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The Terminals: Spark [Kindle Edition]

Michael F. Stewart
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

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.


Editorial Reviews

Review

A semifinalist in the Best Kindle Books of 2014 Awards!

"The Terminals is a great story. It is thrilling, emotionally intense, beautiful, horrifying, and absolutely compelling." San Francisco Book Review.

"If you think you've read it all in the genre of mysteries and thrillers, think again. By adding a dose of supernatural sci fi, The Terminals Episode 1: Spark leads thriller readers on quite a different journey: one with no prior guideposts and no predictable paths." D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review.

"THE TERMINALS: SPARK provides a combination of emotional power, adrenaline-pumping action, and thought-provoking philosophy." IndieReader, 4.5 stars.

 
"Not many books are able to change your views on the afterlife. This one does." The Examiner, 5 stars.


"The Terminals, while occasionally funny and light-hearted, is overall pretty dark. There's violence, cursing, and a cast of characters so tragic that it makes the story's suicidal protagonist seem almost hopeful. And that's really the strength of this book: It brings you down to the depths of hell and then provides a glimmer of hope that all that misery and pain might serve a greater purpose." Portland Book Review, 4 stars.

About the Author

Michael F. Stewart is the author of the Assured Destruction Series. 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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 536 KB
  • Print Length: 270 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Non Sequitur Press; 1 edition (April 14, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JPGDDWM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #508,597 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grabs you from the first line! April 21, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
"Dying for a reason is a good reason to live, Colonel."

Many books can hook me within the first few pages. It is rare to have one hook me from the first line. Michael F. Stewart managed that with the above quote from his book, The Terminals, Spark.

Throughout this book, you are introduced to many characters, and at times one may question just how everyone fits into the grander scheme of things. However, this was not something that pulled me out of the story. One of the first characters the reader is introduced to, Colonel Christine Kurzow, is seriously rough around the edges. She is angry, flawed, hurting, and it makes her just endearing enough for you care about her internal and external struggles.

The other characters are complex and they each pull the reader in, investing them in the story almost as much as the Colonel does. Some through creating a hatred so deep you read on to see they get their due or because you can't help but sympathize and cheer them on, hoping they reach their goals.

Michael F. Stewart does a wonderful job of describing the worlds that the Terminals see, giving you a scene that is both intriguing, vividly real, and at times, terrifying. Another thing that I found Mr. Stewart doing well? He left the reader feeling the full spectrum of emotions right along with the characters.

I could go on and on about The Terminals, but I don't want to give anything away. This is a book you really have to pick up and read. It kept me engaged and I dreaded the moments I had to put it down. This story is fully deserving of the five coffee rating I'm awarding it. Michael F. Stewart created a story that is intriguing, page turning, and kept me on the edge of my seat as I waited to find out how Christine was going to handle everything she was faced with. I anxiously await the next installment of the Terminals and have high hopes it will leave me just as enthralled as this one has.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, Chilling, Thought Provoking April 18, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
The Terminals is a powerful, often chilling and thought provoking, novel. It’s fantasy but it raises real ethical questions about euthanasia.
Although they don’t lack humour, Stewart’s adult books are much darker and deeper than the ones he writes for young adults. One of the themes he often explores in his adult novels is different concepts of the afterlife. As he did in 24 Bones, in this book the author weaves a compelling story around a little known set of religious beliefs and, using his ability to create almost tangible characters and settings, draws the reader into an unusual and frightening afterlife.
The story is fast paced, gripping and tense. It’s not an easy read and I found the scenes where the children are held captive harrowing but, at the same time, I couldn’t put the book down. There is a brief respite in several tender scenes where characters face turning points in their lives, often saying goodbye to their past or to each other. I was particularly touched by the monk Charlie’s farewell to the monastery where he had spent his adult life. The book keeps the reader on edge until the end because when you think it’s reached the climax there’s still more. Everything seems to be resolved then another problem rears its head and you are gripped again. When it’s all over there’s still a couple unanswered questions, whetting the reader’s interest for a sequel.
One of Stewart’s fortes is his characters. They are complete: the reader sees, hears and smells them and empathises with their struggles. We know the psychic Attila by his coffee smell and the three elderly soldiers in the unit by their banter and never ending card game. The elderly soldiers are gutsy, funny and vulnerable. Readers admire their indomitable spirits and are moved by their frailty and vulnerability.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting take on the afterlife, needed more May 6, 2014
By Anne
Format:Kindle Edition
The Terminals has an unusual story line with the Army using/killing terminal patients so the patients can track bad guys in the afterlife and hopefully coerce details about plots that haven't actually taken place yet so they can be stopped. Christine, our heroine (a Lt. Colonel in the Army), made a bad choice getting 11 of her troops killed (apparently there are two other events which went bad, but they weren't described) so she kills herself out of guilt, well almost. It's made clear it was no pansy a$$ed attempt so we know her state of mind. The General comes and talks her into joining the team. I don't want to write more about the plot (though children are taken), because it's what develops that is intriguing, it's better the readers discover it on their own.

I can't rate it higher because I thought it needed to be fleshed out more. There are actually two entwined stories Christine's and one of the terminal's. I found his to be confusing and the transfer of knowledge from him to Christine unexplained. One minute he's fighting the bad dead guy, then it cuts to Christine in a chopper trying to save people. We're introduced to other characters who are stock characters because Christine can't be the only one looking for the missing kids. How Christine handles some betrayal left me cold too. I would have thought she'd have responded more and try to be more proactive. Why Christine decided to give something to the family of one of her troops isn't clear either. It pops out of no where. The change in the husband's demeanor too facile.

Another reviewer mentions that this may be a series. I guess I'm curious about what happens with the program and the main characters from this point, but it's not something I'm anxious to read, so 3 stars.

I received two copies for my honest review: one from the author and one from Netgalley which I forgot I'd requested. So, I was obviously interested in the premise.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent book
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting storyline.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is definitely something different. I've never read anything with this storyline before. Read more
Published 1 month ago by WickedLittleImp
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
very good read
Published 1 month ago by lisa
3.0 out of 5 stars Tastes Differ
It was neither a thrilling nor a compelling experience. I found nothing 'emotionally intense, beautiful, or horrifying'. At best, the book was readable. That is all.
Published 2 months ago by D R N
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
great read
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good read, would read more of this author
Published 3 months ago by Greg Baumgardner
4.0 out of 5 stars And for the most part it is pretty well executed
Unique story concept. And for the most part it is pretty well executed. There are some small editing issues, but nothing you can't look past.
Published 3 months ago by gmlb
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring
This just did nothing to keep my interest. The terminal line was rather nasty and torturing children in bad taste.
Published 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars not my usual kind of read...
Unusual concept but a little too dark for my tastes. I like sci-fi and fantasy, but this was too military for me.
Published 3 months ago by Kat Rogers
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
I didn't like it borring
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Michael F. Stewart is the author of the Assured Destruction Series, which won an honorable mention in the Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Awards and is a semifinalist in the Best Kindle Books of 2014 Awards. 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. To learn more about Michael and his next projects visit his website at www.michaelfstewart.com or connect via Twitter @MichaelFStewart.

Michael is represented by Talcott Notch.

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