Review – Crossing Bedlam by Charles Yallowitz

Crossing BedlamThe United States of America has been crippled. Violently contained by a global military force and left without its leaders, the country has become shattered and chaotic. A decade has passed since the first strike and a new landscape has emerged where survival is more important than anything else. Who will uncover the truth behind the attack and revive this once great nation?

It certainly won’t be Cassidy and Lloyd since they couldn’t care less about that stuff. She is a young woman on a mission to honor her mother’s dying wish, which is to toss her ashes off the Golden Gate Bridge. He is an infamous serial killer she broke out of Rikers Island since hiring a bodyguard wasn’t working out. Not the perfect plan, but having an insane, oddly charming murder-junkie on your side is a plus in the Shattered States.

Bullets and swear words are going to fly as Cassidy and Lloyd travel coast to coast, facing one challenge after another . . . including Nebraska.

Review

I read one or two sneak previews from Crossing Bedlam on Charles’ site, and learned about Lloyd and Cassidy through candid posts regarding his progress on the novel, so I was excited about the release. I was not disappointed.

The action starts immediately, and we find out exactly what kind of woman Cassidy is; the lengths she’ll go to complete her mission, and the impact a changing world has on her personality. The novel is full of the unexpected. When Cassidy decides to gather a dream team, protectors in a journey across the Shattered States, she chooses the unlikeliest of members – violent inmates. This introduction is hilarious, and again, gives the reader a telling first impression of Lloyd. He is a scary (funny) killer, with wit sharp enough to do the killing, and a tendency to break the fourth wall – a fact I particularly enjoyed.

As Lloyd and Cassidy embark on their crazy adventure, they meet a cast of memorable and certainly colourful characters along the way. The action is non stop – kidnappings, snipers with itchy trigger fingers, a few serious mind trips, and a negotiation or two – if it can happen it does.

One of the things I enjoyed most about the adventure is the friendship that builds between Lloyd and Cassidy, and the fact they balance each other out – give the other a purpose. They make great partners. Both are complex, and develop during the story. Both are hilarious in their own way, which provides comic relief in intense circumstances.

I don’t know if it has anything to do with Lloyd’s tendency to break the fourth wall, but it is so easy to imagine them living out their next adventure, travelling together and facing the next challenge. I hope we haven’t seen the last of them.


Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

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Review: Cadence of Consequences: The Chronicles of Xannia Series (Book 2) by M.J. Moores

I had the pleasure of reading Cadence of Consequences early, given that I was lucky enough to beta read the second novel in The Chronicles of Xannia series. To be completely honest, after reading the first, I jumped at the chance. You can read my review of Time’s Tempest here.

So, before I share my review of this great adventure, here’s a little more about the book itself.

TheChroniclesofXannia3_1400She risks losing her life above-ground, in the city she loves, and for what? Possibly harming the innocent if she remains hidden below…

Trapped in a foreign Underground world, Taya battles inner demons and alienation as the man she promised to protect… to love… remains firmly planted in the government’s cross-hairs; hell bent on fulfilling his destiny to change the world. Constantly accosted by a fanatic sect of the Followers of Light, praising her as a false goddess in a religion she never truly believed in, Taya searches for something to return a sense of meaning and purpose in her life. As her skepticism for the impending coup grows so too does Gerrund’s lack of trust, undermining not only her sense of self-worth but their ability to overthrow a corrupt government.

Even as Taya desperately works to establish a communication network spanning the Deserts in an effort to keep a promise she never should have made, her past interferes causing any sense of the future to spiral out of control. It is up to Taya to fix herself and her fractured relationships in order to embrace her destiny and help two very different men attempt to alter the course of history.

Cadence of Consequences – Review

In the first book of the series we were introduced to Xannia, and got a real feel for this new and exciting world. We joined Taya on an epic adventure as she led Dezmind and a group of his followers across the Deserts. We saw Taya use her expertise as a guide to keep the group alive, and learned the origins of Dezmind’s prophecy. These revelations led to a different fight for survival and culminated in an explosive finale – one which made Taya a target.

In Cadence of Consequences we journey with Taya below ground. Separated from Dezmind, lost and determined to return to her duties topside, Taya faces a multitude of challenges. This chapter in the series packs an emotional punch, which cements a reader’s loyalty to Taya and her friends. Not only does she suffer a crisis of identity, this sense of loss is exacerbated by a group of fanatics known as the Followers of Light. They plague Taya mercilessly, delaying her journey into a renewed sense of self.

Despite the turmoil, Taya’s true personality shines through and her skills are as admirable as ever. I particularly enjoyed the differing points of view within Cadence of Consequences; both the scenes in the Deserts, where a group remains, and of Dezmind’s own struggles in a changing world.

It is a story of unrest, fear and mistrust. But it is also a tale of love, discovery and Taya’s interminable strength. As a reader I was rooting for her. I’m drawn to the connection she has with Dezmind, and though the two are apart in this particular adventure, the author managed to show us the link they share in a variety of ways.

The pacing of the story is one which allows a reader to settle in and appreciate the journey. It’s a definite page turner, a book you’ll find hard to put down. As with the first in the series, Cadence of Consequences is a rollercoaster ride, and it is one which will stay with you. I can’t wait to join Taya and Dezmind for their next adventure.


Chronicles of Xannia Poster

Purchase Links:

Time’s Tempest

Cadence of Consequences

Excerpt – Cadence of Consequences

I float under a clear lid, in a sealed grey metal box filled with red-tinged water. Holding my breath, wanting desperately to feel the pain of my marks release, but my gills refuse to open. I heave my body around in circles as the metallic cuffs rip into the tender flesh of my wrists and ankles. A thick, muffled, tick-tick-tick ebbs through the water. I try kicking out with my bound feet to free myself. My heart pounds in my ears, even as the ticking echoes through my brain. My lungs burn.

A faint pin-point of light flashes somewhere above me. Help me! I scream in my mind. My neck goes limp; my chin drifts to my chest. Help me Four bubbles of air escape from my nose. The light disappears as the metal walls push in toward me

Gasping for air, I jerked backwards. The island stool fell away and I smacked my head on the edge of the breakfast bar as I crashed to the floor, cracking my hip against the stone floor.

I opened my eyes, but they refused to adjust; the room remained black. Grasping at the smooth floor, I pulled myself forward on my stomach until the glow from the timer on the coffee pot became visible through the pulsating ache above my right eye. My chest constricted against my lungs before I managed another gasp, taking in oceans of air. Great sobs wracked my over-taxed body. In the pool of dim light illuminating the kitchen floor, I curled into a ball and wept.

That feeling of helplessness and confinement clung to my skin like cobwebs. The nightmares were evolving and coming more often now. What hurt even more was the reminder of Gerrund’s words after leaving me alone in my new apartment for the first time: They found you once, theyll find you again. No amount of body art is going to change that. They know you.

He’d claimed that the Kronik’s Special Agents evolved from the CTF just as I had. That my employer’s knowledge of my actions, reactions, body language and vocal patterns made me easy prey in the wrong company.

Being abducted and tortured in the Warehouse showed that I wasn’t invincible after all… that maybe Gerrund and Dez had a point about it being safer for me to remain Underground – but the only things this cage reinforced were failure and susceptibility to the whims of others. The truth serum had been in my veins… if Gerrunds team hadnt saved me, could I have held out against it?

Sitting on the cold floor, against the half-wall of the kitchen island, I leaned my head back as the last remnants of tears dried in salty streaks along my cheeks. I sat there, in the dark, afraid to move and ignite an electric shock-wave in my head. My arms hung limp beside me, my legs at odd angles on the floor, as my breath came in shallow, uneven wisps.

I had no idea how long I’d been there. It was obviously still twilight, so I hadn’t slept for long – just long enough. The more time that passed, the steadier my breathing became. The longer I waited, the clearer my mind got; until a plan formed.

As my brain eagerly welcomed the onslaught of budding thoughts, the feeling slowely returned to my fingers and toes. This was what I was trained to do: identify the situation, analyse it, deconstruct it, and plan for the offensive.

I had to stop the dreams. If I didn’t, they’d kill me. I couldn’t go on like this. Its time to get mobile again gain some semblance of control. Reaching forward, I rested on my hands and knees before crawling into my bedroom.

I sat beside the nightstand with my back against the bed. Yanking the drawer out, I spilled the contents on the floor in front of me. My eyes finally adjusted to the dark. This simple function took three times longer than usual, and had never really worked since the nightmares started. My half-Talian abilities were rendered useless.

I sifted through the mess on the floor: pens, paper, a book, some loose hair clips, and a couple of small plastic containers… until my wrist bumped the empty bottle I searched for.


Melissa6 portrait - AM.J. Moores began her career as an English teacher in Ontario, Canada. Her love of storytelling and passion for writing has stayed with her since the age of nine. M. J. relishes tales of adventure and journeys of self-realization. She enjoys writing in a variety of genres but speculative fiction remains her all time favourite. M.J. is a regular contributor to Authors Publish Magazine and she runs an Emerging Writers website called Infinite Pathways where she offers editing services and platform building opportunities. Her debut novel Time’s Tempest is currently available in print and e-book with Book 2 launching September 28th, 2015.

Connect with M.J.


Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Review: Gabriel – Book Four in the Path of Angels Series by Patricia Josephine

GabrielPoACoverThe end is in sight.

To stop Uriel from freeing Lucifer, Gabriel and his brothers must fall and go to Hell. It is a sacrifice Gabriel is not entirely ready to make. Will he fight alongside his brothers or forge his own path? There is only one choice.

Alexander doesn’t want to help Uriel nor does he trust him, but the angel has promised him a better life. He swore to protect Charlie, and he’ll do whatever it takes. When he meets the archangels and learns the depth of Uriel’s lies, he understands the true meaning of sacrifice. If there’s any hope of stopping Lucifer from being freed, Alexander, Charlie, Zephyr and Lake will have to get to Hell and help Gabriel and his brothers in the fight against Uriel.

The path is finally ending, but the price may be too high.

Amazon Link

Review

We all have our favourites when it comes to a series, and though I will always have a soft spot for Michael (he was my first ;-)) Gabriel was definitely worth the wait.

He was the serious one, his personality dark and moody, and yet his commitment to his brothers shone through from book one. In Gabe’s tale, the stakes are already high, and the tension only continues to build towards a dramatic finale. But spending more time with Gabe; understanding his motivations, watching him face his personal demons – was a treat.

It’s fair to say Gabe is a little rough around the edges, and yet his heart – the love he feels for others, that is his best quality. His relationship with Alexander and Charlie is compelling. Their bond is unique and I felt myself drawn to them; moved by the sacrifices each character made – it was heartwarming.

The final book in the Path of Angels series is the perfect conclusion to the tale. I love these brothers; their skills, their heart; their loyalty. I’m genuinely going to miss them.


PatriciaLynneAuthorPicPatricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn’t regretted a moment. She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/plynne_writes

Website: http://www.patricialynne.com

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/108938106639683446081/posts/p/pub

Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/patricialynne07

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13460894.Patricia_Josephine

Path of Angels: http://www.patricialynne.com/path-of-angels.html

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Review: The Viper and The Urchin by Celine Jeanjean

viper_promoBeing Damsport’s most elegant assassin is hard work. There’s tailoring to consider, devilish poisons to concoct, secret identities to maintain… But most importantly, Longinus has to keep his fear of blood hidden or his reputation will be ruined. So, when a scrawny urchin girl threatens to expose his phobia unless he teaches her swordsmanship, he has no choice but to comply.

It doesn’t take long for Rory to realise that her new trainer has more eccentricities than she has fleas. But she’ll put up with anything, no matter how frustrating, to become a swordswoman like her childhood hero.

What she’s not prepared for is a copycat assassin who seeks to replace Longinus, and who hires Rory’s old partner in crime to do away with her, as well. Rory and Longinus must set their differences aside and try to work together if they’re to stop the copycat. But darker forces than they realise are at play, and with time running out, the unlikely duo find themselves the last line of defence against a powerful enemy who seeks to bring Damsport to its knees.

Review

The Viper and the Urchin is a thoroughly entertaining read; with intriguing characters, unique plot, and a world so vivid it springs to life from the page. There are laugh out loud moments, from the vain assassin who is obsessed with his own image, the smart-mouthed urchin with an attitude twice her size, and the clever machinist who is full of surprises.

The story follows Rory, an urchin who dreams of being the best swordswoman in the world, and Longinus, an assassin who values his reputation above all else. A fact which makes his secret all the more amusing; it has the power to ruin everything he holds dear. When Longinus’ path invariable crosses with Rory’s, the pair begin a humours adventure which is fraught with dangerous twists and intriguing turns.

The descriptions are wonderful. It is well written, and the pace never lets up. In a good way. It keeps those pages turning. My favourite part of the tale is undoubtedly the characters; each has a complicated history, which adds to the enjoyment and left me hungry for more. The friendship which develops between the two main characters is unexpected, and yet even this relationship is unusual. It’s what sets them apart.

I highly recommend this novel.


PhotoCeline Jeanjean is French, grew up in the UK and now lives in Hong Kong. That makes her a tad confused about where she is from. During her time in Asia she’s watched the sun rise over Angkor Wat, lost her shoes in Vietnam, and fallen off a bamboo raft in China.

Celine writes stories that feature quirky characters and misfits, and her books are a mixture of steampunk, fantasy and humour.

To find out more about Celine or just to chat, visit  her on:


Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Review – Ichabod Brooks and the City of Beasts

Ichabod Brooks

In a time of heroes, a man will take any job to provide for his family.

Ichabod Brooks has earned a reputation for taking the jobs most men and women fear to challenge. This reputation has brought him to the charred remains of a small village nestled within the hills and forest of Ralian. The ruins are a source of strange monsters that terrorize the countryside and repeatedly elude the local guards and hunters. The few brave souls who have entered the creatures’ lair have yet to come out alive or dead.

The chances of survival are slim, but that generous payment is too much for Ichabod to resist. After all, a man and his family have to eat.


Review

I thoroughly enjoyed Ichabod Brooks and the City of Beasts. It’s a wild, magical adventure, which will leave you hungry for more. Ichabod is wise, experienced, funny, and only slightly jaded. He’s an admirable warrior, though a somewhat unconventional hero. It’s my favourite thing about him. He gets the job done, as quickly and as cleanly as possible so he can return to his family.

Ichabod doesn’t take himself too seriously, which is another thing I like about him. He knows what he’s walking into, and though the assignment takes an unexpected turn, he doesn’t let it phase him; he’s been around the block. I get the feeling few things surprise him.

The monsters are grotesque beasts, as unique as they are terrifying. Yallowitz describes these predators beautifully, bringing them to life on the page. The action scenes are thrilling too, and it helps that Ichabod has some excellent weapons at his disposal. In a village full of monsters, I’d want to be on Ichabod’s team!

Ichabod meets Morgan Jones during the adventure, an intriguing hunter I was instantly drawn to. I have a feeling their paths will cross again in the future, and I’m really looking forward to it.

Reading the story it’s clear that the world Yallowitz has created is a rich and varied place. A place I can’t wait to spend more time in.


Charles E. Yallowitz
Charles E. Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn’t working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. ‘Legends of Windemere’ is his first series, but it certainly won’t be his last.

Thanks for stopping by

Mel

Review – Jophiel Path of Angels (Book 3) by Patricia Josephine

Jophiel PoA CoverThey must fight to stay on the path.

Joe embraces his duty without fear or hesitation, always ready for the next battle. But the path has never been easy. With Michael’s return, they uncover a truth more dangerous than they ever imagined. Their enemy plans to unleash the devil himself, Lucifer. Help comes in the form of an unlikely alley: a member of the fallen.

Mariangela is trying to make amends by protecting the child she is carrying. After blindly following Lucifer in the rebellion, her misguided allegiance came with a price: banishment from heaven. Now, as she strives for forgiveness in the human world, she must fight to prevent Uriel, a fallen archangel, from using her child to free evil from Hell.

The path becomes a battleground, one which may already be lost.


Review – Jophiel (Path of Angels: Book 3)

Jophiel is the kind of person we can all identify with, whether he brings to mind a sibling or a friend. He’s the joker of the group, the one who needles at you but knows when to quit. In path of angels, Joe enjoys to get a rise out of his brothers – it’s almost a sport. But his loyalty, the fact that beneath the humour lies a sharp focus, that’s Joe’s real strength.

We’ve seen Michael and Zade struggle with their chosen path and, perhaps unexpectedly, Joe rises to the challenge and meets his fate head on. I particularly enjoyed his growing friendship with Lake because, despite the fact Joe rarely takes things seriously, he isn’t afraid to admit when he’s wrong. That’s true character.

When Joe’s visions threaten to spiral out of control, it is Lake who teaches him how to focus his power. They both learn something from the friendship.

Joe is also a charmer, as evidenced when he first meets Mariangela. The author did an excellent job of exploring their connection, and more than that, she brought these characters to life. Mariangela is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Her inner conflict is dealt with beautifully, as is the desperation with which she clings to her faith.

I thoroughly enjoyed the third book in the series. It has all the mystery and suspense of the first two, and there’s a real sense of building to a conclusion.


Links:

Amazon

Goodreads


PatriciaLynneAuthorPicPatricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn’t regretted a moment. She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who.

Connect:


Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Review: Shadow Stalker, Episode 9 by Renee Scattergood

E9 Kindle

Makari has finally come to realize Auren is not the delohi-saqu, and his father, Drevin, Emperor of the Galvadi, has been wrong about her all along. He goes to Zain, Auren’s father, for help to heal Auren’s mind after he had wrongfully broken her. Now Makari vows to protect Auren and help her escape, but she refuses to leave without her father.

 

Auren and Makari’s love for each other grows, and the connection they share deepens. They have to be careful, however. Spending too much time together is causing the other guides to grow suspicious. Makari’s loyalty is tested, and he is forced to do something he swore he’d never do again.

Review of Shadow Stalker: Episode 9

This episode was focused both on Makari’s guilt, and Auren’s healing process. The former was dealt with initially through the prologue. It helped to put things into perspective for the reader, to understand Makari’s motivations. I really enjoyed this insight into the character.

The other thing I particularly enjoyed, was the return of Auren’s strength and determination. One of the things I love about her is her stubborn streak. It helped her through the torture, all that spirit, and it gave her the determination to stand and fight rather than run.

We also got to meet Auren’s father, which was a treat. A character who shone throughout the episode. I really hope we get to see more of him in the future, because he reminded me so much of Kado I was instantly drawn to him!

Things didn’t end well for Makari and Auren, but there’s nothing like a good cliff-hanger to build anticipation. I have no doubt they both have the strength to see this thing through to the end, but I’m hoping they have a little help. They’re certainly going to need it!


Renee ScattergoodRenee Scattergood, author of the fantasy series, Shadow Stalker, and novella, Demon Hunt, lives in Australia with her husband and daughter. Aside from writing, she loves reading (Fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her daughter.

Author Pages:

Renee Writes: http://reneescattergood.com/

Renee’s Author Spotlight: http://reneesauthorspotlight.blogspot.com.au/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00NTJY1W2

Smashwords Author Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/rscatts

Social Media:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/reneescatts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReneeScatts

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/118427336236369690813/+ReneescattergoodAuthor/posts

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

Mel

Review: Shadow Stalker, Episode 8 – Broken

Welcome back for my review of episode 8 in the Shadow Stalker Series. I’m a fan of serialised fiction, and I’ve enjoyed Auren’s journey so far. Like any series, I have my favourites and I plan to write a character summary next month to coincide with the next episode release.

E8 KindleAuren finds a way to escape the pain of her torture, but when Makari realizes it’s preventing him from “cleansing” her, he finds ways of randomizing the pain to keep her present. Still, she does not succumb to the torment.

When Makari can’t get through to her, he decides Drevin, the emperor of the Galvadi, is right. Auren is the delohi-saqu. Now Makari is no longer concerned with cleansing her because the delohi-saqu cannot be cleansed. He resorts to more sadistic methods to extract information about the Coalition. If Auren can’t resist, her friends and hundreds of innocent people will die.

Review of Broken: Shadow Stalker – Episode 8 by Renee Scattergood

In every series there are episodes which take it out of you emotionally and, for me, episode 8 played havoc with my emotions! Since Auren’s separation from her foster father, Kado, we’ve seen her face one perilous situation after another. Yet her bravery shines through. She’s strong, determined and passionate about her people. Those characteristics stood out for me. She’s also confused, and in this episode, trying desperately to fight a system she doesn’t fully understand.

Makari is a complex character, whose internal conflicts force him down a difficult path. Though the series is told from Auren’s point of view, Scattergood does a good job of showing us the motivations behind this character. His early life is based on misery and pain, and though that doesn’t excuse his behaviour, it does explain why his conditioning is so embedded in his psyche.

Combine this with the intense connection these characters share, and the poisonous influence of an abusive father, and his conflicts make sense.

Both Auren and Makari still have a long road ahead of them, one pitted with danger. Their paths will cross with both old and new characters, and I’m really looking forward to what lies ahead.

***

Renee ScattergoodRenee Scattergood, author of the fantasy series, Shadow Stalker, and novella, Demon Hunt, lives in Australia with her husband and daughter. Aside from writing, she loves reading (Fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her daughter. Find out more about her, and sign up for her newsletter on her blog for a free copy of her latest episode of Shadow Stalker: http://reneescattergood.com

Author Pages:

Renee Writes: http://reneescattergood.com/ – my personal website and blog.

Renee’s Author Spotlight: http://reneesauthorspotlight.blogspot.com.au/ – a blog where I feature indie and small press authors.

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00NTJY1W2

Smashwords Author Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/rscatts

Social Media:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/reneescatts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReneeScatts

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/118427336236369690813/+ReneescattergoodAuthor/posts

Review – Skylights by Luther M. Siler

Final Cover Mock Med copyAugust 15, 2022: the Tycho, the most advanced interplanetary craft ever designed by the human race, launches from Earth on an expedition to Mars. The Tycho carries four passengers, soon to be the most famous people in human history. 

February 19, 2023: The Tycho loses all communication with Earth while orbiting Mars. After weeks of determined attempts to reestablish contact, the Tycho is declared lost. 

2027: Journalist Gabriel Southern receives a message from a mysterious caller: “Mars.” Ezekiel ben Zahav isn’t talking, but he wants Southern to accompany him for something– and he’s dangling enough money under his nose to make any amount of hardship worth it. 

SKYLIGHTS is the story of the second human expedition to Mars. Their mission: find out what happened to the first.

Review of Skylights by Luther M. Siler

I had a lot of fun reading Skylights. The narrator, Gabe Southern, has an engaging voice, and it was kind of like embarking on a journey with a friend – a really cool friend who takes you to space! There were times when I wanted to run back home and promise never to set foot on a spaceship again, but I adapted quickly, thanks to an excellent team and, unexpectedly, a monkey! That’s how real it felt – how vivid the pictures were in my head. Gabe’s humour and uncanny observations just drag you right into the story. There’s a mad scientist or two, a skilled pilot, an engineer, a medic (who’s also the chief scientist) and some extremely cool technology.

The novel has something for every fan of the genre – enough science to get your geek on, but not enough that you’re overwhelmed with jargon. It’s clever that way – some readers will catch more references than others, and that’s okay. You never feel like you’re missing something. It makes it ideal for readers who are new to science fiction.

The pacing is great. It allows you to stretch out, to get to know the characters, and to enjoy the ride. One of my favourite parts is the build-up to the mission. The mystery element, not to mention the growing anticipation, serves to pull you in and keep you there. The action also takes a thrilling turn when the group arrive at their destination. Here, Siler’s excellent sense of timing comes into play.

The humour in Skylights, especially the banter and natural camaraderie, was a highlight for me. Zub and Gabe’s relationship stood out in particular, but it didn’t dominate. This is due to the excellent characterization of each member of the team – including the monkey (did I mention the monkey?)

Which leads me to one of the strongest elements in the novel – the descriptive prose. The worldbuilding is truly thrilling, and I loved the interpretation of the skylights. I won’t say too much about that though, because I don’t want to spoil the surprise!

The cliffhanger is shockingly good. While managing to leave you hungry for more, it also provides a resolution – an answer to the questions raised at the beginning. So, where one journey ends, another is sure to follow!

***

Luther kindly agreed to an interview, which I will be posting tomorrow. In the meantime, I’d like to share information about his new release, The Sanctum of the Sphere, which I can’t wait to read!

Sanctum_72dpi“Go rob that train.” Nice, normal. An everyday heist.

But nothing is ever normal for Brazel, Grond and Rhundi.

A simple act of motorized larceny quickly explodes into a galaxy-spanning adventure for the two thieves. Blade-wielding elves, a fast-moving global war, a secret outlaw space city, incomprehensible insectoids and one impossibly lucky human are just the start of their problems. And that’s before they learn that someone from Grond’s past has gotten the Benevolence involved…

What is happening on the ogrespace moon Khkk?

Who are the Noble Opposition?

And what is the secret of THE SANCTUM OF THE SPHERE?

***

LutherSilerHeadshotLuther Siler was born in 1976 in northern Indiana, where he currently resides along with his wife, three-year-old son, two cats, and a dog. In his spare time he works at a school helping other people be awesome.   he writes about space gnomes and Mars.

Don’t forget to return tomorrow to learn more about Luther and his work, in an exclusive interview.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Review – Zadekiel (Book 2) Path of Angels Series by Patricia Josephine

Zadekiel – Book 2 in the Path of Angels Series

Review

ZadekielPoACoverI enjoyed the conflict which lives within Zade. The desire to do the right thing, even though he is forced into a role he did not want or expect. His brother’s absence hits him hard, but it is the guilt, which weighs heavily in his heart, that makes him question his loyalties. Their final conversation haunts his dreams, signifying his regret.

But Zade is an archangel, and he never backs down without a fight. He’s strong, and tough and fiercely protective. His sense of responsibility, and love for his brothers is one of my favourite things about him.

With Michael gone, the trio continue their mission, though they are clearly lost and falter more than once. They return to the streets night after night, determined to follow the path. I loved the humour, the brotherly affection, and the sense of camaraderie. Even when they disagree, there is a bond which shines through. Zade manages to hold them together, if only by the sheer force of his will!

Zaphyr is a complex woman who I instantly loved. She has a hard exterior, and finds it difficult to trust. This has a lot to do with her unique gift, something which makes her an outsider. When her path collides with Zade and his brothers, she is forced to re-examine everything she believes in. Her wit shines through, and it was fun watching her interact with Zade, Joe and Gabe. She is an atheist, which makes for an interesting dynamic and sparks some delightful tension within the group. Zaphyr challenges Zade in many ways, thought he isn’t daunted by her scepticism. He might not know how to deal with the emotions she evokes in him, but he refuses to give in. 

Zadekiel ends on a cliff-hanger, one which makes you hungry for more. The writing flows and is full of expression, with delightful descriptions that bring the world to life and keep you on the edge of your seat.

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You can purchase a copy of Zadekiel here. If you would like to learn more about Patricia’s work, why not stop by her blog. You will find it here.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel