Lone Star Book Blog Tours – Scorched Earth – The Halo Trilogy Book 2

SCORCHED EARTH
THE HALO TRILOGY, BOOK 2
by Kathleen McFall and Clark Hays
Publisher: Pumpjack Press
Pages: 318
Date of Publication: February 14th, 2021
Categories: Science Fiction / Hard Boiled Detective

Scroll for Giveaway!

The year is 2188 and the Earth—long-ago abandoned for Mars by the plutocrats—is scorched by poverty, disease, and environmental collapse. What these wealthy elite don’t know is that on his last trip upuniverse, Detective Crucial Larsen stumbled onto a secret that could destroy them. But he doesn’t intend to use it. Fighting back against the ruling Five Families of Mars is a fool’s game destined for failure—or worse, he thinks. Plus, he never wants to set foot on that damn planet again. Then Melinda, his long-lost love and a staff scientist on Mars, begs for his help clearing her fiancée of a murder charge. Crucial jumps on the next q-rocket, hoping maybe this time he can patch things up with Mel. His investigation ultimately leads back to the radiation-blasted sunbelt, where cannibal lizard-people—a climate change mitigation genetic experiment gone terribly wrong—hold the key to a different future, if only Crucial can stay alive long enough to unlock it.

 

Praise for Scorched Earth:

“Others have attempted to blend the genres of an investigative detective piece with sci-fi, but few achieve such a seamless integration as do McFall and Hays … a compelling saga, edgy and different, thoroughly absorbing.” 

Midwest Book Review

Review

After the end of Book 1 of the Halo Trilogy by Kathleen McFall and Clark Hays, I found myself eagerly anticipating the opportunity to read the next one. I recently finished Book 2 and I’ve got to say, my esteem for this amazing writing duo has increased exponentially. The first three lines of the book drew a big laugh out of me. “Tired of wasting your credits on sonic laundry? Try our regenerative undersuits. They never stop growing so they never need washing.” I don’t even think you needed to have already immersed yourself in book 1 for that to be funny.

There is a lot of humor in the Halo Trilogy.  That’s one of the things that hooks you into the otherwise devastating concept of an Earth that is no longer like the one we all know and love. But there is also a lot of very thoughtful, philosophical musing in this story such as this from the main character, Crucial, “I decided the truth is that people don’t really want to be free—it’s too hard.” I’ve come to believe that is true for far too many people in our time.

There are a slew of things in the book that are so thought-provoking. Crucial said something else that makes me reflect on what’s happening in our world today…or at least where we may be headed in the very near future. “On Earth, no one trusts anything that machines don’t make and bathe in ultraviolet light before popping out. It’s the only way to keep the viruses at bay.” I can’t help but wonder if that is to be our fate as well. Oh, I hope not!

I’m accustomed to reading science fiction books about aliens from different planets but the unique thing about the alienesque creatures in this book is that they began life as humans. After a genetic-amendment experiment using reptilian genes, the participants became known as the Blizards. They developed a unique ability to make themselves invisible to the all-knowing Halo surveillance system so that was enough to have them banished to the sunbelt to either thrive or perish. The sunbelt happened to be hyper-arid desert located between what used to be Mexico and what used to be Canada.  Let that one sink in… after multiple experiments with climate change, the Earth became a barren wasteland.   Worse still, the entire United States became a hostile desert that was no longer capable of sustaining life for anyone except for the genetically enhanced Saurians (as the reptilians preferred to call themselves).

That’s why everyone else on Earth dreams of living on Mars and some get the chance through the labor lottery. Unlike what we expect from winning the lottery, the winners of this one find themselves conscripted into a life of domestic work or some other type of servitude. But no one minds. After all, it’s heck of a lot better than what they had on Earth.  Once again Crucial hits the nail on the head when he muses, “Humans need to believe, despite a mound of evidence to the contrary, that they’re special, that their lives are going to be different. A person can put up with almost anything if there’s even a sliver of hope that they can beat the odds, that disasters can be dodged or turned into blessings.” Winning the lottery – yeah…that’s one way to beat the odds.

Crucial doesn’t dream of going to Mars but he keeps finding himself there in his official capacity as a labor cop.  His revolutionary sister, Essential is right there, too, leading the resistance against Halo and the Mars ruling families. You gotta love that brother and sister team. Makes you wonder what their Mom knew when she bestowed those cryptic names upon them. Maybe the authors will tell us in Book 3. I’d love to know a little of that back story. Meantime, suffice it to say that  Crucial and Essential are both necessary elements in the forming of a more comfortable and happy future for all variations of the human race – both on Earth and on Mars.

Finally, when you’re reading a book and it feels like you’re watching a movie, it leaves no doubt that the authors are talented beyond measure. This one feels like watching Mission Impossible on The Red Planet. Both Halo Trilogy’s so far have been mind-bending adventures but this one particularly left images and concepts lingering for days. I am really looking forward to reading what McFall and Hays come up with next.

5Stars

 

Purchase: Amazon

 

 
 

 

Clark and Kathleen wrote their first book together in 1999 as a test for marriage. They passed.  Scorched Earth is their ninth co-authored book.

Pumpjack Press  ║  Pumpjack Press on Facebook ║ Authors’ Facebook ║ Authors’ Instagram

Connect with Kathleen
Goodreads ║ Amazon ║ Facebook ║ Twitter

Connect with Clark
Goodreads ║ Amazon ║ Facebook ║ Twitter

GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

ONE WINNER gets autographed copies of
ALL THREE BOOKS IN THE HALO TRILOGY,
including the forthcoming third book, when available.
(US only, ends midnight, CDT, 3/22/2021)

ENTER! ENTER! ENTER!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click to visit the Lone Star Literary Life Tour Page
for direct links to each post on this tour, updated daily.
Or visit the blogs directly:

3/15/21

Review

Chapter Break Book Blog

3/15/21

Review

The Page Unbound

3/15/21

BONUS
Promo

LSBBT
Blog

3/16/21

Review

Missus Gonzo

3/16/21

Review

The Clueless Gent

3/16/21

BONUS
Promo

Hall Ways Blog

3/17/21

Review

Librariel Book
Adventures

3/17/21

Review

Jennie Reads

3/18/21

Review

Reading by Moonlight

3/18/21

Review

Sybrina’s Book Blog

3/19/21

Review

Forgotten Winds

3/19/21

Review

Tangled in Text

3/19/21

BONUS
Promo

All the Ups and
Downs

Blog Touring Services Provided By:

 

One thought on “Lone Star Book Blog Tours – Scorched Earth – The Halo Trilogy Book 2

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s