Off Balance – Cover Reveal

 

Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for the chance to do this cover reveal!! I am a huge fan of Off Planet and you can find my fangirl review of it, here. It’s also made my top SciFi reads for the first half of 2019. I really, truly, loved the first book and I cannot wait to read book 2, like, bring it, hurry up February!!!!

Anyway, now for the cover reveal:

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Synopsis:
Broken, beaten-down, and plagued by nightmares, Amihanna di Aetes is surrounded by the Aunare race that makes up the other half of her heritage, but she feels alien amongst them. She’s not sure which is worse: SpaceTech’s overt hatred of Aunare or the Aunare’s covert hatred of halfers. She hears their whispers whenever she enters a room and sees her death reflected in their eyes. Amihanna doesn’t know who to trust anymore, but she hasn’t survived this long by ignoring the warning signs all around her, especially when her instincts are screaming that a familiar choice is coming: flee or fight.
Her parents assure her everything is okay—that there won’t be any reason for her to fight, let alone flee—but with Amihanna’s sudden return, questions arise among the Aunare: who should be blamed for the start of a full-scale war with SpaceTech, how much danger will the war bring, and is Amihanna truly fit to be the next high queen?
Honestly, Amihanna wants to forget all the politics, her betrothal to Lorne, and the possibility of being queen. Her needs are much more basic. All she wants is a solid night’s sleep where she doesn’t wake up screaming with the phantom pain of her skin burning. All she needs is to live without fear of a mob tearing her away from her family. All she hopes for is a chance to dream of a future instead of constantly fighting for her right to live.
And yet, somehow, everything she does leads her back to Lorne. He always seems to know when she’s about to break under the pressures of her new life. His quiet patience is wearing Amihanna’s protective walls down, and she’s terrified of what will happen if they fall.
Book Information:
Title: Off Balance
Written by: Aileen Erin
(Aunare Chronicles #2)
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: February 11th 2020
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
GoodReads Link

Pre-Order Links

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Giveaway

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About the Author

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Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd–from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.

Author Links

Website | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

The Organizer

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Mini Review Day


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On April 5th, 1948, Gold met Kennig…

Inspired by the true story of a WWII marine and the love of his life, Christopher M. Struck has crafted a haunting tale of love, devotion, sacrifice…and betrayal.

Daniel Kennig only has one ambition: to be the greatest singer to have ever lived. While headlining at a mid-tier nightclub in Manhattan he meets Cynthia Gold. Smitten with the golden-haired heiress, the young couple begin a romantic rendezvous at the possible expense of his career.

My Review

**Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the eARC copy, my honest review has been given in exchange below.**

This book was a sweet concept but it fell a little flat for me. I think it was actually Kennig who just didn’t seem fleshed out enough for my personal preference but Gold was very intriguing and I did love that Kennig was a male singer and model at one point, something a little different! The book is done in sweet flashbacks and moments in the present. The writing style is easy to read and I really enjoyed reading about their travels and the tour. A nice heartfelt read for those it can appeal to.

To me it just felt on the verge of going deeper but never daring to, and I think that’s what slightly disappointed me. Not to mention the part that seemed ‘flattest’ to me was Gold himself, and I was unsure how to take the advice he gave our Journalist friend who acts as the go between, between present time and the past through the letters he reads.

That is one thing I did enjoy, that it was the Journalist reading letters to reveal the past and Gold himself filling in the necessary blanks when needed.

This does have a bit of a religious undertone just as a warning for those who may not enjoy that, it wasn’t the theme of the book nor was it overriding the plot, just part of the story.

 


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“Vivid, gripping and actually riveting as the Red Danger takes a whole new meaning here. Loved it.” —The Book Smugglers

It is the waning days of the Russian monarchy. A reckless man rules the land and his dragons rule the sky. Though the Tsar aims his dragons at his enemies—Jews and Bolsheviks—his entire country is catching fire. Conspiracies suffuse the royal court: bureaucrats jostle one another for power, the mad monk Rasputin schemes for the Tsar’s ear, and the desperate queen takes drastic measures to protect her family.

Revolution is in the air—and the Red Army is hatching its own weapons.

Discover Russia’s October Revolution, reimagined in flight by the acclaimed mother-and-son writing team of the Locus Award-winning novel, Pay the Piper, and the Seelie Wars series.

My Review

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

An interesting take on history and use of metaphors, I did believe though that there was more research needed on the historical and linguistic aspects of the novel. Overall I thought it was creative and intriguing, but of course as a novella there is only so much that can be revealed in such a short time frame. I would say that if you’re interested in Russian revolutionary history and don’t mind a large reach of creative license, then it is worth the quick read.

I do love that the other dragons were red, thought that was quite clever and got a chuckle out of me.

The novel is allegorical and I enjoyed that part, I would have loved to give this a higher rating but I couldn’t knowing that there was quite a bit wrong with the linguistics, and though it is fiction, the note at the back like another review mentioned, forgets to add that one of the daughters of Tsar is entirely fictional in this book and not at all a real person. Most of history reads of the nonfiction variety are Russian Revolution books so I’m a bit of a stickler for this.

The fact that the dragons show the same power just different colors is an important message the authors did deliver pretty well in my opinion. It wasn’t a bad read, just that I hoped for more. I think though that this had some really great ideas and I enjoyed Rasputin’s chapters the most.

 


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A young man struggling to forge his own path… A priestess forced to conceive an heir… A forbidden love…

Captured in a sweep of beings from Earth to aid planet Remeon’s dying society, Jack is plagued by deep ceded deception and mind control from those on the planet who seek to dictate the end of life choices of their citizens.

Sides are chosen as ancient magical powers thought to be long dead align to intervene in the fate of the two young lovers forcing a chain of events in motion that cannot be undone.

Truths will be destroyed. Myths will find life. Whose ultimate power will reign?

My Review

Thank you so much the publisher for letting me read this for free via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Garrett has some really interesting ideas, and I love that the time period for our hero was in the time of the building of the Hoover Dam. I felt her writing was strongest during the historical side, and though I loved the ideas she had, I think there maybe too many. A lot of times it felt like a whole jumble of ideas on spin cycle and you weren’t sure which one was supposed to be the main one or which was important at all. I think though that there’s a lot of promise in Garrett’s writing style and the story had some very tender moments which I appreciated. The style of the sci-fi writing was pretty ‘classic’ and it reminded me a little of ‘Dune’ in style and ideas but there wasn’t the same strength behind it. The ending was done well and it left it open ended enough that you hope she writes another but if she doesn’t, you’re still left hoping haha.

Unfortunately the love didn’t feel tangible to me between the two characters romantically and that was a struggle to read through. It was insta-love and it was badly done insta-love, I could not find it in me to believe they had a relationship at all and it went amazingly fast in terms of pacing. Maybe it’s because I’m a slow mover but I was slightly panicked for them! Also they were like 16 year olds deciding to have a child together while practicing magic and one is human and one is not. It’s just a lot to take in.

Slightly disappointed the alien’s only difference physically was that she had silver hair.

The friendship between Harry and Jack also feels very fabricated though the friendship between Jack and Sam is very genuine and the best part of the story, hands down.

The things i did like were Garrett’s time period choice, the basic premise, I mean it’s classic, alien abduction, I loved it, and the fact that she went with old school sci-fi. The problems with old school sci-fi though are pretty deep, and Garrett’s seemed to be slightly tinged with one its problems, sexism.

 


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Assassin’s Creed meets Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in this gripping, epic fantasy romance trilogy.
My heart wasn’t part of the deal when I bargained for my life,
But assassins so rarely keep their word.
Exiled Charmer Leena Edenfrell is running out of time. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts-an offense punishable by death-and now there’s a price on her head. With the realm’s most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes Noc an offer he can’t refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.
Plagued by a curse that kills everyone he loves, Noc agrees to Leena’s terms in hopes of finding a cure. Never mind that the dark magic binding the assassin’s oath will eventually force him to choose between Leena’s continued survival…and his own.
In a game of trust and half-lies, only one thing can be certain: traps capture more than beasts and ensnared hearts are impossible to untangle.

My Review

**I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my HONEST opinion.**

This book was such an unexpected joy to read. Though labeled as sci-fi it did remind me more of steampunk fantasy, and you’ll hear no complaints out of me because that’s the aspect I loved best! Honestly, the beasts were so interesting and I love the way Martineau describes them, she’s got a talent for descriptive writing without overwhelming with details. Leena is a great character and the whole cast is except and somewhat diverse in LGBTQ rep which was really nice. It’s not often we get a bisexual male main character like Noc, another great character that is a delighted balance to Leena. The side characters are fleshed out well and I might have enjoyed them more than even Leena and Noc! And don’t get me started on the plot, it was great and I cannot wait to see what happens in book 2.

It is a slow burn romance and never loses sight of the plot and really it made it such a great read for me, the pacing was wonderful both in action and romance and the world is lush and creative. Martineau has impressed me and I wish I would have read this sooner! If you like romance of the slow burning variety and fantasy, join me  in loving this book lol. Please.

My only qualms was that it as slightly predictable but that’s also why I enjoyed it if that makes sense, there’s no major twists or surprises but the joy was in the journey and the beasts.

The beasts were also really nicely hashed out, I actually had a really strong urge to go play Pokemon Go after reading this. Going to different locations to capture beasts….I mean…can you blame me? I didn’t get as much an ‘Assassin’s Creed’ vibe though, and that’s okay, I was just happy enough there were assassins!

Also, the Charmers have the coolest place ever, I want to go visit…and battle like a trainer. Half Jk.

Again. Now to just wait for book 2. Bah, humbug.

 

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Forrest Gump meets Woody Allen in this endearing story about a sea turtle seeking to be reunited with the love of his life.

When Akela is separated from his migrant soulmate, Kalea, he will do anything to be reunited with her. Journey with this charming and neurotic sea turtle as he crosses paths with celebrities, politicians, and other moments in history with unbreakable determination to be reunited with his love.

My Review

**I received this book from the Publishers via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.**

If you love introspective fiction and/or sea turtles, this will definitely be something you’ll want to pick up.

That’s it. That’s my review. (jk jk)

On amore serious not, this is a great novel and it’s all about Akela’s journey to find those he thinks are part of his purpose, in the beginning it’s his mother, later on it’s his mate, and along the way he meets a variety of people and animals who help/hinder him on his journey. He learns there is more to life than being afraid of the open water and that in order to get what you want, there will work and possibly sacrifice along the way. Most importantly though was Akela’s realization of who he was along this journey, what was important to him and what he discovered about himself at the end. I would say the ending really was lovely and the book did make my heart break a little at times but I also smiled and laughed as Uytdewilligen incorporates famous people with Akela who becomes a bit infamous to the humans, he spends time as being accused as part of grand Soviet schemes all the way to becoming the poster child for ocean pollution but I won’t give away more than that, you’ll have to read it to see how Akela ends up in these situations.

Seriously, Akela meets presidents, that’s right, plural. The book played out like a movie in my mind, Uytdewilligen did a great job being descriptive and keeping the pacing pretty decent. There were a couple of slumps but I felt that overall the drive of the story was never lost and sometimes I just wanted to shake Akela and say ‘get to it, your woman is out there!’ The cast of characters Akela encounters in the way of animals are all brilliant, and I enjoyed them so much more than the fascinating human encounters.

Overall I found this to be a very thoughtful read, it causes a lot of self reflection if you enjoy it and I certainly fell in love with Akela himself. The ending was beautiful and absolutely perfect for this book.

 


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The massive labyrinth was built to protect Zadie Kalvers’ isolated desert town. Unfortunately, living in the maze’s shadow makes her feel anything but safe. Even without its enchanted deathtraps and illusions, a notorious 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.

My Review

**I received this book from the Publishers via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.**

I’m dystopia trash with absolutely no regrets about it. Saying that, I really felt this was a four cups of coffee read. Tate does a great job to blend in fantasy with sci-fi/dystopia.

Their town is the only one left as their leader tells them. Everything else has died, they are the only ones lucky enough to take part in having protection from the leader and getting the water he provides. However he is one that likes to keep his distance anyone who wants to see him has to go through the Labyrinth. And it doesn’t enjoy visitors.

The Labyrinth rests on territory that is still infused with magic and not even the residents of Zadie’s town who all have amazing skills, except for Zadie and the others known as ‘Blanks,’ stand a chance. But more than that, in the labyrinth lives Dex, the monster that everyone knows of, he kidnaps people into the labyrinth and when they come back, they’re never the same.

So why does Zadie as a blank venture forth? Her best friend (and secret crush, as stated) is missing and she dares to brave the maze to get him back and help her family because something isn’t quite right, the Skilled aren’t acting normal and communication to their leader has been cut off.

Tate gives us a story where the one without the skills is rare, and weak. There’s no doubt that Zadie knows she’s no match for a person with skills, whether it’s just one skill or more. But this is kind of a nice approach, she’s not special in the sense that she’s overpowered, but in that she isn’t. So her strength will have to come from somewhere else and it will have to show up along the way or she’ll never survive the maze.

The maze itself was so incredibly fun to read about, a bit of Hunger Games meets Alice in Wonderland for how it works and the rest of the world is just as intriguing. All the information that Tate gives us is used well and I have to say I sincerely hope there’s another book for this, if not, the ending does satisfy enough, but holy cow the possibilities for what could happen next are endless!

I love Dex, you all can take him from my cold dead fingers.

 

There we have it, my mini reviews for the day!

 

 

Off Planet eARC Review


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GoodReads Blurb: 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?

Maité Martinez is half human, half Aunare, a Latina Aunare who has grown up hiding her background and constantly having to cover her tracks. Even with life in Albuquerque being stable enough, a job as a waitress, volunteer teacher at a gym and a Crew that consist of some of the only people she trusts. Unfortunately, Maité isn’t just a half Earther/half Aunare, her father is someone that SpaceTech would love to goad into a catastrophic game of war.

Not only that but SpaceTech has a different plan for Maité, instead of giving her the same punishment as other half Earthers, she’s sent to the planet Abbadon. The question is, can Maité survive long enough to try and thwart SpaceTech’s plans, and will she be able to help her friends and family?

Honestly, I found Maité so relatable, she’s a young woman thrown into a world where she’s struggling to survive and that’s it, that’s her goal, sure, in the end, she wants to do more but at the very start, we have someone who is trying to just survive. Her Father is a very important Aunare but she has no memory of him after Liberation week (when all the Aunare were shunned by Earthers, but I won’t go too much into that and give it away). All Maité knows is that he’s alive out there and that her Mother and her hope to someday be free of Earth with possibly reuniting with him.

People can show incredible strength when faced with adversity and Maité shows just that, I was so impressed by her throughout the book, and I loved the people who helped her along the way, not to mention there’s Declan the human who she trusts and enters her life as everything goes crazy and then there’s Lorne an Aunare who she’s not sure how she’s connected to other than he knows her and is close to her father.

This has been my best sci-fi read in a while and I loved that it was not only YA but that Maité was half Latina, it made me so happy ❤

Erin does a great job of world building with Abaddon and I cannot wait to see who she expands her universe in book 2. Though I definitely would never want to go to Abaddon lolol. She also does a spectacular job of making Maité more than just a slightly ‘alien’ looking human, her body is different and therefore reacts differently to human things and that is a breath of fresh air as sometimes people forget their aliens are NOT humans. The attention to detail is there and I loved it. And you can’t help but feel for Maité for all she goes through and all she’s willing to go through to prevent a war between the humans and Aunare. Not to mention she’s lost and dealing with finding herself and being comfortable with who and what she is and the changes she’s faced with.

Trigger warning: Sexual assault, violence, extreme pain.

Pros:
-Kick ass Latina-Aunare protagonist
– Humanoid alien race that is still different enough from humans to be interesting especially in their internal workings
– Strength in more ways than one, not just physically but emotionally and not just from our Maité but from those around her
– Not all humans are evil, and there’s such a great level of trust between Maité and those that become her friends in New Mexico and Abaddon.
– Amazing platonic male best friend (Roan) who does not turn into part of a love triangle!
– There’s still the hint of a love triangle trope between Maité and two others if you love that trope!
– YA Sci-Fi (something we always need more of!)
– Some very cool fight scenes
– The antagonists aren’t there much as individual characters but man do you hate them!

Cons:
-Not enough Roan
– You may hate that there’ll probably be a love triangle
– It may be hard to read all Maité goes through (most of it is just pushing past physical and emotional endurance, which is traumatic for her and you feel for her)
– The Aliens could have been more alien but I thought Erin did well by making them human enough looking that you’d believe mating between species was possible
– Uh, there could have been more cool space flying but I’m not gonna complain -too much-
– You will have to wait until 2020 to read more lol

** I received this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review, and I truly did love this book and if you love YA/Sci-fi, I recommend you give it a try and hope you enjoy it! **

 

My Top 5 Sci-Fi Picks!

It’s Monday! I hate life, I get to travel for 2.5 hours for a just under 2-hour choir rehearsal on Mondays in the very very cold night. Monday is not my friend it is an evil monster.

Anyway, I’m not quite done with my two current reads but you all will probably get two reviews from me this week, so, there’s that. I’ll also be doing a couple of other things that will hopefully pan out nicely! The Alienist has been so far the book I needed to lift my spirits after a roller coaster of anger from The Memory of Lost Dreams and I’m so thankful for that!

So, my top 5 favorite Sci-fi novels? Well, I’m going to do a countdown of them!

So starting from the bottom up…..

5. Speaker for the Dead

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Some sequels fall flat on their face and who knows you may think I’m crazy for loving this one. I have to say I believe Ender’s Game does best as a standalone novel in my opinion but I can’t help but love this book. Because on some level, I needed it. I needed to know about Ender later on, and I needed to know that he would be okay (or to at least find out if he wasn’t going to be). There are other books I do enjoy in the Ender-verse but none of them come close to this one or Ender’s Game. I did put it at number 5 because I do recognize its flaws and again though personally needed it for some more closure, it really wasn’t necessary (and the others even less so despite my enjoyment of them).
4. Dune

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Okay, okay, I know, this is one of the best sci-fi novels in existence, it is one of the most famous ones, and it is amazing, I do not argue that there’s a reason it is on my list. Why is it number 4? I didn’t always appreciate Paul, I actually think his Mom is so kickass and his sister too, one of the reasons I want to read other Dune novels, but, I am hesitant to do so. I’m sure I’ll get around to them eventually. Why do I love it? Well hello, sandworms! Cool desert people, prophecized heroes, awesome fight scenes, and mysterious powers and happenings! Again it’s on my top 5 for a reason, and though most call Frank Herbert the Father of Sci-Fi…I think it would be appropriate to remember he is indeed not, [COUGH COUGH, MARY SHELLEY=MOM, COUGH COUGH] but he does give us our modern Sci-Fi and we should remember that!

3. The Time Machine

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Come on. How could I not add it? TIME TRAVEL, GUYS. [I’m a huge Dr. Who fan as well, so…again, TIME TRAVEL] I really feel that this was the prime of its time and continues to be the prime of ours. I urge anyone who likes Sci-Fi to read this. It also gives us a future that gives us a taste of Utopia on the surface (totally dystopian though, I love it, so much). Wells was ahead of his time, he thought of things that of course didn’t really happen literally but hit close to home in a way that I don’t think most saw coming. I had to rate this higher than Dune for one simple and important fact, I enjoyed it more. He accomplished more things in fewer pages than Frank did as far as making the read better for me.

Alright, onward!
2. Ender’s Game

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Predictable? Probably. I know without the other works before it that Ender’s Game wouldn’t be possible but it still ranks above them and is one of my favorite novels ever, I’ve lent it out more than any other book and recommend it more than any other. Reading this in middle school [Sixth Grade to be specific, holy shit I’m old], it changed my world. Someone had lent it to me, one of my closest friends who I still love and adore so maybe part of the reason I love it so much is because I associate with her but it’s also the book I’ve reread the most. This has such an impact on kids at that preteen-young adult age (on adults too I’m sure) it gives you this sort of hope, if you feel like a ‘Third’ your whole life until that point, that being different can be amazing, it can be hard but it could lead you to do great things [and to not be afraid for thinking differently]. Admittedly I am no longer a big fan of Orson Scott Card himself but I still adore this book. It gives you everything you want in a sci-fi novel and that ending, ugh that ending.  We watch kids do things that adults forget they truly are capable of doing, and we see strategy and aliens and space military school…<3 I will never NOT love this book….so what could top it?….
1. The Alien Chronicles

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That’s right, I’m cheating. Whatcha gonna do about it? Huh?? My first pick? The Alien Chronicles, only one of the most beautiful and well-written trilogies that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I read these just soon after Ender’s Game, lent to me by the same friend. These again just completely rocked my reading world. I mean these and Ender’s Game were pre-Harry Potter, so imagine just how crazy I was for them as we all -most of us- went crazy for Harry Potter! These, though not at all Christian, do have a very Moses/biblical like plot. We have the love between two beings, not quite sibling but more like soulmates in friendship, and then having to face them being ripped apart when one realizes their true past and the true history of what has happened to their enslaved people. The life that Ampris, our ‘Moses’ and Heroine, faces afterwards is everything that is beautiful and tragic and happy, I mean this trilogy brought me to tears and continues do so. The trilogy follows closely Ampris, her once beloved friend Israi, and Elrabin. The characters have so many emotions,  would say more so Ampris and Elrabin, they are full well rounded and just I can’t say enough about them, I’m gushing like the fangirl I am. This is called by some as a ‘Space Opera’ if you’re wondering more on the subgenre. I couldn’t just pick one out of the three, so I didn’t.

There you have it! My top 5!

Do you have any Sci-Fi favorites or recs for me? I’d love to hear them!

[I didn’t include Frankenstein because I still consider it more of a horror and overall I did not include Dystopia novels (The Time Machine was the closest one).]