Latest Review for The IX
By FUONLYKNEW Reviews
This second installment of the When Darkness Falls series – Mutation, deals with the immediate aftermath of the creature outbreak, as the blurb highlights:
Since the appearance of the alien
creatures the world has drastically changed. Electricity still has not been
restored and people are panicking. The creatures that hadn’t fled the area to
chase the moon, were hiding in the shadows while guarding their offspring.
Infected people are growing ill and morphing into something sinister. Losing their humanity, their only instinct is the primal need to feed their insatiable hunger.
Yes, if ravenous, bloodthirsty creatures and their taserlike little offspring weren’t enough of a problem for the survivors to deal with, they now have to contend with the consequences of getting bitten.
Fever sets in, highlighting the spread of an infection that turns normal everyday people into savage automatons with only one thing on their minds: feeding.
As you can imagine, this allows the fast and furious pace of the first novel to continue, and as the number of main characters begins to gradually decline, you’re better able to keep track of where the overall story arc is heading. Yes, there’s obviously more to this ‘invasion’ than meets the eye. However, Hollstein has wisely avoided the temptation to give everything away too quickly. Instead, we get enticing clues as to bigger picture, and what’s in store for the dwindling number of survivors who don’t seem to have a hope in hell of seeing another day. . .
Or do they?
Find out for yourselves in a story that definitely has bite!
I do like a story that grounds itself in an element of truth. And it’s fair to say, global warming is a big issue at the moment. The ice caps are melting, and as they do so, scientists are discovering ancient bacteria and other life forms that are capable of regenerating. Even now, after so many millennia.
Well, M. A Hollstein builds on that concept, and takes it one stage further. . .
As the blub highlights:
Awakened, after millions of years of
imprisonment, a prehistoric alien threat has been freed and is now wreaking
havoc on the earth. Becoming more powerful by draining electricity all over the
planet, the earth is plunged into darkness making humanity more vulnerable than
Follow several groups of people on the first night of their journey in this apocalyptic adventure. Little do they know that this is just the beginning. Something more sinister is about to emerge, changing life as they know it.
This was most pleasing dip into the
horror side of science fact mixed with science/horror fiction, because. . .
Well, you never know what we might uncover if the ice caps keep melting.
And in this case, it’s a promising story that gets right into the action from the outset, and keeps going until the very last page.
Now, please be aware, you’ll be introduced
to a lot of characters in this story. A lot. But M. A Hollstein does a good job
of holding things together so you don’t lose place of what’s happening; to who;
and where. And she also engages you enough so that you start to build a
relationship with those characters. Some you’ll root for. Some, you’ll cheer
when they meet a grizzly end. And others you can’t wait for to hurry up and die
because they are that aggravating. (So you see, you get a good mix).
And better still, the story rounds off to the point where you have a basic understanding what’s happening. . .
And now you’re looking forward to finding out why and how things are going to evolve.
Fangtastic fun! Go on, enjoy yourself.
In this third book of the Bloodshot series, the chaos caused by multidimensional misdeeds begins to unravel everywhichway at once . . . and, as the title so aptly highlights, everything turns into a bloodbath:
shot, left for dead, and dumped into a parallel dimension by the
universe-hopping murderer and drug dealer Wyatt Kole, SFPD Sgt. Randy Dexter
survives and makes a life for himself among strangers with familiar faces. With
Captain Sean McGrath’s help, he is back on the force, and within three months
promoted to lieutenant. He’s also dating Gemma, the girl whose murder he was
investigating in his former life. Here in this reality, she is alive and well.
Although she still works with the Wyatt Kole of this world, she has broken
romantic ties with the physicist. Life is good. But that’s all about to change.
People are suddenly turning into flesh-eating, bloodthirsty cannibals; the psychotropic drug Bloodshot has somehow stalked him to this new dimension. Has the Wyatt Kole of this world followed in his counterpart’s footsteps or has another Kole come to this universe, bringing murder and mayhem with him? Either way, Gemma’s in danger.
Dexter and McGrath race to Kole’s but what they find is even more horrifying than they expected. Kole—not Gemma—is the one lying on the kitchen floor, shot and bleeding out. A portal to another universe is still open, and the murderer is making good her escape, a murderer with the face of the girl Dexter loves but now with a look of insanity in her bleeding eyes. As Gemma steps through the portal, she turns and fires, wounding McGrath. The next instant she disappears. And within that same instant, before the portal can close, Dexter follows. To somehow save Gemma from the effects of a new and even deadlier strain of Bloodshot, he must navigate a sea of familiar strangers. But can he save her? The only other alternative is to kill her, for she must somehow be stopped. Because in her wake is a bloodbath of half-eaten corpses.
Fred Wiehe ramps up the action, the tension, and your tenuous grasp on reality when worlds collide – literally! It seems everyone is hell-bent on getting their hands on the device that allows them to travel between universes. And if they also control the drug that helps facilitate the accompanying mayhem, then all the better . . . especially if they can tweak its formula to create one or two additional side effects.
I found this final book in the series was great fun. Wiehe ensures to deliver conflict, bloodshed, and thrills aplenty by altering the tempo of the ever-evolving story arc in such a way that you know there’s going to be an explosive and casualty-riddled conclusion. But as to who’ll be left standing at the end? Ah, you’ll have to find out for yourselves in an apocalyptic action adventure that will keep you guessing to the very end.
Bloodbath. A rather apt title to a visceral series you really need to read.
This second book of the
Bloodshot series, Bloodlust, ups the
ante, as the saying goes. McGrath and Dexter are not only contending with their
own personal demons, but they’re doing their level best to combat the spread of
an insidious new drug craze, while clawing ever closer to the truth of the
catalyst behind it.
And the blurb gives you a little hint at how hectic things are:
The devastating effects of the psychotropic drug Bloodshot on the San Francisco Bay Area intensifies, reaching out in all directions—up and down the peninsula and across the bay into Oakland and points farther east. Despite its deadly side effects, sales are up, and casualties continue to mount. SFPD cops Lieutenant Sean (Mac) McGrath and Sergeant Randy Dexter thought they had seen and heard it all in their long careers. But the mayhem, murder, exploding heads, and cannibalism plaguing their city is taking its toll on their resolve. Their sanity is also being tested as undeniable proof points to the existence of multiverses and a maniacal genius—world-class physicist Wyatt Kole—who has developed a device that opens portals to travel from one parallel universe to another to murder his girlfriend time and time again. Moreover, an exact duplicate of McGrath lies dead in the morgue and a body found in the Santa Cruz Mountains is identified as Professor Kole. How can that be? As impossible as it may seem, the only plausible explanation is the existence of duplicates from a parallel universe, which forces McGrath and Dexter to admit that their suspicions of Kole as a universe-hopping murderer and drug dealer are true. But they have no proof the professor murdered anyone or that he’s responsible for Bloodshot. To make matters worse, they are both fighting their own personal demons—McGrath, alcoholism and Dexter, the fear that he suffers from hallucinatory psychosis like his father. But somehow, they must overcome before Kole can open a new portal and disappear, taking Bloodshot and its horrifying bloodlust effects with him to plague yet another reality.
Yes, what to do when the only explanation for the relentless mayhem unfolding in the city makes you appear as if you need locking up in a psychiatric ward?
Rest assured, Lieutenant McGrath and Sergeant Dexter have their work cut out. All of them! (We are dealing with a multiverse hopping psycho after all). And that’s the great thing about this story, because Fred Wiehe neatly overcomes the dreaded ‘2nd book in a series dip’ by upping that ante I mentioned. The action fairly explodes everywhichway at once. And the great thing is, a rather nifty plotline helps you keep track of what’s happening, to whom, and where.
I loved it. The multiverse concept allows Wiehe to experiment with his main and supporting protagonists and antagonists, which, in turn, not only helps you see the depth and scope of their characters and the things they’re dealing with in their personal lives, but it also allows you to have fun with the story arc(s).
If you love fast-paced thrillers that are as gory as they are brutal, then you really need to give this series a go. Highly recommended.
This is the first book I’ve read by Fred Wiehe, and I have to say from the outset, it won’t be the last. And really, for those who know me and my background, it’s easy to see why. As a former cop and astrophysics geek, this story has my name written all over it.
And the blurb helps you see why I’m so excited:
Do multiverses exist? And if they do, does a duplicate of each of us exist in every reality? These are questions Lieutenant Sean (Mac) McGrath and Sergeant Randy Dexter must come to terms with to solve a murder and stop the widespread use of a new psychotropic drug dubbed Bloodshot.
Almost simultaneously, a young woman is murdered in Haight-Ashbury and this dangerous drug hits San Francisco’s streets. Taken through the retina and optic nerve, Bloodshot degrades and disrupts the neural network and central nervous system, turning people into crazed killers and bloodthirsty cannibals. Their investigation quickly takes them down a strange path that borders on science fact and science fiction, a path that reveals horrors more akin to nightmares than the real world, a path where they both begin to doubt their own already fragile sanity.
For if they are to believe the mounting evidence before them, they must also believe their prime suspect invented a device that can open portals to parallel universes, a device that enables him to travel from one realty to another and murder his ex-girlfriend time and time again—because apparently once just isn’t enough.
So, what did I think?
Well, first off, I loved it! Bloodlust is built on a great premise; it’s skillfully executed; the characters are as flawed as they are relatable; the action is delivered in wonderful energetic pulses that keep you tuning the page; and the plotline is liberally sprinkled with clues that allow you to anticipate how the story might develop. It’s superb!
It reminded me is some
respect of David Walton’s Superposition, a story where advanced physics and
multiverses go awry, and I can’t wait to see how things develop in the next
(And YOU should get to know this story too).
In this final book of Marcus
Abshire’s Ways of the Warlock series,
it looks as if Jakobus Shaw has finally bitten off more than he can chew.
As the blurb highlights:
I’m not proud of my past, and I’m done running away from it.
The dark elf D’oreal, Lord of Endless Night and my ex-girlfriend’s father is trying to unleash a hellish nightmare on the entire world. I have to say, I don’t think that’s a good idea.
He wants my help and he’s threatening to kill my friends if I don’t give it to him. Shareal, the dark elf from a past I can’t remember, wants to stop her father’s mad scheme but trusting dark elves isn’t something a sane person would do.
I’m used to working alone, but if I want to keep a dark god of madness and death from plunging the world into the black void of insanity, I’ll need to call in a few favors.
Elder gods don’t like it when a mere human not only forsakes their power but escapes their punishment for doing so. I’ve pissed off a lot of people, monsters and creatures born from darkness, but spitting in the eye of a god is damn foolish, even for me.
My past is clouded, my future unclear, yet one thing I know for sure is that I’m not going to let anything happen to the people I care about, even if it kills me.
Yes, the past seems to have caught up with Jakobus, culminating in the mother of all stand-offs. One that nobody will walk away from.
But as we’ve come to learn, this former warlock has something of a stubborn, defiant streak. And he didn’t survive – and indeed escape – from the deep by giving up when all seems lost. Perhaps his tenacity will see him through?
One thing’s for sure, this final chapter of the series is highly entertaining. Once again the cast comes together to deliver a high-octane performance where the dialogue, humor and action all combine to set your world on fire and keep it burning to the last page. But as to who lives and who dies? Ah, you’ll have to find out for yourselves. But it truly is an epic conclusion.
I’ve really enjoyed reading this series and will be sorry to say goodbye. And isn’t that what we all want from our readers?