Review: Extinction Aftermath (Extinction Cycle Book 6) by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Review:

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Odds are, if you’re reading a review of this sixth installment in Nick Smith’s popular Extinction Cycle series, you’re already a fan and I won’t be able to tell you much you don’t already know. If you’ve not yet picked up any of these books, and provided that military horror thriller creature features are your bag, then you’ll want to stop here and proceed directly to the first book in this series, Extinction Horizon.

Extinction Aftermath picks up in the months following Extinction End, and Team Ghost, now under the leadership of Master Sergeant Joe “Fitz” Fitzsimmons, is preparing to invade Europe in an effort to quell the Variant threat overseas. Back at home, Reed Beckham is settling into civilian life with the very pregnant Dr. Kate Lovato, and President Ringgold is trying to stitch America back together through a series of Safe Zone Territories. Needless to say, everything goes to hell in a handbasket, and pretty darn quickly, too.

For my money, Aftermath just might be the best EC book yet, which says quite a bit about Smith’s growth as an author and thriller writer. This title hits a few sweet spots that I’ve been waiting for the series to tackle, particularly taking the war to Europe (we get plenty of well-staged action scenes in France) and the introduction of some quite interesting mutations on the Variant side of things. The cover gives you a good hint of what one such mutation Smith’s introduces is, but there’s a few others that are pretty spiffy.

More intriguing, though, is the sense of scope Aftermath possesses. Now that the war against the Variants has gone global, there’s a great sense of sprawling epicness to the story, with the action taking us from the shores of France, back home to Plum Island, Florida, and a few other locales. And the new threat facing America serves to heighten and propel the threats abroad to dangerous levels, while also raising the stakes for our series heroes considerably.

My only real complaint with Aftermath is the lack of resolution. Nearly every plot thread ends on a cliff-hanger, some bigger than others, making this book merely a prelude to the next novel, Extinction War. On the other hand, it’s not like I wasn’t going to continue on with this series regardless. Even if everything had been neatly wrapped up, I’d still be plunking down the cash for whatever Smith has lined up next. From the looks of it, Book 7 should certainly be a doozy.

 

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Review: Extinction Aftermath (Extinction Cycle Book 6) by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Review: Extinction End (Extinction Cycle Book 5) by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Review:

ExtinctionEnd

You’d think after five books, the Extinction Cycle might start to get a bit stale. Somehow, though, Nicholas Sansbury Smith has managed to keep this series rocking and rolling, presenting a cross-genre affair that continues to impress and excite.

I’ve really appreciated the way Smith continues to up the ante, transforming the Variant threat into a global crises that only grows more and more complicated. The elements involved in crafting an Extinction book work wonderfully well, and Smith ties up action, science, horror, and military thriller into a tight, impossible to put down read. Even after five books, I’m still on the edge of my seat.

Here, Team Ghost, led as always by Reed Beckham, are making their last-ditch push toward ending the threat of the monstrous Variants, whose offspring have evolved some particularly nasty new elements that allow Smith to craft several wonderfully gruesome scenes. Packed with a ton of action and a lot of heart, we’re taken across multiple front lines on land and at sea as Team Ghost contends with monsters and monstrous humans. The fighting is intense and masterfully crafted (a staple of this series), right on up through an excellent climax that blends the suspense and action of Aliens and Die Hard (or maybe Under Siege is a better example), with a lot of heart-string tugging and plenty more “oh sh–” moments.

For all intents and purposes, this is supposedly the last book in the series, although there’s plenty of wiggle room left for another book if the author so chooses. And if it is, in fact, the last book, rest assured that Smith is not resting on his laurels here.

I’ve been a big fan of this series, and this might be the best entry of the lot. Smith gets full-on cinematic in his epicness here. As far as I’m concerned, this is a fitting conclusion for Sgt. Reed Beckham, Dr. Kate Lovato, and the other members of Team Ghost. If we do get a sixth book down the line, I’ll definitely be reading it (especially if Smith presents some of the catastrophe and struggle in Europe or Asia. This series has been focused on the US front-lines of the war, but I’m itching to see a more global examination of the story.). If we don’t, then it’s been a fantastic run for Smith, his characters, and this reader in particular.

Hoorah!

 

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Review: Extinction End (Extinction Cycle Book 5) by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Review: Extinction Age (The Extinction Cycle Book 3) by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Extinction AgeAbout Extinction Age

Book III in Nicholas Sansbury Smith’s #1 bestselling and top-rated Extinction Cycle Series continues the fight for survival!
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On the eve of extinction all seems to be lost, but there is still one final hope…

Operation Liberty has failed. Humans are losing the war. With no other option, General Kennor decides to pull back the troops and give science a second chance.

Trapped in the extensive sewer system beneath New York, Master Sergeant Reed Beckham and the survivors of 1st Platoon must battle through the tunnels–where they make a grisly discovery in their attempt to escape.

At Plum Island, Dr. Kate Lovato is working on a new bioweapon to destroy the Variants. But when a derelict Navy Destroyer crashes into the Connecticut shoreline, she is forced to deal with a nightmare she thought had ended.

As the doomsday clock ticks down and military bases fall across the country, the human race enters the age of extinction. Will science prevail–or will mankind vanish off the face of the planet?


About the Author

Nicholas Sansbury Smith is the author of several post-apocalyptic books and short stories. He worked for the State of Iowa for nearly 10 years before switching careers to focus on his one true passion–writing. When he isn’t daydreaming about the apocalypse he’s likely racing in triathlons around the Midwest. He lives in Des Moines, Iowa with his family and several rescued animals.

If you’d like to hear more about Nick’s books, you can join his spam free mailing list here: http://bit.ly/NicholasSansburySmith.

Or visit Nick at: http://nicholassansbury.com.


My Thoughts

[Note: I received a copy of this title from the author in exchange for an honest review.]

Over the course of his Orbs and Extinction Cycle series, Nicholas Sansbury Smith has risen to the top of my go-to list for rocking sci-fi/horror military thrillers. With Extinction Age, the third in this series, he is at the height of his game.

If you’ve enjoyed the previous two books, you’ll be welcoming this latest with eyes glued to the page. Ghost Team is back, along with Dr. Kate Lovato, whose deepening relationship with Ghost leader, Reed Beckham, has her fully recommitted to developing a weapon to destroy the Variants.

Mankind is plunging further toward extinction thanks to the Variant threat, but even worse are the human enemies embedded in the upper echelons the military’s hierarchy. Their incompetence and duplicity have led to several bad decisions over the course of this series, as these men are revealed to be less interested in saving the world than in covering their own rears. As such, they’re a great force to root against and you’re constantly waiting and hoping for them to get their comeuppance.

The finale is also one of the strongest and most satisfying in the series thus far, mixing fist-pumping cheers with an excruciating denouement that left me screaming at my Kindle.

Extinction Age is brimming with action and terrific set pieces that include a derelict aircraft carrier and the underground tunnels of a secret FEMA installation, along with a few new characters to root for and villains to despise. The supporting cast each get a chance to shine, as well, particularly Dr. Ellis, as well as wounded warrior Fitz, who seems to be building toward a more central role in the series.

Smith does an excellent job balancing the bleak nature of this particular post-apocalyptic narrative with a sense of hope and optimism, despite how dark things get. If you’ve been following this series thus far, then Book 3 is certainly one to buy. If you haven’t, then hustle over to the Extinction Horizon page and start from the beginning ASAP.

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Review: Extinction Age (The Extinction Cycle Book 3) by Nicholas Sansbury Smith