Tag Archives: science fiction

How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days, by Megan O’Russell

14 Jan

32231955Format: e-ARC, 214 pages

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Published: 15 August, 2017

ISBN: 9781620072653

Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy, Teens & YA

Back cover blurb: Ever wanted to grow a five-story tall flower in central park? How about fight a deadly battle under the subway tunnels of Manhattan?

Don’t worry. I never wanted to either. But if you’re ever being chased by ladies made of mist and you have to save the girl with the sparkly eyes you’ve never had the guts to say actual words to, there’s an app for that.

I found a magic cell phone, opened an app I shouldn’t have, burned down the set shop for my high school’s theatre, and it was all downhill from there. A drag queen seer who lives under a bridge is my only hope for keeping my mom alive, and I think the cops might be after me for destroying my dad’s penthouse.

But it gets better! Now I’m stuck being the sidekick to the guy who got me into this mess in the first place. It’ll be a miracle if I survive until Monday.

My review: This one lost me about halfway through. It started off well and I enjoyed the three main teen characters coming to grips with the mysterious phone they found, but when they got together with a fourth person – I won’t spoil by naming – I didn’t enjoy it as much and it was a slog to get to the end. If this is the start of a series I don’t think I’ll bother continuing.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 3/5

 

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Artemis, by Andy Weir

15 Nov

28239935Format: e-ARC, 384 pages

Publisher: Del Rey

Published: November 14, 2017

ISBN: 9780091956943

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Sci Fi & Fantasy

Back cover blurb: Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of Jazz’s problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself – and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even more unlikely than the first.

My review: Confession: I never read The Martian, I only saw the film, but I enjoyed that very much. This wasn’t as much fun and I wasn’t as invested in Jazz as a character to care what happened to her. I actually think Jazz sounded more like a man at times than a Saudi Arabian woman, especially the comment about peeing in the shower. The whole moonbase thing is a great concept, and of course there is science-y stuff for Africa here – lol, the moon is even run by Kenya because of its prime launch position on Earth’s equator – but I can’t say I was gripped.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 3/5

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Nirvana, by J.R. Stewart

23 Nov

26164334Format: e-ARC, 186 pages

Publisher: Blue Moon Publishers

Published: November 10, 2015

ISBN: 9780993639777

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Teens & YA

Back cover 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 on an entire government to do so.

My review: A very interesting concept, combining virtual reality and a dystopian future caused by the extinction of bees, but some of it is quite confusing and I never really cared for the main character. She seemed much older than just 17 and I never got much of an impression of her partner, Andrew, before his disappearance, so wasn’t really invested in her search for him. The science of it was intriguing, but I’m not sure I’m interested enough to continue with the series.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 3/5

3cupcakes

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Stacking the Shelves #18

5 Sep

Stacking The Shelvesl_thumb2Hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

Welcome back to Stacking the Shelves, a regular meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga’s Reviews. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the latest books you have added to your shelves, physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course e-books!

Following on from last week, when I got a bit carried away on Netgalley, I had a few more books approved for me to review. The first was Nirvana, by J.R. Stewart, which I was invited to review as part of Netgalley’s 2015 challenge. I love the cover and think it should be really interesting.

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The second was This Book Will Change Your Life, by Amanda Weaver, who is one of my favourite fandom authors now publishing original stories. Really looking forward to this one.

26171428And to cap off the week, I was granted access to Dark Heart of Magic, by Jennifer Estep, which is the second book in her excellent Black Blade series. I loved the first book, Cold Burn of Magic,  so much (read my review HERE) so I may just have to drop everything to read this straight away. Very pretty cover on this one, too.

24975935I spent the last of my Amazon gift card on Heart-Shaped Hack, by Tracey Garvis-Graves. I participated in some of the blog tour for this but hadn’t received an ARC, so just had to buy it. It really looks like my kind of book.

25630718So that’s it for this week. Keep an eye out for my reviews of these in coming weeks. So what new books did you pick up this week? Let me know in the comments.

Darken the Stars (Kricket, Book 3), by Amy A. Bartol

30 Aug

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Format: e-ARC, 302 pages

Publisher: 47North

To Be Published: September 8, 2015

ISBN: 9781503947429

Genre: Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Back cover blurb: Kyon Ensin finally has what he’s always wanted: possession of Kricket Hollowell, the priestess who foresees the future. Together, their combined power will be unrivaled. Kricket, however, doesn’t crave the crown of Ethar—she has an unbreakable desire to live life on her own terms, a life that she desperately wants to share with her love, Trey Allairis.

As conspiracies rage in the war for Ethar, Kricket’s so-called allies want to use her as a spy. Even those held closest cannot be trusted—including Astrid, her sister, and Giffen, a member of a mysterious order with a hidden agenda. But Kricket’s resolve will not allow her to be used as anyone’s pawn, even as the Brotherhood sharpens its plans to cut out her heart.

As the destiny prophesied by her mother approaches, Kricket will backtrack through her fiery future to reshape it. For she knows one thing above all else: the only person she can truly count on is herself.

My review: When I got to the end of this book I kept swiping the page to see if there was more. Ms. Bartol can’t leave us there!

I love how strong Kricket became and the choices she made, even though I was a bit worried she was suffering from Stockholm Syndrome in the beginning. I was totally Team Trey from the previous two books and was disappointed he wasn’t in this much, but Kyon surprised me, and although I wasn’t totally falling for him, he did have his swoony moments. To say too much would probably be spoilerish – you’ll just have to read this for yourself!

The writing is compelling and had me gripped from start to finish. I really can’t recommend this series highly enough. But there just has to be another book!

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 5/5

5cupcakes

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Stacking the Shelves #16

23 Aug

Stacking The Shelvesl_thumb2Hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

Welcome back to Stacking the Shelves, a regular meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga’s Reviews. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the latest books you have added to your shelves, physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course e-books!

It’s been a little bit of a quiet time on the book-buying front. I’ve managed to pick up two short stories this week from Amazon. The first is Inherit the Stars:Reprieve, by Tessa Elwood, which is a prequel to Inherit the Stars, a book I have received from Netgalley and which is due to be published in December.

25691966The second is a Jojo Moyes short, Paris For One. I love her writing and am really looking forward to reading this one. Is it wrong of me to like it even more since it has a picture of a chocolate bar in the corner? 😉

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Finally, I requested This Raging Light, by Estelle Laure, from Netgalley and was granted access by Orchard Books. This looks really interesting 🙂

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So that’s it for this week. Keep an eye out for my reviews of these in coming weeks. So what new books did you pick up this week? Let me know in the comments.

The Invasion of the Tearling, by Erika Johansen

6 Aug

24961232Format: e-ARC, 380 pages

Publisher: Transworld Publishers

Published: July 16, 2015

ISBN: 9780593073117

Genre: Science fiction & fantasy, Literature/Fiction (Adult)

Back cover blurb: With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighbouring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.
But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling – and that of Kelsea’s own soul – may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out.
In this dazzling sequel to her bestselling debut The Queen of the Tearling, Erika Johansen brings back favourite characters, including the Mace and the Red Queen, and introduces unforgettable new players, adding exciting layers to her multidimensional tale of magic, mystery and a fierce young heroine.

My review: I think I enjoyed this sequel more than the first book. Things are changing alarmingly with Kelsea, but it is her visions of the life of Lily in the almost-present which had me gripped. As I said with the first book, this is not for younger readers, and the plotline with Lily involves rape and some pretty horrible acts of violence. Nevertheless, I loved her story and really felt for her and her comrades, especially William and Jonathan. That ending was just perfect, and reinforced the idea that this is more science fiction than perhaps the first book would suggest.

Back in Kelsea’s world, things are left up in the air, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the third installment. Hopefully we’ll see more of the Fetch in the next book! This is going to make an amazing film with Emma Watson.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 5/5

5cupcakes

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A Thousand Pieces of You, by Claudia Gray

5 Jun

thousand piecesFormat: audiobook, 9 hours 18 minutes, narrated by Tavia Gilbert

Publisher: HarperTeen

Published: November 4, 2014

ISBN: 9780062376541

Genre: YA fiction, science fiction

Back cover blurb: Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

My review: OMG, this is so good! All my favourite things are here: Swoony boys, time travel, czarist Russia, geekiness and pop culture references, and so much UST! There are a few red herrings which had me questioning my assumptions about who the baddies were, but even though I was correct in my suspicions, the thrills are still fast-paced and there’s a scene right at the end that had me on the edge of my seat. And that cover is just gorgeous. I can’t wait for the next book out later this year.

My rating: 5/5

5cupcakes

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Kicking off Sci-Fy May with TWCS – guest post and giveaway!

1 May

Today I am proud to join forces with the lovely people at The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House to help them celebrate my favourite month, Sci-Fy May! (Keep reading – there’s a giveaway, my first on the blog!)

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As a special treat, we are joined by Warren Cantrell, author of Obvious Child:

Although the events of Obvious Child take place in what is now the present (2015), when I wrote the book in 2010, my aim was to set it in the not-too-distant future, when time travel technology was just being discovered. This was done to give the story a little distance from the real world and modern scientific techniques and methods, so that any specific analysis of the supposed time travel technology could be explained away or buttressed by “future” developments that were never really expounded upon. There was a reason for this: my book was written in the present tense and in the 3rd person to give it a sense of urgency and immediacy, as well as to put the audience in my main character’s shoes.

That character, Sam Grant, is a History graduate school student, not a scientist, and he is somewhat reluctantly pulled into the larger events of the story. As a result, he only gets partial, passing information about the time travel technology, and never gains much more than a cursory understanding of how it all works. Since Sam is a slacker, stoner, and something of a drunk, this fit well with his character, and since the narrative structure never left Sam’s POV, the audience didn’t know all that much more than Sam. Thus, Obvious Child didn’t spend a lot of time explaining the nuts and bolts of the time travel technology, because Sam didn’t really need to know about it to have his adventure (and it didn’t fit with his character). As a result, since Sam didn’t need to know how the technology worked, the audience didn’t really need to know, and as an author I was let off the hook. The fact that the story takes place in the “future” and is viewed through the eyes of an unwilling participant in a celebrity whirlwind affair allowed me to craft the story in such a way as to keep the attention focused on Sam’s handling of the ordeal, rather than the minutiae of how the technology fueling it worked. After all, the story is an exploration of what it means to become famous in the modern, social network, 24-hour news cycle age: time travel was just a means to an end to bring those themes to the surface.

Because there was not a lot of focus on the technology, and the rules behind the functionality of the time travel device, it allowed me considerable freedom to play around with different concepts as it concerned travelling to the future in my book’s universe. Since I didn’t go into much detail about how the time travel technology worked, I wasn’t hampered by a self-imposed set of rules regarding its capabilities. Yet Obvious Child is just the first book in a series, and if TWCS picks up the second volume in the series (which is already written), readers will find that things can get a little tricky when a character is leaping around through time. As the adventures of Sam Grant develop, it has become more challenging to keep the events of the book within the bounds of space-time’s rational limits. For example, if somebody travels forward in time, then attempts to return home to their own era, might not actions taken on that return journey alter the landscape of the future (which is really the main character’s past)? Such questions can be tricky, yet are part of the fun of writing a time travel adventure story! Readers have responded enthusiastically to Obvious Child, and have been clamoring for the long-promised sequel, so my narrative gamble seems to have paid off!

About The Author:

Warren Cantrell is a film and music critic based out of Seattle, Washington. One of the few surviving journalists of the Gonzo school, Mr. Cantrell’s work has appeared in such publications as Lost in Reviews and Scene-Stealers.

A classically trained scholar with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in History, Mr. Cantrell has spent the majority of his time since graduation writing novels and paying off his student loans. Working as a critic and an on-the-ground correspondent, Mr. Cantrell has covered the Seattle International and Sundance Film Festivals and has had the pleasure of interviewing people ranging from Sissy Spacek to Joss Whedon.

As an established film and music critic, Mr. Cantrell finds that it is best to keep his political views private, except to say that he feels Greedo definitely did not shoot first and that The Misfits ceased to exist the moment Danzig left the band.

A life-long Arizona Diamondbacks, Cardinals, and Phoenix Suns fan, Mr. Cantrell enjoys fast cars, Italian opera, Norwegian cinema, Kentucky bourbon, and Motörhead concerts. Connect with the Author on Facebook.

Obvious Child back cover blurb: Sam Grant doesn’t want to be famous, but he doesn’t have much of a say in the matter.
On the verge of graduating from college with his master’s in History, Sam and the rest of the world bear witness to the invention of time travel. Revealed via a YouTube broadcast, the brothers responsible for inventing time travel find their remarkable device coopted by the U.S. government. In a magnanimous gesture, the U.S. government holds a worldwide competition to decide who will be the first time traveler in history. This turns Sam’s world upside down after a half-baked joke application he sends in gets him accepted as a contestant for consideration.
Thrust into a political and media blender set to puree, Sam and his fellow contestants vie for the affections of a worldwide audience who will vote on the eventual winner. As the successive rounds of the contest pass by, and Sam tries everything from indifference to wild irreverence to get himself voted out of the competition, he finds that all his actions only serve to make him more popular.
As the contest goes on, Sam and the time travel project become more of a referendum on our society’s fascination with celebrity disasters, and what they will do to make sure the entertainment doesn’t stop anytime soon. Unable to get out of the contest via logical means, Sam learns to embrace the perks sudden celebrity provides, yet also suffers some of its typical consequences.
Stuck between two worlds—one he can’t handle, and another he can’t control—Sam finds himself considering a third option, one that has him confronting a time traveling reality that terrifies him to his very core.
5cupcakes
My review can be found HERE. I loved this book and gave it 5/5 cupcakes.

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Thanks for stopping by, Warren!

To help celebrate the month, TWCS has reduced the price of 15 of their sci-fi and paranormal titles to just 99c! I’ve read 11 of these books and loved them! Now the rest are only 99c I’ll have to grab them, too! And check out the bottom of this post for an amazing giveaway!

 Say NO to REALITY!

This May, TWCS is paying tribute to the SciFy genre in honour of the EPIC Star Wars series and LEGENDARY The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, amongst others…

 

BOOKS ON SALE FOR ONLY 99 PENNIES!

LEGACY OF A DREAMER, Allie Jean, Paranormal

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Chantal Breelan is plagued by horrible nightmares too realistic to ignore. Her past has been a mystery, and the foster system isn’t providing any answers. Starting a new life alone at eighteen is a challenge, especially when things that go bump in the night appear out of the shadows, and her dreams begin to breach reality. Darkness surrounds her from all sides, but is it only evil that hides in the shadows, or are the answers to her past lingering just beyond?

 

 

 

ZOMBIFIED, Maggie LaCroix, Paranormal Fantasy

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Monsters know their place: vampires are sexy; zombies just decompose. But Maggie La Croix’s Zombified conjures up an entirely different kind of undead raised by good old-fashioned Voodoo. Take Henri—still gorgeous, over one hundred years after his death. And now a hurricane has set him free from a curse.

Enter Josie, a reporter with her eyes on Henri. But falling for a man without a heartbeat could get her more than a broken heart. It could get her zombified.

 

 

THE SIX, K.B. Hoyle, Fantasy

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Darcy Pennington feels like she is an insufferably average thirteen-year-old, but when a change in her dad’s job forces her to attend Cedar Cove Camp, she unwittingly stumbles upon a magical gateway. Along with five other teenagers, she will travel to a world called Alitheia. The “arrival of the Six” was prophesied long ago, but will she have what it takes to save Alitheia?

 

 

 

MORE, T.M. Franklin, Paranormal

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Haunted by terrifying nightmares and certain she’s being watched, college student Ava Michaels finds an unlikely ally in Physics tutor Caleb Foster. But Caleb isn’t quite what he seems. In fact, he’s not entirely human, and he’s not the only one.

Together, the duo faces a threat from an ancient race bent on Ava’s capture, and possible extinction. As Ava fights to survive, she learns the world’s not what she thought.

It’s a little bit more.

 

 

 

THE SILVER CRESCENT, Debby Grahl, Paranormal

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An ancestor’s tale of betrayal, murder and a stolen fortune in silver leads Elise Baxter to Max Holt’s Victorian inn.

She is reluctantly, though irresistibly, attracted to Max. Leery of loving again, Max lets passion overrule caution, tumbling them into an erotic encounter.

Guided by ghosts and opposed by an evil presence, the couple searches for the treasure. But there are others who will stop at nothing to unlock the mystery of the Silver Crescent.

 

 

THE MEMORY HEALER, Julie Filarski, Paranormal

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When Beth Montgomery reluctantly agrees to carry out a psychic assessment of Carrington House, she is transported to another era, where she sees a date on a calendar that fills her with dread.

Back in the present time and sensing an eternal bond with the irresistible Dr Matthew Jamieson, she wonders whether he was once the darkly handsome but unfaithful Samuel Methven. Beth must regress to the tragic events of 1895 to learn the truth.

 

 

HUNTED, Lorenz Font, Paranormal

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Disease is ravaging the vampire community in New York City’s underworld. Harrow Gates is sick, alone, and hunted. When Pritchard Tack offers him a new beginning, he is in no position to refuse.

Jordan is a young vampire whose only focus is revenge. In her search for her family’s killer, she meets a man who threatens to pull her heart away from her sworn mission. Is love strong enough to override her thirst for vengeance?

 

 

 

MOUNTAIN CHARM, Sydney Logan, Paranormal

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“True love and sweet whispers, till death do us part;

Send someone to love my Appalachian heart.”

At the age of thirteen, Angelina Clark followed in the footsteps of her ancestors by casting an Appalachian love spell, which promised she would blossom into a beautiful and gifted woman who would find her true love. A young Angelina had been thrilled to participate in the sacred ritual, but through the years, her father’s untimely death and her mother’s failing health have shaken Angelina’s magical faith to its core. As her twenty-first birthday approaches, she refuses to practice her supernatural gifts and no longer believes in the love charm.

 

 

REDEMPTION, Lindsey Gray, Paranormal

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Life is for living. Afterlife is a chance at redemption. As the only remaining female vampire in existence, Lily attempts to make her way towards her ever after. But with best friend Becca, new beau Ian, human husband Ryan, Archangel Peter, and a host of demons all standing in the way of Lily’s chance at a peaceful eternity, how can she possibly survive?

 

 

 

CONVERGENCE, J.D. Watts, Paranormal

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Daniella Rossi is a nineteen-year-old college student who sees the world quite differently than those around her. From infancy, she was aware of the beings that walked among her kind who were not like them, as well as her own personal Guardian who watched over her. Dani always knew she was different, but she never dreamed the full scope of her importance. When a new male Guardian comes to replace her lifelong friend and companion, will Dani be able to accept him as she deals with a world full of the other Children of Creation, Angels, both good and evil?

 

 

 

OBVIOUS CHILD, Warren Cantrell, SciFy

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In 2015, Sam Grant is chosen to take part in a contest that will choose the world’s first time traveler. There’s just one problem—Sam doesn’t want anything to do with the contest. Yet his deliberately profane public appearances and sabotaged interviews only boost ratings. Now stuck, Sam must plot how he’ll get out of the contest, or if he should embrace it all and become the most famous person in history.

 

 

 

 

GHOSTWRITER, Lissa Bryan, Paranormal

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Unemployed, with her savings dwindling, Sara Howell thinks things are looking up when she lands a ghostwriting job and rents the affordable island home of her favorite author, Seth Fortner, who mysteriously disappeared in 1925.

Strange things happen, making Sara wonder if Seth ever left. When she finds an old trunk of Seth’s letters, she delves into a world she never imagined, filled with love and a family curse it seems only she can break.

 

 

 

THE STARS ARE FALLING, Michelle Birbeck, Paranormal

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Jenny’s life revolves around surviving university, watching the stars, and staring at her housemate, Dale. But as the night sky glows with the light of falling stars, Jenny’s classes and crush seem unimportant. The Stars are retaking Earth, saving mother nature by eliminating the problem. Together, Jenny and Dale can save the world and the human race, but surviving long enough to convince the Stars of that is perilous and may kill them both.

 

 

 

EVERYBODY OUT OF THE LAUNDROMAT, I NEED TO THINK!, Phil G. Glenn, Paranormal

 

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When the ordinary life of Virgil Blaine crosses the path of the even more ordinary Doug Coulthard, it sets off a series of extra-ordinary events. Doug Coulthard is a Filing Clerk and the President of the Unpublished People’s Poet’s Party –Political Unit (UPPPPU) where a catastrophe has just happened; two of his long time members have been published. The UPPPPU goes on a recruiting drive by distributing leaflets, one of which finds its way into Virgil Blaine’s pocket. Virgil Blaine, who is a slight poet himself, attends one of the meetings where he meets Forward Slash who offers Virgil Blaine a job. The offer comes with two things Virgil Blaine has never had; a job and a car and on a whim he accepts. The problem is, through no effort of his own, his position is suddenly elevated. Virgil Blaine says the job is ‘messing with his DNA – Deliberate Non-Achiever’ and he misses his old life and so hatches a plan to get it back…

 

 

SEBASTIAN AND THE AFTERLIFE, William j. Barry, Paranormal

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Sebastian, an average seventeen-year-old boy, has just paid this debt. He awakes in a surreal world somewhere between mortal life and the afterlife, where the Grim Reaper rules and his loyal agents maintain the law. But not all is peaceful in this mystical realm. Axis Red and his soul pirates threaten the future of all who dwell there.

Sebastian soon finds himself at Sapentia, a high school for the departed. There he makes new friends but longs for his lost love, Sarah, who is still alive in the mortal world. Some things are forbidden; some lines cannot be crossed. What will Sebastian risk to be close to Sarah again?

Continue the adventure with Sebastian and the Afterlife Book II – Agents of the Reaper

 

 

 

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The Blondes, by Emily Schultz

19 Apr

theblondesFormat: e-ARC, 400 pages

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

To Be Published: April 21, 2015

ISBN: 9781250043351

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature/Fiction (Adult)

Back cover blurb: “Wow!” —Margaret Atwood
A hilarious and whipsmart novel where an epidemic of a rabies-like disease is carried only by blonde women, who all must go to great lengths to conceal their blondness.

Hazel Hayes is a grad student living in New York City. As the novel opens, she learns she is pregnant (from an affair with her married professor) at an apocalyptically bad time: random but deadly attacks on passers-by, all by blonde women, are terrorizing New Yorkers. Soon it becomes clear that the attacks are symptoms of a strange illness that is transforming blondes—whether CEOs, flight attendants, students or accountants—into rabid killers.

My review: The first two-third of this really dragged for me, mainly because I felt no sympathy for the main character. I didn’t get Hazel’s relationship with her married lecturer, Karl – neither seemed very attractive as people – and she felt very detached from what was happening with the blondes around her.

Things improved when Grace came more into the picture. I liked her even though she was a prize bitch, and by that stage there were a few mysteries in the book I had to keep reading to figure out.

The time-jumping narrative didn’t work for me in the beginning because it made things even more confusing, and some of what she was telling the baby seemed highly inappropriate to me. The ending also left a lot of unanswered questions.

The cover blurb describes this book as hilarious but I found little to laugh about. It made me wonder in what tone of voice Margaret Atwood allegedly said “wow.”

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 3/5

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