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!
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.
I found the Blood of Zeus audiobook while scrounging around on my local library’s website. This steamy romance novel by Meredith Wild and Angel Payne. I had never read either work before but I am always excited to pick up an audiobook. So I snatched up this discovery and brought it home to listen to. Now I am one of those strange people that still have a CD player just in case of audiobooks so I was able to enjoy this in a seven-disc format. Don’t worry you can also find it on Audible or just read it if you like.
Blood of Zeus is the first in a series, while I have not yet read the rest of this steamy series much of the story was rather entertaining. The involvement of mythology creatures both demonic and godly was given an interesting tie-in to this story, though I do wish this first book had more background information. Unfortunately despite enjoying the story at the moment, I doubt the series had enough substance to make me want to come back to it, at least not till I whittle down my TBR a bit further. Maybe I will come back.
So as many of my review readers know, I do not often touch non-fiction, and even less often do I publicly review any non-fiction books based on local areas. Why? Because the majority of the people who read my blog are international, there isn’t much desire on their end to read books about the area I live in. However while once again wandering the website of my locale county library I tumbled upon Haunted Tampa Spirits of the Bay by Deborah Frethem so I figured I have lived in this area for a long time now, I might as well take a peak in at its creepy background.
While I intended this to be a casual spooky Halloween read it ended up being a bit of a black hole of study as I study as I found myself Googling most of the locations mentioned in the book. Sure I’d driven past pretty much all these spots at least once but there were a few I missed. The information from the book had been fantastic tidbits that made me want to go out and find some more information. This was mostly due to the fact that the book is now quite old as far as non-fiction goes and some of the details were obsolete but certainly entertaining none the less.
If you are from the Tampa Bay area, or visited, or just like spooky knowledge, this may be an entertaining read for you.\
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!
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!
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.
After reading S.M. McCoy’s Divine series, I was thrilled when I got an email a few months ago from her informing me of the first book in her new series. Kingdom of Acatalec. Equally thrilled was I to read it was a science fiction romance, a change from the fantasy aspects of her previous series. As a fan of the author’s writing, I could not help but dive head first into Kingdom of Acatalec and I was certainly not disappointed.
The story of Kingdom of Acatalec follows Tyler Beryl as her best friend pulls her into a complicated drone race, hoping to make some easy money and get out of dodge. She soon finds out that the group running this race are aliens. But have no fear, dear review reader, these are not some strange little green men, oh no, these are hunky gorgeous drop dead beautiful tall men that reading about certainly makes one’s day.
S.M. McCoy takes this concept and runs with it. The characters are delightful; the story is thrilling, and the ending is just enough of a cliffhanger that I regularly check her Amazon pages to see when the next book of the Acatalec series is on the way. Pick up this book, particularly if you are a fan of exciting original romance stories.