Book Review: Behind Distant Stars

I am always excited to jump into another book by David Reiss and this one did not disappoint! I read Behind Distant Stars which is the follow up to Fid’s Crusade and the second book in this trilogy!

Synopsis: News cameras had captured every moment of the battle in which the notorious Doctor Fid single-handedly averted an alien invasion. As details emerge, the public discovers how close the Earth had come to inescapable subjugation…or to complete annihilation. 

With the threat ended and those responsible brought to justice, questions arise as to what the future holds for Doctor Fid. There are many who now wonder if the veteran supervillain has changed his ways. There are many who think that Doctor Fid may not be a monster after all. 

New dangers arise and new enemies emerge, and through it all Doctor Fid struggles to decide what role he will play. Will Doctor Fid choose to become the hero that the world needs? 

Or will he remain the villain that the world’s heroes deserve? 

I loved jumping back into this book series! Fid’s Crusade was such a fun origin story about a villain which was so cool since the books are usually about the hero and it was nice to see the other side for a change. And this book just continued on with his storyline after the initial origin story.

This time, we got to see more growth and development of Doctor Fid’s character and see that he is a real person with just as many emotions as the rest of us.

My favorite part was once again the villains bar. It is a very minor part of the book but I just think it is cool to have like this hub where all the villains go to have a drink and share stories and stuff.

Any book that has superheroes, villains and intense action scenes will always pull me in and this one did just that. I found it hard to put down at times and wanted to just keep going to see what would happen next! I am really looking forward to the final book in this trilogy!

Book Rating: 4/5

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

Disclaimer: The author graciously sent me physical copies of the trilogy in exchange for an honest review.


NEW BOOK OUT – ACORNS & ROOTS

An indestructible object full of strong magic, tempting the darkest of souls. Rare rainbow roots that are sold for a high price in the city, offering a young man a way to pay rent as he faces eviction. The secret to taking down a corrupt king and avoiding disenchantment, if a young Pixie succeeds in reaching her destination.

It is believed that all of these things can be found in the Valley, accessed through an Enchanted Forest that is struggling to survive against a dark magic- harnessing monarchy. A rebellion is stirring, and when Forest Pixie Fillii falls from a tree, landing directly on top of unemployed Amer (who doesn’t believe in things like Enchanted Forests), their journeys and worlds literally collide.

With vastly different yet strangely similar backgrounds and experiences, Fillii and Amer must both decide whether they can afford to trust each other, and what is worth fighting for.

Joined by magical creatures such as Elves and a Caribou army, Fillii and Amer find themselves in the midst of an epic battle of survival, old magic, and secrets carved in stone.

About the Author

Megs Calleja is a Canadian writer and actor, whose professional screenwriting has aired with TELUS and The CW. A member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada, Megs is inspired by magical wardrobes, shooting stars, marmalade on toast, and dancing in the rain. This is her first novel.

Buy the book here: https://www.amazon.ca/Acorns-Roots-Megs-Calleja/dp/1525561170/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=acorns+%26+roots&qid=1605223167&sr=8-1



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Hey Bookworms!! I did an unboxing of October’s Queer Book Box which was sent to me in exchange for an unboxing video on the channel so I hope you enjoy it! I also did a mini haul at the end of some books I picked up recently so stay tuned until the end to find out what I got! Let me know what you think of the box in the comments below. Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Firedancer

Congratulations to author Ann Maxwell on the release of her novel, Fire Dancer! Read on for details, and excerpt and a chance to win a Kindle copy of the book!

_FD_ebook_cover_distroFire Dancer: A Novel of the Concord

Publication Date: November 10th, 2020

Genre: Science Fiction

Rheba and Kirtin are the last survivors of their homeworld, at the edges of the Concord, forgotten but rich in history and traditions. Rheba is a fire dancer, able to focus and manipulate vast amounts of energy through discipline and motion and form. Kirtin is her protector and mentor, training her in these skills and knowing that one day these energies may grow to consume her unless she masters her own emotions and the power she derives from them.

In search of rumored other survivors like themselves, they set out amongst the worlds of the “civilized” Concord, finding that the presented superior and enlightened cultures they encounter conceal hypocrisies that assist even greater crimes. Entire civilizations built upon slavery and degradation are tolerated so long as they play the proper games of power and civility.

Led by the promise of knowledge regarding one of her kin, Rheba and Kirtin are brought to Loo, a planet ruled by a hereditary empire of slavers and decadents. There, both of them are consigned to slave pits beneath the gleaming cities and palaces of the surface. Amongst the forgotten and cast-off, Rheba and Kirtin find others like themselves, stolen or abandoned by their homeworlds and left to languish here, subject to labors and appetites and whims of the planet’s rulers.

But not everyone wants to remain a slave…

Excerpt

Onan was the most licentious planet in the Equality, if not the whole of the Concord itself. No activity was prohibited. As a result, the wealth of the Concord flowed down Onan’s gravity well—and stuck. Nontondondo, the sprawling city-spaceport, was a three-dimensional maze with walls of colored lightning, streets paved with hope and potholed by despair, and a decibel level that knew no ceiling.

“Kirtn!” Rheba shouted to the huge Bre’n walking beside her. “Can you see the Black Whole yet?”

Kirtn’s hands locked around Rheba’s waist. In an instant her lips were level with his ear.

She shouted again. “Can you see the casino?”

“Just a few more buildings,” he said against her ear.

Even Kirtn’s bass rumble had trouble competing with the din. He pursed his lips and whistled a fluting answer to her question in the whistle language of the Bre’ns. The sound was like a gem scintillating in the aural mud of Nontondondo. People stopped for an instant, staring around, but could find no obvious source for the beautiful sound.

All they saw was a tall humanoid with very short, fine coppery plush covering his muscular body, giving it the appearance and texture of velvet. On his head, the fur became wavy copper hair. A mask of metallic gold hair surrounded his eyes, emphasizing their yellow clarity. His mask, like the coppery plush on his body, was the mark of a healthy Bre’n.

Although Rheba looked small held against the Bre’n, she was above humanoid average in height. Her hair was gold and her eyes were an unusual cinnamon color that seemed to gather and concentrate light. Other than on her head and the median line of her torso, she had neither hair nor fur to interrupt the smooth brown flow of her body. Almost invisible beneath the skin of her hands were the whorls and intricate patterns of a young Senyas fire dancer.

Rheba slid down Kirtn’s body until she was standing on her own feet again. As she regained her balance, a man stumbled out of the crowd and grabbed her. He rubbed up against her back, bathing her in unpleasant odors and intentions. The patterns on her hands flared as she reached toward a dazzling electric advertisement, wove its energy, and gave it to the rude stranger. He leaped back like he had been burned.

And he had.

“I don’t think he’ll play with a fire dancer again,” Kirtn said in a satisfied voice.

He picked up the shaken man and lofted him onto a passing drunk cart. Then the Bre’n gathered up Rheba again and shouldered his way into the anteroom of the Black Whole. After the streets, the quiet was like a blessing. Kirtn smiled, showing slightly serrated teeth, bright and very hard.

“Not that he would’ve seen one before, or is likely to again.”

Rheba scratched the backs of her hands where the patterns had flared. Her hair shifted and moved, alive with the energy she had just called. Muttering the eighth discipline of Deva, she let both energy and anger drain out of her. She had come into this city willingly and so must abide by its customs, no matter how bizarre or insulting they might be to her.

“We should have taken out a license to murder,” she said in a mild voice.

Kirtn laughed. “We didn’t have enough money to buy a half-circle of silver, much less the whole circle of a licensed killer.”

“Don’t remind me. We could hardly afford to be licensed innocents.” Rheba grimaced at the mere 30 degrees of silver arc stuck to her shoulder. “Come, let’s find the man we came for and get off this festering planet.”

They had not taken three steps before a black-dressed casino employee approached them.  His only decoration was a simple silver circle fastened on his shoulder. Kirtn and Rheba saw the man’s license at the same instant. When the man spoke, he had their attention.

“No furries allowed.”

Rheba blinked. “Furries?”

“That,” said the man, hooking a thumb at Kirtn, “is a furry. You’re a smoothie.  Smoothies only at the Black Whole.  If you don’t want to separate, try the Mink Trap down the street. They like perverts.”

Rheba’s long yellow hair stirred, though there was no breeze inside the Black Whole’s anteroom. Kirtn spoke a few rapid words in Senyas, native tongue of Senyasi and Bre’ns alike.  “If we kill him, we’ll never get a chance to talk to Trader Jal.”

“I wasn’t going to kill him,” Rheba said in Senyas, smiling at the man with the silver circle who could not understand her words. “I was just going to singe his pride-and-joys.”

Kirtn winced. “Never mind. I’ll wait outside.”

She began to object, then shrugged. The last time they had bumped against local prejudices, she had been the one to wait outside. She couldn’t remember whether sex, color, number of digits or lack of fur had been at issue.

“I’ll make it as fast as I can,” she, said, her hand on Kirtn’s arm, stroking him. She took an uncomplicated pleasure from the softness of his fur. his strength and textures were her oldest memories, and her best. Like most akhenets, she had been raised by her Bre’n mentor. “I can understand a prejudice against smoothies,” she murmured, “but against furries? Impossible.”

Kirtn touched a fingertip to her nose. “Don’t find more trouble than you can set fire to, child.”

She smiled and turned toward the licensed employee. She spoke once again in Universal, the language of space. “Does this cesspool have a game called Chaos?”

“Yeah,” the man said. He flicked his narrow, thick fingernail against Rheba’s license. “It’s not a game for innocents.”

Rheba’s hair rippled. “Is that opinion or law?”

The man did not answer.

“Where’s the game?” she asked again, her voice clipped.

“Across the main casino, on the left. A big blue spiral galaxy.”

Rheba sidestepped around the man.

“I hope you lose your lower set of lips,” he said in a nasty voice as she passed him.

She walked quickly across the anteroom of the Black Whole, not trusting herself to answer the man’s crude comment. As she passed through the casino’s velvet force field, a babble of voices assaulted her. Throughout the immense, high-ceilinged room, bets were being made and paid in the Universal language—but gamblers exhorted personal gods in every tongue known to the Concord.

Rheba knew only three languages—Bre’n, Senyas, and Universal—and Kirtn was the only other being who knew the first two, so far as she knew. The babbling room made her feel terribly alone. One Senyas, one Bre’n. Only known survivors of the violent moment when Deva’s sun had built a bridge of fire between itself and its fifth planet.

One Senyas, one Bre’n.

One galaxy of strangers.

With an effort, she shut away the searing memory of extinction. She and Kirtn had survived. Surely others must also have survived. Somehow. Somewhere. She would find them, one by one, if it took all the centuries of her life.

Available for Kindle and at Barnes & Noble!

About the Author

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New York Times bestselling author Ann Maxwell, also known as A.E. Maxwell and Elizabeth Lowell, is an American writer. She has individually, and with co-author and husband Evan, written more than 50 novels and one non-fiction book. Her novels range from science fiction to historical fiction, and from romance to mystery to suspense.

Elizabeth Lowell | Facebook Goodreads | Newsletter

Giveaway: You can win one of 10 copies of the book for Kindle! Click the link below!

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It’s that time of year again!! Time to join all your other reindeer in the Reindeer Readathon and compete to get as many points as you can over the month of December! There will be 5 different teams and you will get sorted into one of them! All of the prompts will be below but they will also be emailed to you when you sign up! 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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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 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:

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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:

Book Review: Skyward

Where are my Brandon Sanderson fans? Because I have another review for you. I read Skyward by Brandon Sanderson and it was my favorite book of the month!

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Synopsis: Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul.

Bran San has done it again! Skyward was everything I hoped it would be. Light science fiction with amazing character development and memorable action scenes. I couldn’t have asked for a better book.

Spensa was amazing as a character. I could feel how much she struggled with her identity at times but was so passionate about proving everyone wrong and showing that she is more than they see. She also cracked me up every time she sounded like an ancient war general with some of the stuff she said.

And Doomslug! I mean how freaking adorable can you get.

I do think that their society has some standards in it that need to be changed but I think that might happen as the series progresses. I talked out my frustrations at some of the interactions with Markus as I went along but I think that only adds to the passion that I had for the book. It made me feel so many emotions and that is why I loved this book.

I would recommend this book to anyone that wants a fun sci-fi read with lots of battles and amazing character development.

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. I was in no way compensated for my honest review.


Check out this book called Dork by my author friend Will Winkle about a guy trying to get his crush’s attention while navigating his life as part of a fraternity house!

His book can be found on Amazon, Goodreads, and his website: WillWinkle.com.

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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 feeling nostalgic? Well, I have some good news. I will be a co-host for the Bookemon Readathon and we are going to be kicking it back like the ’90s. Join us in our fight to defeat Team Rocket! Check out this video for all the info!