September 22, 2023
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Book Reviews History SCI-FI

Blood Fortune by Brock Rivers: A Sci-fi & Historical Fiction Mashup

Author: Brock Rivers

Genre: Sci-Fi – Historical Fiction

Year Published: 2023

Nerdection Rating:

“Nerdection Must Read”

Ever wondered what it would be like if you luckily discovered a pot full of gold left by a leprechaun? I assure you it won’t be very nice because some crazy authority or the other will know soon enough and bring trouble. Or so Brock Rivers tells us in his excellent debut mashup of sci-fi and historical fiction, Blood Fortune. Yet there’s a lot more to it than this.

Continue reading for the spoiler-free blurb of Blood Fortune, Nerdection’s thoughts on the book, and why we recommend you read it.

Spoiler-Free Plot:

It’s the year 2057.

Covert operations led by AI…

In a state ruled by the powerful intelligentsia and based on AI technology, no digital communication is safe. In the outskirts of an American state lies a hub, The Vortex, for covert technological innovations too advanced for the government, or the commoners to know. Their most refined creation is Minerva, a superb artificial intelligence technology that’s capable of thinking independently and intercepting all digital messages throughout the globe. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Minerva’s capabilities are far more efficient and dangerous than your ordinary AI.

A business proposal gone wrong…

Max Winston makes custom hoverbikes. Recently, his business has come to bad terms with a dangerous Biker gang, the Renegades, who also happen to be his clients. In debt and in danger of death at the hands of the Renegades, Max flees and takes shelter in his dead aunt’s ranch in West Texas. Little does he know that what he’d find there will bring huge ripples in his life, and the lives of the powerful authorities of America.

Warriors of the Aztec Empire…

It’s the year 1518. Zolin is the undeniable leader of the group of fierce Aztec warriors on a monumental mission. He’s venturous enough to take out any threats to his leadership and ambitious enough to lead his men into doing what needs to be done. Still, their enemies are too many, and the group may end up preserving a relic that Max Winston will run down in the future.

Renegades VS Los Cuervos…

Between the race for monopolizing the business of Synth, an addictive drug, and other purely egotistical reasons, rivalries between the Renegades and the Los Cuervos have passed the point of no return. With Billy Ray leading the Renegades to hunt down Max Winston, and the Los Cuervos looking out for ways to end the Renegades in a killing spree, things are going to get nasty pretty fast.

In this action-packed sci-fi historical fiction, Blood Fortune, Brock Rivers makes his debut in a power-obsessed world, where various impassioned groups equipped with technology will stop at nothing to get what they want, even if it means smearing their fortunes with blood.

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My Take on Blood Fortune

Although I’m not a habitual reader of historical fiction × sci-fi, Blood Fortune managed to be an excellent read for me.

Blood Fortune is told in dual timelines (2057 & 1518), but is mostly narrated in the present, which is another thing I like to have in my books. However, the most superior aspect of the book is the plot, interweaving a commoner’s lucky fortune (or is it unlucky?) with a state-level agenda resulting in bloodshed. Lots and lots of bloodshed.

Moreover, I’d like to take a moment to applaud the vast array of fascinating technology featured in Blood Fortune by Brock Rivers. From combat gears with cloaking technology to cutting-edge spy drones and of course the robust AI system Minerva, I was bamboozled by the sheer magnitude and intricacy with which the author crafted each tech-tool (with words, of course). He described them so well that you could easily compare the experience of reading about them with watching an exhilarating sci-fi movie, because his words can literally paint a vivid picture in your mind.

‘The drone would pick up every spoken word among the group, from inside the structure they sheltered in. It did this by pointing five small invisible lasers, one at each of the living room windows, and deciphering the tiniest vibrations from sound waves. A transcript appeared across their virtual displays, and audio output played within their helmets. If the speakers weren’t conversing in English, the software could translate over ninety languages and dialects in real language that bad guys usually spoke in, it was included.’

Blood Fortune promises a next-level scifi story.

And that’s not about the technology parts alone, the nail-biting action scenes featured in the Blood Fortune were also done well, and that pays off since there were so many of those: Renegades/Los Cuervos, Max & friends/Renegades, Zolin/enemies, and Zeus’ team/Renegades/other trained assassins. Get ready to immerse in a world of the seemingly near future, but so much closer to the current reality of politics and terrorist groups, and bloodshed for power, that you can’t help but relate to it.

Another fact from Blood Fortune: Gangsters warring for monopolizing an illicit drug business was pretty scary, and a little cool too, the way Rivers narrated it (this reminded me of The Magician’s Thief, although it’s a fantasy, but featured the same kind of high-voltage gang wars). The whole concept of breeding and then controlling an alien creature that is itself capable of controlling others’ minds was terrific too.

And the end? The conclusion of Blood Fortune was of the kind that punches a hole right through you and leaves you staring at the wall. Because surely, it shouldn’t have ended so abruptly… should we expect a sequel? I certainly hope so.

You can check out more sci-fi mashups here.

Content Triggers
  • Nudity & violence (mild)
  • Cursing & intake of addictive drugs (moderate).

Recommended for ages 18+, although it could be suitable for younger audiences too.

About The Author Of Blood Fortune

Brock Rivers

Brock Rivers spent twenty five years working in the tech industry before writing Blood Fortune, his debut novel. An avid reader, his favorite genres are historical fiction, sci-fi, horror, and crime and action thrillers. He’s a lifelong Southern California resident, and resides in Orange County with his wife and Helga Mae, his elderly Rottweiler.

He sits on the board of a non-profit, and his background is in marketing, graphic design, and web design. He enjoys camping in his trailer at the state beaches along the California coast, and playing as much golf as possible. He based the Doctor Mathias character’s obsession with the NFL on his own love of the game. He is a proud alumni of California State University, Fullerton.

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