Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author V.S. Holmes

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

I’ve always been a storyteller and a story-finder. Growing up in the woods without other kids drove me to constantly search for other’s stories, other’s lives, specifically through fiction and imagination. This progressed naturally into writing and my day job as an archaeologist. It was in university that, after years of research, I first decided to take the plunge and write professionally. 

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

Travelers, the first in my Stars Edge: Nel Bently Books, began as a dual POV between an archaeologist and one of the people whose life she was studying from 13,000 years before. I realized pretty quickly that the latter was not my story to tell, so I flipped it forward and explored what would happen if some of those people were abducted and returned thousands of years later. I also wanted to debunk the racist ideas behind “ancient aliens” theories while still combining science fiction and archaeology. On a larger scale, all of Nel’s stories explore the ideas about how where we come from impacts where we’re going, and decolonizing archaeology and science. 

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

Heretics is the fourth in Nel’s series of adventures, and with this one Nel returns to Earth in an attempt to save her planet from killer sound waves. She’s suddenly straddling the line between coming home and being a fish out of water. It’s the place that made her, but now she no longer fits in the space she left. A lot of my work focuses on how we differ from others’ expectations–and often our own. This is a theme that’s very dear to me as a queer person. On a more intimate level, I hope readers can learn with Nel as she finds the root of her anger, and navigates her complicated relationship with Lin. 

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

Sci-fi and fantasy were the first places I saw characters like me, so I naturally gravitated toward that when I started writing my own work. Speculative fiction for me has always been a place of solace and hope. When we’re creating worlds from the ground up, we’re able to envision a world we want, or a world we’re afraid of ours becoming. Because of this, I can create worlds where I see more people like myself, and fight the battles I can’t fight in our own world.

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

Oh this is tough! I’d imagine most of them would have some pretty damning comments to make about what I put them through. Ultimately, though, I’d love to have a nice long chat with Phil–Philos, one of the sentient computers rooted in a man’s head held in stasis. I think it would be fascinating to discuss the science and ethics behind becoming a computer. As a trans and disabled person, conversations around body modification, cyborgization, and transhumanism are really fascinating.

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

Twitter has, hands-down, been the best site for me. Though it does suffer from some of the same algorithmic issues as other social sites, it’s still easier to curate than many others. Through Twitter I’ve found not just an incredible community of fellow SFF authors, but one of the most welcoming places for queer and disabled people, especially since I don’t have access to those communities, or the freedom of being fully out, where we live.

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

There’s a lot of writing advice out there, but the process is going to be different for every author, and honestly every project. I think it’s important to try a lot of different things and find what works best for you and what you’re currently working on. One of the pieces I wish I’d realized earlier is finding out who you are as a writer, as a creator, and then doing it on purpose. And not being afraid of that changing. 

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

So many projects! I’m currently drafting Fugitives, the fifth of Nel’s books (there will be a total of six) and outlining/drafting my next fantasy series. It takes place within my Blood of Titans world, but follows some new and side characters. 

I’m also working on a complicated, queer, gothic fantasy that might just be the darkest, sexiest, most raw thing I’ve written to date. Regardless, it’s a bit different from most of my other work and I’m enjoying stretching my creative muscles!

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About V. S. HOLMES

V. S. Holmes is an international bestselling author. They created the BLOOD OF TITANS series and the NEL BENTLY BOOKS. Smoke and Rain, the first book in their fantasy quartet, won New Apple Literary’s Excellence in Independent Publishing Award in 2015 and a Literary Titan Gold in 2020. Travelers is also included in the Peregrine Moon Lander mission as part of the Writers on the Moon Time Capsule. In addition, they have published short fiction in several anthologies.

As a disabled and non-binary human, they work as an advocate and educator for representation in SFF worlds. When not writing, they work as a contract archaeologist throughout the northeastern U.S. They live in a Tiny House with their spouse, a fellow archaeologist, their not-so-tiny dog, and own too many books for such a small abode.

LINKS:

Site: www.vsholmes.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VS_Holmes

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorvsholmes/

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/vs-holmes

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/v-s-holmes

Posted in reviews

Drifters (Nel Bently #2) by V.S. Holmes Review

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

Archeologist and adventurer Nel Bently faces a fight for survival after she is tied to a murder in author V.S. Holmes highly beloved sequel, “Drifters”, the second in the Nel Bently series. 

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The Synopsis

The only person on Earth she trusts … is in space

Archaeologist Nel Bently left Chile in the wake of murder, vandalism and UFO sightings. No sooner has the school semester started when cops are at her door. Accused of a murder she’s not certain is her fault, Nel has no choice but to go on the run. She starts a game of connect-the-dots across New England, following her gut and clues left by her elusive alien-benefactor-turned-almost-girlfriend.

Running from the law isn’t easy with her field pack and a handful of scorned exes to depend on. Between starvation, untraceable texts, and a harrowing journey through the wilderness, Nel is forced to question everything about the science she loves and the people she trusted.

Second book in the thrilling archaeological science fiction series: The Nel Bently Books.

Don’t miss more of the Nel Universe in “Disciples” from the Beamed Up anthology! 

The Review

A fantastic elevation of the first book, this sequel really delves into Nel as a hero as she must fight for her very survival. Still reeling from the loss of a beloved friend and uncertain whom she can truly trust, Nel is thrust into a situation that forces her to quickly learn to trust and lean on others. 

Leaving behind some of the more detailed looks into archeology in this novel and instead of adopting a more X-Files style of storytelling, the author does a great job of building suspense and character growth into this narrative. The action of course jumps off right from the beginning chapters, and readers are given a more personal glimpse into Nel’s mindset and character growth in this sequel. The dialogue between Nel and a figure from her past as she fights for survival becomes some of the more intimate but engaging moments in the narrative, framing the events of the previous novel and the narrative moving forward in a much deeper and more connected light than ever before. 

The Verdict

A memorable, thrilling, and heart-pounding read, author V.S. Holmes’s “Drifters” is a must-read sci-fi adventure. The exploration of Nel’s character and how she deals with the pressures set before her make for an interesting character study, while the twists and turns lead readers to an exciting finale that sets up the next adventure in the series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of this explosive sequel today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

V. S. Holmes is an international bestselling author. They created the REFORGED series and the NEL BENTLY BOOKS. Smoke and Rain, the first book in their fantasy quartet, won New Apple Literary’s Excellence in Independent Publishing Award in 2015. In addition, they have published short fiction in several anthologies.

When not writing, they work as a contract archaeologist throughout the northeastern U.S. They live in a Tiny House with their spouse, a fellow archaeologist, their not-so-tiny dog, and own too many books for such a small abode. As a disabled and queer human, they work as an advocate and educator for representation in SFF worlds.

https://vsholmes.com/index.html

Posted in reviews

Orange City (Orange City, #1) by Lee Matthew Goldberg Review

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

A city where outcasts get a second chance at life leads to an ad executive having his eyes opened to the prison they’re in and the monster who runs their lives in author Lee Matthew Goldberg’s “Orange City”, the first in the Orange City series.

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The Synopsis

Imagine a secret, hidden city that gives a second chance at life for those selected to come: felons, deformed outcasts, those on the fringe of the Outside World. Everyone gets a job, a place to live; but you are bound to the city forever. You can never leave.

Its citizens are ruled by a monstrous figure called the “Man” who resembles a giant demented spider from the lifelike robotic limbs attached to his body. Everyone follows the man blindly, working hard to make their Promised Land stronger, too scared to defy him and be discarded to the Empty Zones.

After ten years as an advertising executive, Graham Weatherend receives an order to test a new client, Pow! Sodas. After one sip of the orange flavor, he becomes addicted, the sodas causing wild mood swings that finally wake him up to the prison he calls reality.

A dynamic mash-up of 1984 meets LOST, ORANGE CITY is a lurid, dystopian first book in a series that will continue with the explosive sequel LEMONWORLD

The Review

A haunting and breathtaking sci-fi and dystopian novel, author Lee Matthew Goldberg brings a truly gritty world to life. The author does an amazing job of delving into the thin line between “good” and “evil” that many of these characters share, as morality within a society plays a major role in the narrative. 

The imagery used in this book does a great job of fusing the colorful and in-your-face advertising that has taken over our world over the last few decades with the action-driven and darker side of technology in our society. The pacing of the narrative really is what draws the reader in, presenting figures like E and the menacing ruler known simply as “Man” so that readers are instantly hooked and driven to delve into this fantastic world the author has built.

The Verdict

A shocking, intense yet engaging sci-fi and dystopian novel, author Lee Matthew Goldberg’s “Orange City” is a great start to this brand new series. Exploring themes of consumerism, addiction, and technology, this story does a wonderful job of creating a mythos that readers can really delve into nature, and makes this a must-read book. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE ANCESTOR, THE MENTOR, THE DESIRE CARD and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the Prix du Polar. His first YA series RUNAWAY TRAIN is forthcoming in 2021 along with a sci-fi novel ORANGE CITY. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in The Millions, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, Monkeybicycle, Fiction Writers Review, Cagibi, Necessary Fiction, the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. 

He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. 

Follow him at LeeMatthewGoldberg.com

Posted in reviews

Unchipped: Luna (Unchipped #4) by Taya DeVere 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 living outside the city of Serbia is forced to choose a life of happiness or instead help keep the rebellion hidden in book four of author Taya DeVere’s sci-fi series, “Unchipped: Luna”. 

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The Synopsis

They want her talent. She wants her life.

Luna lives in a run-down old farmhouse outside City of Serbia, her only companions the alcoholic Reverend Marić and a constantly growing pack of half-feral dogs. As one of the last Unchipped still alive in the area, she lives by her wits as a hacker and thief.

When a spy from the City exposes her presence there, Luna is offered a choice: see her life destroyed or find the rebels who have been giving the Chipped so much trouble.

It isn’t a question of whether she can do it – Luna is the best, and if she starts to look for them then the rebels are doomed. But all she wants to do is to live a peaceful life, surrounded by her dogs and her books. Then she meets Jovan, the strangely gentle man she suspects of having betrayed her to the Chipped. Can Luna trust her new friend… or is his kindness a trap?

***Get early access to Unchipped short stories, plus the Unchipped prequel, The Meeting, by signing up for my newsletter! 

The Review

A great next chapter in this ever-growing sci-fi epic series! The relationship between Luna and Maric immediately draws the reader in, while the complex character growth of Luna over the course of this story keeps the reader invested wholeheartedly in the narrative. 

The suspense and mystery behind Luna’s allies is a great addition to the Unchipped universe. Between the rebels she is being forced to find and new allies like Jovan, the reader is always on the edge of their seat, eager to see which of these characters Luna can trust, and who is waiting to stab her in the back. 

The Verdict

The fire and intensity of Luna’s character and the high-octane action and suspense of the narrative make author Taya DeVere’s “Unchipped: Luna” a must-read in the epic sci-fi drama. Driven, creative and evenly-paced, this was an amazing read that you won’t want to miss, so be sure to grab your copy of this amazing book today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Taya is a Finnish-American author, writing contemporary fiction and dystopian sci-fi. After living, working, and traveling in America for seven years, she now lives in Finland with her partner-in-everything Chris, their dog Seamus, three bunny-boys (Ronin, Baby, and Loki), and her horse of a lifetime, Arabella.

Taya’s restless feet have taken her all over Finland, the United Kingdom, and North America. Her new dystopian series “Unchipped” is inspired by the real-life characters she’s met on her travels. Cultural differences, social issues, and behavioral psychology have always fascinated Taya. “Unchipped” tells the story of the world in 2085, when technology has replaced people’s need to truly connect with one another. The series describes what it feels like to be an outsider and takes an in-depth look at the unlikely friendships between perfectly imperfect people across the globe. 

Justice. Kindness. The fact that all beings on this planet are equally important. Taya’s world revolves around these values every day, and they play a substantial role in her storytelling as well.

Taya’s writing is inspired by authors such as Margaret Atwood, Peter Heller, Hugh Howey, and C.M. Martens.

Teija’s author site: https://www.tayadevere.com

Her Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Taya-DeVere/e/B07KRJPMTV

The Unchipped series page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CHKB96S

Facebook: www.facebook.com/tayadevereauthor

Instagram: www.instagram.com/tayadevere_author

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/tayadevere

Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/authors/taya-devere

Posted in reviews

Unchipped: Enyd (Unchipped #3) by Taya DeVere Review

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

A strict program director in England who feels compelled by God to protect the children she is in charge of at any cost finds herself pushed to the limits in author Taya DeVere’s “Unchipped: Enyd”, the third book in the Unchipped sci-fi epic series. 

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The Synopsis

Is she doing God’s work, or something far more sinister?

Safely hidden behind a high fence that shields it from the rest of the world, Kinship Care provides a safe haven for children from City of England. Kinship Care is supported by the Happiness-Program… but there’s a catch. To keep the food shipments coming, program director Enyd must provide fraudulent “proof” of the plague ravaging the city–photos of children suffering–to deter those tempted to leave the program.

It’s been easy enough with a sinner like Ava, the only Unchipped child at Kinship Care, who keeps violating the rules by trying to contact her mother. Surely God would approve of the relatively mild punishments Ava has brought upon herself.

But now they want more. More shocking material. More pain. More punishment. More proof to show the good people in the city what it’s like for those who defy the program. How far will Enyd go before she says enough?

***Get early access to Unchipped short stories, plus the Unchipped prequel, The Meeting, by signing up for my newsletter! 

The Review

A shocking and intense follow-up to the first two books in the series, Enyd proves to be one of the author’s most complex characters yet. A woman driven by blind faith and bad experiences, Enyd continuously travels down a dark path in order to protect the souls of the children she’s in charge of, even at the cost of the physical harm to young Ava, a “sinner” who’s only crime is a desire to reach her lost mother.

The way the author incorporates the previous characters of the series into the narrative is truly masterful in this narrative, as Kaarina and her growing revolution seek Ava and others in hopes of rescuing them. Soon Enyd finds herself torn between the promised life she expected and the well-being of those she was put in charge of, and getting to see the very skewed viewpoint of a character like Enyd was fascinating to see unfold, as it is reminiscent of many other people’s skewed viewpoints that are clouding our world’s society today in a much more public eye.

The Verdict

Brilliantly written and masterful in its delivery, author Taya Devere’s “Unchipped: Enyd” is a truly entertaining read. Elevating the mythology to new heights, the author does a great job of showcasing the growth of this resistance to the world of the Chipped and Doctor Solomon that Kaarina is building, and promises to showcase a rich sci-fi world that the author is building. Action-packed and leaving readers with a shocking ending, this is a novella not to be missed in this epic series. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Taya is a Finnish-American author, writing contemporary fiction and dystopian sci-fi. After living, working, and traveling in America for seven years, she now lives in Finland with her partner-in-everything Chris, their dog Seamus, three bunny-boys (Ronin, Baby, and Loki), and her horse of a lifetime, Arabella.

Taya’s restless feet have taken her all over Finland, the United Kingdom, and North America. Her new dystopian series “Unchipped” is inspired by the real-life characters she’s met on her travels. Cultural differences, social issues, and behavioral psychology have always fascinated Taya. “Unchipped” tells the story of the world in 2085, when technology has replaced people’s need to truly connect with one another. The series describes what it feels like to be an outsider and takes an in-depth look at the unlikely friendships between perfectly imperfect people across the globe. 

Justice. Kindness. The fact that all beings on this planet are equally important. Taya’s world revolves around these values every day, and they play a substantial role in her storytelling as well.

Taya’s writing is inspired by authors such as Margaret Atwood, Peter Heller, Hugh Howey, and C.M. Martens.

Teija’s author site: https://www.tayadevere.com

Her Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Taya-DeVere/e/B07KRJPMTV

The Unchipped series page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CHKB96S

Facebook: www.facebook.com/tayadevereauthor

Instagram: www.instagram.com/tayadevere_author

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/tayadevere

Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/authors/taya-devere

Posted in reviews

Unchipped: William (Unchipped #2) by Taya DeVere Review

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

A middle-aged man struggling not only with his own personal struggles but with life as one of the Unchipped who is faced with an impossible choice in author Taya DeVere’s “Unchipped: William”, the second in the Unchipped series. 

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The Synopsis

For the Unchipped, safety is nothing but an illusion…

Bill is one of the lucky few. While the other Unchipped near the City of California scavenge for food amid the constant threat of gunfire, Bill’s spent the last two years at the Mansion–a haven for the select few who design products to be sold in the green city. He’s safe for now… unlike his friend Kaarina, who is leading a revolution on the other side of the world.

Bill is the Mansion’s CEO, but he’s haunted by the act of violence that got him the job. Danger lies beyond the protective gates of this repressive sanctuary, but a carefree existence inside the City of California remains mysterious, intriguing… and unattainable.

When he discovers the trailer just outside the fence, Bill is forced to make an impossible choice. Defend the Mansion by killing the intruders… or let them live and risk everything he has?

***Get early access to Unchipped short stories, plus the Unchipped prequel, The Meeting, by signing up for my newsletter!

The Review

A fantastic follow-up to the author’s first novella, the series brilliantly begins focusing on other characters as the narrative spans the globe. Getting to see life for the person the first novella’s protagonist Kaarina was speaking to across the world, William is a complex individual and makes for a compelling protagonist to follow. 

The story offers a more gritty and dystopian look into the distant future, as California has become a place of violence and chaos for those not privileged enough to be one of the Chipped living in the AR-cities. The struggle for survival for the Unchipped is equally balanced by expert character study, especially for protagonist Bill, who’s own struggles with mental health make him a truly relatable character. 

The Verdict

Expertly crafted and engaging, author Taya DeVere’s “Unchipped: William” is the perfect sequel to the series first novella. The mythology continues to grow and develop as each novella is poised to focus on new characters in the series while still integrating the original characters evenly. The action and emotional beats are hit exactly where they need to be in this story, so be sure to grab your copies today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Taya is a Finnish-American author, writing contemporary fiction and dystopian sci-fi. After living, working, and traveling in America for seven years, she now lives in Finland with her partner-in-everything Chris, their dog Seamus, three bunny-boys (Ronin, Baby, and Loki), and her horse of a lifetime, Arabella.

Taya’s restless feet have taken her all over Finland, the United Kingdom, and North America. Her new dystopian series “Unchipped” is inspired by the real-life characters she’s met on her travels. Cultural differences, social issues, and behavioral psychology have always fascinated Taya. “Unchipped” tells the story of the world in 2085, when technology has replaced people’s need to truly connect with one another. The series describes what it feels like to be an outsider and takes an in-depth look at the unlikely friendships between perfectly imperfect people across the globe. 

Justice. Kindness. The fact that all beings on this planet are equally important. Taya’s world revolves around these values every day, and they play a substantial role in her storytelling as well.

Taya’s writing is inspired by authors such as Margaret Atwood, Peter Heller, Hugh Howey, and C.M. Martens.

Teija’s author site: https://www.tayadevere.com

Her Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Taya-DeVere/e/B07KRJPMTV

The Unchipped series page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CHKB96S

Facebook: www.facebook.com/tayadevereauthor

Instagram: www.instagram.com/tayadevere_author

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/tayadevere

Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/authors/taya-devere

Posted in reviews

Blackacre Rising (Ivy Spires #2) by John C. Adams Review

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

Loyalties will be tested and lines will be crossed as the fight for humanity wages on in author John C. Adams’ latest entry in the Ivy Spires dystopian series, “Blackacre Rising”. 

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The Synopsis

From Horror Tree reviewer and double Aeon Award Longlister John C Adams comes a disturbing tale of scientific experimentation and sadistic cruelty. The sequel to ‘Souls For The Master’, ‘Blackacre Rising’ features a stunning cover by Fiona Jayde Media.

Leaving the chaos erupting in the Metropolis behind, Gerald speeds north to his cousin Brett Flint’s farmhouse, Blackacre. He is certain that their vehicle is being followed, but returning to the capital with Don and Ivy is simply too risky now that Janus Fidens has taken over the Resistance and declared the pair to be outlaws who have betrayed the Revolution. Arriving at Blackacre, Gerald begs Brett and his wife Radclyffe to shelter Ivy and Don under their roof without asking too many questions about why his young companions have had to flee to the sparsely populated uplands and need their presence there kept secret.

Distraught at saying goodbye to Gerald, Ivy admits how much she has come to care for him since they have been battling the authorities together. They snatch a few moments alone together to say a private farewell before Gerald drives back to the capital, hoping to persuade Janus to drop his pursuit of Ivy and Don. En route, Gerald is followed by the same car that tailed them northwards. Lured into stopping to assist at the site of a road traffic accident, the trainee surgeon is captured and transported to a shadowy underground scientific research facility, where he is disturbed to discover that Sinister Tungsten, sister to his arch nemesis Hendra, awaits him.

In the Blackacre library, Don is welcomed by the Seven. This mysterious group includes the Master he fought to defeat down in the Metropolis, five other strange figures with bizarre powers and, of course, the malignant farmhouse itself. Brett, Radclyffe and their twin baby sons reside in the oddest place Don has ever encountered. He reluctantly agrees to become involved in the Seven’s project to assassinate Dr Luther Honigbaum, who funds the facility where Gerald is being held prisoner and runs the asylum in Austria which supplies its young female test subjects.

Learning how to transport herself from one location to another shocks Ivy. Unlike Don, who has wielded great power his whole life, her skills as an assassin are more practical in nature, and she worries that having shifted safely to Austria she’ll be unable to return safely. Finally, she is ready to undertake her mission to kill the evil man behind the gruesome experiments that serve no purpose other than to gratify the rampant cruelty of Honigbaum and his acolytes.

Meanwhile, the Seven show Don another facility, this time in Antarctica, where equally cruel experiments take place upon men. When the Seven tell him he is too young to witness exactly what it taking place, he uses his unique powers to advance his age by three years so that he is now eighteen. He gladly sacrifices a part of his natural life to rescue the men kept prisoner there and tormented by sadistic experiments with no scientific value whatsoever.

Arriving in Austria, Ivy is horrified to discover that her cover is already blown and Honigbaum lies in waiting for her. He has a sinister agenda of his own and will stop at nothing to eliminate anyone who resists both his sadistically cruel medical research and his repulsive sexual advances. When Brett Flint’s cousin Henry turns up at Ubersneller, Honigbaum locks him up in one of his asylums high up in the mountains to ensure his silence. He has particularly dark designs on Ivy, and is determined that her close friendship with Don will enable him to reach out to his estranged son. Drugged and forced to comply, Ivy is young enough to provide the ageing Honigbaum with everything he wishes. Gerald’s imprisonment ends when Sinistra’s elder sister Hendra returns and the authorities brutally re-establish law and order, but he is no safer with her than with her sibling.

The Review

A truly gripping, intense, and engaging dystopian sci-fi read. The author does a brilliant job of creating a large mythos in this dystopian world rich with a multitude of main and side characters that readers will be able to both loathe and root for. 

Although I had not read the first book in the series, the author writes in a way that allows readers both new and established to be able to delve into this new narrative, as the central characters find themselves split up and fighting brutal battles all on their own. Each finds their path fraught with horrifying trials and monstrous adversaries, all while their own abilities grow and develop over time. 

The story really benefits from a strong character arc for the central protagonists and antagonists. This lengthy read delves into the hardships and struggles each character undertakes in this world divided by class and exposed to horrors unlike anything seen before. In the midst of powers and action, the author really brings about complex characters that readers can identify and support throughout this narrative.

The Verdict

A must-read dystopian sci-fi thriller, author John C. Adams’ “Blackacre Rising” is a fantastic sequel in the Ivy Spires series. Emotionally driven character arcs and action-packed scenes all come together under strong mythology and ends on a cliffhanger that will leave readers wanting more. Be sure to preorder your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

I’m a non-binary author and critic of fantasy and horror.

I review for Schlock! Webzine, the British Fantasy Society and Horror Tree, as well as placing reviews and articles across a wide range of blogs and magazines.

I have a Postgraduate Certificate in Creative Writing from Newcastle University. I’ve been a Contributing Editor for Albedo One Magazine and the Aeon Award since 2016. Before that, I was a Submissions Reader with them.

My debut horror novel, ‘Souls for the Master’, is 99c on Smashwords retailers and 99p on Kindle. Likewise, my debut fantasy novel, ‘Aspatria’, is 99c on Smashwords retailers and 99p on Kindle. The sequel to ‘Aspatria’, ‘Dagmar of the Northlands’, is out now on Kindle and Smashwords retailers.

Although I write mostly long fiction, since 2015 I have had stories published in anthologies from Horrified Press, Lycan Valley Press, Fantasia Divinity and Jersey Pines Ink. My short stories have also been published in the Horror Zine, Swords & Sorcery, Sirens Call, Blood Moon Rising, Lovecraftiana and various other magazines.

Every emerging writer needs plenty of encouragement right at the start, and entering lots of competitions early on made a real difference to my confidence to press on with writing longer fiction and think about submitting short fiction to magazines and anthologies in due course. In 2012, I was longlisted for the International Aeon Award Short Fiction Contest for ‘The Visitors’ and again in 2013 for ‘We Can Finish Your Baby’s Brain For You’. My writing was also recognised by the Enrico Charles Literary Award (runner up in 2012) and by the University of Winchester Writers’ Conference in both 2012 and 2013, including a Commendation in the First Three Pages of a Novel category, and other nominations in poetry and short fiction.

I read PPE at Somerville College, and I am a non-practising solicitor. I live in rural Northumberland, UK, and I combine my career as an author and critic with raising my kids and caring for a severely disabled relative. I’m always busy!

http://johncadams.wix.com/johnadamssf

Twitter: johncadamssf

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Screamcatcher: The Shimmering Eye (The Shimmering Eye #3) by Christy J. Breedlove Review

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

A typical investigation on a small Montana ranch leads to a powerful entity that threatens to unleash a paranormal nightmare in author Christy J. Breedlove’s latest entry into the Shimmering Eye series, “Screamcatcher: The Shimmering Eye”.

Story Origin 

Why is this book special? This is a fictional account of a true story and investigation of the most haunted property in the United States. When I first read the book and watched the documentary of The Hunt for the Skinwalker, I was awestruck, delirious with confusion and so overwhelmed I could think of nothing else. I wanted to pen my own version and theories of what was happening out there by sending in my own Badlands Paranormal Society to solve the riddle and cleanse the property. To this day, theories abound: demons, Skinwalkers, portals, aliens, doppelgangers, alternate dimensions, ghosts and multiple paranormal infestations—a grab bag or horror. I got in contact with the author George Knapp, investigative reporter out of Las Vegas and host of Coast-to-Coast AM radio. I explained to him that I wanted to create my own fictional account of a haunted ranch, but that I would not use any of his pertinent details, names, locations or incidents. It would be an “inspirationally motivated” book only. He gave me the thumbs up and wished me well on the project. This book is solely dedicated to him, mostly for scaring the living hell out of me. I strongly suggest you read and watch George’s account of this horrific tale before you even touch my book. 

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The Synopsis: 

Eighteen-year-old Jory Pike, a half-blood Chippewa, is depending upon her Native ancestry to help her investigate one of the strangest hauntings she’s ever encountered. A 500-plus acre ranch in rural Montana is under psychic and physical attack. The ranch’s owner, the elderly Ambrose Tucker, is determined to hold steadfast and courageously to his beloved property. Answering an ad in Jory’s outfit, The Badlands Paranormal Society, Ambrose hopes to rid his property of evil spirits once and for all. 

Jory and her crew of three other teenagers, each of whom bring to the table their own line of skills and expertise, have brought every known piece of hardware and technical equipment to Granite Springs Ranch. Although the assignment seems ordinary at first, and the answer to the haunting seems eminent, everything spirals out of control and leaves the team terrified. The problem is, they have no idea that they’re being outclassed and sabotaged by a malevolent spirit, who seems to know their every move. 

If Jory and the Badlands Paranormal Society don’t solve the problem in quick fashion, they stand to lose the $50,000 extermination fee, but worst of all, they will allow a dangerous and unmerciful entity to unleash a hoard of vicious mythological creatures that will run rampant over the ranch and surrounding properties. Jory has no idea how she and her teammate’s mettle will be tested, bringing them near the edge of insanity, physical endurance and death.     

The Review

What a fantastic entry in the Screamcatcher series! A wonderful blend of mystery, suspense, character growth, and fantasy and sci-fi blended into one narrative, author Chris Stevenson takes readers on a journey through evolving relationships, powerful new threats, and growing mythology that doesn’t relent as the new creatures in this tale arrive. 

As a fan of the paranormal and with a fascination in real-life cryptid/paranormal investigations, this story really spoke to me. The inspiration behind the story is one I am all too familiar with, and it was a great way of bringing this real-world mystery into the narrative and mythology the author has created in this series. 

The revelation of how these creatures are making their way into the world and the creatures themselves will delight fans of this genre of novel, and the protagonist Jory really does a great job of keeping the reader invested in the growing mystery surrounding this land. 

The Verdict

A brilliant, evenly-paced, and thrilling third chapter in the Screamcatcher series, author Chris Stevenson’s “The Shimmering Eye” is a must-read fantasy and science fiction novel of the year. Powerful imagery and great character evolution really make this story shine brightly, and is not to be missed. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Check out my blog GUERRILLA WARFARE FOR WRITERS (SPECIAL WEAPONS AND TACTICS):

Christy’s Young Adult Fabuliers:

About me

Gender Male

Industry Science

Occupation Novelist and Science Writer

Location Sylvania, Alabama, United States

Links Wishlist

Introduction Been writing for 32 years, publishing novels, non-fiction books, radio horror plays, short stories, reviews, interviews, poetry and thousands of non-fiction automotive articles. I’m on my third agent, and have had 10 books and twenty-two short stories published, beginning in 1988. Writing Credits and History BOOK CREDITS: Auto Repair Shams and Scams (Forward–Ralph Nader), 1990, Price Stern & Sloan, Los Angeles–226 pages, non-fiction, consumer warning book. Garage Sale Mania, 1988, Betterway Publications, Crozet, Virginia–190 pages, non-fiction book—1988. Word Wars, a SF novel, to Rain Publishing, Canada—May, 2007. Once Upon a Goddess, a Fantasy novel, to Rain Publishing, Canada—January, 2008 Planet Janitor—Custodian of the Stars, a SF novel sold to Engage Books, May 2009 Gate Walker, a Paranormal Fantasy, sold Lyrical Press—January, 2009. The Wolfen Strain, a fantasy thriller sold to LBF Books, February 2009

The Girll They Sold to the Moon, Intrigue Books

Blackmailed Bride to Melange Satin Romance. Screamcatcher: Web World by Melange Books.

Interests Hiking, paleontology, Ufos, cryptozoology, bigfoot, astronomy, lake monsters, ancient Egypt, archeology, geology

Favorite Movies Blade Runner, Time Cop, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Logun’s Run, Transformers, The Time Machine, Kickass

Favorite Music REM, Abbaa, When in Rome, Steve Miller Band, SF and fantasy soundtracks.

Favorite Books Icerigger, Virgin Planet, Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Lord of the Flies, Black Marble, Close Encounters, The Island, Black Marble, Dune, Riverworld, The Mote In God’s eye

How many books have I published? 10 to date, with three out on agent subs, and five more in the wings ready to go.

Amazon Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Harold-Stevenson/e/B001K8UUBK

Christy’s Website:  https://christysyoungadultfabuliers.com/

Blog:  http://guerrillawarfareforwriters.blogspot.com/

Posted in reviews

The Rising Tide: Liminal Sky: The Ariadne Cycle Book 2 by J. Scott Coatsworth Review

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

Years after Earth’s destruction, those who survived travel on the generational ship Forever, but face troubles as a series of events could lead to the total loss of free will and humanity as we know it in author J. Scott Coatsworth’s “The Rising Tide”, the second book in the Liminal Sky: The Ariadne Cycle series. 

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The Synopsis

Earth is dead. Five years later, the remnants of humanity travel through the stars inside Forever: a living, ever-evolving, self-contained generation ship. When Eddy Tremaine and Andy Hammond find a hidden world-within-a-world under the mountains, the discovery triggers a chain of events that could fundamentally alter or extinguish life as they know it, culminate in the takeover of the world mind, and end free will for humankind. Eddy, Andy, and a handful of other unlikely heroes—people of every race and identity, and some who aren’t even human—must find the courage and ingenuity to stand against the rising tide. Otherwise they might be living through the end days of human history. 

The Review

This was a brilliant sequel to author J. Scott Coatsworth’s first novel in this amazing new sci-fi series. As in the first book the author takes the time to split the book into three parts over the course of several years. Getting to see the evolution of this ship carrying the remaining humans was inspired, from those who knew and loved on Earth and their struggle to adapt to their new home to future generations who know only the generation ship, this was a genius storytelling device. 

What really stands out is the variety and depth of the characters the author utilizes in this book. Jumping around into different generations definitely gives readers new characters rotating into the plot, as well as the Immortals who are part of the ship’s hive-mind. The complex nature of these characters and their connection to the ship help drive the mysterious events of this narrative that put humanity in such danger of losing themselves, making this an instant hit read. 

The Verdict

A stunning, lengthy yet passionate read, author J. Scott Coatsworth’s “The Rising Tide” is a phenomenal sequel that deepens the mythology of the series in a wonderful way. The evolution of mankind and the way they connect to the hivemind of the ship is great to see unfold, and the growing cast of characters help keep the reader invested in this extensive and fantastic mythos the author has crafted. This is a story of survival, love, and of evolving and learning to let the past stay in the past. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author 

Scott spends his time between the here and now and the what could be. Ushered into fantasy and sci-fi at the tender age of nine by his mother, he devoured her library of Asimovs, Clarkes, and McCaffreys. But as he grew up, he wondered where the gay people were in speculative fiction.

He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t queer characters in his favorite genres, he would write them himself.

His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently–he sees relationships between things that others miss, and often gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He transforms traditional sci-fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

He also runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband, Mark, sites that bring LGBTIQA communities together to celebrate fiction that reflects queer life and love.

Facebook Profile: www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth

Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworthauthor/

Author Website/Blog: www.jscottcoatsworth.com

Dreamspinner Page: www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_1189

QueeRomance Ink Author Page: www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/

Goodreads Author Page: www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392709.J_Scott_Coatsworth

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/J.-Scott-Coatsworth/e/B011AFO4OQ