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Smoke and flames erupt over the city of Chicago. FBI Agent Nick Catlin watches helplessly as their only lead straps on a glider and leaps off a high rooftop, soaring toward Lake Michigan. They've lost him, again. The crime scenes always fit the same pattern-five babies are among the casualties. Fourteen months later, though, in New York, no infant bodies are found. Nick's gut tells him the killer was somehow interrupted in his work and ...
Smoke and flames erupt over the city of Chicago. FBI Agent Nick Catlin watches helplessly as their only lead straps on a glider and leaps off a high rooftop, soaring toward Lake Michigan. They've lost him, again. The crime scenes always fit the same pattern-five babies are among the casualties. Fourteen months later, though, in New York, no infant bodies are found. Nick's gut tells him the killer was somehow interrupted in his work and that he won't stop until he tracks down those children and finishes what he started.
Oklahoma rancher Leigh Barrus is barely making ends meet when his estranged niece, Janet, shows up at his ranch with five babies in tow. The terrifying tale she tells him about genetic experiments is only the beginning of the shocking truths....
A gripping sci-fi thriller for all ages
Book One in The Unwanted Trilogy
Posted July 25, 2010
As the book gets underway, Janet finds herself suddenly tossed in the air like a rag doll landing hard upon the cement as explosions rent the air around her in Poughkeepsie, while 5 dolls of the human kind, lie in the backseat, wailing and afraid. As explosion after explosion continues, Janet knows only one thing.she has to get herself and her precious cargo out of there and now!
In the backseat awakens friend and fellow caretaker, Michele with a blinding headache. The two had moved the infants to safety, but suddenly it occurs to both women that they are riding in not only a stolen Jeep, but one owned by law enforcement. They rushed from one kind of trouble to another and now that they had stolen the Jeep, they couldn't very well tell the police what had really happened before the explosion and seek safety there.
Michele and Janet discuss their options, and Janet suggests they take the children to her uncles home in Newburgh to think things out, so they can do what is right for the children. Little do Janet nor Michele realize that though they were not five ordinary children, but children who would prove to be a challenge in ways they had never dreamed possible. All the time, the children and the two women who whisked them away from peril would be in danger along with their young charges.
At an age where most responsible adults sleep the requisite 8 hours a night, I actually saw the dawn rise as I shut the book on what promises to be a fantastic, imaginative and thrilling trilogy. In fact, I wish the author hadn't limited himself to a "trilogy" as I could see the premise of books with endless adventures and thrills and surprises around every corner.
The writing of Daniel L. Carter is such that the reader is pulled into the lives of the adults in this story, as they discover each new facet of the children and as they face conflicts due to these facets. To be a part of the story, is a rare talent but one Carter uses with finesse.
I will stop here in talking about the book and will not tell more of the plot in this review. For as to do so would cheat the reader out of one of the most exciting and riveting "new" books I have read in a long time. Giving each character within this book a personality that grows and fleshes out in such a manner that the reader actually feels a part of the action, is a talent and gift that makes this book one not to be missed. If you are like myself, enjoying books both riveting and "on the edge of your seat" exciting, then this is the book for you.
I wholeheartedly endorse and recommend this book for all ages from teens through adults. It is a refreshing change from the "vampire of the month" books and opens doors to exciting possibilities in the soon to be released (I hope) installments in this trilogy. Bravo, Mr. Carter!..you have a winner here. In word, action and deed, your characters have captured the attention and respect of this reviewer and in my world, that says a lot!
And to the reader, I say only one thing.buy this book, you won't be sorry!
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Posted July 2, 2010
For anyone at any age who appreciates The Fantastic Four or the X-Men: This is the book for you. In this first book of The Unwanted Trilogy, Mr. Carter introduces us to five infants who have been genetically altered in a secret government project that is drawn so realistically, you could believe it is actually happening. These babies are smuggled away and kept in hiding by a devout Christian who introduces them to prayer and discipleship as they grow up to possess super powers that could have ended up in the wrong hands. As they grow, we the readers see the physically and mentally painful process they each undergo as they develop and learn to use these super powers. The evil ones do find their hiding place and the clash between good and evil begins. I look forward to Book Two in this very innovative trilogy. Go Daniel Carter!
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Posted February 21, 2013
Posted September 11, 2012
In Chicago, FBI Agent Nick Catlin spent months setting up a sting on Damon Hannah’s business, INYO Industries, that supposedly focuses on high-end medical equipment. It is clear there is a leak in the FBI team. Twice an enormous explosion has obliterated all traces of genetic manipulation and murdered five babies and ten or more adults. Each time Hannah has moved his operation to a new city.
Now, fourteen months after the Chicago murders, Catlin has traced Hannah’s operation to Poughkeepsie, New York. This time, as the explosions begin just ahead of Catlin’s raid, nurses Janet Renard and Michele Townsend manage to get the five infants under their care into the backseat of Janet’s jeep. Running just ahead of Hannah and Catlin, Janet and Michele transport the children to Oklahoma. Janet’s uncle, Leigh Barrus, her only living relative, has a vast ranch there. They fix up a cabin, far removed from any roads or houses, and Janet and Michele take on the seemingly insurmountable task of mothering five unwanted children.
Because of genetic manipulation the babies grow at an abnormal rate, at twenty-four days they need solid food, at nine weeks all can roll over in their cribs, and at four months, they speak their first words. Each child begins exhibiting extraordinary gifts. Uncle Leigh teaches Mama, Aunt Shelley and each of the children to keep their eyes on God not on the concerns their gifts cause or on their fear of discovery.
The back of the book says in part: “Born out of vengeance, five discarded children must fight to keep their family safe. Millions of lives stand in the balance as sacrifices are made. This family will never be the same as heroes rise and fall.”* A book where the bad guys are bad and the good guys try really, really hard to be good.
The cover will draw the reader into the manipulation of the DNA of innocent children, the power, the love, and the anger that carries this book.
Written as Janet’s journal, here X-men for Christian readers begins. Mystery, science fiction, adventure, romance: something for every tween, teen and adult that has ever felt helpless, unwanted, or alone. Carter has incorporated his love of fantasy and science fiction with his fascination with the spiritual principalities of the Bible and given us a new paranormal fantasy. He gives us a book where the bad guys are bad, and the good guys try really, really hard to be good.
Carter has penned a story that will keep readers up at night wondering what will happen next. The tone is consistent and reasoned, exciting and compelling, the reader will gladly suspend their disbelief. Contemporary social, economic, ethical, and political issues are incorporated while conforming to the reader’s expectations of an adventure in the near future. There are enough unanswered questions and partial possibilities to make the reader look forward to the trilogy and the series to follow.
Posted February 23, 2011
The great deconstructive revolution in superhero comics began (IMO) with Alan Moore's Watchmen series. In comics, perhaps the aftershocks can be felt strongest in Astro City. On television, the recent Heroes series took the superhero to the logical destination on the route Moore initiated. Daniel weighs in with his own deconstructive depiction, though in prose form and from a markedly different ideological perspective.
FBI agent Nick Catlin is on the tail of some interstate arsonists with a penchant for black market hospital equipment. But every time he gets close to the perps, they are tipped off, a secret laboratory goes up in smoke, and bodies of five infants (always five) are found dead at the scene.
This time, though, nurse Janet Renard, a woman with a conscience, was hired by the bad guys to work at the lab. Rather than let them die, she and a friend spirit the babies away before the explosion. Rightly fearing the resources available to her erstwhile boss, she disappears off the grid, sneaking from Chicago to Oklahoma where she seeks refuge on the ranch of her estranged Uncle Leigh.
From here, the story really becomes about these children, who it turns out were genetic experiments. They begin to demonstrate superhuman/supernatural abilities at an early stage, as well as rapid aging.They're a youthful superteam-in-waiting, kind of like the X-Men, though there are no masks, capes, costumes or grandiose platitudes about "fighting crime." There's a huge, strong one, a fast one, an empath/intuitive one, a technological savant, and a berserker. The latter, Marcus, becomes the heavy-hitter in the narrative after Nick Catlin disappears through the second act. His abilities are not precisely explained, but he strikes me as a Wolverine-type character whose superhuman amp-ups work much like the TV version of the Hulk (Bixby/Ferigno) did.
The action is crisp during the first chapter. Then the novel, necessarily, shifts emphasis to character development. All these characters are human, so there's some drama and conflict you'd expect to find with real people in real life...compounded by the challenges of raising five superbeings on the down-low. Saving your property from the bank and tax man is a tall enough order without the added stress of an evil supervillain scouring the earth to find and kill you. (But am I being redundant here? Nevermind.)
The Unwanted: Book One does work toward a climax, but one which leaves plenty hanging for the next book in the trilogy. I can't be specific on chapter and verse because I'm going on a reader's subjective sensibilities here (my own, in case you were wondering), but the ending is the weakest element IMO. Daniel was careful to let his Darth Vader get away, but I didn't feel the closure of the Death Star being destroyed, either. This is my biggest gripe and, like I said, it's so subjective I can't argue it with tangible bullet points.
In summary, Daniel has written an entertaining, thought-provoking urban fantasy here, which I expect to get even more interesting, and have plenty more action, in the next two novels now that the "origin story" has been established.
Posted November 4, 2010
The Unwanted is book one of Daniel L. Carter's Unwanted Trilogy. It opens with the FBI watching a huge explosion, and moves rapidly forward to the flight of two young women and a small group of children in a pilfered jeep. Then the roller-coaster ride begins.
Five children, unwanted by some and dearly loved by others, are growing up way too fast. Their powers may be genetically engineered, or God-given, or both. But wherever they've come from, those caring for these youngsters soon know that God loves all his children. And whatever their growing pains, the "unwanted" children soon begin to trust God.
Alternately sweet, sad, endearing, scary, other-worldly and solidly settled in this world and its troubles, The Unwanted is an exciting tale with well-measured back-story and well-drawn characters, keeping science and religion in just the right balance for the tale. Science fiction and superpowered fantasy mix surprisingly well and consistently with prayer and belief. There are no long conversion lectures, and no protracted scientific explanations, just real people with real cares and flaws, a few skills touching on the realm of the unreal, and a story where protagonists learn to trust each other and trust in God.
This is certainly a series to watch, and it's good to know the author's already working on Book Two.
Posted August 29, 2010
My time spent with speculative fiction is somewhat limited; however, The Unwanted is probably one of the most imaginative works of the genre I've ever read. This book has more twists and turns in it than four Bavarian pretzels--and it's only the first book in the trilogy.
Tibon, a fiendishly brilliant scientist, is on a quest to avenge the politically motivated and officially covered-up murder of his family over 25 years ago. He selects the genetic engineering and ultimate control of a race of super humans to achieve that revenge. But one day something goes terribly wrong with his plan. Two nurses flee with five of his infant subjects, all of whom had been marked for termination. The nurses lose themselves and the babies in the backwoods of Oklahoma, where, with the help of a few friends, they raise the children. Thus is the beginning of the Family.
The core of the Family comprises these five genetically altered children, each with their own unique giftings. The nurses, Janet and Michelle, had no knowledge of the genetic experimentation. Until, that is, strange things begin to occur as the babies grow and their "abnormalities" begin to manifest in shocking ways. Janet chronicles the infants' unnerving development in her journal as the women strain to cope with what is unfolding before them. Now, enter the FBI and Tibon's forces, both of whom are searching for the missing children for counterpoised purposes, and you have the makings of a volatile situation bound to explode at the crux moment. And rest assured; explode it does--in more ways than one.
Mr. Carter blends depravity and greed, love and redemption, treachery and guile, and innocence and loyalty into a fast-paced tale that will keep you turning page after page. Ultimately, you'll discover how a single man's fanatical arrogance fares against Divine purpose, and in ways you'd least expect. Cool!
I must confess that people who write this kind of stuff, and write it well, worry me. I mean, c'mon; how does a mind living in the everyday world come up with a scenario that seems so far off the wall, but then so successfully roots it in the real world that it doesn't even nudge incredulity? Does Mr. Carter know something we don't? I wonder...nah!
Posted June 21, 2010
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Posted November 15, 2011
No text was provided for this review.