Publisher: WordFire Press
I was asked by one of the authors of this anthology to review this book for the release, and I am so glad that he asked me to do this! I absolutely loved it! The stories included in this compilation range from strange and creepy to outright scary, and there was not one of them that I can honestly say that I just didn’t enjoy. There were some, however, that stood out for me. One that really stood out for me was The Kraken’s Story by Robert J. McCarter. THe reason that this one stood out, in my mind, was the POV that it was told from: the Kraken’s. I do believe that this is the first time that I have read a story told from the POV of a Kraken, and it was very different (in a good way!). One of the stories that I just loved was Gregory D. Little’s A Marsh Called Solitude. The writing was beautiful, with wonderfully developed characters. It feels like he was able to put so much in to a short story. It is the writing that I have come to expect from him in a neat little package. One of my other favorites has to be Sea Dreams, written by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta. The writing was also very lovely in this story, and the underlying message of friendship is an important one.
If you love short stories (we all know that I love them by now!) and sci-fi/fantasy, I think that you will really enjoy this anthology. You are getting so much packed in to this one book!
Author: Gregory Little
Series: Unwilling Souls
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Ses and the Artisan Guild are on the run, after she unwittingly revealed their headquarters while saving her father and keeping the gods imprisoned. She placed her trust in the wrong person, Murien. They now must make the long journey to their new headquarters, Ocypode. Once they arrive, however, things are not the way that they expected them to be. They are worse. Meanwhile, Murien is sent undercover in the Pit to infiltrate the apprentice smiths. Things begin happening there, and he doesn’t know who he can trust- quite the turn of events. The gods have servants who are on the move, and putting plans in to action, and Ses is forced to team up with unlikely allies to get to the bottom of it.
I was blown away by the first book in this series, Unwilling Souls. Unfortunately, a lot of time when that happens, the sequels can’t live up to the original. I am so, very, happy to say that was not the case here! The phenomenal world building from the debut only got better. The character building continued, and the characters became more complex. This story was just as gripping as the last, and was so enjoyable to read. I look forward to much more from this author!
Author: Alan Dean Foster
Series: Star Wars
Publisher: Del Rey
I’m going to assume that if you are interested in reading my review of The Force Awakens, then you are a Star Wars fan and have seen the movie by this time. That being said, I am just going to jump right in to a review of the book, rather than giving you a recap of a movie that you have most likely already seen. Foster did a wonderful job with this novelization of the movie. While it doesn’t give a ton more information to add to the movie, such as adding a lot more backstory which I’m sure that we would all love to have (hopefully coming in the future!), it does add enough that it is definitely worth the read. We get some fun things like finding out what happened to Poe after the Tie Fighter crashed, some scenes from time spent in the cantina that would have been interesting to see in the movie, more a look in to the characters’ mindset and thoughts, and a feel that Leia may have known more than she let on in the movie. If you are a fan, and would like to get a little more additional information, I think that you will really enjoy this book.
Author: Gregory D. Little
Series: Unwilling Souls
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Ses is the daughter of two of the most influential and powerful individuals left, after the war ended and the gods were imprisoned in the planet’s core. No one can know that, of course, as her parents are now rivals and she is their little secret- half of each of the rivaling factions. She is living in the middle of the planet, learning how to be a smith, when the attack happens and she must flee before she is found out. Once she is on the run, she realizes that her parents, who have all but abandoned her, may be the only ones that can save her now. What will she find once she is on the run, though? Are there secrets about her life and her world that are darker than her lineage?
This was recommended to me by an author whom I definitely trust to give book recs, and I’m glad that he threw this one out there! I can honestly tell you that this novel has some of the most creative and beautiful world building that I have read in quite some time. The way that the author depicts his world, you can really see the hollowed center of the planet, the magma, the bright oranges and reds, the cities in the skeletons of the giant animals. It is truly beautiful to read. The story itself was very different than anything that I have read before (which is saying something in my book!). It was gripping, and I didn’t want to stop reading it. I am thankful that it was recommended to me, and I am looking forward to the next one!
Author: Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky
In the conclusion of the Under the Never Sky trilogy, Aria and Perry must somehow unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders if their plan to make it to the Still Blue is to succeed. Sable and Hess are just as determined to make it to the Still Blue, and have abducted Cinder in their effort to do so. Aria and Perry now that time is running out to rescue Cinder and make it to the Still Blue before the aether storms trap them, but will they make it?
I enjoyed the conclusion to this trilogy, although I must say that the second book in the trilogy was actually more gripping than the conclusion. Don’t get me wrong, this novel was a good read and was very entertaining, it just didn’t grab me and hold me the way that Through the Ever Night did. It was a bit….predictable in many ways, but still fun. It ended the way that it should have, and I am now a Veronica Rossi fan.
I can’t believe that it is already the last day of 2015! It seems that this year has passed by so quickly. It was a very busy and exciting year for me. It has also been a year filled with some amazing reading! I had a little bit of a tough time deciding what my best book of the year was, but I just kept going back to a book that was sent to me to review in May. I happened upon a post asking for reviewers when I very first started my blog, and I decided to give this author a try on a whim: I am incredibly thankful that I did! Not only is the first of two books that I have reviewed for him this year my favorite book of the year, he is my favorite new author of the year:
Chemical Burn by Quincy J. Allen
This novel is a Sci-Fi Thriller, and it is awesome! I still think about it, and I am really hoping for more in this series! Mr. Allen is a cross-genre author, and he does it flawlessly. His other novel, Blood Ties (you can find my full initial reviews for both of these on the blog) is a steampunk/western. It never seems forced when he crosses the genre barriers, the words and stories flow beautifully. I cannot wait to read more from this author. If you like sci-fi, you really should check this novel out. I hope that you will fall in love with his writing, as I have.
Thank you all, again, for indulging me and keeping me going on this blog. I hope that you all have a wonderful and safe New Year’s Eve!! As always, thanks for reading.
Author: Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky
After being forced to separate at the end of the first book, Aria and Perry are finally reunited in the desert. Aria has spent much of their time apart with Roar, training both her battle skills and their shared gift. Perry has gained a group of faithful followers, and has become the Blood Lord of the Tides. When Aria accompanies him back to the Tides, though, they are not a fan of her due to her being a Dweller. Events stemming from this, as well as a deal that Aria had to make in order to save Talon, force her to steal away in the night with Roar without Perry’s knowledge. When Perry finds out, he knows that he has to stay with the Tides rather than follow after them, and do his duty as Blood Lord. They all have a goal, a mission, to accomplish separately before they can come back together.
The second book in the series was actually more interesting than the first, in my opinion. The world and character building continued to improve, as did the relationship building. Several relationships were strengthened in this book, as well as those that completely fell apart. The story line got even better, as we watch Perry try to figure out the best way to be a leader to what is now his tribe and keep his relationship with Aria together at the same time. Aria seems to have settled in to the world outside of Reverie now, and she is trying to find her way as and prove herself to be more than a Dweller. More interesting characters are introduced that should play an interesting role as he story progresses. I think that the last book in this trilogy will be quite interesting to see how it plays out.