High School Queens (The High School Queens Trilogy #1) by Zachary Ryan Review

A group of young teens facing the last few months of their high school lives at an elite prep school discover a threat hiding in the shadows, threatening to expose the secret lives they are all leading in author Zachary Ryan’s novel “High School Queens”.

TRIGGER WARNING: THIS NOVEL DEALS WITH THEMES OF SELF-HARM, EATING DISORDERS AND MORE. READER DISCRETION ADVISED. 

A group of young teens facing the last few months of their high school lives at an elite prep school discover a threat hiding in the shadows, threatening to expose the secret lives they are all leading in author Zachary Ryan’s novel “High School Queens”. Here is the synopsis. 

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The Synopsis 

They all thought they did a masterful job of keeping their secrets close to their chest. These stupid fools thought they were the high court of this kingdom, but they had no clue who was really pulling the strings. You might wonder to yourself, who would be that heartless to make them backstab their friends, expose other’s secrets, and lose their morals? You don’t need to know who I am, but you better remember my name, The Marked Queen.

Danielle, Andrew, Delilah, Aman, and Jasmine all are now faced with a mysterious villain whose one goal is to ruin each of their lives. They must protect their secrets at all cost, or they’ll be the next victim on Marked Day. They know what’s at stake, and they’ll stop at nothing to continue being: the rich spoiled girl, the normal teenager, the girl who isn’t banging the principal, the straight vlogger, and the girl who isn’t her dad’s punching bag. What happens when The Marked Queen changes up the game just in time for prom? Will each of our favorite puppets survive? Or are they willing to backstab each other just to keep up their personas? The only thing lost at this prom wasn’t going to be their virginity.

Sex, Lies, and High School Queens explores the major theme of self-acceptance. Can they learn to accept all their flaws or pray victim to The Marked Queen? Each chapter continues to fill your sweet tooth until the climactic moment at the prom where you get to have that final bite of the bitch cake you’ve been dying to consume.

The Review

 What a fun, dramatic and engaging read. The writing style was incredibly unique, as readers jumped from character to character in each chapter, with a personal narration of the character’s growing problems from the mysterious figures hiding in the shadows, waiting to expose each person’s secrets. 

From hiding their sexuality from the world and their families, to keeping their self-destructive tendencies to themselves and the lifestyles they find themselves forced to live in, each character has an intense and profound secret that defines their journey, and readers will watch not only as each character finds their rock bottom, but the lengths to which they will go to keep their secrets to themselves. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel for any LGBTQ Drama/Romance fans out there in the YA world. A powerful character study of the problems teens are faced with nowadays, the mystery of the Marked Queen and their plans for the elite members of the prep school play out like the high octane drama of the hit series Pretty Little Liars, with a bit less murder. Who is the Marked Queen, and what is his/her ultimate goal? Find out in author Zachary Ryan’s novel “High School Queens”, the first in the High School Queens saga, today! 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Zachary Ryan grew up in a black-and-white box in Maryland, before moving to Chicago to start a new life. There, he found that he was accepted for his misfit status—and learned that it’s perfectly normal to spend your twenties feeling lost and confused.

After a disastrous sexual encounter, Ryan stumbled on a group of true friends, or “soul cluster,” that he connected with. Through his writing, he hopes to help other broken souls out there find comfort amid the chaos.

https://zacharyryanbooks.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Zacharyryanbooks/

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Tales of Potentia: The Shadows by J.J. Angel Review

A small group of teens find themselves forever changed as an alien threatens to destroy the world in author J.J. Angel’s novel “Tales of Potentia: The Shadows”.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A small group of teens find themselves forever changed as an alien threatens to destroy the world in author J.J. Angel’s novel “Tales of Potentia: The Shadows”. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis 

Humanity has always wanted to understand the inner soul of the cosmic web we call the Universe. They fulfill their curiosity with exploration hoping for eternal enlightenment, but what if something darkened their views? Something that could wipe out the entire Earth if given the opportunity?

Tales of Potentia: the Shadows, is the first rush in a thrilling and nail-biting supernatural fantasy series that entertains your curiosity and teases your imagination with an endless war between the Universe and the Absence of Light.

When a cosmic entity unleashes on an unsuspecting community, it carries an insatiable hunger and a hostile attitude with it.

The only resolve against this threat lies within the hands of a few teens, who gain mysterious supernatural abilities from a mysterious crystal not of this Earth. However, everything is not as it seems and if they don’t find out how to use Potentia correctly they will find themselves next on the menu.

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The Review

This was a fun new sci-fi/fantasy novel that began an intriguing new mythology that will hopefully expand further into a series. The book immediately jumps into the action and mystery of the deadly new threat, slowly building up to a story of monstrous and bloodthirsty creatures, a lone survivor looking to stop the threat forever, government agencies and innocent teens whose lives are changed forever by the discovery of powerful energies that merge with them unexpectedly.

The story was evenly paced, and did a marvelous job of presenting characters that were relatable and easy to cheer for. While there were a few instances of grammatical and misplaced word mistakes, the story overall was powerful and the author does a marvelous job of setting up this intricately detailed new galactic mythology without giving away too many details early on. By book’s end the stage is set for an expanding series, teasing growing threats and the power these teens have to face the coming darkness. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel for anyone who is a fan of sci-fi and fantasy driven narratives. Especially geared towards a YA audience, both YA and Adult audiences will enjoy the chilling tale of monsters and aliens that descends on the world, and the few people who will find their lives changed forever. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of Tales of Potentia: The Shadows by J.J. Angel today!

Rating: 8/10

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About the Author

J.J. Angel, also know by his other pseudonym J.J. Angelus, is an energetic, humorous, but equally focused creative author who enjoys immersing his ideas and creating imaginary worlds within the realms of science fiction, fantasy, and some horror. He is a former Entertainment Tech Film Major of Baton Rouge Community College and a recipient of the Unsung Hero Award for his contribution towards the anthology, “Voices from the Bayou”, with emotional and thought provoking narrative, “Still Water Runs Deep”. 

When he isn’t writing, JJ enjoys creature features, evening walks by the river, poetry, volunteering, and digital art and animation.

Website:  https://www.talesofpotentia.com

Twitter: @powerthenovel

Facebook: Facebook profile

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/animated_author/

The Mark of Fallen Flame by Brittany Matsen Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young woman struggling to plant roots in Seattle after a lifetime of moving around discovers a terrifying power within herself, a world of secrets her mother has hidden from her and a deadly war she is forced into in author Brittany Matsen’s novel The Mark of Fallen Flame. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis 

Emma:

A seventeen-year-old girl just trying to find a place in an unsteady world. With her mother moving them around her entire life, no one has been permanent.

When senior year begins, Emma is determined to sink some roots into Seattle and finally start living life. Especially when she discovers she has the power to kill terrifying monsters with a single touch. Suddenly, a whole new world explodes around her.

The new boy in school that is mysteriously in every one of her classes is too beautiful to be human. Her best friend is acting strange, and her mother’s lies may finally be too many to contain. The protectors of the human race–the Giborim–are more than a little eager to use Emma’s power in the war that’s coming. But her allegiance may be forced in order to save everyone she loves.

Levaroth:

Shediem. General of Sheol. Servant and confidant to Asmodeus, Prince of Wrath.

“Spying the wild, auburn beauty with eyes like emeralds for the first time, I don’t know what comes over me. I have to get closer. She smells of sunshine and purity. You may not think that’s something you can smell, but you can. It’s rarely untainted, but with her…She can’t help but care about everyone she meets, and I need to know why. So I watch her, learn about her. But something is changing in me. Shediem do not feel emotions, we taste them. We devour them. Yet my kills are less satisfying and all I can think about is her face. Her disgust. But she can’t be pure if she’s to be mine. And I will have her.”

The Review 

This was a powerful fantasy driven narrative that did a marvelous job of creating a new mythology that readers will instantly be enthralled by. Powerful and creepy creatures blended perfectly with relatable and interesting characters to drive the novel forward at a reasonable pace.

The thing I love about this book besides the unique mythology created by the author was how the book didn’t waste anytime jumping into the action of the plot. From the first 20 pages or so the author takes readers head first into this fantasy and partly horror driven narrative and doesn’t hold any punches, establishing the dangers and the stakes early on. 

The Verdict 

This is a must read fantasy book that readers will instantly fall in love with. Full of engaging characters, a gripping love triangle and a great story, this is one book you don’t want to miss. Be sure to preorder your copy today or grab your copy on May 31st, 2019! 

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

I’m an American by birth but a Kiwi at heart, living in the wondrous New Zealand with my husband. Writing has been a passion since I was very young. In middle school I had articles published in the local newspaper, and the school paper in high school. I attended the Institute of Children’s Literature with the hope of one day creating stories for the world.

When I’m not dreaming up monsters or tortured heroes you can find me hiking somewhere lush and green.

Check out my Patreon page and follow me on Instagram! https://www.patreon.com/bmmatsen

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https://www.brittanymatsen.com/

Nexus (The Androma Saga #2) by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A galaxy of people forced into blind servitude and a family torn apart lead to a mission not only for survival, but to stop a threat more powerful than anyone could have possibly imagined in the final chapter of authors Lindsay Cummings and Sasha Alsberg’s duology “Nexus (The Androma Saga #2)”. Here is the synopsis.

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The Synopsis

Her ship is gone, her crew is captured and notorious mercenary Androma Racella is no longer the powerful Bloody Baroness, but a fugitive ruthlessly hunted across the Mirabel Galaxy. The bloodthirsty Queen Nor now rules most of the galaxy through a mind-control toxin and she’ll stop at nothing to destroy her most hated adversary.

Andi will risk anything, even her precious freedom, to find a cure. Stranded with her unlikely ally, Dex, on the unforgiving ice planet of Solera, their plan to infiltrate a black-market city proves dangerously irresistible.

Back in Arcardius, Nor’s actions have opened Mirabel to invasion. As Andi’s crew fights to regain their freedom, Andi and Dex discover a threat far greater than anything they’ve faced before.

Only by saving their mortal enemy can the crew of the Marauder make one last desperate strike to save the galaxy—unaware that a shattering, centuries-old secret may demand the most wrenching sacrifice of all. 

The Review

This is the perfect ending to a phenomenal YA Sci-Fi thriller. Put up against nearly impossible odds, a feared and strong criminal turned hero is forced into an impossible position as she yearns to free the crew she considers her family, while a threat building behind the scenes for decades begins to slowly reveal itself, and the threat of Nor soon makes way for a devastatingly sinister plot that only Andi can stop. 

The action and suspense the plot brings are superb in their delivery, as is the growing mythology behind the Mirabel galaxy and its people. Readers are instantly enthralled with this growing world, which brings a mixture of Star Wars meets Firefly with a YA twist. Yet it’s the characters of this novel that truly define the book’s power, as the story feels personal and heartfelt as the protagonist showcases a love for her family that goes above and beyond any responsibilities placed upon her. Family is what defines this story, in more ways than one, and the ferocity with which Andi is willing to fight to save her family showcases the path of any great sci-fi hero.

The Verdict

This is a must read summer YA book for any fan of the YA sci-fi genre. Filled with action, passion and a deep rooted mythology that fans will instantly become obsessed with, the shocking conclusion to the tale will leave readers on the edge of their seat. While the story may officially be over for the Androma Saga, the characters and their love for one another are what will live on in readers hearts as they go on this final journey with the Bloody Baroness. If you haven’t yet, be sure to pick up your copy of Nexus by authors Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Authors

SASHA ALSBERG

Sasha Alsberg is the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Zenith, the first book in The Androma Saga. When Sasha is not writing or obsessing over Scotland, she is making YouTube videos on her channel, Abookutopia, and studying history at university. She lives in Massachusetts with her two dogs.

LINDSAY CUMMINGS

Lindsay Cummings is the #1 NYT Bestselling Co-Author of Zenith: The Androma Saga. She is also the 24-year-old author of The Murder Complex duology and The Balance Keepers trilogy for HarperCollins. She lives in North Texas, where she writes full time. Lindsay is represented by Pete Knapp at Park Literary & Media. Find out more about Lindsay and her books, and get writing/publishing advice on her website.

An Unsettled Grave (A Santero and Rein Thriller #2) by Bernard Schaffer Review

After hunting down a demented killer, a newly appointed detective finds herself delving into a decades old cold case filled with haunting secrets, and discovers a shocking connection to her mentor in author Bernard Schaffer’s novel, “An Unsettled Grave”.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

After hunting down a demented killer, a newly appointed detective finds herself delving into a decades old cold case filled with haunting secrets, and discovers a shocking connection to her mentor in author Bernard Schaffer’s novel, “An Unsettled Grave”. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

In this brilliantly chilling follow-up to The Thief of All Light, veteran police officer Bernard Schaffer digs deep into the past–and the haunted psyches of the detectives who search for truth . . . at any cost.

“There’s a thousand scavengers in these woods.”

Before being promoted to detective, Carrie Santero was given a rare glimpse into the mind of a killer. Through her mentor, Jacob Rein–a seasoned manhunter whose gift for plumbing the depths of madness nearly drove him over the brink–she was able to help capture one of the most depraved serial killers in the country. Now, the discovery of a small human foot buried in the Pennsylvania woods will lead her to a decades-old cold case–and the darkest secrets of her mentor’s youth.

“Nobody trusts an animal that tries to eat its own kind.”

Thirty years ago, a young girl went missing. A police officer was murdered. Another committed suicide. The lives of everyone involved would never be the same. For three agonizing decades, Jacob Rein has yearned for the truth. But when Detective Carrie Santero begins digging up new evidence, she discovers some answers come with shattering consequences.

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The Review

This is the perfect follow up to the series began in The Thief of All Light. Author Bernard Schaffer continues to bring his expertise in the field of criminal investigation to bring a sense of realism and relatability to the genre, while still providing an engaging and entertaining thriller like no other. Detective Santero shines through in this story, providing a more confident and seasoned investigative mind to the case while still showing her honest and no nonsense personality that allows her to showcase her strength as a protagonist in this tale.

Yet it is the shocking connection to seasoned detective and Carrie’s mentor Rein that makes this story shine, as readers are given a rare glimpse into the history of Jacob Rein and the events that made him into the brilliant detective that he is. A case from his past highlights the events that led to his descent into darkness, swimming amongst the monsters of this world in order to capture them. Jumping between the past and the present makes this story feel more personal and intimate of a story than the first book, cementing the protagonists Santero and Rein as true thriller heroes that are here to stay.

The Verdict

This is a must read summer 2019 thriller. With the book’s release due in July of 2019, the fans who fell in love with Santero and Rein will be thrilled to watch this story unfold. Filled with heart and emotion, humor and brutal honesty, and a story that feels both cinematic and real all at once, this is the perfect read for anyone who loves the thriller genre, and leaves readers eager for a third book in this exciting and developing series. If you haven’t yet, pre-order your copy now or grab your copy of An Unsettled Grave by Bernard Schaffer on July 30th, 2019. 

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Bernard Schaffer is the author of the Santero and Rein Thriller Series from Kensington Publications. 

Prior to that, he published multiple titles in a variety of genres as an independent author. Schaffer is the father of two children and a full-time police detective in Southeastern PA.

Visit him @BernardSchaffer or www.bernardschaffer.com.

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Social Media Links

Bernard Schaffer’s Facebook Author Page 

Bernard Schaffer’s Goodreads Page

Bernard Schaffer’s BookBub Page

Website: www.BernardSchaffer.com

Instagram @BernardSchaffer

Twitter: @BernardSchaffer

The Thief of All Light (A Santero and Rein Thriller #1) by Bernard Schaffer Review

A young police officer working her way towards her first investigation discovers a gruesome killer unlike anything the police world has seen before has made their way to her town, and only with the help of a seasoned yet haunted detective can she hope to stop the killer in author Bernard Schaffer’s incredible thriller “The Thief of All Light”.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young police officer working her way towards her first investigation discovers a gruesome killer unlike anything the police world has seen before has made their way to her town, and only with the help of a seasoned yet haunted detective can she hope to stop the killer in author Bernard Schaffer’s incredible thriller “The Thief of All Light”. Here is the synopsis. 

The Synopsis

“Tense, fast, and excellent–I loved this book.”

–Lee Child

From veteran police detective Bernard Schaffer comes a powerful new thriller that crackles with authenticity, page-turning suspense, and spellbinding glimpses into the criminal mind . . .

“It was one thing to fantasize about evil, to reach into the darkness and play with it a little . . .” 

Rookie cop Carrie Santero has always been fascinated by serial killers. As a teenager, she wrote a letter to Charles Manson in prison–and received a chilling reply. Then she came face to face with a child murderer in her small Pennsylvania town, an encounter that haunts her to this day. Now, as a detective in training, she finally has her chance to make a difference; to hunt down a psychopathic sadist who embodies the very nature of evil itself.

.” . . but it was something different when it knew your name.” 

The killer draws inspiration from the most twisted minds in modern crime. Ted Bundy. John Wayne Gacy. Ed Gein. The Green River Killer. As the body count rises, Carrie and her boss, Chief Bill Waylon, realize they’re dealing with an unpredictable “omnikiller” who cannot be profiled. Their only hope is to enlist the help of Jacob Rein, a brilliant but tarnished former detective who has plumbed the darkest recesses of the soul. Who has seen the heart of darkness. And whose insights on evil could lead Carrie to the point of no return. 

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The Review

What an incredible, heart-pounding read. The novel does a marvelous job of drawing the reader deeper and deeper not only into the investigation, but the lives and backgrounds of the protagonists of the story. Detective Santero is a strong police officer who faces the challenges any strong woman working her way into a male dominated field must deal with, and despite her inexperience shows a determination and strength that speaks of a realism not often captured in the genre.

What really shines through however is the attention to detail the author brings to the investigation, shedding the Hollywood cliches of police investigations with brutally honest interactions between officers and the reality of the crimes committed by horrendous offenders, all while providing an engaging plot that brings to life a haunting new killer. The investigation brings an emotional turn that readers will be shocked to discover, and will give the heroes of this tale a more invested role in the hunt for this illusive killer, a killer most other officers believe is nothing more than a myth. 

The Verdict

The Thief of All Light is a must read introduction into a fantastic new thriller series. Between the author’s real life experiences as an investigator lending a realness to the plot and characters, and a cast of protagonists many can relate to and antagonists that haunt our nightmares, the best aspect of this story is exploring the dark depths investigators must delve into in order to find the criminals they are hunting, and the consequences of going to those dark places. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of The Thief of All Light, the first in the Santero and Rein series, today! 

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Bernard Schaffer is the author of the Santero and Rein Thriller Series from Kensington Publications. 

Prior to that, he published multiple titles in a variety of genres as an independent author. Schaffer is the father of two children and a full-time police detective in Southeastern PA.

Visit him @BernardSchaffer or www.bernardschaffer.com.

Mother’s Day Promotion @ eBooks.com Save $5 on $40 purchase. Use code MOTHER$TREATcp. Valid until May 31, 2019

Social Media Links

Bernard Schaffer’s Facebook Author Page 

Bernard Schaffer’s Goodreads Page

Bernard Schaffer’s BookBub Page

Website: www.BernardSchaffer.com

Instagram @BernardSchaffer

Twitter: @BernardSchaffer

Sworld: The Chronicles of Malick by William R. Harris Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A larger than life adventure through space brings one group of explorers to an uncharted world, and the untold dangers it holds in author William R. Harris’s novel “Sworld: The Chronicles of Malick”. Here is the synopsis. 

The Synopsis

Forced to flee his homeworld, Oberus, the genetically re-engineered Malick leads a scientific expedition to the far reaches of the solar system. A distress call from an alien ship with a mysterious cargo leaves the team marooned on the arcane planet Sworld. Plunged into a quest for answers that ultimately leads them to their genesis, Malick and the crew must solve the enigmas of Sworld or perish.

The Review

This was a truly masterful space exploration/sci-fi novel. The truly original storytelling by the author was fantastic, as was the incredible detail that went into the various creatures, technologies and mythologies built upon during the story as the explorers ventured further and further into the world of Sworld. 

What really shined through however was the character development in this novel. Not only was the protagonist Malick an ever evolving hero and leader in the story, but each chapter introduced new characters that allowed Malick to further expand the group’s exploration as they survive in this new and unfamiliar world. From the crew of the ship that began the journey with him to the new creatures who he either befriends or is forced to fight, and even the newcomer who begins to capture the hero’s heart, this novel is built upon character growth and helps the narrative flow smoothly during this expansive story.

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The Verdict

This is a must read for any sci-fi fan out there. If you enjoy science fiction in all it’s glory, long and detailed stories of space exploration and new mythologies surrounding mysterious creatures, this is the novel for you. The true grabber though is the shocking ending that will leave readers breathless and eager for a sequel, as it leaves the protagonist in a shocking situation that you never saw coming. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of William R. Harris’s novel “Sworld: The Chronicles of Malick” by either pre-ordering it or grabbing your own copy on May 3rd, 2019. 

Rating: 8/10

https://www.chandrapress.com/sworld