All Hope of Becoming Human

Fiction - Horror
394 Pages
Reviewed on 06/10/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Lonnie Busch is an award-winning author whose short fiction has appeared in Southwest Review, The Minnesota Review, The Baltimore Review and other literary magazines. Among his awards for fiction are the Clay Reynolds Novella Prize for his novella, Turnback Creek, finalist in the Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction, the Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Award, and others. His first novel, The Cabin on Souder Hill, was released in September, 2020 from Blackstone Publishing. His novel, The Baldwin Hotel, was released December 17, 2022. A second edition of Turnback Creek was released in March, 2023, with six additional, previously unpublished short stories.

Busch is also a painter, animator and illustrator, and has created artwork for numerous corporations, ad agencies and institutions, including the “Greetings from America” stamps and “Wonders of America” for the USPS.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

All Hope of Becoming Human by Lonnie Busch is a science fiction thriller that revolves around multiple characters who encounter dangerous unearthly occurrences following an earthquake. On a site exploration. archaeologist Rebecca Duccati uncovers a mysterious metallic object that attracts the attention of Homeland Security. In different vignettes around the world, seemingly unconnected incidents of violent murders by unknown creatures are occurring, one of which protagonist Special Agent Zach Demzey sees himself while investigating a case. When Duccati's and Demzey's paths cross, a larger narrative begins to reveal the nature of these mysterious creatures, the implications of genetic mutations, and the potential for a new civilization to emerge from the failures of the current world...due to and at the expense of humanity.

All Hope of Becoming Human is a supremely fast-moving and wholly engrossing novel that provides a mix of authentic, real-world issues and an unfolding science fiction mystery. I loved the point of view hops. The way Lonnie Busch so brilliantly weaves together disparate events that ultimately converge into a single storyline is reminiscent of the very intentional use of iterations as a formatting style in Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park, even as Busch skillfully follows characters up until the very moment of their death. The result is an exceptionally well-plotted book that, frankly, moves forward so seamlessly that I found it difficult to hit pause. The disorientation of Duccati and her almost unnatural obsession with the metallic object kind of made her feel like a red herring. She isn't, but she's good enough so that she could be. Demzey is the agent we all want on every case, ever, but he is fully fleshed and lifelike. The last third of the book is a giant 'whoosh' of excitement, although that could have just been my own panting. Overall, this is a gem of a novel and I would give it a whole bucket full of stars if I could.

Lex Allen

All Hope of Becoming Human by Lonnie Busch reveals that global earthquakes have uncovered parts of huge metal objects surrounded by thousands of human skeletons. In Arizona, scientists believe the discovery can lead to answers about the origin of humanity, but continued seismic activity forces the closure of the site. Rebecca Duccati, an assistant archaeologist, feels drawn to the mystery and decides to investigate clandestinely. Simultaneously, FBI Agent Demzey is investigating a series of brutal murders whose severity and baffling clues defy explanation. He and his partner discover the remains of two monstrous creatures, believed to be responsible for the murders, but are unknown to science. The investigations of Duccati and Demzey come together to reveal a scenario that could result in the extinction of human life on Earth.

Lonnie Busch’s All Hope of Becoming Human is a fascinating tale that combines elements of science fiction, fantasy, and horror in a mystery thriller format guaranteed to entertain a vast readership. Realistic descriptions of action scenes, coupled with believable characters, provide a page-turning reading experience that will linger in the minds of readers. The author has either experienced or invested in extensive research in archeology, criminology, and human history - all elements that are necessary to write a realistic story that spans time and space to stimulate and push the limits of a reader’s imagination. This account will haunt you long after closing the book or e-reader, leaving you looking for more of Busch’s work.

K.C. Finn

All Hope of Becoming Human is a work of fiction in the thriller, horror, and science fiction subgenres. It is best suited to the mature adult reading audience owing to the use of explicit language throughout as well as scenes of violence and sexual situations. Penned by author Lonnie Busch, this exciting and fast-paced novel follows FBI Special Agent Demzey and his assistant Connie Wegman as they uncover a historical mystery when mysterious ancient remains reveal monsters among us. In a post-apocalyptic world of dangerous conspiracies, vicious beasts, and threats around every corner, archaeologist Rebecca Duccati joins the investigation, only to find that horror awaits with every stone unturned.

Author Lonnie Busch has crafted a compelling and chilling work of horror fiction that perfectly layers near-future science fiction and post-apocalyptic thriller into its storyline with seamless, eerie realism. This is a novel that grabs you right from the opening chapter, taking readers on a winding road through murder mysteries, atrocities, discoveries, history, and the future without ever letting go of the suspense of it all. I really enjoyed the central cast in the investigation, and the dynamic between our knowledgeable archaeological assistant and the special agent was fresh and dynamic. Their dialogue really moves the plot on at a pace and makes it accessible to readers who prefer a more filmic style of plot exposition, yet the work is still suitably layered with detail and depth. Overall, I would certainly recommend All Hope of Becoming Human for fans of chilling science fiction and intelligently penned horror concepts alike.

Jamie Michele

Earthquakes unveil what looks like an ancient burial site in Arizona, with the exception of one strikingly advanced and independently moving orb of metal, and kick off All Hope of Becoming Human by Lonnie Busch. All over the planet, people are being mauled in horrific ways as an archaeologist named Rebecca Duccati investigates the Arizona site and Special Agent Zach Demzey investigates X-Files-esque connections to its American crime scenes. Witnesses are seeing actual creatures and, initially, the media is reporting them with the most popular explanation for all bad things: terrorists. In a bizarre way they aren't entirely wrong but what is terrorizing humans is not human itself. Following a heartbreaking scene where the first mutant transformation is revealed to readers, and to Demzey, he is sent to meet Rebecca and the unidentified object in Arizona at the dig site. Documents at the site with symbols and unintelligible mathematics, while unreadable, prove that the creature phenomenon is bigger than a virus or genetic singularity. It is likely extraterrestrial, clearly advanced, and things are going to get much worse very quickly.

All Hope of Becoming Human by Lonnie Busch is thematically rich and singularly written in a genre-bending end of days scenario that will suit a wide swath of science fiction and horror fans. Busch remains true to the elements that firmly plant this book into either genre without falling into the trap of being monotonously formulaic. All Hope of Becoming Human poises itself on its own firm legs. The scenes are vividly descriptive and a reader would not be blamed after reading the first collection of creature assaults for thinking they'd read the best of it. Instead of a sluggish middle though, Busch crafts bumps in underground tunnels, the frenzied chaos on a Manhattan train, and a board room meeting with every chance of turning into a literary snoozefest instead becomes a lightning rod. “Maybe it was our disregard for our environment or the cumulative ruthlessness in the world, the unfathomable degree of killing, rape, war, constant conflict and disregard for one another...” You hear that? That's the sound of Rebecca Duccati dropping the mic. Boom. Very highly recommended.

Paul Zietsman

Set in the near future, in a time of ravaging earthquakes, social injustice, and a fiercely deadly pandemic, Lonnie Busch's All Hope of Becoming Human is a horror story combining elements of archaeology, mythology, and science fiction. Assistant archaeologist Rebecca Duccati returns to the excavation site, which is now off limits due to erratic seismic activity, where she encountered the massive metal object lodged in the earth. Since being in direct contact with the object, her strange fascination with it has left her restless and obsessed, so she starts questioning her sanity. At the same time, FBI Special Agent Zach Demzey has been investigating a series of brutal killings by powerful, beastly creatures. Their combined efforts lead to startling discoveries, but have they run out of time to save humankind from annihilation?

As early as the first chapter, Lonnie Busch's vivid depiction of an assault scene sent chills down my spine, and that is a testament to how brilliant the writing is. Apart from the nightmarish horror scenes and generally terrifying feel of All Hope of Becoming Human, the themes of ancient history, biochemistry, mythology, and genetics piqued my interest and kept my eyes and mind glued to this novel. The dialogue and the sheer depth of the characters lend realism to the story, making it believable and even spookier. It also made me feel closer to the characters and action. All Hope of Becoming Human might very well take the world of horror fiction by storm; it is breathtakingly thrilling.