Looking for self-published books to review

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Joined: August 3rd, 2012, 10:06 am

Looking for self-published books to review

Post by lizellor.O43 » August 3rd, 2012, 10:14 am

Hey! My name's Liz and I'm working on a project to review self-published books on my blog (http://iamo43.blogspot.com/) among other things. I prefer sci-fi/fantasy genre novels, as that's my specialty, but I'm open to all genres. I do one or two entries a week, and I like to think I'm pretty comprehensive. If you've got a book you think I should check out, please post a download link here!

Posts: 14
Joined: June 17th, 2011, 9:52 am

Re: Looking for self-published books to review

Post by retrorocket » August 29th, 2012, 3:39 pm

Hi Liz!

I have recently written and self published a book which might intrigue you. It definitely falls into the young adult category, plus has a bit of "retro-futurism" to make it different. This work was a semi-finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest for Young Adult Fiction. Below is a synopsis of the work.


By Tony Russo


Just before the Second World War, a factory in a small forest-covered town in Tennessee comes under attack—byrobots. Army soldiers try to defend the factory but the walking mechanical giants are unstoppable. With the factory breached, a young captain named SIDNEY DEXTER tries to reason with DOCTOR ELIAS CORBIN, the robots’ creator and the genius of all modern robots. But the doctor will not be denied his vengeance. He holds Dexter captive while his robots destroy the factory. Dexter manages to damage the radio control system Corbin is using and puts an end to the attack. The doctor is taken into custody where he is sentenced to Penitentiary Island for the remainder of his life. His robots and designs are banned and are considered dangerous.

Fifteen years later in New Futura City, all ZAK CORBIN wants is a robot of his own but his parents refuse. The Corbin name has seen enough trouble because of Zak’s uncle. Hoping to impress a pretty sophomore named LISABETH RYAN, Zak and his friends, JASON GUILDER and ODIE GNOSSUS, secretly build a robot out of scrap and bring it to high school. The robot gets out of control and lands Zak in hot water with the principal and his parents. What’s worse, Lisabeth doesn’t think robots are all that special and she thinks Zak is just a weird freshman.

Zak still has to deliver his final class project. He demonstrates his ‘disassembler’, a device of his own creation which can take any electrical appliance apart. Everyone in his class, including Lisabeth, is impressed.

Ordered by his parents to clean out the attic, Zak discovers the plans for a robot that has never been seen before among his imprisoned uncle’s belongings. Through Sidney Dexter, who is now a private detective and still communicates with his uncle in prison, Zak learns that his uncle is not the “mad scientist” everyone thinks he is. Doctor Corbin attacked the factory with his robots because the Army stole his designs and planned on turning them into war machines; he always insisted that arming robots would be a disastrous idea. To prove that his uncle’s robots are useful and not dangerous, Zak convinces Jason and Odie to help him build this new robot.

Zak is surprisingly saved from the school bully by Lisabeth and finds out she’s in the school dance troupe. Quite taken with the serious-minded girl, Zak secretly watches Lisabeth’s rehearsals, attends her dance recital and makes her a beautiful figurine as an opening night present (talk about smitten!) Endeared of all this attention from Zak, Lisabeth becomes intrigued with the mysterious machine he and his friends are building in a scrap yard.

Zak and his friends finally complete the seven and a half foot tall robot which he names POGO. But the machine is clumsy. Lisabeth offers to train the robot using her dance skills and Pogo becomes more agile and better coordinated. When the two of them are alone together with the robot, Zak confides to Lisabeth that he wishes he could free his uncle. Unknowing to them, the robot takes Zak’s wish as a command and sets about breaking Zak’s uncle out of prison.

Zak and his friends take Pogo to school and the robot quickly becomes a sensation. Pogo easily outperforms other robots in sports, assists Zak in giving a presentation, helps Odie in his home economics class and leads the orchestra while Jason performs a violin solo.

But Pogo’s primary purpose is a ‘rescue robot’. When Zak takes the robot into the city, Pogo acts in the face of disaster and stops a giant dump truck from careening into a crowd. All the more amazing is that Pogo leapt into action without being told to do so. What separates Corbin robots from all other machines is the self-awareness circuit—Pogo can make decisions without instructions from his master. Although Pogo goes on to save many lives, Zak is reluctant to let the origins of the machine be revealed just yet.

Watching the news reports about a ‘mysterious giant robot’ coming to the aid of citizens in distress, Sid Dexter challenges Zak about his intentions with Pogo. Zak wants everyone to know that his uncle was wrongly imprisoned and his robots are beneficial. Dexter is concerned that Pogo is making decisions and acting on its own. Who really controls the robot?

Dexter’s concerns become prophetic: Pogo has been secretly leaving the scrap yard every night. The four teens discover Pogo has built hundreds of identical robots, all copies of himself. This army of machines has been laboring furiously to build a monstrous giant robot capable of crossing the distance to Penitentiary Island. The giant robot, which calls itself GUARDIAN, smashes its way into the prison and snatches a frightened Doctor Corbin from his cell.

Believing Doctor Corbin orchestrated his own escape and is returning to the city with the giant robot to wreak havoc (he’s a mad scientist, after all!), the Army sends a force to intercept him. Zak and the others are stunned to see the Army has its own giant robot: HERMES. The reason why Doctor Corbin’s robots and designs were banned becomes apparent to Dexter: the military stole Corbin’s technology so it could build robot war machines in the face of the “Soviet threat”.

Fearing he is responsible for this catastrophe, all Zak wants to do is to run away. As Lisabeth consoles him, Zak realizes that he inadvertently gave Pogo a command to free his uncle … and the robot did everything possible to complete its task! To Lisabeth’s surprise and panic, Zak impulsively runs off to locate the robot and bring an end to this disaster.

During the battle to stop the “rampaging” giant Corbin robot, the Army loses control of the massive Hermes—just as Doctor Corbin had warned—and it shoots the top off a skyscraper. The falling tower threatens thousands of lives. Doctor Corbin commands Guardian to hold the tower until those below can evacuate, but the weight is too much and will crush all of them.

Zak suddenly arrives with Pogo and an army of identical robots. Working together, the robots and Guardian prevent the tower from crashing to the street. Since all of the robots are copies of Pogo, including the giant Guardian, they respond to Zak as their master. Hermes storms into the city, mistaking buildings for targets. Zak trades places with his uncle in the massive Guardian. He and Guardian stop the Army robot and get it to follow them out of the city.

In an industrial ruin outside the city, the two giants square off. While Guardian keeps the Army’s robot occupied, Zak gets aboard the Hermes and plugs in his disassembler module. The war machine disintegrates, threatening to take Zak along with it, until Pogo rushes in. Searching the wreckage, Lisabeth fears Zak is dead, but Pogo managed to shield him from the destruction. Safe in each other’s arms, she surprises him with a kiss.

A celebration takes place at the old 1939 World’s Fair, now the center of New Futura City. Although Doctor Elias Corbin thinks he has been forgotten, Zak proves he is wrong with a parade celebrating the doctor’s robots, old and new. The doctor hugs Zak as he admits, “I was not saved by any robot. I was saved by you.”

This may not be the end of Zak’s adventures, however, for just as Zak and Lisabeth steal outside his house for a kiss, they are confronted by a mysterious man who would very much like to speak to Zak about his robot….

I would truly appreciate an honest review of my story. The book is also currently available for free on SmashWords in various ebook formats (this is the book download link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/218650) If you wish to contact me directly, I'm at rocket9studio@gmail.com

Super appreciated!

Tony Russo

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