Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #SciFi Intraterrestrial by @NicholasConley1

Today’s team review is from Sean, he blogs here

#RBRT Review Team

Sean has been reading Intraterrestrial by Nicholas Conley


This book takes the reader on an interesting journey, based as it is on an intriguing premise.

It centres around 13-year-old Adam Helios , an adopted kid of Indian parentage, growing up in the US. The backstory leading up to the book is that he is the new kid in school, he is a tech geek, low on self-esteem and with confidence issues, his Indian heritage and lack of knowledge around his biological parents is problematic for him, and is being bullied physically and verbally by Joe Sanderson. He’s actually a nice kid, whose main interest is Space and his telescope, and fixing up bikes, and when he was younger “Jupiter Man”.

Oh – and he hears Voices, which he thinks come from the stars.

Adam eventually bites back, and batters holy hell out of said Joe, when Joe begins to harass Chandra, a girl Adam is beginning to like. Cue being brought to the office, where we encounter Adam’s adoptive parents. His mother is a termagant, and his dad the polar opposite.

They leave the office, and on the way home get involved in a car-crash that sets us on our way. His mother escapes without physical injury, but gains a new perspective on life as the book progresses, and she is faced with choices. His dad gets injured. Adam, however, ends up with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Adam “follows the light” while in a coma, and meets up with the owner of the Voice. He is entrusted with a high-risk, winner-takes-all mission to save the “spark’ of six aliens, while battling a powerful negative energy. At the same time, the aliens are actually saving him.

There are two main voyages of discovery, of Adam and separately but in parallel, his mother. Adam has an out-of-body experience journey, although he is trapped inside his skull. Camille, the mother, goes through a real metamorphosis of character. You find yourself rooting for these two, though at times the mother is a little too much, to the extent of being somewhat unbelievable/unacceptable in her approach to anyone outside her immediate family.

There is some Descartes-ian philosophy thrown in here too, and the medical scenarios seem to be plausible enough. The language may cause some parents to pause before giving it to kids, but for me it was perfectly acceptable for early teen 13 and on.

Overall, a four-star, because in spite of these limitations it IS a good read. Definitely one for the holiday bag, as it will entertain and amuse, as well as provoke a little thought about where do people with TBI go?

Book description

Adam Helios is a bully magnet without many friends. When he starts hearing a voice that claims to come from the stars, he fears he’s losing his mind, so he withdraws even further. On the way home from a meeting at the school, he and his parents are involved in a horrible car crash. With his skull cracked open, Adam’s consciousness is abducted by the alien who has been speaking to him for months.

After surviving the wreck with only minor scratches, Camille Helios must deal with her guilt over the accident that left her husband badly injured and her son in a coma. When the doctor suggests letting Adam go, Camille refuses to stop fighting for her son’s life.

Lost among galaxies, Adam must use his imagination to forge a path home before his body dies on the operating table. But even if he does return to Earth, he may end up locked inside a damaged brain forever.

About the author

Nicholas Conley is a novelist, world traveler, playwright, and coffee vigilante. His passion for storytelling began at an early age, prompted by a love of science fiction novels, comic books, and horror movies. His award-winning novel Pale Highway was influenced by his real life experience working with Alzheimer’s patients in a nursing home, and his work in healthcare also inspired his essays for Vox and The Huffington Post, as well as his radio play Something in the Nothing, which was performed live on WSCA 106.1 FM in 2016.

Nicholas Conley

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #SciFi The Happy Chip by Dennis Meredith @explainresearch

Today’s team review is from Sean, he blogs here

#RBRT Review Team

Sean has been reading The Happy Chip by Dennis Meredith


This book started with a bang, and the pace didn’t let up all the way through. This is a real sci-fi thriller book, emphasis on the sci. There is no Magic, no hi-tech cars becoming submarines or jet fighters, the only way time travels is either forward, or in parallel with the rest of the story. The sci is all about nanotechnology, something that most people (and definitely the readers of this genre) have heard about, and its application (happ-lication??) to enhancing the human life experience. It’s a believable base for a storyline, then you add in  the “if something seems too good to be true, then it usually is” plotline.

There is quite a cast of characters on show here, from the bad Corporate multi-millionaire who just wants more, to the giant Russian and his crony army who plays both ends against the middle (at least initially), the CIA and local police show up, China and its underground criminal scene, and a potentially damaging international crisis. The main character, freelance writer Brad Davis, is the quintessential good guy, dedicated family man struggling to pay the bills, but supported by a loving wife. They both have ex-Afghanistan military experience, which comes in useful later on!

Essentially, Brad gets a big break to write the memoir of the guy who brought nanotechnology to the masses, the technology being the eponymous Happy Chip. Through various meetings and encounters, he gets his journalistic 6th sense telling him something is “off”, he does some initial sleuthing, and the game in on!

The pace of the book is fast, the read enjoyable, even though I found the characterisation a bit too predictable, and some things just seemed to happen/turn up at just the right time. However, it is fiction of course so its allowed.

It is an entertaining read about something that could happen in the near-future, it is completely escapist, definitely movie-material, and you can easily see Meredith aiming to become the Dan Brown of the genre.

Overall, a three-star, for while the premise is good, the writing fluid, for me it is not a riveting, stay-up-all-night-to-finish read, which draws me to this genre. Its an enjoyable piece of holiday escapism.

Book description

You feel ecstatic! Until you kill yourself.

The Happy Chip is the latest nanoengineering wonder from the high-flying tech company, NeoHappy, Inc.

Hundreds of millions of people have had the revolutionary chip injected into their bodies to monitor their hormonal happiness and guide them to life choices, from foods to sex partners.

Given the nanochip’s stunning success, struggling science writer Brad Davis is thrilled when he is hired to co-author the biography of its inventor, billionaire tech genius Marty Fallon.

That is, until Davis learns that rogue company scientists are secretly testing horrifying new control chips with “side effects”—suicidal depression, uncontrollable lust, murderous rage, remote-controlled death, and ultimately, global subjugation.

His discovery threatens not only his life, but that of his wife Annie and their children. Only with the help of Russian master hacker Gregor Kalinsky and his gang can they hope to survive the perilous adventure that takes them from Boston to Beijing.

The Happy Chip, an edge-of-your-seat thriller, spins a cautionary tale of unchecked nanotechnology spawning insidious devices that could enslave us. It dramatically portrays how we must control our “nanofuture” before it’s too late.

About the author

Dennis Meredith brings to his novels an expertise in science from his career as a science communicator at some of the country’s leading research universities, including MIT, Caltech, Cornell, Duke and the University of Wisconsin. He has worked with science journalists at all the nation’s major newspapers, magazines, and radio and TV networks and has written well over a thousand news releases and magazine articles on science and engineering over his career.

Dennis Meredith

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