Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The world Ernest Cline has created is one that completely envelopes the reader and takes them into the story and into the game. I loved this world. I do play video games. I remember the Atari I couldn’t wait to turn on when I visited my aunt and uncle, and when I got my Nintendo, I was SO excited. So, even though I don’t play much anymore, it was so much fun to delve into this crazy virtual reality world that Cline built.

How I Felt:

I listened to Ready Player One and while I am sure that reading this book will elicit the same exciting response I had to this story, I would like to highly recommend the audio edition. The narrator was wonderful. If you do not like to pay for audio, I found it through Libby at my library!

Continue reading “Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – Book Review”

Cynetic Wolf by Matt Ward

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

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!

Continue reading “Cynetic Wolf by Matt Ward”

A Rollercoaster of Emotions: The God Game by Danny Tobey – Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Danny Tobey has created this amazing and scary AI world and made it come to life. I loved how he built the world up, layer by layer, starting with only the computer and then moving to the phones, then the glasses, and so on. He really designed this horrifying game and wrote about it in a way that made me feel like I was right there.

How I Felt:

The God Game is a nightmare! I was terrified at the thought of this being a real thing and I loved that. The author was able to pull emotions out of me that made me terrified and worried and obsessed!

The Writing: The story was easy to get absorbed in because the writing was so good! I felt like there was zero down-time as we just flew from action-packed scene to action-packed scene. I was completely lost when there was a reference to coding. The writer chose to use the coding language at times, showing a “0101011” kind of language to show the reader the coding. This was completely meaningless to me, but I read past it and found that it did not affect my love of this story one bit!

The Characters: Each character had such backstory and depth. There was heartbreak for each of them, but hope too. They were easy to connect to and I was so worried for them throughout this story!

The Plot: AHHH! This plot! The idea of a game taking control of everything in your life. Do you love you dad? Y/N? And not being able to move on without answering the question, and then what happens once you answer? It was terrifying to think about! I couldn’t put the book down because I needed to know if they were going to be ok or not!

Overall: I fully enjoyed this book! The action and excitement in the story, along with the well-built characters and great writing made this a wonderful book!

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend The God Game for readers that enjoy action-packed thrillers. The book blurb states that it is a little like Stranger Things, and I would agree. It’s mixing reality with a game. So, if you enjoyed Stranger Things, or Jumanji for that matter, you would enjoy this!

Where to Find This Book:

The God Game by Danny Tobey is available at these sites.

Amazon Kindle | Amazon | Audible | Goodreads

A group of friends stumble on an internet game that sounds fun at first, but quickly turns into a nightmare.

You are invited!
Come inside and play with G.O.D.
Bring your friends!
It’s fun!
But remember the rules. Win and ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE.™ Lose, you die!

Creepy right!! So they all agree that even though the game stated they could die, it must be just in the game and they will be fine. They all accept to play and discover that their phones have become a gateway into the game. Viewing their real-world surroundings through their phones, they see the gamespace. The world they are in, but altered and creepy.

As they begin to play, they start to realize that this is an all-too-real kind of game. They each begin to have secrets from one another as the game starts to pull them apart. Can they find a way to work together to escape the game, or are they in this for life?

Just the Facts:

  • The God Game by Danny Tobey
  • Genre: Thriller / Science Fiction / Suspense
  • Page Count: 464 pages
  • Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
  • Pub Date: January 7, 2020

I was provided an advanced readers copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest, unbiased review voluntarily.

All Amazon links are affiliate links.

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The Going Back Portal by Connie Lacy – A Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The Going Back Portal takes no time to jump right into the story and I loved that!! It was so fun to have the book get right down to the story and it made me invest in it so quickly.

How I Felt:

The Writing: Connie Lacy has managed to weave a time-travel story together so well! She has woven together the story of two women in two different time periods with elegant story telling. It was beautiful to read.

The Characters: Kathryn Spears is the main character in The Going Back Portal and she is a bit reckless at times, but overall, a strong MC. As a headstrong, independent news producer, she jumps right into situations that lead to some nerve-wracking times.

The Plot: Kathryn goes to visit her grandmother and is transported back in time where her decisions and actions will change her future. In the past, Kathryn meets a Cherokee woman in an abusive relationship. The two work together to right wrongs, both falling in love in their own times, and trying to avoid choices that will damage their futures.

The plot was interesting and well written. I was captivated by the story and even found humor in some scenes, lightening the mood a bit. I loved the balance of the story in the 1840’s and present day. It was a great mix and blended together well.

Content Warning: Domestic violence.

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend The Going Back Portal for readers that are looking for a time-travel story with some historical aspects and a bit of romance.

Where to Find This Book:

The Going Back Portal by Connie Lacy is available at these sites.

Amazon Kindle | Amazon | Goodreads

Kathryn Spears is a skeptical producer for a TV investigative news team. So when her grandmother claims a Cherokee Indian woman is living on a neighboring farm, she dismisses it as early Alzheimer’s. Because, obviously, there is no farm nearby. Not in the present anyway. But when she follows Nana’s lead, Kathryn is transported back in time to the year 1840 where she finds a young Cherokee woman left behind when her family marched west on the Trail of Tears. 

Forest Water is ensnared in a perilous struggle to keep her ancestral lands against a violent white man who claims the farm, and then claims her as well. Desperate to help her new friend, Kathryn becomes entangled in a battle between good and evil with much higher stakes than she imagines.

Each of these young women falls in love with a man from her own time, but there are threats, both seen and unseen, that could cost them their lives.

Just the Facts:

  • The Going Back Portal by Connie Lacy
  • Genre: Science-Fiction / Fantasy / Romance
  • Page Count: 326 pages
  • Publisher:  Wild Falls Publishing 
  • Pub Date: February 12, 2019

A huge thank you to Lola’s Blog Tours for the opportunity to read and review this book. You can find out more about Lola’s Blog Tours here!

I was provided an advanced readers copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest, unbiased review voluntarily.

All Amazon links are affiliate links.

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Malfunction by Nina Croft

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved: I really loved the writing in this story. I just felt captivated by what was happening and I really wanted to get to the truth. Nina Croft did a great job of writing this one!

How I Felt: Right from the start, I was hooked on Malfunction. Waking up in a cryotank…finding it’s 500 years in the future and there’s a problem. It was right up my alley and I loved it! There’s a bit of humor and I appreciated that to lighten the story a bit. The murder mystery was a good plot and I was definitely interested in who did it. Overall, I was very happy with this book and I look forward to reading more from Nina Croft!

To Read or Not To Read: If you enjoy science-fiction, end-of-the-world survival, paranormal mysteries, this book is right for you!

Where To Find This Book:
Goodreads | Kindle | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

Investigator, Sergeant Logan Farrell, has never been convinced the human race deserves saving. But it looks like he’s got the job anyway.

It’s been five hundred years since we fled the remnants of a dying Earth in search of a new home. Twenty-four ships, each carrying ten thousand Chosen Ones. All sleeping peacefully…until people start dying in cryo.

Malfunction or murder? Hopefully, the former—a serial killer in the fleet would be drastic for morale. But Logan is determined to find the truth. Unfortunately, he’s got a new partner—and he works best alone.

Katia Mendoza, hot-shot homicide detective, has been woken from cryo to assist with the investigation. But is she really interested in solving the case, or does she have her own agenda?

Before he can answer that question, though, they become targets themselves.

Nothing like a few near misses with death to bring a couple together, and Logan finds himself falling for the alluring detective. But he doesn’t know that Katia is hiding a secret.

It’s not only humans who fled the dying Earth.

  • Malfunction by Nina Croft
  • Series: Dark Desire Origins, Book 1
  • Page Count: 269 pages
  • Publisher: Entangled: Amara
  • Pub Date: January 20, 2020

Growing up in the cold, wet, north of England, Nina Croft spent a lot of time dreaming of faraway sunnier places and ponies. When she discovered both, along with a whole load of other things, could be found between the covers of a book, her life changed forever.

Later, she headed south, picked up the perfect husband along the way, and together they volunteered to work in Africa. There they discovered a love of exotic places and a dislike of 9-5 work. Afterward they spent a number of years travelling (whenever possible) intermingled with working (whenever necessary.) Eventually they stumbled upon a remote area in the mountains of southern Spain and the small almond farm they now call home.

Nina spends her days reading, writing and riding her mare, Gencianna, under the blue Spanish skies—sunshine and ponies. She reckons this is proof that dreams really can come true if you want them enough.

Nina’s writing mixes romance with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

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I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest, unbiased review voluntarily.

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Midnight on Strange Street by K.E. Ormsbee – A Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The friendships in this book were wonderful and made me really connect to the characters. I loved that it had 4 main characters and their point of view was shown throughout the book. Their friendship was heartwarming and made Midnight on Strange Street so wonderful.

How I Felt:

Although this book is targeted towards middle-grade readers, it’s a really fun read for an adult that loves sci-fi as well!

The Writing: Written from the POV of four main characters, I was concerned that this would become confusing and difficult to follow, but it didn’t! The writing was done so well and made the story flow seamlessly.

The Characters: The four main characters were so wonderful. They had complexity and depth making them relatable and enjoyable. I loved that they each had a special power related to their glowboards. This was a special twist that was fun to learn about.

The Plot: Avery, Dani, Lola, and Bastian are all glowboarders in their small Texas town. Glowboarding is a new style of skateboarding where the boards are powered by this mysterious substance, Glow. While the book is really focused on the glowboarding events, there is a bigger, global war, that is brewing. I believe that there could be a book 2 where this would be expanded on, but we will see!

Overall, this was a fun story with a great science-fiction aspect for middle-grade readers. At 400 pages, it’s an investment for a young child to read, however, I flew through the pages and found that the size of the book, was not a deterrent and didn’t feel like 400 pages.

To Read or Not To Read:

This is a good book for young readers that enjoy reading chapter books. If you enjoy getting to know characters and books about friendship and a sporting event, Midnight on Strange Street is perfect.

Where To Find This Book:

Midnight on Strange Street by K.E. Ormsbee is available at these sites.
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ibooks | The Book Depository

AVERY MILLER is looking for a fresh start, away from all the bomb sirens and talk of war in Los Angeles. She expects to find a haven in Callaway, Texas, where the cool new substance “glow” was first discovered. What she doesn’t count on is making friends with glowboard skaters Dani, Bastian, and Lola, aka the Sardines. . . .

DANI HIRSCH, captain of the Sardines, knows for a fact they’re the best glowboarding team in Texas—if only they could prove it. Nothing will distract Dani from leading the team to victory at this summer’s big race. Not even food explosions in the school cafeteria, or a mysterious midnight message, or secretive government workers in Callaway. . . .

BASTIAN GIL is sick of the bullies who tease him for being a Sardine, for being different. Sure, he and his twin sister, Lola, can share thoughts. That’s just twin telepathy, though—nothing too weird, right? But when Bastian finds he can do even stranger things, he starts to wonder if maybe he really is different from the other kids at school. . . .

LOLA GIL wants life to go back to normal, to a time before big glowboard races and government investigations. But the more the Sardines discover about themselves—like how they can share thoughts and move objects with their minds—the more Lola begins to fear there was never anything normal about her. . . .

When the Sardines receive an ominous, otherworldly message, they must decide if they’ll use their newfound powers to stop an impending disaster—one that could have more to do with the war, their bullies, and glowboarding than they can possibly imagine.

  • Midnight on Strange Street by K.E. Ormsbee
  • Genre: Children’s / Mystery / Sci-Fi
  • Page Count: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Pub Date: January 21, 2020

K.E. Ormsbee writes books, cooks food, & records podcasts in Austin, TX. She is the author of the WATER AND THE WILD fantasy trilogy (Chronicle Books and Gumption Press), folk mystery THE HOUSE IN POPLAR WOOD (Chronicle Books), and the upcoming sci-fi adventure MIDNIGHT ON STRANGE STREET (Disney-Hyperion, January 2020).

She also writes Young Adult novels as Kathryn Ormsbee: LUCKY FEW, TASH HEARTS TOLSTOY, and THE GREAT UNKNOWABLE END (Simon & Schuster).

K.E. Ormsbee likes clothes from the 60s, music from the 70s, and movies from the 80s. She is from the 90s. You can visit her online at keormsbee.com or follow her on Twitter & Instagram @kathsby.


I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest, unbiased review voluntarily.

A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden

Rating: 3 out of 5.

What I Loved:

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, A Touch of Death this is a good read for you!

Where To Find This Book:

A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden is available at these sites:

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.

  • A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden
  • Book Series: The Outlands Pentalogy (Book 1)
  • Page Count: 303 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • February 24, 2017 (1st Edition)

I received a copy of this advanced reader’s copy for free. I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.

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Retaliation by Haley Cavanagh – Excerpt

Retaliation by Haley Cavanagh

  • Genre: YA / Dystopian / Sci-fi / Romance
  • Page Count: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Independently published
  • Pub Date: December 15, 2019

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?

“No .”

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.

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ExtraNormal by Suze Reese

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The main character, Mira is from another planet and is integrating into Earth. Her thoughts are hilarious and I loved them. She is educated in the culture and slang of Earth, but she hasn’t quite gotten the hang of it yet. She titles the popular, mean girls, the “Skinnies”, and I just found it adorable. Overall, I loved watching her become a part of Earth’s high school routine. Experiencing things for the first time, like a cafeteria lunch, which she is extremely excited to try. It all just rounded out for a fun read.

How I Felt:

I was rooting for Mira to make it through this book! I wanted to know everything that was happening. The book had so many twists and turns as the plot unfolded, it kept me interested from start to finish! There are a few parts that feel a bit clunky, but overall I was able to overlook that as the overall story was a good read.

Continue reading “ExtraNormal by Suze Reese”

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

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.

Continue reading “The Grace Year by Kim Liggett”

The Rain Belongs Here by Julie Rogers

Rating: 4 out of 5.

My Thoughts:

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:

Goodreads Amazon

Footnotes:

This ARC was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

“I want to change my punctuation. I long for exclamation marks, but I’m drowning in ellipses.”
― Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies

Rating: 3 out of 5.

My Thoughts:

What I Loved: Warm Bodies is written with the main character, R as the narrator. As a zombie, he feels a bit different from the other zombies. He is more self-aware and seems to be having feelings. It makes a really interesting perspective and it was my favorite piece of this book.

How I Felt: This book was interesting and kept my attention. It is the first book in a series, but I haven’t yet read the second one. The struggle R goes through with his feelings was very captivating and I felt it was the thing that kept me reading this book. The love story was secondary for me. It was interesting, but I loved the way the author wrote the zombie’s thoughts and feelings. Isaac Marion writing is beautiful and was a major bonus in this story.

“In my mind I am eloquent; I can climb intricate scaffolds of words to reach the highest cathedral ceilings and paint my thoughts. But when I open my mouth, everything collapses.”
― Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies

To Read or Not To Read: This is a YA novel and is perfect for romance sci-fi junkies. If you enjoy the post-apocalyptic YA stories, it’s a good book for you! If you are looking for a traditional zombie-eating-brains kind of story, you should move along…this one isn’t for you.

What’s This Book About Anyway?

R is a zombie, going about his zombie-day eating humans and living in his 747 at the airport. He doesn’t remember anything about his before-life and he’s pretty much just, a zombie.

He meets Julie and he can’t understand why, but he doesn’t want to eat her. He takes her captive and she begins to change his life. She brings something new out of him that he’s never felt before.

Julie and R live in a world where zombies are bad…people kill zombies or zombies eat people. What if though, zombies could be something a bit different given the chance?

Footnotes:

#warmbodies #isaacmarion #yanovel #zombieromancenovel #shejustlovesbooks #bookreview #bookblog