Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Redemption by Mike Schlossberg

Title: Redemption
Series: The Spades Trilogy, Book 1
Author: Mike Schlossberg
Genre: Sci-fi, YA
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Ellysian Press

Twenty young people wake aboard the spaceship Redemption with no memory how they got there.

Asher Maddox went to sleep a college dropout with clinical depression and anxiety. He wakes one hundred sixty years in the future to assume the role as captain aboard a spaceship he knows nothing about, with a crew as in the dark as he is.

Yanked from their everyday lives, the crew learns that Earth has been ravaged by the Spades virus – a deadly disease planted by aliens. They are tasked with obtaining the vaccine that will save humanity, while forced to hide from an unidentified, but highly advanced enemy.

Half a galaxy away from Earth, the crew sets out to complete the quest against impossible odds. As the enemy draws closer, they learn to run the ship despite their own flaws and rivalries. But they have another enemy . . . time. And it’s running out.

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It felt like they were inside of the cymbal of a drum set; the explosion was massive, metallic and reverberated around their entire room. The lights flickered and stayed dark for a few moments before kicking back in. Jameson crouched on the floor, hands over his ears. Alexis backed up a few steps and looked around wildly, trying to locate the source of the explosion. Blondell spun around, as the rest of the room's occupants went into various stages of unmitigated panic. Ash slammed his hands to his ears and tried to keep his balance as the room shook around him. It didn’t work, and as the floor lurched to the left, he lurched with it, crashing into a bulkhead and falling to his knees, his face narrowly missing Jameson’s shoulder.
Ash looked at the hallway where the light was coming from. It might have been his panicked mind, but the room wasn’t shaking as much. The light was steady. Ash righted himself and tried to ignore the metallic pings snapping off around him.
“Come on!” He yelled at the top of his lungs, waving his hand forward. For the second time in the past ten minutes, Ash’s loud voice carried over every other sound of hysteria. Sensing escape, others in the room scrambled out of their beds and raced to follow. Not waiting for anyone to change their mind, Ash grabbed Alexis’ wrist and raced for the doorway, Blondell and Jameson hot on their heels.
A second crash brought more shouts, but this one was not nearly as violent as the first. As Ash sprinted forward, he caught the first markings that he had seen since opening his eyes: A horizontal infinity symbol, with a “U” and a “G” lodged in each of the loops. As quickly as Ash noticed it, it was gone, as he rounded a corner, with at least a dozen others racing to keep up.
“Where are we going?” Alexis wrested free of Ash’s grip as they continued to run.
“No idea!” Ash shouted back. “But anywhere was better than feeling trapped like a bunch of sardines!”
“Agreed!” They came to a T-intersection and, for the first time, saw signage:
Docking Bay
“Bridge?” Blondell exclaimed, catching up. “There's a blasted Bridge here?”
“Apparently!” Ash said, staring at the signage in disbelief. It was official. He had to be in a coma.
“Which way?” Alexis asked, frantically looking at Ash.
“Gotta go to the Bridge there, Captain,” said a voice behind him.
Ash turned around, and there was Anton, the slightest of smirks on his face.
“Absolutely,” Ash said, “That’s the only thing that makes sense . . . As if any of this makes sense. Alright, let’s go!” Ash took off running, and the rest of the group followed. With one exception.
“I’ll see you soon!” Jameson shouted over his shoulder, racing the opposite direction.
“Jameson!” Cried Alexis, turning around, but the redhead was gone. Whether it was the idea of separating or one more pressure on the already chaotic situation, Ash wasn’t sure, but Jameson’s sprinting had triggered something in Alexis. She tried to chase after Jameson, only to be blocked by the big African-American that they had walked past earlier.
“You only run in that direction if you know what you are doing,” he said, his glowing nametag identifying him as Daniel. “He’s all right.”
Alexis looked up at him for a moment, and back to Ash for reassurance.
Ash nodded, “I think Daniel’s right. Let’s get to the Bridge.” The words felt alien in his mouth and left his tongue feeling like sandpaper. Regardless, they began to sprint again.
The narrow hallway was straight now, with more light at the far end. With one last burst of speed, Ash crossed through another doorway and entered the Bridge.
He stopped so sharply that the next three people who entered crashed into him, only to gasp when they realized what Ash was looking at.
More specifically, space as framed by the most bizarre collection of technology Ash had ever seen.

Author bio:

Mike Schlossberg has been a writer since he wrote his first short story in eighth grade, a Star Wars fanfiction. While he claims it was terrible, the creative passion followed him into adulthood.

Serving as a State Representative in Pennsylvania, Mike has had the chance to make a difference. The problem closest to his heart is mental health, where he strives to break the stigma surrounding those who suffer from mental illnesses and give them hope. For Mike, this issue is personal, as he has been treated for depression and anxiety related disorders since he was 18. It was this desire to help which drove him to write Redemption, his first novel, but not his first book. That honor goes to Tweets and Consequences, an anthology about the varied ways elected officials have destroyed their careers via social media.

When not writing, Mike plays video games (both modern and old school), watches anything related to the Muppets (specifically Fraggle Rock!), reads, attempts to get to the gym, and calls his constituents on their birthdays.

Mike lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania, with his wife Brenna and his two wonderful children: Auron, born in 2011, and Ayla, born in 2012.

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