Friday, August 31, 2012

Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt of The Immortality Virus by Christine Amsden

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Book Tour for
Christine Amsden's 
amazing dystopian/sci-fi thriller,
The Immortality Virus!

I'm crazy excited because this book is rocking!!!
So let's get started by introducing the book...

In the mid-21st century, the human race stopped aging. Those who know why aren't talking, and the few who are brave enough to ask questions tend to disappear. To an elite few, The Change means long life and health, but to the increasing masses, it means starvation, desperation, and violence.Four centuries after The Change, Grace Harper, a blacklisted P.I., sets off on a mission to find the man responsible for it all and solicit his help to undo The Change - if he's still alive. To complicate matters, Grace's employer is suspected of murdering his father, and when the police learn of their connection, they give her a choice - help them find the evidence they need to convict Matthew Stanton, or die. But if they discover Grace's true mission, they won't hesitate to kill her in order to protect their shot at immortality.

Just a teasing sneak peek (a flash back to when Grace first was a police officer before her life as a PI):

“Check him for an ID chip,” McMillan said. 

Grace checked both wrists, but didn’t find the tiny metal button that acted both as tag and as a neutral interface for portables. She also did not see any sign that such a chip had been ripped out of his skin by the same people who had stolen his clothing. This man had probably been born on the streets. “Nothing.” 

“Good,” McMillan said. He subvocalized an instruction to his portable. It must have opened up a com link because a moment later he said, “Send a cleanup crew to my location beacon…no ID…10-4.” 

McMillan turned to Grace. “All right, let’s go.” 

“W-wait! Shouldn’t we find out what happened here? Someone murdered this man.” 

McMillan actually laughed, a sound that infuriated Grace. He caught a glimpse of her face and the laughter died immediately. “Just like me. I bet I said all the same things my first day. It ain’t fair, is it?” 

“So you’re just going to accept it? Accept a man being murdered in the middle of a crowd of witnesses? You’re going to accept not knowing his identity and not letting his family know he’s dead?” 

“The cleanup crew will take fingerprints,” McMillan said. “The census gets almost everyone’s fingerprints. If they come up with a contact, they’ll let them know.” 

“And if not?” Grace asked. 

“Then he’ll join the ranks of the nameless, faceless dead. C’mon, let’s go.” 

Grace didn’t move. 

“Look, before the day’s out we’ll handle a dozen more like this. We don’t have time to ask questions or take statements. We don’t have time to properly examine the body or the area for clues – most of which have been taken away by other unfortunates.” 

It took her a moment to find her voice. When she did, her words dripped out like acid. “Would we have had time if he’d had an ID bracelet?” 

“We would not have. We’d have called in the homicide team and they’d decide. Get in the car.”

This time, Grace complied, but she sat in stony silence as McMillan lifted off and began circling the area anew. 

“It helps if you don’t think of them as human,” McMillan said after a while. “More than one officer has called this job pest control.”"

Genre:  Sci-Fi/Dystopian Thriller
Publisher Type:  Small Press (Paladin Timeless Books)
Literary Awards: EPIC (Eppie) Award for Science Fiction (2012)
My Rating:  *  *  *  *

My Review:
Have you ever pondered if society's dream of eternal youth was achieved?  Ever considered the consequences?  The overpopulation?  The rich and powerful having an endless supply of days to become more so?  This is the setting of this amazing thriller.

Christine Amsden builds an incredibly interesting and quite frightening world.  Without getting overly philosophical or boringly deep, Amsden tosses her reader head first into a world out of control where people had mysteriously stopped aging for the past 400 hundred years.  This world is literally brimming over with people, both the powerfully rich and the starving enslaved, all with their own agendas.  Enter our heroine who only wants to make a difference.  She's been beat down both in love and in ideals.  She's tough and wary from living in this bleak dystopian society.  Between the proverbial rock and hard place, she takes an assignment that might make a difference or might get her killed.

This is very much a thriller complete with nail biting suspense and plot twists and turns.  Poor Grace doesn't know who she can trust and she's pretty justified in her wariness.  There's a smidgen of romance throughout the book which fits perfectly with all the other mysteries that abound.

I so enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down.  My only complaint is that the characters weren't quite what I'd consider to be well-rounded.  I liked them all and really cheered for Grace throughout, but never connected with her or any of the other characters in a way I would with one written with great dimension.  Regardless of this one complaint, I highly recommend The Immortality Virus for those seeking some high-intensity thrills!

Cover Art:
I can't say I'm a big fan of this book cover.  It's just too CGI for me and I fear it hurts the book more than helps.  Truthfully, the cover made me leery of reading this outstanding book and I would've missed out on a great story. 

Now a chance to meet the author:

Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone. 

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams.

When she's not writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing, usually at Savvy Authors. She also offers professional editing services. She maintains a book review blog on her website with occasional writing tips thrown in for the fun of it.

Christine lives in the Kansas City area with her husband and two children.

Get to know her better on her blogtwitter and facebook!

Can't wait to read it?  Buy it at Barnes & Noble (paperback and nook)
Amazon (paperback) or Amazon (kindle).

I'd love to hear your thoughts!  
Please comment on my post!!!  Thanks!!!!

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. 
Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*


  1. This sounds like JUST my kind of book! YA? Check? Dystopian? Check. Sad state of the world? Double check!

    Pest control? Ugh! Makes me want to slap that Mcmillan guy! It's an infuriating and heart-breaking excerpt at the same time.

    This book sounds a lot like a dystopian movie I watched last year - In Time. There also, the rich lived immortal lives at the expense of the poor and the starving. It wasn't "critically acclaimed" or anything, but I loved it. You should check it out!


  2. Sorry, I meant to say "action" instead of "YA".