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The Sowing

Summery:

The Famine may be over, but the Resistance has just begun.

When Remy Alexander is fifteen, her older sister is murdered in a cold-blooded classroom massacre. When the Okarian Sector hides the truth behind the attack, Remy's family goes underground to join the clandestine and growing Resistance movement. Now, three years later, Remy is beginning to find clues about why her sister was murdered. But at the same time, Valerian Orlean, the boy Remy once loved, is put in charge of hunting and destroying the Resistance. As Vale fights to protect his people and Remy seeks justice for her sister, the two are set on a collision course that could bring everyone together - or tear everything apart.

THE SOWING, the first book in The SEEDS Trilogy, is set in a post-apocalyptic world. In the wake of environmental destruction and a devastating population crash, the Okarian Sector was forced to fight to establish a civil society in a chaotic world. After the loss of seed biodiversity in the destruction of the Old World, genetic modification and artificial agricultural techniques are the Sector’s only choice. Science reigns supreme. The Okarian Agricultural Consortium, a corporation dedicated to perfecting these modified seeds and providing only the best food and medicine to its citizens, becomes the government’s most important arm. But even the purest gold is tarnished over time, and the Sector’s noble goals devolve into manipulation, control, and oppression.

Written by the mother-daughter writing team of Kristy, Amira, and Elena Makansi, this debut post-apocalyptic thriller features romance, enduring friendships, edge-of-your-seat action, and heart-wrenching betrayal.
Okarian Sector Map-01
 

The SEEDS Trilogy is set roughly two hundred and fifty years in the future, after a series of apocalyptic events and global famines decimated the world’s population. With the world’s climes severely affected by global warming, and large areas of the continents rendered unusable because of nuclear radioactivity, agricultural zones have shifted and the center of civilization has regrown.
In the last one hundred or so years, humans have banded together once again to create civil society, and today, the Okarian Sector stands as a shining example of the spirit of cooperation and enterprise. The capital city of Okaria is ringed by factory towns, centers of industry, production, and technological growth, and supported by the Farms, which under the careful guidance of the Okarian Agricultural Consortium, have once again been able to grow enough food to support the population. The OAC, a corporation led by scientists and researchers, has been pioneering the use of genetically modified seeds, which, unlike those of the Old World, are designed to produce crops that can weather drought, cold, heat, pests, and disease, all the while maintaining the principles of biodiversity and natural farming techniques on the Farms.
This map of the Okarian Sector is still a work in progress, and will be updated as we get closer to the launch of the book.

THE TECHNOLOGY

As you read through THE SOWING, you’ll be drawn into a science-fiction world. Since our characters are trying to rebuild their world after devastating climate change, we tried to write about technology that is sustainable, doesn’t rely on fossil fuel, and incorporates plant-based substances into the designs. Here are a few examples:
The Sarus, Vale’s airship, runs off of a cold-fusion generator and an ionic propulsion system. The cold-fusion generator is totally sci-fi; the ionic propulsion system is science. It’s not in use yet, but it’s getting there. Here’s an article in Businessweek about it: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-04-08/mit-researchers-fire-up-the-ionic-thrusters and here’s the MIT paper to match: http://lae.mit.edu/?p=2450.
Bolts, which are the weapons that the soldiers in the Sector use, are neither lasers nor conventional bullets. They’re a form of an electrolaser, which is essentially a juiced up form of a taser. They combine the force of a thunderbolt with all the precision of a conventional weapon. The Sector uses these weapons because they don’t require mass-producing bullets, and they can be fired via rechargeable (and renewable) energy sources. Check out more information about electrolasers on the wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolaser and at this website: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-an-electrolaser.htm.

The Buzzz...

WE’RE IRRESISTIBLE!
Compulsion Reads Endorsed: The Best Books Demand Our Attention

  • We are thrilled to announce that The Sowing: Book One of the Seeds Trilogy has been chosen as a Compulsion Reads “Irresistible Read”! This means they loved the book so much they’re featuring it in a special selection of books you just have to read. We couldn’t be more pleased!
    Here’s what they had to say:
    “The Sowing checks off all the boxes on my “Nope, not gonna put it down” list. Written from the shifting first person perspectives of Vale Orleán and Remy Alexander, readers get to ride along as Remy and her teammates fight the system, and as Vale slowly begins to see through the cracks in his perfect society. Author K. Makansi douses The Sowing with plenty of science talk that is surprisingly accessible to non-sciency types like myself. Equally impressive is that Makansi also writes deep, vibrant characters. The result is a story that tickles the intellect and pulls on the heartstrings. By the end of the book, I had truly come to care about many of the characters in Makansi’s world, especially Remy’s broody, brilliant and darkly sarcastic rebel teammate Soren (love you Soren!).
    As Remy and Soren desperately guard a dangerous secret that could change everything, Vale’s digging leads to horrific revelations. How far does the conspiracy go, and what role did his parents play in that terrible massacre that left Remy’s sister dead?
    The Sowing is a brilliant adventure where war is as much about brain and brawn. The action doesn’t stop for a single minute. I think I sprained my finger swiping my Kindle so vigorously trying to get to the next page. Yeah, it’s that good.”
    The review will be posted on our official Compulsion Reads page in a few days, along with an author interview and our bio. We even get a shiny seal to put on our print covers! In the meantime, now’s the time to get your own copy. We’ve officially got both print and e-books available, and The Sowing is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo. Christmas gifts, anyone?
    Word of mouth is the best marketing tool! We’d love it if you’d recommend this book on Goodreads, shared this link on your social media networks, or even just told someone about how much you loved The Sowing. Help us spread the word!
    Thanks for stopping by!

My Review:

The Sowing is a real page-turner. It is a one of the very best quality  sci-fi that I read lately. It's hard science fiction in the sense that it avoids use of magic and fantasy and extrapolates into the future from current genetic engineering of crops to how new developments in that science can change society, politics, and human nature itself. The science of DNA technology is a central element in the plot and it is a subject that is close to my heart.
After religious wars followed by years of famine decimated the population, the remaining society has evolved and organized itself into a series of farms and research labs--those who come up with the ideas and those who do the manual labor to implement them--to keep the people safe and healthy. The leaders and elite lived in the capital city of Okaria happy and safe, while the farms and factories outside the city hum with productivity.
As you see this world is richly drawn and becomes a platform for exploring a number of interesting subjects, such as genetically modified food, man’s impact on the environment, and class dynamics. As much, you can take The Sowing as a fascinating thought experiment: what if your social circle splits in half, and people you’ve once loved--friends, teachers, parents--grow to despise you?  What is the meaning of genetic modifications? Can you also see the positive in this? ....and Science isn't for itself isn't good or bad.
Remy Alexander and her friends born into the elite meritocracy of the Okarian Sector. From an early age she and her friends were programmed for intellectual and physical superiority through specialized dietary regimes administered by the Okarian Agricultural Consortium.
At first, we don’t know why the Resistance has broken off from the rest of society, but they are the group who have realized that the Sector and OAC have been manipulating their subjects for years with this genetically modified food, and that they will stop at nothing to ensure their programs of oppression, forced labor, and breeding remain in place.  The Resistance is outside of the Sector's reach, located among the mysterious and secretive Outsiders, spreading the news of the Sector's lies and manipulations, taking shots at the Sector's storage and research facilities when they can, and working toward a day when the Sector's programs can be exposed and destroyed, restoring the order of nature and free will among the people.
That’s the scenario Remy Alexander and Vale Orlean find themselves in. They are the two main characters, which were masterfully written. The novel alternates between Remy and Vale’s points of view and puts them on a collision course towards reuniting.
In the beginning they seemed as the most bitter enemies, but slowly you discover a very close friends with the promise of more. Remy’s family joined a group of resistance fighters, while Vale, the son of the Chancellor, was put in charge of their extermination.
Remy is a talent artist, smart and loving character, but she also very angry, bitter and confused. She had a very good reasons to be such - When she was fifteen, her older sister Tai is murdered in a cold-blooded classroom massacre. The Okarian Sector hides the truth behind the attack, and Remy's family (her parents used to be prominent officials in the Sector) goes underground to join the clandestine and growing Resistance movement  suspecting a foul play. Among the Resistance It's a difficult and dangerous life, and over three years, Remy has become a hardened and seasoned rebel fighter. Three years later, she begins to find some clues to why her sister murdered. 
Valerian Orlean, is the son of the two most powerful people in the Sector, the chancellor and the head of the OAC. Vale was raised for success and leadership; his life has been one of privilege and luxury, He just been appointed as the director of a new program aimed at breaking the Resistance and he takes his training very seriously and determines to do what is necessary to preserve the stability of the Sector, even if it means finding out Remy Alexander and turn her over to the authorities for punishment. But when Remy and Vale come face-to-face during a rebel mission gone horribly wrong, neither of them will ever be the same again. Forced to consider that everything he has ever known has been a lie, Vale must decide where his loyalties lie . Because he is haunted by the memory of his friendship with Remy and he was determined to find out why she disappeared. He discovers as an inherently a good person trying to do the best that he can while watches everything that he know and believe, collapse around him as he slowly begins to see through the cracks in his perfect society. . 
The middle chapters of the book provide some of the most intense moments  of Feelings -  guilt, betrayal, and indignation.
The rest of the characters flesh out a rich world, from the surly biologist with a mysterious past (he made military weapons-grade flowers) to the brilliant sidekick caught up in the escape and along for the ride.  It  appear that there is a love triangle forming -  Her Resistance friend Soren is aloof, condescending, and shady, though for all of that he seems to have an attachment to her. 
 
 

About the author

 

 

K. Makansi is the pen name for the mother-daughter writing team of Kristy, Amira, and Elena Makansi.K. MakansiKristina Blank Makansi – Born and raised in Southern Illinois, Kristina has a B.A. in Government from University of Texas at Austin and a M.A.T. from the College of New Jersey and an opinion on everything. She has worked as a copywriter, marketing coordinator, web and collateral designer, editor, and publisher. In 2010, she co-founded Blank Slate Press, an award-winning small press focusing on debut authors in the greater St. Louis area, and in 2013, she co-founded Treehouse Publishing Group, an author services and assisted-publishing partnership. She firmly believes that traditional genre boundaries should not apply to great writing. In addition to The Seeds Trilogy, she is hard at work revising her historical fiction, Oracles of Delphi, set in ancient Greece.

Amira K. Makansi
- Amira graduated with honors in three years from the University of Chicago. She earned a BA in History and was a team leader and officer for UChicago Mock Trial. She has served as an assistant editor and has read and evaluated Blank Slate Press submissions since the press was founded. She is an avid reader and blogger who also has a passion for food, wine, and photography. She has worked at various wineries in Oregon and France and is approaching fluency in French. Along with working part-time for BSP, she currently works for a wine distributorship in St. Louis. In addition to The Seeds Trilogy, she reviews books and blogs about writing, food and wine at The Z-axis.

Elena K. Makansi – Elena is a rising senior at Oberlin College where she is focusing on Environmental Studies especially as it relates to her passion–food justice. She’s also studied studio art and drawing and has had her work featured in several college publications. While in high school, she won numerous writing and poetry awards, was awarded a scholarship to attend the Washington University Summer Writing Institute and attended the Iowa Young Writers Studio. She also won a scholarship to represent her Amideast cohort as the “resident” blogger during her study abroad in Amman, Jordan. She and Amira backpacked through Europe together and share a passion for cooking, baking–and, yes, eating. Elena maintains a Tumblr and a blog, Citizen Fiddlehead, about food and other topics

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