The Biomass Revolution: Volume 1 Paperback – 14 Mar 2013
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About the Author
Nicholas entered the whirlwind of self-publishing in 2013 with the gripping dystopian thriller, The Biomass Revolution, a coming-of-age story set in a post-apocalyptic future after fossil fuels have vanished. Two prequel stories that detail both sides of the revolution—Squad 19 and A Royal Knight—followed shortly after. His second novel, Orbs, is a terrifying and suspenseful sci-fi account of a science team working in a Biosphere that finds they are suddenly cut off from the rest of the world. When the blast doors hiss open they enter the horrifying aftermath of a cataclysmic cosmological event (anticipated release in October 2013). His writing consistently addresses topical issues such as climate change, immigration, fossil fuels, religion and war by adding the intriguing twist of science fiction. His motto as an author is, “Forever writing something different,” and he strives to create unique concepts. When Nicholas isn’t writing he is more than likely attempting to find innovative ways for his insurance company to take away his life insurance. An adrenaline junkie at heart, Nicholas exploded onto the triathlon scene in 2012, consistently finishing in the top 10% of his age group in short distance races. In 2013 he decided to up the ante and completed his first Half Ironman in Galveston, Texas and Full Ironman in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. In September he will compete in the Hy-Vee 5150 National Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Check out his blog at nvrstoptriing.tumblr.com for fitness and health tips. An honest gentleman and humanist, Nicholas is known for his compassion. A vegetarian and animal lover, he started the not-for-profit 2RRacing in 2013 with the idea of running a dog in races across the Midwest to raise money for animal welfare. Look for him and his dog on the race scene in 2014 and visit them at 2RRacing.org. He pays the bills as a project specialist with Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency management where he helps communities recover from natural and man-made disasters. He has undergraduate degrees from the University of Iowa in Political Science and American Indian Studies, and a graduate degree from Drake University in Public Policy. Nicholas lives in the Middlesex historic district in his hometown of Des Moines, Iowa with his dog Bella. For more info, follow his wave of spilled ink at: http://nicholassansbury.com
Top customer reviews
It took me a while to sink into this story due to the extended collection of viewpoints that include two main characters who thread through to the end. Give it time. The numerous characters present an overview of the different factions in a war between revolutionaries and the now dominant State that controls the energy source, Biomass. These layers are needed to give the reader an awareness of the different factions manoeuvring together for the uplifting climax and convey the ever present threat of death. There are a couple of twists: one relationship twist that I suspected, and one relationship, right at the end that I did not, but with no foreshadowing that I could find looking back.
The story's strength lies in its understated horror of the aftermath that follows nuclear war. The author ably shows how human ideology can easily diverge depending on personal interests. If you are top of the chain in a state that has carved a reasonable standard of living, self-interest easily translates into protecting your followers--electorate/citizens--within a thinly-veiled dictatorship. Anyone outside the inner circle of power is redefined as the enemy. Compassion and human kindness to fellow man is forgotten. This is man at his cruellest. The hope in this story is that when poverty and destitution and suffering eventually do seize the opportunity for revolution, there are still those living the good life who will rise up and defend the unfortunate against the unacceptable.
Even though it was disconcerting to have so many characters introduced then go, as the story progressed, I appreciated the numerous layers being laid one upon the other as the culmination of a revolution approached.
Overall, this book is a frightening insight into what lies in store for mankind if we continue to raid Earth's resources and allow corporations (that exist today) to control access to our basic needs for survival. I can highly recommend this book.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Truly remarkable in the way it was written. The story of another apocalypse earth. But not your zombie ravaged planet. I don't want to ruin it for you. Best just read it and get to the review like me.
And Nicholas if you're reading this review..... bring us another Biomass book!!
But the government itself is a secretive one, eager to keep its fingers wound tightly over its collection of Biomass-the elusive power source that spawned the war, killing billions and leaving the Earth in a thickened veil of radiation.
But there are some who believe that Biomass should be shared with what's left of the masses, some who'd give their lives to seeing it delivered for the good of the people.
As one of the biggest Star Wars fans ever to walk the Earth, it was not at all difficult for me to accept this storyline. And although there is no space travel in it, many of those familiar elements remain the same-those underdog rebels, always out gunned and outnumbered, up against a seemingly indestructible super power. They're as rag-tag as you can get, not opposed to a few civilian casualties, as long as it helps them get the point across. Not in the least bit a cute and cuddly bunch, the rebels are prone to spurts of explosive terrorism.
And then the government in question, along with their legion of Royal Knights-the knights, much like the storm troopers in Star Wars, are the infantry at the disposal of this Tisaian government. But unlike their sci-fi counterparts, a Royal Knight is incredibly difficult to kill (on account of their all-but-impenetrable armor) and they actually hit stuff when they shoot, which also makes them inarguably deadlier.
Now to the writing:
Nicholas Smith, in his debut novel, has managed to create an intense world, filled with interesting characters. A man dealing in vivid imagery, he'll paint you a skyline, describing so far as the distant skyscrapers upon its fading horizon. He'll immerse you in the thick of action-the sweating palms of a soldier amidst the tumbling of debris and the blister of bullet casings, then take you on a putrid slosh through various subterranean passages.
Indeed a gifted writer, Nicholas Smith weaves the story together in a series of opposing viewpoints, speaking mainly on behalf of the rebels, Royal Knights, and a select few confused civilians. And although I never lost track of which side I was rooting for, it was nice to find myself becoming partial to a Knight here and there. It would have been easier to write them off as faceless warriors, but Nicholas didn't take the shortcut, opting instead to tell it from both angles, which I felt was unique.
He's got a keen eye and superb attention to detail. I do, however, feel Nicholas Smith is merely finding his stride at this point. The Biomass Revolution will not remain his prized work for long. In fact, I predict it'll be surpassed by something even greater. The vacant star I've left above is simply a mark of this obvious potential.
So if it hasn't already taken refuge on your bookshelf, or been blazing bright atop your nook or kindle, I suggest you gear up and join the elite; familiarize yourself with The Biomass Revolution, so that you might be prepared for its sequel.
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