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Review: Project Lachesis By Nita DeBorde

23000904And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten [many] of the people with a great slaughter. – Samuel 6:19

(Those Christians really know all about smiting, don’t they?)

It began as a dark, fast moving fog bank moving in from the south and pouring over the Galveston Island seawall. Relentlessly working its way across the world, by the time it dissipates a week later, over 90% of the world’s population is dead. Is it the wrath of god, wiping its disappointment from its eyes? The Mother, cleansing the plague of all-destroying humans from her skin? Maybe it is aliens, clearing the fields before a new crop can be planted, a crop which won’t rape and pillage the land and its creatures. Or maybe…

I am become death, the destroyer of worlds. – J. Robert Oppenheimer

Nah, that’s all right, Dr. Oppenheimer. You can rest quietly in your grave. Because you’ve got nothing on this shiny new toy. For you see, it is really quite odd, isn’t it, that only the politicians and military survived in the US. Well, and the medical personnel. Because you really do need a nurse sometimes.

“… while madness in individuals is relatively rare, it is virtually a prerequisite for a certain sort of political leader.” ― Joyce Carol Oates, The Accursed

There are of course shadows of Stephen King’s The Stand here (I own the ‘Complete and Uncut edition’). As well as The Demon in The Freezer and The Hot Zone. Richard Preston did a great job with those. But while King relies on a supernatural basis for his story, and Preston uses a light hand in his works, Nita DeBorde rips off the bandages, tears off the scabs, and runs full bore into the glaring, painful light of reality. Hitler, Pol Pot, and the American government that chose to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and to conducting biological, chemical and radiological experiments on American citizens, is no more than dabbling a toe into the demonic waters of biological and chemical warfare compared to this small group of politicians and military personnel.

From Tuskegee to Project F, the Guatemalan Experiment, MKULTRA and Dr. Robert MacMahan’s 1969 request for funds for synthetic biological agent to which no natural immunity exists, to the 1995 confession by Dr. Garth Nicolson that biological weapons used during the Gulf War were not only manufactured in Houston and Boca Raton, but were tested on Texas Department of Corrections Prisoners (Ha! Take THAT Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan! You can’t do it, but WE CAN! Goooo America!!!) the American government has shown all the moral and ethical solidity of a three-year-old handed an Uzi and set amongst his fellow babes. But this time? The safety is off, the gun is locked and loaded, and the whole world goes down. And you know what?

They aren’t done yet.

I received Project Lachesis from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own, including the thought that I am going to be stalking Nita’s Nook, the author’s website, hoping to be there when she needs a beta reader for her next book. This woman is AMAZING!!!!

About the Author

Nita DeBorde is a published author and professional copyeditor and translator from Houston, TX. Nita taught high school French for fifteen years before leaving education in 2014 to focus on a freelance writing career.

Connect with the Author

• Nita DeBorde’s Website
• Facebook Page
• Follow @ndeborde913 on twitter

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Review: Shimmer In The Dark: Rogue Genesis by Ceri London

rogue
Click cover to purchase the book. Do it! You KNOW you want to!!!!

Ceri London has written, in Shimmer In The Dark: Rogue Genesis one of the most powerful science fiction/fantasy novels I have read since Dune. Well, actually, it is better than Dune. More creative, with a wider range and depth of reality, that is approachable to all readers. This is, without doubt, a science fiction novel, but it also has strong ties to military-political intrigue in the present day which grounds the novel in a level of believability even when the “fiction” portion of the science asks you to stretch your mind into new levels of belief.

Some, I suppose, would lean more towards calling it ‘fantasy’ as there are no space ships and Earth colonies on other planets. If you are one of the ‘hard sci-fi geeks’ that some of my friends are, you might be disappointed by no space rockets blasting around, I suppose, but that should in no way deter you from reading this jewel of a book.

Unlike many, I have no problem stretching credulity to new levels. I don’t expect a science fiction or fantasy book to stay within the realm of ‘probability’. I expect to be taken to a new place, a new level of existence, while I expect that existence to still feel believable. I expect to be charmed into a new sense of reality for a short while. Something that Ms. London has done brilliantly in this, the first of a four-part series.

Niall Kearey is a very special person, with a very special family. As has been described by the blurb on the book, he can, with is mind, reach out across galaxies to what he thinks is a ‘dream world’ – a world “racing towards annihilation” – a world soon to pass into alignment with Earth, with unknown outcome. Here on Earth, there are power brokers, secret societies, power-hungry and amoral politicians, and a corrupt U.S. Military. A military and power structure that will do anything, including the destruction of Niall’s beloved family, to bring him under their control and use him for world domination. Of this, and possibly other worlds . . .

London, in my estimation, did a beautiful job of making me feel her characters. I actually understood, and admired, Niall. My admiration was not only for his special abilities, but also for his love of and deep commitment to his family. In the face of horrific circumstances, he stands by his family and continues to fight for them, when everyone around him is betraying his faith, his honour and his commitment to country. The very thing that Niall has fought for, and watched his friends die for, is pulled into the light, and that light shines upon a dark and venomous snarl of greed and xenophobia that would happily watch whole civilizations die, accepting only the technology and power that those cultures might provide. In all, humanity at it’s slimiest, humanity who would sentence millions to death, while gobbling up their scientists to live as virtual prisoners, slaves to the military-industrial complex. Yep. Humans all right. Humans who would imprison a decorated military man under “correct supervision”, using him as a lab rat to assure his “asset to this nation” status.

Yes, a lot of the book made me sick. I want to howl in despair at the horror of the reality of what humans truly are, what they are truly capable of.  Of human avarice, hatred, brutality and vicious self-aggrandizement, the truly black and horrific souls within. Sick, in that everything that London writes is so very gut-wrenchingly believable in so many ways. So real within the fictitious world that she creates. Amidst the black holes, space-time jumps, dark matter universes and other fascinating and well-researched portions of the book, London delves into the human psyche, and lays bare its soul. And proves, beyond a doubt, the very reasons that, even if there are other civilizations out there, my view of how they would view Earth is “That poor, beautiful orb, filled with the trailer trash of the universe, vicious, dangerous creatures to be avoided at any cost.”  I can see the signs hanging in space now:

DANGER

Overall, if you are a lover of science fiction style fantasy, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It was on my back burner for a while, a lot longer than I had wished for it to be, but I am so very glad that I finally sat down and read it. It was well worth the time. More than worth it. This book needs a lot more attention than it is getting right now. Go out and buy it. I can guarantee you that you will be recommending it to your friends. It’s very creativity of concept makes it a standout in the field. That should draw you in. What will keep you there is the writing, the characterizations, and her deep understanding of the human psyche will keep you reading, and watching for the next in the series.

Highly recommended.

Hidden Trump (Bite Back #2) Mark Henwick

hidden trumpWhen I first read Sleight of Hand: Bite Back Book 1 (Volume 1), the first book by Mark Henwick, I was, in a word, thrilled. Yes, there are a lot of unknown authors out there, many self published, and many very good. Mark, however, knocked the ball out of the park in his freshman entry into the crowded field of urban fantasy.

Mark’s exceptional grasp of character development is the first thing that gripped my attention. His main character, Amber, is a fully three-dimensional character, with a strong back story. She felt, in SoH, like someone I could see myself knowing and liking. She wasn’t an overblown character by any means, but she was tough, centered, and above all she feels ‘real’ in an unreal situation. I was very, very excited, and could hardly wait to read the next in Mark’s series. Thank goodness I read it ‘late’ i.e., not long before the next book was due to be released. It would have been a killer to have to wait a whole year for the next! (OF course, now I have to wait for the next, siiiiiggggghhhhh)

The very first day Hidden Trump became available, I sat down and started to read – and didn’t put it down until 5:47 the next morning . . .(*yawn*) I kept meaning to put it down, really I did – I did manage to feed the pups, but not to feed myself! Go to bed? Nah, just one more page. . . one more . . . one more. . .

“Hidden Trump” picks up the same day as the ending of SoH, and the excitement doesn’t stop. There is plenty of action to Mark’s books, both SoH and HT, and it keeps you riveted to the page. However, unlike other books of the genre the action is, even though it includes werewolves, Athanate and Adepts (oh, my!) amazingly believable. While she is ‘becoming’ (and that, in itself, is absolutely fascinating – one of the most creative bits of character development/mythos building I have run across in a very, very long time) and she is both strong and fast, she still takes her share of hits both emotional and physical.

There are a couple of what some would call ‘oddball’ things about Mark’s work that left me more than a little impressed. You may laugh at what it is – military and political knowledge. I have quite a bit of it myself, and Mark’s knowledge is almost scarily correct, for a ‘Brit’ – LOL. Secret military groups, political machinations, the fleecing of the American public by the rich, drugs and guns and bad guys (oh, my!) Oh, yea, Mark knows his stuff! Sound boring? Believe me, it is anything but. Amber’s interactions with the military that turned their backs on her after ten years of totally dedicated service touched me on a deep level. Her dedication, repaid by betrayal, is the story of the American military/political system. I know, I know, lay off it, this is an urban fantasy, right? Yes, but what I just spoke of is paramount to who Amber is, her motivations, and her deep commitment to helping others.

Mark’s character development is still spot-on, his world is continuously building throughout both books (and I am sure it will be in the next installments also) and is all the more outstanding for it. Mark doesn’t fall into the ‘pure style’ trap that so many other writers seem to fall into. There are background characters in Amber’s life, most especially Top (whose story was learned in SoH) whose history is integral to Amber’s and requires full development as character, even if they sometimes lead away from what is going on at the moment. It all fits together. Mark doesn’t disappoint.

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