A provocative, complicated tale twisted into a knotty framework of time paradoxes.

COLIGO

BOOK #1, THE UNITAS SERIES

In Hannon’s debut SF novel, set in a future city where androids and humans coexist, an idealist’s political campaign is complicated by a serial killer, a paradigm-changing medical breakthrough, and time travel.

The City is a future metropolis that’s still healing 47 years after the Resurgence, a conflict between humans and the humanoid robots they created. Now, androids have legal rights and live among people as equals. A cabal of human dynasties dominate this society, and Colin O’Connor, the incumbent second-generation governor, is a respected leader running for reelection amid a heady milieu of medical advances and positive developments in human-android relations. But Colin harbors terrible family secrets that lead to a near-fatal knife attack on his colleague and clandestine girlfriend,scientist Julie Walsh. Julie survives, however, due to the machinations of Mick Taylor, a maverick scientist who discovered a method of time travel using tech that draws on the exotic chemistry of human blood. Mick’s been crisscrossing the decades after the Resurgence, tracing clues connected to periodic, vicious murders of well-connected local women. Homicide in the City is rare in the present day, but evidence surrounding the crimes points ominously toward a potential serial killer—and the O’Connors. Hannon plays clever mind games with readers regarding the nature of a sinister antagonist known only as “It,” and the storyline features time hops back and forth through the years, tangling the chronology and characters’ evolution. Fortunately, readers won’t find this as maddening as it could have been, because at the story’s midpoint, the surfacing of Mick’s journals provides a linear recap of the story so far, and a handy chart in the front of the book makes things even plainer. The plot does take its time to get where it’s going, but by the conclusion, there’s enough human-android intrigue to make a planned sequel worthwhile.

A provocative, complicated tale twisted into a knotty framework of time paradoxes.

Pub Date: Feb. 22, 2022

ISBN: 979-8985117530

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Idella Imprint Publishing, LLC

Review Posted Online: Feb. 21, 2022

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A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

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DEVOLUTION

Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z (2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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An unrelentingly dark and disquieting look at the way societies conform to committing atrocities.

TENDER IS THE FLESH

A processing plant manager struggles with the grim realities of a society where cannibalism is the new normal.

Marcos Tejo is the boss’s son. Once, that meant taking over his father’s meat plant when the older man began to suffer from dementia and require nursing home care. But ever since the Transition, when animals became infected with a virus fatal to humans and had to be destroyed, society has been clamoring for a new source of meat, laboring under the belief, reinforced by media and government messaging, that plant proteins would result in malnutrition and ill effects. Now, as is true across the country, Marcos’ slaughterhouse deals in “special meat”—human beings. Though Marcos understands the moral horror of his job supervising the workers who stun, kill, flay, and butcher other humans, he doesn’t feel much since the crib death of his infant son. “One can get used to almost anything,” he muses, “except for the death of a child.” One day, the head of a breeding center sends Marcos a gift: an adult female FGP, a “First Generation Pure,” born and bred in captivity. As Marcos lives with his product, he gradually begins to awaken to the trauma of his past and the nightmare of his present. This is Bazterrica’s first novel to appear in America, though she is widely published in her native Argentina, and it could have been inelegant, using shock value to get across ideas about the inherent brutality of factory farming and the cruelty of governments and societies willing to sacrifice their citizenry for power and money. It is a testament to Bazterrica’s skill that such a bleak book can also be a page-turner.

An unrelentingly dark and disquieting look at the way societies conform to committing atrocities.

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982150-92-1

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2020

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