Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Review and Giveaway! An Etiquette Guide to the End of Times by Maia Sepp

Virtual Book Tour Dates: 7/10/14 - 7/24/14

Sci Fi (Dystopian)


Good manners never go out of style…do they?

There aren’t any zombies (yet), but the world is still at the brink of destruction: It’s 2028 and global warming has led to rising oceans, crazy weather, and resource scarcity. On top of that, someone just
turned the Internet off. Seeing as how it’s humanity’s last chance to turn things around manners are, understandably, a bit frayed.

Bookish etiquette buff Olive O’Malley is busy microfarming her urban property and minding her own business (and her chickens) when the government comes calling. Their goal is to push the populace towards carbon-neutrality while keeping kvetching to a minimum, and they come
with a proposal: transition Olive’s popular etiquette column to a radio show for the masses, and they’ll help Olive find her grandfather, who’s gone missing.

Olive doesn’t trust the hipster government officials who try to bribe her with delicious-but-probably-a-little-evil chocolate pastries, and declines their offer. (Politely, of course.) But they won't take no for an answer, and soon Olive is knee-deep in turmoil, eco-terrorism, and missing chickens. Now she has to untangle herself from their demands and figure out how to make sure her family (and her poultry) are safe before it’s too late.

One—In the Land of Victory

My superhero power is definitely not sleeping. When I was looking for a
house, my realtor rhapsodized about this bedroom’s perfect southern
exposure, about the tastefully herbaceous wall treatment and charming
old-world feel. Right now my room could be more accurately described
as a floral-wallpapered sauna, full of an impossible heat, like three
Julys stuffed into one. It isn’t helping.
I watch the overhead fan stop again, gyrate, and then restart before I
roll over, the sheets coming with me. After a minute I shift to the
other side, flinging the covers away with a sigh. The fan finally
grinds to a halt, probably the victim of a wiring problem I haven’t
been able to pin down, although lately I’ve been thinking it might
just hate me.
I relocate to the living room and angle the pedestal fan my way. God,
it’s hot.
I close my eyes
and lean back on the couch for a minute, hoping sleep will take me.
The sofa is a faux leather hand-me-down that’s supple after years
of wear, smelling faintly earthy, soft against my skin.
Eventually I switch the TV on. Our cable hasn’t worked properly in months, the
service so erratic it’s like the people running the company are
legless, as my grandfather Fred would say—a charming Irish way of saying
spectacularly drunk, even though my grandfather hasn’t seen Ireland
since he was a child. My eyes land on Fred’s easy chair, a pale
green monstrosity he could barely squeeze through the front door when
I finally convinced him to move in with me. His pipe, his books, and
his old-man slippers are still where he left them.
After flipping through a bunch of static, I shut the TV off and switch to
the radio, which promptly announces it’s five-thirty in the
morning. I ponder what to do next, discarding juggling, mind-reading,
and origami, although I spend more time thinking about mind-reading
than I probably should, considering I’m the only one here. Finally
I pull my computer tablet onto my lap and turn it on. I write an
etiquette column for a spunky arts and culture website, and my latest
instalment is due on Friday; other people’s problems are always a
delightful way to get my mind off my own. I start to page through the
letters, which all start with 

Dear Olive. Dear Olive, I’m convinced my neighbor is milking my goat. Dear Olive, my neighbour’s windmill is keeping me up at night. Dear Olive, my wife is hoarding solar panels. What do I do?
Three crashing noises erupt above my head, each more ominous than the last.
I wait for it to stop, but twenty minutes later I’m clinging to the
side of my house, staring down a pair of raccoons who seem intent on
defiling my solar array. For a long while it’s just the three of
us, locked in visual combat, but it’s my roof and unless they start
paying rent, they’ve got to go. Eventually they get spooked by the
noise of the six a.m. domestic surveillance drone overhead, which
would make this the first time I’ve ever been happy to see a drone.
I watch as it starts its first pass of the morning. They’re smaller
than the military version—sleek, modern, ever-watchful. Rumour is
they’re even biodegradable, although that hasn’t exactly endeared
them to anybody.
After the raccoons finally lumber off I pull myself onto the roof and take
a look at the solar panel they’ve sullied, the wires connecting the
array to my house almost stripped. It’s not easy to carry out
rooftop repairs quietly at six in the morning, and it definitely
wouldn’t be polite to wake anyone up, but I don’t want to be back
up here tomorrow, either. If I leave the panel like this, they’ll
come back and finish the jo
I know it. They’re organized.
I look up when a new-fangled Town Car,
still boxy and authoritarian but now electric-powered, turns onto my
street. I watch it as it goes; there are almost no cars on the roads
these days, and the sight makes a faint sense of unease pulse through
me. I hope whoever’s in that car isn’t carrying bad news for one
of my neighbours.

Buy Links:





Barnes and Noble 

My Review:

My recipe for creating Maia Sepp's An Etiquette Guide to the End of Times: mix equal parts apocalypse and science-fiction with a generous portion of conscience, and top with a dash of adventure. The story tells of a future where our ice caps have melted, our climates have changed, and necessities like cars have become nearly obsolete. It's a place where homesteading is no longer an option, and money is no longer important. It's the world of Olive O'Malley, the post-apocalyptic Emily Post.

Sepp's post-apocalyptic world is very different from the one we live in, and she does a great job of describing the world and the lifestyle changes without boring the reader. I really enjoyed reading about Olive's world, but especially about Olive's day-to-day life. I particularly enjoyed reading the questions Olive was sent and the answers she was given. It helped show how different the world was by showing how different the responses could actually be (though I do believe that a backup ham is unnecessary in any situation.)

While this story was a casserole of things that I love, I must admit that the portion left me wanting so much more. I feel like Sepp did an injustice to her creations by giving them such a small story. My one wish is that Sepp could take this novella, expand it and give her characters the longer story they deserve. With such great characters, settings, and plots, she could create a full-length masterpiece with just a bit more work. It was torture for me to end the story so quickly and wonder what happened in between the events of the novella.

While I know that my readers will also feel the pain of reading such a short story, I recommend this story to anyone who likes post-apocalyptic tales or science fiction in general. I am giving this story five stars, because Sepp did a wonderful job in creating this new version of our world.

My Rating:

About the Author:
Maia Sepp is an author of humorous contemporary and dystopian fiction. She
left the tech sector to write about sock thievery, migraines, the
future, and…the tech sector.
The Sock Wars is her debut novel. The first chapter of The Sock Wars was published as a short story/novel excerpt titled Irish Drinking Socks, and became a Kobo bestselling short story. The Sock Wars has been a top-100 digital bestseller on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and
the iBookstore, as well as a genre and Writing Life bestseller on Kobo.
It is
available in print and ebook formats.
Maia’s second novel is The Migraine Mafia, a story about a nerdy thirtysomething’s quest to come to terms with a chronic illness. It is available online everywhere in print and ebook formats. It has been a genre bestseller on Kobo.
Her latest is a humorous near-future dystopian novella, titled, An Etiquette Guide to the End Times, available now!

Author Links:



Enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card! The giveaway will run the length of the tour. Open internationally. Enter through Rafflecopter.

1 comment: