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The Scars of Ambition (The Cumerian Unraveling #1) [Kindle Edition]

Jason Letts
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"The ancient family sword's immaculate steel blade reminded him that there were still parts of the world where this was the only weapon people had, the old ways were still alive and well, and there were creatures out there and powerful things beyond what he could ever imagine."

Lowell Bracken had complete control. His empire, his ruthless executives, his family's legacy, his wife, his children, they all had a part to play in the near omnipotent control he exerted in Cumeria. But a freak attack exposed how tenuous that control really is, and Lowell scrambles to preserve it, discovering he is only playing a small part in larger, darker schemes for control.

From the shadows, mysterious and disturbing threats disrupt the already-turbulent business landscape in Cumeria. When blood is spilled, the fight for survival becomes more than just a euphemism for going out of business, and the Brackens' struggles to retain order might be the only thing keeping all of Cumeria from plunging into chaos.

The Scars of Ambition, the first book in The Cumerian Unraveling Trilogy, contains two maps, an appendix of names, and roughly 95,000 words. The Vendetta Clause has just been released! Find the sequel at:

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3615 KB
  • Print Length: 351 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #401,235 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Jason Letts is an author and editor of young-adult and paranormal fiction. The books of his young-adult fantasy series, Powerless, are available now, as well as the first book in a new paranormal romance trilogy, entitled Inevitable, with Amanda Hocking.

I've always admired teens because they seem to have a better eye for what's important than adults. It's been a while since I've been one though, and now I'm desperately trying to find a way to hold onto my care-free, food-fighting summer camp days in the stories I write. If I could just recreate one tiny fraction of the magic I felt, it would blow people away, leaving them awestruck and mesmerized with the impression that life could be so effortless and meaningful.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Ambition" is Ambitious 1 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Sorry for the review title -- I couldn't help myself!

Letts begins an epic tale in "Scars of Ambition." I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy of the book and I devoured it over the course of two days. It was a fun read, it kept me interested and made me want more.

It's the tale of a patriarch and his family, of greed and ambition, of family and loyalty. The Bracken family's long reign is starting to crumble. Cracks are forming in the foundation, mirroring the cracks on the planet's surface and those in the delicate balance of power between the corporations.

That's an example of the scope of the story. On the one hand, there's a fight over the global power generation and control as proponents for solar energy vie for leadership in the corporation-run global economy.

On the other hand, the story is tale of struggle and perhaps redemption as a man must come to terms with his age, his past, and the shaky future of his family.

And then there are some outside forces, some mystical elements we have only barely glimpsed so far.

This is the first book of what (I hope!) is a trilogy. What remains to be seen is whether the author started out with too much ambition, if he cast too wide of a net in setting up the story. Book one ends with the satisfying closure of some plot lines, but it leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

I can't wait to find out what happens next!
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By Mobewan
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having enjoyed some quality Urban Fantasy works recently, I was immediately drawn to the premise of this book. A civilisation that's utilised abundant every sources to leapfrog an industrial revolution and wrap many modern trappings up with a more brutal and fantastical setting. It's unusual to see such an exciting attempt at different world building in a self-published novel.

And mostly it's pulled off. Towards the end some of the included technology takes a leap to believe would have been invented and perfected so soon, but generally speaking I found the merging of the technology and the corporate world that's been created around it believable.

The same with the main characters. The story is built around the head of the Bracken family and the coloration but ironically, I found the stories of his siblings much more interesting. To the point where I wish more had been made of them rather than certain aspects of their lives being skipped over.

The main issue I have with the story is the villains. There are some initial glimpses of originality in their backstories, but ultimately they descend into hackneyed stereotypes there simply to provide a protagonist against the 'heroes'. This doesn't spoil the story, but with the glimpses you get into the history of the nation it felt very much like an opportunity lost.

So, a tight and concise story, littered with original ideas that's well written (couldn't find any errors, which is again very unusual for a self-published book). At the price its an entertaining steal.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 16 Aug. 2014
By leac11
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star 30 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The interactions between characters were annoying and divisive, and I quickly lost interest.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  51 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For fans of G.R.R.M and Dallas! 25 Sept. 2013
By Jake Scholl - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Ever get tired of a Medieval Fantasy setting? Or have you ever wondered what would happen when Middle Earth's technology would become like ours? With The Scars of Ambition, Jason Letts answers these questions.

The novel takes place in a land called Cumeria, where the government hardly has any serious power, and wealthy all powerful corporations control nearly every aspect of life. Much like Game of Thrones, these wealthy families behave much like the squabbling Houses of Westoros. But, the background setting is much like modern day. There are airplanes, gas powered vehicles, computers, phones, guns, etcetera.

You may ask how Scars can be Fantasy with all of these modern pieces of technology, there still are some elements, like magic, creatures, and swords, that are in most Fantasy Novels. I honestly didn't know if Letts could pull the fusion of new and old elements off, but Letts does amazingly well, and makes the plot his own rather than follow the normal conventions of the genre.

The story centers around the Bracken family. It centers around Lowell Bracken, the father & head of the family business called Bracken Energy. The Bracken's have been leaders in the land of Cumeria for hundreds of years without resistance. That is, until forces beyond his control turn on him, and he doesn't know who to trust...That's all I can say about the without spoilers. All I will say is that the tale will keep you guessing till the end. :)

As for the characters, they are well done too. Every character is fleshed out well, even characters who you only see a few times will stick with you.

Overall, I give the book 3 1/2 stars!

If you are a fan of G.R.R.M, the TV show Dallas (When you read it, you'll know what I mean.), and Steampunk Fantasy, this book is made for you.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plaudits for this superior read 23 Oct. 2013
By Sterling Gate Books - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Sci-fi/fantasy novels are not my preferred genre. So it says a lot for this first book of 'The Cumerian Unraveling' that I literally couldn't put it down and I finished reading it in one sitting!

It's a quick read. This may have something to do with the fact it's only 95,000 words give or take, but I suspect it's more to do with the superior storyline crafted by author Jason Letts: it's fast-paced and action-filled with very little downtime.

The book's catchy tagline - "The battlefield meets the boardroom" - nicely sums up this highly original story of corporate espionage, wealthy families and political intrigue. It beautifully sets up the sequel, 'The Vendetta Clause'. Can't wait! -Lance
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book, surprised me! 18 July 2013
By J. B. Copeland - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
From the absolute beginning the author had me hooked in the family affairs of the Brackens on Cumeria. This book follows a fantasy tale in a sci-fi setting and in that respect is completely new. The character development is beautiful but sparsely worded. All in all it's a quality read that I'd recommend to any fan of either genre. For the sci-fi heads, it's very little magic and easy to remember names. For the fantasy heads, it's very little gun battles and a great surprise in one of the main character's pets!
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Had potential... but several concerns... 2 Stars 13 July 2013
By R. Nicholson - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
"The Scars of Ambition" is the first book of 'The Cumerian Unraveling' by author Jason Letts. This Kindle e-book was a 719 Kb download (approx. 281 printed pages) and sold for $2.99 at the time of writing this review.

Please Note: the author provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Spoilers (general theme)

Lowell Bracken and his company, Bracken Energy, have provided most of the gas needs to fuel Cumera's requirements for generations. Everything seems to be running smoothly, but some smoldering unrest Is beginning to appear and Lowell, his family and the Company are about to experience some turbulent times.

End Spoilers

Some thoughts on "Scars of Ambition"...

The Pros:
1.) a story with a premise that had potential. A modern day adventure set in another world and that has some fantasy components.

2.) two maps... one of each hemisphere showing major centers, directions and topographical features.

3.) appendix... found at the end giving a brief description of the players involved in this tale.


1.) a writing style and quality that was suspect, as evidenced by...

a.) most conversations felt forced and at best artificial.

b.) characters... all very one dimensional so that it was almost impossible to really care for or become attached to anyone in this story. The one exception might have been Nemi.

c) instances of the improbable... a few examples of many
1.) Lowell walking into the board room meeting with Bolt and Keize...unannounced!!! (and overhears a private conversation)
2.) Lowell and Bolt's (Corporate enemies), texting each other behind everyone's back
3.) West's reading his 'sex' note (out loud) to Sierra at work (so stupidly unbelievable that it boggles the mind)

2.) there were instances (for example, the P.O.C investigation of Lowell Bracken) where I, as the reader, never really understood why this investigation would ever be tolerated, given that there appeared to be so little evidence to support it. With the results that the whole scenario appeared unrealistic and contrived. In general, this technique when repeated, made for a generally unbelievable story.

3.) there were several sexual situations or themes that suggested to me, a male viewpoint... in this case a male author discussing a sexual issue, but from his female character's perspective. I've often felt that one of writings great difficulties is an author of one sex trying to write convincingly or interpret feelings of his or her character of the opposite sex. Men and women think differently, especially about sex related topics and this difference sometimes in shows up in written dialogue. Obviously a personal and subjective opinion.


A book that I have difficulty defining an intended audience... some of the sexually related material excludes Young Adult, but I can't see this appealing to any mature or sophisticated reader. It might interest a reader looking for a light diversion between serious reading material... a summertime or beach read.

As it is... 2 Stars

Ray Nicholson
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read and story. 10 July 2013
By Robert I. Brown - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was recommended to this book by the author himself through a common page on Facebook. I am very happy I took the time to read this story. The characters are very likable and easy to become invested in. The story is smooth and enjoyable. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a new world to be come invested in. I will be anxiously awaiting the day Mr. Letts releases the next book in series.
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