This blog is the place where I post reviews of the books I have read. I review audiobooks, regular books and eBooks for authors and publishers as well as any other book or audiobook that catches my eye.
Synthia (Syn) Wade is a teenage girl who struggles with cystic fibrosis, an incurable life-threatening disease. One day she is pushed into a pond by an unseen figure and wakes up in a new world – a mysterious garden where illness and death don’t exist.
Welcomed by the garden’s residents and now free of her symptoms, Syn decides to stay. But, before long, she realizes that this apparent utopia holds many dangers and dark secrets.
Surrounding the garden is a fog that Syn is warned never to enter. She encounters bizarre creatures that defy reason. And always lurking in the shadows is a masked woman – a woman who may have a connection to the
disappearance of Syn’s parents many years ago. A woman whom no one will speak of, but whom everyone fears.
Check out my stop on the blog tour for Sting by Cindy R. Wilson from Entangled Teen!
Sting by Cindy R. Wilson Genre: YA Dystopian Release date: March 3rd 2020 Entangled Teen Summary:
They call me the Scorpion because they don’t know who I really am. All they know is that someone is stealing from people with excess to help people with nothing survive another day.
But then a trusted friend reveals who I am―“just” Tessa, “just” a girl―and sends me straight into the arms of the law. All those people I helped…couldn’t help me when I needed it.
In prison, I find an unlikely ally in Pike, who would have been my enemy on the outside. He represents everything I’m against. Luxury. Excess. The world immediately falling for his gorgeous smile. How he ended up in the dirty cell next to mine is a mystery, but he wants out as much as I do. Together, we have a real chance at escape.
With the sting of betrayal still fresh, Pike and I will seek revenge on those who wronged us. But uncovering all their secrets might turn deadly…
He empties another pot of water. “How did you learn how to do all this?”
“Fix things. They said the Scorpion built robots the size of men and sent giant tanks into those warehouses to collect all the supplies.”
“With electronic devices attached to the side. Weapons.”
I stare at him.
“What?” he asks.
“Giant tanks and human-sized robots? Really? That’s a lot of embellishment.”
I wish I could have built an army of robots, though. Something to fight back against the Enforcers. But we still have a chance. Me and Pike. We’re going to do this together.
“You made a big impact, Tessa.”
I look over, my hands dripping with sink water. He’s never called me Tessa before. I almost forgot he knows my real name.
His eyes are earnest, focused on mine. “Whether you were building robots or not, you made a difference. People talk when that happens.”
Mongo snaps out an order for us to get to work. I drop my eyes and continue to gather pots of water.
“I made robots,” I admit with a shrug.
Pike flashes a smile. “Yeah?”
“Robotic scorpions to help canvas the city and the areas we planned on…visiting.”
“Ah. Scorpion. I see. I was wondering where that came from.”
“It wasn’t my idea to start calling myself that.”
“Like I said, you made a difference.” He shifts another pot of water to the bucket. “People need heroes and hope to hold onto. When they get it, they do a lot more than embellish. They start to believe.”
I make myself continue working, though my heart is clutching at Pike’s words. I know what he’s talking about. I know about hope and believing. The first time we brought back supplies for the people in the Dark District and they thanked us, I believed we could do more. The first time a mother cried because we gave her food for her kids, I believed we could get into any warehouse anywhere and help more people. I had hope and I believed.
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“Each of us has a seed of our own, each as diverse as the person that carries it.”
Raised in an isolated world of strict rules, one young woman questions what is the purpose of the seed she carries in the palm of her hand. What is its purpose in a world that already seems perfect and is basically untouchable? Railing against her society, she decides to travel toward the distant tree line to discover her purpose.
About the Author:
Kelsey Ketch is a young-adult/new-adult author, who works as a Wildlife Biologist in the state of North Carolina. During her free time, she can often be found working on her latest work in progress or organizing the New Adult Scavenger Hunt, a biannual blog hop. She also enjoys history, mythology, traveling, and reading.
Sixteen-year-old Nate is a Gem—a Genetically Engineered Medical Surrogate—created by Gathos City scientists as a cure for the elite from the fatal lung rot ravaging the population. As a child, Nate was smuggled out of the laboratory where he was held captive and into the Withers—a quarantined, lawless region. He manages to survive by becoming a Tinker, fixing broken tech in exchange for food or a safe place to sleep. When he meets Reed, a kind and fiercely protective boy that makes his heart race, and his misfit gang of scavengers, Nate finds the family he’s always longed for—even if he can’t risk telling them what he is.
But Gathos created a genetic failsafe in their Gems—a flaw in their DNA that causes their health to rapidly deteriorate as they age unless they are regularly dosed with medication controlled by Gathos City. When violence erupts across the Withers, Nate’s illegal supply of medicine is cut off, and a vicious attack on Reed threatens to expose his secret. With time running out, Nate is left with only two options: work for a shadowy terrorist organization that has the means to keep him alive, or stay—and die—with the boy he loves. . .
“His kind had been developed by scientists to fight the lung-rot outbreak, and later — when the lung-rot was gone — to be used up. Harvested by the wealthy. Kept endlessly asleep or left awake to participate in the horror of it. At least that’s what people said when they whispered about GEMs…Genetically Engineered Medi-tissue. He wasn’t supposed to be here.”
Nate is sixteen and an abomination. At least, that is what he had been told. He knew he wasn’t like everyone else in the Withers. He was starving and scraping together a meager existence, just like everyone else who had the bad luck to live in The Withers – a slum filled with people who would not hesitate to kill you for food, or for anything they could use to trade for Chem to feed their addiction.
Nate knew that if the members of his gang discovered he was a GEM, they would either kill him for putting their lives in danger, or they would turn him over to the Breakers – never to be seen again. He didn’t want to put his friend’s lives in danger, especially Reed’s, but he loved being a gang member, they were the closest thing he had to a family. And, although he had never admitted it out loud, he not only loved Reed, he was also IN LOVE with him.
Just surviving the streets of The Withers was challenge enough, but Nate had another problem, his genetically engineered DNA (and that of all GEMs) had been modified so that his body would deteriorate and he would perish before ever reaching adulthood. He needed to find a way to survive, and he knew it would not be easy.
The world-building in FRAGILE REMEDY is second to none. With vivid descriptions of the slums known as The Withers so descriptive it is impossible not to form pictures of it in your mind. I love the fact that the world in which Nate lives is comprised of islands, and instead of water separating each island, and each social class, from the other, there is a vast ocean of toxic sludge which is fatal once submersed in it.
There are numerous parallels between our own society and the issues planet Earth is currently experiencing to the world of FRAGILE REMEDY. For example:
The society in FRAGILE REMEDY is segregated between the ‘Haves’ and the ‘Have Nots.’ The high class citizens live in the Towers of Gathos City and never leave their perfect lives to see how anyone else lives. It is these people who create and keep GEMs so that they can extend their own lives by using the GEMs blood and body parts. This may sound far fetched, but cloning already exists, and stem cells are already being used in medical treatments. Is it really so unbelievable that in humanity’s quest to extend human lives, something like creating a clone for the purpose of using ‘it’ as a personal organ bank may be inevitable.
Of course, it would be expensive to create a clone, so only the uber-rich would be able to afford such a luxury, thus creating another socioeconomic division amongst the world’s population.
Once the clones are created, the rich clone owners would want to protect their assets. This could easily lead to physical segregation similar to that of the islands on which Nate has spent the entirety of his sixteen years of life.
ADDICTION is another of the central themes of FRAGILE REMEDY. Instead of being addicted to alcohol or opiods, the addicts in this story are fiends for a substance known as Chem. “They’d all been regular people once. People who’d made choices – good and bad. Chem had wrenched those choices out of their hands.”
Another theme is HOPE. In FRAGILE REMEDY, Nate may not have many possessions, and he is aware that he will die sooner rather than later, but he still has hope. He hopes that he can do some good before he dies. He hopes that Reed feels the same way about Nate as Nate feels about Reed. And in a wider sense, the inhabitants of The Withers scrounge a meager living on a daily basis, but they still have hope that at some point, the doors to Gathos City will open to admit them.
I love the fact that the characters in this story are diverse and multi-faceted. Sparks is Trans, Nate is Gay, Alden is Queer, and other characters are Cisgender. Skin color is so rarely mentioned that I chose to believe that it was not a factor in their society.
Central to the story and to life in both Gathos City and in The Withers is the ethics of cloning as well as the question of what it is that truly makes a person human. With the increasingly complex technology and the numerous companies and laboratories working on the advancement of A.I. (Artificial Intelligence,)
There are plots and subplots, there are individual histories for each character, there is the storyline where their lives intersect. There are romances and romantic entanglements that will satisfy even the most diehard romantic. And, finally, there is the theme of Family, and the fact that sometimes the people you choose to invest your emotions in make a more loyal family than those who share your DNA.
I started reading this book yesterday morning and was unable (and unwilling) to put it down. I spent twelve straight hours reading FRAGILE REMEDY and they were hours well spent.
There is only one rating I would even consider giving to this book and that is the best possible one. So, I rate FRAGILE REMEDY as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and am sincerely hoping that author MARIA INGRANDE MORA is planning to write additional books in this series. I will be first in line to grab a copy of any book she writes.
*** Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book *** . .
“He [Nate] longed for the simplicity of believing in something good. He’d seen too much of the bad to have faith.” . “He had no right to love Reed. But the soft, private smile on Reed’s lips when their eyes met still sent a current of affection through him.” . “Nate approached slowly, the way hungry kids stalked sludge-rats.” . “‘They’ll make him sleep like they do in Gathos City.’ His voice went ragged. ‘They’ll cut him apart. What were you thinking coming here?'” . “I feel the need to remind you that my grandmother also believed that the cockroaches in her bedroom were trying to get a look at her knickers.” . .
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Maria Ingrande Mora (she/her) is Content Director at Big Sea, a digital marketing agency in St. Petersburg, Florida. A graduate of the University of Florida, she has been working in digital media since 2002. Maria specializes in identifying brand narratives and translating them into messaging that doesn’t feel like marketing.
Maria is the single mom of a tween and a teen, and the roomate of two cats and two dogs.
She identifies as bisexual, and hopes that it isn’t super weird of her to outright say, because representation and visibility matter.
If she isn’t writing, revising, or at work, please tell her to go to bed.
To learn more about this author, visit the following links:
Seventeen-year-old Meadow Sircha watched her mother die from the wilting sickness. Tormented by the knowledge that the emperor failed to import the medicine that would have saved her, she speaks out at a gathering of villagers, inciting them to boycott his prized gladiator tournament.
But doing so comes at a steep cost.
Arrested as punishment for her impulsive tongue, Meadow finds herself caught up in the kind of danger she’s always tried to avoid. After a chance meeting with an enigmatic boy, she’s propelled on a perilous trek across the outer lands. But she soon unearths a staggering secret: one that will shift her world—and the kingdom—forever.
Filled with longing and heart, surprise and wonder, A SHIFTING OF STARS is the first book in Kathy Kimbray’s gripping Of Stars trilogy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kathy Kimbray is a YA author from Australia.
She loves summer, dancing and dreaming up big ideas. A SHIFTING OF STARS is the first book in her thrilling new YA fantasy series.
In the dull, everyday world, seventeen-year-old Rose Evermore struggles to plan beyond her final year of high school.
But when fire suddenly obeys her every command and her dreams predict the future, she becomes hungry for more of this strange power.
Under her dreams’ guidance, Rose lands in the fantasy realm of Lotheria–with a tagalong. Tyson, her best friend since childhood, winds up there with her, just as confused and a hell of a lot more vulnerable. In Lotheria, Rose is welcomed and celebrated as a fire mage at the Academy, while the very un-magical Tyson is forced into hiding under threat of death from the masters of Rose’s new school.
As Rose’s talent in fire magic draws unwanted attention and Tyson struggles to transition from high school student to blacksmith, Rose must find a way to return Tyson to their own world before the masters discover and execute him–no matter the cost.
Renee April is the author of the young adult fantasy novel, Her Crown of Fire. In addition to being an avid reader and writer, she streams games badly on Twitch and acts as dungeon master for her D&D group. As a result, she spends far too much time in fantasy realms.
She can be found on various writing sites such as Wattpad and Goodreads, but usually lurks on Twitter to hand out bad advice and genuine sympathies.
To learn more about this author, visit the following links: