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ends 5.31

February 25, 2014

Suped Up: Hammer of Angels by G.T. Almasi + Interview

Series: Shadowstorm 2
Format: eGalley
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Publisher: Del Rey
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Sci-Fi | Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

In G. T. Almasi’s thrilling alternate reality, the United States, the USSR, and the Republic of China share a fragile balance of power with Greater Germany, which emerged from World War II in control of Europe and half of the Middle East. To avoid nuclear Armageddon, the four superpowers pursue their ambitions with elite spies known as Levels, who are modified with mechanical and chemical enhancements.

Nineteen-year-old Alix Nico, code-named Scarlet, is a kick-ass superheroine with killer Mods and an attitude to match. She’s considered one of America’s top Levels, even though her last mission nearly precipitated World War III. So now Scarlet and her new partner, Darwin, have been sent to Greater Germany to help sow the seeds of anarchy and prevent Germany’s defection to Russia and China.

But where Scarlet goes, chaos follows—and when her mission takes an unexpected turn, she and Darwin must go ever deeper into enemy territory. As Scarlet grapples with a troubling attraction to her new partner, explosive information comes to light about the German cloning program and one of its prisoners—a legendary American Level who just happens to be Scarlet’s father.

Shadowstorm by G.T. Almasi is one of my favorite sci-fi, YES! sci-fi, series. I'm not much of a sci-fi reader but Mr. Almasi's books reads like movies, the visuals are simply fantastic and the action sequences heart stopping. I'm so happy to have him back to celebrate the release day of HAMMER OF ANGELS, the much awaited sequel to Blades of Winter. Whether you're a fan or not, read up, book gossip is always good for the soul.




Hi G.T.! Welcome back to Talk Supe and congratulations on HAMMER OF ANGELS! Finally! Briefly, what was the delay about? I'm sure some of your fans were pretty upset when the publisher pushed back the release date.


G.T. ALMASI: First off, I’m really glad to be back on the ‘Supe! The delay was actually my doing. The manuscript was ready, but I knew I could write it a lot better, so I pulled it out of production and spent another six weeks with it. This gave me time to really tighten up the story, sharpen the characters, and lace in more of the made-up words I love using. For example, Scarlet sums up her adventures in Blades of Winter with the word “sheboomigans.”


Sheboomigans is very appropriate. Scarlet & Co. made my heart stop on several occasions. Twice now since I reread HAMMER OF ANGELS. So what does Alix Nico have in store for us this time around?

G.T. ALMASI: HAMMER OF ANGELS picks up two months after Blades of Winter’s final scene. Even though she’s still recovering from her previous mission, Scarlet takes it upon herself to investigate her father’s disappearance. Her plans change when every field agent at ExOps is dispatched to Europe to take part in Operation ANGEL, the largest initiative ever mounted by the U.S. covert community.

Operation ANGEL is planned to be a localized disturbance, but it mushrooms into a continent-spanning revolution. The fate of millions depends on the determination and skill of agents like Scarlet and her new partner, Darwin.


Speaking of Scarlet's new partner, can you tell us a little bit of something about this new dude, Darwin?

G.T. ALMASI: Darwin steps into the role vacated by Scarlet’s first partner, Trick. She thinks Darwin is coming from out of nowhere, but he’s been more closely linked to her than she realizes.


Man, the way you ended Blades of Winter made me crazy! I'm like TRICK!! Then HAMMER OF ANGELS squashed that. Still I'm thankful for Darwin, he's no Trick but he'll do. Just a little recap, can you tell our Supies what Shadowstorm is about?

G.T. ALMASI: The Shadowstorm is my alt-history’s version of the Cold War. After the dust settles from my What-If? version of World War 2 there are four superpowers; Greater Germany, the United States, the Soviet Union, and the Nationalist Republic of China.

Technology and diplomacy take different paths in my alt-20th century. Instead of a nuclear arms race, the Big Four compete with biotechnology implanted in battalions of undercover action-agents. The constant stress of espionage and counter-espionage results in a more conservative political climate that allows Richard Nixon to remain President for four consecutive terms.


I'm not much of a technocrat and a sci-fi person and most definitely I don't fancy Robocop and all that bionic shiznit but for some reason, your work hits a spot and hits it perfectly. Thanks for making this series "idiot-friendly" for handicapped people like myself. 


From the looks of it, I can tell that the series is far from drying up. How many more Shadowstorm books are you planning to write?

G.T. ALMASI: My editor and I have written out the Shadowstorm timeline from 1940 up through 2020. We’ve got treatments for movies, video games, and a TV series, plus I’ve already begun the third book in the series.


*lights up at movies, video games & TV series* I can totally see Shadowstorm going multi-media like that. What is the next book about? Do you have a working title already?

G.T. ALMASI: The working title for the next book is Legion of Scorpio. It will conclude the events that began in Blades of Winter and continued through HAMMER OF ANGELS, while opening the door to the next major chapter in the series.


As we're a bookish crowd, what book are you currently reading and what are your thoughts about it?

G.T. ALMASI: I’m reading a biography of Robert F. Kennedy by Arthur Schlesinger, which is very illuminating about RFK specifically and the sixties in general. I also just re-read (again) Neuromancer to keep myself psyched up for my writing.
Aside from Legion of Scorpio, what other project(s) are you currently working on?

G.T. ALMASI: I’m writing Shadowstorm Book Three, Legion of Scorpio, and of course doing my thing at my day job. I’m also working on my German language skills, but that’s slow going. My grandmother and father each have a gift for languages, but I think that gift skipped my generation ;)
LOL, maybe Rosetta Stone can help you with that. Where can fans catch you?

G.T. ALMASI: I haven’t made a lot of appearances, but when Blades of Winter came out my publisher placed me on a panel at the NYC Comic-Con, which was a real blast. I’m based near Boston, Mass., so any events in the Northeast could be good opportunities.

I always check for fan mail and notes on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/GTAlmasi or I can be reached at gtalmasi@gmail.com. If anyone wants a signed copy of either (or both!) books, I’ll email them a snail-mail address to send their copy to. I’ll sign it and mail it right back.


Thanks again for sharing Shadowstorm gossip with me and Talk Supe's readers. Expect another annoying invite from me when League of Scorpio releases! 

G.T. ALMASI: Thanks for having me on Talk Supe, and happy reading! :)




I need Kalmers! 

Once again, G.T. Almasi almost made my heart stop and my eyes flutter with his fast-paced, action-packed series, Shadowstorm. HAMMER OF ANGELS is the bomb diggity and Alix "Scarlet" Nico's sheboomigans never fails to make me gasp, exclaim and clutch my ereader with a death-grip. HAMMER OF ANGELS is stuffed with fantastic spy adventures any reader will find it hard to put this baby down! This time around, Scarlet and her new partner, Darwin with the help of other agents go up against neo-Nazis in Germany. On top of this, clues to Scarlet's father's whereabouts is explored and led to such a jaw dropping discovery. Alix finally has closure over her dad, the best spy the agency ever had, Big Bertha, and his disappearance. She's finally reunited with her old man unfortunately, he's not exactly who Alix expected him to be. All I can say about that is that I need Legion of Scorpio NOW! Oh, and per usual, guns are blazing and bullets are flying everywhere complete with statement explosions designed to fire up our imagination. 

I can't gush enough about Mr. Almasi's amazing and very believable world building. The Shadowstorm world appears orderly on the outside but behind the scenes, spies are running the show. And oh how I love this spy game! A calculated ambush and carefully plotted missions executed by a chosen few can destroy a powerful organization or even topple a government. Plus the backstories are superb! Don't be intimidated by this alternate world G.T. Almasi created which is based on facts because he will help you get acclimated to his version fast. I wish history was taught the same way it was related in the Shadowstorm novels. I think I would've learned to appreciate significant events better if it was told in the style G.T. Almasi used to catch us up with his alternate history. With every mission and key player introduced, a brief "historical background" is inserted into the story to help us understand current events. Historical backgrounds are in the form of articles, old-school textbook snippets and high level communications that slowly but effectively shape Scarlet's world so one doesn't get lost in the shuffle.

Alix "Scarlet" Nico is one badass heroine you won't get enough of. Aside from her wisea$$ remarks and combat skills, Scarlet's attitude and approach on things is awe inspiring. First of all being a soldier, and a spy for that matter, Scarlet has seen a lot of gruesome things in her mission. Death is nothing new to her as she dances with the Grim Ripper on a regular basis. Scarlet is resilient and tough by nature but when she's with her mom and faced with issues concerning her dad, Scarlet turns into Alix. Sheds her tough exterior and turns into a devoted, loyal and vulnerable young woman. The Alix/Scarlet contrast is well-played adding layers to an otherwise hard-ass character. 

I would also like to briefly mention Lil Bertha, Scarlet's AI gun which used to be her father's. I'm not a gun person but Lil Bertha made me do phantom trigger pulls! Scarlet's baby is one heck of a weapon, it's like a character on its own. 

As a side note, the romance is very minimal in this series which I love. I do appreciate a good romance but not every story requires it. There's a play of attraction between Alix and her partners but it's not the focal point of the stories. If anything, the relationship portrayed is that between partners and teammates. Friendships rather than romance which I think is way more believable as opposed to random humping in obscure places because the characters are high on adrenalin it translates to lust. 

HAMMER OF ANGELS is another powerful punch c/o G.T. Almasi. Like I said, the series reads like a movie and Alixandra Janina Nico will take you for an adventure you'll never forget. So if you are fond of adrenalin, or should I say Madrenalin, infused tales, pick up Shadowstorm, you won't regret it.
"I think fire will be very 'in' this season." [Scarlet]
"Oh, most definitely," he [Darwin] answers. "Nothing says 'hip' and 'trendy' like being wreathed in flames."

"We're Americans. If we need something, we'll steal it."

"Another day older and a mountain of dead motherfuckers."


Read my review for book 1


G. T. Almasi graduated from RISD and moved to Boston to pursue a career as a graphic designer. While he built his design portfolio, he joined a band as the bass player, and wrote and designed the band’s newsletter. Once his career as an art director took off, he continued to supplement his design talents by writing copy for his clients.

As a novelist, his literary influences include Robert Ludlum, Neal Stephenson, and Hunter S. Thompson. He also draws inspiration from John Woo’s movies and Todd Howard’s videogames. Almasi lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts, with his wife, Natalie, and their lovably stubborn dog, Ella.

Stalk G.T.






27 comments:

  1. This one does sound pretty kick-ass

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    1. It is! The author is into those RPG games so this series has that kind of feel to it too!

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  2. This is my first meeting with this series and they sound like my type of books. I love great UF without a lot of romance and plenty of action. I like that her gun is practically a character! I must go look these up.

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    1. Lil Bertha is one awesome weapon, I want one!

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  3. I don't read much sci-fi either, Braine. But after reading your interview with Ms. Almasi and your review, I'm thinking this is a series I could make an exception for. Especially since I love books that read like movies.

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    1. This is an exception, that much I can guarantee.

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  4. Ooo sounds good! I've gone through sci-fi phases. Will have to keep this one in mind for next time I need a good one. I'd not seen this one so thank ya for the heads up!

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    1. You're welcome and it's not really heavy on the technicalities. It's loaded with action though

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  5. Ohhh boy! This is a series I need to get into. I'm already loving Scarlet!

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    1. It's hard not to love Scarlet, she's badass!

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  6. This series sounds awesome, and I just put it on my wishlist. Thanks Braine!

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    1. You're welcome! I'm happy to make the recommendation :)

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  7. This sounds like a good read. I enjoyed your review and the interview. The writing process fascinates me and I am curious about the authors process. Thanks for introducing me to another author.

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    1. Glad you like it! Writing styles & processes fascinates me too! I could hardly write a decent review sometimes, much less a book!

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  8. oh a believable world? it's intriguing! And I confess I'm really curious about the ideas here. I saw it on Netgalley but when I saw it was a book2, I didn't ask for it, but it's weird I can"t see what is book 1... I'll have to look on Netgalley, I don't have any cover in mind.

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    1. Book 1 is BLADES OF WINTER. It was released two years ago so you might have to purchase or get it from the library. The cover looks badass, she has a big gun. It's like cover art for a game, actually.

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  9. Hammers of Angels sounds so cool and I loved the interview too. You are killing me this month with recommendations! LOL

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    1. Hahaha! Happy to do so! It has to go both ways, y'all have me creating a secret shelf where I stack your recs!

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  10. What a captivating-sounding book and series! Thanks for sharing about it and for the interview. I need to add these to my wish list.

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  11. Believe it or not, I have these two books in my TBR pile waiting to be read. Maybe one day I'll get to them. Great review SW.

    Grace

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    1. I know you met him at Comic-con, I saw it on your blog long ago. Dude, you HAVE to read him ASAP!

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  13. Another great find :) If the story is good and the action and the world are great too I really don't care if the story has a romance focus or not, I just want it to be entertaining and blow me away...I want to be gone when I pick up a book, and this looks like it can accomplish the trick.
    Thank you, great job!

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    1. I think this will be a good audio book, the pace is fantastic!

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  14. Matey I got # 1 from library and started reading and enjoying it but then I had all this ASAP stuff to do on blog. I NEED to get back to it. I know you love this series. Love the posting. Made up words I love too. I say them alot but mostly accidentally. Ha! I love the name Darwin too. Well I am an Aussie :D

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    1. I know what you're saying. That happens to me too, I think to all of us actually. Well I hope you get back to it soon!

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