Review| A Bird! No, a Plane! It’s a Dragon!

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Synopsis:

A desperate Knight. An imprisoned dragon. What will crossing fates of the two bring about?

I have slain countless monsters as a Shirai Knight. I have gained great wealth and high status over many years. But so what? If I can’t even protect the one thing I truly care about, then it’s all meaningless.
However, I will not give up. That is not an option. Not when I have one last hope of making things right.
Dragon, I don’t know if you’re ready for me, but I’m coming for you.

“Dragon’s Avatar” is the first book of the “Crossing Fates” series, an action-fantasy story set in a medieval world of magic and monsters created by the author Marc Ingram.
The POV style of writing is inspired by Japanese Light Novels and Visual Novels, so it may seem unique, but western audiences should be able to enjoy themselves as well. This book is for anyone who likes well depicted characters and vivid fighting scenes with tension hanging in the air. ”

My Review:

I’m almost not even sure what I’m supposed to be reviewing, but, as always, I’ll give it my best shot.

I don’t know what or where the plot was? The book just seemed to continue on and on without a real “end result”. There was an end result, but you don’t know what the end result is until you almost finish the book. If I’m not making any sense, it’s kind of like this: In dystopian books, the end result is often a successful uprising and the government is taken down. In sci-fi war books, there’s a war and the good guys win. Even in TV shows and comic books, the Joker is wreaking havoc and we already know that Batman is going to take him down and win. We already know the end result of the plot, it’s getting to the end result that makes the plot so interesting.

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Review | Defy the Stars: Lust ≠ Love

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Kindle Price: $0.99

Synopsis:

“I’d always wanted to leave small town Illinois, I just didn’t know I’d leave it for the stars. I needed to get into Columbia College. I’d do anything to get in. With no other choice, I had my dad help me get an internship at Circe Operations Center. Only it’s not an ordinary operations center. Getting attacked on my first day on the job wasn’t exactly stellar, but staring into the eyes of the dark eyed boy who saved me, made me re-think every single thought I’d ever had. But when things like war come up, I don’t know how far I’m willing to defy everything I’ve ever known for a future that is anything but normal.”

My Review:

Do you know why I finished this book? I can tell you, it’s alright. I finished this book for the sole purpose of being able to review it.

If you’re looking for:

  • Action/Adventure
  • Great Romance
  • Realistic Characters
  • Intelligent Adults
  • Interesting Sci-Fi

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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.

The Dream Protocol by Adara Flynn Quick

 

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Goodreads Synopsis:

“WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T GET OLD.

In fiery young Deirdre Callaghan’s home of Skellig City, no one has dreamt their own dream in over a thousand years. Dreams are produced by the Dream Makers and sold by the Ministry, the tyrannical rulers of the city. In Skellig City, years of life are awarded equally and the ruined are cast away beneath the city on their 35th birthday.

Unbeknownst to the Ministry, Deirdre’s handsome friend Flynn Brennan is afflicted with a terrible disease – a disease that accelerates the aging process. Knowing his fate if the Ministry should ever discover his illness, Flynn has lived his whole life hiding from their watchful eyes. When Flynn’s secret is finally discovered, Deirdre is determined to free him from the Ministry’s grasp. But to save him, she will have to reveal herself to a shadowy enemy…one that none of them even knew existed.”

My Review:

Truthfully, I am not impressed. Also truthfully, I am not disappointed. It’s like waiting for a pie to finish baking and it smells really amazing and you take it out of the oven and you cut a slice and the crust is crisp. Then you bite into it, and you think Hm. Smells better than it tastes, but it’s still pretty good.

The concept is truly spectacular, let me be clear. A society where being old is the equivalent of being ruined and therefore, at thirty-five, you are cast away into Tìr na nÓg, what I can only assume is Heaven. Quick had a great synopsis, which is why I read the book in the first place, and I don’t have any “harsh” complaints. The reason for my rating is because I wasn’t as engrossed as I [wish I] could have been.

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Cover Reveal: Dawn of the Vie by Laura Diamond

Dawn of the Vie by Laura Diamond (Immortal Aliens, #1) 
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: October 3rd 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult

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Since their Arrival less than 30 years ago, immortal Vie rule the planet like the super-predators they are. Enslaved humans are their servants…their entertainment…and their food. Anemies—humans with various types of anemia—are simply exterminated. Their nutritionally deficient blood is useless to the Vie.

Or so it’s thought…

_________

Alex, an Elite Vie, is a bit of a Renaissance Alien. Part scientist, part Raid Specialist, part drug addict, he knows Anemie blood is valuable. Rather than blindly carrying out his boss’s kill order, he convinces some colleagues to spare a few Anemies, not only for study, but also to reserve a secret stock.

The more Anemie blood Alex drinks, the more he slips into delusion, and the more his double life threatens to crumble. But quitting Anemie blood is not an option. Every Anemie has their own personal flavor. Each gives a unique high.

When Alex takes a hit of Justin’s blood, his hallucinations bleed into reality…

_________

Anemie Justin knows his little sister, Sammie, and he are living past their expiration dates. It becomes a guarantee when they’re bitten by a Vie named Alex during a raid. (The bite is fatal, thanks to a toxin carried in Vie saliva.) Alex adds insult to injury by promising Justin a second chance—an antidote in exchange for agreeing to be a lab rat.

And a mule…of his own blood.

When Justin says no, Alex takes off with Sammie.

All Justin has to do is find them, beat Alex, and cure himself and Sammie. All he has is a stake and serious lack of self-preservation.

No problem.

_________

Alex wants Justin’s blood.

Justin wants his sister back.

GAME ON.

About the Author

Laura.jpgLaura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist currently specializing in emergency psychiatry. She is also an author of all things young adult—both contemporary and paranormal. An avid fan of sci-fi, fantasy, and anything magical, she thrives on quirk, her lucid dreams, and coffee. When she’s not working or writing, she can be found sniffing books and drinking a latte at the bookstore or at home pondering renovations on her 225 year old fixer upper, all while obeying her feline overlords, of course.

Author Links

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Into the Dark by Brian Spangler

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Kindle Price: $4.99

Official Rating: 3/5

Synopsis:

When Emily heard the first scream, she became concerned.
When she heard a second scream, she grew scared.
When she heard the third scream, she was struck with terror.
But it was what Emily could not hear that frightened her the most.

Emily wakes to find that her world has plummeted into darkness–the clouds have spilled out of the sky and taken the sun.
And there is more to the mist than just the dangers of being blind–the fog is poison, killing everything in its path. Their home is no match for the caustic fog, and her family is suddenly running for their lives.
But when she learns that the machines built to save the world could be the cause of the accident, Emily turns to her father–the original architect–with the hope that they can stop the environmental catastrophe. ”

My Review:

Meh. I don’t know how I feel about Into the Dark. This is book 3 of my #MakeMeRead It Readathon (even though it’s only supposed to be for a week). I made very few notes because it was just that kind of book. I can already feel in my reader bones that this review is going to be short, but let’s get started.

Emily Stark is our main character, our female protagonist. Now, notice that I did not say heroine, because truly, there is no “hero(ine)” in this book. I kind of liked Emily, but I wasn’t rooting for her either. I appreciated that Spangler made sure that survival was the first thing on her mind. When she sees the love interest, she questions if she’s allowed to feel infatuation, if it’s wrong given the circumstances. I liked that, because that’s realistic. I feel as if I don’t really know Emily. Sure, we’re in the middle of an apocalypse, so she wouldn’t be thinking about things that don’t really matter anymore, so it’s understandable. Even still, though she isn’t a cardboard character, I don’t really know her.

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Tainted by Alexandra Moody (Review)

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Kindle Price: Free!

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“The ARC: the world’s last chance for survival, but this underground fallout shelter is the last place you want to be.

At the tender age of two Elle Winters lost everything, when the day of impact transformed Earth’s surface into an icy, desolate wasteland. Fifteen years later, all she has ever known are the cold, artificial confines of underground fallout shelter, the ARC. Under the Council’s rule, ruthless officials roam the hallways and community comes first. Everyone lives in fear of failing their annual testing and those that do are deemed tainted—taken away without any warning or a word of goodbye.

No one has been taken in over six months and the remaining citizens of the ARC have slowly begun to forget the danger. Elle remains wary, but even she is beginning to wonder if it’s finally safe to succumb to her feelings towards her closest friend, Sebastian.

But, no one is ever truly safe in the ARC. Elle is about to experience her own personal apocalypse and with nothing left to lose, she will finally attempt to uncover the truth about the tainted.

Will she find what she’s looking for or are some secrets better left buried deep underground?”

My Review:

Yikes. Tainted took me by surprise. Thank you, Moody, for reminding me that no matter how many books I read, I still don’t know everything.

I’ve been dealing with some pride lately. The other day someone told me, “I’m a quick reader and this book is taking me a long time. I don’t think you can finish it in a day.” Well, my blogger pride was injured and I haughtily thought, Oh yeah? Well I’ve read books in one day and written a review for them! So don’t tell me how long it’ll take me to read a book. Oh my, right? At least my response to her was civil. Meaning I didn’t reply. But why am I telling you that? Because even though I haven’t even reviewed one-hundred reviews yet, and even though I haven’t been blogging for a year and a half yet, sometimes I feel like I already know everything. I judged Tainted and figured I knew everything that Moody had to offer, and thus set my expectations low.

My notes are littered with sarcastic predictions that were, to my surprise, proved to be wrong. Well now.

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Welcome to Sortilege Falls by Libby Heily (ARC Review)

 

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“Sixteen-year-old Grape Merriweather has just moved to Sortilege Falls and already she knows something isn’t right. A small pack of teenage models, too beautiful for words, holds the town in their sway. The models have no plans on making Grape’s life easy. But no matter how cruel they are to Grape and the other “Normals”, no one can stay angry with them for long.

Grape’s life changes for the better, or so she thinks, when Mandy, the only “nice” model, befriends her. But that’s when the trouble truly begins. Mandy’s friendship places Grape smack in the middle of a medical mystery that has the entire town on edge. One by one, the models fall ill from an incurable disease. Grape quickly realizes that the models’ parents are hiding a secret, even as they watch their children die. To save her only friend, Grape will have to find the truth–and that means putting her life in danger.”

My Review:

Well, if I hadn’t had my tear ducts removed and my heart wasn’t completely stone, I’d be balling right now. Welcome to Sortilege Falls captivated my interest and tore my emotions to shreds. Gosh, I can barely even talk about it.

I adore Grape Merriweather. I literally adore her. I love how much she eats and that even when she’s called fat, she continues to eat because that’s what she loves to do. It’s not in an unhealthy way either, she just has a great appetite. It reminded me of myself, truthfully, which I loved and could relate to. Grape is about as unique as her name is and if I ever have kids, I just might name one of my kids after her. She asked questions, stuck up for herself and her friends, and consistently handled herself so well. Grape was funny, serious, kind, inquisitive, intelligent, and an all around amazing character.

The other characters were great too. The Models, Grape’s brother (Brad), Mandy, the family members, and some oddballs that were included. I admit that I got attached to them, which made it even harder to let go of this book.

The plot? Gracious the plot had me spellbound. I definitely have some serious responsibilities that need to be done today (at the time I’m writing this review), but yet, I spent my day reading this book. No regrets, though. It was worth it. Welcome to Sortilege Falls has a bit of a thriller and mystery vibe, which I enjoyed. It was basically the foundation of the whole book, but it still didn’t overpower other things, like relationships and dialogue. I really enjoyed it and I’m trying my best to not give spoilers.

Heily can write well and man, I almost wish she couldn’t. There’s a certain feeling of helplessness I get whenever a book throws my heart around like a rag-doll and yet I can’t stop reading. Hats and beanies off to you, Heily.

There doesn’t seem to be a sequel, but I kind of wish there was. All loose ends were tied up, but Heily made the great decision of leaving there a possibility for another book. I look forward to hearing news about a possible upcoming sequel.

 

Would I Recommend Welcome to Sortilege Falls? I definitely would. Excellent writing, a sound and intriguing plot, well-constructed characters, and a pinch of humor, what’s not to love? It just came out yesterday on the 31st so you don’t have to wait to grab your copy. Plus, there’s currently a giveaway where the prize is a free copy of Welcome to Sortilege Falls! You can enter here.
I received this book for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thunder by Bonnie S. Calhoun (Stone Braide Chronicles)

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Kindle Price: Free!

Official Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis:

In post-apocalyptic America, Selah Chavez is crouched in long grass on a shore littered with the rusted metal remnants of a once-great city. It is the day before her eighteenth Born Remembrance, and she is hunting, though many people refuse to eat animal flesh, tainted by radiation during the Time of Sorrows. What Selah’s really after are Landers, mysterious people from a land across the big water who survive the delirium-inducing passage in small boats that occasionally crash against the shoreline. She knows she should leave the capture to the men, but Landers bring a good price from the Company and are especially prized if they keep the markings they arrive with.

Everything falls to pieces when the Lander Selah catches is stolen by her brothers–and Selah wakes up the next morning to find the Lander’s distinctive mark has suddenly appeared on her own flesh. Once the hunter, Selah is now one of the hunted, and she knows only one person who can help her–Bohdi Locke, the Lander her brothers hope to sell.

With evocative descriptions of a strange new world that combines elements of scientific advances, political intrigue, and wilderness survival, Bonnie S. Calhoun weaves a captivating tale of a world more like our own than we may want to admit.”

My Review:

Thunder was an interesting novel that I was skeptical about. I read the synopsis and thought, Hm, the title and the cover are rather cliche, but it doesn’t look awful. Wait…hunting other people and selling them? Isn’t that…slavery? After I saw that, I was even more interested in reading this book. I know a guy who woke up one day and attempted to write a book about slavery, with little to no legitimate researched knowledge on the topic. The book quickly, painfully, thankfully fell apart. Slavery just isn’t the type of topic you can just hop out of bed and start writing about. So when I noticed (and it was impossible not to) that Calhoun has it as a rather large part of the book, I had to see how she was going to pull it off.

The verdict? It was respectful and I wasn’t left with the feeling that Calhoun wrote Thunder in a lackadaisical manner, but it still was centered on the capturing and selling actual beings. A post-apocalyptic slavery (in America no less) that sprang up due to another type of person that someone put a bounty on is an odd choice, given America’s history.

Onto the actual book: I wasn’t impressed. There was just no…Google, help me out, what word am I looking for? Enthusiasm? Maybe. When I read a book, there’s always some sort of inner voice that I hear reading with me. The one that creates the characters’ voices and really helps my mind use my five senses to really read. My inner voice was reading this story to me in the same way you talk about something you aren’t really interested in. A flat tone of voice, mechanical descriptions, just disinterested. Make no mistake, having the right amount of description in a young adult novel is hard. You either have no descriptive words/phrases or all of your sentences sound like this:
She gently lowered herself to the ground until her delicate fingers grasped the flower. Its pink color looked like the rosy cheeks of a newborn baby, quiet gibberish on their lips. The flower’s gossamer petals tickled the nerve-endings in her fingers as she sighed, thinking about Joseph.

Admittedly, this is a really descriptive piece, but in my opinion–even though I wrote it–it’s trying too hard and I don’t like it. It’s incredibly difficult to find that descriptive balance, but when it comes down to it, you would want your book to be over-descriptive, rather than not descriptive at all. Continue reading

Contained by S.E. Green

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

“After a viral attack from Screechers left the Earth desolate, a safe house rose from the disease ridden ground; a place where people are protected from the virus and the wrath of the creatures that delivered it to their doorstep. Life outside of the man-made walls of Containment became a distant memory.
Eighteen-year-old Reverence Arthur is thirsty to escape the Container she has spent her entire life in and bring justice to the Screechers. When she becomes the first female to join the Watch, the Containment military, enduring cat-calls while she showers is the least of her problems. The Watch has fired shots declaring war, her cold shouldered mother has become particularly arctic, and a rumor about her father, a Watch General killed in action, raises questions about the motives of the officials within Containment.
Then, amid the battle for Earth, Reverence sees a human. A living, breathing human surviving unprotected in a world where the air is toxic, and she uncovers a truth about her home that is vile enough to kick-start a war of its own.”

My Review:

I was completely caught off guard because of Contained. My expectations were admittedly lowered when I saw the usual one-word title (that are on most dystopian books), the words ‘Screechers’ and ‘Watcher,’  and the heroine’s first name, Reverence. I was expecting a generic dystopia, where there’s some type of war against some type of creature that is out to kill humans and the heroine is named differently than everyone and is the only one with questions and eventually starts a rebellion. When I say, I was pleasantly surprised and impressed, I truly mean it.

I did roll my eyes at Reverence’s name, but half-way undid my eye-roll when I saw that there were other out of the ordinary names like “Force,” “Brute,” and “Apollo.” I appreciated Reverence, much more than I thought I would. She wasn’t a perfect heroine with no flaws who immediately steps up to any challenge. Instead, she was an eighteen year old girl who had many questions, a rebellious streak, but a rather good head on her shoulder. She was a leader, an actual one. Her leadership abilities weren’t something she was conveniently blessed with and everyone wanted to follow her like mindless zombies. Reverence earned respect and her role as a leader. She didn’t cry when things got hard, she understood that she had to have a cool and calm exterior, even if she was falling apart inside. I recall her crying maybe four times, twice it was somewhat detailed and once it was merely mentioned. I said four because I like even numbers. Reverence preserved, didn’t allow hormones or ridiculous love triangles get in her way of being the heroine she is, and made great decisions under pressure. She had obvious room for improvement, but it made her realistic.

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