Shattered Veil by Tracy E. Banghart
Series: The Diatous Wars #1
Genre: New Adult, Science Fiction
Expected Date of Publication: February 28th, 2014
Designed by Mae I Design
Organized by Xpresso Book Tours
When everything that defines you is stripped away, who do you become?
War has come to Atalanta, infecting its quiet villages and lush woodlands, igniting whispered worries in its glittering capitol.
All across the dominion, young men are being Selected for Military and sent to the front lines…and eighteen-year-old Aris Haan’s childhood sweetheart is one of them.
Pyralis Nekkos, Atalanta’s leader, has kept the truth from his people, that their dominion will fall…and much sooner than anyone could guess.
Galena Vadim, his reluctant ally, wishes she could forget their shared past…until her future seems to depend on it.
And for the boy she loves, Aris, a talented wingjet pilot, will give up everything – her home, her name, even her face…
…only to become the key to her dominion’s survival.
This cover is beyond amazing. I can’t believe how much I absolutely LOVE it! First, it is crazy at the level of detail that is fit into this cover, and yet doesn’t look busy. I adore the blend of reality (with the photographic quality of the bracelet) to the fantasy (with the jewels within the bracelets being snapshots into the story).
The white of the background draws all the attention to the details within each stone on the bracelet. The white also makes the font easy to read and reminds me of purgatory. It’s like Galena is at a crossroads in her life and that moment when she makes the ultimate decision is plastered on the cover for us to witness.
I love how the plane on the cover has relevance from reading the back cover and the apocalyptic city is symbolically behind broken glass.
There are so many layers to this cover that I can find myself reading the book and flipping back to the cover and seeing something new. Something relevant that the plot brought to my attention that I didn’t realize before. I can’t wait to get a hold of this book. Eye-candy for the shelf!
Tracy E. Banghart is a cheesy movie–loving, fantasy football–playing (go Ravens!), globe-trotting Army wife who began “practicing” her craft at the age of five, when she wrote her first story. She loves visiting the international friends she met while pursuing her MA in Publishing and spends a portion of every summer at her family’s cabin in Canada, where she finds inspiration and lots of time to relax on the dock. She lives with her husband, son, two lazy dogs and one ornery cat. When not writing or spending time with her family, she is on a mission to bake the perfect cupcake.Read More
Aquifer by Jonathan Friesen
Genre: YA Dystopian
Published: August 6th, 2013
Only he can bring what they need to survive…
In 2250, water is scarce, and those who control it control everything. And they’ll do anything to maintain their power – deceiving, dividing families, banning love… even killing those who oppose them.
But above all, they seek to control knowledge and communication – ensuring the truth that will bring their downfall will never be known. But one person verges on discovering it all.
Sixteen-year-old Luca becomes the Deliverer, the only one allowed to contact the people called ‘Water Rats,’ who mine the essential water deep underground and bring it to the ‘Toppers’ who desperately need it above.
But when he meets a Water Rat who captures his heart and leads him to secrets – secrets about a vast conspiracy, and about himself – the net around him tightens. Luca and those around him must uncover and share the truth needed to overthrow tyranny – even as they fight for their lives.
It’s about likeability and I’m not sure this book had it. AQUIFER’s characters, setting, and plot were both gritty and ugly. The way the story is told, however, causes the reader to believe the story is much more shallow and unfinished than it actually is.
I worry that for some readers, the filled plot holes at the end of the book might be too late to salvage the story. Without giving away too much of the twist, I can say that the world building is intentionally designed to feel fake. There’s a layer of world building beneath the one the reader is introduced to in the beginning chapters, yet I don’t know if all the aspects of that world are explained thoroughly enough.
My perception of the book was that it has a handle of scenes with striking similarities to THE GIVER (such as the boy learning a dangerous secret when he inherits his new position in society), yet as a whole it delivers quite a different message. I can’t say that I enjoyed how the story evolved, though it was thoroughly unpredictable from start to finish. Some of the minor characters felt like plot devices rather than people and it’s a shame than their lack of depth restricted how much the main characters could develop.
I’m sure that this will be a book enjoyed by some and not liked by others. Without giving away the ending, I can’t pinpoint exactly what type of people will love this book. What I can say is that AQUIFER most certainly ventures outside of what is expected of the YA dystopian genre.
(I received a copy of this book from ARCycling in exchange for my honest review.)Read More
As a huge fan of Provex City from Micheal Pierce, I was ecstatic to sign up for this tour of the sequel, Susy Asylum. Check out my review of 5 star review of the prequel to Susy Asylum, Provex City! Feel free to read my review even if you have not read Provex City. It contains only minor spoilers (no more than the blurb) of the first book. Thank you to Candace’s Book Blog for organizing this tour. You can check out the full schedule HERE.
Susy Asylum (Lorne Family Vault#2) by Michael Pierce
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher: ParousiaSix Publishing
Published: April 25th, 2013
In SUSY Asylum, there is no release. There is no escape. No hope.
Oliver and Desiree are introduced to the writings of a mysterious blogger, Commodore Chaos, when they return to Provex City to indulge in what the sublime city has to offer. The blogger claims the Lornes are collecting people venturing between the higher planes of awareness and locking them away in a mythical asylum. But are these legitimate concerns for inter-plane travelers or just the ramblings of an anonymous conspiracy blogger?
Oliver looks to Provex City as his only connection to his father while Desiree looks to the city as an escape from the torment of losing her best friend—again. Provex City is a wonder of beautiful treasures, entrancing them to continue returning. But behind the beauty, wolves have continued hunting Oliver, a boy who is still unaware of his importance in the rebellion.
Oliver’s belief is waning. Desiree will not always be by his side. Mr. Gordon will not always come to his aid. Oliver finds himself alone, forced to confront his biggest fears, fight his inner demons, and face the very cold reality that no one is coming to save him.
Welcome to SUSY Asylum.
Like a bullet to the head, the story of Oliver Grain will bleed into your consciousness long after the last page is read. SUSY ASYLUM is an story honest to characters and plot, no matter how gritty the tale. Micheal Pierce has a talent for creating characters that the reader can’t help but invest into and then taunts you with a Russian roulette premonition. Early in the book, the reader learns that one character close to Oliver won’t make it. Even with that seed planted in the mind, there is still a feeling of disbelief when the deed happens.
As if turning back the pages would revive this character, I couldn’t help but reread the section and yearn for an alternate end for this character. My need to discover what happens with Oliver and his quest is what eventually recovered me and allowed me to finish. Although the first part of the book is focused on expanding the characters and world-building, the second half is a rampage. After developing attachments to all the characters, the reader has to witness each one makes stupid decisions that put Oliver and his friends in a suicidal situation. Oliver is not the only one to blame as the other characters often act independently of his decisions and it is clear that each one of them has their own agenda throughout the story.
It’s difficult to decide which character is my favorite, but I believe I will have to say Oliver. I can’t help but chuckle when he tries unsuccessfully to understand teenage girls. His ignorance of them compared to the author’s expert writing of the female sex makes for some much needed comic relief in an otherwise very gritty story.
Due to several culturally taboo situations, Suzy Asylum is recommended only to teens and up.
(I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.)
(Oliver learns about TJ and Desiree’s relationship through journal entries and several interrogations. The reader is given glimpses into their past with mini-chapters sprinkled throughout the book. This is a piece of one such mini-chapter showing TJ’s downward spiral, eventually leading to his suicide. What TJ writes on the bathroom stall walls—and himself—gives meaning to what was written on Oliver’s wall in the first book.)
Check out book one, Provex City!
Fifteen-year-old Oliver Grain begins his school year fighting off bullies, learning about the boy who committed suicide in his room, and trying to understand why his history teacher, Mr. Gordon, has taken such a personal interest in him.
Do you believe in ghosts? Do you believe you can make bullies simply disappear? Do you believe you can walk through walls?
Mr. Gordon tells Oliver: “When you truly believe anything is possible, you will be able to open doors where there were only walls.” And one of those doors leads Oliver to Provex City, which puts him in far greater danger than he can possibly fathom.
I believe in a future where I will be able to write full-time, a picture I already hold vividly in my mind. It all starts with my debut young adult novel, Provex City. I love Harry Potter & The Marbury Lens, Tool & Elliott Smith, Dexter & Donnie Darko, bold coffee & amber ale. I also love dabbling with writing music and recording, with no illusions of ever making it a career. I am ecstatically married and the lucky father to a beautiful baby girl.Read More
Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Publisher: Strange Chemistry / Angry Robot
Published: May 7th, 2013
Zenn Scarlett is a bright, determined, occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 17-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. That means she’s specializing in the treatment of exotic alien life forms, mostly large and generally dangerous. Her novice year of training at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars will find her working with alien patients from whalehounds the size of a hay barn to a baby Kiran Sunkiller, a colossal floating creature that will grow up to carry a whole sky-city on its back.
But after a series of inexplicable animal escapes from the school and other near-disasters, the Cloister is in real danger of being shut down by a group of alien-hating officials. If that happens, Zenn knows only too well the grim fate awaiting the creatures she loves.
Now, she must unravel the baffling events plaguing her school, before someone is hurt or killed, before everything she cares about is ripped away from her and her family forever. To solve this mystery – and live to tell about it – Zenn will have to put her new exovet skills to work in ways she never imagined, and in the process learn just how powerful compassion and empathy can be.
ZENN SCARLET is like a science fiction version of THE DUKES OF HAZZARD, only without the car chases and country accents. Zenn has to save her uncle’s farm (aka vet) from the greedy townsfolk. It had a very western feel with how it was laid out, although the terminology and animal species were clearly alien.
I’m not a fan of westerns and I think that’s why I never connected to the story. Also, Zenn is very anti-social. There’s a boy, Liam, who tries to be her ‘friend’ but when these two sticks rub together, there’s no spark.
At first Zenn thinks that she’s distracted by her special ability and that’s why mistakes keep happening. Doors are left open. Mixtures aren’t mixed properly. But, it was obvious to me, at least, that there was some one else involved. In fact, I guessed the prime culprit extremely earlier in the story. Zenn, however, didn’t realize it until much later.
I think the combination of no romance, which is weird considering that I’m not big on romances, and the predictability in the plot killed all excitement I had for reading the story. If you like a sci-fi that has a western flair, then I’d say read it. The world building is excellent. Zenn and her uncle are both very well developed and unique characters.
And the sequel looks extremely promising. Even though I wasn’t happy with this book, I’m very excited to check out the next one. From the scene involving Zenn’s third test until the end, it is action-pack and unpredictable. A complete change of pace from the first 2/3rds of the book.
(I received a copy of this book from the publisher/Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.)Read More
Step aboard with an exclusive look at the DWRC ENDURE STATION, the setting for the sci-fi/romance ENDURE series by S. A. Huchton
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UNCLASSIFIED FOIA PRESS RELEASE
PUBLIC INFORMATION ON DWRC ENDURE STATION INFORMATION
Welcome to the Deep Water Research Command Endure!
This ten-story compound is home to over five thousand UN, military, and civilian personnel, all dedicated to peace and furthering the scientific understanding of our world. Built in less than one year, the Endure is the crowning jewel of the UN’s subaquatic outpost network. Its one-mile, cylindrical frame supports not only human life, but is home to its very own dolphin pod, who are an experiment in partial captivity. If you look closely, you may see them utilizing the outer tubes as we approach, and might even get lucky and catch a glimpse of them in the open water surrounding the facility.
Running along the perimeter of the Endure are also the channels for the Station Access Train. Over thirty-one miles of electromagnetic track run around each of the ten floors of the station, providing the inhabitants with a convenient way to get from point A to point B. Also upon approach, you will note the large, clear dome at the very top of the construction. This addition is new and completed only recently. Visitors and staff alike can now enjoy a three hundred and sixty degree view of the surrounding ocean from the Observation Deck.
The Depot is the heart of the Endure. All shuttles, transports, supply craft, and expeditionary vessels are docked here, allowing for the constant flow of goods and personnel. There are eight autotransporter tracks running down the center of the Depot; four for cargo and four for passengers. Cargo goes to the warehouse levels below for distribution, the others will take you to one of ten other gates, all scattered around the station.
Depto Gate 9 leaves you on the level with the Pod Research lab, where researchers study the resident dolphins inside the Endure, the largest of the three medical facilities on board, Med Bay 1, and the Bridge, where all of the life support, defense systems, and communications are handled. Over twenty personnel man these stations around the clock, keeping the station running in perfect order.
The remainder of the station is comprised of laboratories, crew berthing, and facilities for the detachment of deployable military personnel who function as first responders in crises within the Endure’s area of operation.
The various labs aboard research everything from technology to biology, with applications reaching far outside the scope of subaquatic living. Among the researchers are some of the most brilliant minds of our age, including young Nobel Laureate, Dr. Lydia Ashley and computer prodigy Daniel Brewer, son of the Endure’s Commander, Captain Samuel Brewer.
Each berthing level consists of multiple sectors, all including their own crew lounge where the inhabitants can relax and unwind after a long watch or day scientific study. Here, personnel can unwind with over five-hundred entertainment feeds broadcast onto wide screen displays or engage in an assortment of video games or books. Enlisted personnel have shared berthing aboard the Endure, with private staterooms for senior officers, research staff, and VIP visitors. All are equipped with comfortable beds, private bathrooms, and personal computer terminals for placing private calls, watching entertainment feeds, or accessing the station’s internet. Three galleys and an officer wardroom provide the best in food service for the Endure’s hungry population, and a new addition is in the beginning stages of construction to accommodate families for the elite personnel stationed here.
All of this and more await you in this exciting step in man’s exploration of the uncharted reaches of our planet!
Maven (The Endure Series, Book 1) by S. A. Huchton
Genre: Science Fiction Romance (New Adult)
Published: June 3rd, 2013
Formats available: print, .mobi, PDF, ePub
Cover Artist: Starla Huchton
How far would you go for love?
Since losing her parents at 14, young prodigy Dr. Lydia Ashley has focused on one thing: an appointment on the Deep Water Research Command Endure. Now 21, she’s about to realize that dream, but nothing is how she imagined it would be. Her transitional sponsor forgets her, her new lab is in complete chaos, and, as if that weren’t enough, she’s about to discover something so horrific it could potentially destroy all life on the planet.
Daniel Brewer, a noted playboy and genius in his own right, may be exactly what she needs… Or he may make everything worse.
Has she finally found a puzzle she can’t solve?
Nemesis (The Endure Series, Book 2) by S. A. Huchton
Genre: Science Fiction Romance (New Adult)
Published: August 26th, 2013
Formats available: print, .mobi, PDF, ePub
Cover Artist: Starla Huchton
Print copy: Amazon
Tech genius Daniel Brewer isn’t the only one with a romantic history. Already weighed down with the impossible problem of the Maven Initiative’s plans for world domination and disaster, Dr. Lydia Ashley is finding it more and more difficult to keep things in balance. With an old flame reappearing and the schemes of a vindictive new rival thrown into the mix, her hopes for a life with Daniel may be on the brink of annihilation.
When Lydia’s past is brought to light, one big secret could destroy everything.
Starla Huchton released her first novel, The Dreamer’s Thread, as a full cast podcast production beginning in August 2009. Her first foray went on to become a double-nominee and finalist for the 2010 Parsec Awards. Since her debut, Starla’s voice has appeared in other podcasts including The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine, The Drabblecast, and Erotica a la Carte. She is also a voice talent for Darkfire Productions, and narrates several of their projects, including The Emperor’s Edge series, This Path We Share, and others. Her writing has appeared in the Erotica a la Carte podcast, a short story for The Gearheart (earning her a third Parsec nomination), and an episode of the Tales from the Archives podcast (the companion to Tee Morris and Philippa Balantine’s Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series), which garnered her a second finalist badge from the 2012 Parsec Awards. Her second novel, a Steampunk adventure entitled Master of Myth, was the first place winner in the Fantasy/Science Fiction category of The Sandy Writing Contest held annually by the Crested Butte Writers Conference. Maven is her third completed novel and the first in a planned series of four, being released under the name S. A. Huchton, with Nemesis being the second in the series.
After completing her degree in Graphic Arts, Starla opened up shop as a freelance graphic designer focusing on creating beautiful book covers for independent authors and publishers. She currently lives in Virginia where she trains her three Minions and military husband.
Expect a review of Maven in the upcoming months!Read More