A House of Rage and Sorrow eARC Review

Hey everyone! So, after recovering from the heartbreak of reading A House of Rage and Sorrow, I figured I would bring a review since it’s finally hit the shelves!

If you haven’t read the first book in this, The Celestial Trilogy, I’ve provided a review of that for you as well.

If you’ve read it already and don’t want to hear me fangirl scream about it, well, then, keep scrolling down past it to hear me fangirl about the second book.

This is also my first time using my affiliate links, so please note that they are used in this post, but they run no cost to you, simply makes me a happy caffeine riddled reader if you purchase a book using my link.

Also, Kal is completely to blame for me reading these, her amazing review of A Spark of White Fire made me buy the book and then I just had to read book 2, A House of Rage and Sorrowonce more because of her.

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

GoodReads:
In a universe of capricious gods, dark moons, and kingdoms built on the backs of spaceships, a cursed queen sends her infant daughter away, a jealous uncle steals the throne of Kali from his nephew, and an exiled prince vows to take his crown back.

Raised alone and far away from her home on Kali, Esmae longs to return to her family. When the King of Wychstar offers to gift the unbeatable, sentient warship Titania to a warrior that can win his competition, she sees her way home: she’ll enter the competition, reveal her true identity to the world, and help her famous brother win back the crown of Kali.

It’s a great plan. Until it falls apart.

Inspired by the Mahabharata and other ancient Indian stories, A Spark of White Fire is a lush, sweeping space opera about family, curses, and the endless battle between jealousy and love.

Purchase Link

Amazon UK | Amazon US

My Review

This book is a siren among books, it drags you in the moment you read the first chapter, and that is it, you’re hooked. Your life? It’s over.

Seriously, I remained enthralled and entranced by Mandanna’s style and worldbuilding.

Do you like worldbuilding?

Then trust me when I say she’s a pro at it. She does it while never overwhelming you with details or deterring from the plot, or the characters.

It’s a world of gods, spaceships, and kingdoms.

The characters are great, you love every single one of the cinnamon rolls, and even those that are hard to love, I at least appreciated the work that went into them. Mandanna fleshes out her characters so that those who are ‘stars’ feel intimate to a reader.

Right away I was a huge fan of Esmae, but unfortunately, Rama stole her thunder for me. They have the type of best friend relationship that I at least aspire to keep up with, and not to mention that it is one built most importantly on mutual trust. Rama is a true friend.

And if I start talking about Titania now, I won’t stop until book three is released but she is a brilliant character in her own right if not the actual best character.

There’s so many complex familial relationships and it’s what sets it apart from other Space Operas in my opinion [That and I’ve never read one inspired by the Mahabharata]. It feels real because of the relationships between characters and the romance though present, doesn’t steal the spotlight from what Mandanna wants to convey to us.

And the inkling of foreshadowing about certain things is so well done, I see what you did there, Mandanna, with a certain scene with a certain ‘no longer relevant’ name.

I want to be more thorough but at this point my notes just say, and I quote, ‘AHH NO! *Spoiler which I won’t include* I cannot believe it! Just let me sob here int he corner’

If this doesn’t inspire you to read it, I don’t know what will.

I was able to finally take this off my tbr thanks to Kal having done her #Sparkalong

Honestly, it was perfection to read, and I don’t know how I managed to wait at all for the sequel.

 

Speaking of which, now for the main attraction of today

 

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

GoodReads:
One kingdom. One crown. One family.

“Maybe it’s time the great House of Rey came to an end. After all, what are we now? Just a house of rage and sorrow.”

Esmae once wanted nothing more than to help her golden brother win the crown of Kali but that dream died with her best friend. Alexi broke her heart, and she vowed to destroy him for it. And with her sentient warship Titania beside her, how can she possibly fail?

As gods, beasts, and kingdoms choose sides, Alexi seeks out a weapon more devastating than even Titania. Past lives threaten the present. Old enemies claim their due. And Esmae cannot outrun the ghosts and the questions that haunt her. What really happened to her father? What was the third boon her mother asked of Amba? For in the shadows, lurking in wait, are secrets that will swallow her whole.

The House of Rey is at war. And the entire galaxy will bleed before the end.

Purchase Link

Amazon UK | Amazon US

My Review

Do you want to know how you know a book is an excellent read? When you call the author a breeder of heartache.

Screen Shot 2019-09-17 at 7.29.06 PM

 

She has no shame, look at her, liking all the heartache she’s caused me lol.

Anyway!

This book picks up shortly after where we left off, anything that happened between the end of the first book and the start of the second is run over, and she doesn’t give you a huge time gap either so all in all it’s a really tidy start to the road of broken hearts.

The complex amazing familial relationships only get more complex, though, I mean I hold a torch for Bear, who I just want to sign up for baking classes and let him be happy.

Esmae’s ties to her immediate family are strained, Alexi has destroyed his golden child image, yet she feels as if she’s the only one who cares that he’s proven himself unhonourable. She’s been put on a path of revenge and not even Max or Titania can stop her.

Realizing that revenge has tainted her in a way, she pulls away from relationships both friendly or otherwise and it hurts so much to watch her do that.

Watching her try to comprehend what’s happened and what she’s become is enough to make your eyes a tad leaky, and Amba proves to be just like … words can’t describe it without spoiling it, so I won’t. But my eyes are leaking again.

Also.

Kyra can go fly a kite. I hated her in book one, the hate DOES NOT lessen in this book. *Looks at Kyra* YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID.

We find out so much more about Max, and even about Esmae’s family. There are enough shocking points in this book that I wrote ‘holy shit’ more than once. A couple of things were verified but they were so tiny in the grand scheme of at least one or two plot twists.

Also, there’s more Titania which, let’s face it, who doesn’t need more Titania in your life. And her character development is done so well. SO WELL.

The war loomed in the background in the previous book but it pushes its way forward, though some have hoped that it wouldn’t come to it, there was no other way.

Esmae will take drastic measures, she will stop at nothing to achieve what she thinks should be done. She goes so much further than I ever thought possible. Again, having to be vague to avoid spoilers.

This ending is EPIC and it will RUIN YOU. DO YOU HEAR ME?! RUIN YOU!

I’m not sure what I’m meant to do with myself until book 3, but here we have it, I’m shattered and this book was amazing.

I probably sound like some overlyhyped junkie trying to push some drugs, but, guys, this was perfection and I loved it.

**Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for an eARC of this in exchange for my honest opinion.**

 

About the Author

Sangu Mandanna was four years old when an elephant chased her down a forest road and she decided to write her first story about it. Seventeen years and many, many manuscripts later, she signed her first book deal. Sangu now lives in Norwich, a city in the east of England, with her husband and kids.

Author Links

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

 

 

A Superior Spectre – Blog Tour

A_Superior_Spectre_cover.jpg

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

Blurb:
“A brilliant, deeply unsettling work.” Books + Publishing
Jeff is dying. Haunted by memories and grappling with shame, he runs away to a remote part of Scotland with a piece of beta tech that allows him to enter the mind of someone in the past. Instructed to only use it three times, Jeff – self-indulgent, isolated and deteriorating – ignores this advice.
In the late 1860s, Leonora lives in the Scottish Highlands, surrounded by nature. Contemplating the social conventions that bind her, her contented life and a secret romantic friendship with the local laird are interrupted when her father sends her to stay with her aunt in Edinburgh. But Leonora’s ability to embrace her new life is shadowed by a dark presence that begins to lurk behind her eyes, and strange visions.
A Superior Spectre is a novel about curiosity, entitlement and manipulation. It reminds us that the scariest ghosts aren’t the ones that go bump in the night, but those that are born and create a place for themselves in the human soul.

Book Information:
By: Angela Meyer
Published by: Saraband Books
Publication Date: August 15, 2019
Price: £8.99
GoodReads

Where to Buy

Amazon UK

 

My Review

Content/Trigger Warnings: [My apologies on slacking on these lately] This has molestation & child molestation, abuse, thoughts of pedophilia, death and brief suicidal thoughts and a rough view of mental illnesses due to institutional care available in the Victorian era.

This is a book that is chilling and haunting in the most unexpected ways. Firstly it’s truly a blend of genres. It is a sci-fi yet also a historical fiction, and at the same time a horror/thriller in its own right. And while this may sound like a mess, it’s done SO well that it doesn’t feel like they’re all jumbled together.

Please bear in mind this is quite a heavy read due to its content but it’s actual length is not.

The two protagonists are completely different and though there’s not much to like about Jeff, it is possible to see why he has dipped into Leonora’s mind repeatedly.

Leonora is certainly the more sympathetic of the two characters, an unwilling host to a man whose thoughts have no place in her mind. She’s a woman who has loved animals and had a curiosity of sciences and anatomy, a woman that like many during her time, were ‘progressive’ in their wants knowledge. Still, she enjoys the simple life she’s had at her Father’s home and though Edinburgh has some interesting aspects, it’s still home she yearns for.

With everything she goes through, you truly want her to be free in every sense of the word, from Jeff, from expectations, from her family’s desires, and it’s her that I cheered for while reading.

The difficult premise though was put in a tasteful manner, because, unfortunately people like Jeff [and people much worse than Jeff] are a reality. I thought his story’s ending was completely fitting for him, and I didn’t hate him, but I certainly had a hard time sympathizing with him. That being said, the choices he made were in attempt to be something different than what he was and that was something to think about.

One of my favorite things Meyer did was to make this a spine tingling read, you felt like there was something always just out of sight, and it’s the sort of tension I like in a ‘scarier’ book.

A great read, but again, a heavy one. I give it four cups of coffee and if you think you can handle the premise, I recommend it, especially with October approaching if you want a spooky read.

Thank you to the publisher for a copy of this in exchange for an honest review

 

About the Author

 

Angela Meyer- credit Manda Ford .jpg

Angela Meyer’s Joan Smokes won the inaugural Mslexia Novella Competition in 2019. Her short fiction has been widely published, including in Best Australian Stories, Island, The Big Issue, The Australian, The Lifted Brow and Killings. By day she works as a publisher for Echo Publishing, an Australian imprint of Bonnier Books UK, and in this role has discovered and developed a range of award-winning, globally published and bestselling talent, including global number one bestselling author Heather Morris. A Superior Spectre, Angela’s debut novel, is already shortlisted for a number of prestigious awards.

 

The Rest of the Tour

SuS_blogtourposter FINAL

 

Lost Solace – Blog Tour

Lost Solace (cover)

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconhafrating

Blurb:
Sometimes spaceships disappear with everyone on board – the Lost Ships. But sometimes they come back, strangely altered, derelict, and rumoured to be full of horrors.
Opal is on a mission. She’s been seeking something her whole life. Something she is willing to die for. And she thinks it might be on a Lost Ship.
Opal has stolen Clarissa, an experimental AI-controlled spaceship, from the military. Together they have tracked down a Lost Ship, in a lonely nebula far from colonised space.
The Lost Ship is falling into the gravity well of a neutron star, and will soon be truly lost … forever. Legends say the ships harbour death, but there’s no time for indecision.
Opal gears up to board it. She’s just one woman, entering an alien and lethal environment. But perhaps with the aid of Clarissa’s intelligence – and an armoured spacesuit – Opal may stand a chance.

 

My Review

 

This was my first Drinkwater book and probably my second only ever Scifi thriller, and let me tell you, I was NOT disappointed!

The first thing that really caught my attention from the first page, was the amazing atmosphere that Drinkwater gives us.

Opal is this mysterious and intriguing character, and you want to know what motivates her through her decisions and actions for finding and going after the ‘lost ship.’

A lot of this reminded me of Metro 2033 in where you didn’t have to see what the ‘monsters’ were to be afraid, Drinkwater builds up this suspension and tension and even after knowing what some things look like, fear is built up in the unknown.

He weaves Opal’s motivations, her ship AI Clarissa, and the lost ship into this incredible story.

More on Opal, she is just this wonderful protagonist, she’s quick thinking and when you find out what motivates her, you only want to cheer her on even more. Not to mention I truly believe Drinkwater has a real talent for writing action scenes, which isn’t always easy with Scifi [in my opinion it’s way too easy to get too wordy and lose the thread of it all]. I was completely engrossed in Opal and every step she took.

But…

Clarissa the AI was my favorite. There’s just no way I couldn’t love her, I have a thing for awesome AI characters, they always end up being the ones I love best. She wasn’t supposed to be so ‘human’ like but whatever Opal did to her, and Opal’s unsure sometimes just what she accomplished, it turned her into an AI with a sense of humor and true concern for her human.

The ending only left me wanting to rush out and buy book two but I will have to wait for my book buying ban to be over, but be rest assured the moment I can buy it, I will because I am completely hooked and I know this review was more of a fangirl tirade. I’m sorry haha.

Lost Solace was a bit Mass Effect meets Metro 2033 for me and I couldn’t think of a more wonderful combination.

 

About the Author

thumbnail_Karl Drinkwater (author image).jpg

 

Karl Drinkwater is originally from Manchester but lived in Wales for twenty years, and now calls Scotland his home. He’s a full-time author, edits fiction for other writers, and was a professional librarian for over twenty-five years. He has degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science.
He writes in multiple genres: his aim is always just to tell a good story. Among his books you’ll find elements of literary and contemporary fiction, gritty urban, horror, suspense, paranormal, thriller, sci-fi, romance, social commentary, and more. The end result is interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.
When he isn’t writing he loves exercise, guitars, computer and board games, the natural environment, animals, social justice, cake, and zombies. Not necessarily in that order.

Author Links

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter

 

The Rest of the Tour

Lost Solace BT Poster .jpg

Favorite SciFi Books: The First Half Of 2019

Remember when I picked my favorite fantasy books that came out the first half of this year?

Okay so this is exactly the same but with SciFi lol, I know, I know, I’m a creative genius. So this only includes books that I’d read up until June, so some may have come out earlier but I didn’t read them cause I was lazy or whatever, who knows.

These aren’t in any particular order than rating, and sometimes I enjoy a book that has a lower rating, idk, my rating system is very complicated. [ie: I don’t really know what I’m doing]

Clicking on the headline will take you to my review, and I’ve included GoodReads links!

6. The Chosen: Contender #1

 

ratingiconratingiconratingiconhafrating

GoodReads:
Throughout history, people have vanished with no explanation. A group of teenagers are about to discover why.

Cade is settling into a new boarding school, contemplating his future, when he finds himself transported to another realm. He soon discovers their new world is populated with lost remnants from the past: prehistoric creatures, ancient relics, and stranger still — people. Overwhelmed by his new surroundings, Cade has little time to adjust, for soon he and his fellow classmates are forced to become contenders in a brutal game, controlled by mysterious overlords.

But who are these beings and why did they choose these teens? Cade must prepare for battle . . . because hiding is not an option.

 

5. The Crying Machine

 

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

GodReads:
A sharp, lyrical thriller of power, religion, and artificial intelligence.

The world has changed, but Jerusalem endures. Overlooked by new superpowers, the Holy City of the future is a haven of spies and smugglers, exiles and extremists.

A refugee with strange technological abilities searches for a place to disappear.

An ambitious young criminal plots the heist that could make or destroy him.

A corrupt minister harnesses the power of the past in a ruthless play for complete control.

And the wheels of another plan – as old and intricate as the city itself – begin to turn…

 

 

4. The Red Labyrinth

 

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

GoodReads:
The massive labyrinth was built to protect Zadie Kalver’s isolated desert town. Unfortunately, living in the maze’s shadow makes her feel anything but safe. Even without its enchanted deathtraps and illusions, a mysterious killer named Dex lurks in its corridors, terrorizing anyone in his path. 

But when Zadie’s best friend vanishes into the labyrinth-and everyone mysteriously forgets he exists- completing the maze becomes her only hope of saving him. In desperation, Zadie bribes the only person who knows the safe path through-Dex-into forming a tenuous alliance. 

Navigating a deadly garden, a lethal blood-filled hourglass, and other traps-with an untrustworthy murderer for her guide-Zadie’s one wrong step from certain death. But with time running out before her friend (and secret crush) is lost forever, Zadie must reach the exit and find him. If Dex and the labyrinth don’t kill her first.

 

3. The Disappeared

 

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

GoodReads:
What if reading the wrong book could get you arrested?

In a decaying city controlled by the First General and his army, expressing the wrong opinion can have terrible consequences. Clara Winter knows this better than anyone. When she was a child, her father was taken by the Authorisation Bureau for the crime of teaching banned books to his students. She is still haunted by his disappearance.

Now Clara teaches at the same university, determined to rebel against the regime that cost her family so much – and her weapons are the banned books her father left behind. But she has started something dangerous, something that brings her to the attention of the Authorisation Bureau and its most feared interrogator, Major Jackson. The same man who arrested Clara’s father.

With her rights stripped away, in a country where democracy has been replaced with something more sinister, will she be the next one to disappear?

 

2. The Fever King

 

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

GoodReads:
In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.
The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.
Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

 

1. Off Planet

 

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

GoodReads:
In an all-too-plausible future where corporate conglomerates have left the world’s governments in shambles, anyone with means has left the polluted Earth for the promise of a better life on a SpaceTech owned colony among the stars.

Maité Martinez is the daughter of an Earther Latina and a powerful Aunare man, an alien race that SpaceTech sees as a threat to their dominion. When tensions turn violent, Maité finds herself trapped on Earth and forced into hiding.

For over ten years, Maité has stayed hidden, but every minute Maité stays on Earth is one closer to getting caught.

She’s lived on the streets. Gone hungry. And found a way to fight through it all. But one night, while waitressing in a greasy diner, a customer gets handsy with her. She reacts without thinking.

Covered in blood, Maité runs, but it’s not long before SpaceTech finds her…

Arrested and forced into dangerous work detail on a volcano planet, Maité waits for SpaceTech to make their move against the Aunare. She knows that if she can’t somehow find a way to stop them, there will be an interstellar war big enough to end all life in the universe.

There’s only one question: Can Maité prevent the total annihilation of humanity without getting herself killed in the process?

 

 

What are some of your scifi faves of 2019 so far? Anything you recommend?

Charity Shop Haul

So…

It’s been a minute with this. To be fair it’s because we go shopping so often for books in charity shops that it would be too repetitive on the blog, so, here we are, and I’ve just gathered up some of my favorite buys recently so that I can share them.

IMG-4575.JPG

IMG-4573.JPG

IMG-4572.JPG

IMG-4571.JPG

IMG-4570.JPG

Most of these were 50P! The Lord of the Rings was 5, but the retail is 35, sooo I didn’t do too shabby! That means my old school LotR movie book with all three is now donated, and I also had an older cover of Maze Runner but now that I have matching covers, well, that’s gone to donation as well! I’ve also been wanting the Magnus Bane Chronicles but I had one on the kindle and it was one they were sold separately so I like this much better, looks like that’s one ebook I don’t have to keep on the Kindle anymore. I know. I have a problem.

I’m also going through my books once again, it’s time to clear some out now that we’re moving. It’s about time too as I really should be conscious of what books I might never read. I don’t plan on doing a huge cull, just taking into account what I truly never plan on reading, haha, that way someone else has a chance to read it.

It’s time for me to dive back into the neverending TBR. [Sidenote: Why you approve things so last minute NetGalley people? Do you hate me??]

Tell me what deals/books you’ve bought lately!

Forever People


ratingiconratingiconratingiconhafrating

GoodReads Blurb: Welcome to Zeta City, where the whole world goes to die. Here, the Node System uploads the minds of the dying so they can spend eternity in a digital Promised Land. But, this cyber heaven is causing hell on earth for the living because the System forces them to earn Points to buy data in the afterlife.
Camille is a salty mercenary out to hoard as many Points as possible by exploiting the dying with illegal technology. She’s on the hunt for Toy, a rebel leader who uploaded lethal technology to her own brain in an attempt to wipe out everyone’s Node Points.
Camille goes to increasingly dangerous lengths in pursuit of Toy. She soon finds that the Node is full of warm reunions with loved ones and otherworldly creations. It’s also full of lies.

Hi there guys! So today, as you can see from my post header, I am part of a blog tour for Forever People with R&R Book Tours and I’m here to lay down a review for you all. But first here’s a taster for the book.

Excerpt:
Chapter One
CAMILLE
Camille had three kinds of clients: those who were trying to extract funds or rare items from someone else before they died, those looking to find a loved one before they died, and regulars with a myriad of shady reasons for needing repeated, illegal services. Wren Barrett was Camille’s favorite type of the three. He was a balding account manager, from the Delta Zone, who’d come to Zeta City to find his son. Like most others arriving in Zeta for the first time, he was ill-equipped, soft, and confused.
He washed up in Camille’s office like a beached manatee: gasping for air and bleached by the sun. Her office walls were stark white, as was her desk and other furniture, and even the floor, giving the woman herself the appearance of a smudge on a piece of blank paper.
Camille wore a grey tank top, black shorts, and she was unadorned aside from her wrist mounted reality augmentation device. The device’s long touch-sensitive screen and pad ran down her forearm; her RAP was an impressive piece of technology that marked her as wealthy and well connected. She also had a mop of frizzy, black hair that hung raggedly around her ears.
While Wren Barrett spoke, Camille sipped on an orange juice box straw and watched him closely. Mr. Barrett’s son was dying. Sashi Barrett was born dying, even more so than the rest of us. Sashi had a heart condition that made life a painful struggle. So, Sashi did what many people from all over the world do when they want to die; he came to Zeta City.
Zeta City was the capital of the Zeta Net, so-called because the entire area was covered by a wireless network designed to upload people’s consciousness at the time of death and store it in the Node’s massive computer system. Zeta was not the only Net, there were dozens of others, but many people chose Zeta because Zeta was the first netted city in the world.
Generations of people made pilgrimages to Zeta before the other Nets were built, and now some people superstitiously clung to it as the place to go to die. Maybe it was because Zeta gave the world the first promise of a tangible afterlife. “Going to die in Zeta” was the new “going to church on Sunday.”
“You can find Sashi?” Mr. Barrett asked sadly, “you can keep him alive?”
“I can find him and keep him alive, more or less, until you’re ready to let him go into the Node. I accept cash and other forms of payment. You know what I mean,” Camille said.
“Of course. I’ll transfer two-thousand Node Points to you, as a thank you for your service, along with four hundred in cash. Does that work?”
“No rush. We’ll sort it once it’s over, Wren.”
When Camille stood up to shake Mr. Barrett’s hands, he was surprised to see that she that she was a thick woman with large breasts and the hint of a belly. He was expecting a fit, muscled mercenary. Then he realized, there was no reason for her to be fit, most of her bounties couldn’t run away. . . . .
Camille found Sashi, who was a boy – twenty at the most – in an alley two blocks from the Water Street Gate, in an area known for drug abuse and homelessness. He was a heap of bones and in dirty, Central Charity-issued clothes. His method of suicide, a drawn-out opiate overdose, was not doing him any favors. Camille double-checked the hologram on her wrist RAP to verify his identity, and then crouched next to him.
“You wanna tell me why you’re trying to die?” Camille asked him softly. He took a moment to answer. It was clear that he hadn’t carried on a conversation for quite some time.
“Death in the Node has got to be better than life here.” He struggled.
Her suicidal bounties always gave some form of that same statement as their reason for killing themselves.
“You got enough Node Points, kiddo? Don’t want to die without enough of those NPs.” Camille always asked her dying bounties some form of that question. It turned out that Sashi had more than enough Node Points to have a comfortable afterlife. The wealth that afforded his addiction would also support him in death. It wasn’t supposed to work that way, that wasn’t how the Founders set it up, but the Founders were long gone down the Node’s rabbit hole.
“Do you want to see your dad before you go? He’s the one who sent me,” Camille asked. Sashi’s dull eyes lit up, and faded just as fast.
“I won’t make it through the hour,” he mumbled.
“It’s okay. I have a Confiner.” Camille tapped her wrist RAP. She called Mr. Barrett and then hovered over Sashi in the alley for the rest of the afternoon. The device within her wrist RAP stabilized the electronic version of Sashi’s mind inside his body, and it would last as long as she was close to him. Once she turned off the Confiner or moved away from the deceased, his consciousness would release into the Net and, eventually, be uploaded into the Node. The technology wasn’t above the table, but it was also quite rare.
Camille would have preferred moving Sashi to her place, which functioned as an office, apartment, and an occasional hospice, but he did not want to move and she was compelled to accommodate the dying. Sashi did die before his father came, forcing Camille to use the Confiner.
Camille often chased after debtors and thieves who were trying to die before they could be seized. She would hold them, in their dead, damaged bodies until they resolved their issues with their victims or creditors. But some days, like that day with Sashi, were just sad and slow. On these days, Camille felt like an angel, guiding the broken home.
She stood about fifteen feet away from Mr. Barrett and his dead son (the farthest that the Confiner could reach and still hold the dead in place) as they spoke softly and tearfully. The boy’s mother, who had been estranged from both of them, showed up.
Afterward, Camille went home to her apartment, which was on the other side of a door in the back of her office. She left the clinical, white room for the for the chaos and color of her own apartment. She checked her wrist RAP to make sure that Mr. Barrett had transferred the promised Points. Satisfied, she unhooked the device from her wrist and set it on her coffee table. She sat down on her sofa and cried for several minutes before tearfully ordering wild mushroom soup and crusty bread from her favorite diner.
The next morning, Camille received a call from her least favorite kind of client, a regular named Cody. He wanted Camille to extract a young woman, named Toy, from an old cabin on the edge of Zeta’s bayou and bring her to Camille’s office, if possible. Otherwise, Camille was to confine Toy in place until Cody arrived.

My Review:

Forever People has just the sort of juicy sci-fi almost dystopia premise that I just love. The real world is the pits, no better than what we have here and now, but there’s a glimmer of hope, collect your Node Points and have an amazing afterlife with everything you could ever wish for, as long as you have the right amount of points, right?

Camille has been collecting an almost obscene amount of Node Points, or NPs as they’re called, and she has her own reasons for wanting so many, aside from a cushy afterlife of course. This leads her to take on a lot of jobs others wouldn’t, including hunting down Toy.

Unfortunately, this is one job that may just be too much and Camille is forced to push at the boundaries of what is perceived to be possible. Will she travel to the Node, and what will she find out when she gets there?

This is a great paced book, it’s all go from page one and I truly love Camille, she enjoys eating and doesn’t care what others think and let me tell you, food might be my soulmate, so I’ve connected on a deeply spiritual level with Camille. There’s also a great cast of characters surrounding her and everyone serves their purpose even if you don’t’ think they do. There was one character I wasn’t even sure why they were included when suddenly in one chapter Lyke connects all the dots leaving you going ‘oh..OOOOooh!’

I think that the world building could have been explored more, and maybe gotten a bit more into Camille’s psyche. Though my biggest complaint would maybe be that I felt the ending was too abrupt, that with a little tweaking on how it worked it would have been perfect and I did enjoy the direction it went into so really I can’t complain very much at all.

This was a thoroughly creative work on Lyke’s part and it reminded me a lot of Ready Player One meets Surrogates which is pretty brilliant because while those are what I would compare Forever People to, Forever People is something all its own and completely unique to me. I also love the twist I thought it was SO appropriate.

Wrapping this up, if you want to have a neat sci-fi novel with Node Points that affect your afterlife and a very cool glimpse into this afterlife with a strong quirky female protagonist, then let me be the first to recommend Forever People.

3.5/5 Cups of Coffee from me!

About the Author:


I’m an author and an English and Communications professor from Rochester, NY. I’m an insatiable reader and a dedicated writer. I’ve spent many years honing my skills and I now enjoy helping others find and explore their own voices. I write fantasy and science fiction and I aim to captivate and inspire. I’ve written two published novels: a modern mythology titled Honey, which came out in 2013 and Forever People, a cyberpunk science fiction slated to come out in the spring of 2019. I also regularly contribute poetry and short stories to literary magazines.

Interested in reading it yourself? (Links not affiliated)

Links:
Website: http://www.alisonlyke.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlisonLyke
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alisonlykewriting/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7143718.Alison_Lyke
Purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/Forever-People-Alison-Lyke/dp/1684332400

Want a chance to get it for free? Click on the Rafflecopter link below which will open a new tab to the giveaway.

Digital copy of the book, a Rafflecopter Giveaway

Thank you R&R Book Tours and Alison Lyke for the opportunity to read this fun book! I did receive it for free in exchange for an honest review, I have not been paid nor has my review been affected by this.

Blog Tour ScheduleForeverPeople (1).jpg

April 22nd

Reads & Reels (Excerpt) https://readsandreels.com/

Sophril Reads (Excerpt) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

Yearwood La Novella (Excerpt) http://yearwooddailybookreview.wordpress.com

Stacy is Reading (Review) https://stacyisreading.blogspot.com/?m=0

The Caffeinated Reader (Review) https://www.thecaffeinatedreader.com

April 23rd

Audio Killed the Bookmark (Excerpt) http://audiokilledthebookmark.wordpress.com

Susy’s Cozy World (Review) https://susyscozyworld.wordpress.com/

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

April 24th

Ity Reads Books (Excerpt) http://www.ityreadsbooks.home.blog

J Bronder Reviews (Excerpt) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Excerpt) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Speedy Reader (Review) https://speedyreadercom.wordpress.com

April 25th

Breakeven Books (Excerpt) https://breakevenbooks.com

B is For Book Review (Excerpt) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

April 26th

Llissa’s Book Reviews (Excerpt) http://llissasbookviews.wordpress.com

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Excerpt) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

Jessica Rachow (Review) http://jessicarachow.wordpress.com

  Sawdust & Spoons (Review) http://sawdustandspoons.com/

Blog Tour Organized By
R&R Button.jpg
R&R Book Tours
Link: http://rrbooktours.com

The Crying Machine eARC Review

Hey guys, I know, two reviews in a row. I have a good reason though! This book’s publish birthday is tomorrow AND I have BESpring19 posts to do cause the other hosts were on point with their prompts and I wanna do so many.


ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

GoodReads Blurb: 

A sharp, lyrical thriller of power, religion, and artificial intelligence.

The world has changed, but Jerusalem endures. Overlooked by new superpowers, the Holy City of the future is a haven of spies and smugglers, exiles and extremists.

A refugee with strange technological abilities searches for a place to disappear.

An ambitious young criminal plots the heist that could make or destroy him.

A corrupt minister harnesses the power of the past in a ruthless play for complete control.

And the wheels of another plan – as old and intricate as the city itself – begin to turn…

I’ll be honest, I was hesitant after the first chapter, wondering what I’d gotten myself into but I kept on and the other chapters were still a bit ‘hmm’ for me until about 30 pages in and then it all just clicked, Chivers had me hooked.

The premise was already right up my alley, Sci-Fi/Dystopia and I’m always a sucker for books about AI (or movies or anything else lol).

Clementine is a nugget and I want to protect her with all my heart and hiss at anyone who gets near her.

But, not to go crazy and mention a whole bunch of names that will mean nothing to you all, let’s start small.

The story switches between three characters, each chapter is told in the first person and no two chapters in a row are from the same perspective/character. The characters are Silas, Levi, and Clementine who I’ve already mentioned. It’s fun to have the perspective go from one of the ‘good guys’ to the corrupt minister and I really enjoyed that. The story is set in Jerusalem and I like that the reason it is, is because the Mechanicals/Machines have taken over Europe and the US. This means that the people coming to Jerusalem from those people are mostly refugees and that’s a pretty interesting take. As this is set in the future, Jerusalem’s history is mentioned but nothing is in depth on it, which is pretty good for this particular book, I applaud Chivers on balancing that well enough. He doesn’t try to write about what he doesn’t know as far as setting the book in a different country goes and that’s always a nice and refreshing thing, and his own take remains in our futuristic world he’s built.

I would have enjoyed more of his world building for this dystopia setting and that was probably my biggest let down in this novel. But this is more character driven and not only that but the plot doesn’t need you to know more than what he gives.

Overall this book really touched on humanity, showing an AI hybrid what it means to be human, and along the way perhaps a few others learn the meaning too [such as our ambitious criminal] and though there is talk about religion it’s not to shove it in your face, it’s part of the ties to the past and I really LOVED that there is a religion based off worshipping machines, and not to mention God is referred to with she/her in this so, I’m already like ‘damn straight’ lol.

The minor characters were interesting as well and I can say Yusuf and Amos were my favorites in that regard but I won’t give away too many details.

Really loved this and was so satisfied when I finished, it was an unexpected favorite for me.

Time for the breakdown.

Pros:
– Future with intricate levels of technology incorporated into humans.
– Insightful, makes you think about what humanity means in the world this book is set
– Clementine is a wonderful nugget
– Religion is interesting in this day and age but it doesn’t shove it in your face constantly
– Character depth in small and unexpected ways
– You get to see the point of view of the bad guy, pretty fun
– Jerusalem is the place where people flee, and I love that mechanicals are not fond of it, machines do not love sand, and Europe and the US are paying for the advanced technology that US brought upon the world

Cons:
– First few chapters are a little awkward
– At first, the setting isn’t what it seems, it’s not so sci-fi and dystopia that you can clearly read that the first couple of chapters. [Personally, I liked that after I got over the little hump]
– Sometimes you just didn’t want to switch POVs so much
– Not enough background information which may affect someone’s enjoyment of the book.

[***I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.***]