Book Review: Mercury Boys by Chandra Prasad @chandrabooks @soho_teen

Mercury Boys
Chandra Prasad
Soho Teen, August 2021
ISBN 978-1-64129-265-8
Hardcover

Saskia is angry about her abrupt exit from Arizona. It’s where she became the content, confident and not-too-terrible teenager her parents could trust. It is also where Mom openly hooked up with the (very young) man students had dubbed “the hot substitute”.

Moving with just Dad was depressing. As a suddenly-single parent and nurse with a bonkers schedule, he may not notice her mood. It’s fine. Saskia is making friends.

Lila certainly seems responsible. She’s a good student and holds a part-time job on the Western Connecticut State campus. To be fair, any work would be way better than baby-sitting her squad of younger siblings; but Lila genuinely enjoys the opportunity to study the origins of processing photographs.

When Saskia is assigned to study Robert Cornelius (chemist, considered pioneer of photography), Lila is quite happy to show Saskia the daguerreotypes so meticulously maintained in the school’s library. She’s less comfortable when her new friend is so fixated on the likeness of Cornelius that she insists on “borrowing” it.

Saskia meant to keep it overnight only, but she hadn’t realized it was a portal. Or, that when she closed her eyes to sleep, she would meet Cornelius. Face-to-face. In his time. Too real to be a dream, time-travel was the only explanation. Unless it was mercury poisoning. Probably should not have handled that.

In an enthusiastic effort to share her discovery and befriend the oh-so-popular Paige, Saskia loses sight of that-which-is-important. Including Lila.

Mercury Boys is the archetypal YA narrative. Actual issues that can, and often do, affect adolescents today, are addressed. The eye-on-the-prize type of tunnel-vision that can lead a typically reasonable teen astray, aptly portrayed. Ms. Prasad’s antagonist employs peer-pressure in its most passive-aggressive form and the girls’ summer “fun” has very real, adverse repercussions.

I’ll be excitedly introducing Mercury Boys to “my” students. I think the combination of fact and fantasy creates a captivating story.

This review was written by jv poore for Buried Under Books, with huge thanks for the Advance Review Copy to donate to my favorite classroom library.

Reviewed by jv poore, September 2021.

Book Review: The Risks of Dead Reckoning by Felicia Watson—and a Giveaway! @FeliciaTes @DXVaros @TLCBookTours

The Risks of Dead Reckoning
The Lovelace Series, Book 3
Felicia Watson
D. X. Varos, March 2021
ISBN 978-1941072899
Trade Paperback

From the publisher—

Naiche Decker is engaged! And no one is more surprised by it than her. But first, she has one more mission. The Lovelace is ordered to respond to a distress call from unexplored space, and from a crew who all died 200 years ago. What they find is not only amazing, but potentially lethal. If Lt. Decker is going to make it down the aisle, she will have to survive the dangers of planet Tolu first.

The Risks of Dead Reckoning was my introduction to the Lovelace trilogy and I found much to like here. While it’s generally preferable to read books in order, this works as a standalone as long as you’re willing to forgo some of the backstory and I am.

Ms. Watson has two main strengths in my opinion, vivid characterizations being one of them. As you might expect, the primary players on the Lovelace stand out in a crowd but others, including “bad guys”, are also very distinctive and add much to a lively story. (I especially appreciate the flying dinosaur-thingies.)

The other strong point is worldbuilding and I think Ms. Watson is particularly good at this aided, I think, by her background in science not to mention an active imagination. Whether she intended it or not, I was reminded a lot of the original Star Trek and that is not a bad thing. As in that series, here we have a spaceship crew heading into the unknown to explore but also to respond to what seems to be an appeal for help. When Deck and the rest of the Lovelace crew are confronted by creepy critters, odd aliens and lots of questions, what more could I ask for?

It’s a wild, fun ride and I’m very glad to have had a seat—now I need to check out the first two books.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, September 2021.

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Purchase Links:
Barnes & Noble // Kobo // Amazon // Indiebound

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About the Author

Felicia Watson started writing stories as soon as they handed her a pencil in first grade. When not writing, Felicia spends her time with her darling dogs, her beloved husband, being an amateur pastry chef, and still finds time for her day job as a scientist.

Connect with Felicia:

Twitter // Goodreads

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Follow the tour here.

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Giveaway

To enter the drawing for a print copy of
The Risks of Dead Reckoning, leave a comment
below. The winning name will be drawn
on the evening of Wednesday, September 22nd.
US entrants only.

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Book Review: The Last Exit by Michael Kaufman—and a Giveaway! @KaufmanWrites @crookedlanebks

The Last Exit
A Jen Lu Mystery #1
Michael Kaufman
Crooked Lane Books, January 2021
ISBN 978-1-64385-567-7
Hardcover

Set in the future, Jen Lu is a Washington D.C. detective with a synth implant named Chandler residing in her neocortex. She is able to turn Chandler off at will, but is not supposed to when on duty. With a population grown out of control and limited resources and space for everyone, people over sixty-five are required to exit (die) so their children may live—as long as they can pay for an expensive longevity treatment.

One evening, Jen and Chandler are called to a stand-off between parents and child because the parents refuse to “exit” at their son’s demand.  A shoot-out occurs, with the mother’s last words something about going to Eden.

Jen’s investigation turns up a cheaper source for the treatment and the term “Eden” is mentioned, but reports are coming in of many people dying. When her supervisor calls her off the case, suspicions grow of something hinky going on, which involves people in government, law enforcement, and of course, highest society.

Determined to get to the bottom of it, especially after Chandler is turned off and Jen fired, Jen’s own life and hope for longevity is put in jeopardy as she follows a money trail. Only the presence of her former cop partner, her boyfriend, and Chandler’s power, can help put things right.

Excellent world-building, entirely plausible—and more than a bit scary. Fine writing and interesting characters make Mr. Kaufman most definitely a writer to watch.

Reviewed by Carol Crigger, August 2021.
http://www.ckcrigger.com
Author of The Woman Who Built A Bridge (Spur Award Winner), Yester’s Ride,
Hometown Burning and Six Dancing Damsels: A China Bohannon Mystery

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Giveaway

To enter the drawing for a print copy of
The Last Exit, leave a comment
below. The winning name will be drawn
on the evening of Sunday, August 22nd.
US and Canada entrants only.

Book Review: Becoming Brooklyn by Amanda Deich @AmandaDeich @XpressoTours

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Title: Becoming Brooklyn
Author: Amanda Deich
Publisher: Park Bench Publishing
Publication date: January 5, 2021
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Purchase Links:
Barnes & Noble  // Indiebound // Amazon

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Becoming Brooklyn
Amanda Deich
Park Bench Publishing, January 2021
ISBN 978-1-7361601-1-4
Hardcover

From the publisher—

Eighteen-year-old Brooklyn never knew her father. Rex Blackburn died in the 9/11 attacks four months before she was born.

And even though she never met him, she always dreamed about what he must have been like before he died. In her mind, he was a hero.

Little did she know.

After an attack at a 9/11 memorial gala, Brooklyn learns her father had been a member of an elite, anti-terrorism, military task force, made up of a very select group of people who had superhuman abilities. On the day the towers fell, he died using his power to save people.

The Army believes she inherited his gift, and Brooklyn is invited to train at West Point in order to hone her skills. Knowing deep down she is different than anyone else her age and wanting to learn more about a father she never knew, she readily agrees to become a cadet at the prestigious military academy.

She and five other 9/11 babies strengthen their superhuman abilities and spend weeks preparing themselves for their future in the army, fighting terrorists at home and abroad. And in the process of training, they identify with their deceased parents in a way they never knew they could.

Brooklyn knows she’ll go to war someday, but when terrorists find out about the group’s gifts, they don’t bother to wait.

They bring the war to West Point.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, a couple of good things came out of the pandemic and one, for me, was the cessation of the endless stream of superhero entertainment, especially movies but really all forms. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it all but, heavens, it seemed as though a new adventure was coming out every month. That’s what I call oversaturation of the market so, yes, I welcomed the break. Then came the second Wonder Woman and I was ready for more by that time but it was sadly disappointing.

Then I heard about Becoming Brooklyn and, once again, I was excited and hopeful and, lo and behold, the joy is back! This book is refreshing in its concept and execution and, while there are flaws, the storyline is as enjoyable as I could have hoped.

Imagine finding out that the dad you never knew was a real life superhero AND that you just might be one, too. Brooklyn is excited to find out more and get the training that’s offered at West Point and, when that venerable institution and the cadets become the focus of terrorists, well, she and her fellow students have to react much sooner than they anticipated. Mayhem ensues, as it always does in the world of superheroes and this reader had a high old time enjoying the adventure 😄.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, July 2021.

About the Author

Amanda Deich is an author out of Littleton, CO. In her non-writer life, she is a teacher and coach to hundreds of kids, and she is a mama to two. If you meet her, she’ll talk Jesus and identity like no one’s business.

Get in touch with Amanda:

Website / Facebook /

Twitter / Instagram

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Follow the tour here.

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GIVEAWAY!

$20 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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: Will Rise from Ashes by Jean M. Grant @JeanGrant05 @AnAudiobookworm

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Author: Jean M. Grant

Narrators: Caroline Hewitt, Andrew Perkins

Length: 10 hours 32 minutes

Publisher: Jean M. Grant

Released: Mar. 16, 2020

Genre: Women’s Fiction

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