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Battle for Chronos Reviews

Diane Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review, July 2012

Prior fans of Tom Ciolli's 'Chronos' military sci-fi setting will welcome this final conclusion to the chronicle, documenting an escalating struggle with a corrupt mining syndicate on the planet of Chronos.

 The initial rebellion has broken the Syndicate's hold on the planet and in the last installment, it was to be another year before forces could be amassed to take back the planet: but that time has passed and now Chronos is facing its final battle, with the battlefield extending into space.

 Here the resistance movement on Chronis is facing its greatest challenge in a conflict fought not just with high-tech weaponry and telepaths, but with sledgehammers, revolvers, and primitive weaponry on the ground, as well. Even as the Mining Syndicate has created orphans and mutants, so its actions have succeeded in forging unexpected connections between residents willing to do anything for freedom - or die in the process.

 Tools of telepathy, stretching and warping time itself, and more would seem to give the colonists and edge in the battle; but the Mining Syndicate's resources are vast and unending, and Chronos would be doomed without the creative rebellious thinking of its many characters, from Zach Murphy to Brian, Falcone, and others willing to die for permanent freedom.

 What makes THE BATTLE FOR CHRONOS so exciting is its different layering of military might and strategies that embrace old and new technology and old and new ideas about warfare and battle. Descriptions of these tactics are specific and will prove tantalizing and satisfying to followers of military science fiction who enjoy specific details:

 "General Mithras had a grim look on his face. “No breathable atmosphere, so they’ll be hindered by Enviro-Suits. If any Kantele survive, then they can zap the rescue craft with an Electro Magnetic Pulse and it will drop out of the sky like a stone. If our missiles are improperly calibrated for Apollo’s gravity, that’s another way we can fail. What am I missing?”"

 What's missing is the element of time-jumping in all its complexity, which adds a satisfying extra dimension to the entire military encounter and keeps THE BATTLE FOR CHRONOS packed with unexpected twists, turns, and extraordinary possibilities:

 "Minervadoe was smiling. “Think of it Mr. Murphy. The layers of our attempts to rewind and redo the events of Chronos’ history are so myriad that we have lost track of how many times events have been played out and repeated.” Minervadoe turned and faced Tracy. “Through repetition, rules have evolved that seem ridiculous. One of them is that we are not allowed to discuss the origin of certain artifacts which are being distributed among your people. I can tell you that the origins of Colonel Magnuson’s belt, Colonel Falcone’s cloak, Mr. Mur-phy’s android, and the large hammers must, for the time being, remain unknown. I know it is a subject of great curiosity to you, but it is this trait of your simian ancestry which has proven to cause the greatest difficulty during our ordeal with your race.” "

 This riveting conclusion to the fine series is simply not to be missed by any who have followed the prior Chronos plots and who want a fine conclusion to an epic saga!


Awesome space battles end (?) this "big idea" series.

Mr. Ciolli has gifted us with an ambitious series of novels. He advances "big ideas" involving millenia of time; alien/human interactions; incredibly complex interwoven plot elements; and a vast quantity of space. The writer's style, pithy, first person, even sparse in its physical descriptions, reminds me of a former legend of science fiction, A.E. Van Vogt. I attempt to touch upon a few distinctive features: *SPOILER ALERTS*

* A friendly (or dominating?) race, the Amalthea, purport to aid Earth denizens who have fled through two wormholes to establish a sanctuary of freedom from "evil syndicate"--for every secret they reveal there are two they still conceal! Are they "hiding" important truths or honestly just avoiding potentially horrific paradoxes?
* The Amalthea have engaged in an incredible, secret, genetic selection program involving many generations of earth's inhabitants--"if at first they don't succeed..." [they go back in time and try again! But how exquisite the dangers of paradox become!]
* Time travel; conceptual paradoxes; blends of old/new technologies; and the growing significance of TELEPATHY are skillfully blended into an impressive masterpiece of historical/technological invention. I felt the author was always in command of his story.
* Most of the former "band of brothers" (and "killer" sisters!) from earlier novels have survived. Some enjoy enhanced telephathic powers; others have unique gifts to access and control amazing weaponry; all are changed by their experiences. I liked them all a lot.
* The final confronatation in THIS story includes back and forth space attacks/defenses--the action is fierce, the two sides have unique/unequal advantages, the end is uncertain.
* A climactic attempt to forever ensure BOTH the freedom of the Amalthea and Earthers involves combining the telepathic powers of two huge contingents of telepaths to bend space and time to their collective will--will they survive?...can they succeed?....

Although other authors may have greater gifts of description, the plot twists and sheer imagination of Mr. Ciolli compel a high rating. I feel he has risen above cliche--not only advancing wonderful new ideas but refurbishing known sci-fi concepts and elements in exciting ways. This is a worthy conclusion (?) to an outstanding series.HIGHLY RECOMMENDED



The BaryonReview

This is the latest addition to Ciolli’s Chronos Series that tells of man’s fight to free themselves from the grip of The Syndicate and learn from the Amalthea to gain more knowledge of their telepathic powers. As their training develops, they also learn that The Prophecy has predicted their victory.

In this episode of the adventure series, we have time travel, genetic manipulation, guerrilla tactics on land and massive space battles – space opera at its best. As usual there is plenty of action from Zach Murphy, who seems to be destined by The Prophecy to be the savior of both races.

Along the way there are some western style gunfights, saving the damsel in distress, discovering weapons from the past that can only be operated by the humans of today.

Tom Ciolli has written another rousing adventure. It leaves me with some unanswered questions about the motives of the Amalthea, but even though this is listed as the final volume, they may be answered in forthcoming additional adventures.