Rated 3.50/5 based on 2 reviews
The Argoss III is derelict, abandoned; a ghost ship. A salvage team is sent aboard. But something is watching them with malice and hatred. Something that has no love for Humanity. Salvage is the terrifying reality of first contact a long way from Earth. More
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About MJ Kobernus

MJ Kobernus was born in the US. At an early age, he moved to the United Kingdom, where he grew up in a quintessentially English town.

Always an adventurer, he has traveled around Europe by Motorcycle, leaped from a moving train in Italy and lived in a squat in Berlin.

For several years in the US, he lived aboard a sailboat with his wife and two young children. He still misses the boat.

MJ attended University as a mature student and studied History, English Lit and Lang, as well as Old English and Old Norsk at the University of Birmingham, in the UK. Elements of these interests can be found in his writing, so consider yourself warned.

Having traveled widely before settling down in Norway, he now considers himself 'home.' He speaks passable Norwegian.

MJ has a distinct leaning towards the Metaphysical, which is a frequent theme in his work. He is also very fond of Dystopian literature.

He has authored several novels, the first of which, The Guardian - Blood in the Sand, a unique blend of Metaphysical Fantasy and Historical Fiction, was published in August, 2015, while the second, Blood in the Snow, is due out in mid 2016.

MJ is the self proclaimed inventor of the micro genre of "Flash Philosophy."

He is also the founder of Nordland Publishing where he is the Editor in Chief and tea-boy.

MJ is an avid gamer, so you might find him online as part of the SC2 community, where he delights in teaching people half his age why they should respect their elders.

He has three daughters, but claims they are not the reason he lost all his hair.

He has published numerous scientific articles, as well as short stories in various collections and magazines. You can see more at his blog,
or at

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Review by: Francis W. Porretto on July 4, 2016 :
This feels incomplete, which is partly a consequence of its nature as a segment in a larger tale. However, incompleteness is a problem for the reader. Even if the ending makes him eager to read what comes next, he’s been denied emotional closure. Well, deferred gratification and all that.

The writing is a bit stilted: not awkward, but distancing, such that the reader has difficulty bonding with any of the characters. At least, I did. Also, I would recommend reducing the number of viewpoint characters to help with this.

For me, the most interesting thing in the story is the evocative allusion to what must be an extensive backstory: What is / was the Final Fall? What brought it about? How far ahead was it foreseen? How far had space travel technology advanced by the time the chosen ones had to leave Earth lest they be swallowed up in the disaster?

We don’t find out what caused Argoss’s captain to choose to kill off his entire crew. This is a problem, and I don’t think it can be fixed without expanding significantly upon what you’ve told us here. Also, if the mutants are the direct descendants of human beings, why do they immediately hate their would-be rescuers? Would they have had any reason to perform the maintenance that puzzles the salvage team?

Overall, fair edging slightly toward good, but with a caveat: To publish a segment of a longer, more detailed story is always a chancy undertaking. You might want to consider republication, uniting “Salvage” with whatever comes next, to improve its emotional impact.
(review of free book)
Review by: Mary Blackwell on March 13, 2016 :
This is a scifi exodus tale and something has gone wrong with one of the arks. I really enjoyed the way in which relationships and the past living conditions were inferred so well without needing great exposition and how the end come on thick and fast. I am really disappointed there is no sequel yet as I have a feeling the Hunted will be another enjoyable read.
(review of free book)
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