Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Michael F. Stewart - The Terminals - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

- Sometimes the dead don’t want to talk.
You need Terminals to make them. -

Terminals solve crimes in this realm by investigating them in the next.

Lt. Col. Christine Kurzow, fresh from a failed suicide attempt after she cost 11 of her soldiers their lives, is recruited into the covert unit of Terminals as a handler. It's an easy sell. If she's really determined to die, it’s a chance to give her death meaning.

But her first case—convincing a monk to chase Hillar the Killer into the afterlife to find the location of a missing bus and the children it carried—has her wondering how to make a dead psychopath talk.

Christine must follow the clues sent back by the shotgun-toting monk, who tracks Hillar through the seven deeps of hell, so she can find eleven kids before it’s too late.

Maybe this time killing a man will give Christine a reason to live.

**The Television and Film production rights have been sold to Jim Donovan (Best Director 2013, Canadian Screen Awards) and on to his partners of Sudden Storm Entertainment.

My Review

Not many books are able to change your views on the afterlife. This one does.

Michael F. Stewart tackles some pretty weighty subject matter in THE TERMINALS. Euthanasia. Suicide. Torture. Despite the presence of such heavy topics, my attention was diverted elsewhere. Because when I look back years from now and think about this book, what I'm going to remember is its portrayal of hell.

It's disturbing. It's scarring. It's something you won't soon forget. I have to admit it was hard to read at times. No one likes to contemplate what hell might actually be like, but Stewart is brave enough to go there and wholeheartedly wrap his brain around the concept. He fathoms the most grotesque punishments imaginable and some I don't think I'll ever be able to fully comprehend, they're so gruesome.

Our guide is Brother Charlie, the Gnostic monk we follow into the depths. Why would a member of the clergy be going to hell? Because he witnessed the murder of his friend and did nothing to stop it. At the time, he was confused, afraid, but now he's on a quest to right that wrong as he tracks the killer through the seven levels of hell. What he doesn't know is if the killer learned all seven passwords for the Archons who guard the gates. If the killer passes all seven tests, he'll be able to undergo reincarnation and resume his cycle of terror back on Earth.

But Charlie must undergo each test as well, and they are excruciatingly painful. The talons of a giant eagle cook the flesh off his bones before snapping his spine and ripping out his entrails. Bats engorge themselves on his skeletal frame, sucking the marrow from his bones. He's left to swim in an ocean of barbed hooks filled with venom that almost disintegrate what remains of his corporeal body, only to survive and be ripped apart by wolves at another level. But the true torture is psychological as the recriminating voice of his mother beckons to his downtrodden spirit from the darkness that he's unworthy of forgiveness.

It's a heady trip. It's unsettling to think about what might actually happen to us when we die. Will our flesh be stripped from our bodies until we're nothing more than a spark like Stewart hypothesizes? It's thoughts like these that we usually shove to the background. They're too traumatic to ponder for more than a second or two. But here, Stewart does the heavy lifting for us, cultivating a take on the eternal that's too frightening to ignore.

If nothing else, THE TERMINALS will scare you into being a better person. Trust me, it's so frightening you'll fall to your knees and pray that not even your worst enemy ends up in hell.


The Terminals can be purchased at:
Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Formats: ebook, paperback
Pages: 310
Genre: Paranormal, Thriller, Mystery
Release: April 15, 2014
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

Michael F. Stewart is the author of the Assured Destruction series, which sprawls across 3 books, 2 websites, 1 blog, 7 Twitter accounts, tumblr, Facebook, and 6 graphic origin stories. He likes to combine storytelling with technology and pioneered interactive storytelling with Scholastic Canada, Australia and New Zealand’s, anti-cyberbullying program Bully For You. He has authored four graphic novels with Oxford University Press Canada’s award winning Boldprint series. Publications of nonfiction titles on Corruption and Children’s Rights published by Rubicon Publishing as well as early readers with Pearson are all forthcoming in 2014 and 2015.

For adults, Michael has written THE SAND DRAGON a horror about a revenant prehistoric vampire set in the tar sands, HURAKAN a Mayan themed thriller which pits the Maya against the MS-13 with a New York family stuck in the middle, 24 BONES an urban fantasy which draws from Egyptian myth, and THE TERMINALS—a covert government unit which solves crimes in this realm by investigating them in the next. This series has already been optioned for film and television.

Herder of four daughters, Michael lives to write in Ottawa where he runs free writing workshops for teens and adults.

Links to connect with Michael:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

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  1. Thanks for another awesome review! :)

    1. Your books always make me see things in a new way, Mike! :)

  2. Whoa, how cool does that cover look!