Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Michael F. Stewart - The Terminals - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

- Sometimes the dead don’t want to talk.
You need Terminals to make them. -

Terminals solve crimes in this realm by investigating them in the next.

Lt. Col. Christine Kurzow, fresh from a failed suicide attempt after she cost 11 of her soldiers their lives, is recruited into the covert unit of Terminals as a handler. It's an easy sell. If she's really determined to die, it’s a chance to give her death meaning.

But her first case—convincing a monk to chase Hillar the Killer into the afterlife to find the location of a missing bus and the children it carried—has her wondering how to make a dead psychopath talk.

Christine must follow the clues sent back by the shotgun-toting monk, who tracks Hillar through the seven deeps of hell, so she can find eleven kids before it’s too late.

Maybe this time killing a man will give Christine a reason to live.

**The Television and Film production rights have been sold to Jim Donovan (Best Director 2013, Canadian Screen Awards) and on to his partners of Sudden Storm Entertainment.

My Review

Christine Kurzow. Say her name out loud. Feel the tongue fire against the soft palate of the mouth, like a finger pulling the taut trigger of a gun. It's an alliterate name that when vocalized paints a definitive picture of this female military officer. She's hard, yet soft. A combat tested Medal of Honor recipient who is mentally falling to pieces after a child suicide bomber wiped out eleven soldiers placed under her command. She could have taken the boy out, but she didn't. She was weak and let her feelings get in the way of her duty.

After surviving the attack, she's left with nothing but crippling, agonizing regret, and a scarred face that's a searing reminder of all those she left behind. Convalescing in a hospital bed, she doesn't want to live anymore. But she can't go back in time and change the past. Those who lost their lives can't absolve her of her sins ... or can they? On the brink of suicide, Christine is pulled out of the abyss by a shady general of dubious intent. He says he knows a way to communicate with the dead, and desperate for options, Christine jumps at the opportunity.

All she has to do is save a bunch of kidnapped children based on the information gleaned from the psychic communication between a dead monk, a gifted medium and a serial killer battling his way through the regions of the underworld. Christine is thrust into a world she is unfamiliar with. Although this secret division is sanctioned by the U.S. government, its spiritually driven initiative throws her atheist sensibilities out of whack. She doesn't want to believe in life after death, but after witnessing what she does behind closed doors, she's no longer sure.

The key to her change of heart comes in the guise of an attractive man. Attila is her complete opposite. He's a skinny intellectual. A psychic of Gypsy descent who could pass for a Johnny Depp lookalike. He harbors a rare talent for keeping a link of communication open with the dead after they pass over. His ability floors Christine, especially when he contacts the deceased troops under Christine's command and one by one they refuse to forgive her for making the tragic mistake that cost them their lives.

It's heartbreaking to witness how Christine brooks every new refusal. The souls of her former comrades aren't at rest. They're following their loved ones around, wishing they could be a part of their lives again. But it's too late. Christine took that away from them. Attila is appalled that none of the soldiers will offer Christine their forgiveness, and he seeks to comfort her any way he can. As the relationship between the two of them deepens, Christine pulls back, determined to finish what she started and sacrifice herself for the greater good.

It's only when she learns that the thread of lies extends far beyond the grave, that she begins to want to live again. Will she get a chance to make a fresh start? Since this is book one of a continuing series, it's uncertain if she'll find the strength within to forgive herself or if her trials have only just begun. For Christine Kurzow, rest in peace couldn't be further from the truth.


The Terminals can be purchased at:
Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Formats: ebook, paperback
Pages: 310
Genre: Paranormal, Thriller, Mystery
Release: April 15, 2014
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

Michael F. Stewart is the author of the Assured Destruction series, which sprawls across 3 books, 2 websites, 1 blog, 7 Twitter accounts, tumblr, Facebook, and 6 graphic origin stories. He likes to combine storytelling with technology and pioneered interactive storytelling with Scholastic Canada, Australia and New Zealand’s, anti-cyberbullying program Bully For You. He has authored four graphic novels with Oxford University Press Canada’s award winning Boldprint series. Publications of nonfiction titles on Corruption and Children’s Rights published by Rubicon Publishing as well as early readers with Pearson are all forthcoming in 2014 and 2015.

For adults, Michael has written THE SAND DRAGON a horror about a revenant prehistoric vampire set in the tar sands, HURAKAN a Mayan themed thriller which pits the Maya against the MS-13 with a New York family stuck in the middle, 24 BONES an urban fantasy which draws from Egyptian myth, and THE TERMINALS—a covert government unit which solves crimes in this realm by investigating them in the next. This series has already been optioned for film and television.

Herder of four daughters, Michael lives to write in Ottawa where he runs free writing workshops for teens and adults.

Links to connect with Michael:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

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  1. Thanks for the most excellent review, Connie! Next time I need someone to write the perfect pitch, I'm coming to you!

  2. I'm with Michael! Thanks Connie for the awesome review :)