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Review: Echoes by T.D. Wilson


Echoes
Author:  T.D. Wilson
Series:  The Epherium Chronicles 3
Publisher:  Carina Press, March 30, 2015
Format:  eBook, 180 pages
List Price:  $2.99
eISBN:   9781426899201
Review Copy: Provided by the Author

Review: Echoes by T.D. Wilson
Book three of The Epherium Chronicles

The battle for Cygni colony may be over, but for Captain James Hood and the crew of the EDF Armstrong, the battle for humanity's future has just begun. Hood's defense of the remote outpost against the Cilik'ti aliens was magnificent, but without the timely help of an unlikely ally—a splinter tribe of humanity's bitter enemies—the colony would have been lost and the Armstrong destroyed.

An uneasy peace has prevailed ever since. But as the humans prepare for a crucial meeting, a desperately needed Earth supply convoy is attacked under mysterious circumstances, with the lead escort cruiser's captain disappearing even more mysteriously.

The fate of all of Earth's new colonies hangs in the balance, and Hood is charged with protecting them against growing threats from all sides. When rebellion and unrest challenge the very leadership of the Earth Defense Forces, Hood may need to go it alone…and make the ultimate sacrifice.


Brannigan's Review

Echoes is a book of questions and mysteries. As the crew of the Armstrong make their way to the second of three planets that may be the future home for the human race, they continue to struggle for survival. The Cilik'ti race once ruled by a council has broken into warring factions. The mysterious ship manned by humans continues to cause problems for Captain Hood and his crew for yet unknown reasons, and a third, more cryptic, force rears its head and seems to be willing to fight everyone.

Character-and world-building continue to be strong areas for Wilson as we are introduced to some new characters and a new world. It doesn't take long to become emotionally connected to new characters and their struggles. We also see old characters continue to be fleshed out, which gives them depth. The second planet Tau Ceti is by far my favorite world so far. It held plenty of moments of wonder and it houses some very intriguing lifeforms. My imagination wandered a few times thinking about the possibilities it held for future stories.

T.D. Wilson is creating plenty of tension in this third book of an at least 5 books series as more and more events start to unfold. My only issue with the book is that Wilson doesn't resolve any subplots or questions he raised in the first three books. I like to have answers given along the way and, as yet, there haven't been any. I'm trying to keep up with all the different subplots and questions already raised.

Echoes deepens the mysteries of the overall plot as well as adds additional subplots to a great series. The world-building continues to make Wilson's universe appealing and inviting. I look forward to seeing what the last colony world is like and how everything will take shape in the subsequent books. There are acts of violence and mild language. I would recommend it to teens and adults. It's a wonderful science fiction series that has plenty of action as well as exploration and wonder.





Previously

Embrace
The Epherium Chronicles 1
Carina Press, March 3, 2014
eBook, 200 pages

Review: Echoes by T.D. Wilson
Book one of The Epherium Chronicles 

Hope. Captain James Hood of the Earth Defense Forces remembers what it felt like. Twenty-five years ago, it surged through him as a young boy watching the colony ships launched by mega-corporation Epherium rocket away. He, like so many others, dreamed of following in the colonists' footsteps. He wanted to help settle a new world--to be something greater.

Then came the war... 

Hope. During years of vicious conflict with an insectoid alien race, it was nearly lost. Though Earth has slowly rebuilt in the six years since the war, overcrowding and an unstable sun have made life increasingly inhospitable. When mysterious signals from the nearly forgotten colony ships are received, Hood is ordered to embark on a dangerous reconnaissance mission. Could humanity's future sit among the stars?

Hope. Hood needs it now more than ever. As secrets about the original colonists are revealed and the Epherium Corporation's dark agenda is exposed, new adversaries threaten the mission, proving more dangerous to Earth than their already formidable foes...


See Brannigan's review here.



Crucible
The Epherium Chronicles 2
Carina Press, May 26, 2014
eBook, 217 pages

Review: Echoes by T.D. Wilson
Book two of The Epherium Chronicles

January, 2155

Earth Defense Forces Captain James Hood is on the mission of his life. The Cygni solar system is just one space-fold jump away. One more jump and they'll have reached the fledgling colony that Earth desperately needs if the human race is going to survive. But a plot to derail him has already damaged his ship, threatened the lives of his crew and cost him time. Time the colonists might not have.

So much depends on him now, but Hood's confidence is shaken. It's self-doubt he thought he'd buried, a brutal mind-killer for all military commanders. Yet danger surrounds his team; a brutal insectoid alien race is still out there, intent on eradicating humans, and a greater threat from an unknown, elusive enemy has emerged.

The forces at work on Cygni are like nothing Hood has trained for, tactically or emotionally. When put to the test, he must choose to either trust the unlikeliest of allies, or run and seal the fate of the Cygni colony forever.


See Brannigan's review here.

Melanie's Week in Review - April 5, 2015


Melanie's Week in Review - April 5, 2015


To those of you who celebrate - Happy Easter and for those who don't Happy 'Eat a lot of chocolate' Day or Happy Passover ... or if you are my sister Mary Happy Birthday. It's a celebration weekend all around. Well it should be but it has turned out to be a very the end to a rather tense week for me. Lots of work to do, my well planned birthday present to my sister has gone missing in the post, blocked drains, and a broken land line. So of all this a couple of good things have also happened. I have caught up with some good friends from high school, shared some really good memories and of course, read a couple of good books. So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - April 5, 2015
I was having one of my 'shouldn't be doing this' perusal of Amazon and I came across Jeffe Kennedy's Rogue's Paradise (Carina Press, September 8, 2014). I had completely forgotten about this series.  I should preface that with saving that I didn't forget about it because it was bad but that I simply forgot! This is the third (and I believe final) in the Covenant of Thorns series which finds Gwynn and Rogue together, at last although on the run from the evil Queen of Faerie - Titania. Despite their evident physical attraction Gwynn is not sure whether Rogue loves her of his own free will or whether Rogue is under Titania's compulsion. Gwynn knows that the only way her child will be safe, and her love of Rogue assured is if Titania is defeated. Defeating the Queen of Faerie isn't as straight forward as it seems.

I thought that Rogue's Paradise was OK. I always had a problem with this series and the pseudo abusive relationship Gwynn and Rogue had. This instalment is about 80% sex and 20% plot development. While it has an HEA at its heart it does take a long time for the H and the E to actually materialize. The only real drama occurred when the uber evil Titania showed up although Kennedy did have a couple of very good twists waiting for the reader at the end. Kennedy makes Faerie seem quite unappealing....well except for Rogue who is hotness incarnate! Overall, this series gives the reader an alternative view to Faerie although Titania is as evil as ever. Rogue with his extra long limbs and Gwynn with her 'humanity' make for an interesting couple. Not quite the love match that you expect from your typical HEA but worth a read all the same.

Melanie's Week in Review - April 5, 2015
I only managed to read two books this week. I am blaming the fact that my commute was only 4 days instead of 5.Well that is my excuse and I am sticking to it. I finished my week with Touch by Claire North (Redhook, February 24, 2015). You may remember I read The First Fifteen Lives of Henry August last year. If you don't remember have a readTouch tells Kepler's story. Who is Kepler? You should be asking who he...or she isn't. Kepler is a ghost that can transfer to anyone's body merely by touch. When Kepler's favourite 'skin' is viciously murdered he decides to take things into his own hands and find out who or what wants him dead.

I really enjoyed this book. Not that reading about heinous murders is that enjoyable but North really knows how to write a good murder mystery. North creates interesting characters and is able to describe her environment so clearly that you feel like you are there with the characters. However, I did find Touch very similar to 'Henry August' as both books deal with entities that didn't die and evil organisations that want them to. While Henry was re-born Kepler merely transferred his consciousness to a new body time and time again. This works to his advantage as within a number of days he is able to solve the mystery as to why his favourite skin 'Josephine' is murdered whereas Henry has to live his life over and over again. As much as I enjoyed Touch I did think the plot and the style of writing was a 'samey'. If I was to recommend one over the other I think I would have to vote for The First Fifteen Lives of Henry August. 

Well that is all for me this week. I am hoping for better progress although with another four day week I am not sure I will get through that much. Fingers crossed! Until then Happy Reading.

Interview with T.D. Wilson, author of The Epherium Chronicles - March 31, 2015


Please welcome T.D. Wilson to The Qwillery. Echoes, The Epherium Chronicles 3, was published on March 30th by Carina Press.


Interview with T.D. Wilson, author of The Epherium Chronicles - March 31, 2015




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

TDW:  I've written small short stories and even some role-playing adventures over the years, but I never took it seriously. In late 2011, I was helping my parents move some boxes out of their house. I opened one of them and found a short story I had written titled, "Into the Black". It was the basis for this series. I decided right there I was going to develop this into something more. Since that day, I've developed several new story ideas. It helps to keep my mind fresh.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser? What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

TDW:  I would have to say I am a plotter. I like to develop key plot points and twists then lay them out in order to see how they fit together. I recently took a plotting course run by my editor. It focused on Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. It was really enlightening and has helped me hone my skills. The most challenging thing for me is finding time to write. I have a full time job and a busy family. I've tried to do the National Novel Writing Month, but I just can't core dump 50K words in a month. Instead, I've used it to plan out stories and start the first pages.



TQ:  How has your background in Electrical Engineering influenced (or not) your writing?

TDW:  I've always been a technology guy and my degree really helps me put technology and its future in perspective for readers. Part of my normal job is helping explain technology to others and I've had to find the right way to convey the complex and uninteresting into something that grasps an individual's attention. I've tried to use that in these books as well.



TQ:  Describe Echoes (The Epherium Chronicles 3) in 140 characters or less.

TDW:  Captain Hood won a key victory and secured a new colony for Earth. In the darkness of space, a larger war threatens humanity. Can Hood recognize the danger in time?



TQ:  Tell us something about Echoes that is not in the book description.

TDWEchoes is a challenge novel. It's that middle part of the series where every major character will be tested and how they react will define them for later on. Probably the one most tested in this book is Maya Greywalker.



TQ:  What inspired you to write The Epherium Chronicles. What appealed to you about writing Military Space Operas?

TDW:  I've always been a fan of space operas, be it Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon 5, Battlestar Gallactica, etc. I grew up on watching movies and TV shows like these, plus I was a fan of old war movies. My friends did too and we loved to talk about them so much, it became pretty natural to write something like The Epherium Chronicles.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Echoes?

TDW:  I did a lot of research on potential planetary landscapes and the effects of low or heavy gravity for Crucible and Echoes. I wanted to give the readers a realistic feel. I spent several hours looking at technologies to use for space travel and combat. I talked with fighter pilots for engagement advice in space and in atmosphere. I studied the effects of railguns and how they could effectively used in space. I think I gathered enough to write a detailed research paper...lol. But it was worth every minute.



TQ:  In Echoes, who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

TDW:  The easiest character for me is Sanchez. He has a terrific spirit in him and when I write in his POV or just about his actions, the words just flow easily. Maya Greywalker is probably the most difficult. She is so closed, but her senses and abilities are often the most difficult to capture. She can see, hear, and feel so much. Also, her reactions to certain situations may not be what most people expect.



TQ:  Which question about Echoes do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

TDW

Where did you get your idea for Maya Greywalker?

Well, Maya is combination of some of the toughest comic book heroines with a bit of Sherlock Holmes thrown in. I needed something for her to stand out and that's when I came up with the luminescent blue eyes for the Greywalker children. I get a lot of comments about the eyes. They're unnerving and that can work to her advantage.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Echoes.

TDW:  This is probably one of my favorites.
“Much of what we know about ourselves and the world around us is handled by one’s perception. How we act or react to a certain situation is derived by stored responses to certain stimuli. Mastering the identification and procession of those stimuli is key to a higher level of awareness. Enhanced perception in a moment of contest can lead to the desired outcome.” Maya stared down at him. “After our session, what does your perception tell you now?”

“That I’m an idiot,” Sanchez grumbled and rubbed his sore shoulder.


TQ:  What's next?

TDW:  I am working on a few short stories for The Epherium Chronicles set during the first Cilik'ti war. They have a different major character, but will have some cameos of current series characters. I am also working on book 4 of the series and a new series that I defined when I took the plotting course from my editor. It sounds like a lot, I know...lol



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.





Echoes
The Epherium Chronicles 3
Carina Press, March 30, 2015
eBook, 180 pages

Interview with T.D. Wilson, author of The Epherium Chronicles - March 31, 2015
Book three of The Epherium Chronicles

The battle for Cygni colony may be over, but for Captain James Hood and the crew of the EDF Armstrong, the battle for humanity's future has just begun. Hood's defense of the remote outpost against the Cilik'ti aliens was magnificent, but without the timely help of an unlikely ally—a splinter tribe of humanity's bitter enemies—the colony would have been lost and the Armstrong destroyed.

An uneasy peace has prevailed ever since. But as the humans prepare for a crucial meeting, a desperately needed Earth supply convoy is attacked under mysterious circumstances, with the lead escort cruiser's captain disappearing even more mysteriously.

The fate of all of Earth's new colonies hangs in the balance, and Hood is charged with protecting them against growing threats from all sides. When rebellion and unrest challenge the very leadership of the Earth Defense Forces, Hood may need to go it alone…and make the ultimate sacrifice.





About T.D. Wilson

Interview with T.D. Wilson, author of The Epherium Chronicles - March 31, 2015
T.D. Wilson was born in 1968 in Troy, Ohio and has been an avid fan of science fiction and fantasy from a very young age. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and has supported the systems and networks in several of the largest Supercomputing data centers in the world. His early thirst for adventure in reading began as he explored many of the great stories of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. As his reading scope expanded, Mr. Wilson was fascinated by strange new worlds from the magical of Middle Earth and Narnia to the far reaches of space in Star Trek and Babylon 5. As a science fiction author, he strives to integrate a realistic flavor to his worlds by providing his readers a feel for the real science in science fiction. A topic he loves to discuss with his friends and readers. Mr. Wilson still lives in Ohio with his wife and their two sons.

Website  ~  Twitter @tdwilson3  ~  Facebook  ~  Google+  ~  Goodreads





Previously

Embrace
The Epherium Chronicles 1
Carina Press, March 3, 2014
eBook, 200 pages

Interview with T.D. Wilson, author of The Epherium Chronicles - March 31, 2015
Book one of The Epherium Chronicles 

Hope. Captain James Hood of the Earth Defense Forces remembers what it felt like. Twenty-five years ago, it surged through him as a young boy watching the colony ships launched by mega-corporation Epherium rocket away. He, like so many others, dreamed of following in the colonists' footsteps. He wanted to help settle a new world--to be something greater.

Then came the war... 

Hope. During years of vicious conflict with an insectoid alien race, it was nearly lost. Though Earth has slowly rebuilt in the six years since the war, overcrowding and an unstable sun have made life increasingly inhospitable. When mysterious signals from the nearly forgotten colony ships are received, Hood is ordered to embark on a dangerous reconnaissance mission. Could humanity's future sit among the stars?

Hope. Hood needs it now more than ever. As secrets about the original colonists are revealed and the Epherium Corporation's dark agenda is exposed, new adversaries threaten the mission, proving more dangerous to Earth than their already formidable foes...


See Brannigan's review here.




Crucible
The Epherium Chronicles 2
Carina Press, May 26, 2014
eBook, 217 pages

Interview with T.D. Wilson, author of The Epherium Chronicles - March 31, 2015
Book two of The Epherium Chronicles

January, 2155

Earth Defense Forces Captain James Hood is on the mission of his life. The Cygni solar system is just one space-fold jump away. One more jump and they'll have reached the fledgling colony that Earth desperately needs if the human race is going to survive. But a plot to derail him has already damaged his ship, threatened the lives of his crew and cost him time. Time the colonists might not have.

So much depends on him now, but Hood's confidence is shaken. It's self-doubt he thought he'd buried, a brutal mind-killer for all military commanders. Yet danger surrounds his team; a brutal insectoid alien race is still out there, intent on eradicating humans, and a greater threat from an unknown, elusive enemy has emerged.

The forces at work on Cygni are like nothing Hood has trained for, tactically or emotionally. When put to the test, he must choose to either trust the unlikeliest of allies, or run and seal the fate of the Cygni colony forever.


See Brannigan's review here.


Guest Blog by Timothy S. Johnston and Review of The Void - March 30, 2015


Please welcome Timothy S. Johnston to The Qwillery. The Void, the 3rd novel in The Tanner Sequence, is out today from Carina Press. Please join The Qwillery in wishing Timothy a Happy Publication Day.



Guest Blog by Timothy S. Johnston and Review of The Void - March 30, 2015




THE VOID: A Classic Murder Mystery in Outer Space
by Timothy S. Johnston

Classic murder mysteries are strangely comforting. There’s something so familiar about them. Perhaps this is thanks to Agatha Christie and the works she’s best known for: THE MOUSETRAP or AND THEN THERE WERE NONE. There are common elements in any story of this type: a confined and claustrophobic location, a hostile environment, a small cast of characters including one murderer and one investigator, a rising body count, storms, power outages, increasing paranoia, and a shocking reveal. I knew I wanted to write stories of this type, but I wanted to transform them into Science Fiction Thrillers. This would give me the ability to pick new and exciting locations and also incorporate some science and technology into the method of murder — something the investigator would have to figure out in order to not only catch the killer, but also to prevent his own death.

The formula I’ve used for THE VOID is the same as in any classic murder mystery. However, the location is the fascinating component here, and opening it up to all of outer space gave me some exciting new options. THE FURNACE is set at a station in close orbit around the sun. THE FREEZER on an ice moon of Jupiter. And with my new novel, THE VOID, I chose the vast loneliness of interstellar space. This gave me the isolated, dangerous location. The characters can’t leave their disabled ship. There’s simply nowhere to go. And with the requisite power outages, there’s no way they can call for help. They’re trapped.

Incorporating a scientific component to the plot is always fun, however one has to keep it compelling and easy to understand. I realize that you can’t bog down a story with too much science. At its heart, THE VOID is a murder mystery, plain and simple.

In this story, Inspector Kyle Tanner discovers the body of a woman in her mid-thirties. The crew of her disabled vessel state repeatedly that the death was due to natural causes. Being a homicide investigator, Tanner of course disputes this, but how can he prove it? He has to not only discover the cause of death, but also decipher the clues around him to expose a conspiracy.

I hope you enjoy THE VOID. I wrote it to feel like a comforting traditional murder mystery, but I know readers will love the technological twist I’ve thrown in!

Take care,

Timothy S. Johnston
20 March 2015





The Void
The Tanner Sequence 3
Carina Press, March 25, 2015
eBook, 106,000 words
Review Copy:  Provided by the Author

Guest Blog by Timothy S. Johnston and Review of The Void - March 30, 2015
2403 AD

It would be easier to kill him than to trust him.

Transporting a serial killer might seem like a simple job for CCF Homicide Investigator Kyle Tanner. After spending years apprehending murderers, he's ready to hang up his pistol. Babysitting a prisoner will bring him to Alpha Centauri, where he can search for a way to escape the CCF forever.

If he makes it.

When his ship breaks down in deep space and a CCF research vessel comes to his aid, Tanner realizes he's in terrible danger: the scientists on board have blocked his distress call. And when Tanner's prisoner escapes, he begins to suspect that the proximity of the research vessel had nothing to do with luck and everything to do with the CCF's relentless reach.

Facing near-certain death by his own organization, Tanner must unravel a tangled skein of vengeance, duplicity and murder in deep space. But he's being held at the will of master puppeteers, and if he can't cut the strings, he'll dance straight to a gruesome, excruciating death....

A Tanner Sequence Novel
and


Brannigan's Review

The Void is the last book in a exciting science fiction thriller series by Timothy S. Johnston. Throughout this series, I've been continually impressed by Johnston's skill in blending different genres. He ends the series on a high note. With each book, Johnston picked a fascinating setting in space, near the sun, a frozen moon and now in the last book dead space. In the area between solar systems, nothing is surrounding our hero Kyle Tanner for light years... except a person bent on killing him and the woman he loves. It shares similar attributes to lost at sea stories. I loved the feeling of being adrift in an all-encompassing void.

Even though The Void is the last book in the series, it's not necessary for the reader to have read the previous two books. Johnston does a great job of giving readers enough information about past events to keep them from being lost. It's also a nice refresher for those of us who read the other books when they first came out.

The mystery this go round was the best yet. I kept thinking I knew who it was, but I was pleasantly wrong. I also enjoyed the action and pacing in this story as it kept climbing towards a climatic ending that didn't disappoint. Nearly everything changes for Kyle. I found the characters in this book to also be my favorite out of the series. The side characters were the strongest by far and very well developed. I would love to see a series devoted to one of the survivors.

Johnston did a wonderful job of bringing closure to Kyle as a character and to the world Johnston created. Everything changed and developed from book one to this last book. You truly go on a journey through the series. Besides bringing closure, Johnston also allows several options to continue the story and I for one would love to spend more time with Kyle.

The Void is a phenomenal ending to a fast-paced electric series. I'm sad to see it come to an end and hope to read more. There is a lot of violence, strong language, and adult situations, so I would recommended it to adult readers only. For those of you who like to read a whole series all at once with no wait, your wait is over. For those of you that want an exhilarating escape, look no farther. With the strong characters, outstanding world-building and blend of genres there's something for everyone.



Note: You may read Brannigan's reviews of  The Furnace (The Tanner Sequence 1) here
and The Freezer (The Tanner Sequence 2) here.






About Timothy

Guest Blog by Timothy S. Johnston and Review of The Void - March 30, 2015
Photo by Tiffany Jones Photography, 2013
Timothy S. Johnston is a writer of futuristic and contemporary mystery/thrillers. There is always a technological component to his plot lines, and the science that he uses to propel his stories forward is real and verifiable. His characters are strongly motivated and undergo extreme change; his protagonists each find themselves drawn into intense situations seemingly beyond their control. The stakes are always huge and the outcomes unique and unpredictable. He is dedicated to the art of telling a compelling story and contributing to the genre that has given him so much over the past four decades. He is passionate about writing and committed to inspiring others through his stories. Carina Press is currently publishing a trilogy of thrillers by Johnston: The Furnace (2013), The Freezer (2014), and The Void (2015). This series — The Tanner Sequence — details Homicide Investigator Lt. Kyle Tanner’s emotional journey as he solves difficult cases set in unique and deadly claustrophobic environments.

Website  ~   Facebook  ~  Twitter @TSJ_Author  ~  Goodreads  ~  Instagram





Previously

The Furnace
The Tanner Sequence 1
Carina Press, December 23, 2013
eBook, 115,000 words
(Originally self-published September 19, 2011) 

Guest Blog by Timothy S. Johnston and Review of The Void - March 30, 2015
Dead Space, 2401 AD

Kyle Tanner is about to die. Alone, floating in a vacsuit only a few million kilometers from a massive, uncaring sun, he has barely enough time or juice to get out a distress signal before either his oxygen runs out or he succumbs to the radiation.

When the CCF sent investigator Kyle Tanner to SOLEX One, a solar energy harvester past Mercury, he thought it would be an open-and-shut murder case. A crew member was found dead, minus his head and hands. Not the worst Tanner has ever seen, but the deeper he delves, the more nightmarish it becomes. A shadowy figure, bleeding from his hands, assaults Tanner in his quarters. Then two more turn up dead, missing their heads and hands as well.

With no one to trust and everyone a suspect--even the intriguing chief engineer, Shaheen--Tanner must navigate a crew on the brink of madness to uncover a conspiracy that could threaten the whole of the human race. Even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice...


The Freezer
The Tanner Sequence 2
Carina Press, August 25, 2014
eBook, 98,000 words

Guest Blog by Timothy S. Johnston and Review of The Void - March 30, 2015
A Tanner Sequence Novel
2402 AD

CCF homicide investigator Kyle Tanner and his girlfriend are on their way to Pluto, en route to a new life together. Just one little death to check out in the asteroid belt first. But when you're as tangled up in conspiracy as Tanner is, a few hours on a case can change your life. Or end it.

The mystery is a strange one--one man dead, a cryptic message his dying breath. Still, Tanner's ready to wrap it up until another gruesome murder shakes him to his core. The discovery of a microscopic bomb near his own heart offers the first faint clue, but the clock is ticking. He has four days....

A desperate search for answers takes Tanner to The Freezer, an isolated facility on one of Jupiter's moons. With anti-CCF dissidents targeting the facility, a team of scientists conducting experiments the military would rather remain hidden, and a mysterious man in white hunting him on the ice, Tanner will have to choose his allies carefully. Putting his faith in the wrong person will leave him bleeding out in seconds.

Review: Crucible by T.D. Wilson


Crucible
Author:  T.D. Wilson
Series:  The Epherium Chronicles
Publisher:  Carina Press, May 26, 2014
Format:  eBook, 217 pages
List Price:  $2.99
eISBN:  9781426898396
Review Copy:  Provided by the Author

Review: Crucible by T.D. Wilson
Book two of The Epherium Chronicles

January, 2155

Earth Defense Forces Captain James Hood is on the mission of his life. The Cygni solar system is just one space-fold jump away. One more jump and they'll have reached the fledgling colony that Earth desperately needs if the human race is going to survive. But a plot to derail him has already damaged his ship, threatened the lives of his crew and cost him time. Time the colonists might not have.

So much depends on him now, but Hood's confidence is shaken. It's self-doubt he thought he'd buried, a brutal mind-killer for all military commanders. Yet danger surrounds his team; a brutal insectoid alien race is still out there, intent on eradicating humans, and a greater threat from an unknown, elusive enemy has emerged.

The forces at work on Cygni are like nothing Hood has trained for, tactically or emotionally. When put to the test, he must choose to either trust the unlikeliest of allies, or run and seal the fate of the Cygni colony forever.


Brannigan's Review

Crucible starts off right where book one ends, with the Armstrong damaged and its crew attacked by an unknown enemy from within. They make their way to the planet Cygni to find the Magellan's crew has only just arrived from their 25 year long journey to Cygni weeks before. The fledgling colony has only just started to settle and study their new world when Commander Hood and his crew arrive to protect them from the deadly Cilik'ti.

T.D. Wilson does a great job of starting Crucible with a bang and not letting up throughout the book. The pace starts fast and only increases as we meet new characters and finally meet the Cilik'ti, with all of it ramping up to a colossal war in space and on land.

The characters Wilson created are what make this series for me. Each one is engaging and fleshed out with strengths and weaknesses. Wilson introduces a few more great characters in the second book that blend well with the established cast. One particular Cilik'ti character is one of my favorites in this book. I also enjoyed the new lifeforms on the planet Cygni, they made the world come alive.

The storylines involving the Cilik'ti and colonists are the strongest in this book and wrap up most of the plots that involve them from the first book. Wilson does bring up enough new information to allow the Cilik'ti and Cygni colonists to continue to have a presences in future books. The storyline that deals with the Epherium corporation, their nefarious dealings with the Magellan crew, and the mysterious attacks on the Armstrong at the end of Embrace was not as strong as I would have liked. We learned more about the Embrace program, but it didn't flow as naturally as the main storyline. The mysterious ship/insider attack storyline was hardly touched on at all. This may be due to the fact that Wilson plans to delve into these storylines in future books. I like to see each of the plots an author brings up continue to flow seamlessly through the overall story even if they won't be concluded until future books. Otherwise, I have a tendency to forget about them all together.

This book continued to suffer in the editing. It wasn't as frequent as the first book, but it was still distracting. As was the case in the first book, the strong characters and interesting story kept me focused and engaged enough to look past the minor issues. Unlike the first book, this one had a stronger ending that helped make it feel more complete, even with unresolved plot points.

Crucible strengthens an already engaging series with a wonderful characters and story. I hope Wilson continues to improve as the series progresses. I look forward to see how the world develops and where the crew of the Armstrong goes next. There are acts of violence and mild language. I would recommend it to teens and adults.

Review: Embrace by T.D. Wilson


Embrace
Author:  T. D. Wilson
Series:  The Epherium Chronicles 1
Publisher:  Carina Press, March 3, 2014
Format:  eBook, 200 pages
List Price:  $2.99
eISBN:  9781426898037
Review Copy:  Provided by the Author

Review: Embrace by T.D. Wilson
Book one of The Epherium Chronicles 

Hope. Captain James Hood of the Earth Defense Forces remembers what it felt like. Twenty-five years ago, it surged through him as a young boy watching the colony ships launched by mega-corporation Epherium rocket away. He, like so many others, dreamed of following in the colonists' footsteps. He wanted to help settle a new world--to be something greater.

Then came the war... 

Hope. During years of vicious conflict with an insectoid alien race, it was nearly lost. Though Earth has slowly rebuilt in the six years since the war, overcrowding and an unstable sun have made life increasingly inhospitable. When mysterious signals from the nearly forgotten colony ships are received, Hood is ordered to embark on a dangerous reconnaissance mission. Could humanity's future sit among the stars?

Hope. Hood needs it now more than ever. As secrets about the original colonists are revealed and the Epherium Corporation's dark agenda is exposed, new adversaries threaten the mission, proving more dangerous to Earth than their already formidable foes...


Brannigan's Review

Embrace is a science fiction-military-mystery hybrid. I really enjoy the blending of several different genres into one story, if done well. I'm happy to say T.D. Wilson does a great job in doing just that. Wilson spends equal amounts of time world-building and developing characters at the start of the novel, which is a great way to build a strong foundation for any series. It does tend to slow the pacing down, which can be a plus or minus depending of the type of reader you are. By the halfway point, the action begins to accelerate as Captain Hood and his crew are space-folding toward three colony ships whose mission is to settle new planets. Along the way, the crew has to be on the guard for the Cilik'ti and insectoid alien race, a mysterious ship shadowing them, and an unknown murderer on their ship.

Wilson created compelling and fleshed out characters that have strong presence on the page and would be able to carry the novel all by themselves. The world-building was good without getting bogged down in details. The mystery was strong enough to keep me engaged as it played out in the story.

That said, I felt the book suffered in the editing. I found several small editing issues throughout, which was pretty annoying, since it threw me out of the story with each error. Luckily, the story was engaging enough to keep me reading, and I'm glad I did as I truly enjoyed it. I only hope Wilson's second book had a better editor—since I'm reviewing it next. This book is short, so it has more of an episodic feel to it than a true stand-alone book. I have no problem with that since I enjoy seeing conflicts take several books to be resolved, however, on its own there is no real sense of resolution.

Embrace is a great start to a promising series. With its blend of genres, there's plenty to offer to all types of readers. There are acts of violence and mild language, I would recommend it to teens and adults.

Review: Transmuted by Karina Cooper


Transmuted
Author:  Karina Cooper
Series:  The St. Croix Chronicles 6
Publisher:  Carina Press, January 26, 2015
Format:  eBook, 290 pages
List Price:  $3.99
ISBN:  9781426899485
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Review: Transmuted by Karina Cooper
Book six of the St. Croix Chronicles

In this final installment of Cherry St. Croix's adventures, only one thing could compel the disgraced countess to return to Society--the threat of immortality.

All is not peaceful in the wake of the Midnight Menagerie's ruin. Although the Karakash Veil has been forced to flee its stronghold, the mysterious head of the criminal organization is not content to fade away.

Above the foggy drift, a priceless diamond vanishes. In the dangerous Underground, a murderous rampage demands retribution. The hunt for the mastermind behind these misdeeds sends me back to Society--and into the unforgiving embrace of the world I'd left behind.

Nothing is what it seems. Enemies, allies--and a man who struggles with a nature even devotion cannot tame. Torn between the scars of the past and fragile new beginnings, I must create balance in the world I have chosen--and with the people I have come to love. The game has changed; should the Veil achieve the immortality it craves, I will have nowhere left to run.



Melanie's Thoughts

Transmuted is the sixth and final book in the St.Croix Chronicles. It starts a few weeks after the end of book 5 which found Cherry alive and well and living back with her loved ones. She also managed to save the enigmatic Hawke from the clutches of The Veil but she is determined to make him pay for what he did to her, to Hawke and her friends at the Menagerie. Of course, the path to revenge is never straightforward and takes Cherry from the smoggiest slums of London to the dizzy heights of high society.

I enjoyed Transmuted and thought that Cooper wrapped up the series well. She brings back almost all of the characters from previous books including those that died at either her hand or The Veil's. Cooper uses the sub-plot of trying to find a rare diamond stolen from the Queen's vault's as the means of bringing Cherry back into high society and as a result, back in the company of her brother and mother-in-law. Her introduction back into society came on the arm of her brother-in-law Piers. These scenes were dramatic, amusing and worked well to both develop the plot and tie up some loose ends.

As much as I enjoyed Transmuted I did think there were a number of flaws. Cherry seems to spend quite a bit of time lamenting the death of her husband Lord Compton and very little time mourning the death of his murderer and her best friend. I thought that it was odd that Teddy barely got a mention considering he died at her hand and was her closest, if only friend. I didn't enjoy the diamond sub-plot which was the focus for the first third of the book but then side-lined until the very end. In fact, I completely forgot about the stolen diamond until the very end of the book. I was also much less enamored with the former ring master Hawke in this final book. I thought he acted like a bit of a jerk to Cherry by pushing her away and being jealous of Ashmore. I know they had a fairly unromantic romance but Cage was almost mean to the fallen socialite.

Flaws or not Cooper has created a gritty and colourful steampunk London for her characters. This series has been a bit of a roller coaster for me with it's ups and downs but if I look at this series as a whole I think there is something for everyone with a strong heroine at its centre. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.

Cover Reveal: The Void by Timothy S. Johnston


The Qwillery is thrilled to reveal the cover of The Void, the 3rd novel in The Tanner Sequence, by Timothy S. Johnston. The Void will be published on March 30, 2015 by Carina Press.


The Void
The Tanner Sequence 3
Carina Press, March 25, 2015
eBook

Cover Reveal: The Void by Timothy S. Johnston

A Tanner Sequence Novel

Transporting a serial killer might seem like a simple job for Homicide Investigator Kyle Tanner. But when his ship breaks down in interstellar space and another murderer starts carving a path through the people around him, Tanner realizes that he might be in over his head. Unfortunately there’s no one to call for help, and the days are ticking down to his probable death. He’s facing a mysterious threat in deep space, but he knows that if he can’t decipher the clues and capture the killer, he’ll at least die trying …

The Void is coming from Timothy S. Johnston and Carina Press on March 30, 2015. It is the third book in The Tanner Sequence, a series of standalone murder mysteries set in unique and claustrophobic environments. The first two are The Furnace (2013) and The Freezer (2014.)
or
More Pre-order links at Timothy's Website



You may read Brannigan's reviews of  The Furnace (The Tanner Sequence 1) here
and The Freezer (The Tanner Sequence 2) here.






About Timothy

Cover Reveal: The Void by Timothy S. Johnston
Photo by Tiffany Jones Photography, 2013
Timothy S. Johnston is a writer of futuristic and contemporary mystery/thrillers. There is always a technological component to his plot lines, and the science that he uses to propel his stories forward is real and verifiable. His characters are strongly motivated and undergo extreme change; his protagonists each find themselves drawn into intense situations seemingly beyond their control. The stakes are always huge and the outcomes unique and unpredictable. He is dedicated to the art of telling a compelling story and contributing to the genre that has given him so much over the past four decades. He is passionate about writing and committed to inspiring others through his stories. Carina Press is currently publishing a trilogy of thrillers by Johnston: The Furnace (2013), The Freezer (2014), and The Void (2015). This series — The Tanner Sequence — details Homicide Investigator Lt. Kyle Tanner’s emotional journey as he solves difficult cases set in unique and deadly claustrophobic environments.

Website  ~   Facebook  ~  Twitter @TSJ_Author  ~  Goodreads

Review: Engraved by Karina Cooper


Engraved
Author:  Karina Cooper
Series:  The St. Croix Chronicles 5
Publisher:  Carina Press, August 11, 2014
Format:  eBook, 288 pages
List Price:  $3.99
ISBN:  9781426898815
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Review: Engraved by Karina Cooper
Cherry St. Croix returns to the fog-ridden streets of Victorian London, where the balance of power threatens all that she loves.

I will not wither without laudanum. Sober and determined, I have chosen another way-- alchemy, and the pursuit of wellness it embodies. My name is Cherry St. Croix, and though freedom is finally at my fingertips, I return to the blackened streets intent on righting the wrongs I'd left behind.

All is not well in London low. Caught in a war between gangs, men are torn limb from limb, and I am called on to ascertain how. The immoral Karakash Veil is no doubt involved, and Micajah Hawke, a prisoner in his own Menagerie, cannot soften the danger this time.

Armed with the alchemical arts I have learned, my ever present guardian, and what few friends are left to me, I embark on a campaign to rescue the ringmaster I cannot abandon, save the Brick Street Bakers from annihilation, and finally face that which frightens me the most--my own heart.


Melanie's Thoughts

Engraved is the 5th book of The St. Croix Chronicles and finds Cherry back in London, laudanum free. She has been joined by her mentor/lover/guardian Ashmore to rescue the enigmatic Micajah Hawke. The London that she has returned to, free of the fugue of heroin, is not what she was expecting. Everywhere she turns her friends and loved ones are victims of the changes that the Karakash Veil has spearheaded since she left the city. There is now a war between the street gangs and the sweets from the Menagerie who had protected her are being are being broken and tossed aside. The most horrifying event however, is what has happened to her reluctant lover, Hawke. Cherry finds that Hawke has been imprisoned by the Veil but it is not clear whether he has been caged by his master or has chosen to be caged. It would all seem quite bleak and hopeless, but not for Cherry. Things couldn't really get much worse than the events of book 4 (Tempered) when her mother, from beyond the grave, tried to kill her and take over her body. Stopping the war and freeing Hawke seems almost like a walk in the park in comparison. Dark forces are at work and Cherry will have to use all her skills from years as a Collector and the new ones learned during her time with Ashmore in order to save her friends and her love, Hawke.

This instalment was a refreshing change to the previous novels where everything seemed so hopeless as Cherry sunk deeper and deeper to the grip of her heroin addiction. It's not like Cherry is running in fields of flowers or playing with kittens with balls of strings in this novel but at least she now has a clear mind and is empowered with the alchemical arts taught to her by her former guardian, Ashmore. As much as I could see Cherry's attraction to Hawke in the first 2 novels I am more convinced that it is Cherry's innate self destructive nature that draws her to his anti-hero. Hawke offers her up as a sacrifice in book 3 and is physically abusive to her in book 5 but she is still convinced he is worthy of her love. I wasn't entirely sure. I think I would find it hard to forgive a lover who hurts me physically and mentally. I suppose she can't resist a bad boy!

Many of the characters from previous novels make a re-appearance in this instalment, even those who died or were killed in the other books. Her short lived marriage to Lord Compton is prominent in her mind in the early chapters as she is forced to rely on her brother-in-law for help. Even though the tragic demise of Lord Compton is a feature of the first half of the book Compton's murderer and Cherry's dear friend Freddy is barely mentioned. I was expecting Cherry to be forced to come to terms with what Freddy did and the part she played in his downfall and the murders he committed to draw her attention. There was a lot to cover, however, with Cherry trying to save Hawke, the Baker boys, her friends and to escape the Veil and the evil he has spread across London.

I enjoyed this instalment, much more than book 4. Cherry's return to London signaled to me that Cooper was going to return to the gritty, steampunky, noir feel of the previous novels. I also feel this is down to the return of characters from previous books, as well as, the familiar setting of London. I didn't especially like that Cherry was still a victim of Hawke's but at least she is able to stick up for herself a bit more now due to her newly found powers. This read like the final book of the series to me. I think that Cherry could now be left to live her life. However, Cooper has one more of Cherry's story to tell (Transmuted) and I will be happy to read it. This is a dark series and not for anyone who has a problem with a heroine with a drug addiction or a hero who isn't that nice to his love interest. If however, you have a like a conflicted heroine and a perpetual bad boy living in the smog of a steampunk London then this is the series for you.


Interview with Timothy S. Johnston and Review of The Freezer - August 25, 2014


Please welcome Timothy S. Johnston to The Qwillery. The Freezer, the second novel in The Tanner Sequence, is out today from Carina Press.



Interview with Timothy S. Johnston and Review of The Freezer - August 25, 2014




TQ:  Welcome back to The Qwillery. In The Furnace you showed great skill in combining Sci-fi/military and Techno Thriller, do you stick to those same genres in The Freezer or do you blend different genres in the second book?

Timothy:  Hello! It’s a pleasure to be back. As in The Furnace, The Freezer is a murder mystery with elements of Sci-Fi, Thriller, and Horror. Film has had a big influence on me, and movies such as THE THING, ALIEN, THE FLY, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and BLADE RUNNER resonate in everything I create. I love the genre. The greatest SF writer, in my opinion, was Isaac Asimov, and his mystery plots (The Robot Novels for instance) are highly compelling. Additionally, Edgar Allan Poe’s dark gothic mysteries are fantastic. I think if you took all these things and put them in a blender, you might end up with The Freezer.



TQ:  When you started out writing did you consciously want to blend genres or did it just happen naturally based on your own personal interests? How has your writing process changed over the years?

Timothy:  I’m hoping to attract a mainstream audience with this series. Michael Crichton was a master at it. For this reason, the science is all grounded in reality and I don’t use aliens or alien civilizations. I want to make things relevant to issues today around the world and relatable to the mainstream. Was a multi-genre book a conscious decision? Yes. I wanted to write a murder mystery. The setting of any mystery of this sort is crucial. I love futuristic locations because the potential for drama is huge. The vacuum of space, airlocks, the chilling temperatures on an ice-moon of Jupiter, for instance. In The Freezer, the base is located on Europa’s ice ocean which covers the entire moon. There is no land there at all. Fissures can open at any time and swallow you. There are water volcanoes there too. Hubble caught images of a 200 km high plume of water just last year! Settings like that are just perfect for someone like me. Put a claustrophobic base in a place like that, make it a military setting where the chain of command is incontrovertible, and throw a murder in the mix, and the potential for drama is just massive.

In regards to how my process has changed over the years … I would say that I spend more time planning and plotting and researching now than I did in the past. The more pre-writing work you do, the easier the actual writing becomes. And the more you research — even if it’s not used in the book — the better the framework holding the plot in place. The characters I am writing have whole histories behind them, even if only a little bit is ever mentioned. It all contributes to how they behave and interact with others in the books, to make things more realistic.



TQThe Freezer takes place on a frozen moon of Jupiter. How did you research that type of setting to immerse the reader? Did you take a trip anywhere cold to get an authentic feel?

Timothy:  Well, that’s a good question. I’m attracted to cold settings. Movies like THE THING, THE GREY, X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE. I’m not 100% sure why I love that setting, but it can provide a terrifying atmosphere. I grew up in Canada and I’ve been through some incredible winters. Picture a meter of snow falling in 24 hours! It’s truly awesome. Everything in the city just shuts down. Of course, in a book of this type you need a setting where people simply can’t leave the facility, so a cold environment like Europa, which is an ocean of ice on a layer of liquid water, is perfect. I also want the environment to mirror the Investigator’s emotions in this series. In The Furnace it was the heat of the investigation and a descent into hell for Tanner. It was incredibly dangerous and the investigation took place in a claustrophobic facility growing in temperature over the span of the novel. Uncomfortable people will not act normally. Their innermost feelings and emotions will boil to the surface. In The Freezer something happens to Tanner early on, and this affects his emotional state. He becomes slightly unbalanced, cold and somewhat heartless. He’s on the edge. The chilling temperature at the station affects everyone and keeps them on edge as well. It’s a real source of tension in this book.



TQ:  Tell us something about The Freezer that is not in the book description.

Timothy:  A question that haunted me while I wrote The Freezer was: Would a homicide investigator consider murder to avenge someone he loved? Since Tanner works for a military dictatorship, he can basically murder anyone he wants and is able to justify it through his position as an Investigator. However, Tanner is a moral person and he wants to help people. He doesn’t really want to be a weapon of the military. However, if you push him hard enough … Let’s just say that the ending of this book is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever written. I’m so proud of it.



TQ:  Will The Tanner Sequence end after book 3, The Void, or would you like it to be a long-running series? And if it is going to continue, do you have other exotic locations to which you'll send Kyle Tanner next? If yes, can you give us a hint?

Timothy:  Carina Press is releasing The Void early in 2015. It takes place in the lonely emptiness between stars. Tanner’s ship breaks down while he’s transporting a serial killer, another ship is also stranded nearby, and [bleep] hits the fan! I love these characters and would be open to writing more. As to other locations … yes, I do have ideas! Because these are claustrophobic murder mysteries, the settings have to be isolated and dangerous. If I do write more, I promise that I will keep Tanner working in remote facilities and stations. I also have other ideas about the future of the military dictatorship in this series. I am interested in exploring it, to write about The Fall, so to speak.



TQ:  Your first book, The Furnace, was self-published before you made a deal with Carina to publish three books. Now that you've gone through both types of publishing, do you see a value in one over the other?

Timothy:  There is a team behind me now, working to help create the best product possible. I welcome advice on what could make the writing more compelling. I prefer this, no doubt about it. It’s hard to be objective about your books when you are independent. Take movies, for instance. You film the movie, then you edit. Then you test with an audience. If things aren’t working, you re-edit and reshoot and tweak things. Then you re-test it. Books are no different. I still have my creative freedom, but I do value other opinions! I listen to my editor(s) and my agent. Even people who reviewed The Furnace had an impact on my writing.



TQ:  Do you see yourself going back to self-publishing or even using Kickstarter in the future, or will you continue to go the traditional publishing route?

Timothy:  Never say never, but I will stick with traditional publishing. I like having people in my corner, helping create the best product, and also helping market it.



TQ:  In other interviews, you've mentioned that you're very particular about aliens, will we ever see aliens in your novels? What types of aliens do you like? Is there a book or movie alien you like or dislike?

Timothy:  Once again, never say never. I do have some ideas … but for now I would like to avoid aliens. As I mentioned, I am trying to write for mainstream Sci-Fi fans and would like to focus on humans and basic human emotions that are more relatable for people. That being said, I would be open to writing for other series and using aliens from those worlds. A STAR TREK book, for instance. As for my favorite aliens in film and books … I enjoy ones who make compelling and scary antagonists. The original Alien from Ridley Scott’s 1979 film of course. Also James Cameron’s ALIENS. Predator from the original film. The aliens from Frederik Pohl’s GATEWAY series are great because they are very mysterious and not well understood by humans. The Buggers from ENDER’S GAME because they are used more as a natural disaster or a force of nature than a well-understood villain. I didn’t really enjoy the Predator from the ALIEN VS. PREDATOR (2004) film because it contravened the rules that earlier films had created! PREDATOR took place in a hot tropical jungle. PREDATOR 2 during a heat wave in Los Angeles. The implication is that these aliens are from a hotter planet and prefer this type of environment when they are hunting humans. Then all of a sudden they put Predators in Antarctica … it just didn’t make sense. Stick to the established rules of your series! I think movie-goers — especially of genre work — are smart people and you can’t break your own rules.



TQ:  Do you plan on focusing all your writing on novels or would you like to try your hand at writing scripts, graphic novels, plays, poetry or Young Adult books in the future?

Timothy:  My intention is to focus on novels for the near future. That being said, if there was ever interest by a film production company into turning The Furnace, The Freezer or The Void into movies, I would of course be open to doing the script. And why wouldn’t there be!? These are intense murder mysteries in incredibly hostile settings! I think the movie potential is huge. The visuals in these books are epic and the tension is palpable. I would also be interested in writing for another series. A STAR TREK or STAR WARS book for instance. I love those worlds and characters and would be very open to exploring them.



TQ:  What's next?

TimothyThe Void is coming early next year. I visited an anatomy lab, interviewed a forensic pathologist, visited the pathology department and the morgue. Parts of the book are very graphic, and I wanted to get it right. Doing the research was … there are just few words to describe it. Visiting the anatomy lab was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I have the utmost respect for forensic pathologists. They solve crimes and give families closure every single day.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Timothy:  My pleasure! I hope The Qwillery will be open to also reviewing The Void early next year.

TQ:  Of course!





The Freezer
Series:  The Tanner Sequence 2
Publisher:  Carina Press, August 25, 2014
Format:  eBook, 98,000 words
eISBN: 9781426898853
List Price:   $2.99
Review Copy: Provided by the Author

Interview with Timothy S. Johnston and Review of The Freezer - August 25, 2014
A Tanner Sequence Novel
2402 AD

CCF homicide investigator Kyle Tanner and his girlfriend are on their way to Pluto, en route to a new life together. Just one little death to check out in the asteroid belt first. But when you're as tangled up in conspiracy as Tanner is, a few hours on a case can change your life. Or end it.

The mystery is a strange one--one man dead, a cryptic message his dying breath. Still, Tanner's ready to wrap it up until another gruesome murder shakes him to his core. The discovery of a microscopic bomb near his own heart offers the first faint clue, but the clock is ticking. He has four days....

A desperate search for answers takes Tanner to The Freezer, an isolated facility on one of Jupiter's moons. With anti-CCF dissidents targeting the facility, a team of scientists conducting experiments the military would rather remain hidden, and a mysterious man in white hunting him on the ice, Tanner will have to choose his allies carefully. Putting his faith in the wrong person will leave him bleeding out in seconds.


Brannigan's Review

The Freezer is the second book in a science fiction thriller series by Timothy S. Johnston. Johnston shows great skill in blending different genres. With both books set in outer space, science fiction is the main genre but then Johnston adds in other genres that add more dimensions to the story. There's a military aspect with the CCF, a council ruling everyone in the known galaxy with a iron fist. Our hero, Kyle Tanner, brings a nice noir-flavored gumshoe detective to the book, and the mysteries for both books have a medical slant to each of them. And lastly there’s action and thrills. That makes it easy for anyone with a pulse to find something to like in his books.

It's not necessary for the reader to have read The Furnace before jumping into the second book. Johnston does a great job of giving the reader enough information about past events to keep them from being lost or as a nice refresher for those of us who read the first book a year ago when it first came out. As the mystery is all important in a murder mystery, I will say that I was pleasantly surprised at the end of the book by the fact that I hadn't figured it all out. I figured out a few things along the way, which I think we all enjoy, but there was enough that surprised me and kept me reading to find out who did it.

Johnston is a master of setting in The Freezer. You quickly get lost on the frozen moon of Jupiter. The environment acts as another character in the story as it changes and evolves with the mystery. Johnston is wonderful at not just using the setting as a backdrop for his stories but also immersing the characters in it and making them struggle to survive it. This is where most of the action and thrills came in the book and some of my favorite scenes were encased in the setting.

My only complaint of the book was about the timing of a certain character's death. I felt like it happened too soon. I would have preferred to have a little more time with the character so I could feel more invested in what it meant for Tanner to lose that relationship. I do, however, like how Tanner coped with the death as the story progressed, but I still think it would have had more of an emotional impact for me if I had had more time with the character.

On a side note, I'd like to mention one of my favorite aspects of the The Freezer is actually a sub-plot of the story that can also be found in The Furnace. It deals with the CCF and the way it rules the galaxy. I hope I'm not misreading the signs, and if I am I hope this might become reality, but I really want Tanner to change his allegiance and start a rebellion against the CCF. He would make a great rebel leader fighting the good fight.

The Freezer delivers what it promises as the thrills and mysteries ramp up and don't stop until the end, leaving you to catch your breath until the next book in the series arrives. There is violence, some strong language, as well as suggested adult situations, so I would recommended it to adult readers. I'd also recommend it to anyone looking for a quick escape in a hard environment. It's also good for those of you who like a challenging mystery to solve and conspiracy-junkies to speculate on what's in store for Tanner.





Also in the Tanner Sequence

The Furnace
The Tanner Sequence 1
Carina Press, December 23, 2013
eBook, 115,000 words
(Originally self-published September 19, 2011) 

Interview with Timothy S. Johnston and Review of The Freezer - August 25, 2014
Dead Space, 2401 AD

Kyle Tanner is about to die. Alone, floating in a vacsuit only a few million kilometers from a massive, uncaring sun, he has barely enough time or juice to get out a distress signal before either his oxygen runs out or he succumbs to the radiation.

When the CCF sent investigator Kyle Tanner to SOLEX One, a solar energy harvester past Mercury, he thought it would be an open-and-shut murder case. A crew member was found dead, minus his head and hands. Not the worst Tanner has ever seen, but the deeper he delves, the more nightmarish it becomes. A shadowy figure, bleeding from his hands, assaults Tanner in his quarters. Then two more turn up dead, missing their heads and hands as well.

With no one to trust and everyone a suspect--even the intriguing chief engineer, Shaheen--Tanner must navigate a crew on the brink of madness to uncover a conspiracy that could threaten the whole of the human race. Even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice...


Read Brannigan's Review of of The Furnace here.





About Timothy

Interview with Timothy S. Johnston and Review of The Freezer - August 25, 2014
Timothy S. Johnston is a writer of futuristic and contemporary mystery/thrillers. There is always a technological component to his plot lines, and the science that he uses to propel his stories forward is real and verifiable. His characters are strongly motivated and undergo extreme change; his protagonists each find themselves drawn into intense situations seemingly beyond their control. The stakes are always huge and the outcomes unique and unpredictable. He is dedicated to the art of telling a compelling story and contributing to the genre that has given him so much over the past four decades. He is passionate about writing and committed to inspiring others through his stories. Carina Press is currently publishing a trilogy of thrillers by Johnston: The Furnace (2013), The Freezer (2014), and The Void (2015). This series — The Tanner Sequence — details Homicide Investigator Lt. Kyle Tanner’s emotional journey as he solves difficult cases set in unique and deadly claustrophobic environments.

Website  ~   Facebook  ~  Twitter @TSJ_Author



Review: Echoes by T.D. WilsonMelanie's Week in Review - April 5, 2015Interview with T.D. Wilson, author of The Epherium Chronicles - March 31, 2015Guest Blog by Timothy S. Johnston and Review of The Void - March 30, 2015Review: Crucible by T.D. WilsonReview: Embrace by T.D. WilsonReview: Transmuted by Karina CooperCover Reveal: The Void by Timothy S. JohnstonReview: Engraved by Karina CooperInterview with Timothy S. Johnston and Review of The Freezer - August 25, 2014

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