The Prodigal Daughter follows a husband and wife who navigate the labyrinth of a society that doesn’t tolerate dissent in order to escape. What were some ideas that you wanted to explore in this book that were different from book one?
The Governor’s Daughter mainly focused on Emma and Declan’s relationship, and how two people from very different walks of life can fall in love despite potential grave consequences. I wanted to expand on that theme, and The Prodigal Daughter gave me a great opportunity to delve into how the fall of American Democracy affected more than those in the Premier City. We already saw in the first novel how women became the property of men, and minorities were forced to live outside the city walls in a constant state of semi-starvation and extreme poverty. Now we get to see how a city that refused to kowtow to the Committee was punished, and how the deadly rebel group, known as the BSB, came to be.
In this novel, I was able to get into the minds of characters of different races, sexual orientation, and beliefs. I also delve deep into the ideology of morality, especially when it involves doing one’s duty in their specific careers. Ranging from soldiers to a minister, we see how they balance their moral conscience during a time of war. I wanted to explore the idea of what is morally right or wrong during times of war and oppression.
What scene in the book was the most emotionally impactful for you to write?
I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone, but we lose some major characters in this novel. One scene in particular, when Declan euthanizes a dear friend who is beyond his ability to save, really got to me. The passage where he remembers a discussion about euthanasia with a veterinarian friend was a conversation I actually had when I was a veterinary technician with my boss. It was a major eye-opening moment when he called euthanasia “the final treatment option” because it’s the last medical treatment in their arsenol to treat pain and suffering. It’s something I’ll never forget.
What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?
Overall, it was a tough novel to write, as there were a lot of questions that needed answering, and of course, I had to raise a bunch more for you to ponder over before book three comes out! I wanted this novel to be inclusive, to show how people can band together and fight for what’s right, and that all the things people let divide us really don’t matter. I wanted every reader to be able to see themselves in at least one of our heroes, and to hopefully get involved in a way that can hopefully prevent this saga from coming true. As bleak as much of the tale is, I wanted this part of the tale to end on a more hopeful note while still holding on to the gravity of the topics. I want people to understand there’s still time to get involved, and most importantly, to vote.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
My Mother’s Daughter will be the third book in the Daughters of the New American Revolution series, and if the stars align, will be released next summer. This one is a particularly difficult novel to write, and I will give a lot of backstory about how women were a major part of the creation of this new government. We get to know Emma’s mother, the pitiable Louise, and of course her grandmother, the formidable Mother Barbara. The story continues with Emma and Declan and the BSB on the run, and by the end of the novel, I promise you will finally get to meet the infamous Trinity. It’s going to be a true whirlwind, so hang onto your hats!
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Broken follows the adventures of Keesa Donovan, a woman of an Establishment settlement outside of Savannah in a post-apocalyptic world. In the aftermath of the Great Drop, when nuclear bombs were dropped all over the world, survivors are forced to create a new world. One of the big players is the Establishment, who have enslaved many people of the world, among them Keesa, her brother Kiran, and their Uncle, who live with meager hope for escape. Keesa has accepted, and welcomes, the fact that she’s going to die, especially after failing to make the yearly sacrifice for the third time, but fate intervenes in the form of a new friend who brings new hope. Dobbs Saunders, a fellow slave, who has managed the impossible and escaped on numerous occasions. He speaks of the Resistance, who are liberating people and spreading their anti-Establishment message. With Dobbs’ know-how, the gang of friends band together to hatch a plan to escape.
The author creates a dreary setting in this gritty post-apocalyptic story. I could really feel the despair and hopelessness of the characters’ lives. I find this emotional depth often lacking in other young adult books, but I really enjoyed how this story embraces that darkness and colors the world in austere shades that make the story feel authentic, if bleak. This is a dark and disturbing dystopian world that is enthralling. There were several intriguing details that made my skin crawl. The author does an excellent job of conveying this in the writing, and I enjoyed every bit of it.
Although dark, the story shows how love and perseverance can be used to push through any obstacle. This creates moments of great humanity in a world that feels as if its lost theirs. I really liked the fantastic contrast within the story and I found it compelling, but I wish there was more light to balance out the dark. The book also contains tender moments as well that I would have liked to have seen expanded on further.
Broken shows readers a dark vision of what the world could be after a nuclear fallout. This is an enthralling cautionary tale that will inspire readers to choose love and use determination to push through the darkness. This is a thought-provoking and entertaining post-apocalyptic adventure novel that will appeal to fans looking for a story that, while dark, provides great lessons in finding strength in dark times.
Pages: 369 | ASIN: B0B2MZDKBQ
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The Prodigal Daughter by Maria Ereni Dampman is a tale of escape and bravery in a dystopian America. Emma and Declan plan an escape, though their attempts to flee the country get complicated when separated. Emma, and her husband, Declan, are expecting their first child and understand the importance of their unborn child. However, once they are separated, their fate becomes uncertain. Emma is recaptured, and the Purity Patrol is seized and confined.
As Emma and Declan’s future together becomes uncertain, the author takes the reader through the labyrinth of a society that doesn’t tolerate dissent. The reader is taken through the underground bunker where Declan is held and how Emma must face a life that’s not in her hands, nor can she determine how to support her child. The Prodigal Daughter is a sequel to Maria Ereni Dampman’s The Governor’s Daughter.
This story uniquely portrays an alternative world, a dystopia where society has regressed so far that the reality of racial and gender equality has vanished completely. Yet, it’s a glimpse into a world that could become a reality if precautions are not taken sooner. This exciting cautionary tale delves into the intense nature of this world and how each character must either navigate this challenging society with limited prospects or try to escape. It’s an engaging read, with lots of action and personal dilemmas that clash with the dystopian rule.
The Prodigal, Daughter by Maria Ereni Dampman is an exciting and suspenseful political dystopian novel. It’s the triumphant tale of people who are deemed “lower class,” though they find a glimmer of hope in a dark world despite their challenges in facing discrimination. It’s an excellent read for anyone who enjoys futuristic and dystopian themes with a thought-provoking plotline.
Pages: 472 | ASIN: B0B54472HQ
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Ever since he was a small child growing up in the Democratic People’s Republic of Ruthenia, Tovarich Revanov was always taught about the “enemies of the people,” and that “enemies” don’t deserve compassion or mercy. Now, as an adult, he’s about to put that lesson to the test. Chosen to be “the Liberator,” he’s the state’s newest “official state-sponsored hero,” here to protect the workers of Ruthenia from the “enemies of the people.” Unfortunately, in a totalitarian dictatorship, “enemies” can be anyone, from terrorists plotting to blow up buildings, to peaceful demonstrators protesting their government’s poor human-rights record, both of which he must face when a terrorist group plots to kidnap the premier in protest of the state’s iron-clad rule. Fortunately, he’s been genetically modified to be stronger and more resilient than the average person. But do these enhancements help make him a better hero, or further emphasize him as a tool of oppression? Is he the hero or is he the villain? Join Tovarich in this exciting new series as he discovers for himself what it truly means to be a hero. The only real question is: Will his definition of “hero” be compatible with that of the state?
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The War Years follows the story of Harry, the proprietor of a small, run-down restaurant. As the book starts he’s miserable and he has every right to be. He lives in a future where the world has been ravaged by a deadly virus and people have seemingly worthless inoculations forced upon them. The United States as we know it has fallen and all that is left appears to be a ragtag collection of small struggling settlements. In these settlements food is scarce, corruption is high and everyone is forced to contribute to the “war effort”. A war that cost Harry his beloved brother. No one seems very clear about where exactly the war is or why they are fighting it. It is against the “savage Arabs” and that’s about it. Harry’s eyes are slowly opened when he comes into contact with a strange viscous fluid and he begins to question the stories he has been told. What follows is a thrilling journey where Harry and his ragtag team of allies try to uncover the truth and discover what is going on in their weird little town, and the world at large.
I had not read the first book, but this did not hamper my enjoyment of The War Years at all. The events of the first book and the proceeding years have been hidden away in the book by the authorities, so we uncover the mysteries at the same time as Harry. I’m sure some reveals would hit harder if I’d read the first book but it never slowed me down.
The book reads like a more dystopian version of 1984; if that’s possible. Much like in Orwell’s masterpiece Harry lives in an autocracy where he is repeatedly told everything is okay, despite the rather obvious evidence to the contrary. People are swept up in a form of hyper nationalism that makes no sense to Harry, or the reader. As Harry slips further into his paranoia he in fact becomes saner whilst everyone around him seems increasingly insane. This transition was utterly fascinating to me and was very well executed in the book. It seems clear that Samuels has much to say about the current state of affairs in the world.
Despite its dystopian future setting The War Years seems all too possible after the events of recent years. The War Years is an excellent dystopian thriller that fans of observant and intellectually-invigorating mystery novels will enjoy.
Pages: 452 | ASIN: B0B57SPPX1
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, dystopia, dystopian, ebook, goodreads, indie author, kindle, kobo, L.K. Samuels, literature, mystery, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, science fiction, scifi, story, suspense, thriller, We Are Them: The War Years, writer, writing
They are the best. The brightest. The hope of humanity.
And they might destroy us all…
The future. Climate change has rendered much of the world desolate. Crops are failing. Rising seas have flooded coastal communities. The earth is dying, and humanity careens toward extinction.
Enter the Olympus Project—a plan to colonise the moon, led by three of humankind’s best and brightest: Troy Bruin, Xavier Consus, and Xanthe Waters.
But even the best and brightest can fall prey to humanity’s failing. Soon Xavier, Troy, and Xanthe are at war—with the arduous process of creating a new home on a hostile moon, with meddling corporations jockeying for control, with the new recruits battling for open positions on their team…and with themselves.
The future looks grim—and it’s about to get worse. Because even as the crew searches for a way to reconcile their differences and work together, a secret organisation is planning to destroy what they’ve accomplished, and finish off what Mother Nature has begun.
The Earth is dying. The end draws near. Only the Olympus Project can save us—if they can just figure out how to save themselves…
Fans of Andy Weir’s Artemis and Emily St. John Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility, will love the first book in the most thrilling dystopian science fiction series to come along in years.
Get your personally signed, Collector’s Edition paperback version of The Olympus Project!
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End Man is a tech-noir thriller set in the near-future. Raphael Lennon is an End Man, someone who works for the NDMN: “Norval Department of Marketing Necrology.” These IT workers have the jolly pleasure of gathering every bit of digital data left by the recently deceased and packaging it into a marketable product. As Raphael tries to track down an elusive “possum” (someone who faked their own death) he discovers a plot that could alter the course of life, and death, as we know it. To top it all off, Raphael suffers from dromophobia, a fear of crossing streets. This leaves him trapped in a tight square mile of dystopian Los Angeles.
I really enjoyed End Man. Raphael’s day-to-day work, with its “mindfulness videos,” horrible bosses, and questionable morality, feels all too real. Future L.A. is different, but grounded, being based on the real-life area surrounding the La Brea Tar Pits. Raphael is plagued by hallucinations of deadly winds to the south, fires to the north, a glacier to the east, and chasm to the west. This gives the story a claustrophobic feel as the walls close in on the him as he delves deeper into the mystery of the possum Jason Klaes, ominous warnings, and strange murders.
While I really enjoyed this absorbing technothriller I felt that the story took a little while to get going. The mystery-thriller aspect is the meat of the story, but I felt that the book gets bogged down a bit in the beginning with the inner workings of Norval. A few characters are introduced with a handful of sentences and disappear with little consequence, while the inner workings of Raphael’s mind and his self-imposed artistic therapy are prevalent. Raphael’s character is one that I enjoyed following otherwise. The plot and his character make for a unique read that was wildly entertaining and fun.
End Man is an exciting cyberpunk novel that creates a fully realized and compelling world for a fascinating protagonist to exist in. It’s a really interesting read that is incredibly relevant to the technological and social state of the world today. This is a slick and explosive dystopian thriller that I highly recommend to science fiction fans.
Pages: 379 | ASIN: B0B649S5B9
Tags: Alex Austin, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, crime fiction, cyberpunk, dystopia, dystopian, ebook, End Man, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, science fiction, scifi, story, suspense, technothriller, thriller, writer, writing
First Contact is imminent, but it comes with conditions…
Laura and Jason are on vacation when their lives are turned upside down by otherworldly creatures that fall to Earth in the dead of night.
Frightened and bewildered, they become trapped in a dark and mysterious conflict between clandestine Earth forces and the alien wave—and Laura’s world starts to unravel.
But everything may not be as it appears. Could the aliens have an ulterior motive? And do they have a mission for Jason?
The world may not be ready for alien communication, but it may have little choice in the matter.
If you like Close Encounters, Contact, and Arrival, then you’ll love Milijun, the first novel of a gripping new alien interaction series from Clayton Graham.
“Captured my interest from the very beginning, and never once let go.” Jenna – Indie Book Reviewers
“If you love the genre, read this gem.” Julius Zon – Self Publishing Review
“This is a must-read for science fiction fans who appreciate a hard scientific foundation, in the tradition of Asimov, Niven, or Heinlein.” Patrick Dent
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