Book Review: Tricky by Ron Dakron

Book Details:

Author: Ron Dakron
Release Date: 
12nd March 2022
Series:
Genre: Humour
Format: E-book 
Pages: 152 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
A certain, um, body part runs away from his owner. Wearing a hot-dog toy disguise, he clashes with warrior pigeons, suicidal hummingbirds, and griping squirrels. He is soon imprisoned in Male Re-education Kamp, wars with cynical plums, woos amorous cardiac valves, livers, and cupcakes, joins forces with hyper-testosterone Komodo Dragons, and is shanghaied by a femme pirate crew to help harpoon Mobo, the 90-foot moray eel who is the font of worldwide testosterone. Tricky is a savagely-funny trip into male delusion, sneaky body parts, repression, amorality and – what the hey – gigantor moray eels that stream flaming jizz.

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Trial Show: Resistance Rises by Konstantina P. is an engaging and heady dystopian read that will pull you in right from the very beginning and keep you guessing until the end.

This book had so many interesting and unpredictable twists and turns that it kept me engaged the entire time! I loved the story as it was weaved intricately and plotted with an exceptional deftness that is rare to find in books these days. The characterization was very well done and made this book a very complex read. I loved the characters, especially those of Trent and Ava, and wanted to know everything about them and their lives in this amazingly crafted dystopian world.

The writing style of the author was good as it had a very nice flow. It made reading this book both a pleasant as well as a very quick experience for me, as a reader, and I always appreciate it. I would strongly recommend this book to all dystopian readers.


You can also read this review on:

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ARC Review: The Cannibal’s Guide to Fasting by Dana Hammer

Book Details:

Author: Dana Hammer
Release Date: 
6th September 2022
Series: The Resistance Rises
Genre: Dystopian Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Suspense
Format: E-book 
Pages: 321 pages
Publisher: Cinnabar Moth Publishing LLC 
Blurb:
Igor Fenenko, a former research scientist, is a scary, scary man. Not only is he a massive bodybuilder with a spider tattooed on his face, he has also been infected with Pestis Manducans — viral cannibalism. Igor tried to resist indulging, but his research specimens smelled so delicious. Who did it hurt, really, to nibble a corpse?
Caught, disgraced, and sent to a ‘rehabilitation’ center, Igor is now forced to live in a government-mandated Containment Center. He spends his days pressing wildflowers, growing blueberries, and doing his best to avoid human meat. More than anything, he wants a cure for the virus
that has ruined his life.

With Parker and Jay temporarily out of the picture, double-agent Trent Reese is left responsible for leading the Resistance. Trent is willing to adapt his moral code to any situation, but what—or whom—does he believe in? As for innocent Ava, who’s plagued by unsettling visions, it’s becoming clear that everyone she loves is in peril. Given, however, that Parker is concealing a mighty gift of his own, one that could change the entire course of the rebellion, the future of the all-seeing state is on the line too.
When the web of secrets is untangled, who will survive?

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Cannibal’s Guide To Fasting by Dana Hammer is a new sci-fi dystopian suspense novel with high-octane action interlaced with romance and humour.

I loved the characterisation because it was very well-developed and I was able to relate to the character of Igor on such a deep level that it made reading this book an extraordinary experience. I also liked reading about the other characters such as Esteban and Dr Tran. The characterisation in this book was done so well that it took this book to an entirely different level!

I was impressed by the author’s writing. The prose was very well written and the overall concept had a surprising level of moral complexity that I had not expected. In spite of the main theme of the book being dark and ominous, the author has done a great job of interlacing it with sophisticated humour and making light of some of the situations which could have otherwise weighted too heavy on the readers.

I would strongly recommend this book to all dystopian and speculative fiction readers.


You can also read this review on:

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Book Review: The Trial Show: The Resistance Rises by Konstantina P.

Book Details:

Author: Konstantina P.
Release Date: 
12nd March 2022
Series: The Resistance Rises
Genre: Dystopian Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Suspence
Format: E-book 
Pages: 287 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
Forced into the shadows while waging war on an oppressive regime intent on controlling those born with unnatural powers, the Resistance feels like a family. And although all families harbour secrets, theirs are world-shattering.
When Ava Moore foresees the death of her sister Brooklyn and Resistance leader Parker Quinn is forced to appear in a televised trial accused of murder, the web of lies begins to unravel. For not only is Resistance’s second-in-command, Jay Frazer, fighting a guerrilla battle with deadly consequences, he’s also trying to bury his deep-seated love for Parker.

With Parker and Jay temporarily out of the picture, double-agent Trent Reese is left responsible for leading the Resistance. Trent is willing to adapt his moral code to any situation, but what—or whom—does he believe in? As for innocent Ava, who’s plagued by unsettling visions, it’s becoming clear that everyone she loves is in peril. Given, however, that Parker is concealing a mighty gift of his own, one that could change the entire course of the rebellion, the future of the all-seeing state is on the line too.
When the web of secrets is untangled, who will survive?

Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Trial Show: Resistance Rises by Konstantina P. is an engaging and heady dystopian read that will pull you in right from the very beginning and keep you guessing until the end.

This book had so many interesting and unpredictable twists and turns that it kept me engaged the entire time! I loved the story as it was weaved intricately and plotted with an exceptional deftness that is rare to find in books these days. The characterization was very well done and made this book a very complex read. I loved the characters, especially those of Trent and Ava, and wanted to know everything about them and their lives in this amazingly crafted dystopian world.

The writing style of the author was good as it had a very nice flow. It made reading this book both a pleasant as well as a very quick experience for me, as a reader, and I always appreciate it. I would strongly recommend this book to all dystopian readers.


You can also read this review on:

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Book Review: After Today by Jacqueline Hayley

Book Details:

Author: Jacqueline Hayley
Release Date: 
28th December 2021
Genre: Apocalyptic Fiction, Dystopia
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 258 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
Can love survive an apocalypse?
After a deadly virus ravages Chicago and destroys Mackenzie Lyons’ carefully curated world, Mac escapes the devastation and horror to her childhood hometown with the help of her best-friend’s little brother, Jake. But the small-minded community of Sanford isn’t exactly welcoming, and the virus isn’t the only battle brewing.
Jake Brent has secretly loved Mac forever, and while this isn’t the way he’d dreamed of their relationship beginning, with the uncertainty of the outbreak he’ll take every opportunity with Mac he can and hope—pray—for a better future.

But when Sanford’s misogynistic council torment the survivors with horrifying demands and a lawless motorcycle gang threatens their fragile sanctuary, somehow Jake and Mackenzie must form new alliances and face down dangerous enemies in a struggle far worse than the outbreak.
Surviving the virus was one thing, surviving humanity after is another.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

After Today by Jacqueline Hayley is a dystopian post-apocalyptic book with a great concept, amazing characters and a well-written plot.

I was sucked into the immersive world of this book right from the first page and was left wanting more after turning the last one. This book is full of ups and downs and that kept the tension so tight that it was impossible to put it down even for a minute. The writing is simple yet very effective and had a great flow. The execution of the plot and the world-building were spot-on and the characterisation felt realistic and relatable.

I enjoyed reading this book a lot and would highly recommend it to all dystopian and apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic genre fans. This book has a lot to offer to all its readers and I am sure that anyone who has the slightest interest in post-apocalyptic worlds would definitely enjoy it tremendously.


You can also read this review on:

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Book Review: Rosetta Gnome by Ashley Parker Owens

Book Details:

Author: Ashley Parker Owens
Release Date: 
7th October 2021
Genre: Fantasy, Dystopia, Speculative
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 334 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
In the fight for freedom, a reluctant and unprepared leader faces agonizing choices that will seal the fate of his family—and his heart—in this captivating fantasy adventure.
Simple gnome gardener Wil and his faithful rabbit companion Roddy flee the devastation of the village they once called home as it burns behind them. Still reeling from the loss, they stumble across a ragtag group of gnomes who have escaped from the slave fields of the terrifying ogres. Despite the small clan’s missions of theft and murder, Wil decides to stay. Like flowers huddled together through cracks in stone, Wil and his newfound family cling to each other, desperate for something to call their own.

A shocking and violent act of betrayal splits the clan and thrusts Wil into an unenviable leadership position. Now, tasked with the impossible, he must decide between consciousness and kin. Complicating things further, the newly married gnome is distracted by the choice between duty and desire as his heart yearns for another.
Each moment wasted with uncertainty brings Wil closer and closer to losing everything.
A fantasy adventure drama with a unique premise, Rosetta Gnome is an enthralling read for any fantasy lover. If you’re a fan of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, you’ll love Rosetta Gnome. – Pikasho Deka (Readers’ Favorite)

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rosetta Gnome by Ashley Parker Owens is an adventurous dystopian fantasy read that will take you on a perilous and emotional roller-coaster ride!

I was pulled into the story from the very first chapter till the last line. I loved reading this book because the concept was so unique! I liked the writing (for the most part – ignoring a couple of mistakes here and there) as it was simple and complimented the story on the whole. The characterisation was pretty good and I was able to feel a connection with all the characters.

I’d definitely recommend this book to all fantasy lovers and also to those readers who like reading about dystopia-laced adventurous journeys.


You can also read this review on:

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Book Review: Whiplash (Rust Chronicles #1) by Morgan Quaid

Book Details:

Author: Morgan Quaid
Release Date: 
8th November 2021
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Dystopian Fiction
Series: Rust Chronicles (Book #1)
Format: E-book 
Pages: 322 pages
Publisher: Markosia Enterprises
Blurb:
Are you ready to fight?
Abducted in the dead of night by a mountainous thug and a ginger-haired dwarf, eighteen-year-old Jack Flint is taken to an underground bunker where he and a group of other teens are forced to fight an implacable enemy in a dream world rife with danger.
Whiplash is a fast-paced story set with a rich and intricately detailed fantasy world where nightmarish creatures from the world of dreams threaten the waking world and teens with the ability to lucid dream must fight in a war for humanity’s survival. Above the throng, powerful demigods vie for control while Jack and his companions struggle to find a path out of the madness.
Perfect for fans of The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, Divergent and Ender’s Game.


Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Whiplash by Morgan Quaid, the first book in the Rust Chronicles series, is a highly imaginative, original and entertaining story.

After a long time, I’ve finally found a young adult book that was actually as good as the blurb suggested. This book has rich characterisation and a brilliant world-building that made this book a memorable read. I loved to read about each and every character and was able to relate to most. The world-building was explained well and the concept’s execution was done very cleverly creating a strong base for the readers for the next books to come in this series.

I enjoyed this book a lot and would definitely recommend it to all YA, Fantasy and Dystopian fiction readers.


You can also read this review on:

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Amazon


Book Review: The Pod Tower by Pete Alexander

Book Details:

Author: Pete Alexander 
Release Date: 30th July 2021
Genre: Speculative Fiction, Dystopian Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 208 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
It’s the winter of 2057—the coldest for nine years. For failed family man Marcus Calvert, however, there are other matters on his mind.
Mistrustful of his government and cynical about change, he has chosen to live beyond the Outer Zones, free from the digital age and a world he no longer feels any affinity towards.
But now his son’s future looks bleak, threatened by the very secrecy that even now still surrounds his family’s past.
Amid rumours that his own idyllic lifestyle is under threat, Calvert begins a search for the truth, only to discover that everything he has learned since early childhood has been a lie.
On the horizon, Mother City casts its shadow over Sector 21, one he has spent the last twenty years determined to avoid.
But time is fast running out, and that option looks set to expire.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Pod Tower by Pete Alexander is a dystopian story that’ll take you in a futuristic dystopian world of digital horror underlined by humanity’s new low in relation to deception and subterfuge.

I liked reading this book because it had equal parts intrigue and entertainment. Every chapter brought with it some new information and call to action that kept the action going in the story at a great pace. In spite of being a comparatively short book (of around 200 pages), this book packed a lot of punch, which I personally found very appealing.

The characterisation is good, the writing had a nice flow and the plot was executed well making it a great fit for speculative fiction lovers such as myself. I’d highly recommend this book to all sci-fi, speculative and dystopian readers.


You can also read this review on:

Goodreads


ARC Review: Ecclesia’s Table by Mason S Haynie

Author: Mason S Haynie
Release Date: 29th June 2021
Genre: Dystopian Fiction, Speculative Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 368 pages
Publisher: Mason S. Haynie
Blurb:
The world is a wasteland. It always has been. Moshe, Amaru, and Reenu have never known anything other than the desert wasteland that raised them. When the rumor arises that something other than barren landscape could be out there, the three of them make haste for an abundant future. Upon arrival at this established society, the group quickly learns how and how not to get along amidst group dynamics and seemingly sinister mystery. The trials and social politics that Moshe, Amaru, and Reenu face teach them that some rules are useful and some are meant to be broken. Have a seat at Ecclesia’s Table.

Review

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Ecclesia’s Table by Mason S Haynie is a unique dystopian novel set in a fictional world with a unique twist and a refreshing take on the genre itself.

This book is different from any other dystopian book I’ve ever read and therefore it was enjoyable to read. The characterisation was good and the concept was great. The world-building though could have been a little better had the author focused on the exposition for the place at least. Other than that I have no issues with the book and actually enjoyed it. It felt like a self-contained novel in the entirely of the book.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: A Time of Prophecy (The Outlands Pentalogy #5) by Rebecca Crunden

Author: Rebecca Crunden
Release Date: 
Genre: Dystopian, Science-Fiction Fantasy, Young Adult
SeriesThe Outlands Pentalogy (Book #5)
Edition: E-book
Pages: 330
Publisher:
Blurb:
In the years since Kitty, Nate and Thom escaped the Kingdom, the Plague has ravaged the population and the rebels have seized two of the northern countries. In an attempt to bring order to the chaos, the leader of the rebels, Nate’s old friend James, has agreed to hold trials for those responsible for intentionally leaking the Plague.
Unfortunately, the rumour in the Kingdom is that Kitty is responsible. To make matters worse, Blaise tells Kitty that the Council, who still count her father as one of their own, are once again experimenting on Radiants. It’s a horrifying realisation that hits too close to home, and for the first time in her life, Kitty thirsts for vengeance. It’s a thirst that’s matched by the one person who has always been her mirror — her Complement, Thom.
On the other side of the Wall in the Outlands, desperate to bring Kitty home and finish the Council once and for all, Thom begins plotting, using the skills he’s long honed to outsmart those with more power. But outsmarting his enemies might turn Thom into the very thing he’s always feared becoming, and war soon seems the only possible solution to stopping the Council and the Hangman. But with more than a few looking to the ancient prophecy of peace, Thom searches desperately for a way to circumvent more bloodshed.
Yet the weight of the years have taken their toll, and as Thom’s physical and mental health deteriorate, Nate struggles with the fallout of past crimes, both the ones he did commit, and the ones he didn’t …

REVIEW

★★★★+1/2

A Time Of Prophecy by Rebeca Crunden is the last instalment in The Outlands Pentalogy.

What a great end to a great series! OMG, what can I say? There are YA books which revolve around such petty conflicts that they are entirely cringe-worthy and go a long way in destroying the reader’s trust in the genre itself, but then there are some rare gems, like this series, that come out of nowhere and restore your faith in a genre you thought was on the verge of being lost.

This book served as a great end to the series as it answered all the questions I had and provided me with a satisfactory closure. Most of the times, series continue to be great until the last book where everything falls flat or at the least, you are left disappointed or unsatisfied because nothing can do justice to the awesomeness of the story. Many times writers simply don’t know how to end a series and that is what ruins it entirely. But when it comes to this series, we have a writer who not only knows how to begin something epic and but also knows how to end it with the same rigour and grace.

And this series deserved a good ending because it was such a thrilling, complicated, exciting and engaging story about gripping, strong, believable and well-developed characters in realistic and intricate settings. This dystopian series is a hundred times better than most of the “best-selling” series of today. I would happily place this series with the likes of Hunger Games and Six Of Crows because the characters in this series face bigger problems than teenage hormonal dilemmas and are relatable in an unbelievable way.

The writing in this book was on par with the other books so far and made the reading of this book a pleasant ride. The tension and pacing were apt and I finished this book in no more than 3 days, so it was a very quick read. I’d recommend this book to all dystopian and fantasy lovers and to those who want to explore a unique new series by a new author.

Check out the other parts in this pentalogy here: A Touch Of Death (The Outlands Pentalogy #1)A History Of Madness (The Outlands Pentalogy #2)A Promise Of Return (The Outlands Penology #3) and A Dance Of Lies (The Outlands Pentalogy #4)

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Holy Sister (Book Of The Ancestor #3) by Mark Lawrence

Author: Mark Lawrence
Release Date: 3rd April 2018
Genre: High Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, Epic Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Dystopian
Series: Book Of The Ancestor (Book #3)
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 352
Publisher: Harper-Voyager
Blurb:
They came against her as a child. Now they face the woman.

The ice is advancing, the Corridor narrowing, and the empire is under siege from the Scithrowl in the east and the Durns in the west. Everywhere, the emperor’s armies are in retreat.

Nona faces the final challenges that must be overcome if she is to become a full sister in the order of her choice. But it seems unlikely that Nona and her friends will have time to earn a nun’s habit before war is on their doorstep.

Even a warrior like Nona cannot hope to turn the tide of war.

The shiphearts offer strength that she might use to protect those she loves, but it’s a power that corrupts. A final battle is coming in which she will be torn between friends, unable to save them all. A battle in which her own demons will try to unmake her.

A battle in which hearts will be broken, lovers lost, thrones burned.

REVIEW

★★★★

Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence marks the end to the Book Of Ancestor trilogy and with a gaping emptiness that envelops me every time I finish a series, I have finally managed to review this book (somehow.)

This book served as a good end to this amazing series. It could have definitely done better, but that maybe my bias towards this series so don’t hold it against the series. Most of the questions were answered and the loose ends were tied up pretty well. The ending was apt even though a bit predictable. Just like the other two books in this series, Red Sister and Grey Sister, this book was thoroughly entertaining and full of crazy fighting sequences and intense emotional dramatics.

The characters evolved and the storyline wound its way through various ups and downs, keeping me interested throughout the book. Though, because of my own reluctance to finish this series, I took my own sweet time to finish this book.

Anyway, to know my thoughts further you can watch my YouTube video review for this book here:

Book Review: Grey Sister (Book Of The Ancestor #2) by Mark Lawrence

Author: Mark Lawrence
Release Date: 3rd April 2018
Genre: High Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, Epic Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Dystopian
Series: Book Of The Ancestor (Book #2)
Edition: E-book
Pages: 409
Publisher: Harper-Voyager
Blurb:
Second novel in the brilliant series from the bestselling author of Prince of Thorns.

In Mystic Class Nona Grey begins to learn the secrets of the universe. But so often even the deepest truths just make our choices harder. Before she leaves the Convent of Sweet Mercy Nona must choose her path and take the red of a Martial Sister, the grey of a Sister of Discretion, the blue of a Mystic Sister or the simple black of a Bride of the Ancestor and a life of prayer and service.

All that stands between her and these choices are the pride of a thwarted assassin, the ambition of a would-be empress wielding the Inquisition like a blade, and the vengeance of the empire’s richest lord.

As the world narrows around her, and her enemies attack her through the system she has sworn to, Nona must find her own path despite the competing pull of friendship, revenge, ambition, and loyalty.

And in all this only one thing is certain. There will be blood.

REVIEW

★★★★+1/2

Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence is the sequel to Red Sister and the 2nd book in the trilogy Book Of The Ancestor. It was a great sequel to an amazing book with lots and lots of things that completely blew my mind to bits and many surprises. This was a much darker read as compared to the first one, so it won’t be wrong to say that this book is not for emotionally weak people. I got attached to some characters that were killed in this part and it haunted me for days.

Over all, the tension and pacing in this book were tighter and faster. The action was more and the perils felt more real. I really enjoyed this book and felt that it was a great sequel that took the story ahead in a way it deserved. But in spite of everything good, I still felt that somewhere this book was not the best one in this trilogy. I guess I just loved Red Sister so much that nothing can ever reach that level of awesomeness, not even its own sequels.

Anyway, overall it was a fantastic and well-written book and I enjoyed it a lot so I’d definitely recommend this trilogy to all fantasy readers, especially to those who’ve enjoyed other works by Mark Lawrence.

BookTube:

Audiobook Review: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Author: Margaret Atwood
Narrator: Claire Danes
Release Date: 20th July 2012
Genre: Dystopian, Literary Fiction
Series: 
Edition: Audible Audio
Length: 11 hours
Publisher: Audible a-list Collection
Blurb:
The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire—neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs…

REVIEW

★★

I have no clue exactly what it was that put me off so badly while listening to this book. After having spent an entire day listening to this book, I think I totally wasted my time. I could have left it in the middle or maybe before that, but I really wanted to like it, so I did not abandon it. But now, after having finished it, I think I should have simply abandoned it after the first hour or two where it became pretty clear what the lead character had to offer.

Anyway, I’m trying to determine, what made me dislike this book:

✒︎ Was is the fact that the book was full of unnecessary details and ton loads of flowery prose? A lot of unnecessary details and exposition that was really not needed. Maybe if this had been shorter, it would have been beeter?! I wonder…

✒︎ Was it that more often than not it felt like the author tried to elicit sympathy in the reader’s mind by trying to make the reactions unnaturally nonchalant? This trick does work most of the time, but here it felt way too unreal, too forced. I hate when i am made to sympathise to anyone :/

✒︎ Was it because I found the character of Offred serving only one purpose, trying to make the author look good in terms of ‘see-how-I-created-a-female-lead-that-is-oppressed-and-can’t-do-shit-about-it-see-and-feel-sorry-for-her’? She had no personality… no voice… nothing at all (and not just because of the circumstances she was in, nope, even with all her flashbacks of the past life she still came across very bland) therefore, I was not able to feel anything (literally anything) for her, which is surprising because there is so much hype surrounding this book and I was obviously expecting some great things.

✒︎ Was it because the whole ‘totalitarian-government-taking-away-people’s-precious-freedom’ trope having been used and re-used relentlessly in a LOT of books, especially the classics? We all know what books they are… let’s just say they did it soo much better than why???

✒︎ Or was it because of the narrator? Maybe, maybe not. I am totally unsure of this.

I guess it was a combination of all these (and maybe more.) Anyhoo, I did not like the book and I will not recommend it to anyone as I have nothing good to say about it. Read it at your own risk.

Book Review: Red Sister (The Book Of Ancestor #1) by Mark Lawrence

Author: Mark Lawrence
Release Date: 4th April 2017
Genre: High Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, Epic Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Dystopian
SeriesThe Book Of Ancestor (Book #1)
Edition: E-book
Pages: 482
Publisher: Harper-Voyager
Blurb:
It’s not until you’re broken that you find your sharpest edge

“I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin”

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

REVIEW

★★★★★

Watch my review in this video to know how awesome this book is!

Book Review: Shatter Me by Tehereh Mafi

Author: Tahereh Mafi
Release Date: 2nd October 2012
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Dystopian
SeriesShatter Me (Book #1)
Edition: Paperback
Pages:
Publisher:
Blurb:
Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

REVIEW

★★★

Shatter Me by Tehereh Mafi is one the most popular YA series of recent years but despite the hype that surrounds this series, the first book failed to impress me. I enjoyed and appreciated the author’s world-making prowess, but the characterization completely ruined the book for me. The main character, Juliette, was not only annoying, but she also came off a bit as a narcissist as well. The entire time I feel that rather than showing the author was forcing the reader to feel sorry for how Juliette has been misunderstood her entire life which only made me resent her.

The romantic angle did absolutely nothing to make the book interesting, so that was another thing that disappointed me. I liked the settings and the world a lot though, so I’ll be reading the next book for these two things (and also to see what happened to Warner because, let’s face it, he was more interesting than Juliette and Adam combined.)

Anyway, here my video review for this book, hope this sums up my issues with the book!

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You can also read this review on Goodreads

Book Review: A Dance Of Lies (The Outlands Pentalogy #4) by Rebecca Crunden

Author: Rebecca Crunden
Release Date: 
Genre: Dystopian, Science-Fiction Fantasy, Young Adult
SeriesThe Outlands Pentalogy (Book #4)
Edition: E-book
Pages:
Publisher:
Blurb:
A year into the Outlands and life has only become more dangerous and complex for Kitty and her friends. Not only are the Outcasts hunting them, but Charles and Ciara are adamant about returning to the Kingdom to help, forcing everyone to take a side. To make matters worse, the leader of the Outcasts, Quen, has an unrelenting fascination with Thom and Nate that soon reaches horrific heights.

As tensions mount and the group begins to splinter, Riddle comes to Kitty with an unexpected request. A secret. One that makes them inseparable.

Kitty soon finds herself spending more and more time away from Nate and Thom, learning to fight and increasingly drawn into the ways of the Radiants. But Kitty and Riddle’s new bond doesn’t come without complications, and a decision made by the two of them threatens more than Kitty’s relationship with Nate …

REVIEW

★★★★+1/2

A Dance Of Lies by Rebecca Crunden is the second last part in The Outlands Pentalogy and the sequel to A Promise Of Return. In this instalment, things progress slowly as compared to the other parts in this series till now, but nonetheless, they progress steadily giving the feeling that it is a slow build-up to something very important. And alas, the ending was a smashing hit because of such subtle build-up leading to it all throughout this book.

I enjoyed reading this book greatly even because of the slow pace followed in most of the book because the story kept taking me forward and the air of inevitable danger lent it a really good vibe. The characterization was great as usual and we got to see Kitty again along with some other major characters. The ending was mindblowing and has created a lot of excitement for the last part of this series.

Again, I’d recommend this book as well as the entire series to young-adult and dystopian readers and also to anyone looking to get into a new series by a relatively new author.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: A Promise Of Return (The Outlands Penology #3) by Rebecca Crunden

Author: Rebecca Crunden
Release Date: 
Genre: Dystopian, Science-Fiction Fantasy
SeriesThe Outlands Pentalogy (Book #3)
Edition: E-book
Pages: 282
Publisher:
Blurb:
When Thom Anteros is arrested after breaking into the Building of Historical Records, he demands to be taken before the King. A laughable demand for anyone else, Thom’s request is granted and the King spares his life. Yet what’s to become of him is left in the hands of the one person Thom truly fears – Mickey Taenia, the King’s Hangman.
Infuriated by Thom’s refusal to reveal the whereabouts of Nate and Catherine, the Hangman sends Thom to one of the worst places in the Kingdom – the slave markets of Muntenia. It is there that Thom is bought for the Red Arena: a barbaric, gladiator-type competition where the children of convicts and other unlucky souls are forced to fight to the death.
Twenty wins is release. One loss is death.
With the help of Charles Thoreau, a fellow captive, Thom begins not only to survive, but to thrive. A master of words becomes a master of death, and Thom’s prowess in the arena frightens even him.
But death isn’t the only thing haunting Thom. As the days go by, he dreams of his brother, and the promise he cannot forget.
I will return.

REVIEW

★★★★+1/2

A Promise Of Return by Rebecca Crunden is the third book in The Outlands Pentalogy and the sequel to A History Of Madness. This was an absolute page-turner. I loved how the author explored Thom’s journey in this book apart from Nate and Kitty which helped the reader in understanding him better and more intimately.

We get to see and know more about the amazing universe that the author has created and some fresh characters which hopefully would be making an entry in the next parts. I enjoyed this book even more than the first two books and I can’t wait to dig in the next one! The writing, the plot and the characterization along with the plot-progression, world-building and the pacing and tension – everything, seems to develop for the better consistently throughout this series as far as I am concerned. And I am very sure that the next two books will have a lot in store for their readers.

I’d highly recommend this book and the entire series to dystopian lovers! If you are into sci-fi fantasy and have a special love for well-written books, then you simply cannot miss this amazing series.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Kill Code by Clive Fleury

Author: Clive Fleury
Release Date: 5th December 2018
Genre: Science-Fiction, Dystopian
SeriesThe Sunset Of Magic (Book #3)
Edition: E-book
Pages: 220
Publisher: TCK Publishing
Blurb:
WHEN THE OCEANS RISE…THE TRUTH DROWNS
It’s the year 2031. Our future. Their present. A world decimated by climate catastrophe, where the sun’s heat is deadly and the ocean rises higher every day. A world ruled by the rich, powerful, and corrupt. A world where a good man can’t survive for long.
Hogan Duran was a good man once. He was a cop, forced to resign in disgrace when he couldn’t save his partner from a bullet. Now Hogan lives on the fraying edges of society, serving cruel masters and scavenging trash dumps just to survive.
But after four years of living in poverty, Hogan finally gets a chance to get back on his feet. He’s invited to join the National Security Council, the powerful paramilitary organization responsible for protecting the rich and powerful from the more unsavory elements of society. All he needs to do is pass their deadly entrance exam, and he’ll be rewarded with wealth and opportunity beyond his wildest dreams.
But this ex-cop’s path to redemption won’t be easy. The NSC are hiding something, and as Hogan descends deeper and deeper into their world, he starts to uncover the terrible truth of how the powerful in this new world maintain their power…and just how far they will go to protect their secrets.
In a world gone wrong, can one man actually make a difference, or will he die trying?
Kill Code is the first novel in an exciting new dystopian science fiction series from the mind of the award-winning author, screenwriter, and director Clive Fleury.

REVIEW

★★★★

Kill Code by Clive Fleury is a smashing dystopian read that was equal parts engaging and unsettling.

The dystopian settings in the book felt very realistic and, to be honest, seemed like a possibility for our own future. What I really liked about this book is that instead of focusing only on the dystopic settings and the new world, something that most of the authors writing in this genre tend to do, the author focused on the National Security Council (NSC), the elite force to protect the elite class in this horrible new world. The book had some really gritty action scenes which made the plot all the more exciting.

The characterization was strong and the inner conflicts of the MC, Hogan Duran, made it even better as I was able to connect with him. The plot-progression was great and the pacing and tension well tuned. The writing was good and complimented the plot making it easy as well as quick to read.

In a sentence, I enjoyed this book from the first page to the last one and would recommend it to all dystopian readers.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: A History Of Madness (The Outlands Pentalogy #2) by Rebecca Crunden

Author: Rebecca Crunden
Release Date: 14th July 2017
Genre: Dystopian, Science-Fiction-Fantasy
Series: The Outlands Pentalogy – Book #2
Edition: E-book
Pages: 258
Publisher: 
Blurb:
The four remaining fugitives are now spread across the Kingdom. And with the fate of the others unknown to him, Nate Anteros prays for a fast execution.

Yet execution does not come. After a meeting with the King which leaves Nate questioning his sanity, he’s sent to a workcamp in Argon Basin for five years of hard labour. It’s there that Nate learns what became of his friends upon their arrest.

And as his strength returns to him, and he’s plagued by dreams which are much too real to be ignored, Nate decides five years is far too long to wait …

Book Review

★★★★+1/2

A History Of Madness by Rebecca Crunden is the sequel to A Touch Of Death and the 2nd book in the Outlands Pentalogy. After reading the first book, and really liking it, I was really eager to read this one and to my pleasant surprise, this book turned out to be as good as (actually even better) than the last one. I love when a series goes from strength to strength and this series is turning out to be just that, though I’ve just read 2 books so far. Given the opportunity, I’d love to read the next part of this well-developed saga for sure.

The characterization was the highlight of this book. I loved how the author uses a different character as the main POV character for this part as it gave a fresh vibe to the series, instead of taking the story ahead with the same POV character. It was really good to know the motivations, inner conflicts, impulses and feelings of Nate as I really liked his as the main character.

The writing was good just like the last book and the world building was a true step ahead. I enjoyed reading this book a lot and would recommend this series to all dystopian readers and fantasy readers.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: A Touch Of Death (The Outlands Pentalogy #1) by Rebecca Crunden

Author: Rebecca Crunden
Release Date: 23rd February 2017
Genre: Dystopian, Science-Fiction-Fantasy
Series: The Outlands Pentalogy – Book #1
Edition: E-book
Pages: 306
Publisher: 
Blurb:
A thousand years in the future, the last of humanity live inside the walls of the totalitarian Kingdom of Cutta. The rich live in Anais, the capital city of Cutta, sheltered from the famine and disease which ravage the rest of the Kingdom. Yet riches and power only go so far, and even Anaitians can be executed. It is only by the will of the King that Nate Anteros, son of the King’s favourite, is spared from the gallows after openly dissenting. But when he’s released from prison, Nate disappears.
A stark contrast, Catherine Taenia has spent her entire life comfortable and content. The daughter of the King’s Hangman and in love with Thom, Nate’s younger brother, her life has always been easy, ordered and comfortable. That is, where it doesn’t concern Nate. His actions sullied not only his future, but theirs. And unlike Thom, Catherine has never forgiven him.
Two years pass without a word, and then one night Nate returns. But things with Nate are never simple, and when one wrong move turns their lives upside down, the only thing left to do is run where the King’s guards cannot find them – the Outlands. Those wild, untamed lands which stretch around the great walls of the Kingdom, filled with mutants and rabids.

Book Review

★★★★

A Touch Of Death by Rebecca Crunden marks a really promising start to The Outlands Pentalogy series. This book has everything that can be expected of a good dystopian story – detailed and extensive world-building, believable characters, intriguing plotline, engaging twists and turns, even pace and oscillating tension. I enjoyed reading this book a lot and can’t wait to read the next one in this series.

The characterization is the backbone of any dystopian novel and thankfully, this book had not only believable and relatable characters but also the ones you easily fall in love with. I liked both Catherine as well as Nate and can’t wait to read more about them in the following parts.

The writing was pretty good and complemented such a tremendous plot well. The pacing was nice and even and the tension kept on increasing and decreasing in sync with the plot structure which kept me hooked throughout the book, from start to the very end. The book ended on a great note, setting high expectations for the sequel.

As I said, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to all dystopian lovers.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Beautiful Disaster by C.J.

Author: C J
Release Date: 4th September 2018
Genre: Dystopian, Speculative Fiction
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 448
Publisher: 
Blurb:
When chemists Danny and Kevin accidentally create the ultimate beauty product–with a little inadvertent help from Danny’s biochemist girlfriend, Maggie–they’re convinced they’ve hit the jackpot. After all, who wouldn’t pay anything for the ability to permanently remove blemishes, burns, and even scars especially when one of its side effects prolongs the user’s life indefinitely.
But a discovery like that is one many would kill for–something the three quickly learn when they are targeted by a rival corporation and their murderous corporate spy, Suzanne. Even worse, it isn’t long before the unstable formula reveals another side effect. One decidedly nasty. If Maggie, Danny, and Kevin can’t figure out a way to fix it, the world will soon learn that there’s a heavy price to pay for beauty.
As the three scientists struggle to save humanity from potential disaster, they will have to overcome deadly mercenaries, the sociopathic Suzanne, and the man pulling everyone’s strings: the mysterious Boss. Will this Beautiful Disaster be the beginning of a brand-new world or the end of mankind?.

Review

★★+1/2

Beautiful Disaster by C.J. is a unique new dystopian book with a fresh concept and a good plot.

I finished this book pretty quickly in spite of the book being 400 plus pages long which is a good thing and was mostly possible because of the simple writing style of the author. Though, in many instances, I felt that the writing needed some polishing. I liked the storyline and the concept, which was different from what I generally always expect from a dystopian book.

The characterisation was okay, it wasn’t too bad but I wasn’t really impressed by it. I liked the characters just enough to finish the book, so the characterization could have used more work, though as I said, it wasn’t too bad either, I just wasn’t able to feel a connection to any of the leads. For me, this was more of a plot dominated book than a character driven one.

I’d recommend this book to anyone looking to explore a new title (and/or author) in dystopian or speculative genres and won’t mind a plot-driven story.

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

ARC Review: Extinction 6 by Hosein Kouros-Mehr

Author: Hosein Kouros-Mehr
Release Date: 12th December 2018
Genre: Dystopian Fiction
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 305
Publisher:
Blurb:
By mid-century, Arctic oil drilling accelerates global warming and triggers famine and world war. A team of scientists launches Project Titan to reverse climate change and end fossil fuel addiction. Without a radical solution, humanity faces catastrophe.Earth’s sixth mass extinction is underway. One hope remains.

Review

★★★★

Extinction 6 by Hosein Kouros-Mehr is a very well-written dystopian read that highlights one of the most serious issues that threatens the entire planet.

First off, the book was a fantastic read – it was equal parts enjoyable, interesting and thought-provoking. Once I started the book, I was easily able to flow through the pages at a very fast speed which says a lot about the smooth flow of the writing and the simple yet effective use of the language. The plot progression was good and the pacing decent.

I liked the characterization, though I wasn’t able to overly connect or relate to the protagonist. Still, I enjoyed the story enough to not have a big problem with it and overall it was a very good read.

I enjoyed the book right until the very end and want to keep exploring more titles by the author. I’d recommend this book to all dystopian and sci-fi reads and to those who take a special interest in the main subject – climate change.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon (not yet available on the ‘Zon)

Book Review: The Boxcar Baby by J.L. Mulvihill

Author: J.L. Mulvihill
Release Date: 12th July 2013
Genre: Steampunk, Dystopian, Young Adult
Series: Steel Roots Series (Book #1)
Edition: e-book
Pages: 274
Publisher: Seventh Star Press, LLC
Blurb:
The Box Car Baby introduces the character of AB’Gale Steel who was born in a boxcar on a train bound for Georgia, according to what her papa told her. Bishop Steel, a mechanical engineer for the Southern Railroad, found his adopted daughter snuggled in a basket of cotton on an otherwise empty boxcar in the train yard. When no one came around to claim the baby, Bishop Steel, rather than relinquish the child to the State only to end up at the Workhouse someday, smuggled her home to raise as his own. The name on the boxcar he found her in read, A B Gale Logs, and so he named the baby AB’Gale.
But if the mystery of who her real parents are isn’t enough for fifteen-year -old AB’Gale, Papa Bishop goes missing. Worried for her family and afraid of having to spend her life at the Workhouse, AB’Gale goes into town to see if anyone’s seen her papa, only to find a deeper mystery. At the train station no one seems to know who her papa is even though he’s worked for the Southern Railroad for thirty years.
An encounter with a strange Hobo-man, who claims to know her father, results in the acquisition of a leather eye-glass tube that he says belongs to her papa. Before AB’Gale can question him further the man runs away. When she gets home, she finds the Crushers taking her grandma off to the Oldies-home, so she hides until they are gone.
AB’Gale finds that the leather tube contains a map of the United States, with markers made by various towns across the country. By each marker is a word or a name written in her papa’s handwriting.
Alone, and with only the clues of the map to go by, AB’Gale has no choice but to set out on her own to find her Papa.

Review

★★

The Boxcar Baby by J.L. Mulvihill is a steampunk dystopian with a very interesting plot which unfortunately wasn’t executed well.

Considering the beautiful covers of all the three books in this series, I was expecting the book to be really good and polished, but unfortunately, it proved to be a bit of a disappointment. I have the entire series with me and I was really excited about it, but there is so much telling and not enough showing in this book that it gets difficult to read after a couple of pages itself. Plus, the story progression is way off than should be allowed in an edited book.

The writing was too simple and there was a lot of wandering. The characters felt flat and the overall connection was not established (though I was able to see the effort the author put into it, but it simply didn’t work.)

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Outside Looking Out: Still Basically Frightened by Vasily Pugh

Author: Vasily Pugh
Release Date: 16th March 2018
Genre: Post-Apocalypse, Humour, Dystopia
Series:  Basically Frightened (Book #2)
Edition: E-book
Pages: 260
Publisher:
Blurb:
Leaner, meaner, wittier and wiser, the sequel to hit post-apocalyptic book ‘Basically Frightened’ is here. Taking place directly after the events of the original, ‘Outside Looking Out’ lands our hero in another set of unhinged circumstances. Who are ‘Order’? Who are ‘Protected Infected’? Where are his friends? Who are these new enemies? And who had the last Rolo?
Prepare to enter a dystopia quite unlike anything you’ve read before – ‘Outside Looking Out’ is a comic adventure that combines post-apocalyptic action with blistering satire and heartfelt emotion.

Review

★★★★

Outside Looking Out: Still Basically Frightened by Vasily Pugh, the sequel to Basically Frightened, is a witty book about a guy doing his best to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

Just like the last part, I loved the author’s witty style with each and every paragraph dripping with clever sarcasm and an apt play of words that sometimes made me giggle and many times laugh out loud. I instantly felt connected to the main character as the characterization in the last book was spot on and this one picked up immediately after the events of that one.

The pacing was good, albeit I did feel at places it could have been a bit faster, then it did help build the anticipation so I’m not complaining. The plot was strong, clever and good and, on the whole, it was a good book.

I enjoyed reading this book as much as I did the last one and would recommend it to anyone who loves reading apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: From Wrath To Ruin by Justin Enos

Author: Justin Enos
Release Date: 26th April 2017
Genre: Dystopian, Speculative Fiction, Fantasy
Series: 

Edition:
 E-book (mobi)
Pages: 386
Publisher: Book Baby
Blurb:
In exile from his homeland…
As a mercenary, Tijodrin has wandered far and wide, and now his travels have
brought him to the great city of Hohvenlor, a city he knows well. He quickly finds
himself caught up in a fierce rivalry that threatens to destroy two powerful
merchant families and turn the streets of Hohvenlor into a battlefield.
Within the city walls, Tijodrin will find danger in many forms. Can he survive
the endless plots of the vengeful merchants and the swords of their bloodthirsty
henchmen, as well as the lurking daggers of the shadowy assassin’s guild??

Review

★★★+1/2

From Wrath To Ruin by Justin Enos is an action-packed dystopian fantasy book with a unique plot.

I’ve read a lot of speculative and dystopian books, but this is the first time I’m reading a mix of in a fast-paced fantasy setting, and I must say it was a very unique and a quite enjoyable experience. I wasn’t able to overly relate or connect to the main protagonist, but I cared enough for him and the other characters to read till the end and was happy with the way it ended.

The best about this book was the element of surprise and unpredictable action. The tension and pacing were high and fast respectively and the overall plot progression was good too. I had a bit of a trouble getting into the flow of the writing initially, but after a couple of pages, I was in for good.

I’d recommend this book to readers who like fast paced stories packed with lots of heady action.

Review also posted on: 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!

description

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 :/)

description

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!!

description

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.

description

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 ❤

description

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.

Goodreads

Book Review: The Night Parade by Ronald Malfi

Author: Ronald Malfi
Release Date: 26th July 2016
Genre: Science-Fiction, Dystopian, Apocalyptic, Supernatural
Edition: Ebook
Pages: 384
Publisher: Kensington Press

Blurb:
First the birds disappeared.
Then the insects took over.
Then the madness began . . .
They call it Wanderer’s Folly–a disease of delusions, of daydreams and nightmares. A plague threatening to wipe out the human race.
After two years of creeping decay, David Arlen woke up one morning thinking that the worst was over. By midnight, he’s bleeding and terrified, his wife is dead, and he’s on the run in a stolen car with his eight-year-old daughter, who may be the key to a cure.
Ellie is a special girl. Deep. Insightful. And she knows David is lying to her. Lying about her mother. Lying about what they’re running from. And lying about what he sees when he takes his eyes off the road . . .

REVIEW

★★★★

The Night Parade by Ronald Malfi is a very engaging and emotional read.

Initially, after reading the first couple of pages, I felt the plot might be similar to Firestarter by Stephen King, a book I really, really loved(!) but as the plot progressed I felt reassured that this book was not entirely like it. Though the basic concept is the same – Father-daughter duo fighting and running from the world because of the daughter’s supernatural ability, this book was different in its own way. In this book, for one, the father did not possess supernatural abilities. This really made things different, though the main conflict of the father was that he did not have enough time (just like in Firestarter.) The one thing that made this book entirely different from Firestarter is the main backdrop and the central theme – The apocalypse, a world falling prey to an unidentified and seemingly incurable plague. Though I do feel that this book is kind of a homage to Mr King’s masterpiece.

The best part of the book was the conflicts, both inner and outer. I liked the characters of David and Ellie and rooted for them both till the very end. The buildup was very good and the ending was reasonable, though I did see it coming, because really, how could a book like this end? Still, I felt like I was sucker punched in the belly.

The alternating timelines added a lot to the suspense buildup and, overall I really liked this book. In spite of being almost 400 pages, it proved to be a quick read because of the high tension that was maintained throughout the book.

I’d recommend this book to every dystopian fan, though sci-fi and apocalyptic lovers might find this book a bit “low-key” as compared to the action-packed drama we normally expect from these genres.


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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: Players by Bridget Nash

Author: Bridget Nash
Release Date: 11th October 2015
Genre: Dystopian, YA
Edition: E-book
Pages: 500
Publisher: Wallace Publishing

Rating: ★★★+1/2

Blurb:

Ryan Scribe is eighteen and has it made.
He lacks nothing and doesn’t even know anyone who lacks anything.
Then he hears a beautiful actress say, “Truth is often stranger than perception,” and he begins to look at his world with new eyes.
All it takes is one wrong question and he is swiftly banished from the only home he’s ever known. Forced to join a band of traveling players, stage actors who look like they could have stepped straight out of Elizabethan England, Ryan begins to question his life, his country and everyone around him. Can he really trust a group of actors? Will his questions land him in even more danger?

Review

Players by Bridget Nash is a unique Dystopian read with a touch of Shakespearian feel.

The plot of this book was quite unique and considerably impressive. I liked the dystopian setting, which is always the most important element in this genre, and I also liked the characters. The artistic Shakespearian touch tot he story in terms of writing as well as the concept really added a layer of positive complexity as well as a defined character to the plot.

I liked the main character of Ryan Scribe as he was very relatable and easy to like and loved reading about him and his journey. I also liked the secondary characters. but overall the story went a bit too heavy and hence I’m deduction 1/2 a star from my rating of 4 out of 5.

In spite of having liked so much, I feel that the overall story seemed a bit too heavy and hence I’m deducting 1/2 a star from my rating of 4 out of 5.

I’d recommend this book to all Dystopian lovers and the fans of Shakespearian literature.

More from the author: Author Interview: Bridget Nash


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