Manifest Destiny: By Any Means Necessary
Manifest Destiny: By Any Means Necessary is the thrilling second entry in the Manifest Destiny series by author Jaiden Baynes. Many centuries have passed since the events in An Unholy Alliance, and the universe has somehow stabilized into a futuristic dystopia, which is rife with issues such as slavery, poverty, mass incarceration, and cannibalism as the lowest tier of survival.
Readers will enjoy how things in this book also parallel happenings in the first book, although the book takes it to a dramatic and entertaining level. Unlike the first book, which featured a select few characters that the story revolves around, it is hard to find a single character to focus on in this sequel. There is a variety of exciting and fun-to-follow characters. Each character gives readers a unique view of this vast and detailed world. They come from all kinds of backgrounds, and they have all kinds of occupations and different levels of freedom. I enjoyed the diversity in the cast and felt it gave the story an ensemble feel.
The world-building in this book is still spectacular. The author has made some improvements since the first book in the series. The dialogue is amusing and fun and helps to move the story along. This book has a handful of battles, and every encounter drives forward an agenda and provides some social commentary. This book focuses much more on developing this universe’s politics and philosophy, and the dialogue supports that the best it can.
Manifest Destiny: By Any Means Necessary is a riveting space opera filled with complex world-building and memorable characters. I would highly recommend it to readers of the first book or anyone looking for a fun science fiction story in an expanding and alluring universe.
Pages: 501 | ASIN : B0BPCS6M24
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
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Manifest Destiny: An Unholy Alliance follows two beings with superhuman capabilities and a hunger for power who join forces to take what they want using whatever means necessary. In fantasy novels, it’s easy to get carried away with the characters’ magical powers. How did you balance the use of supernatural powers?
To balance the use of supernatural powers I set clear rules for what they could and could not do. For example, while the power of flight removes a lot of obstacles for those characters, all that means is that other world-building tools need to be used to ensure that this power does not invalidate conflict in the plot. I keep an extensive document of notes on how the Power system works in order to know its limits so as to not break the story. While the power of the characters may seem absurd, this is for thematic purposes: it is supposed to seem ridiculous how much power so few people can horde.
I also balance the use of powers with the story by showing the limits of raw power in its capacity to solve problems by giving complex problems that strength alone cannot resolve. Power is made to represent things metaphorically and allegorically. Even if it seems powerful or unfair, if it evil there is always a way to overcome it.
I try to make sure that the use of Power always ties in to a character or thematic purpose. Typically tied to the character that wields that unique power for character purposes. If the character represents something, the power will do the same. Say a villain with a specific type of flaw has the power of immortality: this supernatural power might be trying to communicate just how difficult it can be to vanquish that vice.
Calling the supernatural powers “Power” was an intentional attempt to get many good phrases that could have deeper and double meanings. The reader will be made to think if I am talking about the supernatural and magic power… or something far more tangible in the real world.
I restrained myself from putting in the most extreme or powerful abilities. The goal is to pace things across different books: each region and era have their own unique uses of Power that gain and fall out of prominence. The Power system grows more complex and powerful as things progress and advance just like real world military capabilities. This allows for variety so that the Power system will feel new and exciting with every new addition that the reader gets their hands on.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
I hoped to get many themes and messages to readers of the book. Just a few would be:
- The corrupting influence of power and how it influences the human condition
- The insanely large gap in power between those in positions of authority and those they rule over
- The evils of imperialism and colonialism
- The historic failures and problems of the past that influence so many modern problems in the present
- The only difference between Pirates and Emperors is the scale of their atrocities.
- Idealizing the past is a mistake and potentially very harmful. Yearning for a bygone age that never was, can lead to bad things.
- Violence and war are not things to be idealized.
- The eternal conflict between tyranny of the oppressors and the freedom of the oppressed.
- Money and power do not necessarily equate to happiness.
The book is an attempt to portray the whitewashed tradition of noble kings and knights from fantasy novels with more historical accuracy. Address the real-world problems with tyrannical monarchies rather than glamorize them as a bygone paradise.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
The sequel to this book is Manifest Destiny: By Any Means Necessary which will focus on what comes after our heroes’ happily ever after. In the far future of the first book, it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. I’m very excited for that book and think it’s even better than the first. And the third book is well underway as well. If all goes well, both books will be available in 2023.
I’ve almost nearly completed the first installment of the next series that will be coming after Manifest Destiny. A series of books diving into the mythology of the Manifest Destiny Universe set in a completely different time and place. A lot of it seems very similar to our own with… slight alterations. The book will be examining my reimagining of Greco-Roman myth using realworld comparative mythology analysis. Mixed in with the fantasy fun, I hope to actually educate readers on the exciting world of myth studies and Indo-European mythology.
Posted in Interviews
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Manifest Destiny: An Unholy Alliance
A beautiful princess named Norne with white hair and royal purple eyes is reading a book in a fantastic city on a planet that is half molten rock, half frozen wasteland. She comes from another planet, and she has superhuman capabilities to boot. She is distracted by a giant man who cannot even speak, and she is disgusted by his nakedness and lack of education. They strike up a mental conversation and go meet the king of the planet together, where this giant of a man, who named himself Chaos, takes the throne with a brutal showing of power.
This is a creative epic fantasy novel that utilizes an interesting blend of high science fiction and high fantasy, the latter more reminiscent of Asian martial arts novels than your run of the mill dragons and castles. There are people in this world that have Power, and there are those who don’t. There are many royal families, their kingdoms span across planets and solar systems, and they establish their dominion with their Power.
The book begins with a short history lesson of the world, and a very detailed explanation of the magic system, so readers will know exactly what they are getting themselves into in the first few pages. This also leaves readers with the impression that the backstory and lore of this world is deep and well thought out.
While the worldbuilding is written with a passion I would have enjoyed the story more if the characters dialogue and interactions had the same depth. The action scenes are very detailed and well choreographed, but they can also be extremely violent, since most of the characters either can’t die or it takes a lot to kill them. Reader discretion is advised, but if you enjoy all-out action novels, then author Jaiden Baynes has written a hard hitting story that you will surely enjoy. The magic system, like the worldbuilding, is also thoroughly explained. The world, the history, and the magic that makes it what it is are very well explained and is one reason I really liked this book.
Manifest Destiny: An Unholy Alliance is an action-packed adventure with tons of depth to the world. Fantasy fans looking for a world that was built with purpose and passion will find plenty to enjoy in this lively adventure.
Pages: 513 | ASIN: B0BNBMQBDJ
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
Tags: action, adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, epic fantasy, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, indie author, Jaiden Baynes, kindle, kobo, literature, Manifest Destiny, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, writer, writing
Enemies of Africa
Enemies of Africa is a factual and historical description of how widespread the slave trade was and how there is still widespread racism and discrimination even today. Author Jaiden Baynes has done an excellent job and provides readers with an essential read. Baynes’ writing will open your eyes to how the slave trade started and the factors that led to it being so widespread.
Enemies of Africa is a well-researched and planned work of pure fact. I thought I knew a lot about the slave trade, but there is so much that the history classes left out. This eye-opening book filled in all the blanks, and I am more educated on the slave trade now than I ever was by a textbook.
It is very apparent that so much research went into this novel to ensure factual and precise information. This book explains how the slave trade started and why. It also showcases just how horribly slave traders treated their slaves. Enslaved people weren’t treated like humans. They were beaten and starved, and their children were sold into slavery as well. I think it is essential for information like this to be shared. While this is a heavy topic to read about, Jaiden Baynes lays out the facts in a way that makes absorbing this appalling piece of history possible.
Enemies of Africa is an educational resource on the dark history of slavery. This factual book teaches readers the things that average history courses skip over. Unfortunately, there is a cultural bias toward Africans, and I think everyone needs to read what this book says about it. Enemies of Africa is worth the read. Well done, Jaiden Baynes, for laying out the information and touching on a challenging subject in a digestible way.
Pages: 176 | ASIN : B0BCGF2ZK3
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
Tags: African History, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, education, Education History, Enemies of Africa, goodreads, history, indie author, Jaiden Baynes, kindle, kobo, literature, nonfiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, writer, writing