Monday, June 19, 2017

Sunday Review of THE COLONY by Kathleen Groger



I read so many books, about one per week, with Kindle Unlimited, and so I thought I should be posting my reviews on my blog for my followers and other bloggers to see. So, this is the first of my Sunday weekly reviews to come.

This week's review is of THE COLONY. 

The Good:
I loved the beginning. I really like how the author develops the main two characters. I really like how we think at first this is going to be like many other dystopian stories, with some virus that spreads and kills humanity and the rest have to figure out how to live, but turns out the storyline is different. I very much enjoyed the "rules" the main character has on her arm, and the almost non-stop action scenes, as well as the undertone of romance between the two main characters that never turns into a full-blown sex scene. I really enjoyed the big reveal and the connection to the oil, and to the metal bugs. I was not expecting it. The editing, for a self-published book, is decent. 

 I am interested enough to order book two on Kindle Unlimited. Fortunately for me, I have that option with KU which is great because if I don't like something I can easily return it and check out another book in seconds.

The Bad:  
While I enjoyed the descriptions at first of our main heroine having lemon sized lumps in her throat, and then all kinds of variations in her throat as tension builds, I think midway through the book the descriptions becomes overdone and the author should have used other descriptors to reveal the stress in the main character. I felt the first half of the book was strong and the second half was mediocre. Not to say it was not good, it just became more of the same. 

I felt it very improbable that the "third" character toward the end and inside the army base would not have been behind bars, and would have been able to roam around at will, enabling her to free our main heroine. That scenario really should have been thought out better and should have been harder. I thought some things were obvious, like when we learn our main characters are left handed. I feel like the characters should have been able to connect the dots faster than they did, but they are only teenagers so maybe I'm expecting too much from them. There are other points which seem to be repeated, and yet no dots are connected. It made me feel the characters are not so smart. I thought there were too many action scenes by the middle point, and midway through the book I wish there were other scenes, perhaps diving deeper into the characters as they talk on a sofa, or over grass. Maybe, an awkward kissing scene? Or even an emotional breakdown scene. 

All in all, this was a decent story. At first I'd say about a B+, and with the reveals, a strong B+, but by the end, I'd have to go with a B-.

If you enjoy dystopia, particularly YA dystopia, with a twist you may not see coming, then I recommend THE COLONY by KATHLEEN GROGER. 



Your review for this week was brought to you by M.Black, author of EXOTIQA, Simulation, Animal Graph, and Quantum State. 


*Contest: For commenting on this blog post you can win a FREE ebook copy of any book I've written. Just comment and a random winner will be selected by this coming Sunday. 












Thursday, April 20, 2017

13 Top #100 YA Dystopian Authors Giveaway!




Win a dystopian starter library of paperback books from top #100 dystopian authors!
.99ebook extravaganza today only! Every book only .99c!

Authors Included:


Christina L Rozelle - The Treemakers
Logan Keys - The Last City
JN Chaney - The Amber Project
David Estes - Slip
Julian North - Age of Order
M. Black - Exotiqa
Sarah Noffke- Defects
Melanie Karsak - The Harvesting
Angel Lawson - The Girl Who Shot First
David Bernstein - Influence
Sophie Davis - Talented
Jenetta Penner - Configured
Ramona Finn -The Glitch



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

SPHERE FREE today only!




"LIKE EXOTIQA THERE IS A MIXTURE OF EMOTIONS THAT GO THROUGHOUT THIS WHOLE STORY AND GETS YOU THINKING THAT QUITE POSSIBLY IT MAY ACTUALLY HAPPEN IN THE REAL WORLD" -AMAZON REVIEWER

"THESE BOOKS ARE GREAT. AS WITH THE OTHERS, I COULDN'T PUT THIS DOWN. NEW FAVE AUTHOR" -AMAZON REVIEWER

"ANOTHER GREAT READ!" -AMAZON REVIEWER

Divergent meets iRobot. ENTER TOMORROW with this YA Robot Cyberpunk Dystopian novel

EXOTIQA 1
THIRTY 1.5
SPHERE 2

With machine advancements embedded within human bodies, the questions of social inequality and prejudice come to light...

A year after the events of Exotiqa, Fione and Maci, are now facing ImaTech’s latest threat, the Humanbot program. Under the careful eye of Russell Wagner, this won't be easy. 

With Sector Spheres keeping watch on Fione and her best friend Spear joining the rebellious Vigilante group, Fione has to trust Pix more than ever. But is his allegiance to the human race the same as hers?

Find out in the conclusion to EXOTIQA, the top #100 YA Dystopian seller!



Sunday, April 16, 2017

Quantum State, a story about a computer in control of our lives




QUANTUM STATE is my third release and while the PRINT is out now, the ebook won't be out until MAY 15th.

QUANTUM STATE asks the question, what if we designed such a sophisticated quantum computer to take care of us that one davit took over? What would life be like then? Would we enjoy life or what change? Would we be able to overcome this quantum computer intelligence since it could predict so much of our behavior? Would life be better with it or without it?

The idea came to me when I started thinking about those above questions. We already have a computer predicting crimes in certain areas. Crime rates have gone down! It is only a matter of time until more computers are used to predict human behavior and keep track of all those going in and out or prison.

Quantum computers are good for: Predicting accurate weather patterns, drug discoveries, solving traffic nightmares, military and defense, encrypted communication, space exploration, machine earning and automation,

In my story,

Masha Mikhailov is out main character and is friends with Esfir. They don't like the system they are under, and how the quantum computer dubbed MAQS directs their lives and makes all important decisions for them. They want their freedom, a basic human right, right?

So, the two begin their investigations which start with the Cylindrical in the park which is suppose to be for their own good, to help the air become cleaner to breathe. This leads them down a spiral of more questions and mysteries and suspicions until we are brought to the truth at the culminating end.

Do they get out of Cherni?
Do they find happiness?
Do they ever get away from MAQS?

All questions answered in the latest release. If you'd like a FREE copy for review purposes only, please eMail me. touch-of-grace@hotmail.com

If you'd like to learn more about quantum computers, read HERE

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Is our universe a Simulation?




What is a simulation? 


A lot of people ask me how I can up with the idea of my book SIMULATION, and I have to tell them the story was based on the possibility that everything around us is an illusion. Modern science hints at the possibility that our universe itself is a simulation--or something to the effect of a 'computer game' so to speak. 

That brings us to the question of the MATRIX which proposes that humanity is more a less living in a simulation within their own mind, hooked to tubes as they sleep so that machines can suck their body energy as food. Kind of disturbing. But how close could the MATRIX be in real life?

More disturbingly, "the science-fiction nightmare of being trapped in a universe manufactured within our minds can be traced back further, for instance to David Cronenberg's Videodrome (1983) and Terry Gilliam's Brazil (1985)."

Not only may we be in the MATIRX, but we may not even have bodies at all. That may also be a simulation. 

"Several physicists, cosmologists and technologists are now happy to entertain the idea that we are all living inside a gigantic computer simulation, experiencing a Matrix-style virtual world that we mistakenly think is real."

Even Elon Musk had a thing or two to say about this idea."In June 2016, technology entrepreneur Elon Musk asserted that the odds are "a billion to one" against us living in "base reality"

"Musk and other like-minded folk are suggesting that we are entirely simulated beings. We could be nothing more than strings of information manipulated in some gigantic computer, like the characters in a video game"

But why all this talk about simulations? There are a few reasons, I think. One is that we use simulation models for all kinds of things. To understand animals better, or to understand cosmology or even flight patterns. We use simulations to learn to fly and or how life will be like in space. It is used in training, and these simulations are getting more complex. 

Would it be possible to one day create a virtual being which experiences consciousness? Some think so. That opens up a whole can of worms. What are these virtual conscious beings rights? Do they feel pain, pleasure? Do they have subjective feelings and thoughts about it? Do they experience? Do they remember the experience? 

In physics this idea keeps popping up too. The universe behaves mathematically and can be broken up into subatomic particles like pixelated video games. 

"The simulation hypothesis also accounts for peculiarities in quantum mechanics, particularly the measurement problem, whereby things only become defined when they are observed."


FREE books about our Dreams and Illusions

For more information, click HERE and HERE

Friday, April 14, 2017

Truck Automation





One of the reasons I wrote EXOTIQA is because of all the robot talk in magazines, newspapers and online. We are reading more and more that robots are the way of the future, and just how much will they be taking over? Well, it looks like they will be working not just from inside the grocery stores at the cashier counter, but now on the road too. 

It is inevitable that most manual labor will be done by robots. The trucking industry is already heading in that direction. Trucking can be hard, long hours and weeks away from family, and with little pay. Finding people to do the job can be hard and to find those willing to stick around even harder. 

"The White House released a report in December predicting that 1.3 million to 1.7 million heavy and tractor-trailer truck-driving jobs could disappear because of automation. That’s 80 to 100 percent of all truck-driving jobs." 

"David Alexander, an analyst with Navigant Research, anticipates that most truck companies will gradually introduce automated driving technology in the next five to 10 years."

The old jobs of truck driving will eventually be gone, but in its place there will be a need to monitor the automated trucks and prepare damage to the system and problem solve issues on the road with these trucks.

Less physical labor and more use of the mind. 

It gets interesting when Platooning is talked about. Fleets of trucks working in unison, braking together, speeding up together and all operated by one man.

“The people who can use the computers are seeing their wages rise,” he said. “The people who are not—their jobs are being taken away.”

Read more HERE 

Monday, April 10, 2017

When machines take over

So why did I write EXOTIQA?




Looking around me one day at the local Walmart, I began wondering how long it would be before most of our manual labor would be done by machines. Where would that leave us? Would we still have jobs? What would that mean for the machines? How would they develop?

I've read a lot on such subjects. https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/02/17/yes-the-robots-will-steal-our-jobs-and-thats-fine/?utm_term=.44becdf25059

As I thought about these questions, I wondered what life would be like for the A.I. robot. What life would really be like inside his or her mind. How their thoughts would be different from ours, humans.  Would they have feelings? Are these all programmed or could they become something more?

EXOTIQA was born.

I didn't want to write just another 'robots take over humans' story, but a story from a robot's perspective. So, MACI is told from the machine's POV and FIONE is from the human's POV. I think this also helps there to be a balance, and allows the reader to experience what each might feel or think.

I also wanted my main characters to be human. I know, some readers said they wanted THIRTY to be the main guy, but hey you all have enough male leads in robot flicks and books alike.

In EXOTIQA, the world is very different from our own, because FLEXs do many human jobs. There are people who like this and people who don't. But then a new interface design is introduced called the SLAB, which is a lot like ELON MUSK's NUERAL LACE, though I wrote EXOTIQA back in late 2015, and released it in early 2017.

This SLAB allows for the download of a program called EXOTIQA which essentially starts allowing the owner to control his subjects.

The story gets intense half way through and we are left wondering how this program can be stopped if at all. I wanted to write a story about these issues in a way that would appeal to the younger audience, because it is they who will be living in such worlds. So, the book is YA, but I think will appeal to a vast age range.

Sound like Science fiction? Check again.

This book explores issues such as the Singularity, robotic consciousness, human V.S. machine rights, what is life, what is consciousness, how far can a human become machine before being a machine himself.

And then the book explores deeper issues in the sequel such as social inequality and prejudice between those who have and those who have not--machine parts.