To read my review of the the first book in the series, Floor 21, go here.
FLOOR 21: Descent by Jason Luthor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Floor 21: Descent picks up where Floor 21 left off. The remnants of humanity, or at least all that we know of, are living in what is essentially a skyscraper that they refer to as the Tower. There is an almost sentient infection, known as the Creep, infesting the lower floors of the Tower, and the surviving people are confined to the upper floors, trying to keep the Creep at bay. Jackie is now one of the Scavengers, an elite trained group that venture into the lower Creep-infested floors to gather any supplies and food left when the Creep either killed or forced those living there higher up in the Tower. Jackie and her team are about to set out on their first mission, which has several goals. One of them is to try an determine what happened to the team that disappeared in the first book.
Like Floor 21, this story is told from Jackie’s first person point of view via the recordings she makes, interspersed in the last part of the book with another voice. This mimics the structure of the first book. It’s almost stream of consciousness at times, with her simply talking freely about what she’s doing, how she’s feeling, and her life in general. Jackie has grown in response to all that has happened, but her voice is true and very fitting a young adult in her circumstances. Not only is she dealing with the dangers of her status as Scavenger, but she also has problems with her parents, her best friend, and confusion over boys. It all makes her a nicely rounded character, and not a stereotype or trope.
This story takes some really dark turns and ramps up the creepiness (pun intended!) of the lower floors. There are more dangers and traps lurking there than ever, and the sense of real peril is all around. There were a few times I thought the story dragged a bit, with a little too much of Jackie’s introspection that could have been broken up by action scenes, but in general, the plot does keep moving forward. Jackie is a terrific heroine- smart, tough, intelligent, but with her own flaws and insecurities.
There were some issues with grammar and perhaps editing that dropped me out of the story at times, but I was pulled back in quickly by the intriguing plot and excellent world building. Both books will strongly appeal to both adults and young adults who enjoy their dystopia with a healthy dose of scary.
All of my books are on sale at Smashwords until July 31. Two are half off and two are free. I also recently did an interview on Smashwords that you can read here:
Here are the books and relevant information:
When your family runs the mining operation on a planet that supplies a long-depleted Earth with needed resources, there are bound to be those who would like to see you fail. After five years away with the Interstellar Security Corps, Kaili is coming home after the death of her grandmother as a key participant in the ceremony to install her sister as head of the company and the ruling planetary council. She and her partner land in the middle of old resentments and new threats.
Like all of her people, Kaili is gifted with psi abilities developed over generations living in close harmony with their world- what outsiders see as magic. The ceremony investing her sister with her new positions will be a formal ritual, and Kaili, as her sister’s closest relative, will complete the binding Circle.
Accidents and unrest are growing in the mine operations, and Kaili and her partner, Jeff, uncover evidence that her sister will be formally challenged at the ceremony. When Kaili goes missing right before the ceremony, and returns with no apparent memory of the past few days, Jeff knows something is not right. He will need to use a little magic of his own to make sure Kaili is ready to face the family’s enemies. If not, it could mean both sisters’ lives.
“Circle Unbroken is an awesome mix of two genres, masterfully woven together into a strong story.” From a review on Readcommendations
The novel “Circle Unbroken” is on sale now through July 31 at 50% off its regular price of $3.99. Coupon code is PL25C
“Six of One: A Collection of Short Fantasy” by M.A. Kropp is a set of six short stories, set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Included are:
A Girl, An Elf, and a Shoe– An elf causes a mix-up the day before the big race
With Pen In Hand– A wizardly writer creates his own audience
Impish– An apprentice sorcerer lets the imp out of the bag- or box
Where Angels Tread– What if Heaven and Hell are more like The Sopranos than Seraphim? A noir style story in two parts, where a vital piece of Heavenly equipment goes missing.
Siren Song– A young accountant has an encounter with a mermaid and her companion and must think quickly to save his father.
Peepers– A young man visiting from the city finds the nighttime song of some tiny frogs irresistible.
“Six of One” is also at 50% off its regular price of $1.99. Coupon code is EW65A
A hundred years after Earth’s final environmental collapse, the human population is scattered, living in deep caves or underground to escape the heat and radiation that still ravage the planet. But some species adapted better to the changes. Sam, a genetically engineered lizard, is part of an ongoing program to discover what allowed his kind to evolve so quickly. Intelligent, able to communicate, and make decisions, is Sam a person or an experiment? When another survivor of the devastation threatens the promising food crops being developed, Sam may be given the chance to prove himself.“Survival of the Fittest” is FREE until July 31. Coupon code is WW27A.
The climate is ruined. Cycles of torrential rain and snow alternate with heat waves that make it dangerous to be outdoors for long. Most of the farmable land is either underwater from rising oceans or destroyed in the severe weather cycles. Food is in short supply, and Beni Oligowma controls the distribution of what there is in his local area. Grocery store owners Frank and his father have to live with whatever Beni decides is fair. And that usually means Frank can’t afford the best that’s available. When a university student returns home with an experimental method that may provide a new way to grow food, Frank is determined to help the system succeed, even if it means a confrontation with Beni.
“Feed My People” is a short story, set in a dystopian science fiction world, and is free without need for a code.