Must Read Dystopian Trilogy

If you haven’t read this yet, you need to get on it!! Best dystopian trilogy I have ever read! And yes, I liked it better than Hugh Howey’s books (sorry Hugh! still love your stuff!)

Best of all – NO ZOMBIES OR VAMPIRES!

The Kindle versions are only $1.99! You can’t beat that!

juge 1Ride The Wilderness: Book One Of The Shift Trilogy

Washington DC Intelligence Analyst Chris Jung has gone fetal. Tormented by panic-fueled obsessive thoughts and buried in TPS reports, the walls of his cubicle are closing in. But when a mysterious series of EMPs plunges the industrialized world into darkness, it saves Chris from himself and spurs him to head for the hills with his pregnant wife.

Along the way, Chris meets Rita Luevano, a jaded Unitarian reverend who leads a motley horde fleeing to Monticello. Together with the remnants of a Marine battalion, Chris and Rita help establish communities of urban refugees in the Shenandoah Valley. They and the other lucky few who have escaped civilization’s collapse learn the lost arts of subsistence agriculture, blacksmithing and archery in order to adapt to a world devoid of technology and instant gratification. Faced with the specter of starvation and death, Chris and Rita must face their own demons and conjure the dormant will to live even while pop tunes and TV commercials still ring fresh in their ears and they no longer have Wikipedia to give them the answers.
Not everything from the old world has perished. One corporate entity, a black ops military security corporation, weathered the collapse and seeks hostile takeovers of what the burgeoning communities have scraped together. Thrust out of their suburban malaise and into a gritty struggle for survival, a tenacious spirit awakens in the haunted souls of Chris and Rita who find their authentic selves at the end of civilization.

MY REVIEW:

As an avid sci-fi reader and as an editor, it takes a lot to impress me. In my first encounter with The Hunger Games, before it went viral, I knew it was going to be a huge hit. In all my years of editing fiction, I have only twice worked on a story that I felt was going to be a huge hit. I had the immense honor of working with Michael Juge on Refurbished Soul, the third in his Shift trilogy. I did not even make it to the second chapter before realizing that this book (and the two before it) were going to hit the reading world in much the same way The Hunger Games did. I worked overtime on Refurbished Soul because I simply could not put it down! Michael pulls you into the story from page one and won’t let you go. The characters come alive and the action pulls you along with seemingly no effort. Michael is an amazing author and dedicated to his art. And for the record, he did not ask me or pay me to write this review! I wholeheartedly believe in the Shift Trilogy (I’ve read all three books TWICE) and you will not regret stepping into the delightful, action packed, and thrilling world of the Shift. P.S. I am stocked up on peanut butter and have my bike in tip top condition, Michael, bring it on!

 

juge 2A Hard Rain: Book Two of the Shift Trilogy

“It’s been 5 ½ years since the Shift first plunged the industrialized world into darkness. Left with only a few old diesel engines and Classic Rock albums recorded on vinyl, the EMPs have forced the survivors to adapt to a world devoid of computers, bereft of a global economy and reeling without Facebook.

Our favorite obsessive-compulsive Chris Jung has grown up (a little) and now leads the Vicious Rabbits Bicycle Mounted Cavalry through the necropolis of the DC Beltway region, protecting Rochelle and her allies in the Orange Pact from bandit raids. Meanwhile, Reverend Rita Luevano struggles to maintain an uneasy peace between the Unitarian majority and the Christian minority in Greater Monticello.

The Orange Pact allies are threatened by foes all around. Outnumbered and outgunned, they stand against the rising tide of chaos and tyranny largely through the wily interventions of the intelligence organization known as the Swan, headed by Meredith Jung. But the darkness is closing in on this little slice of sanity in the Shenandoah Valley. Meredith knows it’s only a matter of time until the Lambs of God in Lynchburg decide to attack, and when they do, there will be no stopping them. Furthermore, Meredith carries a secret so potentially devastating that it dwarves the prospect of being overrun by religious fanatics bent on their destruction.

Rita is called to join Chris and his Bicycle Mounted Cavalry on a mission of utmost urgency that leads them into the heart of darkness: suburban Maryland. Along the way, they discover that nothing is as it seems. Between Meredith’s secret and the revelations uncovered in Maryland, Chris, Rita and Meredith find themselves where they would really rather not be, at the center of the vortex where the entire fate of humanity hangs in the balance.”

 

juge 3Refurbished Soul: Book Three of the Shift Trilogy

The time has come. A massive asteroid is hurtling toward earth and will wipe out all life when it hits. The Lambs of God are preparing to slaughter the Orange Pact communities. And Captain Chris Jung has been tossed into a mundane alternate reality where the Shift never happened to languish in a soul-sucking cubicle while his counterpart from that reality awakens in a world sundered.

Jamil, the organic computer, has a plan that could save the world in both realities: the Shiftiverse, where the Shift happened, and the Mundaniverse, where it didn’t. Part of that plan requires that Rita Luevano venture to the furthest reaches of no man’s land, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Somewhere within herself, Rita possesses a knowledge acquired from her Mundaniverse counterpart that could be the key to humanity’s survival.  Accompanying her is Chris Jung from the Mundaniverse, who finally gets away from the office like he always wanted to, just not in the way he imagined.

Meanwhile, Meredith Jung and Ezra Rothstein prepare the Orange Pact for the inevitable onslaught by the Lambs of God while the interim leader of Monticello threatens to undermine the alliance. Despite knowing the end is coming, Meredith rallies a final stand against their oppressor. Mundaniverse Chris will be called to fightfor his life while Shiftiverse Chris, lost in a world without Vicious Rabbits, will be called to be a warrior once more. And Rita will discover that saving humanity means more than simply saving the world from annihilation.

Chris, Rita, and Meredith have been on a journey that began long before the world came crashing down, a journey that leads to the moment where the fate of the entire planet in both realities coalesce. Across the span of the quantum divide, each must find a strength hidden in a shared past.

About Karen Y. Hamilton

Karen leads workshops in Creative Writing, Poetry and Journal Therapy, and Memoir Writing. She has studied genealogy and personal histories since 1987, lecturing and leading workshops on Memoir Writing and Journaling to the community since 1998. Karen holds a BA in English and has studied Literature, Business, and Education at the graduate level. She is a former college instructor of English Composition and Reading. In the past, Karen has worked as a high school & middle school teacher. She currently works as a Curriculum Specialist and is an MFA Creative Writing student at Florida Atlantic University.
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