After reading the first book in this sensational series, The Trusted, by Michelle Medhat, I couldnt wait to get my hands on Book Two, The Dominant.After reading the first book in this sensational series, The Trusted, by Michelle Medhat, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Book Two, “The Dominant”. The second book takes the reader to the edge as Medhat leads the reader on a tumultuous path of violence, torture, traitors, and revenge. Picking up with Ellie Noor, wife of super-spy Sam Noor, being questioned and tortured by his own people, Medhat’s intense descriptions of extreme interrogation are nail-biting. This is not a book for the faint of heart. When Ellie shows unbelievable strength in resisting the interrogator, Spencer and Quentin resort to drugs to break her. Their plan backfires when Ellie dies under their brutal attempts to make her confess to being part of Al Nadir, assigned to murder Sam. Meanwhile, Sam is in the US questioning Salim Al Douri’s cousin Rasheed who is high in the Al Nadir organization. Infuriated by the killing of his good friend and fellow MI6 agent Matthew Kinley, his wife and child, Sam uses the same methods on the Al Nadir operative that are being utilized on his wife. Little does he know what his wife is experiencing across the ocean. Overseeing all of this action are the Kudamaz, the people of Kudamun who were assigned by the Ancient Ones to guard Earth. Separated from the world under their care by the Reality Gap, those on earth are unaware of their existence. There is conflict within the High Council of Kudamun as Aby-Od the current ruler struggles to save earth while opposing forces believe earth has failed to develop and is out of balance. Medhat’s ability to combine espionage, science fiction, romance, and terrorism in a tale that is rife with characters that could be ripped from today’s news is mind-blowing. From American President Treeborne to British Prime Minister Ashton, the characters ring true. In a world torn apart by terrorism and superweapons, these two men are far more concerned with their own power. They move players around the world like pieces on a giant chessboard. Salim Al Douri and his second in command Sabena Sanantoni hold all the cards to bring the world to its knees. While Sam Noor must work to stop them, he is also aware of the betrayal of his wife by his own people. Putting aside his own safety Sam struggles to perform all his duties, professional and private. Medhat’s hints that there is more to Ellie Noor than meets the eye offers an intriguing glimpse at the direction the series may take. Once again Medhat leaves her reader hungry for the next installment in the series. Readers who enjoy an action-filled series with vibrant characters and plots that twist and turn like loops on a roller coaster designed by Escher will love this book. It’s a no holds barred adventure in mayhem and madness that promises to keep readers flipping pages, frantic to learn what happens next. ...more
Id read an earlier Electric Eclectic Novelette by Michael J. Elliott (Final Harvest), so when I saw he had a new release I couldnt wait to read it.I’d read an earlier Electric Eclectic Novelette by Michael J. Elliott (“Final Harvest”), so when I saw he had a new release I couldn’t wait to read it. This author is fast becoming one of my favorite go-to reads. His writing is crisp, his imagination terrifying, and his sense of humor delightfully irreverent. “A Glutton for Punishment” is a darkly dystopian tale where obese people are punished for being, well, fat. Now, this isn’t related to appearance but is a result of rising healthcare costs due to being overweight and diseases that result from obesity. In a seemingly generous move, the obese are given three chances to lose weight and become what the government considers healthy. To encourage weight loss the heavies are provided “Cal-Cards” that restrict their purchases of unhealthy, weight building groceries. Those who attempt to circumvent government laws are punished. Enter Lynda Whittaker, high school library worker. Note, I did not call her a librarian. Relegated to the back room of the library where she would not be seen or teased by students, she is grateful to even have a job. Lynda has reached her the end of her third attempt at weight loss. On her visit to the Department of Obesity Control and Monitoring, she is informed her time is up. She will be sent to an internment camp for the chronically obese. What follows is nothing short of madness. The camps are secured by Obesity Guards and the inmates are given jobs to perform to earn credits to be spent on supplies like clothing, hygiene supplies, and, you guessed it, food. Elliott has managed to create an environment that is both horrifying and amusing. Lynda makes friends with her roomie and even develops an essentially platonic relationship with another chubby. Throughout all of this, the potential of being released to a “Fat City” is dangled like a reward. These cities were designed solely for the obese who would never be permitted to return to their old lives but would be able to live with a little more freedom. Following Lynda through her experiences is an eye-opener. It isn’t difficult to imagine laws like this with consequences as drastic becoming reality. When government becomes authoritarian and controls every facet of its citizen's lives, things are bound to go awry. I highly recommend this book. It may be an early warning to the way the world is headed. There are things besides weight they may choose to exercise control over. Much like Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” or George Orwell’s “1984”, this story should make the reader think and even be concerned. Read it for pleasure, but consider the underlying message.