An absorbing, realistic dystopian tale with a superb cast.


From the Wyoming Chronicles series , Vol. 1

Ranchers and university students fight to survive after an economic crisis turns American citizens against one another in this thriller.

Sam Delgado and other college students head to an archaeological project in Wyoming just as a cyberattack hits American banks. Businesses start refusing credit cards, generating quite a stir, yet Sam and the others are sure everything will be back to normal in a few days. But then the president declares martial law. With travel restricted, most of the students opt to stay in the relatively isolated spot, bunking at the Tappan family’s ranch. Meanwhile, countrywide unrest escalates as cities lose electrical power and a nation reputedly invades America. Sam and his fellow students face a domestic threat; Homeland Security Director Kevin Edgewater abuses his authority and, with his cronies, menaces Wyoming residents. The Tappans teach the students how to shoot, but that doesn’t prepare anyone at the ranch for Edgewater’s lethal assaults. Revenge-minded Sam ultimately pursues the director. He finds an ally in Breeze Tappan, who returns to the ranch after traveling through Colorado, currently a much harsher place than Wyoming. She and Sam have the determination—and guns—to face Edgewater and his armed men. Gear’s novel teems with well-developed characters of varying backgrounds. For example, Sam is a Mexican whose father disapproves of his anthropology major, and someone else’s harrowing past includes torture at the hands of the Islamic State group. At the same time, the story wisely zeroes in on Sam’s perspective while Breeze’s periodic journal entries provide a glimpse of the nation’s alarming troubles. The author enriches the plausible narrative with ties to real-world events, like Covid-19, as well as analogies with ancient civilizations collapsing. The work’s latter half is noticeably violent, with an unexpected turn and several deaths making the most impact. Despite a thorough ending, this engrossing book launches a series.

An absorbing, realistic dystopian tale with a superb cast. (dedication, acknowledgements, author bio)

Pub Date: June 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-64734-272-2

Page Count: 454

Publisher: Wolfpack Publishing LLC

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2021

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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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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 unforgettable story of survival and the power of friendship—nothing short of a science-fiction masterwork.


Weir’s latest is a page-turning interstellar thrill ride that follows a junior high school teacher–turned–reluctant astronaut at the center of a desperate mission to save humankind from a looming extinction event.

Ryland Grace was a once-promising molecular biologist who wrote a controversial academic paper contesting the assumption that life requires liquid water. Now disgraced, he works as a junior high science teacher in San Francisco. His previous theories, however, make him the perfect researcher for a multinational task force that's trying to understand how and why the sun is suddenly dimming at an alarming rate. A barely detectable line of light that rises from the sun’s north pole and curves toward Venus is inexplicably draining the star of power. According to scientists, an “instant ice age” is all but inevitable within a few decades. All the other stars in proximity to the sun seem to be suffering with the same affliction—except Tau Ceti. An unwilling last-minute replacement as part of a three-person mission heading to Tau Ceti in hopes of finding an answer, Ryland finds himself awakening from an induced coma on the spaceship with two dead crewmates and a spotty memory. With time running out for humankind, he discovers an alien spacecraft in the vicinity of his ship with a strange traveler on a similar quest. Although hard scientific speculation fuels the storyline, the real power lies in the many jaw-dropping plot twists, the relentless tension, and the extraordinary dynamic between Ryland and the alien (whom he nicknames Rocky because of its carapace of oxidized minerals and metallic alloy bones). Readers may find themselves consuming this emotionally intense and thematically profound novel in one stay-up-all-night-until-your-eyes-bleed sitting.

An unforgettable story of survival and the power of friendship—nothing short of a science-fiction masterwork.

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-13520-4

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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