"Long ago, the first reign of Grigori Geist nearly destroyed the Earth.
Returned from exile, Geist is secretly rebuilding his kingdom beneath Antarctica, assembling his robotic Vaucan race to war against mankind. Only one obstacle remains: the war hero known as Brian Renney.
Yet Brian is losing a battle against his fears. Scars of heart and mind linger from his days in Vietnam, fueling his failures as husband and father. This embitters his youngest son, Jason – a star athlete torn between pursuing the love of his life, and meeting the demands of a father who is far from the storied army captain he once was.And all the while, Geist is coming for them. In this dark hour, Brian and Jason encounter a war to end all others… and an unexpected ally who, once meant for evil, shall forever be a force for good."
Summary: The story of Flash involves an entire race of robotic soldiers called vaucans and archvaucans. There is an entire society called Regnum Aeturnum built under Antarctica that is populated by humans who are being controlled and have lost their free will. An archvaucan named Prince Ahya, later called Flash, who is ordered by his king, Grigori Geist, to murder a man named Brian Renney. Prince Ahya and Dietrich Schmidt plan to overthrow Geist and free the people. Brian Renney is the one man who can help them. A second story line of Brian Reneney and his family develops. Brian was a captain in the Vietnam war and has since become more introverted and closed off. He pushes his wife away and criticizes his sons. After an argument Brian walks away from his family and Prince Ahya comes to assassinate Brian. Brian gets the prince to cease his attack and the prince takes Brian away to protect him. His family wakes up in the hospital and believes that Brian has abandoned them. The novel continues with the two plot lines and they eventually combine to answer questions raised about how Brian and his time in the Vietnam war fits into Regnum Aeturnum and what Geist has planned. Events unfold that lead to disastrous consequences and confrontations that change everyone in the novel.
My Reaction: I really enjoyed this novel. I find it very interesting that the author created another entire race/species along with another society. The blurb in the back of the kindle edition says that Sousa originally thought of this as a video game design. If he had made it I would definitely play, and I'm not a huge gamer. Along with the plot line of Regnum Aeturnum and the war against Geist came a secondary story line of Brian's family, mainly his son Jason and his friend Alessa. Being a romantic I loved this secondary story and was dying for the two to be together. The two, along with their friends, travel to Atlana to help with victims of human trafficking. I think this is a really important cause and am happy to see that a portion of every sale of this book goes to International Justice Mission and their work to end human trafficking. It was also nice to see the religious aspect and how important it is to Brian's wife Mary. I am glad to see that Flash is the beginning of the Forever trilogy because I would love to read more about these characters and to see how the fight to free the people of Regnum Aeturnum continues. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone because throughout the novel I was emotionally involved. I felt sad, angry, frustrated, and happy along with the characters. Also the battle scenes and nightmares of the Vietnam war that Brian has are so vividly portrayed it was like a movie. I give Flash 4 out of 5 stars and am anxiously waiting for the sequel.