Review of ‘Catalyst’ by Fletcher DeLancey

‘Catalyst’ takes us back to the aftermath of The Battle of Alsea and the true repercussions for Ekatya and Lhyn. The strength of their bond becomes more evident with each passing day. As the political ambitions of others begin to impact them, they are caught in a dangerous situation with a potentially deadly outcome. 

We get to find out more about Ekatya’s life on board ship and about the protectorate in this book. The plot involves a mission that was exciting and full of action and we get to see her in her element. I loved that it was so much about Ekatya. She’s become my favourite character in the series and I wanted to know more about her background and her life before Alsea. This gave us that insight. 

I think what really impressed me most about ‘Catalyst’ was the blending of a very emotional story set on Alsea and the action and adventure of Ekatya and Lhyn’s story. I found myself being surprised at some of the revelations and it changed how I felt about certain people. It was a powerfully emotional, visceral experience.  It was brilliant.

Review of ‘Without A Front: The Warrior’s Challenge’ by Fletcher DeLancey

After an unexpected attack Lancer Tal and Salomen find out just what their relationship really means. Their bond brings a strength neither could have imagined, but they face decisions that are bound to change their lives forever. Is Salomen ready to take a leap into the unknown? As Andira fights forces plotting against her, will she be able to save her political career and ensure her own happiness? The future of Alsea depends on it.

I loved seeing the development of Andira and Salomen’s relationship. It was never going to be easy forming a bond in the glare of publicity, but the couple were wading through the repercussions of the attack, with all of its implications. The importance of their bond became more evident as the story progressed – and what a story! This exciting and fast-paced adventure expanded on what we knew about Alsea, and into the inter-caste machinations and politicking of those in government. I am in awe of the world-building skills of Fletcher DeLancey. The more I find out about Alsea, the more I want to know. Each book in the series adds to the mythology and convinces me that someone has to pick up The Chronicles of Alsea and film it. And yes, I’ve already bought book 4! 

Review of ‘ Without A Front: The Producer’s Challenge’ by Fletcher DeLancey

After discovering the Chronicles of Alsea Series by Fletcher DeLancey in ‘The Caphenon’ I started on Book 2 right away. It is in ‘Without A Front: The Producer’s Challenge’ that we get to see more of Alsean society and especially the life of Lancer Tal. In the aftermath of the battle with the Voloth, Alsea must heal, and it is up to Andira Tal to see that happens. But their society can never be the same again, and they must learn to live with the changes. When The Caphenon landed on Alsea it brought the realisation that life existed beyond Alsea. It also brought new technology, and it is this new tech that is causing ruptures within the castes. When a vocal young woman from the Producer caste challenges Lancer Tal to try out her way of life for a month, as a way of understanding the concerns, Andira rises to the challenge. Will her new experiences change her views? She ends up finding more than she bargained for, and life will never be quite the same again.

This story was a change of pace and more about the life of the Lancer. Many hard decisions had to be made and moral dilemmas faced. We find out more about the different castes and the love lives of the Alseans. It made for a powerfully emotional read. It was a warm story of family and love and responsibility. I enjoyed seeing a different side to Andira. Salomen was the perfect woman to challenge her and her views. Their interactions were thought-provoking. I loved it and as I turned the last page I felt compelled to go straight to Amazon and buy book 3 for my Kindle. Immediately. I couldn’t wait a single second to read the next part of this amazing series. Highly recommended.

Review of ‘Remember Me, Synthetica’ by K Aten

Renowned roboticist Alexandra Turing wakes up from a six month coma . She seems to have lost memories, but there’s more. Something doesn’t feel right. She just can’t pinpoint what. With the help of her best friend Fal, she tries to reawaken those memories and relearn old skills she seems to have forgotten. Meeting veterinarian Emily gives her something other than work and her own situation to think about. And the more she gets to know Emily the more she likes. But still, little things niggle at her, just under the surface. Should she keep pushing? Will she like what she discovers?

‘Remember Me, Synthetica’ is an impressively plotted novel. The story pulls the reader increasingly into an understanding and affection for Alex. I loved her. She had a beautiful spirit, a kindness and a willingness to learn. The old Alexandra was cold and aloof -Alex wanted to be a better person. As the novel is written in first person from Alex’s point of view we are able to go on the journey with her and discover what is going on as she does. Her relationship with Emily brought out a new side to her. It was endearing, but also very funny at times. Emily was the kind of person we all hope to meet some day. Her acceptance and love for Alex was special. But it was the mystery behind it all that really gripped me. It was brilliantly written. I couldn’t put it down.

This story is everything any fan of the sci-fi genre could wish for. Intelligent, thoughtful and one hell of a ride. I loved it. Highly recommended.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Children of the Stars’ by K Aten

What a ride! Mix alien soulmates, Area 51, and a government agency set up to deal with hybrid humans and you have one truly amazing book. You can tell that K Aten loves sci-fi. It certainly shows in ‘Children of the Stars’. Her story starts with a bang and never lets up. It is exciting and adventurous and takes the reader on a journey of a lifetime. 

Amari and Zen were saved from certain death by being sent to Earth as babies. When their adjacent worlds were attacked, the only option their respective parents could see was to send them to safety on another planet. They are bonded to each other, but do not know that the other exists. When their adopted world is about to face its greatest peril, they have to take a stand, even though they risk exposure. 

The author uses a really interesting storytelling style. Not at all conventional, but it works so well. The narrator speaking straight to the reader at some points in the novel  is a brilliant touch. It contrasts perfectly with the third-person narrative of the rest of the novel. ’Children of the Stars’ is  a thrilling story with an emotional connection beyond anything either woman could imagine possible. But there’s a fear of being found out and exposing their origins to all. With super-power enhanced Chromodecs all over the world, one is never sure who is on the side of good – and who is one of the baddies. It certainly keeps the reader intrigued throughout. There is a mention of another K Aten book which was a lovely touch and made me hope for more from this particular universe in the future. As you can probably tell, I loved this book. It was about working together as a group and fighting against the bad guys, but there was also a beautifully romantic and passionate element.  It was exciting and tense and exhilarating all at the same time. Wonderful!

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Changing Course’ by Brey Willows

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‘Changing Course’ by Brey Willows is a beautifully crafted sci-fi story with exquisite world-building. Jessa Arabelle, privileged intergalactic spacecraft captain, crash lands on Indemnion, a planet most people would be well advised to avoid. Whilst attempting to save her crew she meets worldly-wise Kylin Enderson, a scrounger whose life couldn’t be more different to her own. The attraction between them is powerful, but how can two women with such different outlooks ever be together? As they work together to get to safety they begin to see that there is so much more than what appears on the surface. But will it be enough?

Brey Willows sees into people’s emotions, sees what motivates them. She has taken the genre of sci-fi and injected that emotion and love and made us care for the characters. I loved how she took us to different places on Indemnion and let us see the peoples. I was drawn to one of the groups in particular, but won’t spoil it for anyone by elaborating – but I’d be surprised if a lot of readers don’t feel the same. Feelings can be wonderful but she doesn’t shy away from the reality that love can hurt. And sometimes we have to be prepared for that if we’ve ever to find true happiness.The story is about realising that we don’t have to follow a path determined by society. Our destiny doesn’t have to be decided by our birth – sometimes life throws a spanner in the best laid plans . And taking a chance with someone can be the best decision we’ve ever made. In a planet without hope and full of injustices and cruelty, it takes someone who can see past that. See that there’s a different way. The romantic element was touching and the sex was so hot – but it takes something special to blend that with a fantastic story. ‘Changing Course’ does all of that. I loved it.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Courier’s Run’ by Ennis Rook Bashe

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‘Courier’s Run’ by Ennis Rook Bashe is set in a dystopian Scotland. Courier is one of many sisters engineered to thrive and survive in a post-apocalyptic world. She’s supposed to follow orders and work against the remaining humans, but this clone has a mind of her own. When she gets to meet real people, and one especially, she has to decide where her priorities lie.

This novella certainly grabbed my interest.  The world-building was well done, and I wanted to know more about this particular version of Scotland. The premise was a mixture of dystopian, sci-fi, paranormal and romance. And I liked how the elements came together. Seeing the world and the people through Courier’s eyes made me realise that I’d like to find out more about how it all came to be – and what happens next to Courier and Sear. A good story with hints of more to come.

I was given this ARC for review.

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Review of ‘The Sovereign of Psiere’ by K Aten

K Aten has made me very happy. I loved ‘The Sovereign of Psiere ‘ , the first in a new series, where mystery, fantasy, sci-fi and romance come together in a fascinating story. Olivienne is the heir to the throne, the connate, and also a Historical Adventurist. Her work involves trying to translate the mysterious scrolls left behind by the Makers. But she is a handful and her security detail find it hard to keep up with her. None have managed to stay the course – until the dashing and committed officer, Castellan ends up in her sphere. Their story is immersive , as they work to solve mysteries that have stumped those before them. Their growing attraction was intense and very sexy. I enjoyed seeing them become closer. I also enjoyed the world-building – the word-building too. It was familiar but unfamiliar at the same time. I like her writing style. Although she explains a new world and new ideas and people, she makes it easy to grasp. K Aten has managed to create a place I want to revisit again and again. She has laid a perfect foundation for the series in this novel. Highly recommended.

Review of ‘Crossing Over’ by Karen Klyne

I so enjoyed book one in this series, ‘Parallel Lives’, and have been eagerly awaiting the release of ‘Crossing Over’. I was certainly not disappointed. Kaitlin and Tannus are now lovers and are expecting a baby. They decide to cross back to Kailtin’s home world and to her family in Cheshire. How will her parents and brother react to her fantastical story? How will Tannus and Carray react to a world so very different from their own. 

Seeing our world through the eyes of two people from a simpler, more cut-off existence was very interesting. It was also fascinating looking at romantic relationships from Carray’s point of view, as she was heterosexual and lived in a completely lesbian society at home. A clever device that made me think. I worried about Kaitlin’s father and brother as she had been far from complementary about them in the first book. Would they surprise me? The issue of Tannus’s illness was always there in the background and I lived in hope that a cure could be found. There was so much riding on the year they planned to live in our world and it made the story very emotional and compelling.

By the end I knew that I wanted more from this series. In a good way. I will be counting the days until book three comes out. I have grown to love these characters and want to find out what happens next. How will the characters from each world interact? A highly enjoyable story. 

I received an ARC of this book from Global Wordsmiths in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Review of ‘The Rise of the Resistance-Phoenix One’ by Jackie D

‘The Rise of the Resistance’ is a dystopian vision of a future where climate change could not be stopped in time. It’s an excellent story of people who have been waiting so long to fight back against tyranny. The parallels to the situation in the USA now are stark and profound 

It’s a story that acts as a warning. 

Arrow has trained her whole life to protect Phoenix One, the woman who is destined to lead the Resistance when they need her most. Kaelyn Trapp has been cryogenically frozen as part of the Phoenix Project and willingly takes on the mantle of leader. They are powerfully drawn to each other but can they resist? Will giving in jeopardise the important work they have to do? 

I was really impressed by Jackie D’s story and felt it had a truth and reality to it. She brought to life an America where things had gone badly wrong, but she gave me hope that all was not lost. The world she has imagined was compelling and the characters were so well developed. Arrow and Kaelyn felt right together but whether they could ever take that step had me wishing and hoping. Arrow was  loyal and strong and determined. Kaelyn was brilliant and the person one would want to lead in a fight for good.  The bad guys were truly despicable. And the fact that I could imagine such a scenario was scary.   I just hope this book gets the coverage it deserves. I highly recommend it. 

I was given this ARC for review.