Afterlife by Marcus Sakey #BookReview #TuesdayBookBlog @MarcusSakey **Release Day**

  • Author: Marcus Sakey
  • Published: July 2017 by Thomas & Mercer
  • Category: Thriller, Romance, Sci-Fi, Supernatural, Book Review, Books, Reading

Between life and death lies an epic war, a relentless manhunt through two worlds…and an unforgettable love story.

The last thing FBI agent Will Brody remembers is the explosion—a thousand shards of glass surfing a lethal shock wave.

He wakes without a scratch.

The story opens in 1532 as Edmund killed an apprentice and took his place aboard the Persephone, sailing to the new world. Two weeks into the return voyage a violent storm lashed the ship. The cargo and all provisions were lost and the men who survived on the battered ship resorted to desperate measures to stay alive, until only Edmund was left. He died just shy of a mile from land. Continue reading

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch ~ #Audiobook #Sci-Fi ~ Schrödinger’s cat and parallel universes

  • 30633208Author: Blake Crouch
  • Performed by Jon Lindstrom
  • Published: August 2016 by Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd
  • Category: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Thriller, Love Story
  • four-half-stars

“Are you happy with your life?” Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

Have you ever wondered what your life might be like had you chosen to follow a different path? The author takes the concept of Schrödinger’s cat and parallel universes to create a complex and conjectural science fiction/fantasy story which surprises, horrifies, challenges and gives pause for thought. Continue reading

#FridayBookShare ~ Dark Matter by Blake Crouch #Sci-Fi #Fantasy @ShelleyWilson72 #books #amreading

#FridayBookShare ~ an excellent idea created by Shelley Wilson

With the weekend approaching it’s the perfect time to seek out new books to read, so Shelley created a Friday Book Share meme to help search for that ideal read.

FridayBookShare

Anyone can join in. Just answer the following F.R.I.D.A.Y. questions based on the book you’re either currently reading (or listening to, in my case) or have just finished reading. Use the hashtag #FridayBookShare and remember to tag Shelley (@ShelleyWilson72)  Continue reading

Fair Coin/Quantum Coin ~ the #audiobooks #SundayBlogShare #YA SciFi #BookReview

 

  • Fair CoinFair Coin ~ Book 1
  • Author: E C Myers
  • Performed by MacLeod Andrews
  • November 2013 by Audible Inc
  • Category: Young Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy
  • four-stars

After Ephraim’s mother believes she has identified his body after an accident, she’s grief stricken and attempts suicide. Ephraim finds her unconscious and slumped over the kitchen table when he gets home from school.  

While in the hospital with his mother, the boy’s belongings are inadvertently given to Ephraim and among them he finds a strange coin that can grant wishes….except it doesn’t grant them in quite the way Ephraim expects and before long Ephraim realises the coin is much more than a ‘genie’ type object, it’s something a lot more sinister and convoluted. And he’s unable to control what happens after he’s made a wish. He’s the only one who knows he’s wished for something to change and the only one who remembers what it was like before.  Continue reading

October Rain ~ #Sci-Fi #Dystopian Future @dylanjmorgan #SundayBlogShare

  • OctoberRainAuthor: Dylan J Morgan
  • Kindle (4th) Edition due to be released on 29th February 2016 by DJM Entertainment
  • Category: Sci Fi, Dystopian, Novella
  • five-stars

The human race teeters on the brink of extinction in a solar system choking under the glare of a dying sun. An assassin for the Martian Interstellar Correction Agency, Steele has one more assignment to complete before a big payoff and the chance of a new life: a job that will reveal the true horrors of mankind’s futile existence and threaten the very people who make his life worth living.

As mankind draws its final breath, what would you do to save your family?

October Rain is the story of Steele. He is an exterminator, a bounty hunter eliminating undesirables, employed by the Martian Interstellar Correction Agency of Olympia, capital city of Mars. After five years on a slowly dying planet Steele is more than ready to leave and start a new life with his family. He has one last job to complete, in a specified time frame, before he can even hope to give his wife and daughter a better future. But Steele has no inkling of what was to come. Continue reading

Critical Dawn ~ The Critical Series #1~ Post #Apocalyptic #SciFi

A centuries old plan unfolds. 
Pippa, Charlie, and the rest of humanity will have to fight for survival, sacrificing the life they’ve known to protect Earth from an ancient and previously dormant enemy. Even that might not be enough as this new enemy exacts a plan that will change the course of humankind forever. 
Critical Dawn is an apocalyptic ride to the very edge of human existence. Factions will battle for control of the Earth—if they can avoid the threat of extinction.

Archaeologists and historians Charlie Jackson and his boss, Pippa Quinn, are investigating a site of particular interest and on the verge of a huge discovery, although it turns out to be not quite what they were expecting. Pippa has found some unexplainable and disturbing evidence in undisturbed graves at the dig site of a deserted settlement on Roanoke Island. Items were found under the skeletons which could not have been added after the burials and it was obvious to Charlie and Pippa they were dealing with advanced technology. As they try to draw some conclusions from the artefacts and information found at the dig, storms are gathering around the world. India has been hit with a tsunami and California by a hurricane. Continue reading

The Last Gatekeeper ~ The Chronicles of Fane #1

  • The Last Gatekeeper Cover MEDIUM WEBAuthor: Katy Haye
  • Kindle Edition
  • Category: Young Adult, Fantasy
  • four-half-stars

Zan knows she’s different. Today she discovers why …

Zanzibar MacKenzie knows she’s a freak. She has EHS – electrical hypersensitivity – which leaves her trying to live a Stone Age life in the twenty-first century: no internet, no phone, no point really. Then Thanriel knocks on her door and the dull summer holiday becomes maybe too exciting. Zan discovers fairies and angels are real beings from other planets, she herself is half alien, and the future of life on Earth rests on her shoulders.

Up until the day of her 17th birthday, Zanzibar MacKenzie lead a very sheltered life. She always knew she was different, home schooled, no electrical appliances whatsoever in her life or environment and isolated by her EHS. Just how different, she was about to find out. While spending time with her only friend, Em, who lives nearby, and Em’s boyfriend at the beach, Zan thinks she spots a stranger on the cliff watching them.  Continue reading

Dead Shift ~ Rho Agenda Inception #3

AudiobookReview

In this page-turning sci-fi adventure, the NSA’s most brilliant hacker is abducted and the world stands on the brink of cyberwar. The Ripper and his ghost team commandos are called to action, battling a host of enemies ranging from a genius tech-billionaire and the Chinese government to an emerging superintelligence capable of bringing the world to its knees. With every threat in play, Jack must confront his alien passenger and regain some semblance of self-control. As the origins of the Rho Agenda come to light, Jack struggles to embrace his destiny. But how can even one such as he prevail against an existential threat to humanity?

Jamal Glover is the best of the NSA’s elite team of hackers, known as the Dirty Dozen, who work in the War Room at the NSA headquarters, keeping the country safe from cyber attacks and a lot more besides. Nineteen years old and straight out of MIT, Jamal loves his job. He also loves his girlfriend, Jill, and is on his way home to have dinner with her. What awaits him will change his life and if the Chinese government’s plans succeeds it will spell disaster and the threat to humanity will be immense and devastating. Continue reading

Duplicity

AudiobookReview

A computer-hacking teen. The girl who wants to save him. And a rogue mirror reflection that might be the death of them both.

In private, seventeen-year-old Brandon hacks bank accounts just for the thrill of it. In public, he looks like any other tattooed bad boy with a fast car and devil-may-care attitude. He should know: he’s worked hard to maintain that façade. With inattentive parents who move constantly from city to city, he’s learned not to get tangled up in things like friends and relationships. So he’ll just keep living like a machine, all gears and wires.

Seventeen year old hacker, Brandon Eriks, a bad boy with multiple tattoos, piercings, dyed black, messy hair and an attitude to match, thinks he’s covered up his money-making hacking activities pretty well. Until one day he finds warning and personal messages on his computer. Things get even more bizarre when Brandon’s reflection takes on a life of its own, writing messages on mirrors and altering Brandon’s appearance by removing the metal from his piercings, ripping off his tattoos and washing the dye out of his hair. Then the unthinkable happens and Brandon is watching his life unfold from behind the mirror.

Because who found me? Who cares enough to find me? Can’t be a cop, because he’d cut to the chase and knock on my door with a warrant, not play cat and mouse on my laptop. Can’t be a bot because he knows personal details about me. Like what happened with Emma. But I can’t think of anyone, even super hackers who get their thrills hunting other hackers, who would even care what I say or do offline.

Brandon, quite different from a lot of young adult protagonists, has built up his image as a shield and perfected it over the years. His ‘don’t care’ attitude stems from the hurt of his parents’ thoughtlessness, the tattoos and piercings a reaction against his flawed family life as well as a bid for some sort of attention. He pushes people away before he can become attached or emotionally involved. The one person he can’t step away from is Emma, who believes in him and sees past the face Brandon shows to the world.

Brandon’s character evolves genuinely and substantially during the story, mostly due to his feelings for Emma. The romance itself doesn’t figure hugely in the plot which centres more on the multi layered science fiction aspect and the complex digital world in which Brandon finds himself confined. This allows him to consider and acknowledge his convoluted relationships with others, as well as his own situation, from a different perspective. N.K. Traver does a really good job of showing the reasons Brandon chooses to use his computer skills unwisely, eliciting some sympathy for an emotionally starved teen, while at the same time exploring the issue of privacy in the digital age.

N.K. Traver has created a unique concept, a great storyline, with well-developed and engaging characters, and even though it’s full of technology speak it’s not too overwhelming. The supporting characters are realistically portrayed, my favourite by far is Seb, also hurting and distrustful. For such an extraordinary storyline it’s really well done, so suspend your belief, leave it by the door and enjoy a tense and very imaginative cyber thriller that didn’t go in any of the directions I expected. An extremely good debut novel.

As with all his narrations, MacLeod Andrews’ performance is excellent, really getting inside the characters and bringing them to life individually and vividly.

Book links ~ Amazon US Amazon UK

About the author

As a freshman at the University of Colorado, N.K. Traver decided to pursue Information Technology because classmates said “no one could make a living” with an English degree. It wasn’t too many years later Traver realized it didn’t matter what the job paid—nothing would ever be as fulfilling as writing. Programmer by day, writer by night, it was only a matter of time before the two overlapped.

Traver’s debut, DUPLICITY, a cyberthriller pitched as BREAKING BAD meets THE MATRIX for teens, is now available.

Author links ~ Website, Twitter, Goodreads

Morningside Fall (Legends of the Duskwalker #2)

AudiobookReview

  • MorningsideFallAuthor: Jay Posey
  • Performed by Luke Daniels
  • Published: February 2015 by Audible Studios
  • Category: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Apocalyptic/Post Apocalyptic
  • four-half-stars

The lone gunman Three is gone. Wren is the new governor of the devastated settlement of Morningside, but there is turmoil in the city. When his life is put in danger, Wren is forced to flee Morningside until he and his retinue can determine who can be trusted. 

They arrive at a border outpost to find it has been infested with Weir in greater numbers than anyone has ever seen. These lost, dangerous creatures are harbouring a terrible secret – one that will have consequences not just for Wren and his comrades but for the future of what remains of the world. New threats need new heroes….

In a post Three world, young Wren is now the governor of Morningside after the death of his father, Underdown. His mother, Cass, acts as his advisor, protector and companion. Although Wren has special abilities, and is sometimes able to ‘awaken’ Weir, including Cass and his friend Painter, he’s not equipped to deal with Morningside’s politics. It becomes clear not everyone in the Council is in favour of Wren’s governorship and his life is in danger. Following a failed murder attempt the situation escalates and Cass, Painter and Wren are forced to escape the city, along with Wren’s team of elite bodyguards, even though it means travelling the bleak wastelands between refuges and leaving themselves open to attacks by Weir.

Reaching the outpost Ninestory, they encounter Weir in huge numbers. An enormity never before witnessed. Posing an even deadlier threat, appearing quite different and much more menacing, their presence places everyone in jeopardy. More so than is apparent initially. The little group battle against impossible odds, with help from an unexpected quarter.

After the surprising and shock ending of the first book I did wonder how the second would fare without the compelling and mysterious central character that was Three. The pace is slightly slower to begin with and there’s no main focus on one particular hero. The writing however, along with the post apocalyptic world and Weir are just as compelling. 

Wren is central to the story, a child who in some ways is older than his years, but nevertheless acts mainly as a boy of his age would. He has benefitted from all he learned from Three and his character does develop quite a lot towards the end of the book. The secondary characters, most especially Wren’s contingent of elite bodyguards, helped in some way to fill the void left by Three. Those passages featuring Gamble, Sky, Swoop and Wick are terrific, their interactions, dialogue and personalities, even though there’s no back story as such for them, are interesting and distinctive.

The prey turned to face the Thing. Unsurprised. Unafraid. Waited calmly. Raised its hand. The Thing leapt. It felt its claws puncture, but the instant it made contact, the Thing experienced a piercing cold that bored into the centre of its forehead and streaked through to the back of its skull. It cried out involuntarily, a static burst of while noise. The cold became white-hot behind the Thing’s eyes. A cleansing fire, like cobwebs vanishing in a flash of flame. And as the Thing fell to the ground, it remembered.

The story opens with a short but excellent prologue. Painter is quite a tragic character who invites sympathy but his personality takes a very unexpected turn towards the end, when he decides to leave and strike out on his own. The mysterious Blindfold Man of the cover image (who I initially thought was a grown up Wren) is intriguing and very powerful, not someone to be taken lightly. He appears at the beginning of the story and then again more substantially in the last few chapters. His identity is left unknown for the longest time and is a surprise when revealed. For me, the story didn’t have quite the same impact as Three, but having said that, I did enjoy it a lot and look forward to the third book, which actually could go in any direction given the ending. I’m enjoying Jay Posey’s writing style and Luke Daniels’ performance, as always, is just so good and brings out the atmosphere and emotion of the story, as well as giving the characters distinct voices and personalities. 

Book links ~ Amazon US Amazon UK

About the author

JayPoseyJay Posey is a professional typist with a face for radio and a voice for print. He’s the author of the novels THREE and MORNINGSIDE FALL, published by Angry Robot Books, and is Senior Narrative Designer at Ubisoft/Red Storm Entertainment, where he has spent many years contributing as a writer and game designer to Tom Clancy’s award-winning Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six franchises. 

He blogs occasionally at jayposey.com and spends more time than he probably should hanging around Twitter as @HiJayPosey.