Teri has been reading The Dead City by Dylan J Morgan
I’ve been anticipating this followup to The Dead Lands (review here) and was highly rewarded for my impatience patience.
The reader is immediately dropped into a riveting action sequence that will make you want to flip ahead to see what happens – but try to resist the urge! The action sequences are vivid and extremely well done and I could easily picture the scenes as if watching a movie.
Morgan also possesses a talent at creating characters you love and those you love to hate and would like to feed to the mutants yourself – namely the greedy, narcissistic, and disgusting Colonel Paden. That being said, one of the reasons Morgan’s books are so suspenseful is that you never know if one of your favorite characters will live or go down in a blaze of glory – or even with a whimper. But it sure does make for an exciting read.
And the ending! Just when I thought the story was over, my heart rate had returned to normal, and I’d made peace with the sacrifices and deaths, a curveball came out of nowhere and left me in shock. A dark, but nice twist that could lead to a sequel – I hope.
I received a copy of this book through Rosie’s Book Review Team in exchange for an honest review.
Noelle has been reading The Dead City by Dylan J Morgan,
This is a review based on an advanced reader copy from the author; the book.
The Dead Lands, which I recently reviewed here, is the prequel to this book by Dylan Morgan – The Dead City. In the first book, a team of highly trained soldiers from Erebus are sent in response to a radio signal from the sister planet Hemera, indicating that the President of Hemera and his family are awaiting rescue after being in stasis since a nuclear war one hundred years prior. They are sent by the avaricious and pig-like Colonel Paden, who features prominently in this second book. Rather than a barren land with no surviving inhabitants, the team finds a baking, dusty, rubble-strewn wasteland populated by murderous thugs and a completely destroyed capital city of Magna, overrun with hordes of horrifying and ghastly mutants. The sole interest of these mutants is killing and eating the organs of their prey.
In The Dead City, another crack team is heading to Hemera and Magna, accompanied by Colonel Paden. He wants to find the treasure in gems said to be hidden within the capitol city, ostensibly for Erebus but in reality for himself. He brings with him physicians to tend to his health and three prostitutes to tend to his other needs. The team is led by Lieutenant Marshall, a much-decorated soldier revered by his men. Among the team members are Ryan and his sister Jayde, who is also a soldier and very close to her brother, and also the loathsome Murdoch, who has hated Ryan since their training and fantasizes in graphic ways about what he will do to and with Jayde, if he ever gets the chance.
This time the soldiers are aware of what awaits them, and the trek to the capitol’s palace is a running of the gauntlet, with the gruesome deaths of both soldiers and mutants. The mutants, who have deadly aim with sharpened metal blades, are held off by a plasma guns (Berserkers), which blow them into bloody bits but which cannot stem their unending tide. Eventually some of the groups into which the team has been split reach the deepest level of the palace, where the President and his family, long since dead, were once housed. Paden then follows in relative safety, at the cost of more men, and the search of the building and sewers for the gems begins.
The Dead City has an inherently interesting story line with characters you can really love or hate. My dislike of Colonel Paden was so great, I prayed for a mutiny. While Ryan is suitably indomitable and brave, the author has also created many minor characters who grabbed me emotionally. As I said about The Dead Lands, this is not a story for the faint of heart. There were times when I was overwhelmed with the repetitive and gruesome slaughter; there’s a limit to the amount of gore I can handle. Luckily, each time when I thought I’d reached that limit, the story and characters kicked back in and I kept reading. The ending was a total surprise and made it more than worth reading the book. I want the sequel!
Two things. I wish there had been more of a transition between the previous book and this one – seeing what happened to the first team when the remnants of it returned to Erebus, for example. I also wondered why the mutants never killed and ate each other.
The relentless gore aside, the author does a great job of describing his world and drawing the reader into it. This book should appeal to everyone who likes strongly written, post-apocalyptic thrillers.
I don’t know where to start! When I read The Dead Lands, which is the prequel to this book, I didn’t think I could ever feel quite so involved in a novel again, but I was wrong. Dylan Morgan has a unique talent for dropping you into the thick of the action as if you are a living, breathing member of the Erebus Superior Armed Forces. I had to keep coming up for air after certain scenes just to check I was still in my living room!
The Dead City can easily be read as a stand-alone novel, without having read The Dead Lands. There are a couple of references made to the characters in the other book but nothing that will confuse a reader who finds this title first.
As with all of the books I’ve read by this author, he crafts characters that stay with you long after you’ve finished reading. Unfortunately, Dylan Morgan also has a knack for ripping your heart out of your chest by killing off your favourite characters in a blaze of gunfire. I think this is what I love most about Dylan’s books – they are incredibly realistic. Unfortunately, in war, the good guys don’t always make it home and this is what gives The Dead City such a powerfully emotional pull. I cried twice reading this book!! I’d love to talk more about the wonderful mix of characters but I fear that I may inadvertently leave a spoiler or two.
The storyline follows the team of soldiers as they arrive on the planet of Hemera with instructions to extract the city’s huge wealth. You are dropped into the action almost immediately and the scenes that unfold are both gripping and terrifying. Greed, betrayal, and horror meets the soldiers and you are swept along this tidal wave of emotion with them.
I became a firm fan of Dylan Morgan several books back but The Dead City has cemented my allegiance as a lifelong groupie. I can’t recommend this title highly enough.
I read The Dead City as a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team and received an ARC copy from the author in response for an honest review.
Terry has been reading The Dead City by Dylan J Morgan
The Dead City is the sequel to The Dead Lands, which I loved ~ and I’m happy to report that I thoroughly enjoyed this, too!
The sly, greedy and sociopathic Colonel Paden from planet Erebus has commanded a fleet to go to the city of Magna on planet Hemera, to recover lost riches hidden there after a nuclear strike wiped it out a hundred years before. The party of 400 soldiers is led by Lieutenant Marshal, and as soon as they set foot in the dead city of the title, they are besieged by the thousands of mutant beings who live there, descendents of those who survived.
The main characters are Paden, Marshal, soldier Ryan and his beloved sister Jayde, the evil Murdoch who has a bone or six to pick with Ryan and a hankering for his sister, and several other ‘goodies’ who are given varying fates: Boone, Darrell, Burke, Laila.
The mission is dangerous if not suicidal, and Marshal contemplates mutiny as more and more of his men lose their lives. Dylan Morgan is the master of bleak dystopian description and atmosphere, and though this is a fairly long book consisting mostly of soldiers fighting mutants and dying horrible deaths, it never seemed either repetitive or tedious, because of the backstories, hopes, fears and relationships between all the people, and the ‘oh my God what’s going to happen when I turn the page’ factor. The characterisation is as good as in all his books, and I couldn’t get enough of the despicable Colonel Paden! I made a note that Chapter 10 is particularly good, but there are other highlights, including a chapter from a mutant’s point of view, which is quite an eye-opener and a great idea (there’s one in The Dead Lands, too).
I wasn’t expecting a happy ever after ending and I certainly didn’t get one, though a final, dark and terrifying twist is revealed at the end – nice one, and it left promise of another book to come, which I am seriously looking forward to! Definitely recommended if you like books of this genre and don’t wince at blood, gore and horrific injuries. Oh, and if Mr Morgan can get me any of that Tetralaphel given to the injured soldiers, I’d be forever in his debt!!
Pop Travel is a light SciFi set in 2080 mainly in Georgia. The book opens two years earlier with an introduction to “Pop Travel”, a form of laser teleportation, and an unfortunate accident for one traveler.
We next meet PI Cooper, he is contacted by a nervous and shady character wanting him to take on the search for a missing fiancee. Aleesa disappeared one day and Phisner believes that Pop Travel was to blame, but all lines on inquiry have been shut down.
Conscious that everywhere you go security cameras watch you, computers and communication are also all tapped, Cooper begins investigating. He soon hits the radar of the FBI with his search terms and they are hot on his trail when he is offered copies of unofficial tapes from other Pop Travel “incidents”.
Cooper believes he must speak to the Pop Travel creator Hasan Rakhi, but he is heavily guarded. Using his brother’s political power he manages an invite to the creators home, but to get there he must himself “pop” something he’s always avoided at all costs. The FBI send in their agents to infiltrate Copper’s plans and take him out if necessary. Will he be able to get to the bottom of all the secrecy or will he be taken down?
I really liked the start of this book and the premise of Pop Travel for the future was very plausible. As the book proceeded the number of characters introduced became exhausting and I question if they were all really necessary. A romance for Cooper didn’t quite work for me, and the action chase scenes at the end belonged more to a Bond movie than the SciFi setting the book opened with when electric cars were made quite a point of.
A light fun read but possible not for die hard SciFi fans.
I reviewed this previously on Amazon for #AugustReviews
The Wild Blue is a companion novella to the Stargate Atlantis TV series and follows on from more companion books from The Legacy series. Atlantis has made a delicate peace with the Wraith after they helped a faction take down Queen Death who wanted to unite the Wraith and destroy all humans.
This book is about Ronan Dex and his people of Sateda who are rebuilding their world. Looking for more power sources they go inland and consider the feasibility of restoring an old hydro electric power station. Drones are sent over the land in constant search of useful resources and any signs of groups of people who survived the last Wraith cull.
There are concerns that a group of explorers are missing in the hills and pilot Mel Hocken gets the go ahead to use a reconstructed aeroplane to search deeper inland. When her plane goes down, it now becomes a search and rescue job for Ronan in the Wild Blue Mines.
A very good quick read this book also includes the popular characters Dr Zelenka and Major Lorne from the Atlantis gate team.
Steve has been reading Cast Adrift by Mannah Pierce
A good-paced adventure saga centred around one spaceship crew with plenty of intrigue and a variety of galaxy-sized challenges to overcome, all set against a backdrop of a feudal, family governed universe.
This book was an enjoyable read and, for me, an intriguing introduction into the universe created by Mannah Pierce. I thought, at first, that the set-up of the crew of the spaceship would limit both the depth of characters and my attachment to them. As I progressed through the book, however, and shared in the crew’s adventures I became involved in their relationships and eager to learn more about their back stories.
As the team is pulled together by both events and the will of the characters, the different skills of the team are revealed and put to the test. All the super powers are present, from the inhuman strength of a bodyguard cyborg to the genetically created ultra-intelligence of a very human boy and these are combined with the domestic duties of daily life on board the space ship to keep the story rolling and the reader’s interest.
I am already looking forward to reading the next instalment in this exciting space opera.
Lilyn has been reading The Dead Lands by Dylan J Morgan
Oh, I wanted to love this book. It looked perfect. Mutants, science-fiction, post-apocalyptic setting… I’d seen great reviews, too. Unfortunately, The Dead Lands was a dud for me. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate it. I just didn’t feel anything for or towards it. It evoked no emotions. It never aroused my curiosity, never made me think.
It was technically a science fiction novel in part because it was based on a different planet, but it wasn’t really based on a different planet. Apart from the advanced weaponry and cryogenics, the worlds that are featured in this novel (mutants aside) are disturbingly mundane. There’s nothing in them that suggests an exotic location. None of the characters appealed to me. They’re not cardboard characters, exactly, but they’re so typical that with the mundane setting and other issues they were almost irritating.
However, and here’s the interesting thing, this would make a great movie. The more I read it, the more that occurred to me. All the little bits and bobs , the occasionally gruesome images and odd character tics, etc, are at best mildly interesting in the book. If it was a movie, though? Hah! It’d be freaking awesome! Filled with shoot-em-ups, last stands, and plenty of gore. You’d probably have to pay me to get me to read the second book in this series. But I’d be there on opening night in the theatre, saying “Shut up and take my money” to see this on the big screen.
My favorite part of the book was near the very end when the author killed off a character I was expecting to live. It was completely unexpected, so I’ll happily admit I did a little internal cheer. I love it when authors go against the grain and do something unexpected. Overall, The Dead Lands was an okay read. Morgan knows how to put a story together, but he needs to refine his writing a little bit.
Apophis is an entertaining and engaging read that looks at our world as it prepares for Apophis’ impact, and then the world a thousand years after that. Not ground-breaking, but definitely thought-provoking, Apophis examines both sides of the coin of the practice of eugenics and the lengths to which humans can go to survive when we’re on a countdown to destruction.
Rider easily gives you characters you can root for – and characters you can’t wait to see destroyed. The artificial intelligence is also surprisingly believable. She doesn’t give ALEC too many human traits, which a lot of science fiction authors do, and he stays completely logical. He/It is both a comforting presence, and vaguely intimidating at the same time because you witness early on that he will do whatever it takes to make sure that certain things happen. The things that he deems to be for the good of humanity. It’s not that far of a step from there to destruction. You can also get a sense of personalities developing in the other AIs that are formed that are different from ALEC, which is rather interesting, but everyone knows that a copy of a copy of a copy, etc, can end up looking quite different from the original.
Now, there was one issue that I had. It is a simple one. In the author’s world, two groups that speak English, after being separated by over a thousand years, are able to easily speak with each other. Language is constantly changing, so it’s hard to believe that there would be no issues communicating after one thousand years had passed. On a minor note, there was some wording that could be tweaked to make the story more pleasing. It’s mainly repetitious factors that weigh it down. It made the story a bit hard to get into.
Overall, this was a nice take on the post-apocalyptic science fiction tale that smartly avoids going for the ‘epic’ award like Stephenson and Robinson seem to consistently do. The science may not be as ‘hard’, but the story still carries itself very nicely.
Kali’s Wrath is a Sci-Fi novel based on the TV series Stargate and is a new companion adventure to the shows for the SG-1 team. The book opens with a prologue for a mission to P3X-418 and standard recon for SG-7, however they are attacked by invisible beings called Reetou, and temporarily saved by some Jaffa.
The Jaffa belong to the Goa’uld Kali, whom they call The Mother Goddess, more Reetou take out the Jaffa who then try to capture SG-7 and only Captain Patel makes it home. With her she brings Kali’s first Prime who took a blast which saved her life.
SG-1 are sent in but O’Neill, Carter and Jackson become trapped when explosives send the gate plunging into an ice cold sea. Trapped on Imphal they are then kidnapped by Kali herself who wants Carter to help with a weapon and Jackson to open peace negotiations with the Reetou.
A rescue mission is planned with the added bonus of help from the Tok’ra and Master Bra’tac making this an action packed episode. There were clever back stories informing the reader about the System Lord Kali and how she fit into the many Goa’uld leaders, as well as enough background on the lead characters for first time readers to feel involved, but not too much to bore dedicated fans of the TV series.