Lost Frequencies: The Soul Prophecies by Caitlin Lynagh is a book that gives you all the benefits of escapism while maintaining a terrifying sense of reality throughout.
It is about a group of people in a dystopian world, trying to survive against all odds. Their world is ravaged by the carelessness of their ancestors. They have to struggle for their basic necessities, all the while fighting back an evil but pragmatic corporation.
The novel switches back and forth from the past, and between dream sequences filled with strange prophecies. I found this a little disorienting. But it provided great contrast and detail to their fictional world. It was also quite fast paced, so it took me a while to get a hang of all the things taking place, especially the dream sequences.
The world itself was reminiscent of The Hunger Games, albeit more exotic and more relevant. Especially considering how their world came to be from climate change and being indifferent to the state of the planet.
Some of the secondary characters were totally adorable- particularly Ehi and Zerren. I felt immediately connected to them and was rooting for them throughout. Apart from these few, however, there were a lot of other story lines of characters I did not particularly care about. They had interesting side plots, but I wish the focus had remained more on the main few.
The objects in this world were also incredibly fascinating- like Lif, a biological metal that can be manipulated with thoughts. The differences between the humans and Iyeekans were very interesting and creative.
If pressed, I would probably describe this book as a science fiction adventure, but that would almost be unfair. This is because the book almost transcends genre. Even the planet’s reality seems not so distant from ours. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a scary yet hopeful science fiction experience.
Pages: 310 | ASIN: B07T943KDL
Experiment X: Revolt finds Dr. Thaddeus bombing landmarks and vilifying Karen and her friends. What were some ideas you wanted to explore in this book that were different from the first two books?
I simply wanted the battle to move outside of the Lab and to show how easily war can appear in someone’s backyard. You never think it’s going to happen to you, but it could.
Karen’s narration was exceptional in exploring the anxieties and discomfort she felt. What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer in this book?
First off, thank you. So, you know when Tony Stark has a panic attack and he has to deal with anxiety? Well, for some reason, seeing a super hero go through this helped me a lot with my own struggles. I wanted to give my readers the same thing. Knowing that having anxieties, fears, discomforts, etc. doesn’t make you weak can be a powerful thing. If these super soldiers can feel this, then why can’t you or I, right?
The science inserted in the fiction, I felt, was well balanced. How did you manage to keep it grounded while still providing the fantastic edge science fiction stories usually provide?
I wanted to keep it as realistic as I could. This isn’t a story that’s meant to be set in the future, but the present. It’s merely the beginning of a potential dystopia, a sci-fi world placed directly into our own.
What plans do you have for the series in book four of your Experiment X series?
There is no book four as of yet. However! There will be a prequel trilogy to the series told from Jack’s point of view. This trilogy starts when Jack is about eighteen, and it dives deeper into the horrors of the Lab. You’ll also learn things about the Subjects that they don’t talk about in the original trilogy. Plus, you’ll get to meet more Subjects from Experiment A.
Nothing will stop Karen Turner this time. Doctor James Thaddeus is attacking her once peaceful hometown; he’s bombing beloved landmarks, killing hundreds of innocent people, and smearing the names of Karen and her friends. Karen now has complete control over her Fire Element powers, and she is more determined than ever to burn the infamous Lab to the ground once and for all!
Jack Cortex, her best friend and mentor, once again steps up to the plate, splitting a large group of the super-powered Subjects into teams with a plan to finally gain their freedom—and keep it. Karen knows that if the Lab—and Thaddeus—aren’t destroyed for good this time, the other Subjects of the Experiments will continue to be abused and tortured until they take their last breaths. Doctor Thaddeus thinks he’s safe, but she’s coming for him.
Not everyone will make it out alive.
The hunter will become the prey.
Experiment X: Revolt by Nikki Haase is a dystopian science fiction novel about the lives of the Subjects, creatures with special powers that were created in the Lab. These Subjects realized they were being manipulated by the malicious and charming Doctor James Thaddeus who has the ulterior motive of creating his own army and ruling the world. Once these Subjects have escaped and are out in the real world, they soon realize it is no longer a battle of Subjects vs Thaddeus. Rather, due to Thaddeus’ connivance, the whole world views them with suspicion and judgement. After a botched mission, the media furthers the fear mongering surrounding this group. However, if they wish to save the ones they love, they must find a way to take down this despot.
At the center of all this is the narrator Karen. She offers a wonderful window into the lives of the Subjects: their anxieties and discomfort in this world that they are unaccustomed to. The plot, which follows the superheroes as they are framed for wrongdoing by a charming sociopath, is well-executed and moves at the perfect pace. It’s not a series of jam-packed action scenes. Rather it takes the time to develop characters and their complex dynamics. However, the narrative was not at all difficult to latch on to.
If you missed any of the previous books in this series, starting here would be like starting any of the Marvel movies midway: even if it’s a lot of names and superpowers to remember, you can pretty much immediately understand what is going on.
The perspectives of different people throughout the story were explored very well. The Subjects were a believable bunch in a realistic situation. Even though it’s a premise that’s worn thin, I was able to empathize with nearly every Subject’s flaws and troubles. Although Thaddeus was a bit two dimensional, the sheer amount of negativity with which he was portrayed made up for any sympathy I may have had left.
Experiment X: Revolt is a quick, fun read for anyone who is into the likes of the Marvel and DC cinematic universe. Even if you’re not, it’s great for a thrilling adventure fantasy.
Pages: 221 | ASIN: B07L7WJ7K5
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In The Final Wars Rage: Book 2 Bastien finds himself in danger once again and the deposed cyborg queen still lives. What were some new ideas you wanted to explore in this book that were different from book one?
I explore the following three ideas in this book:
1) The concept of redemption is addressed through Bastien Lyons. He ends book one and starts book two as a monster, one ravaged by guilt for the destruction of New Paris. The Final Wars Rage is partly his journey towards correcting his deviated moral compass and better understanding his strained relationship with the memory of Father Paul (and God by extension).
2) What does it mean to be human? Is existence only possible through flesh and blood, or are there other mediums that can allow consciousness to continue? The idea of transcending physical limitations to become something more is a core theme of this book – I don’t want to give away too much, though. Folks will just have to read the book 🙂
3) Cutting-edge technologies can have unintended consequences. In our world, the best example is social media. Who would have ever thought when logging into Friendster or MySpace back in the early to mid-2000s, that one day these applications’ successors (Facebook & Twitter) would wreak havoc on human psychology and political systems. In the world of Bastien Lyons, it’s the green fogs that helped ravage Earth, the AI entity, High Council which took over Port Sydney, and Alic… err… can’t give away too much.
This is an intriguing novel that is high in social commentary. Was this intentional or did this happen organically while writing?
Intentional. Writing, irrespective of genre and theme, presents an excellent opportunity to shine a spotlight on humanity, in my opinion. When a story effectively addresses more than its immediate characters and plot points, it can be very satisfying.
If Hollywood came knocking who would you cast as your main characters?
I’d strive for cultural authenticity, so here’s my list:
- Bastien Lyons – Stanley Weber
- Belle Dubois – Léa Seydoux
- Marie Dubois – Eva Green
- Frank Crone – Hugh Jackman
- Reo Honda – Ryo Yoshizawa
- Alice Smith – Margot Robbie
Are you working on book three in the Final Wars series?
Yes – trying to aim for early next year. Folks can sign up for my mailing list to keep in the loop here: SAwritesSF.com
BASTIEN LYONS CAN’T MOVE ON WITH HIS LIFE, AND THAT MIGHT KILL HIM.
Despite escaping to the moon’s Nippon One colony with a new identity after a failed effort to save New Paris from destruction, he finds himself amidst danger again. The brutal world of the twenty-third century has dark plans. Parisian ruins send shockwaves through the remaining two civilizations of the solar system, Nippon One and the Port Sydney colony on Mars, shaking the tenuous peace between them. Bastien understands political tensions all too well and knows something terrible is about to happen. Trade wars erupt to signal deeper conflicts to come. Pirates lash out in revenge at Port Sydney for wiping out Parisian euphoria drug factories. Yakuza wage gang wars to control the remaining euphoria on Nipponese streets. If that wasn’t enough…
MARIE DUBOIS LIVES, AND HER SURVIVAL THREATENS HUMANITY.
The deposed cyborg queen has escaped the destruction of her New Paris, and Martian General Frank Crone recognizes her menace could rip apart the fragile peace. His digital overlords, an AI construct that enforces treaties, cannot learn she’s alive and ready to return to mayhem. He’ll do whatever it takes to rid the world of the defrocked demagogue before she is discovered, even if it means tilting his moral compass. Frank’s deadly goal not only demands the skills of his petri-dish humanoid Lieutenant General Alice Smith and the Nipponese royal police chief Reo Honda, it also needs an outside killer. Bastien wants to stay alive by staying away from that work and far from Marie. But he needs to rescue civilization in a world where…
THE FINAL WARS RAGE.
The Final Wars Rage: Book 2 is a thrilling and intriguing science fiction book that will make you fall in love with the author’s mind. The book is the second novel in ‘The Final Wars’ trilogy. One of the most stimulating things in how the author writes is how keep makes your mind occupied throughout the book. I was always kept at the edge of my seat waiting for the next, sure to come, plot twist. S. A. Asthana showcases their creativity and imagination in this book, creating some of the characters so adeptly that I became attached to them. The book does not start with intense action, but rather a slow and simple introduction that prepared me for the events that were to follow.
Bastien Lyons had escaped from the filthy and unforgiving streets of New Paris to live on the moon colony Nippon One. Bastien had chosen a different identity. But even with the new identity, he is still in danger. It was a shame that even with all the efforts, Bastien could not afford to save New Paris from getting damaged. The shockwaves of the damaged civilization were spreading through the solar system. I appreciated the palpable friction between the two. The damage was bigger than all could have imagined.
Bastien is prudent and sharp-eyed in his own unique ways. He could see the tension and was aware that something terrible and destructive was bound to happen. Profession wars occurred, thus indicating the possibility of extreme and intense battles. Pirates hit back to avenge the elimination of Parisian euphoria drug factories and gangs. The Yakuza started wars to be in charge of what is left on Nipponese streets. Meanwhile, cyborg queen Marie Dubois survived on. All of this goes to show how deep the backstory goes, and how intricately all of these different ideas interweave in a captivating way that kept me glued to the pages.
The Final Wars Rage: Book 2 places you in a dystopian world where anything is possible. The technology combined with Japanese culture, war, Artificial Intelligence, violence and belligerence in characters made the book a unique read that is high in social comentary. The conversations between allies and enemy camps were entertaining. S. A. Asthana has written a book that will leave science fiction fans yearning for more.
Pages: 313 | ASIN: B07WV5ZRWM
Malthus Revisited is a genre-crossing novel with elements of science fiction, thriller, and religion as well. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?
It’s interesting that you see elements of science fiction in Malthus. I have not been read that comment from another reviewer nor did I see it as science fiction while writing it. When I began the story, the main character, Dr. Lindsey McCall was well established because this is the 4th in the medical mystery series. The antagonist had been very briefly introduced in the previous novel, A Price for Genius. To me, the story is apocalyptic, ergo the title, even dystopian. The religion… well, I am a midlife convert and know well what life without faith feels like, so religion is a part of every story I write.
Some things in the book come off as possible, if not already happening. Did you take any inspiration from real life when developing this book?
My background is academic medicine and public health so yes much of what is in the book is not just possible but probable.
How did you create Lindsey and Rich’s characters in a way that contrasted yet still supported the characters development?
Although I never planned to write a series when I wrote the first Lindsey and Rich novel, The Fragrance Shed by A Violet, that first story cemented them in my mind. In each of the subsequent books they have enjoyed taking me on their roller coaster lives.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be published?
I, Claudia A Novel of the Ancient World was published in December of last year.
Currently I am writing, My Name is Saul also a novel of the ancient world. I expect it to be published by the end of this year.
Eighteen-year-old Morgan Gardner did not seem like someone who could save the world—unless you took the time to notice her eyes. And most people didn’t.
Morgan’s exceptional gifts were known only to her and to the animals she could understand better than people. For a long time, she told no one about her nightmares. Embarrassed and afraid that no one would believe her, Morgan waited until it was almost too late. Then she confided in her mom’s best friend, Dr. Lindsey McCall.
Lindsey and her husband Rich had worked hard to reestablish their lives and careers after their last harrowing escapade. Relocated in a beautiful California home and newly reunited with Lindsey’s biological daughter LJ, all seemed to be going smoothly—until an enemy from their past returned with as deadly a plan as they could imagine.
The fourth novel in Lin Wilder’s popular Lindsey McCall series is her best one yet—combining the innovative medical research her readers have come to admire with a new and terrifying threat to the world’s population: a biological timebomb. Vivid characters old and new rampage across the continents of Europe, Asia, and the U.S. to stop the contagion, picking up steam as they head toward a life-or-death climax in the remote Qinghai province of China.
Malthus Revisited adds a dystopian element to Wilder’s evolving Lindsey McCall mystery series, and is guaranteed to captivate both her loyal fans and eager newcomers to its last riveting page.
In Experiment X: Exposed Dr. Thaddeus unveils his plan to create an army of super-humans and the masses rejoice. This seems like an easy reference to many terrible things throughout history. What was your inspiration for this moment?
For this moment, I was inspired by how easily influenced masses of people are, and how quickly they can become terrified of something that probably isn’t true. We are told that we have these enemies when we’re just the least bit scared of something so that we have a finger to point at someone, even if that enemy is false. Too many people believe their ‘leaders’ when they tell them who to blame and that they need protection from something that likely doesn’t even exist.
I find that authors sometimes ask questions and have their characters answer them. What were some questions you asked yourself while creating your characters?
A big one that I had asked myself and my characters is actually addressed in the very beginning of the book, ‘who are you?’. Generally, people ask only about your job and/or school as if that’s all we are. But, it’s not. Shed away the layers that are on the surface of yourself and find out what’s left. What can you survive? Who do you love? Who would you die/kill for?
What can readers expect in book three in the Experiment X series, Experiment X: Revolt?
Readers can definitely expect some more bloodshed, war in both the Lab and on the streets, revenge, friends and allies in unlikely places, redemption, new abilities/powers, and some gruesome satisfaction.
They were dead!
I watched one of them die!
Doctor James Thaddeus just presented them as Captains on live TV. Right after he informed a brainwashed world that he was accepting volunteers to expand his super soldier army.
It’s been nearly a year since I helped release imprisoned Subjects from the Lab and the last thing I want is to see is that horrid ‘Doctor’ create more human weapons to treat like rats.
Shawn and I need answers to what we are if we’re going to attack the facility again and stop Thaddeus.
Although it would be easier if Lab-loyal Subjects didn’t capture us, dragging us back to the Lab like criminals.
We’ll just have to take them down from the inside this time.
We can’t let Thaddeus win.
He’ll kill us.
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