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Adding it all up

The Sum
#5 The Trusted
Michelle Medhat.
Political thrillers, metaphysical and visonary
Mindblowing Books Ltd (2 May 2020)

The world is in harmony, and humanity’s light shines bright. But is there more at play than what can be seen. And what will be the Protector's role now Earth shows it doesn’t need her.

The sadistic global terrorist collective, Al Nadir is gone. World leaders have joined together in Freedom Earth. Religious heads have put aside their differences. The Balance is in equilibrium. Cheap energy is available for everyone.

This is a time of peace.

But Ellie isn’t so sure.

She feels something dangerous bubbling beneath the smooth surface. Struggling to shake her instincts, she remains suspicious of British Prime Minister Ashton. His sly smirk and wandering eyes undermine his perfect, family-man façade. But how can she denounce the most popular man in the world?

As pressures grow and lies build, one thing is for certain, when, in the end, the truth is revealed, it's going to be cataclysmic!

The Sum is the finale in the dark, edgy and dangerous The Trusted Thriller Series. If you like mind-blowing suspense, ancient alien powers, and espionage intrigue, then you’ll love this exhilarating adventure.

This was disappointing. I had read the previous books in the series but found this one just too difficult to read. It didn’t work for me from the starting chapter onwards. And in my opinion doesn’t work as a standalone novel as it relies too much on the previous books and the reader having knowledge from them.

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A World of slavery and …

House of Earth and Fire Book Cover House of Earth and Fire
Crescent City
Sarah J. Maas
fantasy, romance. sci-fi
Bloomsbury Publishing (3 Mar. 2020)
Pub Date 3 Mar 2020

Perfect for fans of Jessica Jones and True Blood, this is a blockbuster modern fantasy set in a divided world where one woman must uncover the truth to seek her revenge.

Half-Fae, half-human Bryce Quinlan loves her life. Every night is a party and Bryce is going to savour all the pleasures Lunathion - also known as Crescent City - has to offer. But then a brutal murder shakes the very foundations of the city, and brings Bryce's world crashing down.
Two years later, Bryce still haunts the city's most notorious nightclubs - but seeking only oblivion now. Then the murderer attacks again. And when an infamous Fallen angel, Hunt Athalar, is assigned to watch her every footstep, Bryce knows she can't forget any longer.
As Bryce and Hunt fight to unravel the mystery, and their own dark pasts, the threads they tug ripple through the underbelly of the city, across warring continents, and down to the deepest levels of Hel, where things that have been sleeping for millennia are beginning to stir ...
With unforgettable characters and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom - and the power of love.

 

I was given an extract of this book through NetGalley – now I don’t usually bother with extracts, but this one looked intriguing. And it was.
I’ve never read Sarah Maas before, and this is apparently her first venture into writing for an adult rather than YA audience. And for me it worked. I have read some comments where people who have read her YA books thought that this one had faults – yes of course we had Alpha aholes and a kick ass heroine. After all, this is the trope in which this book was written. Nice to see also that the angels weren’t all bright and light and good – plenty of grey and nasties.
I thought it was good universe building – yes we had the MidGard planet and a continent called the Pangera (see Pangea – the real land mass on Earth) and other references to these universes/worlds built in other books in this genre – but still the mix of technology and magic in this one was different.
And I so far haven’t come across a universe where there are angel slaves. Which I thought was a nice touch and permitted new storylines to emerge.
For me, this was a good read – it could have stopped at many points and been a much shorter book and left stuff for the next – but instead Mass carried on with a new twist and more highs and lows. The twists and hidden secrets kept coming right until the end – hints of these secrets only realisable after the action – which is good writing and means good plotting took place.
I liked the extract enough to buy the full book which means I wanted to find out more in the story… so a good read for me. I hope to read the next one in the series and that it is as long and complex in plotting as this one.

I was given an extract of this book through NetGalley – now I don’t usually
bother with extracts, but this one looked intriguing. And it was.

I’ve never read Sarah Maas before, and this is apparently her first venture
into writing for an adult rather than YA audience. And for me it worked. I have
read some comments where people who have read her YA books thought that this
one had faults – yes of course we had Alpha aholes and a kick ass heroine.
After all, this is the trope in which this book was written. Nice to see also that the angels weren’t all bright and light and good – plenty of grey and nasties.

I thought it was good universe building – yes we had the MidGard planet and a continent called the Pangera (see Pangea – the real land mass on Earth) and other references to these universes/worlds built in other books in this genre – but still the mix of technology and magic in this one was different.

And I so far haven’t come across a universe where there are angel slaves.
Which I thought was a nice touch and permitted new storylines to emerge.

For me, this was a good read – it could have stopped at many points and been a much shorter book and left stuff for the next – but instead Maas carried on with a new twist and more highs and lows. The twists and hidden secrets kept coming right until the end – hints of these secrets only realisable after the action – which is good writing and means good plotting took place.

I liked the extract enough to buy the full book which means I wanted to find
out more in the story… so a good read for me. I hope to read the next one in
the series and that it is as long and complex in plotting as this one.

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What breed?

Betania Breed Book Cover Betania Breed
Collection: Books 1-4:
Jenny Foster
SciFi, Alien, Romance
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
(13 Aug. 2018)

The original story "The Captive" led to a novel, and three additional volumes followed. With this collection you are finally holding all four Betania Breed single SciFi romance novels, complete and unabridged, in your hands – and mysterious background material is included. In over 800 pages, you will be up close and personal on an adventurous and dramatic voyage through the universe.

Oh Dear!

I read up to Part 3: The Awakening in hope, but really, this whole muscles and pheromones and falling in ‘love ‘ aka lust at first sight? Just too predictable.

I thought the writing style rather prosaic and not in any way different from 100s of other such alien abduction style books.

The heroine could have been acceptable but she was rather 2 dimensional and finding out after several ‘chapters’ that we were somewhere in Ad 3900 was just too late.

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Why Awake?

Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds Book Cover Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds
An 8th Dimension Novel Book 3
Carissa Andrews
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller, Urban Fantasy
Independently published
Publication date: November 12th 2019

The final five angels have been located and averting the apocalypse means somehow recreating the birth of Christ.  Morgan never expected total annihilation would come down to the actions of five misfit angels. But as each one’s hidden angelic power unfolds, so does the sinister truth… the entire Jesus storyline has been wiped from the collective consciousness, leaving a tear in the fabric of reality. The final five need to figure out how their gifts are meant to fit together in order to set things right. However, coming to terms with the responsibility resting on their shoulders doesn’t come easy. To make matters worse, the demons have found them and unless they get on the same page quickly, the darkness will consume them all. But how can they make things right when the thing that’s missing happened more than 2000 years ago? One thing’s for sure. If they fail, existence ceases. If you love books like Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s American Gods or Good Omens, Joe Hill’s Nos4A2, or Stephen King’s (Richard Bachman) Blaze, then you’ll love Awakening!

“Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular genre to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?”

When I originally went to college, I had big plans to become an archaeologist or anthropologist. I have always been fascinated by the idea of mythology, spirituality, and religion. But more than that, I have always loved the paranormal and supernatural side as well. I grew up in a very eclectic, open minded family who embraced dichotomous thinking—which basically means holding two seemingly opposing viewpoints as true at the same time. For example, being Christian, but believing other religions or spiritual traditions hold similar truths. Magical mindsets and energy work have always played a role in my life. In fact, in 2002, I started my journey to become a reiki master. I have also dived deep into comparative religion because the concept is deeply fascinating to me.

Then, on the other side (remember the dichotomous thinking), I love science. Physics, astronomy, biology, chemistry—you name it. So, being this strange person with seemingly opposing beliefs, I find I can look at subjects more… subjectively.

Awakening originally came to me as a way to make sense of the world after the 2016 election. I’m not gonna lie—it seriously felt light we were fighting a war of light and dark and the dark was winning. So, my question to myself was… what if there were angels buried in the subconsciousness of humans walking the Earth? What would that look like? How would that play out?

However, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around their mission. What would they fight for? How would they fix things? Then, at our local writers group’s Christmas party last year, we got an interesting writing prompt. There were actually something like seven of them, but the one I chose was: write something about the Jesus story from a totally different perspective.

Now, I have to place a caveat here – I am actually very eclectic spiritually because of my background. I don’t identify as one religion or another anymore. I just don’t feel it’s necessary. So, as a sciencey, fantasy jumbled up mess I am, I took an idea I’d had in the back of my mind for a long time about the Jesus story. It relied on the question of—what if Jesus didn’t exist? What if in the future, darkness had taken over and his light never shone on the world? (Okay, historically, there are actual questions about true existence, but there is no denying his story exists—and has had a huge impact on the world.)

But more than that, what if someone from the future could go back and make things happen? How could you tell this story where it seems both believable—and completely crazy at the same time? I mean, that’s what science fiction and fantasy are meant to do, right? Play with the bigger questions of who we are, why we’re here, and the stories we tell ourselves… right?

To my knowledge, no one has written a story quite like Awakening. It’s part urban fantasy – part alternative history – part science fiction. But what I am most pleased about with this book is that it must have placed its timing perfectly (I may have written it, but I swear the stories have their own timing). Both Christians and non-Christians alike love the story and the way the story was able to tread the wire between motivation and blasphemy.

About the Author:

Carissa Andrews is a freelance writer, award-winning graphic designer, indie author coach, and internationally bestselling author from Crosslake Minnesota. She is the President of the Lakes Area Writers Alliance, a 501c3 nonprofit for writers in central Minnesota, as well as the owner of Author Revolution, LLC – an organization geared toward helping new authors navigate the waters of indie publishing. For 2020, Carissa has her sights set on becoming a NYT or USA Today Bestselling Author with her upcoming series, The Windhaven Witches. You can learn more about Carissa, her services, and her upcoming novels by visiting her websites: www.carissaandrews.comwww.authorrevolution.org, or authorrevolution.teachable.com

Author links:

https://www.carissaandrews.com/

https://www.instagram.com/Carissa_Andrews_MN/

https://www.pinterest.ca/carissaandrews/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5755860.Carissa_Andrews

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarissaAndrews

https://twitter.com/CarissaAndrews

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Armageddon?

Lincoln: ANGELBOUND from Prince Lincoln's Point of View…And More Book Cover Lincoln: ANGELBOUND from Prince Lincoln's Point of View…And More
AngelBound
Christina Bauer
Sci Fi & Fantasy , Teens & YA
Monster House Books, LLC
26 Feb 2019

Get Angelbound from Prince Lincoln's point of view PLUS an all-new part of the story AND a bonus prequel novella*** When it comes to fighting demons, Prince Lincoln is the greatest warrior in the history of his people, the thrax. Now Lincoln faces his hardest fight yet…and it’s not on a traditional battlefield. Lincoln is falling in love. And the girl is part demon. Between a fated dance at the Ryder mansion...a life-changing walk through a hedgerow maze...and a massive battle with none other than the King of Hell...Lincoln realizes that he wants to share his life with Myla Lewis, the part-demon girl who has captured his heart. However, an evil thrax noble—the powerful Earl of Acca—is prepared to do anything to stop Lincoln and Myla from having a future. But Lincoln won’t give up on his Myla. Ever.  To fight Aldred, Lincoln works to create a different kind of marriage—an Alliance of the lesser thrax houses against Acca. Sadly, just as Lincoln starts to makes some progress, the nobles who’ve joined his Alliance begin to vanish. Is Aldred behind the disappearances, or is someone else vying for power? When Lincoln discovers the truth, it upends his entire world, threatening his future with Myla in ways no one could ever have imagined.

I am very fond of this version of world building and love the idea of demons getting loose and causing illnesses etc – but being invisible to the human eye. And that the Thrax and others like human ice-cream and films. The Ghouls are creepy and the monsters are very imaginative. Don’t read these books if you get nightmares as they will inhabit them!

I have now read all the books so far published in the series and found them enjoyable, but I thought that of all of them Armageddon was rather slow in tension building.

The story of Lincoln finally comes out now – his background and how he courted Myla from his perspective and then we learn about how Maxon got his night terrors in Armageddon.

Better to have read Armageddon before Maxon but this author does not produce books in chronological order so a bit tricky…

However, if you can manage to sort out the storyline in your own mind, then do read the books as they are published.

Publisher’s Note: Christina Bauer is a non-linear thinker who came up with ARMAGEDDON and then went back and wrote some earlier books. This is why you’ll see ARMAGEDDON (Book 8) and the Offspring series available before LINCOLN (Book 2) THE BRUTAL TIME (Book 7). We’ve told her to stop this practice, but she keeps giving us lewd hand gestures in response. Apologies in advance for any inconvenience. 

Angelbound Origins
In which Myla Lewis kicks ass and takes names. Nuff said.
1. Angelbound
2. Lincoln – the events of Angelbound as told by Prince Lincoln. Includes a bonus prequel novella, Duty Bound 
3. Scala 
4. Acca 
5. Thrax 
6. The Dark Lands 
7. The Brutal Time (Fall 2019)
8. Armageddon (already here, long story!) 

Angelbound Offspring
The next generation takes on Heaven, Hell, and everything in between
1. Maxon 
2. Portia
3. Zinnia (Summer 2019)
4. Kaps (Summer 2020)
5. Huntress (Summer 2021) 

Angelbound Worlds
Inside stories about your fav characters
1. Xavier (Spring 2020)
2. Cissy (Spring 2021)

About the Author

Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press. 

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

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