Showing posts with label Science Fiction & Fantasy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Science Fiction & Fantasy. Show all posts

Friday, October 20, 2017

Review: The Spark

The Spark by David Drake
Publication Date November 7, 2017 by Baen
Reviewed by Terri
4 Twisted Stars

Synopsis:

NEW STANDALONE NOVEL BY SF MASTER DAVID DRAKE. In a violent world in which civilization has fallen and monsters roam, a young hero will rise.

In the time of the Ancients the universe was united—but that was so far in the past that not even memory remains, only the broken artifacts that a few Makers can reshape into their original uses. What survives is shattered into enclaves—some tiny, some ruined, some wild.

Into the gaps between settlements, and onto the Road that connects all human reality and the reality that is not human and may never have been human, have crept monsters. Some creatures are men, twisted into inhuman evil; some of them are alien to Mankind—

And there are things which are hostile to all life, things which will raven and kill until they are stopped.

A Leader has arisen, welding the scattered human settlements together in peace and safety and smashing the enemies of order with an iron fist. In his capital, Dun Add, the Leader provides law and justice. In the universe beyond, his Champions advance—and enforce—the return of civilization.

Pal, a youth from the sticks, has come to Dun Add to become a Champion. Pal is a bit of a Maker, and in his rural home he's been able to think of himself as a warrior because he can wield the weapons of the Ancient civilization.

Pal has no idea of what he's really getting into in Dun Add. On the other hand, the Leader and Dun Add have no real idea of what might be inside this hayseed with high hopes.

THE SPARK: A story of hope and violence and courage. And especially, a story of determination. (Goodreads)


Review:

Fantasy is not for every reader but I happen to like it a lot. For me, the most important part of fantasy is world-building. The idea of creating a world from nothing fascinates and challenges me. This author nailed the world-building and created a mesh between high fantasy and techno science fiction. There were some parts I needed to reread to understand all the details but overall it was fun and tickled my imagination.

This is a true hero's journey where Pal fights to live a life that is to the betterment of mankind. He is an all around good guy. I liked that. He never steered from his focus and lost motivation. It was easy to see his true character in the dialog and the plot development. In fact, I thought every character was well developed and the author stayed true to each of them.

The only issue I have with this story is more a personal preference thing. Pal went on several adventures and had several big fights. However, there wasn't one big climactic moment. It was a series of smaller moments. I don't remember much of the literary devices used in a "hero's journey" story so I that may have been the author's goal. I don't think this distracted from the story. It was a good story and I kept turning the pages because I wanted to see how it ended.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Review: Bubba and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers

Bubba and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers by Joe R. Lansdale
Publication Date October 31, 2017 by Subterranean Press
Reviewed by Janet
5 BLOODY FANGS!!

Synopsis:

Subterranean Press is thrilled to announce the novel-length prequel to the classic story, “Bubba Ho-Tep.”

About the Book:

Part of a secret government organization designed to protect civilians, Elvis Presley and a handful of hardcore warriors set out to save the world from an invasion of hive-minded, shape-shifting vampire-like creatures from a dark dimension who have taken up residence in a New Orleans junkyard. 

Besides Elvis, among these righteous warriors is a hammer-wielding descendent of John Henry of railroad fame, a Blind Man who sees more than those with sight, Jack, a strategic wizard, and Elvis’s right hand man and journal writer, Johnny, all thrown in with Raven (real name Jenny) a female recruit who is also a budding pop star, and like Elvis, high on the charisma chart. 

Their leader is none other than Colonel Parker, Elvis’s cutthroat manager, and a warrior himself, directly in contact with President Nixon, or possibly one of his doubles.

It’s an unnerving peek into a secret world, and a possible delusion. It’s what happened before Elvis, aka Sebastian Haff, found himself in an East Texas rest home, mounted on a walker, fighting an Egyptian mummy and worrying about a growth on his pecker.

Strange monsters, wild fights, sex with a beautiful ghost, a drug-induced trip into another dimension, and all manner of mayhem ensue, along with a Mississippi riverboat ride on a giant paddle wheel, and of course, there will be 3D glasses, fried peanut butter and ’nanna sandwiches, and a few hard working zombies.

Bring the kids, but plug their ears and blindfold them. This is one wild and nasty ride to the dark side, but with laughter.

Limited: 1500 signed numbered hardcover copies (Goodreads)


Review: 

Highly imaginative world in which I couldn't tear myself away from the pages. Loved it from the beginning! I went in with an open mind and found it to be a refreshing change from the normalcy. Okay, I know what you're thinking, "Elvis Presley, in a sci-fi novel? Really?" Really! This author is brilliant and had me laughing-out-loud at the fantastical of it all, not to mention the crude humor. This starts off in the first person perspective and then changes throughout the book. 

The monsters in here are not like any you've encountered before. Their portrayal is something you wouldn't want to come across in your worst nightmare. Given the state of things, it's up to Elvis, along with a few others you may recognize, to rid the world of these creatures. This is crazy and action-filled. Wanna know how it ends? You'll just have to read it for yourself. Hope you love it! 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Review: The Censors Hand

The Censor's Hand by A. M. Steiner
Thrice-Crossed Swords Trilogy Book 1
Published May 18th 2017 by Ptolemy Publishing UK
Reviewed by Rose
4 Magical Stars

Synopsis:

“We do not dabble with magic; we capture it, structure it and sell it.”

So claim the powerful masters of the Honourable Company of Cunning. Operating from the forbidding island of the Convergence, their arcane works have reshaped society. Now a censor, a guardian of justice, has been murdered in their midst and a terrifying conspiracy will be revealed.

Miranda, one of the hundred adopted daughters of the Dowager Duchess, wants nothing more than to become a master of the cunning arts. Only a fool would doubt her genius, but never before has a woman been permitted to wield such power.

Jonathan faces ruin. The sails of his mill haven’t turned since the Company diverted the winds of Bromwich to their advantage. He’s always been a devout and law-abiding man. How far will he go to protect his family from destitution and the gangsters at his doorstep? (Goodreads)

If Daniel, his brother, passes the tests to become a censor, maybe he could protect them. He might even get the chance to make amends for what happened to their sister. But in the real world, justice is elusive, and the damage of the past can rarely be undone.
 

Review:

This is the first book in the Thrice Crosses Swords trilogy, and the first I have read from this author. The beginning is well laid out and really hooks you in. The story follows three main characters journey. 

The flow is smooth and well developed world building leading up to more to come. A solid fantasy for the adult reader. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Review: Drift

Drift by Amy Murray
Publication Date August 28, 2017 by Entangled
Reviewed by Rose
5 Stars from the Past


Synopsis:


I’m not crazy. My mother may have died with everyone believing she was insane, but I refuse to accept that as my fate. Even if I am recalling memories about a life I never lived. A life that includes the mysterious James—a guy I’ve only just met, but feel as if I’ve known all my life. The memories are coming hard and fast, and I’m falling down a rabbit hole with consequences that far exceed anything I could have ever imagined. And now, someone is trying to kill me. 


Someone from my past who knows about my visions and is looking for something he believes I took from him. All I have to do is figure out how these memories relate to the present and maybe I’ll survive to live another day. (Goodreads)


Review:


Wow, just wow. I read this in one entire sitting. I just couldn't put it down. Who needs sleep, right? From moment one, page one I was hooked.  There was no way I think I could have waited to find out everything. But be prepared you will get a case of the feels. Its like Outlander meets Dr Who. There is mystery, murder, mayhem, with a dish of romance, and just WTF moments.  The past is not 18th century Scotland, but 1920’s Texas. The author is new to me, and I must say I will be following her work from now on. The story flowed very well, with the time alterations smoothly and was seamlessly done. You know how sometimes with time travel books where there is a rift or the shift doesn't read well, this book did not have any of those flaws. I knew when I was in the past, I knew when I was in the present. The characters were very well developed. The plot well thought out. A joy to read. 


So many twists and turns. A few thing will lead you to tears, some will raise your eyebrows to your hairline, others will have you thinking uh huh right. The main characters were James, a painter with a few extra talents, Abby, the gal with the mostest (I think anyways), and Collin (aka Mack or as I call him McDreamy). I think while James was perfect for Abby, I could not get over the connection I felt with Mack. His story, past and present, really gets you in the heart strings. Is he perfect, no he is not. Is anyone, who knows. I really was rooting for him in the end, but was satisfied with the major characters outcomes, as I felt it did give some sort of closure or redemption if for a better word.  
A solid five star read. I recommend you get comfy because you will not be going anywhere once you start this awesome book. I hope the story continues in future books, as this concept is a brilliant one. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Blog Tour: The Separation





The Separation
Stormy Corrin Russell

Evernight Teen, 83k words
Distopian, Sci-Fi, Romance


In a world where men and women live on separate sides of a massive wall, seventeen year old misfit Eroyn Fairchild has always been too busy with her broken family to wonder why they live the way they do. When a man from the other side breaks through, Ero holds him hostage, hoping for a ransom large enough to pay for her Elder Grace’s treatment. Things get more complicated as the man is followed by two others who make Ero question everything she’s ever known about her life. As Ero searches for the truth, the lines between right and wrong blur, leaving her to choose between saving her city and saving herself.



Buy Links:    Evernight Teen    Amazon    ARe



Teaser: 

One of the things I love about Grace is that she is the heaviest sleeper I know. So heavy, in fact, she doesn’t hear me dragging a thrashing body through the front door at two in the morning. For the first time in my life, I consider it lucky that we live on the outskirts of the north side. If we didn’t, I would never have been able to get it this far without attracting attention. A loud, confused sound starts to come from the net, so I kick it firmly.
        “Shut up,” I hiss, looking around nervously. I’m not worried about Grace rousing, but I don’t want the neighbors waking up and noticing my noisy cargo. I kick twice more, as hard as I can. Silence, finally. With a sigh, I wipe my arm across my forehead, getting rid of the sweat beading there. I sink down on the couch, staring at the large lump inside the net on my living room floor unblinkingly. Little red flowers are blooming all over the heavy white plastic, and they grow quickly. It’s blood, I realize with a sick feeling. It’s seeping through from the inside and leaking onto the clean white carpet of our house. It can’t be real. It just can’t be.
I see Almond cut across the room and sniff at the lump with caution. With one movement, I scoop him up and press him to my chest in horror. For the first time, I realize the danger of what I've just done. I’ve invited a monster into my house.
        I’ve made a horrible, horrible mistake.
It takes Luna ten minutes to get here five minutes faster than usual but it feels like hours. She lets herself in the back door quietly, but I rush into the kitchen to meet her.
        “Where’s Grace?” she asks with urgency, dropping her medical bag on the kitchen table.
        “What? No, I … this isn’t about Grace,” I stutter. I open my mouth once, then again, but it’s no use. Nothing is coming out, so I turn on my heel and tiptoe into the living room. Luna wordlessly follows, eyeing the netted form. I kneel next to it, holding my breath. With shaking hands, I slide the knife into the plastic and pull it upwards slowly. I know what it’s going to reveal when I pull the plastic away, but it still makes my breath leave my lungs in an audible whoosh. I can’t seem to inhale again once it’s gone. I hear Luna do the same next to me.
        “Is it a…?” She leaves her sentence unfinished, and I nod. The small slit I cut in the plastic shows a thick arm under a rolled-up shirt, far too thin for our recently nasty winter. At the very end of the slit, I glimpse a swollen throat and a jaw covered in a dark shadow of hair. A chill runs down my spine and my stomach turns.
        “Is he alive?” Luna asks, her voice small.
        “I … I think so.” I stare at the floor guiltily. “I kicked him pretty hard to shut him up.” She scoots closer and with trembling fingers folds back the plastic to see his side, where most of the blood is coming from.
        “Cut the rest of it off him,” she tells me quietly. I stare at her in shock.
        “But, he––” She cuts me off with a look.
        “He isn’t dead yet, but he will be if I don’t stop the blood loss.”

        I swallow hard, and comply. 



About the author:

Stormy Corrin Russell is from Orwell, Pennsylvania where she first started writing from the moment she could hold a pencil. She still loves to write there and nearly everywhere else. She loves her family, the outdoors, laughing, eating, and her kitten/writing partner, Maya.





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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spotlight: Black Wings



















Black Wings
Iryna K Combs

Roane Publishing, 226 pages
M/F fantasy, mystery, romance, sci-fi, drama
Rated 2 flames



 A new time. A new planet. A new world. New technologies. Two new humanoid species. A new war.

The two species separate, but in the removal, some of the best are left behind among the worst. Captured and held as slaves, they are treated cruelly for entertainment. Torture. Pain.

Annabel, endures a year of such cruelty, kept alive only by way of syringes which, while healing, cause a greater agony. She discovers a secret held by their leader, and decides to help her own kind by escaping–even if it means a final death, preferable to the life she has endured.
Her escape succeeds, and she joins her own kind at the other end of the planet. Among her new friends she meets many who help her adjust to their happier life. Will Annabel find romance? Or will another war break her down?


Available now in ebook, only at  Amazon  for 99¢ for a limited time!
Price goes up to $2.99 on March 23rd, then $2.99 on March 25th




Excerpt
Annabel stopped at the end of the pier, and covered her face with her hands as tears rolled down her cheeks. That emotional moment had triggered memories from the Old Land and the Varkins. She remembered Kate, and how she had promised her freedom but was not able to keep that promise. She remembered her family she had lost, and her boyfriend who’d betrayed her. She wished the Big Change had never happened and she was still a human, with her family and friends. She thought she missed the Old Land, even the Varkins. She would never have thought she would think again about that dark place. Annabel stood at the pier and cried as the wind was blowing her tears away. She heard footsteps approaching her from behind.

"Excuse me?" One of the fishermen was talking to her, a crying stranger. "Something happened? Do you need help?"

"No...Nothing," Annabel replied and turned away.

"I know we don’t know each other," he continued, "but I have never seen an Anlight with black wings crying on the pier, so I wanted to make sure you were okay."

Annabel couldn’t say anything to him as she knew she was not okay.

"My name’s Robin," he introduced himself. "I come here sometimes when I feel sad too. I very well know this..."

"Why would you feel sad?" Annabel whispered, not looking at him. "Isn’t this a paradise here?"

"It is what you make it to be," he replied. "But I have my sad days too...I lost my son before we Anlights came to the New Land and I didn’t know what happened to him. He just disappeared right before we had to leave the Old Land."

Annabel opened her eyes and her heart jumped as she turned to look at the Anlight who was talking to her. He was tall, wearing dark pants and a brown shirt, holding his fishing pole in his right hand. Annabel looked at him for a moment and her eyes widened when the moon appeared from behind scudding clouds and she saw his face in its light. He looked so familiar she was...she knew the reason for his son's disappearance. She turned away from him hiding her emotions.

"What was his name?" she asked quietly, predicting the answer.

"Markus!" he said. "I called him Mark. He looked a lot like me."

Annabel closed her eyes and took a deep breath, knowing exactly what had happened to him. She bit her bottom lip, trying to hold tears from washing out of her eyes.

"He was about your age..." the fisherman continued, happily talking about his son, "Very brave young Anlight. Sometimes even too brave for his own good."

Annabel stood quietly, trying to calm down. She took another deep breath. She knew his son was that brave Anlight who had been doing most of the talking when they were first captured by Varkins.

"I know what happened to him," she whispered, wondering if she should even tell him the truth. Her voice began to shake.

"Oh, you do?" The fisherman sounded curious—after all, how she could possibly know?

"I was there too...I was with him...and others..." Annabel spoke while catching her breath, trying her best to talk normally without giving in to her emotions. "Nobody lived..." she finished as more tears quietly ran down her face.

"Nobody?" he questioned, needing to be sure.

"Only me..." She finally could not take it anymore and burst into tears, sniffing and catching her breath.

The fisherman sighed and put his head down, in sadness for his son—even though he had already accepted his disappearance and possible death. He came close to Annabel.

"I knew one day I would know the truth.” He spoke calmly, and with sorrow. “Thank you for coming here tonight."

"I am sorry about your loss," Annabel sobbed harder with every word said. "He and others were in a lot of pain...and those who died…were the lucky ones. They are in peace now and will not feel any pain again."

The fisherman took a step closer and put his hand on her shoulder. He smiled slightly.

"Sometimes it’s hard to accept what happens to us. Sometimes the reality seems too much for us to take. But we would not appreciate the good if we did not know the bad. We are writers of our own lives, and we decide when to close a chapter, and when to start the new one."

Annabel wiped cold tears from her cheeks as she looked at him.

"Cheer up," he continued. "You’re the lucky one! You can continue writing your life." He paused for a moment. "And I need to get back to my wife...fish for dinner!" He laughed, picking up a small bucket full of fresh catch. He walked slowly back along the empty pier, disappearing in the darkness.

Annabel stood on the pier for a while longer, thinking about what he had said. She calmed down, as the wind picked up and she began to get cold. She returned to the car and drove back to her house. When she pulled up, nobody seemed to be there. She looked around as she walked to the porch door, hoping nobody was waiting for her. Annabel entered her house and locked the door behind her. She was just going to call her cousin about her visit when, again, someone knocked on the porch door. Annabel recalled what had happened before, and was not in the mood to continue talking about her own or Dexter's relations. She crossed to the door and moved the blinds to see who was knocking. However, as soon as she saw it was Dexter outside, she slid the door open.


Author Bio:
Originally from the Ukraine, I am still considered a new face to America. Speaking three languages including English, that became just as natural to me as my native Russian.

I grew up in a town on the south of Ukraine doing the same things that other kids my age did. Dreaming, hoping and wishing. Growing up, I spoke absolutely no English and never even saw myself somewhere abroad. Nevertheless writing a novel in another language!

I went to the local school that brought mostly negative experience in my life. But it shaped me throughout the years. My college life was much better. I was known to study well and to go out partying as much as it was possible.

In my first year of college I began to work in the marriage agency and met my future husband. We dated and traveled to most of the Europe along with Egypt.

When I finally got my fiancée visa, we both moved to the states, where soon after, got married. In the first few years I did some modeling and acting. Photo-shoots, run-way and photo in the magazine fulfilled my childhood's dream.

A few years later I became a mother of a wonderful and most handsome little boy. Along with learning and experiencing motherhood, I began to make hand-made jewelry and organic soaps. This hobby turned into my small business and became bigger than I thought it would.

In the last year I discovered: an author lives inside me. Never did I think that I would write an English book and that I would love doing it. But I did! And I loved it!

Find me here:

From My Author Page...

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