Book Review: The Wicked King

It’s time! I have finally completed the 2nd book in the Cruel Prince trilogy and I was nervous to review it because I wasn’t sure if it would live up to the hype. But I am happy to say that it did and I really enjoyed The Wicked King by Holly Black.

26032887._SY475_

Synopsis: After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

This series started off so strong and just kept up the pace in this thrilling next installment in the series. I was so excited to get back into this world and explore more of it. I had been missing all of these characters and their mischievous intentions for one another.

Jude is always thinking like 4 steps ahead and planning out everything so that it always goes right and I loved being behind the scenes and seeing how she did this. And to be fair, she really has to stay on her toes in the world of fae because everyone is looking to deceive you for their own personal gain.

There was a certain reveal in this one that broke my heart and I was sad by it but in no way did it hinder my experience of the book. If anything, it added to it. The bonds that were built between characters were definitely tested in ways they couldn’t even prepare for and it was glorious!

We got to see more about a lot of the side characters in this plot which was awesome since they were introduced in the first book but not built upon as much.

I am very excited to see how Holly Black concludes this series. It has been a non-stop thrill ride for me and there had been so much build up for a potentially big finale. I really hope that it keeps me impressed by the end.

Book Rating: 5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I read this book because I wanted to and in no way was compensated for this review.



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

I did the Ride or Die Book Tag and talked about some great books in this one! Check out the video below:

Advertisements

Book Review: The Blood Within The Stone

Chris has been reading more and he even made his own book blog (This & That Reviews)! But today, he did a review for The Blood Within the Stone by T.R. Thompson so check out his review below!

35724871._SY475_

Synopsis: A shadow is spreading across the land. Fear will be your downfall.

When the Prefects of Redmondis discover that their quick minds and quicker fingers hide secret potential, young thieves Wilt and Higgs find themselves unwilling recruits. Wilt’s ability to sink into others’ thoughts, knowing what action they will take before they do, is both a prized and dangerous gift.

The Nine Sisters of Redmondis have sensed a growing threat, and search for the one who can control the power of the blood within the stone. But even their sinister plots are nothing compared to the force that controls them.

As Wilt and Higgs rally their newfound weapons, they discover that the threat to their lives, and their reality, is much greater than they realise.

This was an entertaining non-stop read. From a technical writing perspective, the words and sentences flowed to mirror the storyline. Action scenes had short quick sentences; scenes that built suspense had the longer formative sentences. It was done well enough to bring the reader along with it.

The story itself had a few unexpected turns, which I wasn’t sure would happen because the start will be familiar to readers of fantasy literature. It was the story of a street thief who having latent magical abilities or talents rose up from their humble beginnings to positions of great influence and/or power (a la Robin Hobb, Patrick Rothfuss, Trudi Canavan, Raymond Feist).

But the storyline doesn’t always go where you think. I enjoyed the unexpected turns the book took. The ending itself was different from most works and rather clever. It left me wanting to read the second book in the series. Based on the epilogue I think the second volume will be even better than the first—and the first book is good especially since this is Thompson’s first book. I thought he’d had more publishing experience. Well done.

There were a few minor things that had me pause. Some times things happen that aren’t quite explained properly. I’m not sure what an initiate did to deserve death except perhaps relax.

And in one instance an event happened that didn’t seem to have much bearing on anything. In this case, the heroes had to get past some patrolling dog-former-human creatures. One character suggests we can easily get rid of these vermin. A kinder hearted character says there is a simpler way. He draws a symbol in the air, it attracts one dog, they then kill it and proceed on their way. How that helps them get past the rest of the dog-creatures isn’t explained. The only thing it accomplished was the heroes vowed to make the villain pay for his evil work, which is what they were on their way to do when they had to hide from the dog-creature patrols. I didn’t see any point in that part.

Incidentally, the hero is an expert in the use of a sling. It featured in the beginning to help him get noticed for his rise up the ranks, but after that, the skill wasn’t needed. It would be too much of a trope to have him rescue himself and his companions near the end with surprise sling skills. Too predictable as you see that trope in movies; e.g., if the first ten minutes of a film shows a character throwing knives at fencepost targets you know in the last ten minutes of the film there will be a surprised bad guy looking at a surprise knife in his chest. Still, it appears the character doesn’t even practice anymore, which in real life at least is unusual as you want to maintain your skill level after working so hard to attain it.

That last part isn’t a criticism though, just an observation. The book was a good read, it had unexpected twists in the plot, and leaves you wanting more. It was an enjoyable way to pass a Monday evening.

Book Rating: 4/5 

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in an ebook format by the author to read and give an honest review.


Check out Sean Carlson’s brand new novel called Road To Emmaus: The New Deal which is available now on Amazon! Here is a synopsis of the book: In the midst of the Great Depression, newly elected US President, Franklin D. Roosevelt offers a new deal for the American people. An advisory team, coined the ‘brains trust’ build the foundation of his government’s policies which will impact American families for generations to come. But can human intervention and a new alignment of ‘truths’ resurrect a shared hope powerful enough to save a nation from itself?The dusty road of human history cuts through the heart of every soul. Our search for truth is not easy travel as the deadly allures of myth and deceit call us by name, presiding behind altars of ruin. The illusion is set. And lost in the forgotten timelines of a world under seige, an ancient promise remains.All of recorded history is an understanding of the pieces of ourselves that have come before and the road that remains. This journey is both and ’embarking on’ and a ‘leaving of.’The history of yourself precedes you – going back to the beginning. No piece of history in the cosmos or on earth is exclusive of you. From an exiled apostle imprisoned in the heart of the Roman Empire to Cambodia’s killing fields and South America’s secret horrors. You wear the scars. From a litany of underground movements and failed revolutions, to the fabled utopian kingdom of Camelot, the claim for truth has worn many faces.The long cold war between the icy dominion of Kalashnikov and a succession of presiders struggling to raise the chalice to the parched lips of the world continues. The battle remains yours to fight.You were a part of the old deal and are an even bigger part of the new deal. The dead hand of the past is no longer the end of us. Our history is not confined to the past nor is it bound to the laws of earthly dimension. It is as timeless and free as you. The road awaits…

roadtoemmaus-SC-3D

You can buy the book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0995270295/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdo_t1_ixPHEb9GMG63M



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

I’m a little late getting to my April Wrap Up but here it is! The Magical Readathon was a lot of fun and these are all the books I read for it. Let me know if you have read any of them and what you thought! Check out the video below:

Book Review: Sister of Saidnaya

I read this book back in March but hey, I am being a classic book blogger and getting to the actual book review over a month late. This is the life of a book nerd. Finishing one book and then being immediately distracted by a new one. Anyways, this one was called Sister of Saidnaya by Rose Ann Kalister.

wp-15892510403954142715920429619771.jpg

Synopsis: In 1922, a young Nadra traveled by boat from the small Christian village of Saidnaya, Syria, to the ports of Boston, and on to Hedley, West Virginia. With little education, Nadra navigates an industrialized nation as a young, immigrant woman. She must delicately balance the expectations of her heritage with the temptation of independence in the new world.

I wanted to like this book a lot but it just didn’t do it for me. I was going into it hopeful because I tend to not like historical fiction as much and I was hoping that this story about a Syrian refugee family coming to America could change my mind. But in the end, I just ended up bored for most of this book.

The main character was moody and stubborn at times which was the only part of the book that entertained me. Other than that, I was just trying to get through it but having a hard time. I had to push myself through to finish it.

I like reading books with diverse points of view because it helps me understand other cultures and I do think that this book had a lot of structural, informative information on the Syrian culture which was refreshing. The storyline is what lost me because I felt like it was going at the pace of a snail. I need a faster-paced book to keep me engaged.

Overall, I would recommend this to someone that wants a more relaxing read that will teach them about the Syrian culture and show the adversity and struggle of being a refugee in another country.

Book Rating: 2/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author in a physical paperback format to read and give an honest review.


Check out Sean Carlson’s brand new novel called Road To Emmaus: The New Deal which is available now on Amazon! Here is a synopsis of the book: In the midst of the Great Depression, newly elected US President, Franklin D. Roosevelt offers a new deal for the American people. An advisory team, coined the ‘brains trust’ build the foundation of his government’s policies which will impact American families for generations to come. But can human intervention and a new alignment of ‘truths’ resurrect a shared hope powerful enough to save a nation from itself?The dusty road of human history cuts through the heart of every soul. Our search for truth is not easy travel as the deadly allures of myth and deceit call us by name, presiding behind altars of ruin. The illusion is set. And lost in the forgotten timelines of a world under seige, an ancient promise remains.All of recorded history is an understanding of the pieces of ourselves that have come before and the road that remains. This journey is both and ’embarking on’ and a ‘leaving of.’The history of yourself precedes you – going back to the beginning. No piece of history in the cosmos or on earth is exclusive of you. From an exiled apostle imprisoned in the heart of the Roman Empire to Cambodia’s killing fields and South America’s secret horrors. You wear the scars. From a litany of underground movements and failed revolutions, to the fabled utopian kingdom of Camelot, the claim for truth has worn many faces.The long cold war between the icy dominion of Kalashnikov and a succession of presiders struggling to raise the chalice to the parched lips of the world continues. The battle remains yours to fight.You were a part of the old deal and are an even bigger part of the new deal. The dead hand of the past is no longer the end of us. Our history is not confined to the past nor is it bound to the laws of earthly dimension. It is as timeless and free as you. The road awaits…

roadtoemmaus-SC-3D

You can buy the book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0995270295/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdo_t1_ixPHEb9GMG63M



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

I’m a little late getting to my April Wrap Up but here it is! The Magical Readathon was a lot of fun and these are all the books I read for it. Let me know if you have read any of them and what you thought! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Double Barrel Horror

Welcome to the blog tour for Double Barrel Horror Volume #3, a collection of thrills and chills by six amazing authors! Hold onto your pants folks!

double barrel

Double Barrel (Volume 3)

Publication Date: March 22nd, 2020

Genre: Anthology/ Horror/ Suspense

Brace yourself for another two-barrel blast of unrelenting horror and suspense. Volume 3 of the ‘Double Barrel Horror’ anthology series delivers two chilling tales from each of six talented authors for a 12-story onslaught that will blow you out of your sneakers. This time around, your fate lies in the hands of Christine Morgan, Mark Matthews, Theresa Braun, Calvin Demmer, Glenn Rolfe, and Robert Essig.

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

Highway Hunger by Calvin Demmer

It couldn’t be alive?

It was.

Dudley Ellington couldn’t see the animal’s face, but based on the tufts of bloody fur, he thought it might be a rat or a squirrel. He stepped closer, and the creature’s legs shook as if it were attempting to kick-start its body back to life.

Its movements ceased.

Dudley looked around, and all he saw was the long, empty stretch of highway. Why was there never a good stick lying around when you needed one? He tapped his boot on the animal, hoping for a response. He got nothing. Were his eyes playing tricks? He thought its legs moved a moment ago.

He tapped the animal again.

This time, one of its arms stretched out and then down, as if it were trying to push the button to answer a question on a game show. Dudley stepped back—not out of fear, as he assured himself, but to get a better view.

The paw jiggled.

“Yo, Felipe. Come check this out.” Dudley ran his hand over his slicked-back hair. He looked to the white pickup when he got no reply from his coworker.

Felipe sat in the front seat with his orange helmet covering his eyes.

“Felipe, wake up.”

Felipe groaned, slowly pushing open the driver-side door. “What’s it now, Dud? I told you we can always take an extra thirty minutes for lunch. I was just about to get some rest. No one will give a shit.”

“There’s something on the road. I was gonna scoop it up, but it must be alive.”

Felipe’s eyes widened. He climbed out of the vehicle and marched to Dudley.

“Get back,” he said as he passed Dudley.

Dudley did as instructed, oddly reassured by the sudden authority in his coworker’s voice. Felipe would surely help the critter, maybe take it somewhere for injured animals. He was still new to the job and wasn’t sure of the correct protocol.

Felipe hovered over the creature. “It’s a squirrel. At least, it was. Half its body has been smashed.”

“Damn.”

“Yeah, it’s a bummer for sure. But there’s nothing we can do. Best leave it be and let it die in peace.”

“Leave it be? It’s in pain.”

“That’s right. We leave it. It’s not dead, and we only collect the dead.”

Dudley stepped forward. “What about the injured animals? Where do you take them?”

“Injured animals.” Felipe scoffed, staring at the road. “Dud. Now isn’t the time for this. Let it go.”

The squirrel twitched, and Dudley imagined it hearing them talk about how they would simply desert it. That was nonsense, of course, as squirrels couldn’t understand humans, but still, he couldn’t allow it to suffer. He would have to put it out of its misery.

Dudley raised his boot, telling himself this was the most merciful thing he could do.

“No!” Felipe shouted, tackling him to the ground.

“What the fuck, man?” Dudley pushed Felipe off before getting to his feet and dusting his pants, not sure how much good it would do as they already had a stain or two from the takeaway burger he’d devoured for lunch. “Why would—”

“Dud. You need to listen to me.” Felipe glanced around. “We need to get going. I can explain everything once we’re on the move.”

Amazon

DoubleBarrel

Blog Tour Schedule

May 11th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Kim Knight (Spotlight) http://kimknightauthor.wordpress.com

Literary Dust (Review) https://literarydust.wordpress.com/

May 12th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

The Scary Reviews (Review) https://thescaryreviews.com

Cats Luv Coffee (Spotlight) https://catsluvcoffeez.blogspot.com

May 13th

Entertainingly Nerdy (Spotlight) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

May 14th

Dark Whimsical Art (Spotlight) https://www.darkwhimsicalart.com/blogs/news

Didi Oviatt (Review) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Books Teacup & Reviews (Spotlight) https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

May 15th

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Review) www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

Authors:

Matthew Weber 

Christine Morgan

Mark Matthews 

Theresa Braun 

Calvin Demmer

Glenn Rolfe

Robert Essig 

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours


Check out Sean Carlson’s brand new novel called Road To Emmaus: The New Deal which is available now on Amazon! Here is a synopsis of the book: In the midst of the Great Depression, newly elected US President, Franklin D. Roosevelt offers a new deal for the American people. An advisory team, coined the ‘brains trust’ build the foundation of his government’s policies which will impact American families for generations to come. But can human intervention and a new alignment of ‘truths’ resurrect a shared hope powerful enough to save a nation from itself?The dusty road of human history cuts through the heart of every soul. Our search for truth is not easy travel as the deadly allures of myth and deceit call us by name, presiding behind altars of ruin. The illusion is set. And lost in the forgotten timelines of a world under seige, an ancient promise remains.All of recorded history is an understanding of the pieces of ourselves that have come before and the road that remains. This journey is both and ’embarking on’ and a ‘leaving of.’The history of yourself precedes you – going back to the beginning. No piece of history in the cosmos or on earth is exclusive of you. From an exiled apostle imprisoned in the heart of the Roman Empire to Cambodia’s killing fields and South America’s secret horrors. You wear the scars. From a litany of underground movements and failed revolutions, to the fabled utopian kingdom of Camelot, the claim for truth has worn many faces.The long cold war between the icy dominion of Kalashnikov and a succession of presiders struggling to raise the chalice to the parched lips of the world continues. The battle remains yours to fight.You were a part of the old deal and are an even bigger part of the new deal. The dead hand of the past is no longer the end of us. Our history is not confined to the past nor is it bound to the laws of earthly dimension. It is as timeless and free as you. The road awaits…

roadtoemmaus-SC-3D

You can buy the book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0995270295/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdo_t1_ixPHEb9GMG63M



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

I’m a little late getting to my April Wrap Up but here it is! The Magical Readathon was a lot of fun and these are all the books I read for it. Let me know if you have read any of them and what you thought! Check out the video below:

Book Review: The Only Child

I have been craving a thriller lately so I ended up picking up The Only Child by Mi-ae Seo and it ended up being a pretty good read.

wp-15891508758022358991553303608139.jpg

Synopsis: Criminal psychologist Seonkyeong receives an unexpected call one day. Yi Byeongdo, a serial killer whose gruesome murders shook the world, wants to be interviewed. Yi Byeongdo, who has refused to speak to anyone until now, asks specifically for her. Seonkyeong agrees out of curiosity.

That same day Hayeong, her husband’s eleven-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, shows up at their door after her grandparents, with whom she lived after her mother passed away, die in a sudden fire. Seonkyeong wants her to feel at home, but is gradually unnerved as the young girl says very little and acts strangely.

At work and at home, Seonkyeong starts to unravel the pasts of the two new arrivals in her life and begins to see startling similarities. Hayeong looks at her the same way Yi Byeongdo does when he recounts the abuse he experienced as a child; Hayeong’s serene expression masks a temper that she can’t control. Plus, the story she tells about her grandparents’ death, and her mother’s before that, deeply troubles Seonkyeong. So much so that Yi Byeongdo picks up on it and starts giving her advice.

This book was what I was looking for in a thriller. It was super creepy (anything to do with creepy kids always gets to me) and I was here for it. I really enjoyed how it was told from multiple perspectives because it gave you insight into both sides of the story and helped with the deductions being made as to what you think the ending will entail.

I will say that I found it to be a little bit predictable but that did not take away from the thrilling factor of it. Even still thinking about it now, I bumped it up to a 4 star rating instead of 3 because it creeps me out knowing how it played out.

There were so many aspects of this book that I found I was cringing at (in a good way) because of how obviously creepy they were and I really liked that. I honestly can’t say much more about the book without giving away anything.

I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to feel thrilled and to be trying to piece together the plot as you go.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me in physical ARC format by Harper Collins to read and give an honest review.


Check out Sean Carlson’s brand new novel called Road To Emmaus: The New Deal which is available now on Amazon! Here is a synopsis of the book: In the midst of the Great Depression, newly elected US President, Franklin D. Roosevelt offers a new deal for the American people. An advisory team, coined the ‘brains trust’ build the foundation of his government’s policies which will impact American families for generations to come. But can human intervention and a new alignment of ‘truths’ resurrect a shared hope powerful enough to save a nation from itself?The dusty road of human history cuts through the heart of every soul. Our search for truth is not easy travel as the deadly allures of myth and deceit call us by name, presiding behind altars of ruin. The illusion is set. And lost in the forgotten timelines of a world under seige, an ancient promise remains.All of recorded history is an understanding of the pieces of ourselves that have come before and the road that remains. This journey is both and ’embarking on’ and a ‘leaving of.’The history of yourself precedes you – going back to the beginning. No piece of history in the cosmos or on earth is exclusive of you. From an exiled apostle imprisoned in the heart of the Roman Empire to Cambodia’s killing fields and South America’s secret horrors. You wear the scars. From a litany of underground movements and failed revolutions, to the fabled utopian kingdom of Camelot, the claim for truth has worn many faces.The long cold war between the icy dominion of Kalashnikov and a succession of presiders struggling to raise the chalice to the parched lips of the world continues. The battle remains yours to fight.You were a part of the old deal and are an even bigger part of the new deal. The dead hand of the past is no longer the end of us. Our history is not confined to the past nor is it bound to the laws of earthly dimension. It is as timeless and free as you. The road awaits…

roadtoemmaus-SC-3D

You can buy the book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0995270295/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdo_t1_ixPHEb9GMG63M



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

I am all settled into the new house and am getting back into the swing of things. Here is my TBR for the Bookemon Readathon! Check out the video below:

Book Review: Confessions Of An Old Man

This book seemed like a very interesting read and Chris gave us his perspective on it. This one was called Confessions of an Old Man: How Millennials are Being Robbed by Munir Moon.

40625211._SY475_

Confessions of an Old Man is about how the next generation is being robbed of their future and what can they do about it. The goal of the book is to get Millennials angry enough to actively engage with the American political system and take control of their destiny instead of their future being decided by rich old white men. It is a statement of collective guilt that places the responsibility on my generation, the baby boomers, for dealing a bad card to their children and grandchildren. My generation controls the Congress, the Supreme Court, and the presidency, so we cannot shirk from the responsibility.

Millennials and the iGeneration combined are called the MI generation in this book. They are defined as those who were born between 1980 and 2018, and they represent about 150 million Americans or 32% of eligible voters.

I enjoyed this book, and found many of his arguments familiar (his reference section shows we have read the same material).

Munir Moon is a boomer who doesn’t use lazy stereotypes about the MI generation. He doesn’t blame them for not buying houses because they’ve spent too much money on things like “avocado toast” (That was an actual argument).

Moon knows his generation drove up the cost of education so that it has outstripped inflation and wages. He knows young professionals today are saddled with student debt decades longer than the boomer generation. He knows house prices have sky-rocketed and many Millennials can’t afford to buy houses because of school debt, stagnating wages, and vanishing permanent jobs in favor of free-lance non-benefit jobs. He knows that the system his generation built is being used to siphon money from lower and middle classes to the very rich because of the magical belief that money from the rich will trickle down to everyone else.

He has some good suggestions for fixing this. For example, if student loans are forgiven it could potentially pump trillions of dollars into the economy as 44 million graduating students would now have more income to use in the economy, to buy houses, to raise families earlier. He says there should be a third party that represents the silent majority aka the Independents. A third party makes good sense and is already working in multiple countries (this means the US probably won’t try it—and I’m only half-joking). And he tells the MI’s to go into politics to change the system.

In his book, he tries not to assign blame to one particular party. He uses generic both-sides-at-fault comments. However, nearly all his specifics of why the system is rigged point at Republicans. He lists their bills, their legislation, their tax cuts that favored the top 1%, and their resistance to enacting legislation that recognizes equality for everyone. Women are about half the population but are only 20% of House/Senate and only 5% of them are Republicans. That 5% is now lower because after the 2018 election the number of women in the Republican party went from 23 (in Moon’s book) to a record low of 13.

His generic both-sides-at-fault often fall into the “false equivalence” category. For example, he equates the Republican tax cut where 82% of the benefits go to the top 1% with Obama’s automaker bailout in 2008. But, the automakers repaid their obligations ahead of schedule, and even the conservative Forbes magazine later praised Obama as his initiative added 640,000 auto industry jobs, resulted in 1.55 million workers paying taxes on good jobs, and fueled economic growth of their communities. By contrast, an investigation into the top Fortune 500 companies showed 80% of the increased revenue from the Trump tax cut going to investors through buybacks and dividends rather than to their employees.

An amusing example is when he says elements in both parties are moving to the extremes in their respective parties. We already know what extreme right looks like, but what does extreme left look like? Turns out “extreme” left is pretty much what all other developed countries have. Since all those countries rank far above the US in every quality of life index perhaps the US should adopt those “extreme” policies? And no, those extreme policies are not “socialism”. Politicians bring up that Cold War boogeyman to fight against progressive policies that provide safety nets. Ironically, even Canadian politicians use the socialism scare tactic unaware that the policies we already have are what the US calls socialism when Bernie Sanders suggests them for the US.

A third example of trying “both-sides” was even more amusing. He calls Hilary Clinton’s election a colossal failure and that she won’t go away. Clinton received 2.9 million more votes than Trump. That’s 48.2% of the vote to Trump’s 46.1%. Not a colossal failure by any definition. Also, the only reason she kept appearing in the news was because Fox and Trump were “but her emails” despite several investigations and exonerations.

I think there are a few flaws in Moon’s section on US healthcare system reform (caveat: I’m Canadian so I’m not fully informed on how the US system actually works—thank God—so I could be wrong about flaws). His suggestion on fixing US healthcare is to take the existing free-market approach and try a different type of free-market approach.

It is the free-market approach that makes the US system a disaster. A different free-market system just means a different type of disaster. It’s rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Why not adopt one of the many successful models other countries use?

I also thought his logic defending his new market system was flawed.

We procrastinate in getting regular health checkups, wait until a medical incident occurs, and then end up in the emergency room

It’s not procrastination if you’re making the difficult decision between medical care and food or rent, something no other developed country worries about.

He continues,

However, Americans are incentivized to procrastinate in maintaining a healthy lifestyle because they know that they can always go to the emergency room and be taken care of.

There are many documented reasons why people don’t maintain a healthy lifestyle. This is not one of them. If they can’t afford a trip to the doctor, they know they can’t afford an exorbitant trip to the emergency room.

Another flaw in his new free-market approach is when he says each person should shop to find the best price for the best procedure. He needed an MRI for his back. He was in too much pain to wait two weeks so he phoned around, found a place in suburb of LA, and got in the next day for $350 instead of $450.

Many people can’t afford even the “cheap” payment of $350. Many do not have cars. Public transport can be an hours long affair with numerous connections so you may need babysitters or take time off work (more expense; also imagine doing public transport while in constant pain).

Many people wouldn’t have an idea of where to start to get a good deal. People have enough difficulty finding decent car insurance rates, and decent healthcare insurance. And, many people may not even have the internet so they’d have to do a trip to a local library or café (again, while in pain or not feeling well) so they can work out all the necessary steps required. Stress and anxiety also make it harder to cope with complex interactions. People who are on the spectrum may also have difficulty doing any of the above.

In short, the people who need healthcare the most (the poor, those with mental health issues, the vulnerable, the neurodiverse) are the ones who will again fall through the free-market system cracks just as they do the old system.

Regardless, Moon’s book is refreshing as it shows even the older generations see things need to change, and that the MI generation is already changing society (Black Lives Matter, Me Too, Climate, Equality, LGBTQ, Women marches). His book could be seen as a depressing litany of things that are wrong in the US system, but instead leaves you feeling optimistic about the future.

Book Rating: 4.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in an ebook format by the author to read and give our honest review.


Check out Sean Carlson’s brand new novel called Road To Emmaus: The New Deal which is available now on Amazon! Here is a synopsis of the book: In the midst of the Great Depression, newly elected US President, Franklin D. Roosevelt offers a new deal for the American people. An advisory team, coined the ‘brains trust’ build the foundation of his government’s policies which will impact American families for generations to come. But can human intervention and a new alignment of ‘truths’ resurrect a shared hope powerful enough to save a nation from itself?The dusty road of human history cuts through the heart of every soul. Our search for truth is not easy travel as the deadly allures of myth and deceit call us by name, presiding behind altars of ruin. The illusion is set. And lost in the forgotten timelines of a world under seige, an ancient promise remains.All of recorded history is an understanding of the pieces of ourselves that have come before and the road that remains. This journey is both and ’embarking on’ and a ‘leaving of.’The history of yourself precedes you – going back to the beginning. No piece of history in the cosmos or on earth is exclusive of you. From an exiled apostle imprisoned in the heart of the Roman Empire to Cambodia’s killing fields and South America’s secret horrors. You wear the scars. From a litany of underground movements and failed revolutions, to the fabled utopian kingdom of Camelot, the claim for truth has worn many faces.The long cold war between the icy dominion of Kalashnikov and a succession of presiders struggling to raise the chalice to the parched lips of the world continues. The battle remains yours to fight.You were a part of the old deal and are an even bigger part of the new deal. The dead hand of the past is no longer the end of us. Our history is not confined to the past nor is it bound to the laws of earthly dimension. It is as timeless and free as you. The road awaits…

roadtoemmaus-SC-3D

You can buy the book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0995270295/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdo_t1_ixPHEb9GMG63M



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

I am all settled in to the new house and am getting back into the swing of things. Here is my TBR for the Bookemon Readathon! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Of Steel & Steam

Of Steel and Steam:
A Limited Edition Steampunk Anthology
Love inventions, gadgets, and all things Victorian? This limited time
anthology is just for you! With more than 900 pages of captivating
fiction, you’ll be powered by steam, clockwork, hydraulics and
gyroscopic action. With no more fear of harming the environment, our
heroes can battle their villains in a world of fantastic flights of
science and fantasy.
With stories from:
Margo Bond Collins
J. A. Cummings
R.M. Garino
C.A. King
Majanka Verstraete
Klarissa King
M. R. Graham
Bokerah Brumley
Mary Kit Caelsto
and Pauline Creeden
Are you ready to get lost in an alternate reality before your chance is
gone forever? Then order this limited-edition collection of exclusive
material from USA Today and award-winning authors TODAY!
**Pre-order for only .99 cents!!**
**scroll through the slideshow to find out more about the authors!!**
 
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!
$25 Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Check out Sean Carlson’s brand new novel called Road To Emmaus: The New Deal which is available now on Amazon!

Here is a synopsis of the book: In the midst of the Great Depression, newly elected US President, Franklin D. Roosevelt offers a new deal for the American people. An advisory team, coined the ‘brains trust’ build the foundation of his government’s policies which will impact American families for generations to come. But can human intervention and a new alignment of ‘truths’ resurrect a shared hope powerful enough to save a nation from itself?The dusty road of human history cuts through the heart of every soul. Our search for truth is not easy travel as the deadly allures of myth and deceit call us by name, presiding behind altars of ruin. The illusion is set. And lost in the forgotten timelines of a world under seige, an ancient promise remains.All of recorded history is an understanding of the pieces of ourselves that have come before and the road that remains. This journey is both and ’embarking on’ and a ‘leaving of.’The history of yourself precedes you – going back to the beginning. No piece of history in the cosmos or on earth is exclusive of you. From an exiled apostle imprisoned in the heart of the Roman Empire to Cambodia’s killing fields and South America’s secret horrors. You wear the scars. From a litany of underground movements and failed revolutions, to the fabled utopian kingdom of Camelot, the claim for truth has worn many faces.The long cold war between the icy dominion of Kalashnikov and a succession of presiders struggling to raise the chalice to the parched lips of the world continues. The battle remains yours to fight.You were a part of the old deal and are an even bigger part of the new deal. The dead hand of the past is no longer the end of us. Our history is not confined to the past nor is it bound to the laws of earthly dimension. It is as timeless and free as you. The road awaits…

roadtoemmaus-SC-3D

You can buy the book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0995270295/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdo_t1_ixPHEb9GMG63M



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Anyone miss concerts? I know it has been a while since I have been to one and miss the sound of live music. Here is a video of me using concert prompts to talk about some books! Check out the video below:

Book Review: When Life is Full of It

I may have been moving to a new house but our guy Chris has been keeping the reviews coming while I am away from the office. This time, he reviewed When Life Is Full Of It: Antidote for your Mind by Stan Belyshev.

40124472._SY475_

Warning, this book is not intended to tickle your selfish ego with more motivational encouragements, give you an essential oil massage or to give you simple principles on changing your attitude so you can claim your participation trophy at the end. Heck no! My goal is to slap you with a reality check of common sense by throwing you into the boot camp called LIFE! And with that said, life can be defined in a short sentence: It’s not what happens; it’s what you do with it.”

This is a motivational book that uses aphorisms along with inspirational profiles from people who changed the world. For me, the biggest inspiration is that Stan Belyshev, tired of his life’s direction, sat in a hotel room to write this book. As far as I can tell he had no background in any motivational-related studies when he started writing. He’s gone on to be an entrepreneur and motivational speaker.

In the book, there are biographies of people who changed the world, or who demonstrated the power of courage and forgiveness. Among them are the financially successful. Biographies of those people aren’t really inspirational. Many of them amassed their wealth by exploiting workers, and the ones left alive continue to fight against giving workers a living wage or benefits.

Another reason why biographies, in general, aren’t always inspirational is because motivational biographies rely on a cognitive bias called survivorship bias. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivorship_bias

E.g., During WWII planes were returning from missions with bullet holes in the wings, tail, and belly. The air force decided to armour those parts. A mathematician stopped them. He said the planes survived despite bullet holes so those parts of the plane weren’t as crucial. He said they needed to discover what happened to the planes that didn’t return. Those planes had holes in the cockpit and engine areas. These areas were more crucial to survival so those areas needed reinforcement. This saved lives and more planes returned. If they had just relied on the information from the survivors all their reinforcements on the belly and tail wouldn’t reduce causalities.

Motivational books that derive advice from the successes are putting “armour on belly and tail”. Successful people say they are successful because of their habits, attitudes, and strategies. However, for every successful or inspirational person who did these things, there are another 1000 people who did exactly the same things yet failed.

We’d learn more about success by examining why people failed despite doing everything the successful did. Incidentally, the biggest predictor of financial success is being born into a rich family with highly placed connections. You can ignore all the inspirational strategies and still be financially successful.

Mixed in with biographies are aphorisms in bullet form, most of which will be familiar. Aphorisms without context, though, are as enlightening as a fortune cookie.

An improvement would be to have chapters devoted to one aphorism, and then demonstrate how to evaluate it for practicality in your circumstances. For example, “Never give up no matter how many times you are rejected”. Detail the types of rejection (you, your work, your ideas, your strategies). Add information from counselling and psychology that review the nuances of not giving up vs altering strategies vs yes, you really need to give up. Look into how cognitive biases and logical fallacies keep us “putting good money after bad” (to use an aphorism). Explain when to persist, when to stop, when to move diagonal, when to jag. (Cop Land: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nifWUdAZRcY)

For example, I didn’t achieve my dream of being a marine biologist. So, I “gave up” and became a terrestrial biologist. That led me to teach invertebrate zoology, which includes a great deal of marine biology. It led to work in the Arctic, in the mountains, on the tundra, in deserts, AND in marine environments. I obtained a broader range of experiences and still ended up doing marine work as a terrestrial biologist. I gave up (or “went diagonal”), but found more than expected on the new path. In the words of cowboy philosopher Kenny Rogers, “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em; know when to fold ‘em…”

Cognitive psychology and counselling fields explore the ways we make bad decisions; they suggest strategies to minimize errors in our thinking, and how to avoid cognitive pitfalls. Experts like Richard Wiseman and his Quirkology bring this information to the viewers in entertaining ways. Cognitive psychologists like Stephen Lewandowsky work with scientists to aid them in communicating their findings with the general public so there’s less misunderstanding on important science issues. Incorporate the work of these and many other experts.

In a small sideline, Belyshev falls into the confirmation bias trap. Confirmation bias occurs when you notice things that support what you already believe, and disregard the things that contradict what you already believe.

He writes he’s worried for the future, Because we are witnessing a fragile generation which cannot handle a little heat, called reality. That’s why so many people call them “snowflakes.”

So “many” (citation needed) people call them snowflakes because that’s a lazy stereotype that relies on confirmation bias. You can point to every single generation in existence and find some examples who are “snowflakes”. Anti-war protestors in the 60s and 70s had their hardiness questioned too.

The two generations born since the 1980s (Millennials and Generation Z) are fighting to fix a broken political system and an ailing earth that they’ve inherited. They are driven to change things for themselves and their children.

I’m not from those generations. However, I know how resilient, informed, and hard-working they are because they’ve been my classmates when I’ve returned to school. They’ve been my students when I was a professor (five different universities and colleges). They’ve been my coworkers at consulting firms. They understand issues on both global and local scales; they coordinate with people in countries around the world to enact change. They’re more politically involved than any other generation including the 70s generation, and many countries have elected their “youngest ever” politicians. Look at the social change they’re forcing with Climate Marches, Equality Marches, Black Lives Matter, and Me Too protests. Now that’s inspirational.

A 52-year old Navy Seal who went to Yale thinking his classmates would be sheltered snowflakes came to respect them as well. https://gen.medium.com/my-semester-with-the-snowflakes-888285f0e662

He’s also optimistic about the younger generation.

Let me assure you, I have not met one kid who fits that description [snowflake]. None of the kids I’ve met seems to think that they are “special” any more than any other 18–22-year-old. …

If this place is peopled by “snowflakes” I’m proudly one of them. I’m a snowflake with a purple heart.

While Belyshev’s motivation to write his book is inspirational, the book itself lacks the depth, research, and context that would make it a thought-provoking read. Perhaps a younger reader may see it differently.

Book Rating: 2/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format by the author to read and give our honest review.


Check out Lisa King’s brand new novel called The Vanishing Hour which is available now on Amazon! She is a Canadian author from London, Ontario and I am super excited to share the love on her new book! If you like post-apocalyptic books, then this one is for you!

IMG_0595

You can buy her book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B081ZHCPGF/



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Anyone miss concerts? I know it has been awhile since I have been to one and miss the sound of live music. Here is a video of me using concert prompts to talk about some books! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Harrow Lake

There is a new book on the block that everyone and their grandmother is talking about and you should check it out. It’s called Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis.

51058400._SY475_

Synopsis: Welcome to Harrow Lake. Someone’s expecting you . . .

Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker – she thinks nothing can scare her.

But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot.

The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map – and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.

And there’s someone – or something – stalking her every move.

The more Lola discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her.

I am taking part in a book tour as part of a promotion for this upcoming novel which will be published on July 9th! Keep an eye out for it because, by the sounds of it, it’s going to be fantastic.

About the Author

7169579

Kat Ellis is the author of YA novels PURGE, BLACKFIN SKY, and BREAKER, and the novella THE TWINS OF BLACKFIN in the THREE STRIKES collection. Her next book, HARROW LAKE, will be published in the summer of 2020.

You’ll usually find Kat up to no good on Twitter, trekking through ruins and cemeteries with her camera, or watching scary films with her husband.

Check out her website at http://katelliswrites.com!


Check out Lisa King’s brand new novel called The Vanishing Hour which is available now on Amazon! She is a Canadian author from London, Ontario and I am super excited to share the love on her new book! If you like post-apocalyptic books, then this one is for you!

IMG_0595

You can buy her book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B081ZHCPGF/



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

 

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Anyone miss concerts? I know it has been a while since I have been to one and miss the sound of live music. Here is a video of me using concert prompts to talk about some books! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Blood of the Assassin

Welcome to blog tour for Blood of the Assassin by Bill Brewer! We’ve got an excerpt to read and a fantastic giveaway — A $25 Amazon Gift Card (Open Internationally), so be sure too read on!

5182L4lLtkLBlood of the Assassin (David Diegert #2)

*Can be read as a standalone

Publication Date: March 10, 2020

Genre: Thriller/ Action-Adventure

David Diegert is ensnared into serving Crepusculous, a secret society that controls the economy. In spite of his reluctance, Diegert is coerced into completing deadly missions in which the stakes keep getting higher.
Set up to take the fall for killing a target of immense importance, his fragile world falls apart. Betrayed by Crepusculous, he becomes a fugitive sought after from all sides.
With fast-paced writing and intense action, this installment of the David Diegert series is ready to blow you away.

Available on Amazon!

Excerpt

“The target’s name is Hans Klemmler. He’s an executive at Zeidler-Roche, a company that contracts with the US Department of Defense to handle communications. He’s selling encryption codes on the black market. Posing as the front person for a Pakistani customer, I’ll be meeting him to pay him in cash. I’ll be dressed in traditional Pakistani attire, covered head to toe in order to facilitate infiltration. The hit will take place in the meeting room, and then I must be extracted.”

“We’ll dupe them. We’ll leave that counterstrike team with no idea how they lost us.”

Handing Diegert a sheet of photos, Fatima continued, “Blevinsky’s mole in the CIA provided us with these photos of operatives who are tasked with being active in Frankfurt tomorrow.”

Reviewing the photos, Diegert noted two women and three men. The women both looked to be in their twenties, one blonde, the other brunette. The guys were a wider range of ages. The oldest looked to be in his fifties, with gray hair and a beard. The other two were in their twenties or thirties. One had dark-black hair and dark features. The last guy had a thick, athletic neck, shoulder-length blond hair, and a very piercing gaze for an ID headshot.

Diegert folded the photos, tucking them away. He felt even more confident now that he could identify the CIA by sight.

About the Author

image-asset

Bill Brewer is a member of the Faculty of the College of Health Sciences and Technology at RIT where he serves as the Director of Exercise Science within the Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition. His areas of instruction include Anatomy & Physiology as well as numerous courses in Exercise Science.

Bill is a family man, happily married and the proud father of a son and two daughters. He lives in the South Wedge of Rochester NY. and loves to find outdoor adventure in the Adirondacks and in the Frontenac region of Ontario, Canada.

Bill Brewer Books

Giveaway: For a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card, click the link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blood of Assassin copy

Blog Tour Schedule

April 27th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

I Love Books and Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

April 28th

On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

April 29th

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

Entertainingly Nerdy (Spotlight) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

April 30th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

The Scary Reviews (Spotlight) https://thescaryreviews.com

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

May 1st

Cocktails and Fairy Tales (Spotlight) https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours


Check out Lisa King’s brand new novel called The Vanishing Hour which is available now on Amazon! She is a Canadian author from London, Ontario and I am super excited to share the love on her new book! If you like post-apocalyptic books, then this one is for you!

IMG_0595

You can buy her book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B081ZHCPGF/



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Anyone miss concerts? I know it has been awhile since I have been to one and miss the sound of live music. Here is a video of me using concert prompts to talk about some books! Check out the video below: