Archive for April 5th, 2017
Xenogeneic: First Contact by Lance Erlick
Xenogeneic is a science fiction thriller about first contact with an alien race that lost their civil war and wants to take over Earth.
Dr. Elena Pyetrov’s father vanished in space 18 years ago while searching for extraterrestrial life. As an aerospace engineer, Elena travels into space to search for answers and continue his work. Her ship is pulled off course and crashes. She suspects extraterrestrial interference.
The alien Knoonk lost their civil war in a distant star system and fled to Earth’s neighborhood to hide and regroup. They seek a new home—Earth. Unable to live in Earth’s toxic environment, the aliens kidnap and use humans to genetically modify their species to adapt.
Surviving the crash, Elena and her shipmates are transported to a closed cave system where the Knoonk monitor and control everything. Elena tries to make a connection with her hosts and find ways to work together, but Knoonk leaders rebuff her and force the humans to submit as slaves. The aliens use illusions, distractions, and social experiments to learn from their hostages and keep them off balance. Resistance by captive humans brings swift punishment to break the human spirit.
While Elena continues to look for ways to cooperate with the Knoonk, it becomes apparent that there can be no compromise. The Knoonk want to capture Earth for their species. It is winner take all. With time running out, Elena must dig deep to uncover the alien plan and find a way to stop them before the human race faces enslavement and extinction.
Lance Erlick writes science fiction thrillers for young adult and adult readers. He is the author of The Rebel Within, The Rebel Trap, and Rebels Divided, three books in the Rebel series. In those stories, he explores the consequences of Annabelle Scott following her conscience. He authored the Regina Shen series–Resilience, Vigilance, Defiance, and Endurance. This series takes place after abrupt climate change leads to the Great Collapse and a new society under the World Federation. His latest novel is Xenogeneic: First Contactabout encounters with an alien race aiming to take over Earth.
THE WORLD OF XENOGENEIC: FIRST CONTACT
In 1620 after many Puritans were pushed out of England by King James, some fled to America. They founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony where they were free to practice their beliefs. At first, they lived in peace with the native population, but in time they displaced the indigenous people.
In Xenogeneic: First Contact, the alien Knoonk lost their civil war and fashion themselves as persecuted pilgrims in need of a new home. The idea for this story came not only from early American history but also from SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). This project monitors potential communications from space, but also promotes sending out welcoming messages. In fact, all of our wireless signals float into space, so it isn’t just the SETI project telling the universe we’re here. The hope is that we could learn if there are other intelligent species out there, opening up the opportunity to learn from each other.
However, the broadcasts are also available to intelligence species that do not bear humans goodwill. In the case of the Knoonk, they needed a place to regroup and start over, but found Earth’s atmosphere toxic. They need either to terraform an inhabited planet, which would take many decades, or adapt their genetics to Earth in a generation, which is what they choose to do.
To defend themselves against the victors of their civil war, the Knoonk decide to use their technologies to dominate Earth. Too bad humans are in the way. Genetically adapting their species to Earth is taking too long. Time is running out, which creates internal divisions among the Knoonk.
Elena Pyetrov is kidnapped into a closed cave system controlled by the aliens. She discovers her long lost father, now dying of old age, and other kidnapped humans. To keep the humans off balance and under control, the Knoonk ration food and water, use illusions and experiments, and reduce humans to subsistence by promoting clan warfare among the kidnapped population. While the Knoonk have advanced technologies and weapons, humans must deal with scarcity in barren caves. Elena becomes a pawn of the alien’s internal struggles and has to survive the cave challenges and sort out what the humans are up against, who she can trust, and what she can do to stop their plan.
Elena Pyetrov’s father disappeared in space eighteen years ago. Everyone has figured him dead and Elena wants to complete his mission. But while in space something goes horribly wrong and her ship crashes. It seems that an alien race, the Knoonk fought a civil war and lost. They have decided to take Earth over as their own planet. The problem is that they are not able to survive in its atmosphere so they have been capturing humans for years and experimenting on them to they to adapt themselves. It’s up to Elena and the other human captives to stop the Knoonk.
I read Lance Erlick’s Regina Shen series and was excited to see what happened in this book. I was really pleased with the results. Elena is a strong woman and determined to finish her father’s work. But the Knoonk are doing messed up things to the humans they have captured. They have broken them to their base human needs. It’s up to Elena to get everyone gathered together and fight back.
This was a good story and had an original plot. My problem is that we get stuck in several continuous loops of the same thing over and over as they try to fight back. It gets the point across about how hopeless the humans have become. It’s going to be an uphill fight for Elena to get everyone gathered together but it got to be repetitive and frustrating.
I really enjoyed this book. If it is to be a series I would be happy to read the next book. Otherwise this is a great standalone book.
I received Xenogeneic: First Contact from iRead Book Tours for free. This has no influenced my opinion in any way.
Win a copy of Xenogeneic: First Contact. One person will also receive a $25 Amazon gift card (print open to USA and ebook for int’l) 2 winners total
Ends April 15
The Echo Man
by Richard Montanari
on Tour March 20 – April 7, 2017
It is fall in Philadelphia and the mutilated body of a man has been found in one of the poorest neighborhoods of the city. The victim’s forehead and eyes are wrapped in a band of white paper, sealed on one side with red sealing wax. On the other side is a smear of blood in the shape of a figure eight. The victim has been roughly and violently shaved clean — head to toe — a temporary tattoo on his finger.
As another brutalized body appears, then another, it becomes horrifyingly clear that someone is re-creating unsolved murders from Philadelphia’s past in the most sinister of ways.
And, for homicide detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano, the killer is closer than they think…
“This tale had me gripped by the throat, unwilling to do anything but anxiously turn the pages. Richard Montanari’s writing is both terrifying and lyrical, a killer combination that makes him a true stand-out in the crowded thriller market. The Echo Man showcases a master storyteller at his very best.” -Tess Gerritsen, bestselling author of The Silent Girl
“Richard Montanari’s The Echo Man continues his work as a writer whose prose can capture quite extraordinary subtleties. When a man’s facial expression is described as “not the look of someone with nothing to hide, but rather of one who has very carefully hidden everything,” we know we are in good hands, and with The Echo Man, we are in the hands of one of the best in the business”. – Thomas H. Cook, bestselling author of Red Leaves
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: February 7th 2017 (first published January 1st 2011)
Number of Pages: 400
ISBN: 0062467425 (ISBN13: 9780062467423)
Series: Jessica Balzano & Kevin Byrne #5
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗
Read an excerpt:
Richard Montanari is the internationally bestselling author of numerous novels, including the nine titles in the Byrne & Balzano series.
He lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
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Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!
Jessica Balzano and Kevin Byrne are back an on the hunt two killers. The first one is targeting young women as they leave their Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. But then they find a mutilated body. Upon further inspections they learn that there was an old murder case in the same location. Then more bodies start turning up, heads wrapped in paper, and a small tattoo on a finger. But the catch is that the bodies are left in old murder scene locations that these people had a connection to. It seems someone has been going through the old case files and staging the murders. It looks like someone on the police force has become a vigilante.
I really liked this story. There were a lot of twists and turns and I didn’t expect the killer until the reveal. Jessica and Kevin work well together. I enjoyed following along as they put the pieces of the puzzle slowly together.
My only complaint is that the book is just over 500 pages long. Long books don’t bother me if they keep me engrossed in the story. Unfortunately there were parts that started to drag or felt like things were just thrown into the story to take up pages.
Beyond that, this is my first Balzano and Byrne story. I really enjoyed it and would like to read the other books in the series to see what I have missed.
I received The Echo Man from Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.
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