This is the last of my free, summer, beach reads. It’s a short, fun and sexy novella. You don’t need to read the first three books to understand the story, but you may find you want to read them afterwards. Here’s the blurb:
Mata Hari Series, Book 4
Sadie Stewart, international model by day, CIA operative by night, wants it all: the danger and intrigue of being a spy, the glamour of modeling on the international stage and the love of a good man. But after she survives the second assassination attempt on her life, her world spins out of control.
Art dealer, Sebastian Wilde, a Viking with cool, blue eyes and the body of a Norse God, wants Sadie safe and by his side. And Sadie’s boss, the infamous master-spy, Jeremiah Cole, demands she follow his orders.
When Sadie faces the assassin alone, she risks everything.
Aedes Aegypti (often called the Yellow Fever mosquito)
Aedes Albopictus (commonly called the Asian Tiger mosquito)
Here is a list of the top ten facts about them.
Although the Aedes Albopictus is native to tropical and subtropical areas of Southeast Asia, they are spreading to many countries. They can even survive snow. They are called the Asian Tiger Mosquito because of their striped appearance.
The Aedes Eegypti are considered to be the main carriers of the Zika virus, because they prefer to feed on humans. They feed mostly at dusk and at night, but can feed in the day. They live twelve months a year and, “their eggs can remain viable for over a year in a dry state.” (Wikepedia)
The mosquitoes are vectors (i.e., carriers) for many viral pathogens (i.e., yellow fever, Zika dengue fever and Chikungunya fever.
Appearance – The aedes aeypti is usually 1.6 to 2.8 mm long and is recognized by the white markings on its legs. The Aedes albopictus is 2 to 10 mm long and is striped black and white.
Female have a long proboscis, which they use to collect blood to feed her eggs. Males feed on plant nectar.
It has been suggested that the mosquitoes are drawn to pregnant women because they emit more carbon dioxide, but I’ve had trouble verifying that. It could be an urban myth.
They bite during the day as well as at dusk and at night.
They are really good at spreading disease because they do bite diverse host species, which enables certain pathogens to jump species.
They are fast biters, so it’s difficult to swat them dead before they’ve moved on to their next victim.
Some Sci-Fi tropes are sooo overused they have a beauty of their own, a weird-ugly beauty, like Marilyn Monroe’s iconic dress being worn on an orangatan. Today, I bring you my favorite-five kitschy sci-fi tropes:
One – Post-Apocalyptic Gangs with Wild Fashion Tastes
The funkier the clothing and hair the better. Mohawks, leather everything, braids and black make-up galore. It’s as if evil has it’s own set of designers and make-up artists.
Two – The Extra-Terrestial Bar Scene
The bar scene in Star Wars is forever stuck in my head. It’s wonderfully eccentric and I love it. But such scenes are not always done well.
Three – All Aliens Speak English
How can this be? Seriously. It makes us much sense as people in a future dystopia having perfect teeth. Sheesh.
Some realism is needed. I declare it should take aliens at least four minutes to speak our language.
Four – “The Chosen” Will Save Us (and of course they’re white)
There must be a lot of people out there hoping they’re the chosen ones, because this trope permeates all literature. The little guy who thinks he’s a nobody wins big. Remember when we first met Harry Potter, he was living under a stairwell, and look what happened to him.
The “chosen-one” trope hits an archetypal chord, appeals to our sense of humanity and who we are. It gives us little people hope.
In post-apocalyptic fiction the “chosen one(s)” save us. It works, at least I guess it works, because it’s used so much, but for me, many of the stories would ring truer if the chosen ones were “chosen” more by serendipity and inner conviction that fate. That’s me.
Oh … and please don’t make them all white and pretty.
Five – Science Goes Too Far
Civilization is collapsing. Therefore it has to be the geeky people who caused it. Face it: they understand computers and they push the limits of science too far. And hey, they’re smarter than us, so it must be them. You might have guessed, I really hate this trope, which plays on our distrust for all things geek.
In a post-apocalyptic world Eve is committed to protecting her nomadic community called Eden. Cyborgs, known as the Bane, have taken over the world and are hunting the last humans. All a Bane has to do is touch a human to infect them. The infection spreads through their body transforming it into a Bane.
Keary Taylor describes the setting so well, the fear is palpable. The Bane are fast, smart and deadly. Their numbers are growing and it’s becoming harder and harder to hide from them.
Eve learns that her exceptional warrior skills are a result of being the prototype for the Bane. But she is more human than they are and her ability to feel emotions is increasing. The story of Eden’s survival parallels her story of self-awareness complicated by her love for two men.
Taylor pulls you into Eve’s world on the first page and doesn’t let go. It’s definitely flashlight worthy. A great read.
I recommend it for anyone who likes post-apocalyptic, new-adult romance. There is some violence. No sex.
I close with my favorite quote:
“I imagined myself sinking through the ground, of burying myself into the earth and disappearing. I had helped cause the end of the world. Whether it was my choice or not, I was a means to the end. I was now meaningless, an experiment forgotten about, no longer needed. I was a hollowed vessel with no reason for still being. They had got what they needed and moved on.”
In a world where the newly dead are brought back to life and civilization has collapsed, a group of young, teenage boys set out on a quest to recover children who have been taken from their encampment.
With mesmerizing descriptions, prose so rich it curls your toes and a well- crafted plot chocked full of surprises, Richard Schiver pulls you into a shadowy dystopia that tests the mettle of each of his characters and makes you think about life. The boys fight to survive physically and emotionally and their shared experience strengthens their ties.
My favorite lines were: “There were places where the fabric between realities was at its thinnest, where the past, present, and the future all occupied the same space. These silent places were inhabited by beings that bled across the lines of reality that had been blurred by the bending of the past and the future.”
All Roads Lead to Terror is a fast, entertaining read. I recommend it for readers who enjoy well-written, dystopian adventures. Schiver’s writing reminds me of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe. I’ll be posting 5 skull star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads later today.