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Review: The Engineer (A Chronicles of Actaeon Story #1) by Darran M Handshaw (Escapist Book Tours)


The Engineer: A Chronicles of Actaeon Story eBook : Handshaw, Darran M: Kindle Store

Book Blurb:

“We are born in the shadow of fading memories and fallen dreams, living our days within the decaying bones of an age long gone.”

When the Engineer, Actaeon, arrives at Pyramid in the heart of Redemption, nothing goes according to plan. Mysterious raiders pursue him relentlessly across the shattered remains of the ancient metropolis, and the leaders of his homeland pay no heed to his ambitious ideas. Meanwhile, deep beneath Pyramid, a deadly creature stirs. And, when Actaeon meets a skilled young Knight Arbiter with brilliant blue eyes, he starts down a path he could never have imagined.

The vast, fallen city of the Ancients is home to a new people who face the constant struggle to find resources needed to survive in the dangerous ruins. For the Engineer, however, Redemption is a treasure trove of technology, opportunity, and answers. But his unique skills make him a target for those who would use his talents to achieve their own dreams of power and control.

In his endless quest for the truth, will Actaeon discover the fallen city’s greatest secrets? Or will he share the same fate as the Ancients of whom nothing remains but a whisper?

One thing is certain: in Redemption, everything comes with a cost.

Book Information:

The Engineer by Darran Handshaw
Chronicles of Actaeon
Science Fiction, Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic, LitRPG (based on events in a game)
Intended Age Group:
Pages: 600
Self-Published (The Engineer’s Press)


Content/Trigger Warnings:

Shown on Page:

  • Violent Battle Scenes
  • Gore
  • Child Death



Thank you to Escapist Book Tours for allowing me to participate in this tour!

This is a great and terrific book with hints of dystopian fiction. The Engineer is quite a big medium that focuses on many aspects of fiction, it is on the one hand, fantasy. It is on the other, sci-fi. At times it gives me a Han Solo Vibe, and during the other, it can revert to a more archaic fantasy style that you’re more familiar with. This is Hungar Games mixed with Wheel of Time in a way. Just in terms of events and such. I like many parts of this novel, and there are some parts I think could have been improved upon. For a 700 page book, this is a worthy story to sink down and get immersed into a new world. I didn’t find a glossary which would have helped a lot, as sometimes the worldbuilding became a little confusing for me, but that was because a glossary for me would have helped.

Some scenes could have been shorter, and some parts of the story could have been thinner on a scale. Given that this is the first book, it happens as this novel does a good job of introducing the world to you. That’s what a first book does in a trilogy. And the world-building is exceptionally good. You do get to feel for nations and characters, you do get to see different identities, and it very much plays out in the style of a video game in many respects. This is, after all, a new world in which the Engineer finds himself in. This is his story. And you experience all that he has to offer.

Though I was initially confused with the Engineer. On the one hand, he’s a great orator, a man of humble words, someone that gets what he wants. He can charm, he can convince, he can get people to like him. But on the other he becomes a character of profession and knowledge, and that contrast somehow wasn’t developed well enough. At times he would turn into a Jack Sparrow roguish figure. So I would have wanted a more clearer personality in my opinion. But it is still an amazing novel, and it has all the elements of a great book. The opening chapter itself reminded me of Uncle Iroh being escorted by Earth Kingdom Guards, and well, that’s a clue. Overall, it’s an epic story that you have to read! I would 100% recommend this!

Book Links:

The Engineer:

The Machine in the Mountain (part of the Quantum Soul Anthology):


Author Bio & Information:

Darran M. Handshaw is the author of The Engineer – his debut novel. In addition to writing, Darran works as an R&D Engineer where he designs and invents new products and holds more than 20 patents. In his spare time, Darran is also a firefighter and EMT with his local fire department where he was recently elected as Assistant Fire Chief. When Darran isn’t writing, inventing things, or responding to emergencies, he enjoys his time with his wife, Stefanie, and son, Corwin.

Amazon Author Page:

Published by Mada

The Medjay of Fayium is a book blogger reviewing sci-fi and fantasy. He reviews fantasy set elsewhere from Medieval Europe, and is a keen gaming youtuber, and reviews video games and TV shows. I particuarly look to fantasy that pertians to Ancient India, Mughal India, Tang China, Medieval Africa, Medieval Japan and Native American Inspired fantasy. I review YA, Paranormal, alternate hisory. My goal is to give readers that are tired of reading the same setting in fantasy something unique. I love Medieval fantasy, but I want some more exciting. I especially love Historical Fiction and love the Crusades, Ancient Rome/Greece and the Classical World, and the Bronze Age. Egypt and the Hitties are my most favorite periods.

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