Book Review · Science Fiction/Dystopian

#BookReview # #TBT // Terrestrial Magic by Marina Ermakova

Terrestrial Magic
Jordan Sanders Book 1
by Marina Ermakova

A “blast from the past” review.


**ETA – having read, and really enjoyed, book #2 I would definitely recommend this series. Ideally, you need to read the books in order to fully understand the setting/world, so it is well worth sticking with the sometimes clunky writing of this book.


This fell between liked and really liked for me. There were some very good aspects but also some areas for improvement. The author had imagined a very intriguing world but parts of it needed a little more fleshing out. I believe that the author may have been trying to avoid an information dump, however, some of the exposition came too late in the story, leaving me unable to build a clear mental picture, rather like trying to follow a TV show having missed one of the episodes.


I did find myself drawn quickly into this story, especially since it metaphorically started with a real bang. The story had plenty of unique features to it, and it didn’t feel the need to rely on tired and cliched tropes. Overall the pace was good, and I did find myself invested in the story enough to want to finish it. The heroine, Jordan, doesn’t come across as feminine at all, indeed at times, I forgot I was reading a female character. She felt very genderless, which isn’t an issue and I’m very happy to read diverse characters, but I was never sure if it was deliberate or poor characterisation. It just wasn’t made clear enough.


In a similar vein, I also found Jordan difficult to relate to. Possibly she’s meant to be socially awkward, autistic or just plain lacking empathy, and whilst some of her internal monologues were enjoyable, there were occasions where it made her seem immature or emotionally stunted. Too often when emotions were portrayed it was in a telling not showing manner. For me to believe a character is feeling something, I want descriptions of the psychological or physiological effects of them. I’m very character-driven, and I think the fact that I was very impassive about Jordan is why this wasn’t a better read for me.


On balance I enjoyed the writing, the author definitely has a pleasant “voice” and a good imagination, which she employed well in the creation of this book. Fleshing out of secondary characters was achieved to various degrees, though occasionally felt a touch repetitive – I got that Tony was grumpy the first half dozen times it was mentioned. It did feel as though this were the second book in a series, or a spin-off book, because whilst the world-building was colourful it was rather like a Turner seascape. You can see an amazing picture but none of the fine detail, however, it is only the first book in a series, so I’m willing to allow that the author may have plans to paint in that depth of detail in future books.

Rating

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Legend & Fantasy

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43129773-terrestrial-magic

Synopsis
Most sensible people avoid fire-breathing carnivores that prey on humans. But Jordan has built a career out of studying such legendary animals, creatures thought mythological until their reemergence in the world three decades ago. She and researchers like her believe that knowledge is the key to reclaiming the land they’d lost back then, when humanity retreated into designated safety zones.
But when the humans moved out, the legends moved in.
They were the descendants of mythical heroes, inheriting the powers of their ancestors, and they weren’t afraid of the monsters. Jordan never expected to run into a legend, but when a field expedition turns into a trap for her team, she realizes that one deliberately tried to kill her.
It’s a diplomatic nightmare the Roman authorities might happily sweep under the rug. But if Jordan doesn’t figure out who attacked her and why, they could try again. Yet even if she does solve the mystery, what could one stubborn scientist possibly do to stop a powerful legend?



Book Review · Science Fiction/Dystopian

#BookReview #SFR // Anomaly by Nicolina Martin

Anomaly
A Fated Gemini Novella
by Nicolina Martin


Of all the beer joints in all the towns in all the worlds, he walked into her one… who would ever guess how life-changing it would be.

I was blown away by this captivating story of a girl who wants to forget the future before it takes her past and the man who is not a man but is most certainly a hero. The hopelessness and misery of H-666 – Hell indeed – pummelled my emotions, which were then uplifted by the beauty and wonder of this special couple. Despair, desire and desolation combine in this passion-fuelled, heart-wrenching tale of love amongst the stars.


It’s not often that a book truly makes me cry, it’s even rarer for that to happen with a novella – after all, I have to be fully invested in my characters to care that much. However, Nicolina Martin achieved that all too easily with Ailee and Reece’s story. This pair of start-crossed lovers carried so much pain inside them, yet managed to find joy, and eventually hope, with one another.


Though the majority of the story is written from Ailee’s POV I still felt as though I got to know both protagonists well. The closing chapters, from two other viewpoints, were perfect and I am only too happy to recommend this seasonal sci-fi romance.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Science Fiction Romance

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59684529-anomaly

Synopsis
On H-666 the only thing more dangerous than love is hope…
The All Lights Celebration isn’t for me. I have nothing to celebrate. I’ll spend my last night of freedom drinking my misery away. Then I’ll submit to forced labor in the mines, where my body and spirit will be broken, and the toxic fumes will destroy my mind. It’s my lot in life, and if I want to spare my sister the same fate, I must accept it.
I wasn’t expecting to meet him, though.
Reece is…different. Stronger. More dangerous. His mesmerizing eyes see everything. I should run away, but instead, I run to him. He needs my help to get to Earth—and in return, he thinks he can save me. I know better. There’s no hope for me. I’ll die here. But I can’t let that happen to him. He deserves better than this place.
Better than me.
So, while I can give him my body, I can never give him my heart. Because in this place, love is an anomaly. It can’t be trusted.
I can only pray I have the strength to let him go when the time comes…




Book Review · Fantasy · Science Fiction/Dystopian

#BookReview #Fantasy #SpaceOpera #TBT // Shoot the Messenger by Pippa DaCosta

Shoot The Messenger
Messenger Chronicles #1
by Pippa DaCosta

A “blast from the past” review.


“Oh! What A Tangled Web We Weave When First We Practice To Deceive”

Pippa DaCosta has woven together sci-fi and fantasy to build the richly complex world in which Kesh, Kellee and Talon reside. As the story builds we gradually learn more and more about Kesh, Kelly, the fae and tek. I preferred this to an ‘information dump’ as it added to the twisty plot, suspense and sense of unease.

The book is written first person and entirely from Kesh’s point of view. Kesh is just a simple messenger, caught up in someone else’s battle, or is she? Oh my word, this is an onion of a book, made of layer upon layer of amazing story, action, adventure and mind-blowing plot twists. The blurb really doesn’t do the book justice BUT that’s to ensure the element of surprise. And there are surprises galore in this book.

It’s one of those stories that is impossible to properly review without giving away spoilers, and I really want to avoid them so that you get the full impact of the book, like I did. If you have read other books by this author then you will know some of what to expect, but this far surpasses any of her work to date. It takes all the best elements of her previous stories, polishes them up, adds extra glitter to them and twists them into something else altogether. If you haven’t read her books (a) why not? you’re missing some amazing stories and (b) this is really well written, drags you into the story and doesn’t let you go, leaves your head reeling in the best of ways and will have you begging and howling for Book 2 so that you can continue the story.

A standing ovation to the author for this awe-inspiring, mind-twisting, a-m-a-z-i-n-g read. I need to go and lie in a darkened corner to mull over this book and recover from the book hangover I now have.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Fantasy/Sci-Fi Reverse Harem

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38730010-shoot-the-messenger?ref=bk_bet_in

Synopsis
“Lies aren’t her only weapons against the fae…”

In the Halow system, one of Earth’s three sister star systems, tek and magic—humans and the fae—are at war.

Kesh Lasota is a ghost in the machine. Invisible to tek, she’s hired by the criminal underworld to carry illegal messages through the Halow system. But when one of those messages kills its recipient, Kesh finds herself on the run with a bounty on her head and a quick-witted marshal on her tail.

Proving her innocence should be straightforward—until a warfae steals the evidence she needs. The fae haven’t been seen in Halow in over a thousand years. And this one—a brutally efficient killer able to wield tek—should not exist. But neither should Kesh.

As Kesh’s carefully crafted lie of a life crumbles around her, she knows remaining invisible is no longer an option. To hunt the fae, to stop him from destroying a thousand-year-long fragile peace, she must resurrect the horrors of her past.

Kesh Lasota was a ghost. Now she’s back, and there’s only one thing she knows for certain. Nobody shoots the messenger and gets away with it.

A new space fantasy series where the guys are hot, the perils are many, and one rebel messenger holds the key to the survival of the human race.


Book Review · Omegaverse · Science Fiction/Dystopian

#BookReview #Sci-Fi // Rescuing Red by Leann Ryans and V.T. Bonds

Rescuing Red
Sci-Fi Fairytale Fusions #1
by Leann Ryans & V.T. Bonds 



At 65% and I’ve totally stalled with this book. It isn’t terrible in the same way that boiled potatoes aren’t but just like those non-descript and rather bland starchy items it just didn’t have enough flavour to hold my interest.



I found the heroine to be rather a drip, full of rash decisions and impulsive choices. In her defence she is very young and the way she was written reflected those childhood fairytale heroines. However I moved on from those stories for a reason – I’m no longer that little girl but am an adult woman.



The hero was much more to my taste, though I’ve just had to look up what his name was, which shows how forgettable the whole reading experience was. He’s called Blaide by the way – I’m surprised I did forget that because I felt the name didn’t suit him and was far to reminiscent of watching UK Gladiator’s back in the 1990’s.



For me this was pleasant but unmemorable, it just didn’t have the grit, depth or emotional impact I look for in a story. It was, for me, words on a page rather than a tale that drew me in and held me captivated.





Rating: 2 out of 5.

Fannce

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58500622-rescuing-red

Synopsis
Once Upon a Time…
In a land where grandmothers live planets away instead of on the other side of the woods, Liz finds herself in trouble.
Hindsight is twenty-twenty, but she’d risk it all again to help her Nana.
When danger catches her scent, will her knight in… fur and fury… rescue her from the beasts?
And who’s going to save Red from the Wolf?


From two International Bestselling authors comes an exciting blend of traditional tales with the wonders of science fiction, taking the stories you love and twisting them to fit brand new worlds. Although darkness lurks within the pages of our Sci-Fi Fairytale Fusions, each one boasts a Happily Ever After for our hero and his mate. These steamy romances feature the ABO dynamic, thrilling action, and intense situations.

Are you ready to find your next alien addiction?





Book Review · Omegaverse · Science Fiction/Dystopian

#BookReview #PNR #Omegaverse // Warden by Cari Silverwood

Warden
Ravaged #1
by Cari Silverwood  



I nodded. It did seem crazy.
And a few days ago, I was sitting in a café discussing kink with Charlotte.
I wasn’t ruling out an apocalypse or a flash flood of killer bees or ice cream any time soon.

Isolde, Warden

With the exception of Rough Surrender this is probably the sweetest story the author has written. I’m sure she’d object vociferously to the word “sweet”, and rightly so, but given how dub-con and dark most of her work is this felt quite light in comparison. It also felt incredibly hot and smutilicious, with smexy times that will have you getting through a bumper pack of AA batteries, *wink wink*. Great writing, fabulous characters and a wonderful plot all add up to one crazy good read.



Gideon is one seriously gorgeous Mauleon and despite the fact that he started off as very much the bad guy, what with kidnapping Earth girls and the like, he soon earned his redemption, proving himself to be an absolute delightful hero – blue nodules and all. Isolde was just as wonderful a main character, slightly mad, utterly submissive, determinedly strong and full of fire. She was definitely a girl who made lemonade from the lemons of life. This pair utterly captivated me, we see them grow and adapt to the changes in their lives set against a backdrop of mystery, intrigue and the fight against bureaucracy.



As already mentioned, this features the much loved leonine Mauleon male. It does, however, read standalone and is set in space rather than the home planet, featured in RuledCondemned and Judged: A Dark Sci-fi Romance. As well as a lust-fuelled, kinky romance there is also the ubiquitous quest to undertake, in this case the pursuit of personhood. This is one packed-to-the-gills adventure involving sentient swords, #OrcsOnABus, Wendetta’s, hiding in lost storage rooms with lost storage container lids and sex.

They had arranged a bus.
A big yellow bus.
Here I was, in a line of ferociously armed orcs, with weapons strapped to every part of them,
waiting to board a bus. About the only thing I agreed with about this was the black cross-hatching
down the side with HAZARD written on the yellow bits.
The axes they dragged and carried, those I could not assimilate.
They were just plain wrong.

There were some amazing supporting characters who ALL need their own books, *ahem* Jinx, Hark, Kragga, Charlotte… *ahem*. In this one, purple singularities generated courtesy of Grut lead to some unexpected (well unexpected for the “victims”) consequences. Those consequences lead to sexual compulsions, sexual adaptations and sexual adventures. There were probably other things too but I was slightly distracted by the nooky.

Whenever I looked at him, a frisson possessed me,
as if I’d connected to a mildly live cable.
I had to ban myself from dragging my gaze over him, non-stop.
He was deliciously handsome, rugged, and made my girly hormone engine rev into overdrive.
And I was pretty certain my brakes weren’t working, and my tires were on fire.
Phew.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Science Fiction Romance

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58946639-warden

Synopsis
I never thought I had any weird or amazing destiny.
Until the night I’m scooped up by a clawed and fanged alien called a mauleon.
I’m a grocery store assistant and my name is Isolde.
I should be curled up in a ball sobbing, but that’s not me.
I will escape, but I’m trapped on this huge, fossilized starship. My only companion is a snarky, talking sword.
To my shame, something is forcing my body to change and I’m craving his touch.
We are both mutating. His muscles bulge with new growth. Silver streaks mar his skin.
He was supposed to sell me, but I can’t stop myself from crawling to him, begging, and whimpering for more.
Why is love always so complicated? And what is this heat…

I’m pinned to the wall by his claws and the world dissolves into a steamy, swaying fog. The panting, gasping, and probing of places seem endless, as do my tormented cries.

★ ★ ★ ★

This book contains unrestrained compulsions, lionlike aliens, orcs, and adventures that go where no grocery store assistant has gone before.
Also #OrcsOnABus. A yellow bus with HAZARD written on the side, to be exact.