"The Last Extinction" Takes Teen Readers on a First of its Kind Environmental Thriller

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Discovery Channel filmmaker Michael Scott Hanrahan brings environmental themes, "enhanced illlustrations" and good storytelling into the 21st Century with an enhanced digital book experience for teens and young adults.

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The Last Extinction, enhanced digital book by Michael Scott Hanrahan

My instinct was to try to meet the teen audience on familiar ground – to somehow blend the visual action that so appealed to them in video games and introduce that into a strong, written narrative.

MOODBOOKS presents The Last Extinction, a new environmental thriller from documentary filmmaker Michael Scott Hanrahan, featuring an innovative digital book format incorporating extraordinary animated illustrations.

While fictional, The Last Extinction presents environmental themes that are eerily similar to current events. Hanrahan's new digital format encourages reading by integrating old fashioned storytelling with animated "enhanced illustrations." The Last Extinction is available in digital format for the iPad, Kindle, Kindle Fire, and Nook; as well as paperback on Amazon.com.

An ancient relic unearthed. A long-held secret revealed. Six sacred species on the verge of extinction. And the fate of humanity rests in the hands of one woman… The adventure begins when a National Geographic expedition travels deep into the heart of the Amazon and uncovers a mythical tablet, the Wheel of Omagua. Carved into the Wheel are images of six sacred animals, creatures assigned great distinction in the natural world. The extinction of any one of them could mean the end of humanity. Young biologist Christina Larson must race around the world and against time to put things right before the Wheel's horrifying predictions come to pass.

“According to Nielsen, the target audience for my book was no longer interested in reading by age 14 and no one was sure how to attract them back to books. Facebook, video games, YouTube, and other more visually engaging content was pulling them farther and farther away,” The Last Extinction author and MOODBOOKS creator Michael Scott Hanrahan explains. “Parents were frustrated. And more importantly, the imagination of young people was diminishing.”

Inspired by the illustrations in literary adventure classics, Hanrahan set out to build a creative team that would help him to realize his vision for the new frontier of reading.

“My instinct was to try to meet the teen audience on familiar ground – to somehow blend the visual action that so appealed to them in video games and introduce that into a strong, written narrative,” said Hanrahan. “Our goal is to nurture the imagination, not replace it — preparing young people to care for the planet they are inheriting.”

Each chapter in the ‘enhanced version’ of “The Last Extinction” has an ‘enhanced illustration’ embedded somewhere within the pages.

“We sought to create supplemental atmospherics – mood enhancements," said Hanrahan. "We want readers to look forward to these ‘enhanced illustrations,’ not merely keeping them engaged but actually deepening the narrative.”

About the Author
Michael Scott Hanrahan is an educator and filmmaker who teaches environmental media storytelling at the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Carsey-Wolf Center for Film, TV, and New Media. Born in New York, he studied marine science and film at the University of Miami. For the past twenty years, he’s told stories about the natural world for clients like the Discovery Channel, The Nature Conservancy, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. The Last Extinction is the first in his series of environmental thrillers. http://www.lastextinction.com

MOODBOOKS takes the written word and embellishes scenes into animations that are not meant to supersede the imagination, but enhance it. We work hard to identify elements that will be shown to readers, bringing them deeper into the story, but never showing too much.

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