It’s 2019 and humanity is imperiled: governments and kingdoms are toppling, societies collapsing. Natural catastrophes, resource wars, systems failure, famine and disease threaten our survival. In the heavens, a dim red star brightens in the night sky, heralding epochal change. Are we the architects of our own demise? Or are we merely bystanders to cosmic events? Among the endangered billions, Maya Jade, an American trapped in the South of France, is searching for answers while fighting to stay alive.
Darker and more erotic, Maya Rising, the sequel to Last Call for Caviar, by Melissa Roen, picks up Maya Jade’s story at its cliff-hanging mid-point. Miraculously reunited with her estranged lover, Julian, and guarded by her beloved Golden Retriever, Buddy, Maya and her companions flee the besieged Côte d’Azur searching for safety in the vastness of the French Alps.
After a harrowing journey through a state of anarchy, they find sanctuary in a well-defended Alpine village. Julian’s surgical skill is their passport, and for a short time it appears they’ve found haven above the rising tide of bloodshed engulfing the planet. But all too soon, events conspire to separate these star-crossed lovers once again.
Determined to rescue Julian–if he’s alive–Maya hires two retired French soldiers to guide and protect her as she searches for him across the Alps, a majestic terrain now home to rogue militia, marauders, slave traders–and worse. Maya’s pampered existence on the French Riviera–chronicled in Last Call for Caviar–is but a surreal memory. Now, every day is a struggle to maintain hope and avoid capture among the craggy peaks and haunted valleys ruled by warlords and populated by the desperate and degraded.
But when Julian’s trail leads south, Maya follows, coming full circle to the embattled principality she resolutely left behind. In a stroke of cosmic irony, Maya’s mission brings her into intimate contact with her former lover, Abdul, a dangerous and charismatic man, whose skill at seduction she’s never been able to resist or forget.
But in the course of a year, a new Maya Jade has emerged from the ashes of a decadent and doomed world. She’s no longer wracked by doubt and paralyzed by fear. Risking everything, she employs instinct, cunning and every tool at her disposal to protect those she loves, while holding onto her humanity and ideals in a world gone mad. Readers seeking a sexy, adrenaline-filled ride in the company of a heroine who lives as fiercely as she loves will relish this astro-physical tale of a woman’s struggle to understand and survive the end of the world.
Combining elements of adventure, romance, and science fiction, Maya Rising describes a future that is all too plausible. And though the situation is grave and the tension palpable, in Maya Jade’s wry, self-conscious story-telling, there is reason to hope. Melissa Roen’s novel encounters the apocalypse with courage, determination and wonder and will appeal to fans of speculative fiction, romance and dystopian thrillers.