Category Archives: Science Fiction
Chase was twelve the first time he arrived in a strange land where dark, ominous clouds never move, ancient trees violently spring to life during Darkness, and people seem to live without emotion. Doctors tell him they’re hallucinations, but he knows his visits are real. She’s there-Sash-and she’s more real than anyone he’s ever known.
His visits stop but, as years pass, the memories haunt Chase. Without warning, the young man suddenly finds himself again in a world called Krymzyn. Arriving during Darkness, he’s rescued from death by the extraordinary, beautiful but terrifying young woman he first met when he was twelve.
When Chase is thrust into the war of balance against vile creatures who threaten all who live there, Sash helps him understand his purpose in Krymzyn. A dark secret from the beginning of time reveals he might be able to stay there forever. To prove he belongs in Krymzyn and be with the only woman he can ever love, Chase will have to risk his own life in the ultimate battle.
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We’re within a hundred yards of the bridge when two black-veined beasts slam into the transport behind Miel. Metallic thuds resonate through the Barrens. The cart flips high in the air before crashing into the wet dirt beside the road.
Miel spins from the impact, no weapon in hand. Another Murkovin flies into her, drives her off the road, and tackles her to the ground. Claws rake across her face while the two grapple in the mud.
Sash flashes in behind the creature with every muscle in her body coiled. A wrath is unleashed when the tip of her spear splits open the Murkovin skull. We jolt to a stop after we pass them, and Larn drops my feet to the road.
“Tela! Take Chase!” Larn screams.
Sliding to a halt, Tela releases the handles of the tube and darts towards us. Larn pushes me in the direction of the bridge before he bursts towards Sash and Miel.
Red eyes flaming through the tempest of rain, four Murkovin descend upon Sash. Miel struggles on the ground at Sash’s feet with blood smeared across her face. Clangs of steel shrill through the storm while Sash defends Miel from the onslaught.
Sash impales a gruesome head on her spear, releasing a spray of blood-soaked beams. Another brute leaps past her towards Miel. Soaring into the fight, Larn smashes him to the ground. Miel staggers to her feet and wobbles towards the bridge. When she stumbles, a fifth Murkovin blasts out of the dark.
I start towards Miel, but a hand grabs my shirt, jerking me in the other direction.
“Run!” Tela screams. “We don’t have spears!”
She points to the two Murkovin who crashed into the cart. With weapons clutched in their hands, they charge at us from fifty feet away. Tela yanks me into a sprint towards the bridge.
I look over my shoulder at Miel as we run. A creature stabs his spear down at her. She tries to deflect the blow with her hands but the point rips open the side of her head. He throws himself on top of her. They wrestle on the ground with his face at the gash, her blood streaming to the dirt.
In one fluid motion, Larn springs to Miel’s side, rams a spear through the head of the beast, and grabs her by the shirt. Bolting towards the river, he drags Miel by his side. The two Murkovin chasing Tela and me cut towards Larn and Miel.
Hard metal pounds against my feet when Tela and I reach the bridge. She pulls me by the shirt as I desperately try to keep pace. Straining my head to the side, I spot Larn running towards us with Miel’s limp body still in one hand. Sash sprints at his heels, four corpses on the ground behind her, four Murkovin alive and in pursuit.
Powell has a diverse background, having held several creative positions in the entertainment industry, including executive roles at ABC-TV and Technicolor. In recent years, he’s authored several non-fiction works, primarily educational books and training programs for trading the financial markets. He dual majored in journalism and philosophy at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
Writing fiction has been his lifelong passion and goal. “Krymzyn” is his first published novel and represents, in his words, “finally finding the story I want to tell with characters that are able to bring that story to life.” He’s an avid reader and lists Ernest Hemingway, Frank L. Herbert, Stephen King, Jane Austen, and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. as his favorite authors.
Brad, as he prefers to go by in personal communication, lives with his longtime girlfriend, three sons from a previous marriage, and their rescue dog and cat. He enjoys hiking, ocean kayaking, spending time at Southern California beaches, movies, and reading.
Trapped on a planet not their own, the Petiri spend their lives hiding the natural gifts that set them apart from the world. They live long and unfulfilled lives, unable to find their soul mates on this backward planet known as Earth. That is until the night Ramose comes face to face with Tamara, a woman whose gifts rival his own. Determined to find why this human is in possession of an ancient magical Petiri relic, he arranges a meeting.
But Tamara, embittered from past events, is wary despite lifelong dreams of Ramose and a sure knowledge he is her soul mate. Before long the couple find themselves ensnared in a battle that has raged for millennia in Egypt’s desert. Set, Egyptian God of Chaos, is determined to take his just due: the throne of Osiris.
The only way to stop him is for Ramose to put his trust in Tamara, but, first, he must gain the same from her. The ensuing sensual relationship is filled with romance, lust and love. Their relationship is tested by an unnatural evil. Will her powers over fire, combined with his ice be enough to win the day? Or will the ancient gods and goddesses of Egypt destroy more than just their love?
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About the Author:
Born in Atlanta, the daughter of an Army Soldier during the early stages of the Viet Nam war, I spent my childhood traveling from state to state, finally ending up overseas in Germany where I graduated high school six months early.
My writing career however began as a young Airman in the Air Force, writing monthly articles for the weekly base paper. The articles ranged from climatological data to full center fold articles on the destructive forces of hurricanes. As I increased in rank, my writing changed to more technological instruction, including such works as WSR-88D Doppler Radar Data Interpretation Guide for North Carolina Stations, and Station Operating Procedures.
But my early writing wasn’t limited only to the technological side. I’ve written multiple dog training and behavior articles for canine websites such as Sonora Canine Freestyle, and also the Ask Blackjack column, a fun training column in the voice of my labrador retriever, then a young pup.
My first book, SheWolf, won 2nd place for Best First book in RWA’s PFF&P Prism awards.
I’m married to a wonderful man named Doug, who is also retired Air Force. We live in North Carolina with our two dogs.
Eleven months after the father of sixteen-year-old Blaire Adams vanished without a trace, he’s found wandering outside The Scripps Research Institute vomiting blood and speaking gibberish, his sole possession a worn leather diary filled with an unrecognizable language. He has a message for her.
As he dies in her arms, he claims he never vanished. She vanished.
In a nearby military quarantine zone, scientists are being called in from around the world to sequence a previously unknown strain of DNA. Scientists…and soldiers.
When her father’s autopsy reveals a rare chromosomal disorder—a disorder, it turns out, she inherited—Blaire begins to suspect her father’s last words weren’t induced by amnesia. Like her dad, she has an additional set of instructions in her genes—instructions for what, doctors can’t say. Only one thing is certain: it’s what killed him…and it will kill her too.
But now she’s haunted by prophetic nightmares of the Yellowjacket—a young murderer, eyes the black of charcoal, who lures his victims to suicide without ever paying them a visit. The only clue she has to his handiwork is a lingering feeling of déjà vu. That, and the nagging suspicion that all she knows is a mirage. She is certain of two things—though it may mean confiding in the wrong side of good and evil, he has the answers she needs.
And he is recruiting her
Caveat: I haven’t quite finished reading — I know, I’m a terrible person and I’m posting a review before I’m done, but I’m trying to at least pretend I’m still on schedule even though this month has been chaotic.
I really loved the concept of this book, and it was pretty well put together. The set up was engaging, and the symmetries were well-designed. Really, this was all-together an excellent read.
The main character kind of bothered me. There were some inconsistencies I’d rather have done without: she’s an AP student but commented that she’d “heard of chromosomes” in a class. Speaking as a former AP student who didn’t even take AP Bio, I’m fairly certain that most AP students know what chromosomes are. Since this book targets a younger audience, I can understand wanting to have an explanation, but I wouldn’t have done it via the main character in quite that way. Similarly, I didn’t like several of the scenes at the beginning, where she’s behaving rashly, but I can mostly write that off as momentary insanity in light of what else was going on.
All in well, well-written and a good read!
Thanks to Oops! I Read Again Tours and Dan Rix for the review copy.
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Already addicted to the pharmaceutical drug that keeps her body from decomposing, Bryn has to stop a secretive group of rich and powerful investors from eliminating the existing Returné addicts altogether. To ensure their plan to launch a new, military-grade strain of nanotech, the investors’ undead assassin—who just happens to be the ex-wife of Bryn’s lover Patrick—is on the hunt for anyone that stands in their way.
And while Bryn’s allies aren’t about to go down without a fight, the secret she’s been keeping threatens to put those closest to her in even more danger. Poised to become a monster that her own side—and her own lover—will have to trap and kill, Bryn needs to find the cure to have any hope of preserving the lives of her friends, and her own dwindling humanity…
Wow! I think this is the first time I’ve ever given a 5/5 star rating to every book in a series (even from before I started actually formally rating them). This trilogy was simply amazing, and I’m so glad I took the time to get through it. Each book brought new layers to the conflict of the world, and it was thrilling to experience all of these horrible discoveries alongside Bryn.
But this review is supposed to be of Terminated, not the entire series, so it’s time to focus a little.
I’ll be fair right now: I thought this book started a little slower for me. That’s not to say that it wasn’t fast-paced and filled with action — it certainly had an awful lot going on. But there was such a jarring end to Two Weeks’ Notice that this just felt like a slow-down, which was admittedly probably needed. But between that and the fact that my personal life kind of blew up (work, new boyfriend—yes, new boyfriend, but we’re getting off-topic again), it took me way too long to finish this book (like, a week and a half!). Regardless, once I got more into it, I was, of course, sucked in and consumed by the world. Caine’s characters just pop out of the book in a wonderfully colorful way, and I find myself loving each and every one of them—even if it means I simply love how much I hate them.
Speaking of characters …
One of my favorite things about Caine’s writing is that no one (and nothing, but that’s the next topic) is ever stagnant. The characters all grow and develop demonstrably, and it’s never heavy-handed or over the top. Bryn, for example, is a completely different person than she was at the beginning of the series. To be fair, she’s been a quasi-guinea pig on two rounds of nanobots, so you’d expect some obvious development from that. But even over the course of just the last book we were able to watch her change and grow, and it wasn’t always pleasant.
Nothing else sits still for very long either. Throughout this entire series, every time I started to come around and think, “Okay, this nanobot thing isn’t so bad,” she’d throw a curve ball at me and change it up some. And she is an expert at endings. Oh. My. God. The conclusion of every book in the Revivalist series has been mind-blowing. I wasn’t sure how she was going to do it again with the conclusion of the series, since you can’t rely on a cliff-hanger, but she did. She totally did. You just have to read it.
In New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine’s “thrilling”* Revivalist series, Bryn Davis finds out that making a living can be rough if you’re already dead…
After dying and being revived with the experimental drug Returne, Bryn Davis is theoretically free to live her unlife—with regular doses to keep her going. But Bryn knows that the government has every intention of keeping a tight lid on Pharmadene’s life-altering discovery, no matter the cost. Thankfully, some things have changed for the better; her job at the rechristened Davis Funeral Home is keeping her busy and her fragile romance with Patrick McCallister is blossoming—thanks in part to their combined efforts in forming a support group for Returne addicts. But when some of the group members suddenly disappear, Bryn wonders if the government is methodically removing a threat to their security, or if some unknown enemy has decided to run the zombies into the ground…
I think this may be becoming one of my favorite series. Bryn is such a strong character (both from the perspective that she’s written very well and she is actually a strong person). She’s a great “leading lady,” so to speak. And Patrick … Oh, Patrick …
I was impressed in the first book at the creation of this “experimental drug,” and how Bryn found herself in the middle of a whole bunch of crap (I love that all writers have sadism in common …). It was a creative use for a not-exactly-uncommon idea. I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect from book two after the conclusion of Working Stiff— I mean, there were the obvious unconcluded lines of plot arc that were going to be followed, but I was convinced that the second book couldn’t possibly blow me away with the imagery and concepts in the same way as the first book, simply because so much had already been done.
I was wrong.
I won’t go into the pieces of the plot that I thought were particularly good, and I won’t comment much on the decisions Bryn made between books to better cope with her situation—I was impressed, and pleased that Caine went down the path she did. I could relate to Bryn’s choices even though I couldn’t relate to her circumstance at all, and I have the utmost respect for Caine’s ability to pull off such a relationship with her readers.
What I will talk about is how Caine made a clear point of not letting her story go static. Even with how much development we got out of Working Stiff, Two Weeks’ Notice still had tons of new elements to explore, and the “experimental drug” got even scarier. The last chunk of book (roughly 20%) was a complete page-turner, and I didn’t want to set it down because so much was happening, so much was revealed, and, even more importantly, more questions were raised. I’m seriously looking forward to Terminated now, which I will probably read and review in the next couple of weeks. I can’t wait!
Bryn Davis was killed on the job after discovering her bosses were selling a drug designed to resurrect the dead. Now, revived by that same drug, she becomes an undead soldier in a corporate war to take down the very pharmaceutical company responsible for her new condition…
I’ve always been a pretty big fan of Rachel Caine, though in the past there’s been something about her that put me on edge that I couldn’t quite place. It’s not that I don’t like any one book in particular, but that I end up getting annoyed with her if I read too much in a row. There are a lot of authors I feel that way with, where I can only read two or three books of theirs back to back before I get frustrated and end up giving up on the series, but it seems to be worse with Caine for some reason. I thought it was the writing style at first, but then I read her Morganville series, or a good chunk of it, and decided that wasn’t the problem—I didn’t have this same need to distance myself from her when I read those books. Then I finished Working Stiff this evening and I think I’ve finally placed it.
She doesn’t pull her punches.
I’m not one to mind intense scenes—like most avid readers, I actually quite enjoy them; they’re the reason we all get lost in the worlds of the excellent books we read. I don’t mind gruesome either—that kind of comes with the genre. What I think puts me on edge is reality—and Caine does a very good job of making her monsters real.
I have a love/hate relationship with the ability to do that. I absolutely love books that come to life and suck me in—normally that comes with some distance to it, especially in the fantasy genre, because we, as readers, are trained to “suspend disbelief,” as my dad says. There’s something about Caine’s abilities as a writer that breaks down that extra barrier and doesn’t require suspense of your disbelief, because everything she is telling you is real—djinn really do come out of glass bottles (Weather Warden series), vampires really do own the streets (and houses) of Morganville, Texas (Morganville Vampires), and nanobots really can keep you alive while your body rots.
I was entranced with this book even while I was disturbed by the sequence of events. It was masterfully crafted, and I think that honestly kind of scared me a little, if only because I can’t imagine going through the process just to do the kind of research Caine must have done to be able to get every detail. There were times I wanted to set it down just to clear my head, but I always wanted to come back.
This was a great book, and I highly recommend reading it. I’m almost sad that I have to get through book 3 by the end of the month for my book club, though, simply because I think my nerves need a little time to relax. At this point, I don’t really have much else to say …