Thursday, April 3, 2014

Michael F. Stewart - The Terminals - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

- Sometimes the dead don’t want to talk.
You need Terminals to make them. -

Terminals solve crimes in this realm by investigating them in the next.

Lt. Col. Christine Kurzow, fresh from a failed suicide attempt after she cost 11 of her soldiers their lives, is recruited into the covert unit of Terminals as a handler. It's an easy sell. If she's really determined to die, it’s a chance to give her death meaning.

But her first case—convincing a monk to chase Hillar the Killer into the afterlife to find the location of a missing bus and the children it carried—has her wondering how to make a dead psychopath talk.

Christine must follow the clues sent back by the shotgun-toting monk, who tracks Hillar through the seven deeps of hell, so she can find eleven kids before it’s too late.

Maybe this time killing a man will give Christine a reason to live.

**The Television and Film production rights have been sold to Jim Donovan (Best Director 2013, Canadian Screen Awards) and on to his partners of Sudden Storm Entertainment.

My Review

This book takes you on a journey, literally to hell and back - from a hospital room to Hades. But what keeps it grounded is it's strong sense of place. The settings couldn't be more diverse, yet they gel together because Michael F. Stewart makes them believable by providing an incredible amount of detail. But the amount of description doesn't bog down the story. Instead, it just reemphasizes what a master world builder Stewart is. You're willing to follow him wherever he takes you because he makes you feel invested in the action. What happens matters, and where it happens even more so.

For me, the novel revolves around the abduction of the school bus. The fate of the eleven kidnapped children resides at the heart of the story, giving it it's soul. Our eyes and ears for this God awful scenario is an intelligent, fearless little girl named Ming. She's the governor's daughter who just so happened to be on the field trip turned nightmare. She recounts the horrific acts of the deranged woman holding them captive as she strings them up, sews open their eyelids and leaves them rotting in their own feces and vomit without food or water. She's just waiting for them to die so she can watch the spark of life leave their bodies.

It's demented and sick. A disturbing sequence of events that's gut-wrenching to read. You want the children to make it out alive so badly. But there's one scene in particular where Ming breaks free and tries to climb a ladder with hands that can no longer grip and legs that can no longer bend. She hasn't been able to blink for days and she can barely see where she's going. Her friends are dying all around her, gagged and moaning for someone to ease their torment. The tension of Ming hanging on that ladder, trying to make a decision, is so dramatic I felt her terror in my bones.

Authorities make three attempts to rescue them, as the now deceased mastermind of the plot taunts them from beyond the grave through the voice of a psychic medium. He leads them first to a former steel mill where he succeeds in disfiguring several of the cops who arrive on the scene. Next, he sends them to an abandoned grain elevator where eyeballs are hanging from ceiling hooks and rats are eating the face off a splayed-out corpse. Finally, they arrive at a water tower hidden in plain sight, emblazoned with a happy face and the graffitied words, 'Fiends of Opportunity.' Are the children in there? Or is this lunatic determined not to give up their location?

You have to read the book to find out. But in terms of suspense, it doesn't disappoint. From helicopter rides to exploding bombs, getting these children out alive is a thrill ride in and of itself. It's certainly what kept my heart pounding as I flicked through the pages.


The Terminals can be purchased at:
Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Formats: ebook, paperback
Pages: 310
Genre: Paranormal, Thriller, Mystery
Release: April 15, 2014
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

Michael F. Stewart is the author of the Assured Destruction series, which sprawls across 3 books, 2 websites, 1 blog, 7 Twitter accounts, tumblr, Facebook, and 6 graphic origin stories. He likes to combine storytelling with technology and pioneered interactive storytelling with Scholastic Canada, Australia and New Zealand’s, anti-cyberbullying program Bully For You. He has authored four graphic novels with Oxford University Press Canada’s award winning Boldprint series. Publications of nonfiction titles on Corruption and Children’s Rights published by Rubicon Publishing as well as early readers with Pearson are all forthcoming in 2014 and 2015.

For adults, Michael has written THE SAND DRAGON a horror about a revenant prehistoric vampire set in the tar sands, HURAKAN a Mayan themed thriller which pits the Maya against the MS-13 with a New York family stuck in the middle, 24 BONES an urban fantasy which draws from Egyptian myth, and THE TERMINALS—a covert government unit which solves crimes in this realm by investigating them in the next. This series has already been optioned for film and television.

Herder of four daughters, Michael lives to write in Ottawa where he runs free writing workshops for teens and adults.

Links to connect with Michael:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Victoria, thanks for the review of Michael's book! :)

  2. Totally humbled by the time and attention you've given to reviewing my book, Victoria. *Bows low*. Thank you!