Friday, November 1, 2013

"Once Humans: Volume 2 of the Daimones Trilogy" by Massimo Marino

Once Humans:
Volume 2 of Daimones Trilogy
by Massimo Marino

This is the second in my special feature on Massimo Marino. Today we take a look at Once Humans, the second book in the Daimones Trilogy. You can also read my blog post on Daimones, the first book in the trilogy. The last book in the trilogy is in the works.

Mankind is undergoing rebirth, the new arrivals closely watched by the Selected: the transgenic beings created by the Moîrai. The new communities thrive with the aliens' support and peace and security reign on Eridu, as the planet Earth is known by the Moîrai and in the galaxy.
But peace and security of the cradle are suddenly shattered by acts of sabotage set to disrupt the fragile balance of the fledgling communities.
From the coldest climes to the deepest ocean floors, a cosmic conspiracy full of betrayal and fear is being hatched with the hope of pushing the world perilously close to the brink of self-destruction.
It is up to Dan Amenta to journey through dark and deadly alleys--even into the depths of the planet - to unlock the shadowy logic of alien minds.

From Dan Amenta’s Journal
We had the perfect life in the French-Swiss countryside until that mysterious windstorm in February. No one realized anything unusual has happened, but the next morning, while driving Annah, my daughter, to school, I discovered that vehicles littered the highway, with their dead occupants still inside.
Returning home, no one answered the phone at any of the emergency departments nor could I or my wife, Mary, reach our relatives and friends. Checking on the neighbors, I found them dead.
We soon realized we might be the only survivors of a global catastrophe. We stocked up on emergency supplies, turned the house into a stronghold, and collected food and medicines. The Internet still worked so I launched a large, online campaign to find other survivors with the hope of learning more about what we were facing. While waiting for any response at all, I managed to befriend some neighborhood dogs and we armed ourselves with survival gear.
At first, it felt weird and disturbing to go into stores and take things without paying but, of course, there was no one to pay. The whole world had become a ghost town.
At home, to keep a sense of normalcy, we went by the calendar and home-schooled Annah. After lessons and on weekends, we trained the dogs, practiced shooting with the arsenal I had gathered, and patrolled the surrounding area to nurture the hope of finding others alive.
More changes came as the months went by and our lives took some turns we couldn’t have predicted in our wildest dreams. Yet, now, it became a case of survival and adapting to what would come our way.
Finally, we discovered others had also survived and that some strange entities were behind the human extermination.
We met Laura, and her presence made us question what was right and wrong in our new existence. Mary chose to support Laura's infatuation with me rather than chasing her away and possibly condemning Annah to an isolated life, waiting alone for her own death. We became a multi-partner family and Laura became pregnant to give birth to our daughter, Hope.
Those behind the extermination of humans manifested themselves to me, and my family experienced the horror of the first encounter. I learned from the aliens—the Moîrai Alaston, Mênis, and Algea—what the extermination entailed: the genetic transformation of a small group of people, the Selected, and a planned process for the creation of a new race with others survivors spared in the culling.
Through the Palladium, an alien artifact that modified us genetically and provided the Selected with a means of direct communication, I recovered the lost memory of the frightening history of mankind; a disturbing revelation I could’ve never envisioned.
Yes, I’m one of the Selected on the planet and I’m charged with the reconstruction of the race of man. Mary became the mother of my first transgenic baby and, together with Laura, we settled with the first survivors we met beside Laura: Jean-Claude and Liliana, Camille and Sarah, and others who joined us in the medieval city of Civita, Italy.
The communities of spared ones, each led by at least one of us Selected, grew under the benevolent eyes of the Moîrai. The aliens instructed the survivors thanks to the Palladiums and we all developed technical skills that were crucial in the initial months and years.
The final events brought some closure about the catastrophe to everyone... but also laid a heavy burden and responsibility on the Selected and myself.
We kept in touch with other communities and the Moîrai, the humanoid glowing aliens who culled the race of men with their twisted salvation plan. They became a constant presence although they tried not to become an intrusive one.
Early during the first year, another Selected, Marina, and her rescued people joined us in Civita; other spared ones found our community, too. They said they followed the Palladium’s beams, visible from afar. People still feared the future, the uncertainty, and the way the Selected had been changed scared many of the spared ones. We knew people thought of us as aliens—the same as the Moîrai—and suspicion took hold in the minds of those who refused to join us. They were suspicious...we are different...though, in many respects, we are all still the same.
We couldn’t verify the actual number of survivors and we had no way to tell whether only ten million spared ones lived on Eridu, as we called Earth. Communities founded by the Selected received support from the Moîrai and they allowed each community to become self-sufficient. Things looked promising and were moving along, so why did I have the impression the Moîrai pursued other goals than just helping us to settle in only a few years? At times, they showed urgency in their manners I couldn’t explain.

Book Trailer

I absolutely loved Daimones, and have looked so much forward to reading this sequel. I was not disappointed. I enjoyed this book so much, it is packed with action, and there was never a boring moment. It is very interesting to see how the main character, Dan has evolved and continues to evolve throughout this book. If you, like me, love the post-apocalyptic/dystopian/sci-fi genre, this book is an absolute must! And, I think the Daimones Trilogy would make an amazing movie some day!

About the Author
Massimo Marino comes from a scientist background: He spent years at CERN and The Lawrence Berkeley Lab followed by lead positions with Apple, Inc. and the World Economic Forum. He is also partner in a new startup in Geneva for smartphone applications: TAKEALL SA. Massimo currently lives in France and crosses the border with Switzerland multiple times daily, although he is no smuggler.
Daimones is the first volume of the Daimones Trilogy and is based on personal experience and facts with an added "what if" to provide an explanation to current and past events. It is his first novel.
Daimones is the recipient of the 2012 Paranormal Romance Guild Award Reviewers' Choice in Science Fiction, and the Seal of Excellence in Quality Writing from both the Awesome Indies and the association.
In September 2013 Daimones won the Hall of Fame - Best in Science Fiction Award, shortlisted by the Quality Reads UK Book Club.
The second volume, Once Humans, starts seven years after the events narrated in Daimones. The Communities led by the Selected are about to thrive and peace and security reigns on Eridu ... not for long.
He also writes short chilling, twisted, horror stories, including Stranded Love.