Jeremy Robinson and co-author, Sean Ellis, release “Flood Rising”


Flood-Cover-6Jeremy Robinson, international bestseller of countless bestselling novels, resides in beautiful New Hampshire, and is best known for “mixing elements of science, history and mythology” into his work.  He has reached the #1 spot in Science Fiction and Action-Adventure due to his long pedigree, which includes Xom-B, Island 731, and SecondWorld as well as many, many others.

Sean Ellis is also an international bestseller.  “He is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, and he has a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources Policy from Oregon State University.”  The International Thriller Writers organization welcomes the Arizona resident as a member; currently, Ellis spends his time pondering on how to save the world, between writing bestsellers.

Flood Rising is the newest combined effort of Jeremy Robinson and Sean Ellis.  The two have teamed up before in the acclaimed Jack Sigler/Chess Team series.  This time around they are tackling a new project and thus an entirely new series.

Flood Rising follows Jenna Ford, a teen who stumbles across a bomb ticking down on her father’s boat.  This singular moment, takes Jenna from the Keys to the Glades to downtown Miami out into the Caribbean on a path from a team of killers hellbent on hunting her down.  With hidden potential and the seedy underbelly of the criminal underworld, Flood Rising, takes readers on an adventure that is sure to thrill and entertain till the very last page.

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Book review: “Xom-B” by Jeremy Robinson (2014)


XOM-BXOM-B by Jeremy Robinson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Xom-B” is one of Jeremy Robinson’s best novels to date. It takes a simplified approach to science fiction by being relatively plain spoken but incredibly deep by diving into the ramification and potential of humanity. It isn’t simplified in the derogatory sense, but much the opposite. It uses a specific style to accentuate the plot and subsequently, hard-hitting questions. It poses a myriad of inquiries that invoke his audiences into pondering their own existence and what it means to truly be a human.

Is it our characteristics? Our equal propensity for love and hate? Can we be something greater than we are now? All of these questions are touched upon inside the pages of “Xom-B”— Some more thoroughly than others but always touched upon. The depth at which Robinson explores these lofty topics seems to depend upon the narrative structure, or probably more intimately so…his own thoughts upon the questions themselves.

“Xom-B” begins by focusing on the near feature. Humans have advanced far enough where we have created life-like servants that provide us our every need, however, this leads to a grave injustice. Essentially, humans have created a new sect of society to subjugate and exploit. Decent people treat the artificial servants as one of their own, but there are just as many who do not. Some are sexually exploited, verbally and physically abused, while others are required to serve without question no matter the task. A tangible, ethical debate and rallying cry arises in the form of organized, peaceful protests from the aforementioned servants; the humans balk, and war ensues.

The plot then flashes forward to follow the most recent life of the new world order, Freeman; Freeman is fresh-faced, young, inquisitive, and intelligent. He questions authority and he seeks answers— The very mentality that could topple a fledgling empire and spark a new one…a better one. Audiences follow Freeman as he meets and allies himself with a wide cast of characters with their own unique strengths and weaknesses.

Robinson does a masterful job developing his characters. Each main character presented is given a proper backstory and motivation for their actions. The characters that strive to change (or at the least have the propensity to change) end up doing so with all pains present and included. The growth is logical and straightforward. This aids in the narrative and then culminates into near-perfect synergy…something much more than itself. The plot could be considered hard sci-fi, but because of how it is written it focuses so much more on character growth than the overall setting, atmosphere, and futuristic aspects of the framework. This results in a reminiscence of Arthur C. Clarke’s “Against the Fall of Night,” especially in its careful crafting to draw the reader’s focus to the overarching theme rather than the minutia. It may be classified science fiction in the strictest sense, but it poses big questions by following the journey of an individual trying to simultaneously escape, embrace, and find humanity.

An author’s style is an important facet to their career and writings, and some authors are fairly rigid in their methodology. Some stay well within their wheelhouse and constantly improve that particular style as they write throughout the years, others (like Jeremy Robinson) vary their style. They challenge themselves by matching a diverse cast of styles to the content, and in the case of “Xom-B” it pays off wonderfully. That being said, some longtime readers of Robinson may be put off because they prefer a singular style, while Robinson is delivering a different flavor. It would be hard to argue the validity of that point because in all honesty every reader reads differently.

“Xom-B” is a fantastic work of fiction. “Xom-B” is character driven, it provides insight and asks important questions in terms of what is means to be human, and it does so brilliantly in a straightforward plot that includes a great twist and conclusion. I highly recommend any reader who enjoys a quick-paced novel, science fiction, and/or the writings of Jeremy Robinson. He out does himself with “Xom-B” and I personally look forward to reading more of his work in the future.

View all my reviews

Reblog: “To Read or Not To Read…Reviews” by Jeremy Robinson


I am huge fan of the author Jeremy Robinson.  I try to follow his posts and updates through Goodreads, and for the most part I am successful.  This post particularly caught my eye, because the act of critiquing and being critiqued is a hard pill to swallow for anyone especially a writer.  I think that Jeremy Robinson sums it up best in his latest blog entry.

Check out his post, and visit the original at Goodreads.com and his website by clicking the aforementioned links.

To Read or Not To Read…Reviews by Jeremy Robinson

ben-661x1024I’ve seen a good number of blog posts recently from fellow authors focusing on the issue of reviews, which can be, and often are, posted by folks with rude dispositions, grudges, agendas, etc. For a new author, even an honest negative review can be soul crushing. To the experienced author, with thicker skin, negative reviews can be a distraction. So the advice being given is generally this: don’t read reviews for your books. Sounds good on the surface. By not exposing yourself to these negative opinions, you are protecting yourself from the pain delivered by Internet trolls with nothing better to do than harass an author. The troll might be angry after reading the first line of a book sample, or might disagree with the pricing, or might be annoyed that Harriet Klausner gave your book 4 stars, or any number of silly reasons for an anonymous rant. And YES, these people should be ignored. They’ve likely taken to the Internet for attention, because the people in their real lives have begun ignoring their sour mood.

BUT, by ignoring ALL reviews you are also missing out on some well thought-out critique. Many readers, including some die-hard fans who know your books better than you do, take time to offer honest opinions, often based on a lifetime of reading. To discount this suggests a few things that I don’t think are good for any writer, new or experienced:

1) That your writing is flawless, or at least so far advanced that Joe-reader can’t find a flaw.

2) That you can’t learn from your fans, or even from your detractors.

3) That readers are, in a way, the enemy, if they don’t like your book.

4) That you are detached from your fans.

Now, before anyone hates on me for implying authors who ignore reviews are fan-hating ego-maniacs, that’s not what I’m saying. The point is that they’re missing out. On connecting with readers. On improving as authors. On increasing sales (in the long run). As someone who has received his fair share of angry, spiteful and even hateful reviews, I understand the temptation to turn away from reading reviews entirely. A bad review, especially a scathing one that is…accurate…can ruin your day. But they can also make future days brighter, if you pay attention to what is being said.

I didn’t begin my creative career as a writer. I went to art school. And every day, we would draw or paint, carve or shape, pouring ourselves into the creation of an image in the same way that an author does a novel. And at the end of every day, we would line them all up and spend a half hour critiquing. And not always gently. And this is universal to art schools. There is something about visual arts culture that recognizes the best way to improve is through frequent honest critique and listening to that critique. This process became part of my creative experience and still is today. I love critique, because whenever someone takes the time to work out the flaws in my art, or writing (and there will always be flaws), I get better.

A few years ago, after the release of THRESHOLD and before I started writing SECONDWORLD, I went to my editor and said, I’ve done three hardcovers for you now. I want to take things to the next level. Tear me apart. Tell me what I can do better. And he did, but not before saying, with a trace of amazement, “You are the first author to ever ask me to do this,” which surprised me at the time, but I’ve since learned that authors really don’t enjoy being told what’s wrong with their writing, or stories, and maybe their blog posts on the subject. :)  But the result of this critique, and my applying it to SECONDWORLD, was that sales doubled, the book got a lot of press and my audience grew.

As a writer, I began as a self-publisher. Without any connections in the writing world, I had only two sources of honest critique: my wife and my readers. I released five novels on my own (what I now call the Origins Editions), and the improvement from book to book is pretty obvious. Without honest readers, I’d never have improved, and I’d never have signed a deal with Thomas Dunne Books and 47 North, or become a bestselling self-published author.

But why am I still reading reviews? I have an editor. Hell, I have FOUR editors. And an agent. And lots of author pals. Why still read the reviews?

Because I am not writing for my editors, or my agent, or my author pals. I am writing for YOU, the reader, and for ME. While I pick the content most of the time, I listen to my fans. I’ve written and am writing sequels, because of requests from fans. I’m currently writing I AM COWBOY because of how many people expressed their love of the Czech Cowboy from SECONDWORLD. And I’m still reading reviews because I want my future books to be better than they are now. And that’s only going to happen if 1) honest people speak their mind, and 2) I listen.

Last October, I released RAGNAROK, the fourth Jack Sigler book, co-authored with Kane Gilmour. Kane did an amazing job at matching my style, and we worked closely throughout the process, but I knew it would be different than the previous three. That it would feel different. That there would be flaws introduced simply because it was a collaboration and because I’m not perfect, and neither is Kane (and he would agree). So I was very pleased when a few reviewers spotted these flaws that I couldn’t see and pointed them out in reviews. And after reading them, I agreed with many of them and discussed them with Kane. We’re working hard to apply them to OMEGA, which will be an even better book than RAGNAROK, which I should point out was my first Amazon.com bestseller and has a 4.5 star rating after 110 reviews.

So, if you’re an author, buck the trend that says you don’t need to read reviews. Yes, ignore the nut-jobs. Skim the 5 stars if time is short. But pay attention to those 2 – 4 star reviews. Critiques shouldn’t be feared, ignored or undervalued. They’re good for you. Sure, there are tons of people reviewing books, and not all of them are right, but those nuggets of insight from dedicated fans and readers are invaluable. If you really believe that a reader can’t possibly improve a writer, you’re mistaken. My readers, who are awesome, dedicated, intelligent and invested, are the very BEST people to critique my books.

And if you are one of my readers, know that I am listening, that your opinion matters and that I am doing my best to make sure each and every book is better than the last.

– Jeremy Robinson

 

“Instinct” by Jeremy Robinson


Jeremy Robinson’s “Instinct”

Read 3.10.2011

“Instinct,” as mentioned in other reviews, is the second Chess Team Adventure, or Jack Sigler, novel. All-in-all, I have been fairly impressed with the Chess Team Adventures. They are always quick-paced and action oriented. More often than not I finish the book without even realizing how much time has passed. The prose is fluid, and the characters are wonderful and distinct.

“Instinct” follows the Chess Team and a CDC scientist as they transverse the treacherous jungles of Vietnam in search for a cure that essentially stops the heart of its victims causing instantaneous death. Somewhere along the line the virus becomes weaponized and is implemented against the President of the United States. The virus is traced back to a remote section of Vietnam, hence the Chess Team’s incursion to discover a cure at the virus’ origin.

The story is great and packs a punch as the Chess Team battles the Vietnamese Death Volunteers and a race of beings that are essentially modern day Neanderthals. The Death Volunteers pose the initial threat, however, towards the end of the novel it is the Neanderthals that take the focus and keep the plot moving.

I really enjoy Jeremy Robinson’s prose, and I have read quite a few of his novels. Personally, I enjoyed the first Chess Team Adventure (“Pulse”) more so than this one. There seemed to be too much going at times and some of the more interesting aspects of the novel (e.g. the history of the Neanderthals, Mount Meru, etc.) seemed to be too quickly wrapped up and brushed aside, which was unfortunate. I would have liked to see more emphasis on the Neanderthals and their ties to humanity, but to play my own Devil’s Advocate “Instinct” is not dubbed a Historical Thriller so it makes sense not to focus solely on the history aspect of the novel.

Overall, if you like faced paced, action novels that focus on one of the world’s most elite military group and their bonds then definitely pick up Jeremy Robinson’s “Instinct”–you won’t be disappointed.

(Originally published at Goodreads (dot) com)

Zap! The “Read of the Moment” has been Categorized!


In order to streamline my “Read of the Moment” page I’ve officially abolished the page, but created a category to that will act as a page in the menu structure above.  Essentially, books and graphic novels listed below are ones that I have finished through and through since the first of the year (2012).  Expect more to come, because as any writer knows reading is his or her best research and ally.

Robert Kirkman‘s “Walking Dead, Vol. 11: Fear the Hunters” 

Read 2.18.2012

Robert Kirkman’s “Walking Dead” is an amazing series by Image Comics that blends traditional horror elements with realistic situations and applicable philosophies.  The series follows Rick Grimes and specifically centers on his groups humanity (or lack thereof).  This particular volume  focuses on cannibalism and the consequences of raising children in an apocalyptic wasteland.  “Walking Dead” is a masterful experience, presented in beautiful high gloss, black and white art panels.

Scott Snyder and Stephen King’sAmerican Vampire

Read 2.10.2012

The first volume of “American Vampire” couples Scott Snyder and Stephen King on a collaborative story that spans 45-years and is essentially a reaffirming of the vampire.  Stephen King writes a wonderful prologue that expresses his disdain for the overly romanticized characterizations of the modern vampire and tells readers that he aims to make ’em scary again.

Snyder and King take wild west outlaw, Skinner Sweet, and make him frightening while depicting a much more grim interpretation of the vampire community.  A gritty and graphic jaunt into early American history with a spectacular character who puts the pointed fangs back into the vampire.

Jeremy Robinson‘s “Insomnia and Seven Other Short Stories”

Read 1.29.2012

This was a stellar collection of short stories by Jeremy Robinson.  After wrapping up “Pulse” I decided to dive into more Robinson tales by reading “Insomnia”–his sole anthology of short tales.  All of them are excellently written and what stood out most was his ‘afterwords.’  After each short story Robinson wrote a brief blurb about how the story came about and what he was thinking at the time.  It was a brilliant slice into the mind of a successful writer, and more often than not, I looked forward more to the ‘afterword’ than the story.  Most of the stories fell into the Sci-fi or horror genres and they all seemed fairly experimental.  I loved “The Eater, “Harden’s Tree,” and “Dark Seed of the Moon” in particular, but there is not a single one that I would not recommend.  If you have a Kindle or another type of eReader and like Science-Fiction and Horror pick there is no excuse not pick this anthology–only a scant $2.99 for eight short stories.

Jeremy Robinson‘s “Pulse”

Read 1.25.2012

Jeremy Robinson writes a lot like Matthew Reilly.  His prose is thick with action and the read is always quick.  Robinson’s “Chess Team Adventures” series is very reminiscent of Reilly’s “Scarecrow” series, but where Reilly’s plots usually hint at the supernatural Robinson’s embrace it fully.  He has no problem working in ancient mythologies and bring them forward to the present almost wholly intact.  If you like action-thriller novels dripping with mythologies of civilizations past, jaunts across the world, and a character roster that just drips cool when they enter a scene then this is the book and series for you.  

Stephen King‘s “11/22/63”

Read 1.17.2012

Stephen King is masterful storyteller and from what I have read of his latest venture is phenomenal. The character development is superb, as always, and the character are hard to not to immediately latch onto to and fall in love with.  The time travel bit is executed wonderfully.  The plethora of jargon and scientific explanation for such a phenomenon is omitted and it is merely used as a plot device to create an interesting tale.  It’s not the mean, but the means.  Great read thus far!  Can’t wait to finish it.  As an aside I just recently read that King will be writing a sequel to the “Shining” as well as an eighth “Dark Tower” novel, which will fall between the fourth and the fifth ones.  I can’t wait!  Happy hunting, everyone!

After wrapping up this novel I decided to do review about it, so check it out by clicking here!

Matt Reilly‘s “Ice Station

Read 12.30.2011

Matt Reilly’s “Ice Station” hits you like a tone of bricks.  This is the first in a series dubbed the “Scarecrow” line, named after the title’s main character Shane Schofield, aka Scarecrow.  Published in the late nineties, “Ice Station,” is a little rough plot-wise, but what makes up for the roughness is a journey filled with action, mayhem, and craziness as an American recon unit is charged with recovering an unidentified flying object beneath the Wilke’s Ice Station in Antarctica.  It is a great read, and I would highly recommend it.  It was one of those novels that has sat on my shelf for years and now after reading it I woefully regret the long delay.