REVIEW–Legacy: Overload

Legacy#2Launched in 2013, the Legacy (Heirs of Sinanju) series of books are a spinoff of the venerable “The Destroyer” Men’s adventure series of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s (and which continues on, into the 21st century). In May 2014, the third installment in this new series debuted, continuing the story of a new generation of Sinanju for a new generation.

If you aren’t familiar with Sinanju, or the Destroyer, it’s pretty simple. The original series was about Remo Williams, a man whose death was faked in order for him to work for a shadowy organization called CURE, that worked outside the Constitution to  protect America. In order to keep things secret, CURE  has just  three members: Harold Smith, the man in charge, Remo Williams, the enforcer and agent-in-the-field, and Chiun, the Master of Sinanju, the oldest martial art in the world and a House of Assassins without equal.The series brought together action, comedy, political satire and even science fiction elements, pitting Remo’s super-martial art against the likes of androids, psychics, genetically engineered monsters and much,  much more.

destroyer48For Legacy, Remo Wiliams’ son, Stone Smith (a former Navy SEAL), and daughter, Freya Williams (a 16 year old girl), are being raised by Bill Roam, Remo’s long-lost father and a practitioner of a Native American offshoot of Sinanju. They join CURE, protectitng American interests without the globetrotting of Remo and Chiun.

For OVERLOAD, things took an interesting twist, delving more into Bill Roam’s background in Hollywood and Freya’s passage into becoming the first Mistress of Sinanju (the millennia-old  House  formerly consisting entirely of male Masters). In the villain category, the brother-sister team found themselves going up against a washed up action star who was far more caricature than character, and who offered little in the way of an actual threat to people who can dodge bullets and  split steel with their bare hands.

Unlike The Destroyer series, the book doesn’t stand that well on its own. It’s a reward for fans of both series, giving us answers we’ve wanted for years and treating us to enjoyable time with characters we’ve grown to love. That might put some readers off. When I first read a Destroyer tale years ago, it was well into the series. I hadn’t read the first book, or even the first twenty, but I immediately picked  up what was going on and enjoyed it. Doc Savage is another example of an action series that does the same thing. Overload unlike book 2, The Killing Fields, reads more serial than series. Which isn’t neccessarily a bad thing.

If you haven’t read the first books in the Legacy series, you might want to get them first. Reading all three will definitely bring back your Destroyer memories, as all three form a complete recreation of what made The Destroyer series so much fun; action, mystery, satire and the continuing adventures of well-written characters. And three Legacy books are probably going to take you less time to read than a thick science fiction tale full of drama and technobabble. They’re light reads that have you turning the pages as fast as you can, on the edge of your reading seat, waiting to see what happens next.

But the real brilliance of Legacy, is that it’s a relaunch without disregarding what came before. If you’ve never read The Destroyer, here’s your chance to start from scratch with a contemporary series. You don’t have to go back and read all 150 novels in the original series: Legacy stands on its  own. It is Sinanju for a new generation, capturing a fresh start for old ideas in a way few other sequels or relaunches have ever done before.

Great action, lots of laughs and all for a modest price. Legacy: Overload is available in print or digital formats through

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