Saturday, June 2, 2018

*Review* It Takes Death to Reach a Star by Stu Jones and Gareth Worthington

Genre: Dystopian
Published: May 22, 2018
Pages: 324


The epidemic struck at the end of the Third World War. Fighting over oil, power, and religion, governments ignored the rise of an anti-bacterial-resistant plague. In just five years, the Earth was annihilated. Only one city survived—Etyom—a frozen hell-hole in northern Siberia, engulfed in endless conflict.

The year is 2251.

Two groups emerged from the ashes of the old world. Within the walled city of Lower Etyom dwell the Robusts—descendants of the poor who were immune to the New Black Death. Above them, in a metropolis of pristine platforms called Lillipads, live the Graciles—the progeny of the super-rich, bio-engineered to resist the plague.

Mila Solokoff is a Robust who trades information in a world where knowing too much can get you killed. Caught in a deal-gone-bad, she’s forced to take a high-risk job for a clandestine organization hell-bent on revolution.

Demitri Stasevich is a Gracile with a dark secret—a sickness that, if discovered, will get him Ax’d. His only relief is an illegal narcotic produced by the Robusts, and his only means of obtaining it is a journey to the arctic hell far below New Etyom.

Thrust together in the midst of a sinister plot that threatens all life above and below the cloud line, Mila and Demitri must master their demons and make a choice—one that will either salvage what’s left of the human race or doom it to extinction...

-->Check out to find out more about Etyom, including an interactive world map, character profiles, and the research behind this epic "science-faction" novel.<--

I was hired to proofread this book. The only aspects of the story that I influenced were the spelling and grammar. If you feel that my connection to this book makes my review untrustworthy, so be it, but this is my honest review. 

I am a big fan of dystopian novels, but I occasionally find myself wondering why certain places end up being where humanity survived whatever caused the collapse of society as we know it. That was not the case for me with It Takes Death to Reach a Star. It makes perfect sense that a city in the frozen wasteland of Siberia would manage to escape the plague that wipes out the rest of humanity because it would already be at least somewhat isolated, and it's so freakin cold there that the virus or whatever caused the plague in the first place wouldn't survive long enough to infect the inhabitants. It was just a great set-up for "this is where people live because this is where it's 'safe'." I love that we actually get that information and it makes so much sense. It makes it easier to accept the other facts of life in this dystopian world. 

I did have one issue with this book. You see, while I was reading it, it started to invade my dreams and affect the quality of my sleep. There is a whole lot of action going on, running and fighting and all that kind of stuff, and spending a night doing that in my dreams was exhausting. But I was just so involved with the story, that apparently my subconscious wanted to explore it while I slept.

Overall I give It Takes Death to Reach a Star 4.99999999 stars. - Katie 

Stu Jones - SWAT Sniper. Adventurer. Visionary. Writer of Epic Genre Blending Fiction.

A veteran law enforcement officer, Stu has worked as a beat cop, an investigator, an instructor of firearms and police defensive tactics and as a member and team leader of a multi-jurisdictional SWAT team. He is trained and qualified as a law enforcement SWAT sniper, as well as in hostage rescue and high-risk entry tactics. Most recently, Stu served for three years with a U.S. Marshal’s Regional Fugitive Task Force - hunting the worst of the worst.

Stu’s passion for writing developed during his years in college while obtaining his bachelor’s degree in history. In the time since, Stu has published three faith-based post-apocalyptic novels – the Action of Purpose trilogy.

Stu's most recent work is a futuristic thriller, It Takes Death To Reach A Star, written with co-author Gareth Worthington(Children of the Fifth Sun). It will be published by Vesuvian books in 2018. Stu is represented by Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo-Helin-Fountain literary management and is currently working with Gareth Worthington on the follow-up to "Star".

He lives in Alabama with his wife and two children.

Follow Stu on social media @stujonesfiction

Gareth Worthington - Gareth holds a degree in marine biology, a PhD in Endocrinology, and currently educates the World's doctors on new cancer therapies for the pharmaceutical industry. He has hand-tagged sharks in California; and trained in various martial arts, including Jeet Kune Do, Muay Thai, and MMA at the EVOLVE MMA gym in Singapore and Phoenix KampfSport Switzerland. 

As an author, he is represented by Renee C. Fountain and Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo-Helin-Fountain Literary Management. His debut novel, Children of the Fifth Sun, won the Sci Fi category at the London Book Festival 2017 and has been optioned by Vesuvian Entertainment for TV/Film. His second novel, It Takes Death to Reach a Star co-authored with Stu Jones, will be published by Vesuvian Books in 2018 and has optioned by Vesuvian Entertainment for TV/Film. Book two in both series is forthcoming.

Born in Plymouth UK, he currently reside outside of Zurich, Switzerland

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