#selfieaday2016 day 321…

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Retaliation (The Mind Breaker Trilogy #2) by Marina Epley Review

It’s time to return to the dark, bloody world of The Mind Breaker Trilogy. In Marina Epley’s second novel of the series, Retaliation, the war
between humans and mind breakers deepens, as series protagonist Rex straddles the line between resistance hero and mankind’s most feared terrorist.
Here is the synopsis for the Dystopian novel:

RETALIATION is the second novel in THE MIND BREAKER trilogy, set in a violent dystopian world where governmental forces wage war against humans
with psychic abilities.

Against all odds, Rex escapes from an Elimination prison and joins Retaliation, a rebel group consisting of humans with abilities in hypnotism,
memory reading and telepathy. Unfortunately, this place turns out a bit different from the sanctuary he dreams about. Half of the rebels are
hardened criminals, and the rest are merely children, kids brainwashed into hating and killing any non-breakers they encounter.

In Retaliation, Rex decides to try and change things from the inside before the criminals take over, simultaneously looking for a way to
capture his hated enemy, Captain Wheeler. But it happens that the captain is always one step ahead, and has been planning an opportunity to
destroy Rex. He takes Rex’s mother and sister hostage, demanding Rex to surrender. So Rex now has to figure out how to save his relatives from
Wheeler and rescue trapped Retaliation recruits from the hardened criminal element currently taking over the group.

The underlying problem is that no matter what he decides, it always seems to be exactly what Elimination wanted him to do. In believing that
he is fighting a just war against his enemies, Rex may well happen to be nothing more than a puppet in somebody else’s game.

With Elimination seemingly ahead of him at every turn, the struggle for Rex is very real. Facing enemies both from the outside world and from
within his own group, Rex must find a way to stop Elimination and his foe, Captain Wheeler, and stop the hatred brewing on both sides between humans
and breakers. The writing in this story is real and passionate, and does a marvelous job of developing complex characters that you will either
love or hate deeply, making it an even richer story.

The themes of this story are a powerful one, especially in this day and age. The hatred and violence the breakers feel towards humans and the
humans feel towards breakers are an excellent study of prejudice against minorities or people who are different from the “norm” of society. It
speaks volumes for the hatred that is born out of fear of the unknown, and showcases the difficult path that acceptance and peace runs on.

Overall, this is a phenomenal novel. Fans of the dystopian genre will love delving into this series, and if you haven’t read the first book,
I highly suggest you do. Marina Epley is a talented indie author who is sure to storm the dystopian world with her insightful and thought-provoking
work, and that is why I give her novel, Retaliation, a 8 out of 10 rating, and highly recommend you guys check it out for yourself! We look forward
to reading the final chapter of this series and hope to see Rex find a way to end this war once and for all.

Red Death by Jeff Altabef Book Review

Fantasy and Dystopian genres blend together beautifully in author Jeff Altabef’s novel, Red Death. Exploring the impact of religion on various
groups of people and the dangers of how it dictates their lives, Red Death delves into the lives of several young people throughout this
deadly world, with various tribes and Kingdoms conflicting with one another and the mysteries of this world waiting to be unlocked by one
courageous hero. Here is the synopsis:

Every child of Eden fears the Red Death. All those afflicted with the plague die young, their souls stripped away as punishment for ancient
sins long forgotten. For centuries, Guardians have protected Eden from the Red Death by killing outsiders who stray too close. They must
keep Eden a secret if they are to survive.

Seventeen-year-old Aaliss is a highly-trained and dedicated Guardian, but when her rather odd thirteen-year-old brother discovers a cure to
the plague, her world is turned upside down. The discovery is a miracle, yet miracles are dangerous in Eden.

The corrupt, all-powerful High Priest brands Aaliss and her brother Wilky as traitors, forcing them to run. They seek refuge in the last
place Aaliss thought she’d ever go—beyond the boundaries of Eden, and into the land of the Soulless. Here they must navigate a medieval
world filled with witches, magic, and warrior kingdoms run by Elders who are only a few years older than her.

Aaliss yearns to return home to Eden, but she must protect Wilky at all costs. And when her heart tugs her deeper into the world of the
Soulless, she questions everything she once believed, everything the Priests had taught her about those who live outside Eden—they are
forever cursed, savage, soulless.

Has her soul been taken? Will she and Wilky fall victim to the Red Death, or might they die sooner in the center of a battle that threatens
to tear apart the Soulless world? Or… might Aaliss finally find, against all odds, what her heart has yearned for all along?

This was an incredibly well written novel. The dark dystopian world is so vividly described that you can visualize the characters in your
mind. The action and plot of this incredible book took this reader on a roller coaster of emotions and created a world that can easily
pass for a dystopian version of our own. The themes of this novel have never been more true than in this day and age, from the dark side of
power in religion, to the judgement we often have for anyone who isn’t a part of our own culture, to the true meaning of family and how
a person can find family in the most unlikely of places.

It was refreshing to see the gender roles reversed from the “traditional” book styles, where a man is the hardened warrior and the female
needs rescuing or needs to be taught how to fight. Aaliss is a seasoned warrior, and the male lead of this novel that fans will meet must
seek her help for a quest, and must use her skills in order to learn and survive. It shows a welcome trend of strong female characters that
may be flawed but still become the epic hero of the story and prove that they don’t need a man to save them. It helps to break down the
gender stereotypes of our world and showcases that a person’s gender doesn’t define a hero, but rather their actions.

This is a beautifully dark world that has been created by Jeff Altabef, and is a promising first novel in a brand new series. This new world
promises to bring deadly threats to Aaliss and the rest of the people she befriends in this novel, and shows that the world she knows is
going to change drastically. Filled with twists and turns, characters we love and characters we love to hate, this is a fantastic read that
every dystopian and Fantasy reader must check out, so make sure you pick up your copies of Red Death today!

10/10 Stars