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The War of the Cha’cict

War of the Cha'cict: Book 1 of 2 (The War of the Cha'cict) by [Terrence Scott]

War of the Cha’cict by Terrence E. Scott follows the story of Jared Connell, who enlists to fight against an alien attack against earth. Initially, his duties seem rudimentary, and he doesn’t feel that his contribution are impactful, serving as just one of many soldiers in this war. Once he understand the depth of his journey and how much his involvement will save humanity, things take a sharp turn, and Jared must make life-altering decisions before it’s too late.

This book is a quick-paced action story that takes the reader through some unexpected twists. It’s a great read that sparks a lot of nail-biting excitement and a thrill ride from start to finish. As Jared Connell soon discovers that his role is much more complex and essential, there’s a lot more to consider than his duties as corporal. He must face the detrimental effects of space and viral bioweapons resulting from the intergalactic war.

The author does an exceptional job of reeling in the reader and taking them through all the complex decisions needed in dire situations. Similarly, despite his low expectations of involvement from the beginning, the main character comes face to face with his own mortality and how vital his mission is. The emotional toll and impact on prioritizing what to do next weigh heavily on Jared, who inevitably becomes further saturated in an impossible quest that requires quick thinking and determination.

When you begin reading this tale, you won’t want to put it down. The pace picks up quickly while exploring all the psychological effects of facing life or death situations at every turn. Each decision or thought is another sequence in Jared’s mortality and will impact the safety and survival of the earth and possibly the universe.

War of the Cha’cict is the first of two books written by Terrence Scott, offering readers a riveting space opera that reads more like a science fiction action adventure story. It’s a great start to a two-part series. This is a book that will appeal to readers looking for a thoughtful space marine Sci-Fi story with an engaging narration and exciting plot shifts.

Pages:387 | ASIN: B09B6HJVBH

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Edge Of The Future

Edge Of The Future: A Techno Thriller Science Fiction Novel (The Edge Book 1) by [Andria Stone]

Edge of the Future, by author Andria Stone, is a nail-biting science fiction story about space exploration and saving humanity. Mark Warren’s life gets flipped upside down when his secret research facility gets attacked by a group of terrorists in the middle of nowhere, Canada. Joining forces with Sergeant Axel von Radach, Warren gets tangled up in a major military plot and works with a team to bring down a wanted terrorist.

Mark Warren also holds precious information on our main antagonist that puts his family and everyone he cares about in danger. Can he keep them safe and stop the villain at the same time? What will happen when he crosses paths with the terrorist face-to-face?

Author Andria Stone has a suspenseful writing style which elevates a novel that is already chock-full of action. Edge of the Future is the first of three books in the EDGE trilogy and Stone’s ending in this title has me desperate to read the next book, Edge of the Stars. The way Stone approached the relationship between humans and outer space makes the story feel grounded and much more engaging because of it.

I love a good space setting and regularly consume TV and film content in that realm. Long time fans of the science fiction genre will find plenty to enjoy in this edgy space opera, but the story is told without any over the top science fiction jargon, so newcomers will find an easy story to get lost in.

While I enjoyed the novel overall I felt that the story was a little slow going in the first few chapters. The story does opens with an attack on a military facility, which definitely grabbed my attention, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of being indifferent until I got through a couple of chapters. But this is a minor quibble in an otherwise engaging space romp.

Stone tells a suspenseful story involving space and cyborgs while making it all feel fun, if not always believable. I feel genuinely satisfied after finishing this book and that is something that rarely happens to me. Edge of the Future is an invigorating technothriller with a unique view of the future and an entertaining story that begs to be continued in the next book.

Pages: 273 | ASIN: B06XD3J7K7

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What Lies in the Darkness

Jon Gray Lang
Jon Gray Lang Author Interview

Twistin’ Matilda finds Jacquotte and her crew of misfits struggling to keep the ship while savage creatures threaten to break into the universe. What were some ideas that informed this novel’s development?

As planet-bound as we are, there’s always the idea that there is more out than we don’t understand. Even as we find a solution to one question, a ton of other questions spring forth from the answer. There is so much that we don’t understand. As a species, we’ve wondered at what lies in the darkness, what dangers lurk underground, in the skies above, and what slips beneath us under the waves. The wellspring of stories lies at the heart of these mysteries, as we struggle for explanations to that which we don’t know… yet.

Ancient sailors told stories of monsters attacking their ships at sea, of beautiful islands that glint with riches but are, in truth, traps with no escape. Populating these fanciful yarns are pirates and privateers, mutinous crews, ancient shipwrecks, and lost colonies. These tall tales are rife with other wondrous, mad things and they captured my imagination. They lead to a large part of what ‘other space’ is. I imagine the crew of the Matilda as they sail on the teetering edge of the world.

Space is the last great frontier and we’ve only stepped off the front porch.

What were some challenges you felt were important to Jacquotte’s character development in the story?

At the tender age of fourteen, Captain Jacquotte Delahaye was left with no choice but to take control of the Matilda and her life. From that point on, she decided where it goes, what it does, and who the ship flies for. All of that comes to an end when an old friend needed her help. She makes the rash decision to break him free from a prison ship and nothing, but trouble has been after them since. Now the haven she worked so hard to create is under constant threat and she has to make choices on the fly. All without knowing what the repercussions of those decisions will be.

Can she keep a handle on it all? Do the traumas from her past play a role in her choices? As the group splinters apart, how does she handle the separation? Do her coping mechanisms fail and spiral into more problems? Can she bring the family she made back together? Should she?

I don’t know about you, but that’s what I wanted to find out!

What were some goals you set for yourself as a writer in this book?

From a writer’s aspect, I wanted to build up my processes and this book did not disappoint. Writing this book was a wild ride. My invisible muse whispered secrets into my ear and the story fell out of my fingers! I completed my first draft in a mere twenty days and it still is the most fun I’ve had writing.

It was a blast! It was intoxicating! I couldn’t wait to jump on the next one! Of course, I still had to work on the rewrite, but I was pumped!

The Matilda was very much an ensemble piece. By the end of it, the crew worked well together even as the Matilda fell through into ‘other space’. Derain knew everyone except for Anton and Anton knew everyone except for Derain. Anton has got to be wondering what Derain brings to the table and vice versa. On top of that, Galena is a wild card, and now the ship is brimming with others like her.

One of the things I wanted to learn about was how do individual crewmembers work with each other. Can they work together? Can they work with the other genorgs?

This is book two in your Matilda series. What can readers expect in book three?

The future looks dark for Jacquie and the crew of the Matilda. The mysterious Consortium ship, M33, found a lead and is getting closer to catching them. The past raised its ugly head and tore a rift in the crew. With all that happening, Luli Qing has disappeared, and no one knows why or even where to start looking. It seems like the only thing holding them together is finding and rescuing her.

With more places to visit as Consortium space expands, other questions pop up to the surface. Who covets the memories of the deep spacers and why? What nefarious plans does Mr. Leon have for the genorgs and for the Matilda? And what is going on with Lieutenant Galena Chadov?

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Cyborg.  Smuggler.  Fugitive.  Bounty Hunter.  Ex-Freedom Fighter. 

Far off into the future in a distant part of the galaxy, the Consortium controls the human colonies held together by the jump gates.  Where the Consortium doesn’t hold sway, crime flourishes.  Through the use of a hellish engine that goes where no one should, the crew of the Matilda slips its way between the two.  But nothing has gone right since they were involved in the battle over the planet Ninguiz.
Trapped within the folds of space and surrounded by living horrors, dangers lurk outside the ship and among the crew.  While their pasts ride shotgun with a vengeance, their future looks bleak.  Decisions made in the heat of the moment have consequences and payment is due. 
With mutiny and pirates on the horizon, can Jacquotte Delahaye and her crew of misfits keep the ship?  Can the lies of the past shatter this fragile family?  Will the savage creatures break through into our universe again?
Slam your harness buckles closed and sit back in the second book of the series, Twistin’ Matilda.

Twistin’ Matilda

Twistin' Matilda (Matilda Series Book 2) by [Jon Gray Lang]

Twistin’ Matilda is book two of the Matilda Series by Jon Gray Lang, a science fiction story filled with mystery and action. In this instance of the series we continue to follow the Matilda crew’s adventures as they travel through different systems of the universe, dealing with many dangers and uncertainty. Trying to run away, the crew of the Matilda finds itself stuck in an unknown system and their problems start to mount: their supplies are running low, they don’t know in which galaxy they are or which way they should go, something seriously wrong seems to be going on with one of the members, Galena, and they might not even be able to help her or save her.

It was interesting getting to follow the dynamics between the different members of the crew of the Matilda. In this world there are cyborgs, natural-borns and genorgs, each of them are perceived differently given how they came to be, and are responsible for different tasks among the crew. We see these differences throughout the book, getting to understand better how the interactions between people work in this science fiction world. Multiple things happen throughout the story, new problems keep appearing and the characters have to constantly deal with them and fight off many dangers. These things make for a gripping and riveting storyline, where the suspense keeps the reader wanting to find out more, expectant to what’s next to come.

This is a thrilling space adventure that will be very much enjoyed by the lovers of science fiction. There are lots of things to learn about the world that Jon Gray Lang created, like how the government of this universe operates, known as the Consortium, the trouble of dealing with pirates during the space ship’s travels, and the birth of a revolution against the Consortium, that surely will be dealt with in more detail in the next book.

The plot is deeply intriguing and moves quickly, but I would have enjoyed a bit more exploration of each character. Nevertheless, the story was still very enjoyable and I’m eager to find out what’s going to happen in the next book of the series. Twistin’ Matilda fans of high intensity action will have plenty to enjoy in this kinetic space adventure.

Pages: 314 | ASIN: B07Z9N2BZY

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Would They Be Considered Human?

Jon Gray Lang
Jon Gray Lang Author Interview

The Matilda follows a ragtag space crew that must fight off a government and an alien invasion in a dangerous galaxy set against them. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

For as long as I can remember, I have been enthralled by the worlds created for science fiction. From the beginnings with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, into the dark corners of H.P. Lovecraft’s mind, twisting through the philosophical questions of Phillip K. Dick, and into the cultural phenomena of Star Wars and Star Trek. Peppered throughout is my love of the crazy genre films from the 1980s, the cyberpunk cities of the 1990s, humans struggling to survive space travel in the aughts through to the colorful Marvel movies of the new millennium.

The Matilda is more like a love letter from me to science fiction in general. In fact, so is the whole Matilda Series and it is sprinkled with concepts that kept me attracted to the genre. I had the initial idea for the story locked in my head for close to a decade and it was going to be a television show. But it kept getting shoved to the side by other projects. Jacquie and the crew kept riding me to tell their story. Now, here we are and there is still more story to tell!

I enjoyed the creativity and depth with which you created your characters. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

One of the aspects of storytelling that has always appealed to me is the group dynamic of the ensemble. I am fascinated with how individuals work separately from their group but rely on it at the same time. I wanted my characters to be very human with all the merits and flaws that we carry around. I mean, the crew of the Matilda doesn’t always get along. But seeing the great lengths Jacquie goes to keep her people together and getting to connect with them as they worked together was amazing.

I wanted to show that they can learn from their mistakes and that colors how they handle future situations. But I also wanted to understand how those coping mechanisms can cause problems when they decide to not take those lessons to heart.

To be honest, behind the setting of an unjust universe, alien invasion, and all that, the heart of the story is more about the family we stumble into and the pasts that follow us in. Is that connection enough to keep people together when everything wants to tear them apart?

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

I have always been fascinated by the people who exist on the fringes of society, the ones who do the work that isn’t entirely legal. I wanted to touch on the power of the individual or group of individuals versus the society that governs them. How does that color their perception of the world they live in?

I wanted to explore the power of love through friendship and how those bonds can form, bend, and break. Along with that is the capacity for perseverance and having the courage to carry on against all odds. Also, how vulnerability plays in that field but doesn’t necessarily make a person weak. I believe that it can prepare a person to be stronger in the face of adversity.

Lastly, I wanted to touch on the idea of what makes a person human. Is it the environment that raises us? Is it because we’re just born that way? What if an entity is made not born? What if a being has been technologically altered so much that they ‘resemble’ a human? Would they be considered human?

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

It’s been a crazy ride and I’ve been going full tilt for a while now. Twistin’ Matilda and Black Matilda, the second and third books in the series, are currently out and about on Amazon.

I recently finished my latest draft of the fourth one. It is currently in the hands of my editors. I’m sitting on the sidelines with bated breath as I await their corrections so I can get it done. Secret Matilda is set to be released in late 2021.

On top of that, the fifth and final book in the series is halfway through its first draft. The plan is for it to be released in 2022. Once that is completed, I have a compilation of short stories that take place in The Matilda Series universe set to be written. The future looks busy and bright!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Smuggler. Fugitive. Cyborg. Bounty Hunter.

Far off into the future in a distant part of the galaxy, the Consortium controls the human colonies held together by the jump gates. Where the Consortium doesn’t hold sway, crime flourishes. Through the use of a hellish engine that goes where no one should, the crew of the Matilda slips its way between the two. But nothing has gone smoothly after they broke out one of their own off of a prison ship.

Fighting their way past shadowy government agencies and a dangerous crime lord; monstrosities from an unknown layer of the universe seem dead set to break through into ours.

When their pasts come back to haunt them, can Jacquotte Delahaye and her crew of misfits come together as they are attacked from all sides? Will the galaxy work hand in hand with them to survive the alien onslaught?

Strap yourself in for a bumpy ride in the first book of the series, the Matilda.

The Matilda (Matilda Series Book 1)

The Matilda (Matilda Series Book 1) by [Jon Gray Lang]

The Matilda by Jon Gray Lang is a science fiction adventure set in the twenty-ninth century. The crew of the spaceship Matilda are a ragtag bunch moving through the grey areas of space that are largely governed by The Consortium. They are soon joined by mysterious and potentially dangerous newcomers that alter their path. They are thrown together against hidden dangers and have to battle them together all the while navigating their personal histories and animosities. Captain Jacquie and her crewmates are at the center as the drama unfolds and fight to find the truth before it destroys them.

The crew was an endearing mix of quirky characters, Matilda included. She was given a surprising amount of character and personality for a spaceship. Luli Qing was my personal favorite– she was so effortlessly funny, competent, and generally cool. Jacquie was a delight in many ways: a sci-fi heroine in charge of saving herself and her friends. She was often in the  middle of complex moral dilemmas but she navigated them with finesse, keeping her crew a top priority. The chapter names were pretty wacky and, honestly, I was way too many chapters in before I gave in and Googled “Beauty and Stupid”. Turns out all of them are songs. I even listened to a few– more authors should definitely find ways to incorporate David Bowie in their books.

Even though the story was gripping overall, there some moments where I would have liked a little more clarity and straightforward explanation. I found myself having to re-read some passages to untangle what was happening to what. I suppose it’s a science fiction reader’s occupational hazard that one has to come across wild gadgets, events, and creatures and let our imagination make the best of it. The dialogue was snappy and humorous so that really helped in moving things along. The action builds quickly towards the end, leading to a twist that I did not see coming at all.

Ultimately, I thought The Matilda was a crazy and fun read. It is pretty quick paced, too– I was surprised when I reached the end and was left wanting to know what is to become of the crew. Author Jon Gray Lang gives science fiction fans a thrilling space adventure that is a ton of fun.

Pages: 320 | ASIN: B07H2JNGV8

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Song of Blue

Song of Blue by [J. A. Ebonlight]

Song Of Blue follows a child soldier trying to survive a brutal far future reality where an ageless king rules thousands of planets. Blu joins the king’s army in an attempt to escape his harsh life and is sent to quell a rebellion off world, where he learns that he has just traded in one gang life for another. Blu is forced to pick a side in a world with no easy choices.

Author J.A. Ebonlight’s uniquely gritty writing style captivated me from the start of this thrilling science fiction novel. This is a fascinating literary hybrid with a storyline I would normally find in contemporary urban fantasy, but set in the far future where humans inhabit thousands of worlds. I detected tones throughout this entertaining story that reminded me of science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein, or another great sicfi writer John Scalzi, with unique views on humanity and deep commentary or society in a compelling and introspective story.

Blu is an intriguing and contemplative character, a bit of a trope, but grounded and endearing enough for me to be fully invested in his character throughout the story. Song of Blue is an ambitious story, edging into the epic science fiction genre with its particular world building, but remaining accessible with its simple but engaging language and dialogue. Author J.A. Ebonlight does a fantastic job of ensuring his characters feel as real as possible, which is important in a far future science fiction story involving aliens, and I appreciated the how easy flowing the dialogue was.

Song of Blue is a riveting space opera that will satisfy any science fiction fan looking for a space marine story that reaches far enough out of the genre to feel new. J.A. Ebonlight provides readers with a unique perspective in a story that is dark, imaginative and thought-provoking.

Pages: 209 | ASIN: B08W1ZHB82

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The Moral Dilemmas of a Character

Mike Waller
Mike Waller Author Interview

HAWK: Hellfire follows a galactic mercenary who is searching for justice on a remote colony world. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?

Many years ago I knew a returned soldier from Vietnam who often remarked on the regrets he had from his experiences. He had realized that the people who suffered the most from war were the innocents, the ones who neither wanted nor asked for it. When he came home he found it hard to put behind him, and found very little help to do so, and I always thought that would be a good basis for a story. My writing leans to Science Fiction and I found it easy to use that character in the Sci-Fi scenario. When I started writing Science Fiction I never intended to do Military Sci-Fi, but I seem to have lent that way. No other sub genre lends itself to exploring the moral dilemmas of a character as well.

Hawk is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?

Hawks journey is basically one to find his own moral foundation. From a wild childhood to the courts and then the military, he learns to become a supreme killer, at a time of life when he is ill prepared to deal with the moral and ethical consequences. There is war, and he simply does as he is commanded.

When the war is over, an older and wiser Hawk has time to look back at his life, and realizes the pain and suffering he and his kind have caused. He determines to change, but finds he cannot not escape his old self. The story follows his journey as he gradually begins to realize, identify with and respect the position of the unseen victims of war, and then divert his efforts to helping them improve their lot in the only way he knows how.

My driving force behind creating the character was very simple. Individuals like Hawk exist everywhere in the world today, and as long as wars persist and innocents die, they always will.

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

I wanted to explore the reality that war and drugs and the like affect innocent bystanders more than anyone else, and that the people behind those events, be they politicians or drug lords, don’t care.

I also have always had a problem with the way many veterans are treated when they return from war. In Australia (My home) soldiers returning from the Vietnam War were literally brought in the back door and never given the appreciation or help they deserved. They were trained to be killers (often against their will due to conscription) and were never ‘untrained’. Many of them found it hard to deal with life after war.
The human universe I created for Hawk to inhabit also gave me the chance to explore what I think the future will look like. I do not believe that our future will be a squeaky clean Galactic empire as in Asimov’s Foundation series. I expect that once we get out there, people will seek to take their own paths based on culture, religion, ethnicity and so on. The future human society will be just as fractured as it is now, sadly. However, this does give me the opportunity to create different societies on different worlds, and that is something I enjoy doing immensely.

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

I am currently writing a sequel to my Book ‘Falcon’s Call’, which has won several awards. Falcon’s Call was originally intended to be a stand alone, one of, first contact story, but I have had so many requests for a sequel that I decided to bite the bullet and continue the story. The second book will be called ‘Falcon’s Ghost’ and is based on the main character, Joe Falcon, discovering that everything he thought he knew in the first book, is false, and the reality is far stranger and much more dangerous. I hope to follow this one up with a third book, ‘Falcon’s Bane’, to complete the trilogy. Falcon’s Ghost should be out by April this year, and hopefully, ‘Bane’ by Christmas next.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Sometimes, death is necessary.

Two thousand years after the Great Diaspora humanity has spread across the Orion Spur, the human domain fractured and diverse, divided into numerous small federations, empires, dictatorships and a thousand unaligned and lonely planets.
On one of those small worlds a plant grows, a weed that feeds the addiction of many and the greed and avarice of a few, and kills without favor.

Lazarus Hawk, ex-soldier and ex-mercenary, convicted of a crime of terror he did not commit, and sentenced to life on an airless prison moon from which there is no escape, has been offered a way out. It’s a chance. A good chance.

To accept the offer, all he has to do is die.

Forced to undertake a mission against his better judgment, Hawk finds himself teaming up with the locals of a small, backward world, and Abbie Renner, a young Guarda officer searching for the source of the drug Hellfire, and prepared to go to any lengths. This time she has gone too far. This time she needs help.

Can Hawk overcome the mistrust and reticence of a small colony world to accomplish the mission he has been forced to undertake in return for his life?

If you like great, classic science fiction, you will love this new work by multi-award-winning author Mike Waller, an action packed dive into the world of a galactic mercenary driven by the ghosts from his past. Grab a copy now and join Lazarus Hawk in his search for justice for a remote colony world.
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