Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Title: EXODUS 2022
Author: Kenneth G. Bennett
Genre: Sci-Fi Thriller (pre-apocalypse)
Audience: NA/Adult
Release date: May 20th, 2014
Publisher: Booktrope Publishing

Joe Stanton is in agony. Out of his mind over the death of his young daughter. Or so it seems.

Unable to contain his grief, Joe loses control in public, screaming his daughter’s name and causing a huge scene at a hotel on San Juan Island in Washington State. Thing is, Joe Stanton doesn’t have a daughter. Never did. And when the authorities arrive they blame the 28-year-old’s outburst on drugs.

What they don’t yet know is that others up and down the Pacific coast—from the Bering Sea to the Puget Sound—are suffering identical, always fatal mental breakdowns.

With the help of his girlfriend—the woman he loves and dreams of marrying—Joe struggles to unravel the meaning of the hallucination destroying his mind. As the couple begins to perceive its significance—and Joe’s role in a looming global calamity—they must also outwit a billionaire weapons contractor bent on exploiting Joe’s newfound understanding of the cosmos, and outlast the time bomb ticking in Joe’s brain. 

Christmas shopping, at the mall. It’s morning still but Ella has already had it up to here with the crowds. She hates malls—and can’t wait to leave this one. But she’s starving now and making her way to the food court before heading for the car. She’s in a good mood. Her shopping’s done. The bags in her hands are full of presents, beautifully wrapped. Gifts for the siblings, nieces, and nephews set to descend on her parents’ house later in the week.
A quick bite, and then she’ll be on her way.
She settles on P.F. Chang’s because she likes their grilled salmon-on logO-rice. She places her order, checks her phone while she waits, puts the steaming dish on her tray, and heads for a table.
Any vacant table will do. She looks around.
11:30 a.m. and already the food court is mobbed—swarming and swirling with people. Young people. Old people. Teenagers and twentysomethings. Parents pushing strollers with screaming toddlers in tow.
A constant, cacophonous wall of sound envelops Ella and her fellow shoppers: conversation mixed with laughter mixed with whining mixed with Bing Crosby dreaming, for at least the fourth time that morning, of a white Christmas. And Ella wonders, absently, how mall employees maintain their sanity during the holidays.
At first it appears that there are no vacant tables and then, as if by magic, one appears just in front of her. A small table. The guy is leaving, getting up and heading out. Ella makes a beeline for it, sets down her tray, then her bags, and sits down to eat.
She digs her Kindle out of her purse and turns it on. Sets it on the table and props it up on her gloves.
Before settling in to read she glances around. There’s a big family to her right, an older couple to her left, and a lone UPS employee one table beyond them. He’s wearing the distinctive brown shirt with the UPS logo emblazoned on the front and he’s smiling at her. She smiles back. He blushes—blushes, how cute—and she decides he’s a nice guy. Not her type, but a nice guy.
She turns to her book, the new thriller-romance from Hugh Howey. The book is crazy-good. One of those stories you read as fast as you can—because you have to know what happens next—but hate to see end. Within a paragraph she’s lost in the story.
The food court and all the people disappear. The noise drops to a whisper. Bing Crosby takes a siesta, and it’s just Ella and her book and the grilled salmon, disappearing one slow bite at a time.
Then, like hard, sudden rain on corrugated metal, popping sounds. Popping sounds followed by screams followed by the noise of bodies and tables crashing, followed by crack, crack, crack and brilliant, searing flashes of light inches away.
She’s lifting her head now, wide-eyed, dreamy terror washing over her, one hand still holding her fork. The gunman is there, rotating methodically her way, hands working, guns blazing, mowing down the family—parents, kids, all of them. And then he’s standing over her, facing her, guns smoking, guns aimed at her head, concentrating. And she sees in his eyes that he’s thrilled by the destruction he’s causing, aroused by the mayhem, enjoying every second of his mad rampage.
The guns are inches from her face, so close that she can read the words engraved on the metal. And it’s like he doesn’t see her. Like she doesn’t exist. She will explain this to the police, after the fact. To the counselors, and the psychiatrist retained by her parents.
“It’s not like he let me live. Not like he said, ‘Oh, you’re beautiful, so you don’t have to die.’ No. It’s like he didn’t see me at all. Like I was in a blind spot—although I was right in front of him. Like he simply could not see me.”
And now he’s shooting again, shooting the old couple, and the UPS driver. The UPS driver is trying to get away, Ella sees, but too late. The bullets hit his back—hit the brown shirt and blossom red.
And then the gunman himself is crashing forward, flying forward, shot in the back by a mall security guard, and Ella looks down to find that she is covered in blood, none of it her own.

     Wow, where to start! This was a fantastic thrilling book that keeps you hooked until the end. Part Sci Fi, fantasy, thriller set among conspiracy like settings. You will have to read it to see what I mean. It is a wonderful mix from multiple POVs. This book was wonderfully written and that made it a joy and a breeze to read in a quick amount of time! That takes skill! Thank you Mr. Bennett!
     Joe and his girl friend Ella are very much in love. Joe is a very important part of his work and they decide to go celebrate. This takes place in the Northwest, Washington. (a little close to home for me :) ) All of a sudden chaos ensues when Joe starts having hallucinations of his daughter, whom does not exist. Come to find out he is not the only one. What on earth is going on here?! Joe is acting crazed and it is time to figure out why. 
     Follow along through the action and see where it ends up! Will Joe survive this? Can they get to the bottom of what is happening and why? Please go on this journey to find out. You will not regret it. I am gladly giving this book 5 Stars and would give it more if I could! I will be looking forward to more from Mr.Bennett soon! Thank you so very much!
Kenneth G. Bennett is the author of the young adult novels, THE GAIA WARS and BATTLE FOR CASCADIA, and the new sci-fi thriller, EXODUS 2022. A wilderness enthusiast who loves backpacking, skiing and kayaking, Ken enjoys mysteries, science fiction, action adventure stories and, most especially, novels that explore the relationship between humans and the wild. He lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and son and two hyperactive Australian Shepherds.
THE GAIA WARS series was optioned for film by Identity Films, LA in 2012, and both GAIA and BATTLE have been featured as Top 100 Bestsellers in Teen Literature and Fiction on Amazon. Kirkus Reviews called THE GAIA WARS “A solid first entry of a promising, imaginative new young-adult fantasy series featuring a well-crafted character.”

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