Book Excerpt: REDEYE by Michael Shean

Redeye (Book 2 of the Wonderland Cycle) by Michael Shean
ISBN:  9781620072356 (paperback)
ISBN:  9781620072349 (ebook)
ASIN:  B00C7T2DJI (Kindle edition)
Publication date: April 12, 2013
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press


Two years have passed since Agent Thomas Walken and Bobbi January found themselves at the heart of a conspiracy of unimaginable greed and cruelty. The Genefex Corporation remains shrouded in mystery and Bobbi January faces a life of unanswered questions and mounting disillusionment to look forward to. But when she receives a mysterious message from one of Walken’s former comrades, she is drawn back onto the trail. Now, Bobbi will find herself newly equipped to discover the truth – about Walken, about Genefex and the Yathi race – and the key to unlocking those secrets rests in the hands of a cyborg terrorist known only as Redeye.

But the road to truth will be a dangerous one, from the glamor of Seattle’s ultramodern core to the sprawling wastelands of the Old City and beyond. Alongside a band of lethal comrades, Bobbi will face death and worse amidst urban rot, abandoned subway tunnels, and ultimately the nightmarish halls of the Yathi themselves in a race to stave off what may prove to be the death of humanity itself. For the Mother of Systems will not be denied, and it will take all of Bobbi’s intelligence and wit to stave off annihilation. Drenched in blood and neon, Redeye is a tale of humanity on the edge of a new and terrible reality.



Excerpt

Chapter One

In the end, all Bobbi had left of him was a bloody coat. 

It had been the one that he had worn when they had driven through the Old City, when they had searched for dead little girls in a concrete wasteland. He had driven them through a mass of insane feral killers to save them both. That was him, her knight in cheap black microfiber. 

Tom. On nights like this, she missed him like crazy. 

Bobbi had never thought of him as hers at the time. There was too much going on, too much insanity and Stadil’s stupid goddamned quest. And he had followed that road to the end, into the bowels of that abandoned hospital. The hospital that she had destroyed, and probably him with it, at his own request. But he had said that he had forgotten all about the Bureau, and that had meant that he intended to come back. Didn’t it? 

Thomas Cooley Walken, agent of the American Industrial Security Bureau. It had not been love, she didn’t think, but it had been something perhaps preceding it. Despite everything she had wanted, she had become fascinated with his vulnerability, his strangeness. Walken didn’t trust this world that she had accepted as a matter of fact. And now he was gone, and had taken the secret of that disbelief with him. 

All she had left of him was that black coat, pinned up in a shadow box on the far wall of her tiny bedroom by the door. It was the first thing she saw upon rising, the last thing she saw before going to bed. She stared at it now, stretched out like a skin. The stains had long since faded into the fabric, blood long since bonded with the synthetic fibers.


About the author

Michael Shean was born amongst the sleepy hills and coal mines of southern West Virginia in 1978. Taught to read by his parents at a very early age, he has had a great love of the written word since the very beginning of his life. Growing up, he was often plagued with feelings of isolation and loneliness; he began writing off and on to help deflect this, though these themes are often explored in his work as a consequence. At the age of 16, Michael began to experience a chain of vivid nightmares that has continued to this day; it is from these aberrant dreams that he draws inspiration.

In 2001, Michael left West Virginia to pursue a career in the tech industry. He settled in the Washington, DC area as a web designer and graphic artist. As a result, his writing was put aside and not revisited until five years later. In 2006 he met his wife who urged him to pick up his writing once more. Though the process was very frustrating at first, in time the process of polishing and experimentation yielded the core of what would become his first novel, Shadow of a Dead Star. In 2009 the first draft of book was finished although it would not be until 2011 he would be satisfied enough with the book to release it.

Michael’s work is extensively character-driven, but also focuses on building engaging worlds in which those characters interact. His influences include H.P. Lovecraft, William Gibson, Cormac McCarthy, Philip K. Dick, and Clark Ashton Smith.


Connect with the author:

Website      |      Facebook     |      Twitter      |      Goodreads 

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Cover Reveal: REDEYE by Michael Shean

The Book Diva’s Reads is pleased to be able to share in the cover reveal for Redeye, the second book in the Wonderland Cycle trilogy by author Michael Shean. Read more about book one, Shadow of a Dead Star, and book two (coming soon) – Redeye below:


Shadow of a Dead Star by Michael Shean
ISBN:  9781620070017 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781620070000 (ebook)
ASIN: B006JQ1HLA (Kindle edition)
Publication date: June 23, 2011

Seattle, 2078. The future hasn’t been kind to the spirit of humanity; commercial obsession and technological fetishism rules the day, religion and belief has died screaming in the fires of war, and what remains is moral decrepitude. Life in the future is hard on the soul.

As an agent of the Industrial Security Bureau, Thomas Walken knows that better than anyone. His job is to keep the worst kind of black-market technology out of the hands of citizens, technology born out of the shadowy nation nicknamed Wonderland. But the kind of fantasies that come out of that place aren’t for the good people of the world. Wonderland technology is like black magic made real.

Walken’s newest assignment starts out simply: intercept a smuggled shipment of Princess Dolls, little girls turned into sex toys, and bring them into custody. But when the girls are hijacked from federal custody and Walken gives chase, he finds a trail of bodies in their wake. Before he’s through, Walken will find himself confronted revelations that will answer every question that the troubled lawman has ever had about himself and the world he lives in – but his mind and soul may not survive it.

A dark, brooding piece of future noir, Shadow of a Dead Star will take you down the rabbit hole on a ride you won’t soon forget.




Redeye by Michael Shean
Coming Soon…


Two years have passed since Agent Thomas Walken and Bobbi January found themselves at the heart of a conspiracy of unimaginable greed and cruelty. The Genefex Corporation remains shrouded in mystery and Bobbi January faces a life of unanswered questions and mounting disillusionment to look forward to. But when she receives a mysterious message from one of Walken’s former comrades, she is drawn back onto the trail. Now, Bobbi will find herself newly equipped to discover the truth – about Walken, about Genefex and the Yathi race – and the key to unlocking those secrets rests in the hands of a cyborg terrorist known only as Redeye.

But the road to truth will be a dangerous one, from the glamor of Seattle’s ultramodern core to the sprawling wastelands of the Old City and beyond. Alongside a band of lethal comrades, Bobbi will face death and worse amidst urban rot, abandoned subway tunnels, and ultimately the nightmarish halls of the Yathi themselves in a race to stave off what may prove to be the death of humanity itself. For the Mother of Systems will not be denied, and it will take all of Bobbi’s intelligence and wit to stave off annihilation. Drenched in blood and neon, Redeye is a tale of humanity on the edge of a new and terrible reality.



To learn more about this series, individual books or the author, please visit the author’s website: www.michael-shean.com 

2012 Book 203: BONE WIRES Review

Bone Wires by Michael Shean
ISBN: 9781620070703 (hardcover)
 9781620070697 (paperback)
 9781620070680 (ebook)
Publication date: July 13, 2012
Publisher: Curiosity Quills

In the wasteland of commercial culture that is future America, police are operated not by government but by private companies. In Seattle, that role is filled by Civil Protection, and Daniel Gray is a detective in Homicide Solutions. What used to be considered an important – even glamorous – department for public police is very different for the corporate species, and Gray finds himself stuck in a dead end job.

That is, until the Spine Thief arrives.

When a serial killer begins harvesting the spinal tissue of corporate employees all over the city, Detective Gray finds himself plunged into the first truly major case of his career. Caught in a dangerous mix of murder, betrayal and conflicting corporate interest, Gray will find himself not only matching wits with a diabolical murderer but grapple with his growing doubt toward his employers in the dawning months of the American tricentennial. A thrilling mystery set in the same world as the Wonderland Cycle, Bone Wires is a grim trip into the streets of the empty future.


Dan Gray is a homicide detective. His job isn’t glamorous but it does provide great perks as you move up the corporate ladder. Dan is currently a Tier 3 with a Blue Badge and he yearns for a case that will take him to Tier 4 or 5 and garner an Amber Badge. Dan is all about the job. His partner, Brutus Carter, has been on the job as long as Dan has been alive. Carter actually worked for the Seattle Police Department before policing went to the private sector. Carter appears to do his job and nothing more, or at least that’s how it appears to Dan.

Dan’s dreams are fulfilled when he receives not one but three calls for homicides in less than one week. All of the victims have had their spines removed. The first victim is an off-duty CivPro officer, Anderson. The investigation into his death allows Dan to meet the stripper, Angela “Angie” Velasquez. Angie seems to have dirt to dish about the deceased and she gradually spills her information while flirting with Dan. Even though a similar homicide occurs within days of the first, Anderson’s case is quickly closed once it is learned he was selling CivPro information to outside concerned parties. And once that case is closed, Dan works fast to become friendlier with Angie. 

Even though Dan seemingly solves the “spine thief” case and ties it to at least a few hundred unsolved cases, he remains restless. Dan is quickly pulled up the chain and receives his Amber Badge. He’s at a higher pay grade and receives numerous upgrades and perks, such as a new vehicle, a new apartment, and a bonus for solving the case. He even got the girl, as his relationship develops with Angie, albeit slowly. But all is not what it appears and just when it seems like Dan’s life is going full-steam on his desired career track he runs into a major snag that could cost him his life.

Mr. Shean has provided a dystopian mystery thriller with Bone Wires. He paints a haunting picture of a possible future that has suffered the ravages of global warming and numerous wars. The language is often harsh which appears to amplify the dystopian qualities of this not-so-distant future world. The characters are all well-developed, and the action and settings very realistic. The good and bad guys seem to exist in a world filled with not only black-and-white, right-and-wrong but also myriad shades of grey. Dan struggles to remain on the side of right but is pulled into the greyer areas as the story progresses. Mr. Shean has provided a story filled with plenty of twists and turns so the reader is never quite sure what will come next. Bone Wires was a very different mystery-thriller read for me, primarily because of the language (a lot of profanity is used but it adds to the harshness of the story and doesn’t really detract). I’m not sure if I would have chosen Bone Wires as a story to read on my own, but I’m very glad I had the opportunity to read it. If you enjoy mystery thriller reads with an edge, then grab a copy of Bone Wires . . . it won’t disappoint you.


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes via Full Moon Bites Blog Tours. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Buy a copy of Bone Wires:



Excerpt: BONE WIRES




Bone Wires by Michael Shean
ISBN: 9781620070703 (hardcover)
 9781620070697 (paperback)
 9781620070680 (ebook)
Publication date: July 13, 2012
Publisher: Curiosity Quills

In the wasteland of commercial culture that is future America, police are operated not by government but by private companies. In Seattle, that role is filled by Civil Protection, and Daniel Gray is a detective in Homicide Solutions. What used to be considered an important – even glamorous – department for public police is very different for the corporate species, and Gray finds himself stuck in a dead end job.

That is, until the Spine Thief arrives.

When a serial killer begins harvesting the spinal tissue of corporate employees all over the city, Detective Gray finds himself plunged into the first truly major case of his career. Caught in a dangerous mix of murder, betrayal and conflicting corporate interest, Gray will find himself not only matching wits with a diabolical murderer but grapple with his growing doubt toward his employers in the dawning months of the American tricentennial. A thrilling mystery set in the same world as the Wonderland Cycle, Bone Wires is a grim trip into the streets of the empty future.


Excerpt:


The scene of the crime was an alleyway behind an abandoned Roziara Deli. Crowding the street outside the deli were a pair of patrol cars, white wedges of steel with ribbon lights that stained the nearby buildings red and blue. Street officers clustered around the mouth, black body armor over blue uniform fatigues; unlike the sidearms that Gray and Carter carried, the streeties carried the blunt, brutal shapes of submachine guns close to their plated chests. A cordon had been set up; the narrow yellow band of holographic tape that stretched across the alley mouth glowed as it cycled through baleful warning messages.

“They used to have good subs here,” said Carter as they pulled up in front of the moldering delicatessen. “Slabs of capicola as thick as Annie Cruz’s ass. Just incredible.”

“Don’t know that name,” said Gray.

“Porn star,” said Carter, who produced his badge and flashed it at a streeter who was approaching them. “Way before your time. Put on your war face, here comes the Pacifier.”

Carter’s Amber Shield glowed like the very words of God Almighty in the low light. “Carter and Gray,” said Carter, keeping his identification held up so that the streeter could see it. “Homicide Solutions.”

“Lem Martin,” replied the streeter. “Pacification Officer, patrol region 927.”

“This is your beat then,” said Gray, who produced from the inside pocket of his suit coat a slim Sony microcomp and engaged its holographic display. Data from the Nexus sprang to life above the palm-sized slab. “What do you have for us, Martin?”

Martin winced a bit at the lack of ‘Officer’ before his surname – you got a lot of that with Pacification Services, of which street patrol was the biggest group. They didn’t like being talked down to. Gray outranked him, however, and didn’t give a shit besides. “Nasty stuff,” Martin said, jerking his head toward the alley mouth. “Victim’s name is Anderson, Ronald P., Administration. His panic implant was set off about an hour ago and flatlined soon after; me and my partner were in the area, and when we found him…well. Real horror show back there, is all I can say. I called for backup. Dunno what they used, but…well. You’ll see.”

Carter and Gray looked at each other – streeters saw all sorts of things. If they said it was a nasty scene, they’d probably do well to get smocks and rain boots. “All right, Officer,” Carter said, at which Martin seemed to relax a bit. “Were there any witnesses, security footage, anything like that?”

“Nothing we could find,” said Martin. “This area’s been abandoned for years. Anyone who lives here cleared out as soon as they heard us coming. You know how it is.”

“Yeah,” said Gray. Don’t want to get arrested for just being around. “All right, thanks, Officer. If you and…”

“Conklin and Peavey,” Martin replied. “In the other car. Patel’s with me.”

“…Right,” Carter replied with a nod. “If you fellas can keep up the cordon on either side of the alley, we’ll have a look. Call the coroner while you’re at it.”

“On it,” barked Martin, who stepped away from the alley mouth while touching the side of his throat where a subvocal mic, standard issue for street patrol, had been implanted. Carter waited until Martin had backed up a few steps and was well into conversation before he gestured for Gray to follow him. The two men passed through the holographic cordon, the barrier no more solid than the air around it, and took a few steps into the feebly-lit alleyway. The space behind the deli was dark and thick with shadows, lit only by the dying bulb of a lamp set over the shop’s sealed back door. A figure slumped or lay in the cone of dim light that spilled across the building’s crumbling facade. The air was faintly tinged with the smell of ozone and cooked meat. The two men approached; Gray held his computer in one hand while Carter fished the flat, card-sized shape of a palm lamp from a coat pocket. Cupping the lamp in his hand, Carter threw a beam of bright blue- white light across the alleyway and clearly illuminated the corpse.

Lean and muscular in life, that which had been Ronald Anderson half-crouched, half-sprawled across the alleyway, his handsome face pointing down toward the filthy concrete. The corpse’s posture reminded Gray of an old girlfriend; she was a yoga fanatic and used to do something similar called the Child’s Pose. Anderson’s formerly clean white dress shirt had been cut open, straight down the back from collar to waist, and his belted slacks had also been cut down to the base of the pelvis. His back had been tattooed with a medieval Japanese wave scene.

Anderson’s flesh had been laid open. Arching upward and away in a v-shaped furrow, a deep channel now butterflied the man’s back half from the base of his skull to the top of his pelvis. Where his spine should have been there was only a bloodless, grayish-red channel. The red and ivory of cleanly clipped bone and cooked organs were clearly visible in its absence, his heart a gray and veined lump. It was as if the tattooed sea had somehow come alive, restless and roaring, and attempted to rise away from its host who could never have survived its rebellion. 

Without the slightest drop of blood, Ronald Anderson had been boned like a fish.

“Damn,” muttered Carter, stepping forward so he could track with his light the awful wound. “Never seen that before. What do you make of it, Dan?” For Gray, who had only experienced the more pedestrian horrors of stranglings, stabbings and gunshot wounds in his brief career, there was no clean reply. “That’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen,” he breathed instead, staring down at the carved gutter. Gray had said ‘strangest’ – however, what he had truly wanted to say was ‘most horrible’.

Looking down at the murdered man, Gray knew that his ‘sexy’ case had arrived, just as he had wished for it, but the only thing he could wish for now was to be anywhere else.

As if sensing the truth behind Gray’s words, Carter snorted softly. “Lucky you, kid,” he replied in a wry and vaguely weary tone. “Lucky you.”

About the author:


Michael Shean was born amongst the sleepy hills and coal mines of southern West Virginia in 1978. Taught to read by his parents at a very early age, he has had a great love of the written word since the very beginning of his life. Growing up, he was often plagued with feelings of isolation and loneliness; he began writing off and on to help deflect this, though these themes are often explored in his work as a consequence. At the age of 16, Michael began to experience a chain of vivid nightmares that has continued to this day; it is from these aberrant dreams that he draws inspiration.

In 2001 Michael left West Virginia to pursue a career in the tech industry, and he settled in the Washington, DC area as a web designer and graphic artist. As a result his writing was put aside and not revisited until five years later. In 2006 he met his current fiancee, who urged him to pick up his writing once more. Several years of work and experimentation yielded the core of what would become his first novel, Shadow of a Dead Star (2011). Michael is currently signed with Curiosity Quills Press, who has overtaken publication of Shadow of a Dead Star and the other books of his Wonderland Cycle.