The Fifth Era of Man by Joshua Banker Review

I was sent this book for an honest review. 

Career grifter and perennial loser Cal Reeger is a dead man. He owes a lot of money to crimelord Jaefor, and the only thing he owns are his pair of revolvers. Not even the jacket on his back belongs to him. To repay this debt, he must infiltrate the Archaeology Guild’s site at Natx Hollow. As Cal schemes to steal the find of a lifetime from the aeons-old site, the ruin’s true nature is revealed. Within a cryogenic coffin belowground sleeps Centurion Prae Ganvelt, a member of the first civilization, the original race of humans who flourished millions of years ago. Still looking for a way out of his debt and with a mercenary hot on his tail, Cal joins the awakened warrior Prae and archaeologist Peter Mathester to investigate the fate of Prae’s kind. Within the mysterious, ancient compound of Ala’ydin, they learn that progenitor scientist, Erudatta, altered the cycle of dormancy for Prae’s people. What they still must discover are his reasons for doing so. The Fifth Era of Man examines the dangers of unearned achievements and the desperation that drives those who are prey to their own bad decisions.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. My interest was captured from the start, though I did think the first few sentences were a bit overpacked with description. That was one of my only complaints about the whole book—that the descriptive writing sometimes became too descriptive and spent too long describing small things unnecessarily. The writing was really well done, though. An easy read with different points of view that had recognizable and unique voices. Another small complaint was that I think the action scenes would’ve been better if the writing had reflected the feel of the action a bit more with shorter, choppier sentences. The action suffered and felt slowed down by long, descriptive sentences. Other than that, I really enjoyed the descriptions. The locations we visited in Banker’s futuristic world were detailed and expansive and his writing showed them vividly.

The characters were well developed, mostly likable and felt real and unique. Even the minor characters were interesting and fleshed out. Cal was probably my favorite because of his funny comments but I loved Prae and Oebe’s bluntness, too. Peter was irritating at times but that was just his personality and I didn’t mind it too much. They made for an interesting and entertaining group with their frequent disagreements and clashing personalities. 

I really haven’t read much science fiction before this so I wasn’t sure what to expect from the story or how interested I would be. Obviously, I found it incredibly interesting. It was fast paced and compelling. It did take me awhile to read this but that was only because I don’t love reading on my phone—otherwise I would’ve flown through it because I wanted to keep reading to figure out what was going on. I can’t say enough how interesting I found it. There was a lot going on with the motives of each character mixed together and the sense of urgency created by their mission and the motives of off screen characters. I was surprised more than once as certain information came to light. The ending was such a shock and nothing at all like I was expecting, but it was satisfying and didn’t leave me with any questions.

This book was so entertaining. There was no shortage of intrigue, action and great dialogue from interesting characters. I think people who are already fans of science fiction will love this story but anyone who loves compelling adventures will enjoy it, too.


Thank you to Joshua Banker for sending me a copy for review.


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