Category Archives: Futuristic

Review: The Last Exit by Michael Kaufman

Title: The Last Exit by Michael Kaufman
Jen Lu Mystery Series Book One
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Futuristic, Sci-Fi, Mystery
Length: 298 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Perfect for fans of Ben Winters and Cory Doctorow. In this thrilling near-future novel, the secret to eternal life is closely guarded by people who will do anything to protect it–even if it means destroying everything in their path.

Set in Washington D.C. in the near future, climate change has hit hard, fires are burning, unemployment is high, and controversial longevity treatments are only available to the very rich. Enter resourceful young police detective, Jen B. Lu, and her ‘partner’, Chandler, a SIM implant in her brain and her instant link to the Internet and police records, and constant voice inside her head. He’s an inquisitive tough guy, with a helluva sense of humor and his own ideas about solving crimes.

As a detective in the Elder Abuse unit, Jen is supposed to be investigating kids pushing their aging parents to “exit” so they are eligible to get the longevity drug. But what really has her attention are the persistent rumors about Eden, an illegal version of the longevity drug, and the bizarre outbreak of people aging almost overnight, then suddenly dying–is this all connected? Is Big Pharma involved?

When Jen’s investigations of Eden take her too close to the truth, she is suspended, Chandler is deactivated, and her boyfriend is freaked out by “the thing inside her brain.” This leaves Jen to pursue a very dangerous investigation all by herself.


The Last Exit by Michael Kaufman is an imaginative sci-fi mystery set in the future.

With an AI brain implant named Chandler, Jen Lu is a detective with the DC Metro’s Elder Abuse Unit.  Elder abuse has become a serious issue because parents must “exit” when they turn 65 in order to let their children receive the “Timeless” treatment that will save them from a rapid onset spongiform encephalitis. If they do not exit, their children will die a horrific death. Jen has heard mention of “Eden” which appears to be a black market version of the treatment. When she mentions her suspicions to her boss Captain Kyrie Brooks, he tells her there is nothing for her to investigate.  But when people begin dying from an advanced form of the encephalitis,  Jen ignores Brooks’ order and soon stumbles into a possible conspiracy. Will Jen uncover the truth before more people die?

Jen is in her late thirties and loves her career.  With her mother nearing the age of 65, Jen is struggling a bit with the upcoming exit.  Her childhood was quite abusive but her mother’s dementia has changed her into a completely different person. Jen has been in a yearlong casual relationship with Zach whose parents have no worries about their exit. Zach, on the other hand, is against their decision even if it might cost his life. Since Jen has not opened up to him about her childhood, he does not understand how she can be so at ease with what is about to happen to her mother.  Jen and Zach are growing closer, but since she is unable to tell him about Chandler, she is uncertain about the future of their relationship.

Jen’s partner Les is also her best friend but she is keeping her Eden investigation from him. So when she is forced to go a bit rogue, she is on her own except for assistance from an unexpected group of people. She is inventive as she gains access to details that will hopefully lead her to the answers she is searching for. Cool advances in technology are also quite beneficial when she discovers she only has a short period of time to catch the people responsible for distributing the drugs that are causing the multitude of deaths from the advanced encephalitis.  When she finds herself in a very dangerous situation, is there any chance Jen will escape? And will her suspects escape before they can be brought to justice?

The Last Exit is a riveting mystery with a fantastic cast of characters and a creative storyline. The sci-fi elements are richly developed and easy to visualize.  Jen’s investigation is fascinating and moves at a brisk pace. With intriguing twists and turns, Michael Kaufman brings this clever futuristic movie to an edge of the seat conclusion.  This exciting first installment of the Jen Lu Mystery series will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.

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Filed under Contemporary, Crooked Lane Books, Futuristic, Jen Lu Mystery Series, Michael Kaufman, Rated B, Review, Sci Fi, The Last Exit

Review: The Passengers by John Marrs

Title: The Passengers by John Marrs
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Futuristic, Technothriller, Science Fiction, Suspense
Length: 349 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


You’re riding in your self-driving car when suddenly the doors lock, the route changes and you have lost all control. Then, a mysterious voice tells you, “You are going to die.” 

Just as self-driving cars become the trusted, safer norm, eight people find themselves in this terrifying situation, including a faded TV star, a pregnant young woman, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife, and a suicidal man.

From cameras hidden in their cars, their panic is broadcast to millions of people around the world. But the public will show their true colors when they are asked, “Which of these people should we save?…And who should we kill first?”


The Passengers by John Marrs is a futuristic, science fiction technothriller that is absolutely mesmerizing.

Sometime in the near future, driverless cars are now mandated in Britain. The public has been reassured these cars are not only hacker proof but will save lives due to fewer accidents. Which is why Claire Arden,  Jude Harrison, Sofia Bradbury, Sam & Heidi Cole, Shabana Khartri and two random taxi passengers are terrified when their vehicles are hacked. Even more horrifying? The Hacker has reprogrammed their cars to take them to an unknown destination where, in two and a half hours, they are all going to die. Why have these particular people have been targeted? And is there any chance they will escape from this nightmare alive?

Meanwhile, five people are deciding who is at fault in driverless vehicle accidents.  Four members of the jury essentially rubberstamp all of the cases and place the blame on the victims.  But in this particular session, mental health nurse Libby Dixon is not a fan of the autonomous vehicles. She becomes a key figure in the unfolding drama when The Hacker puts the rest of his nefarious plan into motion.

With the fates of the Passengers seemingly in the hands of Libby and the jury, The Hacker adds another layer to his evil scheme. He brings in a social media maven who provides stats on how this deadly drama is playing out with people around the globe.  With the public weighing in on social media, Libby and the members of the jury are faced with the heartbreaking task of deciding which passengers will live and who will die.

The Passengers is a scintillating novel with an ingenious storyline and plenty of suspense. Each of the passengers are hiding juicy secrets that factor into whether they should live or die.  As the nail-biting two and a half hours hurtles to a nerve-wracking conclusion, which Passenger will be selected to survive? With stunning twists and clever turns, John Marrs brings this innovative thriller to an absolutely brilliant conclusion.  I eagerly devoured every riveting page of this positively chilling, tension-filled, and electrifying novel.  HIGHLY recommend!

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Filed under Berkley, Contemporary, Futuristic, John Marrs, Rated B+, Review, Sci Fi, Suspense, Technothriller, The Passengers

Review: Paradox Lost by Libby Drew

paradoxTitle: Paradox Lost by Libby Drew
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Sci-Fi, Time Travel, Futuristic, Erotic, M/M, Romance
Word Count: 84,000
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Author


Time-travel tour guide Reegan McNamara’s job–taking eager tourists to whenever they want to go–is usually a breeze. A trip back to 2020 to watch a world-changing speech seems no different, until a woman runs away from his tour group before the jump home. Now her tycoon husband is demanding her safe return–or Reegan will lose more than just his job.

P.I. Saul Kildare’s business is running on borrowed time. Due to a messy break with the police, he can’t get a referral to save his life. When an enigmatic stranger bangs on his door one night and promises a windfall for a missing-person case, it seems too good to be true. But the two men have an immediate connection, and Saul can’t pass up the chance to spend more time with Reegan, even if he’s clearly hiding something.

Saul knows he shouldn’t trust Reegan, and Reegan knows he can’t get involved with Saul. But as their attraction evolves into feelings neither can deny, will they have the strength to take a leap of faith–together?

84,000 words

The Review:

As a general rule, I do not read sci fi or futuristic stories but I just had to make an exception for Libby Drew’s newest release. A big fan of both time travel novels and Ms. Drew, I eagerly devoured Paradox Lost. With plenty of action, a bit of mystery and an incredibly steamy romance, this futuristic adventure is sure to be a hit with readers of male/male fiction.

Reegan McNamara escorts a group of time travelers back in time a little over 100 years to 2020 for a historic presidential speech. He has a bit of history with one of his travelers, Silvia Panitierre, and something about her puts him on high alert. He keeps a close eye on her once they travel back in time yet she vanishes when he is momentarily distracted. With his job on the line and Silvia’s angry and powerful husband waiting in the wings, Reegan enlists the aid of private investigator Saul Kildare to help him track down his wayward charge.

Reegan is a fabulous character and as someone who loves history, I was jealous of his ability to journey back in time 🙂 On the surface, he seems to have an enviable life-he has a lucrative career he loves and the modern conveniences he takes for granted are simply ingenious! But Reegan’s position at Blast in the Past Time Travel Tours is precarious and leaving Silvia behind is simply not an option.

Saul is also a great character and of the two, he is the most flawed. He has been in a downward spiral since the loss of his job on the police force. He is also crippled with guilt about the circumstances surrounding a personal loss and he is struggling to maintain his sobriety. Reegan’s case is a welcome diversion for an unhappy anniversary and although skeptical, he is soon immersed in the missing persons case.

The case soon takes an ominous and perilous turn when Saul and Reegan discover that they are not the only ones hunting for Silvia. They are quickly enmeshed in pulse pounding and exciting chases as they outwit the nefarious thugs that are hot on their trail. They are also in a race against time to avoid the dangers that could befall both Reegan and Silvia due to their time travel.

In between following leads and evading foes, Saul and Reegan find time to explore their unexpected attraction. There is plenty of sexual tension between them and with little free time, their sexual encounters are brief but incredibly hot. Although their sex scenes are quick, they are highly sensual and exquisitely detailed.

I typically read historical time travel novels so it was quite fascinating to delve into the futuristic world created by Ms. Drew. The changes and inventions are realistic and easy to envision. The whole time travel concept is always intriguing and I appreciated the creativity that went into creating a believable explanation for traveling to different historical eras and places. I also liked that there could be negative consequences attributed to trips back to the past and into the future.

Paradox Lost is an all around terrific read with a marvelous cast of characters, an incredibly unique storyline and amazing creativity. I honestly had no idea how two men who live in completely different eras were going to find their happily ever after, but I should not have been concerned. The ending is absolutely perfect and all of the loose ends are neatly wrapped up. If you are not reading Libby Drew then you are missing out an unbelievably versatile and gifted author.


Filed under Carina Press, Erotic, Futuristic, Libby Drew, Paradox Lost, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Sci Fi, Time Travel