Book Review: Illuminae

I read Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman and let me tell you that this is a series you should not miss!

Synopsis: This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.


Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

OMG guys! You have no idea how much I loved this book. I am so grateful to Markus and the booktube community for bringing my attention to this series because it is so good!

I was a little nervous going into it because it would be the first book that I would read that was told in mixed media format but I was absolutely living for it! It was so much fun to keep switching between different perspectives of this story being told and you as the reader having to piece everything together.

My adrenaline was pumping as this book is very fast paced and jumps right into the action. And don’t think that you will know what is happening because I thought I had a grasp on what was going down and then BOOM the whole script got flipped and my mind was blown. This was a good thing though because I didn’t see that plot twist coming at all. I like unpredictability in books.

It is a young adult science fiction so it doesn’t get too dense with descriptions or anything like that. It has a very natural flow and was just so fun to go through. I think I read it in about 2 days because I could not put this book down! I can’t wait to pick up the next one because I heard it was even better.

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 was not compensated in any way for this review.



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I once again make an attempt at doing a weekly reading vlog! I clearly need more practice with these but hopefully, you enjoy this video of me being chaotic. Let me know how you do you reading vlogs in the comments down below! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Minute Zero

Happy publication day, and congratulations to author Chris Jayne on the release of Minute Zero (Stronghold #1)

Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card!

Minute Zero_big

Minute Zero (Stronghold #1)

Publication Date: September 11th, 2020 (Today 🎉)

Publisher: Inferis Press

When the world ends in a heartbeat, suddenly old secrets don’t matter anymore.  But new ones still do, and protecting the ones you love is the only thing that still remains.

Two sisters, one a trendy caterer on the run from a vicious killer, the other a country midwife.

Because of a simple mistake, Lori Dovner must flee from the vicious mafioso Raoul Saldata, and her life goes from routine day to terrifying journey in a single moment. On the road with her two children, her only goal is to get to her sister’s Montana farm alive.  But both Lori and Louise have been hiding a devastating secret for years.

Two brothers, one a Navy Seal on leave, the other a good man who wants to do right by his family.

Captain Deacon Hale is taking two weeks to help his brother Roger and his wife Louise on their remote Montana farm.  He loved Lori once, but has finally put her behind him.  Roger Hale just wants to give his pregnant wife and two young children a good life.  He has no idea about the betrayals that have been hidden from him.

Dangerous identity.

Angela Jones is an FBI agent with a terrible debt that she knows she will someday have to pay.  And when Raoul Saldata calls in that marker she has no choice but to comply.

Evil incarnate.

Raoul Saldata as a child in Albania, would pretend he was a dhampir, the offspring resulting from the mating between a human female and a vampire.  A myth of course, but the evil Saldata practices is anything but.  And when he finds Lori Dovner, he intends to do a lot more than just kill her.

“Minute Zero” Stronghold: Book One is an apocalyptic EMP thriller (with a touch of romance) about an ordinary family struggling to stay safe and find each other in the face of insurmountable odds, an abysmal loss of life and the dawn of a new, post-apocalyptic dark age.

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Excerpt

“Roger, I’m in trouble.”

His voice came back, quick and sure. “What’s going on? Where are you?”

“I’m at a rest area about an hour outside of Billings.”

“West or east?”

“West. We’re maybe twenty miles from where we go off the highway and come north to Lewiston. I can’t remember the road number.”

“191,” he supplied. She heard Roger speaking to someone else in the room, his voice distant, as if he was holding the phone away from his mouth. “Top drawer of the desk. Yeah, there. There’s a road atlas in there.” His voice came back into the phone. “I’m think I know where you are, but I’m getting a map. What’s going on?”

“The man who is after me is here. His name is Raoul Saldata and…”

“There? Now? With you?” Roger’s voice, while remaining calm, still carried a note of real urgency.

“No. I saw him just by chance. He didn’t see me. He got into a car and left.”

“You’re sure he didn’t see you?”

“Yes. If he’d seen me, there’s no way he would have driven off.” She quickly shared with her brother-in-law her guess that if it were not for Grace’s illness, they would already be at their destination and because of that, Saldata was no longer looking for them on the road. “Roger,” Lori voice cracked, “he wants to kill me. And he’s not alone. He’s got two people with him, a man and a woman.”

Lori heard what sounded like a door slam and then another voice muffled in the background, the words unintelligible, but it was definitely a male voice, and not her sister.

“How long ago was this?”

“Just a couple of minutes. I saw him, watched him leave, walked back to my car, and then called you.” She did the quick math. “No more than five minutes.”

“So, two hours from here,” Roger stated flatly. Lori got the feeling he was talking to someone else as well as to her. “Is he armed?”

Lori swallowed, her throat dry as dust, thinking about what she’d seem at Saldata’s house. “I’m sure he is. But,” Lori had a sudden thought, “can you bring guns on the plane?”

“He flew?”

“He was in a rental car. I assume he flew. That means he would have had to bring the guns on the plane, right? Can you do that?”

“You have to declare them if you fly commercial. But, if this guy has enough money or influence, he may have come on a private jet. Then he could bring anything he wanted.” Roger paused. “Tell me about who he’s with.”

“I don’t know who they are. I don’t know this man, really, at all. I just did a party for him. But, the first one is some sort of helper. A bodyguard maybe. I saw him at Saldata’s house. The other one is a woman. Young, maybe thirty. Very professional.” Lori envisioned what she’d seen in the restroom and suddenly Lori realized exactly what she looked like. “Like a lawyer or a detective maybe. She saw me in the bathroom.”

“She saw you?” Roger couldn’t hide the shock from his voice.

“Yes,” Lori explained, “but she didn’t recognize me. I cut my hair really short and dyed it black. I look very different. And the kids weren’t with me, thank God.”

There was a long pause as Roger was obviously considering the next steps. “Did you notice the model of the car?”

“No, Roger, I’m sorry, I don’t really know car models. It was a small SUV.” She thought about car models that she knew, ones that she and some of her friends owned. “It wasn’t as big as my Range Rover. Maybe something like a Toyota 4Runner. That size. It was gray. And it definitely had Montana plates.”

“How did he know you were coming here?”

“I don’t know, but…” Quickly, Lori shared with Roger her fear that Saldata had somehow found her employees, Salvadore and Michelle.

As she waited for Roger to respond, she watched her two children with Simone. Brandon had run over to Simone, and, his face turned up, he said something to her. He smiled, so sweet and trusting. My God, she had to protect them, all of them. The silence on Roger’s side of the call grew. “What should I do? Where should I go? I’m so sorry.” She heard her voice rising to shrill, but she couldn’t stop it.

Roger interrupted curtly. “What’s done is done, Lori. You need to hold it together. And the only thing that matters now is keeping everyone safe.”

“I don’t know what to do. Even if I turn around and I didn’t come to you, he’s still on his way there.”

“I want you to stay there.”

“Here? At the rest stop?”

“Yes, I’m going to send someone to get you. Do you remember my brother Deacon? He’s on leave and visiting us for a few weeks.”

For the second time in ten minutes, Lori felt like she’d been punched in the stomach and for a very long moment, she could not breathe. On a day when things could not possibly have gotten worse, they just did. “I met him at your wedding,” she managed to choke out. That flat statement masked a wealth of information. Did Roger notice how strangled her voice was?

Lori remembered Deacon Hale very well, but now was not the time to dwell on it, though why in the name of all that was holy had her sister not mentioned that Deacon was there visiting them? For a brief hysterical second, she wondered if she’d be better off taking her chances with Saldata. And in the next moment, she knew a hard truth, one she had never allowed herself to acknowledge. The main reason she had avoided being around Lou and Roger for the last five years was that Roger reminded her way, way too much of Deacon. She could barely gasp out her next, strangled question. “So, you’re not coming?”

“No.” Roger’s voice was flat and hard. “If what you say is true, I have three people on their way here who are perfectly capable of putting a bullet into the brains of anyone in my family.”

“You think I should just wait here? At the rest stop? What if he comes back?”

“You’re sure the woman didn’t recognize you?”

“Yeah, I’m sure. She just walked right out of the bathroom. I look really different, Roger.”

“Then, they won’t come back,” Roger responded, his voice full of confidence. “Why would they? And even if they’d turn around for some reason, they’d be on the other side of the interstate.” Lori saw the logic in that. “Just sit tight. Deke’ll be there in two hours, give or take.”

In less than three hours she’d see him. See Deke. Could she do it? There was no way. No. Fucking. Way.

The phone went dead in her hand.

And in one instant the world changed forever.

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 About the Author

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Chris Jayne is author of the apocalyptic EMP series “Stronghold.”

Jayne is also the penname of a USA Today bestselling romance and thriller author who is has started asking “what if?”  What if the lights go off?  What if the food supply chain just… stops?   The world could become an unfriendly place in a hurry.

Three years ago, Chris began exploring the “prepper” lifestyle, and hopes that if TEOTWAWKI would actually happen, she would be in a position to protect her family and loved ones.

She now spends her days  splitting her time between her romance writing and her apocalyptic and dystopian fiction novels. Because what’s more fun than imagining the end of the world from the comfort of your couch?  And if the end of the world has a few sexy Navy Seals in it?  All the better!

She loves writing stories exploring how ordinary people cope with extraordinary circumstances, especially situations where the normal comforts, conveniences, and rules are stripped away.

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I once again make an attempt at doing a weekly reading vlog! I clearly need more practice with these but hopefully, you enjoy this video of me being chaotic. Let me know how you do you reading vlogs in the comments down below! Check out the video below:

Book Review: One Word Kill

This was one of the books that I read for the month that my boyfriend chose my entire TBR. He picked this one because he thought I would like it and he was not wrong. It was called One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence.

Synopsis: In January 1986, fifteen-year-old boy-genius Nick Hayes discovers he’s dying. And it isn’t even the strangest thing to happen to him that week.

Nick and his Dungeons & Dragons-playing friends are used to living in their imaginations. But when a new girl, Mia, joins the group and reality becomes weirder than the fantasy world they visit in their weekly games, none of them are prepared for what comes next. A strange—yet curiously familiar—man is following Nick, with abilities that just shouldn’t exist. And this man bears a cryptic message: Mia’s in grave danger, though she doesn’t know it yet. She needs Nick’s help—now.

He finds himself in a race against time to unravel an impossible mystery and save the girl. And all that stands in his way is a probably terminal disease, a knife-wielding maniac and the laws of physics.

I really enjoyed this book! It was a fast read (coming in under 200 pages) and had Dungeons and Dragons in it so what wasn’t there to love. There were definitely Blake Crouch vibes to the way this book was written and I was all here for it.

I found all the characters to be genuinely interesting and was excited to read about a small group of nerdy misfits since that was relatable to me and reminded me of when I was a teenager. Being a nerd and playing all the table top games was just normal for me and I was happy to have a casting of characters that felt like family.

This is the first book in a trilogy so I am really excited to see where it takes me after that very intense ending in this first one.

If you want a fast paced, enjoyable science fiction read, then this book is for you. You will be hooked!

Book Rating: 4/5

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

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



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I did another author interview and this time, it was with David Reiss! He is the author of the Chronicles of Fid trilogy! I had a fun time picking his brain about writing and talking about comic books and villains! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Conscience

Congratulations to author Jonathan Pongratz on the release of his latest short story, Conscience! Here’s an exclusive excerpt and book details!

ConscienceCoverConscience

Publication Date: August 27th, 2020

Genre: Sci-Fi/ Short Story

Rory Bennels lives in a world ruled by a business entity known as the Corporation. For years he’s executed cerebral uploads for the recently deceased, but when the famed anarchist Epher Lore ends up in his lab, a series of events occur that shakes Rory’s world to the core.

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Excerpt

“We’re losing him,” the surgeon’s tense voice cut through the viewing room’s speaker.

Rory Bennels leaned against the glass to the operating room as the surgeon barked orders at the nurses and red plated medbots tending to the man splayed out on the surgery table. The patient’s body seized in violent tremors, blood oozing through wounds in his forehead, chest, and abdomen. Rory stared on in concern, his skin tingling as he recognized the man. 

Epher Lore, the last leader of the Free Thinkers movement.

From his digital news updates, Rory knew of the Corporation’s efforts to track down this anarchist. However, as he looked upon Epher’s broken body, curiosity sparked in his mind.

This man, dangerous? He couldn’t have been older than twenty-five. What was it about him that made the Corporation nervous?

A sharp zap at the base of his neck made Rory clench his teeth. Heart pounding, he looked to the watch on his wrist. It flashed red in quick bursts. Crap! That was the second time this week. If he kept upsetting his emotion-monitoring implant, they’d come to clean him. Like the Corporation said, ‘Emotions lead to questions. Questions lead to independent thought. Independent thought leads to anarchy.’

Rory straightened his back, reciting the Corporation’s Preamble to suppress his deviant thoughts. We, the subordinates of the Corporation, in order to form a more perfect human, establish authority, ensure uniformity … 

He glanced at his black-banded watch again and gave a sigh of relief. Blue skies. 

The harsh monotonous buzz of the heart monitor blared through the speakers, demanding Rory’s attention. The surgeon took off his gloves and told the one-eyed medbots to record the time of death. He exited the operating room, Rory mulling over the peculiar situation before the surgeon entered the viewing room moments later.

“I take it you’re Rory Bennels?” the surgeon asked in a cold, clinical tone.

“That’s right.”

He handed Rory a thin tablet that activated upon his touch. “Retrieve this man’s mind. Upload it to the Corporation mainframe.”

Rory scanned the digital dossier, then gazed upon Epher’s covered body on the gurney.

“Is something wrong?” 

“Epher Lore, isn’t he–“

“That information is not relevant,” the surgeon snapped. He grimaced at Rory with calculating gray eyes. “Are you sweating?”

Stay calm, stay calm. Rory maintained eye contact. “Minor synaptic misfire,” he explained, flashing his watch that glowed a healthy bright blue.

The surgeon nodded, ushering Rory to follow him to collect the body.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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Jonathan Pongratz is a writer and author of captivating horror, urban fantasy, and paranormal stories. When he’s not writing, he’s busy being a bookworm, video game junkie, and karaoke vocalist. A former resident of Dallas, he currently resides in Kansas City with his halloween cat Ajax. By day he works magic in finance, by night he creates dark and mesmerizing worlds.

Jonathan Pongratz | Facebook | Goodreads | Tublr

More exciting news! Conscience will be available for review from now until the end of November! Contact shanannigans.readsandreels@gmail.com for details, or to request a review copy.

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I made it to 2k subscribers thanks to all of you amazing people and so I decided to do a video where I react to your assumptions about me! Find out the real truth about me and get to know me as a person a little better! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Crackle & Fire

Check out the upcoming release from Russ Colchamiro! Crackle and Fire is the first installment of a brand new genre-blurring series!

Crackle & Fire front cover FINAL

Crackle and Fire: An Angela Hardwicke Sci-Fi Mystery (Book One)

Expected Publication Date: September 1st, 2020

Genre: Sci-Fi Mystery/ Fantasy

Angela Hardwicke isn’t just any private eye.

She’s a PI from Eternity, the cosmic realm responsible for the design, creation, and maintenance of the Universe.

When accountant Gil Haberseau hires her to find an intern with stolen corporate files, Hardwicke soon finds herself embroiled in a deadly case of lies, intrigue, and murder, clashing with vengeful gangsters, MinderNot rallies, and a madman who’s come a long way to get what he wants.

In Russ Colchamiro’s thrilling Sci-Fi mystery Crackle and Fire, Angela Hardwicke learns once and for all that when it comes to being an intergalactic private eye, there’s no telling what threats she may face on-realm and off… including the demons that lurk deep within her soul.

Crackle and Fire elegantly combines PI noir with science fiction and fantasy.” — John L. French, author of The Magic of Simon Tombs

“Angela Hardwicke is one of the most memorable characters in detective fiction.” — Sawney Hatton, author of Everyone is a Moon

BONUS STORY INCLUDED! The AI-themed Angela Hardwicke murder mystery, “The Case of Jarlo’s Buried Treasure”

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About the Author

Russ Colchamiro Headshot

Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space adventure, Crossline, the zany SF/F backpacking comedy series Finders Keepers: The Definitive EditionGenius de Milo, and Astropalooza, and is editor of the SF anthology Love, Murder & Mayhem, all with Crazy 8 Press.

Russ lives in New Jersey with his wife, two ninjas, and crazy dog Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself. Russ has also contributed to several other anthologies, including Tales of the Crimson KeepPangaeaAltered States of the UnionCamelot 13, TV Gods 2, They Keep Killing Glenn, Thrilling Adventure Yarns, Camelot 13, and Brave New Girls.

He is now working on the first novel in a new series featuring his hardboiled private eye Angela Hardwicke, and the first of three collaborative novella projects.

Russ ColchamiroFacebook | Twitter | Goodreads  

Giveaway: For a chance to win a digital copy of Crackle and Fire AND a $5 Amazon gift card, click the link below!

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I absolutely love coffee so I just had to do the Coffee Book Tag! All of the prompts are related to hot drinks and it was a blast to film. Let me know in the comments how you take your coffee (or whichever hot drink you prefer)! Check out the video below:

Book Review: The Mirror Man

I read a sci-fi that was compared to stuff by Blake Crouch! It was called The Mirror Man by  Jane Gilmartin.

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Synopsis: The offer is too tempting: be part of a scientific breakthrough, step out of his life for a year, and be paid hugely for it. When ViGen Pharmaceuticals asks Jeremiah to be part of an illegal cloning experiment, he sees it as a break from an existence he feels disconnected from. No one will know he’s been replaced—not the son who ignores him, not his increasingly distant wife—since a revolutionary drug called Meld can transfer his consciousness and memories to his copy.

From a luxurious apartment, he watches the clone navigate his day-to-day life. But soon Jeremiah discovers that examining himself from an outsider’s perspective isn’t what he thought it would be, and he watches in horror as “his” life spirals out of control. ViGen needs the experiment to succeed—they won’t call it off, and are prepared to remove any obstacle. With his family in danger, Jeremiah needs to finally find the courage to face himself head-on.

I enjoyed this book for the most part. Would I compare it to Blake Crouch? Not exactly, but I can see where those vibes came from. I think the fact that I have read Blake Crouch books before this one made it very predictable and I was calling all the things that happened before they did. That is why is brought down the rating for me.

I believe that someone coming into this with no prior knowledge of Crouch’s books would love it and find themselves completely captured in the story. It is also similar to a book called Foe by Iain Reid which is another great one.

The concept is really cool and it would be so intense if clones were a reality. I like the little touches thrown in there to prove that the clone can’t always be “exactly” the same. I found that the characters could use a little bit more development because when big things happened, I didn’t feel that attached. That being said, when his mother was discussed and grown as a character, I related and felt she was very similar to my grandmother which brought the attachment and had me reminiscing on times with her.

Overall, the book is a good one for any SciFi fan that wants to see a new story told with cloning and consequences!

Book Rating: 3/5

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

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



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It’s that time of year again where we take our final exams for the Magical Readathon and this will be the last one because G from Book Roast will be switching it up which is sad but understandable. So these are all the books I will be reading for my NEWT exams. Check out the video below:

Book Review: The Day The Sun Changed Colours

Our external reviewer Chris sent in another review for us. This time he read The Day the Sun Changed Colours by Scott Talbot Evans.

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Yes, this is really the book cover.

Synopsis: When the Sun starts bombarding the Earth in changing colors, it disrupts the perfect utopian society of the year 4377. The world’s water is drying up fast, and a family of seven humans–two mothers, three fathers, and two kids–must build an evacuation ship. But the insanity causing sky colours make it impossible. LITTERBOT is a humble and faithful cleaning robot who gets no respect. His body is able to transform into any shape to meet whatever situation arises. His processors can predict spills up to 3 days in advance. Unfortunately, there’s not much to clean in a perfect world. TROLL, one of the mothers, is a fun-loving water scientist who must draw on her heroism to save her family. BULB, one of the fathers, is exceptionally logical and grumpy. His utter faith in science will be put to the ultimate test. When the world computer crashes, they must find primitive paper books. Society unravels, and they are forced to face their savage natures. Will a clumsy cleaning robot sacrifice himself to save his masters?

Do not expect a typical sci-fi book. Or typical any book. Due to sentence structure and the way characters speak, it is difficult to tell if the spelling and grammatical errors are deliberate or were missed in proof-reading. You get used to it after a while so it seems a clever way of not having to do proper proof-reading. Incidentally, despite what the blurb says it is not the year 4377, it is 11,987 AD. It is set in 4377 kiloday though, which demonstrates one problem with making stuff up willy-nilly—even the person who wrote the blurb (the author?) got confused.

The book starts out a bit like Douglas Adam’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy complete with a mega-intelligent bored robot but then changes into something rather nonsensical. It seems to be trying for satire but misses the mark by a flivver (which is one of the nonsensical units of measurement in the book, which in itself isn’t consistent. For example, a major building is described as a flivver tall yet the robot stands a flivver behind someone as it prepares to clean up dining table messes. Either the building was barely head height, or the robot was standing 20-30 m away from the table).

Anything can and does happen even if, maybe especially if, it doesn’t make any sense. One character goes for a gallop, a literal gallop on all fours like a horse, to get exercise. Later, under the influence of increasing radiation, one mutates and grows four more arms, another gets the lower body of a snake, another turns into a werewolf, another has one’s head grow very large.

Reading this book is completely surreal. It rambles, it wanders, it “nonsensicalizes”. An occasional attempt at satire comes through before being buried by more terse descriptions of what sounds like a hallucinatory drug-induced dream.

Halfway through when the family unit builds a spaceship to escape the impending explosion of the sun the writing becomes more controlled, more pointed, more humorous, with some proper satire popping up. The beginning and the middle part of the book are the most readable parts.

The ending started the hallucinatory ramble again, and the last chapter actually didn’t make sense (even for a nonsensical book) in that the sun, which was supposed to go nova, didn’t actually go nova. Instead, the moon crashed into the earth and rolled to a stop on top of the Eifel tower. We were promised a nova. We want a nova! It didn’t happen and not even a reference to explain why. It’s like the author wrote the first half of the book, then a year later wrote the second half of the book, but forgot he had the sun exploding. Two temporally separated writing jags would explain why the first part and the middle part of the book are the best parts as the author starts fresh each time.

It was quite a strange book. If there had been more consistent pointed satire then it would get more stars, but it seems satire was vastly overshadowed by silliness. Full stars for imagination and creativity though, and it probably would be a brilliant book if the satire actually worked.

I was going to give the book 1/5 stars, but the chuckles from the middle part brought that up!

Book Rating: 2/5

You can find this book on Goodreads.

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



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I took a dive back into my contemporary and rated my John Green Books from worst to best! Let me know which one is your favorite! Check out the video below:

Book Review: Battle Royale

Oh My God! This book was so freaking good! I absolutely loved it with every part of my being and wish I could experience it again for the first time! This book is none other than Battle Royale by Koushun Takami.

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Synopsis: Koushun Takami’s notorious high-octane thriller envisions a nightmare scenario: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill until only one survivor is left standing. Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan—where it became a runaway best seller—Battle Royale is a Lord of the Flies for the 21st century, a potent allegory of what it means to be young and (barely) alive in a dog-eat-dog world.

I adored this book! I heard that it was like the Hunger Games and my friend gave it to me for my birthday so I read it and it blew me away with how good it was. I felt so many different emotions while reading this book and it always had me on the edge of my seat. The author introduced you to so many amazing characters just for them to be taken away from you, it was heartbreaking. I even had tears in my eyes at some parts because I had become so attached in such a little amount of time.

The political aspect of the book was also very intriguing because it shows how this society deals with preventing potential wars by putting children on a deserted island to fight to the death. I also did find it hard at times because a lot of the character’s names all sounded kind of similar so it was a bit hard to remember who was who but in the end, it did not hinder my love of the book one bit.

I need another book like this! The high intensity of it had me not wanting to it down. I have been telling everyone about it since I have read it and can’t stop thinking about it. It definitely sticks with you once you are done. I would recommend this book to anyone! Literally, anyone because it is so good.

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 was in no way compensated for my review.



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

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Anyone interested in rock music? I did the Classic Rock Book Tag and it was a blast! All of the prompts were named after classic rock songs and it took me on a journey. Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: After Darkness

I’m thrilled to share the first of an exciting new dystopian duology by J.F. Johns, called After Darkness!

Read on for an exclusive excerpt, book details, and a chance to win a print copy of Eternal Darkness, the first book in her exciting dystiopian series of the same name!

After Darkness - J.F. Johns (ebook)

After Darkness (Book One)

Publication Date: April 14th, 2020

Blurb:

Year 2160

RULE #.1

Humans AND Cyborgs are prohibited from communicating in any shape or form with each other.

RULE #.2

Curfew is from 12 p.m until 7.30 a.m
Applicable to ALL citizens, humans AND cyborgs.

RULE #.3

All propaganda against the government, written or verbal is a crime.

RULE #.4

All the above laws if broken are punishable by death.

WELCOME TO THE NATION

Are you ready?

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

‘My name is Terra Underwood, by the way.’

‘Didn’t ask.’

‘I know, thought you should know anyway.’

She heard him sigh.

‘I’m Kalem.’ A few seconds passed and then, ‘Kalem Akuma.’

‘Akuma? Seriously?’

‘It means demon.’

She couldn’t help but think it was rather fitting.

‘Well, Underwood means ‘wood that is under.’ What exactly it’s under we’ll never know.’

‘Is that meant to be a joke?’

‘Everything I say is meant as a joke.’

She could almost hear him smile, and that brought her own lips to twist upwards. She closed her eyes, feeling suddenly at ease and comfortable.

‘Good night, wood that is under.’

Terra’s smile deepened.

‘Good nigh, demon.’

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon ES

About the Author

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J.F.Johns is 27 years old and was born and raised in Spain. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at ARU in Cambridge, UK.

She won the Indie Book Awards 2017 for best book written by an author under the age of 25, and was a finalist for best book cover with her novel Eternal Darkness.
She’s an animal lover, and spends her free time playing with her adopted dog and rescued cat, drinking too much coffee and posting book photos on her Instagram.
She believes in the art of dramatic sighing and eye rolling. She works as a ninja, but has been told several times that she’s not very good at her job.

Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

Giveaway: For a chance to win a paperback copy of Eternal Darkness by J.F. Johns, click the link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Eternal Darkness

The world is divided between humans and cyborgs.
Scarlet Lock is neither.
She is a soldier created to kill on command. But her memory has been erased and when she awakens in a government facility she soon discovers that this new world is a dangerous place, full of government secrets and cruel experiments performed in the name of progress.
With the help of a group of cyborgs, Scarlet will fight to uncover the truth and transform the future of the new world she now lives in.
Eternal Darkness is full of suspense, action and romance and will make readers question what it means to be human.

AfterDarkness

Blog Tour Schedule

May 25th

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

Jennifer Mitchell, Bibliolater (Review) https://www.jennifermitchellbooks.com

Vick’s Bookish Writing (Review) https://vicksblogcom.home.blog/

May 26th

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

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

One Book More (Review) https://onebookmore.com/

Lecari’s Live Journal (Review) http://www.lecari.co.uk/

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

Scarlett Readz & Runz (Review) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/

May 27th

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

Back Shelf Books (Review) https://backshelfbooks.com/

An Ocean a Glimmer (Review) http://anoceanglimmer.wordpress.com

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

Rea’s Reads (Review) https://reasreads.wordpress.com/

May 28th

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

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

Cup of Toast (Review) https://cupoftoast.co.uk

May 29th

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

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

Book Reviews by Satabdi (Review) http://satabdimukherjee.wordpress.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours



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

Are any of you interested in Harry Potter? I did a tiered ranking of all the characters and would love to hear your thoughts on it! Check out the video below:

Book Review: Encounter at Cloud Ranch

Our external reviewer has launched his own website!! You can find him over at This & That Books but luckily he is still doing some reviews for us on the side. This one was called The Legend of the Clouds: Encounter at Cloud Ranch by Robert James Connors.

clouds cover

Synopsis: When Jason Cloud finds a bizarrely-fanged skull and butchered cattle on his father’s Arizona ranch, it leads him into an encounter with a dangerous alien species. Spread at the foot of the spectacular cliffs of northern Arizona, the C9 Ranch is home to Jason, his widower father Tom, and two trusted hands, but Jason turns first to his university professor for help.

An enjoyable book for a couple of reasons. First, within a page or two there’s a mystery that needs unraveling. It draws you in. If you have not read the book preview then you won’t be sure where the story is leading, which is part of the appeal.

Secondly, the book takes place in northern Arizona (I had pegged it as south-west Utah based on the rock and plant descriptions so I was close). If you’ve ever been to those areas or watched westerns, you’ll find the scenic descriptions familiar. Connors’ descriptions make the place come to life. I had one of those slight shock moments when I looked up from the book and saw northern trees devoid of leaves instead of slick rock vistas that were in the book. It’s nice when a book is written well enough to pull you into its world so that you experience a slight dislocation when you look around. Incidentally, there’s a horse named Curly—which made me think of Curly from City Slickers (Billy Crystal, Jack Palance). The scenery descriptions in the book match the scenery of that movie.

The book is plot-driven rather than character driven. In that way it’s a bit like the short Louis L’Amour books where the lack of character development is compensated for by the plot, the characters as they are, and the dialogue. Connors does a good job of driving the plot and making likable characters, even the side characters.

There are a couple of love story interests that are predictable and seem a bit forced. For example, a healthy 30-something year old was found dead near his barn. It was never clear what killed him, they didn’t even know why he died (they’re not saying it was aliens, but … ). His death, though, did then allow his widow to become a love interest for another character. After the funeral, no-one ever wondered how he died even though near the end of the book answers might have been available.

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The second love interest had a forced quality to it as well. A professor had been to the ranch to investigate the bizarre cattle killings, and while on-site with her student their truck was sliced by something that could cut metal easily. Whatever it was had tracked them, showed it was intelligent and had essentially left a “go away” message. But the following winter she returned to the ranch with her kids because the creature hadn’t made itself known all summer. The strange intelligent beast could cut a cow clean in half and walk off with the meat; it could carve metal like it was toffee; it was smart and hostile. You would not be bringing your kids to a place where something so unnatural was living even if it hadn’t been seen for five years. However, both the love plot and the main plot required she and her kids be there.

Then there was an event that really has nothing to do with the plot even though there was an “I’ll be back to deal with you” type situation. That never happened, and the event was never mentioned again. Cut that section out of the book and it wouldn’t make the slightest difference to the story.

Those are more nit-picking things though. The book was a good read. It seems Connors was inspired by some of the petroglyph rock art that show tall alien-like creatures, such as petroglyphs found in Sego Canyon. I wish he’d developed that aspect of the story a bit further as the petroglyphs and rock art are rich in history and culture.

Overall, another good read that you can easily finish in an 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.



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

Are any of you interested in Harry Potter? I did a tiered ranking of all the characters and would love to hear your thoughts on it! Check out the video below: