Monday, April 21, 2014

The Terminals by Michael F. Stewart

Author: Michael F. Stewart
Publisher: Self
Date of publication: April 2014

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.

The Terminals is definitely a very different book from any other one I have read.  The basic premise is that there is a government agency that has a medium who can communicate with the recently dead.  These dead are recruited from "Terminals". A terminal is someone who is dying and is euthanized to enter into the afterlife to try to solve a crime.  The main character wants to die and is recruited into the unit to be a handler for the terminals.  She will eventually get her own assignment.  

This story was a little confusing at times as there are a lot of characters to deal with.  I also felt at times that I was missing information. But overall, the book is well written and does make you think about the dying and the ethics behind euthanasia.  I should warn, it's not for the squeamish reader.  I found the things that were done to the missing children a bit hard to read.  The scenes in the after life were also pretty intense.  In the end, I'm not sure that I can say I really enjoyed the book as I'm not sure I really connected with it.  It has gotten great reviews, so check it out for yourself.

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About the author:

Michael F. Stewart is the author of the Assured Destruction series, which sprawls across 3 books, 2 websites, 1 blog, 7 Twitter accounts, tumblr, Facebook, and 6 graphic origin stories. 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.
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The Terminals
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Tribute Books said...

Kari, saying that Michael's book helped you look at the dying in a whole new way is huge. Thanks for the review :)

Michael F Stewart said...

Thanks for the review, Kari! I appreciate it.