Review | When Robots and Humans Collide

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Kindle Price: Unavailable*

Synopsis:

Fifteen-year-old Akaela doesn’t know what fear is. She was built this way. But in a world where survival is no longer of the fittest, being fearless can become a deadly curse.

Proud and steeped in tradition, Akaela’s people, the Mayake, are dying. While they carry implanted nanobots and sophisticated chips to compensate for their crippled and diseased bodies, these enhancements come at a price. Aging technology and a lack of resources make the Mayakes vulnerable to their enemies and on the brink of extinction. As the elders cling blindly to the past, the only hope Akaela and her 16-year-old brother Athel have to save their own people is to challenge the system or die trying.”

My Review:

You know, this wasn’t so bad. Although, it doesn’t really end.

The synopsis drew me in after a friend suggested the book to me and I liked the cover too. It’s fascinating to think of people who are also partly cyborgs, with upgrades and nanobots for an immune system and so on.

I won’t say I’m disappointed by the book, because that isn’t true. Even so, I’m not quite thrilled.

The characters will realistic based on the world that the book is set in. I think there were at least two plot pushing characters but they didn’t really annoy me. I can’t say I really cared about the characters though. I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t form a solid reader-character relationship.

The plot was pretty good, but the ending frustrated me. It wasn’t then normal young adult ending that you would expect, but instead a “the ending is the beginning” kind of thing. There were some plot twists that I definitely wasn’t expecting, so those were great surprises. Giorgi writing is good and I don’t have any complaints.

Would I Recommend Akaela? I don’t NOT recommend it. I don’t have any real issues with it, I think this just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Official Rating: 3/5

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

*This book is currently unavailable in stores.

Review | In Which You Get a Two For One

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Kindle Price: $3.99

Synopsis:

“In a world not divided by race, but by blood type, Blue Anders finds herself on the wrong end of fortune’s mercy. Born with a lesser blood type, Blue is raised in The Way, a work camp for A-bloods.
The Vemreaux (B-bloods) are the ruling class. Theirs is the only type that responds to the Fountain of Youth, granting them an additional one hundred twenty years, heightened senses and nearly unbreakable bones in exchange for an iron deficiency that makes them crave O-type human blood.
The Vemreaux are at the top of the food chain until a mysterious predator begins stealthily claiming them and sending back their filleted bodies. Thus begins the search for the Light – a woman foretold to be able to free the Vemreaux from this tyranny. Blue sets off with her brother to fight for those that oppressed her, charging ferociously into the battle that could claim her life.”

My Review:

Trashed.

Destroyed.

Ruined.

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Book Blitz + Giveaway: The Surrendered by Case Maynard

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The Surrendered by Case Maynard 
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: September 20th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

surrenderedGoodreads Synopsis:

After a financial collapse devastates the United States, the new government imposes a tax on the nation’s most valuable resource—the children.

Surrendered at age ten—after her parents could no longer afford her exorbitant fees—Vee Delancourt has spent six hard years at the Mills, alongside her twin, Oliver. With just a year to freedom, they do what they can to stay off the Master’s radar. But when Vee discovers unspeakable things happening to the younger girls in service, she has no choice but to take a stand—a decision that lands her on the run and outside the fence for the first time since the System robbed her of her liberty.

Vee knows the Master will stop at nothing to prove he holds ultimate authority over the Surrendered. But when he makes a threat that goes beyond what even she considers possible, she accepts the aid of an unlikely group of allies. Problem is, with opposing factions gunning for the one thing that might save them all, Vee must find a way to turn oppression and desperation into hope and determination—or risk failing all the children and the brother she left behind.

Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Read an Excerpt! 

A sinking feeling washes over me. “We’re going to Meadowood.”

He responds without opening his eyes, “I want answers.”

I start to argue that this will be a fool’s errand, but in truth, I want the same answers he does. “Do you think the man who rescued Oliver was with the Southies?”

“I don’t know who else it could’ve been.” He sits up and stretches. “It must’ve been them, and I want to know why they changed the plan without informing us. The Master and his Regulators got to the rooftop very quickly after I fired that shot. I have to wonder if someone told them we were there.”

“You think the Southies took Oliver to get the combination and then set the Regulators on us? Why would they do that?”

He rubs his face. “It doesn’t make any sense. But something’s not adding up.”

I ponder this, thinking about my brother’s strange plea. “I know you think I’m insane, but I can’t help but feel like Oliver knew someone was going to take him; I swear it felt like he was speaking to me when he said not to interfere. But that doesn’t make any sense, either. He’s been behind the fence for years.”

Cason yawns and tries to shake off the effects of the Papaver. “I don’t think you’re crazy; his message did seem odd for someone who was about to hang for a crime he didn’t commit. I don’t know, but hopefully he’ll be at Meadowood and you can ask him yourself.”

My mood elevates as I realize I may only be hours away from a reunion with my brother. The pain in my arm forgotten, I try to concentrate only on this knowledge, confident we’ll have our answers soon enough. “I didn’t get a chance to thank you for earlier. You could’ve just turned me over to the Master and walked away, but you didn’t. I’m grateful for that.”

I feel a little embarrassed as soon as the words leave my mouth. Normally I’m not one to share my feelings, but the Papaver Flower makes me breathless and lightheaded and loosens my tongue.

He reaches for me, careful not to jostle my splinted wrist, and pulls my face to his. “I’m probably going to ruin that sentiment by telling you the Master would never have let me go anyway, but know this—” he runs the pad of his thumb along my lower lip and meets my eyes “—if everyone else in the entire world leaves you to fend for yourself, if your father, your mother, your brother disappoint you, if God himself decides you aren’t worthy . . . you’ll still be able to count on me. I’ve got your back, Vera.”

—> The Surrendered Giveaway! <—

Author Bio:

Case.jpgWith over 20 years’ experience in the legal and medical fields, Case Maynard decided to trade in her briefs and reports to write the stories that have been floating around in her head since childhood. She lives with her two teenagers and husband in South Georgia, while maintaining a long-distance liaison with her oldest daughter and partner in crime in Alaska. When not writing, she enjoys reading as often as possible, binge watching anything good on Netflix, and all things NCAA football (Go Noles!). You can learn more about Case and her stories on her website.

Author Links:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

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Cover Reveal: Distant Horizon by Stephanie and Isaac Flint

Distant Horizon (Distant Horizon #1) by Stephanie and Isaac Flint
Genre: Dystopia with superhero elements
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: October 27, 2016

distant-horizonGoodreads Synopsis:

The Community is safe.
Unless you have superpowers.

Sixty years ago, a hallucinogenic plague annihilated half the world’s population, leading to the formation of the Community—an international government that promises its citizens safety, security, and efficiency. Every day, Community citizens swallow a mandatory pill to ensure their immunity to the plague. A year after graduating high school, they take the Health Scan.

Most pass, and continue with their lives. Others disappear.

Eighteen-year-old Jenna Nickleson hasn’t taken the pill since her senior year in high school. She feels more alive without it, and she hasn’t shown any signs of infection—at least, not until two days after a surprise Health Scan is announced and Special Forces arrive at her university campus.

Spurred by the recent string of hallucinations, Jenna searches for any inkling of what happens to those who fail the scan. Rumor has it that they’re sent away for treatment and, once cured, receive a menial job. But when she uncovers the cruel truth behind the plague, her ideal world is shattered.

Underneath the illusion of safety, Special Forces agents harbor a dark secret.

The plague is a lie.

Buy Links:

AmazonAmazon UKB&NKobo | SmashwordsiTunes

Read an Excerpt:

There was a fifteen minute break between classes. Since the two buildings were right next to each other, that was plenty of time for me to browse EYEnet. My primary question regarded the old man’s warning that I’d fail the scan. I focused on the blog from my friend in high school—the one whose sister failed.

According to Galina’s posts, she’d been afraid of failure early on, and on the day of the Health Scan, she’d made another post reiterating the same fear. She’d been having hallucinations that liquids would shape themselves from images in her thoughts, and she was sure she had theophrenia.

It’d been almost a year since Galina left, but I wasn’t sure how long the recovery effort lasted. I checked the last active day she was on her account. There was nothing since the day of her scan.

I checked other blogs, searching for any references to fear of failure. One girl thought she could fly. Another guy swore he could read his professor’s mind. All signs of advanced delusions, and in each case, they didn’t return.

Three years passed. Five. Nothing.

A chill ran through me. The old man said to try controlling vines and grass. That was crazy. Impossible. And yet… I’d felt that stem move. I’d seen it move.

My phone chimed a one-minute warning before class. Students stirred and finished their conversations, and I stared at the small screen of my phone. Only one person, out of the entirety of blogs I’d found, had ever come back.

Author Bio:

stephanie-and-isaac-flintStephanie and Isaac Flint met at the University of Central Missouri, where they discovered a common interest in world- building and tabletop role-play games. Distant Horizon is their first joint world, the result of a role-play game Isaac ran in the summer of 2010. After graduating with Bachelors of Science (Photography for Stephanie, Psychology for Isaac), they were married in 2012. Together, they plot stories, torment each other’s characters, and enjoy the occasional cosplay.

Author Links:

WebsiteWebsite (Publisher)Facebook (Publisher)Twitter (Stephanie)Twitter (Publisher) | Goodreads (Author) | Goodreads (Stephanie) | Newsletter

The Labyrinth Wall by Emilyann Girdner

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Kindle Price: $3.99

Official Rating: 1/5

Goodreads Synopsis:

Araina’s isolated teenage life is forever altered when she witnesses a man emerge through a rippling wall into the dark labyrinth she calls home. As a result of the stranger’s arrival, Araina’s Creators have unleashed a series of magical attacks using the labyrinth against its inhabitants. Now Araina must decide if she will trust potentially deceitful allies in order to reach safety on the other side of the labyrinth wall.”

My Review:

I requested this book from Netgalley, say, three or four days ago and I finished reading it on Wednesday. The synopsis made the book sound awesome, the book’s cover made the book seem awesome, even the Goodreads rating made it seem awesome. The Labyrinth Wall was not awesome.

In truth, I was extremely bored. If I had to sum it up in one sentence, I would say: “The Labyrinth Wall is simply a book about traveling.” And I wouldn’t be wrong. The entire book is about Araina and where she’s walking/running/escaping to or from.

Speaking of Araina, she’s not a special character. If you’ve been following my reviews for a while, then you know I am 100% against the whole “I am not special, but wait, I actually am! More special than special has ever seen!!” Ariana is told, once, by some guy who’s been stalking her (he doesn’t call it that, but it was stalking), that she’s special because of some flimsy reason. Ariana, however, wasn’t special at all. Of all the other heroines I’ve read, they were the “special” trope, and then the author gave them something special about them. Your main characters need something that makes them even a tiny bit different from the average Joe (or Mahk in this case). Ariana got nothing. Ariana was an unforgettable character, to the point that I forgot her name and had to look it up. She was, horrifyingly, a plot-pushing character in a book where she was the main character.

The rest of the characters were plot-pushers as well, insignificant in all aspects.

The plot was somewhere outside of the book I actually read. The Labyrinth Wall is literally just a book about traveling and that doesn’t interest me. I wanted adventure, cracking codes, a mystical labyrinth with winding turns and scary dead-ends, and heart-squeezing, lung-pumping, wide-eyed events to take place. Instead, I got 305 page long book about Ariana’s experience with two places she’s never gone before. There were no epic battles, instead there were small fights that I would guess were supposed to be epic, but fell flat. Every “terrifying” event that took place always had a convenient escape route and of course, Ariana would stumble upon some super philosophical realization about herself that was cliche that I didn’t care about. There was no suspense, no drama, no wonder, no awe, I just found it meh. The ending was ridiculous too. The absolute least this book could have given me was an actual ending, instead of a cliff-hanger that wasn’t even doing its job: leave me hanging in such suspense that I want to read the next book.

The writing left me confused and lost and most of the time I didn’t know where Ariana was and I didn’t feel like knowing. There was no overall purpose of Ariana’s goals and we weren’t given a backstory. I was told a vague description of how the Mahk people are made and then I’m hurried along into the next random scene. While I can agree that the Mahk people are suffering, I wasn’t given a reason to care. I didn’t connect with any of the characters because they lacked the humanity I can relate to. Each character was detached and distant, the most genuine relationship I saw was between Ariana and her pet, and even that’s a stretch.
Would I recommend The Labyrinth Wall? Unfortunately, no, I’m afraid I wouldn’t.

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Flotilla by Daniel Haight (ARC Review)

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“Flotilla is a book for young adults and fans of Juvenile Dystopian Fiction about the world that is coming to our oceans. Jim Westfield is a messed-up kid thrown into the anarchic community his father lives on where they raise fish on the ocean when they aren’t breaking the law. This is a world filled with strange and dangerous characters that threaten Jim and his family’s lives when a terrorist attack hits Los Angeles. Now Jim must rise above his past if he wants to survive his future.

This whirlwind experience over two summers paints a vivid picture of risk and hardship. It takes a deeply moving look at the impact of sustainable technology on some hilariously dysfunctional characters.

Readers and reviewers are calling Flotilla ‘highly original, ‘intense and action packed’ and ‘for anyone who loves adventure.'”

 

My Review:

Today, everyone, history has been made. I remember mentioning my short attention span (at least I think I remember) a couple of times, and yes, it’s definitely still a piece of me. It cackles its way around while I’m trying to focus and oh look! If I enter this giveaway, I could win $10. But wait! Look! Here’s three more giveaways to enter, instead of completing your responsibilities! And that cycle has slurped up a good 5 hours (yeah…5 hours) of my day before. (And no, I haven’t won anything yet.) My friends roll their eyes when they send me a video and I groan, How long is it? Do I have to watch all of it? I suppose it’s pretty funny, considering how many hours I spend reading and working on this blog of mine. But, nonetheless, you didn’t click on this book review to hear about my attention span, so here’s why I mentioned it.

Flotilla took me about (and I used that word loosely) 4 hours or more to read. *Gasp* *Scream* *Evident shock!* I know, right? All the times I’ve complained about a book dragging itself across my eyes as I begged for it to speed up, and I spent 4 hours or more reading one book? And get this: The pace is slow.

Okay. Okay. These aren’t bad things, in case it came across that way. It was just a shocking revelation for me that I stuck with Flotilla. So, why did I stick with Flotilla?

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Alice in No-Mans-Land by James Knapp (Review)

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

When her escape pod falls to earth, crashing in Ypsilanti Bloc, privileged seventeen-year-old Alice Walshe is dashed from the wonderland of wealth and prosperity into a ruined, walled city overrun with militias, gangs, and even cannibals. On top of this horror, her younger brother’s escape pod is missing.

Alice isn’t naïve – she’s always known blocs like Ypsilanti exist, left behind after a foodborne illness ravished the country decades earlier and left pockets of severe urban decay in its wake. Men like her father – a major player at Cerulean Holdings – renew the devastated blocs and bring stability back into the areas. But, Ypsilanti is even worse than the tales she’s heard, and rumor has it the bloc is faced with the threat of extermination by Cerulean, not renewal.

Trapped within Ypsilanti’s borders and left for dead, Alice teams up with a pair of teen scavengers who tracked the wreck of her pod. Despite their rough exterior and vulgar speech, they’re her only option for navigating the hostile and violent environment of Ypsilanti, finding her brother, and getting out of No-Man’s-Land alive..”

My Review:

Trigger Warning: Rape Mention

 

Alright, let’s be honest. I was wary. Alice in No-Mans-Lands? I had assumed it would be something like Alice in Wonderland and I was ready to roll my eyes as I read. So, thank you, Knapp, for proving my incredibly wrong.

I’m going to jump straight into it. Knapp played my emotions like a violinist plays a violin. I was sad, annoyed, angry, intrigued, surprised, and the entire book had me reeling with feelings. Hats and beanies off to you, Knapp.

Alice Walshe, oldest child and only daughter of Yuric Walshe, is stuck in no-mans land. And for once, the main female character’s mission isn’t to ‘save her people.” Instead, she is shoved into a world that was never her own, a world that she doesn’t understand and never thought she needed to, and must fend for herself.

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Stone Seeds by Jo Ely (Review)

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Kindle Price: $1.66

Official Rating: 3/5

Synopsis:

“Antek is an Egg Boy from Batch 47, one of the general’s manmade soldiers. He doesn’t know what the general’s lab technicians have repurposed him for but one thing is certain: Batch 47 is an active experiment. Antek can be ‘cancelled’ any time.

Zorry is a Sinta slave in the general’s New Bavarnica, where it’s a crime to remember the dead and all surviving Sinta must bow and serve the OneFolk. She searches the killing forest every night for the predatory plants which can be ‘turned’.

Jengi is the last surviving member of the war-like Digger tribe, and the leader of Bavarnica’s resistance. But grief has changed Jengi. The Last Digger has led a double life for so long he forgets himself entirely some days. What he’s for. Who to trust.

Between the stolen rains and the encroaching desert, the living fence to catch runaways and rebels and the shopkeeper’s sinister control over the edge farms, it seems that the general and the village shopkeeper have the people by the throat. But then nothing is quite as it appears in Bavarnica.”

My Review:

This is a novel with an entirely new theme. It feels dystopian, but I’m not sure if it is. Regardless, Stone Seeds, just like the title, is incredibly original. The character names, the plot, the titles, all of it was interestingly new to me. So why three stars?

I want to discuss Antek. I liked him and his mechanical but human-like thoughts and actions. The way that he thoughtfully gazes upon his surroundings and is always asking a question in his mind, even if he shouldn’t be. The story starts with him, but doesn’t quite end with him. All that happened in between was focused on different characters, including Zorry, who, in my opinion, was extremely boring. The entire time that I was reading about Zorry or Zettie or Jengi, I found myself wishing I was learning more about Antek.

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Slip by David Estes

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

“Someone must die before another can be born…

As sea levels rise and livable landmasses shrink, the Reorganized United States of America has instituted population control measures to ensure there are sufficient resources and food to sustain the growing population. Birth authorization must be paid for and obtained prior to having a child. Someone must die before another can be born, keeping the country in a population neutral position at what experts consider to be the optimal population. The new laws are enforced by a ruthless government organization known as Pop Con, responsible for terminating any children resulting from unauthorized births, and any illegals who manage to survive past their second birthday, at which point they are designated a national security threat and given the name Slip.
But what if one child slipped through the cracks? What if someone knew all the loopholes and how to exploit them? Would it change anything? Would the delicate resource balance be thrown into a tailspin, threatening the lives of everyone?
And how far would the government go to find and terminate the Slip?
In a gripping story of a family torn apart by a single choice, Slip is a reminder of the sanctity of a single life and the value of the lives we so often take for granted.”

Review:

Alright Estes, no need to beg on your knees, I’ll write a review for the first book in the Slip trilogy. (Merely a joke to do with his message to the reader)

Slip took me on a fascinating, but often confusing journey through yet another dystopian world. The United States, now renamed Reorganized United States of America, has a new population control method that, according the statistics, works flawlessly. Unless…until, there is an UnBee, or Unauthorized Being, or, even worse, a full-blown Slip.

The rabbit hole never seems to end in this book. There is so much secrecy, so many lies, so many hidden motives and identities, that sometimes I would just be plain lost. Why is this guy like that? Who has this name? Why do they have the same name? Wait what? But by the end, “all was revealed” and every loose end, every unexplained mystery made painful perfect sense. Like many books that I enjoy, I won’t give away any spoilers and even names would actually give away a large piece of the plot so forgive me for being vague.

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Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams by Rachel Barnard

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Kindle Price: $0.99

Official Rating: 2/5

Synopsis:

“As the U.S. government prepares to take over the world, MC infiltrates one of their elite academies that trains future leaders. MC must rise to the top in the Cube training grounds in order to be placed high up within the government so she can stop them in their takeover.

It is not until her fourth and final year at the academy that her top-student status is threatened by the sudden arrival of Li, the new transfer student. MC is completely focused on her self-created mission until she gets sidetracked by Li, who might be bad news in more ways than which she bargained.”

My Review:

I’m no stranger to imagination. In fact, I partake in imagination through my day every day. And it is infinitely easier to imagine that you’re on a different planet when you’re creating the scenes in your mind, than it is to write a book about those very scenes. Even so, I was still disappointed with Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams.

I couldn’t quite place my finger on what I was feeling until I was on the last four minutes of the book. But it was that I felt like the story wasn’t real.

Now before you raise an eyebrow at me, let me be clear. I know that fiction means none of what I was reading was real. But I expect it to feel real. I expect to be so enthralled in a story that I forget that I will eventually return to reality. And Ataxia just didn’t pull through.

Meet MC. No, that doesn’t stand for Main Character and even if it did, that would be unbearably foolish on Barnard’s part. You never find out what her actual name is and frankly, I didn’t care. She’s supposed to be the main character, but I wasn’t buying it. Nothing about her made me believe that she was a heroine, a brave person, or capable of doing even the simplest of tasks to save a cat from a tree, much less people from a government. Not to mention that she was terrifyingly naive. If someone tells you that you’re somehow involved in a super secret society that you didn’t know about and this society needs to find the government, what would your response be? Certainly not: Okay! That sounds amazing, I’m totally in! And even though I don’t trust you, I will listen to all the information you give me and even follow you blindly to a location I’m unfamiliar with. At least, I hope that that isn’t what your response would be.

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