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The Secret World Chronicle (The Secret World Chronicle #1)

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  650 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
Emerging mysteriously during World War II, metahumans became icons of the best - and worst - humanity had to offer. Yet sixty years later, the world still suffers from war, greed and madness. Worse, man's nadir of systematic cruelty returns with bizarre new weapons. The metahumans of Earth must find a way to defeat this powerful foe and discover what lurks behind the scene ...more
Published 2007
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Mike (the Paladin)
Sep 23, 2011 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
I grew up on "Silver Age Superheroes", I collected comic books. I'm a "gamer". I've played table-top, arcade, console, and PC games and I've been tempted by City of Heroes for some time. This book was inspired by by characters in that game.

My first take on this book was that I liked it. It drew me in right away. The writing is okay and the story telling works. The cliches are what we expect from superhero tales and the action didn't disappoint. This held for a good portion of the book. As furthe
Jun 29, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, beach-read
If this book is any indication, I am really going to like this new series.

It reads like a comic book but there are no pictures. The heroes are believable in a comic book kind of way. The reader really has very few clues as to why the enemy attacked but the reactions of everyone else is believable. Some rose above to become heroes while others took the opportunity to "better" themselves by victimizing others.

I'm really looking forward to reading this series.
Jason Pitre
Jun 11, 2008 Jason Pitre rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent novel of superheros, nazi aliens and all sorts of fun. The characters are dynamic and true to life in their own ways and the chapters are just plain fun. It can be found for free in excellent audiobook form at and I heartily recommend it for one and all.
Melissa Hayden
Tough choice on stars for this one.

The world is safe with Metahumans working for ECHO and keeping it so. Then, one fine day, we see the attack of Nazi Metavillains and Meta...not human, not meta - something else...attack the city of Atlanta and all around the world. New heroes, and villains, surface to help current Meta's and those that are attacked and trapped. Although, there is one super-villain that has resurfaced after sixty years, to turn himself in...for protection? What'
Aug 26, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The whole time I was reading this, I just kept thinking, "This would be so much better as a comic book" partly because it's telling the same style of stories comic books tell (and reads like a comic book novelization) and partly because the huge cast of characters would be easy to keep straight if I could look at them.

Another reviewer commented "too many cooks" and I was agreeing until I realized she meant too many AUTHORS not too many characters. By the end I had people pretty much straight but
Sean Sweetnam
Dec 02, 2012 Sean Sweetnam rated it liked it
As a disclaimer, I have not listened to any of the podcasts that were the source material for this book. This review is based solely on this book.

Secret World Chronicles: Invasion takes place in an alternate universe where there are "metas," essentially superheroes. The metas first appeared around the beginning of world war II, and have had a large impact on the function of the world (although the course of history appears to have been relatively unchanged). The first book in the Secret world Ch
Feb 14, 2012 Amy rated it it was ok
Too many cooks.

I'm having a personal war between giving this novel a two- or three-star rating. Overall, I didn't care for the book as a whole, but I liked two major sections of the book very much. Invasion is a group effort headed by Lackey and suffers from having too many writers involved. After an extremely strong opening, the book compiles several different--I don't know, stories? sections?--of different perspectives. At several points I wondered, Why are we here? or What book is this now? T
Brian Foster
Sep 06, 2012 Brian Foster rated it it was ok
In Invasion: Book One of the Secret World Chronicles, Ms. Lackey et al tells of a world where superpowers are common. When Nazis attack with super advanced technology, however, everything is thrown into chaos.

Why to buy this book: The plot isn’t about an alien invasion, per se, but, if you like that genre, you might like this book. Similarly, if you like books about people with super powers, you might like this book. This book apparently has something to do with a role playing game called City o
Dec 05, 2012 Matt rated it liked it
I couldn't decide between 2 and 3 stars for this book but I eventually went with 3... It's definitely not like anything I've read before. A weird mix of good and bad.

Basically, from what I understand, Mercedes Lackey and friends wrote this book as a narrative of their role-playing experiences in the MMORPG City of Heroes, which I think is an awesome idea and way to get story ideas.

Unfortunately, the pacing is all over the place, the different writing styles don't mesh well at all, and there's
Feb 21, 2012 Nick rated it liked it
I enjoyed it well enough to finish and to put the second volume on my list of things to read, but it has flaws.
One comes from the very nature of a shared-universe story. Like Thieves World and others of this type, the writing styles of the different creators do not always mesh. Also, the story skips over what seem like they would be interesting and important incidents, like the brief return visits of the enemy, after the first big attack.
Still, this is very much an "origin story" for the charact
Mathew Walls
This is sort of like two books in one. It starts as a series of vignettes about super heroes fighting space nazis, which is awesome, then about two thirds of the way through it flashes back thirty years to a completely unrelated story about witches and vampires, then near the end it returns to the present and is about super heroes and nazis again. Both stories are good, but they don't seem to belong in the same book.

There's also a weird inconsistency where one of the super-hero characters' name
Daniel Fehrenbach
Nov 19, 2012 Daniel Fehrenbach rated it it was ok
So for a book that came out of (from what I can gather) a series of podcasts based on the authors' interactions in the (now defunct I think) City of Heroe's MMORPG it's about what you would expect. If you don't know what to expect based on that list of random things the book reads like a bunch comic book loving people started a story "Wouldn't it be cool if...", barely had time to finish the sentence but just kept trying again and again for around 200 pages.

The characters and dialogue are on pa
Jefferson Smith
Nov 01, 2012 Jefferson Smith rated it it was ok
I wouldn't normally have given this one a second look, but it came in the Humble Ebook Bundle, so it was already on my Kindle. What the heck, right? What have I got to lose?

Fast forward 1 hour...

Ultimately, it's well written and fast paced, but just not my thing. Lots of quasi superheroes ("meta humans") getting into dicey situations, and plenty of "eviller than evil" bad guys for them to thump and crash with, but just not enough story for my tastes. Or character development. And why are three
Jun 21, 2013 Trisha rated it it was ok
Ok, I have been a lackey fan since I was 15 years old and her character and writing of Vanyel Ashkevron changed my life. Her books have had solid characters and good story lines and even as I grew out of her target age range and they ceased to speak to my experience in the world they were still really good stories and enjoyable reads. This time though I got a little over halfway through the book and it just sort of petered out. I really did not connect to either the story line or the characters ...more
Christopher Munroe
Oct 09, 2012 Christopher Munroe rated it really liked it
...Secret World book one is a Book One, meaning that I can't delve too deeply into how the story looks, since it's a lot of setup, character work and establishment that doesn't really pay off (book one!) But I'll do what I can here as I did quite enjoy this book. The narrative is sprawling and world-spanning without coming off as un-relatable, each character (and there are plenty) gets a few neat character moment and the plotting moves along at a brisk clip that keeps you excited to learn what m ...more
Oct 21, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it
Shelves: owned-ebook
This is a review of the ibook version, and only of the book Invasion.

The novel is basically a set of short stories, with common characters and an overall common metaplot. Set on earth, following an alternate history, metahumans have been around for decades, and have been primarily policing themselves and helping governments and law enforcement, with the occasional supervillian thrown in. Then, giant Nazi war robots attack (yes, this is true, and it works...think comic books) and destroy large sw
Oct 11, 2012 Megan rated it it was ok
The first third-to-half of the book was incredibly action packed. Almost too action packed in fact, I was regularly getting lost with all the characters it would switch between. Then it slowed down and devolved into political morass for the rest of the book, and ended with almost no fanfare whatsoever.

If it had wrapped up after the first third it would have been a 4 star easily, but as it is, "it was okay" is being generous.

Also, the version I read was from the Humble eBook Bundle, and included
May 10, 2013 Geoffrey rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I enjoyed this but it was odd. There is one very long section - about 7300 locations - that is a superheroes vs. space Nazi story and it was pretty fun. Then it followed a story - about 5000 locations - that is about witches and vampires in 70s New York. Finally, it ends with a few short stories back in the world of superheroes vs. space Nazis. The first novel length portion was good as was the second novel - but they don't go together at all.

It's a little rough in places as different authors wr
Diana Sandberg
Oct 18, 2013 Diana Sandberg rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
Superheroes and Angels vs. Nazis from Space. I probably don't need to go further, but I will. From reading other reviews, I gather this was written by several people and based on some game they all play. Whoopee.

There is some relatively snappy dialogue, very heavyhanded character "development", and a wisp-thin gesture toward plot. Mostly it's mayhem. Oh, except for the extremely odd interpolation of an entirely different story, part way through the HeroAngelNazi one. The second story is set in t
Jan 12, 2013 Lindsay rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, kindle, z2012
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 31, 2010 David rated it liked it
If you're a big fan of the superhero genre, you'll probably like this, but I'd otherwise have given it three stars. It's well written enough, but it doesn't really bring anything new to the table, and it felt rather like Wild Cards-lite. The authors try to build the entire world and its history up all in one volume, which is a daunting task when you're simultaneously introducing a global threat everyone has to fight. The result is a story that pretty much resembles a Champions (superhero RPG) ca ...more
Jon Swanson
Oct 19, 2012 Jon Swanson rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Picked this up as a part of the eBook Humble Bundle. It was interesting. A collaborative effort, switching between different chapters, which are co-written by different authors, can feel a little jarring.

The overall story progresses strangely, and the ending really isn't much of one. In fact, I hadn't realized that this particular version of the book included a 'bonus novel', Children of the Night, and I just kept on reading thinking it was going to tie back into the main "Space Nazi's Attack!"
Sep 30, 2011 BigJohn rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-books
I really enjoyed this book. I'm a sucker for super heroes, having thoroughly enjoyed NBC's Heroes and USA's The 4400 even moreso. Mur Lafferty's Playing for Keeps and the associated Tales of the Third Wave are also high on my list, along with George RR Martin's Wild Cards series. So I was excited about this story. And I wasn't disappointed. I think it's impressive how writers keep finding ways to turn a new twist on the superhero genre.

This story really starts off with a literal bang, and progre
Oct 22, 2012 Dorian rated it it was ok
Shelves: other-ebooks
I'm not much of a fan of superhero fiction - not that I have anything against superheroes per se; they just don't interest me very much.

This book wasn't too bad though; the superhero (or "meta", short for "metahuman" as they are called) characters mostly had some actual characterisation.

Unfortunately, the book was decidedly short on plot, and what there was, was...silly. Alien Space Nazis, I mean really. Also, nothing got resolved. The book just stopped, randomly, leaving loads of loose ends.

May 10, 2011 Thomas rated it it was ok
I didn't expect much from this book, and thus I wasn't disappointed. It's a superhero story, loosely based on characters created in the City of Heroes online game, which might give you a clue as to how it's going to go: the characters are fairly shallow and mostly react in cliche manner to whatever situation is occurring. Clearly written in a manner to make certain there's more than one book (I would guess at least three are planned), the story drags through multiple scenes of little to no impor ...more
Scott Harris
Nov 30, 2011 Scott Harris rated it really liked it
The first book of the ecret World Chronicles is a fascinating introduction to this strange alternate reality set forth by Lackey. Revisiting the possibility of the superheroes and aliens, Lackey creates some rather fascinating characters with their unique skills, whether it is strength, healing power, speed or pure luck. The strength of the first book is really the quality of the new characters she invents and develops. The story line as well begins to take shape but is largely a series of myste ...more
Jul 11, 2011 Joy rated it did not like it
I'm NOT a fan of game based fantasy. I managed about a chapter before I was bored nor have I even heard of this "Popular Online game 'City of Heroes.'" I found it as appealing in the literary sense as Game of Thrones. A great deal of minutia of details that only must be enjoyed by people designing characters or adventures.
Sep 05, 2013 Cheryl rated it liked it
It was actually 2 totally different stories. The first one is set in Atlanta mostly & is about humans with powers , a group of "good guys" called ECHO & some "Neo Nazi" aliens that attack Earth. I liked the characterization & the stories but it`s kind of been done a lot lately.
The second was set in 1960`s new York City & was about supernatural beings. Lot`s of action, romance & fun in both of them.
Dec 05, 2012 Stephen rated it it was ok
I honestly couldn't get through it.

The characters were interesting, the powers were cliché, the plot was sub-par. I got about 1/3 of the way through and asked myself, why am I reading this?

The action scenes were one of the redeeming features, but Nazi's, really? Failed to really build a world that I cared about, and failed to give me the hooks to draw me into to want to answer the questions that the book assumed I'd want to know.

Onto better fantasy.
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Mercedes entered this world on June 24, 1950, in Chicago, had a normal childhood and graduated from Purdue University in 1972. During the late 70's she worked as an artist's model and then went into the computer programming field, ending up with American Airlines in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to her fantasy writing, she has written lyrics for and recorded nearly fifty songs for Firebird Arts &am ...more
More about Mercedes Lackey...

Other Books in the Series

The Secret World Chronicle (8 books)
  • The Hunt (The Secret World Chronicle, #2)
  • World Well Lost (The Secret World Chronicle, #3)
  • World Divided (The Secret World Chronicle, #4)
  • Waiting On (The Secret World Chronicle, #5)
  • Revolutions (The Secret World Chronicle, #6)
  • Run Silent, Run Deep (Secret Wrold Chronicle #7)
  • Collision (The Secret World Chronicle #8)

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