THE DENOUNCED is the beginning of a new YA Dystopian Trilogy that is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.

Title: THE DENOUNCED – A GREY SUN

Series: THE DENOUNCED – BOOK ONE

Author: S.J. SHERWOOD

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, DYSTOPIAN FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION

Publisher: SELF-PUBLISHED – To find out why this author chose to self-publish, read his explanation HERE.

Type of Book: EBOOK

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: NOVEMBER 16, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-9997929-0-9

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

In a future divided into Secular and Non-Secular Quadrants, a crime punishable by death is to cross Quadrants and become a Denounced.

When sixteen-year-old Ned is wrongly convicted and kidnapped to a secret location, he meets ninety Denounced, and a terrifying truth begins to unfold — one that will change the world forever.

Forced to lead a Pod of five, Ned begins to realise thousands of lives could depend upon him. A survivor by nature, he now has to face his past, confront his destiny, and fight a System that has never lost.

MY REVIEW:

“In less than an hour my life will end.”

Thus begins THE GREY SUN, the first book in THE DENOUNCED TRILOGY.

I dare anyone to read that opening line and not be drawn into this book.

Who is this person that will die within an hour? What is happening? How does the person know he or she is going to die? Is this person a male or a female? How old are they? What is the reason they are going to die? Are they sick? How are they going to die? Is it a natural death? Is it murder? Who is going to kill him/her? Why? How does he/she know they are going to die? How do they know when they are going to die?

All these questions flash through the readers mind, and all of them (and more) are prompted from a sentence containing a mere nine words.

As we read a bit further, some of our questions begin to be answered, but each answer only spawns more questions, piques more curiosity and sucks the reader further into the story. The ability to achieve this is the mark of a talented author.

I love books that draw my attention immediately, and more importantly, are able to maintain my attention page after page. THE GREY SUN does exactly that.

It is difficult to believe that this is author S.J. Sherwood’s first ever attempt at writing Young Adult Fiction. He writes with the perfect voice for young adult audiences. In fact, if you were unaware of the above fact, you would think he has been writing fiction for teens for years.

Sixteen year old Ned is a character that will appeal to both teenage boys and teen girls. The guys will look up to him as a smart, tough protagonist that they would want to be friends with, young women will also look up to him, but they will also want him to be their new book-boyfriend.

How can a normal, red-blooded young woman not want to soothe Ned’s tortured soul and show him that he doesn’t need to be alone in the world any more? Add to that the fact that he would make an awesome protector and is both intelligent and resourceful, and you have the perfect recipe for a YA heartthrob.

Don’t let what I wrote above to take anything away from the story itself. Yes, Ned is “hot,” but that is only one tiny part of this tale.

The Dystopian world that S.J. Sherwood has imagined is revealed in small snippets and readers learn about Ned’s world as he learns about it. Although there is a resolution at the end of this book, there are also many unanswered questions which I am excited to find out the answers to. For some reason I do not feel cheated, even though I did not receive all the answers. Leaving questions unanswered without angering your readers is a difficult task to achieve, but this author somehow makes it seem easy.

I have read literally hundreds of Dystopian novels, for both Young Adult and Adult readers and this reality that S.J. Sherwood has created is one I will not forget. I think that part of the reason why I feel this way is because there is still so much to learn about Ned’s world. The possibilities are endless. I rate this book as 4 out of 5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

If you enjoyed A GREY SUN – BOOK ONE of the DENOUNCED SERIES, you need to add SHIFTING HORIZONS to your watch list as it is the soon-to-be-released as the second thrilling instalment of this wickedly interesting Young Adult Dystopian series.

*** Thank you to NETGALLEY for providing me with a free copy of this book.***

QUOTES:

“It’s dangerous to let yourself dream when you’re in the System.”

“People will either come to you or they don’t, and if they don’t, you generally don’t want them anyway.”

“… I have to do something that I’m not good at, that I think none of us are good at, which is to work together. Be a team.”

“In the few days of being here, we’ve already become brainwashed … You start to become what they impose upon you. I have a natural urge to rebel against it … I ache so badly to be free.”

“Freedom is something you don’t dare talk about when you’re in the System.”

ABOUT THE REST OF THE DENOUNCED TRILOGY:

Book Two will be titled SHIFTING HORIZONS.

Pod Fifteen has escaped to an unknown Quadrant. Who do they trust and where do they go next?

If the rumours are true, thousands of orphans are heading toward Ilse’s trap. If Ned and the rest of Pod Fifteen are to save the orphans, they would need to return home and fight a System that wants Ned dead.

With time working against them and tough decisions to be made, hard-fought friendships will be put to the test. Loyalties will be cut to the bone. Character flaws will be further exposed.

What will Ned and Pod Fifteen ultimately do?

Find out in the next explosive instalment of The Denounced, available in the first half of 2018 with the final instalment, Book 3, CREAKING DAWN, set for later in the year.

If you would like a sneak preview, as well as additional information about the release dates, please sign-up for The Denounced Newsletter HERE.

ABOUT AUTHOR S.J. SHERWOOD:

S.J. Sherwood grew up in a small town in rural England and spent most of his youth dreaming of escaping to the bright lights of a metropolis.

His dream came true in the form of winning a Scholarship to Drama School. He was an actor for a short time. At various times in his life, he was a construction worker, a waiter, and an ice-cream man to name a few. He then went back to school and entered the corporate world.

The one constant in his life has been a passion for storytelling.

When he is not writing and spending time with those he loves, you’ll find him in a wetsuit, splashing in the sea, where he will be dreaming up his next story. He currently lives in London, England.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

INSTAGRAM

FACEBOOK

AMAZON


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ESME’S WISH is an astonishinly brilliant new Young Adult book. 5 Enthusiastic Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Title: ESME’S WISH

Series: “ESME” SERIES: BOOK ONE

Author: ELIZABETH FOSTER

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, FANTASY

Length: 252 PAGES

Publisher: ODYSSEY BOOKS

Type of Book: EBOOK

Received From: THE AUTHOR

Release Date: OCTOBER 30, 2017

ISBN: 9781925652246

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

DESCRIPTION:

When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver objects at her father’s wedding, her protest is dismissed as the actions of a stubborn, selfish teenager. Everyone else has accepted the loss of Esme’s mother – so why can’t she?

But Esme is suspicious. She is sure that others are covering up the real reason for her mother’s disappearance – that ‘lost at sea’ is code for something more terrible, something she has a right to know.

After Esme is accidentally swept into the enchanted world of Aeolia, the truth begins to unfold. Esme soon discovers that her mother, Ariane – a talented painter of myths and legends – once led a secret second life in the crumbling canal city of Esperance. The more Esme discovers about Ariane, the more she questions whether she really knew her mother at all…

Esme’s Wish, a fantasy with a mystery at its heart, leads the reader into a beguiling world to which they’ll want to return again and again.

BOOK TRAILER:

MY REVIEW:

This is a tale that is utterly enchanting and totally consuming. I found myself even dreaming about the wonderous world of Aeolia created by the extremely talented Elizabeth Foster. This is something that rarely happens to me. In fact, I can count the number of times it has happened to me on a single hand.

To put that into perspective, only books such as R.R. Tolkien’s THE HOBBIT, THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy and the HARRY POTTER series have had this effect on me. Am I saying that ESME’S WISH is on par with these genre-defining tales? Well, I won’t go quite that far yet, but only because this is only BOOK ONE. Ask me again once I have had the pleasure of reading the entire series.

Although this book is targeted at the Young Adult audience, as was the Harry Potter series, this book also holds incredible appeal for adult readers as well.

Esme is swept from a world in which her father remarries a woman she despises, giving up all hope after seven years that his wife will ever return. He, and everyone else, including Esme, believe that her mother is dead. She thinks that the reason she has been told that her mother was lost at sea is because they are hiding something much more sinister. Being a typical fifteen year old, she sets off to visit the last place her mother was seen alive – hoping for clues as to what really happened to her.

Instead of discovering a secret clue, she is swept into the sea and pulled through some sort of portal into the wonderous world of Aeolia. This reminds me of Harry Potter leaving London by going to platform nine and three quarters.

Who among us has not thought of somehow going to a different world? This book delivers on that fantasy and Elizabeth Foster’s world building is spot on. The people of this fantasy world all have some sort of magical gift which manifests in young adulthood. I don’t want to give anymore away, but the plot is terrific and readers will be drawn in and continually surprised by the mystery of what happened to Esme’s mother.

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

QUOTE:

Esme “… had become entangled in matters… with forces far beyond [her] understanding – and it seemed there was no right way forward.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

ELIZABETH FOSTER was born in Brisbane, Australia. She read avidly as a child, but only discovered the joys of writing some years ago, when reading to her own kids reminded her of how much she missed getting lost in other worlds.

Once she started writing, she never looked back. She is at her happiest when immersed in her stories and plotting new conflicts and adventures for her characters.

Elizabeth now lives in Sydney, Australia where she can be found scribbling in cafés, indulging her love of both words and coffee.

Her first novel, Esme’s Wish, a fantasy-mystery for younger teens, was released by Odyssey Books on October 30, 2017. Esme’s Gift, the second in the trilogy will follow in late 2018.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

YOUTUBE

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

KOBO: You can read the first chapter HERE.

PUBLISHER OF ESME’S WISH:

ODYSSEY BOOKS is an Australian Independent publishing house. It was founded only eight years ago, in 2009 by Michelle Lovi.

They only publish 12 to 18 books per year. Odyssey Books produces quality literary and genre fiction, as well as memoirs and creative non-fiction.

They live for the adventures that books provide and are not afraid to take risks with new writers and new ideas.

To learn more about this Publisher, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

PINTEREST

YOUTUBE

RUNNING OUT OF SPACE  by S.J. Higbee BLOG TOUR 

Running Out of Space banner

This is my stop during the blog tour for Running Out of Space by S.J. Higbee. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 11 till 31 October. You can check see the tour schedule here.

For a limited time Running Out of Space will be only $0.99 on Amazon

Running Out of SpaceRunning Out of Space (The Sunblinded Trilogy#1)
By S.J. Higbee
Genre: Science Fiction
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: 11 October, 2017

Blurb:
Jezel Campo has yearned to serve on the space merchant ship Estrella Fugaz for as long as she can remember – until one rash act changes everything…

I can’t recall whose idea it was. Just that me and mis amigas were sick of wading through yet another unjust punishment detail. So we decide to take ourselves off on a short jaunt to the lower reaches of Space Station Hawking to prove that fertile Iberian girls can also deal with danger.

The consequences of that single expedition change the lives of all four of us, as well as that of the stranger who steps in to save us down in lawless Basement Level. Now I have more excitement and danger than I can handle, while confronting lethal shipboard politics, kidnapping, betrayal. And murder.

You can find Running Out of Space on Goodreads

Buy Running Out of Space for only $0.99!
You can buy Running Out of Space for only $0.99 on Amazon!

SJ HigbeeAbout the Author:
Born the same year as the Russians launched Sputnik, I confidently expected that by the time I reached adulthood, the human race would have a pioneer colony on the Moon and be heading off towards Mars. So I was at a loss to know what to do once I realised the Final Frontier wasn’t an option and rather lost my head – I tried a lot of jobs I didn’t like and married a totally unsuitable man.

Now I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I’ll never leave Earth, I have a lovely time writing science fiction and fantasy novels while teaching Creative Writing at Northbrook College in Worthing. I’ve had a number of short stories, articles and poems published – the most recent being my story ‘Miranda’s Tempest’ which appeared last year in Fox Spirit’s anthology Eve of War. I recently signed a publishing contract with Grimbold Publishing for my science fiction novel Netted, which is due to be released in 2019.

I live in Littlehampton on the English south coast with a wonderful husband and a ridiculous number of books. I can be found online chatting about books at my book review blog https://sjhigbee.wordpress.com/ and you’re very welcome to pop onto my website http://www.sjhigbee.com and my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sjhigbeeauthor/.

You can find and contact S.J. Higbee here:
Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

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F.O.L.D. BOOK BASH was terrific – Check out the amazing and diverse authors, poets and publishers I met on Saturday.



F.O.L.D. stands for FESTIVAL OF LITERARY DIVERSITY 

Today at City Hall in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, FOLD hosted the 2017 Book Bash. 

WHAT IS A FOLD BOOK BASH?

  • A one-day book market designed to give authors and book selling organizations a space to promote their books. 
  • A chance for the community to learn about books written by local authors
  • The ability for consumers to learn about and to purchase multicultural books that reflect the diversity of the city and  country in which they live
  • A chance to meet the authors of those books and to have them autographed 
  • As well as the chance to listen to authors read from, and talk about their books. 

    FOLD is the first and only literary festival in Canada to focus on diverse authors and stories.

    The first Festival of Literary Diversity was held in May 2016 and included more than 25 unique sessions held over three days with over thirty of Canada’s most exciting authors.

    Mark your calendars for May 3rd to May 5th, 2018 for the next Festival. There will be quite a few authors and publishers with many different sessions to choose from.

    CHECK IT OUT – YOU’LL BE GLAD YOU DID. 

    AUTHORS I MET ON SATURDAY  & SOME AMAZING BOOKS YOU NEED TO OWN


    #1. 

    JAEL RICHARDSON 


    Jael Richardson
     is one busy woman. Besides being the Founder and Creative Art Director of the Festival of Literary Diversity, she is also an author in her own right.

    Her book THE STONE THROWER: A DAUGHTER’S LESSON, A FATHER’S LIFE is a memoir based on her relationship with her father, CFL quarterback Chuck Ealey. The memoir received a CBC Bookie Award and earned Richardson an Acclaim Award and a My People Award as an Emerging Artist and was adapted into a children’s book in 2016. 

    To learn more about Jael, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE      

    GOODREADS          

    TWITTER    

    FACEBOOK          

    INSTAGRAM        

    CHAPTERS              

    This is me with Jael at the 2017 FOLD Book Bash

    #2. 

    DEJA BEALS has been writing poetry since the age of sixteen. She finds her inspiration for her poetry in family, friends and everyday experiences.  

    DĖJA BEALS has been writing poetry since the age of 16. You would never know that during those early writing days, her poetry was filled with incorrect grammar. Now, like Déja herself, her writing has matured and
     developed. Her work has blossomed to include a range of topics such as love, faith and everyday experiences.

    Déja finds her poetic inspiration in family, friends and her daily experiences.

    She is known for her silly moments, big laugh and even bigger heart. She has been said to have wisdom beyond her years and uncanny insight which adds depth to her writing. She is currently living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE     

    DÉJA’S OFFICIAL BLOG     

    GOODREADS      

    TWITTER     

    FACEBOOK     

    INSTAGRAM    


    AMAZON          

    DISCOVERING DIVERSITY PUBLISHING    

    3, 4 and 5.

    I met these three very gracious and amazing women at the FOLD Brampton Book Bash. 

    About the multitalented Catherine Graham – Not only has she written the fiction novel QUARRY but she is also only days away from the launch off her new poetry collection THE CELERY FOREST which is being published by Wolsak and Wynn

    Author and Poet – CATHERINE GRAHAM

    QUARRY is a fictional story set in Southern Ontario during the 1980s. Only child Caitlin Maharg lives with her parents beside a water-filled limestone quarry, but her idyllic upbringing collapses when she learns her mother is dying. After a series of family secrets emerge, Caitlin must confront the past and face her uncertain future. 

    THE CELERY FOREST      

    Like Wonderland or Oz, Neverland or Narnia, The Celery Forest is an extraordinary world filled with strange creatures and disorienting sights. But the doorway to the Celery Forest is not a rabbit hole or an old wardrobe. The doorway is an MRI. For poet and novelist Catherine Graham, this is the topsy-turvy world she found herself in after learning she had breast cancer.

         More than a survivor’s tale, these poems are a map through unknowable terrain, infused with awareness and forgetting, written by a poet with the visionary ability to distill our sense of wonder into something we can hold.
    TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CATHERINE GRAHAM, VISIT THE FOLLOWING LINKS: 

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

    GOODREADS 

    TWITTER   

    FACEBOOK    

    INSTAGRAM      

    AMAZON       


    CHAPTERS         

         
    #4.  

    Publisher & Author Alexander Leggett  

    CEO and Founder of Two Wolves Press, Alexandra Leggat is the author of the novel The Incomparables as well as several other published works. 

    Alexandra started Two Wolves  Press as a way to nurture talent without compromise  – to work closely with Two Wolves writers to follow and trust their intuition and publish “instinctual fiction”. 

    Two Wolves Press publishes Catherine Graham’s novel QUARRY and
    Aileen Santos’ SOMEONE LIKE YOU.

    To learn more about this Publisher and author, visit the following links:
     
    OFFICIAL WEBSITE   


    GOODREADS     

    TWITTER   

    FACEBOOK        

    INSTAGRAM      

    AMAZON     

    CHAPTERS       

    MORE INFO COMING IN MY NEXT BLOG POST. 


    WIN A $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD and Check out the new release EARTHLY CONCERNS by Xavier Axelson 

    The Incident

    by Xavier Axelson
    Publication Date: August 18, 2017
    Genres: Adult, Contemporary, M/M Romance

    Purchase: Amazon | Publisher

    Michael Carmac is a small-town cop on the verge of a breakdown. After a split-second decision leaves an innocent child dead, Michael’s reality unravels. Suffering from PTSD, he finds comfort in a bottle while struggling to find forgiveness. Fellow officer Bertram Angel offers Michael support, and what starts as friendship turns into something deeper–two men looking to find love, forgiveness and acceptance while moving forward and healing wounds that don’t always show.

    CONTENT ADVISORY: This is an extensively re-edited and expanded title.

    Earthly Concerns

    by Xavier Axelson
    Publication Date: September 2, 2017
    Genres: Adult, Contemporary, M/M Romance

    Purchase: Amazon | Publisher

    It was a peaceful night when Barrett and his daughter were driving home … then something happened. Something sinister.

    Something took Barrett’s daughter from him.

    Now the only person Barrett can turn to for help is Anson, a man gifted with psychic abilities beyond reason. But Anson is also his ex-boyfriend, a man whose heart he’d already broken.

    As Anson delves deeper into the circumstances surrounding Barrett’s accident, he begins to realize he’s in a race against time. Whatever has taken Barrett’s daughter is a force of evil beyond anything either man has ever encountered. Can both men put aside their heartaches and past to save Barrett’s daughter from an entity that has the power to destroy them all?

    Dutch’s Boy

    by Xavier Axelson
    Publication Date: September 8, 2017
    Genres: Adult, Contemporary, M/M Romance

    Purchase: Amazon – coming soon! | Publisher

    Fulfilling your dream isn’t easy, especially if you’re the son of well-known rodeo rider Dutch Reynolds. Dutch doesn’t want to see his son Harry leave the family ranch until he feels Harry is ready. But for Harry, his dream of riding broncos at the rodeo seems to be passing him by. With the moral support of his best friend Reb, Harry takes his life in his own hands and leaves the ranch before Dutch can stop him. Chance encounters, sex and love soon teach the young cowboy life lessons that he will not forget.

    The Birches

    by Xavier Axelson
    Publication Date: August 5, 2017
    Genres: Adult, Contemporary, M/M Romance

    Purchase: Amazon | Publisher

    Perfection isn’t everything, although it’s everything Leo wants. His desire to become the perfect chef may keep him at the top of his class, but it drives his friends and family crazy while keeping love and passion on the back burner.

    Then Leo meets Dock, owner and chef of the new and popular restaurant, The Birches.

    Although Dock isn’t a trained chef, Leo finds the food he cooks delectable and the man behind the food irresistible. The lessons taught at the hands of an untrained cook may be just what this uptight chef needs to let go.

    About Xavier Axelson

    Xavier Axelson is a writer and columnist living in Los Angeles. Xavier’s work has been featured in various erotic and horror anthologies.

    Facebook | Twitter | Amazon  

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    COMPANY TOWN is one of Best DYSTOPIAN FICTION books published in the past few years. This is a MUST BUY. I give COMPANY TOWN 6 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

    1503645363780

     Title: COMPANY TOWN   

    Author: MADELINE ASHBY     

    Genre: SCIENCE FICTION, DYSTOPIAN FICTION, CANADIAN FICTION, SPECULATIVE FICTION

    Length: 285 PAGES      

    Publisher: TOR BOOKS  

    ISBN: 978-0-7653-9887-1 

    Price: $14.99 USD / $20.99 CDN

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

    CBC CANADA READS 2017      

    I purchased this book at Chapters from a display of books by Canadian authors. I was (and still am) thrilled to find a Canadian author writing Dystopian Science Fiction.

     I read A LOT of books and there are a ton of dystopian titles on the market. Some are just okay, most are pretty good and then there are the exceptional few that are so well written the author’s world comes to life and you never want the story to end. COMPANY TOWN is one such book.

    Not only is it easy to envision the setting – an entire city filled with people just trying to survive on what was once an oil rig and was never meant for long-term habitation, but MADELINE ASHBY has created an entirely new world history.

    In my opinion she is a literary genius. I realize that is a HUGE claim, but once you read COMPANY TOWN, I am fairly certain you will agree.

    I do not want to give away any parts of the plot or the setting, but I do want to get across to anyone reading this review that YOU NEED TO BUY THIS BOOK and YOU WILL BE HAPPY THAT YOU DID.

    With a carefully constructed plot, characters you can’t help but feel for, and incredible world-building, author Madeline Ashby has written a tale that is a warning to us all about caring for our environment and all those who live in it.

    The most terrifying aspect of COMPANY TOWN is that it might become  a reality if no changes are made to how we are all currently living. This book should be required reading for every man, woman and child (over the age of 16.) It is quite simply a MUST READ. I rate it as 5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 
    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

    Photo Credit: Kayleigh McCollum Photography

    Madeline Ashby is a science fiction writer, futurist, speaker, and immigrant living in Toronto. She writes a column for the Ottawa Citizen. She is represented by Anne McDermid & Associates, and Jason Richman at UTA.       

    She has worked with Intel Labs, the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, Data & Society, The Atlantic Council, the ASU Center for Science and the Imagination, and others. Her short fiction has appeared in Nature, FLURB, Tesseracts, Imaginarium, and Escape Pod. Her other essays and criticism have appeared at BoingBoing, io9, WorldChanging, Creators Project, Arcfinity, Tor.com, MISC Magazine, FutureNow, and elsewhere.      

    To learn more about this amazing Canadian author, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE   

    GOODREADS  

    TWITTER       

    FACEBOOK   

    INSTAGRAM    

    LINKED IN       

    AMAZON.CA   

    AMAZON.COM      

    CHAPTERS      

    PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE     

    VANGUARD by the talented ANN AGUIRE – Book 4 in the Razorland Series 

    Title: VANGUARD    

    Series: RAZORLAND – BOOK FOUR

    Author: ANN AGUIRRE      

    Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, POST-APOCALYPTIC FICTION, DYSTOPIAN FICTION 

    Length: 368 PAGES

    Publisher: MACMILLAN CHILDREN’S PUBLISHING GROUP      

    Type of Book: EBOOK

    Received From: NETGALLEY 

    Release Date: JULY 25, 2017

    ISBN: 9781250089823 (HARDCOVER)

    Price: $17.99 USD (HARDCOVER)

    Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟

      


    DESCRIPTION

    This book begins ten months after ‘The War of the River.’

    Tegan sets out to fulfill her mentor’s last request and to fulfill the wanderlust in her soul. She is accompanied on her journey by Millie Faraday, who is trying to outrun her reputation of being “the kindest girl in the free territories.” 

    On her way to the first stop on their  adventure, she encounters Szarok, the Vanguard of the Uroch. Szarok offers to travel with them and Tegan accepts, knowing there is safety in traveling with him.

    When Tegan is offered a job as a ‘long-haul ship’s doctor’ Millie, James and Szarok all sign onto the ship as well. Each has a different reason for traveling aboard the ship, but none is more important than Szarok’s reason. He is on a mission to save his people and despite the strange feelings he experiences whenever in Tegan’s presence, he is determined to fulfill his mission.

    Tegan’s affection for the strange but somehow beautiful Uroch grows over time and she defends him from the blatant prejudices of other humans.

    As their time together lengthens, it is Tegan who, through stormy seas and a variety of strange, new lands, will become stronger than she ever knew possible.


    THE MORAL OF THE STORY:  

    The very thinly veiled moral of this story is that prejudice is NOT OK. This may seem like a very basic idea to many of us, but unfortunately, there are still many people who have yet to recognize this very basic truth. 



    MY REVIEW:

    The previous three books in the Razorland saga followed the adventures (and romance) of Deuce and Fade. Tegan was very much part of the story, but she was never the sole focus. In VANGUARD, Tegan steps out of the shadows and takes center stage.

    Although this is the fourth book in the series, it also works as a stand-alone novel. Those who have read the first three books in the Razorland saga will be able to connect with the history of the post-apocalyptic world they live in as we as what led Tegan to this point in her life. Author Ann Aguire has included enough detail about the past that new readers will not find their enjoyment diminished in any way. In fact, I believe new readers will be so intrigued by VANGUARD they will want to run out and buy the rest of the Razorland saga immediately.

    The story begins once Tegan’s Doctor/Mentor/Father-Figure dies and she decides to head out into the world. Tegan’s skill as a healer affords her the ability to provide for herself wherever she goes.

    When she meets up with Szarok at the beginning of her journey. Szarok offers to travel with her and although the peace between his “people” and the regular humans is tenuous, his offer affords Tegan a measure of security that she knew she would be foolish to refuse.

    Tegan and Szarok start off their journey as acquaintances who both find each other visually unappealing and dislike each other’s scents and eating habits. They do recognize certain similarities, but their historical and cultural differences and the clear division between their “tribes” are not easily put aside.

    When the two end up stranded alone together they learn more about each other and their differences cease to be an issue. This is realistic. Once you spend time with someone, regardless of their race or faith you realize that surface differences no longer matter. This is a lesson that is important. People need to understand that skin color, religion, and other differences are not the entirety of a person – they are just the wrapper. It is what is inside that matters.

    This situation reminds me of racial differences  and smacks of ingrained discrimination. Readers should be able to relate Tegan and Szarok’s tale to instances of interracial or interfaith relationships.

    This book is an extremely easy read and its length makes it perfect for a weekend at the cottage, the beach, at a campground or for a lazy weekend at home.

    Ann Aguirre uses her considerable writing talent to pen a romance between unlikely characters. Readers can view this book as just a wonderful, light-hearted romance, or they can look a little deeper. If readers choose to look deeper, they will realize this book as one that combats racism.

    Choosing two different races as her main characters, Ann Aguirre demonstrates a truth that many people have yet to embrace; the fact that just because a person looks different from you on the outside does NOT mean they are different on the inside.

    I rate VANGUARD as 4 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

    The only reason this book did not receive a 5th Star was that in some ways, the plot was predictable. However, this did not in any way diminish my enjoyment in reading this tale.

    To read more of my reviews – Follow me here on my blog as well as on INSTAGRAM and TWITTER   

    * A special Thank You to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book. 

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

    Author Photograph and description obtained from her website.

    Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. She likes books, emo music, and action movies. She writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links: 

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

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    BARNES & NOBLE  

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    WATER MEMORY – A 4 STAR GRAPHIC NOVEL by Mathieu Reynes will thrill all ages. 

    Title: WATER MEMORY     

    Author:  MATHIEU REYNES   

    Illustrator: VALÉRIE VERNAY    

    Genre: FICTION, GRAPHIC NOVELS

    Publisher: DIAMOND BOOK DISTRIBUTORS     

    Type of Book: SOFTCOVER

    Received From: NETGALLEY        

    Release Date: SEPTEMBER 5, 2017

    ISBN: 9781941302439

    Price: $14.99 USD

    Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟    


    DESCRIPTION
    :

    “A new life begins for Marion when her mother inherits an old family house and decides to make it their new home.  With its own private beach and a view of the sea, the house has all the makings of a happy new life. But when Marion discovers strange rock carvings nearby, and learns that a sinister-looking lighthouse watchman may be part of a local legend come to life, it becomes clear that things are not as idyllic as they seemed.”


    MY REVIEW:

    A gorgeously illustrated graphic novel with a plot that will draw in readers and keep you turning pages.

    I did not know just how well an author and illustrator could work together to create characters with as much depth as Marion and her mother exhibit in WATER MEMORY. It is impossible to read this graphic novel and not feel like you know Marion intimately. 

    The story and the mystery unravels at the perfect pace and the illustrations add to the air of otherworldlyness and will have readers guessing as to what is happening.

    The ending will surprise readers and it  creates the possibility of a sequel. Personally, I hope a sequel is written, as I, for one, will buy it.

    With beautifully illustrated pages and a gripping story-line, WATER MEMORY is a wonderful graphic novel that I rate as 4 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟 and I highly recommend it to lovers of mystery and even though it is a graphic novel, I believe that even those who have never read this type of book, will be drawn in and will enjoy it immensely.  

    **Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this graphic novel.  

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:   

    Photo of Author and Illustrator. Click on the photo to be taken to the source website


    Mathieu Reynès is a French comic book writer and artist. Since 2002, he has worked with many of Europes’ top comic publishers including Ankama, Dupuis, Paquet and Spirou. He illustrated the successful Alter ego series, wrote Water Memory, and is currently writing and drawing the supernatural graphic novel: Harmony.

    Born in 1977 in the western suburbs of Paris, France, Reynès spent much of his childhood near the Basque coast. Initially studying science in Bordeaux, he decided to change course and pursue cartoons and 3D animation at the CNBDI in Angoulême. He released his first album, Banana Fight in 2002, in collaboration with writer Frédéric Brrémaud. The duo went on to create two volumes of Sexy Gun and three volumes of Lola Bogota.

    Reynès worked predominately in the field of humour, until 2011, where he embarked on the conspiracy series Alter Ego. Reynès used a more realistic style to tell the complex intertwined story. Written by Denis Lapière and Pierre-Paul Renders, the series spread across 11 albums. This series won the 2011 Saint Michael Award for Best Story.

    In 2012, Reynès wrote the two-part story La mémoire de l’eau (Water Memory), which was undoubtedly inspired by his childhood memories of the Basque coast. Beautifully drawn by Valérie Vernay the story balances reality and mystery and is just as good for a pre-teen as for an adult.

    To learn more about this terrific author visit the following links:

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    ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR: 


    VALÉRIE VERNAY trained as an illustrator at the Emile Cohl school. With her illustrator’s diploma under her belt, she published her first children’s book “Le Gardien de la Nuit” (published by Petit à Petit). 

     Over time, she edged her way onto the comic book scene: step by step, a secret dream she never thought would be possible. She started by participating in several collective works, and worked as a colourist on “Sexy Gun,” volumes 1 and 2 (published by Soleil), before creating volume 1 of the comic book adaptation of the “La guerre des Boutons” (published by Petit à Petit).

    At the same time, she illustrated another children’s book “Perdus dans la forêt” (published by Magnard). She has now created her very own series “Agathe Saugrenu,” with Vincent Zabus on the script (published by Dupuis), and is continuing to do children’s illustrations for magazines on the side (published by Milan and Normandie Junior.)   

    To learn more about this terrific illustrator visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE        

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    **Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this graphic novel. 

    STARBORN by Lucy Hounsom may just be one of the best YA Fantasy books to be published in the past few years. A 5 Star Read that will appeal to everyone 16 and up.

    Title: STARBORN     

    Series: THE WORLDMAKER TRILOGY: BOOK ONE    

    Author: LUCY HOUNSOM 

    Genre: FANTASY FICTION, YOUNG ADULT FICTION, NEW RELEASE /COMING SOON 

    Length: 544 PAGES

    Publisher: TOR – An Imprint of MACMILLAN PUBLISHERS LTD    
    Type of Book: EBOOK

    Received From: NETGALLEY   

    Release Date: AUGUST 24TH, 2019 

    ISBN: 978-1-4472-6845-1 (Hardcover)   

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟    

    MY REVIEW:     

    Firstly, I need to address the title of this book. If you are the type of person to judge a book by its cover, (everyone does this at least to some degree) you will miss out on a phenomenal book. The cover and title tend to make potential readers think this book will be about outer space and will be a sci-fi novel, however, this is not the case. Starborn is a perfect example of fantasy fiction at its finest.

    I literally devoured this book. The characters are so vividly described that a picture of each of them immediately formed in my mind. Not only that, but each character has a fully imagined history that further fleshes out their believability.

    This is the first book in the WorldMaker trilogy and even though this book hasn’t been released in North America yet, I am already wishing that I could get my hands on the next book in the series. I believe not only that this book is destined to become a Bestseller, but that it will also be optioned for it’s film rights.

    This story has just the right amount of betrayal and dedication, fantasy, magic, history, romance, frustration,  ingenuity and truly astounding world-building which all combine to create a surefire winning combination.

    Not since the Harry Potter series, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hunger Games trilogy have I encountered an author with the ability to so seamlessly craft a complex epic tale of right and wrong, of good and evil and with the ability to build an entire world from nothing but their own imagination. The name of Lucy Hounsom will soon be on the lips of North American readers and publishers all over the continent, and rightly so. 

    I highly recommend this book to both youth and to adults who love epic adventure stories.

    This book will grab your attention from the first page and it will not let go. It is because of its ability to entrance the reader and because of the author’s incredible world-building, that I have no choice but to rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟  

    My recommendation is to mark your calendars for August 24th and grab your copy right away since this amazing book is bound to sell out quickly.

    * A special Thank You to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.   

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR (In Her Own Words):   

    * obtained from her website
    * Author Photos by LOU ABERCROMBIE

    I live in the hilly, red shores of the Jurassic Coast. It’s a beautiful, mysterious part of the country (U.K.), steeped in myth and folklore. And so unsurprisingly, it’s a perfect place in which to make up stories.

    In the vein of most writers, I’ve been making up stories for a long time. I grew up in the tamer neighbourhood of the Thames Valley, where I used to think I’d be an actor. I attended theatre school for six years, worked professionally on stage and screen and took an awful lot of dancing exams. That changed when I hit 15. I was writing a novel (like most normal teenagers), and quite randomly thought: wouldn’t it be cool to do this all the time?  

    I’ve always loved books, perhaps because my parents read so much to us as children. Dad favoured classics like The Day of the Triffids andHothouse, which – though possibly a bit advanced for under 10s – exposed us both to a multitude of words. (Yes, my sister’s a writer too). But the books that really stayed with me were J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

    I am irrevocably drawn to fantasy. As an unsociable teenage misfit, I read mountains of it. Growing up, some of my favourite writers were Robin Hobb, the three Terrys (Brooks, Goodkind and Pratchett), Robert Jordan, Patricia A. McKillip, Ursula Le Guin, David Eddings and Alan Garner. J. K. Rowling holds a special place in my heart for all those summer evenings I spent re-reading Harry Potter, wishing for adventures at Hogwarts.

    That first novel still exists on my hard drive, quietly embarrassing me, but despite its flaws, I’m glad I wrote it. Working on the principle that if you’ve done something once, you can do it again, I studied creative writing at university for four years in the hope that I’d be better prepared the second time around. Creating something as vast and complex as a novel is fun, terrifying, exciting, torturous and pretty much every emotion in between. 

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

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    Although this book is targeted at young adults and middle-grade readers, I believe that Canadians of all ages will enjoy this short, but informative book about our 9th Prime Minister. 4 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

    Title: ARTHUR MEIGHEN: A WAY WITH WORDS     

    Subtitle: THE STORY OF CANADA’S 9th PRIME MINISTER      

    Author: RODERICK BENNS    
    Genre: NON-FICTION, MIDDLE-GRADE     

    Length: 78 PAGES

    Publisher: FIRESIDE PUBLISHING HOUSE     

    Type of Book: SOFTCOVER

    Received From: I received a free copy of this book from the Publisher.

    Release Date: 2012

    ISBN: 9781539538158     

    Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟  

    Although this book is targeted at young adults and middle-grade readers, I believe that Canadians of all ages will enjoy this short, but informative book about our 9th Prime Minister.

    Historians called Arthur Meighen  (pronounced Mee-an) ‘arrogant’ a ‘heroic failure’ and the prime minister ‘who might have been’ … Yet in all of Canadian history, Meighen had no equal when it came to public speaking.”

    The subject matter of this book is something that could have become a very boring read, but author Roderick Benns includes many funny anecdotes and “cool” facts about Arthur Meighen and his childhood which will help to capture and hold a child’s  (and an adult’s) attention.

    For example, when describing what Arthur was like, the author tells us that “…Meighen seemed to have no fashion sense at all and was absent minded whhen it came to everyday things. For instance, he once appeared in the House of Commons still wearing his bedroom slippers.”

    I am ashamed to admit that prior to reading this book, I could not have told you who our 9th Prime Minister was, nor would I have reacted at all had someone said the name “Arthur Meighen.” I believe this is probably true of the vast majority of Canadians today (excluding those whose post-secondary education  focused on either politics or Canadian history.) This is a major flaw in our education system.

    I give kudos to FIRESIDE PUBLISHING HOUSE for creating not only this book, but also an entire line of Middle-grade books focused on our past Prime Ministers. I am thrilled that because of this patriotic publishing house, our next generation may feel more connected to Canada’s past than the current generation seems to.

    This year is Canada’s 150th Birthday which makes it the perfect time to buy these books and to share them with your children. I highly recommend this book and will be reading and reviewing more books in the series very soon.

    I rate this book as 4  of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

    * I received a free copy of this book from the Publisher but this in no way influenced my review.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
    RODERICK BENNS:

    Roderick Benns is an award-winning author and journalist. He is the author of The Mystery of the Moonlight Murder: An Early Adventure of John Diefenbaker and The Legends of Lake on the Mountain: An Early Adventure of John A. Macdonald.

    He has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Canada, Ministers, and Senators, and has written for The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and National Post. Roderick is a sought-after speaker on Canada’s history and its Prime Ministers.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE    

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    BOOK BUZZR