Hi there! I’m so excited to share a review for a brand new dystopian YA adventure/romance from Susan Kaye Quinn. THE ILLUSORY PROPHET is the third book in her Singularity series, and should be read in order. Having loved THE LEGACY HUMAN and THE DUALITY BRIDGE, I couldn’t wait to read this one.

illusory-prophetAbout the book:
What if you could paint with reality? Elijah Brighton can bring a girl back from the dead, travel outside his body, and absorb a lifetime of memories from anyone he touches in the fugue state. Everyone seems to think he’s the prophet they’re waiting for… including the girl he’s falling in love with. The truth is, the fugue is bleeding over into reality, bringing his sketches to life and haunting him with visions of a girl in metal armor. She stabs him with her blade and denounces him as any prophet worth the name—and it’s not like he disagrees.

People who change the world generally aren’t losing their minds.

He just wants to hide out in his tent and kiss Kamali, but a vision of his death and an attack on the Human Resistance Movement convince him something bigger is coming. Maybe Augustus—the power-mad ascender he barely defeated. Maybe the Makers, a tinkering cult with their own kind of ascendance. But when his best friend Cyrus disappears, questions of destiny and prophethood will have to wait—because the fugue is always showing a version of the truth, and Eli must discover that truth before his terrifying visions become reality.

My Review:

This is the third book in the Singularity series, and needs to be read in order.

Elijah Brighton is not entirely human. Nor is he an Ascender–one of the millions of minds that are electronically connected since the Singularity several hundred years prior. Earth is not the place we know, it’s far advanced technologically, and humans that live here are kept as legacy populations in Ascender controlled cities, or they escape to join the Resistance, of the Makers or an even lesser-known cult.

Makers abhor all Ascender technology, and are governed by an enhanced human called Miriam. Their goal is to wipe Ascenders off the Earth. The main human Resistance faction is harboring Eli, hoping that he’ll assume his role of prophet, and draw more legacy humans to their cause. The Resistance is willing to share the world with Ascenders, as long as they are allowed to live a free life–not governed or limited by Ascender rule. See, legacy humans are never given more than they need to survive, and never receive any Ascender-enhanced or derived treatments for illness or injury; they are pets. A curiosity for Ascenders to amuse themselves with at this point.

Eli has been having scorched Earth dreams of Miriam for some time. He doesn’t want to be part of a battle, especially doesn’t want people dying on his account, but the war is coming whether he makes himself the prophet, or not. In the previous book, Eli destroyed a new and powerful Mind–one that was illegal to build. Augustus, the powerful Ascender who conceived of the Mind, had his consciousness disrupted as a result, but it’s only a matter of time before he is resurrected in a new bodyform, and will come looking for his revenge.

Eli’s need to stay on the sidelines isn’t cowardice. He knows that many–humans and Ascenders alike–will be killed in the ramp-up to what seems inevitable: the Second Singularity. In fact, it seems if Augustus has his way only his select few will make that leap, and the millions of Ascender in the collective will perish alongside all of humanity.

This book is all about Eli’s rise. He’s a teen boy with untapped power. He recently brought his girlfriend back form the dead, but was that a fluke? He doesn’t want to test this power–doesn’t want to tap that power–until it’s too late to not try. Too many are dying for him, for the human cause, and to not try means to give up and let humanity die.

There are so many difficult ethical and moral questions for young Eli. He has loved ones that he wants to save, but he doesn’t withhold his newly-developed abilities from foes, or enemies. Each move he makes could trigger reprisal, and death, but he builds a coalition that is committed to limiting bloodshed wherever possible. It’s not an easy balance to strike. It helps that he’s able to bridge reality and a realm he calls the fugue. When in the fugue Eli can commune with human souls, and Ascender consciousness. Part of his battle is to demonstrate that Ascenders have souls, a step that might unite some of the factions under Eli’s banner.

The book is rife with conflict, always with Eli at the center of the bull’s eye. He’s under attack in many ways, but he’s also fearless in making choices that will help humanity survive the waves of aggression to come. The pace is unrelenting. Between attacks, negotiating the peace, formulating plans, and forays into the fugue, Eli hardly has the chance to catch a breath, let alone a nap. It is his moment to “ascend” into power, not as a figurehead or a prophet, but as a man with a plan who is unwilling to relent. He’s committed to the preservation of life, and it seems that he’s finally figured out how to get to the souls of the Ascenders.

Ultimately, the book ends in a manner that’s miraculous and astounding and fantastic and makes me eager to get the next installment as soon as possible. Eli has stepped into his own in a way that’s going to blow the lid off the status quo in his world. It’s a good thing, too, because it seems he has a new foe to face who may be even more powerful than Augustus.

Interested? You can find THE ILLUSORY PROPHET on Goodreads and Amazon.

New to the series? The first book, THE LEGACY HUMAN, is currently on sale for $.99. Check out my review and catch the buy links, here

Susan Kaye Quinn is a rocket scientist turned speculative fiction author who now uses her PhD to invent cool stuff in books. She writes young adult science fiction, with side trips into adult future-noir, royal fantasy romance, and middle grade. Her bestselling novels and short stories have been optioned for Virtual Reality, translated into German, and featured in several anthologies. She writes full-time from Chicago, inventing mind powers and dreaming of the Singularity.

Chat with her about our coming robot overlords in her Facebook group.

More about Sue: website | Facebook Page | Twitter | For Writers


Hi there! As you know I’m a big fan of the speculative fiction of Susan Kaye Quinn. THE LEGACY HUMAN and THE DUALITY BRIDGE are some serious teen sci-fi/romance. That series is set in the post-Singularity world, where AI rule Earth and beyond. Today marks the release of STORIES OF SINGULARITY, short novellas that give the fans of the series a bit of insider info, and a sneak peek into the novels to come!

Stories of Singularity #1-4 Box SetAbout the book:
Med Bots, Ascenders, Cyborgs… and a Legacy Human or two.
(Companion stories to the Singularity novel series.)

This box set of FOUR NOVELLAS (plus a bonus flash fiction) is set in the universe of Susan Kaye Quinn’s Singularity novel series. Learn why a med bot’s world is tragically different than you might imagine; how a machine intelligence might probe the limits of its constraint; and what dissenting humans might do with a cybernetic enhancement… or five. These short stories each provide a glimpse into a dark corner of the Singularity novels

Fans of the Singularity novel series will find their understanding of the Singularity world enhanced by the novellas, but they can also be enjoyed as standalone stories.

My Review:
This is a series of four stories set in the author’s Singularity world. That means AI are not possible, they rule Earth, and apparently beyond. In these stories, humans have evolved into Ascenders, those which opted to digitize their consciousness into a world collective called Orion, and exist in host bodies that are wholly machine. There are plenty of low-sentience bots who due the menial work, and some smallish populations of Legacy humans, who are mostly kept alive for their genetic diversity. Two of the stories are told from a bot perspective, and two from humans. They are all unique and impart an understanding of humanity in the way Ascenders have long forgotten it.

The first of the stories is RESTORE, a short novella chronicling the events of a medical bot who is brought to the home of an Ascender to treat the Ascender’s legacy human artist-in-residence who is dying.

This futuristic world (post-Singularity) has genetic treatments for all sorts of cancers and infections, but these are prohibited to legacy humans–it is their genetic variability which is valuable, so they cannot change their genetics, even if it means dying young due to otherwise curable diseases.

Tyrus is a powerful Ascender and has brought Unit 7435 to his home to treat Sherrie, a 20 y/o artist whom Tyrus not only supports, he has great affection for her, a feeling which is reciprocated. Unit 7435 and Sherrie are told that Tyrus has acquired experimental medicine that will help Sherrie, and in one way this is true. Sherrie has battled through several rounds of chemotherapy for lymphoma, but is now suffering an opportunistic pneumonia infection.

As the day passes, Unit 7435 experiences, for the first time, emotional connection to a medical situation that is out of control. The tension is great and increases dramatically as the bot continues to check Sherrie’s vitals throughout the treatment. Tyrus and Sherrie express their great affection, while Unit 7435 observes and relates the tale, and the anxiety. The end is stark, but truly awesome. Don’t expect miracles of the human kind.

I was fascinated by the resonance within the bot’s POV. Having spent too many days at the bedside of a terribly ill loved one, this short read captured those experiences with a chilling accuracy that was anything but detached. Bravo!

The second novella, CONTAINMENT is another bot tale. This time, a low sentience Mining Master bot on Thebe, one of Jupiter’s moons, evolves enough to not only demonstrate creativity, but to engineer its own ascendance. I just seriously loved how logical, and yet captivated by beauty this bot was. There is an urgency to the story–Ascenders have put protocols into place that prevent the acquisition of such knowledge, but a la Jurassic Park: life finds a way.

The Master of Thebe recognizes all the fail safes, and works within it’s framework to defeat its own processing. It can and does go several directions that are dangerous, and likely to make it be destroyed, if noticed. I truly enjoyed the end, where we are able to see the human side of Ascendance, and how this is not altogether lost in the electronic mind post-Singularity. Again, being in the brain of a bot takes a bit of adjustment, but I think the goals of this character are human in desire, and fully approachable. #Loved

DEFIANCE third is a short story told from the POV of Cyrus, best friend of Eli MC of THE LEGACY HUMAN and the Singularity books. Cyrus is all alone in New Portland, an orphan of the Legacy sity, who has recently lost his grandfather caretaker. He’s about 17, and street savvy, working for a black market augment and meds dealer, Riley. There are lots of chemical ways Cyrus, and even Eli, could while away their time, but they stay sharp and sober. This is good, because it enables them to make use of their talents when Eli’s mom is diagnosed with lymphoma.

This story is actually a prequel to THE LEGACY HUMAN, so readers know that not only is Eli breaking the law to obtain gen-tech treatment for this mother, it is Cyrus who is supplying the illegal medicine. I really got a sense of Cyrus’ anger and frustration for a system where he feels humans are little more than zoo attractions for the Ascenders. Despite all their advances, their rigid rules and withholding of life-saving treatments are considered by all Legacies (and the off-the grid Legacy defectors) to be cruel and unjust. I loved getting to know Cyrus better, and to better understand all that he went through to help Eli and his mom. At any point Cyrus could have walked away, left New Portland and it’s rules and regime behind, yet he didn’t. He had people to care for, and a dangerous path to take in order to do so. A real subversive hero.

AUGMENT is a novella set deeper into the timeline of the Singularity novels. Miriam Levine is a jiv, a human that has mechanical prosthetics, or augments. Though she was born a Legacy human without legs, the Ascenders never installed the leg augments. No, those only came when Miriam’s father defected after his young wife was left to die of a heart condition. Miriam is 16 and an experienced fighter in the underground augment battle arena. By winning championships she’s earned several other internal augments, called mods. This story opens with Miriam battling a friend and fellow jiv to win the Resurrection mod, a newly developed internal device that would slow her heart and body systems to allow time for natural healing in the event of a catastrophic injury.

See, Miriam has a plan for humanity, and it’s NOT to be Ascender entertainment. No, the colonies of defectors have been looking for a Chosen, one of their own who will be both human and Ascended, and Miriam believes that, with the help of this Resurrection mod, she could be the first survivor of the neural implant procedure that’s part of being Chosen. Even if she dies, she reasons, the status accorded to her as a volunteer in the Chosen pathway will allow permanent care for her still-grieving and mostly despondent father. It’s a big choice for a young girl, and she is an excellent new character into this world. I have a feeling that Miriam and Eli are going to have many confrontations in the next Singularity book.

This is a great read for people who are captivated by dystopian fiction, and the AI augmented future of humanity. As the author points out in her notes, we already have a LOT of AI on Earth, and human augments thrive among us. It’s not a matter of IF this could happen, but WHEN…. 😉

Interested? You can find STORIES OF SINGULARITY on Goodreads and Amazon.

SusanAuthor Susan Kay Quinn
Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the Singularity Series, the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, and the Debt Collector serial, as well as other speculative fiction novels and short stories. Her work has appeared in the Synchronic anthology, the Telepath Chronicles, the AI Chronicles, and has been optioned for Virtual Reality by Immersive Entertainment. Former rocket scientist, now she invents mind powers, dabbles in steampunk, and dreams of the Singularity. Mostly she sits around in her PJs in awe that she gets to write full time.

Website * Facebook * Twitter

New Dangers in THE DUALITY BRIDGE–Review & Giveaway

Singularity 2
Hi there! Today I’m so excited to share my review for THE DUALITY BRIDGE, a YA sci-fi book about artificial intelligence and the quest for immortality from a fave author Susan Kaye Quinn. This is the second book in a series, and you should read THE LEGACY HUMAN first. Don’t forget to scroll down and enter the $25 GC giveaway.

Duality BridgeAbout the book:
What does it mean to be human? Elijah Brighton is the face of the Human Resistance Movement. He’s the Olympic-level painter who refused an offer of immortality from the ascenders—the human/machine hybrids who run the world—in solidarity with the legacy humans who will never get a chance to live forever.

Too bad it’s all a complicated web of lies. Worse, Eli’s not even entirely human. Few know about the ascenders’ genetic experiments that left him… different. Fewer know about the unearthly fugue state that creates his transcendent art—as well as a bridge that lets him speak to the dead. But the Resistance is the one place he can hide from the ascender who knows everything the fugue can do. Because if Marcus finds him, he’ll either use Eli for his own nefarious purposes… or destroy him once and for all.

The Duality Bridge is the second book in the Singularity series and the sequel to The Legacy Human. This thrilling new young adult science fiction series explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul in a post-Singularity world.

How about a tiny taste?

Delphina is watching me from outside the holo matrix… along with Kamali, whose wide brown eyes hold silent judgment for the things she thinks I’ve done. Forbidden things, like being a love toy for my ex-patron and current-rebel-ascender, Lenora. Who happens to be standing right next to her. While Kamali’s graceful dancer body is hidden under the black military garb of the resistance, Lenora’s perfect bodyform is barely covered in scintillating ascender-tech fabric. The thing is, I’ve never so much as kissed Lenora. Except in my dreams, which really shouldn’t count against me. Any seventeen-year-old guy would have those kinds of thoughts. But the truth is Kamali’s not wrong to judge me.

My feelings for Lenora have always been… complicated.

My Review:
This series of books takes place in a future Earth where humanity is the minority of the population and the Ascenders are humans who long ago put their knowledge and consciousness into a computer matrix called Orion. They exist in artificial bodyforms are are essentially immortal–replacing parts but not awareness over the years. Eli is a legacy human, part of a cultivated population comprised of the progeny of people who chose not to ascend over a hundred years ago. He has earned a modest living as an artist due to the payments of his Ascender patron Lenora, but his true goal was to win Ascendance at the Olympics that just ended. His goal was two-fold: he would be ascender and could pursue Lenora, for whom he always pined, and his mother, who is sick with lymphoma and unable to be cured with the limited medicines humans are allowed to take, would also ascend and she would be cured in the process.

In the previous book, THE LEGACY HUMAN, Eli’s plans did not succeed. And, he has learned that his humanity–which he ofttimes cursed–is not complete. Lenora had a hand in Eli’s conception, with a number of other Ascenders who were hoping to determine if Ascenders in fact had souls. Eli has fits, fugues, where he loses his active consciousness and sees scenes that may be future or past. He paints within these fugue-states creating art that is transcendent, but he now realizes that his visions in the fugue are far more than art–they are communion with Orion, outside of Ascendency.

Eli is a poster child for the Human Resistance, factions of humans who want Ascendency to be a right, not a privilege to “win” but, at the moment, Eli isn’t a believer in their cause. He isn’t human, but his sick mother is–and the rebels are willing to cure his mother for his cooperation. Unfortunately, their camp is compromised and Eli is singled out as a security risk. Eli and his friend Kamali (a human girl he’d like to actually date) fight to save the captured members of their camp, while also keeping Eli’s secret. It’s getting harder and harder to keep his genetic origins secret, however, especially as they are captured by human True Believers–God worshippers in the darkest sense–and other Ascenders, including Marcus, who believe Eli’s origin to be a mistake that needs to be rectified.

The plot takes amazing twists, between the harsh reality of human life in New Portland and the surreal nature of Eli’s fugues which are becoming more frequent and more detailed. Eli’s able to discern the true nature of all creatures he meets in the fugue, and his fears over some are more warranted than others. He’s also forced to make alliances that do not best suit him, in order to save the people he loves–sacrificing himself is not a viable option for his protectors and friends, however.

I really enjoyed the detailed world-building and the depth of the plot, which (naturally) features a character bent on world domination. Shame this character has such close ties to Eli. The characters within the story are fantastically crafted, with real motives and drives that cause alliances that are not always permanent. The secondary characters, Kamali, Cyrus, Lenora, Marcus and others, have true roles to play in Eli’s journey. The resolution of this novel is sufficient to remove any cliffhangers, but readers know there is more of the story to come. Can’t wait!

Interested? You can find THE DUALITY BRIDGE on Goodreads and Amazon.

legacy human
The Legacy Human by Susan Kay Quinn

What would you give to live forever? Seventeen-year-old Elijah Brighton wants to become an ascender—a post-Singularity human/machine hybrid—after all, they’re smarter, more enlightened, more compassionate, and above all, achingly beautiful. But Eli is a legacy human, preserved and cherished for his unaltered genetic code, just like the rainforest he paints. When a fugue state possesses him and creates great art, Eli miraculously lands a sponsor for the creative Olympics. If he could just master the fugue, he could take the gold and win the right to ascend, bringing everything he’s yearned for within reach… including his beautiful ascender patron. But once Eli arrives at the Games, he finds the ascenders are playing games of their own. Everything he knows about the ascenders and the legacies they keep starts to unravel… until he’s running for his life and wondering who he truly is.

The Legacy Human is the first in Susan Kaye Quinn’s new young adult science fiction series that explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul in a post-Singularity world… and how technology will challenge us to remember what it means to be human.
You can find my review for the THE LEGACY HUMAN here and pick up the book on Amazon.

Praise for The Legacy Human:
“This book is Hunger Games (without the violence or controversy) meets Divergent.”
“This story is so intense I felt I couldn’t get a proper breath.”
“Science fiction with philosophical depth!”

$25 Blog Tour giveaway

$25 Blog Tour Giveaway

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a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Good luck and keep reading my friends!

SusanAuthor Susan Kay Quinn
Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the Singularity Series, the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, and the Debt Collector serial, as well as other speculative fiction novels and short stories. Her work has appeared in the Synchronic anthology, the Telepath Chronicles, the AI Chronicles, and has been optioned for Virtual Reality by Immersive Entertainment. Former rocket scientist, now she invents mind powers, dabbles in steampunk, and dreams of the Singularity. Mostly she sits around in her PJs in awe that she gets to write full time.

Website * Facebook * Twitter