This is my stop during the blog tour for Kingdom: Tiber City Blues by Anderson O’Donnell. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 16 September till 6 October. See the tour schedule here.
In a secret laboratory hidden under the desert, a covert bioengineering project—codename “Exodus”—has discovered the gene responsible for the human soul.
Somewhere in the neon sprawl outside the nation’s collapsing economic core, a group of renegade monks are on the verge of uncovering a secret that has eluded mankind for centuries.
In a glittering tower high above the urban decay, an ascendant U.S. Senator is found dead–an apparent, yet inexplicable, suicide.
And in the streets below, a young couple races through an ultra-modern metropolis on the verge of a violent revolution….closing in on the terrible truth behind Exodus–and one man’s dark vision for the future of mankind.
You can find Kingdom: Tiber City Blues on Goodreads
You can buy Kingdom: Tiber City Blues here on Amazon
What reviewers are saying:
“A taut, brilliantly conceived thriller with impeccable pacing bursting with ideas…For fans of noir-laden science fiction in the vein of Philip K. Dick that is in equal measures suspenseful, gripping, darkly funny and philosophically challenging.” (starred review and named a Top Indie Book of the Year) – Kirkus Reviews
“There simply aren’t enough stars to communicate the impressiveness of O’Donnell’s work here. He has taken religion, science, politics, theory and philosophy and blended them all together to create what is easily one of the most important books to come out this year.” – Pavarti K. Tyler, Fighting Monkey Press
Kingdom is a thrill-a-minute, bio-punk myth that manages to wrestle with the most pressing issues of the new millennium. O’Donnell has crafted a kickass novel of tomorrow night, when the big party gets raided by the monsters we’ve been building for the last half-century. Hip and hellish, wild and weird, Tiber City is the dystopian megalopolis into which we will all soon move–whether we know it or not. – Jack O’Connell, Author of Word Made Flesh and Box Nine
The rain started an hour or so after the sun sank below the horizon. It continued for most of the night, pelting the city with a warm, gritty rain that smelled like hot dogs and medicine. A few of the billboards flashed warnings, and several of the community action drones bleated pre-recorded pollution alerts as they circled the city. It was the same message over and over, advising that atmospheric alterations may be—may be—responsible for elevated levels of toxicity and that citizens may want to seek shelter.
Meghan had been back in the city less than a week and she was already sick of the endless warnings, public service announcements, and targeted advertising pulsing from the thousands of video screens that tattooed all the empty space in the city. Buildings, cars, statutes, benches, the sandwich boards of doom prophets—everything was fair game, including the fucking sky, which came with really low cost-per-square-inch projections, and outstanding consumer visibility. Meghan hated it all. She had developed a particular loathing for the community action drones, which, she knew, were capable of alternating any number of differently phrased warnings but instead the AI chose to repeat the same few sentences over and over as they looped around the city until the announcements blurred into a singular noise bent on hammering the city into submission. Tiber wasn’t just loud—it was so oppressive that outside thought or private external communication was almost impossible.
That night, the rain cast the entire city into slow motion; the streets a sea of brake lights and flashing police sirens. There was spillover from the subway; service had been disrupted after a young woman had blown her brains out all over one of the shiny new D-line trains, the sirens from the response teams howling in concert—city police, fire, ambulance, hazmat, terrorism, transit police, and for some reason, various representatives of Tiber’s private security forces. Closed Circuit television footage of the suicide was being broadcast on the city’s massive digitalized billboards reserved for the ‘news,’ presented in ultra-high definition by the Shinto-Blackpool corporation, details of the incident streaming across the bottom of the screen. A police spokeswoman would address the media shortly.
Pressing her way forward through the chaos, Meghan jumped from taxi to taxi, switching cars whenever the traffic in her lane froze, moving from car to car, a few blocks at a time. Each time she slid into a new taxi, the drivers just stared at her through their rearview mirror—it was better to have a rider than none, even if only for a few blocks. She would light a cigarette and stare right back. All around her, the city was brake lights and flickering advertisements. It was on nights like these that Meghan hated Tiber and its endless blocks of skyscrapers and nightclubs and lifestyle centers. Don’t like your current life? Just swipe your card and sign here, and here, and here—that was the promise offered by the multitude of screens looming on either side of the avenue. No returns though, thought Meghan, as her taxi drifted past yet another massive glass-front gym packed with grim-faced, solitary thirty-somethings. A decent looking guy on one of the elliptical machines noticed her through the windows and offered what Meghan assumed was his best sexy smile, his back snapping straight, his stride suddenly more confident. Smiling back, Meghan raised a middle finger in his general direction.
Figuring out where Dylan had been was the easy part; finding people was one of Finn’s specialties. Getting to him before someone else did—that was going to be the trick. Finn warned her to stay away; told her Dylan was in bad shape, and getting worse. But she needed to know what he knew—what the information she stole from her father meant, and how it related to what she saw in the desert. And, there was something else—a deeper motivation she wasn’t willing to accept or admit but it was there, driving her into the Tiber City night.
By the time she reached the End of the World party, the celebration was in its death throes—revelers scattering in ones and twos, languid beats slouching through open doors and into the rain-soaked alleyways, slow but relentless. Meghan slipped through the half-shadows and flicking neon toward the warehouse where she could see the bullet-proof glass on the 24-hour opioid dispensaries vibrating from the bass. This reminded her: Junkie business in the Jungle district is bad news all around.
When Meghan found Dylan—exactly where Finn had told her he would be—he was face down in a back alley behind a warehouse, the outline of his body visible in the glow thrown off by a digitalized advertisement—Jack Heffernan, Progress Party candidate for President—stretched across the face of a skyscraper, blanketing this and the adjacent dozen or so blocks in a cold artificial light. There were razor-sharp gashes cleaved into the city’s surface and as she picked up her pace toward the body, Meghan imagined the earth’s crust recoiling from the steel, light, and noise, retreating back toward the darkness at its core. The Heffernan ad flashed the nation’s flag for several seconds, bathing the alley in a pale red hue. A drone was hovering a few feet above Dylan’s crumbled form.
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Kingdom: Tiber City Blues. One winner will win a prize pack (open international) containing the following items: a signed copy of Kingdom Tiber City Blues, a poster of the cover Kingdom Tiber City Blues, a bottle of whiskey and a copy of The Clash’s “London Calling”.
For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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