Friday, August 18, 2017

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

When Emmett is called to the principal's office, he can't figure out what he did wrong.  Why would he want to see him?  The office has other people in it and they tell him it's like he's won the lottery:  He's been chosen to go to space and mine nyxia on a world called Eden.  He doesn't know how he could win when he didn't apply but the amount of money they are offering ends any questions...

Crown Books for Young Readers and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 12th.

There are ten students going and they come from all over the world.  They wear a mask that translates all languages to the one you understand.  They all are poor or broken in some way.  And only eight of the two ten will be allowed to go to the planet.  It's competition all the way there.  The tests are difficult, change all the time and they have to learn how to fight each other, swim well, stay alive on the river in a boat and more.

This would make a really good movie.  There is plenty of action, lots of emotion and plenty of other worldly effects.

Once they complete the trip to the Tower, they find out there is another team up there.  Both have been trained.  The best of the best will get to go to Eden.

Injuries keep you from gaining points.  One girl even gets killed.  But they are all trying hard to win.  It doesn't take long until you realize the company is not telling them the whole truth.  Nyxia is like gold used to be but more powerful.  They want to control it.  However, I don't think they are too worried about any human losses.  This is the first book in the series and they are just getting ready to land.  The next book should be even more revealing.  I hope Emmett survives...

Thursday, August 17, 2017

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

Living on a space ship is like living on island.  Those with money and power live in the best sections of the ship, those who are poorer are in the outlying sections.  Even in this imaginary world, there are race issues.  Those of darker color are treated like lesser beings.

Akashic and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 3rd.

Aster is a healer.  She's been working with the surgeon on patients and is learning techniques for healing.  She also learns from the women in the lower sections.  They've been healing themselves for years and they grow their own herbs to do so.  Her problem is she says what she thinks without filtering it or lying and she hates being humiliated.  Fighting with the guards gets her back lashed and for a bad enough offense, she's put in solitaire for eight days with no food or water.  This is not a nice place to live.

The Sovereign Authority is one man who acts as God in this world.  He's ill, the next one to be appointed is worse and is Aster's enemy, they kill a young girl in front of Aster to show her she's marked and vulnerable, and suddenly it looks like there will be a civil war aboard the ship.

If that's not enough, Aster is still looking for her mother who disappeared when she was a baby.  They tell her she committed suicide but she doesn't know if she believes it.  She's found her journals and she's reading them.  But it's her friend who shows her the entries are in code...

This is a tense dramatic read with lots of bad things happening.  Despite that, the oppressed still have hope.  I found this an interesting read with lots of nuances.  This author takes you to her world and immerses you in the turbulent times they are living... 

Castle in the Stars: The Space Race of 1869 by Alex Alice

His mother is an adventurer and she takes off in her air balloon in search of aether.  She finds it but she loses her life...

First Second Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this graphic novel for review (thank you).  It will be published September 15th.

He and his father are deeply saddened and move on with their lives but it's not the same.  They are still working with hot air balloons.  When someone asks them to meet them in another location to get the wife's logbook, they go.  Then they find out the Prussians are after them!

Escaping takes a lot of work but escape they do.  Then they go to the Prince's castle.  He's also interested in hot air balloons and gives them an assignment.  They recognize one of the Prussians who tried to detain them as a member of the household but they can't accuse him. There's no proof.  They do create false architectural designs to throw him off. Soon there's mutiny in the castle and the only way to get away is on the air balloon...

This is first book in the series and it's entertaining.  I'll be watching for the next novel.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Bronze Skies by Catherine Asaro

Major Bhaajan is an anomaly.  She came from the Undercity, became part of the military, and has retired from that.  She is now a private eye.  She lives above in the City of Cries, but she regularly visits the Undercity.  She has a kid's club down there she's training in martial arts and her boyfriend lives there.  But the new case she picks up is going to take her places she's never been before...

Baen and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 5th.

This is new fantasy world set on another planet.  Earth people came there years ago and it seems there may be other beings, too.  The society that is established has evolved through the ages.  Most understand why things are what they are but they don't have to like it.  When Bhaajan is summoned by the Ruby Pharaoh and asked to find a Juggernaut, her adventures begin.  Juggernauts are not supposed to be able to kill the way this one did.  How did she do it without triggering the shut down?  And why would she kill that official?

You learn about the two cities, the underground aqueducts, the various groups in the society, and how the Pharaoh uses her mind and a computer interface to communicate in space and the powers out there.  You also find out that the Pharaoh and Bhaajan have some genetics in common.

This is full bodied story with lots of characters.  The author makes you care about them.  It's twisted tale from long ago meshed with the present.  It's good thing they have a strong leader.  And I'm glad Bhaajan survived the war.  She even admitted she loves her boyfriend.  What more could you want?


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding A Fiendish Arrangement by Alexandra Bracken

Prosperity has always been a bit different from the rest of his family, but he had no idea when he turned thirteen he'd suddenly be possessed by a fiend.  After all, the original contract was years and years ago.  He hadn't even known about it.  His relatives did though.

Disney-Hyperion and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on September 9th.

When he and his twin sister are summoned to their grandmother's home for a family event, they have no idea how dangerous it is.  They are testing the two to find out which one the fiend is hiding in.  When they find out, they grab Prosperity and hold him down and cut his arm with a knife.  They would have cut more but an outsider grabs him and runs away with him.  He's thankful for being saved but he doesn't understand that there's danger there, too.

Family greed is not part of Prosperity's make up.  Alastor (the fiend) can't manipulate him like he did his ancestor.  He even finds himself helping him to do good and he finds that disgusting.

I enjoyed reading about Prosperity's night adventures while possessed.  Alastor likes eating pumpkins and spiders and other odd things as he wanders through the night.  When he finds a Hob, he takes him on as a servant.  However, things aren't at all like they seem.

Alastor's world has changed since he's been gone.  Another fiend has taken over his rightful throne.  He wants to get back desperately and take it back.  But his enemy there is the least one expected.

The ending is a cliff hanger.  The fiend and Prosperity will have to work as a team to solve the new problem.  And Prosperity is going to sign a contract to make him do so.  But then what will happen to Prosperity?

This is an exciting adventure with danger, disgusting things, and betrayers everywhere.  It's definitely not boring.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Forged in Blood by Michael Z. Williamson

If you listen hard, this sword will talk to you...

Baen and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 5th.

This is the story of sword who is almost alive.  It hungers for blood and war.  And those who use it as weapon always seem to be fighting a war of some kind.

These people wrote the stories in this anthology are:  

Contributors:
Zachary Hill
Larry Correia
Michael Massa
John F. Holmes
Rob Reed
Dale Flowers
Tom Kratman
Leo Champion
Peter Grant
Christopher L. Smith
Jason Cordova
Tony Daniel
Kacey Ezell
Michael Z. Williamson


The tale begins in ancient times in Asia.  The first story is about the wife of the ruler whose home is being invaded while the ruler is out of town.  She stands to fight with her warriors but when the enemy breaches the door and comes for her, she ends up alone before him.  She fights but he cuts her hand off.  She reaches behind her and comes up with an ancestor's weapon.  She wasn't supposed to touch but she calls on her ancestors and attacks him with it.  She wins...  This story is my favorite.

The other tales are about the wars we've faced and future wars we may face.  They talk of other worlds and other monsters.  Almost all the warriors who carry the sword end up dead.  But not before they've created a whole lot of death themselves.

The stories are savage and bloody but they kept my attention by continuing the story of the blade.  The sword has been changed through the years as it gets chipped or broken in the fighting.  By the end of the story it's almost indestructible.  Too bad you can't say that about the people wielding it... 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Adventures of Bella & Emily by Michelle Holland

Emily has always longed for a pony but her parents aren't real sure she's ready for the responsibility.  When she asks if she can have one for her birthday, her father arranges a job for her on the local horse ranch.  She learns how to take care of horses and even how to ride.

The author and Publishing Push sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can buy a copy now.  50% of any profit from the sale of this book will be donated to animal rescue charities and animal rescue organizations.

If you enjoy horses, you'll like this book.  It's a heartwarming story of young girl who loves ponies, her family, and all the people she meets in this new adventure.

She decides her favorite pony is the one that is cut off from the others and isn't being trained currently.  It appears she was abused in the past and she doesn't trust anyone yet.  But that doesn't keep Emily away from her.  She keeps trying.

Soon she and Bella are working on riding.  Bella doesn't like everyone but she's becoming more social.  She's also turning into a good pony for Emily.  As they continue training her, Emily begs to buy her but the owner doesn't want to sell. 

That's not the end of story.  Emily and Bella go to the horse competition to see how she does.  You'll even be happy how that turned out.