Tag Archives: 4.5 Star Book Review

Book Review: S.Y.P.H.E.N. By Cortez Law III

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“S.Y.P.H.E.N. is a tense military thriller that follows Lincoln Boddies and his Delta Force Operatives on a deadly mission to try and stop terrorists using a weapon of mass destruction. When Lincoln and his team are ready to close in, they encounter a bigger enemy that has the potential to destroy them all.” https://walkerputsche.wordpress.com/

The story opens when Lincoln and his crew are enjoying some leisure time in Sin City. Lincoln spots a woman in a casino and has a hunch that she maybe one of the most dangerous terror suspects in the world (A Jihad Jane). With the help from the Unit, Lincoln and their surveillance tactics lead them both to old and new Islamic enemies that are planning on using weapons of mass destruction to destroy America. Just as Lincoln and his team are about to close in on the enemies they encounter a bigger threat, the S.Y.P.H.E.N. that’s hell bent on destroying them all. Lincoln and his men are forced to work alongside the terrorists to try and eliminate the imminent threat that could potentially destroy civilization.

Law III successfully manages to build influential narratives with well-developed characters from the beginning to the end, along with an unpredictable number of twists and turns that sets the stage for more instalments in which I impatiently await.

My Ranking: 4.5 Stars

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The Camellia Resistance: By A.R. Williams

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The Camellia Resistance is set in a dystopian future where the USA has become an eroding wasteland after a major pandemic broke out (Herpes) and killed off a large proportion of the population. The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Security are the new government and now rule the smaller population, with the exception of Texas, that remains independent. Willow Carlyle, works for the Ministry and is fast becoming a rising star, as she has spent the majority of her adulthood tracking the spread of sexually transmitted viruses and their impact on the population, until a night of passion with a handsome stranger changes the outcome of her future. Willow is diagnosed with Herpes and is instantly dismissed from the Ministry and struggles to make sense of her undoing until an unexpected encounter with a member from a resistance group, The Camellias (who live outside the Ministry and its strict approved health regulations) expose Willow to an alternative way of life she had no idea existed. Along the way Willow discovers her real identity and a secret that will shake the Ministry to its very foundation.

Williams introduces the reader to some memorable characters, all of which are conflicted with their own issues to a certain degree. The narrative is well written and captures the characters hope, fear and anticipation all at the same time, while provoking the reader to finish the first instalment and start the next one immediately. I look forward to the second instalment.

My Ranking: 4.5 Stars

The Books of Babel Book 1: Senlin Ascends By Josiah Bancroft

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Thomas Senlin and his new bride, Marya, set off on a honeymoon to the tower of Babel. Senlin had saved and planned for this journey his entire career as a headmaster, drawn to the tower through the promises of an infamous guidebook. Climbing the tower of Babel would be his greatest ambition. However, when Marya suddenly goes missing it triggers of a number of unlikely events where Senlin’s world turns into turmoil. His quest to find his wife begins by searching the many streets, tents and restaurants, where he meets several men who may be able to help him, only to find out these people are not as honest as they seem and he must make the journey alone. After several days of searching for Marya, he must start from the bottom of the tower and work his way up. He meets many friends and enemies along the way in a new world where the rules are different and he must survive a number of fatalities to survive.

I found the writing to be beautifully crafted with many remarkable, imaginative and breathtaking scenes. Bancroft combines a gripping story with strong characterizations while maintaining an adventurous plot with outlandishly secondary characters ‘and a mild-mannered hero who is forced to step up his game. I look forward to the second instalment.
My Ranking: 4.5 Stars

Rarity from the Hollow By Robert Eggleton

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Rarity from the Hollow
By Robert Eggleton

“Rarity from the Hollow is a harsh, yet alluring sci-fi tale of a young girl’s journey to fix her dysfunctional family and save the Universe, in a world that profits from human exploitation.”

Lacy Dawn, the main protagonist is an eleven year old girl living in poverty with her abusive father and depressed mother in the Appalachian Mountains. Lacy has an entire wood full of tree friends, a dead best friend, and an android boyfriend called, DotCom, who has a spaceship hidden in a mountain. Lacy desperately wants to fix her family and insists that DotCom must help her by plugging her parents unknowingly into a computer that she hopes will fix them. DotCom agrees on the condition that Lacy Dawn must save the Universe in exchange for the designation of Earth as a planet. Lacy agrees, unaware at first that it’s her destiny and that her personal evolution has been monitored for generations for the sole purpose on when she will be ready to sign the contract.

Eggleton successfully combines and exposes a number of disturbing issues such as child abuse, puberty, human misery and poverty from the mind of young heroine that is yearning to escape the horrors of her everyday life. Rarity from the Hollow is detailed, dark and beautifully written by a competent writer who injects plenty of satire, sci-fi and fantasy elements into a work of thought-provoking and meaningful adult/fantasy fiction at its very best.

Disclosure: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
My Ranking: 4.5 Stars

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Book Review: Quiznot By Russell Stoll

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Just how bad can a kid’s life get? When 13-year-old Timothy Star discovers his dad is running a campaign to be mayor of New York City and planning to marry a woman called Jessie while his mother is locked away in a mental institution with a severe neurological condition that he is in fear of inheriting. He also has a chance encounter with a beautiful teenage girl, only to discover that since the strange concurrence he has developed some freaky powers triggered by anger that results in his suspension from Van Dorn High School after he sets a girls hair on fire, burns down one of the science labs and tampers with the stands in the Gym that lead to many students being injured. Although Timothy has no recollection of the events, he does experience nausea and the strange smell of cleaning fluid before each attack.

Timothy is given the option of either going to jail or a special school called Smithson and reluctantly decides the latter of the two options as his father’s lawyer and Dr Thorn convince him that the school will help him to control his new freaky powers. Timothy soon discovers all is not what it seems at Smithson and many of the students are low-grade junkies, as they are prescribed pills by Dr Thorn to keep them all mellowed out. When Timothy hears that the school is built over tunnels of an old missile base, he goes on a mission to explore the base and finds much to his surprise it is still in use and hosts pathways to galaxies of other worlds beyond earth that he had no clue existed. As Timothy tries to unravel the mystery of what really goes on in the missile base, strange things start to happen, a pupil gets bitten by a strange creature, another pupil gets attacked by a throwing star and the detective who is called in to investigate gets killed in a car crash. Timothy does his best to try to piece all the unusual events together, but nothing prepares him for the next set of events where he has to fight for his survival against alien monsters and other creatures he has never seen before, unaware of a powerful being called a Quiznot that plans to rise on planet earth and take control of it.

Will Timothy’s new powers be enough to save his life and if so at what cost? Or will his new powers shape his future in a way he never envisaged?

What a wonderfully crafted story! I was pretty much hooked from the start and look forward to reading more books in this planned trilogy. Russell Stoll has successfully created a thrilling young adult/sci-fi/fantasy book with a likable heroine that the reader can get behind and root for as he is strong, brave and loyal. The only disappointment I had is that I must wait to hear more of Timothy’s adventures and can’t wait to see what they entail. I expect an exciting epic to be awaiting this heroine.
My Ranking: 4.5 Stars

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4.5 Star Book Review: The Argent Star By Emerson Fray

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The Argent Star is a YA/SF story set in the year of 2453 and is the first book in the Monarchy Series.
Ren Argent is the main female protagonist whose world is literally turned upside down when her brother, Elian discovers a hidden planet that has been lost for centuries. Instead of continuing her education to become an archaeologist and exploring the lost cities of earth, she is suddenly bound to join forces to help her estranged father who has just been appointed king by the Monarchy to rule the planet as some unexpected paperwork claims that an ancestor of theirs named the planet Novae. Ren reluctantly leaves with her father and brother to help rule Novae with a deep sense of loss as she must leave behind everything she knows to help govern a planet she knows very little about. Ren soon discovers nothing about coming to Novae was what she expected as there are a number of assassins and insurgents who are planning a rebellion to overthrow her and her family and will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. It is not long after that Ren is appointed a strong female Sotarian guide to help protect her against the uprising, however when a few unexpected series of events take place and Ren witnesses firsthand how the insurgents, rebels and even a secret society are all out to overthrow anyone governing Novae she begins to question her own loyalty as she is more convinced that the Monarchy wants to destroy Novae. Ren tries to separate the Monarchy away from Novae to avoid mass genocide and goes against everything she believes in, everything she was taught and everything she knew for the past twenty years of her life to save Novae, but will her efforts be enough strike a deal with the Monarchy and save Novae from their control?

Despite the conflicts, dangers and twists in the story the characters’ are my most favourite part of the novel as they are all uniquely flawed because they all struggle with their own issues and find a way to deal with all the changes around them. One example of this is that Ren manages to overcome her own insecurities, anxiety and fears and finally turn them to her advantage. Fray has taken a young insecure woman and made her in to a force to be reckoned with as she has to escape assassins who attempt to kill her family as well as the fight against the Monarchy she no longer trusts. Any readers that get into Frays story and characters’ will no doubt want to invest in the next set of instalments.

My Ranking: 4.5 Stars

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4.5 Star Book Review: Dragonfly By Resa Nelson

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Dragonfly is set in the medieval fantasy world and follows the life of a young woman called Greeta (Dragonfly) who lives in a small Viking village of the Shining Star people in the Great Turtle Lands. Greeta is tall, paled skinned and blonde, unlike the Shining Star people who have darker skin. All Greeta longs for is a family of her own; however her plans change when her cousin and her childhood companion talk despairingly against her. She is in turmoil as her father won’t tell her the secret about her true nature and decides that she will accept the offer of the Sharman who will show her how to walk in Dreamtime. Greeta convinces herself that this is the way she will discover the secret about her existence and to carry out her dreams of having a family, but this is where some unexpected events occur and the sudden realisation of her bad choice will haunt her forever if she can’t find a way back to her family.
Resa Nelson is a good writer worthy of her craft as she creates a world so atmospheric and perceivable that many readers will believe it really exists. Greetas plight is believable as she must learn to accept herself for who she is and I imagine a lot of readers will be able to identify with this young heroines journey.
I would highly recommend this book to all YA fantasy fans.
My Ranking: 4.5 Stars
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