4 out of 5 Stars
The Venerate Salvation is the third book in the Sci-Fi / Fantasy, New-Adult series, The Venerate Saga. It follows The Venerate Orderand The Venerate Redemption. The main themes of the book revolve around mental health awareness, women’s empowerment, government corruption, and family.
Fans of the book series Divergent and I am Number Four as well as the video game series Final Fantasy will love this book. The story is written from a dual point of view of Strafe, the main character, and Yessa, his estranged girlfriend. Readers will see the story from each side, see how each character evolves throughout the tale, and get to decide on who they think is right.
Strafe and Yessa, along with Strafe’s twin-brother Zixin and their wolves, return to Earth after ending an apocalypse on the distant world of Eternia. They believe they have found peace, but when the demons of Zixin’s past begin to torment him, his mental health begins to deteriorate rapidly. Strafe notices Zixin inflicting self-harm and waking in screaming nightmares daily. The race to find a solution and heal his brother become Strafe’s priority while avoiding the threat of the remaining Federation forces. On top of that, Strafe’s weapon, the God Blade, remains shattered from his final battle on Eternia and is a shell of its former self. He no longer carries the power he once did.
The situation is complicated by Yessa’s yearn to find her parents who she believes were abducted by the Federation. As a former prisoner of war, she is steadfast in her mission to rescue them from the same fate. She finds hope through the newest and most advanced military branch ever created, the Space Force. Internally conflicted, Yessa will make the most difficult decision of her life; leave or stay. This one choice could mean the end of her relationship with Strafe or the death of her parents.
Unknown to the three of them, something else followed them home.
It is hunting them relentlessly and leaving a trail of blood and carnage in its wake. The only people who seem to know what’s going on are a mysterious hacktivist group called the Salvators. Strafe questions their end goal but has no choice but to trust them to save his brother. On top of all that, a virus begins to spread globally, turning anyone it comes into contact with into crystalized monsters called Slates. Unless Strafe and Yessa crack the code on who unleashed it, everyone they know will fall.
The real question is: How do you deal with pain that nobody can see?
I missed the 2nd book in this series (But, I bought my physical copy and can’t wait to dive in and catch up!). I feel that Troy did a great job of catching me up on anything that I’d missed! I don’t feel like it was too much backtracking, but I feel like it was enough that someone jumping in, or reading after a long length of time in between would still be able to easily follow.
The characters were realistic, and I loved the mixture of races and backgrounds working together. This is a book about saving the WORLD after all. Why is it ALWAYS just the Americans saving the World??
There were also a lot of great moral themes in the novel: Depression, suicide, abuse, PTSD. They could be triggers for some, but I believe the 2nd book deals more with the actual instances and this novel deals more with the aftermath, and how the characters deal with it.
I will go into my typical qualm…. yes, I know. It shouldn’t bother me. But, there was a little too much religion involved in this book. One thing I will say about this novel is that Troy really involved ALL Faiths, which made the constant references more bearable.
I will also give huge props to Ridley Scott and the fact that people in 2091 still know of the movie “Alien” GREAT JOB, RIDLEY!! KEEP IT UP!!
If you’re looking for a great Sci-Fi/Fantasy series with realistic characters, huge feels, and a skillfully built world? I’ll say that you’ve come to the right place!!
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Troy Dukart is the author of the Venerate Saga (The Venerate Order, The Venerate Redemption, sequels to follow).
Troy grew up outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities. Troy is recognized by Toastmasters International as an Advanced Communicator Bronze and Advanced Leader Bronze.
He’s lived in Japan as well as California. He loves to travel.
Make sure to stop by his website and sign-up for the newsletter to stay in the know!
The Venerate Salvation is Best Served with a Laughing Buddha
- 1 Serrano Chile, chopped
- Approx 1/2 inch Ginger, chopped
- 3 oz Agave Nectar
- 1 oz Lime Juice
- 2 oz Citrus Vodka
- Ginger Beer (to top)
- Take your Chile’s and Ginger and put it in your agave syrup. Muddle together and leave to infuse, at least overnight. (you can use it immediately, but leave for better flavour!)
- Add agave, Vodka and Lime Juice to shaker full of ice
- Shake until Chilled
- Strain into glass full of ice, pouring Ginger Beer in at the same time to mix.