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SODIUM Harbinger


3.56  ·  Rating details ·  632 ratings  ·  49 reviews
In 1957, a group of wilderness adventurers are confronted with the unexpected. They are forced to defend themselves against an unworldly enemy. Will man's first encounter with aliens force them to run or will they stand and fight? Follow along in this first thriller in the SODIUM series as the unwitting group of hikers determine their own fate.

ebook, 164 pages
Published December 27th 2017 by Stephen Arseneault (first published November 19th 2011)
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3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  632 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Jul 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Misfit Makes Good

Our hero is a clutz. Not good at much of anything - 3 failed marriages, clumsy and a self-confessed coward. And yet, he insists on joining his sister, his lifelong friend and 2 others for a rugged 7 day trek through the wild back country of Yellowstone National Park. Equipped with just the bare essentials, off they go. The others are carrying a few guns and a bow and arrows while our hero carries only a wooden baseball bat. He suffers numerous falls and near drownings, wasp stin
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: smashwords
This was your typical alien invasion story, at least the kind where the aliens are stopped by a small group of people. It wasn't a bad story, though I wouldn't rate it as a must read or anything, still, if you're a fan of alien invasion stories, you could do worse than add this one to your reading list.
Rollie Reid
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
It was free. That is the most important thing you can know about this. I found it free for Kindle. I read it. I wasn't too bored. It wasn't brilliant. The prose style was okay. In some ways, this is a coming of age book, except that the protagonist is an adult when it starts. However, he is a rather tame, little man who is tackling a wilderness adventure, until everything comes undone. When the adventure ends, he comes undone, but it is not too surprising, because he constantly describes himself ...more
Charles  van Buren
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good indie effort

Verified Purchase(What's this?)

This review is from: SODIUM:1 Harbinger (Kindle Edition)

I really enjoyed this: the 1950's, the wilderness, camping, hiking, fishing......& hostile aliens. Want more? How about people who are smart enough to carry weapons into the wild? The 1950's are a different country. I know. I used to live there. This book also has characters who act like real people instead of horror movie idiots. On top of that, it is fairly well written, paced & edit
Kara Prem
Apr 18, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Harbinger is the first book in the Sodium series. This can be read as a standalone. There is violence. This book kept my interest until the last few chapters. There was plenty of action and unknown elements. But the ending was a disappointment. I still will read the next book in the series and hope it keeps my interest all the way through it.
Leonardo Dearie
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm still not going to gush

This anthology for lack of a large enough vocabulary Effing ,totally, kicks ass! It brings into scope the character and
Honor that can be found by a lack of mental health-care in today's word.
Barry Edstene
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
What an excellent introduction to a series, beautifully written with great characters and storyline. I loved the way it comes to a satisfying conclusion while handing off the story. Make reading the next book a must. I love Arseneault's work.
richard klein
One of the most juvenile books I ever read

poor character dimension. Most paragraphs three sentences. Most sentences_noun verb.. Don't waste your time. I could not even finish this book....almost a first for md.
Warren Ward
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great start

I can only imagine what comes next. I look forward to finding out! I might have read this series already, but it was so good I’m doing it again.
Rick Miell
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great story!
Barry Higgins
Good first story, in the series
I could not bring myself to like the main character/narrator of this book at all. I found him completely obnoxious and won't be reading the rest of the series.
Noreen Kellner
Really struggled to finish this one.

The story seemed to revolve around the main character's personality disorders and ego more than anything else. For the first third of the book I kept wondering where the science fiction was and even checked to see if I was reading the book I thought I was. Self-absorbed and annoying would be my description of the main character. Very hard to like a book when you don't like the main character. Written from his viewpoint with no dialogue from the other character
Janet Arroyo

Well, you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. That is exactly what I did. I was disappointed to say the least. I was expecting a space adventure. What I got is a self absorbed character. He's traveling with his friends on an extreme wilderness adventure. During their travels, the group ran across some dissected animals. They also saw red devil eyes following them. It turns out to be an alien sighting. Battling with the metal dome heads was interesting. The group was successful in these bat
Rob Drown
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A well written si-fi story about a group of people who, in 1957, go back packing in the Yosemite back country. While immersed in this incredible scenery, they see some small game disected and left. not skinned and cleaned but opened up very neatly, pieces removed. Eventually they are attacked by alien robots. One of their party is captured. They must figure out who the enemy is and with their limited resources save their friend. I very much enjoyed the book. It is an exciting story, told from th ...more
Kelvin Clements
I found this a bit hard work as a read, I feels different from the AMP series, I know it a prequel series and all that but with most of the authors I read, I found I'm total engrossed into the book and I have trouble putting the book down and I when I do I try to get back to it at every possible moment. But with this one I was OK when I was reading it, but wasn't bothered about trying to finish it. Its left me a bit nonplussed. It was a bit long winded to get to the action stage, and then once h ...more
Lots of synonym confusion and a way of telling, not showing, that is odd and off kilter in the beginning, but it develops into an interesting story with interesting characters. I actually did get swept up into the battle for survival.

I'm not sure I would actually pay for further books in the series, but I wouldn't mind seeing the way this turns out.

And it was still MUCH better written than the mass market garbage I'm reading now--and the mass market garbage I just finished.
Miranda Nading
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Compelling Narrative

Although the absence of dialogue left the secondary characters feeling more like memories than active participants, the writing was solid and the story compelling. More than once I was taken back to my young days, building small forts with rocks and branches in the woods behind one house or another, to prepare for invasions. Look forward to sampling more of Arseneault's work.
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. A simple read, five friends enjoying a hiking holiday in the Yosemite National Park and they end up facing aliens. In the end they defeat the aliens but one member wants to tell everyone what happened but they have no proof.
Twenty years later he finally finds a piece of one of the drones but none of the others wish to have the spotlight turned on them.
At the end he passes the piece to a young child and so starts the second book.
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
fun read

This first book in he series certainly shows that the author s inexperienced. His first person style with no character dialogue leaves all the other characters flat. He also writes with an odd omniscient style that is at odds with his first person style.
I see that the other books in the series get better reviews.

I titled the review a fun read because his hero is forced into situations and has many misadventures.
June Wells
Interesting idea to start sci-fi story in the 50's

Renault has lived out west...surely. The description of the outdoor adventures ring quite true. The self-interested main character retained my interest because of his flaws, rather than in spite of them. The build up to encountering an alien form was satisfying, and left me hoping decades of time would flesh out this intriguing tale.
Tobias Roote
This is a definite 'Boys Own' book, Its based on a hiking group back in 1957 and the author successfully dates his writing to that period.

However, in today's Sci-fi world its a little naive to be writing like this, even for a young audience which this is presumably aimed at.

The hero is extremely self centred and self obsessed and I'm not sure this works today.

A well written book even if the idea of taking out an alien invasion with a baseball bat is a little optimistic.
Rex Libris
There is nothing new under the sun, and that certainly applies to this book. It was very Predator-esque in its plotline. A group of five people are out hiking in Yosemite when they encounter some aliens on a recon mission collecting samples. The aliens are not freindly, and it us up to the five to stop them.

While not a very original plot, it was pretty well written.
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I liked the idea but I thought the writing style was more like a story by a teenager at school. Very few big words, lots of predictable events, poor descriptions. As for the baddies lacking night vision or infra red, I'd hope there would be some good explanation for this but either missed it or there wasn't. maybe I need to read the next instalment to find out, but I'm afraid I don't want to.
Jess Mountifield
Very interesting story in a style I've not come across before. It reads very much like someone telling a story and the contents didn't really match with the cover.

There are aliens but most of the focus is on a hiking trip in the US wilderness. From the cover I was expecting a book actually set in space, but I still really enjoyed the read.
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: already-read
I really did not care for the book,I found it exceptionally hard to fallow especially with the many different personalities. The authors inexperience shows but yet something tells me that he is young and will prevail. If I had not read it was to be a sci-fi thriller I certainly would not have classified it as such.
Burke Hodgson
Fairly interesting vintage sci-fi, more notable for its detailed description of an extended hike through 1950s Yosemite National Park than for invading alien shenanigans. Hokey in parts, but still fun.
Sep 29, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Lose the main character's self-centeredness and awkward internal dialogue, and we have a decent book here. The story is interesting enough on it's own to keep me going into Sodium #2. But, wow, character development, and likeability of those characters is slim at best.
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time finishing this book. There is no dialog just a guy telling a story. The writting is really akward and the characters are shallow. I got this book for free, but I do not intend to read the rest of this series
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I came to this planet fifty some odd years ago. After exiting my mother's portal, the doctor slapped me around until I started breathing the oxygen. I'll admit, at the time, I had no idea what I was doing or where I was. Being an infant Human, I was completely reliant on the responsible actions of others. It was a time that I have largely forgotten.

I reside in Central Florida with the wife and ch

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