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Burden of Sisyphus

(Brink of Distinction #1)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  225 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Between the alien Alliance and the Terran Empire, a neutral zone stretches between the galaxies, a demilitarized zone that was established 150 years previous, following the Great War. The peace accord granted a semblance of peace to the universe. The peace, however, is a facade, and it is the responsibility of Michael Vance and his covert operations team to maintain that i ...more
Paperback, 360 pages
Published August 5th 2011 by Createspace (first published June 6th 2011)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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Azahara Arenas (Living in Our Own Story Blog)
My review:
Lately I´ve been reading a lot of sci-fi books, and so far they my expectations have been fulfill. Though this book goes beyond sci-fi, it is a book about war, companionship, loyalty, mystery and loss.
At the very beginning I was overwhelmed by the characters because there were many and I didn´t differentiate them. I also had problems with the different kind of aliens till I started chapter 3. I was shocked by the big amount of violence that the book has though I loved that it was reall
Sep 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Burden of Sisyphus by Jon Messenger is a highly challenging and deeply reaching story of a delicate peace threatened to be shattered by the forceful demands of others. This story is nothing short of truly amazing and highly original in the unique perspective that it offers. Emotionally raw yet fiercely gripping, Messenger takes us on an epic adventure that explores brutally honest subjects like personal identity and potential, the depths of the fabric of life, and what real freedom and oppressio ...more
Bart Hopkins
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It takes a lot of work to be an Indie Author these days.

Even with that hard work, and a generous application of patience, it can still take a long time to be discovered and build a following. People simply don't know which books to choose amid the million or so available out there.

And, that's a shame, because there are good Indie writers who should be discovered by more readers; Jon Messenger is one of them.

Jon and I both have short stories that were published in Paranormal Anthology With a Twi
Magen McMinimy
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most the time I don’t know where to start my reviews but this time I’ve got it!

I will start by saying this novel was not my typical genre. I’m mostly a paranormal romance, suspense romance and YA reader. I’ve been trying to expand my mind and read outside of my norm… and this book was definitely outside of my norm.

And it was so good. I’ve read a few shorts my the author and I find his style engaging, his attention to detail is pretty amazing, and is something I find I lack in my own writing. He
Harrington Martin
If you're even remotely interested in military-based sci-fi, this book is for you. If you're a hardened sci-fi vet, or new to the scene, this book is for you. From the very beginning it throws you into a visceral scene that demands attention and just doesn't let up. Burden of Sisyphus carries the reader through the inner-workings of faraway worlds, deep into the dynamics of ship-based combat, and blisters across the pages like waves of excitement. The adrenaline that rushes through several of th ...more
Sep 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Burden of Sisyphus, the first book in the Brink of Distinction series, is a science fiction book which details the conflict between the Terran Empire and the Alliance. For 150 years, there's been a truce, with neither side encroaching on the Demilitarized Zone. This first book sets up the main storyline of the conflict, with two parallel plotlines of the story. The first details Vance's team, which is made up of the varying races of the Alliance, which includes Lithids, Wyndgaarts, Avalons, and ...more
Michael Loring
Burden of Sisyphus is the first in Author Jon Messenger’s Sci-Fi/Action series Brink of Distinction.

Before truly giving my opinion on this book, I have to give a bit of background. I read this book a while back, but never got to reviewing it due to personal issues at the time. After a while I just plain forgot. Which makes me ashamed, because I’m usually very good with leaving reviews for books I enjoyed. But after the re-release of the entire series I figured I’d leave my review. I went and rea
Shawn Dvorak
Jul 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
An illusion of peace between the Terrans and the Alliance of alien races has existed for the last 150 years. All the while, the two forces fight covert battles along the neutral zone between their respective regions of space. It appears that the illusion is about to be stripped away as battle looms.

This is an enjoyable and somewhat different take on the clashes between galaxy-spanning civilizations, being told completely from the "alien" point of view. I have to qualify "alien" here since the Al
J. Derek
Oct 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was a hard read for me at first. The first couple of chapters seemed exciting but I truly was having a hard time remembering who was who, and what species they each were. Thankfully it got better, or maybe my memory did... I don't know whatever it was, I found I couldn't put this book down. It took me a week to finish the first 4 chapters reading a chapter at a time. Then a day and half to finish the rest of the book after that.

This book had many elements similar in other books but at
Ken Butters
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I got a free copy of this book during a limited time offer from Amazon.

I liked this book quite a bit, but I have to admit the first chapter kind of threw me. It set me on edge against what I thought was a human... but turned out to be a good guy that was a shape-shifter.

There were two stories going on simultaneously. A soldier was the main protagonist in one of the stories, and his sister (a student at a Pilot Space academy) was the protagonist in the other.

Myself, I think I enjoyed following th
David Richardson
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my kinda book with alien races, alien creatures, and space battles. Not too much technology as to make it hard to read and the book is not too long. First book of 3 so I've got 2 more to read. In this book at least, humans seem to be the "bad guys". At the back there is a small section that describes some of the alien races of the Alliance so you might want to check this out first for easier reading. I didn't discover it until I had finished the book because this is the Kindle edition. ...more
Liquid Frost
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
What a surprise. Kindle freebie. I mostly read sci-fi, but this one was bordering on fantasy (alien races). The flow of the book was just right - two storylines with a common thread and pulls together at the end. The genetically modified animals was well played and the action/description was quite fun. The book can stand alone, but I plan on continuing the adventure.
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was happy enough, and interested enough to read this book. The military aspects are not hard core but interest is added through the combination of races involved. Keryn's story was not quite convincing. 3.5 stars really but I would read the others. ...more
Riss Smith
Oct 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
This trilogy has great character development and an interesting plot that hooks you in this book and keeps you reading through the last. The pace is quick and steady, and you'll be disappointed only that the story ends at just 3 books. ...more
Kara Lindell
May 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


This book surprised me. I had trouble getting into it at first but as I got to know the characters and the plot built up I began to enjoy it more. I especially enjoyed the female character and her story.
Maria Victoria Peeler
It kind of grows on you

only my passion for SF kept me reading what originally looked as clumsy guerilla warfare story. Glad I kept reading!
David Kilby
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
very well done. believable characters and good plot
Michele Skinner
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you like the military or Si-fi books, you will love this book. It was a good book, but it wasn't really my taste. Besides it not being my taste, it was well written and kept you going. ...more
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
A little confusing at first, but I liked the story.
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read-2020
Have I mentioned how much it delights me when among all the mediocre, forgettable or downright cringeworthy Kindle freebies I've picked up over the years I discover one that is really, genuinely very much worth the read? This actionpacked military sci-fi series opener was definitely one such case. It took me a while to get into the world (and figure out which characters were worth getting attached to, because damn, this was a bloodbath), but both concurrent plotlines quickly sucked me in - looki ...more
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
Oh dear, a military SF - I should have read the blurb!

I finished it, but I cannot say I enjoyed it much. There was certainly lots of gore and evisceration.

Also, some strange choice of verb tenses and the uncorrected use of "where" instead of "were".
John Vanek
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished2018
Overall a good read, but somewhat formulaic. I'll probably get book #2. ...more
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book is really 3 1/2 stars. but the second book is so terrible that I had to put it at two stars. The first book is good for an Indy book but the battle scenes are often too long so these book seemed short to me because I skimmed through them.
There's nothing special about this book but if your looking for some decent Syfy to pass the time it's okay.

Because the author used the word Halo allot, I felt I was reading fanfiction from the Halo video game even though there are lots of difference
Mar 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In a word: OUTSTANDING. This book kept me turning pages - I was unable to put it down. The story is exciting and suspenseful. Even between the action scenes, a lot of wonderful character development continued to advance the story. The alien life forms are brilliantly crafted in their physical form as well as their individual personalities and mannerisms. When I reached the end of this book, I was glad I already had Book 2 on my reader, because I jumped right into it.
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I keep coming back

I don't remember how I found this book, but I thought it was weird and twisted and wonderful and the entire series just blew my mind. I have come back to it and reread it. I have suggested it to friends and family members as one of the most surprising and delightful isn't the right word but engaging sci-fi books I've read. It is 100% worth a try.
Grant P Richardson Jr
This was fantastic

an exciting and fun book great twist and turns could barely put it down left me in tears can hardly wait to read the next book in the series highly recommend this book for any sci-fi fans top notch.
Bill Denise
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Be careful: I liked this book, but the series goes downhill from here.
Sep 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
after the first two chapters - the writing itself has not been particularly rewarding, and the story has not offered much beyond violence.
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I had a problem with some of Messenger's writing habits but hung with it for the first few chapters, after which the story became interesting enough to balance the distractions. ...more
Sgt Maj
rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2015
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Madison Mega-Mara...: "The Burden of Sisyphus" by Jon Messenger 1 1 Mar 30, 2014 06:12AM  
Jon Messenger (Born 1979 in London, England) serves as an United States Army Major in the Medical Service Corps. Since graduating from the University of Southern California in 2002, writing Science Fiction has remained his passion, a passion that has continued through multiple combat and humanitarian deployments. Jon wrote the "Brink of Distinction" trilogy, of which "Burden of Sisyphus" is the fi ...more

Other books in the series

Brink of Distinction (3 books)
  • Fall of Icarus (Brink of Distinction #2)
  • Purge of Prometheus (Brink of Distinction #3)

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