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Pulse Book One

Pulse takes place in 2040 where technology is ruling people’s everyday lives. There is an undeniable horror aspect to this book and much of that comes from the way society is crashing. Pulse is an organization that controls everyone through technology platforms. The book is written from several different characters’ points of view, which offers interesting twists. There is no one dominant character that overtakes the story. Pulse is a very relevant book, it ties in a lot of the current events that we are facing today, which makes this book even scarier.

Pulse by B.A. Bellec builds slow to give readers a chance to understand the circumstances and key organizations at play in this novel. Readers will find a lot of modern day issues are written into this novel giving it an additional level of plausibility. The book is gory, playing into the fear and horror aspect. This is not limited to a few scenes the reader can gloss over, rather it is pivotal to the plot.

With a slow-burn style of writing and an uncanny resemblance to modern technological issues Pulse really shines in its ability to weave in and out of a variety of issue while never losing its creepy vibe. The characters in Pulse are a part of the company Pulse and organizers and sponsors of the festival. Bellec shows readers how one organization can easily become a monopoly on all things we consume, thus controlling all aspects of our lives.

Pulse does a great job at painting a vivid picture so you feel like you are a part of the story. This engrossing novel will appeal to readers looking for a riveting dystopian story combined with compelling science fiction. This is an eerie creature feature with subtle but deep social commentary that will keep readers entertained and thinking long after they have put the book down.

Pages: 395 | ASIN : B092JSS8XW

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Take A Closer Look

Nikki Minty
Nikki Minty Author Interview

Pastel Pink follows a girl who was murdered on Earth and reincarnated on Zadok, but when her human spirit is drawn back to Earth she’s plunged into a world of intrigue on both planets. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My son Randall Jackson, AKA RJ, helped to inspire The Zadok Series.

We were sitting in the library waiting for his sister to finish her art class when the question “I wonder what happens after you die” came up.

RJ said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if every time we died, we regenerated onto a different Planet?”

Of course, I jumped on this idea and together we discussed what the different races on the next planet would look like and what new capabilities/powers they would have.

As a tribute, I’ve modelled a character after my son RJ. He has Aspergers/Autism and is quirky with a brain like an encyclopaedia.

Harlow is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I wanted Harlow to be different to Ruby even though they are theoretically the same Zeek/person. Ruby is confident and outspoken whereas Harlow’s confidence has been crushed due to years of being told she is worthless. Harlow starts meeker and milder and then builds into someone much stronger. She learns to stand up against the haters.

I thought the color caste system was creative and intriguing. Where did this idea come from and how did it evolve as you wrote?

The overall message of The Zadok Series is one of acceptance. Just like here on Earth with humans, Zeeks face prejudice characters who are intent on making their lives a living hell.

Not only that, there are different Zadonian races, and they feud with one another. Not everything is as it seems. Sometimes there’s more to the story than meets the eye.

Don’t let others force you into believing a certain race, colour, or way of living is wrong. Take a closer look and let yourself be the decider.

This is book one in your Zadok Series. What can readers expect in book two?

Expect to see more of the Drakes and Vallons and discover how they live in the following two books of the series.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Website | Instagram

From one ending comes a new beginning…Ruby was murdered on Earth eighteen years ago and reincarnated on Zadok as a Pastel Zeek named Harlow. To be born at the bottom of her race’s caste colour system to a middle-class family of Magentas has made Harlow a source of conflict amongst the ruling Purples, and a source of derision from all three colours.When Harlow is attacked by a fuegor on Zadok, the effects of its slow reacting venom triggers an unforeseen phenomenon, and due to the strong connection she had with her former twin sister Jade, her human spirit is unexpectedly drawn back to Earth. Now living a double life, she has plunged into a world of intrigue on both planets.On earth, she watches on in horror as Jade reconnects with Lucas, the man who murdered her and got away with it. And to complicate things further, she’s being pursued by Alex, the ghost of Lucas’ twin. On Zadok, she becomes embroiled with Jax, the son of the Commanding family. He’s determined to bring about change to the colony’s colour system, but it’ll come at a cost.As Harlow mixes with the political intrigue of the Zeeks, will she become a victim of those trying to rigidly maintain the status quo or will she usher in a revolution? And will ghost Ruby resist the temptation of the handsome Alex or pursue an impossible relationship that could have dire consequences on both planets?

Babouc’s Vision

Glenn Searfoss
Glenn Searfoss Author Interview

Babouc’s Vision is a riveting dystopian science fiction novel with thought-provoking commentary on society. What were some sources that informed this novels development?

The works of Voltaire (The World as it is) and Dante (The Divine Comedy) inspired this book. As well, many events in the work reflect newspaper reports of criminal, social, environmental, and scientific events happening around the world. The bleak nature of these accounts explains the book’s overall dystopian feel, while the hope buried in the stories is gleaned from human perseverance.

Your characters are intriguing and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I like characters and their interactions between each other, and with their environment to feel as real as possible. In this regard, the sweep of characters in the book allowed me to pull on my experiences and those of people I know who were/are in similar situations.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The multiple themes in this book intertwine into a snarled ball, so it is difficult to extract one without impinging the rest.

  • On a personal emotive level, they range from suppressed but inextinguishable hope, to the grief of personal loss, and a dogged perseverance against impossible odds.
  • On a societal scale they explore the question of intentions versus outcomes and the moral implications of both.
  • And from a practical perspective they examine the inevitable impact of a throw-away society on persons and the environment. Too, there is the realistic impact of advances in technology, especially in genetics as it relates to the everyday business world. (It was a concern expressed by medical professionals that I interviewed.) 

What scene in this book did you have the most fun writing?

It was the running dialog between Edna and Marta in ‘Voyeurs on 3rd and Pelmont’. It captured a lifelong friendship and the impact of fear-based isolation among older people.

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon

The year is 2041 – and the gods are angry. While Carissa scours the city garbage for food and pretty things to show her grandfather, Tom and April strive to prove themselves genetically suitable to conceive a child. Luis fights to protect his unborn son from the gangs. Nora sits alone in her dark apartment, old, tired, and waiting to die. And Izzy, how did he end up on the street? In the backroom of his appliance repair shop, Harl Babouc putters at his workbench unaware the Gods have chosen him to appraise the people of CynCity. Harl’s world turns upside-down as his mind explodes with the everyday lives of strangers. Struggling to remain sane, he must somehow prove the city’s population deserves to survive.

Babouc’s Vision

Babouc's Vision by [Glenn Searfoss]

Somewhere, Dado is regaling his grandchildren with stories of “the good ol’ days” while they hunt for dinner. Izzy is hoping to make it in the big city. Roving gangs fight for supremacy in public spectacles. And April and Tom just hope their genetics are clean enough to gain approval to have a baby. Amid all of this chaos, is Harl Babouc, an introverted tinkerer who has been reluctantly tasked with the decision of whether they, and all other inhabitants of the city, live or die. As he travels around a city he rarely sees, he learns plenty about the true depths of humanity.

In “Babouc’s Vision”, author Glenn Searfoss paints a vivid picture of a city that seems completely devoid of any redeeming qualities, but just below the surface lies the occasional glimpse of hope and compassion. After his introduction, Babouc becomes an invisible presence, nothing more than a specter there to observe, learning about the city’s citizens in real time with us. Through their stories we come to understand how society reached the point of being over regulated to the extreme and the ways they have learned to cope and adapt to the increasing pressures. Searfoss’s prose is amazingly descriptive, laying bare the good, the bad, and the overwhelmingly ugly that comes with both the environment and its people. Even the most insignificant characters come to life in spectacular ways under the spell cast by his words and it keeps the book from ever seeming stale or slow. Even as the chapters rotate from one story to the next in occasionally unconnected ways, the pull of needing to know what comes next remains constant. 

While “Babouc’s Vision” doesn’t immediately seem like a book that would be deeply thought provoking, the ending gives plenty to think about in regards to humanity, diversity, and redemption. It makes the book worthy of a second reading in order to catch all the nuance that’s easily overlooked the first time through. The characters are all human beings, even when it seems like every ounce of it has been drained away. Babouc realizes that those qualities still exist within them, which means those qualities could still be expressed. The book also explores the question of intentions versus outcomes and the moral implications of both. It definitely provides more than meets the eye.

“Babouc’s Vision” was thoroughly enjoyable and difficult to put down, which is always a winning combination. Even the more despicable characters were engaging enough that you cared what happened to them and the ones who were more sympathetic had you actively cheering for their success. “Babouc’s Vision” is an intellectually stimulating science fiction story.

Pages: 248 | ISBN: 1587210118

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The Mind Games

Nikki Haase
Nikki Haase Author Interview

Experiment A: Elimination is the exciting prequel to your Experiment X series. What inspired you to write a prequel to your dystopian trilogy?

Jack was a favorite character among many and it felt right to tell his story. I did think I was done with the series and ready to move onto another one, but I kept thinking about Jack’s past and how he became who he is—how they all became who they are.

What were some ideas that you were excited to explore in this prequel?

The mind games that Thaddeus plays with the Subjects was interesting to explore. The push and pull relationship he has with them, comforting them despite the fact that he’s the one torturing them, keeping them in this constant state of mental and emotional confusion. That’s not really explored in the trilogy.
And, Jack learning to become a leader and finding the voice that he possess in the trilogy.

How much has your fans, or the feedback from your trilogy, informed this novels development?

The fans reactions to the trilogy and Jack’s character (several people have claimed Jack as their book boyfriend, lol) influenced and informed the novels development quite a lot. There are a few things within Experiment A: Elimination that should pull on the heartstrings pretty heavily if one has read the entire trilogy already.

Do you have plans to write more stories within this world or are you working on a different story?

Yes! I have a book two for the prequel I am currently working on and I’m hoping to get it out by 2022! After that, I’ll be working on a dystopian fantasy that deals with a newly immortal hitman, his best friend—the devil’s daughter, and Lucifer himself. I’m pretty excited about it!

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads | Instagram | Website

Jack Cortex is a hydrokinetic super-soldier, created by the United States government. At seventeen, he still only knows the inside of the Lab and the horrors it contains within its walls. Jack has lived at this facility for nearly his entire life, training alongside other Elemental super-soldiers—or Subjects—to become the perfect weapon. The weakest of them are disposed of through rounds of near-constant torture and fights that lead to death. Jack and the others are told that this is for the best, that the outside world is full of horrible, evil people. If they are not the deadliest soldiers to walk the streets they will not survive, and they will not be able to save those that they were created to protect.
Conversations of a new form of eliminations begin circulating throughout the cells in hushed, terrified whispers. The rumors are confirmed when Doctor James Thaddeus begins picking off the Subjects himself, seemingly at random. Those that survive the execution rounds are forced to kill each other in bloody battles.
Jack Cortex and his friends know one thing for certain: they have to survive.
By any means necessary.

What’s The Worst World I Can Imagine

Author Interview
Natalie Hibberd Author Interview

Inside Out follows a young man and his friends as they see their dystopian world torn apart by Freedom Fighters and their government’s harsh reaction to them. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I began writing this novel over a decade ago – when I was twelve years old. I was quite an angsty teenager (I am now quite an angsty twenty-something!) I suppose the real genesis of this novel was asking the question “what’s the worst world I can imagine and what would the consequences be of that?” Worryingly, I think the premis has got closer to reality over time.

Zack is an interesting character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Inside Out has an ensemble cast – all dear to my heart – but Zack is one of my favourites! He has a very fierce protective streak in him and that gets more apparent as the story goes on. Without wishing to give too much away, that need to protect leads him to take some fairly extreme measures. Whether or not they’re sensible – I’ll leave the readers to decide!

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

One of the biggest themes I wanted to tackle was the destructive evil of prejudice. As a disabled woman, that’s something I’ve had to contend with all my life. It is such a pointless, baseless concept, and yet it ruins so many lives. I also wanted to tackle the fact that those who are in power are not always the best suited to it, and the lengths they will go to maintain their standing.

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

I am currently running final checks on the sequel to Inside Out. Hopefully, it will be released by the end of this year. I am so excited for my lovely readers to experience it!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

In a divisive world of mistrust and murder, there’s only one thing that matters growing up: you’re either in The Inside or The Outside.
While the Insiders appear pampered and privileged, the Outsiders know only harsh realities. Believing themselves to be needlessly deprived of everything the Insiders have, the younger generation channel their rage into a terrorist group called The Freedom Fighters, a group intent on overthrowing the Inside at any cost. Now the Insiders must watch as the world they love collapses around them while the government resort to increasingly desperate tactics to try and contain the Outside threat. When the latest initiative catapults one of the young into the heart of the war, everything is pushed to breaking point.
Loyalties will be tested. Lives will be risked. Their worlds will change forever.

Experiment A: Elimination

Experiment A: Elimination by [Nikki Haase]

Experiment A: Elimination by Nikki Haase is a prequel to the Experiment X trilogy (Sacrifice, Exposed and Revolt). Set in a cryptic lab somewhere in the United States. The story starts with Jack Cortex, the protagonist losing Alexie, the woman he loves. What follows is a thrilling story of more loss and torture and a lot of action as the enthralling storyline follows the shenanigans of Cortex and his friends Ryan, Matt and Liam. Constantly fed the image of the cruel world outside the lab, the Subjects find it hard to separate truth from lies. One by one, the weakest of the Subjects are ‘eliminated’, all in the name of creating a perfect soldier to protect a country that they’ve never seen. At least that’s what the Lab Coats say to justify the unthinkable torture and the ruthless killing, all in the name of science.

This is a vivid and gritty dystopian novel that dives straight into the action. Even without wasting much time in describing the setting at no point is the reader clueless. Haase hits you with one event after the other, and you never know who you’re going to lose next. What I really loved about the book was the perfect mix of action, emotion, and storyline. The author doesn’t go deep into descriptions, and instead gives you just enough for your imagination to run wild while keeping focus on the characters, ensuring this is a character focused drama above all else.

I finished the book in just a few days; although admittedly I’ve been a long time fan of the author and couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. But I can now say that long time finds of the series should be VERY excited about this novel. Even though this is a prequel the concept of a hidden lab separate from the rest of the world and meant to save it still feels fresh. The story is reminiscent of the Maze Runner trilogy, with its dystopian feel and subtle commentary on society.

Experiment A: Elimination has an engaging plot and relentless action. Since this book is a prequel to the trilogy, anyone who hasn’t read the trilogy can still enjoy the book. This is a rousing science fiction novel that provides plenty of fan service, but also provides a standalone story that is equally as riveting as the original series.

Pages: 211 | ASIN: B09F6XJ6J9

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Inside Out

Inside Out by [Natalie Hibberd]

Like most dystopian science fiction novels, the world of Natalie Hibberd’s Inside Out feels closer to reality than it may seem. It tells the story of Zack McGregor and his gang of friends who live in a world divided by greed and hatred. They live in The Inside, a city that promises eternal safety and comfort – or so it seems. Lurking literally in The Outside are the Freedom Fighters, who will stop at nothing to destroy Zack’s beloved city and everything it stands for. Now The Inside government is taking desperate measures to maintain the calm, but it’s only a matter of time before everything implodes.  

The writing of Inside Out is very conversational, proving that you don’t have to be flowery to tell a good story. Some might find it overly simplistic, but there are passages here and there that paint a lovely picture in such a small amount of words. Hibberd clearly knows what she’s doing with her sparse language. This minimalism also makes the novel an easy and thrilling read despite the heavy subject matter. You can read this in one afternoon yet still feel your heart pounding from start to finish. There are little details per chapter, so like a binge-able Netflix series, we’re always left asking, “What’s going to happen next?” 

While I enjoyed the story, I felt that the world-building could have provided more depth and nuance. While the short chapters make for a quick, roller-coaster read, I wanted to spend more time exploring the characters to form a deeper connection to them. The pace sends the pages flying, but an additional page or two in moments where characters are experiencing emotional turmoil would have helped me make a connection with those characters. 

The writing is beautiful – stunning, even, at times. Inside Out is an entertaining dystopian sci-fi novel that has the potential to stand out in a packed genre. If you are a fan of young adult science fiction stories then you will surely enjoy this eloquent and evocative page-turner.

Pages: 241 | ASIN: B081D1JQYY

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