Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Review of "Project 19: The Blazer Saga" by James Cogdill

Project 19: The Blazer Saga is a science fiction novel by James Cogdill.

The main character is a young man named Jordan Blankenship, who, despite his troubled youth, is finally starting to get his life together.  Just when everything seems to be going well, Jordan is unwittingly introduced to a mysterious drug that  endows him with superhuman strength, followed by deathly weakness.

This substance, gyogit, had been prescribed to Jordan by various doctors throughout his childhood, as Jordan had once suffered from a strange, life-threatening illness.  Eventually, one doctor was able to rid Jordan of his dependence on gyogit, and he was able to live a normal life.  But once reintroduced to the gyogit, Jordan’s incredible strength and subsequent sickness return, as does his dependence on the drug.

Leaving his friends, his life, and his girlfriend behind, Jordan embarks on a journey to learn about his condition, the mysterious gyogit, and, most of all, truth.  As he gets closer to what he seeks, Jordan soon realizes that the truth is much darker than anything he could have imagined.

I read Project 19: The Blazer Saga, after it was first published by Blazing Bush Publishing, and I recently read it a second time.  The first read was good, but I found the second read even more enjoyable.  I feel the need to point out that this was the first publication by Blazing Bush Publishing, and there are several problems (such as word-choice errors) that were not corrected before publication.  Upon my first and second reads I (the insufferable Grammar Nazi about which your mother warned you) definitely noticed the mistakes, but most of them did not detract from the story.

I think a reread was helpful, for there were several elements to the story line that I either did not remember or fully understand in my first reading.  I think this is mainly due to the fact that, while I love most science fiction, there’s a lot of it I don’t quite get.  Honestly, Project 19 is not written in a style I would typically enjoy.  Though this is in no way a graphic novel, there is a strong comic book feel to the characters’ actions.  James Cogdill managed to pull off the story in a believable enough way not to just help me overlook the over-the-top action scenes, but to actually enjoy them.

I do think that there are a few problems in the tempo of the plot.  Some of the action scenes seemed too rushed, so I didn’t quite know what was going on or what had just happened.  Other times, I felt as though some of the slower scenes needed a little more emotion or depth.  The story itself, however, is highly imaginative and thought-provoking.  Jordan Blankenship is faced with some extremely difficult problems and choices, some that I would never consider anyone ever having to face.  The ethical, psychological, and spiritual dilemmas that Jordan must face are the main reasons I find this story so compelling.  I sincerely hope that James Cogdill and Blazing Bush Publishing continue the series (as long as the following installments are edited well :-D).

While there is nothing at all inappropriate in language or sexual content, due to some violence and other mild potentially disturbing material, I would recommend Project 19 only to teenagers and adults.
To learn more about Blazing Bush Publishing, or to purchase a copy of Project 19: The Blazer Saga, please visit