#SeriesBlogTour Tomorrow’s Ancestors: The Base of Reflections by A.E. Warren

It’s my second turn on the Blog Tour for the Tomorrow’s Ancestors series by A.E. Warren. I blogged about the first book The Museum of Second Chances a few days ago and today it’s all about the second book, The Base of Reflections.

About the Author

AE Warren lives in the UK. A not-so-covert nerd with mildly obsessive tendencies, she has happily wiled away an inordinate amount of time reading and watching sci-fi/ fantasy and gaming. She is interested in the ‘what ifs’.

The Museum of Second Chances is her first novel and she is currently writing the third book in the ‘Tomorrow’s Ancestors’ series.

Follow @amauthoring on Twitter, on Facebookon Instagramon Goodreadson Amazon, Visit aewarren.comBuy The Base of Reflections

About the book

What happens when the future abandons the past?

Elise and her companions have made it to the safety of Uracil but at a price. Desperate to secure her family’s passage, she makes a deal with Uracil’s Tri-Council. She’ll become their spy, jeopardising her own freedom in the process, in exchange for her family’s safe transfer. But first she has to help rescue the next Neanderthal, Twenty-Two.

Twenty-Two has never left the confines of the steel walls that keep her separated from the other exhibits. She has no contact with the outside world and no way of knowing why she has been abandoned. With diminishing deliveries of food and water, she has to start breaking the museum’s rules if she wants a second chance at living.

One belongs to the future and the other to the past, but both have to adapt—or neither will survive…Review

This is part of a series and I would definitely suggest reading the first in the series, The Museum of Second Chances. Aside from the intricacy of the plot, and it is a really well thought out and intriguing premise, it is necessary to get the entire gist of the story and the characters.

The first book ends with Elise and her companions heading towards Uracil and this one begins with them arriving at their destination. The council is willing to help Elise in return for a favour – they want her to spy for them. She also has to rescue Twenty-two.

Meanwhile Twenty-two is just as determined to escape, especially because the powers that be have been treating her differently to the other human species – the Neanderthal exhibits. For some reason there seems to be a concerted effort to starve and deprive her of her basic needs. Some of their experiments are inhumane, which in itself says a lot about the post-apocalyptic society in power.

Warren deserves to be on quite a few radars. The plot is clever and compelling, and is very much driven by the emotional element that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom.

It’s a futuristic, dystopian post-apocalyptic tale – an intriguing look at the worst side of so-called intelligent life form. How easy it is for humankind to swing from survival instinct to excusing acts of cruelty and oppression in the name of science, evolution and development.

Buy The Base of Reflections at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of The Museum of Second Chances by A.E. Warren.

#BlogTour The Black Ditch by Simon J. Lancaster

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Black Ditch by Simon J. Lancaster.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win a signed copy of The Black Ditch, and for your name to be used for a character in the sequel (Open Int)

About the Author

Simon J Lancaster is the author of The Black Ditch, the first in the Laurie Sterne trilogy of dystopian future thrillers. Prior to writing novels he was a national newspaper journalist in London, as well as a music critic and private pilot. He has written short stories and plays and, after reading extensively about climate change, concluded that the fantasy gun-play of contemporary-set action novels would be the lived experience of our coming world.

Follow on Goodreadson Amazonon FacebookBuy The Black Ditch

About the book

Laurie Sterne feels like he’s been cut adrift in space. His father has been shot dead, caught in the crossfire of a gangland war that has also claimed his boss’s life. Laurie is a refugee who lost his adoptive mum years before and doesn’t know where he was born, let alone who his birth parents were. But he’s not alone in the world: someone is trying to kill him.

This is London, 2050, a dumping ground for climate refugees and dissidents. Gangs rule, murder goes unpunished and the police make sure you can’t escape.

In his struggle to stay alive, he finds an ally: his former boss’s secret daughter. But with the killer predicting his every move, is the man without a past being betrayed by the woman who seems to offer him a future?

Review

When you suddenly realise that 2050 sounds really far into the future, ergo flying cars and space stations on Mars, but in actual fact it’s only 30 years from now. The scenarios the author paints aren’t unrealistic given that they are grounded in part in reality.

The beginning of the story is perhaps the strongest part and  is incredibly astute when you draw comparisons to what is going on in certain parts of the world at the moment. The abysmal treatment of illegals and refugees. The way the children have been separated from their parents and imprisoned in the US. That cruelty is echoed in Laurie’s story.

He fears being caught and taken by the authorities, despite being legal – at least he thinks he is. The truth turns out to be a little more complicated, and it leaves one heck of a mark on the young child.

Fast forward to 2050 and Laurie the grown man is the stooge of a bigwig criminal. The kowtowing has never really left him, perhaps it’s residual fear left over from his childhood.

It’s a dystopian post-apocalyptic read rooted in modern day fears. Lancaster uses politics and environmental concerns in our era to create a fictional scenario, which sails rather close to a worst case scenario.

The strength of the first few chapters isn’t quite mirrored in the rest of the book. It’s easy to be swept up in the violence, confusion and lack of rational in the future, as opposed to capturing the essence of the child and place, and transporting it throughout the book.

Buy The Black Ditch at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway to Win a signed copy of The Black Ditch, and for your name to be used for a character in the sequel (Open Int)

Click here to Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.*

#SeriesBlogTour Tomorrow’s Ancestors: The Museum of Second Chances by A.E. Warren

It’s my first turn on the Series Blog Tour for Tomorrow’s Ancestors: The Museum of Second Chances by A.E. Warren and will be blogging about the second book, The Base of Reflections, in a few days.About the Author

AE Warren lives in the UK. A not-so-covert nerd with mildly obsessive tendencies, she has happily wiled away an inordinate amount of time reading and watching sci-fi/ fantasy and gaming. She is interested in the ‘what ifs’.

The Museum of Second Chances is her first novel and she is currently writing the third book in the ‘Tomorrow’s Ancestors’ series.

Follow @amauthoring on Twitter, on Facebookon Instagramon Goodreadson Amazon, Visit aewarren.comBuy The Museum of Second Chances

About the book

What happens when the future recaptures the past?

In a post-apocalyptic world the human race has evolved beyond us through genetic engineering – and we’ve been left behind to make amends for the damage inflicted on the earth.

The reversal of the extinction of long lost animals is key to our reparations and all of these are housed in the Museum of Evolution – along with another species of human that hasn’t existed for 30,000 years.

Elise belongs to the lowest order of humans, the Sapiens. She lives in an ostracised community of ecological houses, built to blend with an idyllic landscape. Deciding to widen her stagnating life in the manufacturing base, she takes a chance opportunity to become a Companion to a previously extinct species of human.

And while living in the museum, Elise realises that little separates her from the other exhibits…

Review

Now and again you find an unexpected gem of a read and this is one of those reads. The worldbuilding, research and thought that has gone into this makes it an extraordinary and interesting experience.

Hierarchy and sub-levels of humans isn’t a new idea per se, doing it from the Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens onwards perhaps more so. This is set in a future after the Homo Sapiens has self-imploded their own civilisation, and because of that they are considered less superior than other groupings of humans.

In fact any group above them is genetically superior. Stronger, smarter, taller – every possible advantage can be bought or is yours by birthright. If you’re really lucky you might even win the opportunity to rise up in the ranks by adding genetic advantages.

Elise is Sapiens, which means she is treated either like dirt or as non-existent in the grand scheme of the hierarchy laws. She isn’t satisfied with being confined to a specific job just because she was born in a certain area. She applies to be a Companion to a museum exhibit, which displeases her own family and other Sapiens.

Now imagine the exhibit living in a bubbled replica of their native environment. Caged like an animal, studied like a lab rat, but an ancestor to all the other human species.

It’s very much a case of you don’t belong to the higher social group if you come from below and those below no longer accept you as one of their own when you rise above your own social status. No difference there really – it’s the same in present day society.

It’s a dystopian novel with post-apocalyptic and futuristic elements. Warren combines anthropology, natural science, genetics and eugenics to create a fascinating read. I’m looking forward to the next part in the series.

Buy The Museum of Second Chances at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.  Publisher: Locutions Press; pub date 17 Feb. 2018. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Psychotopia by R.N. Morris

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Psychotopia by R.N. Morris. It’s futuristic and speculative fiction with an intriguing premise.

Don’t forget to enter the Giveaway (below) –  to Win 1 x Signed Hardback Copy of Pyschotopia (Open Internationally)

About the Author

R. N. Morris is the author of ten novels. The latest is Psychotopia, published 31 October, 2018.

A Gentle Axe, was published by Faber and Faber in 2007. Set in St Petersburg in the nineteenth century, it features Porfiry Petrovich, the investigating magistrate from Dostoevsky’s great novel, Crime and Punishment. The book was published in many countries, including Russia. He followed that up with A Vengeful Longing, which was shortlisted for the Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award (as the CWA Gold Dagger was briefly known). A Razor Wrapped in Silk came next, followed by The Cleansing Flames, which was nominated for the Ellis Peters Historical Novel Dagger.

The Silas Quinn series of novels, set in London in 1914, began with Summon Up The Blood, followed by The Mannequin House, The Dark Palace and The Red Hand of Fury. The next novel in the series, The White Feather Killer, will be published in April 2019.

Taking Comfort is a standalone contemporary novel, written as Roger Morris. He also wrote the libretto to the opera When The Flame Dies, composed by Ed Hughes.

Follow @rnmorris on Twitter, on Facebook, Visit rogernmorris.co.uk

Buy Psychotopia

About the book

A game for the times we live – and die – in. Enter Psychotopia, a dark new dystopian novel from the author of the acclaimed Silas Quinn mysteries.

PSYCHOTOPIA, LEVEL ONE. Create your own boutique psychopath, then deceive, manipulate and be ruthless, spreading mayhem and destruction to reach the next levels.

It’s the computer game for our times. After all, the amount of crazy in the world is increasing. Senseless violence on the streets is becoming the norm. Can Dr Arbus’s ground-breaking device identify and neutralize psychopaths before it’s too late? In this increasingly dysfunctional world, surely Callum standing by Aimee after her devastating encounter with Charlie is proof that real love and goodness can still win in a world that’s increasingly rotten . . . Or can it?

Review

Right! R.N. Morris needs locking in a room with no access to the outside world and no internet – his ideas are far too dangerous.

A video game based on psychopathy, one that interacts and evolves based on the pathology of someone’s lack of empathy, conscience and in general what is considered the normal emotional response based on societal norms. The idea is dangerous.

I wondered, as I am sure many readers will, what the underlying message is. To establish a world with psychopaths in the control seat? Perhaps the idea that they can be functioning and useful members of society or indeed that there are plenty of undiagnosed psychopaths at large. The game and the response to it is also a way to diagnose and recognise different types of a pathology that experts still don’t quite understand.

Is there a rise in the number of psycho and sociopaths, and if so is it because our DNA is evolving with the environment in a way that suggests they would have a better survival rate. What a worrying thought, the natural survivor of the late 21st century could be humans with no empathy and capable of killing without compunction. Hmm.

Science is already capable of identifying specific genes that suggest a predisposition towards violence, perhaps eventually the same will apply to other or similar sub-categories or extensions of anti-social behaviour such as psychopathy. We already have tests in place to identify psychopathic tendencies.

What I found really fascinating is the labelling of P or NP, and whether the actual labelling would lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy or alternatively whether the true nature would persevere, despite the label.

I think the sex scene was perhaps superfluous, keeping the strength of the storyline in mind, and it slipped into the dangerous zone of gender tropes. I also thought the graphic reference to the two-year-old in the beginning could deter some readers from enjoying or finishing the read, despite it only being a quick example of deviant behaviour. The truth is still considered a taboo in some subjects unfortunately, because the majority of people would rather not be confronted with the atrocity of sexual deviancy.

It’s futuristic and speculative fiction with an intriguing premise. Perhaps video game development and the advancement into virtual reality as it melds into real life deserves to be a sub-genre in its own right.

Psychotopia takes the reader to a world of open doors and what you take away from this book will be an individual experience depending on your own frame of references, including whether there is a clear conclusion or closure at the end. Hypothetical reality meets base human nature, depravity and a lack of conscience.

Buy Psychotopia at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Severn House Digital; pub date 1 Feb. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of The Red Hand of Fury by R.N. Morris

Giveaway – Win 1 x Signed Hardback Copy of Pyschotopia (Open Internationally)

Click here for the Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.*

#PublicationDayPush Sea of Lies by Rachel McLean

It’s a pleasure to welcome Rachel McLean back to the blog for the Publication Day Push for the standalone sequel to Thicker than Water, Sea of Lies by Rachel McLean. It’s a post-apocalyptic story about young love.

About the Author

My name’s Rachel McLean and I write thrillers that make you think. What does that mean? In short, I want my stories to make your pulse race and your brain tick.

Do you often get through a thriller at breakneck pace but are left with little sense of what the book was really about? Do you sometimes read literary fiction but just wish something would damn well happen? My books aim to fill that gap.

If you’d like to know more about my books and receive extra bonus content, please join my book club at rachelmclean.com/bookclub. I’ll send you a weekly email with news about my writing research and progress, stories and bonus content for each book. And I’ll let you know when my books are on offer.

About the book

Sarah Evans has returned home after being abducted and held in a dilapidated farmhouse by a group of men. With her is Martin, who turned against the other men to help her escape. He says he’s not like them, and claims to be in love with her.

Can Sarah trust Martin? Does she share his feelings? Or should she listen to her father, himself deceitful and abusive, and turn her back on the relationship?

Sea of Lies is a chilling psychological thriller about secrets, trust, and a family falling apart. (A standalone sequel to Thicker than Water).

Review

This is the standalone sequel to Thicker than Water. You can read this without knowing the backstory, however I do recommend reading the previous book. It sets the scene and it’s an interesting read.

This book takes place in the aftermath of an abduction, when a group of men kidnap a number of women and young girls from a small isolated community. The intent is clearly something out of a caveman come re-population manual. The experience is traumatic and quickly becomes violent.

During the kidnapping Sarah gets to know Martin, the young man who helped facilitate the kidnapping of Ruth. He realises he has made a huge mistake and wants to make amends. He feels an instant attraction towards Sarah and is willing to do anything to protect her.

Sarah has to deal with the trauma of the abduction and returning to the abusive arms of her father. A man who likes to control and abuse the women in his life. The question is; who is the bigger danger to Sarah, her new admirer with the dubious past or her father with the tendency to lash out in anger?

This series is set in a rural coastal area in Britain after the country is devastated by a natural catastrophe, which gives the story a more approachable vibe. It doesn’t take place in an obscure made-up place, which makes it easier for readers to relate to the circumstances.

I felt this was more of a post-apocalyptic story about young love with a lot of abuse and a few murders, whereas the first had the gritty and desperate feel of a post-apocalyptic story. The author has plenty of ideas and creativity to draw from and I hope she doesn’t lose that sense of daring and the willingness to go beyond the normal parameters of the genre. I know the darkness is in there somewhere and is screaming to get out. *grins* I do believe this is just the beginning for McLean.

Buy Sea of Lies at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Catawampus Press; Ecopy pub date 22 Mar. 2019. Paperback pub date 17 March 2019Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Thicker than Water by Rachel McLean.

#BlogTour Remember Tomorrow by Amanda Saint

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Remember Tomorrow by Amanda Saint. It’s post-apocalyptic fiction with a futuristic flair.

About the Author

Amanda Saint’s debut novel, As If I Were A River, reached #3 in the WHSmith Travel charts; was selected as a NetGalley Top 10 Book of the Month; and chosen as a Top 20 Book of 2016 by the Book Magnet Blog.

Her short stories have been widely published in anthologies and literary magazines, twice appearing on the Fish Flash Fiction longlist and the Ink Tears Short Story shortlist. She runs her own creative writing business, Retreat West, through which she runs writing courses and competitions; and an independent publishing house, retreat West Books. Amanda also works as a freelance journalist writing about climate change and environmental sustainability.

Follow @saintlywriter @RetreatWest on Twitter, on Facebook, Visit amandasaint.net

Buy Remember Tomorrow

About the book

England, 2073. The UK has been cut off from the rest of the world and ravaged by environmental disasters. Small pockets of survivors live in isolated communities with no electricity, communications or transportation, eating only what they can hunt and grow.

Evie is a herbalist, living in a future that’s more like the past, and she’s fighting for her life. The young people of this post-apocalyptic world have cobbled together a new religion, based on medieval superstitions, and they are convinced she’s a witch. Their leader? Evie’s own grandson.

Weaving between Evie’s current world and her activist past, her tumultuous relationships and the terrifying events that led to the demise of civilised life, Remember Tomorrow is a beautifully written, disturbing and deeply moving portrait of an all-too-possible dystopian world, with a chilling warning at its heart.

Review

It doesn’t matter how far into the future we go, we can always rely on humans to never learn from history or their past. The human race excels at destroying themselves. For some reason they seem particularly talented at repeating the most heinous acts of the past centuries. The title of the book is therefore quite apt.

Instead of moving forward and evolving, a community in the future has reverted back to the days when the mere whiff of suspicion could mean the difference between living in peace and being burnt at the stake for witchcraft. Healing becomes spells, witchery and the devil’s work. This places Evie in the unfortunate position of being a target.

The fact that religion always seems to make an appearance in some way, shape or form is definitely part of the problem in this dystopian, post-apocalyptic and futuristic story. A once thriving community set in the year 2073 in England is facing increasingly harder struggles to survive. Food has become scarce, which makes people desperate.

Her own family uses religion to make Evie seem like a threat and the guise of her being a danger to the community is probably just hiding the fact it is a way to rid themselves of community members. Less people equals less mouths to share food with.

Humans tend to target the vulnerable, the different and the non-conformists to deflect from their own failings or hidden agendas. Evie and any other person refusing to become part the fanatical religious group have a big bullseye painted on their back.

It’s post-apocalyptic fiction with a futuristic flair. Given the rise of certain radical groups and the attacks upon specific religious groups and ethnicities at the moment, despite prior tragedies and atrocities in the last century, this isn’t a far-fetched premise at all.

Saint captivates the mass hysteria of religious zealots, which supersedes any common sense or prior knowledge that questions the beliefs of the fanatics. It’s a recipe for violence and disaster.

Buy Remember Tomorrow at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Retreat West Books; Ecopy pub date 21 Mar. 2019. Paperback pub date 17 March 2019.

Read my review of The Word for Freedom and Nothing is As it Was.

#BlogTour The Widening Gyre by Michael R. Johnston

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Widening Gyre by C.J. Sutton. It’s futuristic, dystopian sci-fi meets action packed space opera. I look forward to reading where this series goes.

About the Author

Born in the San Francisco bay area and raised in Napa, California, Michael R. Johnston grew up steeped in everything Science Fiction and Fantasy from Asimov to Zelazny, as well as endless terrible SF TV shows he still has a slightly embarrassed fondness for.

Faced with the choice between moving back in with his parents and continuing school, or paying his rent, he took “a year” off from college. He spent time as a court process server, a retail sales associate, a sandwich maker, and a data entry tech, before finding himself in a management role. A decade later, burnt out from his job in political research and facing 30, he decided he’d had enough and returned to college, graduating with honors from California State University, Sacramento.

In fall 2006, he became a high school English teacher, a job he likens to herding a swarm of angry bees. It’s the best job he’s ever had.

In 2013, he attended the 17th Viable Paradise Science Fiction Writing Workshop. The experience of having his story critiqued by other writers, some of them professionals he’d been reading for years, helped him realize he could write professionally, and introduced him to some of his best friends.

He currently lives in Sacramento, California, with his wife and daughter. When he’s not writing or teaching, he spends time with his family, plays video games and tabletop RPGs (often with family), and reads.

Follow @MREJohnston @flametreepress on Twitter, Visit MJohnstonBooks.com

Buy The Widening Gyre

About the book

Eight hundred years ago, the Zhen Empire discovered a broken human colony ship drifting in the fringes of their space. The Zhen gave the humans a place to live and folded them into their Empire as a client state. But it hasn’t been easy. Not all Zhen were eager to welcome another species into their Empire, and humans have faced persecution. For hundreds of years, human languages and history were outlawed subjects, as the Zhen tried to mold humans into their image. Earth and the cultures it nourished for millennia are forgotten, little more than legends.

One of the first humans to be allowed to serve in the Zhen military, Tajen Hunt became a war hero at the Battle of Elkari, the only human to be named an official Hero of the Empire. He was given command of a task force, and sent to do the Empire’s bidding in their war with the enigmatic Tabrans. But when he failed in a crucial mission, causing the deaths of millions of people, he resigned in disgrace and faded into life on the fringes as a lone independent pilot.

When Tajen discovers his brother, Daav, has been killed by agents of the Empire, he, his niece, and their newly-hired crew set out to finish his brother’s quest: to find Earth, the legendary homeworld of humanity. What they discover will shatter 800 years of peace in the Empire, and start a war that could be the end of the human race.

Review

In this story the humans are the underdog. The rare species fighting for survival in a world run by aliens who eat raw and live meat. Shout out to the original V at this point, who loved to eat live rats and even hamsters.

Even in sci-fi there is room for sub-species to be discriminated against, treated as less than the superior race, and yet still used to stock up numbers in a war (aka bullet fodder). Tajen Hunt is a decorated war hero, the sole human carrier of the title Hero of the Empire. The fact he achieved this title by inadvertently causing the mass deaths of his own race, makes him a traitor to his own and deserving of an odd respect from the Zhen.

Tajen has to confront his feelings of guilt about his military career when a tragic event forces him to interact with his past and his immediate family. Easier said than done. He struggles to connect with his niece, in fact he struggles to connect emotionally to anyone.

He accidentally creates a team of determined truth seekers, who are willing to follow the scavenger hunt for information hidden by his brother. Not all of them believe the conspiracy theory and that the search will lead them to a planet surrounded my myths and tales of non-existence.

It’s a sci-fi space adventure with a ship full of rebels willing to defy a whole alien race to discover the truth about planet earth. What is so important the Zhen will go to any length to keep it secret, including killing those who are willing to dig deep to discover said secret.

I enjoyed the read. It’s futuristic, dystopian sci-fi meets action packed space opera. I look forward to reading where this series goes.

Buy The Widening Gyre by Michael R. Johnston at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Flame Tree Press; pub date 14 Mar. 2019. Buy at !ndigo, Flame Tree Press, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, Powell’s, Waterstones or Book Depository.