This Week’s Read: Restless in Peaceville by Pippa Jay

Restless in PeacevilleWelcome to Peaceville, population 2067 and rising…from the grave…

Luke Chester has had enough. He’s the school geek, the girls laugh at him, he’s lost his dead-end job at the pizza place, and in the midst of the world’s messiest divorce his parents don’t even know he exists. An overdose of his mom’s tranquilizers and a stomach full of whiskey should solve all his problems…

But they don’t. Instead, Luke finds himself booted out of the afterlife for not dying a natural death, with nowhere to go but back to his recently vacated corpse and reality. How the hell is he going to pass for one of the living without someone trying to blow his brains out for being one of the undead?
And it just gets worse. He’s got to fight his own desperate craving to consume the living, evade the weird supernatural hunter who’s having a field day with the new undeads rising, and there’s this creepy black shadow following him around. Add to that the distraction of female fellow undead Annabelle burning to avenge her own murder, and clearly there’s no rest for the wicked. Jeez, all he wanted to do was R.I.P.

 

 

Want your own copy before the review?

Lycaon Press

Amazon 

Amazon UK

Author Bio:

After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include a YA science fiction novel—Gethyon—published through BURST (Champagne Books), a scifi romance novella—Tethered—published by Breathless Press, three self-published short stories (Terms & Conditions Apply, The Bones of the Sea, and Reboot), and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).

You can stalk her at her website http://pippajay.co.uk, or at her blog http://pippajay.blogspot.co.uk, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.

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Carmine Tarrenborough and the Ravenwood Fetch – Cate’s Take

Genre: YA fantasy

Rating: Yay

Carmine Tarrenborough is a courier from the township of Tarrenborough. An orphan, she lives with other orphans who are either teaching, learning, or actually making deliveries. On one delivery to the remote town of Ravenwood, she wrecks her aether-bike, which presents a multitude of problems, including possibly raising ambient aether levels to toxic amounts. Bad, right? Throw in a loveable but daft man named Tomas and a sneaky fae called Alkallen, and…well…

There’s a lot to love about this book. I particularly enjoyed the minor steampunk elements in the aether-bike and how it seemed to have its own personality. Carmine herself is an enjoyable heroine. Spunky,  unforgivingly sarcastic and smarter than she thinks, she definitely drives this first person narrative. At first, when Tomas and then Alkallen were introduced, I feared there would be some kind of love story or triangle or who knows what else, but this is where the book is a breath of fresh air–there’s neither! *Tosses confetti* It’s so refreshing when that happens. Excuse me while I dance a small jig.

The book isn’t without problems, though. At some points, Carmine’s personality can be a touch overbearing. Being in her head can almost feel like yelling at yourself, but at the same time, I don’t feel the story would be as effective in a third person perspective. There are also some flaws in grammar and homonym usage. However, if you can overlook these issues, which in the end are only minor, you will likely enjoy this book.

Get your copy of Carmine at:

Smashwords

Author bio
Katherine Fosso grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana and went to college at Washington University in Saint Louis. There she earned a Bachelors of Science in Psychology, and soon learned that clinical work was not for her. She moved back to Indiana to write, draw, and work, where she lives with her boyfriend and two cats.

This Week’s Read: Carmine Tarrenborough and the Ravenwood Fetch by Katherine Fosso

front coverIt’s not easy living in post-war Lorane. Humanity is just getting back on its feet after hundreds of years in a post-nuclear apocalypse, and the world is finally green again. Still, it isn’t safe. Aside from the ever-present nuclear and aetheric radiation, there’s the supernatural to worry about: strange miasmas, mad aether-wielding Harrows, and the achingly beautiful and deadly Fae.

And trouble never met a girl it liked better than Carmine Tarrenborough. She’s sixteen years old, a weirdness magnet, and a courier. It’s her job to deliver, rain or shine, sleet or hail. But, when a number of people turn up missing and a strange dark figure haunts the roadways at night, she may just have to add solving mysteries to her job description.

Get your copy at:

Smashwords

 

Review: Essenced – Landra’s Take

Rating: Yay

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Review:

Essenced opened with a less then climatic or action packed sequence, and definitely picks up on a slow build. This is a multiple character book and at the start keeping all the names straight was a bit of challenge, yet in most fantasy books a reader should be prepared for a plethora of characters.

The story is in a third person POV, which at times read a bit omniscient, but the blend between the two worked for me. If you’re a stickler for POV’s staying consistent through a story this may not be a book you want to pick up. The narratives and action keep things from wandering too far into internal, and I didn’t find an issue with this either. The main character the story focuses on, AJ, a sixteen year-old suddenly imbued with the power of a supernatural creature. She is the only one, besides her trainer Julius, who we get to dive into internal thought with. There are additional secondary character’s who get a little bit of time, but mainly it’s AJ.

The variety of supernatural creatures, personalities and funny moments made this book a delight to read. My favorite moment was when AJ and her fellow soldiers are gathered around the dinner table after a long day of training. Hijinks, confessions, sharing weaknesses, and a bunch of hilarious conversation ensues. I laughed out loud and even took a moment to pause and enjoy. It’s not often I read a book that makes me laugh or express a ton of a emotion. This book did.

For readers who love action, weapons, and the supernatural this book opens the doors to all three. Smith did a good job of showing plenty of action without losing my attention and seemed to be well versed on the types of training exercises and fighting equipment the characters experienced.

Of course nothing is tidy in the world of YA, and the story leaves off at a cliff hanger. I also ended the story with lots of questions, and I can only hope all of them get answered in the next story. The real action is coming in book 2, but when the lovely Connie L. Smith plans to release the next story is anyone’s guess.

Grab a copy of Essenced today at:

Amazon

Author Bio:

Connie L. Smith spends far too much time with her mind wandering in fictional places. She reads too much, likes to bake, and will be forever sad that she doesn’t have fairy wings. And that she can’t swing dance. When she isn’t reading or writing, there’s a good chance she’s goofing off with her amazing, wonderful, incredible, fabulous nieces and nephew, or listening to
music that is severely outdated. She has her BA from Northern Kentucky University in Speech Communication and History (she doesn’t totally get the connection either) and likes to snap photos. Oh, and she likes apples a whole big bunch.

Find Connie on:
Facebook
Twitter
Blog
GoodReads
Website

This Week’s Read: The Cage Legacy

cage legacy cover halfWho is Ethan Cage?

Is he just a troubled 17-year-old high school student? A quiet, intelligent kid with a bad home life? Or is he a shattered human being, a boy who lost his faith in the world when he discovered that his loving father was secretly a psychotic serial killer?

As Ethan’s world suddenly spirals out of control, he must confront the reality of his dark past and finally make the decision that will either define his life – or cut it short prematurely.

You can get your copy at:

Amazon- Print Version

Amazon- Ebook Version

Review: Cargon, Honour & Privilege

Genre: YA Dystopian/Fantasy

Rating: YAY!

This book surprised me, in an awesome way, it kept me reading. The first page wasn’t really a grabber, but I allowed myself to reach for the end of Chapter 1 (like a sample). Gould drew me and kept dragging until the pages flew. I say pages flew because I finished this in less than 24 hours, when an Indies Book does that I stand up and take notice. Now to the content.

The players: Eve and Adam (ironic, I think not). There’s an underlying theme Gould is building, and she does it in a way that you may or may not notice right off the bat. The book spends most of the time in Eve’s POV, she’s a teenager from the servant class. Expressing an aptitude for knowledge and learning, the leader of her nation, The High One, provides her with an opportunity to learn more about the country, the practices of the Elite, and a chance to become more than just a Server. Adam is The Second, in line to rule once The High One passes. He encounters Eve and becomes enamored by her intelligence, her beauty, and desire to exceed her original stations.

I like both main characters. They’re not perfect, but intent on becoming valuable in their own way. Both Eve and Adam grow a bunch during this story, but Gould leaves room for plenty more to come. I found myself rooting for them and their goals, and easily dedicated to their welfare. Both are likable without being a couple of ‘Mary Sue’s’.

What plays out is a great start to a much larger story, but you get a little romance, budding friendships, technological advancement, philosophical discussions, and a great way of learning about an entire world without being info dumped on. Gould does an amazing job of weaving the knowledge about her fantasy world through Eve’s growth and experiences. Cargon is essentially a game that’s used by members of the Elite (upper class) to determine things like marriage, land, status, jobs, etc. How Eve uses Cargon to her advantage? You have to read the book.

What I also liked: Character growth, development of the plot into several sustainable arcs, a strong female character who still has some flaws and weakness, and a nice romance triangle that keeps you guessing.

What I didn’t like: No resolutions. This book is really part 1 of a bigger story, and that sucks. Also, you’ll finish with lots of questions, a few more than what you started with. A man named Louis, who plays the role of villain well. Yet, at the end of the book he showed a different side of him leaving me to wonder.

This is definitely worth a read if you like fantasy and enjoy visiting new worlds or just enjoy a good story of a girl experiencing a Cinderella fairy tale and determined to exceed all expectations.

Purchase a copy of Cargon: Honor and Privilege at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords 

Print Version

Review: In the Hands of Children – Cate’s Take

Genre: MG/YA science fiction

Rating: Yay

InTheHandsOfChildrenIn HS Stone’s In the Hands of Children we’re treated to a near-future, almost apocalyptic tale with real possibilities. The H5N1 virus has struck, leaving the globe devoid of adults, and only prepubescent children are left alive to pick up the pieces. It’s a harrowing tale of loss and the need to keep going. Hope, death, life, and sorrow intermingle throughout.

Stone does a great job in getting us to care about the struggles of the children in this new world by introducing us to them pre-virus, and we witness small characteristics that end up making a huge difference once the virus strikes. Kyle, Hannah, and her nine-year-old sister Amy embark on a journey that takes them from their disparate hometowns to San Francisco, where hope survives in the form of Youth Centers designed to maintain civilization however they can. The biggest problem the trio finds is that the boys in charge of the youth center are little more than bullies who maintain control through fear and threats. This doesn’t sit well with Kyle, who abhors bullying, but in the interest in keeping his new friends safe, he does nothing.

The book has a Lord of the Flies feel to it, and I think it’s fair, given that children are trying to be adults while still thinking like children. The bullies of the San Francisco youth center try to act for the greater good, but in the end, they reveal themselves to be power-hungry sociopaths, likely overwhelmed by their status in the new world. There’s a lot of emotion contained in Stone’s book, and it’s one that I think fans of post-apocalyptic tales and heroic children will enjoy.

In the Hands of Children is available at:

Amazon

Smashwords

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