Escaping the Future follows a group of friends on an adventure that leads to a time machine in a wrecked spaceship that sends them to the future. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I grew up on stories like The Goonies and Back to the Future. When I was thinking about ideas to pursue in my own writing, it wasn’t a big leap for me to ask myself, “What if the Goonies were time travelers?” Instead of hunting for a treasure, they could be searching through time for a way home. Instead of the Goonies, the friends from the story were loosely based on the friends from my own childhood. I imagined how my friends would have reacted if they were thrown into the future, and the shenanigans that would result from our choices in trying to get home.
Your characters were interesting and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
I wanted to portray characters with the challenges that everyone feels as they are growing up. Whether struggling to make their own voice heard like Sophia, not living up to expectations of others or yourself like Tate, not fitting in like Zoe, or just how to gain the confidence you need to succeed like Nic. Everyone deals with these challenges in some degree at some point in their lives, and how they overcome these challenges is the heart of the person they become.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
I wanted the reader to understand the idea of seeing things from others perspectives as well as your own, whether it is from strangers or someone as close as your family. While Nic has to move away, he doesn’t see things from his parent’s point of view. Despite his disagreements with his family, he has to learn to not take for granted the time he has with them. We never know what changes might come in the future, family drama, moving away, or even your own alien situation. Understanding others point of view can help you work together and live in the moment.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am working on a middle grade story where the main character will travel from Earth into another world filled with magic. It is a fairytale about exploration and discovering your own true potential. I don’t have a working date for its release yet.
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Tags: Adam Crozier, adventure, author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, Escaping the Future, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, middle grade, middlegrade, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, science fiction, scifi, story, time travel, writer, writing
Price of Life by David Crane is a page-turning and suspenseful science fiction story that follows the journey of a prehistoric boy who discovers an unusual meteorite while hunting, which gives him the power of immortality. He becomes the first known human to possess this power, and all the benefits and challenges that it carries. It’s a great supernatural story that touches on many historical eras, including references to World Wars I and II and the Russian Civil War.
Crane writes in such as realistic way, as if the story is a documentary, following the character through many years, societies, and relationships. The gift of immortality is a power for which many people would do anything, but what are the consequences when an immortal falls in love with a mortal? Many people, such as Laura, keep the nature of their existence secretive, though eventually, it must be revealed to those closest people to her. The story explores many aspects of immortality and how living without the fear of aging and dying, while an amazing experience, can present a new world of challenges.
How do the characters handle life after thousands of years of existence? Would you abandon your gift of immortality to become a frail mortal and live like everyone else? Crane does an exceptional job of bringing up the question of humanity’s fragile existence and how people would handle a life that never ends. Is it a gift that later becomes a curse when everyone you love eventually leaves you in death?
I recommend Price of Life for its original and creative style and unique twist on the human side of a popular science fiction theme. It’s a great story for fans of this genre who want to explore the implications of immortality.
Pages: 318 | ASIN: B00Y424WD6
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Delilah Recovered by Amelia Estelle Dellos tells the story of Delilah Smith, who lives a dull and uninteresting life as an accountant. Her world turns upside down when she meets the handsome Samuel Solomon, who introduces her to the exciting realm of fairies, witches, angels, and witch hunters. Delilah quickly learns that everything she thinks she knows about her ordinary reality is wrong. Her authentic memories reveal that she will play a pivotal role in this world. Delilah discovers that many of her memories have been sealed from her. She begins to learn about her prophesied destiny and that many aspects of life have been hidden from her. The world she uncovers is dark, extraordinary and ominous.
The world that is constructed by Amelia Estelle Dellos in this enthralling fantasy novel is imaginative and enchanting. I enjoyed how the author articulated the contrast between Delilah’s mundane existence as an accountant in an office and being thrown into a chaotic dark fantasy realm with danger and excitement. The book has a compelling story line and a fascinating protagonist. The story delves into the colorful and dynamic lives of the characters and I really enjoyed watching how their actions impacted one another; sort of like a paranormal melodrama on television. There is no shortage of action and intrigue to lure readers into this richly imagined world.
The author brilliantly integrates elements of the Samson and Delilah story into the book and shows how the past can have a profound effect on the present. Romance, mythology, magic, and an intriguing mystery all coalesce into an exciting journey. I was enthralled with the surreal theme of this book and reveled in the unique supernatural and time travel elements. I recommend Delilah Recovered to readers who are looking for an imaginative urban fantasy novel with a protagonist that goes through a massive evolution.
Pages: 276 | ISBN: 1639885145
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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 follows a man who hunts people pretending to be dead. On his next case, he unearths the secrets of his own phobia-plagued life and the inner workings of the company he works for. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
The idea for End Man came from an online experience. I’d been trading pages with a fellow writer. We’d been in this relationship for months, and we thought the swapping beneficial. I emailed her some new chapters and asked her to send her material. She didn’t get back to me acknowledging my new chapters or sending hers. I sent several messages, which also got no response. In her story, her main character was battling an incurable disease. Had she fictionalized her own ailment? Could she be hospitalized—or worse? I checked her Facebook and Goodreads pages, but I found nothing to explain her silence. As I reviewed more of her online haunts, I realized if she had succumbed to an illness, everything she had posted online would remain intact. She would still get likes; people would continue to comment on her posts, friend her, spam her. As if her life went on. How many internet users was this already true of? Was the online world occupied by ghosts? This seemed to be the stuff of a speculative novel. As I developed the plot, I recalled Gogol’s novel Dead Souls in which the main character figures out how to profit off of dead serfs (Gogol gets a shout-out in End Man). Now I had to come up with a contemporary (2030s) business plan to match the Russian author’s slick scam. Over many drafts, I recognized I had to provide details sufficient to raise venture capital if I were pitching Norval Corporation in the real world. As to my missing writer, I discovered that—ironically—she was “ghosting” me, a term that came into play while I was writing the novel. To that point, yesterday, Linkedin invited me to congratulate a former colleague on his work anniversary. The man is five years dead.
Raphael Lennon is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideas behind your character’s development?
In early drafts, I had two POV characters: Raphael Lennon and Clark Ramfree. Clark was a middle-aged former journalist who lived the good life abroad; Raphael was a 26-year-old IT worker with a lifelong phobia that made it impossible for him to leave his Los Angeles neighborhood. Clark was free, and Raphael unfree. I wanted to explore how Raphael’s phobic prison affected every aspect of his life to produce a shy, self-conscious person whose boundaries occupied him. With Clark, I wanted to see what would happen if his freedom proved illusory. Unable to weave the two character threads, I extracted Clark from the novel, leaving Raphael alone to explore the notions of freedom and imprisonment. Raphael suffers from dromophobia, the fear of crossing streets, but he has a rare form. It’s only four streets that he can’t cross, but the four intersect to form a rectangle of about one square mile. Each of the four streets holds its own terror. Because his phobia is so unrelatable to others, he has hidden it, making far-fetched excuses why he can’t go to the beach at Malibu or the class trip to Magic Mountain. In his own eyes, he is weird, and believes others view him similarly (crank up Radiohead). Saddling Raphael with this heavy load, I lightened it a bit by making him an expert skateboarder, which provides physical exhilaration. I also gave him a love of music, which I view as transcendent. Guided by his mother, a museum curator who died young, Raphy also loves art and is a painter himself. He works on a canvas that stretches across his living room ceiling, and may be the key to his freedom. He resembles David Bowie, but his name is Raphael Winston Lennon, and there are parallels with both artists in his character. John Lennon’s mother, Julia, was killed by a car at age 44. Her death devastated Lennon, and he wrote several songs about her, reflecting his grief. In End Man, Raphael’s mother, at about the same age as Julia, dies of a horrible disease that turns her to stone; Her memory and suffering haunt Raphael. End Man is a dystopia in the making. Winston is the protagonist in Orwell’s 1984. It’s also John Lennon’s middle name. David Bowie’s favorite book? 1984. David Bowie created his last album around the theme of death.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Our appointment with death, and our refusal to accept it, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The eroding of death’s meaning. Stalin said, “One death is a tragedy; one million deaths is a statistic.” I’m not sure that one death remains a tragedy. We get numb. We can’t keep count of all the mass shootings. The extent to which our personal data is accumulated and the ends to which it is being put. What is consciousness? Can a machine (AI) become conscious? Our frames (the rectangles not found in nature): cell phones, computers, coffins.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
The publisher has asked me to write a sequel. I’ve been mulling ideas for the plot. In End Man, I set up a new pantheon of minor gods, influencers, and I’m sure they’ve been up to mischief. I’m also finishing a rewrite on a realistic novel called Blood Marriage about a young woman who escapes an arranged marriage in Pakistan. The novel has been up on Radish, but its second half is a mess. The beat goes on.
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Tags: Alex Austin, author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, cyberpunk, ebook, End Man, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, science fiction, story, suspense, technothriller, thriller, writer, writing, ya books, young adult
Mystical Force Volume 4: Many are 1, 1 is 0 follows a sorceress who wants to unleash an omnipotent being to take control of the world for her, while a knight tries to prevent this from occuring. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
The character of 0 (Zero), I based him off of ‘Q’ from Star Trek: The Next Generation. He was one of my favourite characters from TNG. It’s a classic idea, the omnipotent trickster who uses his powers to meddle in the lives of our heroes for his own amusement. This story was a means to set up 0’s introduction, as he’ll play an important role in the series later on, although it isn’t obvious. 0 is a being with god like power, and like a god, he works in subtle ways that many of us don’t realize. To quote an episode of Futurama, “When you [God] do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all.”
What was your favorite character to write for and why?
That would be 0. As I stated, I based him off of ‘Q’ from Star Trek: The Next Generation. 0, like Q, is less of a villain and more of an annoyance to our characters. Like Q, 0’s antics may appear to be nothing more than irritating our protagonists for his own twisted sense of pleasure, but underneath he’s secretly trying to help our heroes. It’s a case of him secretly testing our characters. Because he’s an omnipotent trickster, it was great fun having him troll the others, such as the scene near the end when appears before the Order of the Cross, taking the form of (the Christian depiction) God, and later the Pope. Or how he uses his powers to make two countries go to war over Twinkies. I’ve always liked that Monty Python style of humour, that either makes you laugh or ask “What the hell was this guy high on when he came up with that?!” (for the record, I wasn’t high on anything! I don’t do drugs.)
What was one of the hardest parts in Mystical Force Volume 4: Many are 1, 1 is 0 for you to write?
Near the end when Knightwalker “defeats” 0 and sends him home, undoing all the chaos he’s caused. Everyone except our main characters forgets all his antics. When I got the manuscript back from my editor Tereza (a wonderful editor, who really goes above and beyond to help make this series what it is) she asked why they’re the only one’s who remember. Honestly the only real answer I had was that since 0 would be returning at a later date, I didn’t want to go through the process of introducing him all over again. It’s like that Star Trek TNG episode Hide and Q, Q suspends time when his visits the Enterprise. When time resumes later, only the main characters seem aware of what’s happened. Everyone else seems oblivious to Q’s meddling. That’s why I added the part explaining that 0 allowed them to remember so that when he returns he can enjoy their reactions of “OH NO! Not you again!!” That’s part of his character, he loves trolling others. The idea of being an irritant to ‘lesser’ beings amuses him. Like a mischievous child tormenting insects because he’s bored.
What is the next book in the series about and when will it be available?
First let me just add, that I’m also working on a new series set in the same universe called Liberator: the People’s Guard, which should be out very soon (or depending on when this is posted, it may already be out). But in regards to Mystical Force volume 5, I’m currently finishing up the manuscript. Hopefully that one will be out sometime next spring. (I’ll be alternating between Liberator and Mystical Force for the duration of those series). Now what will volume 5 be about? Back in volumes 2 & 3 I teased that Scarlet Knightwalker came from the future because in that time Shi-ria trained an apprentice, died and her apprentice (along with Mystic and Sister Rose) turned evil and took over the world ruling it as a totalitarian dictatorship. Hence why Knightwalker came back to change history. Volume 2 ends with Shi-ria seeing this as a possible future along with one where she lives and her apprentice becomes a Taman Knight. Volume 5 introduces this apprentice. A teenage girl named Chiyoko, who comes from a broken home. A girl Shi-ria takes under her wing as she sees a bit of herself in this girl, a reminder of how she used to be before becoming a Taman Knight. We also get a sneak peek at the “descendant of the darkness”, a young man with shadow based ninja powers. I suppose you could say this is where the main plot of the series really beings.
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Escaping the Future is an exciting science fiction adventure that focuses on the triumphs and challenges of a group of heroes, with unexpected plot twists throughout the story. The book drew me in from the beginning, with a fast-paced narrative that engages the reader with a deeply complex world of fate and a chilling but striking future entrenched in battles and advanced technology. The characters must face their inner demons while taking on the challenges of an ever-changing society. It’s a story where richly-developed characters keep the reader interested, whether it’s Tate’s brash attitude to Sophia’s reluctance to take sides, Nic’s self-blame, or Zoe’s fear of being an outsider.
It’s not often that I read a book that is so perfectly balanced between the immensity of its setting and the dynamic relationship between a close group of friends. As the four unexpected heroes take center stage and grow as their adventure continues, they face many obstacles, including devasting setbacks, deadly adversity, and a dire final battle that elevates this science fiction tale.
I found the author has an exceptional storytelling ability. The story initially centers around Nic Walker, a boy of twelve, who faces his worst fear, which is moving away from his best friends. As he rushes to spend the precious time he has left with his friend Tate, a major aviation fan, savvy Sophia, and Zoe, they become unexpectedly involved in a lively adventure where they risk everything to save the future of earth from a truly nightmarish fate.
This book is an excellent coming-of-age story that combines the everyday challenges of kids aged twelve and up with the excitement of science fiction and futuristic elements. I recommend Escaping the Future for its fantastic narration, engaging storyline, and strong characters.
Pages: 299 | ASIN: B0B52DWYNG
Tags: Adam Crozier, adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, childrens books, coming of age, ebook, Escaping the Future, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, middle grade, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, science fiction, scifi, story, time travel, writer, writing
Sparks in the Dark paints a fascinating futuristic world where space travel and alien interactions are the reality. It’s a story inspired by classic science fiction series such as Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and Doctor Who. You’ll find many twists in the plot development, including the unlikely pairing of two characters, their respective challenges, and a relationship that is rife with sexual tension and dual points of view, shifting back and forth with a seamless transition and excellent narration. The author handles the complex nature of these characters expertly, engaging the reader from the start.
Cutter and Buzz are complex main characters with strong personalities and intense chemistry. Their on-and-off intensity between intimate and not-so-intimate moments will reel you into some intriguing and captivating dialogue. While the description paints vivid visuals, it is never overdone, and you feel as though you are a voyeur, watching each scene as it unfolds. The reader is guided through the story, learning more exciting developments and diving further with anticipation without feeling overwhelmed with too much information or confusion.
The build-up towards the story’s ending does not disappoint, and readers will find the crescendo of excitement build as they progress through each chapter with bated breath. It’s a cleverly written book with a few sharp twists, including how the plot shifts suddenly, moving in a very different direction. Siewert’s incredible world continues to hold up throughout the story, filling the reader with amazement from beginning to end.
Sparks in the Dark by James Siewert is a creative, science-fiction tale. It is an excellent addition to the genre with an LGBTQ twist. The characters were not only complex and personable, but I found them entertaining throughout the book. I highly recommend giving this excellent story a try, as it is an exciting read that brings new enjoyment to the world of science fiction.
Pages: 251 | ASIN: B0B8DWC41S
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