Tag Archives: Science Fiction

The Gate Guardian’s Daughter (The Gate Trilogy – Prequel) @ktmunson #bookreview

  • Title: The Gate Guardian’s Daughter (The Gate Trilogy – Prequel)
  • Author: KT Munson
  • Print Length: 28
  • Publication Date: May 20, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Dark Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction

The Gate Guardian’s Daughter is the prequel to KT Munson’s upcoming dark fantasy series, which will be released in July 2017. With only 28 pages, it’s a very quick read. I happily read it in one sitting during a break at work. OK, so I was a little late getting off work. I enjoyed the story that much.

Elizabeth is only ten years old, aching to become a normal child. But she can’t be normal when her adoptive father, Matheal, is insisting she remain nearby. The reason being is that Elizabeth is special. Matheal knows that one day her true nature will be unleashed.

This is yet another story I’ve enjoyed reading by KT Munson. It’s to the point but does well in giving us the general background of Elizabeth and her family, while providing us with just enough surprise to make us want more. It was a very well-written intro to The Gate series, and I, for one, can’t wait until the first one is released.

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

*For more book reviews, click here.*

Biography

K.T. Munson

K.T. Munson is a freelance author. First published at 5 years old in the young writers conference, she has pursued writing ever since. She maintains a blog creatingworldswithwords.wordpress.com that is about writing and her novels. She was born and raised in the last frontier, the great state of Alaska.

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Recreance (The Aeternum Chronicles Book 1) #bookreview @hgcbooks

  • Title:  Recreance (The Aeternum Chronicles Book 1)
  • Author: H.G. Chambers
  • Print Length: 406
  • Publication Date: May 14, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

After his parents are murdered by the Ministry Breakers, Oren flees New Arcadia to the dangerous Miralaja desert, leaving behind his once comfortable life and his best friend, Clementine. With his mentor, Khalil, he begins to learn the truth of his path and unfolds the devious plans of the Ministry. Meanwhile, Clementine has to survive on her own by thievery. When she performs her latest job infiltrating the Ministry Defense building, she barely manages to escape. Soon, she catches up with Oren and Khalil and together, they embark on an epic journey of survival and unraveling ancient mysteries.

I enjoyed Recreance. For the most part, it was fast paced. The only time I felt it sluggish was when it would jump without warning to the past. Sometimes I had to reread it for me to say, “Oh, we’re not in the present anymore, I understand what’s happening now.” It was meant to bring more debt to the characters and their lives but I found myself skimming over some parts because I wanted more of the here and now.

The skipping between the past and the present was my main issue with the story. Other than that, I loved the plot line and the world building. The characters were easy to get to know, especially Khalil and Clementine. I loved Khalil so much. He had great humor and I felt he breathed life into the story. The chemistry between him and his apprentice, Oren, was great. Clementine was smart and very resilient. Again, she had amazing chemistry with Oren, which says a lot about his character. So, I guess in truth, there is no way to choose a favorite character.

Recreance is a great start to the series, a magnificent way to introducing the characters and the evil ways of the Ministry. It held my interest, especially as I neared the end of the novel because it was hard to put down. I wanted more and I wanted it right away. Very well done.

Overall Rate: 4 out of 5 stars

Biography

H.G. Chambers

I was born in British Columbia, Canada, but spent most of my youth on the beaches of Maui. Throughout my life, I’ve been fortunate enough to explore my passions. I’ve had harrowing experiences as a helicopter pilot, drying cherries in the desert mountains of Washington state. I’ve toured with a band down the eastern seaboard in a $2,000 van, surviving on Arby’s fixins, and selling CDs for gas money. I’ve built websites and designed logos for businesses all over North America. Of everything I’ve tried, writing fantasy is by far the most exciting and fulfilling.

My whole life I have been fascinated by stories. Especially the kind of stories that transport you into incredible worlds where the impossible becomes real; where epic battles between good and evil rage across the centuries. This sense of escape and wonderment are what I hope to embody within my own work.

*For more book reviews, click here.*

Rebirth #bookreview

  • Title: Rebirth (The Praegressus Project Book 1)
  • Author: Aaron Hodges
  • Print Length: 268
  • Publication Date: March 27, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy

Rebirth is the first of a three-part science fiction series entitled The Praegressus Project. Eighteen-year-old Chris and his mother were both taken in the dead-of-night. Soon, Chris awakens in a cell. Confused and frightened, he has no knowledge of where his mother is–only that she’s accused of treason and children must pay for their parents’ crimes. Chris must join forces with others just like him in the fight for survival against a group of doctors who are experimenting with science in order to enhance the human race.

The premise of the story kept my interest from start to finish. It held at a steady pace with a couple of action scenes here and there. Most of the setting takes place solely in the cells, so there wasn’t a lot of world building; however, that didn’t drag the plot. Unlike most science fiction stories, Rebirth wasn’t about building a world, but about character development. It’s hard not to like the characters, particularly Liz, the young woman Chris first meets after he awakens in his own cell. Chris, on the other hand, took awhile for me to like. But I believe out of the small group, Chris was the one who grew the most–and maybe that’s what author Aaron Hodges had in mind, although I can’t vouch for sure.

I believe Rebirth would fit just about any type of readers. There’s just about everything one could want: science, fantasy, friendship, love, power, and survival. It’s clean of bad language and no sex scenes. There is a bit of violence, though, but it’s not heavy, so no gore. It only shows how evil these experimenters are. They treat their captors as if they’re lab rats.

There were some errors here and there, but I’m quickly learning not to count against it…especially since the errors were few. After all, we are all human, and shouldn’t be expected to be perfect! Even the greatest has misprints at times. I don’t know if Aaron Hodges edited his own work or not, but as a professional editor myself, I’ve learned that it’s not easy editing one’s own work.

Rebirth was well-written, tight and a story I couldn’t wait to finish just to find out what happens. Aaron Hodges is definitely on the fast track to becoming an excellent science fiction novelist. I can’t wait to read more from him. Highly recommended.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Biography

Aaron Hodges

Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and see the world. Two years later, his travels have taken him through South East Asia, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Central America, and South America. Today, his adventures continue…

Spirit Raiders #bookreview

  • Title: Spirit Raiders
  • Author: Savio Dawson
  • Print Length: 366
  • Publisher: Savio Dawson
  • Publication Date: May 26, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction

Although I’ve read novels based on aliens, and I wouldn’t turn down a chance to read books about aliens, it’s not technically my type of thing. I tend to be very picky with the alien genre. Spirit Raiders is about such: alien abductions, the threat to humanity, advanced technology, and first contact…pretty much everything a die-hard science fiction fan would enjoy.

The plot was complex, very slow moving, filled with a lot of technical things I had trouble grasping…mostly because I’m not very technical-inclined. While much of it was science fiction, the reality of some of the technological terms was very well-researched to make the fiction appear realistic. Sometimes, I had to re-read the information to grasp what it was saying…remember, I’m not much of a technical person, so at times, the information didn’t do enough explaining for me. Other times, however, I was overloaded with information and caught myself skimming a tad.

With a little bit more editing, the writing could have become tighter and stronger, earning a higher rating. I like to be shown what’s happening during the scenes, rather than being told. It helps me visualize better, even if I’m reading about things I just don’t understand.

If you’re one that loves aliens and you can understand a bunch of technical mumbo jumbo, then I recommend you taking the time to read this book. Don’t be put off by the slow-moving parts. It took me a few chapters to really get into the story. Once I did and continued reading, I was pleased to find that it ended with a well-built, action-packed climax

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

For more book reviews, click here.

Biography

Savio Dawson

Savio is a resident of Mumbai, India, who grew up on everything sci-fi. Science Fiction has its own charm of unravelling mysteries, boldly going where no man has gone before [yeah I know it is from Star-trek :)] and to seek and find explanations for the unexplained. This is more or less what excites a true sci-fi enthusiast.

Savio is one of the enthusiasts too and he is presenting his own version here. Mystery surrounds us in many ways and it is mammoth in proportion to what we know. No one knows what lies beneath the ocean; no one knows what lies beyond our solar system; no one knows how vast the universe is; no one knows if any other extra-terrestrial form exists, but still the pursuit of knowing the unknown will continue unabated and will continue to excite us. This excitement is what Savio attempts to bring out in his books.

Savio is blessed with a supportive family and has a day job in India. Writing is his passion and he also writes for many blogging sites. When not writing and not working, which, of course, happens a lot of time, Savio likes to while-away and watch sci-fi movies.

People of the Sun #bookreview @AuthorJasParent

  • Title: People of the SunPeople of the Sun by [Parent, Jason]
  • Author: Jason Parent
  • Print Length: 327
  • Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
  • Publication Date: March 15, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

The Symorians are an alien race whose home planet is inside the core of the sun. Four Symorians: Lenyx, Tryst, Kazi, and Milliken embark on a mission to save their people from extinction. It doesn’t take long before their vessel crash-lands on the planet Earth. Afterward, their troubles are just beginning. The Symorians get off on the wrong foot with the humans after accidentally killing one. Then they attempt to bridge an alliance between Symoria and Earth, but after another incident occurs, our alien friends have to fight for their survival.

I loved this story. It was the perfect blend of mystery, action, and sci-fi. The characters were believable, the plot line engrossing and every turn I took, there was a new twist, many of which put me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t get enough and once I’ve finished reading, I wished I’d taken my time. People of the Sun would definitely be one of the few books I wouldn’t mind re-reading.

Let’s get off topic for one brief second. For Star Trek fans (like myself), you know how viewers say the undertone meanings of the episodes mirror real life? For example, in the episode, “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield,” there are two separate alien races, one has white on the left side and black on the right side, while the other race has the same colors vice versa. They’re killing each other even though they are exactly the same. They’re judgmental. Now, back to People of the Sun, Jason Parent does the same thing. He cleverly shines the light on mankind’s weaknesses. Humans tend to judge others by the color of their skins, by the mistakes we’ve made, by the class we were raised from, etc. Reading this story makes you think about what you do, what you say and how you react to certain circumstances.

People of the Sun isn’t just a science fiction novel. It’s not just a horror book. It’s also filled with plenty of action, adventure, and thought-provoking situations. It’s a very well-written novel, deserving of praise. In my opinion, I think just about anyone would enjoy this book. With the exception of Star Trek, I’m not a major fan of aliens. But I love the Symorians!

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

For more reviews, click here.

Biography

Jason Parent

In his head, Jason Parent lives in many places, but in the real world, he calls New England his home. The region offers an abundance of settings for his writing and many wonderful places in which to write them. He currently resides in Southeastern Massachusetts with his cuddly corgi named Calypso.

In a prior life, Jason spent most of his time in front of a judge . . . as a civil litigator. When he finally tired of Latin phrases no one knew how to pronounce and explaining to people that real lawsuits are not started, tried and finalized within the 60-minute timeframe they see on TV (it’s harassing the witness; no one throws vicious woodland creatures at them), he traded in his cheap suits for flip flops and designer stubble. The flops got repossessed the next day, and he’s back in the legal field . . . sorta. But that’s another story.

When he’s not working, Jason likes to kayak, catch a movie, travel any place that will let him enter, and play just about any sport (except that ball tied to the pole thing where you basically just whack the ball until it twists in a knot or takes somebody’s head off – he misses the appeal). And read and write, of course. He does that too sometimes.

Please visit the author on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJasonParent?ref=hl, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AuthorJasParent, or at his website, http://authorjasonparent.com/, for information regarding upcoming events or releases, or if you have any questions or comments for him.

Devil in the Countryside @CoryBarclay #bookreview

  • Title: Devil in the Countryside
  • Author: Cory Barclay
  • Print Length: 348
  • Publication Date: February 15, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery

It’s very rare that I would be tempted to give any book more than a five-star rating. If I did do that, then Cory Barclay’s Devil in the Countryside would be one of the few. It’s 1588, and a killer is terrorizing the German countryside. It’s rumored to be the legendary Werewolf of Bedburg. Investigator Heinrich Franz is assigned to find the killer, seeking help wherever he can get it. A priest attempts to keep the peace amongst the townspeople, while he attempts to fight against the temptation of a young woman that could destroy his most basic beliefs. They find themselves wrapped in mysteries, steering through the political and religious landscape of the 16th century.

Devil in the Countryside was an extremely tightly written novel, keeping me on my toes the entire time I was reading. I did not want to put it down. The characters were three-dimensional and realistic…very memorable. In my minds-eye, the book played like a movie. I felt as though I was watching the scenes unfold so much, that at times, I had to remind myself that I was in the 21st century. I felt it was that good.

You’ll not only want to find out who—or what—is piling corpse after corpse, you’ll want to find out what secret these characters are withholding from everyone else. You’ll want to find out if they can force temptation out of their minds. You’ll want to find out everything you can about this book.

The story is action-packed from the second it begins until the ending, leaving the reader on the edge of their seat. There were times when the dialogue didn’t seem up to par with the time; however, that didn’t even matter. The scenes were painted beautifully. For readers that enjoy historical fiction, werewolf hunts, and murder, I recommend giving Devil in the Countryside a try. It’s a must-read!

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

For more book reviews, visit https://angelakaysbooks.com/book-reviews/.


Biography

Cory Barclay

As far back as he can remember, Cory Barclay has always loved the “big picture” questions. How much knowledge did humanity lose when the Library of Alexandria was burned down? Why has the concept of Heaven remained intact, in one form or another, throughout most of human history and how has it impacted life on Earth?

And even before that, when he first began writing stories in grade school, he’s been fascinated with histories and mysteries. Whether Norse mythology, the Dark Ages, or the conquests of great leaders, Cory’s been that kid who wants to know what’s shaped our world and write about it. Especially the great unsolved mysteries.

So Devil in the Countryside was a natural for him.

Born and raised in San Diego, he graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz, where he studied Creative Writing and Modern Literary Studies. He’s also a songwriter and guitarist, and – no surprise – many of his songs explore the same topics he writes about – the great mysteries of our crazy world.

Devil in the Countryside is his second novel and he’s hard at work on its sequel.

The Buried Few #bookreview

  • Title: The Buried Few
  • Author: M.J. Lau
  • Print Length: 454
  • Publication Date: March 5, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy

The Buried Few is the debut novel by M.J. Lau, and I found it quite enjoyable. The pace was steady, storyline intriguing and the overall prose well-written. It’s set in a near-future society where the idea of privacy is extinct. Technology is now more advanced. The government knows where you are, what route you take to get home, and they oversee every child born for the rest of their lives. When Daniel Allingham finds a live baby buried, he takes the infant to the hospital (although it’s not a maternity hospital) with hopes of doing a good thing and washing his hands clean. Nonetheless, he soon finds himself struggling against the right thing and becoming entwined with a persistent government agent.

It took about three chapters for me to really get into the book. It starts off with the prologue some times in the distant past, then in chapter one, jumps to the present time. As we’re being introduced to the main characters, it hops from the present to the near past. The only way we know whether we’re in the present or the past is by the situation or the characters in the scenes. This made it a tad confusing to me; however, once I got a handle on the author’s writing style (and it didn’t take long at all), it was easy reading.

The only thing that would take me away from reading was the amount of adverbs in the story. There just seemed to be so many, it annoyed me. It doesn’t bother a lot of readers; however, it had become somewhat of a pet peeve of mine. About half of the adverbs in the prose could have been used in a way to show, rather than tell, all the more.

The characters were enjoyable and easy to love, particularly the main one, Daniel. I found that they all had “chemistry” through their interactions and dialogue. There were plenty going on to build up the drama and keep the story moving forward. I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next. While The Buried Few is a standalone story, it’s left open for a sequel. I’ve seen reviews on Amazon mention they could see it made into a movie: I have to say, I agree. As a bonus, I have to add, I love the cover.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Biography

M. J. Lau

M. J. Lau is an English teacher by day, writer by night… or rather, a teacher day and night, and a writer any spare moment in between. He is the author of The Buried Few, a near-future fiction novel that is equally influenced by dystopian classics, fatherhood, and Wired Magazine.

He is currently working on a fantasy novel, tentatively anticipated to release in the spring of 2018.

#Bookreview AS WINGS UNFURL by Arthur M. Doweyko (@aweyken) A book for readers who enjoy science-fiction that asks big questions, with religious undertones, and lots of action

As Wings Unfurl by Arthur M. Doweyko

Title:   As Wings Unfurl
Author:   Arthur M. Doweyko
ISBN13:  978-1940215778
ASIN:  B01HY589FG
Published: 19th  July  2016
Pages:  234
Genre:  Science-Fiction & Fantasy (I’ve found it classed under Alien Invasion and Military, Space Marine)

Description:

“… captures the reader’s attention with kick-butt action in a video game storytelling format.” ~ Publishers Weekly

“Apple Bogdanski, a disabled Vietnam veteran, worked in a secondhand books store. When a private detective takes incriminating photos of shape-shifting aliens in the act of transformation and sends the negatives to the owner of the bookstore hidden in a book among a shipment of books, Apple is caught between two groups of aliens-one of which studies mankind’s development and the other who wants to terminate mankind and claim the Earth for their own purposes. Apple has a helper, Angela, who appears just in time to save his life and make him appear to be a hero. Angela has a beef with the bad guys and she and Apple unite with a few good guys to take on the bad guys.

As Wings Unfurl is an entertaining science fiction novel based on the premise that an alien race planted the seed of the human race of Earth millennia ago and now watches quietly as we evolve. Apple is a fairly well developed protagonist who just wants to be left alone to deal with the hand life has dealt him on his terms. Angela is a member of the alien oversight group dedicated to observation. Strangely attracted to Apple, she must deal with a conflict between her duties, her sense of right and wrong, and her feelings. Dane, as the bad alien, has a single side; the discrediting and destruction of the human race for her own purposes. Yowl and Shilog are Tibetans who are caught up in the war between factions and who provide a notable twist to the ending. Both are far out of the world that they know, but both adapt amazingly fast to the developed world.

This book is entertaining reading for readers who love science fiction “what if” scenarios and readers who love action adventures in any form.” ~ Midwest Book Review

Applegate Bogdanski returns from Vietnam with a missing leg, a Purple Heart, and an addiction to morphine. He stumbles through each day, looking forward to nothing and hoping it will arrive soon. When he attempts to thwart a crime, he is knocked unconscious and wakes up to discover that people are once again calling him a hero, though he feels undeserving of the praise.

Apple returns to work and meets Angela, a mysterious woman who claims to be his guardian. Immediately, he feels a connection to her, which morphs into an attraction. But he soon discovers that Angela is much more than she seems.

Apple and Angela are swept up in a conspiracy that stretches through time and space. Together, they must fight to save everything they hold dear from an alien race bent on destroying humanity. 

Body of review:

I thank the author who contacted me thanks to Lit World Interviews for offering me an ARC copy of his novel that I freely chose to review.

I am not a big reader of science-fiction (perhaps because I don’t seem to have much patience these days for lengthy descriptions and world building and I’m more interested in books that focus on complex characters) so I was doubtful when the author suggested I review it, but the angel plot and the peculiarities of the story won me over. There are many things I enjoyed in this book but I’m not sure that it was the book for me.

As I’ve included the description and it is quite detailed (I was worried about how I could write about the book without revealing any spoilers but, many of the things I was worried about are already included in the description) I won’t go into the ins and outs of the story. The novel starts as a thriller, set in 1975. A private detective has taken a compromising photo and that puts him in harm’s way. Apple, the main character, seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, although later events make us question this and wonder if perhaps what happens was preordained. One of the interesting points in the novel, for me, was that the main character was a Vietnam War veteran, amputee (he lost a leg) and now addicted to Morphine. He also experiences symptoms of PTSD. Although his vivid dreams and flashbacks slowly offer us some background information, and the whole adventure gives him a new perspective on life and a love interest, I found it difficult to fully connect with the character. It was perhaps due to the fast action and the changes in setting and point of view that make it difficult to fully settle one’s attention on the main protagonists. One of the premises of the story is that Angela, the mysterious character who is his ersatz guardian angel, has known him all his life. She is oddly familiar to him, and she decides to give up her privileges and her life mission because of him, but as Angela’s interest in him precedes the story, there is no true development of a relationship and readers don’t necessarily understand why they are attracted to each other from the start.

The story, written in the third person, is told mostly from Apple’s point of view but there are also two other characters, from Tibet, Shilog, a farmer, and Yowl, what most of us would think of as a Yeti, but that we later learn is a member of a native Earth species. In my opinion, these two characters are more fully realised, as we don’t have any previous knowledge or any expectations of who they are, and they work well as a new pair of eyes (two pairs of eyes) for the readers, as they start their adventure truly clueless as to what is going on, and the situation is as baffling to them as it is to us. They are also warm and genuinely amusing and they offer much welcome comic relief. They are less bogged down by conventions and less worried about their own selves.

I enjoyed also the background story and the underlying reasoning behind the presence of the “angels” (aliens) in the world. It does allow for interesting debates as to what makes us human and what our role on Earth is. How this all fits in with traditional religions and beliefs is well thought out and it works as a plot element. It definitely had me thinking.

I said before that one of the problems I had with some fantasy and science-fiction is my lack of patience with world building and detailed descriptions. In this case, though, other than some descriptions about the Tibetan forest and mountains, I missed having a greater sense of location. The characters moved a lot from one place to the next and, even if you were paying attention, sometimes it was difficult to follow where exactly the action was taking place (especially because some of the episodes depended heavily on secret passages, doors, locked rooms…) and I had to go back a few times to check, in case I had missed some change of location inadvertently. (This might not be a problem for people who are used to reading more frantically paced action stories.) I guess there are two possible reading modes I’d recommend for this story; either pay very close attention or go with the flow and enjoy the ride.

I really enjoyed the baddie. Dane is awesome. I don’t mind the bad characters that are victims of their circumstances or really conflicted about what they do, but every so often I like a convinced baddie, who takes no prisoners and goes all the way. She is not without justification either, and later we learn something that puts a different spin on her behaviour (I didn’t find it necessary but it does fit in with the overall story arc). The irony of her character and how she uses human institutions and religions to subvert the given order is one of my favourite plot points and she is another source of humour, although darker in this case.

All in all, this is a book for readers who enjoy science-fiction that asks big questions, with religious undertones, lots of action and not too worried about the psychological makeup of the main characters. Ah, and if you love stories about Bigfoot or the Yeti, you’ll love this one.

What the book is about: On the surface, aliens, angels, and a battle of good and evil. At heart it deals with metaphysical issues (like the best science-fiction does) and questions of identity, and where humanity comes from.

 Book Highlights: The whole premise of the story, and the two Tibetan characters, Shilog and Yowl, that are a true joy. And Dane, the baddie.

 Challenges of the book: There are many quick changes of location and different points of view that might disorient readers. The story is set in the 1970s but there are a couple of anachronisms. There are some beautiful passages about Tibet and Shilog observes everything he sees with new eyes, but there is a paucity of description otherwise, even when discussing major plot points (the devices used to travel or the locations of their scape).

 What do you get from it: A challenge to preconceived notions and an interesting story with plenty of action. I also really liked the baddie, Dane. There’s more to her than meets the eye.

 What I would have changed if anything: Perhaps I would have tried to build up more the main characters, as for me, Apple comes across as quite disjointed and as if readers should know the type (perhaps so, but who is he?). We slowly learn a few things about him but the frantic pace of the action does not give readers much chance to delve on that. It is easier to empathise with Yowl and Shilog, perhaps because we feel as lost as they are. A stronger sense of place and time might also help.

 Who Would I recommend this book to?: People who enjoy plot over character, and who like science-fiction that makes you think. Also lovers of action and Yetis.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 3/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 3.5/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5 

Buy it at:  
Format & Pricing:
Paperback $12.99
Kindle: $6.09

Thanks so much for reading and don’t forget to like, share, comment and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

 

#Bookreview PALE HIGHWAY by Nicholas Conley (@NicholasConley1) A wonderful look at Alzheimer’s, with sci-fi, inspiration, genetics and metaphysics thrown in.

Pale Highway by Nicholas Conley
Pale Highway by Nicholas Conley

Title:   Pale Highway
Author:   Nicholas Conley
ISBN13:  978-1940215532
ASIN:  B016ALW8PW
Published:  20th October 2015
Pages:  319
Genre:  Science-Fiction and Fantasy, Alzheimer’s Disease, Metaphysical & Visionary

Description:

Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Novel – Predators & Editors Readers Poll 2015

“Steeped in suspense, Conley’s novel delves into the darker recesses of the medical establishment. Gabriel is a sympathetic character, and the reader is pulled into his private struggles.” – Publishers Weekly

“Pale Highway brings his struggles for survival along with his fierce desire to hold off his symptoms long enough to save everyone around him to brilliant, beautiful life.” – Examiner.com

Gabriel Schist is spending his remaining years at Bright New Day, a nursing home. He once won the Nobel Prize for inventing a vaccine for AIDS. But now, he has Alzheimer’s, and his mind is slowly slipping away.

When one of the residents comes down with a horrific virus, Gabriel realizes that he is the only one who can find a cure. Encouraged by Victor, an odd stranger, he convinces the administrator to allow him to study the virus. Soon, reality begins to shift, and Gabriel’s hallucinations interfere with his work.

As the death count mounts, Gabriel is in a race against the clock and his own mind. Can he find a cure before his brain deteriorates past the point of no return? 

Body of review:

 Thanks to the author who offered me an ARC copy of his novel that I freely chose to review.

When the author approached me about this novel, I didn’t know what to say. I don’t read a lot of science-fiction (although I’ve really enjoyed some of the sci-fi I’ve read. I think my main problem, and the same goes for fantasy, is that I don’t have much patience for world-building and descriptions) but he explained that although it was classed as science-fiction, and indeed it purports a world that is very similar to ours but with some differences (mostly, the protagonist of the novel, Gabriel Schist, years back discovered the HIV-vaccine but , rather than simply creating a vaccine against that illness, his vaccine reprograms the immune system of the person that receives it and protects them against many other illnesses), it was a bit different to most science-fiction. He told me, as mentioned in his biography, that he had worked in nursing homes and the novel was also about Alzheimer’s disease. I read the description of the novel and was intrigued. And yes, I agree with him, his novel is not a standard science-fiction novel, although it’s true that some of the best sci-fi looks at what makes us human and explores metaphysical issues.

The protagonist of the novel, Gabriel, a famous scientist who won the Nobel Prize for his discovery,  is in his early seventies and suffers from Alzheimer’s, fairly early stages, but noticeable enough. He is trying to hold on to his identity, testing his memory and using tricks to orientate himself and hold onto reality, but it is not without difficulties. The book wonderfully describes the residents of the nursing home, some of their peculiar behaviours, but also the persons behind the behaviours. The novel goes back and forth in time, as does the memory of the character, from 2018 to the 1950s, when Gabriel was a weird young boy (he seems to have presented some traits suggestive of autistic spectrum disorder, likely Asperger’s) already determined to solve the problem of future infectious diseases, and also covering the years when he met his wife, the dissolution of his marriage, his great discovery and how he eventually connected and got to know his daughter. All this is interspersed with what is happening now (well, in the very near future) at the nursing home, as Gabriel never goes out. Suddenly, some of the residents start getting ill, and the virus (if that’s what it is) puzzles everybody as it acts as no known illness. Gabriel starts to have strange experiences that he’s not sure if they are hallucinations or real (the readers are free to make up their own minds about this, although if one chooses to go with a rational explanation, there are enough clues within the story to suggest how his mind might have come up with such weird events) and becomes convinced that he’s the only one who can fight this terrible illness. His is a desperate race, not only against the illness itself but also against Alzheimer’s and the progressive degeneration of his mind.

The novel is written in the third person, although always from Gabriel’s point of view, giving the readers a great insight into the processes and difficulties of a mind coming undone, of the strength of memories of the past, sometimes more vivid than the present, and the style is fluid, with some beautifully descriptive passages, and some very vivid moments, particularly Gabriel’s memories, filled with emotion. Gabriel is a scientist and a keen observer, even in his current state, and that serves the novel well.

The characters are realistically drawn and it’s impossible not to care for them. Gabriel is confused and unclear at times, he hesitates and his self-confidence is marred by his illness and by previous experiences. He feels guilty for letting people down in the past, for his use of alcohol (initially to try and fit in with social expectations, as he was too different and too intelligent for most people, but later he got to like it and used it as a coping strategy but also as something he enjoyed), for allowing his wife to leave, for not being there for his daughter … He also feels guilty because he’s always said that human beings are predictable and not interesting enough and he hasn’t loved or cared for many of them. But his experiences through the novel put him to the test more than once and he discovers that it’s never too late to learn more about yourself. The author, who evidently has first-hand knowledge, depicts well the changes in humour, the confusion, the fear, the loneliness, the disorientation, and also the tenacity and the spirit of the elderly residents, including those moments when their personalities shine through the illness. The character of Melanie, Gabriel’s daughter, and her difficulty coming to terms with the illness of her father (all the harder because of his once brilliant mind), reflects well the difficulties of the families, with their guilty feelings for not visiting more often or for not being able to do more and their difficulty accepting the new circumstances (although not everybody is the same, of course).

The running of the facility, Bright New Day, also rings true. Understaffed, with routines to suit staff rather than residents, and with a mix of staff, some very caring and professional and others not so much. The novel is not an indictment of nursing homes, and other than one of the staff members, everybody works hard and is caring, but it does reflect the difficulties of running such facilities within a limited budget and trying to care for residents as individuals.

The plot is intriguing and the issue of if and how Gabriel might manage to defeat the virus is a page turner, although there are some very quirky aspects of the story that some readers might find challenging (not the scientific part as such. Although I’m a doctor I don’t think readers without medical knowledge will have difficulty with the general concepts behind Gabriel’s discovery. It is a fascinating idea). The story requires some suspension of disbelief although it is also possible to read some of the clues offered through the fragments of Gabriel’s memories as proof that a less fanciful interpretation of events is also possible. That is up to each reader.

I have to confess to feeling very moved by the story and being teary-eyed a couple of times but don’t worry, there are fun moments too and it is not a sad story but a life-affirming one. The ending, whatever interpretation we choose to go with is joyful and positive and might be meaningful to many readers.

This is not an easy novel to categorise in any genre. I think most people who are interested in Alzheimer’s will enjoy it, and people who like books on medical subjects, as long as they have a well-developed imagination. I recommend it also to people interested in memory, identity and in the big questions, and to those looking for a positive and inspiring read.

What the book is about: Many things. Being different and not fitting in, Alzheimer’s disease and care of the elderly, identity, the immune system, what makes us human, memory, family…

 Book Highlights: I’m a doctor, although not a researcher, but the part about Gabriel’s research does not require hard science or lots of knowledge to be understood. It’s the concept what makes it work and the beauty of it. I particularly enjoyed the depiction of residents at the nursing home, with their quirks and their individual personalities that feel very real. And the positive message. It is a life-affirming book.

 Challenges of the book: As mentioned above I don’t think the science part is too complicated as it is the general concept what is important to the story. Some of the weirder aspects of the book (the slugs, it’s not much of a spoiler as it is commented upon in quite a few of the reviews) might be a barrier for some readers, although each individual can interpret it at will. It might be difficult to read for people with relatives suffering from Alzheimer’s, although it is written with care and affection.

 What do you get from it: A good insight into what Alzheimer’s might be like for sufferers: the confusion, the loneliness, the fear, and also the moments of joy and how important memories and little things can be. It’s an inspiring book with a very positive message.

 What I would have changed if anything: As I mentioned, some of the quirkier aspects might be hard on some readers, but I wouldn’t change anything.

Who Would I recommend this book to?: People interested in Alzheimer’s and elderly health care with a capacity for wonder and inspiration. Also, those interested in a book with medical subjects, although they must have some imagination.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: This one is a bit difficult in this book. Let’s say the characters who are residents and staff in the nursing home (and Melanie, Gabriel’s daughter) 4.5/5. The others… 3/5
Made Me Think: 4.5/5
Overall enjoyment: 4.5/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 5/5
Overall Rating: 
5/5 

Buy it at:  
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  $10.99
Kindle: $4.81

Thanks for reading and remember to like, share, comment and click!

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

 

Events: Prime Ministers During the Alien Era #bookreview

  • Title: Events: Prime Ministers During the Alien Era
  • Author: Charles E. Murphy
  • Print Length: 119
  • Publication Date: January 15, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction

Events: Prime Ministers During the Alien Era is a mock history text during the period of Roswell crash landing until the “current” space war. The text focuses on politics and personality conflicts, both fiction and non-fiction.

First, let me start off by saying, with the exception of Star Trek, I’m not big on anything alien—that’s not to say I never read or watch alien-type things because after all, I have written reviews on such topics. That said, I found this mock history text quite amusing. It held a slow but steady pace as a real textbook would go. It’s not long at all (just over a hundred pages), so I finished in less than two hours.

The prose held my interest, however, it read more as a cross between a long narrative and a student history paper. As a textbook would have, it held footnotes, which made me want to go back and read what it referred to in the prose.

At the end of the book, Murphy explains which parts of his prose were fiction and which were nonfiction. This was a good way for us to know how he weaved the truths and fiction into an intriguing read.

There were misspells (not a lot, so I’m not dwelling on the issue. Even the greatest of authors have misprints). The quotation marks weren’t very consistent. Sometimes it had a single quotation mark (which would make sense seeing as it is a British text) and others were doubled.

If you’re wanting to read a fast-paced story about aliens, then this won’t be for you. However, if you like aliens, science fiction, and historical texts, then I recommend this. It’s a fun, light read as to what might happen should we ever have to deal with aliens!

Since Amazon and Goodreads only offer whole stars, I’m bumping this story to 4 stars, though my actual rating is 3.5.

Overall Rating: 4 of 5 stars

#BookReview of Jubilee Year-A Novel by @GONeillBooks

Title: Jubliee Year: A NovelJubilee Year cover

Author: Gerarad O’Neill

Length: 428

Price: $3.78 Kindle,

$16.65 Paperback

 

I received a copy of this book for an honest review.

Jubilee Year-A Novel is the story of what would happen if our sun had a long-lost twin that had been traveling the universe and was now on its way back home. And governments knew it but didn’t tell the populace. Elite saw it coming and were prepared for its happening but the general population was left on its own. In Jubilee Year Gerrard O’Neill gives us a taste of what happens when a few people discover the truth and try to survive the coming catastrophe.

18 years old Storm just wants to figure out what to do with his life while dating 22 years old Penny. Penny’s father is director of one of the most famous observatories in the world and thus in a position to see what’s happening in the solar system we live in. That knowledge throws Storm into an adventure he never expects as he gets caught up in protests, paramilitary groups, and a super-secret agent of the Australian government.

The relationships in the book are not bad. Although the Storm and Penny dynamic leaves something to be desired at times. The other connections in the book are pretty good with the exception of how a character named Darren turns out. I was a bit surprised about him and that seemed a little forced to me. I could see sort of why it was thrown in but maybe it could have been handled better, maybe not so rushed.

I don’t know science of the nature discussed in the book, but I don’t think you need to. It is all explained well and made you believe what is being stated. That’s what counts.

The main issues I had with the book were the head hopping within scenes where I couldn’t tell who was talking or thinking. And there are some proofreading issues that are evident. These two factors made reading not as enjoyable as it could have been.

Overall it was a good story idea, a quick read that kept you turning the pages to see what would happen next.

Rating and Recommendation:

I gave Jubilee Year-A Novel 3 out of 5 stars instead of a 4 because of the head hopping. It really took away from the flow of reading. The story itself is good and even being over 400 pages I read it in one day. So I do recommend the book for those who like the apocalyptic type of genre.

Review by Ronovan.

Halfway (Aspiration for Deliverance #1) #BookReview

  • Title: Halfway (Aspiration for Deliverance #1)51ybqthmpxl
  • Author: Lokesh Sharma
  • File Size: 618KB
  • Print Length: 130
  • Publication Date: February 1, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01N4ULEWY
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy

Synopsis:

A few hundred people wake up in an auditorium with no memory of their past, scared and confused, struggling to remember who they are and how they got here. A voice draws their attention to the person standing on the podium, impeccably dressed, an air of calm confidence about him that suggests he has the answers to all their questions. As he starts explaining the situation, they slowly begin to realize they are in a futuristic realm called Enigma, where dead humans are reborn and brought to trials for the crimes they committed in their human-lives…

Review:

I have to say good going on this one. I honestly don’t know where to begin. This will be a short review because I can’t really say much about the story…I’d hate to give it away. The characters are basically living in purgatory—a city called Enigma. When the humans die, they’re reborn, so to speak, to be tried for the crimes they committed in their human life.

Halfway was absolutely nothing like I expected. But, then again, I wasn’t exactly sure what I expected. It did take a little bit for me to get into at first, but I soon found myself drawn deep into the story. The characters were three-dimensional, the plot first-rate. I found the idea of the storyline quite intriguing and original.

I recommend this book.

Overall rating: 4 of 5 stars

Biography

Lokesh Sharma

Lokesh Sharma grew up reading books and watching movies—a little too much for his parents’ taste. He spent his childhood in a small town about 150 Kms from New Delhi. Having finished his studies, he moved to The Heart of India in 2010, where he worked for a reputed American-based Bank for about three years, until he came up with the idea for his debut novel and decided to put it into words. Aside from lots of reading and a little bit of writing, he likes travelling, shopping, and listening to music.

Hell Holes: Demon on the Dalton #BookReview

  • Title: Hell Holes: Demons on the DaltonHell Holes: Demons on the Dalton by [Firesmith, Donald]
  • Author: Donald Firesmith
  • Print Length: 202
  • Publication Date: May 15, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction

From the Author:

When huge holes mysteriously formed in Alaska’s North Slope, a research team went to discover their cause. But when an army of invading demons erupted out of these hell holes, only two scientists and Aileen, the team’s secretive photographer, survived. Now in this exciting second book in the Hell Holes series, they must flee south along 350 miles of the Dalton Highway, one of the world’s most treacherous roads. Aileen, a member of an ancient order charged with defending humanity from Hell, must save the two scientists, but who will save her?

My Review:

Hell Holes: Demons on the Dalton is volume two of What Lurks Below. It’s another action/adventure written by Donald Firesmith. This time, we’re in Dr. Angela Menendez’s (Dr. Jack Oswald’s wife) point of view. She picks up where we left off in volume one. Oswald and his team are desperately trying to escape the demons that are set on pursuing them.

The character development was a bit lacking. There were not a whole lot of conflict as I’d imagined there would be. After all, stress and fear make even the nicest person a tiny bit snippy, and I saw none of that in the story. However, I was eager enough to see what would happen next to not worry about the lack of character conflicts. There was enough nail biting and plenty of surprises to keep me wholly satisfied as I read. The ending was left as though a continuation could come into play. Or possibly it’s left for our imagination to work out. We’ll see what Firesmith has in store for us next.

Overall Rate: 4 out of 5 stars

Donald G. Firesmith

Biography

Donald Firesmith is an ACM Distinguished Engineer who works at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC), where he helps the United States Military and other Governmental Agencies acquire large and complex software-reliant systems. He has 34 years of experience in both commercial and governmental software and systems development in numerous application domains that range from software applications and management information systems to embedded aviation and space systems. His primary areas of expertise include requirements engineering, system and software architecture engineering, object-oriented development, testing, quality engineering, and process improvement including situational method engineering.
Donald Firesmith has published dozens of technical articles, spoken at numerous international conferences, and has been the program chair or on the program committee of multiple conferences and workshops. He has taught several hundred courses in industry and numerous tutorials at conferences. These articles, presentations, and conference papers can be downloaded from his personal website. He is the developer of the OPEN Process Framework (OPF) Repository, the world’s largest free open-source website documenting over 1,100 reusable system/software development method components.To relax, he writes fantasy and science fiction books and crafts magical wands as a hobby.LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=1955172
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Firesmith
OPFRO website: http://www.opfro.org
Personal website: http://donald.firesmith.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/don.firesmith
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DonFiresmith
Feuerschmied’s Wand Shoppe: http://magicalwandshoppe.com

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Hell Holes: What Lurks Below #BookReview

  • Title: Hell Holes: What Lurks BelowHell Holes: What Lurks Below by [Firesmith, Donald]
  • Author: Donald Firesmith
  • Print Length: 191
  • Publication Date: August 5, 2015
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction

From the Author:

It’s August in Alaska, and geology professor Jack Oswald prepares for the new school year. But when hundreds of huge holes mysteriously appear overnight in the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle, Jack receives an unexpected phone call. An oil company exec hires Jack to investigate, and he picks his climatologist wife and two of their graduate students as his team. Uncharacteristically, Jack also lets Aileen O’Shannon, a bewitchingly beautiful young photojournalist, talk him into coming along as their photographer. When they arrive in the remote oil town of Deadhorse, the exec and a biologist to protect them from wild animals join the team. Their task: to assess the risk of more holes opening under the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the wells and pipelines that feed it. But they discover a far worse danger lurks below. When it emerges, it threatens to shatter Jack’s unshakable faith in science. And destroy us all…

My Review:

Hell Holes: What Lurks Below is a quick, enjoyable novella. Donald Firesmith shows his talent in mixing real science with fiction.

We are looking into Dr. Jack Oswald’s point of view for this narrative. Once the premise of the story gets started, it moves at a fast pace and I was able to finish it the same day I started. The book is shorter than you’re lead to believe. After the major cliffhanger at the ending, we’re fed information about the characters, author bio and what volume two is about.

Despite the typos and run-on sentences, I quite enjoyed reading the story. However, if you really cannot stand major cliffhangers, I’d recommend against reading this story, because it is a whopper. Some people enjoy the urge to continue the plot, others don’t. Fear not, though: volume 2 is already out and waiting for you to pick up and continue the story. After all, it was a fun page-turner, leaving you enticed for more.

Overall Rate: 4 out of 5 stars

Donald G. Firesmith

Biography

Donald Firesmith is an ACM Distinguished Engineer who works at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC), where he helps the United States Military and other Governmental Agencies acquire large and complex software-reliant systems. He has 34 years of experience in both commercial and governmental software and systems development in numerous application domains that range from software applications and management information systems to embedded aviation and space systems. His primary areas of expertise include requirements engineering, system and software architecture engineering, object-oriented development, testing, quality engineering, and process improvement including situational method engineering.
Donald Firesmith has published dozens of technical articles, spoken at numerous international conferences, and has been the program chair or on the program committee of multiple conferences and workshops. He has taught several hundred courses in industry and numerous tutorials at conferences. These articles, presentations, and conference papers can be downloaded from his personal website. He is the developer of the OPEN Process Framework (OPF) Repository, the world’s largest free open-source website documenting over 1,100 reusable system/software development method components.To relax, he writes fantasy and science fiction books and crafts magical wands as a hobby.LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=1955172
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Firesmith
OPFRO website: http://www.opfro.org
Personal website: http://donald.firesmith.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/don.firesmith
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DonFiresmith
Feuerschmied’s Wand Shoppe: http://magicalwandshoppe.com

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Soul Blade #BookReview

  • Title: Soul BladeSoul Blade (The Sword of Light Trilogy Book 3) by [Hodges, Aaron]
  • Author: Aaron Hodges
  • Print Length: 300
  • Publication Date: November 28, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy

This is the third and final book in the Sword of Light trilogy, and I loved it. We open with a sword fight, which held my interest greatly with all the visible action within the words. Then once we get back the into the lives of Eric and company, we’re reminded of plenty of back story. Because of this, if you haven’t read Stormwielder or Firestorm, don’t worry, you’ll pick up pretty quickly. However, I highly recommend Soul Blade’s predecessors because then you’ll get the feel of the characters, and the books are also enjoyable.

There is a lot of showing, rather than telling throughout Soul Blade, although I’d become more interested in reading more than to dwell on it. Possibly I was in the mood to escape my own world and dive into a completely different place. I’ve read the Sword of Light trilogy from beginning to end and have to praise Hodges for being able to keep consistent. The wonderful thing about fantasy is that you set your own rules and guidelines. The downfall is when you start to write a series, you’re bound by your own rules. And Hodges did a great job at making his characters grow into their own being and painting the scene around them.

As I concluded the Sword of Light trilogy, I found I was saddened that it must end. However, I believe Aaron Hodges has the potential of continuing this new world he built, adding brand new heroes to fight brand new demons.

This was a wonderful, compelling and hard to put down conclusion of the trilogy. Well done.

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

Biography

Aaron Hodges

Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and see the world. Two years later, his travels have taken him through South East Asia, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Central America, and South America. Today, his adventures continue…

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Interview With K.T. Munson @ktmunson

I had the pleasure of interviewing author K.T. Munson. The first book of hers I read was Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand, which I loved. I also have her latest, Unfathomable Chance, in my hands. Thank you, K.T., for allowing me to interview you!

What do you like to read in your free time?

I actually like to review indie authors and small press houses books in my free time…the little free time I have. I’ve had some real gems come across my kindle and they inspire me to work harder and become a better author. Plus I get to help out fellow indie authors, so that is always a bonus.

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive?

This is a tough question for me because I never really paid attention to anyone and just sort of did my own thing. So instead I’ll take some creative liberties here. The most helpful thing I can think of is when my mother showed me that we have an ancestor who is a published poet. I told my mum I was going to be published one day too. Her encouragement and support has always gotten me through the rough patches. She is my #1 fan and I’ll continue writing and publishing if she is the only one who reads it. The most destructive thing was relying on technology. I lost chapters and chapters of a book in college. It broke my spirit to write for a long time because I felt like I lost a part of me when my USB stick died. Don’t rely on technology; always have backups of all your work!

Aside from writing, what are your hobbies?

I like to paint, make jewelry, and grow plants. I honestly have a ton of hobbies some of which never took, like knitting. I like to keep myself busy year round since I live in Alaska with everything from camping to hunting on top of the inside hobbies. Don’t even get me started on TV, movies, video games, and D&D.

Do you have a ritual you use while writing? (During commercials, certain music, etc)

I have to edit my books from printed copies. Everything else I just go with what I feel like. The moment my book writing becomes structured and rigid the moment it stops being fun.

What is your writing space like?

Anywhere I like. Honestly I take my books with me and work on them when I’m flying for work, sitting at home on my computer, or typing ideas into my phone. My work space is wherever I am but most of it is in my computer room. It is an old pine desk my parents bought when I was 5. The darn thing is falling apart but I just can’t bring myself to replace it. Under it is the group of my works, all broken into little accordion folders that contain editing, beta reader notes, original concept notes, and even sketches.

Do you have any pets? Can you tell us a funny story about them?

I have two cats: Emma and Lizzie. They are both named for Jane Austen characters (Emma Woodhouse and Elizabeth Bennet). Emma is more my cat than Lizzie. As to a funny story I have tons, but my favorite is when I brought Emma home from her first vet visit, and she of course howled the entire way over and misbehaved the entire time (constantly trying to slink away) but honestly she got a thermometer shoved up her butt so I could sympathize with her distress. When I brought her home and parked in the garage I let her out of the cat carrier so that she could wander back into the house. Instead she hides under the car and wails because she doesn’t recognize the garage as home. I can’t get her out of there and after trying to push her out with broom, I abandon her and go and stand in the hallway and wait. Twenty minutes of constant wailing and she finally walked into the hallway. She immediately recognizes it as home and stops. She gives a look that says ‘You’re a jerk and I’m not an idiot’ and proceeds to go upstairs and eat some food. Needless to say I don’t let her out in the garage anymore.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I try to edit or write every day. I constantly have at least 2 books I’m working on at the same time. Usually a main book and what I like to call my relief books, which is usually a romance of some sort.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

Everywhere. Cliché I know but seriously, everywhere. Usually the main concept comes to me in a dream. I’m a lucid dreamer most times and I get some doozies that are like living books or movies in my head which I remember 90% of when I wake up. 1001 Islands was Chapter 1 and Unfathomable Chance was Chapter 4. Sometimes it is a single image I am working towards or a concept. For North & South it was both, the image of a girl alone in the desert wandering towards certain dangers and the idea that every decision we make affects another person, like the butterfly effect.

What do you hate most about the writing process?

*Groan* Editing. I don’t mind rewriting but editing is killer. Thank goodness for editors.

What do you think makes a good story?

Originality with a color of the familiar. I like to bring whole new worlds alive and I think creating a world that people lose themselves in is a good story. Right up there with characters that are relatable or believable.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Gosh everything. Lawyer, doctor, inventor, and an accountant to name a few. Little did I know that I could do all those things…in my books. I have researched the strangest things, let me tell you.

What is your favorite book that you didn’t write?

The entire A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Firestorm #BookReview

  • Title: FirestormFirestorm (The Sword of Light Trilogy Book 2) by [Hodges, Aaron]
  • Author: Aaron Hodges
  • Print Length: 314
  • Publication Date: June 11, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres:
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction

Although I believe this series can be read out of order, I’m glad I read the first before getting to Firestorm. I managed to learn the nature of the characters so I could even appreciate their growths even more. The second book in the Sword of Light series picks up where it left off in Stormweilder while giving us just enough of a glimpse to its predecessor for those that decide not to read in order.

We’re reacquainted with old friends, while some of them, including Eric’s mentor, Alastair, meets a terrible fate. Our protagonist, Eric, has learned a great deal of his magic and task. He’s now more able and willing to fight without hesitation. During the journey of magic in search of Light, Eric and his team is met with darkness as they battle their own demons, as well as each other.

There were quite a few misplaced punctuation, or absent of, which tended to distract me as I read. The dialogue was engaging, for the most part, though at times it slipped and didn’t provide the correct language for the time. The scenes were painted so well, I felt I was a part of the story.

Firestorm starts off slowly, but soon the action very rarely lets you go. For those who enjoy twists and turns, this book will not leave you disappointed. There is a cliffhanger at the end, which will make you want to pick up the third and final book of the Sword of Light trilogy just to figure out what happens next. If you enjoy demons, gods, magic and dragons all rolled in one, then I highly recommend you pick up this series.

Overall Rate: 4 out of 5 stars

Biography

Aaron Hodges

Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and see the world. Two years later, his travels have taken him through South East Asia, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Central America, and South America. Today, his adventures continue…

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Stormwielder #BookReview

  • Title: StormwielderStormwielder (The Sword of Light Trilogy Book 1) by [Hodges, Aaron]
  • Author: Aaron Hodges
  • Print Length: 321
  • PublicatioCopy a Postn Date: December 1, 2015
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction

This is the first book of the Sword of Light Trilogy. Eric is a young man with powers that is capable of wielding mass destruction. He doesn’t know how to control it, so he spends much of his time in exile from anything and anyone that he knows. That is until Alastair, a mysterious old man, who seems to know more about Eric that even Eric does. After Eric unintentionally destroys a town, he and Alastair set out to escape from Eric’s enemies. Through his guilt of destroying people’s lives, Eric has to fight for his own while learning to control his powers. During the times you think it can’t get any worse on their journey, you find that you’re wrong.

I enjoyed reading Stormwielder. When I started, I couldn’t seem to put it down. It was very well written. As soon as the story opens with death and destruction, it rarely lets you go as Eric and Alastair and our other heroes fight to survive their enemies. The characters were all likable and sympathetic…including Gabriel who stops at nothing to get revenge on Eric. The scenes also painted a pretty picture, however, at times it was a little too descriptive.

The main issue was a lot of grammatical, spelling and punctuation problems. It was hard to overlook those, however, after finishing the story I’m eager to find what’s next in store for these characters I’ve learned to love in Firestorm. Beginning the series with Stormwielder is a great way to get to know the characters before continuing their journey on through the next chapter of their stories.

Overall Rate: 4 out of 5 stars

Biography

Aaron Hodges

Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and see the world. Two years later, his travels have taken him through South East Asia, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Central America, and South America. Today, his adventures continue…

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Gypsies, Tramps and Weeia #BookReview @elleboca

  • Title: Gypsies, Tramps and WeeiaGypsies, Tramps and Weeia (The Weeia Marshals Book 1) by [Boca, Elle]
  • Author: Elle Boca
  • File Size: 4094KB
  • Print Length: 262
  • Publisher: Poyeen Publishing
  • Publication Date: February 1, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy

Synopsis:

Sworn to protect the secrets of their race, marshals are trained to police Weeia hiding among humans. After completing her advanced marshal training, Danni is blown away by her new plum assignment to Paris. But, all is not well in the City of Lights; the offices are a shambles, her boss is apathetic, and her predecessors died under mysterious circumstances; it’s almost like somebody doesn’t want the law there. Despite that she risks her life in the seedy underworld of gypsies and tramps to search for a missing Weeia man.

My Review:

Gypsies, Tramps and Weeia started out with the examination of a young Weeia girl, Danni, who needs to pass in order to become the next level marshal. Weeia is creatures who appear like humans at first glance, but should they gather in a crowd, they’d stand out too much from distinctive features. They possess special powers for the purpose of protecting both humans and Weeia.

When the story opens, we find that Danni’s family  makes it hard to build a name for herself. Aside from a couple of faithful friends, Danni is basically paying for the sins of her family. She wants nothing more than to prove that she’s worth a second glance. She finds that chance in her first assignment: Paris.

Having never been to Paris before, I felt as though I was right there. The idea of having the first assignment in Paris can make anyone walk in an excited daze. However, Danni’s excitement is short-lived when she arrives at a dirty apartment, her boss doesn’t care to meet her and she’s stuck trying to orient herself in a new, strange place. But that won’t last for too long–soon, she will be swept up in an adventure of a lifetime.

The plot was well thought-out, characters three-dimensional. I truly enjoyed this fantasy story because it was different than most that I’ve read. There were a few problems in the editing but still didn’t keep me from becoming immersed in this wonderful tale of Gypsies, Tramps and Weeia.

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

Biography

Elle Boca
Elle is the author of the Weeia urban fantasy series about superhumans. The Unelmoija series is set in Miami. In the Garden of Weeia, a novella, is set in Portland, Maine, and her newest Marshals Series is set in Paris, France. Growing up the only child of a monkey mother and a rabbit father she learned to keep herself entertained and spend time reading.

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Unfathomable Chance #BookReview @KTMunson

  • Title:  Unfathomable ChanceUnfathomable Chance by [Munson, K.T.]
  • Author: KT Munson
  • Print Length: 194
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication Date: September 10, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

The first KT Munson story I read was Zendar, A Tale of Blood and Sand, which I loved, so when she gave me the opportunity to read another of her work, I graciously accepted. This time, it was a Young Adult fantasy, Unfathomable Chance. It opens with a young Diana exploring a church in England with her mother and twin brothers. The child somehow gets swept into a world not of her own. When she reenters the real world, Diana is confounded by what happened to her, but as she and her family leaves, she begins to forget.

On Diana’s 23rd birthday, she realizes that a bracelet had clasped to her wrist, and soon she finds out that it contains the heart of the Cosmos. As she meets unusual aliens, befriends a talking cat and searches for a way to get rid of the bracelet, Diana tries to figure out why the Cosmo chose her.

Unfathomable Chance takes off from the moment it opens and holds my attention throughout. After meeting the talking cat, whose name was Kal Zed, I knew that he’d be my favorite character in the story. But that isn’t to say I don’t enjoy the rest I met along the way. Each person and alien in the story held their own.

The dialogue was amusing, the chase was fun, and most of the scenes were painted quite well. My only wish for this story would be more talk about the scenery so I could step further into the story like I did with Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand.

Unfathomable Chance has it all: mystery, romance, comedy. Although I do enjoy Zendar a little more, I enjoyed reading every bit of this story. As always, I look forward to reading more books by KT Munson.

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

Biography

K.T. MunsonK.T. Munson is a freelance author. First published at 5 years old in the young writers conference, she has pursued writing ever since. She maintains a blog creatingworldswithwords.wordpress.com that is about writing and her novels. She was born and raised in the last frontier, the great state of Alaska.

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