Dead Trees 2
by Eli Constant
Publication date: May 30th 2014
Genre: Horror, Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction
Two years of peace in a primitive setting can make anyone forget a past full of science, beasties, and blood.
On the day of her son’s birth, the past invades the Yukon valley where Elise and her family reside and they are once again forced to travel survival-road. The General has found her… tracked her across the miles. Elise is his obsession; he wants her for reasons beyond comprehension.
H2H was supposed to be the answer, but the world’s ‘savior’ has created a new pack of demons. The Rippers, beasties on steroids. Wild undergrounders are a mild nightmare in comparison.
Thankfully, humanity has an ace up its sleeves.
The question is: This time, when a new solution for saving humanity is put into action, what will the consequences be?
Cocking my head, I was able to see the beastie pounce, its body perfectly positioned to mount mine and slam me to the ground.
I fluidly rolled, tucking the pickaxe into my body and avoiding the unsharpened point. The undergrounder hit the forest floor where I’d just been crouching. In a flash, I was on my knees, my weapon raised above my head. The beastie also rolled, but towards me, not away. Like the proverbial window of opportunity, I knew it was my time to strike. The beastie realized it too, a screech escaping its mouth as it saw my weapon raised high. The monster took an instant too long to move out of my way. Hesitation will kill you.
With both hands gripping the handle, I brought the pickaxe down. The weight of the weapon’s head combined with gravity increased the velocity of the fall, amplifying the force. When the pickaxe made contact with the very center of its chest, a bone-busting crack shot like gun fire through our surroundings.
The undergrounder’s rib cage was split apart, the cavity opening like a clamshell to reveal internal organs. The heart was still beating wildly, pumping blood to an injured body. I reveled in the sight.
My right hand, of its own volition, moved from the pickaxe handle toward that moving, thumping heart. It was warm in my hands, fluttering. I squeezed.
The sack formed of myocardium muscle burst in my hands, spraying my face with warmth, getting into my hanging-open mouth. And when I contemplated eating its brain, I knew myself in the darkest places, the mental rooms in my mind that housed nightmares and ghouls. Half-beastie. Fully-realized.
I was frozen in horror, my human-self flooding into my mind and tossing out the beast. No intelligence could bear under the weight of such psychological turmoil.
The curtain of beasties had fallen, the path was open.
More undergrounders would come, attracted to the smell of blood, ready to eat, ready to consume the banquet of flesh memory we’d provided.
~Praise for Dead Trees~
~Dead Trees – one of my favourite dystopian reads of 2013~
Eli Constant writes with such intelligent charm, dragging her macabre of Beasties along for a post-apocalyptic ride of their life. This book chilled me in a way that a book hasn’t done for some time. It pulled on my heartstrings, whilst dragging its claws down my spine, with its realistic and often horrific storyline.
I predict great things for this author.
Claire C Riley
Author of Limerence, Odium: The Dead Saga & Odium Origins.
@ClaireCRiley | www.clairecriley.com
~Twisting the post-apocalypse story in a GOOD way!~
DEAD TREES is a morlock-esque take on the apocalypse. This reads much different than what you will find in the zombie genre (NO, this is NOT a zombie book, but rather a post-apocalyptic tale with “Beasties” as they are dubbed by the narrator hat have emerged from underground a la H.G. Wells.) First, know that there is some exceptional attention to detail here that is often lacking in the genre.
One thing that makes this book stand out is a strong female protagonist. SO often this genre is dominated by uber-military MacGyver types that have all the answers and can get out of every scrape. Elise is a mother simply trying her best to keep her daughter’s alive, and while she does “hook up” with Jason, you get the impression that she can do with or without him just fine.
What you need to know is that this book is a page turner. It has plenty of action and strong character development. There are time when it gets “sciencey” but those times flow within the scope of the story and are not cumbersome. There are some editing flaws, but nothing that will make you pause or detract from the flow of the story (and the author has worked to make improvements in that area for those wondering). This is a strong book and you WILL be pestering her Ms. Constant about the sequel. I did not rate this book 5 stars because it was perfect. Truly, nothing really is. I rated it 5 stars because it took chances (that paid off) and it kept me wanting to read more.
Author TW Brown
The Dead Series, That Ghoul Ava Series
@maydecpub | Amazon Author Page
What would you do if the world we knew didn’t exist anymore? What would you do to protect your children and survive?
Eli Constant answers these questions and takes the end of the world to new levels in “Dead Trees”. Starting on page one, readers are immersed into a world where humans are no longer at the top of the food chain and survival is measured in hours. Constant’s storytelling abilities bring the characters, setting, and the ‘beasties’ to life, making “Dead Trees” one of the most engrossing and ghoulish dystopian tales I have read in quite some time.
-Jerry Benns: Editor for State of Horror Anthologies, Charon Coin Press
~About the Author~
Eli Constant is a genre-jumping detail junkie, obsessed with the nature of humanity. She believes that there is beauty at the core of most everything, but that truly unredeemable characters create the best stories. Eli is the author of “Dead Trees,” “Dead Trees 2,” “Mastic,” “DRAG.N” and is a contributor to the charity anthology “Let’s Scare Cancer to Death.” (LSCtD: TW Brown, Editor | MayDecember Publications) | 100% sales proceeds go to the V Foundation, a leader in cancer research for the past twenty years).
Her works-in-progress include the final book in the Dead Trees Trilogy, a 3-author anthology exploring the psychosis of serial killers, a 6-author anthology exploring humanity in the face of hopelessness, the second companion novel to DRAG.N, and a zombie origins novel (this last work in progress comes as a huge surprise to Eli; she honestly thought she’d never write about zombies, but somehow, she fell down the zombie hole and couldn’t crawl out, or rather, didn’t want to crawl out). Keep posted on these upcoming publications by following Eli on social media (links below bio).
While completing coursework at USC-L, Columbia College, TAMU-CC, and George Mason University, Eli enjoyed a varied course load, but finally settled on Biology and focused on a career in lab research. She spent time in Texas volunteering at Flour Bluff Shrimp Mariculture Lab [and being paid in Pink Hawaiian Shrimp- which was, in a word, delicious.] and also spent time at NIH participating in an Animal Research Program in the Infectious Disease Dept. It took two years working in Histology/Pathology in Sterling, VA for Eli to realize she wanted to be a writer. She is still very interested in the Sciences and hopes to use her background knowledge effectively within her stories.
Eli 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. Her other interests include art with a focus on charcoal medium, walking her American Foxhound Dottie, eating egg-drop, wonton soup from the local delivery place, and watching low-budget Sci-Fi movies with her awesome family.
Eli’s Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
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