5 Stars for a unique work of Historical Fiction by Indie Author Delaney Green – JEM: A FUGITIVE FROM LONDONย 

Click here to purchase JEM: FUGITIVE FROM LONDON now!

Print of London 1750 by Martin Engelbrecht


Title: JEM: A FUGITIVE FROM LONDON

Series: JEM – BOOK TWO

Author: DELANEY GREEN  

Type of Book: SOFTCOVER

Genre: HISTORICAL FICTION

Length: 363 PAGES

Publisher: SELF-PUBLISHED – INDIE AUTHOR through CREATE SPACE   

Release Date: AUGUST 4, 2016

ISBN: 9781533030528 

Price: $14.95 USD / 19.95 CDN

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ   


* I received a free autographed softcover copy of this book from the 
Goodreads Giveaway program.  



FROM THE BACK COVER:


LONDON, 1758

Orphan Jem Connolly, disguised as a boy, works for physician John Abernathy and makes medicine on the side with herbalist Margery Jamison. Life is good, except for Jem’s inborn magic, which forces her to listen to what animals are thinking and to know, by touch, which illnesses hide deep inside Abernathy’s patients.

Lately, Jem’s Second Sight has flung her spirit into birds, leaving her body behind and helpless.

Jem wants to try to control her magic on her own, but Abernathy thinks Jem should study in Cornwall with Margery’s Sighted grandmother.

When Jem’s old enemy, Patch, turns up looking for Jem, she is forced to flee to windswept Bodmin Moor and stay with Granny Kestrel, who lives near an ancient stone circle saturated with Old Magic.

Can Granny teach Jem how to control her Second Sight, or will it continue to control her?


MY REVIEW:

This is the second book in the “JEM” series which I was unaware of when I began reading. Fortunately for me, it did not matter. Author Delaney Green has beautifully woven the pertinent details from the first book into the storyline of Book Two. She does this so seemlessly that readers will be unaware that this information was not new to readers of Book One. By the time I reached the one-third mark, I felt that I had a solid grasp on Jem’s backstory as well as an insight into her psychology.

This book contains details about the way of life in England in the years before the US (or The Colonies as they were known at the time) went to war with England for Independence.

I was fascinated with not only the core story, but also with the way the author wove historical figures such as Benjamin Franklin into the tale in such a way that it seemed not only possible, but also plausible.

Benjamin Franklin

Aside from the incredibly interesting and detailed historical elements of this story are also the powers that Jem has which are also intriguing.

Photo obtained from the Georgian Gentleman Blog


When she flees London and goes to live on the Moor with Granny, she learns how to harness and use her powers.

Then, there is also the mystery of Jem’s genealogy which will draw readers further into Jem’s world.

It is impossible not to be sucked in to this book and it is incredibly hard to put it down once you begin reading.

I rate this historical fiction book as 5 out of 5 stars. ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 

 I also plan to go back and read the first book in this series and I am very much looking forward to reading more about Jem’s adventures. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Delaney Green lives in the American Midwest with a black cat and a Golden Retriever.

When she’s not writing, you’ll likely find her working in the garden, tinkering in the garage, or tooling around on her bike.

She is the author of “Jem, a Girl of London,” which won a North Street Book Prize in 2015 and of “Tsunami Surprise,” featured in “Murder at the Beach,” a story anthology published for Bouchercon 2014, an annual convention of creators and devotees of mystery and detective fiction.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE  

GOODREADS  

TWITTER  

FACEBOOK   

AMAZON  

Jeffrey Archer – SINS OF THE FATHER – Review of Book Two of the Bestselling Series THE CLIFTON CHRONICLES – A 5 Star Read ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸย 

Title: THE SINS OF THE FATHER



Series: BOOK TWO OF THE CLIFTON CHRONICLES

Author: JEFFREY ARCHER       

Type of Book: PAPERBACK

Genre: HISTORICAL FICTION

Length: 339 PAGES

Publisher: ST. MARTIN’S GRIFFIN – A division of MACMILLAN PUBLISHERS LTD

Release Date: 2012

ISBN: 978-1-250-03903-3

Price: $16.99 USD / $19.50 CAN

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ  

First off I have to admit that I have not read book one in the Clifton Chronicles series. I received a free copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program. Fortunately for me, it was not necessary to have read the first book to understand and to enjoy THE SINS OF THE FATHER. 

Historical fiction is exceptionally difficult to write, especially if it includes specific years when significant events have taken place as is the case with this book. However, Jeffrey Archer is a professional and he is able to convincingly write about the time period in question.

This series has been referred to as: “Archerโ€™s most ambitious work in four decades as an international bestselling author.” And it is easy to understand why.

The book begins in 1939 on the docks of New York City. Harry Clifton has decided to take on a new identity in order to cut all ties to his past. He chooses to call himself Tom Bradshaw (the name of a fellow shipmate who died at sea) but little did he know that he chose the wrong person to impersonate.

Upon arrival on the docks, he is immediately arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

 When Sefton Jelks, a famous (and usually expensive) lawyer, offers his services for free, Harry has little choice but to accept his advice since he has no money. After Harry is tried, found guilty and sentenced, Jelks disappears, and the only way for Harry to prove his innocence would be to reveal his true identity which  he has sworn not to do. He knows that in order to set free the woman he loves, he must let everyone back in England believe that he died at sea. 

Harry begins serving out his prison sentence unaware that Emma (the woman he loves more than anything else) has given birth to a son – his son.

Emma refuses to believe that Harry is dead and travels to New York to try to prove her theory.

This novel revolves around secrets – both personal and familial and gives reader a glimpse into the lives of those on both sides of the ocean both before and during World War II.

“The Sins of the Father bears all the characteristic twists of a classic Archer novel, and leaves readers wanting more.”

The author does an amazing job of explaining the backstory so that it did not matter that I had not read the first book. Jeffrey Archer has a gift for drawing readers into the story and making them care about what happens to them. This is especially true of the character Emma Barrington. It is impossible not to admire her dedication and fortitude during a time in history when women were often not taken seriously.

Because of the astonishing amount of detail and the obvious amount of research that must have gone into writing this book and the amazing character development, I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars.๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Watch a video in which Author Jeffrey Archer talks about THE CLIFTON CHRONICLES:

  https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=Y7nK1_6Tp00   


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

It has often been said that Jeffrey Archerโ€™s own story would make an international bestseller. He was born in London, brought up in Somerset, the son of a printer, and educated at Wellington School, and Brasenose College, Oxford.

After leaving Oxford he was elected to the Greater London Council, and three years later at the age of 29, he became Member of Parliament for Louth. After five years in the Commons and a promising political career ahead of him, he invested heavily in a Canadian company called Aquablast, on the advice of the Bank of Boston. The company went into liquidation, and three directors were later sent to jail for fraud. Left on the brink of bankruptcy, he resigned from the House of Commons.

Aged 34, determined to repay his creditors in full, he sat down to write his first novel Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less. Written at the home of his former Oxford Principal, it was taken up by the Literary Agent, Debbie Owen, and sold to 17 countries within a year. It was also made into a successful serial for BBC Radio 4, and was later televised in 1990 by the BBC.

Since then, Jeffrey Archer has produced over 25 published titles and sold over 270 million copies around the world, in 97 countries and more than 37 languages. He is the only author ever to have been a number one bestseller in fiction (eighteen times), short stories (four times) and non-fiction (The Prison Diaries).

Jeffreyโ€™s latest project is a seven-book saga called the Clifton Chronicles. Book One, Only Time Will Tell, published in 2011, topped the charts around the world, spending 12 weeks at No.1 in India. Books two, The Sins of the Father published in March 2012, and three, Best Kept Secret published in March 2013, also went straight to No.1 in the UK, India, Australia and South Africa. The fourth book in the series, Be Careful What You Wish For, came out in hardback in March 2014, and spent twelve weeks in the top 10โ€”four of them at #1โ€”on the Sunday Times Best Seller list, and also went to #1 in Australia, India, and South Africa.

Jeffrey Archer was Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party from September 1985 until November 1986. In 1991, he was co-ordinator for the Campaign for Kurdish Relief, and he is also an amateur charity auctioneer. Jeffrey Archer was made a Life Peer in the Queenโ€™s Birthday Honours List of 1992.

Jeffrey has been married for 48 years to Dame Mary Archer DBE, who is Chairman of the Science Museum. They have two sons, William and James, and two grandsons, and divide their time between homes in London, Cambridge and Mallorca.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 


OFFICIAL US WEBSITE  

MACMILLAN PUBLISHERS AUTHOR PAGE         

TWITTER     

GOODREADS  

FACEBOOK 

YOUTUBE 

4 Stars well deserved for Jonathan Olivier’s debut novel about finding a place where you truly belong. BETWEEN THE LEVEES is a wonderful and emotional read.

 

Title: BETWEEN THE LEVEES

Author: JONATHAN OLIVIER

Type of Book: SOFTCOVER

Genre: FICTION 

Length: 215 PAGES

Publisher: SELF-PUBLISHED

Release Date: JULY 4, 2016 

ISBN: 9780997731804 

Price: $12.99 USD at AMAZON.COM
Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

* I won a free autographed copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program.
What does home mean to you?

What is the definition of family?

How important is it to find a place where you truly feel that you belong? And, what would you be willing to do to find it?

Sam’s parents died when he was only an infant. The courts were able to find a distant relative who was willing to take him in, but his early life was anything but idyllic. Because of this, he left “home” at the young age of seventeen and never looked back.

“It took eight years before his lonely, stagnant life became too much for him. After a night of coming too close to hitting the bottle – something he vowed he’d never again do – he knew he needed to find out who his family was. He knew that he needed to uncover who he was, too.”

Based on a name that appeared in court documents, Sam left Boston for the swamps of Louisiana – looking for a man named Vincent in a place called “Bayou Pigeon.”

What he finds there changes his view of himself and of his place in the world.

The author’s obvious love for the swamps and back lanes of Louisiana c?shines through in this book. With emotive prose and detailed descriptions, readers will find themselves falling in love with Louisiana as well and itching for the opportunity to visit the swamps of the Atchafalaya.

Jonathan Olivier has a definite talent, not only for describing the swamps and their unique landscapes, but also for character building and for bringing his characters to life on the written page.

My only complaint regarding this book is the editing/ proof-reading.

There are multiple instances of editing errors inckuding awkward phrasing. For example:

“Sam had looked forward to getting to again eat the fresh fish Vincent cooked up. As he took his first bite, the freshness of the meat was again apparent, accentuated with a hint of Cajun spices.”

I found these two sentences to be both awkward and overly wordy. I realize that this is just my humble opinion, but I believe that many other readers will agree with me. However, even though the book is not perfect, the phrasing issues should have been caught and addressed by the editor, so it is not the author’s fault. 

There are other small editing errors as well, such as missing commas. These small errors can be distracting to the reader.

For example; “I told you before you left this place gets in your blood.”

Without a comma the above sentence can be read many different ways. To change this and to make it less confusing, I would suggest that it be  written like this:

“I told you before you left, this place gets in your blood.”

The third type of editing errors found in this book were missing or extra words in sentences.

For example: “Two men stood near an outside freezer door talking; they nodded at Sam as he set down the tub of fish, and he Vincent walked by.”

It should say: “Two men were talking as they stood near the door of an outside freezer; they nodded at Sam as he set down the tub of fish just as Vincent walked by.”

I loved the story and the underlying themes of both family and hope. In a world where people often equate happiness with the accumulation of possessions, it is refreshing to find a book that shuns this ideal and reminds us that we really need very little to be happy. According to Sam’s mother there were only two things that a person needs to achieve true happiness, and those consist of: “Famille. Amour. Une vie.” I agree.

I rate this debut novel as 4 out of 5 stars. ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

Jonathan started his writing career as a journalist five years ago for a small outdoor publication in Louisiana. After his first published piece, he was hooked.

Since then, his reporting on outdoor recreation and environmental issues has spanned local newspapers and magazines, and national publications such as Outside and Backpacker.

The inspiration for his debut novel “Between the Levees” came from spending most of his life hunting, fishing and camping in the Atchafalaya Basin not far from his home, as well as his deep appreciation of his Cajun roots.

If there’s one thing Jonathan Olivier loves more than the swamps of Louisiana, it’s being in the mountains. These days, whenever he gets a chance, he can be found backpacking  in the mountains.

The newspaper in his hometown interviewed Jonathan, and through the reading of that article, a fuller picture of the author becomes available. If you are interested in reading the West Side Journal article click HERE.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

 

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

LINKEDIN

ALL THE THINGS WE LEAVE BEHIND by Riel Nason has only been available for sale for 1 day but is already destined to be a Bestseller.ย 


Title: ALL THE THINGS WE LEAVE BEHIND    

Author: RIEL NASON  

Type of Book: SOFTCOVER  

Genre: FICTION

Length: 236 PAGES

Publisher: GOOSE LANE EDITIONS 
Release Date: SEPTEMBER 13, 2016 

ISBN: 9780864920416 

Price: $19.95 CDN

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 

* I received a free copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program.

An absolutely mesmerizing read. ALL THE THINGS WE LEAVE BEHIND is quite simply brilliant.

Set in the late 1970s in a tiny town in New Brunswick, the story begins with seventeen-year-old Violet reminisces about the childhood adventures she experienced with her brother; Bliss.

The ironically named Bliss has left home and Violet’s parents have left to try and track him down. They have left Violet in charge of The Purple Barn which is the family’s antique store.

During her childhood, Violet remembers all the times that Bliss would become incredibly sad for no apparent reason. In those days things such as mental illness or depression were not taken as seriously as they are today. (Even though current society still has a long way to go as well.) This book highlights his depression symptoms, without recognizing them for what they were.

With characters such as “Quinny” who is the silver haired old lady hired to work the store’s counter and Violet’s almost too nice boyfriend: Dean, working alongside her, what could possibly go wrong for Vi?

Violet visits the hermit who lives at the edge of her family’s property, and hears about the deer he spotted recently, then she begins seeing an all-white deer which seems to glow in the moonlight. Violet is not sure if she wants the deer sightings to be real or imaginary.

When Violet is tasked with the responsibility for obtaining the items from a legendary local estate, things come to a head.

This book contains so many compelling storylines within the main narrative that you just do not want to put it down.

As a seventies child myself, I couldn’t help but feel nostalgia for that time period. With the backdrop being an antiques store, feelings of nostalgia are inevitable, but somehow the author makes it seem as if it is the readers idea which probably will not make sense until you read the book.

This is easily one of the best general fiction books that I have read in a very long time and deserves to be rated much higher than just 5 out of 5 stars. Ten stars seem more fitting, but since that is not an option, I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars  ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

I believe that this book will become a bestseller and that it is destined to win multiple literary awards. Add this to your MUST READ list. You will not be disappointed.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Riel Nason is a Canadian novelist and textile artist (quilter).

Her acclaimed debut novel The Town That Drowned won the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize for Canada and Europe, and the 2012 Margaret and John Savage First Book Award.  It was also shortlisted for several other literary awards as well as longlisted for the 2013 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.  Her second novel All The Things We Leave Behind was published September 13, 2016. 

Riel’s original quilts have been exhibited across Canada including being shown twice at Quilt Canada (the National Juried Show). She is best known for her whimsical selvage quilts and bold use of colour.  Modern Selvage Quilting was published in March, 2016.  It features 17 of her original designs.

She grew up in Hawkshaw, New Brunswick and now lives in Quispamsis, NB with her husband, son, daughter and cats.

An Amazing New Talent in Children’s Fiction – 5 Stars for MARCEL by Ada Akaltun – RELEASE DATE September 20th, 2016ย 

Title: MARCEL 

Author: ADA AKALTUN 

Illustrator: ADA AKALTUN

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Genre: CHILDREN’S BOOKS, AGES 3-7 

Length: 40 PAGES

Publisher: FLYING EYE BOOKS
Release Date: SEPTEMBER 20, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-909263-75-8

Price: $16.95 USD / ยฃ11.99 GBP / $24.50 CDN

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟   

I received a free hardcover copy of this book and a super-cute matching tote bag through the Goodreads Giveaway program.

Oh my goodness, this book is Adorable – with a capital “A”
Marcel is a French Bulldog pup who lives in New York City with his human. This book is an interesting look at family and change through the eyes of of a beloved pet. It is also a love letter to the city of New York.

This is clearly a children’s book, but there are amazing touches and details that will appeal to adult readers as well. For example, Marcel’s favorite bagel shop is called “Ruff and Sons” and his human sometimes takes him for pampering at “Mani’s Doggy Day Spa.”


The illustrations are simply perfect. They are both visually stunning and at the same time, they are full of whimsy.

The book is hardcover with a lovely blue and white striped cloth binding. The illustrations, both on the cover and on the interior pages are done with a matte finish which goes perfectly with this book’s style.

There is absolutely nothing that I disliked about this wonderful children’s book and for that reason I rate MARCEL by Ada Akaltun as 5 out of 5 stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Judging by the picture at the end of the book, there is another “Marcel” book in the works and I will be waiting. I can’t wait to see what Marcel thinks of Paris.


CHECK OUT MARCEL ON INSTAGRAM  
Pre-Order Online at AMAZON.CA
Buy online at FLYING EYE BOOKS 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR: 


Eda is a New York based illustrator and printmaker from Istanbul.

Studying illustration at Central Saint Martins in London, Ada developed a love for traditional printmaking and collage, and began collecting paper ephemera, 50s fashion catalogues and old family photos to populate her increasingly detailed compositions.

 After obtaining an MA in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins in 2010, she joined Heart Agency who began to represent her in both the UK and the US. Since then she has worked for a wide range of clients including Herman Miller, Bafta, Krug Champagne and Pentagram NY among others – as well as taking part in a variety of exhibitions internationally. Ada is also a founding contributor to Nobrow.

Ada’s Clients include:

Herman Miller – BAFTA – Krug Champagne – Pentagram NY – BFI Publishing – TIME – Smithsonian Magazine – The New York Times – Financial Times – Bloomberg Businessweek – Education First – Huffington Post – Nautilus – Therapy Today – The Guardian – New Scientist – Condรฉ Nast Traveller – The Telegraph – American Way – Johns Hopkins Magazine – Faber & Faber – New York Magazine – Nobrow – V&A Museum – Time Out – GreenSource Magazine – Elle Canada – Bulletin – Brunswick Review – New Statesman – Harvard Business Review – Eye Magazine – Reader’s Digest – Wired – Der Freitag (Germany) – Nature Magazine – Washington Post – Stanford Social Innovation Review – Brummell

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE  
HEART AGENCY ARTIST PAGE  
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE    

TWITTER  
INSTAGRAM   

   
ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: 


To learn more about Flying Eye Books visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE  
TWITTER
FACEBOOK   

INSTAGRAM    

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BORN OF THE PHOENIX: THE CRIMSON SAPPHIRES by David Murray Forrester IS A GORGEOUSLY ILLUSTRATED AND EXCEPTIONALLY WELL WRITTEN NOVELLA Fully Deserving of a 5 Star Ratingย 

Title: THE CRIMSON SAPPHIRES

Series: BORN OF THE PHOENIX: BOOK ONE

Author: DAVID MURRAY FORRESTER  

Illustrator: MATOELGRANDE 

Type of Book: SOFTCOVER

Genre: FANTASY, NOVELLA

Length: 62 PAGES

Publisher: DELENAIR PRODUCTIONS

Release Date: MAY 28, 2016

ISBN: 9781533504999

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ


* I received a free softcover copy of this novella from the author through the 
Goodreads Giveaway program. 


 

GOODREADS DESCRIPTION

 The champions of old have passed. The end of heroes has befallen the continent of Sapphiron and with no mighty warriors of valour and chivalry the moral conscious of the people is falling into decline. Born a Larrosan descendant, Ravage faces not only the dangers of living on a continent fraught with monsters and sorcery but also constant prejudice yet her strong soul does not wither under adversity, the challenges only temper her unyielding constitution forging a soul that burns with indomitable fortitude. With a hideous shorku devouring the flesh of hapless travellers on the outskirts of her home town of Delepode, Ravage finds herself interwoven with the violent events that are taking place all around her.

MY REVIEW:

This may only be a 62 page novella, but it is full-length quality.

The world building was outstanding and the character development was excellent.

I did not expect this novella to be so wonderfully written and illustrated, but I absolutely LOVED it. In fact, I am very much looking forward to reading more books and/or novellas in this series.

Yes, it is a fantasy story, but it is so much more than that. The characters face not only terrifying monsters that rip unwary travellers to pieces, but they also have to face prejudice based on their heritage and/or on their chosen occupation.

There is also a gripping storyline with twists that the reader will not see coming and which setup the storyline for the next episode.

My only complaint? That I don’t yet own the other book in the series, but I plan to rectify that soon and I will be keeping an eye out for more books in the series.


I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 

You can purchase this book online at: 

ETSY  

AMAZON     

CREATE SPACE  


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 

 

DAVID MURRAY FORRESTER (1981) Growing up in the Blue Mountains in Australia David quickly developed a love of forests and adventure (much like the elves of Lothlorien hehe) He spent the 80’s watching cartoons such as Voltron, He-man and Astro boy and building Lego castles. As he continued aging his interest in cartoons evolved into an anime fascination with The Twelve Kingdoms and Claymore being at the top of his list. He muchly enjoys Playstation, fast cars, Pepsi, cats and tomato sauce. His book writing began at an early age with short stories and over the years his passion for words grew and blossomed into his first novel Born of the Phoenix. David plans to continue his career in writing until he is old and grey.


FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS BOOK AND IT’S AUTHOR AT THE FOLLOWING LINKS:

FACEBOOK   

OFFICIAL BLOG   

GOODREADS  

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE  

BOY ROBOT – Simon Curtis’ debut novel will be released on October 25th – A terrific Young Adult character driven Sci-Fi. 4 Stars ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸย 

Title: BOY ROBOT  

Series: BOOK ONE OF A PLANNED TRILOGY 

Author: SIMON CURTIS

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Genre: YOUNG ADULT, SCIENCE FICTION

Length: 432 PAGES

Publisher: SIMON AND SCHUSTER TEEN 

Release Date: OCTOBER 25, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7564-8 

Price: $17.99 USD / $23.99 CAN

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Imagine losing your mother before you even had a chance to meet her because  she died giving birth to you.

Historically, women used to die in childbirth all the time, but with the advent of modern medicine, this has become a rare event. The fact that it doesn’t happen very often is no consolation to Isaak who ends up being raised by “parents” who show him not a single ounce of love.

He thought his life already sucked. Little did he know – it was about to get worse – much worse.

On the night of his eighteenth birthday, his life is changed forever.

Lying in bed trying to fight off the mother of all migraine headaches, a mysterious and incredibly strong girl tells him to come with her if he wants to live. (Yes, it sounds kind of like a knock off from a scene from the Terminator – but it is my opinion that she was trying to add a bit of levity to a terrifying situation.) Turns out she showed up just in time and the pair end up running for their lives.

Isaak has no idea what is happening. He has no enemies and can’t think of anyone who would want to hurt him – nevermind someone wanting him dead.

His savior is a girl named Azure and it is her that explains to him that they are both robots and that a highly trained, highly deadly, secret branch of the US government is hunting down and destroying any and all robots.

His only hope for survival is to reach the hidden, secret base of the Underground, which is a group of robots (and some humans) that are fighting back.

The way my description makes it sound, it seems like this book is a science fiction novel, which I guess it is, but really it is a story about the characters themselves.

The character development is excellent but the world building leaves much to be desired. I would have liked to have had more information about the resistance and it’s leaders. I am hoping that this information will be included in the next book in the trilogy. 

This book includes so many personal, moral and ethical issues that readers could literally discuss this book for hours before exhausting the different topics. This makes it especially perfect for book clubs.

Here is a list of just a few of the topics and issues that are included in this book:

* Death of a parent
* Child abuse – physical
* Child abuse – mental and emotional
* Puberty
* Teenage Angst
* Bullying
* The desire for acceptance
* The desire for love & connection
* Transgender youth
* Sexuality
* Confusion over sexual identity
* What is the definition of life?
* What makes you human? Is it biology or psychology?
* Moral dilemmas such as:
– Would you leave a friend behind to face certain death in order to save yourself?
– Would you be willing to kill to save yourself?

I could go on and on with the list, but I think you get the idea.

Overall I enjoyed this book and I think that Simon Curtis has done a terrific job on his debut novel. I give BOY ROBOT 4 out of 5 stars ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 

  • Pre-Order online at AMAZON 


* I received a free copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  


SIMON CURTIS was born in Michigan and raisef in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was diagnosed with leukemia at age 10 and began performing in musical theater and opera that same year. He was the happiest bald, chemo-therapy-addled cancer patient ever seen on stage. At eighteen, he moved to L.A. After various roles on Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel, Simon left acting to pursue music, releasing his first album, 8bit Heart, as a free download, followed by his second album, RA, which landed at number 20 on Billboard’s Dance & Electronic Albums chart.

Simon continues to write and release music as an independent recording artist, and looks forward to his new chapter as an author. Above all else, he strives to inspire hope in young people.


BOY ROBOT is his first novel.

To learn more about this inspiring young man, visit the following links:

PUBLISHER OFFICIAL WEBSITE   

GOODREADS       

TWITTER  

INSTAGRAM   

SIMON’S MUSIC WEBSITE   

FIFTEEN LANES by S.J. Laidlaw will capture and hold your attention from the first page to the last. 5 Stars!

Title: FIFTEEN LANES 

Author: S.J. LAIDLAW

Genre: FICTION, YOUNG ADULT FICTION

Length: 304 pages

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Price: $21.99 CDN / $17.99 USD

Publisher: TUNDRA BOOKS

ISBN: 978-1101917800

Release Date: April 5, 2016

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


* I received a free hardcover copy of this book through the 
Goodreads Giveaway program. 

Heart-wrenching, illuminating, beautiful and horrific in equal measure. This book is simply brilliant.

Set in the city of Mumbai, this is the story of two young women who live within a few miles of each other, but whose lives are worlds apart.

Noor has spent the entirety of her young life living with her mother in a brothel in the heart of the FIFTEEN LANES that comprise Mumbai’s red light district. She is fated to soon follow her mother into the business of prostitution. If she is to have any hope of escaping that fate, she will need to act soon. But, she is devadasi which means that, as the eldest daughter, she is fated to follow in her mother’s footsteps. As far as Indian culture is concerned, she has no say and absolutely no choice in the matter.

Photo obtained from tr4f.wordpress.com

Meanwhile, on the other side of the same city lives fifteen year old Grace. As the daughter of the CEO of one of India’s largest banks, Grace has been brought up with every privilege money can buy. She has never visited the slums that are located so close to her luxury apartment complex. In fact, in her blissful teenage ignorance, she is not even aware that places such as Noor’s home exist.
Author S.J. Laidlaw has crafted an engrossing tale in which a series of events occur that lead Noor and Grace to cross paths and in doing so their lives become inextricably entwined.

I am loathe to give away too much of the plot while writing this review, so I will refrain from writing any more details. However, this is a book that lends itself to discussion. In fact, I would highly recommend this to any and all book clubs.

Some people might wonder if an Canadian-American author could possibly write authentically about life in the red light district of Mumbai and I admit that I wondered the same thing myself. However, upon reading the Author’s Note at the end of the book as well as reading S.J. Laidlaw’s biography, I no longer doubt her credentials. She is, in fact, uniquely qualified to author a book on this subject.

S.J. Laidlaw is not your typical author. She does not sit at home in her comfortable North American home and imagine what life in foreign locales might be like. She is as far from that typical stereotype as it is possible to be.

In fact, she “… first started volunteering with sex workers’ daughters in Kamathipura, the largest red-light district in Asia, in March of 2013.” In the “Authorโ€™s Note” at the end of the book, she says that even though she had previously received training in working with sexual violence victims, she “… wasn’t entirely prepared for the level of violence and degradation [that the girls were] routinely exposed to.”

The quote that I agreed with and that affected me the most was when the author stated: “More disheartening still is the extent to which a large portion of society has turned its back on them. Time and again [the author has] heard stories of girls being shunned, even asked to leave school, when it was found out their mothers were sex workers – no matter that the vast majority of their mothers had been trafficked into the life and were victims themselves.”

To me (and to most North Americans) this kind of apathy and acceptance of horrific acts is almost inconceivable. This book, although fiction, opened my eyes. I hope that it does the same for everyone who reads it.

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars. Once you start reading, you will be unable to put it down. Even though the subject matter is bleak at times, it is ultimately a story of strength and hope and it deserves to be read.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born in Philadelphia, S.J. Laidlaw spent most of her childhood in Toronto. After completing an undergraduate degree in English, she ventured to Africa as a volunteer teacher. There she discovered that her students needed as much guidance and support outside the classroom as in it, so after three years, she returned to Canada to complete a graduate degree in clinical social work. 

Since then, she has worked as a counselor in many countries and led workshops for parents and educators on raising and working with third-culture children. Her first book, An Infidel in Paradise, won the IODE Violet Downey Book Award, and her second book, The Voice inside My Head, was chosen as a 2015 CLA Young Adult Book Honour Book and has been shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award (winner to be announced). When she is not writing, S.J. Laidlaw currently volunteers at a night shelter for the children of sex workers in Mumbai. Visit her website at www.sjlaidlaw.com 

The author currently lives in Mumbai, India. 

5 Absolutely Horrified Stars for THE HATCHING by Ezekiel Boone – An Utterly Terrifying Read that will justify a fear of spiders for the rest of your life.

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TItle: THE HATCHING

Series: THE HATCHING – BOOK ONE

Author: EZEKIEL BOONE

Type of Book: Hardcover

Genre: Fiction, Horror

Length: 330 Pages

Release Date: JULY 5, 2016

Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE CANADA

ISBN: 978-0-345-81648-1

PRICE: $29.95 CAN (Hardcover)

RATING: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

* I received a free copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program. Reviews are not required, but they are usually appreciated.

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MY REVIEW:

ARE YOU SCARED OF SPIDERS?

If you aren’t scared of spiders before reading this book, you will be once you reach the final page.

Personally, spiders scare the crap out of me. Yes, I admit it. I have a case of arachniphobia.

Speaking of “Arachniphobia,” When I read the first chapter of this book I was reminded of the movie from 1990,ย  starring Jeff Daniels and John Goodman called ARACHNIPHOBIA. I was actually worried that this might end up being an updated version of the same storyline. But, I needn’t have been concerned. While both the movie and this book both center around spiders, this is WAY different and much more terrifying.

I read quite a bit of Post-Apocalyptic Fiction, and prior to reading THE HATCHING, I thought I had read about every possible way that modern civilization could be brought to it’s knees. The Hatching proved that I was dead-wrong.

I loved this book even while cringing and recoiling in both revulsion and terror at the subject matter.

Do you love a good scare? Do you enjoy Horror stories? If so, then you MUST add Ezekiel Boone’s novel to your bookshelf ASAP.

If you don’t find yourself checking all the dark corners of your house and under your bed for spiders after reading this book, I will be tremendously surprised.ย  I knew there was a reason that I dislike spiders and Ezekiel Boone has made me realize that those people who used to think my arachniphobia was silly, well, those people aren’t saying its such a silly fear after reading this book.

This book is one that will definitely have people talking. You don’t want to be the only one around the water cooler that hasn’t read THE HATCHING. If you do not read this book, you will be missing out.ย 

I rate The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone as 5 out of 5 Stars. ๐ŸŒŸ ๐ŸŒŸ ๐ŸŒŸ ๐ŸŒŸ ๐ŸŒŸ

The fact that this is only the first book in a planned series has me wishing that Book Two – SKITTER was already available. However, since I do need to sleep sometime, it is probably good to give my terror levels time to get back to normal before I continue on to the next part of this series.

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AN INTERESTING SIDE-NOTE:

Prior to reading THE HATCHING, I had never heard of the “Nasca Lines” in Peru. These lines are mentioned in the book and I wasn’t sure if they were a creation of the author’s imagination or if they were real. An internet search provided me with the answer. They are real!

Don’t know what the Nasca Lines are? Click here for pictures and more information. I have now added seeing these Lines to my Bucket List. I find them absolutely fascinating and I can’t wait to research them further.

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WATCH THE TRAILERS:

ย https://youtu.be/QhaQYliQ6qg

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Photo By Laurie Willick

EZEKIEL BOONE is a Canadian writer who currently lives in upstate New York with his wife and children.

THE HATCHING is Zekeโ€™s first thriller and the first book in the series, with SKITTER coming in 2017.

THE HATCHING series has sold in twelve countries and nine languages, and has been optioned for the screen. When not writing thrillers, Zeke writes acclaimed literary fiction under a different name. Along with a healthy respect for spiders, Zeke has two poorly behaved dogs and enjoys the outdoors.

To find out more about this author visit:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

THE HATCHING OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK
ย 
TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

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4 Stars for Jonathan R. Miller’s impeccably timed Release of GRAVITY BREAKER

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Title: GRAVITY BREAKER

Author: JONATHAN R. MILLER

Type of Book: Softcover – ARC

Genre: Science Fiction, Superhero

Length: 240 pages

Release Date: June 29, 2016

ISBN: 9781532837005

ASIN: B01HSGVK8O

Price: $3.99 For the Ebook

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ๐ŸŒŸ ๐ŸŒŸ ๐ŸŒŸ ๐ŸŒŸ

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS:

From his dead-end job to his one-bedroom apartment, life so far has been a steady grind, one challenge after another.ย  But thatโ€™s about to change.ย  During a routine encounter with a police officer in Oakland, Isaac makes a life-changing realization: He can use gravity to do almost anything.ย  To build or destroy.ย  To lift up or hold in place.ย  To bend, straighten, or break apart.ย 

Isaac is suddenly in command of a power beyond his wildest imagination, the power to reshape the world around him, something thatโ€”as a biracial black man from hurricane-ravaged Mississippiโ€”he has struggled to do his entire life.ย  Filled with newfound hope, Isaac immerses himself in the experimentation process: testing his limits, broadening his skill set, and refining his control, all in secret.ย 

But Isaac, a single father of an eleven-year-old daughter, is forced to reveal the extent of his abilities when his daughter is attacked.ย  This sets in motion a series of events that strips him of everything heโ€™s worked so hard for: his child, his job, and his home.ย  Pursued relentlessly by the authorities, Isaac is forced to use his abilities in increasingly dramatic and dangerous ways to avoid capture and reunite with his daughter, ultimately learning that the power he wieldsโ€”though enviableโ€”comes at a deeply unenviable price.

Gravity Breaker challenges us to rethink what it means to be powerful in society.ย  Isaacโ€™s story is both individual and universal, as it unblinkingly confronts issues such as parenthood, poverty, unearned privilege, and the often strained relationship between the police and communities of color.

MY REVIEW:

At its core, GRAVITY BREAKER is a Science Fiction / Superhero-type story, but this tale also tackles some very real and relevant social issues.

Author Jonathan R. Miller has crafted a superbly entertaining tale of an ordinary man who develops extraordinary powers.

It makes the reader ponder what they would do if they could suddenly control gravity. Would you use the powers for good? Or would the temptation of easy money overwhelm you?

Besides being an engrossing Superhero story, Gravity Breaker is also a commentary on what men of color sometimes have to contend with just because of the color of their skin.

The best word to describe GRAVITY BREAKER is “timely.”

With the recent racial tension in the United States, it is impossible to turn on the television or radio or to open a newspaper without hearing about #BlackLivesMatter as well as the recent police shootings.

The main character in this book is Isaac. He is a single father who is doing his best to provide for his daughter. He works hard every day and stays on the right side of the law. Despite this, he is harassed by the police while working and when he explains to the officer why he is pushing a cart full of laundry bags, the officer does not believe him and wants to place him under arrest.

Where I live, this would never happen. If it did, the entire community (white and colored) would be up in arms. However, I am well aware that things like this happen on a daily basis in many urban centers across North America and it needs to stop.

I commend Jonathan R. Miller for using his writing talent to not only entertain his readers but also to inform them of the injustices that occur in our society.

I do want to ensure potential readers that this book is not just about race issues. Yes, that is part of the story, but it is by no means the only topic

There is a sequel planned for this book. It is set to be released in 2017 and will be titled: TALAH. (TALAH is the name of Isaac’s daughter.) I will be eagerly awaiting it’s release. I am very interested in reading about what happens next.

I rate this book as 4 out of 5 stars. ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

I also feel the need to mention that I first became aware of Jonathan R. Miller when I read his novel FREND which was one of my favorite books of 2015. Check out my review of FREND here.

* I received a free ARC copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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JONATHAN R. MILLER lives in the Bay area of California with his wife and daughter.

Jonathan R. Miller is a biracial author of genre-bending literary thrillers with diverse, non-traditional characters exploring issues of identity and belonging.ย ย 

Miller, was born in Illinois and lived in Los Alamos, New Mexico for most of his childhood, and then became a California transplant after undergraduate school at Stanford University. ย He was an 8th-grade teacher for 7 years in the Oakland public school system, and has worked as a writer in the Bay Area ever since.

Miller’s own biracial heritage — black and white, but “passing” as white — has had a strong influence on his thought processes and writing style. ย His novels deftly explore issues of identity while providing storylines that areย layered, cerebral, gritty, thought-provoking, and moving.ย