‘Homeworld’ by Gun Brooke is the third book in the Dennamore Scrolls series, and the one where Velocity finally leaves Earth in search of Dwynna Major. Chief Engineer Claire Gordon is a vital part of the mission, but when her neural interface begins to malfunction she fears her skills won’t be enough to get them home. That and her increasing attraction towards the Captain, Holly Crowe, makes for a difficult journey ahead. Holly is determined to remain professional, and a relationship with another crew member is therefore out of the question. As they try to steer the ship through space and keep their fellow passengers safe, will they succeed in their mission? And will they ever find time for each other?
Having read the previous book, ‘Velocity’, I was keen to find out if the inhabitants of Dennamore would find a way to get the ship ready to leave Earth. The desire to return home was strong in them – but there were some who didn’t want them to take that chance. There was always going to be some tension and preparing for the journey was a learning curve for them all. I enjoyed finding out how they coped as they prepared and got underway. I was desperate to find out what Dwynna Major was really like. Although the story was about their journey, it was also about discovering themselves. This was a well written sci-fi story, with touches of romance. I won’t give away what they find, but I was intrigued and hope for more stories from these characters.
I was given this ARC to review.
I love it when I find a new series to obsess about. ‘Velocity’ is the second book in Gun Brooke’s Dennamore Scrolls series, but it can be read as a standalone too. I haven’t read the first book, ‘Yearning’, but I definitely need to now. ‘Velocity’ is the story of a town and its discovery of an alien background they didn’t know existed. Holly Crowe is astounded to find alien artefacts whilst out taking photographs one day and is determined to find out more. Claire Gordon, a local mechanic with a love of science fiction finally finds some meaning and purpose when she too is let in on the secret. As they join others everything begins to make sense. But will it lead them into danger and peril?
This was an intriguing story, with superb world-building and imagination. I love sci-fi and this hit all the right buttons for me. There was love, romance and family too. The group were trying to solve a puzzle and I was completely engrossed in their journey towards discovery. The blend of different characters worked extremely well. We had some sapphic characters and their relationships, but we also had tight family bonds and friendship. I want to find out what happens next to them and can’t wait for the next instalment.
I was given this ARC for review.
I love sci-fi, so getting the chance to read a new voice in the genre thrilled me. And I was not disappointed. Valden Bush has imagined a fascinating universe of worlds and peoples, with a brilliant twist, in her debut novel, ‘Nero’. Stele Hosun is an outcast on account of her black eyes. In her culture on Nero those with this characteristic are banished, as are those women who love other women. Stele is angry and volatile, but who can blame her? When Colonel Kian Ray offers her an outlet where her skills may be useful, she has to decide whether to let go of her anger and take a chance. She also has to find a way to live without her love, Ariane. But when pirates invade Nero, Stele has to use everything she’s got to find a way to save the woman she loves and the society than shunned her.
‘Nero’ is a beautifully written story, with exquisite world-building, an intriguing mystery and a passionate love story. The connection between Stele and Ariane was powerful, enduring and intense. The mystery of the coloured shards in Neroan culture made for an engrossing tale, captivating my attention until the very last page. I loved this book and hope there will be more of these characters and their stories in the future.
I was given this ARC for review.
We’ve all relied on distractions this year. I know I have. Books have been a lifeline and have taken us to other places, far away from the world we’ve had to live in.
I have read so many wonderful books over the past twelve months, so choosing a Top Ten has been extremely difficult. Only three have been pure romance and each of the three were exceptional. Two were mystery and crime stories and among the best I’ve ever read in that genre. The remaining books on my list veered into other genres – science fiction, fantasy and the supernatural. I needed some escapism it seems.
I recommend each and every one and hope that you will have a look at my reviews and maybe try them for yourselves. Here are my Top Ten, in alphabetical order
Finding Jessica Lambert by Clare Ashton
The Lost Temple of Psiere by K Aten
The Thing About Tilly by G Benson
Never Too Late for Heroes by A.L. Brooks
Spirited by Julie Cohen
Alsea Rising: The Seventh Star by Fletcher Delancey
Without A Trace by Mari Hannah
Christmas in Mistletoe by Clare Lydon
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
Whispering Wildwood by Emma Sterner-Radley
I have read the entire Chronicles of Alsea series and I am astounded at the talent of Fletcher DeLancey. Her writing is superb and the imagination that went into the plotting of the series is beyond belief. The final book is a fitting end to the series. ‘Alsea Rising: The Seventh Star’ was a truly satisfying and emotionally overwhelming book. So many threads were brought together and woven into a perfect tapestry. Each and every character played a part and they were given well deserved closure. It was about being with the people and in the place you are meant to be. About fulfilling a destiny. It was an utter joy to read and I fervently hope that the author is not finished with this universe. I must also make a special mention of the wonderful cover art for this book and the rest of the series. It is stunning and looks amazing on my bookshelves. ‘Alsea Rising: The Seventh Star was a beautiful end to a masterpiece of a series.
This book begins a new phase for our favourite characters and starts to bring some threads together. But there is so much more to this story and Fletcher Delancey has ensured that no reader will be able to resist immediately buying the finale.
Ekatya’s life has never been easy since she first entered Alsean space. Some in the Protectorate do not regard her in the high esteem she deserves. And one particular Admiral is determined to make her life difficult. But not every aspect of her life causes stress. For all of the main protagonists, changes begin and realisations become clear. As the much needed space elevator nears completion, fears of a Voloth attack weigh on the minds of those responsible for the safety of Alsea. There’s a feeling of something important coming, of the culmination of destiny. For all of them. High drama and the most delicious cliffhanger will have you screaming for more. Be warned- you will want to have the next book ready to go. Completely and utterly wonderful.
‘Uprising’ is book 8 in The Chronicles of Alsea series and another masterpiece. This time the overall theme is of different people learning about each other and realising we are all the same. It’s also about hate that could rip everything apart.They were brought together in war and mayhem. Now the repercussions start to play out as different groups live together on Alsea – Alseans, Gaians and Voloth. It’s about taking a stand and demanding change. There’s a sense of empowerment, of coming together. It was inspiring.
‘Resilience’ is the 7th book in the Chronicles of Alsea series. And it’s another marvel. Fletcher DeLancey takes us further into and her universe and the wonders within. Rahel is onboard the Phoenix and has to find a way to coexist with the Gaians serving there. It’s not easy. This story focused on relationships of various kinds, and the importance of communication. I loved getting to know Dr Wells especially. There was something so appealing about her – the gruff and the caring sides of her nature made her a wonderful character. I hope we get to see more of her in future books too. As for some other new characters, they made a deep impression on me. But to say any more would wander into the area of spoilers. An excellent story, with exquisite writing and imagination.
Rahel Sayana wants to forge her own path, but in a society where choosing your own caste is not easy, her wishes are disregarded. Seeing no other way out, she runs away to Whitesun and a life on the edges of society. A life fraught with danger. Struggles become part of who she is and lead her into battles not of her own making.
This has been the most challenging, but the most satisfying of the Chronicles of Alsea books for me so far. I must admit some of the subject matter was difficult. But it had to be done. Fletcher Delancey’s masterful storytelling took me to the depths and then turned it all around. Rachel’s story was multi-layered, with fascinating connections woven throughout. Seeing the story of Alsea from a different perspective, a different point of view added a richness I could not have anticipated.New characters so unlike any in the previous books opened up my mind. There were a few surprises that made me sit back and wonder at the imagination and skill of Fletcher DeLancey. Utterly outstanding. There’s no other way to describe it.
‘Vellmar the Blade’ is the fifth book in The Chronicles of Alsea series and takes us in a new direction. This time we get to know one of the other characters, Lead Guard Fianna Vellmar. Her blade throwing skills are well known from previous books, but we get to see just how respected she is when she has the chance to take part in the championships and attempt to become No.1.
I liked getting to find out more about Fianna, her background and her family. I also loved the hints of more to come with this character. By focusing on a character other than the main four protagonists in the series, it enriched the world of Alsea for me. I can’t get enough of these chronicles and my bookshelf is rapidly filling up as I race towards completing them.