[“Kane Looks Back” is a series of posts where my editor, Kane Gilmour, will focus on some of my past novels that you might not have discovered yet. Now read on… –Jeremy]
So, for this Chesspocalypse novella, the first, I got to experience it the way the rest of you did—by reading it when it came out. Initially I was not the editor on the book, so I just got to read and enjoy it. (I’ve since gone in and touched up a few typos, but this one was remarkably clean.)
And what a ride it was! High praise to Sean Ellis for his inventive ideas on this one. The story involved a fabled Elephant Graveyard, a malevolent Artificial Intelligence (or was it a malevolent human disguised as an AI?), shootouts, car chases, a helicopter crash, and a woman with the power to end all life on earth by willing it–or by accidentally losing control! King really gets put through the wringer in this one. Jeremy and Sean collaborated on plot, Sean wrote the first draft, Jeremy tweaked and touched it up, and then it was out there in the world.
At almost half the length of a full Chess Team novel, Callsign: King is a great chunk of story. It was just the right way to set the series of novellas off. King’s relationship with Sara Fogg gets explored a bit, and we really get the focus on Sigler in this story. And Sean, having enjoyed the experience in working with Jeremy, came up with ideas for two sequels to this story—and he eventually went on to become the co-author on the main titles in the series.
I’ve needed to go back and review this book a few times for research, and each time I’m impressed with the frenetic energy of the story. The book introduces Dr. Felice Carter, who plays a role in future stories and becomes one of the key characters in the Cerberus Group novels.
Overall, it’s a great read, and if you haven’t read the novellas, I highly recommend this one. It’ll hook you and you’ll want to read the rest.
Callsign: King (2011) is available in paperback and as an e-book. The story is available as an audiobook, narrated by Jeffrey Kafer. You can also purchase the e-book as a part of the Callsign: King collection called The Brainstorm Trilogy.