Audiobook Review: The Code by Peter McAllister

Author: Peter McAllister
Narrator: Josiah Robinson
Length: 5 hours and 26 minutes
Publisher: Momosa Publishing LLC
Released: Jul. 31, 2020
Genre: Science Fiction

We unconsciously imprint our prejudices on Ais. Can they become mentally ill like their creators?

If one becomes psychotic, is shutting it down murder?

What if he fights back?

Liam, a gifted engineer, is trying to save the world, by finding a way to let industry mine for metals without the environmental disasters that make the news. Nanobots mining asteroids are the answer, and they are being tested on the dark side of the moon. But Gene, the AI tasked with helping him, spirals down the path of schizophrenia and is on track to mine the moon to dust – and without the influence of the moon, the ecosystems that mankind depends on for its survival as a species will be lost. This leaves Liam and his colleagues to battle the creation and his own demons to save humanity – who are oblivious to the potential destruction around the corner.

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I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Peter McAllister. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Gene, an AI programmed to use nanobots to mine ores on the moon is mistakenly using the incorrect software. It causes Gene to perform his task too well and by the time it’s discovered, Liam and his colleagues are hard-pressed to figure out how to stop Gene before the AI causes the end of the world.

The thing I like most about The Code is that it seems believable to me, and it isn’t super technical. I’ve read several books about out-of-control computers, and they were so technical with little character development that I had difficulty finishing them. The Code is not like that! Instead of being technical, the techs say this is possible or that is possible without going into detail.

Liam, the main character, is well developed. He’s very intelligent but has a mental illness as well which he takes medication for. I found it interesting that they think that Gene is schizophrenic. It seems crazy that an AI could have a mental illness, but their reasoning is sound.

The narrator did a good job relating the story. His timing and inflections were good, it was easy to follow, and he changed his voice just enough to know when someone else was speaking.

If you like science fiction without all of the technical talk, I definitely recommend The Code.

Peter McAllister an engineer, scientist, turned technology manager who wants to share the stories that keep him awake at night.

In his professional life he works in IT where tools such as AI are becoming prevalent. This behind the scenes knowledge, along with his previous work at the intersection of technology, business and people puts him in a great position to speculate on the future.

He lives outside of Melbourne with his wife, four cats and the kangaroos that visit them.

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Josiah Robinson is an actor, narrator, and producer based in the Chicago area. He has spent the last 10 years acting in regional theatres across the U.S., exploring the improv and musical theatre scenes in Chicago, and most recently, venturing into the fields of audiobook narration and voiceover. He is also a producer with a passion for creating high-quality audio projects, which serves him well when his career takes him off the stage and into the studio.

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Short Story Review: Tagged by Henry Bassett

There are many forgotten games we played as children, one of which was tag. You would call “Tag, you’re it!” just before making physical contact with another and something would pass from you to them, but what if that thing left something behind in you too?

An unknown entity has infiltrated an office, whilst the staff go about their daily routines unaware of its presence. As it systematically picks its victims, will those who remain suspect anything or will it succeed in consuming them all?

My Review

I chose to read this short story after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I read Recently Deceased by the author a couple of days ago, and I found it thought-provoking, so I wanted to see what Tagged had to offer.

I have found that I like the author’s writing style, even when I come across a story like this that almost seems unfinished. It’s set in an office where something is happening to the workers, one by one as they touch each other. It affects each worker in a different way.

But what is it? Where did it come from? What happens when the day ends? There’s so much more I want to know. I felt a little robbed when the story ended.

About the Author

Henry Bassett is an ebook writer first published in early 2019 with The Dead Chronicles of Martha Railer series; a supernatural urban dark fantasy which comprises of six instalments. He went on to write dark fantasy one-offs and, at this time, is working on a new dark fantasy series The Black Bear Brotherhood.

Book Review: Space Academy by Hannah Hopkins

It’s the year 2100. Earth is dying. A young woman, Elsie, has risked everything to get her newborn son, Will, aboard ‘The Mayflower’ – a spaceship that will transport a select number of people to a new planet they can call home. Elsie’s luck takes a turn when she discovers the captain of ‘The Mayflower’ is an old friend. He allows her to board with her son, giving them a place on the luxurious Floor One, where they live amongst the most honoured of ‘The Mayflower’s’ passengers.

Thirteen years later, and Will is ready to start school at Space Academy, an institute specialising in subjects such as Alien Studies, Technology, and Rocket Control. While a pupil there, Will starts to uncover secrets about his father’s death, becoming wrapped in a mystery that he and his friends must solve if they are to have any hope of saving humanity from the threat that lies in wait.

Lose yourself in this brilliantly addictive novel as it takes you on a journey through the stars. But be warned – you might be surprised by what you find.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Space-Academy-Hannah-Hopkins-ebook/dp/B0883G654X

US – https://www.amazon.com/Space-Academy-Hannah-Hopkins-ebook/dp/B0883G654X

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Space Academy has some good ideas, but there’s so much left unsaid. There is mention of a war and something about the AIs rebelling, but not much else except that people had to leave Earth. There is a ship named The Mayflower that the characters are from, but at some point other ships are mentioned. I was a bit confused.

The story about Will and his friends is a good one. They end up having a strong bond by the end of the school year after going through so much together.

Although I enjoyed the story about Will and friends, I was left with many questions such as how the Space Academy was able to be a clear bubble and never get damaged, how the rocket races worked inside The Mayflower, why robots were still being used if there was a rebellion, and so much more. If there are more books in this series, I’ll be tempted to read them to see if any of these questions are answered.

About the Author

In 2017, Hannah Hopkins released a self-published novel entitled ‘The Split’; the story of four teenagers navigating life after Earth as they journey through space to a new planet. Two years later, the book was picked up by ‘The Conrad Press’ and re-vamped as ‘Space Academy,’ with a new cover, new title and new additions to the story. ‘Space Academy’ was released in 2020, kickstarting Hannah’s career as a writer.

 Hannah is currently busy writing a historical fiction novel with a feminist twist. She spends the rest of her time working at a University and caring for her two young children in the UK.

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/hannahhopkinsauthor

https://www.instagram.com/hhopkins94/

https://www.hannahhopkinsauthor.co.uk

Book Review: The Mysterious Disappearance of Kurt Kramer Book 1 by Mike Wells

17 year old Rachel is crazy about Kurt, but she’s not sure the feelings are mutual. When his parents invite her and his best friend on a family vacation in Aruba, they encounter a strange object on the beach. Kurt disappears. He begins communicating in bizarre ways that shake his family to the core. Rachel realizes that he’s stuck between worlds…she’s the only one who can bring him back.

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

It’s been a while since I read anything by Mike Wells but I like his writing style so when I came across The Mysterious Disappearance of Kurt Kramer Book 1 on my TBR list, I decided to read it.

The Mysterious Disappearance of Kurt Kramer Book 1 is a short sci fi young adult thriller about some kids who find something that fell from the sky, and when they investigate it, Kurt disappears. Of course, Kurt’s parents have trouble believing them until he tries to communicate through the TV. Unfortunately, nothing is resolved in the first book, and since the second book isn’t available to purchase without purchasing the first one too, I’ll have to wait to find out what happens next.

Since this book is short and there’s no resolution, I would have preferred that it was just one complete book, but it is a good read as far as it goes.

About the Author

Mike Wells is an American bestselling author of more than 25 “unputdownable” thriller and suspense novels, including Lust, Money & Murder and Passion, Power & Sin. He is also known for his young adult books, such as The Mysterious Disappearance of Kurt Kramer, The Wrong Side of the Tracks, and Wild Child, which are used by English teachers in high schools and colleges worldwide. Formerly a screenwriter, Wells has a fast-paced, cinematic writing style. His work is often compared to that of the late Sidney Sheldon, with strong and inspiring female heroes, tightly-written scenes, engaging action/dialogue, and numerous plot twists. He currently lives in Europe and has taught in the Creative Writing program at the University of Oxford.

Please follow Mike’s blog at:

http://mikewellsblog.blogspot.com/

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Spotlight & Giveaway: Overstrike by CM Angus

Overstrike: Volume I of the Fixpoint Trilogy

When Matt Howard’s grandfather told him he must alter history to protect his newborn son, Matt thought the old man was crazy…

…Then he realised it was true.

Overstrike spans 4 generations of a family haunted by the prospect of an approaching alternate reality where their child has been erased from history.

Touching on themes of retro-causality, ethics and free will, and exploring ideas of cause, effect and retribution, it follows the path of Matt Howard, whose child, Ethan, is at risk, as he, his father and grandfather attempt to use their own abilities to manipulate reality in order to discover and prevent whoever is threatening Ethan.

Overstrike is volume I of Fixpoint, a trilogy about a family who discover their inherited ability to manipulate reality. It enables them to effect changes in order to safeguard themselves and all that they hold dear. But even seemingly small changes in a timeline can have unforeseen and far-reaching consequences. Follow the stories of the Howards on a journey exploring reality, time and our own sense of self.

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Overstrike-Fixpoint-Trilogy-C-Angus-ebook/dp/B0848N8P5J

US –  https://www.amazon.com/Overstrike-Fixpoint-Trilogy-C-Angus-ebook/dp/B0848N8P5J

About the Author

CM Angus, author and writer of Speculative fiction, Sci-fi and Horror grew up in the North East of England and now lives in Yorkshire with his wife and children. He is interested in all things creative & technological.

Currently working on Fixpoint, a series of books with each piece tackling different aspects of discontinuities in time and is a Speculative Fiction spanning 4 generations of a family haunted by the prospect of an approaching alternate reality where their child has been erased from history.

Social Media Links –

https://cmangus.blogspot.com

https://facebook.com/author.cm.angus

https://amazon.com/author/cmangus

https://goodreads.com/cm_angus

Giveaway

Win 5 x Overstrike T-shirts  (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494349/?

Audiobook Review: Requiem of a Nightmare by Jeremy Charles Spires

The human civil war has ended.

Vandorian and Phelb have united under one flag once more, and peace now rules the human empire. But ancient enemies still exist in the galaxy, and they are unhappy about the new peace. Buoyed by victories against the Gilbaglians, humans boldly assault their new foes while seeking out more knowledge about the mysterious Cetoplin race that appears to have inadvertently created humanity.

But darkness is spreading, even as the light of human compassion spreads, the darkness of wars past threatens to engulf the galaxy once more.

Amazon

My Review

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free audio copy from the narrator. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I didn’t read the first book, but it wasn’t necessary. The author gave enough back story that I wasn’t lost at all. I like some sci-fi but there are times that there are so many alien races and odd names to keep up with that it’s too distracting. What’s funny is that there are several alien races in this book, but I was able to keep up with them. The author did a great job! I also like his sense of humor. Although there were times that there was quite a bit of violence, the protagonist often had something snarky to say which lightened the mood.

Garrett Brown, the narrator, also did a great job. He has the perfect voice for narration and even though he’s just starting out, he sounds like a seasoned professional. He has good pacing and he changes his voice just enough for the different characters in the story.

I definitely recommend Requiem of a Nightmare, and I may have to go back and read the first book.

Book Review & Giveaway: Fractured Prophecy by PJ McDermott

Fractured Prophecy: Science Fiction Action Adventure by PJ McDermottFractured Prophecy: Science Fiction Action Adventure by PJ McDermott

Publisher:  Patrick McDermott Publishing (July 21, 2019)
Category: Science Fiction, Space opera, Action Adventure
Tour Dates: October-November, 2019
ISBN: 9780648092162
Available in Print and ebook, 282 pages
Fractured Prophecy

Description

An alien messiah is missing, presumed dead. Will one woman’s interplanetary search for answers bring resurrection or betrayal?

Auriga, 2183. Empath Hickory Lace is desolated by the fiery death of the alien she once considered the son of God. But a tiny flicker of hope that he could still be alive brings her back to the Corps for a perilous mission behind Bikashi lines to recover the powerful sword of Connat. And although the Teacher’s self-sacrifice burns in her heart, the truth she uncovers on the enemy’s planet ignites a fierce new purpose.

A desperate sprint across an alien landscape unearths two different species kept in slavery by the Bikashi. Hickory decides she must liberate these suffering people and plans a daring rescue. But her assignment demands that she find the high-tech sword before the Bikashi can harness its power to enslave her home world.

Will Hickory use her abilities to save the innocent and thereby allow an alien warlord to conquer Earth, or will she leave the slaves to their fate?

Fractured Prophecy is the fourth book in the engrossing Prosperine YA science fiction series. If you like tenacious heroines and political intrigue with spiritual undertones, then you’ll love PJ McDermott’s epic story.

Follow Hickory in her quest for galactic truth.

 

Guest Review by Betty B.

An epic sci-fi adventure that pits a small faction of humanity against the overwhelming force of an alien government.

Hickory Lace is a commander in the Alien Corps, the intergalactic agency that acts as somewhat of a United Nations of the universe. At the beginning of the novel, Hickory is deep in the clutches of a depression that resulted from the loss of several people close to her, including her mentor, a man that she called ‘The Teacher.’

Despite her love for her career (and all that she has given up for it), Hickory is unsure if she wants to continue on working for the Alien Corps after the heartbreak that she has endured. However, she is called back into action when her father, the Admiral informs her that an escape pod from The Teacher’s ship has been found on a nearby planet.
Hickory is not sure what the escape pod might contain, but she, her crew and an alien guide are sent to retrieve the pod before the opposing alien government of the Bikashi Empire can get their hands on it.

I really enjoyed this novel. I appreciated the gravity of Hickory’s perspective throughout everything. Having suffered greatly in the Corps in the previous novels, she is understandably reluctant to go on another mission with them. I really felt her grief and shock as a woman and as a human. I love how strong and capable she is, while still being witty, funny and occasionally tender.  The entire cast of characters is compelling and well-written and the world building is fantastic. Such an expansive and intricate world has been created in these pages, if you’re reading this review; you should know it would be a shame to miss out!
Five stars and I can’t wait to read more in this series!

 

https://animoto.com/play/2RqzW4Mm8xtlcSggV1TC2A

 

Praise for the Prosperine Series

“A Great read. Had me at the first chapter. Did not want to stop. Love the plot, the storyline, the action!!”

“Great characters; storyline with action, drama, and fast-paced intrigue; and unique description of an alien planet, society and it’s population. Highly recommended. I would get other books in the series.”

“McDermott creates a very original and hopeful future world similar to the kind of sci fi I grew up loving. His alien characters are delightful and believable. I could not wait to read the second book, Rise of the Erlachi which is even better!”

“This is a full-blown outer space adventure. Well described characters and a story that has a nice flow to it. I read it straight thru cover to cover.”

 

About PJ McDermottFractured Prophecy: Science Fiction Action Adventure by PJ McDermott

Born in Scotland, PJ McDermott moved to Australia 50 years ago, and now lives in the tropics in the North Queensland town of Trinity Beach. He started writing after he retired from the corporate treadmill and published his first novel in 2015— Small Fish Big Fish, a coming of age thriller set during the sixties. But he has always read and loved adventure and science fiction books. PJ has fond early memories of hiding under the blankets in his bed, torch in hand, reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Gulliver’s Travels. In his teenage years, like many other kids, he had lots of unanswered questions about God and the purpose of life (is there one?). Even today, similar questions remain unanswered in his mind, providing him with a springboard for his book series, ‘Prosperine’.

Website:  https://pj-mcdermott.com
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/pj_author
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thealiencorps/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/mcdermott1705/

 

Buy Fractured Prophecy

Amazon
Barnes&Noble
BookDepository

 

Giveaway

This giveaway is for the winner’s choice of one print or ebook copy of the book. Print is open to Canada, Australia, and the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide. There will be 3 winners. This giveaway ends November 29, 2019, midnight pacific time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Follow the Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Oct 1 Kickoff and Interview

Cremona Mythical Books Oct 2 Guest Review and Guest Post

Dennis Amazon  Oct 7 Review

Lu Ann Rockin’ Book Reviews Oct 11 Review and Excerpt

Dawn Bound 4 Escape Oct 17 Guest Review

Katy Goodreads Oct 24 Review

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Oct 28 Guest Review

Shannon The Pulp and Mystery Shelf Nov 1 Guest Review

WriterGideon Goodreads Nov 12 Review

Hywela Lyn  Romance Out Of This World Nov 20 Review and Excerpt

Steve  Silver Screen Videos Nov 25 Review                                                          I

This schedule is subject to change.

 

Fractured Prophecy: Science Fiction Action Adventure by PJ McDermott

 

 

Book Review: Wastebasket by J.M. Tompkins

The journey into absurdity is a slow descent.

The year is 2069. America has suffered a split between two groups, the Citizens and the Outsiders. To make a transition as a Citizen, one has to join the military and serve a six-year enlistment.

Not even a year into August Paxton’s service and he’s counting down the days until it’s over. But then everything takes a turn when a military drone crashes into the Wastebasket and August is assigned to the team charged to uncover it. The Wastebasket, the world’s largest trash dump, is home to natives that are rumored to be mentally and physically impaired, though no one is sure as to the extent of their condition. August is apprehensive about their mission’s location but learns that the real source of trepidation originates from within his own crew.

Wastebasket is the first installment of the Habitual Humanity series by J. M. Tompkins. The Habitual Humanity series will follow America’s fall into an apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic future.

My Review

I chose to read this novella after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This novella is super short but the author has fit enough information into it that I’m already hooked. August is the main character and he is on a submarine serving his required six years. He isn’t perfect, of course, but he is a good guy.

When August and four other crew members are required to rescue a drone from the Wastebasket, they have no idea what to expect. Can they get in and get out without any complications?

I’m looking forward to the next installment of the Habitual Humanity series. I want to find out more about the characters and this “new” America.

About the Author

J. M. Tompkins worked within the field of technology sales until she was able to focus on her passion for writing. A late-blooming nerd, she enjoys a variety of interests including theology, history, genetics, and astronomy. Her novels and short stories contain each of these elements within dystopian worlds and science fiction plots.

J. M. lives in Georgia with her equally nerdy husband and her son. She loves cooking, reading, hiking, and spending time with her family and her two Italian Greyhounds.

http://www.creativityuntamed.com/

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