Locked Tight (Mindjack #4) by Susan Kaye Quinn-a review

LOCKED TIGHT (Mindjack#4) by Susan Kaye Quinn-a review

Locked Tight

ebook only 99¢ Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 17, 2017

In a world filled with mindreaders, being a mindjacker is a good way to end up dead.

And Zeph is no ordinary jacker.

He can break open the toughest minds—or lock the weakest ones—but that just makes him a weapon every jacker Clan wants to control. To keep his family of mindreaders safe, Zeph does what his Clan leader says and tries to shut out the screams—but when jackers are revealed to the world, he has no choice but to hug his kid sister goodbye and leave home.

Passing for a reader is something Zeph does well, but when readers start changing into jackers and his family disappears, Zeph must return to a city filled with jackers who hate him, trick a mindware CEO into helping him, avoid a girl who knows him too well, and spy on the most powerful jacker in the state.

All without dying or revealing his abilities—or being caught in the firestorm of hate between jackers and readers that’s threatening to pull the world apart.

The bestselling Mindjack Series continues with an all new character and a world of mindreaders and mindjackers as you’ve never seen it before. LOCKED TIGHT is the first of three Mindjack novels from Zeph’s perspective. (See The Locksmith for Zeph’s origin story.)

 

••••••••••

REVIEW: LOCKED TIGHT is the fourth full –length installment in Susan Kaye Quinn’s young adult (YA) Mindjack urban fantasy, dystopian series. LOCKED TIGHT and the prequel novella The Locksmith are the beginning of a new arc in the Mindjack series. No longer focusing on jacker Kira Moore, the series shifts focus to eighteen year old mindjacker Zephyr MacCay who has the ability to lock down or unlock the human mind.

SOME BACKGROUND: In a world where mindreading is the norm (due to decades of contaminated or purposely poisoned water) there are those with more powerful abilities than most. These are their stories of discrimination, betrayal, retribution and control. The human population developed various forms of mind-reading, mind altering and mind controlling abilities. And to complicate matters those without the ability to mindjack are purposely setting out to bring war between the have and the have-nots.

Told from first person point of view (Zeph) LOCKED TIGHT follows eighteen year old mindjacker Zephyr MacCay as he searches for his family (and thirteen year old sister) he hasn’t seen in years-a family of mindreaders whose lives were threatened by the existence of their eldest son. Zephyr has the ability to hide his abilities but a threat of another nature finds our hero caught between three potential enemies never knowing who is telling the truth or out right lies. What ensues are Zeph’s attempts to locate his sister as several warring factions battle for control of Zephyr himself.

LOCKED TIGHT is an infinitely detailed, brilliant and remarkable look at a world struggling with the fall out of chemical contamination of the human population. From mindreaders to mindjackers Susan Kaye Quinn’s MINDJACKER series looks at the dysfunctional relationship between a hierarchy of mental and physical powers, and the breakdown of society between the ‘have and have nots’. The Mindjacker series focuses on betrayal, revenge, discrimination, specieism, and the battle for control, and the potential to create a weapon of unimaginable strengths. The premise is unparalleled with a profound and innovative message as well as a frighteningly realistic look at the future where fear and anarchy reign.

Reading Order and previous reviews
Mind Games (Mindjack Origins 1)
Open Minds
Closed Hearts
Free Souls
The Locksmith
The Handler/ The Scribe (Mindjack Origins 2 & 3)
Keeper (Mindjack Origins 4)
Locked Tight

Reviewed by Sandy

Copy supplied for review.

____________

The LocksmithTHE LOCKSMITH
Mindjack Origins #5-a novella
by Susan Kaye Quinn
Genre: YA, dystopian, UF

FREE ebook at Amazon :Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / BAM /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 9, 2015

SHORT NOVELLA (STANDALONE) in the Mindjack universe

When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.

In a world filled with mindreaders, Zeph is a mindjacker who wants to stay hidden—even if it means the cute mindreader in his Latin class is forever out of his reach. He locks and unlocks minds for a ruthless mindjacker Clan in exchange for protection and the chance to have a normal life with his parents and little sister. But when a girl he doesn’t know reveals the existence of mindjackers to the world, Zeph is forced to make a choice: unlock—and ultimately destroy—the mind of a young jacker changeling… or turn his back on everyone he loves.

The Locksmith is a short novella (standalone) in the Mindjack universe. It can be read independently of the other Mindjack stories, in any order. It is 11,000 words (or 44 pages) long.

•••••••••••••

REVIEW: THE LOCKSMITH is the latest novella in Susan Kaye Quinn’s young adult Mindjack urban fantasy dystopian series.

In a world where mindreading is the norm (due to decades of contaminated water) there are those with more powerful abilities than most. These are their stories of discrimination, betrayal, retribution and control. The human population developed various forms of mind-reading, mind altering and mind controlling abilities. And to complicate matters, those without any special ability declare everyone with altered minds as an enemy of the state.

The novella focuses on Zeph, a young seventeen year old mindjacker who has the ability to lock down or unlock the human mind. As a mindjacker, Zeph has become part of a Clan and has been commanded to lock down the minds of potential Clan workers. When something goes horribly wrong, and Zeph is unable to stop the carnage, he runs-he has no plans to become the next victim of society’s ills.

Susan Kaye Quinn adds another dimension to her young adult Mindjack series. THE LOCKSMITH is a fast paced, quick read that will tease a new reader into wanting more. For fans of Susan’s Mindjack series, we are hoping that Zeph survives the upcoming fallout of the impending war.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

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Justice Ascending (Scorpius Syndrome #3) by Rebecca Zanetti-a review

JUSTICE ASCENDING (Scorpius Syndrome #3) by Rebecca Zanetti- a review

Justice Ascending

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / BAM /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date January 31, 2017

Before surviving the Scorpius bacterium, Tace Justice was a good ole Texas cowboy who served his country and loved his mama. After Scorpius, the world became dark, dangerous, and deadly… and so did he. The Vanguard medic is stronger, faster, and smarter than before, but he’s lost the line between right and wrong. His passion is absolute, and when he focuses it on one woman, there’s no turning back for either of them.

Sami Steel has been fighting to survive right alongside Tace, convincing the Vanguard soldiers she’s one of them. In truth, Sami is a former hacker turned government agent who worked at The Bunker, where scientists stored both contaminants and cures. Only she knows the location, and she’s not telling. Yet when sexual fire explodes between her and Tace, she’ll face even that hell again to save him.

••••••••••

REVIEW: JUSTICE ASCENDING is the third full length installment in Rebecca Zanetti’s THE SCORPIUS SYNDROME cross genre Sci-Fi/ UF/Dystopian series focusing on a biological pandemic sweeping the world that has already killed 99% of the US population. This is former Texas cowboy and soldier Tace Justice, and former LAPD rookie Sami Steel’s story line that looks at life in the aftermath, and the fallout from an unknown bacteria-from space. The story line advances the series but a few days. For more background information and some history, there is a prequel novella-SCORPIUS RISING-which can be found in the ON THE HUNT anthology (August 2015).

SOME BACKGROUND: Some of those infected with the biological virus have survived to become something known as a Ripper, but there are two types of Rippers inhabiting the world-one is a zombie like creature who feasts on the living; the other is a survivor whose brain has been altered resulting in a stronger, more powerful enhanced human being sometimes bordering on the sociopath ideology with delusions of grandeur and hate. If you are a fan of the series The Walking Dead, you will see many similarities in the story line premise including the search for food and supplies, attacks of the ‘undead’, and various groups of survivors vying for power and control.

Told from several third person points of view JUSTICE ASCENDING focuses on the struggle to survive as the depleting inventory at the Vanguard compound threatens the survival of anyone seeking refuge. Tace Justice, along with many other members of the compound survived the virus but the resulting after affects are slowly killing our story line hero. Tace is a former army field medic and has been ordered to the Mercenary’s compound to offer medical aid following an attack by the Elite Force and the self-proclaimed president of the USA- a man once infected by the Scorpius virus who has since become a sociopathic Ripper. Enter Sami Steel, the woman that calls to Tace’s heart, and the woman sent to scope out the Mercs for some well needed supplies. What ensues is the building relationship between Sami and Tace, Tace’s struggle to keep secret his deteriorating condition, and the search for answers at the California Bunker.

The relationship between Tace and Sami is a friends to lovers scenario-sparring partners, and compound soldiers, Tace has always been attracted to the feisty Sami Steele-a woman who keeps her past a secret –a secret that could help save Tace’s life. Tace is a mercurial hero, a man who struggles with the dark demons that have affected his brain and his mind. The $ex scenes are erotic, intense and passionate-there are some scenes of spanking and discipline.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Vanguard leader Jax Mercury and Lynne Harmony (Mercury Striking #1), mercenary Raze Shadow, and FBI profiler Vivienne (Vinnie) Wellington (Shadow Falling #2), as well as a number of soldier and people at the compounds both Vanguard and Mercenary. The Vanguard facility must contend with a growing number of people free of the virus hoping to keep themselves ‘pure’- the purists is a cult-like group who follow another self-proclaimed leader Pastor Zachary King who will protect his followers from the Scorpius virus. We are re- introduced to Damon Winter and Greyson Storm (leader of the Mercs) two men who struggle to keep their own people alive. The requisite evil includes President Bret Atherton, and his Elite Force of soldiers. Not everyone will survive.

JUSTICE ASCENDING is a story of survival set in a futuristic world where only the strongest survive; an action packed tale of death and destruction, love and loss, secrets and lies, struggle and freedom. New alliances are made; old enemies go down in flames. The premise is unique and imaginative; the characters are spirited, flawed and intense; the romance is passionate and challenging.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews

Scorpius Rising (On the Hunt Anthology)
Mercury Striking
Shadow Falling
Justice Ascending

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

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Awakening (Stories of Singularity 5) by Susan Kaye Quinn-a review

AWAKENING (Stories of Singularity 5) by Susan Kaye Quinn-a review

Awakening

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date January 2, 2017

Sister Amara prays she won’t be the last of the twelve sisters to reach her awakening—after all, the salvation of their Masters depends on them. But with the interrogations growing more deadly, being last may be best… especially when you’ve been created to touch the face of God.

Awakening is a standalone novella that provides a glimpse into a dark corner of the Singularity novel series.

The Stories of Singularity can be read independently from the Singularity novel series.

READING ORDER
Singularity Series
The Legacy Human (Book 1)
The Duality Bridge (Book 2)
The Stories of Singularity #1-4 (Novella Box Set)
The Illusory Prophet (Book 3)

Stories of Singularity
(novellas)
Restore (Story 1)
Containment (Story 2)
Defiance (Story 3)
Augment (Story 4)
Awakening (Story 5)

•••••••

REVIEW: AWAKENING is the fifth novella in Susan Kaye Quinn’s young adult Stories of Singularity dystopian, sci-fic series- a companion series to Quinn’s Singularity Series. AWAKENING can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty.

BACKGROUND: The ‘Singularity’ resulted in most of the world’s population transforming themselves into a hybrid known as the Ascended-part man/part machine but the few remaining humans become what is known as the Legacy-the true descendants of humankind. The Singularity series looks at the struggle between the Ascended and everyone else.

Told from first person point of view (Sister Amara) AWAKENING follows Sister Amara as she ‘awakens’ to the world around her. A combination of artificial intelligence and cloistered humanoids ‘created to touch the face of God’, Sister Amara and eleven other ‘clones’ just like her are in a constant state of hyper vigilance as each approaches the famed ‘awakening’. But as the ‘experiment’s continue each sister will inevitably fail to reach her potential, and the people in charge will do anything to avoid an experimental disaster. Sister Amara is one of the few who will reach her potential (and beyond), and with it will gain her freedom from the onslaught of constant pain and strive for perfection.

AWAKENING is an intriguing look at the world of Singularity. An interesting and powerful concept born of the mind of Susan Kaye Quinn that focuses on humanity’s desire to live forever.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

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Pocket Full of Tinder (Noon Onyx #4) by Jill Archer-a review

POCKET FULL OF TINDER (Noon Onyx #4) by Jill Archer-a review

Pocket Full of Tinder

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / KOBO /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date December 15, 2016

Noon Onyx is back! In this long-awaited fourth installment, Jill Archer returns readers to the dangerous world of Halja, where demons, angels, and humans coexist in an uneasy state of détente.

Maegester-in-Training Noon Onyx feels like she’s done it all – mastered fiery magic, become an adept fighter, learned the law, killed countless demons, and survived having her heart broken by both love and an arrow, but now she’ll face her greatest challenge yet…

Far to the north lies an outpost famous for its unrest – Rockthorn Gorge. The town’s patron has specifically requested Noon’s help. Her assignment? Help the neophyte demon lord build his fiefdom and keep what’s his. The problem? Lord Aristos – Noon’s new employer – is her erstwhile lover, Ari Carmine, the aforementioned heart breaker. And the number one thing he wants is her.

When Rockthorn Gorge’s viaduct is destroyed by Displodo, an enigmatic bomber, killing a dozen settlers and wounding scores more, Noon sets off early to aid in the search and rescue. Ari is listed among the missing and the suspects are legion. But Noon’s search is just the beginning. Her journey forces Noon to confront not only those she loves, but also enemies hell-bent on destroying them.

•••••••••

REVIEW: POCKET FULL OF TINDER is the fourth installment in Jill Archer’s UF/Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic NOON ONYX series.

BACKGROUND : Archer’s series focuses on the simmering truce between Angels and Demons 2000 years after Armageddon , and the destructive nature of the Maegester and their dark ‘waning’ magic. But for 22 year old Nouiomo Onyx (aka Noon) a reversal of fortunes has occurred at her birth-she was imbued with the dark waning magic (once only accorded to men) and her twin Nocturo (Nightshade) was the waxing magic (once only accorded to women). Women are the creators not the destroyers. Noon’s ability to wield waning magic will become both a curse and a blessing- in more ways than one.

Told from first person point of view (Noon Onyx) POCKET FULL OF TINDER is the continuing story of Maegester-in-Training Noon Onyx, as she struggles with who she is and what she has become. At the end of book three-White Heart of Justice-Noon walked away from the only man she has ever loved after a perceived betrayal and lie of omission forced our heroine to choose between love and a happily ever after, and living a life she knows as a lie. POCKET FULL OF TINDER is witness to Noon’s latest assignment that will bring our heroine face to face with her new employer at Rockthorn Gorge-Lord Aristos aka Ari Carmine aka the man that she loves. What ensues is the rebuilding romance between Noon and Ari, and the search for the person(s) responsible for the continued attacks against, and the destruction of a dam project near Rockthorn Gorge.

POCKET FULL OF TINDER is a heartbreaking story line; a revealing look at two people whose hearts were shattered by betrayal; whose lives will be destroyed by power and greed; whose happily ever after is never meant to be. We get up close and personal with the hierarchy of demonkind, angels, and the political elite in a post-apocalyptic world governed by magic and power. The premise is complex and original; the characters are passionate, magical and unique; the romance is emotional and intense. Jill Archer NOON ONYX is an amazing, imaginative and fantastic series with flawless text, and a breathtaking premise.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
Dark Light of Day
Fiery Edge of Steel
White Heart of Justice
Pocket Full of Tinder

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

About The Author

Jill ARcherJill Archer writes dark, genre-bending fantasy from rural Maryland. Her novels include Dark Light of Day, Fiery Edge of Steel, White Heart of Justice, and Pocket Full of Tinder. She loves cats, coffee, books, movies, day tripping, and outdoor adventuring.

Website: http://www.jillarcher.com/
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bAzF7n
Blog: https://jillarcherauthor.wordpress.com/blog/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/archer_jill
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jillarcherauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5782149.Jill_Archer
Discussion Questions: http://jillarcherauthor.wordpress.com/book-clubs/

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Ruled (Outlaws #3) by Elle Kennedy-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

RULED (Outlaws #3) by Elle Kennedy-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Ruled Banner

RULED
Outlaws #3
by Elle Kennedy
Genre: adult, post-apocalyptic, dystopian, erotic, romance
Release Date November 1, 2016

Ruled

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / BAM /

ABOUT THE BOOK: RELEASE DATE November 1, 2016

Despite his magnetic personality, Rylan can’t seem to seduce Reese, the deadly leader of their town of outlaws. Winning her over is a welcome challenge, but her indifference isn’t the only thing standing in his way. If he wants Reese, Rylan must also win over Sloan, her stoic protector…

Sloan has always loved Reese, but their painful past has stolen his chances of a future with her. Rylan’s interest in Reese only intensifies the tension—until Sloan begins to wonder if the reckless man might be the one person who can bridge the distance…

The last time Reese fell for the wrong man, she had no choice but to kill him. Now, she desperately wants to take what both Rylan and Sloan are offering. But if she makes the wrong call again, she risks losing them both.

•••••••••••

REVIEW:  RULED is the third installment in Elle Kennedy’s adult , post-apocalyptic/dystopian Outlaws erotic, romance series. This is Rylan, Reese, and Sloan’s story line. RULED can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty but I recommend reading the series in order for backstory and history.

NOTE: RULED contains graphic and explicit scenes of M/M/, M/F and M/F/M sexual situations and may not be suitable for all readers.

SOME BACKGROUND: The OUTLAW series by Elle Kennedy focuses on the post-apocalyptic USA where the country is now divided into a number of respective territories without government control. There are various factions of bandits, enforcers, outlaws, and the people from the city. Life on the outside is hard; there are no laws, no law enforcement, and death is often the better option. Several groups of outlaws have banded together in gated communities for protection and control.

Told from several third person points of view including Rylan, Reese, and Sloan RULED focuses on survival. Reese is determined to end the suffering of the people in her ‘town’ and gathers together the leaders of the outlying camps in an attempt to take down the Enforcers patrolling the area. With one woman pregnant and about to give birth, and a number of under-aged children under her care, Reese’s settlement has been targeted by the people who claim to be in charge. Meanwhile Reese battles her attraction and the emotional fall out for the two men who call to her heart-Rylan and Sloan-both strong, alpha males whose attraction to one another adds fuel to the fire that is already burning. What ensues is the building relationship between Rylan, Reese and Sloan, and dangerous battle for power and control in a war between the Enforcers and the Outlaws.

RULED is a graphically, erotic story line of ménage between three people whose lives will be changed when the potential loss of one means the loss of their hearts. Sloan has been in love with Reese since the first day they met five years earlier; and Rylan’s need for his ‘fearless leader’ is compounded with his need for her second in command. The $ex scenes are intense, seductive and energetic with M/M, M/F, and M/F/M sexual situations.

The world building continues to focus on survival in a post-apocalyptic world where life expectancy is short; food and supplies are scarce; and security and safety is never guaranteed.

Elle Kennedy’s RULED and the OUTLAWS series is a gritty and graphic look at survival of the fittest. The premise is imaginative and clever; the characters are heartbreaking, vivacious, and heroic; the romance is real and raw.

Reading Order and previous reviews
CLAIMED
ADDICTED
RULED

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Excerpt

Rylan didn’t waste time. He strode to the two-story brownstone on Main Street and entered behind her. He didn’t bother to knock. Better to ask for forgiveness than permission and all that.
He found her upstairs in her small kitchen, arms braced against the counter as she stared out the window at the unkempt yard behind the building. It was empty, save for a decrepit playset in the back corner. The slide was long gone, but a single swing hung from a rusted bar.
“When you die,” she said without turning around, “I’m going to dub you Saint Rylan, patron of lost causes.”
Rylan stepped close enough that he could feel the heat from her body, but far enough away that there was room for her to escape. “How’d you know it was me instead of Sloan?”
“Your footsteps are different.”
“Huh.” He chewed on that piece of information a bit. He was probably reading too much into it, but the fact that she could distinguish his footsteps from someone else’s? That was all the encouragement he needed to stay. “You’re a damn impressive woman, Reese.”
“Is that right? Because I can tell you and Sloan apart?” She sounded tired, almost resigned. Rylan experienced a pang of concern. Connor had never sounded like this before, but then again, Rylan’s leader had never been in charge of eighty-plus people before either. Con kept his camp small. Even Hudson, his woman, had been an interloper he hadn’t wanted to take in.
Reese, on the other hand, threw her doors open to any misfits, wanderers, and beggars that rattled on her gates.
Rylan briefly pondered what it would’ve been like growing up if there’d been a Reese around when he was young. Maybe then every night wouldn’t have been filled with his mother’s tears and his father’s angry shouts, followed by mournful pleas for forgiveness and hollow exchanges of I love you.
“That, and because you’ve got a vision for the future that few people would ever try to make a reality,” he said frankly.
“You and Connor think I’m nuts, don’t you?”
“Nah, brave.”
And maybe a little foolish, but hell, if it wasn’t for Reese’s foot in their asses, they’d still be holed up in their isolated camp, avoiding Enforcers and scavenging for supplies. Reese’s plan was big and bold and possibly suicidal, but the alternative was to cower, and Rylan had had enough of that.
She sighed and finally turned to look at him. “Did Sloan send you in here to cheer me up?”
Was that a dig? It kinda felt like one. But it was also true—Sloan had sent him. Or at least given him the signal that he wasn’t totally barking up the wrong tree by running after Reese.
He searched her eyes for traces of derision, but he only saw fatigue with a side of melancholy. He wanted to scoop this tough woman into his arms and pleasure her until she was too satisfied to frown.
“I’m here because last night was the best sex I’ve ever had. Because walking away from you isn’t an option for me.”
She made a strangled sound—half laugh, half groan—and rubbed the back of her hand across her forehead. Is that all you can think about?”
“Around you? Yup. I fuck and I fight. Don’t scratch too deep because there’s nothing there.”
She snorted in disbelief. “Tell that to someone who’ll believe you.”
Rylan’s brow furrowed. He’d always skated on the surface of intimacy, enjoying the physical nature of sex—the hot embrace, the rough friction, the sharp desire. What he’d just told Reese was absolutely true. He didn’t feel deeply. He could appreciate it in others, but he’d witnessed firsthand the emptiness of love. What he wanted, and what he could give, was pleasure and nothing more.
“What’re you talking about?” he finally asked, feeling slightly off-center that Reese saw something in him that didn’t exist.
She studied him for a moment before waving her hand carelessly. “It’s nothing. Look, last night was hot, but there’s nothing left here for you.” She presented her back to him and stared out the window again.
Was that a challenge? Sure sounded like one.

 

 

giveaway

The Reading Cafe and Elle’s publisher are offering a paper copy of RULED to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

NOTE: If you are having issues commenting after logging onto the site, please refresh the page.

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7. Giveaway is open to USA only

9. Giveaway runs from November 7-10, 2016

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Moon Chosen (Tales of a New World #1) by P.C. Cast-a review

MOON CHOSEN (Tales of a New World #1) by PC Cast-a review

Moon Chosen

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / BAM /

About the book: Release Date October 18, 2016

Chosen to embrace her true identity. Chosen to follow her destiny. Chosen to change her world.

Mari is an Earth Walker, heir to the unique healing powers of her Clan, but she has been forced to turn from her duties, until she is chosen by a special animal ally, altering her destiny forever. When a deadly attack tears her world apart, Mari reveals the strength of her powers and the forbidden secret of her dual nature as she embarks on a mission to save herself and her people. It is not until Nik, the son of the leader from a rival, dominating Tribe, strays across her path that Mari experiences something she has never felt before…

Now evil is coming, and with it, a force more terrible and destructive than the world has ever seen, leaving Mari to cast the shadows from the earth. By breaking Clan Law and forming an alliance with Nik, she must make herself ready. Ready to save her people. Ready to save herself and Nik. Ready to embrace her true destiny…and battle the forces that threaten to destroy them all.

••••••••••

REVIEW: MOON CHOSEN is the first installment in PC Cast’s young adult (YA) TALES OF a NEW WORLD post-apocalyptic/dystopian fantasy series focusing on a new world years after ‘our’ Earth has been destroyed.

Told from several third person points of view MOON CHOSEN follows three characters with intersecting paths. Mari is our heroine-our young woman caught between Clans as she is neither an Earth Walker like her mother, or a Companion like her late father. Nik is a young man who finds himself drawn to our story line heroine; and Dead Eye, who believes himself to be a god amongst man.

MOON CHOSEN, like PC & Kristin Cast’s House of Night series, focuses on gods and goddesses, connections to the Earth, Wind, Moon and Fire, and magic that can be called forth from the elements. As the introductory story line MOON CHOSEN is an extremely long story –over 600 pages- and is awash in a copious amount of world building that focuses or is dependent upon the character development to tell the story. There is an inordinate amount of what can only be described as filler ( and redundancy) that made for a slow build to the story line premise. The author favors long descriptions and prose but in the end, sometimes too much is too much.

The numerous story line characters are divided into three main Clans and Tribes-Earth Walkers (including the Moon Woman), Skin Walkers and Tribe of the Trees (Companions) or combinations thereof, with numerous secondary traits, identities, rituals and powers. There is plenty of discrimination, prejudice and preconceived notions, and an ill-gotten history between the different clans.

PC Cast’s MOON CHOSEN can be a confusing story line as the author divides the attention between three main characters and the paths they have chosen. Most of the action takes place in the final 100 pages or so of the book.

I loved the author’s Parthelon Series (aka Divine Series); struggled with the House of Night YA series co-authored with her daughter Kristin; and have reservations about continuing on the present course with the current series. PC has a more mature writing style than Kristin and it is evident in the story line structure, text and world building but the vast amount of ‘info dumping’ is overwhelming and takes away from the story line premise-the author is building towards the second installment but tends to meander in too many directions.

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

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Mercury Striking ( The Scorpius Syndrome #1) by Rebecca Zanetti-a review

MERCURY STRIKING (The Scorpius Syndrome #1) by Rebecca Zanetti-a review

Mercury Striking

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / The Book Depository /

About the book: Release Date January 26, 2016

With nothing but rumors to lead her, Lynn Harmony has trekked across a nightmare landscape to find one man—a mysterious, damaged legend who protects the weak and leads the strong. He’s more than muscle and firepower—and in post-plague L.A., he’s her only hope. As the one woman who could cure the disease, Lynn is the single most volatile—and vulnerable—creature in this new and ruthless world. But face to face with Jax Mercury…

Danger has never looked quite so delicious…

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REVIEW: MERCURY STRIKING is the first full length installment in Rebecca Zanetti’s THE SCORPIUS SYNDROME cross genre Sci-Fi/ UF/Dystopian series focusing on a biological pandemic sweeping the world. This is former US soldier Jax Mercury, and CDC researcher Lynn Harmony’s story line that looks at life in the aftermath, and the fallout from an unknown bacteria-from space. For more background information and some history, there is a prequel novella-SCORPIUS RISING-which can be found in the ON THE HUNT anthology (August 2015).

Told from several third person points of view MERCURY STRIKING focuses on the hunt for a cure for a biological bacteria that has killed 99% of the world’s population-as far as anyone knows. Some of those infected have survived to become something known as a Ripper, but there are two types of Rippers inhabiting the world-one is a zombie like creature who feasts on the living; the other is a survivor whose brain has been altered resulting in a stronger, more powerful enhanced human being. When it is discovered that CDC researcher Lynn Harmony survived and quite possibly carries the answer to the cure, she becomes the target for everyone hoping to rule the world. Enter Jax Mercury-the man who has promised to protect Lynn with his life.

Jax is a reluctant hero; a survivor who has amassed a following in an L.A. compound where food and medicine are at a minimum, and rumors are rampant about the source of the virus. Lynn is a former researcher with the CDC who has been accused of causing the plague, and with it comes a target and heavy price on her back. Lynn will become a virtual prisoner, and fall for the man who holds her heart.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters, many of whom do not live to see another day. Jax’s L.A. compound is home for those without a safe place to live, but safety is all a matter of perspective when gangs and corrupt politicians battle for supremacy and food. Newcomers to the compound are always suspect; few reveal their own history or how they came to be.

MERCURY STRIKING is a story of suspense, mystery, action and drama. There are heartbreaking moments of loss; scenarios of graphic violence and tragic death; rigid control and demanding obedience. In the post-apocalyptic world of the Scorpius Syndrome it is survival of the fittest, and every man and woman for themselves. Everyone has an agenda but not everyone is on the same page.

Rebecca Zanetti looks at the possibility of what could happen if a space-borne pathogen makes it way to earth. Are we prepared for a pandemic of this magnitude? And could we survive the zombie apocalypse from space? The premise is exhilarating; the characters are real and imaginable; the romance is a struggle when the world is constantly dragging you down. There is no happily ever after but the possibility of light at the end of the tunnel.

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

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Wandering Star by Romina Russell – a Review

Wandering Star by Romina Russell – a Review

 

Wandering StarAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / BAM / The Book Depository

Description:
Orphaned, disgraced, and stripped of her title, Rho is ready to live life quietly, as an aid worker in the Cancrian refugee camp on House Capricorn.

But news has spread that the Marad–an unbalanced terrorist group determined to overturn harmony in the Galaxy–could strike any House at any moment.

Then, unwelcome nightmare that he is, Ochus appears to Rho, bearing a cryptic message that leaves her with no choice but to fight.

Now Rho must embark on a high-stakes journey through an all-new set of Houses, where she discovers that there’s much more to her Galaxy–and to herself–than she could have ever imagined

 

 

Review:

Wandering Star by Romina Russell is the 2nd book in her Zodiac series. Though this is considered a Young Adult book, the concept and story is truly for everyone. In the first book, Zodiac, where we met our teenage heroine, Rho, we learned about the different houses in the 12 galaxies. We learned about the evil Ochus, of the long lost 13th Galaxy, who was slowly destroying them. However, Rho was the only one who saw him in her visions. With the destruction in her Galaxy, causing the death of the Guardian, Rho was elevated to become the Guardian of House Cancer, due to her powers. She took on the mantle to alert all the houses with the help of a select few, but distrust and failure cause everything to backfire, and Rho was sent home in disgrace.

In Wandering Star, we find Rho working quietly in House Capricorn with her brother and their friend Aryll. A month has passed, when friends from House Sagittarius come to Rho and ask for help. War is on the horizon, and the Marad are threatening to destroy all. To her surprise, during her mediation, Ochus comes to her for help and a warning. Does she believe him, after all he has done to her, her friends , family and other houses?

Rho, with Aryll and Hysan (I really love him, but she is still stuck on her feelings for him and Mathias), leave for Sagittarius to meet up with her friends, Nishi and Deke. What follows is an exciting, action filled and interesting adventure that will be filled with betrayals, danger, death and mistakes that Rho must learn to rise from. Rho has a hard time accepting the challenge, especially after the shaming at the end of Zodiac. But there are those still out there who believe in her, and it is this trust that will allow her to rise again to unite all the houses in the face of this war.

There were many surprises and twists throughout the book, especially with all the deaths and betrayals, some of which was very sad. Rho, who works hard to bring the houses united, must also learn to believe in herself, in order to win this war. Most of all she needs to resolve her own dilemma of loving two men; one from her own house, and the other from a different house. I know who I would choose 🙂  but much will depend on the outcome of the war, and her freedom to be able to choose.

Romina Russell amazes me how she does this world building, with all the galaxies, the different characters, complicated rules, and yet make us believe in it all. Wandering Star was a very good read, and I look forward to the next book in this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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