Thursday, April 13, 2017

[Review & Giveaway] True Born


True Born (True Born Trilogy #1)

by L.E. Sterling

Publish date: May 3, 2016
Genre:  YA Fantasy/Science Fiction
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads summary

Welcome to Dominion City. 

After the great Plague descended, the world population was decimated…and their genetics damaged beyond repair.

The Lasters wait hopelessly for their genes to self-destruct. The Splicers pay for expensive treatments that might prolong their life. The plague-resistant True Borns are as mysterious as they are feared… 

And then there’s Lucy Fox and her identical twin sister, Margot. After endless tests, no one wants to reveal what they are. 

When Margot disappears, a desperate Lucy has no choice but to put her faith in the True Borns, led by the charismatic Nolan Storm and the beautiful but deadly Jared Price. As Lucy and the True Borns set out to rescue her sister, they stumble upon a vast conspiracy stretching from Dominion’s street preachers to shady Russian tycoons. But why target the Fox sisters? 

As they say in Dominion, it’s in the blood.

My thoughts

My first thought about True Born was that it's hard to classify. Is it a fantasy? It is a dystopian? Is it science fiction? In truth, it's all of these things. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find most of my favorite elements rolled up together in the book. Like a beautifully baked cake with buttercream frosting. It was a delicious treat. 

True Born is written mostly from Lucy's perspective. Lucy and her twin, Margot, have that  special connection you hear twins talk about sometimes. But theirs is ramped up on steroids. Lucy can physically feel what is happening to Margot. So, when Margot disappears it doesn't take long for Lucy to feel it, and she takes off trying to find her. 

That's where Jared and Storm enter into Lucy's life and things start to change. Lucy has more questions than answers throughout the entire book, and we learn some things right along with her but there's still a lot left in the dark to keep me coming back for more. What exactly are Lucy and Margot? That's the question of the hour. 

Overall, this book was a very nice read. I enjoyed Lucy's character a lot and Storm and his crew are pretty bad ass. I found Lucy to be very relatable. She's been kept in the dark and she's finally seeking some answers. But the entire time she's scared of letting down her family and what this whole things means for her and Margot.

I would have like to have seen a clearer explanation of True Borns in the books though. After I finished reading, I found myself still confused about what exactly True Borns are and how they come to be about. There's some explanation but I still wasn't clear on the historical origins of True Borns.

True Born was nicely written and I didn't find myself stumbling over any grammatical errors. It get 4 stars and a thumbs up from me, so make sure you check it out. 

** I was provided a copy of this book in return for an honest review

Get it here

About L.E. Sterling

I was a voracious devotee of sci-fi and fantasy novels all through my childhood, so I suppose it doesn’t come as much of a shock that I’ve returned to the genre with a vengeance.

For a while I turned my back on the genre in favour of ‘high-brow’ literary texts. Ironically, it was my doctoral degree that saw me circling back. There’s something about the way postmodern literature plays with the arcane that had me utterly fascinated, and it wasn’t long until I fell headlong back into my old ways and haven’t looked back since.

My first novel, which isn’t in the Urban Fantasy or Fantasy genres, isn’t high literature, mind you, even if it tangles with some serious statements about politics and the way our western world runs. My editor described it as something between Charles Dickens and The Catcher in the Rye: Serious Fun, in other words.

My second novel, Pluto’s Gate, is where I’ve come home to myself: it’s a contemporary retelling of the Demeter-Persephone-Pluto story from Greek mythology. Folded into the mix is a Shaman-in-training, a magical book, Underworld Gods, a world covered in ice, a three-headed dog, and one lousy ex-boyfriend.

But I’ll tell you this much: I believe in the power of words and stories to transform our inner worlds. Whether the characters be vampires or vagabonds, a good narrative sucker punches so-called reality anyhow.

Get in touch

Read the first 6 chapters of True North (True Born #2) here




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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

[Blitz & Giveaway] Dominion Rising

Dominion Rising Collection
Publication date: August 8th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Dominion Rising: 22 books. 99 cents. #DominionRising
Find the Science Fiction and Fantasy reads you’ve been craving! Whether it’s alien invasion or dark fairy tales, heart-pounding galactic adventures or cyberpunk romance, Dominion Rising will satisfy with a thrilling mix of 22 BRAND NEW FULL LENGTH novels set in fantastical realms.
Sword and sorcery, far-flung galactic empires, alternative history, epic magic, slipstream futures: this collection of carefully selected, exclusive novels is sure to please and delight readers of speculative fiction.

Over five thousand pages packed with aliens, faeries, vampires, gargoyles, warriors, telepaths, space pirates, starship captains, hapless mercenaries, street urchins, robots, cyber-enhanced humans, badass heroines, and lost princesses. These award-winning, New York Times, USA Today and International bestselling authors have left no stone in the science fiction and epic fantasy universe unturned to bring you the very best escape from planet Earth.

All the novels are only available in the Dominion Rising collection.
The Dominion Rising collection includes new novels from New York Times bestselling authors Gwynn White, Erin St. Pierre, Margo Bond Collins, D.K. Holmberg, Felix R. Savage, Tom Shutt, Melanie Karsak, and Erin Hayes; and USA Today bestselling authors P.K. Tyler, Anthea Sharp, Lisa Blackwood, S.M. Schmitz, and K.J. Colt.
The set also includes new work from award-winning and international bestselling authors S.M. Blooding, D.S. Murphy, Timothy C. Ward, Daniel Arthur Smith, Tony Bertauski, Rebecca Rode, Cheri Lasota, Ann Christy, Becca Andre, Logan Thomas Snyder, Dean F. Wilson, and Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy notable author Samuel Peralta.

Pre-Order for only 99 Cents!

Q&A With the Dominion Rising authors:

We asked some of the authors of Dominion Rising to share a little about their upcoming releases. In this interview, we asked the authors to tell us about the protagonists of their Dominion Rising Novels:

Tell us about the protagonist of your Dominion Rising novel:

Author: Rebecca Rode
Dominion Rising Title: Flicker
Ember is a gypsy on planet Earth. All she wants is to pay off her father’s medical bills and avoiding a forced marriage. Getting kidnapped and sold to the empire wasn’t exactly the plan.

Author: Melanie Karsak
Title: Curiouser and Curiouser
My novel is a steampunk retelling of Alice in Wonderland. In my novel, Alice is an ex-thief who is trying to escape her former life in London’s seedy criminal underbelly. Unfortunately, when the Hatter gets himself in trouble, Alice is pulled back exactly where she doesn’t want to be—working a job for the Queen of Hearts with a man she despises so much that she might still love him.

Author: Tom Shutt
Title: Iron Tamer
Mal is a young, cursed boy who grows up in the isolated mountain town of Pointe, which has been disconnected from the rest of the Empire for at least a generation. When he accidentally gets the local “police” force, the Brigade, nearly killed by a raging forest spirit, Mal is forced to take the Walk—a one-way ticket to death in the caved-in mine shaft that once connected Pointe to civilization. He makes it out alive, though, and soon discovers that he has an incredible gift—the ability to manipulate metals. And at the behest of an unlikely new friend, he starts on a journey to become an iron tamer. Mal is a spirited, kind, and sometimes overly trusting young man who wears his heart on his sleeve and more than once gets the wool pulled over his eyes, but his dedication to his friends and belief in himself sees him through many dangers.

Authors: Erin St Pierre and Gwynn White
Title: Reign of Bones and Embers
A young woman with something to prove, freedom to fight for, and a whole lot of sass.

Author: Daniel Arthur Smith
Abernathy “Abby” Squire is an Indiana Jones turned detective. He’s forever young, due to anti-aging technology common in the future. But his youth is only aesthetic. Over the centuries he’s been a university professor, an agent for the Homeland, and most recently a proprietor. He’s uncomfortable with his role in the Plane Wars and is reluctant when called back to help with a case because many aspects remind him of his past.

Author: Tony Bertauski
Title: The Waking of Grey Grimm
There are three protagonists in The Waking of Grey Grimm. Figuring out who they are and where they are is the story arc. Each of them is in search of something deeper in life and the relationships that bind them together. In the end, they discover that reality is not confined by our five senses.

Author: Samuel Peralta
Title: “Labyrinth of Steel”
The protagonist of any of my stories is you.

Author: Erin Hayes
Title: Touching Infinity
Clementine is a cyborg, more machine than human, but she’s dealing with an identity crisis of where she fits in. She’s a master hacker, the leader of her space pirate crew. She doesn’t have many scruples, but she’ll put her life on the line to save her crew.

Author: Anthea Sharp
Title: Star Compass
Diana Smythe is an orphan, a pickpocket… and a mathematical genius. My novel, Star Compass, follows her journey from the gutter to the stars and is set in a Victorian Spacepunk universe, where an eternally cloned Queen Victoria has ruled for centuries and the British Empire spans the galaxy.


Monday, April 3, 2017

[Review] Justice Calling

Justice Calling (The Twenty-Sided Sorceress Book 1)

By Annie Bellet

Publish Date: July 23, 2014
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Summary

Gamer. Nerd. Sorceress.

Jade Crow lives a quiet life running her comic book and game store in Wylde, Idaho. After twenty-five years fleeing from a powerful sorcerer who wants to eat her heart and take her powers, quiet suits her just fine. Surrounded by friends who are even less human than she is, Jade figures she’s finally safe.

As long as she doesn’t use her magic.

When dark powers threaten her friends’ lives, a sexy shape-shifter enforcer shows up. He’s the shifter world’s judge, jury, and executioner rolled into one, and he thinks Jade is to blame. To clear her name, save her friends, and stop the villain, she’ll have to use her wits… and her sorceress powers.

My Thoughts

Justice Calling is a fast-paced read with an episodic feel that I hope continues into the rest of the series. There’s an overarching story line that appears as though it will carry on in the following books, but there was also a satisfying conclusion to book one.

The story gets straight to the action, introducing us to Jade Crow, a more-than-she-appears supernatural being trying to blend in with the animal shifters and other supernatural beings who live in the small town where she runs a comic and gaming store. Jade is strong, independent and keeping a secret. At least, she is until a shifter named Alek comes to town and figures out who and what she really is. The dynamic between Jade and Alek is immediate and I enjoyed their interactions, though I would have liked their relationship to spend more time in the ‘getting to know you’ phase.

The world building is subtle, but effective. The explanations of the shifter hierarchy and the supernatural groups is done through casual conversation rather than lengthy explanations. I got the impression that I knew enough for the current story, but that there would be more revealed as time went on.

A particularly interesting aspect of this series is the role played by gaming culture. These references made throughout the story add an extra element of interest that also gives the secondary characters a common starting point for coming together. There’s also something about outsiders like shifters finding solace in gaming that resonates.

Though classified as urban fantasy, Justice Calling will also appeal to readers of paranormal mystery. The use of profanity, while generally employed to lighten the mood, makes this a series for readers of NA rather than YA fiction. This isn’t a lengthy read, making it ideal for quick reading in one or two sittings. It’s the perfect story to get you through a long commute or a quiet weekend afternoon.

Get it here

*Reviewed by Amanda, Book Nerd Paradise Contributor*