Kau D’varza: A story in the ChaosNova universe by David Noë – ARC Review

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

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In the ChaosNova universe the depths of space can be filled with near enough unlimited scope for mystery, deception, risks and reward as this book focuses on ‘Kau D’varza’ a space station where something is always happening. 

Elise Rivera; a relative newcomer to the station in search of a new life soon becomes entangled first of all into some trouble before the realisation comes that she can be of great use. After an early conversation with station’s arch commissioner Elise rides her luck in some senses towards becoming an External Investigations Specialist where she finds herself rubbing shoulders with other specialists of ‘Kau D’varza’ whether that be to help with traitorous engineers or even assisting on bigger space missions. Her journey is intertwined with other specialist’s as they all go about their duty in keeping the station safe; from incoming unknown ships, the threat of ‘Reclaimers’ or the scourge of space; pirates. 

We see these other stories which display the multitude of believable and likable folks such as the eventual romance of specialist Kaska Stone and Specialist Joseph Raffa which added to the many depths this story contains. I enjoyed the realistic approach and even somewhat clunky-ness of Raffa while he tried to do his best to court Stone; even if Ikarus did intervene to begin with.

The reading experience overall feels like a fly on the wall documentary in some places; which is a compliment to the very well constructed and detailed universe this story resides in. In the latter stages of what is a long but immersive read I particularly enjoyed the space battle which carried notes of the space adventures all sci-fi fans will know of along with cutting it’s own unique path. Pockets of action or deceptive investigation for the station specialists will keep any reader immersed in what is an original and highly detailed entry to the science fiction world.

5 Stars

I would like to take this opportunity to thank David Noë for providing an advanced copy of the book. I shall place my reviews in the usual places – Goodreads and Amazon. 

Kau D’varza is out now!

 

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Black Sunrise by Christina Engela – Review

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

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Black Sunrise is about a lot of different things and the author has done a great job of linking them all together by way of a story that is not only funny, it’s also strange in a good way and carries a positive message. The diverse array of characters range from a bounty hunter to a talking plant called ‘Fred’ who in some senses stole the show considering this ‘Arborian’ seemed to be more of a secondary character.

Set mostly on the planet of Deanna; this holiday destination see’s the arrival of an alien spaceship helmed by the ‘Ruminarii’ a race of hostile lizard type aliens looking to send a message. Along the way we see the story from many different points of view; including these aliens who (spoiler alert) fail in a sense to send said message.

Cindy Mei Winter; a former government agent is trying to put the past behind her and provides the important message this story carries. What first appears as a suggested undertone comes center stage in the latter part of the story as Cindy is revealed to be transgender; something that is portrayed in a positive and modern way. In fact there are two transgender characters in this story. This message extends to many of the other characters who are all different in their own way questioning the concept of what an alien really is. 

Overall I found this story enjoyable with a positive message that puts the ‘conscience over paycheck’ concept into practice. There are some parts I found to be genuinely funny while in other moments it was thought provoking.

Seeing as this book is a part of the wider ‘Quantum’ series I will be sure to check out the others.

5 Stars 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daughter of Kali: Awakening by Shiulie Ghosh – review

Original page turning action with a powerful voice that speaks of prophecy, coming of age and warriors…

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On the surface ‘Daughter of Kali’ would appear to be just another teen/young adult story but in reality it is so much more and carries a level of sophistication that gives it a much wider appeal.

We are introduced to ‘Kaz’ who is a feisty and likeable main character, she carries the story as a girl who stands out from the very beginning. She’s the only Indian girl in an English school and is toughened by the fact. The opening chapters serve as an introduction to what is an ordinary seeming world of school for ‘Kaz’ and her best friend/computer whizz ‘Em’ only for them to realize there is a whole other world below the surface. That world being one of demons and a warriors guild who fight said demons. ‘Kaz’ discovers that her own mother is in fact a warrior and so her journey of discovery begins, which involves finding out about her past, eventually becoming a realization of power story. 

This warriors guild has been historically fighting demons for generations and is cleverly linked to the Hindu faith; a concept I found intriguing and original. There’s plenty of action and suspense throughout along with many other original concepts and characters that delve into the world of magic and mythology.

Overall I enjoyed reading what is a well written and clever tale that I found to be un-put-down-able in the latter chapters.

5 Stars – Looking forward to the sequel

Seeker: A story in ChaosNova universe by David Noe and Laura Loolaid – Review

Page turning sci-fi with plenty of drama, deception and the unexpected…

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‘Seeker’ is a story and journey of discovery set in a wide futuristic universe of space travel.

‘Jewel’ the M.C is a bounty hunter or ‘Seeker’ and her latest ‘contract’ sends her on a journey that becomes a little close to home. What follows is a story full of intrigue, tension and twists that takes the reader on an eventful ride for ‘Jewel’ who makes for a strong and independent protagonist looking for answers; something which readers will immediately align with.

The ChaosNova universe is delivered and described in a readable and enjoyable style making this story accessible and appealing for all readers; something which is hard to grasp in the world of science fiction. The co-authorship of this book works tremendously well in representing the genre and could even be comparable to cult TV show ‘Firefly’ in its approach. Shorter books don’t get anywhere near enough credit and this one deserves high praise for its detail and world building.

I particularly enjoyed the way combat was masterfully described in a particular scene; something I would very much like to see more of in this universe along with ‘Jewel’.

Overall ‘Seeker’ is a story that represents the main character’s journey in learning about herself and her history along with a valuable moral about family. I am looking forward to reading more from the ChaosNova universe; a concept where the creators have put in a lot of work and it shows.

4 Stars   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drake Peters: One Minute to Midnight by Kingsley Benjamin – Review

Page turning sci-fi with an original concept and premise…

peterThis is a young adult novel with a difference and which breaks the mold and moves away from the usual tropes seen the genre. Its very common for YA stories to spend too much time within the head and mind of a main character; ironically that doesn’t happen in this book and that is one of the many concepts that makes the story of Drake Peters accessible and full of pace which has the reader turning pages.

We are introduced to Drake Peters who lives his life in the mundane and sometimes socially treacherous world of ordinary school life, that is until he realizes the power he has within his own mind. Soon enough he is whisked away to an academy that is run and influenced by aliens for those who are gifted in the mind.

This mind power premise is limitless and is explored throughout the story as Drake and the characters around him (fellow students) learn to hone their skills of the mind and try to figure out this world they live in. These are characters who range in diversity and ability all of which were believable and carried genuine motive.

Set in the not too distant future of corporations with an east verses west political climate I particularly enjoyed the science fiction elements and nods to various pop culture references. There are so many different influences the story is shaped by, some which are obvious whereas others were just skimming the edge. If you are a fan of the x men, the Hunger Games, Men in Black and even Fallout you will definitely enjoy this sophisticated take on YA sci-fi.

5 stars

 

Silver Princess By Lea Carter – review

An enjoyable fairy tale full of twists and charm…

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From the very beginning I found myself immersed in a world of fairies by way of this charming story full of tension, twists and even some action.

Part love story and part coming of age, the book focuses on Rebecca; a fairy princess who is rescued by a mysterious man-fairy named ‘Scamp’. Their romance is subtle and gradually reveals itself much like the story as a whole making it an enjoyable read suitable for all ages, something which is rarely well executed in literature these days. Its a sort of princess and the pauper story until more is revealed in the latter stages.

There was never a dull moment in a book that is very well written and immersive throughout.

4 Stars 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Odd Spirits by S.T. Gibson – review

A modern story about feelings and relationships intertwined with spiritual magic…

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S.T. Gibson has delivered an original tale that gradually unfolds around a married couple who experience a kind of spiritual disturbance in their house.

Although there are elements of several genres blended together in this book such as romance, paranormal and spiritual they are all combined in a light way that makes for some great and very addictive reading which would suit all readers.

The two main characters ‘Rhys’ and ‘Moira’ are a believable and very real feeling couple who have to look within to resolve their issues. One of the best things about this book is the characterization and the way this couple interacts with each other. This story is about them after all and their resolve fitted perfectly to the rest of the book as well as the whole concept of novellas.

Good novella’s don’t get enough credit and this one in particular is a gripping and enjoyable read.

5 Stars 

Over The Pass, and Other Stories by Susan Mary Malone – review

An anthology of deep and wonderfully descriptive short stories that whisks the reader away…

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Using a combination of vivid settings and a deep immersive writing style, Susan Mary Malone has put together a book of tales that can best be described as escapism in it’s purest form. The american landscape described throughout will make any reader think that they have stood overlooking places of natural beauty even if they have never been there and that is just one of the many values this book contains.

Human feelings and emotion are woven together along with the sometimes grand settings even if they are simply in the backdrop because in the foreground is where much of these stories subtly take place. At a glance it would even appear that nothing really happens throughout the duration of each but there is so much more within and it’s literary art of the highest caliber.

I very much enjoyed the descriptive nature of the writing which was complimented and balanced by the individual stories, all of which are in the moment and are even savored.

In particular I very much enjoyed ‘Winter’s Prey’ which for me set the president of discovery for what was to follow in what I believe to be a unique collection of stories.

5 Stars  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Endsong by Roslyn Renwick – a review

Immersive imaginative escapism with a powerful voice and premise…

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I found this book to be like nothing like anything I have read before. The style of writing immediately immerses you into the mind of main character Rhea Forrester; a complex and curious lady who carries this story with a wonderful amount of depth. From what would appear on the surface becomes so much more and not only does that apply for the whole story but for Rhea also.

To put it simply this book is different and original for the genre it falls under, that is an incredible achievement. I felt as if this was a journey which slowly moved down the rabbit hole somewhere between fantasy and science fiction with a whole host of sub genres and tones. I say slowly because the pacing of the story moves steadily and in a way that asks questions which are answered later on and during, gripping readers all the way through and deeply most of the time. The story evolves as it unfolds with a high level of tension nearer to the latter stages which was in fact always there but subtle and well thought out.

There were many instances I found myself asking ‘what is this about?’ which is a positive because this truly is a tale of the unexpected and it is also something readers will have to find out on their own because Endsong is worth the read. Books should be an escape and this is the pinnacle of that much like Rhea Forrester of Poplar close and her journey. All of the characters purposefully contributed towards what is a fascinating reflection of humanity.

If you are looking for a deep immersive and original tale then this is a book I highly recommend.

5 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review of ‘The Last Driver’ – Episode 1 – Old Dogs by Bookshelf Q. Battler

A sometimes absurd but always fun story of the future…

last driverI picked up the kindle version of this book for 99p after noticing it via the blog of Bookshelf Q. Battler which I follow.  Set in a not too distant totalitarian type future where the ‘freedoms’ we have today are severely reduced in some creative and original ways. This gives ‘The Last Driver’ an interesting and potentially limitless premise which carries the central story by comparing the future with present day.

Although I felt ‘dystopian future’ type vibes this book is far from the stories typical of that genre. There are still the usual traits such as media control and censorship but they are cleverly conveyed and even contain a level of humor in which I enjoyed. In fact the humor is what kept me hooked and I read this in a matter of days.

Told through the eyes of older gentleman Frank Wylder; his story bounces between the future and 2010 when he was younger so automatically the reader will able to relate with his struggle to describe the world he once lived in. Pop culture references are used frequently in the earlier stages and they tend to mostly aid the story as opposed to some books where they are unnecessary in usage.

Frank owns a classic car in a world of self driving vehicles and driving a car is in fact a thing of the past, this should give enough insight to the world in which he lives. In particular my most enjoyable part of the story was the description and depiction of ‘state approved’ channels and even a ‘state approved newsreader’ conducting an absurd ‘debate’ piece. I used the word absurd but it is also funny and worrying close to how some news outlets already operate.

Overall I found this book enjoyable and very readable. The ending was left open for a potential sequel which I would be interested in reading. I recommend it to anyone looking for a an enjoyable and insightful look into the future.

5 stars.

Click here for amazon link.