Tag Archives: post-apocalyptic

#Spotlight on Mikhaeyla Kopievsky of Resistance (Divided Elements #1)

MIKHAEYLA KOPIEVSKY is an independent speculative fictionML Profile Photo author who loves writing about complex and flawed characters in stories that explore philosophy, sociology and politics. She holds degrees in International Relations, Journalism, and Environmental Science.  A former counter-terrorism advisor, she has travelled to and worked in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Mikhaeyla lives in the Hunter Valley, Australia, with her husband and son. Divided Elements | Resistance is her debut offering.

  1. What’s Resistance about?

Resistance (Divided Elements #1) is the story of Anaiya 234 – a Peacekeeper of the Fire Element who patrols Otpor’s streets enforcing the Orthodoxy. In Otpor, a future post-apocalyptic Paris, Reistance book covverlife is a utopia – debauchery, security and stability are all provided by the Cooperative and maintained by strict adherence to the ruling ideology. Wrong action is termed Unorthodoxy and punished in a way similar to how crimes are dealt with in these days – retraint and detention. But, wrong thought – Heterodoxy – that is the real crime.

Only once has the crime of Heterodoxy taken place, and the original Resistor – Kane 148 – was Executed for it. But, now Heterodox murals are appearing on crumbling Otpor infrastructure, hinting at a new rebellion. Radical measures will be taken to find and take down this new Resistance, changing life in Otpor and Anaiya, forever.2.

2, Why did you write your book?

I started (and finished) writing this book for two reasons: 1) I needed to finally take my passion for writing seriously and commit to crafting and finishing a novel whose standard of quality I could be proud of, and 2) I needed to tell this story that calls into question humanity’s endless ambition to categorise society into us vs them, self vs other, familiar vs threatening. It is a theme that I am deeply passionate about – ignorance, xenophobia, intolerance and apathy are at the core of most of humanity’s problems. I believe if we focused on what we have in common, or on what our unique and individual skills, beliefs and perspectives can contribute, we would be that much closer to a more utopian ideal of humanity.

3. Who is the main character in Resistance?

Anaiya 234 is a complex and flawed character. Many readers find her unlikeable at the beginning of the story – which is not surprising since she is so fiercely and steadfastly dedicated to fulfilling her Peacekeeper role. As a Fire Elemental, she is conditioned to have only a limited spectrum of emotions, to be practical and stoic – a finely tuned instrument in keeping Otpor citizen’s compliant and the streets safe.

But, Anaiya has a shadowy legacy that follows her around. And when the discovery of new Heterodox murals gives her the opportunity to erase this legacy, she finds herself unable to say no. As the key player in the strategy to dismantle the Resistance, Anaiya is thrown into a new world where everything she has learned and taken for granted is suddenly called into question. Some of my favourite reviews of Resistance, talk about how much they love seeing the shift in Anaiya’s personality and the internal conflict she struggles with throughout the book.

4. Why do you think people should buy Resistance?

This book is for readers who love the dystopian and post-apocalyptic scifi genres, but who want a darker and grittier story than what YA books are offering. One reader called Resistance “Divergent’s bigger, badder, tougher, realer older sister”. While it will satisfy your need for the standard dystopian tropes, this book turns them on their head and puts them in a new context – in this story, the protagonist is not a hero, but a real and flawed character. And they’re not on a self-righteous path to bring down the Government, they’re actively fighting the Resistance while struggling with their convictions in doing so.

If you like stories with interesting characters and dynamic world-building that will challenge as well as entertain you, then I think this one is for you!

Resistance review blurb image

5. What’s your favorite writing snack?

I rarely snack when I write! I usually find that I get so immersed in the story, I either forget to eat or rush to pull together something very basic so I can get back into it! That being said, I do love to celebrate writing milestones with a nice dinner – my favourite is a local French restaurant (fitting, no?) where I could spend many a long, lazy Sunday brunch eating the charcuterie platter and indulging in a nice bottle of French wine!

6. What’s your favorite writing beverage?

As most authors would attest, writing is a caffeinated sport I am one of those strange people that doesn’t drink tea or coffee, so I get my fix with Coke Zero – sometimes spiked with bourbon if I’m channelling my inner Hemingway… But I am also very partial to mojitos in summer and a nice Hendricks G&T while the sun is going down. When I lived in Sydney. I loved visiting the small bars and speakeasies. Unsurprising, then, that I created a Cocktail Companion Guide to Resistance that readers can download for free here: www.instafreebie.com/free/1q8wq8

7. If you were on desert island with just one book to read, what would it be and why?

That is a very cruel scenario! Without my library of ficton and non-fiction, I guess it would have to be “How to successfully escape a desert island and make it back to civilisation”

8. Who is your go to celebrity crush?

Now this is a MUCH easier question to answer Supernatural’s Dean Winchester has been the inspiration for many of my characters. Even Seth, a character in Resistance (Divided Elements #1) took some initial inspiration from the hunter with a saviour complex. Supernatural is also my go-to binge watching fix when I’m stressing out about writing deadlines or immovable plot problems. Now, if you were throwing the box set of Supernatural episodes or even Dean Winchester himself into the desert island scenario, I might not be so worried about reading that book…

You can keep in touch with Mikhaeyla @:

www.kyrija.com/mikhaeyla-kopievsky

https://www.facebook.com/MikhaeylaKopievsky/

https://twitter.com/MikhaeylaK

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32719178-resistance

Get Resistance the ebook @:

Amazon: (global link) http://mybook.to/DE1Resistance
Kobo: 
https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/resistance-45
Nook: 
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/resistance-mikhaeyla-kopievsky/1124987737
iBooks: 
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1168636508

Get Resistance the paperback @:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Resistance-Divided-Elements-Book-1/dp/0995421854
Book Depository: 
https://www.bookdepository.com/Resistance-Mikhaeyl-Kopievsky/9780995421851
Booktopia: 
http://www.booktopia.com.au/resistance-mikhaeyla-kopievsky/prod9780995421851.html

One last thing I forgot to mention –

The official online launch for Resistance takes place on Saturday 4 February. There will be excerpt readings, an author Q&A, and special guests to talk about the development of the book’s cover art and discuss the themes of the book. Mikhaeyla would love to invite ll of you to attend – you can RSVP here (it’s an open invitation, so feel free to share with friends and family!)

#Bookreview The Fireman by Joe Hill Fire (@joe_hill), Apocalypse and Pop-culture with a spoonful of sugar. Who are the really sick ones?

REVIEWS FOR LITERARY WORLD REVIEWS

The Fireman by Joe Hill
The Fireman by Joe Hill

Title:   The Fireman
Author:   Joe Hill
ISBN13:  978-0062200648
ASIN:  B016P01YCQ
Published:  May 17th 2016
Pages:  768
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction/ Science-Fiction/ Action-Adventure

Sorry  for being a bit scarce on the posts, but we’ve had some health problems in the family and although hopefully things are better, I’m still trying to catch up with everything. But I’ve managed to do a bit of reading and I thought I’d try and share some of those with you all.

Today’s novel is by an author I’m keeping watch for. I’ve mentioned before that I love horror (although I don’t read it all that often these days) and I’m a big fan of Stephen King. Well, if you haven’t met him yet, let me introduce you to the latest book by one of his sons, Joe Hill.

First, the description:

From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Boxcomes a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman.

The fireman is coming. Stay cool.

No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.

Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.

Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.

In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.

Now, my review.

Thanks to Orion Publishing Group Gollancz and to Net Galley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

I have read three books by Joe Hill before, enjoyed them and I was excited when I saw his new novel on offer at Net Galley. In short, the book offers a post-apocalyptic vision of a world decimated by a fungus with a lyrical name, Draco incendia trychophyton (or Dragonscale for friends), that turns human beings into torches, and the adventures of a particular group of sufferers.

Joe Hill thanks both J. K. Rowling and his father, Stephen King, for the inspiration, and indeed that’s quite evident throughout the book, together with many references to a variety of pop-culture items: songs from musicals, songs from pop and rock groups (yes, there’s a fair amount of singing), hymns, foodstuffs, cars, TV cult series and books, many books. Those will, no doubt, enhance the reading experience of people in the know, although should not affect the understanding or enjoyment of the story for those who might not be fully conversant with all of them.

The story is told (mostly, apart from a few brief chapters) in third person from the point of view of Harper, a school nurse who volunteers to work in a hospital treating those affected when the school she worked at closes doors due to the spread of the infection and its terrible effects (the fungus makes people ignite, and with them, the things and beings around them. And it can set off a chain reaction of burners too). Unfortunately, she becomes infected and shortly after discovers that she’s pregnant. She also discovers that her perfect marriage to Jakob is anything but, and she ends up taking refuge at an old campsite where a group of affected individuals have discovered a way to control the illness. They welcome her into their congregation/community and although she finds it difficult to fit in at first, she becomes a member of the group, joining in the Bright (you need to read it to know what this means, but let’s say it’s a way of sharing and communicating that the younger generation refers to as social networking) and comes to love many of the residents. She also discovers things about herself she didn’t know, and of course, she meets the Fireman, John, and Englishman who seems to have learnt to control the Dragonscale much better than anybody else, and goes around driving an old fire truck and dressed in a fireman’s uniform. In a nod to Ray Bradbury, this Fireman controls fire and sets things alight, rather than putting fires out. He is a larger than life character, although we discover later in the books that he’s all too human.

As is the case in all crises, they seem to bring both the best and the worst in people, and if the point of view we follow puts readers in a sympathetic frame of mind towards Dragonscale sufferers, we gradually see that things are not black and white and not all is harmony. The congregation seems happy and a haven for people infected at first (indeed for a while it’s a case of those infected —at least the members of the group— appearing to be more humane and morally right than healthy individuals), but over time we discover that whilst the fungus seems to enjoy people’s connectedness and happy emotions, there are risks involved in channelling such power and following blindly what ends up looking scarily like a cult. There are thefts, accusations and resentments, and when two prisoners are rescued, terrible things happen and ugly behaviours rear their heads. There are many secrets, and although we might have our suspicions, by being inside of Harper’s head we only have access to her opinions and thoughts. She is curious and finds out some interesting first-hand information that helps us understand the illness (I loved some of the theories behind its spread, however fanciful they were), but she is also a human being with feelings and emotions. She doesn’t always make rational decisions and she is often wrong. And she wrongfoots us.

The characters are distinct and unique, the good, the bad, and the truly human. I liked and cared for Harper, who is a pretty special individual who comes into her own as the book advances and who indeed is one of the people who grow. She matures and becomes a hero. If her husband tells her he had expected her to be his inspiration, she finds a real family and a calling during her adventures. The Fireman is a fantastic character and I enjoyed the mystery around him at first, and also getting to know more of his circumstances. Many of the secondary characters are also memorable. Nick, the deaf boy who steals everybody’s heart; Allie, his sister, a totally believable teenager who deserves a book of her own; fantastic Renée with her love for books and her courage…

The books is beautifully written, the descriptions not overbearing but vivid and lyrical at times, the story moves along at good rhythm, with chapters that are more contemplative and share information (like the diary Harper reads), and others packed with intrigue, action and a healthy dose of fright. I thoroughly enjoyed it, although I did not find it truly scary (but that’s not necessarily a recommendation for general readers, as I love horror and don’t scare easy). With regards to its genre, I’ve read a few post-apocalyptic stories but I’m not a real buff. To give you some idea based on my previous reading, I’d say that Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is more contemplative, challenging, philosophical, and made me think more. The Dead Lands by Dylan Morgan (that is more sci-fi) is scarier and grittier but more interested in action and weaponry.

I had a look at the reviews and comments about the book to see if I could shed light or at least my own opinion on the matter. I saw that many people compared it negatively to King’s The Stand, but although I love Stephen King’s books, I have not read all of them and that one has escaped me so far, so I can’t comment on that (although the reviews made me want to read it. The Fireman is much shorter, though). So if you’ve read The Stand and loved it you might want to read the comments first. Of course, you might want to make your own mind up.

Some others didn’t find Harper’s romantic relationship (I’m trying not to reveal any spoilers here) realistic and they think it seems very sudden and as if come out of nowhere. On that subject I agree that there does not seem to be a big build-up or many hints as to the interest between the two, but there are some subtle indications that they are matching souls, and it’s true that at times of emotional turmoil when life might come to an end at any minute one might hold on to the little moments of joy (that without taking into account the interesting effects of the Dragonscale). The novel would have worked without the relationship, but for me it rounds it up.

I enjoyed it as a great yarn, with strong characters easy to root for (and others easy to hate) and great quality writing. I’m not sure it will beat all other post-apocalyptic stories for those who love the genre, but it’s a good read. I look forward to Joe Hill’s next book.

Author Joe Hill
Author Joe Hill

I mention in the review that I’ve read three of his books. These was before I started publishing my own books and I didn’t write detailed reviews, although I wholeheartedly recommend Heart-Shaped Box and 20th Century Ghosts (if you love ghosts and short-stories, some of them are masterpieces). I also read Horns that is a very quirky book (I prefer the other two but this one is perhaps more mainstream. I haven’t watched the movie with Daniel Radcliffe and can’t comment on how good or bad it is).

Biography:

He’s written many more things and some of his stories appear in collections, so you might want to check his Amazon page where I got this from:

The author of the critically acclaimed Heart-Shaped Box and 20th Century Ghosts, Joe Hill is a two-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award, and a past recipient of the Ray Bradbury Fellowship. His stories have appeared in a variety of journals and Year’s Best collections. He calls New England home.

By the way, when I checked his Twitter account it seems he’s in England with the Fireman, so you might want to keep an eye open for him.

 

Ratings:

Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 4.5/5
Readability: 4.5/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
 

Buy it at:  
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  $12.39 

Kindle: $12.22 

Audiobook: $ 31.84 

Hardcover: $15.94 

 Thanks to NetGalley, Orion and of course Joe Hill for the book, thanks to all of you for reading, and do like, share, comment and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

#Book #Review by @RonovanWrites Tallos-Episode One by Granser Kelly Mad Max meets The Walking Dead.

tallos-season-one-granser-kelly

Title: Tallos-Episode One (Season One)
Author: Granser Kelly
Price: .99
File Size: 2214 KB
Print Length: 66 pages
Publisher: Longfire Press (March 9, 2015)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray: Not Enabled
Word Wise: Not Enabled
Lending: Enabled
Available: Kindle here

Author Granser Kelly brings us what I like to call Mad Max with sanity meets The Walking Dead.

In Tallos-Season One-Episode One, former US Army soldier Jim Tallos is the protector of a small group of survivors about the float, a construct of a floating platform and sailboats. It’s the only way for them to stay safe from the cannibals and the Shadow People that now inhabit the southern US during this post apocalyptic world.

Tallos’ main goals are to survive and find his family. The problem is where to start and how to start. Straying too far from the float almost assures death or capture. Jim finds himself in a situation where he must leave and in so doing discovers information that changes everything he knows of the current state of things and his future.

The story has a good flow and keeps you wanting to know what happens next. You wonder who is who and what who is. Even when you think one thing you are very likely wrong. Even now as I write this I wonder about things. What more do you want from a book where there is a guaranteed next episode a month away? You want to know what happens next, right? Well, you have it in Tallos-Season One-Episode One by Granser Kelly.

Character Believability: 4.5granser kelly
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 4
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 4.5
Overall Rate: 4.2

Get on Kindle Today. Click here to go to Amazon! Check out my Book Review there as well and click if it was helpful.

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Book Review. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

 

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Title:   Station Eleven

Author:   Emily St. John Mandel

ISBN:  0385353308

 ISBN13:

ASIN:  B00JQ9FYAM

Published:  September 10th 2014

Pages:  353

Genre:  Literary, Fiction, Sci-Fiction

Station Eleven is one of the best novels I’ve read in 2014. And I’ve read quite a few. I guess if I had to define it, I could call it a post-apocalyptic novel, although the action moves forward and back between events that happened mostly shortly before the flu epidemic that killed 99% of the World’s population (sometimes some years before) and years after. All the characters are somewhat connected to the opening scene, although in some cases we don’t know exactly how until much later in the story.

Superficially the novel seems to be a crazy quilt, with jumps in time and place, following the wandering memories of the main characters, and in some cases, like in Kirsten’s, the actress with a travelling troupe, their physical wanderings. But towards the end you do realise that the fragments make a beautiful pattern, like a multifaceted jewel, that shines brighter because of its many aspects.

What would happen if suddenly most of the population of the world died? What would happen to the structures of society and to the things we take for granted? There are a large number of works that look at possible scenarios of the end of the world. Movies, novels, TV series… Many of them focus on the actual event and sometimes the desperate, or not so desperate, attempts at saving humanity from its destiny. Fewer look at the aftermath of such an event, but in many cases the scenario is a horror story and a survival of the fittest tale, with not always much attention paid to the feelings and thoughts of the people who find themselves in such situation. In this novel, the opposite is true. We do have tales of survival; we have stories of strange cults and different attitudes and strategies to cope with the destruction of modern civilisation; we have horror, and we have wonder. And memories. Things people want to forget, things they try desperately to remember, others they try to recreate…One can’t help but think, if everything around you disappeared, if all the things you thought made life what it is weren’t there anymore, what would you really miss? What would you really remember? And how would you carry on?

The Road by Cormac McCarthy, another great book, covers a somewhat similar ground, but it is much more soul-wrenching and the lack of identity and isolation of the characters makes it more difficult to identify with them. Emily St. John Mandel questions not only individual characters but also the societies they might create, giving it a more human and humane dimension.

This is a beautiful novel, written in an evocative and deceptively simple language, that transports us to a world at the same time familiar but also different to the one we know, and strangely easy to imagine. What would humanity do if they were given the chance to start again from zero (or very close)? One hopes they would never give up, and they would do it better this time. Perhaps.

Station Eleven will touch you, will make you think, and will make you grateful you’re alive. Read it if at all you can.

It brought to mind a book from my childhood that was required reading and very well loved, El mecanoscript del segón orígen de Manuel de Pedrolo that although is a much simpler book (focuses only on two young survivors), it also explores a similar world.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/594399.Mecanoscrit_del_segon_origen

This book is a New York Times bestseller and was book of the month in September in Amazon and a 2014 National Books Award Finalist.

Ratings:

Realistic Characterization: 4.5/5

Made Me Think: 5/5

Overall enjoyment: 5/5

Readability: 4.4/5

Recommended: 5/5

Overall Rating: 5/5

Buy it at: 

Format & Pricing: Hardcover: $15.05

Paperback:  Paperback: $13.05

Kindle: $5.61

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com