Massimo Marino

Once Humans

Once Humans
Category:
Publisher:
Published: January 17, 2014
Author's Twitter: @Massim0Marin1
The rebirth of the race of man is closely watched, and the Selected, the transgenic humans created by the Moîrai, guide and care for the wellbeing of the remaining humans in their various Communities around the planet. Peace and security are suddenly shattered with acts of sabotage disrupting the fragile equilibrium of the growing society. Betrayal, fear, and a cosmic conspiracy risk sending the planet to the brink of self-destruction. Will Dan Amenta be able to come to terms with the logic of alien minds? Who is behind the sabotage and why? Death and blind violence walk in the secret alleys and in the depths of the planet, from the coldest lands to the bottom of the oceans; someone is at work with an evil agenda dictated by greed and lust for power. Ancient aliens, a galactic struggle, the control of a unique resource, meld to dictate the fate of humankind.

Assessed by Awesome Indies

February 20, 2017

4 Stars

Once Humans is worthy of Awesome Indies approval. The plot involves surprising revelations, double crosses and unexpected events which make for a good story, and the character of Dan grows as the book progresses. Though I found Marino’s style of leaving a lot unsaid unsatisfying – whole scenes sometimes appear to be missing from the story – the book has enough action and interest in the plot to make up for the short fall. There are a few cumbersome sentences and some copy errors but not enough to be of real concern.  4 stars.

 

 

 

 

 

Daimones

Daimones
Publisher:
Published: January 17, 2014
Author's Twitter: @Massim0Marin0
Nothing prepared them for Earth’s last day.  May Dan Amenta be the last man alive on the planet? Death has swept away the lives of billions of people, but Dan and his family were spared. By whom, and why? Surviving, to give meaning to their lives, and looking for other survivors lead Dan to discover the truth about the extermination of the human race.  The encounter with Laura, a young and sexy girl of Italian origin, raises ethical and moral questions that had never touched the Amentas family before. Other survivors force Dan to confront his past to find answers to the many questions. The past and the present come together and upset the fragile balance, physical and mental, which allowed the Amentas to find a new meaning to their existence. Dan discovers his final role in a plan with million years roots. The planet Earth is in the hands of an ancient power, and the survivors have to choose a future that has no past, or remain in a past with no future.

Reviewed by Awesome Indies Assessor

Daimones begins with Dan being fired from his job. Though it’s a fairly ordinary situation and the author emphasises this ordinariness with writing that details the simple perceptions that make up our daily life, for Dan, it’s the beginning of a much greater change. He has barely managed to come to terms with his new situation, hasn’t even told his twelve year old daughter, when his concerns fade into insignificance in light of a complete upheaval to the world order. After a bad storm, his family awake to discover that they are the only ones left alive in their area. Everyone else has died, in their beds, at work, while driving their car, all at the same time, and all from the same unknown cause.

Their attempts to call friends and relatives meet with silence, their Internet searches indicate that the rest of the world has met the same fate. What killed everyone and why was he, his wife and daughter spared? These are questions they cannot answer, so they cope as best they can and plan for survival.

The book details their emotional journey, the way they adapt to their new circumstances  and their search for other survivors. Little happens in terms of action for many pages, so if you’re looking for fast paced action this is not the book for you, but the author skilfully embeds the simplicity of their life with enough tension to keep me turning pages to find out if someone would respond to their Facebook add, if the dogs would accept the family as their new masters or if Dan would find anyone alive in his trips around the area. Gradually the mystery is unveiled, but only at the end do we find out the full picture, and the picture is a large one, universal in its scope.

It’s a well written book. Dan is an intelligent, thoughtful character, and the ramifications of their situation for the future of the human race and, in particular, his daughter stimulate deep contemplation which, along with his realistic and sensitive insights into the character’s emotional journeys, gives the story depth.

The pacing is a little slow and more dramatic action would make this more appealing to a wider audience. As it is, it’s more contemporary fiction in style than the usual sci fi or apocolyptic book.

 

 

Reviewed by Richard Bunning

5 Stars

 

I loved reading this book. Some parts of it held my attention like a vice. I can still hear the roar of roller blades, the shatter of glass, the cawing of circling crows.
Some passages in the early version I read needed a touch more editing. However, the little stutters in the flow, the very occasional clumsyphrase, certainly didn’t spoil the book. I guess it might if you happen to be the sort of grammarian that suffers pain from every linguistic deviation, but then you must often be short of reading. (P.S. -I was an ARC reader- so prior to the book been revised to make the AI standard).

 

I had the constant nag at the back of my mind that the electricity supply for Geneva should have died, along with 99.9% of the population. Though this continuing availability was never explicitly explained the implicit assumption I eventually made tied the threads together satisfactorily. Another strand that I felt needed earlier enforcement was the childhood experience of Dan, which led to his life of chronic tinnitus. The early avoidance of these issues was I’m sure due to a determination to hold the surprise of the ending.
We start with reports of animal population crashes that might have come from the culturally shifting writing of Rachel Carson, move through a quiet apocalypse, then delve into the individualistic process of survival. Finally, Marino pulls together an episodic and dystopian past history of mankind, and the promise of a new galactic spirituality for our species. Erich Von Däniken, Philip K Dick and Arthur C Clarke might all have been sitting around a table collectively weaving together the elements of the new start instigated by the Daimones. I can see Marino sitting at the end of the table rapidly scribbling notes. Then finally, he selected a touch of each to colour his vision. Though each of these great authors probably inspired a few sentences, I feel that there is a lot of novel speculation to come in the rest of the planned trilogy.
I really found this to be a very enjoyable read. I am sure this is partly because I’m a writer of speculative science fiction of a similar nature. But also it’s because this is, even with science fiction discounted, a very entertaining book. The differing psychological profiles and difficulties of the main characters are well drawn, giving very real feeling grist to Marino’s speculative ideas.