Covers by Niina Cord, Rachel Bostwick, and Nicole Grandinetti
It’s always a pleasure to discover an exciting series by an author from your home town, and that’s exactly what happened to me at Capricon 40 back in February. Capricon is a long-running and very friendly con here in Chicago, with imaginative programming and a great Dealers Room, and one of the highlights for me this year was the Bad Grammar Theater booth.
Bad Grammar is a local reading series, and their booth in the Dealer’s Room this year was manned by Chicago authors Brendan Detzner, R.J. Howell, Megan Mackie, and K.M. Herkes. I spent a lot of time chatting with that friendly bunch, and ended up taking quite a few of their books home with me. One of the most intriguing was Controlled Descent, the opening novel in K.M. Herkes’s Stories Of The Restoration series. When I asked her to describe it, what she said was both so punchy and original that I asked her to write it down for me, and she did.
I write broken heroes who achieve victory through cooperation. — K.M. Herkes
I can’t be the only one who finds that particular brand of heroism strongly appealing.
Herkes’ Stories of the Restoration share a post-apocalyptic American setting which has an appeal of its own. Learning the true nature of the collapse is part of the allure of the series. This is how it’s described by the publisher:
Forty-two years have passed since the Restored United States emerged from decades of chaos and revolution. The future is a brave new world, but some things never change. Money still talks, power still corrupts, and trust is a rare and precious commodity.
Controlled Descent is an intriguing blend of legal thriller/fast-paced conspiracy novel, in a well-realized post apocalyptic setting. I’ve never described a book that way before, and I’m reasonably confident I never will again. And that’s definitely a good thing.
The second book in the series, Turning the Work, which shares many characters with the first one, picks up the tale of Felicity Chen after her thriving craft store burns to the ground and a mysterious stranger enters her life. These books aren’t like any other post-revolutionary/post-collapse books I’ve ever read, and that’s a huge part of their appeal.
The complete Stories of the Restoration series consists of:
Controlled Descent (2014)
Turning the Work (2014)
Flight Plan (2014)
Joining the Round (2014)
Weaving in the Ends (2016)
All five books are published by Dawnrigger Publishing, you can order copies directly from their website.
What other treasures did I find at Capricon? I’m so glad you asked!
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