It was past midnight in Norway when Dante awoke to find his wife Hannah standing by the bedroom window. She was mesmerized by the red glare and high winds pouring into the bedroom from the Northern Lights. The freakish red tornado that touched down in the small town of Fredrikstad on this particular evening; brought with it much more than just a delightful display from the Aurora Borealis. Follow the story of Hannah and Dante as they become chosen by the forerunners to save as many people as they can from the horror that awaits them. Mutations now walk the planet under the emerald colored sky as the battle between good and evil ensues, who will prevail in this story of love and disaster? Editor’s comments: The pleasure of this novel is that it is vividly imagined. The reader senses that the writer is really seeing the things he is describing. That’s no small feat. He also has a good instinct for pacing and maintaining suspense. “This book was so good that I got to within 15 pages of the end of the book and decided I didn’t want it to end, so I started from the beginning and read it a second time just to prolong the ending.”
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||858 KB|
Read an Excerpt
By T. Rico
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2013 T. Rico
All rights reserved.
In the Evening
Hannah and I were startled out of a sound sleep the night she was contacted a few years ago, in December of 2021. People called those that turned "The affected ones." The northern lights were brighter than usual on that December 14th. Hannah jumped up and stumbled to the window to see what was causing the flood of a red glowing haze that was pouring into our room. I'll never forget the look on Hannah's face as she peered out of the bedroom window of our split-level home in Norway, frozen like a pillar of stone. She looked back at me after a minute of gazing outside, with terror in her eyes. A red glare cascaded in from the window and contoured the profile of her beautiful face, making her normally angelic silhouette appear eerily satanic. The glare danced around her face as she gazed outside; changing colors, fading from red orange to yellow, and deepening into a dark blood red. Her strawberry blond long hair was reflecting the changing hues off the mirror of the dresser next to the window. We hadn't known why this particular night's aurora had been brighter than other nights at the time. We felt an extreme heat surging in through the window with the same intensity as the lights. It was apparent that this was no ordinary northern lights spectacular on this particular cool winter's eve.
Hannah and I were used to seeing the northern lights, having grown up in this small Norway town of Fredrikstad. It was a relatively common event especially in the winter. Depending on where you are, the lights will show every night, every other night or at least a couple times a month entertaining tourists or locals who would host parties to view the aurora borealis. The area that has the best view of the lights in town historically has always been just over the hill across the field from our own property. The darkness of the night blankets the field so heavily you wouldn't see your hands in front of your face if it weren't for the sparkling illumination of the stars hanging above.
We're on about 30 acres of farmland that Hannah's Mom and Dad left her when they went missing after a car accident back when we were 18. A beautiful piece of property; known as the 'Thorgen farm.' My name is Dante Julson. On one side of Fredrickstad, running about 48 kilometers to the south is the River Glomma. Just a few kilometers past that is Oslo. To the north, where our bedroom faces, is a spectacular mountain range. It's breathtaking during fall foliage season or when the winter clouds eclipse the skies and envelop the range with snow. Out the French doors from the downstairs den, about a hundred yards through the woods, there's a clearing with a hill that rises up about four stories. Off in the distance, as far as the eye could see, there was nothing but mountains. When Hannah and I were kids, we would climb up to the clearing almost every winter night when the sky was free of clouds. We would hike up the hill with a blanket and a thermos of hot chocolate and snacks, and just lay there and wait. Day turned to dusk, and dusk to night, and the night to a kaleidoscope of colors in the heavens, back dropped by the twinkling stars. We still looked back on those nights as some of our most innocently romantic ones, even though we were just kids at the time. Memories are a friendly foe, they can haunt you, or they can bring a peaceful bliss to your life as you age.
Even if the auroras weren't active on any particular night, the amount of stars that you could see was mind blowing. There were no lights in the area to drown out their illumination. There appeared to be billions of stars scattered across the velvet black night, dotted like diamonds floating in a dark midnight sea. All the constellations, clustered together since the beginning of time. Many other stars, just hanging in the night sky twinkling away, purely for the enjoyment of countless people captivated by their beauty. As kids, Hannah and I would lie atop the hill and tell each other stories all night long. She would dream of the future and her aspirations. I would tell her stories of aliens and space beings, coming from the night skies to destroy our planet. I loved to tell stories, especially to Hannah. I was sweet on her at an early age and making her laugh or stirring her emotions in any way gave me such a kick. Stories of the inevitable and eventual global destruction we would have to endure would scare her and make her pull closer to me. Some of them were grim stories I would cook up in my head of mutilation and genocide, mass destruction and global contamination. I've always had a very vivid imagination when it came to science fiction. It was something I found very hard to contain; the unknown fascinated me. Unidentified flying objects were the focus of my attention, so much so that it sometimes disturbed me in my sleep, to the point where my thoughts and dreams tormented me at times.
Hannah, on the other hand didn't entertain those same beliefs in alien life that I did, but then again she could sleep like a baby at night. I envied her ability to remain narrow minded on the topic. We'd often debate the issues as to whether or not aliens actually existed; and the evenings' aurora always got me going. My mind wandering to the universe and all it had to offer. I would often tell her as we gazed at the night sky, look at all the galaxies out there. With all those galaxies in the universe, and all the stars in those galaxies, think of all the planets revolving around them. There just has to be more intelligent life out there. To expect our planet to be the only one to support intelligent life was an ignorant point of view. After all, we are just a small part of this huge Milky Way galaxy. She would just laugh, gently graze my shoulder with her hand, unknowingly filling my heart with joy and love, and say "Oh Dante, that's just crazy. Where do you dream up this stuff?" In fact it was my dreams that cultivated my imagination, but I never told Hannah of my sometimes horrific dreams, she wouldn't understand my tortured mind, and I was afraid if I told her I would run the risk of losing her friendship forever. Telling her scary stories under the night sky was one thing, but the night terrors I experienced may have been too much for her to handle.
My imagination had also been fueled over the years by the town I was growing up in. The history of Fredrikstad is one from ancient times, a town founded in the late 1500's. It hasn't changed much since then either; people that get the chance to visit us are offered a glimpse of what a Norwegian town looked like several hundred years ago. The old buildings in the historic district have been converted into studios for craftspeople and artisans, with the beautiful architecture of yesteryear still very much in tact. The original old town of Fredrikstad is surrounded by a moat, with a water wheel and two cannons at its entrance. It lends itself to an old world, sometimes eerie feeling for those who visit.
The town was mesmerizing to town folk and tourists alike. While tourists were originally drawn to the town by the northern lights, its architecture also inspired awe. You wouldn't expect the ambience of the colorful night lights to be enhanced by the low lying clouds. Or for the mountainous territory off in the distance to be so captivating, but it was; and it is truly a special place to live, especially when the lights begin their dance. I felt very fortunate to have grown up here. Although on this particular night, when we were startled out of bed on December 14th 2021, nothing I ever saw was like the auroras' of that evening. Hannah turned away from the bedroom window, the glare too much for her beautiful big green eyes to handle. I remember the deluge of red glare into her green eyes terrified the hell out of me as I stared from underneath the covers in bed briefly. She threw her arms up in the air as if to block the intensity of the flood of colors and wind swarming into our bedroom. Although the window had been slightly ajar to let some of the cool winter air in, the strengthening wind blew it open further. Hannah ducked as the wind crashed into the swinging window outside, and pieces of glass broke and shattered along the cement patio below. I thought it was just a rogue gust of wind mixed with the northern lights; but the wind was too strong to be classified as a mere gust. The lights were too bright to be our friendly visit of bending light particles in the night. I jumped from the bed to Hannah's side and held her tight. As I looked outside; I grabbed the swinging window with one hand, and pulled it in to latch it. The winds were too strong and it blew back out of my hands and crashed against the outside of the house breaking all of the glass panes at once this time and splintering the wooden frame. The frame appeared to be buckling under the pressure pulling outward as if being sucked out. I could feel a vacuum of air being sucked out of the room too. I looked at her, and saw fear in her eyes from the northern lights for the first time. The reddish glow of light coming in the window was deeper now, and I watched as the panic in her eyes grew. She looked devilish while captured in its grip. In all our years of gazing from atop the hill I have never seen her afraid of the lights. She normally embraced them and reveled in their beauty. She just stood there trembling. Beads of sweat were forming on her brow from the inexplicable heat coming in from the window.
I thought to myself that it was about 3-4 Celsius outside and yet heat was emanating from the swirling lights. It frightened me to look into Hannah's eyes. They seemed dead inside, focusing in and out of my eyes. I shook her body trying to get her to respond to me. One moment focused and seeing me, then the next unfocused away from my eyes, and not seeing me. Then it seemed she was seeing through me, but still gazing blankly. I rattled her to get her to come out of the trance she was in. She finally focused on my face. Her pupils were contracting inward as she looked at me, finally seeing me. She seemed to come out of it for a bit, coherent for the moment. We both looked into the night sky and the northern lights took on an evil, bewitching personality, taking on a life of its own. The wind and the heat coming together in a tornado swirl. Usually, the twirling array of bending lights and intertwining colors, and the combinations of different color spectrums left us in absolute awe. Looking at the sky for hours on end; we felt bliss from witnessing the beauty of nature and science being unveiled all at once. The skies beauty always made us feel insignificant in comparison to the magnitude of the universe, but not that night, that night was simply filled with fear.
No, nothing sweet or beautiful was happening on this December night. Looking out across the field, spinning down from the sky were long blood red tendrils of light. Thin at first and seemingly transparent, but coming together in individual strands like rope twining together. Braiding and thickening; making the array more solid and unable to see through them. It was a combination of lights; swirling in a ghostly red; to black red color. Like the devil himself had descended from the sky, the light strands wrapping around one another feverishly getting thicker and tighter; stronger in its mass. Heaving in and out like a large man climbing up a flight of stairs and gasping for air; as if alive and bulging in its strength. It was clearly not the cause of the wind. The wind was cutting across our home in an opposing direction, from the river south to north as it raced across the field and upward towards the hill and the mountains. The air was warm in the vortex of the tornado as it swirled by our window. But all around the farm was frost bound tundra icing up thicker and thicker with every second that went by. We saw a cold gust of frigid white frosty air whipping up through the trees curling over the treetops. Grabbing the tops of the trees and squeezing them like a fist, freezing the tree tops immediately. We could hear the thin twiggy branches at the tops make a 'crunching' sound as they froze instantly. The field atop the hill, frost covered in a matter of seconds in a thick layer of white crusty ice. It reminded me of pictures I've seen of the arctic, deep thick icy craters quickly frozen solid as far as we could see up the hill.
As we watched, the thick blackish red rope that took shape in the sky changed, it was now contouring horizontally and spherically shifting its shape as it moved. The icy wind was still opposing its' direction, frozen on the outside of the tornado; and hot and mesmerizing at its core. This 'tornado' of light was a self contained disaster, destroying everything in its path, but only in its path. All around it was clear sky as I glanced to the south over River Glomma. What was happening here is tearing its way through Fredrikstad only, destroying things in its path and now heading north. As the winds were whipping up to the hilltop; the plasma like thick rays had illuminated down from the empty sky above. Simultaneously, I saw off in the distance some of the homes in the area, the lights inside them flickered. At first I thought everyone in town was witnessing the same event as us and were turning on their lights to get a better look. Maybe some of them were; but some of the lights were just flickering in the night. Old man Bergem that lives down the street was visiting his daughter in Oslo for the weekend, yet his lights were flickering on and off like it were New Years Eve at midnight. The sphere of light from the sky was swirling in a counter clockwise movement; the strands of rope getting thicker and thicker. It appeared to be moving away from us towards the lake in the north. I looked at Hannah and she was enraptured by the movement; almost drawn into its powerful pull. I couldn't look away either as it was drawing on both of us, with some type of tractor beam force pulling at us.
I looked away from the light momentarily, and the longer I looked away I felt a release from the grip it had on us. As if in a hypnotic trance and someone snapped their fingers to bring me out of it. I tried to pull Hannah away from its deadening grip. As I continued to look away for about 30 seconds more, it felt more like I was regaining consciousness. Hannah was silent and her eyes were glazed over in some catatonic like state of mind. I tried to pull her away from the window; Hannah was not a small frail woman either, as she stood almost eye to eye to me and weighed about 77 Kilos. In her mid-forties, she was still a strong woman of both body and mind. Although I'm about 20 centimeters taller and a good 40 Kilos heavier, I could barely get her to budge from the force pulling her near the window sill. I witnessed the buckling of the window frame itself straining to keep from blowing apart and being sucked into the vortex of the swirling lights. The center of the vortex was pulsating from its core like a heartbeat; pulling at anything that wasn't nailed down. It was throwing over all our patio furniture outside, lighter items being sucked into the core. From the window I heard glass breaking downstairs then flying up into the center. I wanted to look but wouldn't, I know it was sucking up the lanterns and wind chimes from the yard below. I heard the chimes clanging together, just before their sound stifled all at once as they disappeared into the core of this monster. The mirror on the wall next to us crashed to the ground spreading glass all over the bedroom floor.
Excerpted from Northern Lights by T. Rico. Copyright © 2013 T. Rico. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: In the Evening.................... 1
Chapter 2: What do you Fear?.................... 10
Chapter 3: The Light Inside.................... 17
Chapter 4: Doctor Jorenby is in.................... 23
Chapter 5: A Friendly Smile.................... 30
Chapter 6: Beneath the Surface.................... 36
Chapter 7: This Love.................... 44
Chapter 8: The Awakening.................... 50
Chapter 9: Johnny's Place.................... 57
Chapter 10: Shattered Lives.................... 72
Chapter 11: Aftermath.................... 78
Chapter 12: Solar Night.................... 85
Chapter 14: Receptors.................... 95
Chapter 15: 51.4553129 N., 2.5919023 E.................... 106
Chapter 16: In the U.K.................... 113
Chapter 17: The Caverns.................... 123
Chapter 18: Brain Parasites.................... 136
Chapter 19: The Dead Have Risen.................... 146
Chapter 20: CME Day 1.................... 155
Chapter 21: CME Day 2.................... 177
Chapter 22: Norway Meets U.K.................... 195
Chapter 23: The Julson Event.................... 202
Chapter 24: A Beautiful Death.................... 215
Chapter 25: The World Grid.................... 251
Chapter 26: Peruvian Snow.................... 273
Chapter 27: Mother.................... 283
Chapter 28: The World As We Know It.................... 294
Epilogue: 5 Years Later.................... 307
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
love to see this made into a movie the idea of an alien landing cloaked by the northern lights is brillant! I reccommend this book for all sci fi fans
WOW what a great book! The only alien zombie type book Iv'e read or seen that has an actual GREAT story line. WELL DONE T.Rico
This book was absolutely AMAZING. The imagery the author puts forth leaves the reader believing everything that is happening in the book. I hope that someone makes a movie out of this incredible story.
Set in 2021 Northern Lights has quite an ambitious plot with multiple narrators, combining the titular Northern Lights, alien invasion, alien telepathy, zombies, mutated viruses, corruption, drug running and romance. The action takes place in Norway, the UK, Peru and, well, that would be telling wouldn't it. The author appears to have undertaken considerable research on the complex matters of the sun and solar winds, various geographies and the Northern Lights themselves, but I do have to wonder how much research was undertaken around the mundanities. Many liberties were taken with the literal truth, should I say that is okay, it's science fiction after all? At the scene of an unexplainable death surely forensics would be in charge of the scene first before paramedics would be allowed to cart away the remains? The CDC - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a federal agency of the United States and does not operate in either the United Kingdom or Norway, they have their own home grown equivalents. No one finding themselves in need of the emergency services would call 911 in Norway, they would instead call 110, 112, 113 and even 120. In the UK a police detective will be known by their rank and their generally go about their work without a uniform, or a name badge pinned to their chest. One lone lowly 'detective' would not have the authority to allow anyone to start excavations in the vicinity of Stonehenge. There are indeed rifles for sale in the United Kingdom, legal working automatic weapons such as machine guns, not so much. I have had many dreams but in the middle of a national crisis I doubt very much if the Norwegian military would be able to get me a direct audience with another country's Prime minister as a result. Also, unless he was at home in his own bathroom, I very much doubt that any PM would be without his armed personal bodyguards at any point. Also, if I awoke and told everyone around me, I had been talking to aliens, would everyone instantly believe me, or would they consider arranging a visit to a nice doctor? As a science fiction book it lacks intrigue and mystery, situations were signposted far too well in advance, and difficulties were far too conveniently overcome. I have to say that I became quite frustrated whilst reading at times, I do not need to be repeatedly bashed over the head with plot points. Too many times characters would repeat exactly the same thing the narrator had just described, not just once but sometimes twice in the same scene. Occasionally I thought I had stumbled into a lecture hall by mistake. At one point an archaeologist is introduced as being interviewed by the press on air and he begins to speak, some 22 pages later he is still speaking and not once is he interrupted by a reporter. At no point during those 22 pages are we given any hint that perhaps the lecture interview had concluded and he is allowed to frequently tell us things about other characters that he could not possibly know. For the first 2 thirds of the book, characters had far too many stilted conversations, not every character and every conversation granted, but it was only towards the end of the book that conversation became much more fluid. I also found the character descriptions on the whole routinely jarring and quite irritating. The male characters in particular were overly melodramatic, most of the women did not warrant a personality, they were satisfied with simply being pretty, or good cooks. A promising mystery alluded to throughout around a character called Bergem left me feeling thoroughly cheated by the book's conclusion. There was far too much exposition and far too much information that did nothing to advance the plot. It is disappointing to see so many first time reviewers give this book 5 star praise on Amazon. Doing this is thoroughly dishonest and does the writer a great disservice. I do not believe any writer would take kindly to seeing the work they had put their heart and soul into being hacked down, especially a debut, it was not all bad, but would have greatly benefited from a much sterner editing. Some good Points; There is a proper story. There was a proper ending. The loose threads were tied up. The story is evenly paced. I received a hard copy of this book for free from the author's publicist for an honest review in January 2014, after the author and I connected via twitter. Urthwild
Great read, fun, graphc, vivid and I actually cried at the end a alien story that made me cry wow
Any horror aficionado will agree that zombies and the apocalypses that come with them are rife in the horror world right now. So, it is with this thought that one would find it quite a challenge to find horror literature today that would offer something unique and gripping in this world saturated by the undead. This brings us to Northern Lights – a novel by first-time author, Tom Rico. The setting is the quiet, tranquil backdrop of Norway where, following an unusually intense display of the Aurora Borealis, becomes less quiet and tranquil, and more of a petri dish for the coming zombie plague. It must be said very quickly, that Northern Lights is much more than just another zombie novel, with strong elements of science-fiction and the supernatural – ultimately serving as a commentary/morality tale on humanity. In doing this, author Tom Rico keeps us on our toes as we try to make assumptions on how the narrative will unfold, based on our previous experiences of the genre. Every time, Rico proves us wrong! Rico’s style of writing is almost effortless in his flow and description, inviting the reader to dip into his imagination and see what he sees. The description throughout is often detailed and powerful in its suggestion. It is not only in the delivery of the details that Rico excels at. He knows how to create characters that we find ourselves to quickly care for, by the way we are introduced to their own backstories. It is quite a challenge to write this review and not give away too many details for anyone wanting to read Northern Lights – which by the way, you should! – but I will say that such strong, carefully created, and realistic characters as Dante, Hannah, Freddy and Annie become integral to the bleak narrative laid out within the pages. An invigorating and often startling take on familiar ground, Rico displays the art of storytelling to perfection. It is not a novel that you can pick up and read through quickly. It requires – demands your attention in order to fully absorb the details of the narrative. A definite page-turner that will leave you in suspense at certain points, make you laugh at others, and feel just about every other emotion in between. Upon first contact with the author, Rico had informed me that there may be the possibility that Northern Lights be commissioned as a film, and it is quite easy to see how attractive a proposition this would be. More than just your run-of-the-mill zombie apocalypse fodder, Northern Lights takes the familiar and throws in a few refreshing curveballs to keep the reader engaged and hooked to see how humanity plays its outcome.
What a wonderful way to tell an apocalypse story. Love the genre, but I get frustrated when the story line starts off with the infesation within 2 minutes of the story opening. This book had character development great science behind the "infection" twists I never expected, and an EXPLOSIVE ending. A great effort from this new author. It would make a blockbuster movie with the Northern Lights either as CGI or actual footage. I see great things for T.Rico . I hope he continues to write honing his skills because he certainly has a wild imagination!
I must admit I was a bit apprenhesive when I first picked it up, but decided to read it at a friends recommendation. I was immediately drawn into the characters! Not your typical Zombie apocalypse book at all. It had soo much more. The authour really puts the "Science" back into science fiction! It reminded me of the George A. Romero movies and how explosively fresh they were at the time. T. Rico is the new Romero for sure. Great fun to read, scary whane it should be, touching also which was totally unexpected. If you pick it up you won't regret it ...Linda
A valuable part of my collection! Northern Lights is a clever paranormal work, representing more than a zombie apocalypse tale. Author T. Rico writes with ease, as the events unfold into a lesson about life and living. The story flows quite well and welcomes readers into the shocking occurrences. I was blown away by the descriptions and depictions. Countless times, I found myself saying, “wow”. The mere descriptions of the occurrence that set off the end of time were strong and vivid. I could picture every detail in my mind. Was it scary? In all honesty, when I first received my copy of the book, I made a decision to read only in the daytime. That decision changed after I’d read only the introduction. I loved the characters! Dante and his wife Hannah, the doctor Freddy and his wife Annie, Ella and Johhny… and still more that I will not discuss because I simply refuse to give away this story. What I will say is that Rico drew away all that is good and pure and wonderful in this world. He used historical events, destination and locations to teach a lesson about good and evil. Don’t get me wrong, this lesson isn’t preachy – quite the opposite. His lesson is about our inner most selves. Required reading? I think so. Perhaps Northern Lights will scare some people straight. I read because I enjoy the art of story telling. I support other authors because I value their efforts. And when I am transformed into a storyline that has given me more than just fluff, I give praise where it is due. Great job, T. Rico!
just picked it up 3/4 of the way done in a week can't put it down
All the reviews are right this book rocks!!