Posted in Books, Review, Science fiction

Dark Cascade – Book Review


Dark Cascade (Galacticide) by Bert-Oliver Boehmer is a sprawling space epic that ranges multiple races and characters, soaring through dark voids and zealous AIs and reality-bending multi-universe concepts. This story follows Kel Chaada as he travels through the galaxy attempting to prevent another galaxy-wide devastating event by taking the fight directly to the enemy’s home. This story is filled to the brim with amazingly creative alien races, some humanoid some as far away from human concepts as possible. It is difficult, to sum up, this novel in a way that will give it any credit as so much happens. And the whole ordeal is exciting!

I honestly am finding it hard to describe this fantastic novel in a limited word count. This novel offers so much from the fantastic super dramatic aspects expected of a space drama to science fiction world-building that puts many a classic to shame. I found the alien races, in particular, to be particularly interesting to read about. Many science fiction novels will pile on hundreds of humanoid aliens never really departing from what we know. The races in Bert-Oliver Boehmer’s work are so varied that I can not even list them here. As stated before the world-building of Dark Cascade is heavy and multi-layered, you can tell a lot of time and love went into this book. I know after reading this I plan on going back to read more of Boehmer’s work. I would suggest any sci-fi fan does the same. Totally worth it!

Reviewed for Reader’s Favorite

Posted in Books, Dystopian, Review, Reviews, Science fiction

Dusk Upon Elysium – Book Review

Dusk Upon Elysium follows Geoff as he does his best to cope in a world that has been overcome by the dreadful Nergal virus, a terrible disease said to have infected even plants and animals. Locked away inside small enclosed homes with only government-distributed work and food to keep them busy, the people of the world trudge along assuming what they are told by the news outlets is true. There is hope, however. A virtual reality program called Paradiso allows people to escape their troubles and reality into the paradise they always wished they could have had before their lives were torn apart by disease and questionable government tactics. nothing bad could come from this situation. What could happen here?

I found Dusk Upon Elysium to be a really exciting book one that I found managed to skirt the line of being just similar enough to our post-COVID reality without being too close for comfort. That nearness in the story, while done in many a dystopian novel, particularly the ones written in the last few years, is particularly well done by Tamel Wino in this novel. I found the slight hint of biological horror and the ideas of what could be happening outside of the assumed safe homes of the people of the world intriguing. Even more so I found the mental tribulations of the people of the story even more exciting. Geoff and other characters are thrown through a variety of mental turmoil that is both relatable and traumatizing. 

Reviewed for Reader’s Favorite

Posted in Books, Fantasy, Review

Miles and the Soldier – Book Review

Miles and the Soldier second full length novel in The Acre Seires. It picks up directly on the end of Juno and the Lady and follows Miles, a character introduced in the first book as he tries to achieve his life’s dreams while also learning to deal with the disabilities that have resulted from the injuries he sustained in the first book.

By the time Miles and the Soldier even starts, the young man has gone through some serious emotional chances since his introduction in the first book. His near death experiences and his interactions with the very capable women of Faireacre have made him a much more understanding fellow. Sadly he is still young and selfish in certain ways, putting his wishes before those of the people around him.

Beyond Miles himself we are introduced to new characters as well as seeing the return of the previous books characters. The Soldier mentioned in the title is a particularly interesting one, leading Miles through a new adventure as well as helping him cope with his disability.

While I could go on about this book for hours, it so far being my favorite in The Acre Series, I feel as though my opinion could barely hold a candle to G.J. Kemp’s work. This second full length novel is and exciting read that displays more of the author’s amazingly created world. I hope we get more to Acre world, as there seems to be so many locations within it that have only been briefly touched.

This is a much read for all fantasy fans. This whole series is!

Posted in Books, Novella, Review, Reviews

Petra and the Sewer Rates – Novella Review

Once again we drop in toe Juno and the Lady series with Petra and the Sewer Rats. This Novella takes place a few years before Juno and the Lady, well quite a few years, following the mother of the titular character of the first book Juno’s mother Petra as she discovers that her isolated life in a safe home within Fairacre has been kept safe from the dark and violent goings on of the homeless girls of the city. When Petra sees how dreadfully these children are being treated, she tries and find a home for these disowned girls.

Naturally, this does not go as planned, or else it would not make for a good story now would it? Following Petra, we see where Juno gets a determination and grit. Petra’s story is sad, and I will not go in to particular detail as this is a novella so it is a fairly short read. That in mind, I would suggest you pick up Petra and the Sewer Rats if you had an interest in learning more about the town’s background after reading the last two books in the series!

Posted in Books, Fantasy, Review, Reviews

Juno and the Lady – Book Review

Juno and the Lady by G.J Kemp is the first novel in The Acre Series by G.J. Kemp. This first book follows young Juno as she goes from a young orphan living in a finishing school where they teach girls to be good little wives, to a fire elemental power wielding warrior. Along the way she befriends a fiery (literally) feline, various sewer dwellers, and men who would have once been her enemies.

The Story of Juno and the Lady is a colorful one. We are not only given the main story of the evil Lady’s attempt to control the town of Fairacre, but we are also allowed to see the complications surrounding this town and apparently every city in the known world. Woman are secondhand at best, trained in schools for men to pick their perfect wives. I always find that any book touching subjects of gender inequality are either great at it, or lacking. In the case of Juno and the Lady, the issue is addressed well.

The characters of the book are well written which is often hard to manage when you have a cast of so many, despite the handful of characters who make their appearances throughout this novel, they each remain their own person, with their own personality and moods. They changes they go through feel real, and there is plenty of character progression, even beyond the main character Juno’s self-discovery.

I suggest Juno and the Lady to any fan of fantasy. I am looking forward to the rest of this series. I want to read more about the characters and the world of The Acre Series.

Posted in Audiobooks, Books, Review, Reviews, romance, Science fiction

Cinder – Book Review

I have stumbled on to another surprising library find. Cinder by Marissa Meyer is a dark retelling of the classic story. Following Cinder, and abused young woman in a future where World War IV has ravaged the world that has become a single Empire whose greatest enemy is i their not so distant Lunar cousins. Cinder it turns out, is not just an abused young woman in this telling of the classic fairytale, but in fact a Cyborg, made so because of a childhood accident. This is not as cool as it sounds, as Cyborgs in New Beijing are considered less than human.

This young adult novel is a exciting tale. While I have read many a fairytale rewrite, this one kept my attention with its gritty under belly and politics of a seemingly at peace futuristic Earth. The characters and their thoughts, and paranoias plus the explanations of the various ‘magics’ that take up this world all fit nicely in to a fun science fiction novel that any fan of the genre would enjoy. Like most young adult novels, there is an aspect of romance, however while it has a center point in the story, it is far from the main characters only concern making the story feel a whole lot more related than just another fawning teenager story.

In short, if you are looking for an exciting fairy tale retelling, I strongly suggest you pick up Cinder.

Posted in Audiobooks, Books, Fantasy, Review, Reviews

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book – Book Review

Have you ever wandered through your local library, or scrolled through its websites pages aimlessly hoping to find a book that catches your eye? Maybe some random treasure you never would have picked up if you were in a bookstore and certainly nothing you would have ordered online? Well, I did just that and it surprised me to find Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Lost in a Book. 

Now I know what you are thinking. Is this some kind of sequel attempt in literary form? We all know about the many dreadful direct to home video sequels Disney has provided us. However, no, this is not a sequel, it is an additional story happening in the middle of the original tale.

After being introduced to the Beast’s extensive library, Bell stumbles in to an enchanted book. This book soon has the young woman tied up in an endless battle between Love and Death, finding her trapped. An exciting tale that we certainly know has a happy ending, as we know how Disney’s original story ends. However, despite this absolute fact, that does not keep this novel from being an interesting read.

I picked up the audiobook version from the local library’s website and it was spectacular. I really suggest you give it a listen.

I would suggest this novel to Disney fans, as well as fans of YA novels. This read is a bit advanced for younger children and some of the concepts are a bit dark, but it is certainly an enjoyable tale.

Posted in Books, Fantasy, Novella, Review, romance

Yours and Mine – Review and Author Q&A!

Yours and Mine by A.E. Bennett is a novella that ties in to the author’s Serrulata Saga series, which I have not yet read, my introduction to being one of the blog tours I take part in. This steamy novella followed Octavia Dorchester and Gerald Verte as they stumble in to a young romance and attempt to reconcile their feelings even though their families want them to have nothing to do with one another. While you walk with the characters through their complicated relationship and enjoy their young love, you are also given bits and pieces of the authors over all world which leaves you wanting to explore further in to the Serrulata Saga as a whole. I know I am looking forward to picking up more by A.E. Bennett.

Now, as discussed above, this is a steamy romance. There is sex in this novella and some very blunt wording for male anatomy. So if you are uncomfortable with reading sex scenes or the used of rougher language, even though it only happens once, I suggest you avoid this romantic tale. However, for anyone else, I strongly suggest you pick this up, particularly if you are a fan of fantasy romances, there is both and delightful hints to what we may discover in the series.

I have another surprise for you. The lovely people at Traveling Pages Tours were able to get a few questions answer for me by the author! It was great to have this opportunity, the Q&A follows.

How do you come up with your stories?

I came up with the initial idea for The Serrulata Saga way back in 1997. I was a teen devoted to sci-fi and the Hale-Bopp comet appeared in the sky. I soaked up as much knowledge as I could about it. It comes around once every 2,000 years or so and when it was here, there were a lot of articles printed about what life had been like the last time it arrived. The gears in my head started turning and I began thinking about when the comet arrives again—in the year 4385.

In terms of Yours and Mine, I have to credit an editor who took a look at an early version of Gathering of the Four, the first book in the series. She gave me a great deal of feedback and constructive criticism, but she also made a comment about how she loved reading about Octavia and Gerald and was curious about how they got together. After that, I couldn’t not write their tale!

What genre do you like to read yourself?

I pretty much read what I write: sci-fi, fantasy, and romance. I also enjoy horror and am going to attempt to write a Serrulata Saga horror story when I’m finished with my current work in progress.

Do you ever get writer’s block and how do you cope with it?

 You know, I actually don’t. I’ve had a few times where I’ve sat down to write and known that what I was writing was garbage that would eventually get discarded, but thankfully I’ve never had the crippling sensation of sitting down to write and being unable to. I worry I’ve doomed myself by admitting this out loud, but it’s the truth!

Posted in Books, Fantasy, Review

Temple of Valor is the third book in Joe Lyon’s Astar’s Blade series. In this third installment, we finally get to see the titular character of the series wield the blade in question as the story that had started two books ago finally comes to a dramatic and in some ways surprising climax. With all the loose ends tied up, Lyon wraps up his gift to the fantasy world with a pretty little ribbon on top, another cliffhanger! One I can genuinely say I did not know was coming. I will not go into the fine details and risk ruining this fantastic turn of events, but I know it will leave you wanting to read more of what Joe Lyon has planned for this amazing world he has created.

In Temple of Valor, we start with a young adult Astar, a boy of eighteen as he is referred to in the book, as inexperienced but once he comes into his own, we see him grow into the character that he has been destined to become from the start of the series when aspects that we had no idea would come to play worked into the complicated web that finally resulted in this tale. We go deeper than just Astar finally having his blade, however, nor the people who work with him. We are also given a down and dirty view of the Zorn and his demon followers and their connections to one another and those who have been their sworn enemies for hundreds of years. The children of the gods have failed the people of this world. Now it is time for mortals to try their hand at it. A bit of a Tolkien-esque concept but a satisfying note to end a story on. As with the previous books in this series, it is a must-read for every fan of fantasy.

I received this arc copy on Reedsy Discovery, you can find the book here.

Posted in Books, Fantasy, Novella, Review, romance, steamy

Yours and Mine a Serrulata Saga Novella – Book Review

Yours and Mine by A.E. Bennett is a novella that ties into the author’s Serrulata Saga series, which I have not yet read, my introduction to being one of the blog tours I take part in. This steamy novella followed Octavia Dorchester and Gerald Verte as they stumble into a young romance and attempt to reconcile their feelings even though their families want them to have nothing to do with one another. While you walk with the characters through their complicated relationship and enjoy their young love, you are also given bits and pieces of the author’s overall world which leaves you wanting to explore further into the Serrulata Saga as a whole. I know I am looking forward to picking up more by A.E. Bennett.


Now, as discussed above, this is a steamy romance. There is sex in this novella and some very blunt wording when it comes to the male anatomy. So if you are uncomfortable with reading sex scenes or the use of rougher language, even though it only happens once, I suggest you avoid this romantic tale. However, for anyone else, I strongly suggest you pick this up, particularly if you are a fan of fantasy.