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Mr. Ruins: A Thriller (Ruins Sonata Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Michael John Grist
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

"... a mind-twisting thriller through the tsunami-ravaged future." - Christine Hooker.

The Arctic ice is gone, blasted apart in decades-long resource wars, and global tsunamis have scoured the world into ruin. Survivors hide in utopian cities behind vast flood-walls, or on lawless floating slums on the open ocean, living in fear of the next big wave.

Ex-Arctic marine Ritry Goligh doesn't care. He lost more in the wars than anyone could understand. Now he lives in the slums, and spends his nights in an alcohol-soaked blur of violence and sex, until a shadowy figure with an excellent hat drops the corpse of Napoleon at his feet.

This is Mr. Ruins, a sadist and mass murderer. In the rusted hull of a belly-up cathedral ship, he offers Ritry a better life, built on the back of stolen thoughts. But he asks a terrible price, and Ritry must decide what kind of man he wants to be- predator, prey, or something wholly new, before Mr. Ruins steals the one thing he has left: his soul.

Amazon readers have said:
- "Brilliant and heart-stopping … I couldn't put it down ... mixes an Iain M. Banks-ish lyrical style with high-octane science-fiction action seamlessly."

- "A gorgeously drawn sci-fi world blends with an action-packed plot that reminded me of Inception, though very different … an adventure unlike anything else."

Product Details

  • File Size: 513 KB
  • Print Length: 255 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #459,570 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting, dramatic & will draw you in deep! August 4, 2014
By Bethany
Format:Kindle Edition
Read this book with an open mind.. Much is going on that will seem rather confusing at first but don't be discouraged! Stick with it & soak up the ambiance as it will all make sense. The more you read, the more you'll be sucked in, feeling, hearing, smelling the surroundings and not wanting to step away. MJG is a master of this, and this addictive tale proves it yet again! From the start you begin to feel for the characters as though you're in their minds, feeling & thinking as they are. This bond only gets stronger as you read on. The situations they get into & the suspense, oh the suspense!! Nearly impossible to put down & full of mini-cliffhangers, each section drive you on to want to know what happens next. There was more than one time I yelled at the text.. No! Arg!! So engrossed in the story that I'm physically reacting to it.. More than once my mind was twisted around in the emotions of the characters.. be it their confusion or their desperation.

A couple lines in the book that really struck a chord for me .. "The unconsidered life is not worth living" Something to think about...

"But is that all you are, casualty of a specific kind of surrender? Are you the lion who will not bloody his claws or fangs for the pain it will cause his prey? So the lion pines and dies, and what does he honor any living thing that he will not do as his nature dictates, to the best of his ability? What do you honor Ritry, to deny yourself?"

"What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul?"

These hit me hard & really brought up the thoughts of my own life.. I then identified even more with Ritry & where he starts in this story..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Compelling Futuristic Adventure August 4, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
[Mr. Ruins] by [Michael John Grist] is a mind twisting thriller through the tsunami ravages future. The main character Rit is a diver of minds and the plot goes back and forth between Rit and Me, who is currently on a mission with his "chord". If this sounds confusing, it can be, but this is how the tone is set for this novel and works very well with it. The future world created by [Grist] is one in turmoil and with no promise of a future and he portrays this emotion in his writing.

I look forward to reading more of [Mr. Grist's] books. It was a interesting journey. I recommend it to any fan of science fiction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars and does a great job of world building August 5, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a very ambitious new book, stylistically unlike anything I've read before. It's well written, has an interesting premise, believable main characters, and does a great job of world building. He sets up an intriguing puzzle, and has the skills to pull you through. This promises to be a very unique trilogy for science fiction fans.
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Format:Kindle Edition
Mr. Ruins is a compelling first of a series by Michael John Grist, whose wonderfully ethereal Bells of Subsidence appeared in Clarkesworld a year or so back. The novel is an intricate piece of world building, that while dizzying at times, is neither inaccessible nor disorienting. In a future where human memory, history, and the ground under our feet have become as volatile and impermanent as molten lava, Grist keeps us tethered tightly to Ruins' wounded characters, throwing occasional glimpses at characters' and the planet's past traumas.
"I wonder..." A character muses,"if this was how all the world used to feel, living in the shadow of the arctic ice, knowing that one day soon it would shear and everything would change."
These characters here have had no time to wait. They've been thrown in the thick of the mess and are surviving as best they can. Part New Weird, part cyberpunk, and the best kind of pirate film, the pace is fast without sacrificing the prose (and vice versa--an issue with quite a few literary spec fic offerings: I'm talking to you Aurorarama). Grist shows that it's not an either or situation, inserting the language of this new world just enough to make it both intriguingly alien and disconcertedly familiar.

Very much looking forward to the next in the series.
And one more thing: Where's my periscope bar?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not finished but this is good! August 7, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This will be a short review for now as I haven't finished reading this yet. However, I wanted to review now for the benefit of those new to the science fiction genre, as I myself am, for the most part. Moving on. First off, for new sci-fi readers, it can be a little confusing at the beginning. There are a lot of futuristic/created terms that can be confusing if you're not used to sci-fi, but after a while you'll get the hang of it. The way Grist has laid the book out is a bit unique; it's in the first person, and every-other chapter follows one character or the other. The second protagonist intrigues me more so than the first, but that may change as I get further into the book. I found the book interesting enough in the beginning to continue reading, but it was the fourth chapter that really got me hooked. (That chapter is also when I finally had a "duh" moment in regards to some of the character names). Overall, I'm very much enjoying this book so far. I'll expand on this review as soon as I've finished it.
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More About the Author

Michael John Grist is a British science-fiction & fantasy author, and ruins photographer who lives in Tokyo, Japan.

- His short stories have been published in Clarkesworld, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Andromeda Spaceways, Ideomancer, Kaleidotrope, as well as in numerous other publications. He typically writes heroic science fiction and epic fantasy with a dark, surreal humor.

He also explores and photographs the modern ruined buildings of Japan, known as haikyo (AKA urbex), driven by a childhood spent re-enacting the adventures of Indiana Jones and the Goonies in the fields behind his house.

Now that he's grown up, this kind of 'exploring' may seem a bit of a silly thing to do (as one friend pointed out- 'they're just dirty old buildings'), but the appeal of photography, travel, and yes, still adventure, keep him coming back for more.

Some of the 70 or so locations he's visited include abandoned theme parks, military installations, ruins of the sex industry, and ghost towns.

- He has contributed haikyo articles and photography to books, web magazines, encyclopedias, print magazines, and is featured in the award-winning haikyo documentary movie Silent Visitors.

Michael was born in Manchester, England, to an American mother and British father. He was raised in Bolton, where as a kid he wrote snippets of fantasy stories and explored the horse's field behind his house. Nothing much has changed since then, except the snippets became full stories and the horse's field got a whole lot bigger.

In his childhood summers he visited his family in Kentucky, where he learnt how to make s'mores, enjoyed night-time hay-rides, and worked in his uncle's bike shop. In his late teens he worked at a summer camp for disadvantaged kids in Massachusetts, and after graduating high school in the UK he went (glutton for punishment, yes) to high school again, in Indiana, on an exchange program for two semesters. It was there that he first took creative writing classes, and started work on his first novel (which is now maturing on his hard drive like a fine wine). He also took a Greyhound trip around the country (six days and nights on a bus), which reinforced his thirst for exploration.

Now he enjoys the odd game of squash and badminton, working out in the gym, going to ruins, and of course writing stories and novels. He lives in a central Tokyo apartment with his wife and their pet King Frog, and works as an English lecturer at university.


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