Review of “The Whisper of Stars” and “The Embers of Hope” by Nick Jones

This post-apocalyptic series is set at the close of the 21st Century. A Superflu has killed nearly a billion people, warming is accelerating, and energy stores are drying up. The government came up with a program that calls for large proportions of people to go into cyclical hibernation on alternate years to ease the pressure on the Earth. In the meantime, mining colonies on the moon would be working on extracting water and energy to transport back to the planet.

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Jennifer (“Jen”) Logan works for London’s MI5 in the “Duality” Division, in charge of enforcement of hibernation and the prohibition of illegal cloning and mind replication.

In alternate chapters, we meet Nathan O’Brien, a computer programmer whose wife, a reporter, was killed just as she was on the brink of uncovering a huge story. Nathan didn’t know what the story was about, but he is determined to find out. He desperately wants to avenge his wife’s death by finishing her work, and by killing those who killed her. The only clue he has is that her death was somehow triggered when she found out the name of Jacob Logan, who happens to have been Jen’s deceased father.

While Nathan is looking for information on who Jacob Logan was and why he was important, one of Jen’s colleagues summons her to a secure location to tell her about his discovery of something fishy about the hibernation program. The colleague suspects that the government has been mind tampering with people in hibernation, in spite of legislation making such interference illegal.

It is inevitable that the fates of Jen and Nathan intersect, and soon, both of them are working together and running for their lives, even as they don’t yet know what it going on, or who is pursuing them.

In Book One, the background of the story unfolds, and at the end, we finally learn who is behind what is happening, and what Jen’s father had to do with it.

Book Two: Spoilers for Book One

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In Book Two, Nathan is still running for his life, carrying with him the classified data files that he and Jen had stolen, providing evidence that the Government (via its main contractor, the Baden Corporation) is searching through and manipulating the minds of hibernators. Nathan has in his possession as well the Histeridae, the alien-seeming technology that gives mind control to some of those who use it.

He is also harboring the hope that he can bring Jen back from the dead; Professor George Mohanty, the colleague of Jacob Logan’s he met at the end of Book One, implied as much.

We hear more from Victor Reyland, Evil Guy in Charge, and Zitago Zido, his beautiful henchwoman. Reyland gives Zido assignments to eliminate his enemies, with which she ruthlessly complies. Yet the author has Zido evince never-before-hinted-at misgivings when she learns the true purpose of Reyland’s agenda. However, but for these odd inconsistent paragraphs, Zido stays pretty true to her Totally Evil Nature.

Meanwhile, Nathan and George are racing against the clock to see if they can restore Jen to life. But will they all survive the effort? And even if they do, is it too late to stop the Evil Duo from their machinations?

Discussion: These books don’t show quite the level of writing skill as one finds with other post-apocalyptic authors. The plot goes off the rails from time to time, and the sex scenes in Book One are awkward and trite. In addition, like so many of these books, the evil doers are total cartoons. Nevertheless, there are some interesting ideas embedded in the story.

Rating: 2.5/5

Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014

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5 Responses to Review of “The Whisper of Stars” and “The Embers of Hope” by Nick Jones

  1. Beth F says:

    I’m a sucker for dystopian but this sounds like a series I can cross of my list (except this is the first I’ve hear of it, so it’s not on my list).

  2. BermudaOnion says:

    Okay, I’m glad I can skip those with a clear conscience.

  3. sandynawrot says:

    That is too bad because the idea is a good one. Hey, I’d volunteer to hibernate, no problem!

  4. Belle Wong says:

    I am still oh so slowly just starting to read dystopian novels like the Hunger Games (reading the Hunger Games is actually one of my 2015 goals) …

  5. Trisha says:

    I could use some hibernation….I think I’ll pass on this one though. I do, however, want to read some awkward, trite sex scenes just for giggles.

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