About two years ago I started doing beta reads for T. J. Quinn first for the Drogon Series and later the Cyborgs Reborn Series. I can honestly say that I have enjoyed all her books, though the Cyborgs Reborn Series is my personal favorite.
The series starts with Captain Lucas Jarcor, a soldier with devastating injuries to his legs. Doctors told them they had to be amputated. However, if he agrees, they can rebuild build them with some new technology. Understandably, Jarcor is eager have them do it if it means he can keep his legs and walk again.
What they don’t tell him is that the changing into a cyborg will strip him of his legal status as a human being, and his military rank. He became government property, in essence, a slave. All of the cyborgs are made from enhanced human embryos, but with the means for the military to control them through their cybernetics. Though biologically human, they were used as slaves to fight a war against alien invaders.
Jarcor decides to play along while he figures things out before he makes his escape. While he is out free, he meets Sabrina, and they fall in love. But Jarcor can’t stay he has much to do to free the other cyborgs.
The prequel ends in a bit of a cliff hanger, but Jarcor’s work to help the other cyborgs is a recurring theme throughout the series. He paves the way for other cyborgs to escape.
As I read through the Cyborg Reborn Series, I discovered that T.J. came up with things I hadn't thought of even as I was preparing to start my own cyborg series. Her writing style is a little different than other writers, but every story I've read from her list has pulled me in with the characters, plot, and world building.
Because we work together on some projects and beta read others, I never review her books on Amazon. Since I blog about other authors, I decided it was time to speak up.
T.J. Quinn is a superb storyteller. If you haven’t read her books, now would be a good time to begin. Since her new book is a spin-off of the Cyborgs Reborn series, that would be a good place to start.
The following is an excerpt:
Jarcor has nearly finished healing from the procedures to restore his legs and he wanted to try them out before the medical team deemed him ready.
He was trying some martial arts kicks when the door was opened, and a startled nurse entered. “Hey, what are you doing? You aren’t supposed to be out of bed,” she cried out, running to meet him.
He stopped her, raising his hand. “I’m fine. I haven't felt this good in a long time,” he assured her.
“Where’s the doctor? I want to talk to him.”
“I’ll go get him.” She turned around and left the room.
Jarcor chuckled and walked towards the window. It was around midday, the sun shining.
“Jarcor, you shouldn’t be out of bed,” doctor number one said, as he entered the room.
“Doctor. I don’t think I heard your name,” he replied, ignoring the doctor’s words.
“I’m Dr. Masterson. It’s too soon for you to be out of bed,” the man answered, with a deep frown.
Jarcor only listened to his name. Immediately, a lot of information filled in his mind about the man. His full name, his curriculum, his family members and a lot more. He had no idea where it came from and he was confident he hadn't met the man before.
Something was wrong. “I’m fine,” he cut the man with a cold tone. “Would you care to tell me what exactly you did to me, while I was out?”
The man cleared his throat, distinctly uncomfortable. “Your legs are fully recovered, as you can see─”
“I’m not talking about my legs and you know that,” he pointed out, in a stern tone.
“When we realized the Nanocybots were working perfectly on your body, healing your wounds and recovering your bones with their special metal alloy, we decided to take the next step forward and add a few intelligence chips to your brain. We figured the Nanocybots would quickly integrate them into your brain, as they do on the cyborgs we create on our labs,” he explained.
“I don’t remember giving you permission to play games with my brain,” he said, trying to keep his anger at bay.
“The papers you signed gave us permission to do whatever we saw fit to restore your body, and that’s exactly what we did,” the man retorted, in a firm tone, as if reciting a rehearsed speech.
“We both know I wasn’t able to read those papers.”
The man shrugged. “That’s irrelevant,” he dismissed his complaints. “Right now, all I want to know is how you feel? How are your senses working?”
For a moment, Jarcor considered not answering the man’s questions but it was a pointless battle. He had to act carefully around those people, at least, until he knew how much they had changed him and how that affected him.
“At first, I felt a bit dizzy and a lot of unwanted information keeps coming to my mind, like the fact you’ve been married three times by now,” he replied, in a scornful tone, enjoying the man’s fluster.
“You’ll be able to control that with time, as well as all the improvements we've made to your body.”
“Like what?” he asked, frowning.
“Just some minor details you’ll discover in time.”
Jarcor nodded, not very pleased with the man’s answers. “When will I be able to go home?”
“I know you feel fine, right now, but I need you to stay a few more days, while we test all the improvements made to your body.”
“How long will that take?”
“We can’t tell for sure. We need to be certain you’re perfectly alright before we send you back to the battlefield. While you were unconscious, the Taucets landed on our planet. We need to get you back out there, to lead the other cyborgs and fight these aliens off our planet.”
“Other cyborgs? Are they ready for the battlefield? And why do you include me in that group?” Jarcor asked suspiciously, tensing his body.
The man cleared his throat once more, wiping the sweat from his forehead. “After all the improvements we made to you, you have been redefined as a cyborg,” he explained.
“Meaning?” he asked in a threatening tone.
“You are now the property of the United Nations Political Organization.”
For a moment, Jarcor was so surprised, he couldn't move. Had they turned him into a war machine? Who the hell permitted that?
“You had no permission to do that. All we discussed was healing my legs, nothing else,” he growled through gritted teeth.
“Did you honestly expect them to spend such expensive technology on you for free? I’m sure you’re not that naïve, Jarcor,” mocked Dr. Masterson.
Jarcor pursed his lips and frowned. He had never expected anything for free, but he sure as hell hadn't expected to have his life and his identity taken away from him. “I’m a human being…” he yelled, but he could see it was no use.
“Not anymore. It’s better for you to accept your new life and start acting as is expected of you. Otherwise, life will become very hard for you.” There was a definite warning in the man’s words and ignoring it wouldn't be a smart move.
“So, now I’m your lab rat?” he asked, oozing scorn.
“If you’d like to think of yourself like that, I guess it’s a suitable description.”
Masterson nodded and left the room, returning only a few minutes later with the same men that had convinced him to allow them to play with his life. During the following hours, they interrogated him exhaustively and put him through a lot of tests, until they were satisfied.
“We’ll send you to the training camp tomorrow. We don’t have time to waste and we need all the help we can get to defeat the Taucets,” General Smithson told him. He had joined the group interrogating him a couple of hours ago.
“What if I refuse?” Jarcor asked with a very calm tone, considering all the rage boiling inside him.
“That’s no longer your prerogative. You have been programmed to follow orders,” General Smithson explained. “Even if you managed to circumvent those orders, you wouldn’t get far. We’ve installed tracking devices in you that will allow us to find you faster than you can blink.”
“How many men like me were fooled into this trap?”
The Doctor sighed, impatient. “You are the first one we’ve transformed, but depending on your results, I’m sure there will be many more,” the man replied in a cold tone. “Besides, we didn’t fool you. We saved you from a dreadful future. You should be on your brand-new knees thanking us,” he snarled at Jarcor.
“I’m afraid having my freedom and life taken away from me doesn’t make me very thankful,” Jarcor retorted.
“Nonsense. You had no life left,” the general insisted in a vain attempt to make Jarcor believe in his words.
Jarcor remained silent and the general finally gave up. “I’ll see you tomorrow at the training camp,” he said before he left Jarcor’s room.
The other men followed the general and Jarcor was left alone with Dr. Masterson.
“Do you think this is ethical? Fooling wounded men to accept false hope and then stealing their lives away from them?” he asked the man, his voice deadly.
“I’m not here to judge. I’m paid to do my job and that’s exactly what I do,” the man replied, not showing a hint of regret or shame, as if he couldn’t care less.
Jarcor shook his head and walked towards the window, silently inviting the other man to leave his room.