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Showing posts from September, 2023

A review of “Before the Shutdown” by Mack J. Lou

  Before the Shutdown  Mack J. Lou "Before the Shutdown" by Mack J. Lou is a gripping and visually stunning graphic novel that offers readers a compelling glimpse into a dystopian future where civilization teeters on the brink of collapse. Set in the mid-22nd century, this prequel to the science-fiction novel "NOUSOPOLIS" not only expands upon the intricacies of its world but also stands as a captivating story in its own right. At the heart of this narrative is the notion of a thought network, a technological marvel that underpins society's very survival. Lou paints a vivid and haunting picture of a world where humanity's existence is interwoven with this critical system. When a catastrophic shutdown threatens Nousopolis, the tension and stakes skyrocket, driving the plot forward with relentless momentum. One of the novel's strengths lies in its ability to provide readers with deeper insights into the world of "NOUSOPOLIS" and the backstory of

A review of “Soultaming the Serpent” by P.M. Hammond

  Soultaming the Serpent P.M. Hammond "Soultaming the Serpent" by P.M. Hammond is a spellbinding LGBTQ+ fantasy romance that transports readers into a world where adventure, prophecy, and love intertwine in the most enchanting ways. Hammond weaves a captivating tale that transcends age, defying expectations and delivering a story that tugs at the heartstrings. At the heart of this remarkable narrative is Jun Weaver, a character who proves that adventure knows no age limits. Jun's journey begins when she steps out of her village at the age of 60, a decision that thrusts her into a world of wonder, danger, and, most importantly, love. Hammond's portrayal of Jun's transformation from a seemingly mundane life to one filled with unexpected adventures is a testament to the enduring spirit of curiosity and the capacity for love at any stage in life. The central plot revolves around the quest to restore balance and fulfill a prophecy, involving the elusive serpent and the

A Review of “Carnival Songs” by S.V. Brown

  Carnival Songs S.V. Brown "Carnival Songs" by S.V. Brown is a literary masterpiece that weaves together the haunting history of Torrenceburg, a small Indiana city, with the enigmatic legacy of its founding family. This novel takes readers on a mesmerizing journey through time, unearthing buried secrets and challenging the protagonist's deep-rooted connection to his hometown and lineage. From the very beginning, "Carnival Songs" peels back the layers of history, shedding light on the unsettling erasure of native populations in the early 19th century. This ominous backdrop sets the stage for the concealed mysteries that Torrenceburg conceals. S.V. Brown deftly guides us through the intricate web of the city's politics, religion, and centuries-long transformation, all while maintaining an atmosphere steeped in foreboding mystery. Central to the narrative is the enigmatic narrator, the last heir to the founding family's wealth and privilege. Driven by his

A review of “Stories, Legends, and Truths from the Blighted Earth” by R.M. Tembreull

  Stories, Legends, and Truths from the Blighted Earth R. M. Tembreull  "Stories, Legends, and Truths from the Blighted Earth" by R.M. Tembreull is a mesmerizing journey into a hidden world beyond our conventional perception of reality. This exceptional book is a treasure trove of fictional narratives and artifacts that unveil a breathtaking cosmic tapestry. The narrative invites readers to explore the concept of Earth Mother as a sentient entity, gifting sentience to all life forms on our planet. It introduces the intriguing notion that the soul is immortal, with beings progressing through multiple lives. Within this intricate framework, a hierarchy of sentient life emerges, from elemental forces to Guardian Spirits tasked with preserving the Natural Order. One of the book's standout features is its portrayal of the continuous battle between order and chaos. It challenges the conventional notions of good and evil, offering a thought-provoking exploration of the perpetual

A Review of “The Symphony of Souls” by Geraldine Solon

  The Symphony of Souls Geraldine Solon "The Symphony of Souls" by Geraldine Solon is a poignant and transcendent exploration of love, loss, and the extraordinary journey of self-discovery. Solon's narrative takes readers on an emotional rollercoaster as they follow the shattered life of Jake Palmer, a man who has endured the unfathomable loss of his young son, Gabriel, and the abandonment of his wife, Veronica. From these depths of despair, Jake's story unfolds, capturing the essence of human resilience and the relentless pursuit of healing. The heart of the story lies in Jake's transformative journey, and Solon's portrayal of his struggles is both raw and deeply moving. Through the unwavering support of his best friend Luke, readers are introduced to the concept of a spiritual retreat, which serves as a lifeline for Jake. This retreat becomes a doorway to the realm of astral travel, guided by the enigmatic Niravara Devi. Solon skillfully weaves spiritual ele

A Review of “Weapons of the Mind” by Paul Kivelson and Owen Greenwald

Weapons of the Mind Paul Kivelson & Owen Greenwald  "Weapons of the Mind: Book 1 of the Renegades Trilogy" by Paul Kivelson and Owen Greenwald is a captivating space opera that thrusts readers into a galaxy brimming with intrigue, moral dilemmas, and high-stakes adventure. The story revolves around Tala, an Enhancer who has diligently followed the rules of her order for two decades. However, when a mission goes awry, she finds herself unjustly branded as a Renegade. In a world governed by the strict moral precepts of the Tenets, fleeing from her pursuers means violating everything she has ever believed in. Yet, in a moment of profound clarity, Tala realizes she has no choice but to escape. What sets this space opera apart is its intricate exploration of morality, duty, and the unyielding pursuit of justice. Kivelson and Greenwald's narrative deftly weaves a tale of Tala's quest for redemption and revenge as she navigates a galaxy teeming with enigmatic aliens and

A review of "AI Apocalypse: A Warning to Humanity" by Chuck Miller

  AI Apocalypse: A Warning to Humanity Chuck Miller "AI Apocalypse" by Chuck Miller is an exceptional and thought-provoking exploration of the multifaceted challenges and potential perils accompanying the rapid evolution of artificial intelligence. This book transcends the ordinary boundaries of discussions about AI, providing readers with a deeply insightful and captivating journey into the heart of this transformative technology. One of the book's remarkable strengths lies in its ability to educate and captivate its audience. Miller delves deep into the intricacies of AI advancements, with a particular focus on the profound impact of deep learning algorithms and the emergence of autonomous weapons. With remarkable clarity, he paints a vivid and comprehensive picture of how these technological developments are reshaping our world, compelling readers to contemplate their far-reaching implications.  In the chapter where he presents a captivating exploration of the birth of

A Review of "Smuggler's Valor" by T.D. Wilson

  Smuggler's Valor T.D. Wilson "Smuggler's Valor" by T.D. Wilson is a heart-pounding science fiction thriller that propels readers into a perilous world of interstellar intrigue and high-stakes survival. Reese Daniels, a daring smuggler, finds himself in a gripping predicament when he stumbles upon a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The prospect of a lifetime's worth of rewards dangles tantalizingly close, but a twist of fate sends Reese crashing down on one of Uranus' unforgiving moons, shattering his well-laid plans. What sets "Smuggler's Valor" apart is its riveting narrative that marries the thrill of smuggling with the chaos of an alien invasion. Stranded and hunted, Reese must navigate the treacherous landscape of an alien onslaught, his survival teetering on the brink. Wilson skillfully crafts a relentless, edge-of-your-seat storyline that keeps readers hooked from the very beginning. The heart of the story lies in Reese's unexpected al

A Review of "Lunar Luxury" by Crystal Rose

  Lunar Luxury Crystal Rose Crystal Rose returns with the highly anticipated second installment of the Lunar Series, "Lunar Luxury," delivering another enthralling tale of interstellar romance and unexpected adventures. With a dash of humor, a pinch of suspense, and a generous serving of sizzling chemistry, Rose crafts a story that is as heartwarming as it is out-of-this-world. In "Lunar Luxury," readers are reacquainted with Norvan, a character who made a dramatic escape from a life of privilege only to find himself on a remote planet, masquerading as a farmer. The delightful twist here is that Norvan is utterly clueless about farming, a stark contrast to his aristocratic upbringing. This premise sets the stage for an engaging journey of personal growth and self-discovery. Maggie, on the other hand, is a character whose resilience and adaptability shine through. Abducted from Earth and placed on this remote planet, she has managed to carve out her own niche as a fa

A Review of "Mind's Eye" by L.D. Houghton

  Mind's Eye L. D. Houghton L.D. Houghton's "Mind's Eye," the second installment in the Mindfire Trilogy, catapults readers into an electrifying world of turmoil, mystery, and relentless adventure. Building upon the foundation laid in its predecessor, "Mindfire," this sequel doesn't just meet expectations; it exceeds them in a blaze of imagination and intrigue. In this riveting continuation, Houghton masterfully weaves a complex narrative that seamlessly blends the elements of science fiction, fantasy, and dystopia. The story picks up years after the cataclysmic events of "Mindfire," leaving readers with burning questions about the fates of Nestor Grey and Fen. "Mind's Eye" doesn't keep us waiting long. We are thrust right back into the heart of the chaos, where Blane emerges as our resilient protagonist, determined to unravel the mysteries and protect her friends. Houghton's storytelling prowess shines brilliantly in

A review of "Girl with a Broken String" by Therese Villarante

  Girl with a Broken String Therese Villarante "Girl with a Broken String" by Therese Villarante is an innovative and immersive multimedia novel that seamlessly weaves together story, songs, illustrations, and animations to create a truly unique and emotionally resonant reading experience. At its core, this coming-of-age novel explores the universal themes of heartbreak, love, and self-discovery through the eyes of a young singer-songwriter named Sam. When her first love, J, inexplicably leaves without explanation, Sam embarks on a journey of healing and self-expression. Her chosen medium is the written word, and she pours her heart and soul into a blog, letters, and songs in an attempt to reach out to J, wherever he may be. The raw and heartfelt nature of Sam's communication is beautifully captured in the narrative. What sets "Girl with a Broken String" apart is its multimedia approach to storytelling. The inclusion of songs is nothing short of remarkable. Thes

A Review of "Ciao, Bella Bambina" by Alyssa Brade

 "Ciao, Bella Bambina" by Alyssa Brade is a poignant and captivating journey through three generations of Italian women whose lives are interwoven with the tumultuous backdrop of World War II, the Fascist Movement, immigration, unexpected pregnancies, and a global pandemic. Brade masterfully crafts a historical women's fiction narrative that explores the enduring themes of love, loss, resilience, and the unrelenting pursuit of a better life. At the heart of this remarkable novel are three strong and compelling women—Vittoria, Anna, and Grace—each born into different eras but bound by a shared Italian heritage and a yearning for a brighter future. Brade deftly delves into their individual stories, offering readers a rich tapestry of experiences and emotions that resonate across generations. Vittoria's tale, set against the backdrop of war-torn Italy in 1914, is a testament to the indomitable human spirit. Her decision to join the resistance as a courier in defiance of

A review of "The Last Alignment: Cry of the Scorpions" by Nathaniel Stewart

  The Last Alignment: Cry of the Scorpions Nathaniel Stewart "The Last Alignment: Cry of the Scorpions" by Nathaniel Stewart is a captivating and spellbinding journey that seamlessly weaves together magic, destiny, and the extraordinary adventures of five teenagers who are thrust into a world of mysticism and shared sacred duty. This is book one in what promises to be an enthralling series. This remarkable book introduces readers to Awbrey, Hudson, Androse, Zander, and Natalye, seemingly ordinary teenagers who are about to discover their extraordinary destinies. Stewart excels at crafting characters that resonate deeply with the reader, making it easy to connect with their experiences and emotions as they are thrust into a world of magic and secrets. The reappearance of the enigmatic Hektor sets the stage for a narrative filled with revelations and long-kept family secrets, adding layers of intrigue and mystery to the plot. As the teenagers grapple with their newfound knowled

A Review of "The Color of the Band" by Walter D. Medley and Yvonne J. Medley

  The Color of the Band Walter D. Medley w/Yvonne J. Medley "The Color of the Band" by Walter D. Medley and Yvonne J. Medley is an extraordinary and deeply moving historical memoir that illuminates the untold stories of American history through the eyes of SFC (Ret.) Walter D. Medley, Jr., a remarkable man whose life spans pivotal moments in our nation's past. This remarkable book delves into the crucial role that All-Negro Army Bands and Honor Guards played in post-World War II America. It explores their contribution to President Harry S. Truman's second term and the broader movement to desegregate the military. Through Walter D. Medley's personal experiences, readers gain profound insights into the challenges and triumphs of a Black soldier navigating the harsh realities of Jim Crow racism both in the military and in American society. One of the most touching aspects of this memoir is the portrayal of the enduring love, faith, and perseverance of the Medley fami

A review of "Futility of Defense" by Bryan Cole

  Futility of Defense Bryan Cole "Futility of Defense" by Bryan Cole, the second installment in the "A Paladin's Journey" series, is an exceptional continuation of a gripping fantasy saga. Cole masterfully delves deeper into the complexities of paladins, gods, and the relentless struggle for power, delivering an enthralling narrative that will captivate both new and returning readers. In this spellbinding sequel, the enigmatic Krell, an uneducated outsider with unwavering determination, takes center stage once again as he answers the call from ReckNor, the unpredictable god of the seas and skies. The author skillfully portrays Krell's journey, highlighting his transformation from a humble nobody to a formidable force capable of defeating the sea devils that threaten his world. Cole expertly explores the consequences of Krell's actions and choices, adding layers of depth to his character and raising thought-provoking questions about the true nature of pal

A review of "Beginning of Arrogance" by Bryan Cole

  Beginning of Arrogance Bryan Cole "Beginning of Arrogance" by Bryan Cole is a remarkable and exhilarating entry into the realm of fantasy literature. With its intricate world-building and compelling characters, this book stands as a testament to the power of storytelling, offering readers an immersive journey into a captivating universe of gods, paladins, and perilous threats. In this richly imagined world, Cole deftly challenges the conventional perception of paladins as noble and virtuous heroes. Instead, he casts them as potential disruptors of the established order, a perspective that adds depth and complexity to the narrative. The premise of paladins upsetting the balance of power and the ensuing concern among the wealthy and powerful immediately draws readers into a world teetering on the edge of change. The character of Krell, our protagonist, is a triumph of storytelling. As an uneducated nobody with an indomitable spirit, Krell defies traditional hero archetypes. H

A review of "Stone Soup" by E.B. Mann

  Stone Soup E.B. Mann "Stone Soup" by E.B. Mann is a mesmerizing tale that seamlessly blends the enchanting world of witchcraft and folklore with the coming-of-age journey of a young girl. With its spellbinding narrative and richly woven fantasy elements, this book is a must-read for both teen and young adult audiences. At the heart of this enthralling story is Green Eyes, a young girl living in a world of mystery and oppression. Mann masterfully paints a vivid portrait of her life, filled with dreams that hold deeper meaning and a daily struggle for acceptance and survival. Green Eyes' journey is one of resilience and self-discovery, making her a relatable and endearing protagonist for readers of all ages. The presence of the wooden figurines and Green Eyes' mother's mysterious craft adds an aura of mystique to the narrative, keeping readers intrigued and engaged. Mann skillfully explores the complexities of Green Eyes' relationship with her mother, a witch

A review of "Stars Maintain Their Glow" by M G da Mota

  Stars Maintain their Glow M G da Mota "Stars Maintain Their Glow" by M G da Mota is a captivating and evocative tapestry of time, mystery, and the profound connections that bind three extraordinary women across generations. Da Mota masterfully weaves a narrative that is as rich in historical detail as it is in human emotion, resulting in a spellbinding literary experience that leaves an indelible mark. At the heart of this enthralling tale lies a compelling mystery – the theft of a precious book and a disappearance shrouded in enigma. Da Mota deftly guides readers through a complex web of intrigue, introducing us to three remarkable women whose lives are intricately intertwined. Maria Eduarda, the beguiling mixed-race beauty born into Portuguese aristocracy during World War II, emerges as a vivid and complex character, emblematic of a time when Portugal's capital was a melting pot for refugees, spies, diplomats, and opportunists. Hertha, born into German farming stock a

A review of "The Book of Practice" by John Vorhaus

  The Book of Practice John Vorhaus "The Book of Practice" by John Vorhaus is a shining beacon of insight and inspiration that beckons readers into the transformative realm of self-improvement through the cultivation of practices. With eloquence and enthusiasm, Vorhaus invites us to embark on a journey toward a lifetime of achievement and purpose, illuminating the path with a radiant understanding of the tools required for personal growth. Vorhaus astutely presents the concept that one can harness the power of thought, action, and choice, transforming them into readily accessible tools that are both effortless and enjoyable to employ. The book eloquently demonstrates how, by embracing a practice-oriented mindset, individuals can navigate through the labyrinth of life, channeling their efforts efficiently and effectively toward their chosen pursuits. The promise of basking in the radiant glow of one's own productivity is alluring, and Vorhaus adeptly guides readers to this

A Review of "The Prince of Ravens" by Hal Emerson

  The Prince of Ravens Hal Emerson "The Prince of Ravens" by Hal Emerson is an enthralling and mesmerizing epic fantasy that takes readers on an unforgettable journey through a world filled with intrigue, dark prophecies, and the relentless pursuit of power. Emerson's storytelling prowess shines through, creating a masterful narrative that leaves an indelible mark on the reader's imagination. From the very first page, Emerson plunges us into a world shrouded in mystery and uncertainty. The enigmatic disappearance of the Prince of Ravens sets the stage for a gripping tale that unfolds with the precision of a well-crafted symphony. The author's command of language and world-building is awe-inspiring, immersing readers in the sprawling Empire of Ages, a realm filled with political machinations, secrets, and ancient prophecies. Emerson's characters are beautifully rendered, each with their own complexities and motivations. The Children, summoned to the Fortress of

A Review of "The Prince of the Veil" by Hal Emerson

  The Prince of the Veil Hal Emerson "The Prince of the Veil" by Hal Emerson is a breathtaking and emotionally charged third installment in "The Exile Trilogy." This captivating continuation of the saga thrusts readers into a world of relentless tension, intricate politics, and a profound exploration of the human psyche. As the story unfolds, we witness the aftermath of Geofred, Prince of Eagles' death, with Raven and the Exiled Kindred trapped within the city of Banelyn, besieged by the relentless Prince of Wolves. This dire situation forces Raven into a desperate battle for the lives of his companions, a battle that takes a toll on his sanity, pushing him to the brink of madness. Amidst the chaos, Raven grapples with deciphering the cryptic prophecies contained within his late brother's memories. The Empire's malevolent plans remain shrouded in darkness, but one ominous truth emerges – the Empress is relentlessly pursuing something known as the Return,