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Tube Survivors

Tube Survivors by [Blair Wylie]

Tube Survivors by Blair Wyle is about a carefully selected group of people who are now residents of “New Earth”. They face the trials and tribulations of getting accustomed to the new planet, along with the social and societal turmoil that comes with this unprecedented situation. Not only are they making their best attempt at survival, they also face strange new challenges: a fragile ecosystem, a pandemic capable of wiping out a whole species, and a psychopathic criminal on the loose.

The exploratory and adventurous tone of the book allows it to grow beyond being a typical science fiction narrative. The discussions between Abubaker and Ishikawa were especially interesting: they debate on which way they want the society to progress, ultimately rejecting a capitalistic model for one that empowers human potential. Even though some of the dialogue seemed a little idealistic and unlikely, it was still refreshing to see a science fiction book that doesn’t take a cynical or dystopian view of the world. Everything from rehabilitation of prisoners to resource allocation plans are presented with striking clarity. It made me reevaluate our systems on Earth and why things work the way they do.

There were a lot of topics discussed that would be considered political or controversial in today’s world. All these topics are effortlessly intertwined with the happenings on New Earth. The scientists and councillors work in a systematic and efficient manner to reach the root of problems and solve them one at a time.

This was a dense but an enlightening read. It presented a bleak view of our future if things continue the way they are, but also provided a believable version of our world that could be achieved with beautifully simple steps. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to take a break from the generally disillusioned tone of dystopian literature without compromising on the magic of science fiction.

Pages: 368 | ASIN: B07ZJH8YWB

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A Diary in the Age of Water

A Diary in the Age of Water by [Nina Munteanu]

Nina Munteanu’s A Diary in the Age of Water follows the tale of Kyo, a blue four-legged creature in a post-climate-change world. Kyo is constantly plagued by dreams that appear to be experiences from a previous life. Constantly trying to find out the meaning of these dreams and where she fits in in this world and the one that existed before, Kyo spends a lot of the time at the library.

She consequently stumbles upon an ancient diary that holds illuminating revelations and heart-filled messages. As she goes through it and is immersed in its author’s experiences, we come to understand the circumstances that led to the climate change led apocalypse.

With a lot of scientific terms, explanations, and even drawings, the plot is quite believable, and can even be a little scary. The fact that Nina goes as far as mentioning our current world governments and how they contribute to this now desolate world is eerie, to say the least.

As a reader, part of me even begins to think that this could truly be our earth’s fate, giving me serious jitters. Now I may just be gullible but this book is quite convincing. Clearly, the author did a lot of scientific research before writing it. She dives deep into the science and various spiritual beliefs that support the inevitability of an apocalypse. As far as science fiction goes, this one is quite believable.

Moreover, the character development is quite strong, leaving us with a deep understanding of characters like Lynna and Hilde. The use of storytelling through different timelines is also quite an efficient way of weaving all the details of the story together.

Ultimately, this story is extremely detailed and well thought out. However, the many scientific paragraphs, even though drenched in poetry, can make it difficult to read, especially for those without a proclivity for science.

While bringing attention to the current politicization of climate change, the story maintains  important underlying themes like family, love, forgiveness, and the complexity of the human soul. The author has gone to great lengths to show that there are different layers to each character, none fully evil nor fully good. A Diary in the Age of Water is an exceptional and thought-provoking dystopian fiction.

Pages: 301 | ASIN: B08D6YDVVK

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They Were The Only Humans

Alainna MacPherson
Alainna MacPherson Author Interview

Beneath the Surface explores how prejudices effect a couples relationship when they come from different species. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thought-provoking story?

I honestly, can’t remember what inspired me with the characters, it’s been a blur, but I do remember wanting to do it underground. The slavery aspect was from thoughts on Exodus, it’s one of my favorite ancient stories and I’m not even really religious. It was probably the biggest lesson in history that we still have to fight to learn from, as a people.

I enjoyed Annabeth and Kane’s relationship. What were sources that informed how their relationship played out?

I took a lot of different things to develop Annabeth and Kane’s character. Most of Kane’s was from Prince Harry, though. He is a man born into royalty, but wanted so much more out of life and to live away from the spotlight of his title, who also joined the military.

Annabeth is someone who has accepted that they live in a new world where humans are not top dog and there really isn’t much they can do about it. She’s not exactly one to roll over, but she also knows she can’t fight back without being punished. Humans did not outnumber the guards, their weapons and strength, so an uprising wasn’t something thought upon as of yet. Especially since the M’Nai took away their biggest weapon, communication. As far as the workers in that mine knew, they were the only humans, the only miners around. It wasn’t often that miners were transferred, so news from the outside was rare and inaccurate.

This is book one in the Surface series. What can readers expect in book two?

Book two will hold more answers as to what the M’Nai plans to do and how they came to be on Earth. It was explained from a human’s point of view in the first book, and now there is new information since reading the ending. More politics on why things are the way they are and what Annabeth’s new position might give her at Kane’s side.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

Annabeth had no idea her life was about to change forever. As a slave of the aliens who were in power, she had headed down into the tunnels to mine the valuable mantatite, as demanded. But an encounter with the new senai during which she was knocked unconscious set off a chain of events that drew her into the orbit of the hated M’Nai. The senai in question was Kane who had reported for his first day on duty in the tunnels. Subconscious instincts emerged as he laid eyes on the unconscious human he had inadvertently knocked out. His long-held beliefs, values and expectations were about to be turned upside down.
This chance crossing of two lives leads to an intense relationship that they both find difficult to apprehend. Kane has an overwhelming urge to protect Annabeth, despite her status as a human – deemed to be inferior in every respect by the M’Nai race – and risks everything to do so. Annabeth needs his protection as there are those who intend harming her.
This is the story of two young people – one human, one alien: one superior, one inferior – navigating the chasm presented by their different contexts as well as the prejudice, animosity and lack of acceptance from their friends, family and the wider community in their developing relationship. Can Kane withstand the opprobrium from his people? Can Annabeth withstand the prejudice and disdain of Kane’s people?
Who are the M’Nai? How did they come to dominate the earth? Why is Kane so strongly protective of Annabeth? Why is he so aggressively possessive of Annabeth? As the story unfolds Kane and Annabeth find some answers and begin to make sense of their feelings for each other, but will they be able to withstand the powerful forces trying to destroy their relationship?

Crown of Crowns

Crown of Crowns by [Clara Loveman]

As a daughter of one of the ruling families of Geniverd, Kaelyn has never known anything outside of her life of privilege and protection. She begins to realize the depth of that privilege when she meets Roki and learns more about the struggles of the common people. Through personal tragedies and charitable work, Kaelyn’s life changes drastically in just three years, but she is unaware that the changes are about to escalate quickly, and in ways she could never have imagined. Suddenly faced with more power and knowledge than she thought existed, Kaelyn has to become the savior Geniverd didn’t know it needed.

Crown of Crowns by Clara Loveman takes place on a dystopian-esque planet named Geniverd where disease has been nearly eradicated, natural births are against the moral code, and machines do every job previously held by humans. The ruling class, with royal families on each of the six continents, live in luxury and are insulated from any of the problems faced by the rest of the population. Kaelyn never questioned the traditions that her family, and the other elitists, followed until her mid-teens when she realizes just how much of a division they have actually created within the world and the majority of the people. At that point, Crown of Crowns moves the narrative along at a breakneck pace, as Loveman introduces a barrage of situations that forces Kaelyn to quickly mature, as she struggles with an ever-changing worldview. The story is a smooth and easy read for the most part, although the language occasionally reverts to almost adolescent type slang, which is jarring and a departure from the overall competent tone of the book.

Crown of Crowns deals heavily with the theme of morality, and the idea of doing what is right versus doing what has always been done. Kaelyn makes it clear early on that she believes tradition isn’t always what’s best, especially when a majority of people are suffering as a result. Her beliefs form initially from a place of selfishness (tradition would keep her from being with the person she loves) but as she grows and learns more about the world, she sees that genuine change is necessary for the people to thrive. 

Reading Crown of Crowns right now was also incredibly interesting because there were key plot points that reflected issues in our current society, namely an unforeseen pandemic and severe social unrest caused by years of disregard for the “common” people. The characters were engaging and I was invested in discovering what Kaelyn would do next, however, the book ends abruptly, leaving loose ends and questions to be answered in a followup novel. Crown of Crows is an epic dystopian fantasy novel that will entertain young-adult fans.

Pages: 238 | ASIN: B08BJGNHT7

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A Treacherous One

Jenna Greene
Jenna Greene Author Interview

Reborn follows the harrowing journey Lexil takes to find freedom in a dystopian future. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

The inspiration came at a writing conference called When Words Collide. I find writing events very good for my creativity. Between sessions I saw a meme on my phone about gingers. While I do not have red hair, many of my friends do, and it made me ponder what they thought of the stigma. That led me to thoughts about my much-hated freckles. Though I didn’t know it at the time, I’m quite certain the story was also influenced by my mother’s illness.

Lexil was a dynamic character that I rooted for throughout the story. What were some ideals you wanted her character to embody?

I wanted her to be someone a reader could know in real life. She has no extraordinary skills with a weapon, or unnatural intelligence. But she is extraordinarily perceptive and compassionate and bravery is something that comes to her out of necessity. Most importantly, she is a character who learns and grows throughout the story.

The Wastelands in the story were ominous and well crafted. What were some sources that influenced its creation?

I tried to think of hazards that were both natural and supernatural. I wanted an eerie feeling, as well as a treacherous one. I have written other fantasy novels and was able to create even better creatures than I had before.

What is the next story that you are working on and when will it be available?

The sequel to REBORN is in the editing process and I’m hoping to have some short stories published soon. In the interim, I’ve launched a podcast with fellow author Miranda Oh called “Quill and Ink: A Podcast for Book Lovers.”

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Those who bear marks on their skin are doomed to a life of slavery. Lexil has seven. Sold into servitude, Lexil must deal with brutal punishments, back-breaking labor, and the loss of every freedom. When a young child she has befriended faces a horrible fate, Lexil must intervene to protect her, no matter what the risk. With the help of a boy named Finn, the trio flee into the Wastelands. There, they must evade those who hunt them while trying to survive a barren landscape. Lexil must face challenges she’s never imagined existed, all while learning what it means to truly be reborn. The Red Queen meets The Hunger Games in this stunning new release. Buy REBORN now to find out if being branded a reborn is a myth, a curse… or a destiny.

Beneath The Surface

Beneath the Surface: Book 1 in the Surface Series by [Alainna MacPherson]

In a world where humans beings are no longer the dominant race and serve the alien M’Nai, one girl begins to notice what others don’t and dares to do what no one has rarely ever tried. She stands up to the race that has enslaved humans and finds that doing the right thing isn’t always the easiest, and change doesn’t always come easily. When you start the book, you are transported into a world that has been overcome with an advanced race of beings that swore to protect humans only to force them to work in mines and live in tents. Though they claim to be protecting humans, our main character Annabeth begins questioning her whole life when she falls for a M’Nai named Kane.

Beneath the Surface is a quick and gripping read that I found to be consistently entertaining. If instant love (or at least immediate feelings) is not something you enjoy reading, this may not be up your alley. If you do enjoy having two characters fall heavily for each other, you will enjoy reading about Kane and Annabeth and their electrifying journey. The story adds a unique twist to the love story and showed real problems that people face when two people (or in Kane’s case, beings) from different backgrounds come together. Not everyone is accepts what happens when two loves decide to pursue their passion. As such, the book will resonate with those who have felt that pain, and it will let others open their eyes to issues they may not have thought about before.

While this steamy dystopian romance felt rushed at times, I did find myself thoroughly engaged with the characters and was surprised at how deeply relationships and characters are explored. The plot, while predictable at times, was enough to keep me engaged throughout, wondering out wild possibilities the way L. Ron Hubbard does in his sci-fi novels. However, Annabeth’s character was my favorite throughout. I enjoyed that she had moments of sass and real courage, which is something I think should be more present in novels today. I was also able to enjoy that Kane genuinely cared for Annabeth and was willing to fight for love, which will resonate with the audience and help them enjoy this enthralling story.

Pages: 279 | ASIN: B087BBR2DQ

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Reborn

Reborn by [Jenna Greene]

The beauty of books is that every reader gets to explore the artistic mind of an author. Jenna Greene in her book Reborn perfectly shares her thrilling fictional artistic imagination that is both exciting and heart stopping. Reborn follows the harrowing story of Lexil. She raised her baby brother after her parent’s passing, and she is naturally a protector, at her young age of sixteen she will do anything for the ones she cares about. She is sold into slavery by her elder brother, but she is positive and embraces her new fate. Branded docile and naive, Lexil will do anything  for her new child friend Ceera who is barely five years old, and Finn a double-born with a dream of being free but no one else to believe in him. Following a strange and precarious path, they embark on a journey to better lands, and a free life, which they only heard of. But the path ahead is full of retrievers and tracers. They brave tough, hungry, cold nights together, always hoping that one day they will get to their destination.

Reborn expertly utilizes the theme of being ‘marked’ to indicate the baggage we all carry. Lexil’s drive to seek a better life is reminiscent of a better life that we all seek. And in this way we’re able to connect with Jenna Green’s compelling protagonist. Lexil was a character that was easy to empathize with, as she risks herself to save another, but also because her motivations are easily understood. Lexil endures brutal punishment, both in slavery, and her flight from it. So it makes the reader questions what would have been a better path?

The wasteland was an intriguing and well developed backdrop to this dystopian thriller. It’s barren but there is always the sense that danger is near and anything could happen. Having such delicate characters in a harsh landscape makes for some suspenseful reading. Jenna Green is able to slowly build up characters from one-dimensional personalities into enthralling people you enjoy following.

This is a thrilling science fiction story that will appeal to fans of the Divergent series or to readers who enjoy the thoughtful reflections reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984. It was a unique view at a dystopian future that is disturbing, but Lexil’s dangerous journey to seek the light at the end of a dark tunnel will ultimately inspire hope and entertain readers along the way.

Pages: 255 | ASIN: B07JZKCMLX

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They Just Can’t Fit into the Orthodox World

Harold Benjamin Author Interview

Harold Benjamin Author Interview

Judenrein follows a man with a checkered past who must stop a world changing conspiracy. What was the inspiration for setup to this dystopian thriller?

I got the idea for this book when I started to see white supremacists become more vocal and visible in American politics, and face remarkably little official pushback – at least from the current president. These groups make no secret of their goal of driving the Jews (and a lot of other non-white groups) either out of the country, into slavery or death. I became intrigued with the possibility of a secret white supremacist group seizing power behind the scenes. This would be the ultimate “suits not boots” strategy for them, as they might call it.

Zack is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some ideas that guided his character development?

I have been involved in helping recovering drug addicts throughout the last 20 years. It’s not my job, but the work has come into my life. Through this experience, I’ve seen the potential for greatness that often hides inside the addict, waiting to come out. I have also felt that a great injustice has been visited on a generation of young Americans who were recruited to serve the US, but lost to forever wars and forgotten when they returned to civilian life. I wanted to bring this experience to life in the character. As an observant Jew, I’ve also seen a lot of young people get kicked out of orthodox life for various infractions and attitude problems. I wanted the character to represent the ambivalence I see in many of these young people. They believe in God and Torah. They love being Jewish. They just can’t fit into the orthodox world. That’s Zack.

The idea of white supremacists taking over the country and setting up 21st century ghettos was striking. What were some themes you felt were important to focus on in this book?

I wanted to focus on the slippery slope to neo Nazism in the US, and the shocking thing has been to see so many predictions made int eh book come true even in the last few months – with armed men, carrying swastika flags, threatening elected officials with death in protest of COVID lockdowns – only to be called “good people” by the president. This is much closer to us than we realize.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am working on a non-fiction book about cybersecurity, which I have written under a different name. I am also going to publish an earlier book, that never came out, that deals with some similar themes of inequality and injustice in the US, but told in the form of a thriller.

Author Links: GoodReadsTwitterFacebookWebsite

Judenrein: A Jewish Dystopian Thriller by [Harold Benjamin]Zack Gurevitz has had a checkered past. A Yeshiva boy, turned Green Beret, turned junkie, excommunicated by his one-time faith and now the potential savior of people he doesn’t even like.

As a white supremacist movement stealthily takes the reins of power in America, it is again the Jews who are made out as scapegoats. Stripped of wealth and citizenship, they are made to live in 21st century ghettos that hark back to a sinister and murky past that many had thought would never return.

But things are about to get much worse. With the revealing of a planned terror attack that will place the blame firmly at Jewish feet and condemn millions to death, Zack is contacted by Jewish leaders in Detroit, begging for his help.

Reluctantly he agrees and before long he is mired in a conspiracy that will have far reaching consequences for his country, the Jewish population and even his own sanity.

As the clock ticks down, can Zack find a way to avert a looming disaster? Who is behind the conspiracy? And can he really trust anyone?

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