Tag Archive | Viral outbreak

The Fall of Fort Bragg by Rachel Aukes

the-fall-of-fort-braggSource: ARC from the author
Format: Kindle
Rating:  5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This is a Kindle Worlds novella in the Extinction Cycle by Nicholas Sansbury Smith.

I appreciated the opportunity to read this story written in the Extinction Cycle world as created by Nicholas Sansbury Smith. In this book we get to meet Horn’s wife, Sheila, and their girls, Tasha and Jenny.

This story did not disappoint. For all Aukes is not Smith, her story had the same level of horror, suspense and pacing I have come to expect from Smith’s books. I could have easily been fooled into thinking Smith had written it. Kudos to Aukes for remaining true to the series in this regard. Not that a change would have been awful; after all, this story is about a different group of people.

Not much else to say, really, except that fans of the Extinction Cycle shouldn’t miss this addition to the canon. It’s excellent.

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Fringe Runner by Rachel Aukes

fringe-runnerSource: ARC from author
Format: Paperback
Rating:  5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

After the colonization of Mars and Europa, it took us fewer than five generations to reach beyond our solar system and discover new planets capable of supporting human life. Too far away to be governed under Earth law, the Collective was formed. Several hundred years later, the Collective has expanded to a thriving system of six inhabited worlds, but power struggles are common, and a seemingly inevitable interplanetary war looms on the horizon. It’s nearly impossible for the working class to make ends meet.

Aramis Reyne is one of the working class. An old space captain hounded by arthritis and war memories, he struggles to make enough credits to feed his crew and keep his ship flying by running mail and supplies to the farthest, most dangerous reaches of the Collective known as the fringe. When he’s offered a no-questions-asked contract to pick up a package, he jumps at the opportunity. But, he quickly learns that he should’ve asked questions…and that there are far worse things in the Collective than being broke.

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This was a very exciting book. Just how I like my science fiction action.

In Fringe Runner Aukes has created an excellent socio-political scenario as a backdrop to the real story, and to match that, a motley crew of misfits and ne’er-do-wells with pasts to their names. And a whole load of heart. Reyne is a sympathetic space captain who runs into events that aren’t of his making. And finds himself a kingpin in a plot that has far-reaching consequences. How far do old loyalties and ambitions extend? And what prices must be paid to achieve his dream?

Great action, fantastic villains and some surprises nestle in this story. For space opera lovers, with a good helping of space piracy.

 

Extinction Evolution by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Extinction EvolutionSource: ARC from author.
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

There’s a storm on the horizon…  Central Command is gone, the military is fractured, and the doomsday clock continues to tick. Despite overwhelming odds, Dr. Kate Lovato has developed a new weapon to defeat the Variants–a weapon that could end the war sweeping the globe. But can Master Sergeant Reed Beckham and the remaining members of Team Ghost protect her and the survivors of Plum Island long enough to save the human race? 

Fans of this series won’t be disappointed to pick up this next instalment in the Extinction saga. Well written and fast-paced,  Smith’s writing continues to be of a quality that draws you right into the heart of the action and holds you there. The characters were still in my head a good couple of days after I finished the book.

In Extinction Evolution we get another roller-coaster ride as Beckham and Kate – and a few others – work to reclaim the world from the Variants. As usual, there are complications along the way and some pretty big challenges – not least that the Variants are, well, evolving. Things get serious, but we finally begin to see some real glimmers of hope. Even so, the situation is more dangerous than ever, and our heroes are getting tired.

Very well-written and vivid, an excellent continuation of the Extinction story. Now I need the next one please!

Extinction Age by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Extinction Age
Source: ARC from author
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel
On the eve of extinction all seems to be lost, but there is still one final hope…
 
Operation Liberty has failed. Humans are losing the war. With no other option, General Kennor decides to pull back the troops and give science a second chance. 
 
Trapped in the extensive sewer system beneath New York, Master Sergeant Reed Beckham and the survivors of 1st Platoon must battle through the tunnels–where they make a grisly discovery in their attempt to escape. 
 
At Plum Island, Dr. Kate Lovato is working on a new bioweapon to destroy the Variants. But when a derelict Navy Destroyer crashes into the Connecticut shoreline, she is forced to deal with a nightmare she thought had ended. 
 
As the doomsday clock ticks down and military bases fall across the country, the human race enters the age of extinction. Will science prevail–or will mankind vanish off the face of the planet?

 

Book three in this series, and Smith isn’t done with us yet! For which, I must say, I’m grateful, as I’m really enjoying this series… if one can enjoy books that are essentially a never-ending (apparently) nightmare.

That said, this book makes one consider who really *is* the true monster: the human who has been turned into a monster as a result of a virus, or one who is yet human, yet turns on his fellow man?

It’s funny. Whenever I read these books, the predominant colour in my mind is grey. I’m not sure if that’s as a result of the covers depicting grey people, or how my mind deals with the horror within these books’ pages. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but an interesting fact I just realised. Everything is grey.

This book again expands our knowledge of the post-apocalyptic nightmare the characters are dealing with. We get to see a few more locations, and revisit a few as well. The action is relentless, with Team Ghost again getting little more than a few hours’ recovery time at best (less than 72 hours, mostly) between missions. I appreciated the few moments of beauty that were able to creep into the pages, reminding us of what Team Ghost is fighting for.

An excellent instalment of the saga, and I look forward to the next one with relish. Bring it on!

Extinction Edge by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Source: ARC from author
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

A BIOWEAPON DESIGNED TO SAVE THE WORLD…
A SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY THAT WILL ALTER HUMAN HISTORY…
AND A NEW THREAT THAT WILL BRING HUMANITY TO THE EDGE OF EXTINCTION.

The dust from Dr. Kate Lovato’s bioweapon has settled. Projections put death counts in the billions. Her weapon was supposed to be the endgame, but it turned a small percentage of those infected with the Hemorrhage Virus into something even worse.

Survivors call them Variants. Irreversible epigenetic changes have transformed them into predators unlike any the human race has ever seen. And they are evolving.

With the doomsday clock ticking, the fractured military plans Operation Liberty—a desperate mission designed to take back the cities and destroy the Variant threat. Master Sergeant Reed Beckham agrees to lead a strike team into New York City, but first he must return to Fort Bragg to search for the only family he has left.

At Plum Island, Kate discovers Central Command may have considerably underestimated the Variant population in New York. As Operation Liberty draws closer, Kate warns Beckham that Team Ghost won’t just face their deadliest adversary yet, they may be heading into a trap…

This is an excellent sequel to Extinction Horizon. It picks up the action in the closing stages of Extinction Horizon, but from a different POV within NYC.

Smith expands the scope of the story nicely with this book. New characters are introduced, two of which quickly became my favourites among the new crop, and we see the threat from the Variants ramp up quite a few notches through the course of the book. It was good that, while there was a lot of bad news, some hope and good news is sprinkled through the story, allowing the reader to take a break.

In some senses, this book immerses one more into the utter devastation wreaked, and the threat level posed by the Variants, and I had to agree with this sentiment: “Beckham missed the days of fighting enemies that moved on two legs.” There were times while reading that I struggled to reconcile my daily life to what was in the pages of this book. Well done!