Speculative Fiction Worth Reading - After the Sky by Milo James Fowler #SpecFic #postapocalyptic

Blurb: The meek have not inherited the earth.

The world isn't how they left it. When the bunker airlocks release them after twenty years in hibernation, the survivors find a silent, barren world outside. But they are not alone. There is a presence here, alive in the dust—spirits of the earth, benevolent and malicious as they interact with the human remnant.

Milton is haunted by a violent past he's unable to escape, despite the superhuman speed the spirits give him.

Not interested in bearing the next generation, Daiyna is determined to destroy the flesh-eating mutants lurking in the dark, pierced by her night-vision.

Luther is a man of conviction who believes the Creator has offered humankind a second chance, yet he's uncertain they deserve it—and he's perplexed by the talons that flex out of his fingers.

Willard is a brilliant engineer-turned-soldier who refuses to leave his bunker, afraid of becoming infected and willing to destroy any obstacle in his way.

As their lives collide, the mysteries of this strange new world start unraveling, culminating in the ultimate life-or-death decision one survivor will make for them all.

My review: Twenty years ago, civilization was blasted away. Now the airlocks on the vaults have opened, and the survivors get to see what has become of their world. The land has been devastated, but spirits of the earth still roam. Some seem to be helpful, but others want to wipe away the last remaining humans. Will the survivors be able to make a new life for themselves or will the malicious spirits have their way?

This is the first book in a thrilling post-apocalyptic adventure series. It reminded me of the popular video game, Fallout, with survivors coming out of the safety of their vaults into a frightening world. After the Sky has much more twisted plot which wrapped me in it quick. We get to see the world through a handful of eyes, the points of view of different characters from various vaults. Each vault has its own specialty: engineers, scientists, breeders. Many people gain new paranormal abilities when they come to the surface. They venture out and meet one another along with other chilling surprises. Luther is the rock of the group and helps keeps hope alive. Daiyna is my favorite character. Strong and wise, and not letting the assignment of her vault determine her purpose. Milton is fascinating, and I never knew which way he'd go.

There's high tension and plenty of action along with a lot of depth in the plot. What exactly is going on in the world, and how to these spirits tie into everything? How can one person make all the difference? While fear, hate, and paranoia drive some characters, others still hold on to their faith and hope. An amazing read that has me eager for the next book.

P.S. Click here or on the cover for the Amazon buy link!


No (Real) Spooks Allowed

In this month’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group post over on my blog, the question of the month is, Do you ever include traditions or customs from your real life family into your writing?

My short answer was no. But I gave my main character my grandmother’s maiden name and physical characteristics. This got me to thinking about my character’s ability to see and speak to ghosts. In her world, it’s a normal occurrence. As easy as breathing. 

But the ghosts Indigo Eady encounter are not any scarier than they would have been in life. They carry on with their afterlives how they lived their mortal lives. The problems come when they carry on in the space which is now occupied by the living. 

In my cozy mystery books, the stories come with a sense of humor and fun. My sleuth, Indigo Eady, along with her ghostly sidekick, Franny Bishop, a former Victorian madam of some repute, solve mysteries that no one else can.

What makes cozy mysteries so enjoyable to read are not the plots, though it’s fun to help the sleuths figure out whodunit. It's the characters and their interactions that keep you reading. 

Franny is always trying to find Indigo a man (because she knows men, which she doesn’t hesitate to remind Indigo of at every turn) before her shelf life is up. Indigo thinks Franny is an interfering old ghost. But make no mistake, these two are besties.

Cozy paranormal mysteries are fun. We laugh at the character's antics. We want to join in the investigation. Perhaps sit down and have a chat with a ghost about what’s in the ether, and what they do for fun. 

But in real life?

I’m pretty sure I’d head for the hills if I ever ran into a real ghost. I believe they exist.
I do believe in spooks. I do believe in spooks. I do! I do! I do! 
The Cowardly Lion, The Wizard of Oz 

I kind of want to see a ghost. In broad daylight. Surrounded by a crowd of people. Holding my husband's hand. 

I don't consider myself a coward...

...but if I saw one in the middle of the night hovering at the foot of my bed, staring at me? Or touching me? You’d hear me screaming from here to the moon.

Have you ever seen a real "live" a ghost?

Would you want to see one?