The Hematophages by Stephen Kozeniewski #BookReview #Horror #SciFi

 

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hematTitle: The Hematophages
Author: Stephen Kozeniewski
Series: N/A
Format: Digital, 326 pages
Publication Details:  April 1st 2017 by Sinister Grin Press
Genre(s): Horror; Science Fiction
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads

Doctoral student Paige Ambroziak is a “station bunny” – she’s never set foot off the deep space outpost where she grew up. But when she’s offered a small fortune to join a clandestine salvage mission, she jumps at the chance to leave the cutthroat world of academia behind.

Paige is convinced she’s been enlisted to find the legendary Manifest Destiny, a long-lost colonization vessel from an era before the corporations ruled Earth and its colonies. Whatever she’s looking for, though, rests in the blood-like seas of a planet-sized organism called a fleshworld.

Dangers abound for Paige and her shipmates. Flying outside charted space means competing corporations can shoot them on sight rather than respect their salvage rights. The area is also crawling with pirates like the ghoulish skin-wrappers, known for murdering anyone they can’t extort.

But the greatest threat to Paige’s mission is the nauseating alien parasites which infest the fleshworld. These lamprey-like monstrosities are used to swimming freely in an ocean of blood, and will happily spill a new one from the veins of the outsiders who have tainted their home. In just a few short, bone-chilling hours Paige learns that there are no limits to the depravity and violence of the grotesque nightmares known as…THE HEMATOPHAGES

Review

I was in two minds going into this book. On one hand, I expected to like it because I’ve enjoyed many of Stephen Kozeniewski’s previous books (Braineater Jones, Hunter of the Dead and The Ghoul Archipelago) , but on the other hand, I don’t have a huge capacity for deep-space colony settings/ hardcore sci-fi novels.

Luckily for me, 1. I’m a bit of a gore-fiend, and that came in spades, and 2. It appears that everything Kozeniewski writes is so damn readable! It’s annoying, really. 

The Hematophages centres around Paige, a seemingly accomplished and confident Doctoral Student. But deep down she’s inexperienced and naïve, having never left her space station. Paige bags herself a ‘need to know’ mysterious new job which will send her on a mission into the fleshworld (yes, it’s as gross as it sounds) with its oceans of blood and blood-drinking alien-fish monstrosities. 

The mission is fraught with danger from the start, attacked by pirates with no skin before they even arrive, and then the realisation that they are actually salvaging the world-famous ship The Manifest Destiny which holds some truly grim surprises of its own, Paige and her new BFF/the object of her affection, Zanib will be extremely lucky to get out alive (and with all their parts), never mind complete the mission.

I wasn’t sure about protagonist Paige at first. She seemed to have two entirely different personalities, which meant it took me a little while to get into the swing of things, but I warmed to her eventually and ended up really enjoying this fast-paced story.

The thorough world-building made it easy to understand Kozeniewski’s epic vision. And it was epic! As I said earlier, I’m not a huge SF reader, so maybe this was nothing new, but it was definitely new to me, and felt unique.

I liked that in this version of the far-future the human race are all one colour due to years of inter-racial sex, that the gross Skin-Wrappers evolved from ostracised people with some kind of cancer, and that men have completely died out. Hurrah! (I joke…but, imagine).

Written well, full of stomach-churning wrongness and women kicking some blood-sucking, alien-fish-with-teeth-for-tongues ass, Kozeniewski has done it again. He’s like the indie master of horror. Or something. Give him a try if you can stomach it!

unicorn rating 4

 

 

 

Author Spotlight: John E. Stith #SciFi #BookPromo

Welcome to another book promo/ author spotlight  on Lipsyy Lost & Found.

 

Today I’m spotlighting a renowned author of Science Fiction who is currently re-releasing not one, but nine classic titles – some for the first time in ten years!

Sci-Fi fans who may have missed John E. Stith’s work the first time round are bound to love his unique take on the genre – well-researched, ‘hard’ science  fiction which sticks closely to the laws of science and have been praised by Science Fiction Chronicle for being ‘full of wondrous situations and and marvellous discoveries’. 

Three of his chosen novels, Deep Quarry, Manhattan Transfer and Reunion on Neverend (details below) have already been re-released so far this year, with one more, Redshift Rendevouz due exactly a week today (check back here next week for more info!).

The fourth book to be re-released, Memory Blank, will be with us in December with a further three titles expected next year.

Deep Quarry

deepquarryJuly 1st 2016
ReAnimus Press
160 pages

Ben Takent is a private eye on a hot, dusty world at the edge of the civilized galaxy. When he’s asked to find out who is stealing artifacts from a 10,000-year-old archaeological dig in the desert, he reluctantly takes the case.

Then, when it becomes clear that the artifacts are pointing to an ancient alien spacecraft, the stakes in the case go up—way up.

 

“Bright and breezy, flip and fast”   — Analog

Manhattan Transfer

August 1st 2016manhattant
ReAnimus Press
326 Pages

When aliens abduct New York City, carrying it into space inside a huge dome, the citizens trapped inside must find out why and what they can do to save themselves and dozens of other cities which aliens have stolen from other planets.

 A stunning tour-de-force of science fiction and storytelling with gripping action, believable characters and a plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

 

One of the better surprise endings to come down the cosmos in light-years.” — Chicago Tribune

Reunion on Neverend

reunionOctober 1st 2016
ReAnimus Press
320 pages

Lan has come home to a high-school reunion in the underground colony of Neverend, at the edge of humanity’s reach. An ancient secret waits there, one involving instantaneous access to far-flung planets.

Also in Neverend is his high-school sweetheart, Tessa, who is in the way of people who have stumbled onto this ancient technology and plan to use it for their own purposes.

Fortunately for her, Lan is no longer the boy he used to be. And fortunately for Lan, Tessa is no longer the girl she used to be.

“One part mystery, one part other worlds adventure… thoroughly entertaining joyride.”  —  Science Fiction Chronicle

Meet the Author

stith

Science fiction and mystery author John E. Stith writes across many worlds. His books have been translated to French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Russian and are even available in braille for the sight-impaired.  His stories have been categorized as “Hard science fiction,” a label given to those stories thoroughly researched to play fair with the rules of science; something any die-hard SciFi fan can appreciate.

Stith holds a B.A. in physics from the University of Minnesota, has served as an Air Force Officer, where he worked at NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Complex. The passion for science runs in his family, as his father George worked at the White Sands Missile Range on such projects like the rocket sled.

He has appeared on a live nationwide PBS broadcast or Science-Fiction Science-Fact (SF2) and his work has also been sold to film and television. His novel Reckoning Infinity was chosen as one of Science Fiction Chronicle’s Best Science Fiction Novels,  Redshift Rendezvous was picked as a Nebula Award nominee and Manhattan Transfer received an honorable mention from the Hugo Awards and a nomination from the Seiun Award in Japan.

Stith is a member of Science-Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), Mystery Writers of America (MWA), Writers Guild of America (WGA), International Thriller Writers, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (RMFW), Colorado Author’s League and Mensa.  He currently lives in Colorado Springs.

If you want to know more about John and his work, come back next week for a spotlight on the next re-release and a Q&A. 

Many thanks to the author/publisher and Sami @ Roger Charlie