Book Review: Eden Lost by Andrew Cunningham @arcnovels @GH_Narrator @AnAudiobookworm

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Author: Andrew Cunningham

Narrator: Greg Hernandez

Length: 6 hours 31 minutes

Series: Eden Rising, Book 2

Publisher: Andrew Cunningham

Released: Jan. 15, 2021

Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller

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Book Review: A Quiet Apocalypse by Dave Jeffery @davebjeffery @SDSXXTours

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Title: A Quiet Apocalypse
A Quiet Apocalypse Book 1
by Dave Jeffery
Genres: Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian

Purchase Links:
Barnes & Noble // Amazon

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A Quiet Apocalypse
A Quiet Apocalypse Book 1

Dave Jeffery
Demain Publishing, January 2020
ISBN 979-8602850222
Trade Paperback

From the author—

The end is hear…

A mutant strain of meningitis has wiped out most of mankind. The few who have survived the fever are now deaf.

Bitter with loss and terrified to leave the city known as Cathedral, the inhabitants rely on The Samaritans, search teams sent out into the surrounding countryside. Their purpose, to hunt down and enslave the greatest commodity on Earth, an even smaller group of people immune to the virus, people who can still hear.

People like me.

My name is Chris.

This is my story.


“A Quiet Apocalypse is told from the perspective of ex-schoolteacher Chris, a hearing survivor. He has lost everything, including his freedom, and through his eyes we learn of what it is like to live as a slave in this terrible new world of fear and loss. I was keen to write a piece that preyed upon people’s traditional misconceptions of deafness as an illness, and the imposition of ‘hearing’ norms. It is a story that has poignancy in any understanding of the struggles of minority groups.” – Author, Dave Jeffery

With an unusual premise, A Quiet Apocalypse takes us on a post-apocalyptic journey thrust on mankind by a pandemic that leaves most survivors with a complete loss of hearing. Mr. Jeffery uses this concept to shine a light on disabilities in general and on the peculiar kind of slavery that comes about when the few who can still hear become a target for the government. Are the hearing now considered disabled in a twist on human reaction to being “different” or do certain factions see them as less worthy than the deaf?

Chris is a very sympathetic character while his vicious captor, Crowley, decidedly is not and here again the author makes much of the opportunity to focus our attention on humanity’s ability to build hatred and intolerance towards those who don’t fit a preconceived mold. Yes, the story is dark and, in its way, horrific but certainly reflects much of what is going on in our world today and is well worth everyone’s attention.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, March 2021.

About the Author

Dave Jeffery is author of 15 novels, two collections, and numerous short stories. His Necropolis Rising series and yeti adventure Frostbite have both featured on the Amazon #1 bestseller list. His YA work features critically acclaimed Beatrice Beecham supernatural mystery series and Finding Jericho, a contemporary mental health novel that was featured on the BBC Health and the Independent Schools Entrance Examination Board’s recommended reading lists. A third edition of this book will be released by Demain Publishing in 2020.

Jeffery is a member of the Society of Authors, British Fantasy Society (where he is a regular book reviewer), and the Horror Writers Association. He is also a registered mental health professional with a BSc (Hons) in Mental Health Studies and a Master of Science Degree in Health Studies.

Jeffery is married with two children and lives in Worcestershire, UK.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads

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Giveaway

$20 Amazon

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/
a-quiet-apocalypse-book-tour-and-giveaway

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Book Review: Canopy by D.M. Darroch @YABoundToursPR

 

Canopy Book Tour! 
Feb. 1-5
Canopy
The Silvanus Saga Book One

by: D.M. Darroch
Sleepy Cat Press, January 2021

Genre: YA, Post-Apocalyptic,
Dystopian, Science Fiction
 
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See the girl in the trees. Catch her if you can.

 

Several centuries ago, a group of ecologists escaped the breakdown of a society ravaged by climate change by vanishing into giant, genetically engineered forests in the North American west. Dwelling among vast canopies that hover several thousand feet above the earth, their descendants fear the cannibals roaming far beneath them and cling to the teachings of their sacred text, The Book of Silvanus. 

 

Sixteen year-old Ostrya considers it a burden to train as the canopy’s next doctor. But her life’s work has been preordained—and she’s desperate to reclaim her mother’s love. When a cataclysmic storm wracks the canopy, Ostrya begins to face her doubts about the teachings of the book and the laws of the canopy. If she is to survive, she will have to decide if her destiny is in the treetops or on the forest floor…

Although Canopy is billed as dystopian, it’s also post-apocalyptic and the combination is one  of my favorite kinds  of science fiction. With both, the most crucial element is worldbuilding; it not only should be complex and thorough enough so the reader really understands this very different way of life but also entertaining enough to make the reader want to learn more. In my opinion, Ms. Darroch has let her imagination run and created one of the best settings I’ve read.
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The author’s opening paragraph—having to do with spiders, of all things—let me know right away that I was in for an intriguing journey and, with each page, I was drawn in further. Imagine a world in which you never touch the ground, shoes are outlawed and genetic engineering has caused trees to become gigantic beings with the resulting increased oxygen production leading to the growth of lesser creatures that are six times the size of the same creatures generations earlier, before the devastating climate and health changes confronting humanity.
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Of course, all is not perfect for the tree dwellers and there are people still living on the ground with all its challenges The teen-aged Ostrya, pre-ordained to become a doctor because it’s expected of her, is restless and insecure about her future, wanting to know about the world below…and so begins a most interesting and fascinating tale, one I raced through but didn’t really want to finish. This will go on my list of best books read in 2021 and Book 2 can’t come fast enough 😉
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Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, February 2021.
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Buy Links: 

B & N // Amazon // Apple Books 

Rakuten/Kobo // Angus & Robertson // Thalia

bol.de // Indigo // Mondadori // Indiebound 

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Canopy Book Tour Giveaway Contest!

Giveaway Prizes: 

Grand Prize: Hammock! (US and Canada)

First Prize: $30 Amazon Gift Card! (International)

Second Prize: Hand-signed copy of paperback (US and
Canada) 

Third Prize: Ebook (International) 

To enter, please visit: 

Rafflecopter

 
(Giveaway runs Feb 1-19, 2021) 

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Author Bio:

D.M. Darroch is the author of the Inventor-in-Training series as well as other speculative fiction stories. Her books weave together nature and science with adventure and often a touch of humor. Danelle lives in Washington State, USA and enjoys long walks in the forest. Her website is: https://www.dmdarroch.com.

Website  // Goodreads // Amazon Author Page

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Follow the tour here.

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Tour created by YA Bound Book Tours 

Book Review: Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton @KiraJaneWrites @petkoff @HachetteAudio @GrandCentralPub

Hollow Kingdom
Kira Jane Buxton
Narrated by Robert Petkoff
Hachette Audio, August 2019
Downloaded Unabridged Audiobook

From the publisher—

S.T., a domesticated crow, is a bird of simple pleasures: hanging out with his owner Big Jim, trading insults with Seattle’s wild crows (i.e. “those idiots”), and enjoying the finest food humankind has to offer: Cheetos.

But when Big Jim’s eyeball falls out of his head, S.T. starts to think something’s not quite right. His most tried-and-true remedies – from beak-delivered beer to the slobbering affection of Big Jim’s loyal but dim-witted dog, Dennis – fail to cure Big Jim’s debilitating malady. S.T. is left with no choice but to abandon his old life and venture out into a wild and frightening new world with his trusty steed Dennis, where he suddenly discovers that the neighbors are devouring one another. Local wildlife is abuzz with rumors of dangerous new predators. Humanity’s extinction has seemingly arrived, and the only one determined to save it is a cowardly crow whose only knowledge of the world around him comes from TV.

What could possibly go wrong?

Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton is unlike any other zombie book I’ve read and I’ve read quite a few in my time. The story is told by S.T., a very well-educated crow (educated via the tv, internet and his human), and he first realizes something is wrong when Big Jim’s eyeball falls out.

Yeah, I know, sounds gross but…

This is the tale of how S.T. and his bloodhound, Dennis, set off to save the domestics who’ve been left behind, trapped, when the virus swept through humanity. Along the way, they encounter many other animals, wild and domestic, and a lot of them join in the mission. Most of the commentary is from our trusty crow but there are interludes from such creatures as an octopus and a polar bear.

There’s a great deal of humor and a few sad scenes that really tapped into my emotions but very little time is spent on gory zombie details so you don’t have to be concerned about that. This is all about the animals and the author clearly has a point to make, several points, in fact. BTW, this is not a kid’s or middle grade book despite all the animals, birds and sea creatures because S.T. can occasionally be foulmouthed and there are a couple of scenes in which animals get hurt (but even those have redeeming qualities).

The narrator, Robert Petkoff, does a great job with S.T.’s voice as well as a few others (especially the octopus) and his sense of pacing and comedic/emotional tones are spot on. My daughter read the print edition and was just as entranced. I know, Hollow Kingdom sounds, er, strange but I was completely captured and this is going on my list of best books read in 2020. A sequel, Feral Creatures, is in the works and I can hardly wait.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, September 2020.

Book Review: Impact by K. Maze @KMazeauthor @AureliaLeoCo @YABoundToursPR

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Title: Impact
Author: K. Maze
Publication Date: June 25, 2020
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

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Purchase Links:
Aurelia Leo // Barnes & Noble // Kobo // Amazon

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Impact
K. Maze
Aurelia Leo, June 2020
ISBN 978-1-946024-81-7
Trade Paperback

From the publisher:

Trapped underground with a mysterious scientist named Edison and his chess master AI, can Nala Nightingale find the will to live and to love in a dystopian future?

Set in post-pandemic Wind City, a young journalist races time against a certain natural destruction. Nala must decide between broadcasting the news of a lifetime or discovering keys to her orphaned past.

As an intern, Nala wants badly to prove her self as a real journalist, not just a broadcaster of fluffy pieces and, on a seemingly normal day, she heads for Intercambio 7 to make her pitch for an important story but she never gets to tell her boss about it. That seemingly normal day is anything but as she soon learns when it becomes apparent that people in the building are rushing out the doors in a panic.

Downtown Girl, as the viewing public knows Nala, is an orphan whose mother died mysteriously after engaging in food production for the Resistance and, although Nala has no leanings towards the rebels’ activities, she does want to know more about how and why her mother died. It’s been ten years since the Bovine Flu pandemic and now the world is about to experience an apocalyptic event that could literally destroy the planet.

While there are aspects of the story that I really liked, especially Nala and Edison as well as other characters, I had trouble truly connecting and the somewhat muddy worldbuilding was the main cause. Part of my confusion stemmed from the somewhat erratic introduction of futuristic technology without clear explanations. For example, the VID messages that pop up but are apparently controlled by the recipient..pop up where? And what exactly is the H-Lens that allows people to see virtual files in one’s mind, I think, while no one else can see them? Why would her boyfriend, who knew about the coming disaster at least the day before, pre-program a destination for her but not warn her? Most important, though, is my inability to suspend disbelief enough to accept that the coming asteroid impact could possibly have been hidden from the public, deliberately or otherwise, until just over five hours before the event. Even today, in 2020, that couldn’t be kept entirely secret from the nerdiest high school student and I can’t imagine that it could happen in 2098.

Despite those difficulties, I did enjoy this tale of survivors attempting to bring order to what’s left of society and of Nala’s self-discovery and understanding of her place in this brave new world. There is hope for the future.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, August 2020.

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An Excerpt from Impact

Book excerpt (first page):

Chapter One

-05:11:08 (311 Before Impact-BI minutes)

Nala Nightingale pressed her way into the large rotating door of Intercambio 7, rushed because the tram was down. I hope the old goat Marcus won’t change his mind and not listen to my pitch. She hadn’t been late in two years interning, but the always-early Mimi was also presenting her idea today. She suggested a piece on robotic make-up art, but Nala’s interviews regarding the orphans of the Bovine Flu had more sustenance in her opinion. But her opinion didn’t matter. Only Marcus decided which pieces went on the broadcast; and the young interns were supposed to inform Wind City of the hottest trends. That usually meant fashion news and how to bypass dance club lines, but Nala insisted the youth were concerned about social issues, too.

Marcus loved Mimi’s ideas as well as her sleek hair and how perfectly it splayed to her clavicle. He commented often on how well the camera captured her presence. Nala struggled to keep her silver-streaked wanton curls in submission and often tied them into a loose bun. Marcus appreciated her offbeat style and perspectives on issues that mattered, but she couldn’t chance losing the broadcast to Mimi today. She had to talk to him first.

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About the Author

Kris Maze writes empowering, twisty stories and also teaches Spanish. After years of reading classic literature, mysteries, and legal thrillers, she sought to publish her own books. Her first Science Fiction novella, IMPACT, published through Aurelia Leo, is now available!

Kris Maze is fascinated with strong characters like her protagonist Nala, a teen journalist who reluctantly works with a crazed scientist Edison to survive an incoming asteroid implosion. For more information on her book, look here.

Check out her newly revised website and say hi! While you are there sign up for her newsletter to get freebies and updates on blog tours and media takeovers during the next couple months.

For Subscribers during August there will be Writer Wellness Tips and Tools, (also good for anyone working or studying from home) so now is a fantastic time to visit her website.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kmazeauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KMazeauthor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kmazeauthor/

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Follow the tour here.

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Giveaway

One paperback copy of Impact

Enter here.

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Book Review: Scorpion by Jeff Sweat @jeffsweatbooks @FeiwelFriends @RockstarBkTours

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I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the SCORPION
by Jeff Sweat Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check
out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!
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About the Book:
Title: SCORPION
(Mayfly #2)
Author: Jeff Sweat
Pub. Date: June 23, 2020
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Formats: Hardcover,
eBook
Pages: 432
In Scorpion, the sequel to Jeff Sweat’s
YA futuristic thriller Mayfly, Jemma, Lady, and Pico all left the Holy
Wood to seek answers to the End, and when they find the Old Guys—the only
adults to have survived the original wipeout of everyone over the age of
seventeen—they think they’ve found help at last.
But there’s a lot the Old Guys aren’t telling them. In fact, some of them don’t seem interested in solving the End at all and just want Jemma and her friends to leave. Meanwhile, war is brewing among the tribes of the rest of the Children. Jemma’s old home has fallen into disorder, and is far from prepared for battle. It won’t be long before the fighting reaches Jemma and the Old Guys, if they even live to see it.
Haven’t started the series yet? Grab book 1, MAYFLY now!
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A couple of years ago, I reviewed the first book in this duology and, while I wasn’t blown away by it, I enjoyed the premise, that all over the age of seventeen face certain death. I thought the author handled this new existence well other than giving readers a fairly skimpy worldbuilding and I never did understand why the teens would want to bring babies into this world, knowing that will die, in turn, at an all too early age.
In Scorpion, I have the same concerns although I think the worldbuilding is a little more complex and our small group of teens who went in search of answers have discovered that the automatic deaths of all adults isn’t quite true. The Old Guys have survived but they’ve done so partially by isolating themselves and, even after Jemma and her friends discover them, they are very reluctant to engage with the kids in any meaningful way. While war looms among the children’s tribes, the Old Guys continue to distance themselves. Could it be that these are the people who unleashed hell on the planet in the first place?
In some ways, this second book is better than the first, at least in the sense of being more developed in worldbuilding and plot, but I’m still thinking about whether or not the ending fully satisfied me. Perhaps Mr. Sweat will change his mind and turn this into a trilogy 🙂
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, July 2020.
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About Jeff:


Jeff Sweat has made a living from words his entire career, starting out as an award-winning tech journalist for Information Week magazine and moving into marketing.
He led the content marketing team for Yahoo and pioneered its use of social media. He directed PR for two of the top advertising agencies in the country, Deutsch LA and 72andSunny. He now runs his own Los Angeles–based PR and marketing agency, Mister Sweat.
He grew up in Idaho as the middle of eight children—seven boys and one girl—and attended Columbia University in New York. Jeff lives in a big blue house in Los Angeles with his wife Sunny and their three kids, two cats, and a racing greyhound.
He loves to travel and writes everywhere he goes, even when there’s not a desk. He likes karaoke, motorcycles and
carpentry. He was once shot in the head with a nail gun, which was not a big of a deal as it sounds. But it still hurt like crazy.
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads

 

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Giveaway Details:
2 winners will receive a finished copy
of SCORPION, US Only.
 
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Tour Schedule:
Week One:
7/13/2020
Excerpt
7/13/2020
Instagram Stop
7/14/2020
Excerpt
7/14/2020
Excerpt
7/15/2020
Review
7/15/2020
Excerpt
7/16/2020
Review
7/16/2020
Excerpt
7/17/2020
Review
7/17/2020
Review
Week Two:
7/20/2020
Review
7/20/2020
Instagram Stop
7/21/2020
Interview
7/21/2020
Excerpt
7/22/2020
Interview
7/22/2020
Instagram Stop
7/23/2020
Review
7/23/2020
Review
7/24/2020
Review
7/24/2020
Review

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Book Review: The Vatican Games by Alejandra Guibert @Aleja_Guibert @Authoright

The Vatican Games
Alejandra Guibert
Clink Street, January 2020
ISBN 978-1-913136-30-7
Trade Paperback

From the publisher—

Vera is born on the day an apocalyptic revenge is unleashed, annihilating half of the world’s population.

Her birth marks the beginning of a new world order run by powerful gaming corporations.

A warless existence with no poverty has been secured, until this fine balance becomes once more under threat.

Vera is the female David to beat Goliath and prevent further devastation.

The future lies in her hands. It’s a game that she needs to win.

What an unusual story this is! There are certain things that set it apart from most apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic/dystopian tales—Vera is born just as the worldwide terrorist attack happens, she survives a deadly brain defect, the setting is in Vatican City, etc.—but, taken as a whole, they create the beginnings of something unexpected. To be honest, I’m not quite sure how I feel about it and I suspect this is one of those books that has to sort of rumble around in my mind for a while.

To this semi-luddite, it’s appalling to think of the gaming industry being in charge of the world but this kind of story is supposed to be unsettling, isn’t it? Speaking of unsettling, Ms. Guibert is very adept at dropping little crumbs here and there that make you think, “Wait a minute…oh” starting with how hunger no longer exists.

Carry on as usual…urged people to carry on with life in the midst of death. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it, but in The Vatican Games, a diabolical attack by unknown terrorists, first against the US, then spreading around the world, is the cause of the overwhelming devastation. It’s followed by a self-justified US military retaliation against the Middle East and then a counterattack on Israel, resulting eventually in incredible loss of life as well as economic disintegration. As might be expected, though, ruling bodies around the world soon collaborate to form a world government but, in reality, this is the story of Vera and her mother, Alina, and Vera’s life after another tragic event.

So much happens in this story that I think the pacing was a bit too slow but it’s a compelling tale of the condition of our world and where it could be heading. Food for thought, indeed.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, June 2020.