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Tag Archives: Sci-Fi

Review: A Touch of Death (The Outlands Pentalogy #1) by Rebecca Crunden

A thousand years in the future, the last of humanity live inside the walls of the totalitarian Kingdom of Cutta. The rich live in Anais, the capital city of Cutta, sheltered from the famine and disease which ravage the rest of the Kingdom. Yet riches and power only go so far, and even Anaitians can be executed. It is only by the will of the King that Nate Anteros, son of the King’s favourite, is spared from the gallows after openly dissenting. But when he’s released from prison, Nate disappears.

A stark contrast, Catherine Taenia has spent her entire life comfortable and content. The daughter of the King’s Hangman and in love with Thom, Nate’s younger brother, her life has always been easy, ordered and comfortable. That is, where it doesn’t concern Nate. His actions sullied not only his future, but theirs. And unlike Thom, Catherine has never forgiven him.

Two years pass without a word, and then one night Nate returns. But things with Nate are never simple, and when one wrong move turns their lives upside down, the only thing left to do is run where the King’s guards cannot find them – the Outlands. Those wild, untamed lands which stretch around the great walls of the Kingdom, filled with mutants and rabids.


Rebecca Crunden is a new to me author. When I heard about A Touch of Death, I couldn’t wait to dive into it. I mean, I LOVE a good dystopian novel and this book sounded like it would be right up my alley…

A Touch of Death starts off 1000 years into the future and follows the story of Catherine and Nate. The last of humanity lives inside the walls of Cutta, The rich are sheltered from the famine and disease that ravage the rest of the community. But, money and power can only get you so far. Life is complicated for both Nate and Catherine. There are some things that have happened that can never be forgotten. When Nate disappears, it will be 2 years before he comes back home. If you thought things were complicated with Nate and Catherine before, you’ve got no idea how things will be now. One moment. One move will change the course of everything. Their lives will be turned upside down and they will be tested in ways the never expected….

A Touch of Death is an exciting and thrilling read that will take you on one heck of a roller-coaster ride. Now, I will be first to admit, it did take me a bit to get into the story. I felt a little confused at times, and there were some instances where the pacing was off, but once I got into the story, I couldn’t put it down.

A Touch of Death is filled with mystery and great twists & turns. I was kept guessing and left wanting more. The more I got to know Nate and Catherine, the more I had to devour their story. Their story left me on the edge my seat and I couldn’t wait to see how things would play out. As far as the ending goes, I would say it definitely felt open-ended. I’ve got a lot of questions and look forward to finding my answers.

All in all, I enjoyed A Touch of Death. This author is new to me, and I think she’s got a ton of great potential. I look forward to checking out more from her in the future.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: The Burning Shadow by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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When Evelyn Dasher crossed paths with Luc, she was thrown headfirst into the world of the Lux—only to discover that she was already far more involved in their world than she ever suspected.

Because the Luxen aren’t the only ones with a hidden past. There’s a gap in Evie’s memory, lost months of her life and a lingering sense that something happened, something she can’t remember and nobody is willing to tell her. She needs to find out the truth about who she is—and who she was. But every answer she finds only brings up more questions.

Her search for the truth brings her ever closer to Luc, the Origin at the center of it all. He’s powerful, arrogant, inhumanly beautiful, extremely dangerous…and possibly in love with her. But even as Evie falls for him, she can’t help but wonder if his attraction is to her, or to the memory of a girl who no longer exists.

And all the while, a new threat looms: reports of a flu-like, fatal virus that the government insists is being spread by Luxen. A horrifying illness that changes whoever it touches, spreading panic across a country already at its breaking point.

#1 New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout returns to the world of the Lux with this steamy, shocking second installment of the Origin series that will leave readers reeling.

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“You’re real, Evie. It doesn’t matter who you used to be or who you thought you were. You are real, and I see you.”

The highly anticipated sequel to The Darkest Star is finally here and I don’t know about you guys, but I have been anxiously waiting to get this bad boy in my hands. The Burning Shadow picks up right where The Darkest Star left off and leaves no stone unturned. Evie is still trying to come to turns with who she is and why her memories are all messed up. However, with every answer Evie gets, she is left with a million more questions and this quest for the truth only stands to bring her closer to the one and only Luc. Luc is all that and a bag of chips with the arrogance to back it all up. And while Luc may think he’s in love with Evie, Evie herself can’t help but fall for Luc. The question of what is real and what isn’t has never been more critical to Evie. And if dealing with her own crisis isn’t enough, it seems there’s more on the horizon to worry about. A new threat looms and is spreading panic far and wide. Will Evie find out the answers she so desperately needs? Will Evie, Luc and the gang be able to stop the new threat from spreading??? There’s only one way to find out….

Overall, I found this book to be a really enjoyable read. I loved getting wrapped up in the Luxen/Origin world again and seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones. This book is filled with Jennifer Armentrout’s signature humor and swoon worthy romance. It checked off all of my boxes giving me a read that is filled with romance, sarcasm, mystery, intriugue, suspense and lots of twists and turns. Yes, that is one thing I love about JLA’s writing is that her twists always knock me off my feet and just leave me begging for more.

I will say that for me, the pacing for The Burning Shadow was a bit slower than I would have liked, but that being said, the slower pace did not take away from all the action this book had and once I got into the stories groove, I could not put it down. The Burning Shadow has a lot going on in the best possible way and I loved how the author left little breadcrumbs for readers to follow along the way.

The Burning Shadow is a terrific addition to The Origin Series. It kept me on my toes and left me with a ton of questions that I am just dying to have answered. I have no clue how this story is going to play out in the end, but I can definitley tell you that I will be waiting anxiously to see where this series will take us next!

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

Release Blitz: Across the Stars by Lauren Smith & Noah Chinn

Title: Across the Stars
Series: Cyborg Genesis #1
Authors: Lauren Smith & Noah Chinn
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance
Release Date: January 23, 2019
“We wait, we hide, and watch Earth burn across the stars…”
– From the lost pages of the ARK Diary

She’s one of the last free humans. On the run… And running out of time.

Laina Roberts has been on the run for ten years, a freeborn human hiding from the cyborgs of the Silver Legion who now controls what’s left of humanity. Moving secretly from planet to planet and space station to space station makes for a damn lonely life—and don’t even get her started on how long it’s been since she last had sex. Sometimes she thinks it might be worth turning herself in to the cyborgs just to end the loneliness. That is, until she’s caught!

Captured by a hot-as-hell Legion officer, the cyborg Ronan makes her think being probed by him might not be so bad. But becoming a cyborg’s slave—sex or otherwise—isn’t high on her to-do list. She doesn’t trust him and doesn’t understand his constant questions about Earth—especially those about her long-dead relatives. Ronan can just kiss her ass—oh yes, please—because she is not going to let her desires or his incredibly perfect body weaken her resolve. She now has a new mission, to convince the cyborgs and the rest of the galaxy that all Terrans, humans and synthetic humans like cyborgs, have the right to be free.

If only he didn’t make her feel like melting into his arms and never leaving. Being captured by a cyborg might not be so bad after all…


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“Get up, freeborn.”
The bark of his order made the woman flinch, and she began to unwind, as though forcing herself to relax. Her body uncurled, and she pushed herself into a sitting position, wiping dust from her face and hair. She looked helpless. How ironic, given what her ancestors had done to him and his kind.
Her lovely gray eyes—yes, even he could admit that much about them—shone like the hull of the Orion. Pure. Beautiful. When her gaze finally settled on his face, her eyes darkened. Like the Scar on Jupiter, they clouded and churned.
“You.” She let out a whisper, only audible to him. She shoved herself to her feet and wobbled unsteadily before regaining her balance. Did she recognize him?
“Under the regulations of the Sol Patriation Act as set forth by order of the Galactic High Council, you are hereby detained by the Silver Legion. You will be returned to Terran space, where you will spend the rest of your days in the service of the Terran Colony Fleet. Ensign, restrain her.”
The moment Julian took a step toward her, she swung a fist at him. He easily caught her wrist and twisted it until her legs buckled, and she fell to her knees at his feet with a cry of pain.
“Why did you think that would work?” Julian asked.
The woman gasped, face still ravaged with the pain of his tight hold.
He leaned in closer, anger growing. “I’ve been fighting tougher opponents than you for three hundred years. I once took down a gorg with my bare hands. Why did you think such a feeble attack would succeed?”
The woman shut her eyes, wincing with pain as she took a deep breath.
“Answer me, freeborn,” Julian demanded, gripping her more forcefully.
Ronan was about to tell Julian to stand down when she struck, driving her other fist into Julian’s groin. He cursed as he released her. The woman dove past a shocked Alanna and ran for the door. Ronan aimed his pulse gun and fired, striking her between the shoulders. She went down hard, head smacking into the floor.
The control room went silent, except for the electric drone of computers, as Ronan walked over to the unconscious woman. A cut above her left eye from where she’d hit the floor was dripping blood onto the deck.
An emotion wormed its way to his chest. Pity. He pitied this woman. She was so frail, so breakable, like the rest of her doomed people. And yet she was brave enough to evade him and his team, even if the attempt was ultimately futile. It was a pity that freeborns had so many failings. It ruined the few strengths they had.
Ronan knelt and slid one arm behind her back and one behind her knees to lift her up in his arms. He carried her body to his chest and walked back to Alanna and Julian.
“Have the boarding party return to the ship,” he said to Alanna. “Notify the commander that we are returning to the Orion.” He then looked at the Nubran captain. “We have acquired your ‘stowaway,’ Captain. I have no further interest in your vessel. You may resume your course.”
Zore nodded, carrying a mixture of relief and sadness. “Thank you.” Her eyes strayed to the human’s face. “Please, don’t go hard on her. She is a nice person. Always polite. Worked hard. She never caused any trouble.”
Julian groaned. “I beg to differ.”
Zore frowned, her amber eyes darkening. “You would have done the same in her position. Any one of us would.”
“What’s your point, Captain?” Ronan asked in irritation.
“My point is that she is undeserving of whatever fate you have in store for her. I would think, coming from a race once persecuted like they are now, you would be more merciful.”
The Nubran’s words were bold and unafraid, her determination to stand up for the freeborn an unexpected turn. Ronan couldn’t help but wonder what hold this female had over Zore that she would risk her life and the lives of her crew.
“They receive all the mercy they deserve,” said Julian.
Zore’s head dropped, and she looked away. “You have the law on your side, and I have complied, but if you cannot see that justice must be tempered with wisdom, then there is nothing left to discuss. I will thank you to leave my ship in peace.”
“As you wish. Safe journey, Captain.” Ronan nodded to his subordinates, who flanked him as he left the control room and returned to the Orion, his prisoner still in his arms.
Commander Alaric Corvus stood waiting for them on the other end of the airlock. His eyes zeroed in on the prisoner.
“So, you were right. You did see a woman on board,” Alaric mused. At two meters in height, he was slightly taller than Ronan, but he held an air of command about him that made him seem more solemn than the rest of the crew. A silver star sat on both of his epaulets, but with his service record he could easily have three if he desired. He was one of the first cyborgs to command a warship, and one of the leaders of the Cyborg Rebellion three hundred years ago.
“She gave us a bit of trouble.” Ronan tilted the body in his arms so the woman’s head rolled away from his chest and toward the commander. The wound above her eyes had caked and clotted.
“Doctor, we need you,” Alaric called over his shoulder. A woman appeared from the group that had gathered around the airlock. Dr. Valeria Schedar was the Orion’s chief medical officer. She wore the uniform of the Legion, only with a silver caduceus on her shoulders instead of a rank insignia. Her long blonde hair was pulled back at the nape of her neck and bound with a strap.
“Minor head trauma… Stunned with a pulse gun, I take it?” Valeria reached to take the woman’s body from Ronan.
He felt a strange urge keep her in his arms. Valeria looked up at Ronan and sensed his reluctance. Her lips curved in a soft, understanding smile.
“She won’t require a stretcher. Bring her to the infirmary. I still have to tend to her wounds.” Valeria headed for the sickbay, and Ronan followed. He felt his commander’s eyes on his back the entire way. He wasn’t behaving abnormally, was he?
The sickbay was a large room with multiple beds and various medical instruments. Though the cyborgs on board could regenerate from most injuries quickly without aid, the majority of the crew were synths, and as such they required more traditional care.
“Where should I put her?” Ronan asked, looking at the multiple beds. None of them looked particularly comfortable to him.
Valeria waved at the room as she searched for her instruments. “Anywhere is fine.”
The metal surface of the nearest medical exam table gleamed in the artificial light, looking cold and hard. Ronan had no desire to place the woman on that.
“Do you have something to lay on the bed to cushion her?”
Valeria chuckled. “Haven’t you been here since the refit?”
“I rarely need to come here.”
“Just lay her down and press the panel next to the bed, where it says ‘New Patient.’”
Ronan did so. As soon as he pressed the button, what he’d assumed was a metal surface slowly ballooned out, raising her up a few centimeters and cushioning her on all sides, raising her head up to a natural resting position.
“Elysian design,” the doctor said matter-of-factly. “Customizes the bed to the patient’s body, plus provides readings of basic body functions.” She pointed to the diagnostics panel above her head, which now lit up with her heart rate, pulse, and brain activity.
“I should have guessed.”
“Well, as you said, you rarely need to come here.”
Ronan’s attention returned to the prisoner. His fingers threaded through her hair. The chestnut strands felt like watered silk. A frisson of pleasure went through him, and he felt a surge of reluctant tenderness for her. That tenderness quickly turned to anger, then into something else. He pictured her looking at him not with fear but desire, and that desire being returned in kind. What would he do if…?
He blinked, Valeria’s call jarring him back. He shook his head and controlled himself. “What?” His hands were still deep in the soft coils of the freeborn’s hair. He freed his hand of the strands that clung to his fingers.
“You can daydream inappropriately on your own time, not mine. I need to wake her.” Valeria cleaned the prisoner’s head wound and covered the cut with a clear cream, which disappeared as it was absorbed. “She probably has a concussion. I need to make sure she didn’t suffer from any other injuries during her journey, and for that I’ll need to wake her.”
“Fine. Do it.” He waited as the doctor injected her with a serum that would pull the prisoner back into consciousness.
The woman’s lashes fluttered, and then her gray eyes, fogged with pain and confusion, locked onto his and held.
“You,” she gasped. Again she’d said that.
“Me,” he agreed. He forced himself to scowl, though part of him found her bewilderment amusing. But she was not a source of humor. Despite how she appeared, she was the enemy. He could never forget that.
Lauren Smith
USA TODAY Bestselling Author Lauren Smith is an Oklahoma attorney by day, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She knew she was destined to be a romance writer when she attempted to re-write the entire Titanic movie just to save Jack from drowning. Connecting with readers by writing emotionally moving, realistic and sexy romances no matter what time period is her passion. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including: New England Reader’s Choice Awards, Greater Detroit BookSeller’s Best Awards, and a Semi-Finalist award for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.
Noah Chinn
Noah was born in Oshawa, Ontario, and had never quite forgiven it for that. Shortly after university, he moved to Tokyo, where he taught English for three years – yet somehow barely managed to learn a word of Japanese. After that, he moved to London in the hopes of making it as a writer, but the closest he came to literary success was working at several bookstores – each of which mysteriously closed down after his stay.
He now lives with his unbelievably patient and supportive wife, Gillian, in Vancouver, where he’s had better luck both as a writer and an editor.
He’s so far written four novels, including a paranormal romantic comedy with werewolves (Bleeding Heart Yard), a story about the end of the world, but not as you know it (Trooper #4), and a pair of mysteries set in 1980s Canada (Getting Rid of Gary and The Plutus Paradox).

Release Week Celebration: Distant Memory by Colleen S. Myers

You don’t want to miss the next thrilling installment of Colleen Myers’ fan favorite #fantasyromance series, Solum, with DISTANT MEMORY!

Title: Distant Memory

Author: Colleen Myers

Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Romance

Series: Solum

Release Date: November 13, 2018

Format: Digital eBook



19 year old Elizabeth Camden survived it all, the experiments, the escape, the retaliation. But it never ends does it?

Available at:  Amazon

Add Distant Memory  to your GOODREADS TBR pile!

About Colleen:

Colleen S. Myers was raised in a large catholic family in the outskirts of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she grew up on Harlequin teen romances and stories from her mother’s days as a paramedic. She went on to attend Allegheny College majoring in Biology and English.

After college, Colleen spent a year in service in the Americorp giving back to the community at a local Pittsburgh Women Infants and Children Clinic (WICC) before attending Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine on a military scholarship.

Upon completing medical school, Colleen attended residency at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland and was on base in Washington, DC during 9/11. She earned three meritorious service awards from the military. After serving seven years of active duty, she promptly landed a position at the VA to provide fellow veterans with optimum medical care. Still an avid fan of romances into adulthood, her love of the genre inspired her to hone her craft as a writer, focusing on contemporary romance and science fiction. Her background in medicine and the military provides an inspiring layer of creative realism to her stories and characters.

Her first book, Must Remember, the first book in the Solum series, is published by Champagne Press. The sequel, Can’t Forget, coming in June 2016, is the recipient of the 2015 RWA New England Readers Award.

Colleen currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband and son, and spends her spare time writing. She is also working on a new contemporary romance.

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Release Blitz: Road to Eugenica by A.M. Rose

Today we have the release blitz for ROAD TO EUGENICA by AM Rose! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy!

Title: Road to Eugenica

Author: AM Rose

Genre: YA Sci-fi

About Road to Eugenica:

Two dimensions – And the girl who connects them.

Yesterday, Drea Smith couldn’t do anything spectacular—even walking and texting at the same time was a challenge. But today, she suddenly has more answers than Google, can speak and understand numerous languages, and she can fight. Like a boss.

Super freaky.

Drea has no idea where her encyclopedic knowledge has come from, but she’ll take it when she discovers someone out there knows her secret and wants her badly. And that they’ve been searching for her since she was born.

Since she was created.

With the help of her best friend Dylan, who just wants to keep her safe, and Maddox, a mysterious new boy who is prepared to get her answers, Drea will have to push her new skills to their limit as she uncovers nothing is quite what it seems.

As she uncovers…Eugenica.

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Exclusive Excerpt:

I get to the game early and weave through the rowdy crowd wearing our school colors, black and turquoise. Some guys really go all out for these games and paint their shirtless bodies, spelling out the word P-A-N-T-H-E-R-S on their chests. Others wear costumes or headbands with cat ears. It’s pretty tame compared to our football games. Those are completely overly exaggerated affairs.

I skip the concession stand to grab a few seats away from my regular spot. As much as I’d love to snack on some licorice, and the popcorn smell that floats in the air makes my stomach growl, I’m ready for some answers from Maddox, and I don’t need any distractions.

Trumpets blare. The band starts to play, and the cheerleaders wave their pom-poms as the team lines up to run onto the field. My phone chirps, just as the band breaks into our fight song.


Where are you?

I ignore the cheerleaders’ plea to repeat “time to fight, time to win,” and text him back telling him where to find me.

This is it. My chance to get some answers. Except my hands are shaking, and my knee is bouncing like crazy. While I wait for him, I try to get my nerves under control and check out who showed up for the game near my regular seat. I spot a few people who only come to games occasionally. They don’t even know the rules, they just cheer when everyone else does. Nadia’s here, too, except she’s abandoned her usual pink hoodie for a regular school one that looks like the one I have on. And her normally gorgeous flowing dark hair is wrapped up in a messy bun, like mine. I don’t even have the time to think about what she’s playing at.

I roll my eyes and then immediately jerk back. No. It can’t be. Two rows behind her are piercing green eyes.

Blood drains from my face and redirects to my pounding heart; I have to grip the bench to stay upright. The rest of the crowd seems to disappear, and I’m alone staring at a man dressed all in black. Scared can’t begin to describe this. My breath is ripped from my chest, and I feel like I’m suffocating as I focus on the crescent-shaped scar on his face. Shit. No. He can’t be here. Not real, not real. He’s just my imagination.

But a woman slides past him, stumbles, and catches herself on his shoulder. She smiles apologetically, and he mumbles something back. I’m frozen in fear. Fireworks explode in my chest. Shit, shit, shit. He is real. And he’s really here. I shrink back into the crowd in my row, but I don’t take my eyes off him. He’s always appeared and vanished like a flash, but now he’s sitting here, right next to the space I usually fill. No way it’s a coincidence. He keeps turning his head in every direction, and a thought sinks in my stomach. He’s looking for me. That’s when my fear morphs into something more.

About AM Rose:

A.M. Rose is the author of Road to Eugenica, and writer of young adult novels of all genres as long as they have a hint of romance, the drinker of too much coffee (with way too much coconut creamer), and lover of all carbohydrates.

Currently, she lives in Houston, TX with her three boys (yes, her husband is in that count) and three cats. When she isn’t writing about swoony boys or ways for her MC to get into trouble, she is an avid reader, critiquer, (is that even a word?) and trampoline enthusiast.

A.M. Rose is a graduate from San Diego State University with a BA in Communication and a minor in underwater basket weaving. (Okay, maybe not the basket weaving part.)

Connect with AM Rose:

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Waiting For Wednesday……Undone (Unknown #3) by Wendy Higgins

USA Today and New York Times bestselling author, Wendy Higgins, brings you the gripping, sensual conclusion to her apocalyptic trilogy.

Amber Tate never dreamed their heart-wrenching escape from the enemy’s attack would lead them to the most beautiful place she’s ever seen, marred by one ugly fact; it’s under enemy control. Like everywhere else in the world, Elmendorf military base in Alaska has been captured, and it’s time to take it back—all of it—one base, one city at a time. After losing so much, Amber clings to the only precious person she has left, and vows to sacrifice everything to help save the Earth.

Remy Haines is a lover, not a fighter, so when she finds herself in enemy territory, expected to feign allegiance while gathering intel for the rebel cause, she’s never been more out of her element. Tensions only increase when her feelings for Jacob “Tater” Tate won’t go away, and the enemy’s leader takes an interest in her. She’s torn between what her heart wants, and what she knows she should do. As for what her body needs…well, it’s always had a mind of its own.


Waiting For Wednesday…..SecondBorn by Amy Bartol

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This week’s Waiting for Wednesday goes to Amy Bartol! As a fan of her Premonition & Kricket Series, I have been dying for this author’s next series! Well, the wait is almost over!!! Secondborn is releasing on Aug. 1st and I can not wait to get my hands on this book.

Pre-order Secondborn (Secondborn Series Book 1)

Firstborns rule society. Secondborns are the property of the government. Thirdborns are not tolerated. Long live the Fates Republic.

On Transition Day, the second child in every family is taken by the government and forced into servitude. Roselle St. Sismode’s eighteenth birthday arrives with harsh realizations: she’s to become a soldier for the Fate of Swords military arm of the Republic during the bloodiest rebellion in history, and her elite firstborn mother is happy to see her go.

Televised since her early childhood, Roselle’s privileged upbringing has earned her the resentment of her secondborn peers. Now her decision to spare an enemy on the battlefield marks her as a traitor to the state.

But Roselle finds an ally—and more—in fellow secondborn conscript Hawthorne Trugrave. As the consequences of her actions ripple throughout the Fates Republic, can Roselle create a destiny of her own? Or will her Fate override everything she fights for—even love?

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Cover Reveal: Unrest by Wendy Higgins

Coming Soon From Author Wendy Higgins, Unrest

Release Date: February 16 ,2017


Blurb for Unrest: Book Two in the Unknown Series

Being on the run in the desert means food and sanctuary are hard to come by, but Amber Tate and her crew are not about to give up. Not after having so many of the things they love brutally ripped from them by the unknown enemy who sent their world into an apocalypse.

Survival takes precedence, but once safe shelter is found, their guards fall and the emotions they’ve been holding in are finally released. Anger, insecurities…lust. Amber, Rylen, Tater, and Remy cannot escape it in their tight quarters. The past must be faced, and passions run even stronger in the darkest of times.

In the midst of unrest, their worlds are rocked again when the truth is made known about the war that’s ruined their lives. They thought finding out who the enemy was would give them the edge; instead it’s revealed terrifying dangers they never thought possible.

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Unknown on Goodreads:

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Unknown by Wendy Higgins


by Wendy Higgins

Giveaway ends October 10, 2016.

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Book Review – The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey

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Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her ‘our little genius’. Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favourite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

It’s going to be hard to write this review without being too spoilery. Because there’s a pretty major part to this story that you don’t know going in… You’ll either LOVE it or you’ll HATE it. But I refuse to wreck it for you. I personally am possibly the biggest wussy pants ever. Ghosts, zombies, axe murderers, spiders, sharks. You name it and I’ll lose sleep over it, so I have NO idea what on earth possessed me to buy this book. (Ok granted, it wasn’t exactly too clear from the description on Amazon what it was about exactly, but I still knew it was going to possibly be a bit scary… I just wasn’t prepared for HOW scary it actually was!) It sounded intriguing and different from my recent reads… I’m actually glad I didn’t read the reviews in this case because I can guarantee you, if I had there is no way I would’ve even attempted to read this book. No way ever in a million years. But now that I have read it and am sleeping at night again (ha!) I can honestly say that I would recommend it, although with a warning about needing to be brave! (Also I feel my most repeated phrases whilst reading this were: Nooo! Oh my god no! & WTF, ok seriously WTF!)

So the deal is (or as much of the deal as I can tell you) this story is set in a post apocalyptic world. Humanity is struggling to survive, which as you can imagine brings out the very extremes in people that are kept under lock and key in a functioning society… They are all trying to make their mark. Some are much more brutal in tactics than others, some are just trying to live another day. The little girl Melanie, whom the story is based around, is being held at a secure base outside the safety of the main human centre with other children like her, she seems so smart for a child, but also sad and lonely, not able to be a normal kid at all. I kid you not when I say your heart will break for her. She’s part of a bigger plan that she does not understand.

Now she’s ten years old, and she has skin like a princess in a fairy tale; skin as white as snow. So she knows that when she grows up she’ll be beautiful, with princes falling over themselves to climb her tower and rescue her.

You can probably guess from here, things must go awry… and they do very much so, which leaves us with not only a compelling terrifying story of this post apocalyptic world, but also a very intense story of the 5 main characters that have been thrown together in it. And I have to say that I was surprised, that in a book such as this (genre generalisations and all) that there could be such detailed, description character writing. The main characters that you follow through the story are very well fleshed out, (pun intended) they weren’t just one dimensional. It was this character writing, which for me made the story so much more than just a horror read. In fact, I think the main reason I actually kept reading once I realised very early on what I had gotten myself into, was that I was feeling very attached to Melanie. Which is strange really, and a testament to the writing, considering my feelings on the circumstances that surround her are not in the ‘like’ category, or even ‘tolerate’ category whatsoever.

The world in this book is one of those settings where the idea is SO foreign that it makes you feel sick just trying to imagine it. The author does a brilliant job depicting the ruin, torment and coldness of a doomed world. So many times I had to stop reading because it was just too much. The horror, the sickening scenes, the fear, the absolute feeling of despair. It was heavy going. Really heavy going. I could’ve seriously thrown up a few times. I actually don’t know what I was expecting at the end of this book? A Happily Ever After? Ha! For whatever reason I had in my head (I seriously do not know how I finished this) I could not stop reading, I HAD to know what happened at the end. The world was depending on the ending! And I was not disappointed, it was the ending, along with the character Melanie that were my favourite aspects of the book. You would never guess this ending, it wasn’t the obvious route. It was smart. It was heartbreaking. It was hopeful. It kept my brain ticking. It made me glad that I had made my way through the story. It was absolutely worth it. So, yes. Read this book! But make sure you have your big girl/boy knickers on….and maybe some spares. You’ll definitely need them. Good luck!

photo credit: Warren Fournier via photopin <a