Book Review – Echoes of the Storm by Charlene Newcomb

Publisher: Indie
Pages: 283
Characters: Jack/Ben, Tic/Maggie
POV: 3rd
Genre: Science Fiction

Jack Gamble’s lover is a double agent. Norse betrayed the resistance and now commands Galilei’s military operations.

Rallying what remains of the resistance and their galactic allies wasn’t part of Jack’s plans. His contacts are scattered, maybe dead. Streams are broadcasting his face from one end of the galaxy to the other, and mercenaries under the command of Captain Ben Stone intercept his ship.

Space pirates, friendly interrogators, security grunts, and Norse stand in Jack’s way. Can he trust Stone? The intriguing captain has his own problems with the empire – and an interest in Jack.

Jack isn’t looking for a one-night stand, and any emotional entanglements need to be off the radar. He has a rebellion to win and a world to take back. Failure means his people will never break the empire’s chains, and his homeworld is screwed.

Norse already did that to him.

He won’t let it happen again.

ECHOES OF THE STORM is an action-packed science fiction adventure with a gay protagonist, ace pilots, undercover spies, special forces teams, some wild battles, and a slow-burn romance.

Buy Link


I loved this action military based SF story for so many reasons. I hope the author writes more set in this universe, as, despite being satisfied with the ending of this story, it left me wanting more of Jack, Ben, and their friends.

The characters are interesting, and layered, and the heroes make mistakes. The cast is very much an ensemble one and I liked how the multiple narrators gave a sense of both sides of the conflict, their beliefs, and what they were prepared to do to achieve their goals. All of the cast swiftly defy stereotypes, and I especially wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of Cloe. The description at the beginning of the story of Jack’s state of mind and emotions do a great job in setting up his inner conflict, and the overall arc of the story. It’s very understandable why this needs to be a slow burn romance, and although their relationship—and Tic and Maggie’s—is a part of the story it’s not what drives it.

The world building is fabulous. Gililei feels very real, and has a rich history, yet the empire has very much become one that needs to be overthrown. I liked how taking them down isn’t easy, and that they lose good people along the way. Although there are some lighter moments, such as the growing relationship and more between Jack and Ben, they never forget what is at stake and the constant danger they’re in.

Norse is a total piece of work. There’s one scene in particular where he shows just how ruthless and unhinged he is, and it’s chilling. The identity of the resistance undercover agent was nicely done, and unexpected. As it should be.

Loved the action scenes, both on the ground and in the air/in space. The military strategy is well thought out and everything feels authentic. I liked how the enemy wasn’t easy to take down and how the tension rises right until the end.

More please. 5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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2 Responses to Book Review – Echoes of the Storm by Charlene Newcomb

  1. Char says:

    Thanks so much for this out-of-this-world review, Anne!


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