Posted in reviews

A Diary in the Age of Water by Nina Munteanu Review

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

A young, blue-skinned humanoid girl named Kyo in a world-shattered future discovers a diary that tells the tale of humanity’s destruction and the importance of water in author Nina Munteanu’s “A Diary in the Age of Water”.

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The Synopsis

Centuries from now, in a post-climate change dying boreal forest of what used to be northern Canada, Kyo, a young acolyte called to service in the Exodus, discovers a diary that may provide her with the answers to her yearning for Earth’s past—to the Age of Water, when the “Water Twins” destroyed humanity in hatred—events that have plagued her nightly in dreams. Looking for answers to this holocaust—and disturbed by her macabre longing for connection to the Water Twins—Kyo is led to the diary of a limnologist from the time just prior to the destruction. 

This gritty memoir describes a near-future Toronto in the grips of severe water scarcity during a time when China owns the USA and the USA owns Canada. The diary spans a twenty-year period in the mid-twenty-first century of 33-year-old Lynna, a single mother who works in Toronto for CanadaCorp, an international utility that controls everything about water, and who witnesses disturbing events that she doesn’t realize will soon lead to humanity’s demise. 

A Diary in the Age of Water follows the climate-induced journey of Earth and humanity through four generations of women, each with a unique relationship to water. The novel explores identity and our concept of what is “normal”—as a nation and an individual—in a world that is rapidly and incomprehensibly changing. (Inanna Publications)

The Review

The author has done a fantastic job of instilling both horror and hope into this narrative. The way the author weaves both post-apocalyptic and sci-fi elements into real-world threats to our environment, in particular water, made this a gripping novel that was impossible to put down. 

Character development and imagery played huge roles in the story here, as the author wrote the narrative in a journalistic style that showcased four generations of women who had ties to water. Both the bond these women shared and their struggles in the face of environmental disasters made the story much more profound, especially when real-world facts about current political administrations and actions against the environment were included, making this fictional sci-fi world feel much more realistic.

The Verdict

A must-read sci-fi and post-apocalyptic read with an eco-twist, author Nina Munteanu’s “A Diary in the Age of Water” is a hit. The beautiful way the author relates these characters to the audience along with numerous facts both historically and scientifically that readers were treated to make the story come alive in a way most aren’t able to accomplish. An eye-opening story for those who are still on the fence about climate change, this is the perfect fall read for both sci-fi readers and eco-interested readers alike. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Nina Munteanu is a Canadian ecologist and SF, fantasy and eco-fiction writer. She has published eight novels and a dozen award-winning short stories translated into several languages. Her novels are mostly eco-fiction and thrillers that explore humanity’s tense co-evolution with technology and Nature.

Nina is also editor of several publishing houses and ezines. She teaches writing at the University of Toronto and George Brown College. Her three textbooks “The Fiction Writer”, “The Journal Writer” and “The Ecology of Story” are used in colleges, universities, and writing institutions throughout the world. Her latest non-fiction book “Water Is…” explores the many identities of water (www.TheMeaningOfWater.com). Find more on Nina and her work at www.ninamunteanu.ca.

The books that appear on my bookshelf are all books I recommend. You will not find a book on my shelf or a book review from me that is not a recommended book; if I don’t like it, it won’t be here.

Posted in Blog Tours, Book Events, reviews

Eden Rising (Eden Rising #1) by Andrew Cunningham Review

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

Two young teens find themselves in a fight for survival as they become one of the few survivors of a planet-ending event, and must discover how far they are willing to go in order to live in author Andrew Cunningham’s “Eden Rising”. 

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The Synopsis

“The Earth died in less than a minute. Maybe that’s an exaggeration. It’s not like the planet ceased to exist altogether. It just seemed like it. Cities were reduced to rubble. Millions of people died that day. I’ve since been told that 95% of the Earth’s human population was wiped out. I don’t know if that’s true—I mean, who can know that for sure? It’s not like we still have any of the technology that we once used to determine such things. But I do know that it was almost empty of people—live ones, that is…”

Thus begins the journey of Ben and Lila, two ordinary teenagers forced to rise to extraordinary heights when faced with a world that has suddenly and inexplicably died. Dealing with the sorrow of all they have lost, but the love they have found in each other, they set off on an odyssey that will bring them to the limits of human endurance and face to face with the frailty of their very existence. From the extreme violence of many of the surviving humans toward one another, to a world physically falling apart at the seams, Ben and Lila are determined to make it through the devastation in their quest for a place to quietly share their life together. In the process, they have to become as violent as the world around them in order to survive, while struggling to hold onto the humanity that will keep them sane. Eden Rising is a survival tale and a love story, but it is also a book that delves deeply into the human psyche to discover just how far we would go to survive, and how much inner strength can be found when things are at their absolute worst.

The Review

This audiobook was not only well read, but incredibly well-written. The action kicks up immediately, as the two protagonists find themselves going from awkward teen romance hanging in the air to waking up and finding the people of the world dead. 

The author does an amazing job of leaning hard into the dystopian YA sci-fi genre, while also bringing a maturity to the narrative by examining the psychological affect an apocalyptic event like this would have on any survivors, let alone two young teens forced to grow up very quickly. The pain of the loss brings to them a bond that highlights a growing romance, while the horrors they endure in the narrative and the lines they must contend with crossing showcase complex and deep character developments, a key to this novel’s pacing and delivery overall.

The Verdict

A must-read, heart-pounding audiobook and novel, author Andrew Cunningham’s “Eden Rising”, the first in the Eden Rising series, is an edge of your seat dystopian YA novel that is not to be missed. Memorable characters, romance and deep psychological character studies all define this amazing novel, and readers will not be able to get enough of this wonderful work. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author 

Andrew Cunningham is the author ten novels, including the award-winning Amazon bestselling thriller Wisdom Spring; the “Lies” Mystery Series (All Lies, Fatal Lies, Vegas Lies, Secrets & Lies, and Blood Lies); the Cape Cod terrorist/disaster thriller Deadly Shore; and the post-apocalyptic Eden Rising Series (Eden Rising, Eden Lost, and Eden’s Legacy). As A.R. Cunningham, he has written a series of 5 humorous children’s mysteries in the Arthur MacArthur series for middle-readers. Formerly an interpreter for the deaf and a long-time independent bookseller, Andrew has been a full-time freelance writer and copy editor for the last 18 years. A 4th-degree Master Blackbelt in Tang Soo Do, Andrew finally gave up active training when his body said, “Enough already!” Andrew was a long-time resident of Cape Cod, and he and his wife now live in Florida. He can be contacted at info@arcnovels.com. Visit his website at www.arcnovels.com. He can also be found on Facebook (Author Andrew Cunningham), and Twitter (@arcnovels).

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Anne Joyce

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I started writing because I was bullied very badly throughout my childhood. I didn’t have a lot of friends or anyone I could really talk to, so I channeled my frustrations into comic books. I was the sidekick to the superhero and in my own world I was somebody really cool instead of the kid that got beaten up. When I got a little older, I moved into poetry and eventually novels

What inspired you to write your book?

I was watching a conspiracy theory show that documented the stifling amount of lakes and rivers that are mysteriously being drained throughout the country. It appears some powerful force has a very specific motivation for the water disappearance. It just got me thinking about so many different possibilities and outcomes

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Always be cognizant of what’s happening around you. Stand up for what you know is right even if others disagree with you

What drew you into this particular genre?

I’m not sure, to be honest.  I guess many years of being a nerd

If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I would ask Blane why he made some of the idiotic decisions that he made because he’s not a stupid man at all. I can’t provide a lot of detail or I’ll give too much away

What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Instagram and Facebook

What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Network with other authors. Promoting and selling your work is a group effort so be part of a community and scratch each other’s backs

What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I’m currently writing a Prequel to Arid called “Parched-The Days Before Exile.” 

About the Author

Anne Rasico (AKA Anne Joyce) was born in a small town in Indiana you’ve probably never heard of. She composed short stories and comic books as a child to amuse her family and began writing poetry at the age of thirteen.

In 1998 she received an Honorable Mention for Literary Excellence for her poem “She Didn’t Come Home.” She attended business school and made the Dean’s List for three consecutive years, putting her love for writing on the back burner. It wasn’t until her mid-twenties that a political post on social networking rekindled her literary flame that has since become a bonfire.

In 2013 her novella When the Chips Are Down was named a Finalist in the MARSocial Author of the Year Contest. When she is not writing, thinking about writing, or going insane from writing she enjoys camping, fishing, swimming, and otherwise spending time with loved ones. She is mother to three extremely spoiled cats. Crazy cat lady? Probably.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7159849.Anne_Rasico

Anne Rasico (AKA Anne Joyce) (@AnneRasico) | Twitter

https://www.facebook.com/AnneJoyceWriter

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Posted in reviews

Dominion of the Star by Angelica Clyman Review

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

A world torn apart and ruled over by a leader through fear and superstition finds a young girl tested to her limits and on a journey of self-discovery before the world experiences another tragedy in author Angelica Clyman’s novel “Dominion of the Star”. 

The Synopsis

The totality of a solar eclipse lasts only a few short minutes. That’s more than enough time for an apocalypse to erupt.

Almost eighteen years have passed since the Eclipse changed the Earth forever, and Sebastian Za’in rose from the chaos and seized control, imposing his order on the broken planet. In a world ruled by fear and superstition, where all gods have perished, there is no one who can stand up to Za’in, the man rumored to be one of the Nephilim—hybrid offspring of Angel and Man. In a few short months, another Eclipse will occur, and while there are those who expect a new natural disaster, Za’in has plans of his own . . .

Completely unaware of this global turmoil, Kayla Steelryn has spent most of her life in a quiet village, longing to uncover her hidden past. When she leaves her home in search of answers, she finds herself faced with the truth about her identity, forced to choose between the two men she loves, and thrust into a conflict where she alone has the power to stop an event more disastrous than the end of the world.

The Review

This was a truly entertaining and unique post-apocalypse/fantasy read. The narrative was written beautifully, transitioning seamlessly between the fantasy element of the mythology behind the protagonist Kayla and the antagonist Sebastian, and the post-apocalyptic nature of the world the characters are inhabiting in this dark future. 

One aspect that really stood out from other books in the fantasy or dystopian style genres of books was the integration of the romance aspect of the novel. So often a book will include romance just for the sake of having romance, and it won’t feel natural to the story being told. However the romance Kayla feels for two of the supporting characters of the novel feels natural and doesn’t pull focus from the story whatsoever. Instead it builds not only the drama but both the beautiful and haunting imagery used throughout the book. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel of 2019. Complex, engaging and a lengthy read that readers will not be able to help getting sucked into, the first book in a series called “Descendants of the Fallen” expertly blends romance, mythology and post-apocalyptic survival into a one of a kind reading experience. Readers will root for the protagonist while becoming fascinated with the roots of the antagonist, and the constant struggle of who Kayla can truly trust in this novel will only keep readers that much more engaged. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of Dominion of the Star by Angelica Clyman today!

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Angelica Clyman was raised on Catholicism and urban legends, fairy tales and 80s movies. Her love for fantasy books and poetry was put on hold while she pursued other passions, but she found her way back to words and stories after following the seemingly disparate paths of the visual arts, academia, yoga, martial arts, business, dance and magick. Angelica is an artist, educator, wife, and mother. “Dominion of the Star” is her first novel.

https://amzn.to/2kCrgTB

https://www.facebook.com/DominionoftheStar/

Posted in reviews

Arid by Anne Joyce Review

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

One small group of survivors in a world where water is sparse and only the wealthy can afford it must find a way to survive the harsh cruel world they’ve been forced into in author Anne Joyce’s novel “Arid”. 

The Synopsis

It’s the distant future and the country is overtaken by wealthy moguls who dominate the water supply and sell it back to the public at ridiculous prices. After a drastic crime increase “indigents” who can’t afford water are stripped of their belongings and forced out of town by an army of brutes called Purifiers. 

Life becomes harsh and ominous for the bright, ambitious Joshua Wyman and his group until they begin to occasionally receive food and other basic amenities from the Brutes. When a blatant abuse of Purifier power during a routine visit leaves them reeling Joshua and his friends reach their breaking point. 

They devise a plan to steal the Purifiers’ vehicle during their next visit and find a place where water is affordable. Their journey across the uncharted wastelands filled with murderers and thieves proves to be far more than this civilized, benevolent crew bargained for. Growing tensions within the nearby towns may cause the two worlds to collide, creating an epic storm.

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The Review

The author has done a spectacular job of fully immersing the readers attention into the harsh setting of this post-apocalyptic world. With the affects of global warming and climate change becoming an all too real aspect of our daily lives, the world in which the characters find themselves seems all too plausible to believe, despite the apocalyptic setting of the narrative.

The character development is what shines the brightest in this novel, with a protagonist and supporting cast of characters that mesh well together and showcase the power of family, even a makeshift family created in the cruel desert sun of an apocalyptic America. The story was evenly paced and did a marvelous job of setting the tone of the narrative, giving the reader a realistic and edge of your seat feeling that only the world created in this novel could provide. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel for anyone who enjoys a good post-apocalyptic story. An adult outlook on the dangers of global warming and the possibility of water becoming a commodity, the story is engaging and keeps the readers invested with every chapter, and will quickly make any casual reader a fan of this amazing author. If you haven’t yet, grab your copy of Arid by Anne Joyce today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Anne Rasico (AKA Anne Joyce) was born in a small town in Indiana you’ve probably never heard of. She composed short stories and comic books as a child to amuse her family and began writing poetry at the age of thirteen.

In 1998 she received an Honorable Mention for Literary Excellence for her poem “She Didn’t Come Home.” She attended business school and made the Dean’s List for three consecutive years, putting her love for writing on the back burner. It wasn’t until her mid-twenties that a political post on social networking rekindled her literary flame that has since become a bonfire.

In 2013 her novella When the Chips Are Down was named a Finalist in the MARSocial Author of the Year Contest. When she is not writing, thinking about writing, or going insane from writing she enjoys camping, fishing, swimming, and otherwise spending time with loved ones. She is mother to three extremely spoiled cats. Crazy cat lady? Probably.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7159849.Anne_Rasico

Anne Rasico (AKA Anne Joyce) (@AnneRasico) | Twitter

https://www.facebook.com/AnneJoyceWriter

Posted in Uncategorized

Books and Other Media Formats #1: The Stand by Stephen King

One of the biggest inspirations for me personally as a writer is other media formats. While the written word is my favorite medium of storytelling,
when I write, I imagine what certain scenes in my books would look like as a movie or television series. I also enjoy seeing some of my
favorite books translated into film, television and other media formats. One book I’m incredibly excited to see become a film franchise is
Stephen King’s The Stand. Written as an epic saga of good versus evil, the book follows the survivors of a devastating plague that wipes out
all but a few of the human population. Those survivors must choose whether to follow the path of the light or give into the evil desires of
a ruthless stranger who seeks to wipe out the remaining good guys in the world. It’s an interesting take on the classic tale of the apocalypse,
and this story is incredibly character driven, and I think with the right cast this can be an amazing new film series that fans and newcomers
alike will enjoy. Who do you think should be in The Stand series? If you don’t know the book that well, what book do you want to see get
made into a movie/tv series next?