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review 2018-01-28 08:09
Obscura by Joe Hart
Obscura - Joe Hart

In the not so distant future, a lethal pandemic of unknown origin is sweeping the planet. A virulent form of dementia that spreads unchecked to people of all ages, with fatal results. The leading researcher into the contagion, driven by the loss of her husband to this plague, and the heartbreaking signs that her young daughter may be next, finds herself succumbing to addiction as her funding dries up. When an old friend offers her a chance at obtaining unlimited funding for her research, she jumps at the chance.....but there is a catch. NASA has developed a teleportation device that may be the key to interstellar travel, but the test subjects are falling victim to a similar affliction. All she has to do is travel to their space station, help discover a cure, and everything she needs to save her daughter, and the human race, will be hers for the asking.
It's an offer too good to pass up.
But things are not what they are advertised to be, as another form of death stalks the station, and deception shadows everything and everyone involved. She finds herself struggling with demons both internal and external as she struggles to accomplish her mission and save the one thing that means the world to her.

Hart enters the arena once ruled by Michael Crichton with this engaging thriller, and proves himself more than a match for the past master of science based thrillers, bringing a powerful human factor to his tale, along with lingering questions about the fate of the human race in the face of evolving biological threats, corporate dirty dealing, and the dark underbelly of medical ethics.....along with a talent for sustained white knuckle suspense.

Highly recommended.

This was an eARC from Netgalley.

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review 2018-01-01 18:24
A thought provoking and highly accomplished SF thriller
Obscura - Joe Hart

One of the most memorable images I store from my childhood is the idea of the teleporter. You know the program; Capt James Kirk daring to go where no one had gone before and in order to do this he uses the magical services of what was affectionately known on Star Trek as a transporter or teleportation machine. The transporter converted a person into an energy pattern (dematerialization ) then beamed to a target (place) where it was converted back to matter (rematerialization) I tell you this because "Obscura" the excellent new novel by Joe Hart uses this idea as a central theme.


Doctor Gillian Ryan is a recognized expert into research concerning a dementia type illness known as Losian's disease. She has lost her partner Kent to the condition and disturbingly her daughter Carrie is now showing signs that she may also suffer from this life threatening affliction. Research for a cure is expensive and with funds running low she is approached by an old friend Carson who has a proposition for her that may be her salvation offering unlimited funds for her research program if only she will repay his kindness in the following way...Ander's transport is a teleportation system which causes  atoms that make up a human body to be first frozen solid then vaporized before emerging at a secondary location as a solid human mass once again (think Star trek) However the users of Ander's transport appear to have been stricken with symptoms similar to Losian's namely memory loss, trances, and violent uncontrollable impulses. If Gillian will help NASA find a cure, travel to the space station via shuttle, then they in their turn promise unlimited funds with research into Losian's disease, and with time running out for her daughter she has little alternative but to accept. However she soon finds herself caught up in a web of deceit and lies, a nightmare three month journey to Mars, a conspiracy that feeds into her own paranoia, with real fears that she will never see her home or her precious daughter again.


I love this type of SF based story where the human race is concerned not only with the decaying state it's planet (melting of the ice caps etc) but also with the need to reach out and discover other solar systems, other civilizations, potential areas that we can populate and yes..."to boldly go where no man has gone before" Joe Hart has written an intelligent thought provoking novel raising question and ideas that are pertinent to society today. I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend. Many thanks to the good people at netgalley and the publisher Thomas & Mercer for a gratis copy in return for an honest review and that is what I have written.


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text 2017-11-08 07:10
Release Blitz - Obscura






I was torn apart.


That's all you need to know about me.


A stranger dragged me into the bushes to shatter my world, destroy my body and ruin my future.


I thought I was done, but Zoe found me and things are going to change. The world is going to hear our rage, loud and clear.


We are taking back our lives, one punishment at a time.


But I didn't expect Adam.


Sweet, gentle Adam.


With each kiss, he makes me whole. With each tender moment, he makes me believe again.


And every time he touches me, I am torn asunder and rebuilt into something powerful and beautiful.


I never expected for my world to come tumbling down again.


I never expected any of it.


And this time there are no pieces to pick up, nothing to rebuild.


This time we all fall down.


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Other Books by Jaden Wilkes:


The Beast Series Boxed Set The Beast (Beast Series, Book 1)

Perfectly Normal (Beast Series, Book 2)

Little Dove (Beast Series, Book 3)

Dirty Little Freaks Therapist Life:An Autopsy Freakshow

The Red Shoes (Twisted Fairy Tales Book 1 Serial: Volume Two











About Jaden Wilkes:



Author of dark romance, urban fantasy, and mind twisting thrillers. I write the things that keep me up at night.


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Cyber-Stalk Jaden

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review 2016-11-06 20:00
Atlas Obscura
Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders - Dylan Thuras,Ella Morton,Joshua Foer

I've been a fan of the website (www.atlasobscura.com) for a long time, and when I heard there was going to be a book, I just knew I had to read it.

And like the website, this is a very curious collection of interesting things from all over the world. Those who have been browsing, might recognize some of the entries, but this didn't bother me in the slightest. The entries are all short and often accompanied by pictures, making it perfect to read a small part at a time.

Would recommend!

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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text 2016-06-05 16:16
Monster-Spotting on a 16th Century Map

(reblogged from Nicholas Rossis)


Continuing my infatuation with maps, I came across this fine 16th-century example of a cartographer’s imagination running wild in an excellent post by Urvija Banerji of Atlas Obscura.




Scandinavian Map | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books


The creatures depicted on land in the 16th-century Carta Marina are not particularly unusual: the map’s lands contain knights on horseback, wild boars and bears climbing trees. The west side of the map, however, shows a much more fanciful plethora of wildlife. Cartographer Olaus Magnus created the Carta Marina above while staying in Rome, between the years 1527 and 1539.


However, Magnus was originally from Sweden and chose to depict the Nordic countries in his map. The Carta Marina was one of the most precise depictions of any part of Europe at the time. Which is more than can be said about its portrayal of the oceans. As you can see, the northern seas are filled to the brim with all kinds of aquatic monsters. Some maps of the era depicted dragons to metaphorically indicate uncertainties or dangers in a region.


But the Carta Marina’s mythological sea creatures were thought to really exist at the time Magnus drew them. He even identified each creature in the map’s key. You can take a closer look at some of them below.


Unsuspecting sailors cook a meal on a sea monster off the coast of Iceland.

Magnus described this creature as a whale whose skin resembled the sand on a seashore. An English ship is depicted as having laid anchor on the whale, and two unwitting sailors are cooking a meal on its rump.


Sailors attempt to scare away attacking sea monsters with frightening sounds and empty barrels.

Read the rest of the post here.

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