Monkey Man by M.N. Snow Review

A futuristic, punk-style story brings four very different individuals together in a world few would recognize in author M.N. Snow’s novel “Monkey Man”.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A futuristic, punk-style story brings four very different individuals together in a world few would recognize in author M.N. Snow’s novel “Monkey Man”. 

The Synopsis

Cyberpunk?  This ain’t it.

Steam-punk?  Wrong again.

This is New-Burn® Coal-punk, set in the present of a slightly altered, not too distant future.

Belay that, call it future-punk and be done with it.

Global warming fixes have overshot their mark and boomeranged the world into global cooling. With global cooling came the flooding of the lower Great Lakes. Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland, Toronto, etcetera—all flooded out. A majority of the refugees have been relocated to The Zone, the formerly named Twin Ports of Duluth, MN and Superior, WI—now the third largest city in the North American Protectorate, and easily the coldest.

Four people are drawn together in this wintry port city on the far western edge of Lake Superior.

–Delores Manning, a shrewd, New York femme fatale chasing her ex-husband and the money he stole from her.

–Wally Moon, back from his fifth combat tour, on three different continents, in a world perpetually at war.

–Julie Newman, recently a civilian, laying low and wondering if it’s paranoia, or is someone really after her.

–Finally, Danny “Java” Vacha (Vuh-SHAY)—who is definitely NOT a private detective. What he is is a combat vet who lives as far off the skyline as possible. However, he has been known to occasionally look into things and, perhaps, to settle the odd score or two for people. And with all the dry-grade digital and wet-grade bio military enhancements he has endured, he can be quite effective at that job.

In Wally Moon’s words, “Think of Java as Robin Hood… with a lead-pipe.”

Bundle up and enter their bleak world.

And watch your back.

The Review

What really stands out about this novel above all else is the effortless way the author blends so many different genres into one narrative. One moment readers are in a future punk style setting filled with people who have been physically and mentally altered or enhanced, and then in the next readers are exploring a noir style mystery with a futuristic military and espionage thriller bend. Yet the narrative never feel confusing or overstocked, instead bringing a new natural mixture of genres that really works in the reader’s benefit. 

The characters themselves are also a huge draw. In this futuristic, cataclysmically different world the author has created, the characters feel both cinematic and relatable all at once. The core connection these characters share speaks of a story of makeshift families, struggles with the vices of our world and the horrors of war on the human psyche. These deep, emotional and wonderfully told elements of the characters only serve to better enhance the narrative set in this action-packed punk world. 

The Verdict

This is a new punk style novel that any fan of cyberpunk, Neo-noir style punk or any other reader of the overall genre will absolutely fall in love with. It’s an evenly paced read filled with twists and turns, and creates a detailed image of the scenes playing out in the reader’s minds. From mind control and sexually driven body modifications to military black ops and the bonds of a self-made family, this adult noir-punk style novel is beautifully written and a must read book in 2019. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of M.N. Snow’s “Monkey Man” today!

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

M. N. SNow’s fiction has been published in “Decimos-We Say” and “Oeuvre Magazine.” Snow’s first novel, “The Helper”, was published in 2017. The author was also a contributing writer for “Reader Weekly”, in Duluth, MN. SNow’s bio includes years as a public radio host and anchor, primarily in the south Florida market, but also for Wisconsin Public Radio. M. N. is also a published poet, a published cartoonist, and a former Marine Corps NCO. The author’s time is divided between Key West and the south Florida mainland, with occasional trips back home to The Zone.

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Soteria: The Crisis Forge By Roberto Arcoleo Review

Two very different brothers from another world must find a way to save two worlds and discover the truth of their purpose on Earth in author Roberto Arcoleo’s novel “Soteria: The Crisis Forge”.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Two very different brothers from another world must find a way to save two worlds and discover the truth of their purpose on Earth in author Roberto Arcoleo’s novel “Soteria: The Crisis Forge”. 

The Synopsis

SENT TO EARTH TO SAVE IT, MARK AND JASON MUST UNRAVEL THE TRUTH OF THEIR MISSION BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.

While on a routine transportation run, an ore hauler from the planet Eldern discovers that humans on Earth have developed nuclear capabilities. What’s more, they learn an asteroid is on a trajectory that will destroy all known life on the planet forty years in the future. The Council of Eldern decides to intervene. A plan is drawn up and twin emissaries are sent to Earth to save it.

Mark and Jason grow up and settle into Manhattan in the 1960s. With protests, vibrant art, and a thriving music scene, the city is pulsating with energy and the future looks bright. More powers are revealed to the twins but few details about their mission are provided. As the time grows closer for them to fulfill their duty, they sense that things are not as they seem.

With the fate of both planets in the balance and time running out, can Mark and Jason unravel the truth before it is too late?

The Review: 

This book is an interesting and creative blend of classic sci-fi world building and mythology mixed with an infusion of late 60’s/early 70’s culture and style from Earth that makes this a fun and exciting read. The mix of otherworldly powers, alien worlds and world ending threats somehow feel natural when combined with relatable characters, stories of newfound love and the honest look at different relationships and how they grow or fall apart. 

Showcasing the very different outlooks on humanity and life in general between the two brothers Mark and Jason as they grow older was interesting to see, and the author did a great job of not wasting time building a lot of backstory before diving head first into the book’s narrative. It was an evenly paced read that held many twists and turns and created a fun new sci-fi mythology many can get behind. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel. A phenomenal first entry in what promises to be an exciting new sci-fi series (one can hope), the book is an adult narrative filled with passion, romance, action and unbelievable sci-fi powers and technology that both seem out of place in the era of the novel’s story and somehow fits in all at once. This is a book you won’t want to miss, so be sure to pick up your copy of Soteria: The Crisis Forge by Roberto Arcoleo today! 

Rating: 10/10

Guest Blog Post: Do you have to be a nerd to read science fiction? by Author Clive Fleury

What do Leonard diCaprio, Nicolas Cage, Mila Kunis, Megan Fox, and Ben Stiller have in common? Yes, I know they all movie stars but besides that? They are all devotees, lovers of science fiction books and movies, in fact, everything science fiction. And yet none of them lack social skills, and they don’t seem the type to be boringly studious. I wouldn’t describe any of them as losers either. So what the heck are they doing liking sci-fi!

What do Leonard diCaprio, Nicolas Cage, Mila Kunis, Megan Fox, and Ben Stiller have in common? Yes, I know they all movie stars but besides that? They are all devotees, lovers of science fiction books and movies, in fact, everything science fiction. And yet none of them lack social skills, and they don’t seem the type to be boringly studious. I wouldn’t describe any of them as losers either. So what the heck are they doing liking sci-fi!

Some see science fiction and nerds as being like salt and pepper, bacon and eggs, and tables and chairs – twin words that are inseparable. And yet are they? Sure, some nerds like sci-fi. There’s no denying that. But just because some nerds enjoy drinking milk, that doesn’t mean that everyone who drinks milk is a nerd, does it? Of course not… except if you are French! They argue ‘Milk is for babies’. So, if you are not a baby and drink milk they presumably consider you beyond the pale—a nerd in fact. But then doesn’t that say more about France and the French than anything else? After all it’s a nation whose people seem to spend an inordinate amount of time carrying around baguettes, wearing berets, and eating cheese as a desert. Weird!

But back to nerds. And before anyone raises any PC objections let me say straight out—no I don’t have it in for nerds. I could say that ‘some of my best friends are nerds,’ but that would raise all kinds of warning signals. I’ll leave it at: I like nerds. In fact, should some maniac drop a nuclear bomb to wipe out all of humanity, I know nerds would suddenly become everyone’s best friends. Then the ability to ask a girl to dance, or wear skinny jeans wouldn’t be such a high priority. Instead, we’d look to nerds to supply answers to questions like- If most of the world has just become one giant barbecue what do we do next?

Actually, that’s the type of question that’s asked in a few science fiction books, including my own—Kill Code: A Science Fiction Dystopian Novel. (Sorry, I had to get the plugin.) Seeking answers in an entertaining form to these dilemmas is one of the attractions of science fiction. I mean have you ever thought about what life would be like on a neutron star? Well, author Robert Forward did, in his book ‘Dragon’s Egg’ and though Nerdish—Mark 4 on the Nerd scale—it reminds us that life can take many forms. And have you ever considered what it would be like if a pod of whales came to Earth dressed up as people? No? Well, Captain Kirk did in one more bizarre than usual Star Trek episode.  

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And on the subject of things taking different forms, I’ve read that Dr. Jane Goodall, the UN Messenger of Peace, and primatologist, believes ‘The Story of Doctor Dolittle’ and ‘Tarzan of the Apes’ are science fiction novels. Before you shout: ‘But that’s not science fiction,’ maybe you didn’t know many consider the Harry Potter books science fiction too. See, that’s the beauty of the genre, it traverses everything from life on Mars, to a world run by apes and magicians, and everyone has the freedom to define what exactly they think science fiction is.  

But, ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder,’ and sci-fi is not for everyone. It produces some aggressive reactions. Someone once spat at me that she ‘detested science fiction books,’ and she is not alone. But what can you do with these haters? Burn them at the stake? I don’t think so! For all those who love the genre, don’t even bother to ask the obvious question—have you read any science fiction? You would be wasting your time. Sci-fi is like prunes, Brussels sprouts, and olives—something you either love or loathe.

So what are we to conclude from all this? Some nerds like science fiction books and movies. There’s no denying that. But so to do movie stars, scientists, fashionistas, politicians and on and on—actually a fairly large slice of the world. True, not as many as like romantic novels. Sci-fi books are country cousins to that tribe. But science fiction lovers still occupy a fair swathe of the population, of which nerds are just a sliver. So you definitely need not be a nerd to enjoy sci-fi!

Now that’s settled, please excuse me. I want to get back to reading Selin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft. I’m just getting to an exciting part.

About the Author

Clive Fleury is an award-winning writer of books and screenplays, and a TV and film director and producer.  He has worked for major broadcasters and studios on a wide variety of successful projects in the US, UK, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East. Clive lives in Miami with his wife, his teenage daughter, and a cat called Louis.

© Clive Fleury 2019

Interview with Author Clive Fleury

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

My love for writing began at school. My English teacher often said that I should write a book, but I didn’t know what to write about. So I dismissed her encouragement as a fanciful dream. When I left University, I decided that maybe I should combine my love of music with writing and become a music journalist. Being naïve I didn’t really think about how hard that would be, and after countless attempts to get a job gave up and joined a market research company. Three months in, and hating the work, someone called me from one magazine I had applied for and said they had made a mistake and would like to hire me! I’ve no idea why that happened, but I didn’t hesitate. From there, after a series of lucky coincides I moved from journalism to researching TV documentaries, to directing documentaries, and then onto writing, directing and producing TV drama and feature films.

What inspired you to write your book?

Writing my book Kill Code was down to my pride. I always considered completing a book as being far too hard but had nurtured an idea for a novel for five years ago. I found countless excuses why I couldn’t start it, but finally, someone dared me to stop talking about it and just do it.

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

In one sense Kill Code is a pessimistic novel.  The world it describes is one of the extremes of wealth and poverty, and of terrifying climate change.  But it is also about men and women’s resilience, courage and moral certitude. So I hope readers take away the message you should always listen to your heart and your conscience and go with them, whatever the consequences.

What drew you into this particular genre?

One of the interesting facets of the science fiction genre is that it is an ideal platform to explore ‘big themes’ while still allowing the author to tell an entertaining and exciting story.

If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

Actually, I would like to talk with not one but two characters in Kill Code—the main protagonists Hogan Duran and Ruby Mason. They opt to reject a life of luxury for beliefs based on equality, liberty, and fraternity. I’m not convinced most people would make this choice, and I’d like to ask them how they had the strength to walk away from what looked like such an easy life.

What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Blogs, like this blog, are the lifeblood of authors.  We rely on passionate reviewers and reviews to encourage readers to take a chance on our books. Twitter too is important as it’s a platform used by many who are avid readers.

What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

There are many, many reasons not to write a book. You fear starting. You believe you don’t have the ability. You think you’ll never find a publisher or an agent. I could go on and on. The first thing to ask yourself though is: “Do I really, really want to do this.” A true writer will not be put off by fear and rejection.  That will simply make you stronger. The fact is writers have no choice but to write. It’s something you crave and have to do. So start typing, ignore the naysayers and just do it!

What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

Benjamin Franklin once said that the only certainties in life are death and taxes. So, the future definitely holds those in store for me! But that aside, I am currently completing the second book in the ‘Code’ trilogy, and I have my fingers crossed that all you readers out there will buy it and enjoy it.

About the Author

Clive Fleury is an award-winning writer of books and screenplays, and a TV and film director and producer.  He has worked for major broadcasters and studios on a wide variety of successful projects in the US, UK, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East. Clive lives in Miami with his wife, his teenage daughter, and a cat called Louis.

Code: Revelation (The Emporion Chronicles #1) by Boris Sanders Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young man living in a futuristic society stumbles upon one of humanity’s greatest known secrets in author Boris Sander’s “Code: Revelation”, the first in the Emporion Chronicles. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

An alternative cover edition for this ASIN can be found here.

Introverted computer scientist Maximilian Gutenberg had no intention of acquiring a crystal with a being trapped inside, especially not one with the power to save — or destroy — humanity. 

Her name is Lucy, and she cannot escape her prison until her mission is complete. A mission she keeps secret from everyone, even Max.

But she needs his help.

To gain his trust, she offers to get rid of his abusive boss in one week, and get him that promotion he always wanted. She’ll make him the hero of his own life, a man worthy of recognition, in exchange for helping her complete her mission.

This could be the opportunity of Max’s life, but he can’t help but wonder if Lucy is as good as she seems… And exactly what mission she must complete to regain her freedom.

Set in a dystopian, futuristic city built miles into the sky, “CODE: Revelation” is a powerful, psychological thrill ride that calls into question the nature of good and evil, and the importance of taking control of your own destiny.

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The Review

This sci-fi techno thriller is truly one of a kind. The characters instantly draw you in, from protagonist Max who finds himself thrust into an adventure like no other, to girlfriend Julia and her mission to discover the truth, and the mysterious Lucy and the history spanning mission she has been on since the dawn of time. 

This novel’s strongest aspect has to be the world building. The setting is incredibly vivid as the author creates a futuristic society based on clear cut class systems, state of the art technology and a massive city surrounded by a dome and cut off from the outside world. The story blends technology and suspense expertly, and the author’s command of the genre instantly draws readers into this massive story.

The Verdict

This is a fantastic sci-fi novel that deserves to be read. The first in a series, this story delves into themes such as greed, power, and humanity’s reliance on technology. A fast read of only a little over 200 pages, this story packs quite a punch and will leave readers anxious to read the next novel in the series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of “Code: Revelation” by Boris Sanders today!

Rating: 8/10

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About the Author

Boris Sanders started to write at a very early age, in fact, so much so that, for his mother’s surprise, the doctor who delivered him insisted to have seen some marks that resembled words inside her womb. His intellect is quite advantaged, having learned 37 languages by the age of 14, of which 35 were created by him, don’t have a writing form, and only he can speak and understand them. In addition, he has a photographic memory, as long as an actual photo was taken during the occasion. 

In his spare time Boris likes to swim in waterless pools and investigate the mysteries of the universe, while sitting on his comfortable couch, effectively doing nothing. He has a particular taste for olives of any kind.

Book

Book trailer: https://1drv.ms/v/s!AjZg8_7n9Ym4kqcdOFbQE79fw9ZSRA

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07L3TPH43

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43521844-code

Author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BorisSanders1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/boris.sanders/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BorisSandersAuthor

Website: http://www.borissanders.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18672762.Boris_Sanders

Kill Code: A Dystopian Science Fiction Novel by Clive Fleury Review

A man desperate to survive a declining world finds himself discovering the dark secrets of the world’s most powerful security force in author Clive Fleury’s “Kill Code”.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A man desperate to survive a declining world finds himself discovering the dark secrets of the world’s most powerful security force in author Clive Fleury’s “Kill Code”. Here is the synopsis. 

The Synopsis

WHEN THE OCEANS RISE…THE TRUTH DROWNS

The year 2031. Our future. Their present. A world decimated by climate catastrophe, where the sun’s heat is deadly and the oceans rise higher every day. A world ruled by the rich, powerful, and corrupt. A world where a good man can’t survive for long.

Hogan Duran was a good man once: a good cop, forced to resign in disgrace when he couldn’t save his partner from a bullet. Now Hogan lives on the fraying edges of society, serving cruel masters and scavenging trash dumps just to survive.

But after four years of living in poverty, Hogan finally gets the chance to get back on his feet. He’s invited to join the National Security Council, the powerful paramilitary organization responsible for protecting the rich and powerful from the more unsavory elements of society. All he needs to do is pass their deadly entrance exam, and he’ll be rewarded with wealth and opportunity beyond his wildest dreams.

But this ex-cop’s path to redemption won’t be easy. The NSC is hiding something, and as Hogan descends deeper and deeper into their world, he starts to uncover the terrible truth of how the powerful in this new society keep their power…and just how far they’ll go to protect their secrets.

In a world gone wrong, can one good man actually make a difference? Or will he die trying?

The Review

In just a 136 pages, author Clive Fleury packs quite a punch that delves head first into the dystopian sci-fi genre. Exploring a world in the midst of financial and climate ruin, the author expertly crafts a tale of redemption, misconceptions and a fight for the truth that leads the protagonist in several directions. The futuristic world that is built in this short novel instantly grabs the readers attention, drawing them into this vicious cycle where the elite rule all, and the majority of people live in complete poverty. 

Mixing the grim reality that most dystopian novels feed off of with the advanced technology and great character development, this novel accomplishes a great deal of entertainment and fun in a short time. Readers will be left breathless as the tables turn time and time again, leaving the question: who can Hogan trust?

The Verdict

This is a must read sci-fi and dystopian novel. Filled to the brim with action, suspense and a mystery that slowly unravels into a collective mind of chaos and intrigue only a true fan of the genre could appreciate. If you enjoy entertaining sci-fi and dystopian novels, then author Clive Fleury’s “Kill Code” is for you. Pick up your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

About Me:

I am an award-winning writer of books and screenplays, and a TV and film director and producer.  I have worked for major broadcasters and studios on a wide variety of successful projects in the US, UK, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East. 

www.clivefleurywriter.com

Chrome Mountain by Ben Schneider Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Two people find themselves forced to fight together for survival in author Ben Schneider’s Chrome Mountain. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

Chrome Mtn Flyer

Trey and Sonya couldn’t be more different–yet their divergent lives are about to converge, with a bang. As Sonya evades the biker gang she was once involved with, she befriends Trey, a scientist, and helps him evade the Chromes, the most successful terrorist organization in the world. Trey and Sonya have more than their own lives to consider; the free world will change for the worse if the Chromes gain Trey’s priceless knowledge.

In the thriller Chrome Mountain, Ben Schneider explores one possible future our real world could be racing toward. Readers will find this story, driven by the female protagonist, a page-turner but without the darker tactics of similar sci-fi thrillers. The characters of Chrome Mountain tell their stories with clean humor, no profanity, a lot of advice from God, and action–lots and lots of action.

The Review

This science-fiction thriller is unlike any other. Filled with incredible character development and military style action, the story of two people from very different worlds coming together inadvertently in a fight against powerful forces made for an engaging read. An incredible blend and fusion of biker gangs, terrorist organizations, futuristic tech and relatable protagonists made this a truly fun read to enjoy.

Now one thing I will say that I cannot comment on fully is the inclusion of some religious storylines. I myself being not religious, I cannot comment on the strength or impact to religion this story has. I can say for anyone who enjoys characters with deep ties to religion, there are some truly important and strong stories intertwined with some of these characters that involve that subject. It examines belief and faith in a unique way as it mixes into this futuristic sci-fi world the author has created.

The Verdict

Overall this was a fun read. Filled with action and suspense, this original and incredibly creative tale is a wonderful fusion of interweaving character arcs, high-octane drama and a edge of your seat thriller you won’t want to miss. Be sure to grab your copy of Chrome Mountain by Ben Schneider today.

Rating: 8/10

https://www.amazon.com/Chrome-Mountain-Ben-Schneider-ebook/dp/B07DMZ86B3/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Kindle – $2.99 (free w Kindle Unlimited)

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/chrome-mountain-ben-schneider/1128858008?ean=2940161675625

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40409574-chrome-mountain

https://www.facebook.com/Chrome-Mountain-281058869320535/

https://airmanartless.com/published-work.html

https://www.instagram.com/airmanartless/

https://twitter.com/pinscratch5

About the Author

Author Pic2

Ben Schneider was born in Oklahoma City, OK in 1977.  He graduated from Newcastle High School in 1996 and earned his Associates in General Studies at Hillsdale FWB College in 1999.  While at Hillsdale he created Holidabblers, only then, he called it “Holiday Heroes” until another artist bought the copyrights to that title years later.  During the late 90s Ben drew his cartoons in colored pencil.  In fall of 1999 he transferred to the University of Oklahoma and later had cartoons published in “The Oklahoma Daily” (as shown at the bottom of the “Holidabblers” tab).  Since then Ben revolutionized his work, making it mostly computer-based by using Photoshop and Freehand.

Ben earned his Bachelors of Art in Graphic Design in May of 2003.  He joined the US Air Force the following month and received his first assignment in Aviano, Italy.  Ben’s experiences in the Air Force inspired him to invent Airman Artless.  In July of 2005 he had his first Airman Artless cartoon published.  He has been published repeatedly in the “Vigileer,” “Air Scoop,” “Kaiserslautern American,” “Samurai Gate,” and “Crimson Sky.”  One sample of each can be found on the “Published Work” tab.  The “Crimson Sky” sample also includes a story about Ben on page 18.  Ben welcomes any ideas for future Airman Artless cartoons.  Feel free to send an idea, question, comment or offer anytime to either of the following:

pinscratch@hotmail.com

pinscratch@yahoo.com

Author Pic1

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