50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews

Niko by Kayti Nika Raet

Bookreview banner

Niko 
Genre: 
Science Fiction, Dystopian, Fantasy
Publisher: Smashwords
Date of Release: April 29, 2013
Pages: 205 pages
Format: Mobi
Links: WebsiteGoodReadsTwitterFacebook,
Amazon

 

 

 

 

My Rating:
5 Stars

Summary:

“One can live for several weeks without food but only a few days without water, a fact seventeen year old Niko is only too aware of as she struggles to provide for her two younger brothers in a post apocalyptic landscape where the rain burns like acid, food grows increasingly scarce and any Slither that crosses her path is laid low before it can sink its teeth into her.

Then one night everything she’d ever worked for and loved is consumed by a raging fire, leaving her with one brother missing, the other dead and herself gravely injured.

She’s rescued by the Rose Circle, a rogue group of Slither hunters. They sneak her into Amaryllis City, a decadent metropolis where those able to pay the exorbitant entrance fee live a life of relative ease.

But for Niko, Amaryllis City is not the haven she grew up believing it would be and her unique abilities as a Slither hunter make her a particularly visible target to a city with hopes of experimentation, replication and other nasty bits.

All Niko ever wanted to do was find her baby brother, but that’s proving to be harder than expected.”

I received this eBook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This book was…awesome!

I was absolutely riveted by the entire book, from the first page until the end.

A fire devastates Niko’s house while she is out scavenging for food and fighting the creatures that plague her world called Slithers. When Niko arrives on the scene, her neighbours are looking around but not helping. She dives in to rescue her brother’s but can’t find them and soon the smoke inhalation overtakes her.

She wakes up, in a tank of water.
One brother is dead but Niko is pretty sure that the other brother, Jared, is missing and she is determined to get to him.
But she’s in the infamous Amaryllis City, the haven and is surrounded by the Rose Circle. A small group of young adults who can do what others can’t: kill Slithers.

Niko is a unique specimen as she manifested earlier than any of the other Circle group’s in the city. Niko is also incredibly bad ass. She doesn’t take crap from anyone and is fiercely loyal to her family.

The world building in this was phenomenal. Next to the Slither’s, the one thing that was killing people outside of the gates of Amaryllis City is not having fresh water to drink as the water that falls from the sky is acid.

The downside to Amaryllis City is that they keep their Slither killers quite close to them as much as possible while the Outsider’s suffer from regular attacks, dwindling food supplies and a lack of fresh water. Niko just wants out so she can rescue her brother, but it is proving to be a difficult task.

I’m going to assume, but the Slither’s in this story seem like a mutated form of zombie, which is an entirely new take on zombies if so.

I absolutely recommend this book to my fellow dystopian lovers. This is a really great book with a strong heroine, great minor characters, terrifying beasts and a world out to get everyone.

Where to Buy: 

Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Smashwords

About the Author: 

KNROriginally from Brooklyn, New York, Kayti Nika Raet moved down South when she was 11, where she was bitten by the writing bug, as well as other, less friendly insects.
She is the author of the Outsider Chronicles, a five book series starting with NIKO and set in a world where the rain burns like acid and flesh eating monsters roam.
She’s also a reviewer for Readers’ Favorite and has her own Youtube Channel: Kayti Edition.
When she is not hard at work on her fourth book she has fun reading, listening to K-pop, and photography.
Kayti lives in Milledgeville, Georgia.

Advertisements
Spotlight Interview · Spotlight Interview Thursdays

Dagmarth: Escape from Palmar by Joseph Miccolis

glow in the dark

Hi Readers,
I’ve another spotlight interview for you with the author Joseph Miccolis and his dystopian novel Escape from Palmar (Dagmarth #1). Enjoy!

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I was raised in a military family. I relocated seven times, seen families heartbroken by the sacrifices and costs of war, and even experienced my own heartache leaving friendships behind as I moved on to my next home. I did not have the opportunity of living a normal life with a set of friends and developing romantic interests. At the same time, my experiences enabled me to explore outside the isolation of being born and raised in one place. I saw different states, met people of other backgrounds, and encountered cultures that initially seemed strange. I currently reside in Florida. 

2. What inspired you to write?

I believed I would follow in my father’s steps as a Marine, and admired the qualities of those who served. I considered joining after high school. However, I realized my admiration was merely an appreciation excited by cinema and video games. I did not truly appreciate the intense training, demanding sacrifices, and costs of war. This led me to alternatively pursue a college education, where I was fascinated by writing. College writing was my way of sharing personal experiences. I did play with the idea of writing a novel about my past during college. It was not until summer of 2014 that I decided to try.

3. What inspired your novel?

Dagmarth: Escape from Palmar is a riveting novel set in the far future. It captures many elements of a dystopian future fiction work such as post-apocalyptic life, reminiscing the past, and the ongoing battle between power and freedom. It focuses on a young boy forced to live a simple life in hiding. However, uncontrollable events happen and his parents realize the long-known prophecy is inevitable. His father must accept that the boy is the key to winning the war and ensuring freedom for all. This story is unique for three important reasons. First, it is based on a rare past that few people my age lived, but new threats of war lead many young people today on the same path, and more people share my admiration, especially through social media. Second, it offers a look into the struggle of finding oneself on the path of life, and the decision to leave home which any teenager and adult can appreciate. Lastly, Dagmarth: Escape from Palmar is the entrance to the first series that examines war in the eyes of a family and their friends and enemies with magical powers and a touch of comedy, mystery, and romance.

Dagmar
4. What inspired your novel?

Dagmarth: Escape from Palmar is a riveting novel set in the far future. It captures many elements of a dystopian future fiction work such as post-apocalyptic life, reminiscing the past, and the ongoing battle between power and freedom. It focuses on a young boy forced to live a simple life in hiding. However, uncontrollable events happen and his parents realize the long-known prophecy is inevitable. His father must accept that the boy is the key to winning the war and ensuring freedom for all. This story is unique for three important reasons. First, it is based on a rare past that few people my age lived, but new threats of war lead many young people today on the same path, and more people share my admiration, especially through social media. Second, it offers a look into the struggle of finding oneself on the path of life, and the decision to leave home which any teenager and adult can appreciate. Lastly, Dagmarth: Escape from Palmar is the entrance to the first series that examines war in the eyes of a family and their friends and enemies with magical powers and a touch of comedy, mystery, and romance.

5. What is the genre?

Fantasy/Magic/Dystopian

6. What draws you to this genre?

 The ability to use imagination to create new realms, worlds, and societies.

7. How did you develop your plot and your characters?

I started with considering the general storyline, and how I imagined the series flowing from book to book. My impression of this plot was capturing the sudden loss of the ongoing peace, and enhancing that loss with a dramatic change of environment for the characters. This seemed to complement the outlook on the protagonist experiencing a different way of life than others of Dagmarth. I designed the plot to be a story in which there is a call for an escape from Palmar, and the main family will have to deal with the costs of war while protecting their child from the dangerous truth. It seemed to be a clever lead into teenage rebellion when the truth unfolds and he faces the choice of freedom or destiny.

The best approach seemed to be introducing characters with little identity. I wanted to focus more on the events and character reactions than the characters. This way certain characters build identities based on flashbacks and eventually as the story moves forward in present time. It is a prequel story and I did not want to give too much about all characters immediately.

8. What inspired your protagonist?

Kodus. He is a special character for being the main protagonist in my shoes with his own journey and future ready for him. He will encounter similar situations that reflect past experiences, and will handle them his own way.

Kodus stands out because he is engaged in the storyline as me, but he develops his own personality and embraces experiences he chooses. Kodus will distinguish himself from me as his character growth follows his attitude, outlook, and maturity. The experiences facing him in the story are not experiences directly in my past, so it is exciting to see what happens with Kodus as they affect him, change him, and influence him. I join my readers with interest in seeing how Kodus lives his life in this series.

9. What inspired your antagonist?

I am reminded of The Matrix with Neo versus Agent Smith. I appreciate the idea of two sides fighting to defeat the other, and when one thinks about the story there is a realization that both characters are likeable despite their means of winning.

10. What was the hardest part to write in the book?

The beginning!

11. What was your favourite part of your book to write?

The hook!

12. Are you a full time or a part time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?

Part time; Paralegal

JM13. What are you currently reading?

My ongoing draft of “Deadly Embers”

14. Who would you say are your favourite authors?

I appreciate few authors equally.

15. How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?

Not sure.

16. What are your future projects, if any?

I wrote the sequel to Dagmarth: Escape from Palmar which is actually the first main story with Escape from Palmar included. I am going to start writing my debut crime romance thriller independent novel.

17. What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?

Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Goodreads

18. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 

Draw from personal experiences, fantasies, interests. Research the idea to ensure originality. Be persistent with writing and don’t give up on marketing it.

Thank you to Joseph for allowing me the chance to interview him. If you’re into dystopian tales, please be sure to check out his work!

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat

THE

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser: 
pg 146
“What happened to the Slither?” He asked as they rattled past. She wasn’t sure if his eyes were on her or the wheelbarrow, either way she didn’t like it.
“Don’t eat Mabel’s soup!” Lo called out and then they were gone.

 One can live for several weeks without food but only a few days without water, a fact seventeen year old Niko is only too aware of as she struggles to provide for her two younger brothers in a post apocalyptic landscape where the rain burns like acid, food grows increasingly scarce and any Slither that crosses her path is laid low before it can sink its teeth into her.

Then one night everything she’d ever worked for and loved is consumed by a raging fire, leaving her with one brother missing, the other dead and herself gravely injured.

She’s rescued by the Rose Circle, a rogue group of Slither hunters. They sneak her into Amaryllis City, a decadent metropolis where those able to pay the exorbitant entrance fee live a life of relative ease.

But for Niko, Amaryllis City is not the haven she grew up believing it would be and her unique abilities as a Slither hunter make her a particularly visible target to a city with hopes of experimentation, replication and other nasty bits.

All Niko ever wanted to do was find her baby brother, but that’s proving to be harder than expected.

Review to come!

50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Sunday Short and Sweet Review

Werewolves of Chicago: Howard by Faleena Hopkins

Short and Sweet

Genre: Supernatural Romance, Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: Hop Hop Publications
Date of Release: March 27, 2016
Pages: 248 pages
Format: Mobi
Links: Author WebsiteFacebookGood Reads,
Twitter

 

 

 

 

My Rating: 

5 Stars

Summary:
“Curragh, Xavier and Draik made me prove myself. And I changed into something extraordinary.

The strength and speed.
The night vision.
Hearing through walls and even into heartbeats.

All this is new. Strange. FANTASTIC.

Because I’m about to meet HER. The blue-haired girl. Around her, I act totally out of character. I would never hurt her, but HE might. Not every wolf gets a cool name. Not until they’ve earned it.”

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

I don’t know what it is, but nerdy guys gets this girl’s blood flowing. Might be because I’m a nerd myself. Drawn to the similar types. Howard is definitely attractive for his nerdy ways and his extremely awkward being. I was drawn to Howard in Curragh’s story, despite his wolfy-ness, he is endearing and sweet.

After Xavier and Draik take Howard to a club to break his virginity (yeah seriously, haha), Howard meets and locks eyes with her. Yep, the saucy “if you’re looking to get laid, you’re looking at the wrong person” blue haired girl named Alisa. He is inexplicably drawn to her as much as she is to him. Low and behold, they’re mates. Now that is love at first sight. Haha.

The story was getting really good and then it ended. That made me sad. I needed more pages to turn!!!

The only thing that bugged me was…really? That name? Why not Howie or Ward? Without ruining it for everyone, Howard’s new name makes me think of one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (thank you Supernatural and Charmed.)

Despite that, this was a great story. The character development was perfect. Howard just got better. Alisa was the perfect girl for him.
I look forward to reading Xavier and Draik’s stories further. Draik seems like another tough, elusive soul mate type, so that will be interesting.

Where to Buy:

Amazon CAN Amazon US | IndieBound | Barnes and Noble

About the Author:

 Not the most attentive of cooks, I burn toast…and hard-boiled eggs. Yes, it can be done. They make a cool and startling CRACK when the water evaporates and you’re in the other room writing a novel. I write about love, redemption, and often both deliciously entwined.

I believe sex is a part of life. So is drama. Pain. Love. Aching to find that special someone. Taking the leap of faith when you actually do – even if it means getting crushed. Because sometimes…you will be caught when you fall. Life is a grand experiment. A game. And I kinda believe wolves and vampires are real. I’ve certainly met a few zombies and demons. Some of my stories have supernatural things – some just don’t. But they’re all fun as hell.

I’m not only an author. Are you just one thing? Hell no. Check out my acting and filmmaking stuff by copy/pasting this: http://imdb.me/faleenahopkins

Come join the fun on FB where I post hot pics of men. Seriously. It’s kinda my thing.http://facebook.com/authorfaleenahopkins

Spotlight Interview · Spotlight Interview Thursdays

Rarity from the Hollow by Robert Eggleton

glow in the dark

Hi Readers,

I’ve another spotlight interview for you today with Robert Eggleton and his novel Rarity from the Hollow. Enjoy!

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Sure. I earned a Master’s degree in Social work in 1977 and have worked in the field of child advocacy for over forty years. A few months ago, I retired from my job as a children’s psychotherapist in an intensive mental health day program for severely emotionally disturbed kids, many of whom had been abused, some sexually. While I’ve had considerable nonfiction published over the years, all in my field, I didn’t start writing fiction until 2006. Rarity from the Hollow is my debut novel.

2. What inspired you to write ‘Rarity from the Hollow’?

One day in 2006 during a group therapy session, I was sitting around a table used for written therapeutic exercises, and a little girl with stringy, brown hair sat a few feet away. Instead of just disclosing the horrors of her abuse at the hands of the meanest daddy on Earth, she also spoke of her hopes and dreams for the future: finding a loving family who would protect her.

This girl was inspiring. She got me thinking again about my own hopes and dreams of writing fiction, an aspiration that I’d held in since winning the eighth grade short story contest at school when I was twelve years old. My protagonist was born that day – an empowered victim who takes on the evils of the Universe, Lacy Dawn. I began to write fiction in the evenings and sometimes went to work the next day without enough sleep. Every time that I would feel discouraged, when I felt like giving up, I would imagine Lacy Dawn speaking honestly about the barriers that she faced in pursuit of her dream of finding a permanent home. I’ve continued to write about Lacy Dawn and her science fiction adventures when facing real-life barriers to success and happiness that many others face in real-life.

3. What is the genre?

Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction. Let me explain because your readers may not quick identify with such a story. I write adult fiction, not because of its sexual or violent content, although there may be a little here or there, less than in many YA novels, but because the themes, especially the satire, comedy, and social commentary, are for grown-ups.

The term literary refers to the type of story that doesn’t end after the last page of a novel has been read. I admire the writing of Charles Dickens in this regard. He felt that a novel should do more than merely entertain, but his did, very well. Rarity from the Hollow addresses child maltreatment, poverty, PTSD experienced by war veterans, substance abuse…. However, there is nothing preachy in the novel – I don’t take sides on issues and that leaves something up to the readers to contemplate about their own views and feelings. The novel has received some glowing book reviews and the one comment that has cause me to feel most proud has been: “…The author has managed to do what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse, and written about them with tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them… it’s a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy.” Awesome Indies

The term science fiction is well known and has two broad categories: hard and soft. In the 1970s, Ursula K. Le Guin coined the term “social science fiction” and Rarity from the Hollow may fall within that subgenre better than any other. The science fiction is used as a backdrop in the story. It is not hard science fiction that has a lot of technical details, but it is also not convoluted with lineage and unusual names for characters the way that some soft science fiction and fantasy books employ. It is written in colloquial adolescent voice comparable to The Color Purple or the well-known film, Precious that Oprah Winfrey backed into fame, and based upon the 1996 novel, Push by Sapphire (Ramona Lofton). However, again, the tragedy in Rarity from the Hollow is used to amplify subsequent satiric and comedic relief.

4. What draws you to this genre?

I selected the literary science fiction backdrop for this story because it was the best fit by process of elimination. The novel also has elements of horror, mystery, romance, self-help, and thriller. It is not a good example of the historical or western genres, although the social issues that we talked about before have been present throughout history, including in the Wild West.

In today’s reality the systems in place to help maltreated children are woefully inadequate. I felt that the literary, biographical, nonfiction genres wouldn’t work because the story would have been so depressing that only the most determined would have finished it.

I felt that the story had to be hopeful. I wanted it to inspire survivors of child maltreatment toward competitiveness within our existing economic structures, instead of folks using past victimization as an excuse for inactivity. I didn’t think that anybody would bite on the theme of a knight on a white stallion galloping off a hillside to swoop victims into safety, like in the traditional romance genre.  That almost never actually happens in real life, so that genre was too unrealistic as the primary. There was already enough horror in the story, so that genre was out too. What could be more horrific than child abuse?

The protagonist and her traumatized teammates needed fantastical elements to achieve empowerment. But, as in life, one cannot overcome barriers to the pursuit of happiness by simply imagining them away. That’s where the science fiction came into play. It provided a power source. I tied the science fiction to Capitalism because in today’s reality it will take significant financial investment by benefactors to significantly improve the welfare of children in the world. Our governments are unlikely to do so in the near future because of the politics.

ReadersFav5. How did you develop your plot and your characters?

I’ve already mentioned how I wanted Rarity form the Hollow to be hopeful, and how I felt that a depressing story would not achieve the higher purpose of not only sensitizing readers to child maltreatment, but also motivating them toward actually doing something about it – in their own families and communities, as parents and citizens. So, my plot just had to have a happy ending. That was a given from the first word that I wrote on its outline.

I used an outline for the plot with modifications as the story progressed. All of the characters are based on real-life people that I’ve in my service to child victims over the years, with accentuated attributes.

6. What inspired your protagonist?

I’ve also mentioned Lacy Dawn, and how a child in mental health treatment was my inspiration, my role model for living my own life. I love female strength because it has been so undervalued in history.

AIA7. How did you get in touch with your inner villain?

I’ve never met my inner villain, but if I do I’ll commit suicide rather than inflict the meanest daddy on Earth, ever, to continue beyond my own imagination of Rarity from the Hollow. No, wait a minute, I might do worse….

8. What was the hardest part to write in the book?

The third scene of Rarity from the Hollow, Roundabend, was hard for me to write. It is the only violent scene in the novel and so true to life that my eyes would tear up as I worked it – my view of the monitor blurred every time – domestic violence about which I am all too familiar from childhood.

9. What was your favourite part of your book to write?

I love writing, so all of this art is a favorite for me. My favorite of all part of writing was when scenes “magically” come to a wonderful close. I love mini closure, and dislike novels that just title chapters and begin the next as if it was a new chapter just to give readers a place for a bookmark.

10. Are you a full time or a part time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?

Since I’ve retired from my job as a children’s psychotherapist, I have more time to write. However, I’ve mostly been spending my time on self-promotions. I think that I’ve become a more or less full-time amateur publicist without any funds to do so. I would love to become a full-time writer.

11. What are you currently reading?

I’m reading a highly acclaimed book on how to write novels, LOL, a little after-the-fact, except Rarity from the Hollow has received highly significant accolades, so…. Still, I want the next full-length Lacy Dawn Adventure to be based on current thinking in this crazy business.

12. Who would you say are your favourite authors?

I read in all genres, so my favorite authors would be a list so long that it would use up your bandwidth (and your reader’s attention span). I admire Vonnegut above most.

13. How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?

  1. Hitchhiker’s Guide by Douglas Adams (just cool speculative).
  2. Wind in the Willows by Richard Adams (totally sweet adventure).
  3. The Serpent Garden by Judith Riley (romance).
  4. Dominion by Bentley Little (horror).
  5. Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin (LGBTQ).

Of course, this list is totally off the top, including genres, and subject to change momentarily.

14. What are your future projects, if any?

The next Lacy Dawn Adventure, Ivy, has been pending for a while and is subject to my success, or lack thereof, in introducing the prospective series to the world. It asks the question, “How far will a child go to save a parent from addiction?” Of course, I always have several short stories and poems in the works at any given time. In a few minutes after we finish this interview, I’m getting back to finish a fun short story about intergalactic poverty and which I’ll submit to a magazine before its deadline in a few hours. One of my poems, “Our Real Warmth,” just won an international competition (2017 WillyCon, SciFi Fantasy Club) :). I have other to submit with the exact same title (LOL) because real warmth is so personal. Actually, I have so many future projects that it would be impossible to list them all and to not bore your readers. I hope that I live long enough to realize most of them to acknowledgement.

15. What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?

I love personal email, and there is a link on Lacy Dawn Adventures. I’ve always replied, but it is getting somewhat time consuming. I can also be reached at:

Author Facebook

Lacy Dawn Adventures Facebook

You can also tweet:

@robeteggleton1

16. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 

My best advice to aspiring authors is to start young and to stick with it. Since I’ve started on this wild ride to introduce Rarity from the Hollow to the world, I’ve found so many aspiring authors who have given up, never to be heard from again. The process of competing with mainstream conglomerate publishing houses can take a very long time, a platform full, and the most powerful antagonist has less to do with one’s talent than with one’s perseverance. Stick with it, and maybe….

Thank you to Robert for allowing me the chance to interview him. I highly recommend seeking out his novel! – Leticia

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat

THE

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:
pg 48
“Ryan pulled his AIRC from his pocket and looked at it, examining the boxy console in his hands which looked quite different from the sleek ones he had seen Maria and Cam use.
‘I guess I should get a newer version.'”


In the tenth year of the newest athletic craze, the Canadian Scanning Tournament, team Revolution is set to become the National Champion. As the team struggles to mend the divides quickly enveloping them, one team-mate has more than just the responsibility of winning. He must keep a dangerous secret while protecting his team from others in the Underground.

Things slowly slip out of control as sabotage threatens Revolution’s chance of winning the tournament, their career in the CST, and the revealing of a secret which will change Scanning and the multibillion-dollar company that created it. Forever.