Exodus 2022 by Kenneth G. Bennett

Exodus 2022

by Kenneth G. Bennett

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal

Four Stars

Joe Stanton has big plans on his vacation to the little island town of Friday Harbor, Washington, and they don’t include hallucinating and getting kicked out of his hotel. Unfortunately, that is what happens and the strange symptoms start him on an unwilling and sometimes unwitting path to something amazing and unknown. What being wants to communicate to or through him and why? How does the dubiously ethical Sheldon Beck know about it and what does he plan to do about it? Will Joe even survive this strange communication when others before him didn’t?

The story style of Exodus 2022 jumps between the main character and the people…or things focused on Joe and his unique ability to connect with the mysterious unknown intelligence. Kenneth’s Writing has a cool, businesslike feel with an obvious knowledge and passion about the sea and its science in the writer. He obviously researched his subjects and took great care that they represented reality in an otherwise fantastic tale.

I have to disagree, though, with the nature of the relationship between Joe and Ella: even in a very liberal church, I don’t think an Episcopal priest could get away with taking a vacation with his girlfriend. I would have liked to experience more of the intense emotions of the characters, especially at the beginning, rather than just hear that they felt them. It gave a calculated tone to the story where it could have provided more heart-racing moments.

Exodus 2022 draws the reader in as the story unfolds the mystery Joe’s unique mind reveals. His danger and the ruthless nature of Beck, his team, and his family in their pursuit of the unknown creates an increasingly thrilling read.

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The Wrong Stuff by M.T. McGuire

The Wrong Stuff

K’Barthan Trilogy: Part 2

By M.T. McGuire

Genre: Humor, Science Fiction, Adventure

Five stars

The Pan, our fearless hero, has rescued the girl…well, almost, and now he has to finish the job. Like any good adventure, everything just grew more complicated. The Pan has saved Ruth, well…sort of. Now he has to keep Ruth the Chosen One saved and out of Lord Vernon’s clutches until they find the one destined to be her true love and ask him to please choose someone else. Snurd chases with laser and missile fire ensue, and several very bad, sometimes stupid choices (Sheesh, Ruth!) result in disaster; glorious disaster. Can Pan somehow woo Ruth, the chosen one, to forgive the trashing of her beloved London or the destruction of her life and any possibility of regaining it? Can he keep her out of Lord Vernon’s clutches long enough to find this mysterious new religious leader and get him to un-choose her? Will she let him? If he can, will she consider The Pan as an alternative?

MT McGuire has triumphed with another delightful installment to the K’Barthan trilogy. The Wrong Stuff is anything but wrong. Every good part of the first book, which I adored, has continued without any loss of awesomeness. Seriously, I LOVE it. I love the uncomfortable bumbling and the beautiful chivalry of the tale. I love the reality mixed with outrageous and hilarious fantasy. Don’t forget the awesome, goofy, delicious characters – I loved them all, even the bad guys (loved to hate). Even the side characters ooze the smooch-ability of the main characters.

Occasionally an author struggles with a second story and either loses the focus or can’t live up to that first glorious tale. MT didn’t fall victim to either problem. The story didn’t end with this book, and I didn’t want it to end, but I knew it was time and I just had to keep my cool until the next one comes out. (I get to read it before you do! Neener!) The story takes you out of words on a page and puts you there with this beautiful, outrageous tale.

You have to read this story and if you haven’t read the first one, I will have to pinch you, because it’s free on Kindle. The K’Barthan trilogy is the kind of writing that gets me excited about reading and inspires me to write!

I approve this title for Awesome Indies. http://awesomeindies.net

I received this book from the author for the purposes of an unbiased review.

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Doom & Gloom by Monica Shaughnessy

Doom & Gloom

by Monica Shaughnessy

Genre: Children, Science Fiction, Action

Four Stars

Dane Winters suffers from a rare disease that makes him “allergic” to sunlight. If UV rays or even strong lamps hit his skin, they cause lesions that could kill him. Lucky for Dane, his family is wildly wealthy. The Winters’ own a technology company that pretty much owns the town where Dane lives. But that doesn’t mean he’s the town celebrity. His need to hide from the sun makes him a recluse and a stranger to most people. His caregiver Maeve and his fencing instructor Alexandrov live with him and comprise his makeshift family, while his best friends Jinx and Charles comprise his social group.

Despite his lonely existence, Dane loves his hometown of Winterville. When thugs take over and terrorize the town, he and Jinx devise a plan to save the town by reviving their old imaginary heroic duo, Doom and Gloom. This time, though, they will use Dane’s family’s amazing inventions to turn their make-believe real and beat the bad guys.

Dane is a great character for a kid to follow. He feels all the self-conscious and frustrated feelings of a kid of 12 along with the challenges of his disability. His bravery not only overcomes the natural obstacles of his life, but the unusual ones as well.

The story felt a little hard to follow at first due to the author’s interesting technique of interrupting her own paragraphs with new information. Perhaps I got used to it later on, because it seemed to either go away or become a part of the young boy character.

I loved all the setbacks that Dane had to address and the creative way he followed them. Though as a parent, my hair stood on end at the rebellious streak or the attraction to danger, I appreciated the kid point of view and the dawning awareness that his parents were humans with faults.

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Waning Moon by PJ Sharon

Waning Moon

by PJ Sharon

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian

Four Stars

Lily Charmichael lives outside the prosperous, advanced cities solar barriers that provide shielding from the deadly rays of the sun and radiation poisoning of future Earth. Instead she spends her life hiding in a cobbled-together survivalist compound her uncle Sam created to hide his orphan niece Lily and nephew Zeph from discovery. If the agents of the government find the siblings, the little freedom they have will disappear. Lily and Zeph’s altered DNA give them each amazing powers, Lily to heal and Zeph’s to kill.

A stranger named Will wanders into one of Uncle Sam’s bear traps one evening and Lily, against her better judgment, takes him in and helps him. Is he really a starving teen looking for his father, or does he have more sinister motives?

When uncle Sam’s cancer requires medication, Lily must brave discovery to travel with a caravan from the local village to the trading town of Albany. Will travels with her, planning to continue his search for his father once they arrive. Can Lily evade capture in the dangerous, government-controlled town? Can she trust Will? While she is gone, will Zeph give in to his deadly impulses and lose control?

PJ Sharon has written a truly entertaining tale. I could really feel for Lily with her amazing power coupled with the stigma of unnatural life. Her struggle to restrain and protect the brother she loved made me hurt for her. She is a brave character with a strong sense of stealth despite her typical teenage insecurities and special worries about herself. Her differences give her drive and purpose rather than crippling her.

The character of Will gives so much to Lily’s mission, taking it from a quick dash to a complicated and exciting adventure. Her forgiveness and understanding shine through in her treatment of him. I love that she as a character can accept his struggle and sympathize with him even when he breaks her trust.

I loved the mix of future and present in the makeshift tech, and the thought that obviously went into what a failing Earth ecosystem would look like and how people would cope.. The dying Earth issues the characters faced added a danger, complexity, and urgency to everything.

Other than some mild passive writing and a few too many uses of “as” and “ly” adverbs, this book rocked the indie platform. Though it is the beginning of a series, I didn’t feel cheated of a good ending or a loss of interest in the next tale of Lily’s struggle. I approve this title for Awesome Indies. http://awesomeindies.net

I received this book from the author for the purposes of an unbiased review.

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Silent Symmetry by J.B. Dutton

Silent Symmetry cover lo-res

Silent Symmetry

by J.B. Dutton

Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance

Five stars

A tragic car accident in their hometown in Wisconsin took away Kari’s father when she was very small. Kari arrives in New York ready for a new life. She is excited to support her mom in a new job and maybe a little romance.

A scholarship at the exclusive Chelsea Prep for Kari turns out to be one of the job perks of Mom’s new job as an IT at the Temple of Truth. The secretive organization intrigues Kari and she can’t help but snoop into its secrets. Even their apartment contains strange connections to the organization. The mysterious connection two cute boys in her class, Noon and Cruz, have to the ToT doesn’t make nosiness any less irresistible.

The deeper she delves into the ToT’s secrets, the stranger and more mysterious things get. When she discovers her part in the organization and its goals, life and existence turn out to be way more complicated than she ever imagined.

This book was my most interesting pick out of my long, long, read-and-review list. The title and the synopsis grabbed my attention from the start and I chose Silent Symmetry to read first for the summer. This book didn’t disappoint!

I felt engaged by Kari and her sad past, but also by her eager desire to care for her Mom and her positive attitude. The story began with many questions. When some of those questions were answered, I somehow found myself with more. I loved the natural way J.B. wove the tale, interlaced with questions resolving and mysteries uncovered. Even the ending left questions begging for a sequel.

Silent Symmetry was an entertaining and fast read that well deserved the first read of the Summer. I approve this title for Awesome Indies.

I received this book from the author for the purposes of unbiased review.

Silent Symmetry is available as an ebook here:
bit.ly/SilentSymmetry (Amazon.com)
bit.ly/SilentSymmetryUK (Amazon.co.uk)

Available in paperback here:
bit.ly/SilentSymmetryPB (Amazon.com)
bit.ly/SilentSymmetryPBUK (Amazon.co.uk)

Drayling by Terry J. Newman

Drayling

by Terry J. Newman

Genre: Science Fiction

Uri Graves is a government official in a Society purposefully and willingly cut off from communication and movement outside local districts. Under the Dunstan Heathfield Revolution, the BFF, or the British Friendly Federation, lives a life of peaceful tranquility. But Uri and his fellow Drayling district citizens are plunged into a disturbing position when the upper government begins changing their way of life. Is the new Archwitan, the highest leader in the BFF, corrupt? Why are these strange and unpatriotic changes being wrought? Is their lifestyle even what is seems to be–what it’s supposed to be? Uri, his son Marius, and a team of fellow Drayling citizens are going to find out, even if it means treason.

Set in the future permeated by the gentility of a time gone by, this book was a calm, dignified, fascinating political mystery. The peacefulness of the book’s ambiance didn’t detract at all from the enormity of the story’s tragedy. Despite a puzzling font irregularity, Terry presented a diverging tapestry of refined life and the precarious footing on which it stood.

The characters exuded childlike innocence and earnest desire for right. Uri was a mixture of experience and knowledge paired with naiveté and a trusting disposition. The characters treated every setback with calm deliberation and attention to one another’s feelings. I couldn’t help but like them and hope for the best for their sakes. I particularly enjoyed the ending which revealed their understanding of the sham their life had been and the colossal challenge of rectifying it.

You can even tell by my writing in this review how the book’s atmosphere affected me. I felt like I was reading a Regency novel a Sci-fi, and a political drama all at the same time. Bravo, Terry!

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Buy on Amazon UK

Revolussion by Kathy Bell

Revolussion

by Kathy Bell

Genre: Technothriller, Science Fiction

The Earth is in danger from alien species, and the only one standing in their way is Dawn Ingram. Oh and her two hundred and twelve kids and grandkids. Strange things are afoot between Dawn and her progeny as they work with the Three Eleven team and Storyteller Stew Singleton to prepare for 11/11/11 and the war with the Efigee. Can they defeat these heartless creatures and save the planet or will they be harvested to build their ships?

This book really shows how much Kathy Bell has learned about writing. The complexity of the book is unmarred by rambling or confusing descriptions. Kathy tells us just what we need to know with flair. The character of Dawn has matured into something other than human, but still relatable. She and her descendants share that touch of creepy that fascinated me. I loved the twists and turns as they scrambled to discover what was happening and how to set it right. The science was a blast and Dawn’s struggle with her maternal instincts, her desire to save humanity, and the enormity of what she has to do is compelling. I even liked the corny use of some of the more hokey science fiction traditions. They fit and added irony rather than corniness to groan about. Kathy’s ability to depict the individual feelings of the many contributors to the Pluman collective as well as their shared experiences was excellent, and the effect was really cool.

Kathy’s Acknowledgements said that it took her three years, and those were three years well-spent. Even if the first book makes you want to give Adya Jordan a wedgie, like it did me, I’d encourage you to push on because the second book was way better, and this one was a delight to read.

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Merlin’s Wood by Anne Hamilton

Merlin’s Wood

By Anne Hamilton

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

An argument about the washing up and a questionably scientific experiment in an old hollow tree miraculously tosses twins Holly and Reece out of the reality they know and into another world.  Holly and Reece  tumble through fantastic alien scenery right  into a battle to repel an invading force from taking over the alien planet where they’ve landed. Can they convince the bizarre natives they are friends and not foes? Can they trust the ones on their side? Will they ever get home?

This story is a delightful explosion of fantasy. Technology mixes with magic. Amazing beings and their cultures play their part in a chilling society and an even more chilling battle for the planet. Holly and Reece grow from bickering children into selfless adults, learning to value their talents and each others’ as they strive to protect their new friends and return home. Written to include both of their perspectives, Anne explores the differences between the creative personality and the practical personality. Their circumstances force the two characters to grow to understand one another and appreciate the close relationship that plagues them at the start of the book.

The imagery of this book is amazing, giving it a dreamlike quality, full of disorienting but delightful twists and turns. Anne includes just the right amount of description to suggest your imagination see all the wonders without struggling over long descriptions.

I have a young friend with a high reading level for her young years, and this would be perfect for her.

This story contains a refreshing lack of objectionable material. There were no swear words, no inappropriate situations, or other issues that I would worry about discussing with younger kids.

Thanks for another fantastic story, Anne! I can’t wait to read the sequel.

Buy Merlin’s Wood here:

http://www.buyaustralianbooks.com.au/book/annehamilton/merlinswood/

Evolussion by Kathy Bell

Evolussion

by Kathy Bell

Genre: Science Fiction, Technothriller

In this second installment, Adya Jordan, who has been transformed into Dawn Westgrove, knows about the undefined threat to Earth and that she has a big role to play in saving the planet. Now what is that? We jump ahead past the alarming concept of one woman and 29 men pre-emptively repopulating earth and proceed directly t to the birth of the last of Dawn’s 53 children, Hope. (Don’t worry. She has superhuman powers, so it isn’t as awful as it sounds.)

Nicholas Weaver, the initiator of the regressions, makes his long-delayed final incarnation to search for Dawn’s daughter, Hope. This is his last chance to see the planet saved and see his true love one more time. Once he finds his long-lost love, his daring experiment to save Earth is revealed, and Three Eleven’s extensive and world-changing preparations can be put into action.

I won’t ruin the surprise, but a new and more terrible danger appears with the implementation of defense against the first. Dawn and her children are not what they first appeared to be and a malevolent force threatens Earth, instead of a random disaster. Dawn has to step up to rescue Humanity again!

This book is even better than the last, without the confusion of why Adya/Dawn is always perfect and always knows everything. In fact, she moves beyond her area of expertise facing the horrible threat she discovers faces Humanity. She’s older, more mature, and has faced sorrow. Still, the entire planet is on her side, including the supernatural.

Many themes are touched on in this book. Dawn loses children to disaster and faces the breakup of an important relationship. She gives birth, is deposed from her position under grave suspicions, and communes with the spirits of the planet. Busy lady! Though they are all dwarfed by the danger to the world, Dawn faces each with all the strength she can, and the help of a plasmid that is more than just a cell anomaly in her body.

I already have the third book and will be reviewing it soon, but be prepared to buy all three books, because you just can’t turn away from the fate of the world!

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Visit Kathy’s blog http://kathybellauthor.wordpress.com/

The Warden War by D.L. Morrese

The Warden War

by D.L. Morrese

Genre: Science Fiction

In this second leg of Prince Donald’s adventures, he is older, wiser, and he knows most of the details about the threat to Westgrove. But he needs proof. Now how does he stop it? The Gotroxians are not going to magically animate the giant Warden statue to attack Westgrove. The information is false, it is manufactured by Chief Advisor Horace Barter to manipulate King Leonard into war for his own reasons. Will young, inexperienced, overlooked Prince Donald be able to convince the king of the deceptions of his father’s closest and most trusted advisor? Will he survive to obtain the proof he needs to convince him? With his friends from the first book, Kwestor and Muce, along with Trixie and Nash and a dog named Moe, they will certainly try.

This book had less humor but more substance than The Warden Threat, the first book in the series. There was lots of guy stuff in this book too–descriptions of military operations and battlegrounds, and strategy. Also fighting, kidnapping, and Androids.

D.L. really makes a world you can believe in with his writing. I kept thinking to myself, “They wouldn’t have used the term ‘dating’ back then!’ or ‘women wouldn’t have asked the men to dance!” but then I remembered that this wasn’t medieval Earth! This was a Science Fiction tale with Androids mixed in. I had just read the section about Androids and then believed this was a historical tale! This is because the story is so engaging and plausible that I really felt like it could have happened.

Prince Donald is becoming a man, learning how to control his emotions (sort of) and how to take responsibility for his kingdom. His genuineness is endearing and his valor is impressive. I really appreciated the moral messages about responsibility and loyalty included in the story, and I would let my 11-year-old boy read both books if he could get his homework done first. (Don’t get me started about that.)

If you read The Warden Threat, you pretty much have to read The Warden War. You can’t leave poor Prince Donald and all of Westgrove and Gotroxia hanging!

Buy here:

Paperback Edition: Amazon.com
E-book Editions: Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukBarnes & NobleSmashwords

Learn more about the author: http://dlmorrese.wordpress.com