The Broadcast

The Broadcast, an e-book published, copyright and written by Liam Fialkov.

Plot: The author has provided an interesting plot that is quite closely allied with thoughts arising from Erich von Dänilien books. However as provided, little description of the plot may be set forth without a ‘spoiler alert’ for presenting too much of it and/or its component parts. Briefly however, the story centers around a series of blockbuster broadcasts that at first present photographic evidence of situations that lead to solving ‘dead case’ murders. It then switches to documentary productions of historic events that the producer states gradually will go back to zero AD. As these latter increasingly reveal graphic descriptions of well-known/accepted factors of history, mounting pressure is exerted against their production by both Christian and Muslim groups who fear revelation of various activities that may be contrary to their long held beliefs and/or teachings.

Characters: Leading characters include Jonathan and his brother Walter, who as small children had been put up for adoption when their family was killed in a car crash. Walter was fortunate in being adopted by a loving family, well-educated and became a well-known TV producer. Jonathan became the product of several foster families and was only variously educated. He was intelligent and extended his education into several areas, however. Jonathan’s wife Sarah, disowned by her family for becoming pregnant at sixteen (actually raped) was sent from St. Louis to Phoenix where she delivered a baby that was taken from her at the convent causing her endless remorse. McPherson is an award winning journalist who believed the productions by Walter were phony and set in motion an attempt to expose them. HH a former debatably crooked cop who had served time and now was a bitter, occasionally vicious PI. Michael, a young adopted boy who is hired by Walter and plays an increasing part in the story. Numerous others who play roles of varied importance. Additionally, Jonathan and Sarah’s large, heavily forested area of residence contains an unusual portion that also plays an important part in the tale as the plot advances until it gradually reaches a fitting finale.

Discussion: As described, the story begins with the TV’s Hype for the unusual clip that had come into Walter’s possession that reveals the perpetrator of a twenty-five-year-old murder, followed by similar before switching to the historical documentary productions. The method of provision is to quite constantly switch between scenes with intermediate chapters. 1 – the TV hype; 2 – a chapter describing Johnathan and Sarah; 3 -one of Sarah; 4 – the Broadcast; 5 – Johnathan; 6 – the Broadcast; 7 – Michael; 8 – the Broadcast, etc. This approach does provide important bits and pieces of the story and the interrelationship of numerous characters as they move inexorably toward the finish. Unfortunately, the format results in a large amount of repetition and/or redundancy that if removed, would greatly enhance the progression of an intriguing story. Some, more prosaic, readers may find a little difficulty in accepting some character activity and many will find character development sketchy. Some will find the ending ‘proper and emotionally satisfying’ while others may believe it to be a little too ‘pat’.

4* For fascinating story; -1 at least for numerous hiccups.

Chasing the Red Queen

Chasing the Red Queen, a multiple genre novel published, copyright and written by Karen Glista.

The book opens with a prologue from an ancient birch parchment of the Ojibwa, also known as Chippewa, Indian nation, whose main area of residence more or less centered on Sault St. Marie and contiguous portions of America and Canada. The parchment details how “seven spirits presented themselves to the people in the Land of the Dawn to teach the Mide way of life. The first six spirits were good and kind, but the seventh grew too powerful and killed those in his presence.” Supposedly, the good spirits had forced him into the ocean. This is a story of his reappearance and centers on Donja Bellinger, whose mother’s death four years previously has left her with intense psychological problems. Now her mother has decided to marry Carson Hampton and they are to move to the upper Michigan Peninsula leaving the home, school, surroundings and close friends established over her seventeen years of life. He was extremely nice, equated immediately with her younger brother and tried very hard to do the same with her. Offering still another problem was Carson’s daughter Makayla, a beautiful, poised, constantly well-dressed 17-year-old who was independently wealthy from money her mother had left her when she had passed away a few years before. They move into the new home which is on the Historic Homes Registry and reputed as having been owned by a woman who was believed to have been a Chippewa leaving the house haunted. It is a mess ad they are going to have it renovated while they’re living there. The two girls become true sisters as each has a problem with which they help each other and they go exploring into a secret room discovered. Here they find many fascinating things, not the least of which are very old paintings on birch bark along with some of the earliest photographs. These, combined with other discoveries – the fact that Donja is the only descendant left of a distinct branch of the Chippewa nation; she and Makayla becoming romantically involved with two extremely handsome men in the near-by night life centers; the men are       actually part of a vampire-like race living on earth for centuries – all lead to extended wild and weird activity evolving from re-entry of that seventh (evil Ojibwa) spirit who is attracted to Donja as the only surviving member of that extinct branch of the Chippewa Clan. The tale culminates eventually in horrendous bloody battles and a fitting end.

Discussion: The author has used the well-known strange stories that have for years emanated from, and about, the upper Michigan Peninsula and associated parts of Canada but has added a new twist – a vampire-like (alien) race of immortals. This amalgamation with one of the well-known basic themes is perhaps a little jarring to readers aware of the usual thrust of stories associated with the area. But in its unique multi – fantasy/alien (?)/vampire/mystery – genre status is acceptable and as such, no doubt of interest to many readers of one or more of these categories. Regrettably, there are a number of features that, at least from this reader’s viewpoint, make evaluation difficult to say the least. The impression first acquired is that the story appears to be slanted somewhat toward a teenage feminine group because after an initial understanding of Donja’s decision to go goth, the extensive amount of description set forth and emphasis on make-up, hair styles and stylists, boutiques, and variations in dress, as well as the approach to male/female activity descriptions somehow heightened this impression. However, as the story continues the trend became more varied and the imposition of more graphic violence moved the tale to assume a broader scope. Another distraction is the number of lengthy descriptions that requires judicial editing to aid in remaining closer to the book’s basic story. So to reiterate, a story difficult to assess.

Conclusion: A multi-genre story that no doubt should appeal mostly to certain Fantasy/Romance readers who do not mind inclusion of considerable graphic violence and lengthy rhetoric only tangentially pertinent to the main theme.

3* Multi-genre tale adding unusual twist to those associated with the region.

Raptor Ray

Raptor Ray, “self-published via KDP”, copyright and written multi-genre e-book by Brent Reilly.

Plot/Characters: The year is 2025 and the beautiful wife of brilliant geneticist Dr. Ramundo Ramirez, is having a designer baby at 6 months because she looked like a huge 9 months and the fetus had begun pushing for delivery. The mother, a 7’ tall, also brilliant geneticist was a genetically enhanced woman herself and had insisted that she give birth to a dinosaur hybrid. Her desires were fulfilled. Sonograms had pictured the fetus as really weird and the obstetrician Bennet had delivered thousands of babies but admittedly this was the first delivery of a non-homo sapiens in 30,000 years. He does a C-section, an extraordinarily large baby explodes out. It has a tail but no feathers or body hair, strange yellow eyes, two claws and a thumb for each hand, scaly skin, and feet presenting three talons only, like an eagle. The delivery causes unstoppable bleeding and she dies. Ramiraz suddenly realizes that she had been more interested in producing this hybrid than in raising it. He is devastated, wants nothing to do with the child. Bennet’s daughter Emily, also attending, cleans the baby but cannot stop its crying. His irascible mother Wilda sees the baby and the two equate immediately. She tells son and Emily to go back to playing God, she would stop teaching and although suffering from Parkinson’s, will take care of this child who had special needs.

The story then turns to the General, the character around whose activity most of the story revolves and with whom (and/or his relatives/offspring) the reader is taken into a long ride through sci-fi accomplishments some of which no doubt already are on the drawing board while others still are on a list of anticipated conjecture. Included are his ability to generate clean electricity, provide potable water putting desalination plants out of business, and transmit it all to where people live, and more. The Pacific Ocean had a million uninhabited islands because of lack of reliable drinking water. He took over, developed them and gathered them together as a country which he owned. He developed a thermal nuclear source far better than electrolysis – placed them as artificial islands calling them ‘sea cities’. These were defenseless until the Jacksons got their own country, claimed an exclusion zone and confiscated ships that fished there. He developed a metal stronger and lighter than steel enabling him to construct the tallest skyscrapers etc. etc. and Luxury resorts cheaper than any. Pre-planned cities with cheapest transportation, education, healthcare, maximized walkability. His family, brilliant geneticists, ran the designer baby clinics that already had produced some of these dominating science, sports, acting, medicine and others who now were in their 20’s. A utopia? Possibly, but this all is dependent upon the General who might be summarily described as often rude, crude, lewd and despicable in his personal as well as business tactics but make make him the first certified Trillionaire. The tactics include manipulative banking activity, short-trading, invoking discontent, riots and more. He ruins Australia, and thousands of parties attempting to stop him collectively lost trillions. He shorted publically-traded counterparties, Goldman Sachs stocks crashed as well as others and he made a trillion just on shorting thousands of financial firms and used the media to inflame Americans so they wouldn’t fund necessary defense/attack needs so he could take over.

Discussion: The author has presented a lengthy treatise on the physical troubles facing today’s world and its inhabitants with additional ways in which these problems could be eliminated mostly, unfortunately by means not yet available. The activities additionally mirror much of the subversive activity that is so apparent in political maneuvering on the international level. This definitely is a book that should appeal to sci-fi/fantasy/thriller devotees. This reviewer’s personal enjoyment would have been much enhanced if some of the descriptions of building the various cities and those of the frequent battles could have been edited sufficiently as to be less redundant. i.e. although admittedly varied, much redundancy could have been eliminated. One other curious note – given the apparent importance of Raptor Ray’s birth, it seems, at least to this reviewer, odd that only the occasional chapter was devoted to his activities until close to the book’s end.

3* Basically sci-fi, multi-genre story exploring numerous modern world problems.

 

Panther Across the Stars

Panther Across the Star, Fallen Leaf Books, e-book copyright and written by Lon Brett Coon.

Prologue: In a broken down house in Oklahoma in the year 2023 Myaka is at the height of frustration. He is the great grandson of the long line of Panther Across the Sky, Chief of the Shawnee Indian tribe. As hereditary leader, he is afraid for his people: “How many times can a peoples’ hope be torn from them before it goes out forever? I don’t know if I can bear that burden. It crushes my bones and chains my soul.” He is a desperate soul who drowned in a river of fear. He smashes the mirror with his fists as well as any other glass wear available. His mother tells him all eventually will be alright but too immersed within himself, he grabs a blanket against the chill and wanders out into the night. He encounters a group of people sharing fun, wine and talk around a campfire on the beach. They invite him over, are a little startled because easy relationships are difficult between people of their culture and his. However, they equate well and upon their urging he tells them a story. The tale is based fundamentally on the life of the purportedly wise Shawnee Indian chief Tecumseh and his attempts to form a confederacy of Indian nations to stop the encroaching white man. He is presented as a man who wanted peace for all with none overriding others in spite of seeing his father brutally killed by white men who had invaded Shawnee territory. The tale continues with numerous episodes of his life, some based on actual activities, others are conjecture including his saving the lives of three intergalactic persons who crash in their spaceship near his band of warriors – an incident purportedly to be found in Shawnee legend. This volume of the anticipated series ends with an epic white/Redman battle. An epilogue follows where Myaka finishes his story to the uneasy group of the rape of the Indian nations by the constantly encroaching white men with their incessant lies, retractions and overwhelming military resources and concludes: “The Reservation – a token gift to the savages that holds up American humanity.” He walks away, but the reader is given to understand that somehow with this catharsis, the fifteen year old boy has grown to become a man and the reader understands that the saga is about to continue.

Discussion: The author has provided a historical novel with a message somewhat similar to the earlier written books describing the fall of the Cherokee Nation but with an interesting sci-fi addition. The body of the tale is well-written, the action is abundant and graphically detailed and follows the life of the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh with a slight historical error, unnoticeable to other than a very few American Indian aficionados. From the viewpoint of a reader who has spent a fair amount of time in and around reservations, the housing description and Myaka’s actions are particularly well done. The epilogue does not seem to fit as well. It somehow seems to this reviewer like a prepared paper to enforce a point that already has been well presented in the body of story. (An aside perhaps of some interest to a few readers –the name Myaka means Turtle.)

4* Enjoyable historical with an interesting sci-fi inclusion.

PROVIDER PRIME, Alien Legacy

PROVIDER PRIME, Alien Legacy, a sci-fi, alien, intergalactic novel copyright and written by John Vassar.

Thirty-seven seconds ago a mind-numbing fear entered the mind of DS. Agent David Telson. Being aware that psychological warfare could be expected he was concerned that nerve gas may have penetrated his cam-suit. However, he concentrated on keeping his thoughts on his job and Gem because he knew that he had the most advanced technology at FedStat’s disposal protecting him, that his Commanding Officer Harry Doyle ‘had his back’, and that extraction was on the way. As a long successful agent, he still was concerned because he sensed something was out there. His extraction unit arrived within minutes, he started sprinting towards it and suddenly was nothing but a puff of dust. Shortly thereafter the reader is introduced to Doyle having drinks with Lee Mitchell, an extremely intelligent former agent who he attempts to persuade to return on a special assignment at Delere Secos (DS). Even after long friendship Lee refuses, they have words and Lee leaves. A few days later he is contacted by Commander Nathaniel Devlin who informs him Doyle has vanished and he asks Lee to become an investigator for him into the disappearance with no real ties to the parent organization and provides him with information on what they seem to be facing. Lee accepts because of his long relationship with Doyle. Next, Cytec is introduced. It is a huge corporation that functions on the cutting edge of science and is responsible for a considerable amount of Earth’s usable technology. It is headed by exceedingly brilliant Roderick Deucalion Thorne, a man who has become a recluse in his huge laboratory that he has staffed with autons (human-like robots). Because all of the board of directors have become mega rich under his direction of the company no one wishes to challenge his eccentricities. Thorne’s huge main autom Sentinal he has programmed to think but with complete loyalty to him and also Cortx with no thoughts other than within parameters Thorne dictates. The Sentinal is his constant companion, As further pieces of information are released the reader discovers that Thorne actually is an intelligent alien named Ja’faal from the planet of Vis’hanni, many light years away in an entirely different solar system. Additionally, the level of scientific development of this planet is far advanced beyond that of Earth. Thus, the seemingly genius Thorne who has been able to devise and produce the many useful devices that have made Cytec such a leader that the company has disregarded his unusual behavior, is the intelligent Ja’faal from a far advanced culture who has been functioning at the advanced level that has allowed him his reclusive activities. Additionally however, his withdrawn position has allowed him to secretly devise deadly instruments such as the one that destroyed Telson and Doyle. And these were merely successful first steps to pursue his secretly held ruinous intentions for Earth. Meanwhile we learn that Lee has accepted the assignment and during his early deployment is approached by SenANN the now autonomous functioning advanced Artificial Intelligence System that serves the secret levels of FedState. They have approached him because they require a physical representative to gain entrance to save a ‘brother SenANN’ who they believe is threatened by Thorne. By insinuation of miniscule working elements into Lee’s brain his new circuitry becomes part of this ‘top secret’ functioning system. And now enough. Presentation of any further details of Lee’s subsequent interaction with SenANN, with his peers, his commanders, the aliens or any other facets of the entire thread of the complicated plot would be a distinct disservice to prospective readers.

Discussion: The author has set forth a remarkable alien/sci-fi story replete with action that generally moves the tale forward at a nice pace, provides relatively simple explanations for the technology employed that are vague but seemingly adequate to move the reader forward, and characters with whom the reader for the most part can equate. Lee’s love interest, as such, is difficult to swallow as to its depth, as is Reyna’s relationship with her sister who first had known Lee and whose ultimate situation after an apparent vague plea to him is never again mentioned. Similarly, the sequencing of important information often provided an annoying level of confusion with respect to the entire plot, at least for this reader.

Conclusion: An intriguing, nicely verbalized alien/sci-fi that most readers no doubt will enjoy.

4* Enjoyable alien/sci-fi for most, but disconcerting hiccups as described.

The MATRIARC MATRIX

The MATRIARC MATRIX ISBN: 9780999335000, Tale of Bird Books, an e-book by Maxime Trencavel.

The author has set forth a long progression of activity extending from nine thousand years BC to the present and future. During these eons of time, numerous males have been left with perplexing and literally somewhat exhausting dreams they cannot fathom and often not recall. Simultaneously within this matrix, a strong matriarchy evolves. The protagonist here is a Kurdish woman educated in Europe as well as her home country. She has been raped and disfigured by torture and upon escaping, dispenses justice of similar proportions. She is employed by a physically and mentally powerful CEO industrialist whose activities can be ruthless. And these activities pervasively invade every level of activity throughout the world. This man is one of the ‘dream sufferers’ who gathers her, plus an extremely beautiful Chinese woman, an (ex-?) Jesuit Priest who also is an ex-French soldier of unusual physical capabilities, and an incredibly naïve San Franciscan free-lance copy editor whose social development particularly exudes this quality. He also is a dream sufferer as well as obligatory heir for ancestral obligations to his much-loved grandfather as well as having a doting mother. His recruitment is because the CEO believes that within his repressed memory (ȧ la Carl Jung) lies the answer to the severe dream affliction. The three are inserted as an archeological team to obtain an object reputed to have the answer to the debilitating dreams. The point of insertion is an ancient temple (Gobekli Tepe) that is presently in the center of a war among Turkey, the new Anatolian Kurdish State and the Arabic Confederation (AC) armed forces, with later intervention by China, Russia and the United States. The Temple supposedly is in an agreed upon off-limits demilitarized zone. Heavy fighting occurs, extends to the Temple, a ‘controlled cataclysmic event’ occurs before the actual climax of the tale, and the protagonist proceeds to offer and expand on, the oft-repeated, almost platitude like statements that prejudice, stereotypes, and intolerance all cease when you stop and show others how to be tolerant and “…as people, we are more similar than different. That our beliefs are more similar than different. And that to achieve the peace we all seek, we need tolerance. And the willingness to know and accept each other for who we are.”

Discussion: In the author’s words, she has attempted to set forth an epic and certainly has the material. Unfortunately, at least for this reviewer, the attempt seems to have been a little overzealous. She has attempted to cover this sizeable mass of material in one volume and in so doing has provided a somewhat confusing intermingling of material. It is indeed true that she has presented some extremely fascinating vignettes; some interesting people and has included especially insights to possible thought patterns of a Turkish/Kurd/Muslim woman; expanded discussion of the merits of spiritual vs. physical love; expounded on the idea that “our pre-Neolithic ancestors became more susceptible to notions of mysticism, spiritual concepts, the belief in supreme beings”; the always present thought that ‘aliens’ were/are somehow involved; and even brought to mind the teachings of the Suisse psychiatrist Carl Jung and bits of history such as the extremes of the Crusades, the Knights Templar and of the Cather branch of Christianity who were slaughtered with the blessing of the Roman Catholic Pope. However, the description of the huge and vicious Reindeer people who came from the north and attacked the less warlike hunter-gathers to gain women as sex slaves and men to build their pyramids, brings more to mind the Vikings, Goths or possible other savages rather than what is assumed to be the pyramid builders of the ages. To my knowledge, other than a highly questionable claim of pyramids in Bosnia, acceptance of these structures anywhere close to their purported position in the Middle East is difficult to accept, thus creating difficulty with respect to the story’s location, seemingly the Black Sea and Turkey. Another interesting aside is that one of the main themes of the story rests upon the long postulated relationship between a man dominated society and it’s repetitively vicious struggles. And there is no doubt that there is tremendous positive support for this contention However, depicting most of the prominent male characters as quite ineffectual, and as in the case of the San Franciscan, even ridiculously childlike, appears attuned to bolstering a strongly held personal opinion rather than to provide further discussion. But then, as the author quite nicely interspersed within the body of the work by quoting the San Franciscan copywriter: “…a reviewer reacts early to a notion, a phrase, a style and shuts down, having decided what the piece is about.” And “People are like novels. If we would be patient … we might see the layers unfold and a different story would appear.” Both of these statements regrettably are so true and the exact reason it is so abhorrent for me to see a reviewer state that he/she could not finish a book.

Conclusion: For reasons stated, the author has set forth considerable fine material on some most interesting subjects that causes this reviewer, after reading the entire close to 600 pages, to believe a thorough editing would provide a much more enjoyable read.

3* 4* fascinating subject matter; 2* editing required to maximize potential.