moments of levity were perfectly captured and made me laugh out loud.
Reign himself isn’t infallible though- which I personally love in an action/adventure protagonist. So often they seem to fall prey to being all around superhumans (see: Jack Reacher, Stephanie Plum) but Reign knows his strengths and weaknesses. He even manages to acknowledge that he was the brawns in the sibling relationship and Olia the brains. The pair has had a difficult upbringing but share a very sweet and strong relationship. I felt immediately sympathetic and connected to Reign whenever he reminisced about his sister.
Steel Reign was a solidly entertaining novel- a strangely perfect amalgamation of science-fiction, revenge drama, and ensemble comedy. It hit all the right spots for me and was a great weekend read.
Pages: 337 | ASIN: B082S82S8P
A superhero mashup from the talented minds of Cosby, Dodds, and Champion containing all your favorite characters from the authors own respected series. These three well-accomplished authors team up to produce an ambitious novel. At times this story works well and seamlessly provides a world where these superheroes can come together and fight yet falls short to bridge the gap between each story line and harness a collective voice among the numerous characters.
Infinity 7 begins with the rise of a dark power. As the growing threat draws closer to earth the Capes, Majesties and Solar Warriors band together to solve the mystery of their fearsome foe and hold their own against the escalating violence around them.
Those who have read Dodds, Champion, or Cosby’s previous novels will appreciate the crossover character interactions, powerups, fight scenes and the familiar personalities of main characters. I don’t discourage those who have not read all prior books about the Majesties, Capes and Solar Warriors. In fact, I’ve only read Cosby’s novels featuring the Capes but became increasingly curious about the origin story of Solar Warrior and the Majesties. Menzou, in particular, was a standout character in the latter half of the story.
It is safe to say when three separately established narratives come together an overload of characters is bound to happen. Trying to fit every character from every book into one story gave way after only a brief introduction for the main players. And then to add new characters made for an even muddier predicament. The portal jumper Tenan was one of my favorite superheroes, not so much for his abilities (that spot is held by Blurr), but for his evolution as a character. The concept of his being and power capabilities were truly fascinating and a new twist on the typical portal hopping powers. Tenan’s narrative stood out among the others for the creativity and consistency and I applaud the authors for integrating such an engaging plot within an already chaotic universe.
I love a good superhero, sci-fi, adventure series and this book has all the makings to be a good one. My wavering stance is for the lack of world building and character development which had me scratching my head in confusion more than once. Still, I imagine readers who read all former books from the authors’ will greatly enjoy the journey. And semi-new readers such as myself will soon be putting the adventures of the Majesties, Capes and Solar Warriors on their future reading list.
Pages: 421 | ASIN: B07MJ928B8
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Solstice is the thrilling finale to your Star-Crossed Saga and ends the trilogy with a bang. What were some things you wanted to make sure you touched on in the final book in the series?
I loved every minute of writing Solstice: mainly because it gave me the chance to tie up all the loose ends and make sure the story was complete and the character story arcs were congruent. As you’ve read, there were quite a number of characters throughout the story, although the main focus was centered around Sydney and William; as it should’ve been. And although remaining true to their love, along with maintaining the very cool elements of hard core Scifi was a challenge, I feel that I was successful in accomplishing that and I was proud of the outcome. To date, I written over 14 novels and Solstice is my absolute favorite one of them all.
I felt like the characters went through some large transformations throughout the series. Did the characters end up where you thought they would when you first started writing about them?
Actually, as a writer, I think you have a place (start and end) where you imagine or assume the characters will end up once you’re finished, but I never anticipated how much they’d evolve over time in the story. As pertaining to The Star-Crossed Saga, the story is told over a relative short period – if I were to guess, less than a year – but so much happens because the characters are in this frenetic, action-packed tale where they discover so much about themselves and then they mush figure out how everything ties together in order to save Fabricius and the Star-children. So to answer the question, they ended up showing me things about themselves that I did not anticipate and was like, ‘Oh wo, that’s cool,’ and it made sense to keep it.
What was your inspiration for the ‘Star-Children’ and their plight?
I looked our world today and really just crafted a story that reflected the times we live in now. How we unfairly allow our prejudices to control what we assume about one another. These have serious negative consequences and people are hurt as a result of it. In Star-Crossed, people who know of the Star-children assume they are dangerous because of the powers they posses and think they will use them for bad, when it’s the complete opposite. By the time the story comes to an end, the truth is revealed and now peace is restored. It’s unfortunate that so many people die along the quest of learning the truth. Very reflective of our society today.
Although the series is complete, do you think you will continue this story or characters in some way, or are you moving on to another story?
Absolutely! Already working on branching arcs where characters blend into the other series I’m writing and I’m also working on a solo Bounty Hunter series for Steele Reign.
The two starcrossed lovers William and Sydney have sacrificed everything to fortify their love, so much so that William dares to brave the depths of space to find a cure for their deadly Supernova bond, leaving both her and Earth vulnerable to alien Torrian Alliance’s attack. But with a full scale civil war in play on Fabricius, the reality of Sydney’s execution from Torrian hands is diminished, only eclipsed by the certainty of a more threats – The Third Faction and The Dagmas Clan – lead by Dominic and his insurgent recruits on a quest to complete the failed assassination of the teenage girl. With overwhelming odds mounting against them, William makes a desperate attempt to find the last of the endangered Star-children only to be captured by a new menace, where he is forced to compete in the dreaded Gauntlet of sport. Allies surge to free Fabricius, seeking alliances across the galaxy while Sydney tries to keep her identity hidden and trains to master the third phase of her Star-child evolution: Solstice. With Sarah’s mysterious return home with clues to unlock the future, Noella’s training and Bill’s symbiotic development hope is restored, but will it be enough to unite the galaxy and destroy evil for once and for all?
Posted in Interviews
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An otherworldly adventure awaits readers in the pages of Solstice by Braxton A. Cosby. The third book in a series starts off with a bang as readers are introduced, or reintroduced, to our protagonists Sydney and William. Theirs is a story for the ages as they defy distance and fate to be together. This epic saga will take readers on a journey through the stars and intertwine between lives and destinies. Come along as we watch our protagonists face their fears, develop who they are and take on what could be seen as an impossible undertaking. They aren’t alone and their friends will be there to help and support them every step of the way.
For those who are new to the series, the first few chapters might seem a little overwhelming. It’s clear that some major world-building was established in previous installments in the saga. There are some circumstances and terminology that readers will feel goes over their heads when they first bite into it. Not only does the story take place in outer space for a large portion, there are legends and transformations at hand that require a solid understanding about what has happened, in order to understand what will occur. The story is engaging and invites young readers to see themselves in the characters. We all go through some sort of metamorphosis as we develop into our adult selves. The transformation that Sydney undergoes could be likened to that. It’s just a bit confusing for new readers to understand the impact of previous events without reading about them.
If there has to be something to nitpick then perhaps the grammatical and stylistic errors that pop up ever so briefly would be the culprits. They aren’t startling enough to detract from the story, but a few rereads might be needed to make sense of what the sentence is supposed to say.
Cosby knows his craft and he knows his audience. It’s clear that he wrote this book for young adults as the language is easy and comfortable to read. The teens speak like real teenagers and ask the questions while speaking the frustrations that most teenagers might be too afraid to voice. It’s comforting to be able to read a book targeted to your age group and actually be able to identify with it. The fact that Cosby can share a point of view from the perspective of a young woman with just as much ease as sharing one form the view of a young man shows that he is dedicated to telling the best story that he can.
The space-odyssey of Solstice by Braxton A. Cosby is not a book to miss. It’s engaging and well written that readers of all ages will enjoy it. Young adults will get the most out of this book as they identify with the trials and tribulations our protagonists find themselves going through. While it might be confusing for new readers who have picked up this third book in the Star-Crossed Saga to understand what’s happening in the beginning, if you’re patient and devote your energy to this book, you will not be disappointed.
Pages: 317 | ASIN: B01LZ4OMHI
Posted in Book Reviews
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Enter into a version of the world where humanity has been divided into Normals and Super-Normals: denizens of the planet with altered DNA that give them supernatural powers. In this fifth installment in the Dark Spore series, Braxton A. Cosby takes the world he has developed in previous novels and expands on it further. The Cape: Overdrive revolves around Sebastian, millionaire nerd-boy, Karla, his speedy girlfriend, Lydia his cousin and a few other characters. This is a perfect young adult novel with just the right amount of action, suspense and personal drama. Watching as our friends move towards peace while pulling in other members of the Super-Normal line to help shows that even those with the most questionable backgrounds and personalities do better as friend, and not foe.
Cosby has clearly honed his craft over five installments. He is very good at world building without flooding his audience with potentially redundant information. It’s clear that he knows there will be readers who come into a series part-way through and won’t have the background information that dedicated followers might have. Cosby makes sure that he shares the stories he wants to tell in such a way that newcomers can pick up an installment and dive right in without feeling lost. That can be tough to do, but the beauty of writing a book with superheroes that resemble the ensembles of comic book heroes of the now, means that readers will expect to be missing some of the story when they pick up a random volume. That doesn’t mean the story is any less engaging and interesting: it just means that Cosby knows his audience and knows how to hook readers, no matter where in his world they enter from.
This book is a young adult novel, but that doesn’t mean that adults can’t enjoy it either. It isn’t rife with the teenage angst that many YA novels can drown themselves in, which is nice for older audiences who are interested in the story. The characters are solid with definitive personalities and goals. The relationships are clearly defined and developed: nothing is left to chance and accidental interpretation. There is no confusion and that goes on to create a wonderful atmosphere for readers. Using the discord that is plaguing the world of Cosby’s stories as a reason for the characters to come together for the greater good is deployed nicely and doesn’t feel too contrived or unrealistic.
The Cape: Overdrive by Braxton A. Cosby is a wonderful young adult novel that is sure to appeal to lovers of superheroes, regardless of their age. The story is intriguing, compelling with strong characters and solid world-building. The action is just right, and the character development is wonderful. This is a book that was crafted carefully and slides into the series nicely. Even if readers are freshly coming into the series with this book, they will not feel lost or as though they are missing crucial information. This is definitely a great read and anyone who is willing to take on this book won’t be disappointed.
Pages: 227 | ASIN: B078FNZP2J
Posted in Interviews
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