The world the author created. Each new event had my jaw dropping at how much the world changed during Offred’s lifetime.
How I felt:
Years ago I stumbled across this book at Goodwill and thought the cover looked interesting, and like I always do, I bought the book without knowing anything about it. It turned out to be right up my alley. I’m always a sucker for a dystopian / speculative fiction story and The Handmaid’s Tale is definitely that!
At the beginning of the book, I was so confused. The flashbacks were not from that long ago, and I couldn’t quite grasp how things had gone so terribly wrong so quickly for society. As the book progressed, I began to understand some of the events and changes that were put in place to cripple people from being able to get away from this regime.
Cynetic Wolf was such a fast-paced story! It felt like from page one, I was immersed in this world and in the middle of the story. If you are looking for something that immediately grabs your attention and doesn’t let go, this is the book!
How I Felt:
First of all, can we just talk about this fabulous cover? I love all of the elements of the story that are built into this artwork! It’s seriously a cover that I keep looking at again and again because it is filled with amazing things to see!
Resuming Eden had SUCH an interesting world! I was truly fascinated with the concept of this story. There were so many intricate details that showed how well the author thought through the world before writing.
How I Felt:
The Characters: While there are a variety of characters in this story, there are three that I felt impacted me in some way.
Aahana is the main character. My feelings towards her were a bit all over the place. At times, I found her cold and calculating, but then I would forgive her for these faults because of her struggles and the events in her history. I couldn’t quite connect her dismissal of Matt as a suitable boyfriend. As pieces of information were given throughout the story, I would understand her better, but overall, I do think she was a bit too harsh on Matt. Her character overall though was the reason this story was so intoxicating. I WANTED to see her fall for Matt. I wanted to see her find the path to Truth, Honor, Trust, and Faith. I appreciated her fierce determination to keep her family safe. I found her to be a complex and interesting character.
I loved the dystopian world that Rebecca Crunden created. Her idea of the world came alive in A Touch of Death through her descriptions. I felt completely immersed in the the setting of this!
How I Felt:
A Touch of Death was a good book and I did enjoy it. The story was interesting and I wanted to keep reading. There were just a few things that pulled me out of the book. I didn’t appreciate the continued bickering between Nate and Kitty. I just felt it was too much and should have been pulled back. I also felt that there were some areas of the book that could have been edited down as they started to feel too long-winded. There were a lot of lists to get through and I could have done with just a few less of those.
The characters were interesting. I enjoyed the growth and change that Kitty goes through. She felt a bit spoiled and unaware of the world around her. I liked how she began to see things in the real light of day as the book progressed.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read with a good story. There is clearly a set up to a second book, and I believe it will be a good series!
To Read or Not To Read: If you enjoy dystopian novels with that sci-fi element built in, this is a good read for you!
Years and years into the future, the last remaining pieces of humanity live in the Kingdom of Cutta. Divided into two sections, this Kingdom has a place for the wealthy and elite, and also a place for everyone else.
After Nate is saved from the hangman’s noose, he disappears from Cutta for two years. Catherine has never forgiven Nate for what he did though. When Nate returns, a poor choice leaves the two of them on the run and outside the Kingdom walls.
I received a copy of this advanced reader’s copy for free. I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.
Sakota saved Astraeus and her friends from certain death, but in doing so, she gained the attention of the Oreck, who will stop at nothing to destroy everything in their path. With their ship severely damaged, Sakota and her crew land on a nearby planet and seek sanctuary while they make repairs to return home. But nothing on this perfect planet is as it appears, and Sakota soon learns they’ve traded one danger for another. Hunted and targeted, will Sakota be able to carry out her mission, or will everyone she cares about be destroyed?
Sakota bolted up in bed in the middle of the night.
Her dreams of blood and fear were monopolized with pointed teeth, cartilaginous faces, long, double-jointed arms and legs, and cruel, black alien eyes. The Oreck. They haunted her, perpetual alien God-ghosts with their eerie, electromagnetic glow beneath papery, gray skin.
Beside her, Astraeus slept, his arm flopped over the groove in the bed where she’d lain as he held her. He stirred, frowning. Was he having a nightmare too? She reached her hand out and searched with her emotions, as she’d learned to do.
He tossed, fitful, in the clutches of a nightmare to do with Upsilon’s destruction. She couldn’t remember what her nightmare had been about, but it had ended violently. Peace, she sent silently. Tranquility . Calm . Rest .
Astraeus sighed in his sleep, relaxed, and rolled over. She feathered hair out of his face. His existence had blown her away, and it still did. Astraeus’s genetic code far outstripped her own. He had defense mechanisms in place to protect him from climate extremities that she could never even dream of having. But more so, for the first time in her life, she’d fallen in love. It went against her pragmatic nature, but his comforting presence anchored her amid the wreckage.
She scrubbed her face with her hand in the darkness and swung her legs over the side of the levitating bed, careful of the bed’s height when she stood.
Humans were either a lot shorter than most of the visiting interplanetary delegates, or for some strange reason, they liked their beds high.
Her limbs ached, fatigue from the action of the last several days. She suspected healing from microgravity had something to do with it too, but she’d been through the wringer. The way she walked, the weight of her lips when she spoke, her arm and leg muscles seemed heavier and more visceral, like someone had injected them with a heavy drug. Ridiculous, of course. She was in the best shape of her life.
In the center of the room, she stretched and did some yoga until the tightness lessened. She rotated her neck. In a day or two, the slight dizziness and disoriented inertia would subside. As a physician, she knew the symptoms. She’d be fine. But telling a patient about them versus experiencing them were two different things.
She padded barefoot out onto the balcony, drew a silver cup from the shelves, and dipped it into the fountain. Distant light illuminated the Chuleron buildings along the skyline in the distance. She brought the brim of the cup to her lips and drank. Cool and refreshing, much cleaner than the sterilized water she’d had back on Earth. Tastier too. Earth water had to be purified at least five times before it could be considered healthy enough for consumption. Bacterial pathogens ran rampant in food and the polluted streams and springs back home, so sterilizing was essential. The delightful coolness soothed her throat.
She twisted her hair and pulled it over her right shoulder, taking in the strange, tantalizing city. Did her suspicions about this place come from her subconscious, because of the death and violence she’d experienced? Or was Hisoka right and something seemed off?
Haley Cavanagh is a military veteran, wife, and mother. She is an alumna of Columbia College, a musical theater nut, and she loves to dive into any book that crosses her path. Haley resides with her family in the United States and enjoys spending time with her husband and children when she’s not writing. She loves to hear from her readers, and encourages you to contact her via her website and social media.
I LOVED this book. I’m already thinking about when I can read it again. The dystopian world that Kim Liggett creates in this book is fascinating! I was completely drawn into the story and the universe. The “Grace Year” location was so well built, I could see everything. I was right there with them through the whole experience.
How I Felt:
It’s been a while since a book so completely grabbed me from the beginning and held me through the whole thing. There were times were I just couldn’t read fast enough. I wanted to figure out all the little questions and the odd things happening. I was invested. I’m really, really hoping there will be a sequel…I would grab it in a second.
What I Loved: This dystopian world was really fascinating. This world had one of the better dystopian governments that I have encountered in this genre and I really enjoyed it. Electronics to monitor safety, and cameras everywhere that are only reviewed if someone’s heartbeat gets erratic so that the person can be helped. It was quite intriguing.
How I Felt: I wanted to know a bit more about what happened to make the end-of-the-world catastrophe. There were so many little nuggets throughout the story, but nothing that really told me how it went down and I would have liked that. I was happy with the character development in the book, I connected with the characters, some growing on me, while others grew on me less and less as I got to know them. Good writing will do that! I would definitely like to see a sequel and it sounds like one is coming!
To Read or Not To Read: If you are into dystopian/post-apocalyptic, this would be a great book for you! Fans of books like Divergent by Veronica Roth or Breathe by Sarah Crossen would really enjoy this book.
What’s This Book About Anyway?
Ana’s brother Finn has gone missing from The City. This is hard to do in a city that is enclosed by a giant wall with electronic monitoring systems everywhere, but somehow, he has done it. She is ready to go find him and must partner with a government official, Aaron to get outside The City. Together they explore the lawless, outside world meeting a variety of people, some terrifying, and some gentle and helpful. Will Ana be able to find her brother and if she does, what will she learn about herself?
Where To Find This Book:
This ARC was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
They have a good library here. I have come to measure every town and village by whether they keep books and how well they keep them.
The Book of Flora – Meg Elison
What I Loved: Oh, I loved this book. There were so many times I wanted to stop reading just so that I could start writing about it. My two MAIN loves were:
The reverence for books throughout the entire story. It’s a book-lover’s dream. This love of books is shown in Book 1 (The Book of the Unnamed Midwife) and Book 2 (The Book of Etta), however, in this book, I felt like that love of literature had evolved and was just lovely.
The LGBTQ+ stories were just so enlightening. The confusion and struggles that Etta/Eddie, Flora, and Connie go through give the reader such a wonderful view of the inner and outer struggles that a person could be going through.
How I Felt: I was so relieved to love this book. I still adore The Book of the Unnamed Midwife and it is my favorite, but I was less in-love with The Book of Etta. I was concerned that I would read The Book of Flora and realize that I didn’t enjoy the series any longer, but that was not the case at all. This book seemed to take us back a bit to the feeling of the first book. There is so much travel to different places, and meeting different people. The struggles of sexuality and sexual identity are there, and were more vast, than in the Unnamed Midwife, as there were more characters dealing with their own situations. The book is definitely more sexual than The Book of Etta was. There are some pretty detailed scenes, but what I loved about those scenes were the insight they gave to me about the character’s personalities and their struggles with their own sexuality.
To Read or Not To Read:
I would recommend this book to anyone that has read the first two books in the Road to Nowhere series. If you haven’t read the first two, I wouldn’t start here. There are many characters spoken about in The Book of Flora that were introduced in Book 1 and Book 2. If you haven’t read this series yet, go read my review of The Book of the Unnamed Midwife.
The Book of Flora picks up where The Book of Etta left off, but now our narrator is Flora. Flora tells her story with chapters focused on the present and then jumps back in time to fill in the gaps from her time after escaping the Lion to the present. Her writings in the present speak about an army coming and about the danger this army brings. As we progress in the book, the story about the army takes shape and we begin to slowly understand more about it.
In the “past” story of Flora, Eddie (Etta), Flora, and Alice set out to find a place where they can be accepted for who they are. This is a big theme in the book surrounding the sexual confusion of some, the transformation of others, and the feelings each person has about their own sexuality. There were some great quotes surrounding this that really gave me pause and made me think.
“It’s no great crime to live as a man. Men are plentiful and everyone understands why you do it. Women lying with women is a waste, but you’ll hardly get killed for it. Living as a woman without being one is the thing that always stirs hate and violence. As if there is some great deception in it. As if it is the worst kind of fraud. Yet a woman who cannot breed or will not try is never the same sort of problem. And women past the end of their blood are no threat. I am no different from them.”
The Book of Flora – Meg Elison
This book’s plot surrounding the army is a bit understated, the main focus of the story felt more like a road to finding acceptance to be who they know they are. That said, I loved this book, and was so happy to have found it.
What I Loved: The writing for this book just pulled you into the story, allowing you to visualize this world and the people. I loved the descriptions of the characters and the places. I was completely immersed in this story.
How I Felt: I cannot tell you enough how sucked into this story I was. There are some books that you read where you kind of look up a the clock, go grab a snack, check Instagram, or whatever. With this book, however, I was just like what is going to happen next and had to keep turning the page. The character’s lives are filled with love, fear, sadness, and so much more and Rachel Anne Cox puts it all on the page in a way that just completed this story perfectly.
To Read or Not To Read: If you love a good dystopian or post-apocalyptic story, this is just the book for you!
What’s This Book About Anyway?
Sam has been in a work camp for the past 7 years and after finally being released, heads back home to find Gemma, his life-long love. He finds her, but she is already married to someone, and she’s trying to lead a new rebellion.
In the year 42, the world is in a post-apocalyptic state without many of the comforts we know today. The people are controlled by a shady government that controls their freedom. There are those who will stand for it no longer; they are the women, ready to stand up and rebel. Sam tries to adapt to his new life outside the workers camp, precariously balancing his loves and his want for peace and rebellion.
This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for my honest opinion.
“Well, thanks for not shooting anyone, I guess”, said Marcus. “My contribution was to somehow refrain from peeing myself. You can thank me later.” ― Dan Wells, Partials
What I Loved: I loved the character Marcus and his very funny attitude. I loved all the characters in this book. I loved the way this Dystopian society was created and what the aftermath looks like. Overall, I just really loved this book.
How I Felt: I was utterly pulled into this book. I could not consume it fast enough, and honestly once it was done, all I could think to do was find the next book. I love a survival story after a post-apocalyptic event and this was did not let me down.
“I’ve never been this wet in my life, ” said Kira. “Even immersed in a bathtub I swear I was dryer than I am now. “ “Look on the bright side, ” said Marcus. Kira waited. “This is the point at which you would traditionally suggest a bright side. “ “I’ve never been a real traditional guy,” said Marcus. “Besides, I’m not saying I know a bright side, I just think this would be a great time to look at one.” ― Dan Wells, Partials
To Read or Not To Read: There are very mixed reviews out on this book, so here’s a list and if you identify with it, check this book out!
Women leads that KILL it
Science themes with bio-testing
Adventure through a wasted American landscape
Post-Apocolyptic books are totally your thing
What’s This Book About Anyway?
It’s 2076 and Kira Walker, 16, lives in Long Island with what is left of the human race after a devastating virus, released by the Partials, wiped out most of humanity. The Partials are engineered beings that look just like a human, but are not and they seem to only want to kill humans. The virus has severely damaged reproduction for humans with babies only surviving for just over 2 days.
Kira, a medic at a hospital, sets out to find a way to help babies live when her friend realizes she is pregnant. Kira believes that since the Partials released the virus, they must also be the answer. She is determined to capture a Partial and discover the cure.
What I Loved: Dystopian novels are always interesting to me. I loved this novel’s idea. The world has no oxygen; you pay to breathe manufactured air. This book offered insight into a different version of class separation and I found it so intriguing.
How I Felt: I was nervous with the story, so concerned for these teenagers as they set out to change the world, and survive.
To Read or Not To Read: This is a YA novel all the way, and if that is your thing, this is right up your alley! BONUS: It’s a series, so you don’t have to say goodbye to this world after the first book. If you haven’t tried YA, this is an interesting start. It is focused on three teens, but it’s also about a world of people and how they live. It is a great read.
What’s This Book About Anyway?
Breathe is the story of a dystopian world where a catastrophic event has cause oxygen to be depleted from earth. Glass domes were built for humanity to survive in. Oxygen has to be paid for, separating the rich from the poor. Alina, Quinn, and Bea, all from different backgrounds, end up on the outside of the glass domes. They will take a journey through the outside, discovering secrets, and endangering their lives. Can they survive?