Dead Trees by Eli Constant

Dead Trees

By: Eli Constant
Genres: Horror
Pages: 334
Series: Dead Trees #1
Publisher: Self Published
Published on: May 30, 2014
Dead Trees by Eli Constant

Subterranean humanoids, existing since the dawn of man, arose from the belly of the planet. Humanity was unprepared. The undergrounders came with nails and claws and speed to kill people in the night, dragging bodies downward into dark tunnels teeming with rabid life. Civilization is now a ghost of yesterday and the remaining humans fight for survival.

One thing’s for sure- a scientist mommy battling beasties better be handy with a scalpel.

Elise Swanson is a widow and mother. She fights and prays that she can keep her little, broken family safe. She drives and drives, day after day, trying to escape a threat that seems… inescapable. Her hope fades, food is scarce and she watches her eldest daughter’s attempts to soothe the younger babe. Then she meets Jason- a father mourning the loss of his son, masking his pain with bravado and charm. He’s strong, despite his sadness, and love re-grows within him. Weeks pass and Jason’s singular desire becomes the continued safety of Elise and her daughters.

Bloody fights with beasties define the survival-road the companions travel. Even a few moments of safety and relaxation elude the group; time and time again, Elise must kiss her children goodbye, just in case tomorrow never arrives.

Against all odds, they reach a government safe zone. Even there, Elise finds that there’s no rest for the weary.

Doctors O’Toole and Peters have been studying the beasties under lock and key, trying to find an answer, but the doctors aren’t interested in saving humanity. Forced to lead two lives, Elise assists the good doctors in their pursuits while working secretly in sublevel lab 8 with her own team, Nick and Jamie. Their combined knowledge may be the key- the only hope humanity has of reclaiming the planet from the beasties. As long as they can keep their research secret, safe from O’Toole and Peters, they might discover the way home, the formula to click Dorothy’s sparkling red shoes three times and begin to recreate Earth as it was… before the humanoids came out to play on the surface.

What will happen when Elise, a neural engineer, Jamie, a medical researcher, and Nick, a computer wizard, are humanity’s best hope? The answer might be surprising. Wrapped up in all the uncertainty, violence, science lingo and beasties, they will find a strange solution to a new Earth.

And her name is Margaret.

(Dead Trees is a classic dystopian, post-apocalyptic, Sci-Fi novel. It contains scenes of graphic violence, mild romantic elements, and some foul language).

Also by this author: Dead Trees 2, Z Children, The Water is Sweeter

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I’m not going to lie; Dead Trees by Eli Constant really surprised me. It caught me off guard in all of the best possible ways. Believe it or not, it does take a lot to surprise me, but I really do love good surprises! Dead Trees is COMPLETELY worth taking the time to read!


Dead Trees follows the story of Elise Swanson, a mother of 2 who is making her way from her home in Georgia to her ultimate destination of Alaska after the world as she knows it has crumbled around her. A species of subterranean humanoids referred to as “beasties” or “under-grounders” has made its way to the surface and has started killing off the humans who have always lived above ground. They sound really nasty, violent, and peace negotiations are not an option. “Beasties” is a perfect way to describe these creatures. It’s essentially, where DNA went wrong. One group went above ground (humans) and the other below ground (beasties).


As a mom, one of my biggest fears is being in a situation where the safety of my children is being threatened. Most of the post-apocalyptic themed books that I have read have not really addressed the concept of trying to protect your children and yourself at the same time. I honestly can’t think of any of them that actually deal with a situation like that. I don’t mind sticking my head in the sand about this topic. Eli Constant does a great job of showing the strength of a mother trying to keep her children safe in a world gone crazy. Elise is a great mother doing the best she can on her own, trying to help her children retain some level of innocence in such a bleak world. I hope that if I were ever in this sort of situation, I could be the kind of mom Elise is.


Dead Trees was beautifully written and really shows Constant’s potential as an author. One of the reasons I say this is because despite the fact that there comes a point in the book where science becomes a pretty big piece of the story, she doesn’t lose me! I hate admitting this, but I really don’t understand a lot of science type stuff. Normally my eyes will start to glaze over and I just completely lose interest at the first hint of science. Anyone that can keep my interest in the presence of that level of science deserves stars out the whazoo.


The twists within Dead Trees are surprising and full of new to me types of ideas that I really enjoyed being introduced to. Dead Trees is more than just a surface story. It is multifaceted in ways I didn’t think possible and made the story fly by.


I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, Dead Trees 2.


5 fangs


Check out Eli’s other books!



About Eli Constant


Eli attended USC-L, Columbia College, Texas A&M, & George Mason University. She studied everything from Mariculture to Differential Equations. Settling on Biology, Eli participated in research fellowships in Texas and at NIH, worked a few random jobs, and finally settled into a Virginia lab where she focused on mastering diagnosis procedures and implementations of histology and pathology. Choosing to be a dedicated homemaker after the birth of her first child, Eli rediscovered her passion for writing. She's never regretted the decision; not only are her kids the most amazing creatures, but writing fulfills her soul in a way science never did.

Eli calls herself an author of speculative, mind-bending fiction. She adores all things quirky and nerdy and she once thought she’d marry Martin Short… until she discovered Alan Rickman. #Always. She also writes as Eli Grace & Eliza Grace. She is the author of The Dead Trees Series, The Shadow Forest Series, DRAG.N, The Tears of Chios, The Water is Sweeter and more. Her books are available in eBook, paperback, & audio formats.

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