A Review of “milijun: What would alien interaction really be like?” by Clayton Graham

Full disclosure – I was provided a copy of this book by the author however have voluntarily chosen to write a review. All opinions are my own.

Alien invasion from a unique perspective

It is the year 2179. Man has successfully harnessed the surface of the moon for mining and research. In one such cave, miner Simon Cordell stumbles across an interesting anomaly seemingly embedded in the cave walls. Possibly hundreds of never before seen beings are nestled in this lunar cavern. Soon after reporting this strange possible alien life form and obtaining a specimen for research, the entire lunar research facility falls prey to a massacre with Simon the only survivor. Simon needs to get to the main lunar base with the lifeform intact or risk being blamed for the slaughter of his colleagues.

At the same time on the Nullarbor in Western Australia, Laura and Jason Sinclair are en route to a much needed camping vacation. On the final leg of their journey, Jason photographs a curious formation in the night sky. When he attempts to view his discovery closer at the ranger station, he is abducted. Laura frantically searches for her son and is able to recover him but in the process, finds herself and Jason implicated in several murders by the local police officer who, also seems to be acting very strangely.

Now on the run, prime suspects of a double murder Laura and Jason find themselves tirelessly hunted, not sure who to trust. Finding possible allies in a strange underground complex of scientific researchers Laura and Jason, with their assistance, attempt to work with a local military unit to prove their innocence while at the same time attempting to convince those in charge of a possible alien invasion. Throughout their trials, Laura and Jason find themselves traveling all over Australia and beyond in this unique take on alien encounters and interactions.

Milijun, is the first novel by author Clayton Graham and I for one hope it is not his last. Having read only a handful of science fiction novels where aliens were the focus, I must say that Milijun tackled this from a very interesting angle. What if the alien invasion wasn’t meant for domination, but for another reason entirely? What if the alien lifeforms weren’t acting in aggression, but in defense of human actions?

Considering technological advancements currently and in the future created by Graham it makes the reader ponder if there is more out there than just us. In Graham’s world, we see a depth of technological advancements within the military and the Miljun center that speaks to the advancing technology of the future. At the same time, there is talk of a last “Great Conflict” that has yet again divided the world and the country of Australia specifically which goes to show that for the more things change, the more they stay the same. As the narrative progresses and story lines come together it becomes apparent that Jason and Laura may play a much bigger role in the survival of the human race than they had ever imagined. While the story does leave a few loose ends, it is more of a thought provoker than it is a cliffhanger but still leaves the reader curious to learn what happens next with Jason, Laura,the other survivors and the Earth.

If you like Science Fiction, alien invasion and futuristic reads, Milijun is a definite recommend.

A review of “Perfectly Normal (The Perfects book #1) by Amy Martin

Full disclosure, I was provided an advanced copy of this book by the author however I have voluntarily chosen to write a review. All opinions are my own.

It’s not easy being perfect

Rachel Lord is your typical teenager just trying get through her Senior Year in high school. With her two best friends, Janey and Ellie, she does pretty well navigating the usual cliques and clichés with one downfall.

Dani McGuire is a gorgeous, typical popular cheerleader type. She is the quarterback’s girlfriend, class president and part of the most powerful clique on campus: The Perfects. Dani and the other girls grew up together, practically neighbors, and were like sisters until a chemical spill rendered their neighborhood uninhabitable and the friends were forced to move to different neighborhoods. While still in the same general area, Dani became friends with The Perfects –the stuck up,  uber popular mean girls of Ridgeview High School and no longer associates with her childhood friends. This has not set well with Rachel and she tends to be a tad obsessed with her former friend.  On a snowy evening Janey goes missing and Rachel sets out to look for her. Heading out to the old neighborhood where Janey has been known to retreat to in times of introspection, Rachel has an accident….and wakes up in the body of Dani McGuire

Wait. What?

Rachel has no idea how her consciousness has ended up in the body of her former friend. And what happened to her body for that matter? Rachel attempts to live the life of a Perfect while trying to figure out what the heck happened.

Perfectly Normal is the first book in The Perfects series by Amy Martin and is a real easy read that will take the reader back to high school no matter when you grew up. When I heard about the premise for the book, I thought “oh, cool it’s like a cross between Mean Girls and the Hot Chick”. On the surface this is true, but I found Perfectly Normal to be more than just tired clichés and a retelling of a familiar story. While the basic concept has been explored before throughout the years Amy Martin does so in a way that is fresh and intriguing. Rachel finds out with each new day that being a Perfect isn’t everything it’s made out to be and in some ways, she may even have it better in her boring normal existence. If you’re looking for a fun read that will leave you nostalgic and wondering what happens next, I would recommend Perfectly Normal, but be warned – you may not be able to put this fun story down.

 

 

A Review of “Toll the Bell: A Titanic Adventure” by C.P. Bialois

Murder on the Ship of Dreams

 

When Thomas Clayton boarded the Titanic he did not do so for pleasure. An assassin by trade, Mr. Clayton is on a mission to kill his best friend and mentor. Thomas has no clue what Quentin may have done to have caused his services to be required, but he is determined to help his friend reach New York safely. This simple deception becomes complicated though, when his path crosses with a mysterious first class socialite. Unknown to him, Rebecca and her Uncle have boarded Titanic for reasons similar to his. The closer the ship gets to its destination and the more Thomas learns about the mysterious Rebecca the more it becomes apparent that protecting his friend may not be as easy or as wise as he thinks.

Toll the Bell is the newest novel by C.P. Bialois and is a nice alternate journey on Titanic. Thomas, having boarded as a Second Class passenger gives the reader a view of Titanic that’s not the opulent luxury that was First Class. Thanks to his association with Rebecca and interactions with Quentin  the reader does get a glimpse of the more familiar First Class venues as well. While this made the book less Titanic-centric than others I have read it was still very enjoyable. Also being a lifelong Titanic fan I appreciated the attention given to some lesser known areas of the ship. The attention to detail Bialois provided, specifically with his description of the Turkish Bath was spot on and shows that he has also done his homework historically. Another area we see this is in addition of actual crew-member Reginald L. Barker the Second Class purser, friend and helper to Thomas. If you’re looking for a good cat and mouse game in a familiar setting but told from an entirely new angle, I would recommend giving Toll the Bell a read.