Review: Cadence of Consequences: The Chronicles of Xannia Series (Book 2) by M.J. Moores

I had the pleasure of reading Cadence of Consequences early, given that I was lucky enough to beta read the second novel in The Chronicles of Xannia series. To be completely honest, after reading the first, I jumped at the chance. You can read my review of Time’s Tempest here.

So, before I share my review of this great adventure, here’s a little more about the book itself.

TheChroniclesofXannia3_1400She risks losing her life above-ground, in the city she loves, and for what? Possibly harming the innocent if she remains hidden below…

Trapped in a foreign Underground world, Taya battles inner demons and alienation as the man she promised to protect… to love… remains firmly planted in the government’s cross-hairs; hell bent on fulfilling his destiny to change the world. Constantly accosted by a fanatic sect of the Followers of Light, praising her as a false goddess in a religion she never truly believed in, Taya searches for something to return a sense of meaning and purpose in her life. As her skepticism for the impending coup grows so too does Gerrund’s lack of trust, undermining not only her sense of self-worth but their ability to overthrow a corrupt government.

Even as Taya desperately works to establish a communication network spanning the Deserts in an effort to keep a promise she never should have made, her past interferes causing any sense of the future to spiral out of control. It is up to Taya to fix herself and her fractured relationships in order to embrace her destiny and help two very different men attempt to alter the course of history.

Cadence of Consequences – Review

In the first book of the series we were introduced to Xannia, and got a real feel for this new and exciting world. We joined Taya on an epic adventure as she led Dezmind and a group of his followers across the Deserts. We saw Taya use her expertise as a guide to keep the group alive, and learned the origins of Dezmind’s prophecy. These revelations led to a different fight for survival and culminated in an explosive finale – one which made Taya a target.

In Cadence of Consequences we journey with Taya below ground. Separated from Dezmind, lost and determined to return to her duties topside, Taya faces a multitude of challenges. This chapter in the series packs an emotional punch, which cements a reader’s loyalty to Taya and her friends. Not only does she suffer a crisis of identity, this sense of loss is exacerbated by a group of fanatics known as the Followers of Light. They plague Taya mercilessly, delaying her journey into a renewed sense of self.

Despite the turmoil, Taya’s true personality shines through and her skills are as admirable as ever. I particularly enjoyed the differing points of view within Cadence of Consequences; both the scenes in the Deserts, where a group remains, and of Dezmind’s own struggles in a changing world.

It is a story of unrest, fear and mistrust. But it is also a tale of love, discovery and Taya’s interminable strength. As a reader I was rooting for her. I’m drawn to the connection she has with Dezmind, and though the two are apart in this particular adventure, the author managed to show us the link they share in a variety of ways.

The pacing of the story is one which allows a reader to settle in and appreciate the journey. It’s a definite page turner, a book you’ll find hard to put down. As with the first in the series, Cadence of Consequences is a rollercoaster ride, and it is one which will stay with you. I can’t wait to join Taya and Dezmind for their next adventure.


Chronicles of Xannia Poster

Purchase Links:

Time’s Tempest

Cadence of Consequences

Excerpt – Cadence of Consequences

I float under a clear lid, in a sealed grey metal box filled with red-tinged water. Holding my breath, wanting desperately to feel the pain of my marks release, but my gills refuse to open. I heave my body around in circles as the metallic cuffs rip into the tender flesh of my wrists and ankles. A thick, muffled, tick-tick-tick ebbs through the water. I try kicking out with my bound feet to free myself. My heart pounds in my ears, even as the ticking echoes through my brain. My lungs burn.

A faint pin-point of light flashes somewhere above me. Help me! I scream in my mind. My neck goes limp; my chin drifts to my chest. Help me Four bubbles of air escape from my nose. The light disappears as the metal walls push in toward me

Gasping for air, I jerked backwards. The island stool fell away and I smacked my head on the edge of the breakfast bar as I crashed to the floor, cracking my hip against the stone floor.

I opened my eyes, but they refused to adjust; the room remained black. Grasping at the smooth floor, I pulled myself forward on my stomach until the glow from the timer on the coffee pot became visible through the pulsating ache above my right eye. My chest constricted against my lungs before I managed another gasp, taking in oceans of air. Great sobs wracked my over-taxed body. In the pool of dim light illuminating the kitchen floor, I curled into a ball and wept.

That feeling of helplessness and confinement clung to my skin like cobwebs. The nightmares were evolving and coming more often now. What hurt even more was the reminder of Gerrund’s words after leaving me alone in my new apartment for the first time: They found you once, theyll find you again. No amount of body art is going to change that. They know you.

He’d claimed that the Kronik’s Special Agents evolved from the CTF just as I had. That my employer’s knowledge of my actions, reactions, body language and vocal patterns made me easy prey in the wrong company.

Being abducted and tortured in the Warehouse showed that I wasn’t invincible after all… that maybe Gerrund and Dez had a point about it being safer for me to remain Underground – but the only things this cage reinforced were failure and susceptibility to the whims of others. The truth serum had been in my veins… if Gerrunds team hadnt saved me, could I have held out against it?

Sitting on the cold floor, against the half-wall of the kitchen island, I leaned my head back as the last remnants of tears dried in salty streaks along my cheeks. I sat there, in the dark, afraid to move and ignite an electric shock-wave in my head. My arms hung limp beside me, my legs at odd angles on the floor, as my breath came in shallow, uneven wisps.

I had no idea how long I’d been there. It was obviously still twilight, so I hadn’t slept for long – just long enough. The more time that passed, the steadier my breathing became. The longer I waited, the clearer my mind got; until a plan formed.

As my brain eagerly welcomed the onslaught of budding thoughts, the feeling slowely returned to my fingers and toes. This was what I was trained to do: identify the situation, analyse it, deconstruct it, and plan for the offensive.

I had to stop the dreams. If I didn’t, they’d kill me. I couldn’t go on like this. Its time to get mobile again gain some semblance of control. Reaching forward, I rested on my hands and knees before crawling into my bedroom.

I sat beside the nightstand with my back against the bed. Yanking the drawer out, I spilled the contents on the floor in front of me. My eyes finally adjusted to the dark. This simple function took three times longer than usual, and had never really worked since the nightmares started. My half-Talian abilities were rendered useless.

I sifted through the mess on the floor: pens, paper, a book, some loose hair clips, and a couple of small plastic containers… until my wrist bumped the empty bottle I searched for.


Melissa6 portrait - AM.J. Moores began her career as an English teacher in Ontario, Canada. Her love of storytelling and passion for writing has stayed with her since the age of nine. M. J. relishes tales of adventure and journeys of self-realization. She enjoys writing in a variety of genres but speculative fiction remains her all time favourite. M.J. is a regular contributor to Authors Publish Magazine and she runs an Emerging Writers website called Infinite Pathways where she offers editing services and platform building opportunities. Her debut novel Time’s Tempest is currently available in print and e-book with Book 2 launching September 28th, 2015.

Connect with M.J.


Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Time's Tempest by M.J. Moores

Time's Tempest - Official Book CoverTaya

A loyal and dedicated government contractor extraordinaire, learns of the fate

of the planet while on a top-secret job working as a lab tech for a disreputed scientist.

Dezmind

A Talian government dissenter who claims the only way to save their dying world

is to trust a set of ancient documents lost long ago in the forbidding Deserts.

Zaith

A reporter covering the story of a lifetime following a lead that could mean more

than breaking the biggest story to hit the planet since the Nine Seas Massacre.

Fate, destiny and truth collide with 2000 year old secrets the government will do anything to keep buried. When Taya is forced to accept a contract that will be a death sentence for anyone involved, she unwittingly becomes a catalyst in a game she never wanted to play. As she leads a false prophet and his followers on a mission doomed from the start, she learns far more about herself and her world than she ever thought possible.

The end of the word or just some nut-job trying to get innocent people killed to validate his own endgame? Taya’s not sure, but either way it’s up to her discover the truth between fate and destiny in this divided land.

For a review of the book, click here.

Bio:

M.J. Moores, OCT – BFA , BEd

Growing up in Ontario, Canada, M.J. was the only child of a single mom. Her passion for the arts ignited at a young age as she wrote adventure stories and read them aloud to close family and friends. The dramatic arts became a focus in high school as an aid to understanding character motivation in her writing. Majoring in Theatre Production at York University, with a minor in English, she went on to teach both elementary and high school for 10 years throughout Simcoe County.

M.J. currently lives with her husband and young son in Caledon, Ontario. She keeps busy these days with her emerging authors’ website Infinite Pathways: hosting writing contests, providing editing services, free publicity tips, book reviews, and opportunities for authors to build their writing platform and portfolio. In addition she writes articles and edits freelance as she continues her own creative writing working toward completing the next book in the Chronicles Series. Time’s Tempest: The Chronicles of Xannia (1) is M.J.’s debut science fiction novel. She firmly believes that if she hadn’t been born a Virgo, she wouldn’t be half as organized as she needs to be to get everything done from one day to the next.

To read an interview with M. J. click here.

Time's Tempest - 3D Cover

Connect With M.J. Online –

http://mjmoores.com

http://facebook.com/AuthorMJMoores

@AuthorMJMoores

http://infinite-pathways.org

http://juzdizrts.wordpress.com

http://www.gwlpublishing.co.uk/m-j-moores

Author Central: http://amazon.com/author/mjmoores

Buy links:

Barnes & Noble – Print Edition 

Amazon – Print Edition 

Amazon – Ebook Edition (kindle) 

Review: Time's Tempest by M. J. Moores

Time's Tempest - Official Book Cover

Embarking as a guide into the death zones that are the Deserts, Taya leads a group of civilians who blindly follow a prophet obsessed with preventing the planet Xannia from environmental self-destruction. Here, Fate and Destiny wage war propelling an epic search for truth amidst 2000 year old lies, in opposition to a government bent on burying ancient secrets and anyone who goes looking for them.

 As Taya desperately attempts to keep the prophet and his followers alive, this journey forces her to grapple with the circumstances of her past which have aligned to hurdle her into her darkest memories; making choices she never wanted to consider; learning truths she was never meant to know.

Review

Time’s Tempest is an epic journey, with so many twists and turns my head is still spinning. There is action throughout, and the intrigue, the sheer excitement of the journey had me completely hooked.

I love conspiracy theories, so add in science fiction, prophecies, destiny and a fight for the truth, and it equals one grand adventure. One which is too good to miss. I found myself immersed in a new world, and life on Xannia was extraordinary. The hierarchy is well established in the beginning, introducing the Kronik and their own brand of government. M.J. describes the world beautifully; the descriptions are well written and the colour she provides is exquisite.

The novel is told from Taya’s point of view and I really loved her character. It’s not only her strength and resilience, her sense of authority. It is her quirky ways and the fact she has real heart – that’s what really draws a reader in.

Taya is a government contractor who accepts a mission to guide a prophet and his followers into the Deserts. What begins is more than a journey of discovery. The group face danger at every turn, but within the danger, the conflict and the quest to find the ultimate truth, there is a deep sense of connection. In its essence, it is a beautiful love story.

The relationship between all the characters is engaging, often electric. The first time Taya meets the prophet, Dezmind (face to face), I could feel the power in them, and the more time I spent with them, the more I grew to love them. But I liked getting to know each member of the group as they journeyed together, fought for each other, and drew on each others strength. I can’t say too much about what they faced in the desert, without giving too much away. I enjoyed it so much I don’t want to spoil it for you.

I said it earlier – this story is too good to miss.

****

Melissa6 portraitBio

M.J. Moores began her career as an English teacher in Ontario, Canada. Her love of storytelling and passion for writing has writing has stayed with her since the age of nine. M. J. relishes tales of adventure and journeys of self-realization. She enjoys writing in a variety of genres but speculative fiction remains her all time favourite.

Connect With M.J. Online –

http://mjmoores.com

http://facebook.com/AuthorMJMoores

@AuthorMJMoores

http://infinite-pathways.org

http://juzdizrts.wordpress.com

http://www.gwlpublishing.co.uk/m-j-moores

Author Central: http://amazon.com/author/mjmoores

Purchase links:

Barnes & Noble – Print Edition 

Amazon – Print Edition 

Amazon – Ebook Edition (kindle) 

Interview with M.J. Moores, author of Time's Tempest

Melissa6 portraitWhen did you first consider yourself a writer?

Back in high school, in grade 10, my English teacher Mr. McNeil (the “loud” one – there were two Mr. McNeils… the other one taught senior English and was considered the “quiet” one) saw a quality in my writing I always hoped was there but was never certain of. He asked me to join The In-School Writers. It was a group of aspiring writers in all grade levels who wrote for the local newspaper about school events. I was published for the first time that year J

What inspired you to write your first book?

Now that’s a trick question. I technically wrote my first book when I was 9 years old. My fourth grade teacher (who I adored like a big sister) asked the class to write a three page short story as a Language Arts assignment. I wrote her a 40 page chapter book called The Enchanted Jungle Figure. Then, in grade 10, I revisited the story and turned it into a full-length chapter book by updating the characters, revising the plot, and adding more of what I’d learned about the craft of writing to the story. I still have that chapter book and might one day look at having it published.

That being said, what inspired me to write my first published book Time’s Tempest: The Chronicles of Xannia was an incident that occurred while I was in my 1st year of community college – Y2K. At the time it seemed like half the planet was sure of certain doom when the digital calendars threatened to change to 1900 instead of 2000, and the other half of the planet either didn’t care or thought the reigning governments had things handled just fine. On New Year ’s Eve my then boyfriend, now husband, was in the first camp and I was in the second camp. As you well know, the world did not come to an end on January 1st, 2000. But that didn’t stop me from wondering “what if it had?” And that fueled the premise for Time’s Tempest.

How did you come up with the title?

Oh, it went through a variety of changes. It started as The Chronicles of Xanix without a specific book title. And then I realized that was only half of what I needed so I started playing around with different ideas for the main title. I liked the notion of alliteration and I knew it had to revolve around the consequences of time. Time’s Tempest emerged from a handful of scribbles and stuck with me for the rest of the week, so I adopted it and it’s been with me ever since. It wasn’t until an older gentleman I used to work for (after university – yeah, I went to community college for a year and then switched schools and majors) said that Xanix sounded a lot like Zantac… a medication for indigestion – I had to change that immediately and fell into the use of Xannia (but I said it out loud like zan-nay-ah… however, I never changed the spelling to reflect that and so now I have zan-knee-ah; both are cool).

Are experiences in the book based on someone you know or events in your own life?

Mainly the experiences are based on my own life but I wouldn’t necessarily refer to them as “events” since much of what the main character Taya goes through are internal struggles. Even when she has ‘earned’ respect she’s still treated like a child, belittled, and kept from showing her true potential. We learn throughout the story that even when she finally got beyond probationary status with her high-ranking title, employers still ignored her credentials and she would allow her frustrations to manifest verbally – or she’d go against her training (to keep her cool) and blow up at people. Her instability in her child hood led to her having few friends and being wary of having relationships beyond platonic work ones. Then, when someone finally recognizes her talent for what it is, she believes he’s a crack-pot trying to get innocent people killed – so she has to face her inner (and outer) demons when dealing with this guy in order to learn some very important life lessons. The fact that Time’s Tempest takes place on an alien world from ours doesn’t mean that these people don’t face the same emotional complications we do. In fact, I like science fiction and fantasy because it lulls you into a false sense of “but this could never really happen” and then by the time you’re done reading, you realize all the hidden truths you might never have looked at if someone had handed you a newspaper to read.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Getting the research right. In university I utilized my position as a junior librarian to scour books for information when I should have been working (but bending the rules never hurt me – or Taya for that matter – but taught me how to multi-task and balance my understanding of ethics in the workplace… yet another problem Taya faces in the book). The problem was that books could only get me so far. The bulk of the quest takes place in the Deserts – so I studied Earth’s deserts and learned a lot… but not enough. When I convinced screenplay editor and sci-fi writer Mark Arnold to read and critique Time’s Tempest for me, he helped bring the Desert Experience to life… he’d lived it – He’d been a soldier in the British Army and had done tours in the deserts of the Middle East. The insight he gave me really allowed for the book to shine.

Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers?

Once you get to know me, you’ll realize that I don’t write science fiction. I write about internal journeys that are taken during external quests. I write adventure and the experience of understand self. Therefore, I don’t stick to any one genre. I have a New Adult story about a blind guy in university who’s thought to be a bomber; I have an Urban Fantasy that takes place in an alternate reality on Earth; I have ideas that look at the human experience and if you fall in love with Taya, Dezmind, and Zaith in Time’s Tempest then allow yourself the same opportunity to discover that passion and excitement in my other works too.

How long does it take you to write a book?

That’s another loaded question – LOL! A first draft generally takes me a few months. I don’t write full-time and whether I’m studying, teaching, or raising my young son I have to find time in my busy schedule to get my ideas on the page. The revision process for book one, Time’s Tempest, happened over ten years! Book two will be out in less than a year. The difference is that my learning curve isn’t as drastic as it was when I first started writing. My ability is now on par with other published authors and I’ve learned many of the tricks of the trade now. That helps speed things up a lot.

How did you choose the genre you write in?

As I mentioned earlier, I’m an eclectic writer who doesn’t stick to any one genre. What happens though is the story tells me what genre it wants to be – I don’t force it to go one way or another. For Time’s Tempest I’d never written sci-fi before and I’d only ever read a handful of books that could be classified as science fiction… but I watched a lot (and I do mean a lot) of action- (not horror) based sci-fi on TV and movies. While the potential for the end of the world could happen in any genre, sci-fi spoke to me because my husband gave me the idea for the book – he’s a sci-fi fanatic. I couldn’t separate the idea from the source. That’s how it works for all my books.

Do you suffer from writers block?

No. I know… I’m a rare case. I attribute it to the fact that I let ideas gestate before I write; I plan out my plots (outlines as guidelines, yes I’m a planner not a pantser); I do research to give me a plethora of ideas to turn to; and if I do get stumped on how to continue with an idea, I take a walk and allow myself to daydream various alternative paths until the right one grabs me – then I go home and keep writing. Hey, it works for me J

What was your favourite chapter to write?

In the first draft, my favourite chapter was the one where Taya scarifies herself, her life, for the people in her care. This was drama at its height and the emotional tension just fed my hand and words flew from my brain to the page. It was a lot of fun to write. However, over the years I’ve added several chapters to help flush out the story. The last draft I wrote (after Mark Arnold advised me) contained three new chapters. As much as I loved writing about the action sequences and consequences in the Deserts, I thoroughly enjoyed writing the chapter where Taya gives up her identity so soon after she’s finally come to terms with who she is. It’s a subtle thing but the interplay with Taya and Magda during this time of transition is staggering. It still moves me every time I read it.

What are you working on right now? Tell us your latest news.

In the past year, since I’ve devoted myself to being published, I’ve learned of NaNoWriMo. At first I thought it was ridiculous – a novel in a month? Who would bother? But with greater understanding of the idea, the goals of different writers, and my own need to get stories out there I changed my mind. So I will be participating this November with a new idea I mentioned earlier – the Urban Fantasy. It looks at the idea of not remembering what happened the night before at the ‘big party’ – that block of amnesia that you just can’t shake. Well, for Corvina Dray, a 19 year old girl with Leucism (no pigmentation to her skin & hair), she faces a whole host of not knowing. Waking up with blood on her walls she learns that she’s the new reaper in town and has to figure out what happened and how to reverse it. The problem is she’s leaving a trail of dead bodies in her wake that have the local cops suspicious, and the deeper she digs into ‘why’ the more she learns about family secrets and a parallel life led by the supernatural element.

I also have 30,000 words written of the first draft for book two of The Chronicles of Xannia: Cadence of Consequences with a goal of finishing that draft in January of 2015. My aim for book two is 90,000 – 100,000 words… just a bit less than book one.

Do you start with character or plot?

Generally plot but the idea of character is intrinsically connected to that plot… I mean, things have to happen to someone and if that someone isn’t interesting neither will the plot be. I like to get a sense of what the crux of a story is and then mold the right character to bring it to life.

It’s an evolving process where I get to learn about the character(s) as I write. Then, in draft two I focus on the people of the story and really learn about them and what it is they’re going through. That’s when the story gets its heart.

In your words, what defines a good story?

For me a good story takes me out of myself so that I’m able to critically look at those things I don’t readily search for in my own life – things that need to be addressed but that my conscious mind refuses to consider until the story paints the way for understanding.

Bio:

M.J. Moores began her career as an English teacher in Ontario, Canada. Her love of storytelling and passion for writing has writing has stayed with her since the age of nine. M. J. relishes tales of adventure and journeys of self-realization. She enjoys writing in a variety of genres but speculative fiction remains her all time favourite.

Connect With M.J. Online –

http://mjmoores.com

http://facebook.com/AuthorMJMoores

@AuthorMJMoores

http://infinite-pathways.org

http://juzdizrts.wordpress.com

http://www.gwlpublishing.co.uk/m-j-moores

Author Central: http://amazon.com/author/mjmoores

Time's Tempest - 3D Cover