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.
So when you spend most of your time reading and reviewing books you find that there are very few truly original feeling stories these days. Most authors take an idea that’s been done and put their spin on it. This is simply how it goes these days. As they say, its all been done before. Except perhaps it hasn’t. With Inhuman Acts by Brooke L. French you will not experience this issue. Was all that set up necessary for me to tell you that Inhuman Acts is an original story worth picking up? Damn right it was, allow me to explain.
So when you read the back cover of this delightful book the first thing you may think is, with zoonotic diseases creeping in to humans are we dealing with some kind of zombie novel? Or perhaps, is this concept hitting a bit too close to home with the virus scares of the last few years? Well to answer the first question, no we’re not dealing with zombies here, we’re dealing with living people affected by rabies! Which is highly unlikely to happen in real life. And if you are worried about this book bringing up reminders of COVID, I wouldn’t worry much, the infected animals and people in this book are not experiencing any similar. You can still get that delightful reading escapism from this fantastic novel.
Now that I have covered that lets cover a couple other things. So characters, how do they feel? They feel real. Their personalities, jobs, internal conflicts, its all real. While we may not all be cops or ecological scientists, but the characters are written in a way that we can certainly understand the issues they are going through in this story. The story itself? Fantastic, and a must read. A curious thriller with just enough description to make you cringe and shiver but not be able to put the book down!
Pick up Inhuman Acts by Brooke L. French, and tell your friends to do the same!
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!
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.
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.
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.
The Sword of Saint Isidores: The Circles of Time: Book 1 by David Tomas Kay is an intriguing historical fiction work. What comes off first as simply a history of an assumed cursed sword, turns into an epic spanning generations of an extended family as they learn to cope with ill luck that seems to be handed to them, by the sword or created by fate. The history of the Sword of Saint Isidores is covered from the time of its creation, its theft, and the deaths of many who held its ownership.
The world and time of the story are well researched. The conflict between Norse and Christian beliefs and how those who followed either religion coped with being in different circumstances of the time is certainly believable. It is clear that the author did his fair share of research in order to bring this slice of history to the readers. This results in a well-rounded and realistic historical fiction work, avoiding the nasty and common issue of an overly clean and romanticized history. The Sword of Saint Isidores is a must-read for historical fiction fans and I certainly intend to pick up the rest of the series soon.
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So I hate earbuds. I know, I know. They are small compact and easy to carry. However, they are also really easy to loose, as well as easily stolen by trouble making cats who think anything they can fit in their mouth is worth making off with. So when these headphones popped up as a review option, I was more than pleased to take a chance to check out these over the ear headphones.
These things are fantastic. They have great sound and I can’t hear a dang thing through them! I have found them great for relaxing in bed with my Switch before I fall asleep. They connect easily to every device I have Bluetooth on, Phone, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Super useful for everything.
If you wish to try them out you can fine them here.
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So, you are probably wondering why this post has found its way on to my site. Well the answer is I recently was invited to Amazon Vine and I decided I would share my reviews here as well. One of the first things I found was this hair dye. I love to dye my hair, I am always changing the color. This time I decided to go lighter than my natural dark brown, but not quite the bleach blond I had been hanging on to for a while.
All right, so I can say wholeheartedly that the dye in this kit works well enough. The dye process itself is a simple two steps, you put the cream bottle into the applicator and shake well. The usual process for mixing an at-home hair dye. The part I particularly enjoyed was the conditional packet that comes with the dye. Its a small packet and won’t last you weeks as some dye kits offer, but it does condition your hair really well after a harsh dying process. It also comes with a treatment pack you use after 3 weeks, I have not gotten there yet but if it works as well as the conditioner I see no future complaints.
My only complaint is the gloves that come with this dye box are extremely flimsy and gave me some trouble putting on.
Deus Ex by Miles Watson is a short but father exciting novella following the tyrant Magnus as the country he built crumbles around him as his enemies reconquer the land that he once took from them. We get a deep look in to the mind of a tyrant who has claimed himself a god. We walk with him as he makes his last orders, parts with loved ones and flees for his life, hoping to rebuild somewhere far off.
This fascinating tale of a tyrant is a nice change from the usual hero stories, a breath of fresh air from watching knights conquering despots, and allows us to get a solid look at the character of a villain as he scurries away from his toppling kingdom. Allowing us to see a different side of a commonly told story.
As this story is all about Magnus and only a novella, the character development is straight to the point and delivered in bits and pieces as Magnus revisits his past and how he reached the end of his rule. This allows us a full grasp of the character despite the shortness of the story, making Magnus an interesting and exciting, though cruel and cold man.
Deus Ex is a great novella for anyone looking for an exciting villain story.