Frend by Jonathan R Miller

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FREND by Jonathan R. Miller
(Book Not Yet Released – Publication Date is 2015)

I was the lucky recipient of a paperback ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of this book from the Goodreads Giveaway program at http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway

Firstly, I have to mention the cover. It is gorgeous. It is mysterious, exotic and artistic and makes you curious as to what the book contains. In my opinion this is perfect. It accomplishes exactly what a great book cover should.

From the book cover:

“After suffering a traumatic event that lands her in the hospital, Anomie makes a decision: She’s finished with the human race.”

I love the quote at the beginning that states: “After all, one of the best distractions from one’s own suffering is to bask in the suffering of others, particularly when it exceeds one’s own. It’s a simple reminder that things aren’t as bad as they could be, at least not yet.”

Isn’t that one of the reasons we read fiction and watch movies and television shows? We watch to escape our reality for a while and immerse ourselves in someone else’s world. FREND is the perfect outlet for this and while I am aware that this book is fiction, it also has the ring of prophecy to it.

Imagine being talked into becoming a FREND – A Finite Robotics Enhanced Neurosensory Development, to basically become a robot with a human brain.

This concept is not new and I was expecting a typical robot/human tale where she discovers that she is still human inside despite her outer shell and of course she would fall in love with a human who doesn’t care that she is made of plastic and metal. Blah! Blah! Blah! I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case. FREND takes off in a completely new and unexpected direction.

Anomie (now known as Ano) signs on as a companion to the Lumen. She must fulfill two years of service and in exchange will be well rewarded.

Her first year is spent with a strange Lumen named Drizz. It is during that year that Ano meets up with a group of humans whose sole purpose in life is to destroy the Lumen once and for all.

“Anomie finds herself caught between worlds, embroiled in a conflict between two opposing forces, as she struggles to unravel a mystery that cuts to the heart of her identity, her nature, and the true extent of her capabilities.”

This book captivated my imagination from the very first page. Not only did the author manage to grab my attention immediately, but also held it right to the last page.

WHAT I LIKED:

I really liked the fact that after Anomie chose to undergo her transformation, the author explained that it took 4 years for the full process to be completed and for her to actually be able to control her new body. This makes the procedure and outcome much more believable. To replace every body part with prosthetics and then to establish the neurological connections necessary to control them would realistically take time.

I loved the high tech aspects of this book and the diversity of the characters.

I found the writing to be the perfect mix of science and humanity. I found myself pondering the ethics of robotic prosthetics and how far is too far to go in the search for prolonged life.

RATING:

If it were possible to give 6 stars, FREND would rate that highly. As it is, the highest rating I can give is 5 out of 5 stars.

This book is a futuristic, technological thriller with a decidedly human core. It explores the human psyche and exactly what it means to be human, as well as many other issues such as discrimination and race relations.

This book is a MUST READ. I recommend this to anyone and everyone from ages 14 to 114.

More Information About This Book:

FREND can be preordered on Amazon and you can find out more about this book at: http://www.jonathanrmiller.com/index.php/frend-2015

Cooper’s Grove by Ann Werner

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COOPER’S GROVE by Ann Werner

 

SPOILER ALERT!

Agnes MacPherson, known as “Miss Aggie” to some and as “The Witch Woman” to others lives in a small town on the shore of Maryland.

Agnes can see ghosts, just like her mother and her mother’s mother. She can’t hear them, but she can see them and she can also see people’s auras.

Aggie befriends Lucinda as a child and takes an interest in her life throughout the decades.

Lucinda was the only child of a drunk and an abuser. Her mother was the drunk and her father abused her mother; mentally, physically and emotionally.

At the age of 16, Lucinda starts dating a rich, older boy and things quickly become serious when she finds herself pregnant. Jack agrees to marry her and they raise their daughter in a cold and loveless marriage.

When their daughter leaves for college in California, Lucinda finally musters up the courage to leave Jack. However, her freedom is short-lived. Jack has advanced stomach cancer and Lucinda moves back in to care for him during his final days.

On his death bed Jack vows to never allow Lucinda to move on and that he will not allow her to find happiness with another man, especially Billy Joe Dean.

Billy Joe was tormented by Jack when they were kids. Now that Billy Joe is an adult and a talented artist, he has his heart set on Lucinda.

After Jack’s death Lucinda and Billy Joe fall in love, but will she finally get her happy ever after? Or will Jack make good on his threats from the grave?

What I Liked:

I liked that Miss Aggie didn’t have all the answers. Just because she can see ghosts does not mean she knows what to do to get rid of an evil one.

I did enjoy the story. It was a light, easy read.

I also liked that it was narrated by Miss Aggie and told as if she was giving a verbal account of what happened to people she knew in the past.

What I Didn’t Like:

I didn’t like the fact that almost every character is a stereotype.

Lucinda is such a stereotype. She is poor white trash. Of course her mother was a drunk and her father was abusive. Aren’t all poor people from horrible backgrounds?

Even Jack is a stereotype. He is the spoiled son of rich parents. Don’t all sons of rich people become playboys and then when they finally do settle down, of course they cheat on their wives.

Billy Joe is the stereotypical artist with a heart of gold who is misjudged by everyone. I could go on, but I think that makes my point.

I knew how the book would end and was not surprised in the least at the outcome.

Rating:

Readers who want a good beach read will enjoy this book.

Lack of originality in the main characters keeps me from rating this book any higher.

I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars.

* I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.*

Imposter (Variants #1) by Susanne Winnacker

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IMPOSTER (Variants #1)
By: Susanne Winnacker

I listened to the unabridged audiobook version of “Imposter.”

Tessa is not your average sixteen year old. She’s a Variant.

For two years she has lived and trained at the government’s FEA (Forces with Extraordinary Abilities) branch of the FBI.

She has a unique variation and even though she has never been on a mission before, she is sent out into the field.

A serial killer is stalking a small Oregon town, but his latest victim lived through the attack. She is barely clinging to life. But since Tessa has the ability to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and to “become” them, Tessa is sent in.

Tessa becomes Madison when she dies. Madison’s family is told that she made a miraculous recovery and Tessa goes undercover to try to lure out the killer.

The problem is that the longer Tessa lives in Madison’s skin, the more suspects she unearths and the more she begins to enjoy living as Madison.

Madison has friends and a loving family; something Tessa has never had.

During her mission she is also struggling with having feelings for another agent named Alec, but Alec already has a girlfriend.

The longer she lives as Madison, the harder she finds it to change back to Tessa. And, does she really want to?

What I Liked About This Book:

It was a light and fun read. There was also a bit of information at the end of the book that I did not expect.

The author has also done a good job of setting up the next batch of stories in the series.

What I Didn’t Like About This Book:

What bothers me about this book is how similar it is to X-Men. The Variants are very similar to the mutants in X-Men, the difference
mostly being that their powers are not visible to others. They look ordinary.

Even Tessa’s mother’s response to her ‘variation’ is reminiscent of how the teen x-men were treated by their families.

If not X-Men, than this book could easily be an episode of yhe television show, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Also, Tessa’s character iritated me. She came across as whiny and her worship of Alec borders on stalking. He has a girlfriend and yet she still allows herself to be in compromising situations with him. If I were him I would not have wanted anything to do with her. What self-respecting female keeps putting her emotions on the line after being continually rebuffed. If this was my daughter I would want to shake some sense into her.

Recommended Age Group:

I recommend this for teens ages 12 to 16.

Rating:

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars based on it’s resemblance to other existing series.

The Disease by George Hamilton

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THE DISEASE
By: George Hamilton

* I received a free e-copy of this book from http://www.librarything.com in exchange for a fair and honest review. *

* This review contains minor spoilers *

This book is a timely read. Currently there is an ebola outbreak in Africa and it has people thinking and worrying about the possibility of a global pandemic.

The disease for which this book takes it’s name is known as “Philippine Viral Disease” or “Philippine Haemorrhagic Fever.” It was named this because it is believed to have originated in the Philippines.

“Within weeks it had spread to every corner of the planet, mainly through human contact, but it was also thought via animal hosts.”

This story is set in an Eastern country (sounding similar to Russia) that is ruled by President Emile Sakovich. His faithful followers refer to him as “Papa President.” The disease has already claimed over two hundred thousand lives in their country in the past year. Other countries, like the United States have over 3 million dead and China has lost more than 12 million people to the disease.

Dr. Ludmilla Toropov is a good citizen, a recipient of the Gold Cross and is a “Daughter of the Nation.” All she wants from her life is to have a good relationship with her University student daughter, Olga and to help her patients.

When the President announces that his scientists have discovered a vaccine for PVD that not only prevents people from catching the disease, but also cures those who already have the disease, the medical community rejoices.

The government sends small amounts of the vaccine to each doctor along with a list of people that are to receive the allotted doses. Dr. Toropov is surprised to find that her name is not on the list of those who will receive the first dose. However, like the good citizen that she is, she follows the directions she has been given.

It quickly becomes clear that the discovery of the vaccine will not be shared with the rest of the world. The United States has long had sanctions in place against the country and Dr. Toropov believes that the President will use the vaccine as leverage to have the sanctions lifted.

Meanwhile, her estranged daughter Olga has joined a group of student protesters who oppose President Sakovich’s rule. Dr. Toropov fears not only for her daughter’s health, but also for her safety.

Using contacts she made many years ago on an exchange trip to the United States, Dr, Toropov takes matters into her own hands and delivers a sample of the vaccine to an American colleague. Her hope is that with America’s vast resources, they will be able to quickly replicate and distribute the vaccine worldwide.

What her American colleague finds upon examination of the vaccine is unsettling at best and sinister at worst.

As the story progresses we learn more about the vaccine and about the government’s plans.

Mystery and intrigue abound in this gripping and sinister tale.

Not only is it a story about a disease, but it is also a story about political corruption, dictatorships and the quest for power by evil men who don’t care how many bodies they need to tread on to achieve their goals.

It is also a story about family and the love of a mother for her child and the lengths to which people will go to protect their children.

The scariest aspect of this book is it’s believability. The existence of a global pandemic is inevitable. The world we live in is ripe for the spread of a disease exactly like the one in this book.

The country where this story takes place sounds eerily similar to present day Russia and President Sakovich sounds suspiciously like Putin. It is not so far fetched that something similar to this story could actually occur.

This book deserves to be rated as 5 out of 5 stars.

I highly recommend reading this tale. George Hamilton has mastered the art of story building and readers will be instantly drawn into his world.

Chainge by Ken Dean

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Chainge by Ken Dean

There have always been “haves” and “have nots” in any society.
“Chainge” by Ken Dean takes this concept to the extreme.

This book is thought provoking, intriguing, interesting and even horrifying at times. It is a truly great read.

Blair Huxley (Hux) works as a Server for the Collective’s Medical Rights Facilities. He has no say about what Progressive (city) he lives or works in and can be moved to a different location at any time without warning. He has no rights and cannot refuse. Servers are told that “You exist for the sake of and by the grace of Our State and the all-giving Provider.” Those who resist or try to escape are punished and can even be beaten or killed.

The story begins on a train. Hux is being moved to a new Progressive. He notices a particularly beautiful Server and when the Black Cat overseer notices his interest he beats Hux with a baton. “Contact is expressly forbidden. Desire is forbidden. It is not for Servers to partake of such wantonness.”

Arriving at his new home, Hux reflects on the Progs that the Servers exist to serve.

“The Progs… were free from discomfort, from worry, from work, from personal responsibility, free from accountability, free to lead a perfectly blissful existence. The Servers were free to give of themselves, free from self-interest and selfishness, free from the thoughts that complicated our lives prior to the evolution of Our State. We were free to serve others and see their rights fulfilled … That was what the Provider dictated as best, as fair, as right, as the common good.”

When Hux begins working at the new medical facility he sees things that make him start to question the system that rules his life. He begins asking questions and observing those around him.

He begins to realize that the Served are just as much slaves as the Servers; they just exist in a better looking cage.

He also meets Jules (the beautiful Server from the train) and he begins to have feelings for her. Feelings are not allowed and most Servers are incapable of emotion. But, to question the system is to commit treason.

Hux must decide if he has the inner strength necessary to escape from his life of servitude? And can he take Jules with him? Will she even want to go?

This novel is a riveting read with plenty of food for thought. This book crosses into multiple genres, including Dystopian fiction, science fiction and drama.

What I Liked About This Book:

I love that the author has fully imagined his world right down to the smallest detail. For example: Servers have the Delta logo tattooed on their hands with the delta pointing away from them to remind them that they are serving others, not themselves.

I also enjoyed the intelligent writing style. The author makes the assumption that his readers will be smart enough to understand what he is communicating without having to ‘dumb it down’. Too often I feel like authors think their readers are stupid and need to have every concept explained to them.

The author shows that he has a vast knowledge of brain washing techniques and ways in which large groups of people can be indoctrinated and controlled by a smaller group. For example, each morning after their mandatory exercise routine, the Servers must recite “The Server’s Creed.”
“Service is freedom! Service is our one true right! We are free from self-interest! We are free to serve!” The Servers should hate having to do this every day and they should want to rebel against their harsh treatment and substandard living conditions. Instead “we appreciated the Black Cats’ constant concern for our well-being, their taking the time to instill in us the reason why we serve, why we are so vital to the survival of Our State.”

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Hux’s internal struggle and was curious to learn more about the world in which he lives.

I also really liked the ending. It leaves open so many possibilities, but also could just be the end. It will be interesting to see where the author goes from here.

I give this book a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. I would have rated this as a 5 star read if it had contained more of a backstory. We know that something has gone wrong with the world, but we never learn exactly what that was. We also have very little information about “The Provider” and how it is that he rose to power.

I look forward to reading more books by Ken Dean.

* I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.*

The Sham by Ellen Allen

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THE SHAM
By: Ellen Allen

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

“Six months ago, my boyfriend was quite a catch. Ask anyone. But that was before the stubbly face, the cruddy clothes, the living rough in the woods. Before the headaches forced him to constantly rub his forehead like he’s trying to remove indelible ink. And way before now where he’s covered in blood…”

That is the opening paragraph to this novel. I dare anyone to read that and not be instantly intrigued. It is just not possible.

However, I feel compelled to comment on the target age for this book. I definitely do no think this is appropriate for anyone under the age of 16. There is a very disturbing scene near the beginning where four girls torment a young boy and one aspect of that scene actually made me sick to my stomach. Because of that scene I recommend this for ages 18 and up.

Eighteen year old Emily lives in a town the locals call “The Sham” with her dysfunctional family.

When babysitting her infant sister one day Emily comes across four local teenage ‘mean girls.’ They have abducted a young boy from a local supermarket and spend some quality time torturing him. (This is the scene that made me feel ill.) The torture is stopped by a mysterious young man named Jack.

Emily finds herself drawn to Jack and he seems drawn to her as well.

A few days after the incident at the park, one of the girls involved turns up dead.

As more girls go missing, the police zero in on Jack as the likely suspect.

Emily must decide whether to believe in the evidence or to choose to follow her gut and defend Jack as innocent. But, she might just end up dead or missing herself.

There are quite a few twists and turns to this story and the ending is surprising.

I do not want to ruin the story for any potential readers so I will save any further comments for another time.

This book would make a good selection for a Book Club since there are so many topics and plot twists to discuss. It is definitely worth reading.

I give THE SHAM a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Hunters by Aoife Marie Sheridan

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HUNTERS: Demon Series Part One by Aoife Marie Sheridan

* I received a free ebook copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. What follows is my unbiased opinion of HUNTERS by Aoife Marie Sheridan.*

SYNOPSIS:

Abigail is 19. She should be attending college and spending time with friends, but that is not the case. Abigail is a demon hunter. She can also see and communicate with ghosts.

After the death of her family she was adopted by Father Peter who also heads up her demon hunting group.

Abigail has a guardian angel who protects her, but she does not feel worthy of his protection or his love.

Abigail feels like there is something different about herself but isn’t sure what it is.

This story takes many twists and turns. It is full of paranormal twists, action, adventure, romance and lots of angst.

It is an intriguing and interesting read and is the first book in a new series.

WHAT I DID NOT LIKE ABOUT THIS BOOK:

There are quite a few editing errors, such as: “I gave Zee a nod just as I turned the door handle and entered the DARKEN room…” It should read “darkened”.

Another example is: “The candles hit the carpet and distinguished almost immediately…” It should say, “extinguished”.

Also some of the sentence structures were confusing, such as: “Her body was partially naked and her long blonde hair was stuck to her neck with sweat, I couldn’t make out her features as her face was no longer human looking than the hands that rested on her swollen abdominal.”
My response to that confusing, run-on sentence is “What?”

Also, the author uses the word “rigid” many, many times throughout the story and almost every time it is spelled wrong. Instead of “rigid” it says “ridged”.

RATING:

Due to the editing errors I cannot rate this book as highly as it would deserve if those errors were fixed. Therefore this book receives a 4 out of 5 star rating.

Meritropolis by Joel Ohman

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METROPOLIS by Joel Ohman

This book is a dystopian fantasy novel packed with action and drama.

The Event has devastated the world. At 3 years AE (After Event) there were 50,000 citizens of Meritropolis. A system was devised to help them to survive and all the reaidents had agreed to the new system. If the number of residents exceeded 50,000, then someone must be “zeroed”. This meant being put outside the gates to try to survive on their own. “Of course, being zeroed was just a euphemism for being killed, since no one could survive long outside the gates. Not at night, and not for long, anyway.” It was usually the elderly who had already lived a long life, or a sickly child who would likely not have a “productive future,” who were zeroed.

Everyone is assigned a numerical merit score which designates their worth to society. These scores also determine whether they live or die. The reason for this system was simple. The inhabitants of Meritropolis believed that the needs of the many outweighed the good of the few.

However, it is now AE12 and the current teenagers are rebelling against the system. When the original agreement had been reached, these current teenagers had been too young to understand the consequences.

Commander Orson now has the highest merit score of anyone in the city and because of this, he is in charge of Meritropolis. It had been his father who had initially instituted the System.

Charley’s parents had been killed in The Event and he was left with only his brother, Alec. Alec had down syndrome and when Charley was 8, Alec had been taken away by the guards and zeroed in a gate ceremony. It was that day that “had planted a dark little seed in Charley. And that seed had been tended carefully and quietly over the past nine years.” Charley has a high score of 118.

Children stay in the underground dorms until they reach adulthood.

Charley decides to try to stop a gate ceremony for a young girl and ends up living in the high score dorm.

It is there that he starts to discover the secrets that keep Meritropolis running.

It is now up to him and to his fellow high scores to decide if they will live a life of luxury and plenty at the expense of those with low scores, or if they will find a way to fight the system.

How do you decide? Is it better to protect yourself and your closest friends? Or is it better to put your life on the line in hopes of making life better for everyone?

Joel Ohman has managed to create a complex and diverse world that will appeal to all lovers of dystopian fiction.

This is an engrossing and gripping thrill ride that will keep you reading long into the night and will stay with you long after reading the final page.

The cliff hanger ending will leave you wishing that book two was already available. I know that I will be impatiently awaiting it’s publication.

I rate Meritropolis as 5 out of 5 stars.

The Sending by Jandy Salguero

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THE SENDING (Senitha’s Light -Book One)
By: Jandy Salguero

Vivid descriptions, relatable characters and an interesting plot make this book a terrific read.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I absolutely love it when an author grabs my attention within the first few pages of a book and Jandy Salguero has done exactly that.

At the beginning of the novel a multitude of information is conveyed quickly while not causing the reader to feel overwhelmed.

We are introduced to Daneel and his friends from The University of Senitha.

The first chapter contains terrific foreshadowing and story building. For example:

“Daneel tried to shrug off his uneasiness. The city, his surroundings as a whole were probably what felt off after the seclusion of farm life. And Daneel was grounded in the farm, in the ebb and flow of a life dependent on season and soil, on sweat and blood, on faith that if enough of it soaked into the earth his family fought to master, they could help the people of Senitha survive another year.”

Senitha is a walled city in what was once the state of California. The citizens of Senitha work together for the survival of all. It is a peaceful city and “Even the city’s militia went unarmed these days, as Senitha was mostly self-policed.”

When out after curfew the group of friends spot uniformed men carrying rifles and Paul and Fey are both shot to death in front of their eyes.

The rest of the group escapes back to the University.

Meanwhile, we meet Mara. Mara has grown up in a mountain compound where she has spent her life being trained to find and kill a specific target. she has been taught that her target is someone who is evil and must be destroyed before he destroys what is left of civilization.

She is sent to Senitha through a form of mystical travel known as “Sending”.

Mara’s mission is to assassinate a specific person and she is not supposed to allow anyone or anything to keep her from that goal. She has spent most of her life training for this one mission.

The problem occurs when both Daneel and Mara meet and feel that they are bonded to each other somehow. Neither one of them understands how or why they are connected, but there is no denying that the bond is real.

Will Mara blindly follow orders and kill Daneel? Is Daneel truly evil? Or is something much more complicated going on?

As they get to know each other, they both realize that something special and unique is happening and that they are at the center of it.

What I Liked:

From the very beginning we see that Mara struggles with her upbringing. She had been rescued and taken to a mountain compound at the age of six.

At the compound she is taught to blindly follow the commands of the Council and is told to forget that she ever had a family. While the other compound residents seem to be able to do exactly that, Mara has questions and a mind of her own.

She remembers (although only vaguely) her mother, and she remembers being loved. At the Compound she is ordered to form no attachments, but does so anyway and she is smart enough to keep those friendships hidden.

Even though she agrees to go on the Sending and to assassinate her target, she wonders why he must die. She is not supposed to think or question, she is just supposed to obey.

The characters in this story come across as compelling and real. Their personalities are shaped by their upbringing and circumstances. For example:
Daneel comes across as earnest and sincere in his desire to help others. He is obviously an inherently good person and readers will be cheering for his survival.

Both Daneel and Mara share a common trait. They both struggle with putting faith in their elders.

This is something that all youth must struggle with. They must learn when to follow the orders and/or advice of their elders and when to rely on their own instincts.

Although the story reaches a satisfying conclusion, the stage has been set for more books in the series.

Rating:

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars and look forward to reading the rest of the series.

Reviewer Info:

follow me @Amieroger on Twitter

Decay by Mark Lingane

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DECAY (Tesla:Book Two) by Mark Lingane

I received a free eBook copy of DECAY from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Sebastian’s Tesla powers have increased and he is learning to control them more and more every day.

Melanie discovers that the cancer, which had previously been so extensive that she was given only weeks to live; has now completely disappeared.

She knows that it was the radiation emitted by Sebastian that has cured her cancer, but the doctor informs her that since her body is now normal, she must limit her contact with Sebastian or risk falling ill again; this time with radiation poisoning.

The cyborgs lost the first major battle in the war at the end of book one. Now, they are threatening the Steam Academy and they have a dangerous new weapon whose sole purpose is to hunt down and destroy all the Teslas.

But, it seems like the cyborgs are not the only threat. With thousands of refugees pouring into the city, food shortages and unemployment are rampant. Because of this people are restless and malcontent and are willing to listen to anyone who can give them someone to blame.

With a new “church” rallying hate toward the Teslas, living in the city is proving that it might be more dangerous then fighting the cyborgs.

Will Sebastian and Melanie be able to make people see reason? Or will hatred and prejudice destroy the last human sanctuary? And, what do the cyborgs have to do with it?

Also, someone is feeding information to the enemy. They seem to know every move the humans make. Who is the spy? Is there a leak?

Sometimes, the greatest enemy is the one you least expect.

What I Liked:

Mark Lingane has done it again. With this second book in the Tesla series, he has crafted an intricate tale in a unique world.

The mixture of Steampunk and Science Fiction, along with action and adventure will capture and hold your attention from the first page.

The author also demonstrates that he knows how easy it is to sway scared people into blaming the most convenient target.

If history has shown us anything, it has shown us that people will grasp at any explanation, no matter how improbable, to explain away their circumstances. It also shows us that fear and hatred can spread quickly and infect even the most rational person.

The story never falters and the reader is swept up in Sebastian’s world. I found myself cheering him on and even being outraged when he is mistreated. Being able to instill in the reader a genuine sense of concern for the characters in a story is the mark of a truly gifted author, and Mark Lingane has done exactly that.

He has also left the reader with another cliff-hanger. I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT:
-Do not read the next few paragraphs if you do not want to take a chance at part of the story being revealed.

On top of the fact that this is a good book, it is also a biting criticism and commentary on present day society.

The cyborgs are born human and then modified to be “better”. They are all linked to a central intelligence and they do absolutely nothing without being told to do it by their “tinyIRIS.

The tinyIRIS is linked to their eye and they receive commands through it. They LOL instead of laugh, and they #like the things that the tinyIRIS tells them to like. They make choices based on the calculations of probability trees as analyzed by the central intelligence.

They have names like @Summer14Rose and even though the parents had wanted to name their child @Summer, they were not allowed to because it was already “taken”.

When @Summer’s tinyIRIS is broken and her connection to the hive severed, she feels completely lost. She has never had to think for herself before. Even though at first she finds it frightening, she soon relishes the freedom that comes with discovering the world through her own eyes.

Also, even though the cyborgs have advanced technology (much of it eerily similar to our own technology) their life spans are very short and most die before the age of 30.

They are at war with the humans because they need the water supply and much of their food comes from “M” which is a restaurant that is located on almost every corner in their city. The food from there is described as tasting good (until you swallow) and lacking in nutritional value. Does this sound familiar? It sounds a lot like McDonalds to me.

There are quite a few other instances where the reader will see parallels between our society and the cyborg society throughout the story.

RATING:

I have to give this book a 4.5 star rating out of 5. Even though this is a sequel, I enjoyed this book even more than the first one.