Wasteland by Terry Tyler

Synopsis

‘Those who escape ‘the system’ are left to survive outside society. The fortunate find places in off-grid communities; the others disappear into the wasteland.’

The year is 2061, and in the new UK megacities, the government watches every move you make. Speech is no longer free—an ‘offensive’ word reaching the wrong ear means a social demerit and a hefty fine. One too many demerits? Job loss and eviction, with free transport to your nearest community for the homeless: the Hope Villages.

Rae Farrer is a megacity girl through and through, proud of her educational and career achievements, until a shocking discovery about her birth forces her to question every aspect of life in UK Megacity 12.

On the other side of the supposedly safe megacity walls, a few wastelanders suspect that their freedom cannot last forever…

Wasteland is the stand-alone sequel to Hope, and is the second and final book in the Operation Galton series. 

My Review

Read on Kindle
5/5 stars

In Terry Tyler’s version of 2061 people are living in government-controlled comfortable Megacities and less comfortable Hope villages, where putting a foot wrong can result in disaster and worse. Hope villages were introduced in the previous installment of the ‘Operation Galton’ series, ‘Hope’, but over the intervening years they have become even more dangerous, desolate places. A small percentage of the free-thinking population has escaped to the Wasteland, where they live outside of society and are known as ‘rats’.

The concept of the ‘Wasteland’ immediately reminded me of ‘The Wilds’ in the YA ‘Delirium’ trilogy by Lauren Oliver which I read about a decade ago and absolutely loved. Having said that, the books themselves are quite different. Wasteland is not a YA novel and although both are dystopian, the world of ‘Operation Galton’ feels more sinister, probably because it is not very far removed from where our present day society is heading. Our lives are more and more controlled by smartphones tracking our sleep, steps taken, screen use and conversations, offering us intrusive targeted advertising which demands our attention every waking second, much like the ‘com’ devices in Wasteland.

The powers that be have decided it’s time to clean up the Wasteland and plan to use its inhabitants in their macabre human experiments. This is happening in the background as we follow Rae’s journey from typical Megacity inhabitant to enlightened escapee, as she searches the Wasteland for the family she was separated from at the tender age of two.

The story begins at a relatively slow pace, as we are introduced to new characters, then half way through the book, the pace picks up quite dramatically and it becomes a gripping thrill-ride with unexpected twists along the way. Wasteland is an exciting page-turner and I was rooting for Rae and the people she encounters in the Wasteland all the way. It was easy to visualise the action sequences and I can imagine this story being made into a blockbuster movie.

This dystopian story left me feeling unsettled, with a lot to think about and the intriguing parting shot about Ace’s background leaves the way open for further stories from Rae’s world which I would love to see sometime.  Although it is the second book in the Operation Galton series, Wasteland works equally well as a standalone read.

Recommended for fans of stories set in dystopian societies and thrilling fox vs. hounds style hunts!

Buy it here:

https://www.amazon.com/Wasteland-Operation-Galton-Book-2-ebook/dp/B087JZ2DT5

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wasteland-Operation-Galton-Book-2-ebook/dp/B087JZ2DT5

Add it to your To Be Read list here:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53245445

About the Author

I am self-published and proud to be so, and have twenty-two books on Amazon. My latest release is The Visitor, a post-apocalyptic murder mystery set in the same world as my Project Renova series, but a separate story, with new characters.

I am currently at work on Megacity, the third and final book in the dystopian Operation Galton series, and the follow up Wasteland and Hope.

I’m a Walking Dead addict; I love watching great TV series, and reading anything to do with history, post apocalypse, dystopian scenarios, anthropology, mountaineering and polar exploration.

Favourite writers: Gemma Lawrence, Kate Mary, Blake Crouch, Deborah Swift, Carol Hedges, Douglas Kennedy, John Boyne, Deborah Moggach, Judith Arnopp, Mark Barry, Jon Krakauer, Phillipa Gregory, Robert Leigh, John Privilege, Dylan Morgan, Kate Atkinson, Norah Lofts, Dorothy Parker, Bill Bryson, PJ O’Rourke, Ann Swinfen, Keith Blackmore, Frank Tayell.

Find Terry Tyler here: http://terrytyler59.blogspot.com/



Sentinel (Voyager Book 2) by Carl Rackman

Description

The Voyager story continues…

Four years have passed since Voyager One sent back chilling photos of a spaceship from deep in interstellar space.

A shocked world prepared to meet the Visitors, but terrorism, pandemics, and global political turmoil have now consumed it. Discredited as a hoax, the Visitors have faded from public attention.

But the powerful global conspiracy known as the Triumvirate is behind much of the chaos. Creating a screen of subterfuge and misdirection, they prepare a clandestine welcome for the Visitors, whose origins may be more sinister than the aliens of popular fiction.

Standing in their way are the few brave men and women who foiled the Triumvirate’s last attempt to upset the world’s fragile balance of power:

Former FBI agent Brad Barnes leads Sentinel, a private intelligence and counter-terrorism operation founded in the wake of the Triumvirate’s last deadly plot.

Alex Ephraim – the former Triumvirate assassin known as Mirage – is Sentinel’s major weapon against terror.

Matt Ramprakash, former airline pilot and now an officer of the British intelligence agency MI5, is embroiled in a deadly standoff when an airliner is hijacked.

Callie Woolf, once the project manager of the Voyager mission, struggles against the sceptical government’s bureaucracy to continue the search for the elusive Visitors as her time and funding runs out.

Sentinel is the only organisation capable of taking the fight to the Triumvirate’s door – flexible, unorthodox well-funded and free of government red tape.

But as they pursue the Triumvirate from the streets of London to the wild, deadly wastes of Antarctica, Brad will need Matt and Callie’s help to stop the Triumvirate, which has its own plans for putting Sentinel – and especially Alex – out of the picture for good…

Sentinel is the pulse-pounding second instalment in the Voyager trilogy by Carl Rackman


My Review

I read a Kindle version
5/5 stars

Sometimes sequels can be less exciting or well thought out than the original book, becoming a repository for ideas that were not quite good enough to make it into the first book. With Sentinel this is not the case at all. Voyager readers became used to a fast paced style with plenty of intrigue and excitement and Sentinel does not disappoint on this front. The action begins in England with Matt Ramprakash, the pilot/spy from Voyager now working full time for MI5, the UK’s domestic counter intelligence and security agency, taking control of a terrorist orchestrated airplane hijack.

Since we already know most of the characters from Voyager, the author is able to flesh out their personalities and relationships with more detail in the sequel and we feel like we are getting to know and like them more.

Mirage, the genetically enhanced, stone cold ice queen from Voyager is back and has become something of a superhero. Owing to her origin story, I couldn’t help imagining her as an enhanced version of Black Widow from the Marvel universe. She is gunning for the leader of the shady Triumvirate organization for her own personal reasons and we are behind her all the way.

Matt and Callie, the Voyager team project manager, are now married and soon both find themselves working with Brad Barnes within the private security organization known as Sentinel.

The narrative has plenty of action-filled sequences which keep you gripped to the story. They are related with such descriptive imagery that it is easy to imagine this story being made into a blockbuster action movie.

The theme of possible extra terrestrial life coming to Earth becomes more of a focus during this book. By the end of the story the action has moved to the deadly frozen wastes of Antarctica and the final showdown between the Triumvirate and the Sentinel operatives takes place against a background of the arrival of the mysterious Visitors.

I am giving this 5 stars, as opposed to the 4 star rating I gave Voyager, due to the increased amount of exciting action and decrease in character relationship development which I found distracted from the Voyager narrative. I believe it will be enjoyed by all fans of Sci-Fi and spy thriller genres alike.

Buy it here:

www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08JCMBW2B

www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08JCMBW2B

Add it to your To Be Read list here:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55381867


The Previous Chapter in this story:

Read my review of Voyager here


About the author:

Hi! I’m Carl Rackman, a British former airline pilot turned author. I spent my working life travelling the world and this has given me a keen interest in other people and cultures. I’ve drawn on my many experiences for my writing.

I write suspense thrillers with a grounded science-fiction theme. I like reading novels that feature atmospheric locales and I enjoy complex, absorbing storylines combined with rich, believable characters, so that’s the sort of fiction I write. I try to create immersive worlds for the reader to explore, and characters who are more than just vehicles for the story.

I come from a naval military background and have held a lifelong interest in military history and seafaring – all my books usually contain some of these elements!



Voyager by Carl Rackman

Description

Voyager One is the remotest human object in existence, hurtling through the void of outer space more than twelve billion miles away.

It should be all alone.

Callie Woolf, Project Manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is stunned when the tiny probe unexpectedly downloads a series of highly disturbing images. Within 24 hours she is running for her life.

FBI Agent Brad Barnes is assigned to the case and unwittingly stumbles into a conspiracy which threatens to bring the United States to its knees. Unable to tell friend from foe, Brad and Callie must play a deadly cat-and-mouse game with the conspirators’ shadowy agents as they confront the unthinkable – that mankind may not be alone in the Universe.

Voyager is an intelligent, modern-day conspiracy thriller by Carl Rackman, author of Irex.


My Review

I read it on the Kindle
4/5 stars

Voyager begins as a science fiction thriller with believable characters set in recent, real world situations. These scenarios may be unfamiliar to the majority of readers, but due to the author’s careful descriptions and explanations it is not difficult to visualize the locations and imagine the relationships being depicted.

The NASA Voyager team receives images from deep space which could be considered evidence of extra terrestrial life – if they are real. The Voyager team and its project manager, Callie Woolf, quickly decide that the photos must be a hoax, sent from Earth and bounced back from Voyager. Soon after the photos are downloaded, Callie finds herself in mortal danger and has to go on the run to preserve her life.

At this point the intriguing prospect of possible alien life is lost for a while as the characters are developed and the story becomes more of a gripping spy thriller.

A copy of the photos taken from the lab by Callie is sent to England and then secretly returned to the US by way of pilot/secret agent Matt Ramprakash. Matt ends up in the custody of FBI agents Bradley Barnes and Diane Breecker. Following a thrilling rescue he finds himself in the same safe house where Callie Woolf has been placed and immediately the two appear to fall in love. This incongruous love story did not ring true for me and felt like an unnecessary addition to the main story.

Bradley Barnes is the other main character. A brave and likeable FBI agent who at first appears emotionally stunted by past tragedy and yet distracted by the beauty of the superhuman agent Diane Breecker. Callie has been analyzing Voyager’s photos and Brad is assigned to discover their origins. Could there actually be aliens en route to Earth or is it all a conspiracy?

The plot is developed carefully and at an exciting pace that still makes it easy to follow everything that is happening. I would have liked more emphasis on the investigation into the possibility of extraterrestrial life rather than the character relationships. Having said that, the story is gripping, with plenty of exciting chases, fights and an attempt on the life of the President of the USA thrown in. It was very well written and I eagerly await the sequel.

Buy Voyager Here:

www.amazon.com/Voyager-Carl-Rackman-ebook/dp/B06XVZC3K5

www.amazon.co.uk/Voyager-Carl-Rackman-ebook/dp/B06XVZC3K5

Add Voyager to your To Be Read list here:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34813574


The Sequel:

Read my review of Sentinel here


About the Author

Hi! I’m Carl Rackman, a British former airline pilot turned author. I spent my working life travelling the world and this has given me a keen interest in other people and cultures. I’ve drawn on my many experiences for my writing.

I write suspense thrillers with a grounded science-fiction theme. I like reading novels that feature atmospheric locales and I enjoy complex, absorbing storylines combined with rich, believable characters, so that’s the sort of fiction I write. I try to create immersive worlds for the reader to explore, and characters who are more than just vehicles for the story.

I come from a naval military background and have held a lifelong interest in military history and seafaring – all my books usually contain some of these elements!

Find Carl Rackman here:

Website: www.carlrackman.com

Twitter: @CarlRackman