Tag Archives: science fiction books

White Ops (White Ops Book 1) by Declan Finn Review

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

The galaxy’s most dangerous human must gather a group of heroes to face an impending threat from behind the shadows of the known universe as war breaks out and a powerful race begins its deadly test against the galaxy in author Declan Finn’s “White Ops”, the first book in the series of the same name.

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The Synopsis

The Pharmakoi rampaged across dozens of star systems, taking on the toughest races in the Galaxy in their campaign of conquest. But they are only the beginning.

Sean Patrick Ryan sees that another race is behind the Pharmakoi expansion ; a race that wants to test our galaxy for weakness, and who needs to be eliminated from within. To fight the enemy in the shadows, Sean will put together a strike team to light up the darkness— with nukes if necessary.

They will get the job done at any cost.

They will be White Ops.

The Review

I can only describe this book as the ultimate sci-fi opera meets space western meets sci-fi military action-adventure all blended into one epic sci-fi tale. Simple, right? For such a lengthy read, the author did such an incredible job of writing in a way that allowed the action and mythos that the author created for this universe to flow smoothly and keep the reader on the edge of their seat, eager to jump into the next chapter of this story.

The balance the author found between the humorous dialogue and observations in the narrative with the rich sci-fi mythos and fully-developed character arcs of several characters made this story so brilliant. The exploration of not just a single moment but several years of this growing war effort and the infusion of both politics and action allowed readers to feel connected to the setting and the narrative’s atmosphere overall, creating a very cinematic quality that readers will fall in love with.

The Verdict

An entertaining, adrenaline-fueled, and breathtaking sci-fi epic, author Declan Finn’s “White Ops” is the perfect opening chapter of a new sci-fi saga. With a memorable cast of characters, a developing shadowy evil threatening the universe still, and a cliffhanger of an ending, readers are going to be eager to learn more about the book’s sequel ASAP. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Declan Finn is the NYC based author of books ranging from thrillers to urban fantasy to SciFi, including the 2016 Dragon Award Nominated Novel for Best horror, Honor at Stake, 2017 for Live and Let Bite, and 2018 for Codename: Unsub in best Apocalypse. He is known for “his strong fight scenes and is romance novels are sexy without being dirty, providing enough sexual tension to curl toes.”

He hosts the Catholic Geek Radio show, and can be found wherever someone is starting trouble. He also writes thrillers, video game reviews, and works for several blogs.

He is one of a legion of writers over at The Catholic Geeks blog (a legion, for we are many). Other books he has written includes the comedy-thriller It Was Only on Stun! where he blows up a sci-fi convention (no, not this one). He co-authored the science fiction espionage novel Codename: Winterborn. However, he is most proud of The Pius Trilogy – which includes “A Pius Man,” “A Pius Legacy,” “A Pius Stand,” and an anthology, “Pius Tales.”

http://www.declanfinn.com/

Cherish (The Valespian Pact Book 4) by Lexi Ander

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

TRIGGER WARNING: violence, captivity, experimentation/not shown, physical trauma, death of unnamed character/not shown, talk of suicide, suicide not on page, death of chicks when eggs go cold

The history of Destin and the GyrFalconi Society are explored as fans of The Valespian Pact series are sent over a century into the past in author Lexi Ander’s “Cherish”, the fourth book in this sci-fi romance series.

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The Synopsis

Saving a life can change the course of history.

Destin is torn away from his chicks and his bonded when the Terrens invade Aries 7. Experimented on in Terren labs, and made to work their mines, the GyrFalconi struggle to survive. Destin becomes their caretaker, endeavoring to save as many as possible, despite the emotional toll. Amidst the battle for survival, the universe shines on him and he bonds with not one but four people who give him a reason to keep fighting. When Valespia sends its Legions to the GyrFalconi’s aid, Destin and his bonded are eventually freed, only to face new cruelties from their own people.

Freedom comes with its own trials, though, as a divide forms in GyrFalconi society between the winged and the wingless. Destin and his bonded are given a chance at true happiness and they keep what they claim, no matter what.

Tags: The Twenty-Year War where Terrens really mucked things up, so many hatchlings, Love not Lust (yes, using caps there seemed necessary), survivors, bisexual characters, all the cute hatchlings, talking to spirits, low heat, protective chantelle, evil empress, courageous stags, polyamorous, Destin keeps collecting bonded, avian species screech… a lot, non-human ace spectrum characters, found family, underestimated batore, so many stags, Mar’Sani mentor, did I mention the cutest chicks ever?

CHERISH is the fourth book in the award-winning Valespian Pact series. Trigger warnings can be found in the Author’s Note. Please download a sample of this book or use the Look Inside feature. 196,000 words.

The Review

This was such an emotional and tumultuous roller-coaster of emotions as a reader. The author did such an amazing job of delving into the depths of the soul and exploring both the best and worst life has to offer. The world-building and vast amount of cultural development the author deployed into this narrative was astounding, really fleshing out the history of series-established characters like Destin and finally witnessing events hinted at in the series. Now I definitely think readers will be better off having read previous entries into the series so that these events and characters are better understood in the context of this fictional universe. However, the author did an amazing job conveying enough emotion and storytelling for these characters to make the reader feel invested in their journeys. 

While this novel definitely starts out as a slow-burn kind of storytelling, the second half of the novel ramps up the twists and turns that allow readers to suddenly sit up in their seats and do a double-take, as the connection with these characters becomes more gripping as the plot thickens. As seen at the beginning of this review, there are some hard subject lines in this novel, but the author does a great job of handling them with care and showing the importance of these issues without being too graphic in detail, striking an important balance between a story’s theme and narrative that is so important and found often in the sci-fi romance genre.

The Verdict

A memorable, heartfelt, and engaging sci-fi romance, author Lexi Ander’s “Cherish” is a must-read novel. The mythos and LGBTQ-driven character development, along with truly important themes and explorations of finding hope and family in the darkest of times is something truly special, and readers will not be able to put this book down once they really sit down and get into it. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

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Now here is an exclusive guest post from author Lexi Ander on the tropes found in “Cherish”

Thank you for having me today! I’m absolutely thrilled about Cherish’s release. I was asked about what tropes Cherish used and I blanked for a moment because I don’t intentionally write to cover specific tropes. I actually had to look for a list of tropes to see which ones were in Cherish because I could only come up with Found Family.

I seem to write a lot about found family. Zeus’s attachment to the crew of the Oethra 7 is found family. He wanted to keep them with him and ended up finding a way for most of them to return with him to Atlainticia. Sohm’lan has parents who love him, but the Vondorians also claim his love and loyalty. Destin finds part of his future family in captivity. This finding people to love is something I write into most if not all my stories. For me, it’s just a part of life and living—though Destin does seem to collect more people than any other person I have written about. He has a big heart and a lot of love to give.

What are some other tropes found in Cherish? Big Character / Little Character. Batores are shorter/smaller than chantelle and stags. Second Chances is another trope that can be found in the book. This is a pretty strong theme throughout the story that touches several different situations. Egg-preg (an Mpreg trope) is also in the book but it’s not the same thing that you find in a lot of shifter/omegaverse stories. It’s very different and isn’t typical of the stories that use this particular trope. Forbidden Love… GyrFalconi have very traditional ideas of what a family nest looks like, and Cherish breaks down the boundaries because the survivors no longer care about society’s expectations. The Badass Hero trope. You know, I really like writing some variation of that trope. Sohm’lan really fits that trope, but in Cherish, the badass heroes were more subtle. It was the ‘small’ things they did that made them heroes and not because they were swashbuckling their way through the plot. 🙂 The Families/Raising Kids trope. It’s sort of hard to have the egg-preg trope and not have the Family/kids trope. They usually go hand-in-hand. And I think that is all the tropes you can find in Cherish. I might have missed one though. LOL

Reading-wise, I like to read Friends-to-Lovers, Arranged Marriages/Marriage of Convenience, Mpreg outside the omegaverse especially if its tipped on its head, and I always love a Badass Hero… oh, there’s a new trope that I heard about, the Badass Cinnamon Roll. I really like that one because I love sweet characters and when they get all protective and growly it’s the cutest thing ever, in my opinion. 

I hope you found this interesting! This is a bit of geeky-fun for me. Check out Cherish and don’t forget to enter the giveaway. 

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Cherish - Lexi Ander

Lexi Ander has a new LGBTQ+ space opera out, The Valespian Pact book 4 (Ace, Demi, Bi, Poly): Cherish. And there’s a great giveaway!

Saving a life can change the course of history.

Destin is torn away from his chicks and his bonded when the Terrens invade Aries 7. Experimented on in Terren labs, and made to work their mines, the GyrFalconi struggle to survive. Destin becomes their caretaker, endeavoring to save as many as possible, despite the emotional toll. Amidst the battle for survival, the universe shines on him and he bonds with not one but four people who give him a reason to keep fighting. When Valespia sends its Legions to the GyrFalconi’s aid, Destin and his bonded are eventually freed, only to face new cruelties from their own people.

Freedom comes with its own trials, though, as a divide forms in GyrFalconi society between the winged and the wingless. Destin and his bonded are given a chance at true happiness and they keep what they claim, no matter what.

Warnings: violence, captivity, experimentation/not shown, physical trauma, death of unnamed character/not shown, talk of suicide, suicide not on page, death of chicks when eggs go cold.

Amazon | Tolino | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Liminal Fiction | Smashwords


Giveaway

Lexi is giving away three $20 Amazon gift cards with this tour:

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47219/?


Excerpt

Cherish meme

Dashing tears from his eyes, he finished packing a small but heavy satchel. Alaina and Paxx waited for him in the receiving room holding large, overstuffed bags. At least they were not flying any great distance. The door was open to the balcony and the sight beyond confirmed their reality like nothing else could. Transports large and small zipped between the tall spires of this residential quarter of Skylight. The buildings were hundreds of floors tall with every roost boasting a balcony or three for landing. Usually, municipal transports flew above the spires, but these originated from the base of the buildings where the personal transports were stored.

The aircraft were not the only traffic. GyrFalconi flew everywhere, either singly or in small flocks, and there was a lot of swerving and near collisions, the people too panicked to pay attention. A lead weight formed in Destin’s stomach and a sense of urgency whispered that they needed to hurry. At least his parents’ rookery was only a couple spires over.

“Stay close to me,” he warned. The fledglings’ eyes were round with dawning fear as they observed the chaos. Paxx and Alaina nodded vigorously.

Clutching the pack to his chest, Destin sprinted and leaped off the balcony, his wings spread as he tested the air for a wind to glide on while he waited for his fledglings to catch up. They carried more, so they dropped quicker and had to flap hard to reach him, their burdens clutched to their chests. Destin spiraled down to the building’s lower floors, hoping that the air there would be less travelled, and he was right. As long as they stayed above the storage levels, they would not cross many individual flyers.

A few minutes later, they reached his parents’ building. Destin searched for his mahen’s storage garage where she and his dahen would be waiting. All the bay doors were open and the interiors empty. He did not need to read the labels, since his mahen, Akela de la Zudora, stood in the opening to her bay watching for them. Her golden-brown feathers were streaked with a darker brown that made her look severe when her feathers were clapped tight to her crown. Her brown-ringed black eyes held a wealth of worry as well as a touch of fear, which abated when her gaze landed on them.

Destin circled around behind his fledglings and made them land first. Both immediately went to Akela when their feet touched the floor. She wrapped them in a calming embrace as she clicked her nose-plate to theirs. His dahen, Imrie, rushed from the transport when Destin set down. Imrie’s long, sweeping gray-tipped pink feathers were ruffled in the strong breeze that pushed into the bay. The pink contrasted beautifully with his ebony skin. Of all the Aries collectives, Destin thought his dahen’s feather coloring the prettiest. His own were red feathers dusted with the broody black of Aries 1. When he was much younger, he’d wished he had the pretty pinks of Aries 4 like his da. Destin had outgrown such vanities and he was content with his coloring, though he still thought the red and black was somber.

Imrie grabbed his face and clicked his hard yellow nose-plate against Destin’s. “Where is Dena?” he asked softly enough that the chicks did not hear.

Destin refused to answer, not wanting to bring to the fledglings’ attention that he and their mahen were at odds. Imrie’s blue eyes narrowed with comprehension, and Destin did not envy the dressing down that his dahen would give Dena when he saw her next.

His parents’ personal transport was a modest five-person pipit. Glancing inside, food stores were crammed into every available space, leaving just enough room in the back for Destin’s fledglings. They would be holding their overstuffed burdens in their laps since there was no other room to store the bags.

“I think we can make room for you,” Mahen said, coming up behind him. But they could not and still eat. There were questions about whether the sky-cities receiving refugees would have enough foodstuff to feed everyone. Destin would not have his family going hungry when there was a seat for him on another transport.

“Dena made arrangements for me,” he replied. Akela pursed her lips, sweeping her gaze over him and the fledglings as if to say, ‘yes, my son, I can see the accommodations your bonded has made.’ He forged on. “Speaking of, they are waiting on me. I am already several minutes late.”

His chicks made frantic noises. They were all talk about building a nest of their own, but here they were, not wanting to be separated from him. It warmed Destin’s heart more than it should have. Perhaps Dena was correct, and he was holding onto the fledglings too tightly. He wrapped each chick in his arms, reminded of how much larger they were when he tilted his head up so they could click their nose-plates against his.

“Do what you are told and help your granden and granhen with what they need. They will rendezvous with your bondeds’ families. Together, they will all work to keep you safe.” Destin waited for them to nod before he stepped away.

“When will you and Dena be joining us?” Mahen asked, pushing the fledglings toward the transport.

“The de la Bao flock are meeting up with some of their extended family. I will make my way to you once we stop,” he replied, hoping that the fledglings did not notice he said nothing about their mahen. The fact was that he did not know what her plans were, especially after their argument.

Imrie pulled out his data pad and demanded Destin give him the location where he would end up.

“I will come and get you myself once we have settled Alaina and Paxx,” Akela stated, her expression telling him not to argue with her. Destin nodded, saying hurried farewells to his parents before sprinting to the open bay door and leaping into flight.

He was not exaggerating when he said he was late. He owed the neighbors many apologies when he arrived. They were kind, patient people but the stress of fleeing to safety could make anyone terse, especially when waiting on someone who delayed their safe departure.

The weight of his bag seemed heavier than before, which Destin was sure it was just in his mind. There were more individual fliers clogging the airways. With great care, he dodged a couple of near collisions before reaching the correct building. The bay door was open, and Destin pulled up from his dive to land on the edge… of an empty storage slot. He double checked the name and number to make sure he had arrived at the correct place. This was where he was supposed to meet up with the neighbors.

Destin stared at the bare floor, his mind stalled for a few precious seconds as he tried to comprehend what it meant. Again, he double checked the ID to make sure he was at the right location, and he was, but they were gone. They had left. He was only a few minutes late, but the bay was not even warm from the aircraft’s engine, so they had been gone much longer than he was late.

Had Dena cancelled his seat, thinking he would be travelling with her? He could not imagine the neighbors leaving without him. They were close friends of Destin’s and if they were leaving, they would have contacted him, and there were no waiting messages on the data pad. If Dena told them he did not need the seat, then why did she not say something to him? Did she forget since they had fought? Was—

Destin shook his head, trying to clear his mind. This was not the time to allow emotional turmoil to take over. He would broach the questions with her later, after he reached safety. He considered flying back to his parents’ bay, but they were probably gone already, and he could not waste the time. He would have to fly.


Author Bio

Lexi Ander

A two-time Rainbow Award recipient, Lexi has always been an avid reader and started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch) at a young age. She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a notebook, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in North Carolina with her Yankee husband and her 80-pound puppy named after a vacuum cleaner.

Author Website: http://www.lexiander.com

Author Facebook (Personal): http://www.facebook.com/lexi.ander.9

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/Lexi-Ander-1808012509319412/

Author Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/LexiAnder1

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lexi.ander.9/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6521302.Lexi_Ander

Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/lexi-ander/

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/lexi-ander/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lexi-Ander/e/B009PT22GM/

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12 Planets of the Intergalactic Map: Travelers From Schyllus by Derek Mailhiot Review

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

One of the 12 planets housing the children of “The Maker” discovers an ancient device that allows for instantaneous travel between the 12 worlds, including Earth, but after Travelers arrive on Earth from that other world, the fate of Earth comes into question as another entity begins its mission to destroy all life related to The Maker in author Derek Mailhiot’s “12 Planets of the Intergalactic Map: Travelers From Schyllus”. 

The Synopsis

What happens when 12 civilizations from different planets meet for the very first time? Will their common origin unite them into a mighty Intergalactic Empire? Or will they destroy each other?

The people of the planet Schyllus in the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy possess the “Intergalactic Map” which plots 12 planets in the Local Group of galaxies colonized by the children of the “Maker” called the “First Ones.” Schyllus is one of the planets. Earth is another. There are 10 more.

Scientists on Schyllus discover that the Maker has created a device in deep space—the Gryben Anomaly—that allows them to instantaneously travel between the 12 Planets.

The first planet they travel to is Earth. All they know is that Earth was colonized by the First Ones thousands of years ago—just like Schyllus was—but otherwise they know nothing about it.

What happens when 196,418 Travelers from Schyllus arrive on an unsuspecting and unprepared Earth? The Travelers are peaceful explorers, yet their arrival results in billions of human deaths from the chaos that ensues. Will their arrival on Earth be the demise of the human race?

Or will mankind join the Travelers in expeditions to the other planets—Thijar, Hyperios, Kikrit, Freytus, Acfarr, Vaagon, Minyos, Ozkozania, Dagomere, and Pluvikerr. These planets were all colonized by the First Ones thousands of years ago, but have evolved into vastly different civilizations.

And unbeknownst to the humanoids inhabiting the 12 Planets, a malevolent entity known as Torajii has vowed to exterminate all humanoids from the universe.

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The Review

The author did such a great job of finding the natural balance between sci-fi mythology and world-building and personal character growth. The exploration of mankind’s origins and our plan amongst the stars so to speak has been a goal of our civilization’s since we first landed on the moon, and yet the way the author reversed the concept on its head and instead explored how we would react if another, more advanced civilization arrived on our doorstep not as part of an invasion force, but as visitors on a mission of peace and exploration. 

The story is so grand and so deep-seated in mythos and world-building that the author’s ability to ground the narrative with relatable and engaging human characters early on in the novel was fantastic to see on display here. It was also fascinating to see the similarities and differences between the Travelers and humanity here, as good and “evil” could be found on both sides, and each side had its own roots in violent behavior, highlighting the theme of mankind’s capability of self-destruction and to wage war upon itself. Yet the ability of these select “few” from both sides to come together to find a means of bonding with each other and hoping to do so with other worlds was a hopeful message that through cooperation and trust, anything could be possible.

The Verdict

A memorable, entertaining, and thought-provoking sci-fi novel, author Derek Mailhiot’s “12 Planets of the Intergalactic Map: Travelers From Schyllus” is a must-read story! The world-building alone is so imaginative and creative to behold, and the character-driven and grand mythos of this universe the author has created will keep readers on the edge of their seats, eager for another chapter in this universe. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab our copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Derek lives on beautiful Vancouver Island with his two children, Hannah and Daniel. With one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, combined with breathtaking scenery, Vancouver Island truly is the quintessential place for an author to live and write.

Derek studied economics at the University of Victoria and religious studies at the University of British Columbia. He is very entrepreneurial, starting an Internet company called InterWeb Connections Inc in 1995 and a software development company called Wireheads Labs Inc in 2002.

In 2011, Derek invented an alternative energy device that is radically innovative and truly disruptive. He filed a Patent in 2011 and started a company to develop a prototype, in order to commercialize this exciting technology.

As an independent investigative journalist, Derek deeply investigates topics to discover the truth, and shine a light on stories that are not always told. As a devout evangelical Christian who holds a modern scientific worldview, many of his books are on topics that intersect science and religion, such as creation and evolution. Other books are on topics that have been plagued by pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, and Fake News.

As a teenager, Derek read The High Frontier by Gerard K. O’Neill and has been fascinated by space colonies, and anything space related, ever since. Also a huge fan of science fiction movies and books, Derek has taken up writing a 7-book science fiction series called 12 Planets of the Intergalactic Map.

When he’s not writing (or reading), Derek can be found hiking on one of the many trails on Vancouver Island.

Heretics (Nel Bentley #4) 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. 

In the ashes of utter devastation, adventurer Nel Bentley must decide where her true loyalties lie and find a way to prevent Earth’s total annihilation in author V.S. Holmes’s “Heretics”, the fourth novel in the Nel Bentley series.

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The Synopsis

Without Earth, Nel has nowhere left to run

Hot-tempered Dr. Nel Bently is not cut out to save the world. After her last project ended in fire and death, Nel must put aside her distrust of just about everyone and embark on a lo-fi search for a deadly radio transmission.

Earth’s survivors are torn between the austere superpower of IDH and the high-tech grassroots Los Pobledores. At every turn more allies go missing and Nel questions where everyone’s true loyalties lie–and on which side Lin will fall when a line is finally drawn.

They need experts. They need firepower. But it looks like the only thing standing between Earth and devastation is Nel: archaeologist, asshole, and functioning alcoholic with anger issues.

The Review

A powerful new entry into this exhilarating and inviting sci-fi series! Author VS Holmes has crafted a marvelous and emotionally-driven new narrative that highlights the struggle to go back home again, and how our past determines who we will become in the future. The world-building and the way the author wove in similar conflicts and struggles our own world is facing today into the very sci-fi-centric narrative was amazing to see come to fruition, and allowed readers to feel more connected to the narrative. 

This book, much like the rest of the series, all blossomed from the incredible character development the author has created here. Nel is such a complex and engaging protagonist, as her often destructive personality clashes with others in her field and yet her sense of what’s right and wrong becomes a leading light in the darkness around her. The relationship between Nel and Lin felt not only passionate but real, as their personalities may clash often, but their love for one another is felt on a very deep level. The twists and turns the author took these two amazing characters throughout this novel will leave longtime fans reeling and on the edge of their seat for the next book in this series.

The Verdict

A memorable, heart-pounding, and engaging sci-fi read, author V.S. Holmes’s “Heretics” is a must-read sci-fi novel of 2021! The world-building and mythos that the author employs here, as well as the tension and mystery surrounding who Nel can and cannot trust, make for some truly entertaining reading. The cliffhanger ending leaves open a host of possibilities for the future of this series, and readers will be hard-pressed to find a more emotionally charged and action-packed sci-fi novel with an LGBTQ-forward roster of characters to get behind. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy 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.

http://www.vsholmes.com/

Heirs of the Ancients (Book Two of The Three World’s Chronicles) by James Norwood Review

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

A powerful and dark civilization from before the dawn of man threatens to consume the galaxy once and for all, and only the heroic actions of Gallagher and his crew stand in the way of these menacing foes and their nefarious plans for the universe in author James Norwood’s “Heirs of the Ancients”, the second book in the Three World’s Chronicles series. 

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The Synopsis

A malicious and ancient alien race from before the dawn of man lays a trap for an unsuspecting civilization fleeing its home world. The galaxy must once more fight for its very survival, as forces work against it that are almost as old as the galaxy itself. Gallagher and his crew must uncover the truth before time runs out, and the heirs of the ancients implement their evil plan.

The Review

This was a brilliant follow-up to the acclaimed sci-fi book, A Trio of Worlds. The author expertly found the perfect harmony between character growth, galactic mythos, and themes of theological divides, and the thirst for power, as well as classic themes of good vs evil. The author was amazing in showcasing both the past and the present of this novel’s history and culture, especially the beginning chapters that highlighted the divide between the D’Lai and the Däk’in centuries, if not millennia before. The war that erupted based on theological differences in their faiths expertly mired our own world’s struggles with religious divides and people of faith using religion to fuel their own rage and bloodlust. 

Once again, the author utilizes mythology and world-building expertly and balances this with great characters that either chill you to the bone or win your hearts as rough and tumble heroes. The complexity of the war’s history and the lies that made the foundation for an entire race’s anger towards the universe was a great development in this series, allowing the reader to see who the true “villains” were, and who became victims in a war that raged far before they even knew.

The Verdict

A stunning, narratively rich, and entertaining addition to an already marvelous new sci-fi series, author James Norwood’s “Heir of the Ancients” is a must-read novel of 2021. A great start for sci-fi fans this fall, the author delivers rich mythology and great character development across the ages, making for an inviting story that readers won’t be able to put down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

James Norwood is a middle school teacher. He lives in Riverside, California with his wife Kelly and their three cats.

https://www.threeworlds.net/

Artifact Space by Miles Cameron 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 seeking a new life in space finds the scandals and problems of her past following her into new and untold danger in author Miles Cameron’s “Artifact Space”.

The Synopsis

With their vast cargo holds and a crew that could fill a city, the Greatships are the lifeblood of human-occupied space, transporting an unimaginable volume – and value – of goods from City, the greatest human orbital, all the way to Tradepoint at the other, to trade for xenoglas with an unknowable alien species.

It has always been Marca Nbaro’s dream to achieve the near-impossible: escape her upbringing and venture into space.

All it took, to make her way onto the crew of the Greatship Athens was thousands of hours in simulators, dedication, and pawning or selling every scrap of her old life in order to forge a new one. But though she’s made her way onboard with faked papers, leaving her old life – and scandals – behind isn’t so easy.

She may have just combined all the dangers of her former life, with all the perils of the new . . . 

The Review

This was a truly engaging and mature sci-fi adventure. The action begins immediately, highlighting the danger and elevated storytelling the author has employed here that feels like a blend of Star Trek: The Next Generation meets Firefly. The horrors of the danger Marca faces and the wonder of the grand, planet-sized cities and spacecraft that she finds herself in really draw the reader into the narrative.

The hook for this narrative really came during the balancing act the author performed between incredible character interactions and a fully realized mythology to this sci-fi epic. The complexity with which the author develops protagonist Marca was enthralling, weaving her complex and haunting past into her action-packed and earnest attempts at building a new life for herself. Combine this with a unique mythos that sees a business conglomerate kind of take control of a large city-ship, and incorporate elements of Grecian culture and legend into the overall world, and readers will be hard-pressed not to be invested in this story.

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The Verdict

An entertaining, mythological, and exhilarating read, author Miles Cameron’s “Artifact Space” is a must-read epic sci-fi novel. The intense and well-rounded character development really did an amazing job of drawing the reader into what one only hopes can be the beginning of a truly epic new sci-fi series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Miles Cameron is an author, a re-enactor, an outdoors expert and a weapons specialist. He lives, works and writes in Toronto, where he lives with his family. This is his debut fantasy novel.

https://christiancameronauthor.com/book-author/miles-cameron/

https://www.bookbub.com/books/artifact-space-by-miles-cameron

The Oberllyn Family Generations Omnibus 3: Books 7, 8, and 9, The Future Generations by J. Traveler Pelton Review

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

The future generations of the Oberilyn Family must stop a global genetic virus before it takes out all of human civilization in author J. Traveler Pelton’s “The Oberllyn Family Generations Omnibus 3: Books 7, 8, and 9, The Future Generations”. 

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The Synopsis

A global genetic virus has a 100% kill rate; the Oberllyn’s need to destroy it before it wipes out civilization; then maybe Noel can retire and Kai can take over the family research clan while Alex and Micah head for the stars. If you like unending action, apocalyptic adventure, romance, tech and intrigue, then this omnibus is for you!

The Review

This was a truly engaging sci-fi story. The author does a great job of blending futuristic storytelling with memorable characters and inviting character growth overall. The thing that will draw a lot of readers to this narrative is the fact that it is a Christian Science Fiction tale, incorporating elements of faith and belief into the futuristic theme that the author has established early on in this narrative.

While it would be helpful for readers to understand the underlying mythos and story of this family by reading the first two Omnibuses of this series, the author does a great job of making this novel feel like a self-contained narrative that draws upon the family history of the first two omnibuses. The balance of light-hearted banter between the characters and action-packed thrills the narrative took made this story entertaining, to say the least, making for a unique reading experience.

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The Verdict

A memorable, enthralling, and driven narrative, author J. Traveler Pelton’s “The Oberllyn Family Generations Omnibus 3: Books 7, 8, and 9, The Future Generations” is a must-read for any fans of Christian Science Fiction. The balance of character growth and engaging narrative made this story shine brightly, and was the perfect end to a large and entertaining family saga. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 8/10

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About the Author

J. Traveler Pelton was born in West Virginia in the last century. She is active in her home church and was the Nation’s Mother for her tribe for several years. She is still wife to Dan after 47 years (He is so long-suffering!), mother of six adults, a grandmother of nine, a Clinically Licensed Independent Social worker in private practice, a retired adjunct professor of social work at her local university, and an avid reader. She lives on a mini-farm with her husband, seven alpaca, a flock of spoiled chickens, five Siamese cats, four Pomeranians, a talkative Amazon parrot named Gizmo, and her aviary of canaries. Traveler enjoys the intersection of fantasy, possibility, creativity, and speculation. Join her on the other side of the imagination tree. She’ll be sitting there waiting for your visit.

Power Challenges (Jake Ross #4) by Ben Bova Review

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

Space Advisor Jake Ross takes on the challenge of his life when he decides to send humanity out to the stars and put America back on the map by establishing a permanent moon base in author Ben Bova’s final novel, “Power Challenges”, the fourth book in the Jake Ross series. 

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The Synopsis

Sadly, this is the last book Ben Bova left us before his untimely death due to COVID-19 related causes on November 29, 2020.

“Far-thinking ideas and the characters’ determination to grab the last hope are characteristic. Fans won’t want to miss this coda to Bova’s prolific literary life.”―Publishers Weekly

It is time to start the colonizing the solar system. Ex-astronaut, current space advisor, and all-out trouble shooter for the President, Jake Ross, is determined to make it happen.

And what better way to return to America’s glory than by returning to the moon and setting up a permanent moon-base which can then serve as the launching pad for Mars and beyond.

But as usual, political intrigue and conflicting priorities are threatening the whole program. Add to that a President who is about to die, a strong contingent in the legislative body which thinks that money spent on a moon-base is money wasted and the general apathy of the public, and you have an almost impossible task.

Even NASA, natural enthusiasts of a project like this, are dragging their feet because they have lost control of the top spot in the project.

However, none of those opposing forces have contended with the resolve and the skill of Jake Ross. He will create the base on the moon. He will send humans out to many worlds.

The Review

While it is heartbreaking to lose a truly powerful voice within the science fiction community, this final novel from the author is the perfect example of why Ben Bova always had one hand on the pulse of this exhilarating genre. For the majority of this novel, the author took great detail in outlining the politics and struggles that someone trying to build a permanent presence in space would face in the future. From the divide in party lines in the United States to the economic and ecological struggles that would occur and so much more, this novel does an excellent job of creating not only a realistic setting but a perfect tone that highlights the real hurdles once may face in future space exploration and colonization.

The pacing of the novel was engaging, to say the least, slowly building the political thriller aspect of this sci-fi novel. The novel is perfect for both new and returning fans of this series, as newcomers like myself get the opportunity to get to know the protagonist and the supporting characters perfectly, while longtime fans will be thrilled to see the evolution of the protagonist as the story progresses. The balance of the story’s narrative with the incredible and realistic character development made this heavy sci-fi read truly memorable. 

The Verdict

Entertaining, thought-provoking, and incredibly detailed, author Ben Bova’s “Power Challenges” is the perfect sci-fi read and an incredible final chapter in a great sci-fi author’s journey. With a shocking political betrayal and the epic battle that will determine the fate of a nation, the author shocks readers and creates a memorable end to this series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Ben Bova was born on November 8, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1953, while attending Temple University, he married Rosa Cucinotta, they had a son and a daughter. He would later divorce Rosa in 1974. In that same year he married Barbara Berson Rose.

Bova is an avid fencer and organized Avco Everett’s fencing club. He is an environmentalist, but rejects Luddism.

Bova was a technical writer for Project Vanguard and later for Avco Everett in the 1960s when they did research in lasers and fluid dynamics. It was there that he met Arthur R. Kantrowitz later of the Foresight Institute.

In 1971 he became editor of Analog Science Fiction after John W. Campbell’s death. After leaving Analog, he went on to edit Omni during 1978-1982.

In 1974 he wrote the screenplay for an episode of the children’s science fiction television series Land of the Lost entitled “The Search”.

Bova was the science advisor for the failed television series The Starlost, leaving in disgust after the airing of the first episode. His novel The Starcrossed was loosely based on his experiences and featured a thinly veiled characterization of his friend and colleague Harlan Ellison. He dedicated the novel to “Cordwainer Bird”, the pen name Harlan Ellison uses when he does not want to be associated with a television or film project.

Bova is the President Emeritus of the National Space Society and a past President of Science-fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

Bova went back to school in the 1980s, earning an M.A. in communications in 1987 and a Ph.D. in 1996.

Bova has drawn on these meetings and experiences to create fact and fiction writings rich with references to spaceflight, lasers, artificial hearts, nanotechnology, environmentalism, fencing and martial arts, photography and artists.

Bova is the author of over a hundred and fifteen books, non-fiction as well as science fiction. In 2000, he was the Author Guest of Honor at the 58th World Science Fiction Convention (Chicon 2000).

Hollywood has started to take an interest in Bova’s works once again, in addition to his wealth of knowledge about science and what the future may look like. In 2007, he was hired as a consultant by both Stuber/Parent Productions to provide insight into what the world is to look like in the near future for their upcoming film “Repossession Mambo” (released as “Repo Men”) starring Jude Law and Forest Whitaker and by Silver Pictures in which he provided consulting services on the feature adaptation of Richard Morgan’s “Altered Carbon”.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/benbova

http://benbova.com/

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ben-bova

Gamora and Nebula: Sisters in Arms by Mackenzi Lee Review

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

Two sisters raised to be assassins and warriors by a ruthless villain find themselves stranded on a planet being mined and quickly deteriorating, forcing them into a series of events that explores their rivalry and the source of the distance between them in author Mackenzi Lee’s “Gamora & Nebula: Sisters in Arms”.

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The Synopsis 

The second book in the hit series from New York Times best-selling author Mackenzi Lee!

This three-book series explores the untapped potential and duality of heroism of popular characters in the Marvel Universe. The first book in the series, Loki: Where Mischief Lies, was an instant New York Times best seller and received two starred reviews!

The relationship between teenage adopted sisters Gamora and Nebula is as volatile as ever. When they end up on a deteriorating planet being mined for its valuable resources, the two sisters are faced with a series of events that force them to explore the source of their rivalry-and where their loyalty truly lies. This action-packed yet sincere story will tug on the heartstrings of anyone who has ever had to learn how deeply weird and changeable trust can be.

The Review

As a longtime fan of all things Marvel Comics, I was immediately drawn to this book. The author does a fantastic job of balancing the source material of the characters with the creativity and originality of this novel’s narrative. The writing expertly paints a vivid image in the reader’s minds of this vast Marvel Universe, exploring the vastness of the universe that has relatively been unexplored in the comics while adding new layers and context from the creative mind of the author.

What stands out of course is the strong character development of this narrative. From the complex and emotional struggle of sisters Gamora and Nebula, who has been driven against one another and brainwashed by the vile Thanos and his war machine. The interesting thing is that the author utilizes concepts of the comics rather than the MCU as a whole into the narrative, exploring the effects Thanos’s relationship with the personification of Death has had on both protagonists. Even the humorous and tricky personality of The Grandmaster shines brightly in a grim and gritty corner of the Marvel Universe. 

The Verdict

Emotional, action-packed, and entertaining superhero storytelling, author Mackenzi Lee’s “Gamora & Nebula: Sisters in Arms” is a must-read sci-fi and fantasy read. Expertly crafting an original science fiction narrative within a well-established Marvel Universe is an extraordinary feat, and the author excels at navigating the complex relationship between the protagonists and their villainous adoptive father, which has always been a crucial part of the fabric of Marvel’s Cosmic storytelling. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

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About the Author

Mackenzi Lee holds a BA in history and an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Simmons College. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the historical fantasy novels THIS MONSTROUS THING, THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE, which won a 2018 Stonewall Honor Award and the New England Book Award, and its sequel, THE LADY’S GUIDE TO PETTICOATS AND PIRACY, which debuted at #3 on the New York Times bestseller list. She is also the author of BYGONE BADASS BROADS (Abrams, 2018), a collection of short biographies of amazing women from history you probably don’t know about but definitely should, based on her popular twitter series of the same name.

When not writing, she works as an independent bookseller, drinks too much Diet Coke, and romps with her St. Bernard, Queenie.

http://www.mackenzilee.com/

https://www.instagram.com/themackenzilee/

https://www.bookbub.com/books/gamora-and-nebula-sisters-in-arms-novel-book-2-by-marvel-press-book-group