Monday, June 30, 2014

The Verona Trilogy by Lory S. Kaufman reviews, Guest Post and Giveaway

The Verona Trilogy is an adventurous series that takes readers along on the life-changing journey of three 24th century teens. Travel in time to 14th century Verona Italy with them and get lost in this exciting sci-fi, historical fiction tale.
Book Synopses:

The LENS and the LOOKER
BOOK #1 of The Verona Trilogy:

It’s the 24th century and humans, with the help of artificial intelligences (A.I.s), have finally created the perfect post-dystopian society. To make equally perfect citizens for this world, the elders have created History Camps, full sized recreations of cities from Earth’s distant pasts. Here teens live the way their ancestors did, doing the same dirty jobs and experiencing the same degradation. History Camps teach youths not to repeat the mistakes that almost caused the planet to die. But not everything goes to plan.

In this first of a trilogy, we meet three spoiled teens in the year 2347. Hansum almost 17, is good looking and athletic. Shamira, 15, is sassy, independent and an artistic genius. Lincoln, 14, is the smart-aleck. But you don’t have to scratch too far beneath the surface to find his insecurities.

These three “hard cases” refuse the valuable lessons History Camps teach. But when they are kidnapped and taken back in time to 1347 Verona, Italy, they only have two choices; adapt to the harsh medieval ways or die. The dangers are many, their enemies are powerful, and safety is a long way away. It’s hardly the ideal environment to fall in love – but that’s exactly what happens. In an attempt to survive, the trio risks introducing technology from the future. It could save them – or it could change history.
My Review:
This was a great intro to the series. I loved the history of Italy, and it was interesting to think about what technology will be like in the future. There are so many things that can be changed during time travel. This reminded me of the movie "Peggy Sue Got Married". When Peggy Sue told Richard Norvik about future inventions. It was bad enough from the 60's to the 80's. However this author transcended time, inventions, famous philosophers, and even Columbus's famous trip of 1942. The information that these characters could have shared had the possibility to change the future in huge ways. What if Italy discovered America? Would I be typing this in Italian? The element of history, and time travel are just one part of this book that makes it a must read. History camps seemed fun to me. I would have loved to live like my ancestors did, rather than reading history books. However I am sure that I would want my computer! The ending was a cliffhanger, which I hate, but since I have book 2 ready to read I am okay with it. I am giving this book a 5/5. I was given a copy to review, however all opinions are my own.
Book #2 of the Verona Trilogy

What could go wrong in the 14th-century for three time-traveling teens? How about – EVERYTHING!

Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln, three teens from the 24th-century, are trapped in 14th-century Verona, Italy. They’ve survived many deadly experiences by keeping their wits about them and by introducing futuristic technology into the past. Principal among these inventions is the telescope, which brought them to the attention of the rich and powerful.

But standing out can get you into unexpected – situations. The nobles of Verona now believe Hansum is a savant, a genius inventor, especially after he brings them plans for advanced cannons and black powder. Being the center of attention is great, but the potential for trouble is now exponentially greater because people are watching Hansum’s every move.

Meanwhile, artistic genius Shamira has fallen for a Florentine artist with bloody and disastrous consequences. Lincoln, considered an incompetent back home in the 24th-century, has blossomed – at least until he’s shot in the head with an arrow. And Hansum, after secretly marrying his new master’s beautiful daughter, Guilietta, is offered the hand in marriage of lady Beatrice, daughter of the ruler of Verona. To refuse could mean calamity for all the teens.

Amazingly, none of this is their biggest challenge. Because a rash illness is spreading across Verona – and it is threatening to consume everyone. Do they have a future in this past?
My Review:
I could not wait to read this book. I was already drawn into the lives of these characters, and I was wondering how they were doing. I liked that this book focused on the way they lived in Verona and how they got along with the other characters. As soon as I read about the "illness" I knew what it was. I was eager to read how the characters dealt with the illness. I wondered how I would deal with it, knowing what I know now about it. For example, how would I react to the introduction of measles, knowing that there is a vaccine? I loved the history in this book. I was sad at the ending, however it was interesting to see Hansum and his friends compare present Verona to past Verona. I really need to read book 3, to see how Hansum deals with the ending of this book. I am giving this book a 5/5. I was given a copy to review, however all opinions are my own.
The LOVED and the LOST
Book #3 of The Verona Trilogy

A quest for lost love. An adventure of many lifetimes.

Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln are three 24th-century time travelers desperate to return to 14th-century Verona and reclaim their medieval family’s shattered lives. It is a mission fraught with danger and the risk of unexpected consequences for themselves and their worlds. For all three, it is a matter of the heart. For one, though, it is truly the only thing that matters, as the fate of his eternal love and the life of their unborn child is the prize to be won – or lost forever.

In this, the final book of The Verona Trilogy, our three time travelers go on the boldest adventure of their lives. They will face hardship, tragedy, and threats from sources they couldn't have imagined – all in an effort to wrestle a future from the steely grip of an unforgiving past.

My Review:

I would love to be able to go back in time and save my dad's life. Hansum goes back to save his family. However with each attempt the future is changed, and I loved the writer did not just change history with no effect. I was so sad at the end of the last book, that I was happy to read about old friends and to have them alive again was fun. This last installment tied up loose ends and ended the series nicely. I will definitely buy books from this author. What a beautiful ending! I would like to see the author write a new series and have a cameo from Elder Yu. I am giving this book a 5/5. I was given a copy to review, however all opinions are my own.

Praise for The Verona Trilogy:

"I was beyond impressed with The Lens and the Looker. Kaufman did a wonderful job setting up the world of his story and creating dynamic characters... The Loved and the Lost is a perfect end to an achingly beautiful story. Kaufman's writing is stellar, as is his imagination. He brings readers into his story with such ease and makes reading a gratifying experience. Readers cannot help but laugh and cry along with Hansum, Lincoln, and Shamira as their journey comes to a close.
-- Geek on the Brink

"Lory Kaufman did such a wonderful job with this novel and I really recommend this to anyone who is even remotely interested in history, time travel, post-dystopian or just a really good book! I am excited for the next in this series!"
Lory S. Kaufman
Meet the Author:

"I write Post-Dystopian fiction. After society’s collapse, which is imagined in so many great dystopian stories, humans will either fade into history, with the dinosaurs, or, if it learns the right lessons, society will go on to construct a civilization to last tens of thousands of years. The books of THE VERONA TRILOGY are the exciting adventures of young people doing the latter.” -Lory Kaufman

On the artistic side of Lory’s career, he’s written, acted and directed children’s theatre and musical theatre. He enjoys art, especially sculpture. He loves science fiction and historical fiction and he has been deeply involved in the green movement all across North America. All this shows through when you read his work. Lory has three grown children and works and lives in Kingston, Canada.

Guest Post: 
What Would it be Like to Live in a World With Artificial Intelligence? 
In  the  near-­utopian world I created for The Verona Trilogy, I have everyone on the planet assigned an artificial intelligence (AI) from before they are born. At first the AI acts as nanny to the baby and toddler, and  a  helper to  the  parents. Then,  when the person becomes a youth, and then adolescent, the artificial intelligence takes on the role of tutor, watching out for that individual and monitoring his or her progress. 
This role changes as the human grows into adulthood. Like a loving aunt or uncle today, the AI changes into a life­long friend  and confidant. By constant and gentle vigilance, AIs allow humans to find their own path in life, as long as their actions don’t put at risk the long­term safety of society or that of the other life forms on the planet. 

You  see,  because  we  humans  have  a  history  of  not  knowing  when to stop  our  growth  or  greed,  my fictional  universe  has  humans  ceding  ultimate  control to AIs. They are both the “philosopher kings” and the “protector class” of humankind. They are a benevolent police force, making sure that small factions of people  can’t  sabotage  society’s  long­term  survival  for  personal  or  tribal  purposes, which seems  to  be among the most repeated themes in human history. 

Another very important fact to understand is that the AIs do very little of the actual work for humans. It’s not  like  “The Jetsons”  or  like some  cheesy science fiction movie where people walk around in identical plastic  suits  and  use  mass­produced,  computer­made  products.  In  this  future  world,
individual craftsmanship  and  self­sufficiency  is  the  norm. For instance,  clothing,  furniture, household  goods, food, etc., are made by individuals  and small, local shops, not by large corporations. The purpose for AIs is not to provide for humans, but to protect, love and nourish them — and the protection is mostly from ourselves and our own natures. 

After finishing the first drafts of The Lens and the Looker, I realized mine was not such  a new idea in 
science fiction. While watching a rerun of the 1951 movie The Day the Earth Stood Still, I saw how the 
race of  aliens, represented by the character “Platu”, had recognized their inability to control themselves as a culture and gave control of their long­term wellbeing to a race of “robots”, such as the one in the movie named  “Gort”. I  can’t honestly say  whether I reinvented the idea or subconsciously  adopted (stole) the concept from watching the movie as a child. I suspect the latter. Orson Scott Card does a similar thing in his series Pathfinder, Robert J. Sawyer in his W.W.W. series, but both in very different ways. 

If  you  are  interested  in reading more  about  the  preparation I did to  create  the  future  universe  of The Verona Trilogy, you can go to my author website and click on the BACKSTORY tab. There you’ll find an expanded essay about the many topics “between the lines” of my futuristic, post­dystopian adventure.­story 

Lory Kaufman 
Author website:
Connect with Kaufman on Twitter and Facebook.

Where to buy the book:


The giveaway is open internationally. Either the ebook or print copy, of all three books! please enter here:

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  1. Thanks so much for your very kind and insightful reviews of my three books. I like the way you didn't give spoilers, even when referring to specific events,"the illness". And thanks so much for taking the time to read and review. I wish you and your readers much more happy reading. Cheers, -Lory

  2. Possible time traveling options: Ancient Egypt, Victorian era London, or Japan during the Tokugawa period....just to name a few..