Monday, November 19, 2012

J A Huss "Clutch" Review & Giveaway

Welcome to my Review of Clutch by J.A. Huss. and her wonderful giveaway!


In the year 2152, after a lengthy war of succession between the United States, North America has been divided up into many smaller self-governing republics. The Rural Republic’s (RR) highest commander has just been killed and his sniper-trained 19 year old daughter, JUNCO COOT, has gone AWOL into a barren section of the country called The Stag where secret military operations take place. Junco is haunted by recurring nightmares that involves being alone on a dock, hunting people in foreign cities, and her early childhood. She cannot make sense of the nightmares so she pushes them out of her forward consciousness and decides she doesn’t want to think about them.
On her way out to The Stag she hits a deer, wrecks her vehicle, and ends up injured. TIER, a winged avian alien from a band of habitats far out in the Solar System, has just returned from blowing up the secret camp where Junco was headed. He helps her and then tries to force her to come with him. The military of a neighboring country, the Mountain Republic (MR), headed by teenage love interest AREN, shows up and captures Junco. Aren holds Junco captive and she learns that she is not human, but is in fact avian, like Tier. Aren escapes with Junco when Tier attacks. Junco and Aren reminisce about the past and clear the air on how things ended between them when they were in cadet school together. Aren admits that his job is to bring Junco back to his government and she runs away.

Tier finds them, kills everyone when the military shows up to get Junco, and then takes her back to a cave near her home. Junco escapes the cave, but is not convinced that going home is the best plan now that she knows people have nefarious interests in her. Tier appears while she is outside and listens as she struggles with the questions she has about herself. She decides to stay with him and they share some intimate moments when he takes her to a hot spring deep in the cave to wash off her bloodied body. Junco is confused by the news she is avian and Tier placates her with a story about a goddess from his culture, ending with the moral that people can choose their own path in life.

Later they are attacked in the caves by a pack of wolf-like creates called nightdogs and Junco loses two fingers in the battle. When she wakes up in the cave, she discovers Tier has cared for her injuries and when she hears his foreign language coming from a communication device, she can understand it. Tier explains that they will have to leave earth and Junco rebels. The MR military shows up in the cave and they run through the tunnels. Tier reveals that Junco might be part of a clutch of avians connected to the Seven Siblings prophecy, which was made with stolen avian genetics decades ago.

After they escape the cave an avian working for the Mountain Republic, MOJU, follows them, tells Junco he’s her brother from the stolen clutch, and convinces her that he knows the guy who made them. Their maker, a genetic engineer called DALE, was working in the secret camp that Tier blew up, but managed to escape. Junco agrees to confront him and Tier goes along.

Dale is hiding out in an underground lab located in secret military transportation tunnels under the RR. Junco finds dozens of cloned copies of herself in the lab and the trio blows the place up and escapes back to the tunnels. The MR military is waiting in the tunnels to take Junco, but Moju sacrifices himself and stays behind to fight so Tier can get Junco to safety.

Tier takes Junco back to the RR near her house and they walk up to her father’s hunting cabin in the woods and spend the night. Tier tells Junco another story about the clutch of Seven Siblings which states that all avian children are born wingless like humans, but must make the morph to a winged being before they are twenty or they will die.  Junco decides she needs to hear the truth and asks Tier to spill the secrets he knows about her. He tells her how she was made using genetic engineering at the secret camp and that they were doing experiments on children and created mutants and monsters.  Tier says her father was in on it, her father was going to sell her to the highest bidder, and that Tier was the one who ended her father’s life.  Junco refuses to believe this about her father and escapes the cabin and runs to a neighbor’s house. Tier catches up with her just as she enters their property and tells her to go ask anyone she wants. He’s telling the truth.

Junco allows the neighbors to take her home where Aren, who was supposed to be dead, is commanding the rescue forces from her father’s office. Aren states that Tier was sent to kill her because she’s not one of the six pure avians, she is the impure monster Seventh Sibling, which is supposed to bring the downfall of the entire avian race if the prophecy is true.

Junco lies to the media under Aren’s suggestion and tells then that she has a meeting with the Rural Republic Council to clear the air about all the secret experiments going on. Later that night she goes out to her barn to ride her horse and Tier shows up again. He watches her ride and then she takes him out to her “thinking spot” in the woods where he helps her remember the truth about who she is and what she’s done. Her nightmares and partial memory loss are due to her father killing her boyfriend, CHARLIE, after they met in a virtual reality on a dock. Her father later forced her to have an abortion when he found out she was pregnant. Tier prods her to remember the details and Junco discovers she was the one who caused her father’s life-threatening injuries, and Tier only killed him to put him out of his misery. Junco remembers a detail that clues her into the actual soldier who killed Charlie under her father’s orders.

Tier says he is leaving that night and asks her to come with him but Junco returns to her house with revenge in mind. She recovers more of her lost memories after her commanding officer discharges her from her post and hands her back a weapon that is biologically attached her called a SEAR knife. The SEAR knife not only cuts, but also scrambles the DNA of anyone it touches unless they are coded specifically to the weapon. Junco has a dock grafted to her stomach where the SEAR knife fits. She is a biological weapon made by the RR military to perform assassinations around the world. Her commander gives her a datacube which reveals that her MOTHER, who was torn from Junco’s life back when she was six, is working with a political group in the Northern Territories, and will be invading the Mountain Republic that night.

Junco enlists a reporter outside her house to get a message to Charlie’s family by bribing her with some money, documents, and her mother’s video. Aren confronts her during this and Junco reveals that her mother said Aren was working for the Northern Territories too. Aren threatens to hurt her if she begins acting irrational again, and Junco lies to draw him into her plans and says all she wants is a rank equal to his when the discussions with the Council occur that evening.

Junco enters the Council meeting ready for revenge. All her council members are there, as is her former commanding officer, and Aren. Aren tries to lead the discussions toward Mountain Republic business, but Junco takes over and demands the Council members tell her about the night she cut her father with her SEAR knife. They admit they saw her do it and that her father was there to sell her to Aren. Junco tells Aren that she knows he was the one who killed Charlie.

Aren takes control of Junco’s artificially intelligent run HOUSE and trains a grid-like laser system on everyone in the room as he powers up Junco’s deadly SEAR knife and threatens to cut her. Junco takes a moment to speak when Aren is not observing her and shuts the HOUSE down with a secret command, then escapes out of the room, kills a slew of enemy soldiers, and ends up outside in her long driveway in the snow.

She and Aren fight, he takes control and slams her down on the icy ground and begins cutting her face with her own SEAR knife. Junco passes out from the pain and finds herself on the virtual reality dock she’s been dreaming about. Charlie is there in her mind and tells her to grab the SEAR knife on the ground next to her wait for the bright light.  The bright light flashes and Junco springs up on her feet and cuts Aren’s head off with the SEAR. The avian ship is hovering over her house and the avian warriors are kicking-ass in her driveway. An avian warrior covers her so she can’t fight, then releases her when the battle is over. Tier is about to kill Junco’s commanding officer and Junco makes him stop.

Tier asks her to come with him now and Junco agrees. They fly up to the ship in a stream of blue light and Junco loses consciousness in the thin atmosphere. She wakes up in a medical lab where LAYLA, an avian scientist and doctor, is about to put her in the tank for her avian metamorphosis. Junco goes down fighting, but ultimately, Tier and Layla force her into the morph.


"Clutch"  by  J.A. Huss is a fast paced read.    This sci-fi adventure pulls you in from the beginning with exceptional characters that are so well developed you will swear you know them personally.
The year is 2152 and the world is nothing like we know it.  Junco the heroine is a member of the Rural Republic which is a farming area that rejects technology use (sounds like the Amish in the future).   Don’t get me wrong this isn’t futuristic pastoral scenes, there is lots of violence and adult situations and well let’s just say she talks like a salty sailor. She is such an interesting character in such a fascinating world that I found myself completely invested in her and in what would happen next.  In my opinion that is what makes a great book.  
Make sure you start this book on a weekend and have the next 2 books available to read immediately after you finish the first one.  This is a very hard to put down book that I recommended to all sci-fi fans.   Download Clutch from Amazon for only 99 cents and then when you find yourself hooked like I did go back and down load the rest. 

This review is based on a complimentary copy which was provided for an honest review.

BIO: J. A. Huss never took a creative writing class in her life. Some would say it shows. Others might cut her some slack. She did however, get educated and graduated from Colorado State University with a B.S. in Equine Science. She had grand dreams of getting a Ph.D. but while she loves science, she hated academia and settled for a M.S. in Forensic Toxicology from the University of Florida.

She went on to write science curriculum for homeschoolers and now runs a successful home business that creates and offers online science unit studies. When she’s not writing science curriculum or fiction, she works as a farm inspector, traveling the Eastern Plains of Colorado in variety of environmentally friendly vehicles that never have four-wheel drive, so when she gets stuck in the mud in said vehicles, she has to beg for assistance from anyone who will help her. She is not bitter about that at all.

She’s always packing heat and she is owned by two donkeys, five dogs, more chickens and ducks than she can count, and of course, the real filthy animals, her kids. The I Am Just Junco series was born after falling in love with the ugliest part of Colorado and the Rural Republic is based on the area of the state she currently resides in, minus the mutants, of course.

YouTube Trailer - CLUTCH:
YouTube Trailer - FLEDGE:

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  1. Thank you Vickie! :) I really appreciate it!


  2. the books really interesting. i will have to add them to my TBR list!


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