Corwin seamlessly integrates elements of astrophysics, wormholes, and parallel universes into the narrative, providing an intellectually stimulating experience.

– The Moving Words Review

The Lasso Unravels: When All Hell Breaks Loose

Review by K.C. Finn (5-Star Review)

The Lasso Unravels: When All Hell Breaks Loose is a work of fiction in the fantasy, dystopia, and action genres, and is part of the Optical Lasso series. The work is best suited to mature teen and adult readers owing to some scenes of graphic violence and mild sexual references. Penned by author Marc Corwin, this story takes readers to a post-apocalyptic Earth in 2140 CE, where survivors hide underground after a devastating attack. Frane Paxton, the planet’s religious leader, telepathically signals the Galactic Corps destroyer, Indiana, for help. Captain Gregory Knight sends Lieutenant Janet ‘Cat’ Miles to assess the situation, but her inner demons threaten her mission. Meanwhile, distant galaxies face a mysterious threat, inching closer to Earth. As tensions rise and the universe frays at its edges, the missing Supreme Commander, Jason Cody, leaves questions unanswered. Can the optical lasso stop the impending destruction?

Author Marc Corwin uses vivid imagination and skillful storytelling to craft an exhilarating plunge into a futuristic world teetering on the brink of chaos. The vibrant and descriptive prose captivated me from the first page, immersing me in a world of suspense and intrigue that was cunningly built and filled with attitude and detail. The characters, including my particular favorites, Cat and Jason, were compelling and multi-dimensional. Their internal struggles are shown in subtle ways through clever dialogue and well-penned descriptions of their actions and reactions to certain situations. The escalating threat posed by the mysterious adversary kept me on the edge of my seat, and the pace of this looming disaster was exciting and well thought out. Corwin has real confidence in weaving together elements of science fiction and fantasy, but never in the traditional ways, always looking for surprises and unique angles to approach the adventure. The result is a thrilling and thought-provoking tale that explores themes of survival, sacrifice, and the fortitude of heroes tested to their limits. Overall, The Lasso Unravels: When All Hell Breaks Loose is a gripping addition to the series, leaving me eagerly awaiting the next installment in this captivating saga.

Kirkus Review:

In Corwin’s SF novel, Earth is under attack—and our heroes aren’t sure they’re the good guys.

In the year 2140, far out in space, Lieutenant Janet “Cat” Miles and her crewmates check the room where they had placed the body of their dead commander, Jason Cody, only to find it missing. As they investigate the now-empty room, a star map appears, showing the Laniakea cluster of galaxies (including the Milky Way) and the words “Time is running out.” The map disappears, leaving the crew even more confused than before, with no body, no map, and no clue as to what it all means. Soon after, a religious leader from Earth named Frane Paxton manages to contact the ship, informing the crew about a blockade around Earth set by unknown assailants and requesting their aid. Paxton asks them to send one of the crewmembers to Earth, alone and cloaked, to assess the situation and find a way to save the planet. Cat is assigned to the mission, but the lonely journey to Earth leaves her questioning her humanity. Back on the ship, Cat’s crewmates discover that records of Cat’s medical examinations have gone missing and that she interrogated prisoners without any backup or security in sessions that ended in bloodshed. How is the crew supposed to save Earth from an unknown enemy when they can’t even trust each other? This expansive SF novel is a direct sequel to the author’s The Optical Lasso (2019), and readers are advised to read the books in order, since much of this novel’s story will be confusing without the necessary background knowledge. Corwin weaves an intricate web of human, alien, and robotic constructs, and it’s not always clear who the good and bad guys really are. While some aspects of the complex narrative may be confusing or tough to follow, the author excels at banter between friendly characters (“‘Don’t you find all this very interesting, Miss Miles.’ Cat countered with a long cold stare, ‘Are you attempting to channel your inner Sergeant Schultz, doctor?’”), and dialogue in general.

A futuristic space opera with an overwhelming plot but engaging talk.

The Moving Words Review:

The Lasso Unravels continues the saga in the second installment of this gripping space opera, picking up where the first book, the award winning The Optical Lasso, left off. Enter a universe where the boundaries of time and space are blurred, and the world finds itself under attack by an unknown adversary. The planet’s future is anything, but certain.

Simultaneously, out on the far edge of the Milky Way, an inexplicable event has taken place on one of Earth’s few surviving warships, the Galactic Corps destroyer, Indiana. The body of their deceased Supreme Commander, Jason Cody, suddenly vanished from sickbay only to be replaced by a mesmerizing holographic star map forewarning of an impending cosmic crisis… Time is running out. The intrigue deepens as the commander awakens to find himself off in another part of the universe, drawn toward a mysterious light, before abruptly being pulled away. Is Earth under siege and Cody’s miraculous renaissance somehow tied to this cryptic warning that time is running out? Buckle up for The Lasso Unravels will leave you breathless with anticipation as you engage in this thrilling odyssey through time and space.

Marc Corwin’s “The Lasso Unravels: When All Hell Breaks Loose” takes readers on a gripping cosmic journey through science fiction, mystery, and emotion. The way he combines futuristic technology, time travel, and interstellar battles with the raw emotions and struggles of the characters is effortless. But he makes complex scientific concepts comprehensible—striking a delicate balance between technical detail and readability, ensuring that the story remains engaging without overwhelming the audience with jargon.

Corwin’s characters are richly developed. Readers will find themselves empathizing with their fears, hopes, and dreams, making it easy to connect with the story on a personal level. “My faith in God helped me overcome this terrible illness and live an incredibly fulfilling life.” The relationship dynamics between the characters are meticulously portrayed with emotional depth, flaws, virtues, and internal conflicts.

The book’s title, The Lasso Unravels, can also be a metaphor for unraveling mysteries, unveiling hidden truths, and exploring the unknown. Corwin’s ability to deliver on this promise is praiseworthy, as he keeps readers on the edge of their seats, eager to uncover the next twist in the plot. This book is a work of science fiction that is both intellectually stimulating and emotionally resonant. A skillful fusion of science and humanity makes this a truly remarkable read.

Midwest Book Review:

The Lasso Unravels: When All Hell Breaks Loose is best enjoyed by prior readers of The Optical Lasso. This audience will find the ongoing action, fantasy science, and trademark fast pace of the space opera genre is both engrossing and easy to absorb in this follow-up story, which continues where the prior book left off.

Here, humanity has barely survived the attack by unknown forces, and has largely fled underground in a last-ditch effort to survive. Corps fighter Lieutenant Janet “Cat” Miles is sent to Earth to assess the situation; but when she discovers that she inadvertently carries with her inner demons, her ability to act and to return home are both compromised. If only she had her male counterpart, Supreme Commander Jason Cody, by her side to support her!

As if the situation weren’t already dire, the universe itself is unraveling, with galaxies falling silent against an unknown threat that is on target for reaching Earth.

How can Cat locate her missing commander and his optical lasso, which is the only thing that stands between total destruction and survival?

Marc Corwin creates another thoroughly engrossing story marked by a satisfying blend of fantasy science and high-octane action. The story brings to life the quandaries and strengths of a female commander forced to operate outside her comfort zone to achieve different goals.

Embedded with demons, devils, and mercurial alliances, The Lasso Unravels is replete with the kind of unpredictability and original plot progression that keeps readers immersed in worlds that are extraordinary and powerfully contrasted with the objectives and perceptions of humans:

“…to keep matters interesting, Satan redirected the cosmic wake of the Royale’s demise right at the wary Phoenix . Reflexively looking skyward, Cat’s empowered vision allowed her to see the black plume of smoke from the old warhorse’s final moments. Sensing her presence, a slew of dancing devils formed a message of warning in the hexagon’s protective cloud cover: “We are coming for your soul.”

From different leaders, sexual conquests, and combatants that push the boundaries of science to achieve their goals to threads of humor which wind through the story to temper action with wry, ironic insights, Corwin has created another story that excels in a satisfying blend of action, science, and changing scenarios.

Libraries strong in space opera that seek original, action-packed writing flavored with the twists and turns of survival attempts that operate on Earthly and universe-changing realms will welcome The Lasso Unravels as a spirited, unique collection addition that nicely compliments The Optical Lasso and, once again, leaves the outcome wide open for more books.

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