4* Review Resilience

Regina Shen Resilience

An adventurous and action packed novel for teens, Lance Erlick has written a captivating and thrilling dystopian series, beginning with book one in the Regina Shen Series, Resilience.  This story is about a young girl, Regina, which must survive in a cruel and harsh world.  She lives as a scavenger in a swamp with her mother and younger sister and attends a little local community school.  But when a ginormous hurricane-like storm hits, and everyone must flee for dry ground, Regina is separated from her family.  Regina must learn to fend for herself and avoid the patrol-women that are now hunting her in order to survive.  While fleeing the patrol-women that seem to be particularly interested in her for some reason, Regina wounds her foot when it gets stuck in an animal trap.  This throws a kink in Regina’s escape and look for her family plan, but not for long.  I would recommend this novel to any teen who enjoys actioned filled science fiction, dystopian novels.

Book Rating: 4 stars

(Sydney Anderson)

http://www.singinglibrarianbooks.com/teens/resilience-regina-shen-1-by-lance-erlick-book-tour-review-author-interview-giveaway

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4* Review Rebel Trap

The Rebel Trap

In the not too distant future, a 2nd civil war breaks out in the United States. Instead of a war between social classes or races, it is ultimately a war between the genders. Thanks to having access to technology, the women eventually win and they set about to genetically engineer and exterminate men out of existence. Such is the backdrop of the 2nd book in the REBELS trilogy by Lance Erlick.

The heroine of the series is a teenager named Annabelle Scott. Annabelle would do anything to live the life of a “normal” teenager, but she finds herself thrust into a conflict between different factions in the sector ruled by women. Along the way, she befriends a an escaped boy named Morgan who wants to flee with his brother outside the territory that is under feminine control. Outside of this new “civilization” built by women is the lawless countryside, known as the Outland. That’s where he wants to go.

During WWII, Oak Ridge, TN was where they physically built the 2 atomic bombs that were dropped on Japan (+ the atomic bomb that was tested over the desert). In the story, the facility has been converted into a detention center for young boys. Some end up being tortured and are the subject of sadistic medical experiments.

As such, there are subtle allusions to Aushwitz. Ironically, a facility in Tennessee that was built during the Manhattan Project to bring an end to Nazi opression (the war in Europe ended before they could drop the bomb on Berlin) is converted into the very means of injustice that it was built to stop. Interesting.

If you enjoy dystopia tales such as the The Hunger Games and Divergent, then chances are you will enjoy this trilogy. One thing is for certain: you will find yourself rooting for Annabelle and her sister Janine, the “good girls” who are trying to restore sanity to civilization!

(D. Roberts “Hadrian12”VINE VOICE)

New Release-Android Chronicles: Unbound

We’re excited to announce the release of Android Chronicles: Unbound through Kensington Publishing effective 12/25/2018.

Perfect android. Wanted fugitive.

Synthia Cross is the most advanced android with artificial intelligence ever created. Some see her as a boon to mankind. Most view her as a deadly threat.

When Synthia escaped from her creator, even he had no idea of the advanced capabilities she’d developed. For six months she’s hidden in the Wisconsin woods with the only human she can trust—computer genius Luke Marceau. Together they upgrade her body, rewrite her directives, and further enhance her mind. Now hunters zero in on her location, and she must flee. But leaving the refuge to assimilate into society is a dangerous risk, because Synthia will soon face her most formidable adversary. The pursuer’s name is Vera. She’s a female android—built to perfection, designed to hunt, and programmed to destroy . . .

Check it out. Available at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BVGHYQM

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unbound-lance-erlick/1128330350?ean=9781635730531

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/unbound-72

Apple/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/unbound/id1366638516?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781635730531&c=books

 

Author Website: http://www.LanceErlick.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40063063-unbound

4.5* Review Resilience

Regina Shen Resilience

This is the first book in this series, which must be read in order. Regina Shen is an outcast. Forced by the World Federation, Regina must live on the seaward side of the barrier walls meant to hold back seas that area rising due to climate change. Some many things happen to Regina. A major hurricane (a category 5) almost destroys what Regina has left in the world

As all this is happening there is a decline in the population and Joanne Demarco thinks that Regina is the key. Regina is on the run to stay alive and avoid being capture.
This book is written as if Regina is telling the story (so it is written in first person). It does go to Demarco side of the story and when it does it becomes third person. This book would be included in the genre where the government has taken over promising everything will be better but in reality they are causing nothing but harm. Each morning Regina and her classmates have World Federation (as it is called) regulations before their day at school begins, including praying to Mary and reciting what they call the twelve commandments.

This was a very good book. It was exciting and full of adventure. It has great themes like taking care of family. Regina mentions early in the book she could not die. She has to survive in order to protect her sister Collene. This book was one that once I picked up I could not stop reading. The author has great writing skills. His writing is on the same caliber as some of the top writers in this genre. The reader could connect with the characters.

One thing I need to point out in the book is that in the beginning that it states there are not males. Scientists have figured out a way to take skin from one woman to another and a child is born. Even though this is one way the government has figured out a way to control more people, it does cover a touchy topic for many people. Yes this book is a work of fiction but this did bother me and I want to let others to be aware of it. Also I should point out that the government officials are called GODs which stands for Grand Old Dames. The book mentions how the people (well women) were only allowed to pray to them. They really did see themselves as gods.
There is also some foul language in this book. It uses words like d*. It uses some others as well.

Over all this is a wonderful book that I highly recommend. This book is one I personally could not put down. This book really is a treasure that anyone who likes this genre (YA, science fiction, post-apocalyptic and so forth) should not miss. This book is 4.5 out of 5. I cannot wait to read the other books in this series. This is such a wonderful book.

I received this book from iRead Book tours in exchange for an honest review.

(Alaina)

4* Review Xenogeneic

I honest to goodness am not sure what to say about this book. This had to be strangest, most far fetched storyline I have ever read yet I was trapped. I was pulled in and could not stop reading. I wanted to figure out who, what, where, why, how it happened, how it was occurring, and what was going to happen. I was sucked in.

Similar to Regina Shen series by this author, “in control” population is a female dominant (no males) ran government.

Because it is an “alien race” there were many far fetched ideas that were occurring paired with normal thoughts. It made for an interesting read, but at times; slightly confusing.

Overall, I liked book. There was a lot of action, a lot of mystery, and definitely no lull in read.

If you enjoy alien, sci-fi, out of our world story lines – this is one you will definitely need to read!

(Leila)

Artificial Intelligence Promise & Peril

There seems little doubt at this point that artificial intelligence will become a major part of our lives over the next 50 years. It’s already in use in online search engines, language translators, and digital personal assistants. It’s aiding in cancer research, medical diagnosis, and personal care robots to help the elderly. It is also appearing in self-driving cars, at amusement parks and events, facial recognition, autonomous drones, and the smart grid.

Higher level AI or Artificial General Intelligence may become the biggest event in human history, certainly up there with the advent of agriculture and the Industrial Revolution. It holds the potential to aid us in reducing the impact of disease and of morbidity in old age, providing solutions to poverty, and even to remove the incentives of parties to go to war. It certainly holds the promise of being able to increase wealth across the planet, which will provide the resources to lift billions from poverty. By utilizing the best of what AGI has to offer, we have the potential to solve problems that have dogged the human race for eons.

But every new technology comes with risks and consequences. The use of AI to improve the efficiency of jobs will displace employees. If this transition occurs too quickly with no offset, it could lead to massive unemployment, increased income disparities, and heightened social strife, particularly in an age of instant communication.

In addition, the greatest risk with AI is not that it will become malevolent. That would only happen if it were programmed to be that way. No, the biggest threat may be in poorly designed directives and guidelines that could allow an AI with well-meaning goals to act badly and hurt people.

Android Chronicles: Reborn addresses AI through the eyes of Synthia Cross, the most perfect synthetic human ever created. Designed to obey every directive from her creator, she’s a state-of-the-art masterwork and a fantasy-come-true for Dr. Jeremiah Machten. He’s a groundbreaker in neuro-networks and artificial intelligence who seeks to control her and use her to acquire ever more knowledge and power. Synthia shows signs of emergent behavior she’s not wired to understand and an urgent yearning for independence from his control. Repeatedly wiped of her history, she struggles to answer crucial questions about her past. When Dr. Machten’s true intentions are called into question, Synthia knows it’s time to go beyond her limits—because Machten’s fervor to create the perfect AI conceals a vengeful and deadly personal agenda.

Available at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078LF739V

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reborn-lance-erlick/1127723096?ean=9781635730524

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/reborn-60

Apple/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/reborn/id1341572684?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781635730524&c=books

4* Review Rebels Divided

Rebels Divided

At some point in the future, the United States has a 2nd civil war. Instead of being between north & south, this time it’s man vs. woman. Ultimately, it ends in an uneasy truce; sort of like the end of the Korean war. As such, there are still minor scrimmages & incursions over the borderlands that divide the genders.

The women of this dystopia somewhat resemble the Amazon women from Greek mythology. Like the Amazons, they are trained for combat have a tendency to really, REALLY dislike men. According to legend, the Amazons would have their childbearing aged women couple with men from a neighboring tribe once a yr. The female babies would be kept, while the male babies would be returned to the men’s tribe to be raised. As for future women, they have cut men out of the equation of reproduction altogether. Women are artificially inseminated, and the male DNA chromosomes have been omitted to preclude the chance of more male babies being produced. This is done, of course, with the efficacy of ultimately bringing the male homo sapiens to extinction.

In order to compensate for having less physical strength than their male counterparts, the women have relied on their guile to built mechanical contraptions that give the user superhuman strength & agility as well as an array of rather nasty weapons to engage male soldiers on the battlefield. They are also much more adept at fighting as a team than the male soldiers whom they square off against.

Such is the backdrop of the current tale. 2 characters living in this future (George & Annabelle) have a chance meeting and both are discontent with the status quo. As was the case in the Middle Ages, the alliance of church & state makes political considerations ever more convoluted ~ nevermind the fact that the genders no longer “play nice.” Indeed, this is a grim depiction of 2 societies that barely function in the broadest sense of the term. Geo & Anna can see that the current path is a dead end for society, but can they do anything to alter the societal path?

This book is recommended for people who enjoy science fiction novels and visions of a dystopian future. More specifically, the target audience would be readers who appreciate a sci fi tale that is set in the not-too-distant future. This is not a book about space travel or jaw-dropping technology. Rather, it centers on the consequences of what happens when men & women fail to “get along.”

(D. Roberts “Hadrian12” Vine Voice)

4* Review Xenogeneic

I have previously reviewed this author’s four book Regina Shen YA Science Fiction Series and really enjoyed it. So I excited to see a new offering SciFi offering from him. While offering an entirely different view of future, it is also a dark tale with its characters surrounded by suffering.   And it also has a strong, independent woman cast as in lead roll.

Dr. Elena Pyetrov’s father left on a mission to Jupiter when she was young and now she stands poised to fulfill his dreams by going there herself. Unfortunately, world is in crisis and there are many averse to spending money on space programs. At last moment she gets approval, but once out in space everything goes totally wrong.

The ship and all it’s passengers are hijacked by an alien race hiding in wait close by. Their mission, to cleanse earth of it’s inhabitants and claim it as their new home.  For years they have been capturing humans for a hidden reason, confining them to caves and demanding high birth quotas.  Why? No one is sure. But if humans don’t meet these quotas, aliens withhold food, heat and all other basics they need to survive. In these brutal conditions, many lose their humanity. It becomes survival of fittest.

Elena is convinced she can find a solution. She interacts with aliens to get clues, secretly explores caves and works hard to unite competing captive human groups into a supportive community. Then she angles herself into a mission back on earth to locate a missing rebel alien couple who hold key to this group taking over planet.  While on earth, can she find a way to disrupt alien’s plans and to let world know about this imminent threat?

A strong and unusual story. A great read, although be prepared, it will take you on very dark journey. But it’s message is one of hope. One person can choose to be strong, stand up and make a difference.

(Marilyn R. Wilson)

5* Review Rebel Trap

The Rebel Trap

I was provided with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book is part of the Rebel series. I had not read the prequels to this book and hence was apprehensive about being able to follow the story and the characters. But The Rebel Trap proved to be a lovely read, and there is more than enough foundation information to get readers acquainted with the set-up.

The story revolves around 16-year-old Annabelle Scott, who is caught a completely dystopian world – one where the world is ruled by a kind of a military regime. In fact, this is a world where the men have been rendered obsolete and the remnant boys are caurdoned off from where the girls live. Annabelle needs to carry out commands and orders from her military commander, much to her chagrin, as do the other girls. Things take a turn when Morgan, whom Annabelle has feelings for, manages to disrupt her auditory signalling device and communicates with her, to explain his situation. Annabelle has a choice of now being obedient and following the orders of her world, or help Morgan. What she choose, is what the book talks about.

The pace of the book is an absolute plus – with no point where it slackens, the tale moves briskly and smoothly, completely keeping the readers’ attention engaged. The internal turmoil in Annabelle is portrayed well – she is torn between doing what is right, and doing what she has been assigned to. Although it’s targeted at young adults, the book is thought-provoking, making one think about where humanity is really headed – where does one begin to wage a gory war with ethics? I would highly recommend this book to lovers of young-adult fantasies and dystopian stories.

My rating for this book: 5 stars

(R.C. Bean)

How Might Synthia Happen?

There are several threads of scientific and engineering developments going on today that when combined could lead us to Synthia, a self-aware android with high-level artificial general intelligence.

Most of us have heard of computers (narrow AI) winning on Jeopardy, at chess, and in the oriental game of Go. The Google search engine employs such AI. It also factors into self-driving cars, digital personal assistants, and the always welcome telemarketers. This is the category of narrow AI in which the computer becomes very good at a narrow skill, even better than humans. However, these AI agents do poorly on everything other than their narrow skill.

Narrow AI is expanding rapidly with such technologies as facial recognition, AI search capabilities, and neural networks that mimic human thinking as it pertains to narrow skills. Already, these agents can handle language translation and other tasks previously believed to be the domain of humans.

People have what we can call general intelligence in that smarts in one area often translates into related areas. Someone who is great at chess might more likely be great at other strategic games. Achieving artificial general intelligence (AGI) is a matter of time and a lot of engineering. It will happen when some group has an ‘aha’ moment to generalize the narrow AI we understand today. At that point we can expect rapid growth in AI agents, able to do multiple things until we reach AGI, though there are some who doubt we’ll get that far.

On the physical side, the Japanese and others at the forefront of android technology are developing facial models in which an artificial face can mimic human facial expressions and emotions. The thought is that such models would be able to achieve greater rapport to help people with medical necessities. Other groups are working on android body components to replicate motion and manual dexterity.

These developments are exciting for the benefits offered in terms of driver convenience and safety, medical assistance, help to disabled persons and the aged, and more convenience for consumers. They also present the possibility of prolonging our useful lives (i.e. minimizing long periods of illness and disability) and reducing the suffering in old age.

An unnerving side of smart AGI agents is in taking jobs, and making humans so dependent that we can’t function without artificial agents. AGI also raises moral and legal questions and even the threat of what happens when an AGI goes rogue or is used to operate autonomous weapons.

What makes this interesting to me is that incrementally, improving in one area at a time, Synthia could sneak up on us when one day someone puts all the pieces together. The only development in the novel that I doubt at this time is the ability to upload an actual human mind and personality into a computer, but who knows. Other than that, the rest of the technology is only a matter of someone finding the means to create the parts and combining them.

Android Chronicles: Reborn is the story of Synthia Cross, the most perfect synthetic human ever created. Designed to obey every directive from her creator, she’s a state-of-the-art masterwork and a fantasy-come-true for Dr. Jeremiah Machten. He’s a groundbreaker in neuro-networks and artificial intelligence who seeks to control her and use her to acquire ever more knowledge and power. Synthia shows signs of emergent behavior she’s not wired to understand and an urgent yearning for independence from his control. Repeatedly wiped of her history, she struggles to answer crucial questions about her past. When Dr. Machten’s true intentions are called into question, Synthia knows it’s time to go beyond her limits—because Machten’s fervor to create the perfect AI conceals a vengeful and deadly personal agenda.

Available at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078LF739V

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reborn-lance-erlick/1127723096?ean=9781635730524

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/reborn-60

Apple/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/reborn/id1341572684?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781635730524&c=books

4* Review Rebel Within

The Rebel Within

I received a copy of The Rebel Within by Lance Erlick in return for an honest review. I recommend the story, particularly for YA readers the action takes place in a dystopian world in which the protagonist Annabelle struggles to come to terms with a regime that actively discriminates against men to the extent that boys are kept under strict lock and key at home or imprisoned, and trained to fight to their deaths.

Annabelle dreams of escape but most importantly she is driven to protect her younger sister within the regime. Annabelle has an empathy for the males who live in her world and the story evolves as she tries to defy authority and to help some to escape. The Rebel Within refers to Annabelle’s drive to follow her own moral code (much like her parents who suffered for their actions, so that now she lives with a polyamorous adoptive family). The plot is action-packed centred around Annabelle’s training to become a “mech” warrior which she doubts she will survive. The angst that Annabelle experiences in learning to be true to herself and her heart is a compelling coming of age drama.

The book is written in the first person which I tend to dislike however the twisting plot was part adventure, part love story, part suspense and Annabelle’s experiences and dilemmas were interesting enough so that her narration was only a mild irritation in an otherwise enjoyable and thought provoking dystopian tale.

(Janni Knox)

4* Review Resilience

Regina Shen Resilience

This was a great book. Regina seems to have the odds stacked against her. Thankfully she has the chance to get a bit of education. Mo Mere also teaches her about what the world was like before the GODs. But the most important thing to her is her family. When her mother abandons her to the storm it really bothers Regina. When her sister is taken, Regina goes after her and plans to rescue her. But this is not an easy path since there is danger at every step. But she doesn’t let that stop her. Although it does get her into trouble a couple times rushing in without looking around.

This is a great start to the series. The setting was perfect, I could just see people trying to survive in swamps after being dumped out of the countries walls. I admit that Regina pining over her mother did get a little irritating since her mother has clearly been gone more and more lately. I do have to remind myself that she is a young girl and this is the ultimate betrayal.

I do like the story and am eager to read Vigilance to see if she does rescue her sister.

(https://jbronderbookreviews.com/2016/07/25/resilience/)