Resonance, Vol. I (Approaching the Dark Age Series)

Rated 4.71/5 based on 14 reviews
No one knows how long it has been since the turn of the Dark Age, though accounts differ from one Tribal leader's story to another. Some legends speak of the earth turning on us for all the wicked we wrought. Some say creatures, monstrous behemoths of the depths, rose and sought our utter annihilation. In others... More
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About M.C. Chivers

I was born in Bath City, United Kingdom. From an early age, I have been hampered with disabilities with all forms of language, be it speaking, reading and writing, all of which has stemmed from my Autistic Spectrum Disorder (in my case, Childhood Autism; as opposed to high-functioning Aspergers).

On the outside, I look like a perfectly healthy young man. On the inside, I am highly confused and do not relate to reality as one normally should. In 1988, by the age of 3 years and 6 months, I had no capacity to speak (which any parent can tell you, is not normal for any child).

My mother took me to see many doctors and speech specialists to try to find out what the cause was. There was none, at least, in 1988. The Child Specialist, at the time, diagnosed me in his papers as showing signs of Dyslexia. He also diagnosed me with Aphasia, because I could not talk, and Mild-Retardation, because he was uncertain of some of the test results when my intelligence and cognitive abilities were called into question.

At that stage, my mother, who was told of her child's conditions, was obviously very upset. The Doctors had told her that I would never have the capacity to speak, and that learning language was more than likely incomprehensible as was shown in the tests.

I was always a strange little boy. I would often walk on my toes, arrange VHS tapes in orderly lines, and would always bang my head or cry when my routines were upset in the slightest manner. This often led to me taking out my rage on toys or bed furniture. My mother's friends or mid-wives would comment on the behavior, that it was odd and distressing, though due to the diagnosed condition they obviously never pursued it and would often leave my mother with kind comments.

It was by the age of four that I finally uttered my first word. My mother was overjoyed, so much so that I still remember a vague memory of where most of my relatives were in the living room listening to me speak a single word. To her, it was a miracle that I could speak. She thought I had proved the doctors wrong. However, though I could finally say several words by the age of five, I still required intensive speech therapy and special lessons at the primary school, Frogwell, in Chippenham, Wiltshire (and outside of the school environment also).

I remember my first day at primary school very well. My mother dropped me off to the classroom, which was no problem. The problem happened when she had to leave me. I was left all alone in an environment where I knew no one at all. This absolutely petrified me, and I was always frightened of the teachers and other children (they were lovely and harmless, of course).

I could only speak three words at a time, before pausing briefly, to carry on with the sentence - again, at three word stretches. If you were lucky. This made my life hell when trying to speak to other children in the class. I would always get upset or angry, yet at the same time, too frightened to say anything.

Instead, I would be picked up and taken home. Sometimes I relieved the stress by getting angry or upset at my parents or siblings. I was always deeply happy at home compared to school. I couldn't read or write, and this made me feel highly embarrassed and inferior compared to the children. We had small drawers in our classroom where we could store our work. I remember those grey little trays fondly. On the front of them, they had our names printed and stuck to them with sell-o-tape.

Could I read my own name? Not a chance. Quite often, I stashed my work in everyone's drawers but mine. Of course, this was quickly picked up by the teacher, who then told me, and then shown me, when that failed, of where my drawer was located. I never remembered my name, only the position of the drawer.

I never knew how to socialize with the other children. I always thought it strange, even after hitting secondary school. How boys and girls could be friends, never mind just making friends. Due to my incapacity to make any friends, boys or girls, (due to everything mentioned) my early years in school were very lonely.

My first years were spent following painted lines around the playground during break times. The other children played, of course, the playground would be filled with screams, laughs and utter chaos. I could never understand it, at the time. All I had was my lines. Eventually, when I turned seven years old, my life felt like it was changing for the better. I could now speak many words in a sentence - I couldn't read or write (or barely do math) still, but I could communicate with the other kids. My life was turning around, very slowly.

I enjoyed art, though. All the others kids sucked at it! Jest aside, I was always one to draw 3D pictures in the classroom, whereas all the other children could only draw 2D stickmen. Quite often, the teachers would be very surprised at my artistic ability. It was a shame that art was never a primary focus in our lessons. I could have done with more praise for something I could actually achieve in.

However, I needed to speed up when it came to literacy and language. It had taken me this long to speak, semi-fluently, but I could not read or write. My mother, when I turned eight, started taking me to Bath City, twice a week, and for an hour each time, to the Dyslexic Institute.

They specialize in teaching you in how to read and write. I attended this for 3 years. I always enjoyed Tuesdays and Thursdays. It would mean driving to Bath City for half the day - this meant I could avoid primary school. I was well happy.

In that time, I went from not being able to read or write, to being able to read books designed for age 3+. I remember the day well. It is one of my happiest moments. I could pick up a book and, as if a light bulb was switched on in my head, I could finally read a book by myself at the age of ten! I was so impressed with myself that I even read it out to my teacher (god knows what the book is now). She almost couldn't believe it. I finally got it. I could read.

My writing needed much improvement but, by the time I hit secondary school, I was all right. I could cope. I shan't trouble you with my secondary school life in such depth. Again, the attributes that plagued my social life also followed me into secondary school, such as heavy bullying - until the last couple of years, then it got a bit easier. It wasn't until I started college that my life really turned around, properly, for the first time.

Since then, I have had my fair share of relationships and breakups and have made or lost friends through either lack of contact or either party upsetting the other. Regrettably, I wish some of the people I lost were still my friends. As the old, unfortunate saying goes, "such is life." I find this saying bitter and twisted, but that's just me, perhaps?

I wasn't diagnosed with Autism in 1988 at a time when Autism was only thought to have been extremely rare. This could be why the Child Specialist, at the time, marked me down as Dyslexic, Aphasic and mildly-retarded.

It is only since the turn of the millennium that Autism has gained the name ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and is a more recognized diagnosis, which has broadened since 2000. I am one of the lucky few to have been diagnosed in my adulthood in 2014.

Individuals with Autism have little grasp for grammar, if any, which has always been a hurdle in my writing. However, this hasn't stopped my burning determination to write stories like anyone else. I will go above and beyond to write a good series.

Since 2005, I have been writing my story, which then developed into a series. It began with Resonance (the title switched names many times before I settled for Resonance), until I finally finished writing it up in 2007/8. Since then, I churned out Orchestra in 2011 - and then Echo in 2012.

I have drawn on much inspiration. This ranges from music, movies and anime (Japanese cartoons to us westerners - although far more awesome, especially on Blu-Ray with full HD). However, one massive inspiration is that of Final Fantasy VII. I played this game, religiously, when I was 14 - and still do today. Diablo II was also a massive source of inspiration - I would truant school to play it, and it served as a source of escapism. For years, I also attended the Chippenham Games Club, where I would often play tabletop games of Warhammer.

It was out of school, and many of the members were friendly adults that introduced myself and my younger brother to lots of different board games, card games and RPG's, such as Dungeons & Dragons (nothing beats second edition). These were self-esteem boosters, and I could always relate better with the older folks compared with others my own age. Another source of inspiration is my fascination with the paranormal or supernatural. This has been something that I have always been drawn to since a child.

I strongly believe that the earliest years in my life have played a large part in my utopian ideals, sourly mixed with those of occasional depression because of my Autism. Over the years, these inspirations have churned my intellect and aspirations of what I love to write. A science-fantasy to call my own.

Now, after my many hurdles, I believe I have achieved just that...

My own little universe.

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For more information on Dyslexia, Aphasia, and Autism, please visit these links, here:

Dyslexia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyslexia

Aphasia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphasia

Autism - http://www.autism.org.uk/

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Approaching the Dark Age Series Blog:

http://approachingdarkage.blogspot.co.uk/

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Approaching the Dark Age Series Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Approaching-the-Dark-Age-Series/44182046100

Videos

ADA Series presents Star Stream by Megan Mays and Matthew Chivers
Star Stream is a song that represents the Approaching the Dark Age Series on Amazon and other eBook retailers. Resonance, Vol. I is available for free. Thank you for showing an interest in the ADA universe. In all, seven novels are planned. Science, spirituality, lost technology and magic are intertwined in this dark, futuristic series.

Bronzed Stranger (pilot v.01)
Bronzed Stranger is a song based on an elderly man in the ADA Series, whom bestows a prophecy to Maledream and Neveah, before they set off on their journey in the first chapter of Orchestra, Vol. II.

Also in Approaching the Dark Age

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: Chaos Theory on Sep. 17, 2013 :
I started reading the first book when it was published before the revised versions and front cover. What really attracted me to this book was the magic system (heard about it from a friend) and the way that science was involved made made it more of a hybrid sci-fi/fantasy adventure but the writer has done it in such a clever way that makes you think it could be plausible in real life (in a fun way).

As far as the story goes its a good start, I knew the end wasn't going to be at where it was, as it felt there was more to be told about the characters, and the magic and the world itself. I would recommend reading this book as its different and there earn't many other stories which are post apocalyptic that still involve some form of "magic".

There have been post apocalyptic stories, films and games over the years (Mad Max, water world, book of Eli, Fallout 3) but with all of them you always knew the expectations of the story and that nothing could go beyond humans hurting humans with some human kindness still remaining somewhere on the planet and some sort of civilization or society still remaining. But with including magic/science into a post apocalyptic story you can go wherever the Author wants to take you, which I'm expecting more of in the second book and will post a review of that once I have finished reading it.

I hope everyone had a good read like I did and come out thinking its a unique and different book which has more to offer, as they say dont judge a book by its cover.
(review of free book)

Review by: Laz on Sep. 17, 2013 :
First off I have to say that I have read a lot of the more "common and well known" fantasy novels and after awhile they are very much the same and become dull and start to fit into the category of "once you have read one you have read them all".

I was pleased to find that this was not the case with this book, the author has blended technology, magic and even spiritualism in a way which stops this from being your normal fluffy fantasy book. The characters have been provided with depth and personality which is lost in most books and the situations and surrounding are well thought out and explained.

All in all a very good book which I really enjoyed reading so much that I have now brought the 2nd and 3rd book.
(review of free book)

Review by: Zort on Sep. 17, 2013 :
So far I have had to push myself to continue reading.it's not bad ,it's just not blowing my mind. I just got updated version and will resubmit if my view changes.
(review of free book)

Review by: Cardmon on Sep. 15, 2013 :
Well I'm not sure we're to begin. The book has some very good points, but as you might expect for a first time novelist some that are so so, thankfully nothing that won't improve as the author progresses, & especially as he has already overcome difficulties in writing as you would be able to see from his website. These difficulties do affect the writing style slightly, in was a little hard to initially get into the story because of this, but some patience helped & I believe the author is constantly working on updates. A good proof reader would solve this in the long term, though by the end of the novel things were a lot better.
Post apocalypse stories have been done before, well most things have these days, but this one brings some new ideas into the mix based on resonance, and has technology, spirituality, magic in the form of resonance, as well as mythological stories blended together ( too much ). I did find it quite refreshing in that resonance which for us has an obviously scientific basis, but also here a spiritual side and he makes that work well, the potential in expanding this is great.
The characters in the story were fairly well described, though I did not fully take to any of them. At times for me they were quite staid, interaction came across as though they were reading a script, actions were also at times the same. As well as this I couldn't take to the fact that they met up with people so readily no matter the situation, always at the right time and they just seemed to gel straight away, so trusting. I did enjoy though the part played & will be played by the Anunaki, an inspired choice, it was unexpected, but one that opens up endless possibilities for future books.
As a storyline and concept it is good, it has a lot of mileage though the downside for me was the fact that the story had too many strands, too many conspiracy theories coming together to answer one main question or quest. It came across for me a little muddled, it tried to cram as many ideas into one book as possible, where less would have been better for me. I might find that this is realised in the rest of the series, which I will be reading to see if the storyline becomes for me a bit more coherent, less cluttered and more natural, plus I have to know what becomes of Elric (not a main character). Elric is a character that was introduced late on, and he took me back to some of my early reading, mainly 'Michael Moorcocks creation Elric of Melnibone'. Tenuous connection I know, but the name just jumped out, and even though he doesn't have the characteristics of that 'Elric', there are other items in the story that remind me.
With that in mind & saying that this story has faults, I feel that they will be overcome, so I will award it 4 stars in hope, the concept alone deserves that. A definite worthwhile read.
(review of free book)

Review by: Beatrix Tambunan on Sep. 15, 2013 :
If you haven't got a copy yet, hurry up and get one. This was one action packed exciting post-apocalyptic journey! Matthew Chivers creates a great story with protagonists, Maledream and Angelite, demonstrating bravery and the use of awesome resonating powers. The two meet after Maledream discovers her in a ruined library facing a vicious monster, an Anunaki. The quest together is exciting and descriptive with scientific and magical elements. I can see this book in movie theaters. Check it out! A must read!
(review of free book)

Review by: K Dassis on Sep. 15, 2013 :
Resonance is allot of fun to read. You can tell the author is young. But I love to world he has imagined.
(review of free book)

Review by: C F on Sep. 06, 2013 :
An excellent book, and a well-written draw for the series. Picked this book up and pretty much didn't bother putting it down until I'd finished it. A post-apocalyptic fantasy, it provides a highly interesting adventure to learn about the world they've lost while trying to protect it. Highly recommend reading this if you get the chance.
(review of free book)

Review by: Nic on Sep. 06, 2013 :
I started to read this because I was asked to, but after a few pages was hooked and more than happy to carry on.
I have read a lot of sci-fi/fantasy and enjoy them. I can see parallels in this to King and Tolkien, with the creation of vast environments, time lines and characters.
Maledream is bored, cold and hungry. By chance he starts of on a journey that will change his life and that of those around him. As he goes, he quickly meets Angelite and together they set off to return to Meridia - the only remains of human society and safety in our post apocalyptic world. They gradually meet others who travel with them and each of them is written in such a way that you are drawn into their lives and want them to succeed.

The fights, battles and ongoing dramas are well explained and fast paced. There isn't a moment to be bored.

The author has repeatedly re-written these books, for improvements in language rather than actual content, as he has struggled with writing from an early age. The improvements and hard work are admirable, and while you may find the language a little different to start with, for me certainly, I soon became lost in the story and I stopped noticing it. It did not detract from my enjoyment.

As soon as I finished this I was straight onto the next one without a moments hesitation.
(review of free book)

Review by: John Entwistle on Sep. 06, 2013 :
Right from the very beginning i found this book to be very refreshing to read. There has been countless books and movies in the past about the world ending and mankind trying to rebuild and survive the consequences of previous actions, but none have taken as unique an approach as this (at least none that i have read anyway).

This book mixes various concepts that people believe even today, if you are even slightly privvy to any conspiracy theories you will find this book very relatable and will more than likely agree that if the events happened the way the prologue describes, that this is how mankind would react.

The characters are very distinct and easy to follow, my personal favourite is neveah - the musclebound thug that he is! xD

overall though, very enjoyable. As previously mentioned the writing style is different from other authors, but you will reap the rewards of a thoroughly entertaining read if you stick with it. the book suffers from what can only be described as "first book syndrome". Meaning there is a lot of back story before your journey with the characters begins. Saying that though - good things come to those who wait (or persevere in this case).

I own the first 2 books on hardback, looking to get the third once i have finished the second book :-)
(review of free book)

Review by: Schmitty on Sep. 05, 2013 :
I took this book with me when I went backpacking around the southwest for a while. Once into the story I was away with it, the sci-fi/fantasy setting took me well away from where I was, a perfect distraction. This is not a book you can skim read! I tried as I was marching to catch a train and found I missed key information. The writing style can be heavy with descriptive power in places. I got the feel for the scene, my thoughts wondered with it as I traveled about, at one point I was entering that derelict city, as I entered Trowbridge through an old industrial estate! Take this book with you if you travel, or if you want to forget about your nine-to-five for a while.
(review of free book)

Review by: Faith on Sep. 05, 2013 :
The Introduction and Dedication tell a story them self about the Author and the challenges he has had to subdue, to get to where he is today. This is very heart warming and I myself find it, encouraging. To read that he had overcome these challenges and was able to write this novel, encourages other people that if you keep going one day you will get to where you want to be.

Resonance is an exciting tale following a young Tribal, the man known as Maledream has been thrown into a world of destruction and devastation, due to natural and man-made disasters, the world we know today is but a blur, thrown in to living life the hard way. Living with his foster father as he had lost his family, Maledream one day leaves the safety of the Tribal camp and ends up on a mission, facing dangers which were once thought of as just being legendary, helping and saving people on the way. He makes friends with powerful people along the way Anglite, Neveah, Crazy John and Boris are among the few. The Chemistry between Maledream and Anglite is very strong, will they won't they who knows. The challenges that the group come across are life threatening, will they survive and will they be able to make it to the safety of Maridia.

Approaching the Dark Age - Resonance is very easy to get quickly lost in, don't be surprised if you miss your bus / train stop on the way to and from work. I myself don't read that often if at all to tell the truth. Already I am dying to read the second book, but one has to wait.
(review of free book)

Review by: Luke Guilder on Sep. 03, 2013 :
When Picking up this novel, I didn't know what to expect, I've tried to stay away from post apocalyptic types of books because frankly I don't enjoy reading them But when I picked up Resonance I was captivated by the detail the author had put into the world. I like the way that the author explains what his idea of magic is, and that the character Angelite tries to explain this to a character not weary to magic such as herself (trying not to spoil anything in the book) I like the use of visualizing battles and details of step to step fight sequence's, all in all a good book to pick up and read, I'm pretty sure children and adults of all ages will enjoy this book and I'm looking forward to picking up the sequel.
(review of free book)

Review by: James Keep on Sep. 03, 2013 :
The story is told in a way that quickly catches the readers imagination and once you start reading is very hard to put down. It is written in a way that make you feel as if you are travelling along with the characters on there long and dangerous journey. He goes into great detail in describing his characters there surroundings.

The detail in which he describes his battle scenes that makes it easy to picture what is happening. It's a journey that see's the main characters maledream and angelite make new friends and rediscover old one's. An ancient enemy to the human race the anunaki have re-emerged to lay claim to the planet. Are hero's will have to battle the gangs that roam the ruins of the old city's but also the anunaki that are trying to stop them from reaching the safe haven of meridia.

The only safe place left on the planet that they do not know about and the people are living in peace. Maledream is just a scrawny kid who scavenges in the city looking for things of use and finds an ancients sword. And one day while out scavenging and he hears a girl scream and he goes to investigate. What he finds is a girl that is trapped in some rubble and a anunaki trying to get at her and her companions are all dead around them. Maledream the decision to help her and it's a decision that leads him on this adventure.

With the help from angelite's magic's and the hidden resonance powers his sword holds he is able to beat the anunaki. This throws the two of them into a journey where anglelite is learning how to use her resonance powers and maledream is learning how control the powers sword and it's secrets it holds. This is a must have for any fantasy fan.
(review of free book)

Review by: Carilda Thomas on April 30, 2013 :
I rarely review books and was inclined not to get the next book in the series before I read the author's autobiography. Kudos to you, Matthew Chivers! The writing style has not yet matured but it's sufficient and the story is different enough to hold my interest. For someone who has had issues in the past with social interaction, the author is able to develop characters. (My favorite happens to be Silver). Keep writing, Matthew - I will keep reading!
(review of free book)

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