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Publisher's Summary

The Handmaid's Tale meets Mr. Robot in this smart, sexy, cyberpunk thriller. 

2021. A tribe of surrogates. A terror cult. A deal struck in desperation.    

Keke is a biopunk journalist who won't stop till she exposes the truth. Will her reckless ambition help the surrogates, or harm them?   

Join Keke on her mission to uncover the biggest story she's ever encountered. You'll meet Jasmine and Marko and get pulled under with Kirsten, who's on the cusp of her own nail-biting story.  

Ready for your new pause-resisting addiction? Grab the prequella for the futuristic conspiracy thriller series When Tomorrow Calls now.

©2018 Janita Lawrence (P)2018 Janita Lawrence

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A story that is filled with action

With a great Narrator interesting story a good variety of characters this short Audio Book will entertain a large group of listeners.



This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

COOL STORY/PREQUEL, GREAT ACTION!

Wow, loved it, fantastic prequel to When Tomorrow Calls. I really enjoyed it, both writing and narration, and I think this, as well as When Tomorrow Calls, are excellent! I'm a bit new to the "cyberpunk" concept, but I think it's an interesting new sub-genre (unless I'm so new that it's been around forever and I didn't know it lol!) and I'm definitely interested in more of this type.
Definitely recommended :)
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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In love with this book

I really enjoyed the story! The narrator was great and told the story in a marvelous way.While the audio book was short there was nothing lacking. This is a prequel to a series and makes me definitely want to read the rest of the series!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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(Not) shockingly, I really liked it

Okay, okay, I know I seem like a paid shill or something at this point if you've read my other reviews of the When Tomorrow Calls series. But it's just a fantastic series, and this is no exception. I liked this one a lot. It centers on Keke, who was certainly one of my favorite characters in the main series. If you've read and liked the main series, you'll love this one. If you haven't, this is a good intro to it. This one seems to have occurred slightly after the Stepford Florist in the timeline, but it's within a month or so of the start of Why You Were Taken and there are a lot of really good references and hints at what is to come. It was really good at filling in backstory without it becoming a distraction to this actual story. The main plot stands alone very well while illustrating who the characters are and how they ultimately ended up together, which is exactly right for a prequel in my opinion. I even liked the narrator, even though she wasn't Roshina Ratnam. ;)

Disclosure: I was provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, and with no expectation of a positive review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Cyberpunk Handmaid's Tale anyone?

The Sigma Surrogate by JT Lawrence is the prequel to the When Tomorrow Calls series. I really enjoyed this book. It is definitely reminiscent of The Handmaid's Tale, where infertility has become rampant and young girls become surrogates for the wealthy population who have trouble conceiving. It seems odd (some of these girls are pretty dang young), but innocent enough at first, as it's just how their society works nowadays, but the whole Sigma Surrogates thing quickly blows wide open and Keke discovers that there is much more than meets the eye. Keke and her cast of hackers/misfits work to solve the mystery behind what is actually going on with the Sigmas. It's fast paced and a great prequel to the series. I haven't read the next book in the series, but I'm definitely looking forward to it!

Jean Ann Douglas did a good job with the narration. I felt that at 1x speed, the narration was a little slow for me, but popping it up to 1.5x seemed to work perfectly for me. I would have liked to have heard a bit more differentiation between a few of the characters, but overall, the narration was done well and I would listen to more of her work in the future without hesitation. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

Did you find this review helpful? If so, would you please take a moment and select the 'helpful' button below? Thanks so much!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dawn H
  • Baxter Springs, KS
  • 08-11-18

Good Beginning to the Series

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by JT Lawrence. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

I knew this was a prequel to a series so I listened to it with the expectation of getting to know this world and its characters before I read the series. 2021 has become of world of mostly infertile women and those who can conceive are highly regarded, but there’s something going on that seems sinister. I’m sure there will be more about that in the future.

KeKe is a reporter and she is working on a big story. She seems to be willing to do just about anything to get a story, and I think she’s going to get more than she bargained for. Her friend Kirsten is introduced and there’s already a mystery surrounding her. KeKe has just met Marco through the internet and although it made me nervous how they “hooked up,” it looks like he’s going to be a helpful resource for her, among other things.

I’m glad I listened to this first and I’m definitely psyched about starting the series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by JT Lawrence. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

To reiterate, I listened to this prequel first before the main books – just in case that makes a difference (which I will be able to tell you once I have listened to the other books)!

I enjoyed this story – it has an interesting premise and certainly one that I want to learn and hear more about! The characters are written well and developed despite this being a novella sized prequel. It was action packed and only occasionally lets up for you to catch up – which I love!

I loved the setting of the book too – I have been to Africa, but not Johannesburg and really felt like I was there – great scene setting and some great dystopian-esque futuristic type exciting stuff too, even if it is only in the near future.

I think the narrator deserves a special mention as I think that she does a great job and I enjoyed listening to her.

I liked it so much that I am going to start the trilogy right away – I feel a binge-listen coming on!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Blend of Cyberpunk and Dystopia

The Sigma Surrogate by J.T. Lawrence is a cyberpunk futuristic series its the prequel to the series When Tomorrow Comes. It is the year 2021, and there is a group of women that are surrogates. In a world where the infertility rate is extremely high, and the human population has become mostly sterile, The Sigma Surrogates, are the young women recruited to give birth, and selected to carry other people’s children. They are an elite group within the society in South Africa. Keke is a journalist that is investigating and in search of the truth. The story is full of action and has several surprising twists.

J.T. Lawrence gives us a real batch of characters, ones you can relate with and Jean Ann Douglass’ narration is amazing I really connect and the story comes to life. Listening to the narration was like watching a scene unfold in front of your eyes. Douglass’ provided strong character interpretations she delivers spot-on tones to matches what’s happening in the scene.

A great blend of cyberpunk and dystopia! I look forward to continuing this series to see what happens next!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I want more...

This book is a great addition to the When Tomorrow Calls series. While Keke has appeared in other books here she gets to take centre stage.

This book also offers glimpses into the events of the other books from a new perspective and I really enjoyed that aspect. It was great to get a glimpse into the Sigma Society, and to see how Keke met Marko.

I love this series and I cannot seem to get enough. It's surprised me, I didn't think I'd like a steampunk futuristic series, but the blurb of the first book was interesting and I've been hooked ever since.

The narration is excellent once again, the character voices are well done and work for both genders, the deliveries tone always matches what's happening in the story.

I received a free copy of this book from the author and/or narrator and/or publisher and I voluntarily wrote this honest review.

If you found this review helpful would you please take a moment to click yes below.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Prequel to the series When Tomorrow Comes

In a world where the infertility rate is extremely high, there is a group of protected women who are selected to carry other people's children. They are an elite group within the society in South Africa. Keke is a journalist in search for the truth, even risking her own life. When one of the surrogates is almost killed, Keke will start investigating who could have done it.

This novella is a prequel to the series When Tomorrow Comes. Ideally it should be read before the series, since it introduces the characters and world events that will be important later on. I have listened to it afterwards though, and I found it totally valid. It's true that I know what's going to come next, but this allowed me to have a deeper reading of this book. The end of the series is a clear eye opener and game changer, so a second read of these books is a must.

While the rest of the series is mainly focused on Kristen, the main character in this story is Keke. One of the things I enjoy most from J.T. Lawrence books is how real the characters feel, and how vivid the descriptions are. It's like watching a scene folding in front of your eyes where you can see real people.

There's plenty of action in the story, and several twists and turns that will leave you mulling about what you've just read. 

I quite enjoyed Jean Ann Douglass' narration, although I missed Roshina Ratnam, whose voice has become for me a very important part of this series. Douglass kept my attention at all times, providing great character interpretations. The only thing that I missed was some more differentiation between characters styles and voices. Keke and Kristen sounded exactly the same, and this made their dialogs a bit confusing.

I'm loving J.T. Lawrence writing, and this series in particular. I seem not to get enough of it, so if Lawrence is considering broadening the subject, she can count me in.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by JT Lawrence. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Elizabeth Robb
  • 08-18-18

Great Characters!

Well developed characters in an interesting world performed beautifully. I was not aware this was a prequel to a series when I listened to it and have not read the series (yet). I can see this being a fabulous "origins" story for well loved characters after a series that explains several things that are alluded to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tony Bough
  • 07-24-18

An amazing prequel

I read When Tomorrow Calls first so I was already familiar with the world that the author has crafted for us. It's an absolutely brilliant prequel.

We get all back story from the characters that we see in the trilogy and I loved that. Also the investigation into the Sigma society, Keke meeting Marco etc is all really well written and very entertaining. I'm deliberately avoiding plot reveals!

The characters, even the minor ones are lovingly crafted and you really get into the story through how good the characters are. That's not saying that the story itself isn't really compelling because it is! The action is relentless without being overwhelming or overdone. The pace and the tension that builds in the book is fantastic.

The author has an amazing world-building talent in this near-future that we find ourselves in.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-21-18

Prequel that didn't disappoint

I was given this audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review.

JTL is fast becoming a favourite with me. As a prequel this didn't disappoint; having read (listened to) the trilogy already it was nice to revisit characters I thought I wouldn't see.

My only criticism here is the narrator. Massive shame this wasn't the same narrator as the trilogy. Wrong accent and somewhat stilted in places. If listening to this before the trilogy and a bit put off by the narrator please continue - Roshina Ratnam that narrates them is fabulous.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Natasha
  • 07-19-18

Great

I’ve read this novel and loved it so much that I couldn’t resist listening to the audiobook version. The narration is amazing and makes this story even more compelling!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • DabOfDarkness
  • 09-26-18

Great Prequel!

Set in a future South Africa, Keke is a rogue journalist. I fell in love with her character early on and was rooting for her the entire story. She’s digging into the ConXeption Clinic, looking for that big story that will get her name out there. However, while pursuing this, she comes to realize that it’s bigger than a mere sensational headline. Surrogate Joni (aka Sigma) has been sent to the SurroCloister. Apparently, fertility among humans has dropped radically and those women who can conceive and carry to term are rare. Joni is one of these women.

As the story develops, Keke pulls in more allies. Kirsten helps her pull info together. Marko is her tech guy, breaking into secret databases and stuff. As much as I liked Marko, I did find that he made it a little too easy for Keke to break sophisticated codes, etc. That was the one weakness of this story.

Twists and turns as Keke explores one lead after another. Perhaps someone at the SurroCloister is playing her. Perhaps this mysterious group Alba is setting her up. It’s a delicious nest of suspects. Keke certainly is having fun with the chase, at least until the bodies start hitting the floor.

There’s also a wonderful sexy side to Keke that I appreciated. Little sensuous scenes are spaced throughout the story. The pacing is great – I never got bored with the characters or the plot. Looking forward to the next in the series. 4.75.5 stars.

The Narration: Jean Ann Douglass did a good job. All of her character voices were distinct and her male voices were believable. I loved her mischievous voice for Keke, and also her flirty voice for Keke during the sexy bits. There were no technical issues with the recording. 5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by JT Lawrence. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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  • Norma Miles
  • 09-13-18

A poisoned Easter egg.

The Sigma Surrogate is a prequel to the When Tomorrow Calls trilogy, set in South Africa in 2021. In it, we the readers meet some of the characters who will later appear but is a very satisfying story in it's own right. With Earth becoming increasingly dangerous with plague, drought, crime and suicide rampant, the human fertility rate has also crashed with an estimated of fewer than 1% of the population now fertile. Young women capable of childbearing are sought after and highly respected, with a pleasant, luxurious life at the Surrogate Citidel. So why would anyone seek to kill Joni, the very pregnant girl living there in utmost security? K.K., a journalist, gets news of the story and, with the help of photographer, Kirsten, Flower Girl, a bioengineer,, and a super hacker met on the Darkweb named Marko, she intends to write the story of the year.

Set in a slightly futuristic edgy world, similar but very different from our own, J.T.Lawrence paints in technicolour a fast actioned mystery thriller with very memorable characters, surprising twists and a couple of sensual sex scenes. It sparkles in description of a highly unusual nature. Jean Ann Douglas narrated, and does so with warm clarity and panache, further giving life to the protagonists with her seperate voicings for each at the same time as giving the ongoing text full understanding and emotion. An excellent performance, although this reader found the experience further improved by setting the playback speed to 1.25.

This book will be an obvious must read for anyone who has already completed the When Tomorrow Calls trilogy, but is also highly recommended for anyone enjoying character led s.f., Tecno and conspiracy thrillers or any slightly unusual crime mysteries. Well written, very easy and pleasurable to read, with excellent narration -and a definite surprise ending. Get it now and decide for yourself.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Helennnlouise18
  • 08-24-18

Good listen!

I really enjoyed listening to this story. Douglass’ tone was easy to listen to and really did Lawrence’s novel justice. Quick read that helped kill a couple of hours and I can’t wait to read/listen to the books that follow!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Deedra
  • 08-09-18

The Sigma Surrogate

I enjoyed this book.Of course it left us with more questions than answers!Jean Ann Douglass was a fine narrator.I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free for an honest review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ostfeld
  • 07-15-18

Short and to the point !!!

I know many long stories that has not done what J. T. Lawrence accomplished in this short one, truly this short story includes everything to create an enjoyable and complete masterpiece.
Picking Jean Ann Douglass to narrate the book was the last nail to turn it into an awesome audiobook.

Beautifully done, I fully recommend this one.




I have gotten this audiobook for free but I still believe that I reviewed it honestly.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joni J Mielke
  • 07-11-18

Top-notch story, disappointing narration

As a prequel to Lawrence's When Tomorrow Calls series, this book excels. Perfectly paced, the story - told for the most part from Kekeletso 'Keke's' perspective - provides lots of answers, clues and a tantalizing hint or two in relation to future developments in the series. But as much as Sigma relays background information, it stands strongly as a complete story in itself, and is a great new first book (and look) into JT's series.

The book's short chapters and overall short length both make listening easy.

What makes the listening experience harder, however, was the performance of the narrator herself. I have no objections to US narrators reading South African books - as long as they do their homework with unfamiliar-sounding words and not butcher them. Names of places were mispronounced, particularly Magaliesburg and Johannesburg, but the handling of the proper name 'Mandla' bugged me most of all. There are also a couple instances of incorrect enunciation that brought down the quality of an otherwise excellent series.