‘Sentinel: Galaxii Book 4’ by Christina Engela – Review

Immersive and enjoyable space-sci fi

Christina Engela returns with her immersive and enjoyable brand of space sci-fi in the latest instalment of the Galaxii series.

Captain ‘Sonia La Belle’ is tasked with an uphill struggle of bringing the starship I.S.S. Munray back up to better standards. With mostly disorganised personnel and the ways of a former disgraced captain leaving the ship in disarray, not to mention an old flame on the crew, this new skipper has her work cut out and then come the space pirates.

In the wake of these ‘Corsairs’ being a near enough wiped out, two particular outlaws find themselves in possession of a dooms day-esque technology that threatens not just ‘La Belle’s’ reputation but much more. A pirate resurgence begins along with a matter-of-time chase that ensues with drama and deception at the forefront of a great story delivered by way of Engela’s best writing to date. For anyone looking to for some fun space sci-fi immersion then ‘Sentinel’ is the book for you!

5 Stars – thank you to the author for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review!

Awesome Recommended Indie Reads 7

I’ve been reading and reviewing indie books again so its time to take a look at some recent titles that I thought were awesome…

‘Powerless’ by Vicky Ball

A well-written twisting thriller with darker themes…

Full Review

‘Lazy Creativity: The Art of Owning Your Creativity’ by Kyle Bernier

A detailed, modern and refreshing take on creativity that covers so many applications for success!

Full Review

‘An English Teacher in Mexico: Memories of a Midlife Career Change’ by Irene Pylypec

A fun and insightful well-written account of adventure and culture…

Full Review

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‘SKINNER: Thirty-five years. Four killers. One city’ by Nathan Jones 

Immersive near future sci-fi meets the macabre…

Full Review

‘The Tolworth Beacon’ by Huw Langridge

Intriguing British mystery with tension, atmosphere and code-breaking vibes…

Full Review

‘Recovering Alice’ by Catherine Morrison

A gripping uplifting tale of romance and relapse…

Full Review

And so that wraps up another edition of Awesome Recommended Indie Reads! Thanks for stopping by!

‘SKINNER: Thirty-five years. Four killers. One city’ by Nathan Jones – Review

Immersive near future sci-fi meets the macabre…

Dayne Mitchell has a fascination for the macabre and the wider subject of serial killers who have plagued the British city of Bristol for many years. As a sufferer of bipolar he almost looks to the dark subject of killing as a coping mechanism to get through life in a near future world that is intriguing and imaginative – these two words are what I would use to describe a story that takes readers to dark and sometimes graphic violent places.

There are a wealth of modern subjects and heavy themes in this book that are executed very well by Nathan Jones who merges near future science fiction to thrilling murder mystery with a lot of depth. The vessel being Dayne who endures a journey of discovery, twists and then horrifying revelations as his research into Bristol’s murderous past eventually comes to him. Fans of darker crime drama will certainly appreciate this one along with those looking to learn about the geography and history of a great city.

5 Stars

‘Powerless’ by Vicky Ball – Review

A well-written twisting thriller with darker themes…

Vicky Ball delivers a twisting tale that carries a plethora of darker themes while being executed in a page-turning style that hops back and forth in time with dual P.OV’s. Ball does everything to tell this story and succeeds. As readers we are shown just enough to suggest what is happening beneath the surface of a story that tackles the themes of naivety, coercion, trauma, addiction and of course danger that is a lot closer than first realised.

When ‘Beth’ returns home after several years after disappearing it brings up all kinds of questions and contention that places her younger sister ‘Abby’ on a twisting path of realisation. There is a lot to unpack and it happens gradually while the twists appear unexpectedly. Perhaps this a cautionary tale for those who are younger to not be so trusting to those who clearly want something – a powerful message aimed at readers of a certain younger age who will get something from this book. What we are shown is just enough without glorifying or even exploiting the many issues the reader and characters face. The concept of ‘Businessmen’ simply casts a long enough shadow to suggest what is really happening and the message being about trust.

With a story that goes full circle, Powerless is a thrilling and twisting tale that will take readers on a dramatic and sometimes unexpected ride.

4 Stars – Reviews left via Amazon and Goodreads

Awesome Recommended Indie Reads 6

Its been a while since I last did one of these but I have been reading again, and most of which were indie books. Let us dive in and take a look at some recent awesome indie reads that I recommend!

Fee Simple Conditional by H.C. Helfand 

A gem of a read about life, love and land…

Full Review

Escaping First Contact by T.S. Beier

Original and imaginative space sci-fi full of depth and immersion

Full Review

The Art of Reading: How Reading Can Help You Become a Better, More Productive Writer by J.D. Cunegan

A relatable and open guide about reading to improve your writing…

Full Review

The Art & Business of Writing: A Practical Guide to the Writing Life by Chris Jones

A valuable easy-to-read resource for the modern writer

Full Review

A Twist in the Rift by Meg Radiant

Original page-turning sci-fi with unlimited portals of potential…

Full Review

Summer of ’77 by Rebecca Amiss

An easy-to-read heart-warming story of friendship and nostalgia

Full Review

And so that wraps up another long-awaited edition of Awesome Recommended Indie Reads. Thanks for stopping by and peace out!

Indie Book Rec’s : Thrillers

In celebration of #indieApril over on Twitter and because there are some wonderful indie books out there, I’ve put together a series of posts recommending some awesome works I have read over the years.

This post is dedicated to the Thriller genre so here are some books I highly recommend:

‘The Silent Betrayal’ by Momus Najmi 

Original, eloquently written and thrilling. A tale of deception that reads like a spy thriller but carries a much deeper meaning…’ 

Full Review

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‘The Player Without Luck’ by Kristina Gallo

A thrilling page turning story that will keep you immersed from the start….’ 

Full Review

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‘Fee Simple Conditional (Arcadia Chronicles Book 1)’ by H.C. Helfand 

A gem of a read about life, love and land…’ 

Full Review

‘We Watch You’ By N.S. Ford 

‘Cleverly plotted British mystery thriller with darker psychological tones and twists…’

Full Review

‘Wonder Rush’ by Dan McKeon

An immersive and suspenseful teen spy thriller with some darker edges, a positive message, originality and depth…

Full Review

‘Awake’ by Andrew Palmer

An original techno-psychological thriller that captures the essence and surrealism of dreams with a sinister edge…

Full Review

‘Scarred’ by Damien Linnane

A brutal tale of justice blinded by revenge…

Full Review

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‘The Good Kill: A Killian Lebon Novel’ by Kurt Brindley

An enthralling, gripping tale of epic proportions taking the reader on a ride full of twists, turns and action…

Full Review

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Thanks for stopping by and be sure to use #indieApril over on Twitter to show your support for indie authors and their awesome works!

Indie Book Rec’s : Space Sci-Fi

In celebration of #indieApril over on Twitter and because there are some wonderful indie books out there, I’ve put together a series of posts recommending some awesome works I have read over the years.

This post is dedicated to one of my favourite genres, Space Sci-fi and here are some books I highly recommend!

‘Escaping First Contact’ by T.S. Beier

Original and imaginative space sci-fi full of depth and immersion…’

Full Review

Dust & Lightning’ by Rebecca Crunden

Page-turning sci-fi action with a revolutionary theme…

Full Review

‘Moon-Sitting’ by E.M. Harding

An original and well-paced character driven sci-fi with a difference…

Full Review

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‘Lords of Mars’ by Colin Yeoman

Gripping high end space fiction about the politics of humanity, civilisation and revolution…

Full Review

‘Demonspawn’ by Christina Engela

In space, not all things were certain… not even death’

Full Review

Black Sunrise’ by Christina Engela 

A fun and enjoyable quirky multi-character story that carries an important message…

Full Review

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Sex, Violence, Mars’ by Walrus

A short but fun sci-fi story with great world building, action and some laughs…

Full Review

Kau D’varza: A story in the ChaosNova Universe’ by David Noë

Engaging and immersive high end sci-fi that follows multiple characters along with their antics of journeying through space

Full Review

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Thanks for stopping by and be sure to use #indieApril over on Twitter to show your support for indie authors and their awesome works!

Dust & Lightning by Rebecca Crunden – Review

Page-turning sci-fi action with a revolutionary theme…

Rebecca Crunden introduces readers to a futuristic world not too dissimilar to our own time where there’s pollution, a rich to poor divide and a government that stokes the fire of such only now its on a grander scale. Straight away we find this out as the scene is set in this rich setting and the stakes are introduced via ‘Ames’ who is on a rescue mission of sorts. A mission and journey that will take him across planets while being chased all for the purpose of finding his missing brother.

On his tail are the various agents of the Democratic Plantery Alliance which are anything but their namesake and even though our main character is seemingly wanted he still does his best to do the right thing. He meets ‘Violet’ and intervenes in her situation which in turn forges a bond and an unlikely ally in a situation full of uncertainty. They band together and eventually arrive on the distant planet of ‘Kilnin’ in search of answers.

Pages turn quickly in this action and drama packed chase/find story without chapter breaks hence I read it in just a couple of sittings. The world-building is on point and the wider universe is something with a lot of potential especially as the ending brings promise of that. There are plenty of messages and themes throughout with many pointing towards revolution and the nature of humanity.

“Eventually even those who avoided the world were drawn into its madness…”

5 Stars

‘Fear and Fury’ by Jamie Jackson – Review

An unconventional and enjoyable superhero tale told with buckets of unique personality…

There are heroes and there are villains and then there’s’ Meg’ who tries her best to survive between the fringes of those forces and life in general. Her job is not so great and her outlook on life leans towards just wanting to be left alone. We find this out through an unconventional and sometimes comedic fourth-wall-breaking narration style that has literally buckets of personality and snark. Of course this flavor and comedy in general is a challenge to get right especially in this day and age where some readers refuse to receive it but me, I very much enjoyed that element which was executed very well by Jamie Jackson while only being part of a complex story because ‘Meg’ has a unique super power with a darker edge.

That power is rather a hot commodity to some, we see all around Superman type ‘Greg’ persistently trying to recruit our main character while on the other side of proceedings a sinister collector of powers known as ‘Red Eye’ is also pursuing her. In between being told to ‘shut up’ by ‘Meg’ we see her trying to juggle options she is constantly caught between and her deadly power is always whispering. Her control over those voices can sometimes have consequences that not even she is able to control.

‘I told the whispers to watch over me. And they agreed, because they wanted more blood…’

Its easy to read and full of some wonderful description along with great dialogue which I sometimes felt was broken up by narration that confides in the reader pulling me out for only a moment or two – my only real critique because everything else left me wanting to turn pages, know more about this world and where this story could possibly go.

4 Stars – A different take on the tired superhero genre and done rather well.

Perfect Reads for Spooky Season

The season of spookyness is here and what better time to get into a book because the evenings are short and the lanterns of carved fruit are being lit. Here are some indie books that I think are perfect for spooky season.

‘Evil Eye: A Slasher Story’ by April A. Taylor

Of course this season brings with it the plethora of slasher films like ‘Halloween’ and ‘Friday the 13th’ so if you like them, you’ll love ‘Evil Eye’. Set on a remote island during a hurricane, there’s a masked killer stalking those left behind. Perfect for this time of year. Full review here.

‘Fear Farm No Trespassers’ by S.J. Krandall

For those who enjoy shorter reads that all link together, this is the one for you. Each story of ‘Fear Farm’ starts with that slow creepifying burn which then flows into much quicker tempo producing those spooky season thrills and spills. Well worth a read for anyone looking to be thrilled. Full review here.

‘Don’t Lose Your Head’ by Dave Williams7

Although to me ‘Don’t Lose Your Head’ is an all-year-round type of dark read it will definitely haunt you in deep and unique type of way. Conscience and repercussion take centre stage in this story that I couldn’t put down and there are plenty of themes within that perfectly align for this time of year – atmosphere and creepy visuals are a plenty in this one. Full Review Here.

‘Deification’ by Brooklynn Dean

It probably doesn’t get any darker than the apocalypse and Brooklynn Dean delivers it on a lavish plate full of prose, depth and darkness in a story that will keep you glued. This one is perfect for spooky season but again definitely an all-year-round type of read. Full Review Here.

‘Nocturnal Blood’ by Villimey Mist

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Without vampires there would be no spooky season and my go-to indie vampire story is the ‘Nocturnal’ series starting with this part one. A unique blend of chase and discovery take a young lady on one hell of journey down the sometimes gory but always satisfying rabbit hole of vampire horror. Full review here.

‘Demonspawn’ by Christina Engela

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I’ve always got time for a little space horror especially when it is this good and chilling. A stranded and down on their luck crew of the I.S.S. Mordrake discover a seemingly abandoned vessel floating in the depths of space. What they discover takes the reader on an awesome ride. Full Review Here.

‘The Ghost Beside Me’ by Lee Hall

You’ll have to excuse the blatant self promotion here but there isn’t a ghost story on this list and considering how well this book is doing of recent, I thought I’d give it a little plug. ‘Ghost’ is a unique short read making it low commitment which is part of the appeal. All you need is a free evening and you’ll probably get through the whole thing. Here’s a recent review.

Thanks for stopping by and check back soon for some more reads that are perfect for spooky season!