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Holo Writing LLC

PRINT: Bane of the Dead (Paperback)

PRINT: Bane of the Dead (Paperback)

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Book One in the Seraphim Revival series.

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Fueled by the Soul. Commanded by the Dead.

In an empire ruled by the honored dead, seraphs are the ultimate weapons. Fueled by the pilot’s very soul, these colossal humanoid mecha are unstoppable in battle.

Jack Donolon is the most powerful pilot in existence, a hero of Earth with a mind fractured by his seraph. On the far side of the galaxy, he uncovers a terrible truth about the seraphs and their pilots. Now he must return on a mission no one will understand, to face and kill the people who once called him friend and comrade.

But the death he will bring is insignificant next to the destruction that will follow, should he fail…

From national bestselling author Jacob Holo comes an action-packed read for fans of Gundam, Evangelion, Pacific Rim, and anyone who’s ever wanted to pilot a giant robot!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Do you like Star Wars? Did you think it needed more giant robots? Well if you did, this is the book for you!”

“If you are a fan of Gundam, Robotech, giant mecha you will enjoy this book.”

“Great and entirely welcome mecha novel!”

“If you're look to scratch that mecha itch (like I was), look no further.”

“Feels like a love letter to the mecha space genre.”


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Enjoy a sample from BANE OF THE DEAD

The voices in his head were right.

It may have taken fifteen years to find, but here on the far edge of the galaxy was the terrible truth he sought.

Only one obstacle remained.

“We’re alone out here,” Jack said, slipping into his uniform jacket. “No hope of support. No chance of rescue. You with me, buddy?”

The seraph said nothing.

“That’s the spirit. Let’s do this!”

Jack clasped his storm-gray uniform jacket at the neck. White six-winged hawks adorned the cuffs and the sides of the collar, marking him as a seraph pilot of Aktenzek. His bright blue armband bore the Earth Nation seal: the moon and Earth within a halo of sixteen stars, a testament to his origins.

Jack rubbed the itchy stubble on his chin. He ran his fingers through an unruly mop of brown hair and jogged towards the Scion of Aktenzek’s seraph hangar.

The pressure door slid open, and he watched it part from both sides. With each step, his connection to the seraph strengthened. He entered the hangar and looked up.

The bay was just large enough to contain the mighty girth of the seraph. Soft white lights illuminated its form. Spindly mechanical arms moved above and around the seraph, transporting its armaments down out of the ceiling and affixing them via conformal pods. When finished, the arms retracted upward.

The seraph was truly gargantuan. It stood in the manner of a man, towering high above Jack, who wasn’t as tall as its smallest finger.

Jack slowed to a walk. This part of the hangar came level with the seraph’s chest. A slender gangplank extended from the ledge to the cockpit. The seraph’s head swiveled down and watched him approach. Six blade-like wings extended from its back, retracted into tight clusters of three. The armor was a seamless, immaculate white. Designers had given this seraph a smooth set of muscular curves.

Strings of black runic characters adorned the forearms, legs, and wings. They spelled out the Litany of the Mission, a simple ten-verse invocation held sacred by the Aktenai:

Who are we?

We are those forsaken by our kind.

What is our purpose?

To repent for our greatest sin.

What was our sin?

The creation of the Bane.

How must we repent our sin?

We must kill the Bane.

Who will judge our worthiness?

The Keepers of the Gate.

Jack knew it by heart. The words filled him with dread.

“Well, this might be it,” he said. “We could turn back, you know.”

The seraph did not speak.

“Yeah, I thought you’d say that.”

Jack hurried across the gangplank and entered the spherical cockpit in the chest. He turned and slid into the man-shaped alcove. The seraph’s skin sealed him inside, leaving no evidence of an opening. The walls closed in, contracting around his body, entombing him in darkness.

Jack shut his eyes and took a deep breath. The mundane senses of his body faded. The multi-spectral “eyes” and “ears” of the seraph filled his mind. He clenched the giant hands of the seraph and shuffled from one foot to the other, restricted by the cramped confines of the hangar.

Jack didn’t pilot the seraph. He was the seraph.

He let a trickle of power flow out from his frail, almost forgotten, human body. Raw, chaotic fury surged through his arterial network, energizing his limbs and wings. The black script of the Litany ignited with blinding blue light. His internal systems came online one after another, sipping at an endless reservoir of extra-dimensional energy.

Beneath his feet, the first of three doors flinched open. Clamps descended on rails and affixed to his shoulders and wings. With a surge of motion, the launch catapult thrust him down. He passed through doors that snapped open and shut in the span of an eye blink.

The catapult flung Jack into the dark of space. He floated free of the Scion of Aktenzek: a white, armored figure falling from the vast cylindrical vessel. He spread his wings and redirected power to them. Edges along each blade-wing flared with light.

Jack flew ahead of the carrier.

“Well, don’t keep me waiting,” he said. “You know where I am and where I’m going. Time to finish this.”

He didn’t wait long.

The first Disciple frigate folded space several hundred kilometers away. The sleek, silver-skinned enemy craft materialized within an expanding ring of distorted light, then turned its nose to face the Scion. Once aligned, it fired the centerline fusion cannon that took up the bulk of its interior.

A beam of white light smashed into the Scion, carving a ragged blister across its hull. Almost immediately, mnemonic armor flowed over the glowing wound, remembering and restoring its original shape. The fully automated carrier had impressive self-repair capabilities, but it was also his only way home. If it fell, so did he.

“Here we go, buddy!” Jack shouted.

He rocketed towards the enemy craft. The frigate fired again, but this time Jack swung into the beam’s path.

Focused atomic energy met his chaos barrier in a brilliant flash of competing forces. White ribbons splashed off him like water, leaving his armor untouched.

Jack aimed the fusion cannon housed in a conformal pod along his left arm. The weapon drank in a portion of his barrier, energized the barrel, and focused the nuclear charge into a tight plasma lance.

The beam hit with all the force of a capital ship’s main gun, emitted from a weapon one-fiftieth the size. Plasma cleaved the Disciple vessel in half. Secondary explosions snapped across its length and obliterated the rest.

Two more Disciple frigates folded space, both larger than the first and positioned further out. They fired their main guns and unleashed a steady stream of fusion torpedoes from twin launchers.

Jack turned and sped towards them. He shot the lead ship. His beam hit from the side and punched clean through, blowing the nose off the craft. His second shot stabbed through the center. Two ruined halves tumbled away, shedding life pods like a rain of silver droplets.

Three more frigates entered the system even further away and commenced their attack runs.

The Scion took hit after hit. Beams seared its armor, and torpedoes exploded against its hull. Damage indicators opened in Jack’s mind. A nuclear inferno breached the outer hull, and radiation flooded two of the aft compartments.

“Good thing that’s not where I sleep.”

Jack closed the alert and fired again. He raked the beam across the closest ship, cleaving it at a diagonal. Explosions brewed up within the wreck, shrouding it in fire.

Fusion beams slashed across space. The Scion spun its hull, spreading the hits across its surface. More damage warnings flashed in his mind.

Jack twisted around and rocketed towards the new trio of frigates.

“They’re trying to split me off from the Scion!”

The seraph did not speak.

“I can’t help it! Their cannons have better range!”

Jack flew across their formation and unloaded shot after shot. Beams carved red-hot holes through the Disciple ships. Superheated alloys cracked the first frigate apart, then the second.

The last frigate unleashed a swarm of forty torpedoes from its external racks. Jack blasted the ship apart and swung past its spreading wreckage. He deployed a wave of tactical seekers from the weapon pods attached to his legs.

The tiny guided projectiles ignited their overloaded drive blades and sped after the torpedoes, intercepting over half of them. The rest slammed into the Scion in one infernal detonation after another. The hull heated and bulked. Damage alerts opened faster than he could read them.

But when the translucent gauze of plasma dissipated, the Scion remained.

“Whew! That was close.”

As if to prove him wrong, a Disciple dreadnought folded space almost on top of the Scion. Its reflective armor gleamed in the starlight. Three whole frigates could have fit within its long, flattened hull.

“Where the hell did you come from?” Jack shouted.

The dreadnought oriented its three cannons on the Scion and fired. A trio of plasma jets scorched the carrier, opening another breach. One of the two engine compartments vaporized. Radiation polluted half the interior.

Jack dumped power into his wings and raced in.

The dreadnought opened fire again. Armor scattered from the Scion’s hull in molten globules.

“The substructure is exposed!”

Jack aimed his arm cannon and fired. The fusion beam struck the dreadnought amidships. Fierce plasma scarred the armor with a livid orange slash, but it failed to penetrate.

“I can’t punch through that hull in time!”

No one responded.

“Oh yeah? Watch this!”

Jack closed with the dreadnought, diving in perpendicular to its path. He didn’t slow down. Instead, he crashed feet first into the ship, forming a crater. The impact forced the mammoth warship off course. Its shots flew wide, arcs of plasma fading into the depths of space.

Drive blades along the dreadnought’s rear powered up, reorienting the bow onto its target. Fusion torpedoes deployed from six launch tubes, adding to the incoming fire.

Jack grabbed the leading edge of the ship and flipped himself inside one of its fusion cannons. The long tube ran almost the entire length of the craft, lined with gravitic focusing rings.

At the far end of the dark barrel, the next ignition spark appeared.

“Oh, this is going to hurt.”

Jack raised a forearm and shielded his face.

The cannon discharged. Blinding light filled everything. Plasma sleeted over his barrier, cooking him. He grunted in pain, but his barrier did not waver.

The cannon finished firing, and Jack ran down the barrel, keeping his arm up. More damage registered on the Scion. Its launch catapults were gone.

A faint glow brightened ahead.

“Oh, no you don’t!”

Jack sprinted in. The shunts along his left forearm glowed brighter. Blue energy extended from above his wrist, forming a blade as long as he was tall.

Jack stabbed the chaos sword into the ignition mechanism. The spark vanished. Machinery melted and floated away. He cleaved through the back of the cannon, then let the sword fade into a dusting of winking motes.

Jack jammed his hands into the breach and forced the armor apart, exposing over a dozen of the dreadnought’s crewed decks stacked one on top of the other. Startled men and women in dark red pressure suits stared at him. The interior must have already been depressurized for combat.

“Surprise!” Jack swung a leg through the breach and stepped in, his shin crashing through three decks at the same time. Disciple warriors scattered out of his way as he smashed through the ship’s interior, crumpling the walls and floors of a dozen decks with each stride as if they were made of paper.

When he reached the bridge, Jack clawed the reinforced exterior aside. The Disciple captain stood in the center of a circular room ringed with tactical displays. Red messages flashed urgently on most, but the captain glared defiantly at the seraph, unwilling to retreat.

Jack pointed his arm cannon at the man.

“Heh. Nothing personal.”

He triggered the weapon. A fusion beam vaporized the whole bridge and everything behind it. Jack emptied his cannon with shot after shot, turning the dreadnought’s interior into a white-hot inferno. He spread his wings and flew out through the giant barrel. Behind him, the dreadnought drifted away, its armor bulging out.

Jack arced towards the Scion. The carrier was lacerated with glowing crisscrossed patches of superheated alloy, at least where it still had armor. Several molten holes laid its copper-hued internal systems bare to the vacuum. He opened the Scion’s internal diagnostics and took a long, thoughtful look.

He sighed.

“Good. Half the seraph bays are intact, two fold engines are still working, and my room is in one piece.”

The seraph said nothing.

“No need to be mean. It worked, didn’t it?”

The Scion sent him a navigational request. Its fold engines were finally charged for the next jump. His internal fold engines were also ready.

“Let’s see if all this was worth it.”

Jack and the Scion of Aktenzek vanished.