Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Audiobook Review: Extinction Edge by Nicholas Sansbury Smith and Giveaway!


    Extinction Edge Audiobook
  • Written by: Nicholas Sansbury Smith
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins 
  • Unabridged Audiobook


  • Release Date:03-10-15
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • A bioweapon designed to save the world...A scientific discovery that will alter human history...And a new threat that will bring humanity to the Edge of Exctinction.The dust from Dr. Kate Lovato's bioweapon has settled. Projections put death counts in the billions. Her weapon was supposed to be the endgame, but it turned a small percentage of those infected with the Hemorrhage Virus into something even worse.Survivors call them Variants. Irreversible epigenetic changes have transformed them into predators unlike any the human race has ever seen. And they are evolving.With the doomsday clock ticking, the fractured military plans Operation Liberty - a desperate mission designed to take back the cities and destroy the Variant threat. Master Sergeant Reed Beckham agrees to lead a strike team into New York City, but first he must return to Fort Bragg to search for the only family he has left.At Plum Island, Kate discovers Central Command may have considerably underestimated the Variant population in New York. As Operation Liberty draws closer, Kate warns Beckham that Team Ghost won't just face their deadliest adversary yet - they may be heading into a trap.
  • My Thoughts: 
  • So, after the events of the first book, Dr Kate Lovato has succeeded in creating a.... cure, of sorts. It killed billions of the infected but not all. What is left seem to be evolving rapidly and are harder to kill. Beckham and Team Ghost are tasked with going into New York and taking back the city from the remaining Variants. They are told there should only be a few thousand left but they don't realise the extent of the survivours till it's too late. They also don't know that the surviving Variants are quicker, smarter and can communicate. How do Team Ghost handle themselves when they are the hunted? 
    So book 2 picks up after book 1. Kate has created an antidote but is afraid that she might just have created something worse. The projected number of human survivours is going down everyday, with the human race becoming extinct in a matter of weeks, so she knows she has no choice. She also finds herself caring more and more for a certain Master Sergeant. 
    Beckham meanwhile, is putting his life on the line again, and with the wrong Intel this time it might just be his last. He goes into New York only to find that the Variants numbers were massively underestimated and that they are different. The cure has turned them into elite killing machines. I felt like Beckham just keeps getting better. He is so much more than a soldier. He is willing to do what is needed to save any other human. While he is terrified, he is the best at his job so can compartmentalise a lot of his feelings. I loved how he is constantly thinking of his brothers in arms first and putting them first. It's what a leader should do!
    This edition was even more scary and frightening than the first!! Seeing the variants develop to be more cunning, smarter and even communicate was equal parts terrifying as it was fascinating. This author really knows how to write!!! He created scenes that were memorable and ones that will make me have nightmares for days :) He has created a dark, desolate and bleak world, but it's one I don't want to leave. The characters are amazing and have captured my heart and the plot is pulse poundingly spectacular. It is a story that is evolving into something epic!! Bring on book 3. 
    Again, Bronson Pinchot was astounding. He really brings the action and tension to life and made me want to keep listening, even when I was falling asleep from the tiredness. He was clear and has a crisp voice. He gave each character their own personality and captured their essence perfectly. Brilliantly written and brilliantly read!!

  • Story: 
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  • GIVEAWAY: 

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Premonition by Leigh Walker Book Blitz and Giveaway!


Premonition
Leigh Walker
(The Division #1)
Publication date: July 19th 2017
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult

When Riley heads off to boarding school for a summer work-study program, she knows it’ll be demanding. What she doesn’t expect? To be thrust into an intense physical training program described as special, exclusive and worst of all–top-secret. She signed up for tuition assistance, not to be held in a secret government facility for boot camp…
Welcome to The Division, the government agency that’s so classified, most United States senators have never heard of it.
The Division wants Riley bad, but she can’t figure out why. Skeptical of what she’s being told, Riley’s determined to uncover the truth. Boot camp is intense, physically and mentally draining. The upside? One of her new teammates is the cutest boy ever. Watching Finn hit the gym wearing a tank top doesn’t suck–although sometimes his brooding attitude does. But when training forces Riley to confront her tragic past, even Finn’s big biceps aren’t enough to make her want to stay…
Beware: The Division isn’t something you just walk away from. You better run.
Riley realizes her capabilities and strengths are greater than she’d ever imagined. But she also learns she wasn’t just chosen for this special program…
She was made for it.
INTERVIEW WITH LEIGH WALKER

Q: Wow, you’re interviewing yourself…how pompous!
Right? It’s to tell people more about the series, lol. Although I should admit that I normally talk to myself a lot, so this isn’t much of a departure.

Q: Tell us about “The Division” – it’s a bunch of teenagers with psychic powers, right? How did you get inspired?
Everyone on the team has psychic powers, yes. I was watching “Stranger Things” on Netflix and I WAS SO PSYCHED they were testing poor Eleven for psychic powers. But I was also like, YEEHAW! Because I LOVE psychic powers, and I can’t remember the last time I saw or read something that included them. I’ve always been obsessed by the concept, and there’s so many variations of powers, so many incarnations it can take… Anyway, after watching that show and having that reaction, I thought, other people must love this stuff, too, I can’t be the only one. So I wanted to give us all more!

Q: Tell us about the main character, Riley Payne.
Riley is a ‘normal’ girl dealing with a lot. Her father and sister died in a car accident and her mother started drinking heavily after it happened. She just wants to get out of her house and go to boarding school, but she gets more than she bargained for when she abruptly gets recruited into a secret agency…

Q: The ‘secret agency’ is The Division, correct?
Yes. It’s a secret cell of teenagers who were genetically engineered with psychic gifts. They work for the American government to combat domestic terrorism.
Riley thinks they’re nuts, of course. Until she unlocks her powers, then she’s blown away by what she can do.

Q: As the series goes on, you get into genetic engineering, fated love, eco-terrorism, loyalty, isolation, human nature, climate change…some pretty heavy themes. But would you describe the series as a difficult read?
I don’t think so, but certainly some parts were hard to write – like about Riley missing her dad and her sister. I still cry when I read those parts. And in the second book, an eco-terrorist is introduced, and some terrible things happen in the book. So yeah, there’s definitely a heaviness to some of what the characters are dealing with. But they’re teenagers, and their youth is sort of a tonic against everything they’re dealing with. They still care about their friends. They still want to hang out, tell stories, joke around. They are still very interested in falling in love. I think my writing style is naturally light and breezy, so it’s sort of a counterpoint to the storyline. If that makes sense, lol.

Q: What’s your favorite part of this series?
Riley and Finn’s relationship. They have so much on their plates, and they’re so young, but they genuinely care for each other in a way that makes me ache.

Q: What do you do when you’re not writing?
I have three large, unruly boys who like to play every sport and eat as much food as possible. When I’m not at my computer, I’m busy carting them around and grocery shopping. But I also love to relax with a great book or television show – I am currently completely obsessed with Riverdale, OMG!!!
Thanks for having me! Happy reading!!!

Author Bio:
Leigh Walker lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. She has a degree in Journalism and a law degree. She's never been to the Naval Shipyard prison in Kittery, ME, but she's driven by it...and boy, is it creepy!

Leigh has lots of books planned for The Division Series. Sign up for her mailing list at www.leighwalkerbooks.com to be notified of the next release in the series! You can also find her on The Division's FB page: https://www.facebook.com/divisionbookseries/

GIVEAWAY!
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
$25 Amazon gift card


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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Audiobook Review: Primordial by David Wood and Alan Baxter!


    Primordial Audiobook
  • Written by: David Wood , Alan Baxter
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins 
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release Date:09-08-17
  • Publisher: Gryphonwood Press
  • Sometimes, the legends are true.When eccentric billionaire Ellis Holloway hires renegade marine biologist Sam Aston to investigate the legend of a monster in a remote Finnish lake, Aston envisions an easy paycheck and a chance to clear his gambling debts. But he gets much more. There is something terrible living beneath the dark waters of Lake Kaarme and it is hungry.As the death toll mounts, Aston faces superstitious locals, a power-hungry police chief, and a benefactor's descent into madness as he races to find the legendary beast of the lake.

My Thoughts: 

I'm such a sucker for a good underwater adventure, or indeed any adventure that has prehistoric creatures trying to eat you!! So upon seeing this, I dived in. And, as I kind of guessed before starting, I found myself immersed in an action packed, enthralling, underwater adventure, that ticked all the right boxes. 

Plot wise, I loved it. Sam Aston is called upon by an eccentric billionaire, Ellis Holloway, after one of Ellis's previous employees disappeared. He left behind some compelling evidence to show that there may be something in the lake in a Finnish village. Sam knows the guy is crazy, but with a chance to clear his growing gambling debts, he decides to entertain the man. Easy money, right? Nope, there is something lurking in the lake and it's hungry!!!  The plot was fast paced, entertaining, actually quiet believable (when it came to how the beast came into the lake) and a rollicking adventure!!

All the characters were well written and developed. Sam is the lovable rogue whom you can't help but love. We have a hot tv host whom is also quite smart, and we have the eccentric billionaire whom loves all things cryptids and is willing to fund the trip to find the proof of a prehistoric creature, and we have other characters who all add up to make the book interesting and intriguing. 

It's also not just about the beast. We see and hear things from the small village to question whether the creature is there by choice. There seems to be other beasts around... the two legged kind, and it just goes to show that beasts aren't always just animals. I was intrigued about the books in the basement and need to know more about their origin and what they are!! I really, really hope there's more to come!!

In all, this was awesome. I flew through it and absolutely need more!! I will definitely check out more from both authors and can only hope they have some creature feature books written!!!

Jeffrey Kafer is one of the best in the business. He has narrated numerous books, in numerous genres and never fails to deliver. It's the same here!! He is so easy to listen to and nails the performance. He had me on the edge of my seat all the time but especially during the tense moments. He just knows how to bring a story to life!! 

I was voluntarily provided this audiobook for free from the author, narrator, or publisher. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.


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Audiobook Review: Extinction Horizon by Nicholas Sansbury Smith and Giveaway!


    Extinction Horizon Audiobook
  • Written by: Nicholas Sansbury Smith
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins 
  • Unabridged Audiobook



  • Release Date:02-10-15
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.



  • The worst of nature and the worst of science will bring the human race to the brink of extinction.
  • Master Sergeant Reed Beckham has led his Delta Force Team, codenamed Ghost, through every kind of hell imaginable and never lost a man. When a top-secret Medical Corps research facility goes dark, Team Ghost is called in to face their deadliest enemy yet - a variant strain of Ebola that turns men into monsters.
  • After barely escaping with his life, Beckham returns to Fort Bragg in the midst of a new type of war. The virus is already spreading. As cities fall, Team Ghost is ordered to keep CDC virologist Dr. Kate Lovato alive long enough to find a cure. What she uncovers will change everything.
  • Total extinction is just on the horizon, but will the cure be worse than the virus?



  • My Thoughts:

  • I've had the ebook of this on my kindle for a few years, but kept putting it off, not sure why but I kept thinking it's a case of "same old, same old." Over the years, though, I started seeing more and more of this and the great reviews it was getting, and while browsing Audible, saw it was available. After listening to the sample, it piqued my interest enough to buy it. Over the course of a few months, I bought all of them with my credits and when I downloaded book 6, I started listening. 

  • So this starts with us seeing some American soldiers during the Vietnam war. They were given an experimental new drug that is said to help them turn the tide of the war. They were to become the weapons, it was to make them faster and stronger, but what they unleashed was monsters who killed indiscriminately. Friend or foe, it didn't matter, all they wanted was to kill. 

  • Years later, Master Sergeant Reed Beckham and his Delta Force Team, are called back into action because a top secret lab has gone dark. Team Ghost are told to proceed with caution as this lab deals with highly contagious and deadly diseases. It was currently working on a cure for the outbreak of Ebola that was gripping the nation. Team Ghost suit up and head out, only to discover that everyone in the lab seems to have succumbed to....something and are now something more than human. They are monsters who will stop at nothing to feed. 

  • Narrowly escaping with their lives, Team Ghost arrive back only to discover that the Ebola virus has spread but also, one person from the lab had left before the place went dark, he was infected with this new strain of the virus and changed! The new strain is creating monsters. It is highly infectious and looks like it's also incurable. What can Team Ghost do? 

  • This book exceeded all my expectations and absolutely blew me away. The plot was extremely fast paced and had me on the edge of my seat throughout. Ebola is a horrible and frightening disease but add in what they did with it and it was scary. The results of the outbreak were even more frightening.... The Variants are, plain and simply, monsters. The author also explained the science behind everything in such a way that it was quite believable!! You could easily believe how the Variants came to be. 

  • The characters were amazing! Team Ghost are the best of the best and Reed Beckham has kept his men alive through every mission they were sent on. Now though, the new threats aren't easily killed and it's up to Beckham and his team to help save humanity. I loved the friendship that Team Ghost have. They are brothers and would risk everything for each other, non more so than Beckham. Each of them were well written and developed and you can't help but root for them. 

  • Even apart from Team Ghost, there are a lot of other characters. Dr Kate Lovato being an important one. She is a scientist, one of very few left, that deals with infectious disease. It's up to her to try to find a cure, or a way to kill The Variants. She was extremely well written and was one of my favourites. 

  • Anyway!! This book was phenomenal. Fast paced, action packed, brutal and brilliant, it's a must read for everyone. I devoured it and am so glad I have the next book to dive into straight away. Honestly, this book was amazing and I urge you to go try it. I would so love to see this as a movie or TV series!!! Highly recommend!!!! 

  • Bronson Pinchot was also amazing. I can't believe I haven't listened to anything else narrated by him, though I do have some of them in my TBR pile. He nailed the performance and brought this book alive. His narration was flawless and you could easily follow who was talking. He also did an amazing job heightening the tension and keeping me on the edge of my seat. If I could give this book and the narrator 10 stars, I would.

  • Story: 

  • Narration: 

  • GIVEAWAY: 

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Autonomous by Annalee Newitz Nerd Blast and Giveaway!


Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (September 19, 2017)

Autonomous features a rakish female pharmaceutical pirate named Jack who traverses the world in her own submarine. A notorious anti-patent scientist who has styled herself as a Robin Hood heroine fighting to bring cheap drugs to the poor, Jack’s latest drug is leaving a trail of lethal overdoses across what used to be North America—a drug that compels people to become addicted to their work.
On Jack’s trail are an unlikely pair: an emotionally shut-down military agent and his partner, Paladin, a young military robot, who fall in love against all expectations. Autonomous alternates between the activities of Jack and her co-conspirators, and Joe and Paladin, as they all race to stop a bizarre drug epidemic that is tearing apart lives, causing trains to crash, and flooding New York City.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

Praise for AUTONOMOUS

"Autonomous is to biotech and AI what Neuromancer was to the Internet."―Neal Stephenson

"Something genuinely and thrillingly new in the naturalistic, subjective, paradoxically humanistic but non-anthropomorphic depiction of bot-POV―and all in the service of vivid, solid storytelling."―William Gibson

"This book is a cyborg. Partly, it's a novel of ideas, about property, the very concept of it, and how our laws and systems about property shape class structure and society, as well as notions of identity, the self, bodies, autonomy at the most fundamental levels, all woven seamlessly into a dense mesh of impressive complexity. Don't let that fool you though. Because wrapped around that is the most badass exoskeleton--a thrilling and sexy story about pirates and their adventures. Newitz has fused these two layers together at the micro- and macro-levels with insight and wit and verbal flair. Moves fast, with frightening intelligence." ―Charles Yu, author of How to Live Sagfely in a Science Fictional Universe

"Annalee Newitz has conjured the rarest, most exciting thing: a future that's truly new ... a terrific novel and a tremendous vision." ―Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

"Holy hell. Autnomous is remarkable." ―Lauren Beukes, bestselling author of Broken Monsters

"Everything you'd hope for from the co-founder of io9 ... Combines the gonzo, corporatized future of Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash with the weird sex of Charlie Stross's Saturn's Children; throws in an action hero that's a biohacker version of Bruce Sterling's Leggy Starlitz, and then saturates it with decades of deep involvement with free software hackers, pop culture, and the leading edge of human sexuality." ―Cory Doctorow, New York Times bestselling author of Walkaway.

Excerpt:

The sub’s cargo hold was currently stacked with twenty crates of freshly pirated drugs. Tucked among the many therapies for genetic mutations and bacterial management were boxes of cloned Zacuity, the new blockbuster productivity pill that everybody wanted. It wasn’t technically on the market yet, so that drove up demand. Plus, it was made by Zaxy, the company behind Smartifex, Brillicent, and other popular work enhancement drugs. Jack had gotten a beta sample from an engineer at Vancouver’s biggest development company, Quick Build Wares. Like a lot of biotech corps, Quick Build handed out new attention enhancers for free along with their in-house employee meals. The prerelease ads said that Zacuity helped everyone get their jobs done faster and better.
Jack hadn’t bothered to try any Zacuity herself—she didn’t need drugs to make her job exciting. The engineer who’d provided the sample described its effects in almost religious terms. You slipped the drug under your tongue, and work started to feel good. It didn’t just boost your concentration. It made you enjoy work. You couldn’t wait to get back to the keyboard, the breadboard, the gesture table, the lab, the fabber. After taking Zacuity, work gave you a kind of visceral satisfaction that nothing else could. Which was perfect for a corp like Quick Build, where new products had tight ship dates, and consultants sometimes had to hack a piece of hardware top-to-bottom in a week. Under Zacuity’s influence, you got the feelings you were supposed to have after a job well done. There were no regrets, nor fears that maybe you weren’t making the world a better place by fabricating another networked blob of atoms. Completion reward was so intense that it made you writhe right in your plush desk chair, clutching the foam desktop, breathing hard for a minute or so. But it wasn’t like an orgasm, not really. Maybe it was best described as physical sensation, perfected. You could feel it in your body, but it was more blindingly good than anything your nerve endings might read as inputs from the object-world. After a Zacuity-fueled work run, all you wanted to do was finish another project for Quick Build. It was easy to see why the shit sold like crazy.
But there was one little problem, which she’d been ignoring until now. Zaxy didn’t make data from their clinical trials available, so there was no way to find out about possible side effects. Normally Jack wouldn’t worry about every drug freak-out reported on the feeds, but this one was so specific. She couldn’t think of any other popular substances that would get someone addicted to homework. Sure, the student’s obsessive behavior could be set off by a garden-variety stimulant. But then it would hardly be a medical mystery, since doctors would immediately find evidence of the stimulant in her system. Jack’s mind churned as if she’d ingested a particularly nasty neurotoxin. If this drug was her pirated Zacuity, how had this happened? Overdose? Maybe the student had mixed it with another drug? Or Jack had screwed up the reverse engineering and created something horrific?
Jack felt a twitch of fear working its way up her legs from the base of her spine. But wait—this shiver wasn’t just some involuntary, psychosomatic reaction to the feeds. The floor was vibrating slightly, though she hadn’t yet started the engines. Ripping off the goggles, she regained control of her sensorium and realized that somebody was banging around in the hold, directly behind the bulkhead in front of her. What the actual fuck? There was an aft hatch for emergencies, but how—? No time to ponder whether she’d forgotten to lock the doors. With a predatory tilt of the head, Jack powered up her perimeter system, its taut nanoscale wires networked with sensory nerves just below the surface of her skin. Then she unsnapped the sheath on her knife. From the sound of things, it was just one person, no doubt trying to grab whatever would fit in a backpack. Only an addict or someone truly desperate would be that stupid.
She opened the door to the hold soundlessly, sliding into the space with knife drawn. But the scene that met her was not what she expected. Instead of one pathetic thief, she found two: a guy with the scaly skin and patchy hair of a fusehead, and his robot, who was holding a sack of drugs. The bot was some awful, hacked-together thing the thief must have ripped off from somebody else, its skin layer practically fried off in places, but it was still a danger. There was no time to consider a nonlethal option. With a practiced overhand, Jack threw the knife directly at the man’s throat. Aided by an algorithm for recognizing body parts, the blade passed through his trachea and buried itself in his artery. The fusehead collapsed, gagging on steel, his body gushing blood and air and shit.
In one quick motion, Jack yanked out her knife and turned to the bot. It stared at her, mouth open, as if it were running something seriously buggy. Which it probably was. That would be good for Jack, because it might not care who gave it orders as long as they were clear.
“Give me the bag,” she said experimentally, holding her hand out. The sack bulged with tiny boxes of her drugs. The bot handed it over instantly, mouth still gaping. He’d been built to look like a boy in his teens, though he might be a lot older. Or a lot younger.
At least she wouldn’t have to kill two beings today. And she might get a good bot out of the deal, if her botadmin pal in Vancouver pitched in a little. On second glance, this one’s skin layer didn’t look so bad, after all. She couldn’t see any components peeking through, though he was scuffed and bloody in places.
“Sit down,” she told him, and he sat down directly on the floor of the hold, his legs folding like electromagnetically joined girders that had suddenly lost their charge. The bot looked at her, eyes vacant. Jack would deal with him later. Right now, she needed to do something with his master’s body, still oozing blood onto the floor. She hooked her hands under the fusehead’s armpits and pulled his remains through the bulkhead door into the control room, leaving the bot behind her in the locked hold. There wasn’t much the bot could do in there by himself, anyway, given that all her drugs were designed for humans.
Down a tightly coiled spiral staircase was her wet lab, which doubled as a kitchen. A high-grade printer dominated one corner of the floor, with three enclosed bays for working with different materials: metals, tissues, foams. Using a smaller version of the projection display she had in the control room, Jack set the foam heads to extrude two cement blocks, neatly fitted with holes so she could tie them to the dead fusehead’s feet as easily as possible. As her adrenaline levels came down, she watched the heads race across the printer bed, building layer after layer of matte-gray rock. She rinsed her knife in the sink and resheathed it before realizing she was covered in blood. Even her face was sticky with it. She filled the sink with water and rooted around in the cabinets for a rag.
Loosening the molecular bonds on her coveralls with a shrug, Jack felt the fabric split along invisible seams to puddle around her feet. Beneath plain gray thermals, her body was roughly the same shape it had been for two decades. Her cropped black hair showed only a few threads of white. One of Jack’s top sellers was a molecule-for-molecule reproduction of the longevity drug Vive, and she always quality-tested her own work. That is, she hadalways quality tested it—until Zacuity. Scrubbing her face, Jack tried to juggle the two horrors at once: A man was dead upstairs, and a student in Calgary was in serious danger from something that sounded a lot like black-market Zacuity. She dripped on the countertop and watched the cement blocks growing around their central holes.
Jack had to admit she’d gotten sloppy. When she reverse engineered the Zacuity, its molecular structure was almost exactly like what she’d seen in dozens of other productivity and alertness drugs, so she hadn’t bothered to investigate further. Obviously she knew Zacuity might have some slightly undesirable side effects. But these fun-time worker drugs subsidized her real work on antivirals and gene therapies, drugs that saved lives. She needed the quick cash from Zacuity sales so she could keep handing out freebies of the other drugs to people who desperately needed them. It was summer, and a new plague was wafting across the Pacific from the Asian Union. There was no time to waste. People with no credits would be dying soon, and the pharma companies didn’t give a shit. That’s why Jack had rushed to sell those thousands of doses of untested Zacuity all across the Free Trade Zone. Now she was flush with good meds, but that hardly mattered. If she’d caused that student’s drug meltdown, Jack had screwed up on every possible level, from science to ethics.

With a beep, the printer opened its door to reveal two perforated concrete bricks. Jack lugged them back upstairs, wondering the entire time why she had decided to carry so much weight in her bare hands.

Copyright © 2017 by Annalee Newitz

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Annalee Newitz is an American journalist, editor, and author of both fiction and nonfiction. She is the recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship from MIT, and has written for Popular Science, Wired, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. She also founded the science fiction website io9 and served as Editor-in-Chief from 2008–2015, and subsequently edited Gizmodo. As of 2016, she is Tech Culture Editor at the technology site Ars Technica. Her books include Pretend We're Dead and Autonomous.

Photo Credit: Annalee Newitz

WEBSITE: https://www.techsploitation.com/
TWITTER: @Annaleen
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/191888.Annalee_Newitz
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/10154760617654217
INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/ghidorahnotweak


--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

- 15 Winners will receive a Copy of AUTONOMOUS by Annalee Newitz.

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Monday, 18 September 2017

Nicholas Sansbury Smith Author Feature and Giveaway!

Welcome to all things Nicholas Sansbury Smith!! For the next couple of days I'll be featuring my reviews of his books that I've read, and having a giveaway!! I bought Extinction Horizon not long after it first came out and proceeded to buy each installment in audio when I could. It was only at the start of this year that I had no book for review and decided to start book 1, well, over the course of a week, I flew through them. They were breathtakingly brilliant!! I devoured them and was left with a major book hangover!! I then bought his Hell Divers series and Trackers series, haven't listened to Hell Divers yet but I read the Trackers series and it was amazing!! It was frighteningly real and captivated me. 

This author has firmly been placed in my favourite author list and I want to try to get more readers his way! Trust me, you won't be sorry!! Anyway, from tomorrow on, I'll post a review a day and when they are done, I will have an interview with the man behind the amazing writing!! I'm also hosting a giveaway throughout the feature for a signed book of choice from Nicholas and some ecopies of his book. You can enter today, and each day after the giveaway will be included with the reviews. Hope you enjoy the reviews and let me know if you have read/would read any of his books!!

Nicholas Sansbury Smith is the USA Today bestselling author of the Hell Divers trilogy, the Orbs trilogy, and the Extinction Cycle series. He worked for Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management in disaster mitigation before switching careers to focus on his one true passion—writing. When he isn’t writing or daydreaming about the apocalypse, he enjoys running, biking, spending time with his family, and traveling the world. He is an Ironman triathlete and lives in Iowa with his fiancĂ©e, their dogs, and a house full of books.
Nicholas would love to hear from you. Connect with him at the following places

Check out his series and let me know in the comments which one you would start with?






As I said, I'm doing a giveaway for a signed copy of any of Nicholas's books (Open to US only) from his store http://nicholassansburysmith.com/index.php/nss-store/ and some eCopies of his books. Enter below and please share! 

GIVEAWAY: 

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Friday, 15 September 2017

H.A.L.F. Origins by Natalie Wright Blog Tour and Giveaway!


H.A.L.F.: ORIGINS (H.A.L.F. #3)
by Natalie Wright
Genre: YA Sci-fi Romance
Release Date: August 24th 2017

Summary:


Alien predators attack Europe. A deadly virus spawns an epidemic. And a clandestine organization conspires to profit from chaos and forge a New World Order.
In this heart-pounding finale of the H.A.L.F. series, Tex, Erika and the rest are in a race against time. In books one and two they fought for their lives. Now they battle to save us all.
Tex and Erika are again fugitives and running for their lives. But when Tex falls gravely ill, a Navajo healer is his only hope for survival. Tex emerges changed in mind and body but with vital information: how to stop the predatory M’Uktah from destroying those he has come to love.
Erika Holt seeks a respite from the threats to her life but hasn't given up. As she and Tex launch a mission to shut down the galactic highway used by the invaders, she grows closer to her troubled human-alien hybrid companion. But what about her on-again, off-again boyfriend Jack?
Jack Wilson, along with his new friend Anna Sturgis, is determined to put an end to the Makers’ schemes for world domination. Complicating matters, the valuable medicine to counter the alien virus has been stolen.
As both alien and human forces line up against them, the destiny of all mankind is hand the hands of these young warriors. And time is running out.


“The latest satisfying addition to the H.A.L.F. series has something for everyone: exciting action scenes; great love stories; fascinating new aliens; and relatable characters fighting to save the world and find their places in it.” ~Alyssa H., Red Adept  

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Purchase Links:
AMAZON KINDLE (US): http://bit.ly/HALF_ORIGINS
AMAZON KINDLE (UK): http://bit.ly/ORIGINS_UK
AMAZON KINDLE (CA): http://bit.ly/HALF_ORIGINS_CA
AMAZON KINDLE (DE): http://bit.ly/ORIGINS_DE

PAPERBACK:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/H-L-F-Origins-Natalie-Wright/dp/1545371091/
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/half-natalie-wright/1126963268?ean=9781545371091
CREATESPACE: http://bit.ly/ORIGINS_CreateSpace

Book Trailer: 


Excerpt:



The Archetypes of H.A.L.F. 

I recently came across an article on Pinterest about character archetypes. When writing the H.A.L.F. series, I didn’t specifically consider my characters regarding their archetypes, but upon reading the post, I realized I’d created characters that fit into quintessential Jungian archetypes.

If you’re not familiar with archetypes, perhaps the simplest way to define an archetype is that it’s a prototype or example of a particular type of person. For example, Harry Potter is an example of the classic fantasy character of the Orphan-meets-Hero.

In the H.A.L.F. series, Erika Holt is the main protagonist. The first paragraph of the first chapter of book one lets us know Erika’s archetype immediately:

“Erika pulled back the throttle and urged her dusty machine to go faster. Her long, dark hair flew behind her, twisting and twirling in the hot wind. It would be ratty by the end of the ride, but knots in her hair were a small price to pay for the feeling of freedom.”

Erika is the Explorer archetype. The core desire of the Explorer is freedom, and the biggest fear is getting trapped. This push-and-pull between desire and fear plays out for Erika in the first chapter of The Deep Beneath (H.A.L.F. 1). As she gets closer to Jack Wilson, her instinct is to push him away. This is a result of her fear that by getting close, she’ll be “trapped” in the same dead-end life her mother had. Her sole goal is just to get away. Erika’s not sure where she’s going, but she’s motivated by her soul’s desire (as dictated by her archetype) to seek freedom.

The character arc for Erika is about whether she will overcome this fear. Will she let anyone in? Or continue to push people away in her quest for what she believes is freedom?

In contrast to Erika, Tex (aka H.A.L.F. 9) is The Lover archetype. Anyone who has read The Deep Beneath may be scratching their head right now and saying, “What? Tex? The Lover?”

Even though Tex is dangerous and often callous about people’s emotions, his core desire is connection, and his biggest fear is isolation. We see Tex often react negatively to Jack, especially when Erika shows Jack affection or admiration. His fear of being alone triggers his anger. The Lover archetype will try to become more and more emotionally and physically attractive to others to stave off their worst fear: being alone. I don’t want to give anything away, but readers will see this play out in the three-book series as Tex undergoes significant internal and external transformation to conform and gain acceptance.

Archetypes aren’t only for protagonists. The antagonists/villains of the H.A.L.F. series are archetypal as well.
Commander Sturgis is the main antagonist of The Deep Beneath and appears in the other two books as well. She’s often ruthless and power hungry, but her archetype is the Caregiver (aka the Parent). Again, readers of the series may shout, “What?!”

I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out. The core desire of the Caregiver is to help others. The Caregiver’s greatest fear is selfishness and ingratitude. The Caregiver’s strategy is to do things for others, but her weakness is martyrdom and being exploited.

I don’t want to spoil your fun at discovering this deliciously nasty character, but the three-book series shows the “dark side” of the Caregiver archetype through Commander Sturgis. She’s more “Mommy Dearest” than Mrs. Weasley, but casting her in a twisted version of the Caregiver role created fun contrast in the series.

A powerful conspiracy drives the plot of the H.A.L.F. series and every conspiracy needs someone in the role of the Ruler. The Ruler's motto could be: “Power isn't everything, it’s the only thing.” This slogan fits Sir William Croft to a T. His core desire is control, and his goal is to create a prosperous legacy. He fears losing power, and he hates chaos (unless he can profit from it!). Sir Croft was a fun character to write as I tried to understand the mind of an authoritarian and what made him tick.

As a writer, it’s helpful to understand the core desires and fears of your characters as the tension between the two often inform the direction the character will take. Of course, a well-rounded character is more than just an archetype, and all of the characters in the H.A.L.F. series are combinations of things. But at their core, each fits one of the twelve Jungian archetypes, and their basic desires and fears inform the choices they make.


What is your favorite character archetype? What archetype are you?

About the Author

Natalie writes adventurous fantasy and science fiction for teens and adults including her award-winning H.A.L.F. series and The Akasha Chronicles. Her first novel, Emily’s House, has been read over 2 Million times on Wattpad!

When not writing, reading or questing in Skyrim, Natalie meets readers and appears on writer panels at comic cons and book festivals throughout the western U.S. She and her mascot baby alien traveled over 10,000 miles in the past year!

Natalie lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband, teen dauther and two cat overlords.

Sign up to my email list and receive a FREE PDF copy of book 1: http://bit.ly/SUBSCRIBE_Natalie

Author Links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | BookBub | Instagram | YouTube | Wattpad

GIVEAWAY:



ORIGINS Mega Giveaway:

ORIGINS Launch Mega Giveaway is going on throughout September. Entrants have the chance to win the following:

GRAND PRIZE: 1 Winner will receive the following: $100 Amazon Giftcard + Signed, Hardcover copies of the entire 3-book H.A.L.F. series + branded book swag, including metal bookmarks, complete set of H.A.L.F. Character Trading Cards®, keychain, and buttons + non-branded, retail swag themed to the book. Retail value of this prize is $240+ 


FIRST PRIZE:
1 Winner will receive: $25 Amazon Giftcard + Signed, Paperback copies of the entire 3-book H.A.L.F. series + branded swag (as listed above) + non-branded swag. Retail value of this prize is $75+

10 Runner-Up Prizes:
10 Winners will receive: A gifted copy of Amazon Kindle version of an eBook of the reader’s choice from among Natalie Wright’s published, single-book works (Emily’s House, Emily’s Trial, Emily’s Heart, The Deep Beneath, The Makers, or ORIGINS). Retail value of this prize if between 99¢ to $3.99 (depending on book chosen and price at the time gifted).


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Imagination Designs
Images from the Meadow of Dreams kit by Irene Alexeeva