Sunday, January 20, 2019

Review: Crystal Deception by Doug J. Cooper

Crystal Deception (Crystal Series Book 1)Crystal Deception by Doug J. Cooper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An alien craft parks in Earth skies and the manufacture of AI via crystals commences. All seems peaceful, but there are undercurrents that will lead to treason and betrayal.

This is a clever piece of work; intricate with layers in layers. Also, I found this believable, the kind of science that may be lying around the corner of our futures, and the chase across the spaces in various craft? Awesome! Breathlessly I waited for the endgame!

Yet this is only the beginning. There is so much more to this saga and I can’t wait to find out what comes next. A must read. Definitely recommend this to readers of sci-fi!

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Review: My Brother's Keeper by S.S. Bazinet

My Brother's Keeper (In the Care of Wolves, #1)My Brother's Keeper by S.S. Bazinet
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the get-go this story intrigued me (a teenage girl lifts a guy as if she’s Wonder Girl? Right, have to find out why!), but I was also soon horrified by the past this is based on (experimentation and torture of kids? Insert colourful expletives here), and therefore I found myself utterly hooked and needed to find out the why, what for, and also how could this dilemma be resolved. The premise is excellent and the story itself is an imaginative read. For my part, once finished, I actually sighed. My brother’s Keeper indeed!

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Review: The Slow Kill by Nancy Smith

The Slow KillThe Slow Kill by Nancy Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

No rain. Drought. No water. No food. This is the Slow Kill, death by degrees. Someone has to step up and find a solution, and someone does, but it leads to the Haves and Have-nots, and the result is catastrophic.

I do like a good dystopian scenario read, and this does not disappoint, particularly because the author has weaved in an intricate family dynamic, which drives the story on an emotional level also.

A thoroughly thoughtful read and well worth it!

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Saturday, January 19, 2019

Review: Rear-view Mirror by Joanne Sexton

Rear-view Mirror: Spring Wrath (Sinful Seasons Collection Book 7)Rear-view Mirror: Spring Wrath by Joanne Sexton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As the final instalment in Joanne Sexton’s Sinful Seasons, this one particularly drew me in. Without giving anything away, just know that looking in the rear-view mirror and hoping your terrible past doesn’t catch up with you makes for nail-biting reading. Excellent, and a fitting end to this series indeed!

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Review: Cold as Ice by Joanne Sexton

Cold As Ice: Winter Pride (Sinful Seasons Collection Book 4)Cold As Ice: Winter Pride by Joanne Sexton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yes, this one is set amid snow and ice and makes you shiver, but in a pleasant ‘I-am-lost-in-this’ way. A hockey player and a figure skating duo that literally freeze each other out when all gets wintry. Must read!

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Review: Cowboy Daze by Joanne Sexton

Cowboy Daze: Autumn Lust (Sinful Season Collection Book 3)Cowboy Daze: Autumn Lust by Joanne Sexton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this story! Totally lapped it up. A reporter who thinks cowboys are idiots and a cowboy who thinks reporters are a bane … until they meet and sparks fly. Loved it!!

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Vannis' Beyond

When the valley Torrke goes supernova, three men die. One of those is Vannis Valla, but death is never an ending.

This is Vannis’ Afterlife; where does he reopen his eyes in his Beyond?



Saturday, January 12, 2019

"... a story of conflict ..."

An absolutely fantastic review for The Infinity Mantle

The Infinity Mantle – by Elaina Davidson
The Infinity Mantle is the third novel I’ve read by Elaina Davidson, the first two being stand alone titles, The Tinsal Deck, and Ilfin of Arc.  The Infinity Mantle is different, the first book in a Tetralogy called Lore of Arcana. The subsequent books are The Kinfire Tree, The Drowned Throne, and The Dragon Circle. And if that weren’t an ambitious enough project, it is just the first of three tetralogies, the other two being Lore of Reaume, and Lore of Sanctum. In addition, there are related short stories.
I mention the above because the epic scope of this work is impressive; a twelve-book series of high fantasy, taking place on worlds that stir the imagination. 
Every chapter begins with an epigram. Some are humorous or quirky, others are profound, and each is attributed to a fictional text that is part of this universe. It’s always pertinent, and  adds a great depth to a universe that already feels so very real.
The Infinity Mantle takes place on multiple worlds, primarily Valaris, over a vast period of time. There are so many ideas explored here, but the story is never rushed, just patiently laid out, layer upon layer. Many different cultures interact with each other. Some of those encounters reflect humanity at our best; others at our worst. At one point we learn the origin story of Valaris and how later explorers of this planet claimed this world for themselves
“Discovery does not mean ownership,” Saska states. Rayne of the Mantle answers, “Perhaps we humans should harken to that.” It reminds us of our own history, echoing the ‘discovery’ of the New World by Europeans.
Another facet Davidson adds are names and titles derivative of Valaris. The original people are the Valleur. The title of their leader is Vallorin, and the name of the one holding that title now is Vannis. All these things make us feel we are reading a work of historical fiction and Davidson instinctively understands these careful details are necessary. When we read stories that take place on earth, we may already be familiar with some aspects of culture. But on a different world, in a different time and place, these things are important to know.
This is the story of journey of a group of fourteen different members, bringing unique strengths, from different societies, cultures and species, who embark on a quest to solve various puzzles. It’s part of  a perverse game that holds their world hostage to a threat of invasion by beings from another dimension.
It’s a story of inspiration and reminds us that although truth is often learned from external sources, it’s also something that comes to us on a more personal level.
Dreams are real; dreams exert influence ~ Anonymous Valarian sage -  is the epigram from Chapter 4. The characters in this story learn much from dreams, and one character, Averroes, realizes at one point, “There are no rules in dreams.”
That was an epiphany to me.

It’s is a story of conflict; of those who want peace and prosperity battling against those forces who would bring greed, chaos and darkness. 
It’s a story of friendship, loyalty, alliances, and trust. Amazingly, Davidson juggles three different protagonists, Taranis, Vannis, and Rayne of the Mantle. It’s different, but it works, and we’re excited to have these three all on the same side, knowing how powerful they are together.  Some of the fourteen have minor roles, but they are all well drawn, fleshed out and three dimensional. 
And lastly, it's a story of self discovery; of learning who we are, sometimes remembering who we are. 
As I said at the beginning, this is the first of twelve books. I’m sure there is much more to learn of this world and its characters. By the time we reach the last page, we feel a part of this quest and we care about the outcome. Davidson invites us to continue and I accept the invitation. The adventure has barely begun.
Five out of five stars, without question.

Thank you, Jeff Blackmer!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Review: Remembering Skye by Denise Liebig

Remembering Skye: A Time Travel NoveletteRemembering Skye: A Time Travel Novelette by Denise Liebig
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A woman suffers nightmares from childhood and until she meets a past life regression expert, she has no way to deal with it. This is about time and memories, and love also, and I found myself utterly intrigued!

This is a short read, but intense, and the strange situation is filled with so much emotion, everything from near surrender to the will to never give up. That’s a contradiction, but a life of nightmares will do that to you, and I found myself needing to know how it would be resolved.

Beautifully written and clever, too, with surprise twists I did not see coming. I will definitely be reading more from Denise Liebig. Highly recommended!

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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Glittering Darkness

In another realm, scaled beings of might and majesty go to war. They are dragons and a Dragon is as nothing if he is not king of his domain.

This short story tells more about the great reptiles which appear in the LORE series.

Now available on Amazon