Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 04/2017
  • 978-1-63587-858-5 B06XQ36FL1
  • 312 pages
  • $4.99
Paperback Details
  • 04/2017
  • 978-1-63587-862-2 B06XQ36FL1
  • 312 pages
  • $13.99
Audio Details
  • 04/2017
  • 978-1-63587-863-9 B071V5C4RK
  • 312 pages
  • $9.99
Agents Of The Undertow
Seven years after the end of Pan21’s reign, survivors like Helen Small - with their ashen skin and hair and eyes - are singled out, persecuted and vilified as living reminders of all the havoc and pain the virus had inflicted. In the Republic of Texas a power-hungry politician has seized control, preying on people’s fears that the virus has returned and the role that survivors play in that return. Helen is trying to make sense of it all, to uncover the truth, but truth may be as irrelevant as it is malleable. As the Republic falls deeper into a dystopian and totalitarian state Helen Small is hunted as a terrorist. Outside forces aren’t all that conspire against her. Helen is haunted by her own guilt. Why didn’t she die like everyone else? Why did her husband and child perish from Pan21? Why couldn’t she have been with them when they died? How can she find meaning in this new world that fears her and sees her as a pariah? As she struggles to expose the truth she has to learn to overcome her own demons and shortcomings. When she meets Francisco Stiles, an artist from the barrio, he offers her a lifeline and something different. In the barrio, amongst the downtrodden and fringe elements of Republic society, she finds a connectedness and a purpose. She finds family. This is a story of loss and grief, of fear and avarice, the nature of truth and, ultimately, of love.
Plot/Idea: 5 out of 10
Originality: 3 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 5.75 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: Although well constructed, the plot is very similar to standard apocalypse genre formulas. This makes the first two-thirds of the book somewhat predictable, which will likely take fans of the genre out of the story.

Prose: The novel is well-paced and almost breezy, moving the story along at a good clip. McDaniel’s strength is realistic dialogue that conveys a wide range of character emotions, often multiple emotions in the same scene.

Originality: The formulaic aspects of the plot do little to distinguish this novel. However, some of the characters and settings -- e.g. the Denver barrio -- are unique and refreshing.

Character Development: McDaniel’s two real heroes, Helen Small and Dr. William Eyestone, grab the reader and energize the story with their struggles and the way they handle adversity. However, the almost two-dimensional villain needs to be fleshed out and made human.

Date Submitted: March 08, 2017

Reviews
IndieReader

Focusing, as it does, on a world in which the truth has taken a back seat to fake news and hysteria, it’s hard to imagine when AGENTS OF THE UNDERTOW by Jack McDaniel could have been more timely . . . a scathing dystopian novel filled with eerie echoes of the present day.”

~ IndieReader

Kirkus Reviews

McDaniel’s (The Future Is Short, 2017, etc.) wise choice to set a global-plague tale in the smaller Republic condenses his epic narrative and generates a swift pace, while descriptions of characters and environment are generally subdued—akin to the “colorless” survivors. But the muted prose is befitting of Pan21’s devastation (Helen walks the shockingly empty hallways of a Dallas hospital) and makes flashes of color stand out: a morning of “blood-red sunlight” or a photo of Helen’s now-dead 5-year-old son in a blue-striped shirt. Chaste’s administration poses an unmistakable threat, monitoring citizens with flying quads and HealthPals (devices inserted in skin) and ultimately branding Helen a terrorist. A romance between Helen and her boyfriend, Francisco Stiles, meanwhile, is fleeting, though it’s rich material for the planned sequel.

This gripping sci-fi–esque yarn ably incorporates social and political themes.”

~ Kirkus Reviews

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 04/2017
  • 978-1-63587-858-5 B06XQ36FL1
  • 312 pages
  • $4.99
Paperback Details
  • 04/2017
  • 978-1-63587-862-2 B06XQ36FL1
  • 312 pages
  • $13.99
Audio Details
  • 04/2017
  • 978-1-63587-863-9 B071V5C4RK
  • 312 pages
  • $9.99

Loading...