Book Review: The Hive by John Otte

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Zain is on the run to save her baby

A pregnant cyborg and a teenage boy fight against intergalactic governments to protect the unborn in this novel from Christy award winner John Otte.

Why is Zain pregnant? She belongs to the Hive, a collective of cyborgs who choose to live apart from the rest of human society. At times, the Hive rent out some of their females to produce tailor-made children for paying couples. But Zain is an engineer, not a breeder. When she finds herself separated from the Hive, she decides to find the person who she thinks ordered the baby. Surely they’ll help her find her way home.

Matthew “Scorn” Nelson has spent the better part of his teenage years cracking computer systems, causing mischief and havoc wherever he can. But the night of his greatest triumph turned into a painful memory, one he wants to erase. But that night was also his first step on a road to faith. When Zain arrives on his doorstep, Scorn is horrified. What’s he supposed to do with a pregnant teenage cyborg?

Unfortunately, he’ll have to answer that question on the run. Zain’s people want to reclaim her and terminate her pregnancy. And both the Ministrix and the Praesidium, two intergalactic governments in a constant state of cold war, want Zain’s baby for their own reasons. Will their enemies run them down? Or will Zain find a new Hive for both her and her child?

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The Hive turned out to be one of the best books I’ve read this year. When I saw that the main characters were teenagers, I wondered if the book would be geared more for the YA crowd. Instead, I found a story that has a definite broad appeal. Especially with the mature topics discussed, it reads like an adult sci-fi/action/adventure novel. I was pleasantly surprised.

Even if someone was not usually a sci-fi fan, I think they would enjoy this book thoroughly. The technical jargon wasn’t too much, the world it is set in not too difficult to understand, and the governing bodies especially were easily relatable to the real world, the church specifically. There were some interesting parallels drawn.

Though it is technically a sequel, one doesn’t have to read Numb before reading The Hive. It is a stand alone novel.

The characters were well developed, and I found myself easily drawn into their world. While Zain and Scorn definitely learn some lessons on their journey, it doesn’t come off as preachy or unbelievable.

It made me want to read more, so I’m hoping for a sequel! I’ve added Numb to my reading list as well.

I would recommend The Hive without hesitation. I actually think it would be a great first sci-fi/space opera read for someone. It stays firmly within the genre without being too heavy handed.

Overall, a great read. I can’t wait for more from John! Preorder your copy today!

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Q & A with Thomas Locke

It’s Anything Can Happen Thursday!

 I have a treat for you. Today on Guts on the Page, we have a question and answer session with Thomas Locke, author of Trial Run!

There are several links with additional content, so be sure and check it all out. Enjoy!

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Thomas Locke is an award-winning novelist with total worldwide sales of seven million copies.

His work has been published in twenty languages, and critical acclaim includes four Christy Awards for excellence in fiction and his 2014 induction into the Christy Hall of Fame.

Thomas divides his time between Florida and England, where he serves as Writer In Residence at Regent’s Park College at The University of Oxford. Visit Thomas at http://tlocke.com.

 

Q&A with Thomas Locke, author of the techno-thriller, TRIAL RUN

Q&A With Thomas Locke, author of Trial Run

Q: What reader did you have in mind when you were writing Trial Run?

Thomas Locke: I suspect there are a lot of readers out there like me, who love mainstream fiction in principle, but are dismayed by how dark it is becoming.

I love to read. I am happiest with a good book in my hands. And most of my purchases are mainstream fiction. Too often, however, I find myself skipping over bits that are just plain not necessary for a good story.

I wrote Trial Run for readers like me. Passionate about story, yearning for the thrill of a great tale, hoping for something that uplifts as well as ignites.

Here’s a video trailer for Trial Run, hot off the press:

https://youtu.be/FS9Vr2Nfc4Q

Q: In Trial Run, you introduce several seemingly unrelated threads at the beginning of the story. By the end of the story, those threads have become woven together in an intricate tapestry. What’s your thought process behind this writing strategy?

Thomas Locke: This concept can best be summed up by the phrase you often hear a Hollywood producer say: “Where is the cut?”

By this, the producer means, what can you leave out of the script so that the audience must figure things out for themselves?

Instead of spoon-feeding the audience every item required to move to the climax, things are left unsaid. This sense of vacuum draws the audience into the action, and hurries them forward to the story’s close.

Q: Several settings in Trial Run (Santa Barbara, CA, the Italian/Swiss border site) depict real places. How do you select these real-life settings for your stories, and do you alter details of these places to suit your stories?

Thomas Locke: The core element of my placing a story is research. And the core element in my research is emotion. For many people, the ‘take’ that I finally use in the story does not jibe with what they like to see as valid for a particular setting, especially when that place is close to their heart and I have used a more negative perspective. But the facts have been carefully studied.

An example from Trial Run is Santa Barbara. For a lot of people who know and love California, this is their absolute favorite place in the SoCal region. And for good reason. It is a lovely town, one my wife and I really enjoy visiting.

For this story, I was granted an insider’s view into the University of California at Santa Barbara, or UCSB. And from the perspective of many students enrolled there, UCSB is filled with hyper-inflated SoCal egos.

The contrast I found between the students with money (and in SoCal, when I say they had money, I really mean they had money) and those who don’t is as sharp as anywhere I have ever been. The student who formed my core source and guide was on a scholarship. He was there to study. He was, to say the least, in a minority.

Everything I described about the school, the bicycle traffic and the events on the beach and the housing, are based on observation. But the perspective was based upon the humorous bafflement with which this student viewed many of his fellow classmates.

I personally love this aspect of building a story. The research at this emotional level grants me the opportunity to see the world through another person’s eyes and heart. Being trusted with this, time and again, is part of the miracle process that happens every time I start a new tale.

Q: I’ve heard there’s a free ebook prequel to Trial Run. How can I get a copy?

Double Edge, an ebook prequel to TRIAL RUN, by Thomas Locke

Thomas Locke: As I was writing the opening scenes of Trial Run, I found myself continually asking questions about what happened before that door opened and before the party started. I began sketching a sort of parallel story, laying out ideas that formed the story-before-the-story.

“Double Edge” is the result.

The publishers liked the short story prequel so much that they have asked me to write a complete novel based upon these concepts. This novel will form either book three or book four in the series.

You’ll find links on my website http://tlocke.com/fault-lines/ for downloading your free copy of “Double Edge” from your favorite online bookseller.

Q: Trial Run is book 1 in the three-volume Fault Lines series. Please give us a preview of what to expect in book 2.

Thomas Locke: This is a timely question, as I completed the first draft of book 2 on June 8. The working title is Flash Point.

In many respects, Flash Point is a true hybrid. By this I mean that the core themes are the same as in Trial Run. But everything is also very different. I had two key questions in mind when I started book two: How far can I take this? How much can I risk?

This whole concept of controlled out-of-body experiences opens up a completely new vista. I had to develop a new story framework for Trial Run, and everywhere I looked I found myself asking the same questions:

  • Where does this take mankind?
  • If this could actually happen, where do we go?
  • Who are we as people?
  • How would this remake us?

These questions are first asked in Flash Point. Where we go from here depends mostly upon you, the reader.

So let’s dance!

Get to know Thomas Locke at these online outlets:

Website: http://tlocke.com/

Subscribe to Thomas’s e-newsletter and blog: http://eepurl.com/5cnH5

Receive Thomas’s latest blog posts via your feed reader: http://tlocke.com/blog/feed/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tlockebooks

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/thomas_locke

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tlockebooks

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/tlockebooks/

Trial Run

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While an injury and the holiday interfered with my regular Monday post, I have something exciting for today!

I recently read Trial Run by Thomas Locke.  I was riveted! I have posted my Goodreads review below, and thrown in a couple other fun things to boot. While not a Christian book, it is clean. If you don’t care for technical jargon, it may not be the book for you.  But if you like thrillers, you will love this story. It brings up the idea of a whole new type of warfare. A frightening one.

Read on and enjoy!

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Review of Trial Run

I received a copy of Trial Run in exchange for an honest review. Trial Run is a techno-thriller, and one of the few I’ve read that truly lives up to the name. While there is a lot of technical jargon, the author explained it in a way that I felt I had a general idea of the concepts, which is really all that is required to understand the story. Though, I must admit, there were times that I may have wandered over some of the scientific description a bit. If you don’t enjoy such jargon, parts of the story may seem tedious to you.

When I first started Trial Run, I was curious how the myriad of characters would blend together. It didn’t take long to find out. This story wound the players together in a way that was believable and realistic, despite the extraordinary nature of the concepts and happenings. Each character was fully developed with a distinct voice and presence. Some I loathed, some I loved, which was the intent. Of course, I have my favorites, (Charlie and Elene). Though Trial Run is plot driven, I felt that all of the characters played their roles beautifully, which is rare in a plot driven story.

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The further I got into this book, the more I loved it. Trial Run was like a rolling wave that didn’t just plow you over, but swept you up in its wake, taking you exactly where it wanted you to go. You have no choice but to hang on for the ride. As the plot folded the characters together and weaved each bit and piece to slowly reveal answers, I was unable to put it down. I had to see what came next.

All in all, a very solid and entertaining book. It may not be a light and easy beach read, but it is exactly what it is intended to be. A thriller. A story that requires you to give a little as well. Trial Run is the kind of immersive read that I enjoy.

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Check it out for free!

Free sample of Trial Run by Thomas Locke

Trailer for Trial Run

Link for the thrilling prequel, Double Edge

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Free eBook short: “Double Edge,” the explosive prequel to TRIAL RUN http://tlocke.com/fault-lines/

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