Friday, March 7, 2014

Review: Dead Trees by Eli Constant
Dead Trees
by Eli Constant

A scientist mommy battling beasties better be handy with a scalpel.

Elise Swanson is a widow and mother. She fights with gun and knife against nail and claw, praying she can keep her little, broken family safe. She drives and drives, day after day, trying to escape a threat that seems…inescapable. The Beasties.

Subterranean humanoids, existing since the dawn of man, have arisen from the belly of the earth. Civilization is a ghost of yesterday. Remaining humans fight for survival.

Pit stop fights with beasties define survival-road. Against all odds, Elise, her daughters and their new companions reach a safe zone.

There’s no rest for the weary as Elise is drafted quickly into the heart of human resistance, her knowledge may be the key, the only hope humanity has of reclaiming their home from the beasties.

What will happen when a Neural Engineer, a medical researcher and a computer wizard are humanity’s best hope? The answer might be surprising.

Wrapped up in all the uncertainty, violence, science lingo and beasties, they will find a strange solution to a new Earth.

And her name is Margaret.

Length: 458 Pages
Genre(s): Dystopia, Science Fiction
Published: December 15, 2012
Published by: Cosmo Constant Books


In this dystopian sci-fi novel, we meet Elise, a mom with two young girls trying to survive an invasion of subterranean humanoids. After a harrowing rescue at the safe zone, Elise is drafted to use her scientific knowledge to reclaim humanity.

I love the creativity behind the undergrounders' entire existence, from their creepy physical appearance to their cannibalism. This is one of those novels that stands out from others in its genre.

You know how we say kids will grow out of their fear of the dark? Well, thanks to Eli Constant, I'm reversing in that department, afraid that the beasties are going to claw their way into my nightmares when I turn the light out at night.

The story is well-paced with action in all the right places. However, when Elise reaches the safe zone and begins working with the other scientists, there are moments when the science lingo makes my eyes glaze over, much like Elise's when another scientist is enthusiastically explaining a procedure to her that Elise herself doesn't understand. While I admire the author's scientific knowledge - and a science background is definitely important in a sci-fi novel - there is a fine line between basic understanding and excessive science lingo. After all, some of us barely passed high school biology.

Elise is a strong female protagonist, which I always admire in an apocalyptic world. She had her moments of indecisiveness and bonehead mistakes, but that just makes her character feel more real. I like to pretend I'm tough, but I know I wouldn't be able to keep it together all the time if underground monsters had taken over our world. And while there are plenty of intense, scary scenes, there are just enough heart-warming moments to keep it all balanced. 

Aside from the spelling issues, Dead Trees is an exciting, yet scary and suspenseful read, and I recommend it to all dystopia and science fiction fans. And with the release of Dead Trees II only two months away, I can't wait to see what the future holds for Elise and her band of survivors.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

About Eli Constant 

Eli Constant lives in Virginia with her husband and two daughters. She is surrounded by battlefield country, farmland and lakes. Currently, she spends her days being a devoted mother and, of course, writing. Eli feels fortunate that her marriage is one of real love and she thinks her children are the coolest people in the world. She also feels so lucky to have an extended family that is ever present with encouragement and kind words.

If you want to know even more about Eli Constant, be sure to  check out her author interview here.

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