Ben Galley Ultimate Blog Tour Spotlight!

@BenGalley

Ben Galley is an author of dark and epic fantasy books who currently hails from Victoria, Canada. Since publishing his debut The Written in 2010, Ben has released a range of award-winning fantasy novels, including the weird western Bloodrush and the epic standalone The Heart of Stone. He is also the author of the brand new Chasing Graves Trilogy.

The Written

Book one of The Emanska Series

His name is Farden. 
They whisper that he’s dangerous. 
Dangerous is only the half of it. 

Something has gone missing from the libraries of Arfell. Something very old, and something very powerful. Five scholars are now dead, a country is once again on the brink of war, and the magick council is running out of time and options. 

Entangled in a web of lies and politics and dragged halfway across icy Emaneska and back, Farden must unearth a secret even he doesn’t want to know, a secret that will shake the foundations of his world. Dragons, drugs, magick, death, and the deepest of betrayals await. 

Welcome to Emaneska.

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Chasing Graves

Book one of The Chasing Graves Trilogy

Welcome to Araxes, where getting murdered is just the start of your problems.

Meet Caltro Basalt. He’s a master locksmith, a selfish bastard, and as of his first night in Araxes, stone cold dead.

They call it the City of Countless Souls, the colossal jewel of the Arctian Empire, and all it takes to be its ruler is to own more ghosts than any other. For in Araxes, the dead do not rest in peace in the afterlife, but live on as slaves for the rich.

While Caltro struggles to survive, those around him strive for the emperor’s throne in Araxes’ cutthroat game of power. The dead gods whisper from corpses, a soulstealer seeks to make a name for himself with the help of an ancient cult, a princess plots to purge the emperor from his armoured Sanctuary, and a murderer drags a body across the desert, intent on reaching Araxes no matter the cost.

Only one thing is certain in Araxes: death is just the beginning.

Bloodrush

Book 1 of The Scarlet Star Trilogy

Prime Lord Hark lies dead in a pool of his own blood.

The Empire is in turmoil. The Emerald Benches are leaderless. Queen Victorious calls for justice. But none of this matters to Lord Hark’s thirteen year-old son, Tonmerion, who abruptly finds himself orphaned and now in the charge of an estranged aunt. An undertaker, no less, who lives far across the Iron Ocean, at the very brink of the Endless Land and all known civilisation. In a place they call Fell Falls, Wyoming.

In the dusty frontier town of Fell Falls, Merion finds no silverware, no servants, no plush velvet nor towering spires. Only dust, danger, and the railway. Tonmerion has only one friend to help him escape the torturous heat and unravel his father’s murder. A fae warrior named Rhin. An embittered, twelve-inch tall outcast of the Undering whose past refuses to let go of him.

But there are darker things at work in Fell Falls, and not just the railwraiths or the savages baying for blood. Secrets lurk in Merion’s bloodline.

Secrets that will redefine him.

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Heart of Stone

Merciless. Murderer. Monster. He has been called many names in his time.

Built for war and nothing else, he has witnessed every shade of violence humans know, and he has wrought his own masterpieces with their colours. He cared once, perhaps, but far too long ago. He is bound to his task, dead to the chaos he wreaks for his masters.

Now, he has a new master to serve and a new war to endure. In the far reaches of the Realm, Hartlund tears itself in two over coin and crown. This time he will fight for a boy king and a general bent on victory.

Beneath it all he longs for change. For something to surprise him. For an end to this cycle of warfare.

Every fighter has a last fight. Even one made of stone.

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My Best Friend Runs Venus Review

My Best Friend Runs Venus
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My Best Friend Runs Venus by Katrina S. Forest is a story about a pair of friends named Kade and Tamika who are members of a group of children who live in robot bodies on planets across the solar system. Kade is tech-savvy and uses that to his advantage against the adults who only come to the planets for hours at a time to teach the kids. Tamika’s only friend is Kade as many people think that she is just like her mother, a criminal.

This book had an interesting premise, but I believe that it got lost along the way. At first, I thought the story was going to mostly be about Tamika finding out the truth about her mother, but it was mostly about just Kade and Tamika running around different planets and meeting different people. This wouldn’t have been a bad thing if the story was more coherent. The story was too short for me to really understand who was who. I couldn’t remember the important things about each character, which meant that big “reveals” had me more confused than anything.

If you read the synopsis of this book you read that Tamika is a princess. Now, even though she is a princess, I did not get the feeling that she “ran Venus” at all in the story. At best she was a princess in hiding, and that wasn’t even the main focus of the novel. The only person even protecting her was her best friend, some random kid named Kade. It was more interesting learning about the other kids who seemed to be somewhat rich and have somewhat positions of power, even if they weren’t using them for good, than to learn about Kade and Tamika in this story.

The one thing that I did like in this story was the premise of a world with minimal interference from adults. Since the adults couldn’t physically stand to be in their bodies for too long, the children basically ran around on the planets by themselves. It seemed a bit unrealistic that adults could only do it for a few hours at a time but Kade and Tamika could literally spend months outside of their physical bodies, but it made for an interesting story arc. I wish that the whole “adult-free world” idea had been expanded upon more. Like what sort of crazy things would these children build on these planets without adult supervision for hours at a time. Their imaginations could literally go wild, but they seemed to be bound by technology in this book.

Overall, I wouldn’t really recommend this book. It had an interesting premise, but the overall story seemed as if too many things were going on at once for me to keep track of everything.  

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 books

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Binti #2: Home

Home (Binti, #2)
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Home is the continuation of the Binti series. Binti has been at Oomza for over a year, and she has managed to make somewhat acquaintances with the Meduse Okwu. Now, Binti must travel to her home town and go on a pilgrimage with her people. She brings Okwu to her home planet to meet her people, and she struggles to find her place as a foreigner in a place that she once called home.

Okorafor does include some thoughts of Binti having panic attacks and having to go to a counselor because of the attack on the ship a year ago, but I felt like Binti and the world still don’t care about what happened on that ship! Okwu is allowed at the school as some sort of exchange student, and no one ever really questions him. He was on the ship when the attack occurred, but no one is even put in jail for killing all of those innocent students. Sure, they wanted the chief’s stinger, but surely there could have been a more peaceful way of getting it back rather than killing a ship full of students and then keeping one hostage as an ambassador. I don’t understand how they just forgave the Meduse for this and just moved to allow them into the school so easily. How are they explaining this to the parents of the children who were killed? Nothing makes sense.

On top of that, did you know Binti has turned half Meduse? Because I sure didn’t! It came as a complete shock to me when all of a sudden, her hair was some sort of tentacles. And the book doesn’t even discuss her hating herself for becoming (at least partially) one of the killers that had taken so many lives. It would have been interesting banter, but it isn’t even discussed. Clearly, she doesn’t view the Meduse as her equal though, as she repeatedly calls Okwu an “it” throughout the book. It would make sense if Okwu was called “them” for being gender non-binary, but it? IT? Okwu is clearly a sentient being worth more than just the pronoun it. So, I call Okwu he in this review and in my head as that is how other characters refer to him in the book.

It is so disappointing when Binti meets her family. I wasn’t expecting her to be welcomed home with open arms, but they are outright cruel to her at times. It’s like everyone has forgotten that she totally could have died in the previous book with the rest of the kids on that ship. Speaking of the ship, the ship is alive. Again, would have been interesting to see how a living creature would feel about having hundreds of students killed inside her own body, but that isn’t discussed either.

Overall, I would not recommend this trilogy. I am going to read the last book, but then I am not going to read it again most likely. I wanted so badly to enjoy it, but I simply cannot, unfortunately.

Overall Rating: 1 out of 5 books

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Heaven’s Edge Blog Tour Plus Qeya Review


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Heaven’s Edge Box Set
(Heaven’s Edge #1-#3)
By Jennifer Silverwood
YA SciFi, Steampunk
ebook, 290 Pages
July 10, 2018 by JayHenge Publishing

Only by working together will they survive…

A group of refugees from a powerful, sophisticated Core World planet have been on the run for seven years. The mission was to get away and give their children some time to grow up and help them carry on the cause. The cause was to help the rebellion, win the war and go home. But things didn’t quite turn out the way they planned.

QEYA #1

Qeya, the future Queen of Datura, can’t do much about her red hair, but she knows how to wield a scythe blade and suck the life out of her enemy, literally. Life seems great, if a little boring on heaven’s edge. Until her ship is attacked and nearly everyone on board is murdered. Now, the miner who saved her is the only thing standing between her and the hungry beasts hunting them.

OHRE #2

All Ohre wants is the kind of freedom a life in the sea can give. But he doesn’t want to live it alone anymore. He wants the princess and if Qeya won’t come willingly, he’ll make her.

TAMN #3

Tamn has always lived by a code. He doesn’t question his duty. Until his crew is stranded on a hostile alien world and he’s forced to watch the girl he loves burn in the sky. Stripped of his reason for living, the voices from his past haunt and guide him in a path of endless retribution. Only the strongest will survive the trials ahead and Tamn is determined to keep the family he has left alive.

MEET THE CREW HERE

**Box Set includes first three Heaven’s Edge Novellas**

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Qeya (Heaven's Edge #1)Qeya, the future Queen of Datura, can’t do much about her red hair, but she knows how to wield a scythe blade and suck the life out of her enemy, literally. Life seems great, if a little boring on heaven’s edge. Until her ship is attacked and nearly everyone on board is murdered. Now, the miner who saved her is the only thing standing between her and the hungry beasts hunting them.


Queya is a Royal, she knows her place in society. She knows how to take care of the younger generations, and she knows how to wield her blades. She is prepared to rule, and she knows how to treat the miners in the society. Then the ship is attacked, they land on a foreign planet, and the societal ranks are destroyed. Now, the Royals must rely on the Miners for protection and for continuing their kind.

I loved the characters and I loved the romance in this novella! The beginning was a little confusing because there was a lot of information trying to be crammed into the first few pages to give the story a setting before the attack occurs. Even though this book is the longest in the box set of novellas, I think that it could definitely take up more time.

After the attack, the story was perfect. I liked that the characters didn’t automatically start working together, but I am also happy that the characters didn’t hate each other so much that they would put one another in physical danger. They were able to see to the future and at least try to put aside their differences to stay alive.

I can’t wait to read the next books in the box set and figure out what happens to the characters after this story ends!

I would definitely recommend this novella to anyone looking for a new YA fantasy/Scifi/romance novel.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books

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About the Author

Jennifer Silverwood was raised deep in the heart of Texas and has been spinning yarns a mile high since childhood. In her spare time, she reads and writes and tries to sustain her wanderlust, whether it’s the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania, the highlands of Ecuador, or a road trip to the next town. Always on the lookout for her next adventure, in print or reality, she dreams of one day proving to the masses that everything really is better in Texas. She is the author of three series–Heaven’s Edge, Wylder Tales and the Borderlands Saga–and the stand-alone titles Stay and She Walks in Moonlight. She recently released her first serialized Urban Fantasy, Angel Blue in August 2018.

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The Dying Butterfly Review

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The Dying ButterflyHolly and Tony were a young couple in love. They thought they had all the time in the world but they were wrong…

As the illness spread and the population was dying chaos sprang forcing Holly and her group of family and friends to hit the road. A plan set and necessities stocked they left their homes.

One night as the deranged charged their camp they were forced to scatter, separating Holly from everyone she knew and loved. In her search for her group she stumbled upon a small community.

By the light of a flickering candle, from a typewriter she found in her travels Holly tells us about the illness, her new life, and her search for the ones she lost. She shares her new philosophies on life, all that we take for granted each and every day, and human vulnerability as she reminisces the past, and her dreams of one day being reunited with the love of her life and her family.

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This was one of my favorite “zombie dystopia” novels that I have ever read! It seemed so realistic, and the characters were all relatable.

The virus that turned people into the deranged started off slowly, but no one took it seriously. It started in countries such as China, so people thought that it was too far away to affect them. Then governments started to implement travel bans, but people found ways around them. Signs about the symptoms of the virus were put up in public places, but people would just power through what they thought was a common cold. When they turned, they would bite a bunch of people around them, thus spreading the disease. By the time people realized how bad the disease was, there were too many deranged to stop. Governments crumbled and it slowly became every person for themselves.

Holly lived through all of this, from the normal times to the times where they had to flee their homes to escape their neighbors. She had her loyal boyfriend Tony, her brother and his wife, and her parents. Everything seemed perfect, and in the time right before everything got shut down, she was even able to marry Tony. They had their honeymoon in her parent’s basement and then fled the city the next day. Everyone thought that as long as the family stayed together, that everything would be okay.

This was a STRONG family. No matter what was thrown at them, they were determined to stay together and fight back. They would never lay down and just take what happened to them, and they knew that if one of them was infected, that they would be the ones to end it. They would give the person as long as they could, and then once the person started going through the change from human to deranged, they would put them out of their misery. They had a whole plan, and to be honest, this made them some of the most realistic dystopian families. None of that “we will find a cure” or “we gotta protect our stuff” mentality. We protect each other, we stay alive, and we stay together. Easily up there in my top 10 science fiction families.

The one thing that I didn’t like about this book was the middle. There is a long period of time where the story is just focused around Holly, and I was a bit lost. Then, when the other characters start to show up in the story again, the book says that 2 years have passed. 2 years?? I actually thought it was a few weeks or months at best, not years. I did like the new characters, but that time skip messed me up a bit.

Other than this, the book was just about perfect in my eyes. I know that there’s most likely going to be a sequel, and I can’t wait to read it. I can’t wait to see what happens in this world, and what happens with Holly!

Even at the end of the book, something just didn’t seem right. I feel like I still don’t trust these new characters fully, and what happened to the government in these years since the outbreak? Like I doubt it just disappeared, something has to be going on. I’m sure that this will be explained in the next installment, which is why I can’t wait!

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new NA/upper YA dystopian zombie novel.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books.

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After the Green Withered Blog Tour Plus Review

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After the Green Withered

They tell me the country looked different back then.

They talk of open borders and flowing rivers.

They say the world was green.

But drought swept across the globe and the United States of the past disappeared under a burning sky. 

Enora Byrnes lives in the aftermath, a barren world where water has become the global currency. In a life dominated by duty to family and community, Enora is offered a role within an entity that controls everything from water credits to borders. But it becomes clear that not all is as it seems. From the wasted confines of her small town to the bowels of a hidden city, Enora will uncover buried secrets that hide an unthinkable reality. 

As truth reveals the brutal face of what she has become, she must ask herself: how far will she go to retain her humanity?

After the Green Withered purchase links:

https://www.amazon.com/After-Green-Withered-Kristin-Ward-ebook/dp/B07D2X7YSY (Affiliate Link)

https://books2read.com/after-the-green-withered 

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This book really made me think about how much water I am using on a daily basis. Enora’s generation does not even know what it is like to have enough water to live comfortably. All of the previous generations wasted water until there was barely any left, and now humanity is surviving on the last droplets. Enora does blame the previous generations for ruining her world, and she doesn’t want to give birth to any children in order to keep them out of this suffering world. But she keeps looking forward, questioning everything, and never settling for what the barren world was giving her.

I wanted to cry as I was reading about how they had to live in this time. Everything was dry, dirty, and gritty. No one alive at the time knew or could remember what it was like to live with water. The government took advantage of this and grew into power while helping people to control their water usage.

Enora was such a smart character. She knew that something was up from the point that she was offered a way to basically join the government’s army, and she never believed their propaganda. All of the actions scenes were accompanied by her conflicting inner thoughts as she wondered what she was really doing. She even explored with the new characters that she met along the way, finding out the secrets about her government.

The only thing that I didn’t like about this story was the slight love triangle that I think is starting to appear. I don’t know for sure, but it could even be a love square! I just personally like my YA characters to be tied down to one person or another to eliminate unnecessary drama, so this disappointed me a little bit. But the book did end on a cliffhanger, so I don’t know how these relationships are going to change in future books. I can’t wait for future books!

This book moved so smoothly throughout each chapter. It wasn’t so fast-paced that I got lost, but it wasn’t so slow-paced that the author was describing every tree that Enora passed on a walk. I read the book almost completely in one sitting and verbally said “that’s it?” once I reached the end. I was on the edge of my seat, Ward had me hooked!

Overall, this was one of the best, if not the best YA dystopian novels that I have read in a long time. I was already planning out scenes for the movie as I was going through it, it was great! I would recommend it to anyone looking for a brand new YA dystopian science fiction/fantasy read.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 books

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image7About the Author

Kristin Ward has loved writing since middle school but took thirty years to do something serious about it. The result is her Best Indie Book Award-winning novel, After the Green Withered, followed by the sequel, Burden of Truth. She lives in a small town in Connecticut with her husband, three sons, and many furry and feathered friends. A SciFi geek to the core, she is fueled by dark chocolate and coffee and can be heard quoting eighties movies on a regular basis.

 

Kristin Ward Twitter: http://twitter.com/YA_Author

Kristin Ward Website: https://www.writingandmythreesons.com/

Challenges of the Gods Review

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perf5.000x8.000.inddAfter Mike goes through a gut-wrenching betrayal by his fiancée, he finds himself in what he thinks might be the afterlife. But this is no heaven. The gods made a mistake and created another Earth in a parallel universe, putting both universes in peril. They need someone from his planet to destroy the alternate, and Mike is randomly selected for the job.

Trapped in an impossible choice, Mike accepts his mission and is returned to an Earth—and a body—so unlike his own. There, he meets Jane, who is—unbeknownst to him—the secret leader of an organization bent on tracking down Earth’s saboteur. In the face of her passion for humanity, Mike’s resolve falters. If Mike won’t complete his mission, the gods will.

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At the start of the book, Mike is approached by the gods or the messengers. Mike is sent on a mission to kill everyone on an alternate universe of Earth. He wakes up in the body of another man who is almost like him, but on a world that isn’t his own. He doesn’t understand the social cues of this world, his friend thinks that he is crazy because of his paranoia, but no one understands. He doesn’t want to kill everyone, but the messengers say that he has to in order to save his world. Is murdering an entire population worth it to save his planet?

I started this book thinking it was going to be a story about the “evil” Greek gods, but it really wasn’t. By the time the book was halfway through, the gods had turned into general alien “messengers.” Also, they didn’t really do that much! Mike was placed on Earth with a secret mission to kill everyone. How is he supposed to kill everyone when he is only one man? I don’t know. Honestly, it doesn’t really make sense. You can’t expect one human man, whether he is from the future or not, to be able to destroy an entire population. It just isn’t going to happen. Then, the synopsis says that the gods are going to do the job themselves. I never really saw the gods intervene anywhere else in the story? Maybe they did at the end, but I was so lost that by that point I didn’t really know what was going on.

I have to say, I didn’t really like Mike. He didn’t choose to be a secret agent, but when he got to the new Earth, he didn’t even try to be conspicuous. He would assume things and act first before reading the situation. Sometimes I wonder why he was discharged from the hospital when he clearly wasn’t acting right in the head. Especially given that his daughter had died recently, and now he doesn’t remember anything and he is acting strangely? He could be a danger to himself and a danger to those around him.

At first, Mike is just hanging out with his friend, pretending as if he is getting his memory back, trying to adjust to the new world. Then, He is teaming up with his friend to create technology. He claims that this technology will make his friend’s world better, but Mike thinks that this is really an easy way to get into the homes of all the citizens on the new Earth. I was keeping track of this storyline, thought that the new tech was interesting, and couldn’t wait to see what happened next.

Then, the storyline took a turn. All of a sudden, Mike was crushing on this woman named Jane and was a part of some top-secret military team. I had no clue what was going on, and I didn’t figure it out. I was confused from that point forward. Why are there just random top-secret military teams on Earth? I thought that they may have been to catch Mike, as this was hinted at somewhere in the book, but my suspicions weren’t confirmed until I reread the synopsis when I was done with the novel. It just didn’t make sense. And then of course in Mike’s world everyone is just having sex with no strings attached all the time, so he has to get used to being in a normal Earth relationship, and this was…something. I can’t say that I didn’t like the romance storyline, but I didn’t love it. It felt like the characters had little to no chemistry, and then all of a sudden they were madly in love with each other.

There were little tidbits of story that I found interesting, like how Mike rewired his brain so that it would work properly, and how the messengers were affecting other people in Mike’s new Earth. And I loved the action scenes. The action scenes really drew me in, and kept me flying through the pages until they were over. But even great action scenes and okayish romance and interesting tidbits could not save the entire story for me.

I wouldn’t recommend this book, but if you are into sci-fi comedy, you might have a few good laughs with this story!

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 1.5 out of 5 books

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Witch & Wizard Review

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Witch & Wizard.jpgThe world is changing-the government has seized control of every aspect of society, and now kids are disappearing. For fifteen-year-old Wisty and her older brother Whit, life turns upside-down when they are hauled out of bed one night, separated from their parents, and thrown into a secret compound for no reason they can comprehend. The new government is clearly trying to suppress Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Being a Normal Teenager.

Imprisoned together and condemned to death, Wisty and Whit begin exhibiting strange abilities and powers they never dreamed of. Maybe there is a reason they were singled out. Can this newly discovered witch and a wizard master their skills in time to save themselves, their parents-and maybe the world?

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Even though this book is over 300 pages long, it is a REALLY short read. It takes me about 2 hours to commute home from work on Fridays, and I read almost the entire novel in about 1.5 of those commuting hours. I wasn’t in a quiet comfortable place, I was in the ferry station, then on the ferry, then on a train, and I still managed to fly through this novel. When I saw that I was getting through the novel so quickly, I thought that it was because it was a really great and addictive story. But the more I got into the book, the more I realized that that was not the truth.

Wisty and Whit are supposed to be normal teenagers in some version of modern America. Whit’s girlfriend had already disappeared when the story began, but this was the only thing that seemed off. All of a sudden, a new government appears, and children are being deemed as witches and wizards and are being carted off to prisons around the country.

Let me stop right there. How did we go from being in a regular version of the US with normal kids playing football and living a normal life to having a government that wanted to jail and kidnap kids? And overnight? It’s simply not possible for a government to be overturned overnight without some sort of terrible attack.

Then, Wisty and Whit get to prison, and some kids have already been there! Some kids have been in prison for months or years, and tell Wisty and Whit that there is no way out. If Wisty and Whit’s parents knew that they were magical beings, surely they would have found out through like some sort of magic network that kids were being snatched up by a new government and would have at least tried to hide their magical kids. It just doesn’t make sense that these kids have already been imprisoned for some time, but Wisty and Whit were out living their normal lives.

Then, there are even more discrepancies. Why were the citizens of the country so willing to allow this new government to come in and kidnap their neighbors and their children. Even the most hateful people would not believe on a snap judgment that their neighbors were all of a sudden evil people. The book doesn’t even give an explanation as to why the witches and wizards were being persecuted all of a sudden. Did a rogue witch or wizard attack people to make everyone become afraid and want to imprison them? So many questions and I don’t think that they will be answered in the next books.

The main conflict of the novel doesn’t make sense so I cannot say that this is a perfect book. Some parts of the story also seem really really rushed. But I do have to say that I love, love, LOVED the characters. Whit and his girlfriend Celia had such a tragically sweet relationship. Whit and Wisty did argue as normal brothers and sisters do, but they didn’t do anything to jeopardize their escape when it mattered. To be honest, they didn’t even really argue that much. Maybe once or twice that I noticed in the entire novel.

Also, there is more than one realm in this story. This made for really cool storytelling, as the characters began weaving between the realms. I can’t spoil too much, but the magic was awesome too when it does come into play.

Overall, I would still recommend this book. It was a fun read, and I enjoyed the characters. But if you wouldn’t be able to get past the fact that many things in the story have no logical explanation, then this might not be a book that you would enjoy.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 books

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Stuck Review with Minor Spoilers! (Stitch Trilogy #3)

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Stuck (Stitch Trilogy, #3)3, 2, 1… BOOM.

Things are finally looking up for the Resistance. Sure, Alessa is still processing the revelation that the best friend she’d presumed dead is miraculously alive, though far from well… And her boyfriend is being manipulated under threat of blackmail. But her quest for justice against those behind the systematic extermination of the world population is so close to victory she can taste it.

And then in a matter of seconds, everything Alessa believes in is shaken to the core. Months of preparation are obliterated. The people she cares for most are lost.

But Alessa is still standing. And Paragon must pay.

The odds are grim, but unexpected allies surface in the most unlikely of places: A new pair of citizens still under the colony’s rule who notice something amiss in the latest drama. An old adversary who realizes the error of her ways. And a veritable army of inhuman power and terrible strength, with an insatiable thirst for vengeance. The trustworthiness of each of these factions is yet to be proven, but without many other options, Alessa may have to take what she can get. Especially since the Engineers, never to be outdone, also have a few more tricks up their sleeves…

Before I start this review, I will be discussing some minor spoilers in this review. If you are fine with non-story-ruining spoilers, then read on.

Let’s start with the characters that I had the fewest problems with, Lizzie and Regina. Lizzie was named Phoenix, and had lived with the Developers for almost the entirety of Book 2, but she has been rescued by her mother Regina. Regina is the head of the rebellion, and while she is glad to have her daughter back, something isn’t right about her. While Regina is trying to stop the monsters from attacking their base, Lizzie is secretly trying to figure out how to make the rebels see that Paragon isn’t the enemy in the situation. She doesn’t know how she is going to do it, but she can’t let the rebels destroy Paragon and lose their one chance at happiness in this messed up world! The Developers told her everything when she was in the lab being healed, and they wouldn’t lie.

My biggest problem with Lizzie was the fact that she has such an interesting backstory, but it isn’t even really discussed until the end of the book, AND it felt rushed when it was discussed. She was such an interesting character, being the daughter of the woman directing the entire revolution, but she was barely discussed until the third book of the series. I didn’t even get to know her full story before the book was over! And how did her mother become the head of the revolution, this isn’t discussed either. So many possibilities, but none of theme were explored.

Then we move to Alessa’s sister Janie. She’s been kept captive by Paragon so she is sick, and she had been making friends with a next-door cell neighbor in book 2. But again, she is a forgotten character in this novel. Heck, I know more about the two characters that were just added than I know about her, and she is supposed to be the brave girl who risked her life by staying in Paragon to save her sister! She just flashes in and out of the story because of her illness, and then the story is over.

Finally, we get to the two characters that I had the most issues with. Alessa and Isaac. I am going to treat them as one character, as they are together for most of the story. This is where the slight spoilers come into play, so be warned.

Alessa and Isaac are important to the revolution, but every time something gets a little bit difficult or stressful, they just go off to have sex somewhere. I assumed that they were being responsible, so I didn’t really care. Then, Alessa starts throwing up out of nowhere. So you are telling me that in the middle of the apocalypse, they are the heads of the rebel organization, but aren’t smart enough to keep Alessa from being pregnant? I blame both Isaac and Alessa, they both are smart enough to keep Alessa from being pregnant. And then, in the middle of the book, before Alessa is confirmed pregnant, you find out that all babies born after the infection have died hours after being born. And Alessa apparently KNEW this as she was conducting research for the rebels. So now, she is going to give birth to a baby that is going to die, and this entire situation was avoidable. I just……..I just can’t.  I’m not saying that they shouldn’t have been intimate, but to get her PREGNANT basically during the apocalypse.

Besides these many issues, the overall ending was alright. I ended up liking the two extra characters, as they gave the readers a way to see what it was like to work inside of Paragon and work for them. I don’t think that the ending could have truly been done differently, so I was satisfied with it. I just wish that so many character’s stories hadn’t been left behind in the book. I would have been fine if they hadn’t tried to expand them in the first place, but leaving them unfinished left me unsatisfied at the end of the book.

I received this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 books

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Shudder Review (Stitch Trilogy #2)

Shudder (Stitch Trilogy, #2)It’s only been three days, and already everything is different.

Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa’s life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she’d counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she’d thought she’d tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she’s discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood.

And then there are the visions.

The memory-altering “stitch” unlocked something in Alessa’s mind, and now she can’t shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers – and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world’s sorry history – will soon leave Alessa reeling…

Alessa and Isaac are finally back together, and they have both escaped the facility. They are trying to figure out how to live in the wild together as they look for a new bunker for the resistance to move into. Without a stable bunker, the resistance members will remain in the facility being experimented on by Paragon. While hunting for this space, Alessa always has a feeling of warning before they are in any danger, and this comes in handy. But on the other hand, sometimes she is attacked by debilitating head pain and is put out of commission for minutes at a time, and she doesn’t know why. She also misses her sister who has been left at the facility, and is also struggling to love Isaac without thinking about his brother that she also loved in the past.

I have to say that this book suffered a bit from trying to shove too much into a fairly short book. We spend most of the book learning about Alessa and Isaac, but then we jump to Nikhil and a mystery girl exchanging notes in a jail cell, and then a girl named Phoenix learning from scientists while in some sort of hospital. At the end of the story, it all comes together in some ways, but I felt as if I was flying around from scene to scene. Every time something got good with one character, it was onto the next character. Then by the time it got back to the old characters, it felt as if they were in a completely different situation and that I had missed something. I hope that this changes in the last book of this trilogy, as I want to be able to see all the characters individually for the finale.

Besides the fact that the story jumps around quite a bit, the individual storylines with each character were smooth and showed a lot of character development. Now you know how each character is linked to each other, and the backstories of the characters are also being revealed. Even though most of the characters haven’t shown up until this book, I am already quite attached to them, and I can’t wait to see more of them in the final novel.

My only real complaint about this story was how short it felt! Even though the paperback says nearly 400 pages, the digital edition seemed much shorter than that, and I wanted to know so much more about the characters. I don’t know that the finale will still give me the information I desire, but I can hope!

Overall, I did enjoy this sequel, and I can say that I am truly dedicated to finishing this series soon. I also can’t wait to see what else Mrs. Durante is going to write!

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new YA or NA novel.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 books

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