August 23, 2019

U-10 by Sam B. Miller II

U-10 is an exciting and suspenseful science fiction thriller by Sam B. Miller II.

While on a mission to remove Insurgents from dusty settlements on the hills of Afghanistan, Lt. Ty Lavender and the rest of the Orion Squad stand witness to the thundering crash of an unidentified flying object. After finding a strange satchel and a box of cards from the crash site and getting rid of a few Insurgents sneaking on them, Lavender and his men leave and get into position around the perimeter of the crash site. Shortly after, a group of people wearing full coverage combat gear arrives and takes over the crash site.

Meanwhile, the lone passenger of the UFO is watching from a distance, near where his escape pod has landed. Extremely confident that the inhabitants of this planet are too primitive and too intellectually inferior to understand advanced technology, the passenger feels apprehensive when he sees the U-10 draped over the shoulder of one of the humans. Little does he know that there are much more to the humans than he knows.

This is an exciting and suspenseful, fast-paced and easy to read science fiction thriller. The plot is unpredictable and offers a series of twists and turns making the book a real deal page-turner. Though the concept of an alien aircraft crashing down the desert seems quite trite and overused, the introduction of U-10, a survival tool with multiple uses involving single-use cards that produce advanced and sophisticated but disposable weapons, is enough to put sci-fi fans on the edge of their seats. Characters are provided with sufficient back stories to make them life-like which makes it easy to visualize them as real people. Moreover, the author creates the perfect protagonist in Lt. Ty Lavender, the smart, brave, compassionate, and loyal soldier and leader. More than the vividly described scenes, I love the depiction of human attributes including loyalty, concern, and compassion as well as zealotry, greed, and narcissism.

Congratulations to Sam B. Miller II (@SamBMillerII) for another great book! For more books by the author, click HERE!

August 8, 2019

Brooding City by Tom Shutt

Brooding City is an intriguing and exciting paranormal thriller and the first book in the Brooding City Series created by Tom Shutt.

Detective Arthur Brennan works at Odols Police Department. Unbeknownst to his partner and to everybody else, however, he is a former Sleeper. Sleepers are individuals who can enter the dream of others and drive them to madness. They are people with extraordinary gifts and live among ordinary people.

Meanwhile, young Jeremy Scott discovers something special, albeit scary, about himself. He can access other people’s memories. With his newly-found gift, he finds out something that shakes his being to the core.

This is an interesting, intriguing, and an easy-read book. It explores the dream realm and subtly integrates it to the waking world. The story has two main plotlines, one features Detective Brennan who is presented with a murder case involving drugs, and the other features Jeremy Scott with his newly-discovered gift. The author creates intriguing characters including Detective Brennan himself, Uncle Rick, and Old Benjamin.

However, though the plot is, understandably, vague with this book being the first installment, I still find it difficult to stay interested. It is just not easy to stay focused when the scene shifts every other chapter and the details are given in painstakingly gradual manner. Moreover, it is hard to connect with the characters. Despite the backstories, I still feel that something is being held back which makes connecting with the characters not easy. Finally, the ending is inconclusive which could mean the reader has to read the next book to enjoy it fully.

Still, this is a very intriguing book and some readers may find it enjoyable. Congratulations to Tom Shutt (@TomShutt) on such an interesting book. For more books by the author, click HERE.

July 26, 2019

The Chosen by Michael Mood

The Chosen is the first book in The Compendium of Raath Series created by Michael Mood.

Young and abused farm girl, Wren Hartfield, runs away from home. Helping a caged ape earns her a burning symbol on her forearm and most unlikely friends. Otom Aldenburg is a self-exiled Monk haunted by his past. He survives an attack on the Kilgane Monastery by monstrous creatures. Krothair Mallurin is an orphan who dreams to be a Kingsguardian. He is sent to apprentice under the legendary sword master. Halimaldie D’Arvenant is a successful businessman who is about to discover something he was never willing to believe before. Then, there is Cleric Domma of the Sunburst Temple whose power allows her to discover who attacks a patient under her care.

They are the Five Mages of Raath, a place where magical powers are earned for doing good deeds. Each of them travels to the Temple of Sin’ra for instructions from God.

This is an exciting and suspenseful book of magic and adventure. It has a consistently steady pacing and an unpredictable plot. Scenes are described in vivid detail and the suspense is maintained until the last pages of the book. Though the ending is, understandably, cliffhanger, common to books in series, it gives a certain feeling of closure to the readers. Most of the characters are endearing and all of them are intriguing making the readers want to read more.

Congratulations to Michael Mood (@michaeldmood) on such a great and enjoyable book! For more books by the author, click HERE.  

July 16, 2019

Life First by RJ Crayton

Life First is Book 1 of the Dystopian Series created by RJ Crayton.

Kelsey Reed just gets marked. She is found to be the best match for a man in Virginia with failing kidneys. According to the law of Federation of Surviving States (FoSS), what was left of the former United States after a pandemic that wiped out 80 percent of the population, the government is to take one of Kelsey’s kidneys and give it to the ailing man.

Kelsey has no problem sacrificing a part of her body, but, if she does, it must be on her own free will and not because it is mandated by law. So, she decides to escape. In order to do that, however, she needs to take out her life monitoring system.

Kelsey knows she cannot do it alone. She needs the help of her boyfriend, her best friend, a shady doctor, and other individuals who, unexpectedly, turn out to be on her side.

Told in the first-person perspective of Kelsey Reed, this is a fast-paced, exciting, and suspenseful dystopian thriller that will keep the readers on the edge of their seats. The plot is very unpredictable with plenty of surprising twists and unexpected turns of events. It is made more exciting and interesting by a combination of medical and court drama. Scenes are described in vivid detail and dialogues are fitting. In addition to the exciting plot, the author creates a set of interesting characters, some of them quite endearing. Though the obvious favorite is Kelsey, I find Luke Geary the ultimate hero while Susan Harper is the brave and devoted best friend.

Needless to say, I enjoyed the book immensely. I find it thought-provoking. It questions how much the readers value their freedom to decide over their own body. It is interesting, exciting, and suspenseful. It is a great first installment for a book series.  

Congratulations to RJ Crayton (@RJCrayton) on such an enjoyable book. For more books about the author, click HERE.  

June 25, 2019

Two Minutes to Midnight by Willow Salix

Two Minutes to Midnight is a titillating paranormal romance and the first in The Carpe Noctem Series created by Willow Salix.  

Topaz Thompson is a practicing Wiccan. She teaches Mythology and Folklore at Athena’s Academy, a school that specializes in things weird and wonderful. When she is sent to investigate a self-professed supernatural being, Topaz is more than willing to go. What she discovers, however, is more than she hopes for.

In addition to the proof of existence of the most elusive supernatural creatures, Topaz finds something else, something beautiful and magical, something that she has found difficult to come by as evident by the string of failed blind dates she has been recently.

This is a very interesting book that offers a different take on the legends of the night walkers. Though the subject is far from unique, the theme of true and undying love, in addition to a fair amount of unexpected twist and turn of events, is enough to keep the reader’s interest. Sex scenes are described in vivid detail and the characters range from fascinating, to intriguing, to endearing. Though the ending seems a bit anticlimactic, I find in necessary and understandable.

All in all, I enjoyed this book more than I expected I would. It is interesting and entertaining. It is also quite an easy read. However, other readers may find the sex scenes a bit too much, more, in fact, than the description and profile of the supernatural creatures being featured in the book. It seems like the author focused more on the erotic part of the story than the peculiarities of the night walkers, which I believe was part of the selling point of this book. Though this is not necessarily a bad thing, it may leave some readers a, somehow, dissatisfied feeling as far as the paranormal aspect of the book is concerned.

Still, this is an enjoyable book and is worth reading.

Congratulations to Willow Salix (@willowdragoncat) on such an entertaining and enjoyable book. To know more about the author, click HERE.

June 13, 2019

Why Jihad? by Dr. Howard Shin

Why Jihad? : Religious Violence in Islamic History, Theology, and Jurisprudence is an interesting and educative book about Muslims, Islam, and Jihad written by Dr. Howard Shin.

The book has fourteen very interesting chapters in addition to the Introduction, Conclusion, and Bibliography, and tries to explain the root-cause for Islam’s prevalent violence. In consistently academic tone, the author discusses the conflicting views on Jihad and elucidates the readers by explaining Jihad as defined by the Qur’an, the Hadiths, the Islamic Jurisprudence, and the pre-modern Sufism.

The author shares a brief history of the Messenger of Allah and the proliferation of Islam in Asia, North Africa, and the Iberian Peninsula and features the most prominent proponents of Jihad.

This is, generally, a scholarly-written book, apparently well-researched and well-referenced. In carefully worded explanation understandable to laymen and, probably, to non-Muslim readers, the author explicates the difference between Greater Jihad and Lesser Jihad and hints at the ultimate implication of armed Jihad in the future of the world making the book a ‘must-read’ for diplomats and politicians.

However, this is not an easy read. Other readers may find it too academic and, somehow, overwhelming. It requires focus, undivided attention, and genuine interest in Jihad, Islam, and the Muslims in general. Moreover, there are several noticeable errors within the entire book, mostly typo errors, which detract from the overall reading experience.

Congratulations to Dr. Howard Shin on such an interesting book! For more books by the author, click HERE

June 9, 2019

Jealous of the Way He Treats Her by Can'Di

Jealous of the Way He Treats Her: A Revenge Story is an erotic urban fiction written by Can’Di.

Jasmine is deeply in love with Derrick. After a painful break-up with her ex-boyfriend Marcus, Jasmine is determined to make her relationship with Derrick work. On his part, Derrick is just as in love with Jasmine as she is with him. However, he wants more which he can get from somewhere or someone else especially if that someone else is just around.

Jasmine’s best friend Lykeysha is more than what she is in Jasmine’s eyes. She is ambitious. She knows what she wants and she has what it takes to get it, even if what she wants belongs to someone else.

Marcus lost Jasmine because of one night of indiscretion. Now that Jasmine is with someone else, all he wants is for her to be happy. He loves her more than she knew and he is willing to be anything she needs him to be, a friend, a lover, a protector. However, there is something about his life that he could not tell her.

This is an intriguing and suspenseful book about envy, jealousy, revenge, and true love. The conflict is introduced early in the story which makes it a page-turner. Though the plot is not extraordinarily unique, the twists and turns of events make the book different from other stories with the same premise. Characters are well-developed and relatable and the readers would find it easy to connect with each of them. With her twisted way of looking at things, Lykeysha is every bit the villainess. She is despicable and, somehow, pitiful in her pathetic view of her self-importance.

Admittedly, I enjoyed this book more than I expected. It is interesting and unpredictable in that it is difficult to guess what would happen next. However, other readers, especially non-native English speakers, may find the use of the vernacular language a bit difficult to follow. Moreover, scenes of sex and violence may not be suitable for young readers.

Congratulations to Can’Di on such an enjoyable book!

June 2, 2019

Kendle's Fire by Ryan Field

Kendle’s Fire is a touching and memorable book about friendship, family, and self-acceptance written by Ryan Field.

Kendle is a smart, handsome, and gay ex-Marine who looks every inch a straight guy. As far as he is concerned, he is a man. He acts as a man. He thinks as a man, and he never wants to be anything or anyone else aside from who and what he is.

However, just like any man, or woman, for that matter, Kendle has secrets, preferences and fetishes, which he could not talk about with just anyone but only with those people who are closest to him and accept him for everything he is. Among those people is his best friend Dale. Though Kendle and Dale’s relationship has no specific definition that is understandable to the public, what they have is something special.

Trying to figure out which way his life would go, Kendle applies for a new, albeit, an unlikely job which leads him to meeting a new guy and opens up new possibilities for him to consider. However, as unpredictable life is, an unfortunate event takes place that shakes the foundation that Kendle is trying to build.

This is a touching and memorable book. Though the plot is seemingly common with gay fiction, being discriminated and difficulties fitting in, what makes the book special is the depiction of the ultimate realization of what someone wants. The author successfully illustrates something very important which is the fact that some people do not want to be what they are not, just to be acknowledged and accepted. They want to be accepted for that they are. That, for me, is a very powerful message.

The book is told in a consistently conversational tone that makes it an easy read.  In addition, the author creates a set of delightful characters including Dale, Walter, and Kendle’s mother. Kendle, for me, is the ultimate protagonist. He knows what he is. He knows what he wants. And he chooses to live his life in his own terms.

Except for some noticeable errors, I enjoyed this book a lot.

Congratulations to Ryan Field on such an enjoyable book! For more books by the author, click HERE.

May 26, 2019

Old Baggage by Toni Kief

Old Baggage: It’s Never Too Late for a New Beginning is an interesting contemporary fiction written by Toni Kief.

It seems like an ordinary day for the Donovans, with Brad being his usual abusive self and Elizabeth playing her usual submissive role. What makes this day different, however, is that Elizabeth finally, after forty nine miserable years of marriage, fights back.

Surprising even herself, Elizabeth pulls out her suitcase and walks out of the only life she has ever known. However, contrary to what Brad thinks that she is a helpless, dependent, and stupid old woman, Elizabeth has so many cards up her sleeve and she has the astonishing strength and courage to use them to start a new life. But first, Elizabeth has to deal with a painful secret in her past before she could settle wherever she chooses and live her life on her own terms.

This is a very enjoyable book with sixty two chapters and told in the first person perspective of an amazing and remarkable old woman. Though the plot seems familiar with the protagonist, a victim of domestic abuse, having enough of the shitty life she has, the preparations Elizabeth has made as she waited for ‘the day’ would pique the interest of the readers, especially the female readers. Moreover, how she faces her new life, taking one baby step at a time away from her old, will make the readers cheer her on as she finds her way very slowly but with unwavering resolve and childlike wonder for the things she could actually do that she never imagined she could.

Needless to say, I enjoyed this book a lot. The plot is delightfully unpredictable and there are so many endearing characters. First of them, of course, is Elizabeth herself, the brave, kind, funny, and smart old woman who proves that age really doesn’t  matter and that every day is an opportunity to start a new life. And though I was expecting a different conclusion to the story, I still find the ending satisfyingly conclusive.     

However, though the paranormal part seems to make the story interesting, I, personally, believe that its exclusion wouldn’t make the book less so. Moreover, I noticed some errors within the entire book that detract from the overall reading experience.

Congratulations to Toni Kief (@tonikayk1) on such a great book! It is a depiction of woman empowerment at its best.

For more books by the author, click HERE.   

May 15, 2019

Obsession Made Me Do It by Nychol Munroe

Obsession Made Me Do It is an intriguing urban fiction and the first in the three-book series of the same title created by Nychol Munroe.  

Founder of the Brix and Brix Realty, one of the most notable real estate brands in Miami, Iman Brix is the epitome of a successful entrepreneur. With a thriving business and an overprotective husband, Iman seems to have a wonderful life. That is until she discovers something about her husband. More than the betrayal itself is whom he is doing it with that breaks Iman’s heart into a million pieces.

Not someone to give up that easy, Iman is determined to fight for what is rightfully hers. She steps up and reaches out to someone who, she believes, wants the same thing she does. Iman is yet to find out what her actions would lead to.

An intriguing urban fiction that features African Americans, the book has fifteen chapters with a healthy amount of erotic scenes. By placing the conflict at the beginning of the story, the author makes the book a real-deal page-turner. Though the premise is seemingly common, the twists and turns make the plot excitingly unpredictable. The predominant use of the vernacular language among the characters makes the story sound realistic.

I enjoyed this book immensely. It is intriguing, exciting, and suspenseful. I find the characters easily relatable with their flaws, weaknesses, wrong decisions, and wrong choices in life.  

However, readers who prefer more conclusive endings may find the cliffhanger a bit off-putting, otherwise, they may move on to the second book in the series.

Congratulations to Nychol Munroe on such an exciting book! For more books by the author, click HERE.