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Mercury's Wings
Minerva's Shield #4
by Derek Hart
LuLu, $25.99, 266pp
Published: December 2018

We start this book immediately where the previous one, Apollo’s Plaque, left off.  The group in the bunker has lost several members but the Minerva coin came to the rescue, the aliens are repulsed and the bunker survives. More than just surviving, as Minerva shields the bunker and surrounding area from outside weather and forces, those inside the bunker thrive with virtually perfect weather, an unending supply of water and bountiful crops.  In other action in the bunker Debra Vitale  is elected President to replace Bob Norton, others who have touched the coins are developing powers they do not yet fully understand and Ian Norton transports himself instantly to several places in search of both his father and the other missing coins.

Outside the bunker, Bob is working his way from Los Alamos to Georgia even as he mutates more and more into Mars, the god of war, as Minerva rips him from the present and places him in the midst of dozens of historical battles from history.  Along the way he meets a large band of mutants, destroys an alien terraforming plant, meets yet another race of aliens who give him some clues as to why all of his is happening and acquires a young female companion, though he always remains faithful to and focused on returning to Debra.  Elsewhere the US government continues to collapse, Russians attempt to invade the US and plots within plots abound.  We are building to a climax that may well come in the next book, Neptune’s Trident.

There are a few nitpicks - there is no clear indication  of how much time has passed whether it is how long ago the original disaster occurred or even just how long it has been since Bob was believed dead in Los Alamos. Sometimes the impression is it has been months since Bob was left behind and sometimes the impression is that it was years ago. And people in the bunker are almost unfailingly cheerful and helpful, I am not sure how realistic a view of human nature that actually is.  However, I enjoy end of the world scenarios and overall this one has it all, survival skills, conspiracy plots, aliens and characters we really want to see survive.   Highly recommended. ~~ Stephanie L Bannon

For more titles in this series click here
For more titles by Derek Hart click here

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