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Nocturna 2: Reveille  By  cover art

Nocturna 2: Reveille

By: Heath Stallcup
Narrated by: Eric A. Shelman
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Publisher's Summary

At a time when mankind should have been reaching for the future, life devolved into a nearly apocalyptic present, pitting neighbor against neighbor and nation against nation as three different viruses ravaged the population. Civil wars reduced the world population even more.

Then came the asteroid Wormwood, and everything changed. Man did what nobody expected...they pulled together and worked to save the planet and themselves. Years after the space rock did its damage, people began to change. Old tensions were brought back as those afflicted were targeted by the fearful.

Then the real monsters appeared, and nobody was ready for what happened next.

©2020 DevilDog Press (P)2021 Heath Stallcup

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Hits the ground running!

This second book in the Nocturna series picks right up where book one left off. Still set in the post multiple pandemic, post civil war America in 2035, it's an America, and a world in general, that's holding on to civilization by a thread. Cities are abandoned, left to the "insurgent" scavengers who rose up against the government in a hopeless fight against America's military might brought against them. When the asteroid called Wormwood hit the planet in Northern Africa, the world's counties put aside their petty squabbles to help. Of course, they had no idea Wormwood brought a bigger threat to mankind than just dust in the air and shortages. This may spell the end for mankind once and for all.



The characters in this story are such a joy to read about. They are a varied bunch of scientists, soldiers, former insurgents and just regular people, trying to do their best in a truly unique situation. The military characters are extremely well thought out and realistic, not surprising given the author's military background. They come across as real people with real motivations, not just tin soldiers so often portrayed in books. The scientists are also well thought out, with differing backgrounds and specialties informing their decisions, not always in the best ways. They just read like real people, with strengths and flaws on display throughout. The "insurgents" are really well done. They could have been caricatures of rebels like Fidel and Che, but instead, they are realistic people caught up in horrific events, doing the best they can to take care of their people. These disparate groups all find their way together to fight an enemy they could have never expected, that is growing in complexity. There is also a conspiracy from people higher up in the government that is slowly revealing itself, and I'm interested to see where that angle goes. There is also a revelation of a secret order of warriors within the military that I didn't expect, but actually fits when the history of the country is taken into account. All in all, these characters are a real strength to the story.



The narration for the audiobook is handled by Eric Shelman. He has excellent narrative pacing, never letting the story bog down with a monotone, and emphasizing just right when the action picks up. He does a great job of creating differing voices for the characters, and you are never in doubt which character is speaking at any time. I am definitely interested in checking out his out audiobook work.



Second books can often be a letdown, but not in this case. This book takes everything that made the first book so good and amped it up just a bit. More action, better villains, and a conspiracy that's looming in the background that will have ramifications for everyone in the story. This is a must read for fans of military and sci-fi thrillers, and even horror fans can find something to love here. Can't wait to see what book three holds in store for us.