by April | May 22, 2018 | Book ReviewsPestilence
by Laura Thalassa
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on March 21, 2018
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy
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They came to earth-Pestilence, War, Famine, Death-four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all. When Pestilence comes for Sara Burn's town, one thing is certain: everyone she knows and loves is marked for death. Unless, of course, the angelic-looking horseman is stopped, which is exactly what Sara has in mind when she shoots the unholy beast off his steed. Too bad no one told her Pestilence can't be killed. Now the horseman, very much alive and very pissed off, has taken her prisoner, and he's eager to make her suffer. Only, the longer she's with him, the more uncertain she is about his true feelings towards her ... and hers towards him. And now, well, Sara might still be able to save the world, but in order to do so, she'll have to sacrifice her heart in the process.
Review of Pestilence
Pestilence is the first novel in the Four Horsemen series by Laura Thalassa. The story follows Sara Burn, a young woman who literally draws the “short straw” and must stay behind when her town evacuates due to the impending arrival of the horseman known as Pestilence. Every town and city that Pestilence has ridden through has resulted in a mass number of people perishing from the pervasive and deadly disease- the plague. Sara’s main task is to shoot and kill Pestilence as he enters her hometown- a task she both dreads and anticipates as she believes it is her parents’ only chance for survival.
Naturally, her plan goes awry, and Pestilence not only doesn’t die (despite the horrific way she ended him and his horse), but he kidnaps Sara in revenge and keeps her as his reluctant prisoner. What follows is a haunting adventure plagued (pun intended) with disease, heartache, betrayal, hope, redemption, and love.
There was a surprising amount of cruelty involved in this story. I will admit to being shocked by the actions of Sara when she attempted to kill Pestilence (though I understood her motivation). I couldn’t blame Pestilence for his anger at being attacked in such a way (and it made me cringe a bit when he even implored her for mercy). However, Pestilence more than receives his revenge by his brutal handling of Sara (being dragged by a horse, starved, shot with an arrow, and forced to watch others die slowly from the plague)- honestly, I half wondered if it was even possible for both characters to look past such events, forgive one another, and even fall in love.
While I understood why Sara felt the need to end Pestilence (he was causing widespread disease which was killing off thousands of people), it took me a bit to understand Pestilence. As the story progressed, I began to understand his character a bit more. Pestilence’s actions are divinely perceived as orders from God because of humans’ destructive behavior. In his mind, he believes his actions just. In addition, he isn’t human…he’s lived thousands of years as a “higher being”, so he does not truly understand human love, compassion, and all the emotions and actions that make people truly “great”. While Pestilence began to see a more beautiful side to humanity- through Sara’s eyes and actions, his burgeoning feelings for her, and the compassion in a few of the humans they cross- Sara begins to see parts of humanity that are truly troubling.
One thing that did bother me was the fact that Sara did not think, prior to initially attacking Pestilence, that someone had not thought to do so before. In fact, she didn’t dwell on this possibility until halfway through the novel.
Amid all the conflict, heartache, and turmoil, Pestilence and Sara begin to develop a stronger understanding of one another, and through that, feelings begin to develop into something pure and beautiful.
Pestilence was a deep, thought-provoking, passionate story about two people with vastly different points of view who find ways to overcome adversity and misunderstandings to not only save the world, but find love in the process.
Four stars for Pestilence!
by April | Mar 31, 2018 | Book Reviewsdissent: RENEGADES
by R.J. Furness
Published by Createspace on October 16th 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy
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Ideal for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent!!
"Settle in for daring leads, vicious enemies, and an immersive world. Intriguing twists unfold a well-paced tale of survival and the age-old question, who can you trust?" Emily R. King - Author of The Hundredth Queen Series
R.J. Furness brings you his debut novel, and the first in the DISSENT series. RENEGADES is here!
The Great Freeze changed everything…
“Ellie loved riding the orgo. She had often dreamt about it since being a small child. Now that her father wasn’t around to voice his opinions, she finally could. Twenty years had been a long time to wait.”
Centuries from now, during a new ice age, only three human colonies are known to exist. Scorr Tanta, the first city, is vast and resourceful, whereas Eklips is more desolate. Ellie, on the other hand, works in Port Harmony; a harbour town. As an apprentice orgo-keeper, the only highlight is getting to ride the animals that she cares for. Then, a chance skirmish at the market draws her closer to Haylee and her friends, and everything begins to change. Desperate to join them, Ellie has heard many tales about Haylee and her group of renowned warriors. What she doesn’t know, is how much danger follows them. Ellie is soon tugged into a much different world than she had first assumed. A world built on dissent, and filled with secrets.
‘The story has me gripped and wanting more. I can’t believe I have to wait for the next installments!’
'Thrilling, enthralling and immersive. Dive into a world you won't want to wake up from.'
Dissent Renegades is a novel by author R. J. Furness. The story takes place on Earth- though many years into the future after most of the planet froze over- and follows Ellie- an undercover warden from Scorr Tanta who poses as a caretaker for Orgos (a large creature that can be ridden like a horse, though reminds me of a smaller version of a long-neck dinosaur). During Ellie’s time as an apprentice for an older gentleman named Cedric, Ellie bonds with one of the orgos named Sage. It is also during this mission in Port Harmony that Ellie meets a young man named Evan, a market trader. And while Evan is easy on the eyes, fair mannered, and steady- his sister Haylee hold all the qualities of a fearless leader- strong, dependable, passionate, and loyal. Her followers- Tik, Ditto, and Morrigan are the perfect reflection of her attributes as a leader with their unwavering faith in her, and steadfast loyalty.
This futuristic, post ice-age world is broken into different colonies- Port Harmony, Scorr Tanta, Eklips, and the caves. Dissent Renegades takes you through most of this terrain- which I absolutely loved, as I enjoy a good story that provides an imaginative setting. These different locations also provided an opportunity to bring different characters into the story. The mix of characters was refreshing- for example, this wasn’t a story that focuses strictly on good vs. evil- one set of “good” guys fighting one set of “bad” guys. We were able to see the good, the bad, and the murkiness in between. Rada- the cold, domineering ruler of Scorr Tanta constantly tries to exercise her power and control over her people. She operates behind this veil of strength and competency- though these machinations are really a bid for complete dominion (which Ellie begins to see beyond, thank goodness). Then there’s Kayden, another ruler with a sick appetite for controlling people by making them slaves- and punishing them severely when he sees fit to do so. Finally, Ermine is a warden operating with fierce indignation, anger, and cruelty.
My favorite part of this story? The fact that there really aren’t too many “damsels in distress” who need the guy to come swooping in to save them. On the contrary, the females in this story hold their own and often do all the saving. Ellie is naturally curious, fearless, and begins to see beyond all the lies she was raised believing. She proves her loyalty to Haylee on more than one occasion by saving her life. Though, I suspect Haylee would have managed to make it through some of those situations had she had more time to think of a plan of escape. Haylee knows how to hold her own in a fight and remains strong and confident even in the face of insurmountable odds. Her desire to care for and protect the Elrupe (a different species of beings) also made her a favorite of mine. Ditto also saves the life of a slave girl named Pandra and pays a price that still makes my heart ache to think of it. Also- Pandra with a mace…eh, not something you’re going to want to be on the receiving end of. And Morrigan is fiery and loyal as well. All things considered, the females of this story really carried the true strength and power needed to succeed (sorry Evan and Tik!). And Widget? This little guy cracked me up (seriously though, I need a widget in my life).
The dash of something brewing sweet and beautiful between Ellie and Evan was the perfect little cherry on top of a story that was brimming with adventure and intrigue! Dissent Renegades was an exciting adventure filled with imaginative creatures, breathtaking settings, nail-biting action, and unforgettable experiences! I can’t wait to see where the next adventure takes these characters! And thank goodness for a good story that involves STRONG female protagonists!
FIVE STARS for Dissent Renegades!
by April | Jan 4, 2018 | Book ReviewsClose Liaisons (The Krinar Chronicles: Volume 1)
by Anna ZairesDima Zales
Series: Krinar Chronicles #1
Published by Mozaika Publications on September 5th 2013
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Paranormal, Suspense, Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic, Contemporary, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Twist Me comes an addictive, thrilling tale of dark love set on post-invasion Earth…
In the near future, the Krinar rule the Earth. An advanced race from another galaxy, they are still a mystery to us—and we are completely at their mercy.
Shy and innocent, Mia Stalis is a college student in New York City who's led a normal life. Like most people, she’s never had any interactions with the invaders—until one fateful day in the park changes everything. Having caught Korum’s eye, she must now contend with a powerful, dangerously seductive Krinar who wants to possess her and will stop at nothing to make her his own.
How far would you go to regain your freedom? How much would you sacrifice to help your people? What choice will you make when you begin to fall for your enemy?
Note: This is book 1 of a completed trilogy. All three books are now available.
Review of Close Liaisons
Close Liaisons is the first novel in the Krinar Chronicles series by New York Times bestselling author Anna Zaires. This turbulent story follows Mia Stalis, a young human woman attending college as a psychology major, and Korum- a charismatic, dangerous, and forbidden extraterrestrial. A charmed childhood with loving parents, an impressive college experience, a close best friend, and a future mapped out- Mia has led a decent and peaceful life- though her love-life has been less than ideal. However, this predictable and simple life crashes around Mia due to an unexpected encounter with a man from a distant planet.
Korum is a brilliant extraterrestrial man from a planet called Krina. With his people living freely, and openly, among humans after announcing their presence, Korum can focus on his work as an engineer, while simultaneously trying to discover rebel Krinars and humans. His work inevitably leads to a chance encounter with Mia in a park- which leads to a whirlwind of obsession, passion, betrayal, and an explosive conclusion.
It was fascinating reading and learning about the authors imaginative world of Krinars. I found myself fascinated by the unique technology created by Korum, as well as their idea of “good” food (blech!). Whenever Korum’s obsessiveness and controlling ways irritated me, I had to remind myself that he comes from an entirely different planet. Mia is a well-educated and sensible young woman, however, some of her decisions in the story left me questioning just how sensible she is. It was one of those situations where I had to remind myself that she is, technically, in a very unique situation (you know, practically being kept hostage by a thousand-year-old extraterrestrial man with control issues) which can make rational thought disappear at times. I have to say I was surprised that Mia was able to keep the secret of her unwitting involvement with the rebels all the way until the end- I was so sure she would spill the beans because of how guilty she was feeling.
The story was fast-paced, imaginative, thrilling, and passionate! My love-hate relationship with both characters kept me emotionally invested until the very last page. I can’t wait to see how this delightful slice of cosmic relationship turmoil plays out in the next two books. Eek!
by April | Nov 1, 2017 | Book ReviewsUninvited
by Sophie Jordan
Published by HarperCollins on January 27th 2015
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, General, Romance, Action & Adventure
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From New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan, Uninvited is a chilling and suspenseful story about a girl whose DNA brands her a killer, perfect for fans of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and Confessions of a Murder Suspect.
Davy had everything—a terrific boyfriend, the homecoming crown, a bright future at Juilliard—but when her genetic tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome, she loses it all. Uninvited from her prestigious school, avoided by her friends and family, she is placed in a special class with other "carriers" who are treated like the murderers they someday might become.
Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life and tells her that she alone controls her actions—not the code embedded into her DNA. But even if she can learn to trust him, can Davy trust herself?
Review of Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
Review by: April Hughes
Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
Review of Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
Uninvited is the first novel in the Uninvited series by New York Times best-selling author Sophie Jordan. The story follows Davy, a musical prodigy from a wealthy and respected family. Her life starts off perfect in the novel- the perfect boyfriend, perfect family, perfect school, and perfect friends. Davy herself is beyond reproach. Unfortunately, her ideal life comes crumbling down around her when she is discovered to be genetically flawed.
This story takes place in the not-so-distant future when the “kill” gene is discovered. This gene is found in almost all people with homicidal tendencies. As crime rates climb to staggering numbers, Davy finds herself the victim of judgmental, ignorant, and presumptuous individuals. Everyone diagnosed with the kill gene is treated like lesser beings. I would say the only “positive” outcome of this discovered gene is that Davy meets Sean- another kill gene carrier. Sean basically shows her that just because you’re labeled a certain way by society does not mean you’re necessarily what they claim you are.
I enjoyed the characters- I loved seeing the different dynamic between those who are carriers and those who are considered “normal”. I enjoyed the different locations utilized by the author- the public school with its “cage”, Mount Haven, and the cabin in the woods. Each location brought a new element of intensity and surprise.
The story was fast-paced, action-filled, suspenseful, and provided enough chemistry between Davy and Sean to satisfy the romantic in me. Uninvited ended perfectly! I cannot wait to see how they get themselves out of the situation they are currently in. When the whole world thinks you’re dangerous and wants you eliminated and there’s nowhere truly safe to go- what do you do?
Pick up your copy today on Amazon!
I can’t wait to find out what happens in the sequel titled “Unleashed”.
See my other book reviews here~
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