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

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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:

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!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel to watch more videos.

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: 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: 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 Excerpt: From Wrath To Ruin by Justin Enos

Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome author Justin Enos, for sharing with us the excerpt from his upcoming novel From Wrath To Ruin.

Read ahead to get a sneak-peek into this amazing new release.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

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?

Book Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wrath-Ruin-Justin-Enos/dp/1483598004/
Goodreads
: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35070270-from-wrath-to-ruin 

BOOK EXCERPT

In the fading light of the afternoon, Tijodrin strode further down the Street of Arches before turning east down a winding side lane and a series of short steps. Soon, the fine shops and dwellings were replaced with shabby tenements, squalid workhouses and storefronts with no name or sign to indicate what sort of shadowy business went on inside. The streets narrowed so much that two people could scarce fit between the buildings. Overhead, upper floors shouldered outward until they almost touched, blocking out most of what little daylight remained. Refuse of every description was littered about, and weeds sprouted up amid paving stones that were uneven, cracked, or missing altogether.

This was the Warrens, the most disreputable area in Hohvenlor. A haven for thieves, cutthroats, and a host of other criminals. Hooded eyes watched Tijodrin from doorways and windows – footpads sizing up a potential victim and whores sizing up a potential customer. Tijodrin returned their stares with bold ferocity. The footpads retreated into the shadows to await easier prey, while the whores responded with lewd suggestions and flashes of pale flesh.

Eventually, he came to a small open space that could only very generously be called a square. It was an area of dirt and patchy brown grass with bits of rotted wood, broken masonry and other debris strewn about. The middle of the square was currently occupied by the prone figures of two men, whether dead or merely passed out Tijodrin could not tell. Four buildings surrounded the area, and a more ramshackle collection of structures could hardly be imagined. A tenement that looked abandoned and in danger of falling in on itself, a dank bawdy house with rusty iron bars over its lone window, and two taverns as decrepit as any he had ever seen. It was to the tavern on the left that Tijodrin turned his attention.

The Withered Man occupied the whole of a single-story building that leaned drunkenly against the larger building behind it. Thrown together with roughhewn timbers, it’s few windows were all heavily shuttered and its door was a patchwork of several pieces of mismatched wood. The rag-draped skeleton on the crooked sign out front was desperately in need of a fresh painting. Scowling, Tijodrin strode across the square to the tavern and pushed through the flimsy door.

If the outside was a wreck, the inside was even worse. Candles burned weakly in wall lanterns and on some tabletops, while the sunlight barely peeked through the shuttered windows. The fireplace in the corner had partially collapsed and was now only useful as a resting place for a mangy brown dog. The bar was nothing more than a sagging plank of pine laid across some empty ale barrels. A short, bald man stood behind it, staring suspiciously at Tijodrin.

The air was thick with the acrid smell of skral, the cheap narcotic so popular here in the northern lands. Half a dozen men sat at the battered tables scattered around the room, puffing on large pipes of the stuff, each in varying states of oblivion. Tijodrin wrinkled his nose in disgust as the clouds of skral were not quite enough to mask the odor of stale beer and unwashed bodies. The man that he was looking for was easy to spot as he had been unflatteringly, and thus accurately, described.

Obrik sat at the least worn of the tables, one cluttered with half empty plates and several wrapped blocks of skral. He was a corpulent man with a double chin drooping over the collar of his tunic, a tunic that had once been fine but was now stained with wine and sweat. He was chewing noisily on something, and his greasy beard held the crumbs of at least one meal. A scrawny girl wearing a thin cotton shift was slumped against Obrik’s shoulder. Tijodrin could not help but notice the collection of bruises that covered her arms.

Standing on either side of the table were two huge men in loose trousers and leather jerkins. Short stabbing swords and thick, curved daggers hung from their belts. Seeing Tijodrin’s gaze fall upon their master, the heavily muscled giants uncrossed their arms, their hands falling to sword hilts. One of them lumbered around to stand in front of the table. Tijodrin withdrew the leather wallet and stepped purposefully toward the table.

“Letters from Harnir of Skoden,” he announced over the giant’s shoulder.

The hulking bodyguard turned his head in Obrik’s direction, and the fat man responded with a grunt.

The bodyguard shifted to one side, just enough to allow Tijodrin to get past. Placing the bulging wallet on the table, he pretended not to notice the bodyguard taking up position directly behind him. Obrik glared up at him through bleary eyes as if Tijodrin had interrupted something more important than another unneeded meal. Belching loudly, he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

“An islander,” he muttered, easing his bulk forward and resting his elbows on the table.

Next to him, the girl stirred from her slumber and gave Tijodrin a yellow-toothed smile. She could not have been more than twelve or thirteen.

“Didn’t think they let your kind wander out of the guildhall.” Obrik’s sneering tone implied a strong support for that particular restriction.

Tijodrin said nothing, only regarded Obrik impassively.

Opening the wallet and removing the letters, Obrik jabbed his finger at the empty chair opposite him.

“I’ll stand,” Tijodrin said flatly. He did not wish to spend any more time in this man’s presence than was necessary.

Obrik’s eyes narrowed, but he shrugged and started sifting through the letters, carefully checking the wax seals on each of them.

“You know Harnir well?” He asked, tapping a dirty fingernail on the parchments. “Well enough.”

What Tijodrin knew was that Harnir was a minor merchant who traded in information as much as in goods. He was also a smuggler, a fence, and possibly, even a spy. As unsavory as he was, Harnir had a certain amount of honor, of decency. The same could not be said of this foul person in front of him.

“Everything seems to be in order,” Obrik muttered again, sounding almost disappointed.

He tucked the letters back in the wallet and slipped it inside his filthy tunic.

“I am surprised Harnir would trust an islander. I have always heard that your ilk are dishonest.”

“Perhaps you have also heard that we do not take kindly to insults,” Tijodrin replied, his eyes growing cold. The warning in those eyes went unheeded.

Obrik said something in a dialect that Tijodrin did not understand, but by the way the girl and the two bodyguards laughed, it was clearly crude and at his expense. Tijodrin gave the fat man a small smile, though it was anything but friendly. It was a smile that promised malice.

Slowly, and with obvious reluctance, Obrik withdrew a small handful of silver coins from his belt pouch and slapped them on the table. Tijodrin scooped them up and placed them in his own pouch.

“Care to spend any of that now?” Obrik leered, jerking his thumb at the skinny girl.

She rewarded Tijodrin with another wan smile and pushed a few loose strands of tangled hair out of her eyes. Making no attempt to hide the expression of contempt and revulsion on his face, Tijodrin started to turn away from the table. A hand like a slab of granite came down on his shoulder, holding him firmly in place.

“I did not dismiss you,” Obrik growled.

“I do not require permission from the likes of you.”

“Arrogant cur! You would be wise not to disrespect me in my place of business!” “Were I you, I would not be so quick to claim this cesspit.”

As Obrik’s face darkened in anger, Tijodrin sensed a surge of movement from behind him. He hunched his body forward so that the fist intended for the back of his skull found only air. Grabbing the edge of the table with both hands, Tijodrin shoved it into Obrik’s ample chest. Then he swept up the chair and turned to swing it at the bodyguard behind him.

The chair was poorly made, shattering against the man’s body and doing nothing more than momentarily stunning him. Tijodrin was on the man as quick as a panther. He unleashed a pair of punches to the bodyguard’s stomach that had him doubling over. As the man’s head came down, Tijodrin’s knee came up, cracking the bodyguard’s jaw like an eggshell.

Pushing the collapsing guard away from him, Tijodrin moved to face the second guard. The giant had drawn his short sword and was advancing on Tijodrin with loud curses. Tijodrin brushed aside the sword with his sleeve shield, then drove the heel of his hand into the bodyguard’s nose, crushing it in a spurt of red. A heavy clout from the sleeve shield smashed against the bodyguard’s head, knocking him to the floor. Meanwhile, Obrik had pushed the table away and was shouting for aid. From one of the tavern’s back rooms came the hurried thumping of booted feet. With a swift kick, Tijodrin sent the table smashing into Obrik’s body again, then turned to face the new threat.

Three more men burst into the room, their steel already bared. Tijodrin’s sword hissed ominously out of its scabbard as the men charged him in a mad rush. He knocked aside the first blade, letting the attacker’s haste carry him past.

Ducking under the swing of the second man, Tijodrin lunged forward, his blade sliding easily between the man’s ribs and plunging out of his back in a gout of blood. In one fluid motion, Tijodrin pulled his sword free and spun to catch the descending blow of the third swordsman.

With a deft flick of his wrist, he sent his opponent’s weapon clattering to the floor. Before the man could react, Tijodrin’s sword was chopping clear through his forearm. Screaming in pain, the man stumbled back against the wall, spewing crimson.

The first swordsman came after Tijodrin again, swinging his weapon hesitantly. Dodging to the side, Tijodrin brought his sword flashing down to slice through the back of the man’s ankle. He dropped his sword and fell shrieking to the floor, his bloody foot flopping uselessly. Tijodrin silenced him with a hard crack to the side of the head with the flat of his blade.

The two huge bodyguards were now beginning to recover their wits, and their feet. The first wobbled upright, groaning and clutching at his shattered jaw. Tijodrin sent him back to the floor with a brutal kick that cracked his kneecap. A second kick cracked at least one rib. The other giant flailed wildly at Tijodrin with his short sword, his face a mask of blood. Tijodrin lunged swiftly at him, his sword piercing the man’s shoulder. Another clout to the bodyguard’s head with the sleeve shield tumbled him down onto his comrade.

Springing over the fallen pair, Tijodrin brought his sword whistling down in a two-handed blow that hacked Obrik’s table in half. Kicking aside the broken halves, he placed the tip of his sword under Obrik’s bulging chin. Rage and fear battled in the man’s eyes as his henchmen’s blood trickled down the length of the blade to stain his throat.

Beside him, the girl was curled up in a ball, whimpering softly. The barman and the other patrons were cowering out of sight, while the mongrel in the ruined fireplace slept on. There were no further sounds of reinforcements, only the painful moans of the wounded and the dying.

“Our business here is concluded,” Tijodrin said in a low, menacing voice. “I want no further trouble from you or I will return and burn down this fetid hovel with you still inside.”

Slowly and deliberately, Tijodrin wiped his sword across the shoulder of Obrik’s tunic, removing the remaining blood from the blade. With one last withering look around, he carefully backed toward the door, not sheathing his sword until he was outside the tavern.

[divider]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Growing up in a military family, Justin Enos was lucky enough to get to see a lot of the world as a child. Born in Thailand, he subsequently lived in Kentucky, Maryland, Vermont, California, Germany and Virginia. He hasn’t stopped moving around as an adult either, calling Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Thailand again, and now Portland, Oregon home.

Justin began devouring books at a young age and his interest in writing followed soon after. Never much of a student, he could at least count on his creative writing abilities to gain him some top marks. Fantasy novels were his main love as a teenager and that led to what has now become a long-term interest in fantasy writing. After publishing a couple of short stories in fantasy magazines that no one has ever heard of, he buckled down and began working on his first novel.

“From Wrath To Ruin” is the first in what will eventually be an ongoing series of books. Inspired in part by the Conan novels written by both Robert E. Howard and Robert Jordan, each of Justin’s books will be stand alone stories.

Contact:

Website: https://justinenos72.wixsite.com/mysite
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Justin-Enos-Author-1215967911845266/
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16792333.Justin_Enos

[divider]If you are an author and wish to be featured as our guest or if you are a publicist and want to get your author featured on TRB, then please get in touch directly by e-mail at thereadingbud@gmail.com

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.

Goodreads

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.

Bookstagram


Goodreads and Amazon

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


Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Man You Scripted by Calvin Honors

 

32032973Author: Calvin Honors
Release Date: 4th September 2016
Series: –
Genre: Dystopian, Psychological Drama
Edition: E-book
Pages: 129
Publisher: Self-Published

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

2115 London
The city is overrun by organ traders in truck size hearses trawling the streets in the aftermath of the Hemo plague. Writer James Nolte meets Laila an X1 cyborg sent to scan humans for signs of Hemo.
Modern Day New York City
Internal Affairs agent John Azolo connects the dots from an unfinished manuscript to unravel a mystery surrounding his friend’s suicide. Detective Laila Carter, whom John audits, might just hold the key to both stories.

Review

The Man You Scripted by Calvin Honors is a Psychological Dystopian Drama based on a remarkably unique futuristic concept.

The fast paced book offers a lot for the genre lovers. It explores a unique writing style of combining two parallel, seemingly unrelated stories and then bringing them together to a great climax. The characterization was god and all the characters were relatable.

The writing style had a nice flow and made this book an easy and quick read.

I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to al the Dystopian and Speculative fiction buffs. This is one book you wouldn’t want to miss.


Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Courtesan’s Avenger by Kate M. Colby

31570429Author: Kate M. Colby
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Series:  Desertera (Part #2)
Genre: Dystopian, Steampunk
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 312
Publisher: Boxthorn Press

Preceded byThe Cogsmith’s Daughter

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

A courtesan on a mission. A brothel ravished by greed. A murder to avenge.
Dellwyn Rutt loves her life as a courtesan. For years, she has enjoyed the simple pleasures and lavish gifts of her trade. Now she wants more: the title of madam.
But Madam Huxley, the brothel’s current proprietor, refuses to name a successor—a problem that is amplified by the legalization of adultery. As the new law sends lusty clients flocking to the brothel, Madam Huxley’s greed grows unchecked at the workers’ expense. Only one outsider seems to care: a self-proclaimed prophet who won’t rest until the unholy institution is abolished.
After weeks of abuse, Dellwyn desperately seeks a way to subdue Madam Huxley’s tyranny. But when another courtesan is murdered, Dellwyn must set her struggles aside and solve the crime. The only problem? All evidence points to Dellwyn’s friends… and to her.
Driven by twisting turns, peppered with witty dialog, and shadowed by unrequited love, The Courtesan’s Avenger is a cozy mystery in a steampunk fantasy world.

REVIEW

The Courtesan’s Avenger is the second book in the Desertera series. As with any sequel, I had huge expectations from this one, especially because I loved the first book in this series, The Cogsmith’s Daughter, and I’m happy to say that this book turned out to be as good as I was hoping for.

I loved reading about Delwyn. She was already established as a strong character in the previous book and when I started reading this book I felt like I already knew her. So getting into the story and losing myself in it was really easy. And once I started reading I did not rest easy till I finished the entire book.

I liked the ending and can’t wait to read the next book in this amazing series. One of the best parts for me still remains the absolutely amazing world-building in this book. It is a really strong Dystopian setting and you can feel just how bad things are and the people’s desperation makes you feel grateful for all the life-giving water we have.

The writing was flawless, simple and easy to relate and it made reading this book an even more enjoyable experience.

I just had one issue with the book and that was more a matter of personal choice than anything else, I loved Aya so much that I had just a wee bit of problem seeing Delwyn as the lead in this book. I mean, it’s actually a compliment for the author on creating such a strong character as Aya that now I just want more of her and Will. I loved reading about her in this part, but honestly, I wanted the entire book to be about her and the King. Delwyn was no doubt an absolutely fantastic character, but for me, Aya will always be the main character and I do hope that the author will make her the main character int he next book or maybe even dedicate a series on her alone (I, for one, would definitely love that!)

As I said, there was nothing wrong with the story, it was just that I’m so hung up on Aya that I couldn’t bring myself to rate this book as high as the previous one, hence I’m settling for 4 +1/2 stars.

I’d recommend this book to all the readers of Dystopian and Steampunk stories and also to those who want to start with a fresh series worth their time.


Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey

17235026Author: M.R. Carey
Release Date: June 19, 2014
Series: 
Genre: Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic, Horror > Zombies, Science-Fiction
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 460
Publisher: Orbit

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

Review

The Girl With All The Gifts is a beautiful, beautiful book.

The plot is really unique and provides a fresh perspective to the entire zombie apocalypse. The packing was absolutely brilliant and the reveals (both minor and major) were literally breathtaking. This book is really hard to put down.

The characterization is so perfect that I felt like going inside the book and pulling out Melaine from that crazy, crazy world and keep her with me. I mean who cares if she’s a Zombie or not, she’s a child and such a sweet one at that.

The character of Melaine is just so heart-warming that I felt like pulling at my hair when I realized how badly they treated her, and then her reactions and innocent comments make it worst. And then there’s the fact that you can’t actually hate these people to behave a certain way because you know they gotta do what they gotta do to survive.

Jeez, this book is simply epic, and in order to understand its epic-ness you’ll have to read it for yourselves. I generally don’t do a lot of rave reviews, but, trust me, if you’re gonna die tomorrow then make sure that you’ve read this book before your time comes.

If you’re a fan of dystopian and apocalyptic/post-apo. genres, then it’d be a shame if you’d roam the face of this Earth without having read this book. Shame!

The ending literally made me teary-eyed. I mean it was the perfect kind of ending in the most absurd way. It’ll make you smile, it’ll make you cry, it’ll make you cringe, it’ll make you frustrated. It’ll change the way you look at zombies forever. Forever!

If you’ve watched Stranger Things then you’ll be able to see a lot of Eleven’s personality in Melaine and vice verse. When I watched Stranger Things I kept on picturing Melaine the entire time.

If you haven’t read it then I’d highly recommend that you do because it is one book you wouldn’t want to miss. 


You can also read this review at Goodreads.

Book Review: The Cogsmith’s Daughter (Desertera #1) by Kate M. Kolby

26499463

Author: Kate M. Colby 
Release Date: October 15, 2015
Series: Desertera
Genre: Dystopian | Steampunk | Fantasy
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 306
Publisher: Boxthorn Press
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

In a desert wasteland, one king rules with absolute power and unquenchable lust, until the cogsmith’s daughter risks everything for vengeance.

Two-hundred years ago, the steam-powered world experienced an apocalyptic flood. When the waters dried up, the survivors settled around their moored steamship in a wasteland they named Desertera. Believing the flood and drought were caused by a scorned goddess, the monarchs demanded execution for anyone who commits the unforgivable sin—adultery.

Today, King Archon entraps his wives in the crime of adultery, executing each boring bride to pursue his next infatuation. Most nobles overlook King Archon’s behavior, but when Lord Varick’s daughter falls victim to the king’s schemes, he vows revenge.

When Aya Cogsmith was a young girl, King Archon had her father executed for treason. Orphaned and forced to turn to prostitution for survival, Aya dreams of avenging her father’s death. When Lord Varick approaches Aya with plans for vengeance, she agrees to play the king’s seductress—even though it puts her at risk for execution.

Review

The Cogsmith’s Daughter is the first steampunk book I’ve read in a long time, and I must say that I’m really happy that I did. This book is nothing short of a masterpiece.

The Cogsmith’s Daughter has a brilliantly written and efficiently developed plot line that is set in a mesmerizing new world. Playful yet serious at the same time, author Kate M. Colby’s writing is simply outstanding!

As soon as I started reading the first chapter, I completely lost myself in the scary, although interesting, world of Aya. I was able to relate to her on so many levels that I still feel that she’s not just a character but a friend whom I know inside out. This only proves that the characterization is beyond perfect. It’s simply magical!

I fell in love with the male lead, just as Aya did, and felt every emotion in the deepest corners of my heart. I felt sad when Aya was sad and felt happy when she found even a tiny bit of joy. Most of all, I enjoyed Aya’s thought process, and her innocence and determination made her a very compelling character.
Other characters were also crafted finely and I loved them all (even the well-crafted character of the protagonist.)

I have NO words to describe the brilliance of the worldbuilding that was executed flawlessly by the author in this book. Kudos to a job well done!

The book ended on a great note and I felt completely satisfied after finishing the book, yet at the same time, I was left craving for the next part.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this beautiful book and I’d recommend it to all the readers who are looking for an EPIC new series to read.

Bookstagram

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Other Stuff

Opening Line: Aya Cogsmith awoke, as she did every morning, to the croaking of the mechanical frog next to her bed.

Highlights: Exceptional writing and worldbuilding.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

This was her chance to reclaim her life, get back her father’s shop, and finally attain justice for his death. She was going to take it or die trying.

Memorable Paragraph:

“You forgot, Varick. You live in an illustrious estate, have all the fruit and wine you can ingest, and receive every pampering from your staff. I live in a dirt-floored hovel, trudge miles for water, and let disgusting men penetrate me for the smallest coins in a currency. Do you really think death wouldn’t be a relief?”

Final Thoughts: A magical read that will leave you craving for more.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: Floor 21

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Author: Jason Luthor
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Series: 
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian, YA, Suspense, Thriller
Edition: E-Book (mobi)
Pages: 234
Publisher: Kindle Press
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

As humanity lives out the remainder of its existence at the top of an isolated apartment tower, young Jackie dares to question Tower Authority and their ban on traveling into the tower’s depths. Intelligent and unyielding, Jackie ventures into the shadows of the floors below. But will her strong will and refusal to be quiet—in a society whose greatest pride is hiding the past—bring understanding of how humanity became trapped in the tower she has always called home, or will it simply be her undoing?

Review

I LOVED this book. It started off pretty great and ended on the same note. Floor 21 is written in the form of recordings in alternate person and I truly enjoyed how this format took this story to a whole new level.

It was really intriguing and kept me on edge the entire time. I was constantly trying to figure out the mystery of the tower as well as that of what awaits outside it. The author has done a splendid job in beautifully carving out the story.

The pace of the story is great and the voice of the main character just wooed me! It was literally like sitting in front of a teenage girl and listening to her blabbering about her life.

I was hooked from the start to the very end. Each and every chapter or recording kept me glued to the book and made me finish the book in a day.

There were a few loose ends left at the end, but considering it was in the form of recordings, I’m ready to give this book benefit of the doubt. Though I do hope that there’ll be a sequel to follow this book so that we can finally know what really happened and that what lies outside the Tower.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “My name id Jackie, and it’s not so bad living here.”

Highlights: Format of the book.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: A great dystopian book.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

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.

Book Review: Angelfall (Penryn And The End Of Days #1)

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Author: Susan Ee
Release Date: January 1st, 2011
Series: Penryn & The End Of Days
Genre:  Young Adult | Dystopian | Post-Apocalyptic | Fantasy | Paranormal > Angels
Edition: Kindle
Pages: 288
Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing and Skyscape
Source: NetGalley
Followed By: World After (Penryn & The End Of Days #2)

Book Review: Kali- Destroyer of Worlds

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Author: Mike Kuykendall
Release Date: 1st September 2014
Series: Stand alone
Genre: Dystopian | Post-Apocalyptic
Edition: Kindle
Pages: 384 (4523 Kindle pages)                            
Publisher: Createspace
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Book Review: Frozen (Heart Of Dread #1)

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Author: Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston
Release Date: 2nd October, 2014
Series: Heart Of Dread Series
Genre: Fantasy | Romance | Post-Apocalyptic | Supernatural | Science-Fiction | Dystopian | YA | Adventure 
Edition: Kindle
Pages: 365
Publisher: Orchard Books
Source: NetGalley

Book Review: Impervious (Ascension #1)

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Author: Heather Letto
Release Date: March 19, 2014
Series: Ascension
Genre: Science-Fiction | Dystopian | Young Adult | Post-Apocalyptic 
Edition: mobi
Pages: 316
Publisher: BookFish Books
Interest: Requested by publisher
Source: Author (Thanks a lot Erin and Heather!)
Buy it here: Amazon