Intervention by W.R.R. Munro

Ayden Walker turned his back on a fast tracked academic career to follow in his parents’ footsteps. As a field researcher, he does what he can to protect wilderness areas from the pressures of climate change and 8.5 billion people, and he keeps an eye on the big Pharmas gaming the system to squeeze ever more profits from their latest GM cure-alls.

Then he meets the enigmatic and strangely familiar William Hanford.

William tells Ayden the truth about his parents’ genetic research all those years ago, about what they did to William… and to Ayden.

Struggling to understand and forgive, Ayden digs into the past, but the trail points back to the present, to William and to his biotech company, Genenco.

Could Genenco be attempting a breathtakingly bold solution to problems the world has failed to address for decades? Or is it a wildly dangerous experiment, a threat to all of humanity? 

Should Ayden even try to stop them? Or is the risk justified?

As he peels back the layers of deception, Ayden realises that he’s under surveillance and putting his family at risk.

He’s forced into an uneasy alliance with Major Henri Soulandt of Army Military Intelligence, and together they try to discover just how far the forces behind Genenco are prepared to go.

Then things get complicated. And deadly.

“What must occur to reduce suffering for billions of people alive today and countless more billions of people in the future? We must reduce absolute population levels in most parts of the world urgently and move to zero population growth everywhere. There are no options.

Intervention was an interesting read. It didn’t really move me either way. There were things that I really liked about the story though. I thought the story flow was great and there is always a sense of urgency throughout the story and I thought the science was interesting. The premise of the book was original and believable and it takes place in a very conceivable future. The main problem I had with the story was the inability to connect with the main character Ayden. He was very irritating to me. His incessant reckless behavior just annoyed me. Even if the end result was what he was looking for. It also annoyed me that he was always right! I got that he was an off the charts super smart person whose only other intellectual equal was William but at some point I would’ve loved for him to be completely wrong. I ended up wanting to know more about the bad guy than him. I actually liked him better anyway. There was just nothing in the story to sway me to love it or hate it. For me the book was like extra cheese on a pizza. Its nice to have sometimes but I can live without it.  However, it really is amazing to be a debut novel. I would recommend this to true sci-fi techno-thriller lovers out there. It’s available at Amazon.com.

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Short Stories by William Pettersen

Today the Bookworm brings you two short story reviews from the author William Peterson.

To think that there are no other sentient beings in the universe borders on vanity.
To think that other sentient beings would be any less prone to violence and war than are we, borders on naivety.
Collateral damage is a reality with any conflict.
What if there is undelivered ordinance…stray bullets…from distant, cosmic conflicts floating through space like wandering asteroids or long-period comets?
What if bystander Earth was the victim of one of these…errant shots?

Tim stopped at the corner of the vehicle as all the color drained from his face. He hit a button on the phone, then put it back to his ear to listen to his messages. “Tim, you’ve got to call me. Don’t come here,” Professor Winston began immediately. “It’s not a fossil Tim, it’s something else…something made, or engineered. We think it’s a weapon, some kind d of chemical weapon. The bright side is that it proves there is intelligent life out there and other water worlds, but it also shows they must have the same propensity for destruction as we do, maybe even more so.

This is a creepy, amazing short story! It starts out with a major catastrophe and quickly things start to take an even more disastrous turn. What Tim thinks may be an amazing find that will set him up with his next paycheck turns into something completely horrific and unexpected. The story takes a very dark turn and the ending is amazing and unbelievable. I think the author should take this short story and make it into a full novel because I would love to see how the world turned out after what happens. I feel like he took my cake from me just as I was about to eat a fork full. I want more! I feel like this was just the beginning.

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Marcus is venturing out of his permanent shelter to check the day’s traps and possibly hunt seals on the ice, when he discovers a nearly dead, young female whale researcher out on the ice alone and unconscious. After bringing her back from the frozen brink, she reveals some disturbing details of an armed takeover of her research facility, sounding like the earmarks of a terrorist attack, though nothing up here was of any strategic or political value.

Upon inspecting the scene for himself, Marcus uncovers an ongoing struggle that has lasted for thousands of years, much worse than any terror plot, holding mankind’s future in the balance. With time running out, limited resources and only a frozen stranger to help, he must stop a terrible bloodline of ancient tyrants and evil men bent on world domination and total destruction, before they kill the last magical creatures on Earth.

Maddie sat down and propped herself up against a sheet of ice protruding from the pack, gun in one hand, binoculars in the other, and resigned herself to closing her eyes for just a minute or two. The shivering stopped and she wasn’t even that cold now, she was almost comfortable, and while closing her eyes felt so good she smiled a little, she knew very well she would not be waking up this time.

Mythical was just as amazing as Errant Shot. It was a heart pounding read that clutches onto you and pulls you in from the beginning of the story. You won’t believe the plot twist. There’s fantasy, evil, violence and compassion all brilliantly wrapped in this short story with an unbelievable ending. William Peterson is an incredible story teller and his stories are not to be passed up. For me both stories are a 5/5 and I recommend them greatly. They are available at smashwords and amazon.

Fine Young Gentleman by C.W. Slater

*CONTENT WARNING: coarse language, sexuality, graphic violence including murder, may be disturbing to some readers, mature themes. Not for children. Recommended for 16+* 

The controversial Young Adult suspense-thriller that dares to show how teenage boys REALLY think. Dark, satirical, intense and raw. This is a book you shouldn’t read if you are easily shocked or offended! 

Take a twisted journey inside the heads of three raunchy, impulsive sixteen-year-old boys at the elite Percy College School—where status-hungry moms blackmail students, and self-absorbed administrators will do anything to protect the school’s reputation. Craig is the popular golden boy struggling to hide a terrible secret. Jacob is a creepy emerging psychopath plotting to eliminate his rivals. Sex-obsessed Matt is desperate to lose his virginity at all costs. 

The first book of the upcoming Fine Young Gentlemen series.

Please note the content warning. This is not a Young Adult romance

“I know hate is a strong word and everything, but its okay: we’re teenagers.”

 

This was  an absolute heart stopping read! I advise you definitely heed the warning before reading this book. The title may be called Fine Young Gentleman but the things these guys get into falls no where under the gentleman category. This was a dark and intense look into the minds of three teenage boys. Some things were expected like constantly wanting to get laid but other things will totally blow your mind. For example the psychopathic tendencies one of the characters starts to exhibit and eventually gives into. The point of view changed between each boy as well as some secondary characters and the author was exceptional at capturing and conveying each of their voices. Throughout the story every one of the guys became a bad guy in some way so you won’t know which direction the story will take until the very end. It’s so unlike anything I’ve read before. It’s dark, hilarious, suspenseful, and edgy. It’s a must read and you won’t be disappointed. I give this a 5/5 rating and I absolutely recommend this read. Available at Amazon.com.

I was given a copy from the author for a honest review.

Disconnected by Lisa M. Cronkhite

Milly doesn’t want much—get to school on time, score good grades so no one will get on her case, have a friend so she doesn’t look like a total loser. Just stay under the radar and get through the day, that’s all Milly wants. But every minute of every day is a battle for Milly, because Amelia is there—hiding her phone, losing her homework, whispering in her ear that she looks like a pig. Sometimes Milly wishes Amelia was dead. But since Amelia shares Milly’s body, that’s a dangerous thought. Amelia has always been there, but since their parents died in the car crash, she’s been making Milly’s life a living hell. Grandpa George doesn’t help; he’s okay to live with, but he’s so remote, and old. It’s at the point where Milly can’t take it any more, but she’s sure people would only lock her up if they knew—or at least that’s what Amelia says. Sometimes Milly cuts herself, for the release. Her only other relief is to write in her journal, where she can let her feelings out. The problem is, she doesn’t remember what she’s written when she’s done. She doesn’t remember much about her past. But Amelia knows.

“Hey, you,” she says. Her words slither right through the stall door. I peek through the small opening, but I see no one. “Milly, I know you’re in there,” she whispers to me as if she’s right inside my ear. “Come out, come out, whereever you are,” she says. “You can never hide from me.” As I peek put again I notice her on one of the mirrors on the other side of the wall.

Amelia then looks me straight in the face. “There you are,” she says.
“Told you, you can never hide from me

.”

Disconnected is an insightful look into the mind of a teenager dealing with a mental health issue. Milly deals with the constant turmoil that Amelia puts her through but sh
The plot was put together very nicely but the storyline fell short for me. I wanted to see more of how she navigated her life with Amelia. Her life quickly escalated out of control but it all took place in her mind. There was very little interaction with other people that showcased more of how her illness affected her ability to connect with others. I know she kept people at a distance because of her issues but I would’ve liked if the author had included how outside characters reacted to her and why it is no one in all of her years of dealing with a mental illness never suspected anything. What I did really like about the writing is that the inner dialogue of Amelia is italicized so even when just looking at the pages you can see the difference between Amelia and Milly.  The plot twist and big reveal ending were entertaining additions to the story but I just expected more for the growth of Milly. Overall it was an interesting read but I think some adjustments could be made. I would give it a 3/5 rating just based off the concept of the book. Discontinued is set to be published June 4th, 2014.

ARC courtesy of Netgalley.

Conduit by Angie Martin

How do you hide from a killer when he’s in your mind?

Emily Monroe conceals her psychic gift from the world, but her abilities are much too strong to keep hidden from an equally gifted killer. A savvy private investigator, she discreetly uses her psychic prowess to solve cases. When the police ask her to assist on a new case, she soon learns the killer they seek is not only psychic, but is targeting her.

The killer wants more than to invade her mind; he wants her. Believing they are destined for each other, he uses his victims as conduits to communicate with her, and she hears their screams while they are tortured. She opens her mind to help the victims, but it gives him a portal that he uses to lure her to him. With the killer taking over her mind, she must somehow stop him before she becomes his next victim.

“Why should I spare you? What do you offer the world that is important?”
Jillian’s eyes widened and her fave came to life. “I really don’t want to die. I’m only twenty one and I have so much to live for. My parents would be devastated if I died. I have a lot of friends and I just started back at school to get my business degree. I know my job at the coffee shop doesn’t seem that important but it is to those who need coffee in the morning. I might even open a coffee shop of my own someday.”
David stopped listening to her spouting out worthless reasons to live and studied the animation in her eyes and face. She believes her pitiful reasons for loving would work with him.

Conduit is a heart pounding suspense novel that will grip you from the first sentence! This was unlike any thriller I have ever read. The plot is killer..literally. The psychic element of the book just boosted the story to a completely new level. It’s not only a suspense and thriller it also packs a supernatural punch. I was so engrossed in the story I actually spooked myself a few times. The author does an incredible job of delving into the mind of David. His story will take you to a place you can’t even imagine. The development of all the characters was amazing. I love strong female characters and Emily and Cassie are a kickass duo. The relationships between Emily, Cassie, and Jake were so authentic and later add a whole new layer to the story when certain things come to light. This is book is just totally captivating and will keep you in its clutches until the last word. This is a 5/5 star book and absolutely recommended for a read. It’s available at Amazon.com.

Shared Skies by Josephine O’brien

Eighteen-year-old Gaiah’s hair grows to her waist every night. She can influence people with her thoughts. She understands none of it.

She has no one to turn to. Her father, a reclusive sculptor is still trying to come to terms with his wife’s death. 
Gaiah is losing control of her life. 

Her long lost grandparents reappear, apparently having never been lost, and Gaiah is forced to confront and deal with worlds she never knew existed. 

A trinity of parallel worlds of which Earth is one. 
Folklore or truth? Intermingled histories means Gaiah sees her world in a new light and discovers her true heritage. 
The Trinity is in crisis. Gaiah’s appearance is the only thing that gives hope for its salvation, but love and hatred span the worlds and time is running out. 

Oh God, they’re completely crazy. What am I going to do?

She slid her hand around the door handle. We’re not going that fast, what’s the worst that could happen if I jumped out? The roar of a haulage truck and its blur of gaudy colours as it thundered past made her release her hold, shocked at what she’d been contemplating.

She rubbed at the goose bumps puckering the skin  on her arms.

 

Shared skies is an amazing start to what looks to be a great series. Josephine O’Brien’s ability to create a unique world in her story is brilliant. She was able to perfectly meld fantasy into a believable modern day story. I loved how she intertwined real historical events and figures with her story. It was so believable I was completely engrossed in the story. Her writing is clear and the story flow is perfect. There is always a sense of urgency in the story that keeps it from ever being boring. The characters were great and each one has their strengths as well as secrets. The character development of Galah was wonderful and it was refreshing to have a strong female character. It was nice to see her grown throughout the story and really take her responsibility serious. I liked how the love interest in the book didn’t become the main focus. It was actually an important part of the story and enhanced the plot greatly. It could’ve easily overshadowed the story but O’Brien brilliantly managed to keep it focused. The plot is absolutely amazing and you won’t know what hit you with the awesome twist. I’ve actually read the book twice and I’m  anticipating the next book will be even better. I give this story a 5/5 and highly recommend this read. Be prepared to lose sleep to finish this book.

Shared skies is available at Amazon.com

Donna of the Dead by Alison Kemper

Donna Pierce might hear voices, but that doesn’t mean she’s crazy. Probably.

The voices do serve their purpose, though—whenever Donna hears them, she knows she’s in danger. So when they start yelling at the top of their proverbial lungs, it’s no surprise she and her best friend, Deke, end up narrowly escaping a zombie horde. Alone without their families, they take refuge at their high school with the super-helpful nerds, the bossy head cheerleader, and—best of all?—Liam, hottie extraordinaire and Donna’s long-time crush. When Liam is around, it’s easy to forget about the moaning zombies, her dad’s plight to reach them, and how weird Deke is suddenly acting toward her.

But as the teens’ numbers dwindle and their escape plans fall apart, Donna has to listen to the secrets those voices in her head have been hiding. It seems not all the zombies are shuffling idiots, and the half-undead aren’t really down with kids like Donna…

The zombies swarm, forming a circle around Deke.
“We gotta help him!” Quentin yells. More books sail out of the back doors of the vehicle.”Big ones,” somebody says. “Grab the big ones!”
“Throw Moby Dick. I hated that one.”
“Where’s Twilight?”
“No,” Tara squeals. “Don’t throw Twilight.”

Donna of the Dead was literally a laugh out loud story. Donna was a hilarious main character. What I loved about her was how she approached the zombie apocalypse like a 15 year old girl. Forget the zombie hoard trying to break their way inside to eat her she is completely focused on how she can finally connect with her long time crush Liam. Her strategy for dealing with the zombies is to hide, run, and scream. I also loved how self aware she was especially when she realizes she may be the most useless person left in the world. I really liked Deke and felt sorry for him a lot throughout the book. Mainly because Donna was so absorbed in herself she wasn’t a very good friend to him until the end. He however, never faltered in his friendship with her. He also helped her become a more selfless person by the end of the story. One character I would’ve loved to see more of was Deke’s grandmother. I mean a taser toting old lady zapping zombies on a zombie titanic would be awesome! I really loved the plot and the fresh take on zombies. It’s just amazingly different from any zombie story you would ever read. I was so relieved when the author didn’t turn it into a love story between the hot half dead zombie and Donna. I was really hoping to have more action on the cruise ship though. I mean a giant boat filled with zombies was something the author really could’ve taken advantage of. I was also hoping to find out what happened to the guy that followed them off the ship. This book was just so great and an awesome read. It has zombies, romance, action, and everything else you would want in a story. I give this a 5/5 and definitely recommend this book. It will be available at Amazon.com on March 4th.

Arc provided by Netgalley for a honest review.