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Rising Tide Paperback – October 6, 2015
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“A welcome voyage for fans of zombie, post-apocalyptic and steampunk fiction. . . . Rajan Khanna delivers a thrilling sci-fi adventure, in a world full of Feral humans and steampunk airships, with characters readers can truly root for.”
—Shelf Awareness for Readers
“Exciting… [Khanna’s] worldbuilding remains solid and unsettling, and he never loses sight of the human element. The cliffhanger ending is sure to leave readers on the edges of their seats, panting for resolution.”
“Thank you Rajan Khanna for a strong and intelligent woman who can hold her own, no matter the situation… there had better be a continuation to this series. I've just got to know what happens next!”
PRAISE FOR FALLING SKY:
“A cool world with steampunk and zombies combined. . . . The voice is very real and gritty and I felt immersed in the world. Abercombie-edgy and a quick read at that.”
"Falling Sky grabbed me right away and held me to the last sentence. Khanna’s book is short, but sharp as a hidden knife. It’s a fast ride, scary and twisty-turny, and it also has plenty of airships, zombies, and sarcasm, three of the best things in the world. It’s also very well written—terse but punchy, like Hemingway meets The Walking Dead."
—TAD WILLIAMS, author of Sleeping Late On Judgement Day: A Bobby Dollar Novel
“Fast-paced and fiercely imaginative, Khanna’s debut is a different look at a dystopian future.”
—MUR LAFFERTY, author of the Shambling Guides series and winner of the 2012 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
“Falling Sky is a gritty and gripping post-apocalyptic thriller, a noirish blend of Firefly and The Walking Dead—with a dash of Hayao Miyazaki. Welcome aboard the airship Cherub . . . your next stop: adventure!”
—E. C. MYERS, author of Fair Coin
About the Author
Rajan Khanna is the author of Falling Sky and Rising Tide. A writer, narrator, and blogger, his columns and articles regularly appear on Tor.com and LitReactor.com. He has narrated fiction for markets such as Podcastle, Escape Pod, Starship Sofa, Lightspeed Magazine, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. His short fiction has appeared in Lightspeed Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and several anthologies including The Way of the Wizard and Dead Man's Hand (both edited by John Joseph Adams).
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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We also get full chapters from Miranda's point of view, which is a wonderful addition to the sequel.
And another insane cliffhanger. Khanna really knows how to leave his audience hanging. Just hope there is another one on the way soon!
Pyr, Oct 6 2015, $17.00
In North America though he knows he did the right thing by saving the hidden city of Tamoanchan from raiders, airship captain Ben Gold hurts over the loss of his vessel Cherub that was destroyed when he did his first ever heroic deed (see Falling Sky). Instead of a hero’s welcome, Ben awakens from his myriad of injuries amazed to find his close friend Malik alive; as he thought his buddy died. Irate with his former BFF for abandonment during a crisis, Malik holds him prisoner while also incarcerating Ben’s beloved Miranda
Using Miranda as a pawn, Malik demands Ben do his bidding in the wasteland or else his scientist girlfriend dies. Miranda has been working on a cure to the pandemic plague that turned much of mankind into the Feral beasts. She wants to test her elixir; but needs Ben to rescue her team. To do that, they must escape from Malik at a time when a new deadly disease followed by invaders attack Tamoanchan occurs.
The second Ben Gold futuristic post-apocalyptic thriller continues the escapades of an anti-hero who prefers flight over fight though his love for Miranda has him continually breaking the family Golden Rule of save yourself at all times. The stark Khanna realm is filled with Feral zombies, mad friends, terrible diseases that made the planet’s desolate surface deadly and the air outside of fortresses treacherous, and horrific marauders as if The Walking Dead raced into a steampunk world.
If there’s one thing you can rely on, however, it’s that Ben will always make the practical choice. He’ll sacrifice one for the many and he sees the value in taking certain risks, until these choices become a little too personal or he meets someone for whom he is willing to sacrifice himself.
That someone is Miranda and she graces the cover of Rajan Khanna’s second book, ‘Rising Tide’. Miranda is an awesome character, one female readers such as myself have been looking forward to meeting. She’s smart, geeky, self-possessed and far from perfect. She might also have the answer to this zombie plague thing, so she’s important enough for Ben to change his ways. Also, he likes her quite a bit which makes Ben easy to manipulate.
You can’t have an apocalyptic, everyone-out-for-themselves environment without factions, mad despots and not so altruistic folks looking for their version of happy ever after.
So what’s the story here?
When we last saw Ben, he’d sacrificed his home and livelihood and the airship Cherub to save the island of Tamoanchan. He is rescued from the ocean, but not by someone who is going to make his life easier. An old friend/foe finds him and immediately sets out to even the score, using Miranda as collateral. So, the first half of ‘Rising Tide’ is Ben and Miranda winning free of their rescuer.
The second half is their return to Tamoanchan and the realisation that there is still an awful lot of work to be done. Miranda develops a successful test for the virus that decimated North America, but there is a new strain of the bug, one engineered for a different purpose. Miranda falls ill and people start dying. Then the invasion happens, which for Ben is something akin to a slap in the face with a battleship. This is what he sacrificed everything to prevent and now the island is under siege by disease and invaders.
The structure of ‘Rising Tide’ is a little weird. The first half feels almost like a separate adventure, as if the author needed something else to happen before utterly betraying his lead character. I enjoyed the greater insight into Ben’s past but I did wonder how it would all tie in. It does, thankfully. The second half of the book moves very swiftly, which is a good thing, as it’s crushing. We’ve seen Ben come so far only to run into even greater obstacles.
What’s next? It’s hard to guess. Where ‘Falling Sky’ left us with multiple choice questions, ‘Rising Tide’ leaves us with the dreaded essay question. There’s still a lot of material to cover and we’ve been left in a situation where we’re not sure who will be with us for the next chapter. Which, of course, means I’ll be reading on.
Reviewed for SFCrowsnest
If there ever was an bad guy, Malik is that person. I just kept hoping something bad would happen to him through out the story. There was great animosity between him and Ben and Miranda. Then there are the Ferals. I would never want to get up close and personal with one. I am looking forward to the third book with the way this book ended. Also, I do plan to go back and check out book one.