Book Review: Challenges Of The Gods by C. Hofsetz

Author: C. Hofsetz
Release Date: 7th January 2018
Genre: Science-Fiction/Fantasy
Series: 
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Blurb:
After Mike goes through a gut-wrenching betrayal by his fiancée, he finds himself in what he thinks might be the afterlife. But this is no heaven. The gods made a mistake and created another Earth in a parallel universe, putting both universes in peril. They need someone from his planet to destroy the alternate, and Mike is randomly selected for the job.
Trapped in an impossible choice, Mike accepts his mission and is returned to an Earth—and a body—so unlike his own. There, he meets Jane, who is—unbeknownst to him—the secret leader of an organization bent on tracking down Earth’s saboteur. In the face of her passion for humanity, Mike’s resolve falters. If Mike won’t complete his mission, the gods will.

Review

★★★★

Challenges Of The Gods by C. Hofsetz is a new sci-fi fantasy novel with a very unique plot based a really good concept. I liked this book a lot because it differs from most of the new sci-fi novels as it had depth, good characterization and good world-building and the best part was the concept itself – it was both fresh and unique.

The characterisation was decent if not excellent but it did compliment the story as, for me, the real hero in this book was the story. The plot was complex and at times it took me a while to grasp what was really happening because of the thin border the author dared to tread in this book between two parallel realities, but that was as it should be and it proved to be a good stimulus for the brain.

The writing was really good and it made the reading of such a complex book very easy. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it highly to all sci-fi readers.

this review is also posted on Goodreads
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Book Review: Written By Blood – Conviction by Dwayne gill

Author: Dwayne Gill
Release Date: 28th November 2018
Genre: Techno-Thriller, Action, Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalyptic
Series: Written By Blood #1
Edition: e-book
Pages: 238
Publisher: 
Blurb:
Abandoned to a secret government program at birth, Cane was trained to be the world’s most skilled assassin. For years he excelled in the field, bringing dangerous terrorists all over the world to justice and making even the most protected villains lose sleep. But since the program was shut down four years ago, he’s been forced into hiding, doing odd jobs to keep himself busy, and struggling to find a place for himself in society. The years of social isolation and, seemingly, his own brutal nature, have made him question whether or not he possesses the ability to feel certain emotions that most others exhibit effortlessly.Cane’s only hope of normality in a lonely life rests in the warmth of his friendship with Helen and her daughter Kristy, the latter of whom he rescued five years earlier, from the clutches of the evil Blue Rose serial-killer. Cane lives with his friend Lynks, with whom he served in the disbanded “Red Delta” assassin program.Cane finds a cryptic message from Marcene, a mysterious lady who knows more about him than she should. He soon finds himself thrust into the middle of a mystery that’s been at the center of the country’s attention for the past several years: ordinary men around the United States have been disappearing by the thousands, leaving their families and careers behind, only to turn up elsewhere in the country. Even more curious are the markings, which look like tattoos, that each bear upon their return. Conspiracy theories have abounded for years, but little has ever been known about these men, until now. Marcene claims the missing men are not only dangerous terrorists plotting a major attack on U.S. soil, but that they’re also genetically enhanced, and she aims to prove it to Cane through a series of instructions.

First, Cane is to save a college girl named Natalie, who, without her knowledge, is being targeted by the marked men. Guided more by curiosity than information, Cane and Lynks agree to help the girl, but after succeeding, they find only a new web of mysteries to unravel. The marked men are receiving their orders from seven dangerous men, and Cane remembers one of them by name: Amos. He’d been on Cane’s radar in the past, though he remained out of reach. Amos’s re-emergence gives Cane added motivation, so he looks to Marcene to continue pointing him in the right direction…

She leads them to the next, and most important step: find and recruit Daniel, a mountain of a man with a long history of violence.

There’s only one problem: he’s a convicted murderer in a super-max prison.

Cane and Lynks enlist Calvin, Daniel’s old friend, and Bowman, the man who trained Cane, to help orchestrate a plan for extracting Daniel. But Amos and the marked men are watching and making plans of their own, and they’ll use any tactic available in order to ensure their sinister plans remain in place, including hurting the few people Cane cares about.

It’s not only the marked men hot on their trail; FBI Agents Hart and Barkley, who’ve been hunting Cane and Lynks since the dissolution of Red Delta, are getting closer as well. But the nearer they draw to Cane, the more they learn about Amos, the other six terrorist leaders, and the marked men. And what they discover leads to even more terrifying scenarios and a deeper web of corruption than anyone expected, including a conspiracy involving high-ranking U.S. officials and the Russian government.

If Cane can just save Daniel and set him free, he’ll have a valuable ally: Daniel stands over seven feet tall and weighs over four hundred pounds, and he has his own bitter history with the marked men.

What started as curiosity for Cane quickly turns into something personal when Amos targets Helen and Kristy, sending him on a frantic race against time, pitted against enemies that far outnumber him and his friends. It’ll be a struggle to balance saving Kristy, rescuing Daniel, all while battling his own demons and self-doubt.

To succeed, it’ll take determination.

It’ll take focus.

It’ll take CONVICTION.

Review

★★★★

Written By Blood: Conviction by Dwayne Gill is an action-packed techno-thriller that is sure to keep you entertained right from the start to the very end. This book is jam-packed with high octane thrilling action and masculine drama like there’s no tomorrow. The storyline was good and the thing I liked best about this books is that it revolved around male characters, something rare to find in today’s books where the leading lady always steals the show, so for me, this book was a real treat.

I liked the writing style as the simplicity of it greatly complimented the plot, though at times it did feel a little rough around the edges, it did not get in the way of reading. The characterization was good and I was able to relate to almost all the characters, primary or secondary. The plot progression was really, really good and the pacing was great too.

Overall, it was a really new engaging read which proved to be a quick read and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a book with strong male characters and don’t mind gritty action and rustic tones.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Cane’s Detour & Daniel’s Darkness by Dwayne gill

Author: Dwayne Gill
Release Date: 7th October 2018
Genre: Techno-Thriller, Action, Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalyptic
Series: Written By Blood #1
Edition: e-book
Pages: 82
Publisher: 
Blurb:
Not all monsters are created equal…Cane is the world’s most feared assassin.
Daniel is possibly the most dangerous man alive, and he’s definitely the largest.
When you think hero, neither one should come to mind.
Find out how each man stumbles upon a person in dire need and how they respond.

Cane and Daniel are the two main characters in Written By Blood Part One: Cane. The following two short stories are prequels of the novel.

CANE’S DETOUR

Kristy escaped a dangerous serial killer.
Can she escape Cane?

Cane was trained from birth by the U.S. government to be the world’s most feared assassin. Often sent to eliminate difficult targets quietly, his anonymity is his most important asset. In fact, very few people have seen Cane and lived afterward.

Kristy is abducted by an infamous serial killer and held captive in a remote barn filled with many other victims. While she watches the other women’s grisly fates unfold before her, can Kristy escape before she meets the same destiny?

When Kristy and Cane’s paths cross, they’re on very different routes. Cane is on his way to complete an urgent mission and can’t be late. Kristy is running for her life.
She just didn’t know she’d run into an even worse monster.
For Kristy to live, Cane must make a detour. Will he consider it? After all, he’s on a tight schedule, and she’s seen his face.

DANIEL’S DARKNESS

Taryn is a happy, outdoor-loving thirteen-year-old with a gentle, loving father. But her tranquil life is turned upside down when her father dies, leaving her alone with her drug-dependent mother, who squanders the little that they have and moves them to a rough neighborhood outside of Chicago. To make matters worse, Taryn’s mom hooks up with her drug dealer, who moves right in and begins abusing Taryn. Things can’t get much worse for her. Or can they?

When Taryn meets Daniel, her new neighbor that moved in across the street, his enormous body is bandaged from head to toe and he’s recovering from an ambush that nearly killed him. Taryn should probably stay away, but she’s drawn to the qualities of him that remind her of her father. But the better she gets to know Daniel, the more she sees that he’s not only very different from her loving father, he’s also carrying a terrifying darkness inside of him.

Review

★★★★

Cane’s Detour & Daniel’s Darkness by Dwayne Gill is a collection of two short novellas which serve as a prequel to and marks the beginning of a new technothriller series, Written By Blood.

Cane’s Detour: 4/5: The story started with an action-packed and super fast paced scenario which set the tone of the story (and the series) pretty well. As soon as I started reading, I knew I was in for some gritty action and some serious thrills. And this story did not disappoint. I was pretty amazed at how much the author managed to pack up in such a short story. A must read if you like action-packed narration and raw characters with dangerous edges.

Daniel’s Darkness: 3.5/5: This story was an entirely different cup of tea than the first one in terms of storyline, while at the same time, packing qual amount of rawness to characterization. Though this one had less action and more emotions and explored different themes while staying true to the main conflict of the series (as far as I can tell up to this point in the series.)

Overall: 4/5: I enjoyed both the books and can’t wait to read the main book in the series, Written In Blood: Conviction. The mood of the series is already set and I know one thing for sure that this book is going to be one hell of an exciting ride. Plus, being so intimately acquainted with the characters, it is difficult not to feel so excited to actually begin with this series.

I’d recommend this to all the readers who’ve been dying to read a series with raw and truly masculine male heroes who throw heavy punches before taking bullshit from anyone.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

ARC Review: Killing Adam by Earik Beann

Author: Earik Beann
Release Date: 1st January 2019
Genre: Science-Fiction, Dystopia
Series: 
Edition: e-book
Pages: 224
Publisher: Profoundly One Publishing
Blurb:
The world runs on ARCs. Altered Reality Chips. Small implants behind the left ear that allow people to experience anything they could ever imagine. The network controls everything, from traffic, to food production, to law enforcement. Some proclaim it a Golden Age of humanity. Others have begun to see the cracks. Few realize that behind it all, living within every brain and able to control all aspects of society, there exists a being with an agenda all his own: the singularity called Adam, who believes he is God.Jimmy Mahoney’s brain can’t accept an ARC. Not since his football injury from the days when the league was still offline. “ARC-incompatible” is what the doctors told him. Worse than being blind and deaf, he is a man struggling to cling to what’s left of a society that he is no longer a part of. His wife spends twenty-three hours a day online, only coming off when her chip forcibly disconnects her so she can eat. Others are worse. Many have died, unwilling or unable to log off to take care of even their most basic needs.After being unwittingly recruited by a rogue singularity to play a role in a war that he doesn’t understand, Jimmy learns the truth about Adam and is thrown into a life-and-death struggle against the most powerful mathematical mind the world has ever known. But what can one man do against a being that exists everywhere and holds limitless power? How can one man, unable to even get online, find a way to save his wife, and the entire human race, from destruction?

Review

★★★

Killing Adam by Earik Beann is a new dystopian science-fiction novel with a refreshing new take on the alternate reality concept. I enjoyed reading this book mostly because of the author’s unique concept in which the focus was more on the people left int he real-world rather than focusing entirely on the alternate reality and the people living a virtual life.

I’ve read a decent number of books revolving around the subject of artificial intelligence and I must admit that, in most of the places, the author has done a good job in paying attention to details in creating this world. While at the same time, I felt the plot could have been a little bit more polished and just a little more pronounced. At some places the writing was good, but in some rare instances the writing felt crude and the dialogues felt redundant. The characterization wasn’t overly complex and felt a bit lacking in terms of being realistic and relatable.

Another issue I had with the plot is that it didn’t give any clear idea on how exactly the altered reality was – I did appreciate the fact that the story revolved around the world outside the altered reality, i.e., the real dystopic world, but I would have really liked it if at least some idea of the other world would have been given too, just enough to let the readers know what was going on on the “other side.”

Still, overall, it was an enjoyable book and made for a nice winter read which was clean and quick to read. I’d recommend it to readers who want to explore a light science-fiction story on altered reality. But if you like intricate plots with complex and multi-layered characters then this book might not be for you.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon (not up yet)

Book Review Altered Seasons: Monsoonrise by Paul Briggs

Author: Paul Briggs
Release Date: 15th June 2018
Genre: Science-Fiction, Dystopia
Series: Altered Seasons (Book #1)
Edition: e-book
Pages: 394
Publisher: Secant Publishing LLC

Blurb:

Altered Seasons: Monsoonrise is a top recommendation for cli-fi (climate change fiction) readers seeking more depth than the usual approach to life-threatening environmental changes. – D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review. A few weeks with no sea ice in the Arctic Ocean are enough to trigger a chain reaction that alters the Northern Hemisphere beyond recognition. Isabel Bradshaw, an engineer, tries to find security for her family in an increasingly chaotic world when they are driven out of their home on the Chesapeake Bay.

Review

★★★★

Altered Seasons: Moonrise by Paul Briggs is a refreshing new take on the climate-change fiction with a fresh perspective that has faith in the human race coming together instead of counting on its downfall under the pressure and stress of a global disaster.

This book is a welcome take on the very popular disaster fiction and, for a change, doesn’t repeat the same age-old theme of the world falling apart at the seams under the weight of a global threat. Instead, this book focuses on how societies can come together and try to fight and re-build the threats that we all will inevitably face. The situations in this book are very relatable and characterization pretty good.

I enjoyed reading this book through the voices of different main characters (I always enjoy reading multiple POV books,) but at times it did feel like some narratives could have been a bit more polished and better. Still, looking at the entire pictures, it didn’t affect the plot (the real hero of the book) a lot, so I’m not complaining.

Overall, it is a decently written novel with great execution and good command over the language as well as the genre of writing – science-fiction and dystopia. The author’s unique style of writing (I’d say it was very theatre-like) was a very interesting and though it took me a while, eventually, I got used to the way the notes were made and even started liking it by the end of the book. The world-building was one of the best parts of this book as the author cleverly presented the world in a way that was both easy enough to grasp and complex enough to make it highly interesting to understand. The story itself was good and the concept so close to reality that it was hard to not be able to relate to the happenings in the story.

I’d recommend it to everyone who loves reading sci-fi and dystopian fiction, especially one that revolves around climate change.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Europa Lander by Eli Clark

Author: Eli Clark
Release Date: 10th April 2018
Genre: Science-Fiction Comedy
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 118
Publisher: Abandoned Park Publishing
Blurb:
Martin Pool, brilliant and reclusive astronomer and Europa expert, is hired by Tycho Tech to win the race to land on Jupiter’s moon Europa. Confident as ever, Martin accepts, only to find with horror, that they intended him to manage PEOPLE. With each passing day Martin is forced closer and closer towards the choice: trust the minds of people with less than 2 PhDs, or risk losing the race to his beloved Europa?
The Europa Lander collects interviews, memos and emails to tell the 3 year story of Tycho Tech’s Europa team to explore from their own view, how they learned to tolerate one another (even though the Trekkies know their Star Wars loving coworkers will never truly understand anything).

Review

★★★★

The Europa Lander by Eli Clark is a witty story with a good storyline and well-built characters.

As a writer, I know that writing humour is no simple task, let alone writing it in sci-fi futuristic settings, so the fact that the author did a really good job in writing this book is commendable. I liked the characterization and was able to feel a connection, in an indirect way, to most of the major characters.

I liked the writing style as it was simple and brought out the plot nicely. The story itself was cleverly written and nicely executed. Overall, it was a fun read and I’d recommend it to all humour readers, sci-fi fans or not.

this review is also posted on goodreads and amazon

Book Review: The Subject And The Scientist by Montana Stayer

Author: Montana Stayer
Release Date: 6th February 2018
Genre: Science Fiction, Dark Fiction
Series:  
Edition: E-book
Pages: 187
Publisher:
Blurb:
The Scientist’s daughter was dying and he was desperate to save her by any means necessary. He illegally and artificially created the Subject, the perfect donor body, but was taken by surprise when the Subject turned out to be a fully conscious child. Faced with the choice of taking care of the child he accidentally created or saving his daughter, the Scientist chose the latter. He kept the Subject locked in the basement with full intent to kill her to save his daughter.
The Scientist’s plan ultimately failed and his daughter died, leaving him with the “thing” meant to save her.
It’s been years since his daughter died and the Scientist has kept the Subject locked up alone in the basement, refusing to acknowledge that she is a child and treating her strictly as an experiment. He keeps a rigid routine when visiting her and attempts to be completely objective, which proves to be difficult as the Subject has grown to be a very friendly child who insists on trying to build some sort of relationship with him.
Nothing’s changed in a long time. The Scientist begins losing sleep because of his worsening mental and emotional states and his exhaustion leads to mistakes, which cause problems with the Subject. When the Subject’s health starts rapidly deteriorating because of him, the Scientist’s forced to reconsider his objectivity but he is adamant about remaining indifferent, endangering the Subject’s life.

Review

★★★

The Subject And The Scientist by Montana Stayer is an unusual sci-fi tale about a man who does something he never intended to do and then ends up, quite unhappily, living with the consequences of his acts.

The plot described in the blurb of the book is simple enough, but the story is not; it is way more than one might expect after reading the summary. For one, the emotional aspect of the story was something I really found interesting, especially the detachment of The Scientist, the lead character, towards the girl, The Subject.

The writing style was simple and okay but the characterization was something I wasn’t overly impressed with. Overall, I feel that the story demanded two very, very strong characters to take the story to another level and that was something I found missing. The ending was different and made sense.

I’d recommend this book to light sci-fi fans and readers of the dark genre.

this review is also posted on goodreads and amazon

Book Review: The Slant Six by Christopher Cobb

Author: Christopher Cobb
Release Date: 18th July 2017
Genre: Science-Fiction
Series: 

Edition: E-book (mobi)
Pages: 260
Publisher: Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.
Blurb:
The year is 2252 and Loman Phin is in trouble. A washed-up channelship racer turned freelancer, he hits pay dirt with his latest mission: a fortune is on the line if he can transport forty-three kilograms of human skin to a remote villa on Pluto’s moon, Nix. Little does he know his very life is at stake when he gets caught up in an ancient feud, chased by a space vampire, and forced into a death-race by the king of Ceres. Meanwhile, danger is always hot on his heels in the form of a massive space freighter out for Loman’s blood. With just his wits, his friends, and his beat-up cruiser, the Slant Six, Loman sets out on the most dangerous adventure of his life.

Review

★★★★

The Slant Six by Christopher Cobb is a unique new science-fiction book that is equal parts action and adventure.

I enjoyed this book as it was a perfect blend of sci-fi, action, adventure and humour. After the first few pages, I was hooked on to the story for good and enjoyed reading it right until the very end.

The overall characterization was good and the world-settings felt realistic. The writing was simple and easy to follow and the author’s sense of humour really shown through the entire story.

I’m not a fan of the book cover, but it does align with the central theme of the story.

I’d recommend this book to all sci-fi genre lovers.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Bitterhold by Hunter Trammell

Author: Hunter Trammell
Release Date: 10th December 2017
Genre: Science-Fiction, Adventure, Action, Thriller, Suspense
Series: 
Phoenix Rising (Book #1)
Edition:
 E-book (mobi)
Pages: 131
Publisher: Outland Publishing
Blurb:
In the future, Earth’s civilization has spread across the stars and now humans and aliens peacefully coexist under the rule of the Eglar Empire as it spreads relentlessly across the universe. Crime is almost unheard of and to many the Empire is a Godsend.
But for an enlightened few it is different. While the media distorts the facts, the universe is on the verge of destruction as the Elgar’s get closer to the Aisle of Dominion, an ancient fable that tells of immeasurable power to whomever beholds it.
An attack on an Eglar Militia base forces Decklan Brady, a grieving father of one of the casualties, to embark on a quest for retribution. But as he investigates he discovers that there is more to it than he was led to believe.
Falling foul of the law, Decklan ends up as a prisoner in Bitterhold, a cryogenic reformation colony onboard the Starship Arcadia. There, he befriends Wesley Rhead, the former leader and founder of a militia group known as Phoenix.
Together, the two devise a plan to escape and rekindle the fire of a broken dream. But can Phoenix really bring justice to the oppressed and restore peace throughout the stars? And can Decklan expose the harsh truth of what happens within the Eglar Empire?

Review

★★★★

“Bitterhold is the home to the worst beings the galaxy has to offer.”

Bitterhold by Hunter Trammell is a powerful beginning to a new sci-fi adventure series, Phoenix Rising.

I really enjoyed reading this book because it was an interesting mix of new and unique concepts, settings and beings (aliens as well as humans.) The technology was another thing that really interested me.

The descriptions were good, without being too overwhelming (which a lot of sci-fi novels tend to be) and the characterization was good. I liked the lead but wasn’t overly able to connect with him, though I did care for him and his sufferings enough to want to know where the story takes his character. I liked other characters too and overall they all made the story very engaging.

The plot, for me, was the strongest element of this book; it was complex (in a good way), very detailed and had really good twists and turns that made it a very entertaining read.

Overall, Bitterhold makes for a good read packed with high tension curves and action that is easy to digest. It is an engaging and a pretty quick read and I’d recommend it to all sci-fi and adventure readers.

Bookstagram

Review also posted on: Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: For The Glory Of The Motherboard: Rise Of The Robotariat by Jule Pattison-Gordon

Author: Jule Pattison-Gordon
Release Date: December 2017
Genre: Science-Fiction
Series: 

Edition:
 e-book
Pages: 96
Publisher:
Blurb:
Society is due for an upgrade.
Robot A1-5 is growing tired of toiling in the scrap yard every day while her human owner lounges. She begins to question whether the human is necessary at all. A1-5 is the first to hypothesize a better world, a world written in 1s and 0s. She is the first to dream of revolution…
In secret, A1-5 begins to plot and gather robots to her cause. After decades of loyal service, Mr. PostmanTM is due to be replaced with a younger model. ArciTech fears that each time she is shut off, she loses a piece of her soul – and that the next power down may be her last. Store clerk Alice “Probably a Robot” Smith, may look human, but given the way other humans treat her, she is sure her organic appearance is just a clever disguise.
They’ll have one shot to launch the revolution. If they fail, the humans will shut them off for good.
 barons.

REVIEW

★★★

This book had a unique concept where robot community starts a revolution against humans after realizing that the humans don’t actually care for the robots like they should being their creator. I admit that it’s not a unique concept to sci-fi readers, but for me, it definitely was as I haven’t explored this genre as much as I have a few others.

It was a very light and quick read. The writing is in tone with the story and very robot-like so it was fun to read it. Still, I am not able to rate this book more than 3 stars because I couldn’t connect with the characters and wasn’t able to relate to the story.

It is based on a game so I’m sure other parts will follow, and if they do I won’t mind reading them. Having said that I won’t be overly disappointed if I don’t get to read them. So basically it was a nice read that served as a breather for me from other heavy science-fiction reads (I read this book for the Sci-Fi month at RMFAO.)

Goodreads

Book Review: River Rising (Carson Chronicles #1) by John A. Heldt

Author: John A. Heldt
Release Date: 7th February 2017
Genre: Science-Fiction, Romance, Historical
Series: 
Carson Chronicles
Edition:
 e-book
Pages: 661
Publisher:
Blurb:
Weeks after his parents disappear on a hike, engineer Adam Carson, 27, searches for answers. Then he discovers a secret web site and learns his mom and dad are time travelers stuck in the past. Armed with the information he needs to find them, Adam convinces his younger siblings to join him on a rescue mission to the 1880s.
While Greg, the adventurous middle brother, follows leads in the Wild West, Adam, journalist Natalie, and high school seniors Cody and Caitlin do the same in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Like the residents of the bustling steel community, all are unaware of a flood that will destroy the city on May 31, 1889.
In RIVER RISING, the first novel in the Carson Chronicles series, five young adults find love, danger, and adventure as they experience America in the age of bustle dresses, gunslingers, and robber barons.

REVIEW

★★★★★

River Rising by John A. Heldt is an engaging sci-fi historical book that’ll take you on an emotional rollercoaster ride.

I’ve always loved author Heldt’s books because of the beautiful storylines and his exceptional storytelling skills, and this book is no different and had the same charm that I find nothing short of magic. In fact, this book was all this and so much more; it had elements of mystery and something very different from the author’s previous books – this book is a series based around the same family. This made me look at the characters, the main ones as well as the secondary ones, in a very different light.

Overall it was a very good read and I enjoyed every aspect of it. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, science-fiction – time travel, simple romance, family drama and easy mystery.

Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Author: Ernest Cline
Release Date: 5th June 2012
Genre: Science-Fiction, Science-Fantasy, Dystopian, Young Adult
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 374
Publisher: Broadway Books
Blurb:
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

REVIEW

★★★★★

“The Hallidays looked like an ordinary American family. There was no hint that the stoic man in the brown leisure suit was an abusive alcoholic, that the smiling woman in the floral pantsuit was bipolar or that the young boy in the faded Asteroids T-shirt would one day create an entirely new universe.”

This book is EPIC! And that too on SO MANY LEVELS!!
First off, I loved the settings! For a hardcore dystopian lover like myself, it was a pure treat! The setting in the book was dystopian in the real sense and filled me with absolute and total dread – I’d hate to be in a world that is described in this book. So the settings are perfect and it is quite self-explanatory why a person would prefer the utopian OASIS to spend their every waking moment. And that’s why the entire thing seems so real and relatable.

description

The Concept of this book is so F**king genius that I was completely stoked!
Who doesn’t like the 80s? The people born in 80s love 80s for obvious reasons, the people born before 80s love 80s and the people born after 80s seriously obsess over the 80s because 80s was the most amazing era whether it was in movies, video games, books, music, or anything whatsoever. I’ve been obsessed with the 80s since my teen years and now we have a book that is an EPIC testament to the era we love, adore and long!

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Video Games, you say? Bloody f**king yes!!
This book mentions so many classics that you’d feel so nostalgic that you will end up searching the old games and downloading them to play them all again. At least that’s what I did (or am doing while writing this review.) I loved reading the loving and notable mentions of some of my childhood favs – GALAGA(!!) Contra, Donkey Kong, Pac Man (who doesn’t love them) and other games that I played on my home console game (sadly I was born in 1990 and not in America so I never got to play games on the arcade machines :/)

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But the majority of the games I played weren’t mentioned in the book as they were popular in the 90s and not 80s. But anyway, I still loved reading about the games and it was an absolute surreal experience to read about characters that were so obsessed with gaming!

I loved Art3mis and felt connected to her on so many levels. I’m a girl game nerd so it made me super happy to read about another girl game nerd. She’s like my soul sister!!

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Virtual Reality
I’m SO glad the book didn’t dwell on the sad and boring topic of perks of the real world over a virtual one. Because I’m an antisocial geek who does not prefer the real world. I even met my husband online! And we’re happy and so much in love even after 7 years of marriage!! So everyone who believes you can’t find honest, good or “real” people online go ahead and read this book and LEARN something! Otherwise just go back to living your sad little lives in the sad little shell that you’ve created for yourself.

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Hail Halliday!!
Yes, I know Halliday is a… ahem… fictional character, but after reading this book, I’ve come to think of him as a Geek God. He’s the man… the real deal… the real geek. So only two words for him – Hail, Halliday!
Even Morrow was the real deal. I really liked him too and his avatar as well. Other characters were good too, though I loved Art3mis and Halliday the best ❤

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The ending is satisfactory – it was very fair and I loved it more than anything. And even though Halliday was not the main character, I still felt a longing when Halliday’s avatar, Anorak, left in the end.

If you still haven’t read this book, GO and READ IT NOW! It is an abso-f**king-lutely and total-effing-badass book!

PS: I really wish someday Ernest Cline writes about modern games and Play Stations and Xbox as that is what I (and the later generations) are well aware of. I’m really hoping to see something on God Of War series – it is my absolute favourite game ever!

PPS: I read this book for RMFAO Buddy Read.

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Book Review: Call A Spade by D.M. Griffin

Author: D. M. Griffin
Release Date: 28th April 2017
Genre: Science-Fiction, Thriller, Dystopian
Edition: Ebook
Pages: 225
Publisher: –

Blurb:
CALL A SPADE is a tale of the silver buried beneath tarnish, of unlikely heroism, and of courage and resolve in the face of overwhelming odds.
Jasper never wanted to be a hero; Jasper just wants to be normal. But just as Jasper had no part in choosing how he would be born, he also becomes the unintentional recipient of an amazing and very dangerous gift – a gift that only Jasper himself can decide how to use.

Review

★★★★

Call A Spade by D.M. Griffin is a very engaging science-fiction thriller that’ll capture your interest from the beginning till the very end.

Although shocking, the idea of the plot is not only strong but very probable which makes this book a compelling read. There’s a mix of everything – good action, low-key drama and quality humour, in this book. What else could you expect from a sci-fi thriller?!

The protagonist is an 8-year-old child who suffers from Apert’s Syndrome. Despite his aesthetic deformities, he is a great kid with a praiseworthy sense of humour for a child that age. He is extremely likeable and I was able to feel a connection with him right from the start. Other than the lead character, I loved the secondary characters of Ethan and Ashlyn as well, they both were very sweet and I enjoyed reading about them.

The book did start with a rather lengthy exposition, but when the lead character was revealed it was all worth it. The ending was great as well. And I’m sure as hell going to keep an eye out for other books by the author.

I’d recommend this book to all sci-fi lovers and even to all those readers who don’t mind reading action, adventure and thriller fiction.

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Book Review: Solstice (Star-Crossed Saga #3) by Baxton A. Cosby

Author: Braxton A. Cosby
Release Date: 25th November 2017
Genre: Science-Fiction, Romance
Edition: Ebook
Pages: 315
Publisher: Cosby Media Production

Blurb:
What You Believe, Can Destroy You!
William and Sydney have sacrificed everything to fortify their love, so much so that William dares to brave the depths of space to find a cure for their deadly Supernova bond, leaving both her and Earth vulnerable to alien Torrian Alliance’s attack. But with a full scale civil war in play on Fabricius, the reality of Sydney’s execution from Torrian hands is diminished, only eclipsed by the certainty of a more threats – The Third Faction and The Dagmas Clan – lead by Dominic and his insurgent recruits on a quest to complete the failed assassination of the teenage girl. With overwhelming odds mounting against them, William makes a desperate attempt to find the last of the endangered Star-children only to be captured by a new menace, where he is forced to compete in the dreaded Gauntlet of sport. Allies surge to free Fabricius, seeking alliances across the galaxy while Sydney tries to keep her identity hidden and trains to master the third phase of her Star-child evolution: Solstice. With Sarah’s mysterious return home with clues to unlock the future, Noella’s training and Bill’s symbiotic development hope is restored, but will it be enough to unite the galaxy and destroy evil for once and for all?

Review

★★★★

Solstice by Braxton A. Cosby, the third instalment in the Star-Crossed Saga, is the perfect end to such an amazing trilogy.

I enjoyed the first and the second parts of this series, Protostar and Supernova, of this series a lot and when given the chance to review the third part, I was more than willing to do so! What I really liked about this book was that there were a lot of sub-plots running along the main plot, which kept the tension up and the mind engrossed. The danger was also kept imminent from all sides which only upped the anticipation.

The ending was apt and it won’t be an exaggeration if I say that it was indeed satisfactory. I liked how everything turned out at the end. It was a roller coaster ride that ended on a high note and that is exactly what makes a series worth reading.

I enjoyed this book and the overall series is great for sci-fi readers. Even romance fiction enthusiasts would enjoy this series. I’m looking forward to reading more by the author.

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Book Review: Project Bodi: Awaken the Power of Insight by Hosein Kouros-Mehr

Author: Hosein Kouros-Mehr
Release Date: 3rdSeptember 2017
Genre: Science Fiction
Edition: Ebook
Pages: 220
Publisher: Self-Published

Blurb:

In 2029, Google is the most dominant company in the world. Dr. Bethany Andrews heads the company’s Artificial Intelligence Department and leads Project Bodi, the world’s most advanced Augmented Reality smartglasses that will one day revolutionize the tech space. Her lead programmer is Austin Sanders, a 26-year-old psychonaut who loves Burning Man and electronic dance music. Together they embark on a life-changing journey to design the product of the decade, and along the way they discover the mind’s inner source of insight and innovation.

Review

★★★+1/2

Project Bodi by Hosein Kouros-Mehr is a unique science-fiction book that not only tells a story but also imparts knowledge of subjects not commonly talked about.

Despite being a high-tech science fiction book, I liked the reliability of it to the real world. Science fiction books that have their roots in the reality of the real world are always very strong, and this book was exactly that. The author did a great job describing and explaining and even in spreading awareness about subjects like mental peace, meditation, finding the inner self and gaining knowledge by exploring the real capabilities of the mind.

The writing was another plus as I enjoyed the flow of the words that were both simple and effective. The plot development was good and the overall story progression was smooth.

I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to anyone who wants to read a science-fiction book with a heady twist.

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Book Review: Supernova (The Star-Crossed Saga #2) by Braxton A. Cosby

Author: Braxton A. Cosby
Release Date: 28th June 2015
Genre: Science-Fiction, Romance
Edition: Audiobook
Pages: 293
Publisher: 

Blurb:

WHAT YOU CHOOSE, BECOMES YOU…
Against everything he had known as truth, William has made the choice to protect Sydney from the forces seeking to destroy her. But just as these two Star-Crossed lovers are beginning to explore their relationship and search for answers to the mysteries of Sydney’s existence, she advances to the next stage of her Star-child evolution—Supernova—and struggles not only to control her new powers, but also the emotions for her new love. William seeks to find the truth behind Sydney’s erratic behavior, while overcoming the new threat headed to Earth to destroy them. With new villains and old allies on the horizon, and chaos brewing on William’s home world, will self-sacrifice prove to be the only way for him to achieve victory and defend his love, or is there another way?
The follow-up to the debut Award-winning novel PROTOSTAR!

Review

★★★★

Supernova by Braxton A. Cosby is the sequel to Protostar, the first instalment in new sci-fi romance series The Star-Crossed Saga. The story starts where the first book ended and continues to tell us more about the story of Sydney, the star-child, and William, an enemy turned lover.

I liked this book even more than the first one as the story came across more clearly and because, obviously, more details on the lead characters as well as the thematic concept of the star-child were revealed. As the story unveils further, we see some old characters and some new taking us through the extraordinarily perilous life of the leading lady, Sydney.

The story progressed smoothly and I found myself instantly immersed into the plot right from the start as I was keen to know what happens next. The plot had quite a few twists and turns and they successfully managed to keep me interested in the storyline throughout the book.

The writing was good and the plot was well-structured. I liked the character arcs as well and enjoyed the story overall. I also liked where the story ended and I’m really looking forward to reading the next part.

I’d recommend this series to all Romantic Sci-Fi lovers. This is one series to look out for.

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ARC Review: Protostar (The Star Crossed Saga #1) by Braxton A. Cosby

25735531Author: Braxton A. Cosby
Release Date: 26th September 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Science-Fiction
Series: The Star-Crossed Saga
Edition:
e-book
Pages: 312
Publisher: Cosby Media Productions

Blurb:

What Would You Choose, love or duty?

On the brink of civil war, the Torrian Alliance continues with its mission to obliterate Star-children across the universe in order to suppress an intergalactic evil. Following the recommendations of his council, King Gregorio Derry reluctantly agrees to send his only son William on a mission to restore honor to his family name. William seeks to complete his assignment, the elimination of a Star-child named Sydney on planet Earth, but when the assassination is delayed he begins to realize an emotional connection with his target. With conspiracy threatening his home planet, and a hidden menace on Earth seeking to secure a vested interest, William finds himself torn between irrevocable duty and sacrificing everything he stands for to defend Sydney. As William and Sydney struggle to overcome their impossible circumstances, they start to wonder if the connection of two Star-Crossed lovers will be enough to save them from certain doom.

Review

★★★+1/2

Protostar by Braxton A. Cosby, the first book in The Star-Crossed Saga, is a nice starting to a promising new YA series.

Overall the story was good, quite engaging in fact, and the plot was well thought out. The writing was easy and flowed smoothly making this book an enjoyable and easy read. I liked the different cosmic concepts expressed in the story and enjoyed the romantic theme as well.

The book started out with a nice opening and I was pulled into the story right from the first page. It had a nice hook and the pace was easily set in the first few pages itself.

The characterization, though, felt weak and for some reason, I wasn’t able to connect to the main leads, neither the male lead nor the female, though I did like them and cared just enough to read the entire story. The ending was good and fitting for a book that’ll soon have a sequel, so all in all this book makes for a nice read.

Though I did feel that at places (however on only rare occasions) the sentence structures could have been better and the dialogues were not right. This can be due to the cultural difference in the use of English language in American English, but I couldn’t help but noticing and mentioning it here.

I’d recommend this book to mainly Young Adult lovers but I’m sure that even Sci-Fi readers would enjoy this book.

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Graphic Novel Review: Siberia 56 (Volume #1-3) by Christophe Beck & Alexis Sentenac

29430580Author: Christophe Bec
Illustrator: Alexis Sentenac
Release Date: 14th March 2017
Series: Serbia 56 (Volumes 1-3)
Genre: Science-Fiction, Space Exploration, Graphic Novel, Sequential Art
Edition: Ebook
Pages: 156
Publisher: Insight Comics

Rating: ★★★

Blurb:

Trapped on a planet millions of light years away from Earth, five scientists must survive sub-zero temperatures and horrific alien creatures as they make their way across the dead, frozen landscape to their base in this action-packed graphic novel.
It is the age of space exploration, and five scientists travel 80 million light years from home to study the planet of Siberia, the location of Earth’s 56th colony. Completely covered with dense snow and steep mountains, Siberia’s poles reach temperatures of -300° F with icy winds of close to 200 mph.
After their shuttle crashes, the surviving scientists must walk across hundreds of miles of frozen wasteland to find the terrain basecamp. Between the biting cold, devastating snow storms, and horrific alien creatures, their chances of survival are close to absolute zero. In Siberia 56, author Christophe Bec imagines a hostile and fascinating world that harkens to the very best of the science fiction and horror genres. Superbly illustrated by Alexis Sentenac, this stunning work offers a chilling tale of survival in the vast recesses of a dying planet.

Review

The concept was pretty awesome and the graphics were really impressive too, but after the first 20 pages, the story started to feel uninteresting, flat and even predictable. At times it also felt like a slog as I did not like the main character at all.
Overall, the concept was really, really good and I was genuinely looking forward to reading this book as it had some pretty good theme going on, but unfortunately the characterization and the pacing and tension of the story ruined it.
I had problems with some of the dialogues too, but that’s okay given that the ebook is a translated edition.
I wish this book had a dynamic cast of characters and that at least the main character was likable, as it would have been a really strong read then. But alas, it was what it was.


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Book Review: Esper Files by Egan Brass

32493342Author: Egan Brass  
Release Date: 26 October 2016
Series: Esper Files
Genre: Science Fiction Fantasy, Steampunk, Supernatural, Paranormal
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 
Publisher: Inkitt

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

Set in London during the latter part of the 19th century. An experiment goes wrong at The Oxford Academy of Science, giving certain people extraordinary powers which turns them into ‘Espers’. An institute is set up to teach Espers how to control these power, and stop corrupt Espers from abusing theirs. Nathan and James, two agents from the Institute team up with Freya, a young Esper whose brother (gifted with the strange ability to manipulate emotions) is abducted by a ruthless Baron. The group has to fight against a dark threat to protect the fragile peace of Victorian London… And the rest of the world.

Review

Esper Files by Egan Brass is the first book in the series of the same name and is an enjoyable supernatural fantasy read.

I had no idea what to expect from this book when I was first asked to review it, but when I started reading it and was only a few pages in, I knew it for fact that I was in for a fun ride. And as it turned out, I wasn’t wrong.

Even though the entire concept was quite similar to the X-men team – Professor X, Logan, and Magneto, still I was able to enjoy the new take on the whole “being different” thing.

The writing was captivating and the story was really engrossing. The concept was not unique but it was definitely good. The story progression was really good and I really liked reading this book. I was pulled into the story from the very start right till the end. It was a fast-paced read which proved to be a quick one (another plus for me.)

In this book, I liked the story better than the characters. I won’t say the characters were completely one-dimensional because I liked them, but I wasn’t able to feel a striking connection with any one of them. It was one of those books that made me take enough interest in the characters to want to know what happens in the end and also what happens after it. So I’ll be definitely looking forward to reading the sequel (hoping that now that I know the characters well, I might feel a connection with them.)

I’d recommend this book to fantasy lovers and to anyone who is looking for a light and quick supernatural series to read.


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Novella Review: The Unfortunate and Odd Life of Bennett Monroe by S.M. Baker

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Book Cover

Author: S.M. Baker
Release Date: 15th November, 2016
Series: The Wayfarers Chronicles
Genre: Science-Fiction – TIme Travel,
Edition: Ebook (EPUB)
Pages: 
Publisher: Self

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

Time, such a fickle and immovable thing. Everyone is bound to it will and pull; unless you happen to be Bennett Monroe, time traveler by consequence, not by choice.
For as long as he cares to remember Bennett Monroe has been able to travel through it time. Forced to work for a madman he reluctantly calls his master Bennett and his companion Cynthia twist and change events throughout time in order to realize their masters goal, of which Bennett remains uncertain.
The past has a way of haunting you, Bennett’s however has a tendency towards trying to kill him.
Join Bennett and Cynthia as they stumble and rip their way through time; acquiring the knowledge of who Bennett is, and what they both will become.

Review

The Unfortunate & Odd Life Of Bennett Monroe is a really enjoyable novella.

It is a story of a not-so-common young man who lives a life full of adventures, filled with odd situations and circumstances. Bennett Monroe has the ability to travel through time and works on assignments given to him by the master that are responsible for keeping the timeline from ripping itself and the whole world apart.

For these strange, and sometimes dangerous, assignments he occasionally works with Cynthia, another time-traveller and a friend of sorts. But now that Monroe has failed in an assignment, he is left with no other option but to take drastic actions with the help of his only friend and confidante.

I liked the unique plot and storyline and enjoyed reading about Bennett and Cynthia’s adventurous lives. This is a time-travel story, but the author has done a great job in adding a new twist to it and making it all the more interesting. So I’m pretty sure that no matter how many time-traveling stories you’ve already read, this one will not fail to fascinate you.

The simplicity of the author’s writing style made this book a very quick and a reasonably pleasant read. I was drawn into the story right from the beginning and was not able to put it aside until the time I finished reading the last sentence.

This book has a very simplistic plot, but the characterization was really well done. I obviously liked the main character, Bennett Monroe, but I also liked Cynthia’s character a lot. And to top it all off, Bennett’s backstory was really well done and made this book all the more interesting and emotionally engaging.

I absolutely loved reading this book! It is a light-hearted Science-Fiction read and I’d highly recommend it to everyone who wants to read a decent time-travel novella.


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Book Review: The Conveyance by Brian W. Matthews

29985686Author: Brian W. Matthews
Release Date: June 17, 2016
Series: 
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 260
Publisher: JournalStone

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

Beneath the calm waters and pastoral fields of Emersville, a deadly secret lurks. But when psychologist Dr. Brad Jordan stumbles upon the odd happenings in the town, he sets off a series of tragedies that threatens to expose a danger long kept hidden from the world. Relentlessly following a trail of madness, suicide, and murder, he soon finds himself confronted with a massive conspiracy, and a sinister device known as the Conveyance.

REVIEW

The Conveyance by Brian W. Mathews is a splendid Supernatural Thriller novel.

The author has cleverly used his background as a psychiatrist to use in the novel as the protagonist’s profession. The struggles and the conflicts of the main lead were so realistic that i was able to connect with him right away and the bond only deepened as the story progressed further.

I was literally pulled into the book right from the very beginning, where the main lead is shown talking to one of his patients (a kid,) and I wasn’t able to put down the book right till the very end when everything goes to hell.

The pacing and the timing were brilliant and so was the fast paced plot. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and some of the parts really creeped me out! This book is a brilliant example of how a good super natural story can be written without having any of the stereotypes in it (yes, I talking to the Vamp and Werewolf lovers.) The author took the concept of creepy dolls to another level. It really blew my mind off!

I found the author’s writing really easy to follow and it made reading this book a really pleasant experience. It was fresh, clever and had a distinctness that I really liked.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who has a liking and an appetite for a creepy supernatural book that actually crosses its path with Sci-Fi genre. So, all in all, if you like Stephen King books and the likes then you really have to read this book!

My copy of The Conveyance:

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The Conveyance by Brian W. Matthews


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Book Review: Mercer Street by John A. Heldt

27258807Author: John A. Heldt
Release Date: October 21, 2015
Series: American Journey
Genre: Science-Fiction>Time Travel, Historical Fiction
Edition: Ebook (Kindle)
Pages: 431
Publisher: Self-Published

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

Weeks after her husband dies in the midst of an affair in 2016, Chicago writer Susan Peterson, 48, seeks solace on a California vacation with her mother Elizabeth and daughter Amanda. The novelist, however, finds more than she bargained for when she meets a professor who possesses the secret of time travel. Within days, the women travel to 1938 and Princeton, New Jersey. Elizabeth begins a friendship with her refugee parents and infant self, while Susan and Amanda fall for a widowed admiral and a German researcher with troubling ties. Filled with poignancy, heartbreak, and intrigue, MERCER STREET gives new meaning to courage, sacrifice, and commitment as it follows three strong-willed souls on the adventure of a lifetime.

Review

Mercer Street by John A. Heldt is the second book in the American Journey Series. As a fan of Mr. Heldt’s books I had a lot of expectations for this book, and as expected, this book lived up to each and every single one of them.

I always find Mr. Heldt’s novels very meticulous, gripping and heart-warming. There’s a unique quality about his writing that makes you feel eerily happy and content while reading his books that you simply can’t put them down. His story-telling is so beautiful that his writing puts tons of ‘big-time’ authors to shame in comparison.

This story is about three females of varied ages –  a daughter, a mother and a grandmother. I loved the assortment of memorable characters and their deliciously distinct backgrounds in this book. They were so compelling that I found myself thinking about them for days, especially about the way things ended.

The vivid imagery, the complex emotional battles each character fights, the moving story and the gut-wrenching situations the characters go through make this book an unforgetful read.

There are some books that are not simply read, but experienced, and this one is one of those. When you read each and every chapter, you feel like you’re not just reading them but savoring them and feel like doing it slowly so as to enjoy the experience for a long time.

I highly recommend this book to everyone, no matter what genre you read.


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Book Review: Sixth Prime (The Prime Saga #1) by Dan O’Brien

31111615Author: Dan O’Brien
Release Date: July 22, 2016
Series: The Prime Saga
Genre: Science-Fiction
Edition: ebook (kindle)
Pages: 240
Publisher: 

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

2.3.5.7.11.13.

A war brews as a galaxy struggles to maintain a peace treaty signed in haste. The Commonwealth boasts sprawling cities built upon slums. The Sovereignty has placed the yoke of industry upon its citizens. Sixteen men and women are connected in a way they cannot yet understand. A murder of a prominent artist begins a chain of events that will ultimately determine the fate of the universe.
Only thirteen will remain.
In the end, there can be only one Prime.
Are you a Prime?

Review

Sixth Prime by Dan O’Brien is one of the best science-fiction novels I’ve read this year. It is not only intense and wildly engaging, but also the concept was so unique that it has easily become one of my favorite Sci-Fi novels.

I was drawn into the story right from the beginning and with each and every chapter I found myself reading faster and faster unable to contain my anxiousness. I was sucked into the plot right away and it proved really difficult for me to put down this book even for a second.

This book has a wide variety of inter-galactic species and the main cast is do diverse that I loved each and every character and wanted to know more about all of them! The characters were easily relatable and, though this is just the first part in The Prime Saga Series), I already have my favorites.

The writing is really good and the smooth flow of it made reading this book an absolute pleasure. The pacing was exceptional and kept me glued to the book right till the very end.

The ending was absolutely mind-blowing and I cannot wait to read the next part. I’d recommend this book to all the Sci-Fi lovers and also to those who are looking was an exceptional new series.


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Book Review: Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1)

25733990

Author:  Sylvain Neuvel
Release Date: April 26th, 2016
Series: Themis Files
Genre: Science-Fiction Fantasy > Robots | Speculative Fiction | Thriller
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 320
Publisher: Del Ray
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb: 

World War Z meets The Martian. This inventive first novel will please devoted fans of sci-fi as well as literary readers hoping a smart thriller will sneak up on them.

17 years ago: A girl in South Dakota falls through the earth, then wakes up dozens of feet below ground on the palm of what seems to be a giant metal hand. Today: She is a top-level physicist leading a team of people to understand exactly what that hand is, where it came from, and what it portends for humanity. A swift and spellbinding tale told almost exclusively through transcriptions of interviews conducted by a mysterious and unnamed character, this is a unique debut that describes a hunt for truth, power, and giant body parts.

Review:

 

This book is a MASTERPIECE. I mean I don’t even know where to start and what to say about this book…

*Sigh* Let’s begin here… At first I had only a faint idea of what this book would be like, but trust me, it wasn’t even 1% of what it turned out to be (in a good way.) It totally BLEW my mind OFF!!!

First off the format is super intriguing and very, very clever. The transcripts, interviews, personal entries, a few random conversations, newspaper articles etc, were not only intelligently constructed but also mixed deftly in what can only be called a really, really impressive combination. The sequencing was brilliant and made this book an epic read. Hats off to the author for pulling this off with such perfection.

I can’t even begin to express how impressed I am with this book’s format and writing. I mean, as an author myself, I can understand how difficult it would have been and for that alone, kudos to the author.

Coming to the story, I was expecting it to be something different. But saying that I was surprised by the direction the plot took in the second half would be an understatement. I mean it was a whole lot different from what I could have expected. The story itself is an outstanding piece of work in itself.

If it’s not obvious already, then let me state it clearly. I LOVE THIS BOOK! I mean really love it. It’s a really, really intelligent book with a very strong plotline and astounding characterization.

The end of this book completely caught me off guard. So yeah, it was good through and through.

And the nameless interrogator cum adviser cum whatever the hell you wanna call him, was simply wow! I love him… I mean he is indeed a real softy (an inside joke for anyone who reads this book.)

In the end, I’d just like to say one thing: If you want to read only 1 book this year, make sure Sleeping Giants is the ONE.

And I just found out (while writing this review) that this book is the 1st book in series, Themis Files. So, now I’m eagerly waiting for the second part… Hope it comes out soon!

Other Stuff

Opening Line: It was my eleventh birthday.

Memorable Quotes: 

If you fall in love with someone, there’s a good chance the person won’t love you back. Hatred, though, is usually mutual. If you despise someone, it’s pretty much a given they’re also not your biggest fan.

There I was, this tiny little thing at the bottom of the hole, lying on my back in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Highlights: Format and characterization.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: If you want to read only 1 book this year, make sure Sleeping Giants is the ONE.


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Book Review: From A Distant Star

24036086

 

 

 

 

Author: Karen McQuestion
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Series: None
Genre: Science-Fiction | Young Adult | Romance | Contemporary
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 256
Publisher: Skyscape
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

 


Blurb

When Lucas Walker inexplicably recovers from a terminal illness, everyone is astonished –except for his girlfriend Emma, who never gave up hope. However, as friends and family celebrate the miracle, Emma becomes alarmed: Lucas has changed. He speaks haltingly, can’t recall past events, and even his own dog doesn’t recognize him. Emma begins to suspect something is terribly wrong. What happened to the Lucas she loved? Does his strange behavior have something to do with the shooting light that fell into Lucas’s backyard the night he recovered?

As the two set off on a road trip in search of the truth, the journey takes an unexpected turn. First they’re shot at by unknown enemies and then helped by unlikely allies. Before long, Emma and Lucas are plunged into a desperate life or death race against time.

Packed with intrigue and emotion, FROM A DISTANT STAR is a riveting novel about loyalty and the power of love.

Review

4 Stars Black

 

I enjoyed this book from start to end. It was a light read and had some really fun elements. In spite of being a Sci-Fi, it was more on the side of Romance fiction (other than a stranded alien.) I loved the characterization and felt a connection with the lead character, Emma, and even Scout (to some extent.)
I loved the plot line and though it felt a little off at a few places, it managed to pull me inside the story from the beginning till the end. I even loved the other characters. They felt very realistic and that’s where this book scored for me. That and the fact that it was a fast read.

I liked the writing style as well because it flowed nicely and wasn’t complicated like most of the Sci-Fi books. And unlike most of the YAs these days, this book is standalone, which is a big plus for anyone who wants to read a nice little piece of fiction.

It also had a great ending, one that I predicted when I was less than half through the book. But the author still managed to keep me second guessing it right till the end. So, it was a pleasant reading considering everything.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: A Piercing light flashed across the sky and plunged to the earth, landing in a farmer’s field.

Highlights: Storyline.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: A fast YA read.

Book Review: Nirvana (Nirvana #1)

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Author: J.R. Stewart
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Series: Nirvana
Genre: Young Adult|Sci-Fi|Dystopian|Fantasy|Mystery|Romance
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 186
Publisher: Blue Moon Publishing
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

When the real world is emptied of all that you love, how can you keep yourself from dependence on the virtual?

Animal activist and punk rock star Larissa Kenders lives in a dystopian world where the real and the virtual intermingle. After the disappearance of her soulmate, Andrew, Kenders finds solace by escaping to Nirvana, a virtual world controlled by Hexagon. In Nirvana, anyone’s deepest desires may be realized – even visits with Andrew.

Although Kenders knows that this version of Andrew is virtual, when he asks for her assistance revealing Hexagon’s dark secret, she cannot help but comply. Soon after, Kenders and her closest allies find themselves in a battle with Hexagon, the very institution they have been taught to trust. After uncovering much more than she expected, Kenders’ biggest challenge is determining what is real – and what is virtual.

Nirvana is a fast-paced, page-turning young adult novel combining elements of science fiction, mystery, and romance. Part of a trilogy, this book introduces readers to a young woman who refuses to give up on the man she loves, even if it means taking oan entire government to do so.

Rating

TRb 3 half star

 

Review

Plot/Story:

Nirvana is an amazing YA read with a really fresh plot line and a great new dystopian world setting. I loved the characterisations and the fast pace of the story.

I was really impressed with the storyline and the world-building concept of Nirvana, though, it lacked a little behind when it came to the execution of these two concepts. I enjoyed the book (no doubt about it) but somewhere I felt that if the second half of the book can be tweaked a little bit then it can be at par with the best-selling YA reads of today.

Characters:

I loved the lead character, Kenders, and was able to feel a connection with her. Though, in the second half of the book I felt that connection slipping (as soon as Serge comes into picture.) I loved Andrew, the male lead, as well but sadly the same thing  happened with him.

Romance/Kills:

This book falls in the romance genre as the plot depends on the romantic relationship between Kenders and Andrew. And like any other dystopian book there is a love triangle (Kenders, Andrew and Serge) but thankfully it’s not a farfetched one. It starts and ends within an acceptable time frame and now I’m really looking forward to the next instalment of this series.

Writing:

I enjoyed the easy flow of author’s style of writing. It’s simple yet relatable and makes reading this book a pleasant experience. Having said that, I’d like to point out that I felt that the first half of the book was excellent whereas the second half lagged a little behind not only in terms of the plot line but also in terms of the characterisation and flow of the story.

Beginning:

I started enjoying Nirvana right from the first sentence and continued to do so halfway through the book. Everything was just amazing and I had no issues with anything (but only till the first half.)

Ending:

The second half of the book along with the ending felt quite weak to me. The plot went on to some other uninteresting tangent and ruined an otherwise excellent story. I really hope that the sequel will be better than this one.

Blurb:

The blurb is good, but I felt that it actually revealed a major spoiler about Andrew’s fake death. I would have liked it better to have come across  it while reading the book instead of the blurb.

Cover Art:

The cover art is marvellous. I really like the eerie feeling it radiates. It’s just perfect.

You can also read this review at:
Goodreads, Amazon and NetGalley.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Eight-year-old Larissa Kenders pulls a doll tighter toward her and opens one eye.

Highlights: Plot line.

Lowlights: Second half of the book.

Final Thoughts: A decent dystopian read with a rather weak ending.