50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Saturday Reviews

Rebirth of the Gangster #6: Dennis by CJ Standal and Juan Romera (Review)

Saturday Review


Genre: Crime, Comic
Publisher: C.J. Standal Productions
Publication Date: June 26, 2017
Format: PDF
Pages: 24
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About the Book

“Meet the Family”, Rebirth of the Gangster’s first story arc, comes to an explosive close!

Sick of being the victim, Marcus finally decides to take matters into his own hands.

Andrea is getting antsy in her role as a trophy wife.

Linda must deal with the fallout of her relapse from the last issue.

Lorena continues her investigation into Hunter, talking to an unexpected informant.

Dennis, an old friend of Hunter’s, gets out on parole and tries to walk the straight and narrow, but faces a fork in the road when he runs into Hunter again.

And Hunter is about to escalate his plans for revenge: there will be no turning back from his actions as someone pays the ultimate price!

My Rating

5 Stars

My Review

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

Well damn, this was an entirely different issue than the first five, for sure.

So it is becoming more obvious that Hunter is very dangerous. Whether he is a criminal or not, that boy has vengeance on the mind.

Although this focused on meeting a particular character, Dennis; what stuck out to me the most was how oblivious Marcus is to his new “friend” Hunter. Despite Marcus’ parent’s trying to prevent him from destruction.

Looking forward to more issues!

Where to Buy

Amazon CAN | Amazon US | B&N

About the Author

I love writing in all sorts of playgrounds: Rebirth of the Gangsters  is my first comic book, and I’ve been published by Slant magazine: https://www.slantnews.com/user/cj.standal

You can also find me on Philip Smith’s site promoting indie authors:
http://www.philipsmith.eu/kindle-ebook/rebirth-gangster-meet-family-marcus

I’m also a high school English teacher: next year I’ll be teaching a graphic novel course; in the past, I’ve taught a hip-hop course; and I educate the youth about other valuable things, like Shakespeare.

Thanks,
CJ.

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50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Saturday Reviews

Titanborn by Rhett C. Bruno (Review)

Saturday Review

 
Genre: 
Science Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Hydra
Publication Date: June 21, 2016
Pages: 201
Format: Mobi
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About the Book

In this gritty and innovative science-fiction thriller in the vein of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, turmoil on one of Saturn’s moons rattles Earth’s most powerful citizens—and draws one planet-hopping rogue into a fight he never saw coming.

Malcolm Graves lives by two rules: finish the job, and get paid. After thirty years as a collector, chasing bounties and extinguishing rebellions throughout the solar system, Malcolm does what he’s told, takes what he’s earned, and leaves the questions to someone else—especially when it comes to the affairs of offworlders.

But his latest mission doesn’t afford him that luxury. After a high-profile bombing on Earth, the men who sign Malcolm’s paychecks are clamoring for answers. Before he can object, the corporation teams him up with a strange new partner who’s more interested in statistics than instinct and ships them both off to Titan, the disputed moon where humans have been living for centuries. Their assignment is to hunt down a group of extremists: Titanborn dissidents who will go to any length to free their home from the tyranny of Earth.

Heading into hostile territory, Malcolm will have to use everything he’s learned to stay alive. But he soon realizes that the situation on the ground is much more complex than he anticipated . . . and much more personal. (via Goodreads.)

My Rating

4.85 Stars

4 half stars

My Review

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

This, as a total science fiction nerd, was a wonderful mashup Captain Mal and Jayne from Firefly, BladeRunner and a little of Mad Max mushed in to add interest. Especially with Earthian’s surviving after a meteorite strike.

The one thing made very prominent by the storyline is how much the alien species was displaced on Saturn. Ringers, as they were called. Humans had arrived to build colonies and gather gases from the rings of Saturn. In doing so, Humans displaced the alien species already living there and spread their illnesses to the species. The Ringer’s seemed to have a very low immunity to human illness. Which is what happened when settlers encountered the Native American’s.
But also, with the way that the world is going right now, this also struck a cord. The feelings from the immigrants and from the countries accepting immigrants was seen in this novel as well.
I do always enjoy when current events can ring true and loud involving stories.

Malcolm is truly the anti-hero. He is a true bounty hunter and rarely cared about anyone except doing his job and getting paid. Except maybe his daughter, who is considered illegitimate, because she was born outside of a human colony.

Then add in the almost cyborg Zhaff (who is actually human) to the mix and you have an interesting team. Especially with Zhaff’s very to the letter way of doing things and annoying everyone in the vincinity. I was pretty sure Malcolm’s eyeballs were going to roll out of his head. It was truly comedic at times.

But that ending! Come on! Now I need to see where the story goes! Sigh.

Where to Buy

Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the Author


Rhett is a Sci-fi/Fantasy author currently living in Stamford, Connecticut. He is represented by Dystel & Goderich out of NYC and his published works include books in the Amazon Bestselling CIRCUIT SERIES (Published by Diversion Books) and TITANBORN SERIES (Random House Hydra). He is also one of the founders of the popular science fiction platform, Sci-Fi Bridge.

Rhett has been writing since he can remember, scribbling down what he thought were epic short stories when he was young to show to his friends and family. When he reached high school he decided to take that a step further and write his first novel. After the encouragement of his favorite English teacher, he decided to self-publish the “Isinda Trilogy” so that the people closest to him could enjoy his early work.

While studying architecture at Syracuse University, he continued to write as much as he could, but finding the time during the brutal curriculum proved difficult. It wasn’t until he was a senior that he decided to finally pursue his passion for Science Fiction. After rededicating himself to reading works of the Science Fiction authors he always loved, (Frank Herbert, Timothy Zahn, Heinlein, etc.) he began writing “The Circuit: Executor Rising”, the first part of a space opera series.

Since then he’s been hired by an Architecture firm in South Norwalk, CT. But that hasn’t stopped him from continuing to work on all of the countless stories bouncing around in his head. He’s also recently earned  a Certificate in Screenwriting from the New School in NYC, in the hopes of one day writing for TV or Video Games.

Connect with Rhett

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

 

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book Reviews · Excerpts · Saturday Reviews

Coyote by David L. Foster (Review)

Saturday Review


Genre: Science Fiction, Horror, Post-Apocalyptic
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 6, 2016
Pages: 249
Format: ePub
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About the Book

In the territory formerly known as America, a young woman is one of the few to survive the destruction of twenty-first-century civilization. Now she must live through the aftermath of the tragedy known only as the Fall. In a world where technology no longer functions, where most people have disappeared, and where creatures of nightmare roam free, can her strength and determination keep her alive? And could the characteristics that kept her so isolated in the past now become advantages?

This is the situation in which Coyote finds herself, and these volumes chronicle her transition from a teen unable to fit in with society to the hero responsible for saving what remained of humanity.

Many may have heard, in full or in part, the story of Coyote and her companions as they struggled to bring human civilization back from the ashes of destruction so many years ago. But here we have the story told in the words of the original sources—the heroine and her companions themselves. This first volume of the Tales of Coyote recounts the early stages of Coyote’s journey across a newly devastated land as well as the early stages of her journey from isolated teen to leader of the survivors whose names are legend to us now.

The accounts presented here, written independently by Coyote and her companions and posthumously published, have now been brought together for the first time—woven to give the reader a new depth and insight into the story of Coyote. It is the story of all humanity’s struggle for survival and freedom after the Fall.

My Rating

4.75

4 Stars

Review

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

At first, I wasn’t really sure what to make of this novel. The main character, who is clearly in her mid-teens, often refers to herself in the third person. Which can be a little off putting at first.

However, do not let that deter you from you reading this novel because it was one of the best post-apocalyptic stories I have read in a really long time. Mainly because it didn’t deal with the typical apocalypse. I’m not sure where these mutated bug things came from but that spider isn’t for the faint of heart!

She, or Coyote as she is nicknamed because she’s borderline feral, is someone who isn’t really a people person, by any means. She spends her early life trying to avoid emotional connections to people, and with the Fall, she ends up being a leader of a rag-tag group, including a dog aptly named Dog.

I definitely enjoyed the connection Coyote had with the dog. They understood each other, defended one another and it was clear she and Dog had a deep connection.

“Suddenly that joy needed to come forth. She yelled, she cried, she howled. It was a combination of exhaustion and exultation, mixing together in a roar that burst from her lungs, giving voice to the storm within. The dog joined her, raising its own voice in the same song of its distant ancestors had sung over their own kills. The others looked on, all slumped against the walls, not understanding. But it did not matter. She understood. She and the dog.”

Coyote and the group (Bait, Mule, Medic, Professor and Beast) fumble around this new world trying to find a purpose other than just basic survival. In it, they found friendship and family. I definitely cannot wait to read more about Coyote!

Where to Buy

Amazon CAN | Amazon US

About the Author


David L. Foster is the author of over thirty New York Times bestsellers, including…

Wait, no. That’s somebody else. My ego is smaller than that opening statement, and so are my accomplishments. I’m a pretty average person with a day job and a family, a house and a dog, living in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon.

Everyone has something that makes them a little bit unique, though, right? For me, it’s my obsession with books. I read one or two books each week, reading while drifting off to sleep, while eating lunch, while waiting in the parking lot for the kids to come out of school… you know—a lot.

Not only does this make for a pricey habit, buying all these books, but it leaves me thinking about characters and stories all the time. Some of these characters and stories even get written down.

So that’s me: a guy with a bit of a book obsession who likes to write stories. Just by the fact that you’re here, reading this, I’m guessing that you like to read stories. Maybe we can help each other out.

Connect with David

Website | Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book Reviews · Saturday Reviews

Incantations by Erik Straker

Saturday Review

 
Genre: 
Horror, Thriller
Publisher: Dark Wonderland Publishing
Publication Date: February 29, 2016
Pages: 186 pages
Format: ePub
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About the Book

She called for her sister…
Someone else answered.

Sisters Angela and Lillian Tremblay return to Summerhaven, New Hampshire, after sixteen years away, ready to face the secrets and half-forgotten memories from their childhood.

One winter’s day, Angela finds Lillian dead in the basement of their family home. The police are convinced it’s a suicide, but the town’s residents know better. The house once belonged to an ancient woman who killed children and bathed in their blood. A woman known as the Summerhaven Witch.

When a local woman with psychic abilities connects Angela’s past to her present, the truth threatens to push Angela over the edge.

Memories can scar. Secrets can kill.

The only thing left is for Angela to speak the words that will allow her to talk with the dead.

She must speak the incantations.

My Rating

5 Stars

My Review

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

All I can say is wow. Wow, this was totally worth the sleepless night. It wasn’t really a book that I could put down if I wanted to. It begged me to finish it.

Every character, even minor characters, were incredibly well developed and complex. Each character had its own story and reason for being in the main story itself. But for me, it was the psychic Viviana, Angela and the Summerhaven Witch that stood out the most.

You know those stories and movies where the house is the culprit, this was very similar although it was the ghost of the witch who was causing it. The house just seemed to suck up the bad energy and hold it within its walls.

When I think of the witch, I think of “The Conjuring” and the witch in that. Both were equally terrifying and their living energy and dead energy they left in the two houses.
But the Summerhaven Witch was terrifying in her ability to make people do things they normally wouldn’t like Lillian committing suicide.

“The sound of footsteps came to her, sharp and clear, from upstairs. She moved to the left enough to see up the stairs and through the rungs of the banister. It was dark, but not too dark to see dirty jeans and work boots walk out of the shadows and come into view.

Angela’s heart jumped to her throat and lodged there, choking off any chance of a scream or a cry of surprise. Those jeans. Those work boots. They didn’t belong to just any guy. They belonged to a man who had been dead for sixteen years.

Father? Angela thought incoherently. Oh no, is it Father?” (page 77)

Angela was definitely the star of the show. She was tough and she didn’t let the witch or house win. She called for her sister and faced down what answered instead. Also, creepy basements. *Shudder*.

My only problem was the ending was strange. It didn’t really fit with the rest of the story itself. It did conclude that the story was written in a blog post format and a tale being told, but it just didn’t fit in with the energy of the story.

But either way, I am looking forward to reading more by Erik Straker in the future!

Where to Buy

Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Alibris | IndieBoundBarnes & Noble

About the Author


Erik Straker was born in South Carolina in 1977. A rich Southern history full of ghosts and haunts has served as inspiration ever since.

He is the author of the dark poetry collection Fairy Tale Destruction as well as the novelette, Incantations. He writes mostly in the horror and dark fantasy genres.

Erik went to film school for a number of years and applies what he learned about film to his writing, using a predominantly visual style. Coming from a background of film and art, Erik has other projects in the works besides just his future novels. Graphic novels, short films, music albums and other artistic endeavors are completely up for grabs.

His dismal world views are ever-present throughout his art and writing. Despite this, he is a fairly normal guy who loves comedy as much as horror and is not at all “Goth” or “Emo.”

Writing is his full-time love, and he works to perfect his craft every day. When not writing, he enjoys comic books, movies, music, and family time.

Erik lives in the Western Maryland area.

Connect with Erik

Website | Amazon | Goodreads | Twitter

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Saturday Reviews

Milk Teeth: Stories with Bite by Lizella Prescott

Saturday Review

 
Genre: 
Fantasy, Fairy Tales
Publisher: Hungry Lizard Press
Publication Date: June 7, 2017
Pages: 58
Format: ePub
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2

A sorceress gets married and forgets her powers. A prince fears true love’s kiss. A little mermaid is hungry for something a little strange. A swamp witch takes a messy stand. All of these stories are new takes on classic tales, meandering down unlit paths only fit for monsters, fools, and the brave.

At 58 pages, this collection of 12 bite-sized tales can be consumed in a single sitting. Or read one story each night at bedtime, while you sip a cup of herbal tea.

 

1

5 Stars

my-review

I received this eBook from Book Review 22 in exchange for an honest review. 

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I absolutely love retellings of fairy tales. Whether they’re full-length retellings or short and … sweet retellings.

The tales in this short book were all familiar tales that we grew up on. Some that have become simple with Disney but others remain in the pages of the more complex Brother’s Grimm Fairy Tales. Either way, they’re familiar. However, they’re not the tales you grew up with. Ms. Prescott gives the Brother’s Grimm a run for their money with her tales of witches planting milk teeth for the future to the Frog Prince who may actually fear True Loves Kiss and a Little Mermaid with interesting tastes. Familiar tales with new twists and incredible imagery!

What I really enjoyed was some of the tales had a more modern spin on them and faced some of the concepts that modern society faces. But at the same time, some stayed within the realms of fantasy.

Definitely try out this book if you are seeking a short read or like the synopsis said, spread it out each night and enjoy the tales.

Where to Buy

Amazon CAN | Amazon US

3


Lizella writes a dark and tasty blend of fantasy, suspense, and experimental short fiction. She’s also partial to epic poetry, Greek mythology, and anything Dystopian. You can read her work here.

When she’s not dreaming up new ways to torture fairy princesses, Lizella writes business journalism under a different pseudonym and tries to keep up with one husband, two kids, and four large dogs.

Connect with Lizella

Medium | GoodReads

 

 

 

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book to Movie Reviews · Saturday Reviews

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

Book to Movie

This is a new series as I go through the books that were turned into movies that I’ve enjoyed.

 
Genre: 
Middle Grade/Young Adult, Fantasy, Classics
Publisher: Dutton Children’s Books
Publishing Date: 1997 (originally pub 1979)
Format: Paperback (own copy)
Pages: 396
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My Rating

4.50 Stars

4 half stars

About the Book

This epic work of the imagination has captured the hearts of millions of readers worldwide since it was first published more than a decade ago. Its special story within a story is an irresistible invitation for readers to become part of the book itself. And now this modern classic and bibliophile’s dream is available in hardcover again.

The story begins with a lonely boy named Bastian and the strange book that draws him into the beautiful but doomed world of Fantastica. Only a human can save this enchanted place–by giving its ruler, the Childlike Empress, a new name. But the journey to her tower leads through lands of dragons, giants, monsters, and magic–and once Bastian begins his quest, he may never return. As he is drawn deeper into Fantastica, he must find the courage to face unspeakable foes and the mysteries of his own heart.

Readers, too, can travel to the wondrous, unforgettable world of Fantastica if they will just turn the page….

My Review

Growing up, The Neverending Story (especially the first movie) was part of the collection of movies that would single-handedly corrupt me for life. Labyrinth was the first and foremost, if you needed to know. Haha. No shame in the horrible sobbing because of the loss of Artax. (His death is much different in the book.)
Although I must say that it was the first two Neverending Story movies that enthralled me. The third subsequent movie was not to my taste. Falkor’s voice in it, shudder.

When I learned that the movies had a book, I had spent many years looking for said book. It was on that “if I find it, no matter the price, I will get it” list that I have in my head. This list annoys my dad’s partner because when she asks, I can never think of what is on the list. When I see the books, I know.

Anyhow, in a magic second hand store is where I found The Neverending Story. My friend Jamie and two of his friends and myself had a day of books, comic book stores and really good food. I found my precious in this store, nestled between other classic stories I had very little interest in. I may have squealed a little and danced a small “I found it!” jig. This is entirely out of character for me as I have agoraphobia and social phobia, and was gazed upon with amusement. I do this when I see other shinies that I want. Shiniiiies! (If you play Guild Wars 2, you will understand.)

Book Bastian, is possibly the most unlikable character. While I understand he is neglected emotionally by his father and horribly bullied; he is just the most unattractive of characters. He is spoiled, sullen, and very selfish. As the book goes on, he does become more unlikable. I’m sure he was written that way for the book to shape him but ugh.
The first movie, which features a moderate portrayal of the first half of the book, movie Bastian was much more tolerable. He was more bookish and a little more rebellious in the movie. He wasn’t as insufferably selfish and spoiled. But he was horribly bullied, the poor thing. I enjoyed his vast book knowledge as well.
When the second half of the story came, Bastian was even more insufferable. I guess that is because AURYN was stealing his memories every wish he made, but gah. Even the movie version of Bastian was as terrible. He treated his friends terribly and linked up with the beautiful but dangerous Xayide. The movie’s second half was a very loose portrayal of the second half of the book.
The ending for Xayide in the book was a little dark, but the movie ending was perfect. Especially because she used her charms and trickery to lure Bastian into using AURYN more and more.

Like most fairy tales, each story has a moral to it. The first half of the book talks about a world where children are growing up surrounded by an electronic world and forget about the written worlds. Thus Fantastica/Fantasia begins to disappear into “nothingness”. The werewolf in the movie and book represented the dreaded The Nothing that was devouring the world. In the book it was a being that could walk in both the fantasy world and the human world, and he was to destroy Atreyu to prevent Atreyu and Bastian from finding the cure for the Child-Like Emperess. Although, who the heck names their child Moonchild? At the time of the movie, Bastian’s mother would have been too old for the days of the Hippie’s and their unique names for children.
While the second half of the book and movie, it was a moral of not allowing yourself to get lost and to forget your world. As Bastian lost his memories of his family and life outside Fantastica/Fantasia, but it taught him that his father truly did care for him.

I honestly wouldn’t recommend either the movies or the book for anyone under the age of 8 or 9. Even then, it might be pretty difficult for them to understand. Whoever translated the story from German managed to use words that are difficult to understand, even as an adult. Thank you translator. But I do recommend it as a read for your children. It is a great book to awaken a love of fantasy and because it is a never-ending story, it is one they can go on again and again.

Where to Buy

Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Chapters/Indigo

About the Author

 Michael Andreas Helmuth Ende was a German writer of fantasy and children’s literature. He was the son of the surrealist painter Edgar Ende. He died in Stuttgart (Germany) of stomach cancer.

Ende was one of the most popular and famous German authors of the 20th century, mostly due to the enormous success of his children’s books. However, Ende was not strictly a children’s author, as he also wrote books for adults. Ende claimed, “It is for this child in me, and in all of us, that I tell my stories,” and that “[my books are] for any child between 80 and 8 years” (qtd. Senick 95, 97). Ende’s writing could be described as a surreal mixture of reality and fantasy. The reader is often invited to take a more interactive role in the story, and the worlds in his books often mirror our reality, using fantasy to bring light to the problems of an increasingly technological modern society.

Ende was also known as a proponent of economic reform, and claimed to have had the concept of aging money in mind when writing Momo. He was interested in and influenced by anthroposophy. (via GoodReads )

http://www.michaelende.de/

 

 

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Curiosity Quills Press · Saturday Reviews

Dawn of the Vie by Laura Diamond

Saturday Review

 
Genre: 
Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date: October 3, 2016
Format: ePub
Pages: 276
Add to Good Reads

1

4 Stars

2

Since their Arrival, immortal alien Vie rule the planet. Enslaved humans are their servants, entertainment, and food. Anemies—humans with various types of anemia—are exterminated. Their nutritionally deficient blood is useless to the Vie. Or so it’s thought…

Alex, an Elite Vie, is part scientist, part Raid Specialist, and part drug addict. He knows Anemie blood is valuable—as a drug. Rather than blindly carrying out his boss’s kill order, he spares a few Anemies, not only for study, but also for his own private stock.

The more Anemie blood Alex drinks, the more he slips into delusion, and the more his double life threatens to crumble. But quitting Anemie blood is not an option. There’s no rehab for his condition.

When Alex tastes Justin’s blood, his hallucinations bleed into reality…

Anemie Justin knows he’s living past his expiration date. It becomes a guarantee when he’s bitten by Alex during a raid and infected with the Vie’s toxin. Alex adds insult to injury by promising Justin a second chance—a cure if he agrees to be a lab rat. And a mule…of his own blood.

The only leverage Justin has is a stake and a serious lack of self-preservation.

GAME ON.

my-review

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

What if vampiric aliens came to Earth, enslaved the healthy human’s and cast out unhealthy humans to the slums? Well if that was to happen, then the future would be this book.

The Vie control everything, including free will and right down to feeding what the author calls “Anemies.”
Healthy humans are the slaves to the Vie. They are their food source and they take care of their homes. The Anemies are humans who have varying degrees of anemia. Clearly the Vie prefer the hemoglobin in the blood of the humans, so the lack of isn’t as appetizing to them.

In comes Justin, an Anemie, and his little sister Sammie who is also an Anemie. They’re hiding in a building to sleep when the Vie conduct a raid and we’re introduce to Alex, an Elite Vie with a taste for Anemie blood. It is a drug to their kind. It becomes obvious why the Vie then raid the Anemie slums, to replenish their drug habits.

Alex takes Justin’s little sister Sammie, after he bites her and challenges Justin to find him. To which Justin happily does and thus finds out that Alex has more of a hand in the care for Anemie and that he has motives for Justin.

What I enjoyed the most about this book was that it was told in a masculine voice. Although Justin is supposed to be 15, I found that his voice was that of someone much older. I would say 18 or 19.
I actually found Justin to be a little grating on the nerves with his constant paranoia. While I understand that the Anemie’s fear the Vie and Justin has a reason to hate Alex, it was just grating how paranoid he was.

Now Alex is the fascinating character. For someone who has everything they could wish for, he develops a guilty conscience. However, what ever his motives are, they remain pretty much unknown. Especially involving Justin’s sister, Sammie.
Sammie remains something that Alex can hold over Justin, so it does make Alex a little iffy.

Sara, Alex’s human slave, became a love interest for Justin. She seemed to be a background character more, at least until the end of the novel. She was mostly just the pretty slave girl. Her personality didn’t really develop until later on. A lot of that was probably because the Vie have the ability to trance their slaves, so that took away their free will to be themselves.

My only wish is that there had been more focus on the scenery. The world building, involving the Vie and the Anemies had been great, but the scenery didn’t really match it. Of course they were building this biodome over the city to block out UV lights, but the city itself wasn’t really described. It would have been nice to see the city itself as well.

However, it will be interesting to see where Justin, Sara and Alex go from here.

where-to-buy

Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Chapters | Barnes & Noble | Alibris | Indie Bound

3

Laura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist currently specializing in emergency psychiatry. She is also an author of all things young adult—both contemporary and paranormal. An avid fan of sci-fi, fantasy, and anything magical, she thrives on quirk, her lucid dreams, and coffee. When she’s not working or writing, she can be found sniffing books and drinking a latte at the bookstore or at home pondering renovations on her 225 year old fixer upper, all while obeying her feline overlords, of course.

Connect with Laura

Website | Good Reads | Twitter | Facebook

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Saturday Reviews

The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith

Saturday Review

 
Genre: 
Fantasy, Romance, Retelling
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 2, 2013
Format: ePub
Pages: 155
Add to Good Reads
Buy on: AmazonAmazon US

1

3.85 Stars

3 half stars

2

What happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone?

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:

The king is dead.

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means?

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

my-review

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

You know, I was always one of those kids who wondered what happened AFTER the fairy tale was finished. Did they really live happily ever after? What problems did they encounter in their future? How many kids did they have and so on. I’m really glad when authors take the chance to write a retelling of a fairy tale and add their own spin on it. I enjoyed Queen Snow White from David Meredith’s point of view.

This story definitely tugged on the heart strings though. No shame, lots of feels. I definitely cried with Snow White when she was sifting through her grief with the mirror.

This Snow White was more feminine and naive. She had to learn to be a wife, a Queen and eventually a mother. She had many hiccups and clearly struggled with her title, despite her bringing down her step-mother to attain that title.

I do warn you, this Snow White is in a very deep state of grieving. Despite it being a year since her Prince Charming passed away, she stills mourns his loss. Her grief is overwhelming which might make her seem like a simpering, whiny woman. But from the reflections of her past with her Prince, he was her only stability after her step-mother. That loss of stability can be devastating and understandably so. It is important to try to see it from that aspect as well. Everyone grieves differently.

What shocks me, though, is that this won an award and it had so many grammatical errors. I hope the finished copy is more polished than the one I received. It made it difficult for me to rate this because of that. Especially because I enjoyed the story and grieved along with Snow White when she talked about her past with her husband. I also grieved for the small Princess that suffered so greatly at the hands of her step-mother. That people did nothing to help her, much of that was because they couldn’t. It is definitely a heart string tugging story. I just wish a little more finesse was put into it.

Either way, it was a good story. If you enjoy a good retelling of a fairy tale and enjoy seeing the conclusion of what happens to the Fairy Tale princesses, this is definitely the story for you.

3


David Meredith is a writer and educator originally from Knoxville, Tennessee. He received both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from East Tennessee State University, in Johnson City, Tennessee as well as a Tennessee State Teaching license. He is currently a doctoral student in Educational Leadership. On and off, he spent nearly a decade, from 1999-2010 teaching English in Northern Japan, but currently lives with his wife and three children in the Nashville Area where he continues to write and teach English.

Connect with David

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50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Curiosity Quills Press · Saturday Reviews

Myths of Mish by Katie Hamstead

Saturday Review

 
Genre: 
New Adult, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date: March 28, 2017
Format: ePub
Pages: 281
Add to Good Reads

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

4.75 Stars

4 half stars

2

Hansel and Gretel Herrscher survived the witch in the woods, but the experience has made Hansel paranoid for the past ten years. He sees dark magic at every turn. When Gretel has a marriage arranged to a much older man, and Hansel discovers he’s about to be sent halfway across the galaxy, he knows something sinister is afoot.

Wilhelmine Nordon has plenty of experience with Hansel’s quirkier side. So when she catches him and Gretel running away in the middle of the night, she follows to keep them from getting killed. The siblings have never left the capital of Mish on their own, so they need a babysitter. Except when she’s discovered, Hansel gives her his usual cold shoulder, and Gretel secretly begs her to take them back.

The problem is, Hansel’s paranoia turns out to be well founded, and they’re all being hunted.

my-review

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

Thank you, Katie Hamstead, for having a deep love for Firefly and continuing to use it as inspiration in her stories. I love it and it completely fills that Space Cowboy and Steampunk love that I have.

Hansel and Gretel, we’re all familiar with that story. House made of gingerbread and a witch captures them to eat them. Well, the story happened. Now Hansel and Gretel are all grown up.
Hansel’s father and stepmother plan to marry Gretel off to a much older man, and the father of Gretel’s friend Mina. Hansel tries to stop it and takes off with his sister to save her. Ever since he returned from the witches house, he has been highly suspicious of his parents, especially his step mother. If something traumatic like that happened to you or I, we would be just as suspicious too.

However, Hansel is one of the most disagreeable characters ever. He is neurotic to the point of insanity. He is also really, really rude to Mina. Some of that is because he had forgotten she had grown up and was her own person, not some fourteen year old girl with silly fantasies in her mind. But you know, the bigger the jerk, the harder they fall… right?
It would have been nice to see Gretel in a different light. She kind of took a back burner to Hansel. In that, she seemed meek and naive. At least until much later in the book when she began to truly shine.
Mina, she was the best character. She was everything people look for in a character. She was bad ass, head of her own naval ship, in league with the pirates and could handle herself easily. She also managed to keep Hansel at an arm’s length without revealing her feelings.

I truly enjoyed the mixing of fairy tales and myths in this. Mermaid’s and siren’s was perfect to add into the tale. Especially with siren’s. It was a perfect Brother’s Grimm tale with that. Also, nothing like evil step parents!

I totally look forward to seeing where Ms. Hamstead takes her stories. I hope to see more myths and fairy tales retold. I do enjoy a good retelling!

where-to-buy

Amazon CAN | Amazon US 

 

3

Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush,” and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.
After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughters, and their dogs.
She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing.
When her debut novel, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, climbed into bestselling status, she believed she was onto something, and now has a slew of novels available, and is published through Curiosity Quills Press, Soul Mate Publishing, and REUTS Publishing.
Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports, and be a good wife and mother. She now works as an office lady at an elementary school to help support her family. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Curiosity Quills Press · Saturday Reviews

Princess of Tyrone by Katie Hamstead

Saturday Review


Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date: March 31, 2016
Format: ePub
Pages: 263 pages
Add to Good Reads

1

5 Stars

2

Apolline is happy hunting magical creatures on her pirate infested outer-perimeter planet. She is a fantastic shot, and doesn’t flinch at the blood and guts of her kills. Never once did she consider she could be the missing Princess of Tyrone.

All her life, she has heard the story of the Princess, cursed to sleep for eternity, unless her betrothed, the Prince of Oran, gave her true love’s kiss. Although Apolline knows she is betrothed, she thinks her fairy guardians arranged it out of ignorance of human ways. The thought she could be a princess is inconceivable.

Then Allard appears. Handsome, charming—but he’s not hers to have. He’s betrothed, too. Her guardians warn her against her new found friendship, but she and Allard meet in secret anyway. Despite her rough exterior, he sees beyond her gun-slinging bravado, and their love blossoms.

But the deadline for the sleeping curse is approaching. If Apolline falls in love with the wrong person, she could end up sleeping forever.

A quirky, adventurous retelling of Sleeping Beauty, with a less than princess-ly princess!

my-review

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

This is a retelling of the tale of Sleeping Beauty. Now, throw away your ideas of how Sleeping Beauty was in the Disney movie and the way the Brother’s Grimm told Sleeping Beauty (thank god, if you know the tale). The heroin in this tale, Apolline, is kick ass. She has absolutely no idea who she is, other than she is an orphan and is being raised by fairy Aunts. Oh and that she is betrothed.
At a young age, to get her out of one of the Aunt’s hair, she is taught to hunt a deer like creature that can only be seen by those who have magic or are around magic enough. She sells the meat and hide of these animals to help out her Aunt’s, financially.
She is a gun toting woman who stands up for herself and keeps herself busy. Hell, she even beat up a pirate when he tried to take off with one of her kills.

At least until Allard, a mysterious soldier, makes his appearance. Then we see Apolline wrestle with herself about her feelings for Allard and her promise to her betrothed. We also learn who Allard is really and how he struggles to remain true to his promise as a Prince and his betrothed.

For me, this had such wonderful tones of Firefly and Doctor Who. Captain Mal would be proud to know Apolline.

I definitely recommend this! I enjoyed the fairies, especially their part in the story!

where-to-buy

Amazon US | Amazon CAN | Indigo | Barnes & Noble | Alibris

3


Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush,” and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.
After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughters, and their dogs.
She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing.
When her debut novel, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, climbed into bestselling status, she believed she was onto something, and now has a slew of novels available, and is published through Curiosity Quills Press, Soul Mate Publishing, and REUTS Publishing.
Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports, and be a good wife and mother. She now works as an office lady at an elementary school to help support her family. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

Connect with Katie

Blogspot | Twitter | Curiosity Quills Press