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Armageddon and Beyond – Trailer

The end of the world has arrived. Long prophesized by every human religion, the end of days crawls upon humanity in a chain of devastating events threatening to destroy the entire world. Armageddon. The last battle between God, Satan and all of their souls.

It began with the quest to unlock the final piece of the evolutionary process. Scientific exploration pushed the boundaries too far, prompting the birth of the being destined to lead us all to ruin. The Anti-Christ has returned upon the Earth: an unstoppable opposing force of death and destruction.

Billions will perish as the Seven Seals of the Apocalypse are broken. Over the course of twenty-seven thousand years the Earth will undergo massive change. Each time the broken survivors reform and rebuild the population, but it is a game that has an expiration date within the realms of energy.

A new world is dawning. One no one is prepared to endure. For to survive through the apocalypse is an exercise of horrors unimagined. Pain and suffering plague the pockets of humanity through unimaginable devastation. All are transformed in ways least expected. The final battle between Heaven and Hell has been a long time in coming. Now that it is here, neither side will back down until there is one ultimate victor.

The board is set. A brief period of peace arrives, but it is little more than a pause before the final dark storm sweeps across the world and undoes the very fabric of existence. Armies of light and darkness gather. Humanity’s remnants struggle to survive, some turning to faith to deliver them while others embrace their evil wickedness. The endgame is at last upon them and the outcome will determine the course of all eternity.

Armageddon and Beyond is a must read thriller that will keep you on edge until the last page is turned. It answers all of life’s big questions.

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The History of How Civilization Ended

Dave Matthes Author Interview
Dave Matthes Author Interview

Leave My Ashes on Blackheart Mountain is a genre-crossing novel with elements of a western, action, and science fiction as well. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?

-“Blackheart Mountain” is actually a prequel to a novella I wrote last year, titled “Mercy”, which was only supposed to be a one-shot story. “Mercy” was so well received that it got me thinking about writing more for the character of Mahoney. While writing “Mercy”, it started off as simply another run of the mill post-apocalypse story that I began writing out of trying something new, since I don’t really dabble too much in either genres of westerns, science fiction, or post-apocalypseness, but as with everything I write, and I’m sure as it happens with a lot of writers, the story and the subject nature just kind of evolve on its own. About halfway through finishing the first draft of “Blackheart Mountain”, I came up with a story for a third book, to take place after “Mercy”, and just before finishing “Blackheart Mountain”, I came up with an idea for another story for Mahoney. So there will most likely be four books total for Mahoney and the world he lives in.

I understand that you have an educational background in computer engineering, automotive science and criminal justice. Has your familiarity with these subjects helped you write your books?

Actually not at all. There isn’t a shred of my formal educational background that I can say helped with my writing career. I can say that many people I met in college influenced some of the characters I’ve written about, but that’s where it ends. Most of my research for the stories I write is done on my personal time.

What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?

There was a lot of time and research put into Native American history, Manifestation Destiny, and the historical figures having lived during that time period. In regards to the history and the foundation of the book “Blackheart Mountain” itself, I purposely didn’t go terribly in depth with the history of how the world “fell” in my book, because how the world ended is really not what the story is about, and it would just seem like unecessary info to detract from what was going on in the story. I wanted it to remain a mystery, something for the reader to wonder about while they’re reading, as it is literally said in the beginning that the populace largely doesn’t bother itself with the history of how civilization ended so much as it does with maintaining the will and the means to survive, because they can’t find a relation to the two concepts. The going philosophy in this world is that the ability to survive has no reliance on an understanding of how humanity got to where it currently is(and in a way, that kind of mirrors today’s world). With forming the image and the history of the Tuskatawa, a tribe of survivors claiming to be the direct, albeit long and far-off ancestors of the native americans who were massacred long ago and far away, I wanted to make sure their culture was as concrete and concise as possible, from their funeral processions and how they handled their dead to their food recipes, their stance on violence, and exceptions to their own Law. In the end, I took from the behaviorisms and cultures of several different tribes, combining them into one, as at the heart of the Tuskatawa is their combined bloodlines of every tribe to have existed in the past. I picked up a half dozen books on the history of native americans and spent a decent amount of time reading just to familiarize myself with where the Tuskatawa “came from”. The title “Leave My Ashes on Blackheart Mountain” is actually a spin on “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee”. Being that this takes place two decades before “Mercy”, the only real challenge I had was making sure nothing spoken about in “Mercy” contradicted the events that are taking place in this new novel, particularly with the main characters Rancid Mahoney and Til Drange. I’ll have the same task when writing the next book in the series.

While editing writers often have to remove things they want to keep in but just can’t for various reasons. What was the hardest scene for you to cut from this book?

I actually didn’t cut anything, but rather added a few scenes and expansions to dialogue to flesh out the character development of Mahoney a little better. Very rarely will I ever cut out material while editing, unless it’s just that awful, or during the course of writing I decided to change something about a character later on in the story that would have to be supported by something that happened earlier on. Most of the time, the first draft ends up being a pretty bland, almost point for point blueprint, more than an actual cohesive story. I use the editing phase to sort of “fill in the blanks”, and oftentimes it feels as if the first draft I wrote is a movie or a book someone else created that I’m changing to make better in my eyes.

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“When the world ended, people eventually regained their footing, but that was a long time ago. We have come so far since then. We still have so much farther to go…”
Two decades before the bloodstained events of the novella “MERCY”, Rancid Mahoney is commissioned by Gunther Ostrander: purveyor of opportunity and Head Prospector of New Canterton, a mining settlement located in what was once, but long forgotten as, the heart of the American Northwest. Mahoney is tasked with scouring the land in an attempt to locate Blackheart Mountain: the source of “Blackvein”, the heavily romanticized miracle mineral rumored to be able to enhance the human body’s ability to heal, effectively defeating death itself. But time and time again, Mahoney returns empty handed to his reluctant employer.
On the heels of setting out on yet another venture to locate the Mountain, Ostrander orders Mahoney to first escort the prisoner Til Drange to the settlement of Vermouth not far to the north, so that he may face judgment for crimes committed against the eccentric Mayor Henry Kenroy. On the way to Vermouth, the two are interrupted by scouts of the Tuskatawa Tribe, an assemblage of people who believe the cataclysmic event which put an end to civilization long ago was a sign for their people that it is now the time to take back the land that was once theirs in the name of their native ancestors. To make matters worse, Mancino Rolandraz, the deranged leader of the savage Crimson Collar gang, is on his own quest for vengeance under the guise of what he believes to be the only purpose worth fighting for. Spearheading his campaign for “justice” is an obsessive hunger to kill Til Drange, and anyone else who gets in his way.
It swiftly comes to the realization of Mahoney that a new war is not only about to break out, but is impossible to prevent, one which he must decide whether or not to take part in, and if he does, which side to fight for.

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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One of Us

One of Us by [Craig DiLouie]

Craig DiLouie’s One of Us follows a group of teenagers named the plague generation. Known to locals as monsters, these youngsters have been placed in orphanages as they bear the markings of the most extreme genetic mutation.  Abandoned by their parents, the monsters have been raised away from those normal members of society, with a clear divide in place for many years. Yet, that divide is now at risk as these kids see adulthood on the horizon and tire of those normal people dictating their life to them. With tensions already high in a town that is still rife with racism and all manner of other prejudices, it’s only a matter of time before both worlds collide, with deadly consequences.

After having read One of Us, my first thoughts are, inevitably, this has to be made into a film! This has got to be one of my best reads this year.

Firstly, the setting and the timing in One of Us is faultless. The teenagers, both plagued and normal, are all at that point in their lives where confusion, emotions, and anger is high. Add in the many judgmental residents and old-timers of the town and the tension is bubbling at the very beginning.

Yet, Craig seems to present both the normal and the plagued with an element of good and evil, so much so that you find yourself veering between them, switching your opinions back and forth. So, you feel for the plagued, but at the same time, you understand the fear the normal people might have of them.

The book’s message is stark, and the plague is said to be spread as a sexually transmitted disease, as the normal teenagers have this message hammered home to them constantly. A sense of shame hangs over the town and its residents, with the news continually touted that all that those with the germ should never procreate.

Yes, there are a few scenes that make for uncomfortable reading, be it the actions of the older normal residents toward the plagued kids or the plagued kid’s acts of revenge, in particular Brain’s horrific act of retribution. But in reality, I think these harder to read scenes merely force us to question how we as adults have a level of power over children – which unfortunately some can and do act upon.

One of Us reminds me a little of the book, The Girl with All the Gifts, which I also thoroughly loved. However, I feel One of Us has the advantage here as it goes further by delving further into each character and offering us more individuals than just the one. As a result, you feel more invested in the plagued kids and the normal kids fighting on their behalf.

One of Us doesn’t let up with pacing that verges on perfection. When you add to this a bunch of entirely compelling characters, the result is a book you will not want to put down.

Pages: 400 | ASIN: B0776QMHPT

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Lost Frequencies

Lost Frequencies: The Soul Prophecies by [Lynagh, Caitlin]

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

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End of Crows – Trailer

The world was chaos. War has torn apart the country, politics and families. With the Dominion taking over, 15-year old Willow and her family flee to safety in the west.

She has been raised as a member of the Crows, rebels who fought against the Dominion, a group now scattered across the country, to heal, plan and regroup.

Willow, along with her brother Brice, are continuing their training as warriors in their remote mountain hideout. As time passes, Willow’s strengths and talents promise to launch her quickly into leadership of the rebel faction. But will the jealousy of others threaten the very life she’s been groomed to live?

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Metrofloat New York

Metrofloat New York by [Belle, William Quincy]

A rampant epidemic wipes out a large chunk of the world’s population, leaving behind a meager percentage to fend for itself and save humanity from extinction. With the use of highly sophisticated scientific and technological methods, man attempts to increase his chances of survival by creating floating cities and Metrofloat New York finds itself among them. The levitating city is run by five powerful members of the OligCouncil and everything seems peachy untill tragedy strikes. Someone begins to murder the ruling members. Detective Heart and Sergeant Stanton are called upon to find this harbinger of death before the equilibrium of the city’s government is disrupted and chaos rises. But they soon discover that sometimes, things aren’t as they seem.

William Quincy Belle’s Metrofloat New York is a gripping science fiction thriller set in post-apocalyptic times. Marked by tremendous advancement in science and technology and its adaptation to man’s peculiar circumstances. The author paints a vivid picture of the changes the world has gone through by introducing several elements like flying vehicles, brain siphoning weapons, ingrained ID chips, mutated bacteria and surprisingly, new meals devoid of any form of meat but dominated by insects and worms.

Although SciFi novels describe new realities, the best of them involving humans reveal that though times may change, our fundamental values, prejudices and quirks will not. Metrofloat New York does this with its resonating themes. For example, the writer shows that although tools of social stratification may become incredibly limited in the future, man will still get creative. In the book, we discover that the very human frailty which we are currently trying to subvert can be turned into a marker of status when it becomes a rarity. Also, we see that man’s present shallowness and pettiness will not be suddenly altered by the alienation of over half of humanity. He will still struggle with common defects like greed and the belittlement of others who seem slightly different. But thankfully, we won’t get to retain only our cynical traits, the qualities of compassion, love and solidarity will also remain with us. The writer also emphasizes the complexity of the core of humans: our thought process. Our consciousness is so intricate that it might prove impossible to recreate.

One thing I like about the book is what William does with the characters. He makes them real by progressively unraveling their traits, thereby reiterating the fact that people aren’t always what they seem. Based on first impressions alone, one may consider one of the key characters; Detective Heart, a frivolous and shallow-minded bum, but upon subsequent encounters, one soon discovers that he is far from that.

If you are one who fancies a SciFi novel whose plot rolls along quickly but still provides sufficient thrills and is greatly imaginative, then this book has your name on it.

Pages: 216 | ASIN: B07K631LDS

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A Single Light

A Single Light: A Thriller (The Line Between Book 2) by [Lee, Tosca]

It was early on a Monday morning at 4 am that I had gone through over one third of the book in one night. This book quickly became one of the best reads I have gone through in the past 3 months.

A Single Light begins with around 60 odd people forced to take shelter in a time vault due to the outbreak of a virulent epidemic. A runaway named Wynter and a former soldier turned bounty hunter, Chase are at the heart of the story. Both appear to be an unmatched pair as they have their own motivations and secrets. For the people in the vault, the only source of comfort and connection with the outside is periodic transmissions from Noah, the person who brings hope to the individuals. But all of a sudden, the link goes dark, causing to lose their composure. And when the time vault door opens all of a sudden, it begins a whole new set of unknown dangers to the group, stressed for many months. Infected animals, ghostly town, and people driven to the brink of anarchy. The support systems have failed, all semblance of order and law lying bare. What do you do? That’s where we find the characters in the story.

The story is intense and riveting as is the description of the dynamics at play between the different characters in a confined space. The notes that the story touches are really fundamental, fear, loss, joy but the presentation is remarkably somber and in line as to the way the plot is weaved. I really liked the way the author describes the gritty and raw emotions at play which I have seen only in a very few authors.

The best thing is that the author does not try to bend the story in a way that seems disjointed. It is a skill that is honed by working at the craft for many sleepless nights and long hours.

Though the story may not have political beliefs one may have, I wholeheartedly agree with what the author has penned about the need to break down the walls and be more exclusive. Normally a stickler for neat wrapped endings, I love the way the story concluded. I can’t wait for the next book.

Pages: 384 | ASIN: B07P5JKYT8

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