Lone Star Book Blog Tours – Gates of Mars By McFall and Hays

GATES OF MARS
The Halo Trilogy #1
by
CLARK HAYS AND KATHLEEN McFALL
Genre: Science Fiction / Detective (hard-boiled) 
Publisher:  Pumpjack Press on Facebook
Date of Publication: June 16, 2020
Number of Pages: 336Scroll down for the giveaway!

IN THE AGE OF SURVEILLANCE, HOW CAN A PERSON GO MISSING? 

The year is 2187. Crucial Larsen, a veteran of the brutal Consolidation Wars, is working as a labor cop on Earth. The planet is a toxic dump and billions of people are miserable, but so what? It’s none of his business. He’s finally living a good life, or good enough. But then Essential, his beloved kid sister, disappears on Mars. When Halo—the all-powerful artificial-intelligence overseeing Earth and Mars on behalf of the ruling Five Families—can’t (or won’t) locate his sister, Crucial races up-universe to find her. 

 
In the Choke, the frigid, airless expanse outside the luxury domes, Crucial uncovers a deadly secret from Essential’s past that threatens to shatter his apathetic existence … and both planets. Blending science fiction with the classic, hard-boiled detective story, Gates of Mars is a page-turning, futuristic thrill-ride featuring a gritty, irreverent anti-hero, Crucial Larsen. The first book of the Halo Trilogy, Gates of Mars is the eighth novel by award-winning authors, Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall.
 

PRAISE FOR GATES OF MARS:

“An indelible introduction to an interplanetary saga and its sublime characters.” Kirkus Reviews


“The authors’ imaginations again run wild, this time a science fiction/detective series looking at what our lives may hold in the not too distant future if everything that can go wrong does go wrong. And they’ve done it with their trademark undercurrent of humor that lifts an otherwise dreary future into something resembling—do I dare say?—hope. Their best work to date. And the giraffes? You’ll have to read Gates of Mars to find out. I’m already wishing they could write faster.” —Renee Struthers, East Oregonian newspaper

“With twists and turns true to some of the best noir detective pieces—but with an other-world setting and futuristic society—along with psychological insights and connections, Gates of Mars is a riveting, unexpected story, filled with intrigue and change. Sci-fi and detective story readers alike with find Gates of Mars one of a kind, worthy of avid pursuit.” —Midwest Book Review

5Stars

The Gates of Mars is a great book by the author team of Kathleen McFall and Clark Hays, who possess some impressive writing skills.  This first book of the Halo Trilogy presents a nightmarish time for humanity in the year 2187, where all humans are monitored by an all knowing AI entity known as Halo, which can see 3 moves ahead of everyone. The most minute movements of each human being are tracked through ocular implants known as OCDs which insure there is absolutely no privacy and no escape from a unrelenting bombardment of advertisements constantly scrolling across one’s visual field.

There is also no escape from the absolute rule and subordination of the
Five Families and their companies.

The nefarious ruling families are the:

DuSpoles, who own Intex-ADM.
They feed the populations of both Earth and Mars.  I can’t even imagine how delicious their sheet meat must be.

Singhroys, who own Amadis Corporation – They run the health and entertainment industries.

Tartarics, who own ABC Royale company which builds robots and operates Halo but since one family alone cannot be trusted to be fair in the AI’s operations, each of the Five families has someone on the Guidance
Council to oversee all activities.

Fehrvens, who own Thyssen-Bronner, a company that builds everything from cheese knives to mushroom apartments.  Yes…the cement for buildings is a mushroom extraction in this future.

and the Blevins, who own UKD2, a company that makes weapons
as well as cops and soldiers.

The Earth that was first destroyed and is now ruled by the Five Families is a hellish landscape.  The oceans have dried and the forests are gone.  Most of earth’s animals are now extinct except for rats, raccoons, coyotes and pigeons.   The population who are fortunate enough to live in one of those mushroom apartments mentioned above have their basic needs
fulfilled but the others…those who live on the edges of dried up river beds are covered with scaly, scorched dry-rot skin. These unfortunates won’t live past 30.

The Five Familes have made a pleasant life for themselves and those under their protection on Mars.  While still in the process of being terraformed, the inhabitants live in terrascaped, climate controlled, park-like domes.  All Earthers dream of winning a lottery ticket to the haven of Mars. It is the one thing that gives hope to the hopeless.

Essential Larsen won one of those tickets.  She went to Mars and then disappeared.  Her brother, Crucial Larsen must travel there to find her if he can. With that, the adventure begins.

While reading, I got fleeting glimpses of many science fiction books and movies from my past.  Some of them that come to mind are The Fifth Element, Brave New World, Blade Runner and 2001 A Space Odessy (Halo reminded me of Hal).  Gates of Mars has elements of all of these and more.  Something Crucial says reminded me of what we are experiencing in the year 2020 and it makes me fear for our own future, “We can’t go anywhere.  We can’t not work, we can’t not do their bidding, we can’t tell them to go to hell.  They make or grow everything.  All the food, all the tech, all the medicine.  We rely on them for everything.  How do you stand up to petty gods who hold life and death in their hands and use Halo to tip everything in their favor?” While the idea that such a future could possibly await humanity; the story is told with such humor and wit that you must root
for the hero and the heroine to prevail.  It is my hope for humanity that makes me look forward to reading the other 2 books in this trilogy.



CLICK TO PURCHASE

Amazon  || 


Clark and Kathleen wrote their first book together in 1999 as a test for marriage. They passed.

Gates of Mars is their eighth co-authored book.

 

Connect with Kathleen

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Connect with Clark



————————————-

GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
TWO WINNERS: One Winner: First edition copy of A Very Unusual Romance 
One Winner: All four books in The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection 

June 29-July 8, 2020

(U.S. Only)
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY.
Or, visit the blogs directly:


6/29/20
Excerpt
6/29/20
Review
6/29/20
BONUS Post
6/30/20
Review
6/30/20
Review
7/1/20
Author Interview
7/1/20
Review
7/2/20
Excerpt
7/2/20
Review
7/3/20
Review
7/3/20
Review
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