Archive for March, 2016

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I have recently had the opportunity to read https://andrewsbookreviews.wordpress.com/2016/03/01/catalyst/ and https://andrewsbookreviews.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/beacon/ which was written by a Good Friend of mine Tyler Rudd Hall. Catalyst is a 3 part story in the Ronos trilogy. After reading these books, I thought I would take the opportunity to talked to Tyler about his books and his up and coming career as a writer. I eagerly anticipate reading the final book Eviscerate in this Series.

So, the moment we have all been waiting for, Tyler answers 10 questions about his books. Lets see what he has to say.

Q: Tyler with the publishing of your Ronos trilogy this marks the start of your writing career. You join the unique ranks of LDS authors such as
Stephanie Meyer, Tracy Hickman, Orson Scott Card and Brandon Sanderson. Do you see your career heading to the best sellers list like these authors have done with theirs?

A: Is the question “Do I want to be a best seller?” Is there anyone that would answer “no?” How quickly that will happen is something totally different. When I was in school I heard most writers peak when they’re fifty. I’m in no rush. I’m enjoying simply doing what I want and trying to find like minded people to read my stories. If it happens it happens.

Q:Some of the concepts you spoke about in your book have been written about in cards classic Ender’s game and other stories, such as an alien threat, global military and government control, implants that can be used to monitor our every move etc… would you say that Card was a inspiration for your story? If not where and when did you get the ideas for your story?

A: Card has some solid stories but none of them served as the inspiration for this story. Northgate getting destroyed at the beginning of Catalyst came into my mind while I was driving to Calgary from Edmonton. My entire family was in Edmonton and I remember looking in the review mirror thinking, “What if the entire city exploded right now?”

Imp’s felt like the natural progression from where we are going now so I added it. I wanted Mac to be different so having him be a Luddite fit my needs.

I mixed these ideas with one that had been sitting comfortably in the back of my mind waiting to be called up. The idea was that in order to survive a hostile planet we have to physically and possibly permanently change ourselves

Q:Are their any people in your life that influenced your character creations?

A:Not really, or at least not deliberately. At most I named characters after people whose names I liked. I grew up with a guy named Jace. I have an aunt named Janelle. Someone back home married a guy with the last name Zinger. Which is an awesome last name. Half the women in my family have the middle name Lynn. I have a brother in law named Scott.

Q:If you were offered the opportunity to turn this story in a film adaptation, TV or movie, would you exclusively sell the rights, or maintain creative control and why?

A:It would depend on the deal but I recognize that they are completely different ways to tell a story and I’m no expert.

Q:Much of the themes you wrote about in the Ronos books such as government spying on citizens, false flags attacks, conspiracies, control of the citizens, etc… are things libertarians have been talking about for a long time, is this a reflection of your own politics, if not why did you choose to write a story with these elements within them?

A: The only politics I follow is The West Wing. I would vote for Santos…or possibly Aaron Sorkin (can we all take a moment to recognize how amazing his last episode was? So good. The show was never the same after he left).  I added all those themes for antagonism so the story wouldn’t be boring.

Q:Who is your favorite character from the Ronos books and why?

A: Raymond. He was the easiest to write and he helped out a lot with adding antagonism when Zinger wasn’t in the scene. Close second may be the only man in Passage with an Imp. His banter with Mac was fun to write

Q:How long did you spend putting this story together? For example did you have all 3 books planned well in advance or did the story develop as you were writing it? And when did you first get the idea for Ronos vs first start writing it?

A: I had all three books planned out before I started but they changed dramatically through the writing process. Catalyst changed the least. Eviscerate changed the most. I had to rewrite it nearly three times. I can’t remember when I first got the idea for Ronos. If it wasn’t in high school then it was right after. Which was—yikes—12 years ago. I wrote the first draft of Catalyst for NaNoWriMo 2010.

Q:Which book did you enjoy writing the most out of the 3?

A:Hands down Catalyst. I was working one day a week at my normal job and writing the rest of the time.

Q:Do you have any further plans for Ronos, such as expanding the setting and story lines. Perhaps going back to the when the humans first encountered the aliens, or stories about when and how the planet ronos was first Discovered, Lynn’s family history, origins of the pull machine etc… ?

A: Right now the only plans I have for this story universe are more King and Wakefield Mysteries. Those are two of my most favorite characters and I want to show you why.

Q:Now that Ronos is done can we get a sneak peak about anything you a starting or working on now. What new stories are you crafting?

A: I’m working on a story with a friend of mine. The first draft will be done by the end of March—fingers crossed. It’s way to early to say anything about it. It’s nothing like The Ronos Trilogy.

Thank you Tyler for taking the time to answer some basic questions regarding your Ronos books. I look forward to reading the final book in the series. I am anticipating a good read for the conclusion

BEACON

Posted: March 10, 2016 in Book Reviews

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Beacon. Book 2 in the Ronos Trilogy by Tyler Rudd Hall

337 pages

The Truth has come out about the war with the aliens and the Mac gas and The lynn rock. Mac has had to leave his companion in the fight for the survival of humanity back on Ronos with a deranged killer, Raymond, who is obsessed with killing Lynn and Mac both. Lynn finds her self in a fight for survival against what has become a virtual zombie, Raymond who will stop at nothing to kill Lynn.

Mac has gone back to earth to meet up with the only man with an imp in passage and his new-found friend, Sneed. The military follows Mac back to Passage trying to kill him and end the threat he represents in revealing the secrets that they want control of. Mac must recruit as many supporters as he can and bring them back to Ronos to bring them the new super powers he has acquired. There he must also rescue Lynn from Raymond.

The pull machine has increased exponentially in strength and is now pulling ships from across the galaxy to singe orbital point around Ronos. This is leading to destruction and chaos as all the ships collide and destroy each other.

Jace, the Alien who says that he is on the side of Lynn and Mac, continues to try to earn back the trust that has been broken. Coming back to Ronos has allowed him to re-emerge in his true Alien form. It seems that Jace, Mac and Lynn all have the same objectives. That remains to be seen however.

Lynn has discovered the truth about Ronos and how her family is connected to this world. Now she must do what can only be done once in a last desperate effort to save humanity from complete destruction. Will she be able to complete such a dangerous mission?

Picking up where the last book, https://andrewsbookreviews.wordpress.com/2016/03/01/catalyst/ left off, it starts with a fast paced and high energy feel that keeps you reading. Most days I read for about an hour each day, but with Beacon I found myself on more than on occasion reading for a min of 2 hours. This book has virtually non stop action with every chapter.

The concept of Time travel with limitations I thought was a great way to limit a power that otherwise would have made the entire story boring and dull. because the power can only be used once, our Character Lynn must ensure that she is only using at the right time for the right reasons. If she could time travel as much as she wants then the story would end very quickly as she could just go back and change the outcome. I really like how this limitation helped to further the story. At the same time however I have always felt that Time Travel to solve the problems our characters face was always kind of cheesy way to solve a problem. However a good writer can use time travel to effectively tell a good story. We will have to see how book 3 does this, and whether or not time travel was done well or not in the face of this story.

A mystery to the reader at this point is what the heck happened on Ronos. The planet, which previously had very little evidence of life except for some plant life, now seems to have developed all kinds of animal and plant life in very short amount of time. The Mac gas seems to have triggered some kind of supercharged, super fast, evolutionary cycle all linked to this mysterious gas.

Overall I felt this was a good sequel to the First book in this Trilogy and I eagerly await the final book. I can only hope that Tyler gets that done quickly. I give this book 6/10 book worms. Not bad for a new writer. I am sure book 3 will be just as Good

Catalyst

Posted: March 1, 2016 in Book Reviews

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Catalyst by Tyler Rudd Hall

313 pages

Book 1 of the Ronos Trilogy

I recentley had the opportunity to read the first book of a new trilogy written by a friend of mine Tyler Rudd Hall. Before you read what I have to say about his book I want to say Thankyou Tyler for offering me the first 2 books in your Trilogy free and autographed. I look forward to reading your name on the new york times best sellers list one day. May this be the start of a long and successful writing career.

Mac Narrand is a Luddite raised man. He comes from a family that rejects much of modern-day tech in favor of personal privacy and non government intervention in their lives. By much of society they are seen as the odd balls, weird and outcast of society.

Everything changed for Mac however when a close personal friend of his was abducted by aliens and taken from him. This is what started the vast interstellar war between mankind and Aliens. When that happened he devoted his life to finding her. He joined the military and had an Imp installed. This is essentially a smart phone or tablet installed into you eyes and brain. This allowed him to communicate with the military, but it also restricts his ability to be private as the government can access everything he says, does and sees via his imp. It seems everyone but the Luddites have imps these days and it has become an expected and normal thing in the modern world.

Mac takes some time to visit family on leave from the military when the unthinkable happens. The city of Northgate is attacked by Aliens and virtually wiped off the face of the planet. A lone survivor, Lynn,  escapes. Mac attempts to rescue her but fails. Just before her failed rescue attempt she sends messages across the world via her imp that the attack was a fake, and that the attackers were actually human, not alien and she has proof. Mac must now find her to learn what she knows. This new-found knowledge eventually leads Mac to the planet Ronos, a hidden planet with a secret that could change the very nature of humanity.

The concept of an alien attack on earth and interstellar war is not original as this kind of tale has been told countless times before, in countless ways. Orson Scott Card’s Enders Game, Starship troopers and many others I am sure we could all think of. What is important is not the originality of the concept however but rather in the telling of the tale.

Tyler touches on many concepts and ideas that I personally find fascinating. People being locked up and labelled as mentally insane when discovering the truth about government conspiracy. Our every move, thought, action and word being monitored and recorded by government agencies. Over dependency on technology leaving us nothing more than zombies and slaves to our tech. False flag attacks etc… This book plays out with the theme of the war on terror and government attacks on innocent civilians used as a catalyst to generate support for the government’s agenda. News media is also being used a tool of propaganda to further government cause and justify state actions against innocent civilians. All of this is reminiscent of modern-day politics, warfare and media.

The Aliens in this book are essentially non-corporeal beings that have no physical form. Because of this they need to abduct humans to make copies of them to dwell within so they can easily hide among the human populations. The only problem with this idea of  being non-corporeal aliens is that the idea that they need a physical space ship. This seems almost pointless from my perspective. (sorry Tyler got to be honest). My question is if they have no physical form but are particles of intelligence or matter as described why did they get space ships and to begin with, how did they use and build them? Until the aliens encountered humans they had no idea what humans were so what sparked the war? Within the story the war started with the abductions by these aliens in their spaceships, but why did they need space ships to begin with and why did they start making copies of humans to begin with. The story says that humans got in the way of their purpose. I would love to know more about this. What is their purpose and how did humanities first meeting with this species go. Did they have spaceships then? The story suggest they had ravaged other species in their path of destruction. Was a human colony world perhaps their first encounter? Lots of questions that could really be a whole new set of books. There is a potential here to created the Ronosverse. (That’s a hint there Tyler)

One thing that I thought was a bit odd was how General Zinger was so quick and easily admited his role in the Northgate massacre. It does not make sense to me that he would be so willing to admit this fact, at least not without compelling evidence. I think it would have been better if either he denied it till the end or Mac forced it out of him with compelling and undeniable evidence which I did not think was there at the time. Why did the general feel the need to justify himself to Mac?

Some of the ideas in this book seem a bit far-fetched, such as surviving in space, not needing to breath or eat etc… These things however is what makes it science fiction, it does not have to be realistic, and, in a way, it adds to the fun of the over all story.

Mac’s motivation to join the military is clear and his determination to do what is right is respectable. The overall dialogue and story development is fast paced, high energy and intense. I have to say I love the premise of this book. A secret world with a substance that brings virtual invincibility. (though I am still struggling to understand how the mac gas and lynnrock works.) Such power makes Mac and Lynn the perfect people to end the alien menace (though whether the aliens are really the true threat or not remains to be seen) The story of Ronos is really just getting started and has so much potential to develop into an epic conclusion.

Tyler here has really put together something that is well worth the read and your time. For some, the unanswered questions may be a turn off but for me it gives me reason to keep reading. I have an insatiable  curiosity and cannot put something down till I understand what is happening. The cliff hanger at the end will leave you anxiously awaiting the next volume. I have to say, while not a perfect book and some improvement in overall writing style is needed, this was still a really good read. The few writing errors (given this is a first edtion copy I have read)  in the book can easily be overlooked in the overall story development. Given this is a self published book and Tyler did not have the benefit of an editor from a major publisher we can forgive him for the few errors found in the book. Overall this is good book and one that I would recommend.

I will give this book 6.5/10 book worms. Only because some mild improvement in overall writing would make this better. Great Job Tyler, I look forward to seeing how your career progresses, and reading Beacon, book 2 in the Ronos Trilogy.

you can buy Tylers book on Amazon or chapters websites. I reccommend you do. It is well worth the read!! You can also visit Tyler’s website Chortle My Girth

Stay tuned for an up coming exclusive interview with Tyler as well!!