Solar Storms by Nicholas Smith
In 2055, scientists discover something far worse than rising temperatures and rising seas—they discover massive sunspots that are producing unprecedented solar flares.
With little time to prepare for the storms, NASA recruits Drs. Sophie Winston and Emanuel Rodriguez to help monitor the solar weather. At first, the duo believes they have been hired for a routine project. But when arriving at the Johnson Space Center they quickly realize they haven’t been told everything about their mission. And as a massive storm races toward Earth, they begin to suspect that it isn’t a natural event. Millions of miles away something is feeding the storms…
Smith is writing about a nearly overdone subject - the apocalypse - and I was worried that it would simply be another variation on a theme. But Solar Storms is a breath of fresh air with a new type of apocalypse - one that hasn’t been done before. The only thing I can think of that would have made Solar Storms better is if the scientific side of things was explained a little more, and I hope it will be in ORBS.
Solar Storms has my adrenaline pumping. With only 35 pages, Smith , introduced several memorable characters, made us care deeply about their fate, and kick-started the apocalypse. Solar Storms left me with a sense of foreboding and a need to read the rest of this series right now.
Biomass Revolution by Nicholas Smith (The Tisaian Chronicles #1)
What would you do if you lived in a world where everything is regulated; from your power usage to your relationships—a world where everything you thought you knew turned out to be a lie?
Welcome to Tisaia – The last hub of modern civilization in a world left scorched by the nuclear fires of the Biomass Wars. Surrounded by a fortress of steel walls and protected by a fierce and loyal Council of Royal Knights, Tisaia seems relatively safe to the average State worker and citizen. A plentiful supply of Biomass powers the cities and food is abundant, but security has come at a terrible cost. The State will do anything to protect its resources, even if it means suppressing the rights of its citizens and deporting immigrants into the Wasteland - a virtual death sentence.
Spurious Timur is one of the State workers helping keep the wheels of prosperity turning in Tisaia. As he starts to explore Tisaia and question his own worth, he realizes there may be more to his subsistence than he thought. When he meets and falls for co-worker Lana Padilla, he begins to understand he may hold the key to restoring Tisaia to a just and free State.
While Biomass Revolution didn’t blow me away, it was still a fantastic read. It clung to some of the cliches of the dystopian genre, but it more than made up for it, and I love that it was set in a post-nuclear war setting. Smith’s writing style is choppy at times, but completely riveting at others. During many of the action scenes, of which there are a fair amount, I couldn’t put the book down.
The one thing that bothered me throughout the book was the lack of female characters. Almost all the characters were men; I only remember two females, so if there were more they were in the background. Smith had a great opportunity with the TDU and CRK to write some badass, freedom-fighting (either for or against) female characters, but he went with males.
Lana’s character bothers me in that she was basically a plot device. Her only role was as love interest, and later as betrayer and heartbreaker. I feel like she could have at least been more developed; I want to know if betraying Spurious was a hard decision, if she truly loved him, how she felt about lying to him. The male characters, such as the members of Squad 19, were so much more developed than Lana was.
I have to say, though, I was a pretty big fan of Obi and his crew. They were written very well, and Obi wasn’t afraid to make the hard decisions. Smith did an excellent job writing the scene in the desert with the Scorpions, and later with the raiders; the battle tactics were believable and no one miraculously survived when they shouldn’t have. For that, I applaud him.
If you’re looking for a fast-paced action adventure, Biomass Revolution is the way to go. I look forward to the continued adventures of Spurious and the TDU in the sequel.
Note: still being edited.
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