A BJ Review: Crisped + Sere (Immemorial Year #2) by T.J. Klune

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Rating:    4 stars out of 5

Crisped + SereTwenty-one days.

In a world ravaged by fire and descending into madness, Cavalo has been given an ultimatum by the dark man known as Patrick: return Lucas to him and the cannibalistic Dead Rabbits, or the town of Cottonwood and its inhabitants will be destroyed.

But Lucas has a secret embedded into his skin that promises to forever alter the shape of things to come—a secret that Cavalo must decide if it’s worth dying over, even as he wrestles with his own growing attraction to the muted psychopath.

Twenty-one days.

Cavalo has twenty-one days to prepare for war. Twenty-one days to hold what is left of his shredded sanity together. Twenty-one days to convince the people of Cottonwood to rise up and fight back. Twenty-one days to unravel the meaning behind the marks that cover Lucas.

A meaning that leads to a single word and a place of unimaginable power: Dworshak.

Like the first book, this one is dark and creepy. The excellent world-building continues, and the character development of all the people we met in book one was excellent. Also, this read smoother to me than the first, whether because I had a background now and wasn’t confused as I had been often in the first, I’m not sure. I don’t think there was as much of the hopping around like in the first book, there was some, but it flowed better.

This time we get more of a relationship between all of the characters. It’s not just about Cavalo and Lucas, but about all the people that formed his strange family. As before, Bad Dog was a huge favorite for me during the whole of this story.  I was glad to get more info on Lucas and came to feel the connection between all four of them (including the robot SIRS) as a family that worked. Cavalo thinks of himself as a monster, a bad guy, and yet in this we see him risk everything to help others, including those outside of his little family. While I didn’t feel invested in them as a couple in book one, by the end of this book, I most definitely did. And loved the end. Reminded me a bit of Star Trek, and I am a trekkie since a teen.

The way it was written without us really knowing if Cavalo actually heard Bad Dog and Lucas in his head, or if it was part of his mental issues, worked for me. As a movie, this would definitely be horror… maybe something like The Stand, only even more gory. There are definitely plenty of visual images to fill that screen with action, special effects, and blood. I’d like to see it.

The pace in this one felt right most of the time, but I think it could have been tightened up and the story shortened and still read just as well. There was an event about midway that made me say… UGH, not again. However, later on I came to accept it and even like that it had happened because of what else came after.  It really came to bug me how they kept speaking of killing Lucas, not just once but so many times.

BTW, when reading the first book, I didn’t actually realize where the titles originated. This time I did. It’s from the poem Ulalume by Edgar Allan Poe. I feel like I should have gotten that, but I’m not much of a poetry reader.

While not everything was bright or wrapped up, this ended much more hopefully than book one and does not have a cliffie. I’d still like more in this world though to see if they rebuild and how.

The cover is creepy as hell, and the feel of it fits the book.

Sales Links

DSP Publications

DSP Logo

7104e-waxcreative-amazon-kindle

Book Details:

ebook, 340 pages
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by DSP Publications
Original TitleCrisped + Sere
ISBN 1634770684 (ISBN13: 9781634770682)
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series: Immemorial Year

A BJ Review: Junk Mage by Elliot Cooper

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Rating:    4 stars out of 5

Junk MageWhen technomancer Quillian Defote crash-lands on remote planet Marutuk, he has limited time to repair his ship and get off world. If he fails, he’ll forfeit his position as professor of mechanical transmutation at the prestigious Ivy Arcanarium and ruin his employment prospects in yet another sector.

Hunter, a cyborg guarding a junkyard that holds what Quill needs, is charmed by the wayward mage and wants to help him. But Hunter is bound by honor to dutifully guard his mistress and her possessions, no matter how cruelly she treats him.

Together Quill and Hunter stand a chance of starting a new life together if carnivorous wildlife, a violent necromancer, and stubborn pride don’t keep them apart.

For the first bit, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this story. It took me a while to get into it and begin to care about the characters and fully understand all that was going on. However, that changed for me at the thirty percent or so mark.

Really excellent world-building especially for such a short novella. It’s actually science fiction, but for some reason it almost reads like outer space steampunk sorta. This world is intricate and has a TON of potential, and I wish this story had been longer in order to explore more and really do it justice.

However, even in this short length, we get lots of interesting creatures, magic, computer tech, cyborgs, just all sorts of fun stuff. There was a ton of potential, but I couldn’t quite give it five stars because I felt it ended too soon and could have been filled out a lot more. There are so many ideas, so much going on in this, it could easily have been twice as long I think. As it was, it felt rather rushed due to the length. I found myself longing for more sensuousness, more feels, more UST maybe. But that is just me, a personal taste thing maybe.

Quill is a great character. I enjoyed the type of mage he is… junk mage is a great title. I enjoyed Quill’s rather laid-back attitude. He is nothing like your typical hero. In fact, it seems he’s been rather a screw up in the past due to his attitude. I like how he cared about everyone else even when he was in danger of losing his job and maybe even his life on that strange planet. Despite his predicament, he cared about the dangerous little narl… and the dangerous cyborg with the gun… and even the evil mage who tried to kill them.

Hunter the cyborg was also a great character, and I wanted to know more about him than we were given. Adored how touched he was by the gift of the ereader, his love for books resonated with me. And then when he immediately found the m/m erotica, that was great!

Although there could easily have been a lot of angst in this, there was very little. This didn’t come across as a sweet, flowery romance, neither was it a smoking hot erotic read–there was actually no sex. It was more an imaginative, action-packed story of two men with good hearts finding each other… and then your imagination has to take it from there. Unless there ends up being sequel.  Which would be good, because I could totally see this taking off as a series. Plenty of potential.

And I must mention the hideous narls (bone sucking creatures!). Junior was great. I rather wondered what was going on with him though, like why was he different that the others? Why did he need Quill’s help at one point from a gang of other narls and then turn and face a gang of them to save another smaller narl later on? What had changed? Regardless, the narls were cool. And the thing with the eyes and the goggles, oh my. Loved that.

The cover is nice but I think it may be part of why this read as steampunk to me even though it’s sci-fi. The cover rather screams steampunk for me.

Sales Links

      NineStar Press  

Book Details: 

ebook, 49 pages
Published July 4th 2016 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781911153580
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttp://ninestarpress.com/product/junk-mage/

A BJ Review: Femme by Marshall Thornton

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Rating:    3.75 stars out of 5

FemmeQueeny cocktail waiter, Lionel, wakes up to find himself in bed with Dog, a straight-acting softball player and the two embark on a rocky road to romance. A journey that requires coming out of the closet, going into the closet, a pair of red high heels, many pairs of red high heels, a failed intervention, a couple of aborted dates, and homemade pom-poms. Mostly, Lionel and Dog learn what it means to be a man.

I remember reading a blog post some time back where Marshall Thornton said he didn’t write romance novels. And I had to concede that as truth, as much as I love the Boystown series, there is a lot of sex and there is some love, but not a lot of romance or sexual tension. When I saw that he’d written a book that actually had the word “romance” right up there in the blurb, I had to read it.

As usual, the writing and characterization is superb. There were a few editing errors, but since I don’t remember noting any of those in his other books, I tend to think that is just because the copy I received was an advance copy.

I enjoy reading about flamboyant characters, so I was not surprised that I adored Lionel. Witty, sharp-tongued, ballsy, but with a sweet vulnerability—he had me from the beginning. Can’t really say the same for Dog, well, I take that back. I did like him at the start but after he totally bailed on Lionel in public not once, but twice, I found myself cringing for Lionel and wanting to kick Dog in the nuts.

However, I must admit that he was acting in character… he had a good heart, like Lionel, but Dog didn’t come across as the brightest bulb. And sometimes he didn’t deal with things so well. He did have some terrific insights though when he really sat down and thought about stuff. And so genuinely cared for his family. So, like Lionel, I forgave him. Especially when he came up with the idea for the shoe scene. What a picture. That was great.

While the story begins with the MCs in bed after a drunken one night stand, there isn’t actually that much sex. There is some, although not a lot, sexual tension along the way. In the end, I decided it was just right. There’s a twist near the end that I didn’t see that coming. And I LOVED it.

Lionel loves old black and white movies, and some of this story actually reminded me of the tone set in some of those, which I found pretty cool. The author paints some vivid images, and for the most part the story flowed along well. My biggest complaint was that I’d have preferred more time with Dog and Lionel together and less of Dog interacting with his family. Those bits took up so much page time that a few times I found myself wanting to skim.

Overall, this was a fun and delightfully different M/M read. The cover is simple but it fits the story well.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 222 pages
Expected publication: July 28th 2016 by Kenmore Books
ASINB01FT7CVKU
Edition LanguageEnglish

A BJ Review: Staged (Belonging #3) by Kim Fielding

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Rating:    5 stars out of 5

Staged_600x900Once the second-prize winner on My Slave’s Got Talent, Sky Blue has spent the past few years singing at a failing New York nightclub. While Sky has never had control over his fate, his life seems to take a turn for the worse when he’s torn from the familiar comfort of performing and sold to a rich and enigmatic man.

Morgan Wallace takes his newly purchased slave to San Francisco, his intentions unclear. On the one hand, he treats Sky with more kindness than Sky has ever known—treats him like a real person. On the other hand, he shares Sky at parties hosted by his sadistic new friends.

A confused slave is an endangered slave, and Sky isn’t even sure of his master’s real name. Is he Morgan Wallace, wealthy and cruel, or Mackenzie Webster, caring and compassionate? Caught between hope, fear, and an undeniably growing attachment, Sky struggles to untangle which parts are real and which are merely a performance. His future, his heart, and even his life may depend on it.

First off, I’ve not read any of the previous books in this series, but I was told it was merely in the same universe and cold be read as a standalone. After reading it, I can assure anyone considering doing the same that I never felt like I didn’t understand anything during reading this story.

I’ve been interested in the series and had already purchased but not yet read the first book, but when I was offered the ARC of this one, I couldn’t turn it down since I’ve enjoyed every single book I’ve read by this author. And a few of them I’ve even loved. Might as well say right off the bat that Staged falls firmly into the loved category. This story sucked me in from page one and was one of those rare books that I hated to put down and was almost sorry to see end.

This isn’t the first book in which this author has ventured to the dark side, but readers should be aware that there is non-con, violence, and some pretty horrific  torture scenes. Which for me, made the sweet and tender scenes amidst it stand out all the more. Sky and Morgan/Mac are two of the most enthralling main characters I’ve read in a while. Sky is a slave in a world where folks say that slaves aren’t like others, don’t feel emotions the same, aren’t fit to care for themselves. And yet Sky is, as Morgan/Mac says, just the most amazing person. He enthralled me from the beginning. The entire story is written from Sky’s POV. Very often in single POV stories, at some point I find myself wanting to get into the head of the other character for more depth and insight, but that was never at all the case here. It was perfect the way it was written.

There were so many feels wound into this. It touched my heart and made me say “Awww”, then turned around and horrified me. It also at parts alternately had me tears-eyed, irate, on the edge of my seat, and stupidly proud. Sky’s personality really starts to unfold and bloom as he’s allowed for the first time to experience all of the many bits and parts of life that were withheld from him which exhilarates and confuses him. He experiences TLC for the first time, but is understandably too confused and fearful to be able to trust in it. Watching him find pleasure and joy in small things and living in the moment even when he knows that more bad is coming because he has been warned to expect it. So poignant to see him learn in tiny sips what it feels like to be in control for short periods of time, to make decisions on his own, to read and search the net and learn things about the world. But it wasn’t all feeling, as there are also many bits that made me think.

Morgan/Mac, a man who’d never owned a slave but had an awful childhood of his own driving him, also grows a lot in this book as he discovers that all he’s accepted about slavery is wrong. And as he begins to lose his heart to a slave. Right from the start, he seems in awe of him. Throughout a lot of story, Morgan is left a bit of an enigma, and yet through Sky’s narrations, we see his heart come out, see what kind of man he seems to be.

I’m going to stop as I don’t want to go into the story much beyond the blurb. This his story has motivated me to make time in my busy line up of TBRs to fit in book one which I already own sooner rather than later. I definitely want to revisit this world again soon. I just wish I could also revisit these characters—I didn’t want to let them go.

The cover by Tami Santarossa was not a favorite because it wouldn’t have drawn me to look at the story if I’d seen just that, but the layout and style does fits with the series.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | ARe | Amazon – more links to come

Book Details:

ebook, 255 pages
Expected publication: July 18th 2016 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN139781626494664
Edition LanguageEnglish


A BJ Review: Assumed Dead by Becky Black

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

Assumed DeadThe zombie apocalypse left twelve people trapped, but safe, at a scientific research base on an Arctic island. Three years later, with supplies critically low, they know they can’t survive another harsh winter. But all of them fear what awaits them on the mainland.

Former grad student, Matt Warner, has retrained as a nurse under the group’s doctor, Peter Lane. Training is not the only thing Matt wants to be under Peter for, but Peter has always resisted responding to Matt’s interest in him. Before all this started Peter had a husband, Harrison, back home. A husband he desperately hopes is still alive.

Despair finally weakens Peter’s resolve and he and Matt begin sharing a bed. It’s Matt’s dream come true, even if he knows Peter’s feelings for him aren’t as strong as his for Peter. But everything changes, when the group learns of the existence of a vaccine against the zombie virus and they escape the island to search for the people distributing the vaccine. Matt fears their relationship won’t survive, because Peter wants to search for his husband—even if only to confirm his death. And Peter knows if he goes looking for Harrison, he’ll lose Matt forever.

This is a sequel to Patient Z which I read a few for the first time a few months ago, so when I saw that this one was coming out, I wanted to read it right away. I rated the first book four stars and was eager to follow on with the story, especially when I noticed that this story also had a bi-racial couple. Unfortunately, as is often the case, while I enjoyed it, this second book didn’t quite live up to the first one for me.

This story doesn’t follow along with the first couple, Mitch and Cal’s and their group, but I actually enjoyed that aspect. It gave a chance to see what happened to others, and how everyone’s experience of the apocalypse would vary. However, it does pick up several months after the events of the first book, so we do get to see the continuation of the original storyline as the vaccine begins to be shared with others.

The world that this group lived in was so much less threatening than that from book one, which played a large part in why I didn’t quite enjoy it as much as book one. There was very little action up until right near the very end, and even at that point, it didn’t involve zombies. It almost felt like the zombies were more of a window dressing—gross in appearance on the few times when one or two showed up, but they never felt like a real threat at any point. For the vast majority of the book, we are told about things that might be a threat and danger for this group, but we don’t see them in action, and thus are not on the edge of the seat or tense with worry. Even when they meet up with the second group, its pretty much the same thing. In fact, except for one mild scene early on that was very easily handled with no casualties or drama, the whole thing felt very tame. When the big fight scene near the end came, there hadn’t really been anything leading up to it, so it felt like it came out of left field.

The two main characters, Matt from New Zealand and Peter the doctor from the US, didn’t grab me and make me care for them as much as Cal and Mitch had in book. In fact, they didn’t intrigue me as much as some of the secondary characters, like R.J. and Jay and even Barrett did. The romance relationship between Matt and Peter moved slow at first, which was okay for a while, but Peter’s hemming and hawing started to get to me and when something did finally take off between them, I just didn’t feel the passion or urgency any more. There were quite a few sexy bits, but because of Peter’s lack of commitment one way or the other, I wasn’t quite able to feel invested in them as a couple and so the romance part fell flat for me.

Overall, this book has a lower key, calmer, less intense feel that book one. Not what I’d expected for a zombie apocalypse story. If you prefer a milder post-apocalyptic story full of hope and lots of interesting details, then this should fit the bill. I enjoyed the story itself more than the main couple, and would be willing to read more in this world especially if it included more about the mysterious R.J.

The cover does a good job of conveying the story, but much like the story itself, it doesn’t quite pack the punch of the first.

Sales Links:  Loose id LLC | ARe | Amazon

Book Details: 

ebook, 294 pages
Published June 14th 2016 by Loose Id
Original TitleAssumed Dead
ISBN139781682521489
Edition LanguageEnglish

A BJ Review: Kestrel’s Talon (The Stonewatchers #1) by Bey Deckard

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

Kestral's TalonFollowing the Prentish/Nemarri war, Kes is rejected by his homeland under the guise of religious purity laws. Though he’s spared execution, the proud Nemarri’s fate is only marginally more merciful than death when he is sold into sexual slavery at a prosperous pleasure house.

Despite his stoic endurance, Kes knows he’s reaching his breaking point, but there is nothing he can do—there is no path to freedom in the Holy Prentish Empire, only a lifetime of humiliating servitude.

That is, until a beautiful young slave and his formidable master approach Kes in the marketplace and make an astonishing offer to take him home with them. The only problem: “home” is the accursed Horthmont Castle from the scare-stories of Kes’s childhood.

Thrown into a world of living myth, powerful magic, and ancient gods, Kes learns the secrets kept hidden by Horthmont’s thick blackstone walls. There he discovers something he thought he’d never know again: hope for the future.

What stood out to me in this fantasy story was the excellent world-building, from the history, to the land (even with maps in the back), to the people, traditions, and clothing, it was detailed, fleshed out, and very real for me. Full of slaves and magic, soldiers and war, and so much more. The story grabbed me in the beginning scene in the market where even people (slaves) are traded, and the three main characters, all introduced in the same scene, were intriguing to me.

Unfortunately, after a very promising beginning, the pace of the book really slowed down for me. More than once I encountered parts of the story that really seemed to drag and which made me feel every one of the four hundred plus pages. 

As for the characters, while I didn’t feel as strong a connection to them as I would have liked, I did find all three of them nuanced and interesting. I enjoyed Talon’s innocence, something he’d kept despite the world he’d lived in; loved his dedication to Grimma and his attitude on life/sex which seemed reasonable from his given past, but his jealousy and manipulations did often annoy me. But his bravery and selflessness later in the story made up for it. Kestrel, who I liked for the most part even though I didn’t feel the closeness I hoped for, threw me off a couple of times with his harsh actions towards Talon. I did feel and understand his anger over what had happened to him, and enjoyed watching him slowly overcome that, but still there were a few times his reactions didn’t sit well with me at all. And then there was Grimma, who I really did enjoy the most and found myself wishing for more time in his head than we were given. The story is from all three main character’s pov, but his is the least used of the three.

I felt that the author did an excellent job of bringing together three very diverse backstories. The secondary characters were well-formed and integral to the story. And I adored Pants (and the name, too) the dog. Loved how he was woven into the story and often made a difference, not just there as a prop. Kestrel’s connection with him fascinated me, and makes me want to red more of the series just to see how that goes and if the theory proposed about that tie (but then negated by another) is actually true or not.

There are many things to love about this story. The triad in this story was quite interesting, especially given that we have a hypersexual who still manages to seem innocent, a man reeling from previous sexual abuse, and an asexual character. But I felt that they worked well together, and although I’m not big on threesomes, I was pretty well sold on them. I could have done without Talon’s jealousy and manipulations though… that was the one sour note for me in their relationship.

I don’t want to say more about the story as I think some things are best discovered as you go along. Overall, I really liked this story. I just wish the pacing had worked better for me.  There were places that felt slow enough that they made me want to skim, and long and detailed flashback sections that rather drew me from the main story. And then when we get to the last 10% or so, the story suddenly felt rushed to me. I wanted way more detail of… well, a lot of stuff.

Finally, there is the matter of this guy near the end that I just wanted to kick in the nuts myself because after doing something that made me livid, he just gets away with it and well… grrr. That part annoyed me. A lot.

The red-haired freckled boy on the cover is perfect, and to be honest, I didn’t pay attention to the amulet he held or the subtle outline of the castle in the background until after I’d finished reading, but that is cool as well. Wish the castle had been more noticeable as it would lend more of the fantasy theme.

Sales Links:   Amazon


Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 426 pages
Published May 23rd 2016
ASINB01FLG3C0M
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Stonewatchers #1

A BJ Review: Just a Bit Ruthless (Straight Boys #6) by Alessandra Hazard

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

Just A Bit RuthlessStockholm syndrome or Love?

When you want someone completely wrong for you…

Luke Whitford has always dreamed of meeting Mr. Right. A hopeless romantic at heart, he dreams of falling in love with a nice man, getting married, and having a bunch of adorable babies. The problem is, Luke has the propensity for being attracted to men who are anything but nice.

Roman Demidov, a homophobic, cynical billionaire who has a grudge against Luke’s father, is certainly not Mr. Right. Cold, manipulative, and ruthless, he’s not a nice man and he doesn’t pretend to be.

Luke is fully aware that Roman is all wrong for him. His attraction to the guy is just some sort of Stockholm syndrome; it must be. If life were a fairy tale, Roman would be the main villain, not the hero. But even villains can fall in love. Or can they?

The story of a boy who dreamed of Prince Charming and ended up falling for the Beast.

Can I start by saying up front that I absolutely love this series. It’s one of the few that when a new book comes out, I absolutely must read it right away. Like the first day if possible. I was especially looking forward to this book after the teaser leading into it at the end of book five. And enjoyed this story. I really did. But I was also disappointed for several reasons.

The set up for from the last book had seemed to promise something dark, and as I began to read I could see so much potential here to be that dark and angsty read I’d been hoping for–but it really didn’t go that way. In fact, it was rather fluffy and sweet. That disappointed me–I’d been looking forward to going a bit dark. Also disappointing was that it seemed to lack that raw, hot sexual tension that the series usually delivers for me.

I believe both are related to the way some key elements are glossed over and just “told” rather than actually being seen on page. For example, when Luke is first kidnapped, he is beaten and mistreated by Roman’s people… but we don’t get to see that. He simply tells us after. Why!? Living through that with him could have made the story so much more raw, visceral, and lent that hint of darkness that I’d been expecting, and thus longed for!

As for the characters, I liked Luke from the other stories, and enjoyed how he finally discovered who he was and became the person he’d suppressed. Roman was interesting and a good match to him. However, I felt like there could have been more development. For instance, Luke tells us he acts very submissive in order to pull Roman from dark moods, but I wanted to see that rather than have him tell me. And we are told repeatedly that Roman is a bad guy, but yet we are never really shown that by his actions (nor is it really explained in a concrete manner).

There are many sections in this story where I felt like I should have felt angst from the guys, but just didn’t.

Roman’s past hurt, the death of someone close to him at the hands of Luke’s father, is a driving force behind the plot since it’s the reason that he kidnapped Luke in the first place. Yet Roman’s angst over the event didn’t come through for me. And the revenge aspect itself is played down, which confused me being it was one of the MC’s motivating force.

Luke’s had suspected his Dad wasn’t all above board, but when he discovers some truths about what his father actually did, it just doesn’t seem to affect him much. That should be a bit of an angsty thing, right? To find out that your father has done some truly awful things? But that felt glossed over as well.

Even regarding the relationship, Roman had very little angst over his attraction to a guy even though it’s said that is not something he’d ever done or felt before and that in his country it is not very accepted.

We are given just a tiny taste of daddy kink from Luke, but it’s not developed beyond that one bite! Considering that Luke said he didn’t love his own father, I’d really liked to have explored that some.

So this story had the potential to be awesome. But I felt like all the stuff that was told but not fleshed out resulted in the relationship lacking the vital intensity of the others of the series.

I wanted more detail, more dark, more angst, more development of plot and character. Just overall more of every thing… except one. I could have done with less POVs. There are five (the two MC, plus three other brief step-ons). Each of these rather threw me, and I actually didn’t feel like they were necessary for the story.

Okay, so all that might make it sound like I didn’t enjoy the story, but as I said at the beginning of the review, I did really. It just had so much potential and I wanted MORE of so many things that it left me disappointed in the end.

There is another interesting set up for the next story, Dominick and his rescued homeless boy Sammy, which as usual I will be snapping up as soon as it comes out.

The cover is sexy as hell. Two thumbs up.

Sales Links:  Amazon


Book Details: 208 pages

Published June 1, 2016 by Alessandra Hazard

A BJ Review: The Silvers by J. A. Rock

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Rating:   3.75 out of 5 stars

The SilversWhat humans want from the Silver Planet is water. What they find is a race of humanoids who are sentient, but as emotionless and serene as the plants and placid lakes they tend. B, captain of the mission, doesn’t believe that the “Silvers” are intelligent, and lets his crew experiment on them. But then he bonds with Imms, who seems different from the others-interested in learning, intrigued by human feelings. And B realizes that capturing, studying, and killing this planet’s natives has done incalculable damage.

When a fire aboard B’s ship kills most of the crew and endangers Imms, B decides to take him back to Earth. But the simplicity of the Silver Planet doesn’t follow them. Imms learns the full spectrum of human emotions, including a love B is frightened to return, and a mistrust of the bureaucracy that wants to treat Imms like a test subject, even if they have to eliminate B to do it.

The version I read is a revised second edition. I owned the original version by Jill Smith but had not gotten around to reading it, so when I noticed a new edition was coming out and that it was actually by an author that I’d read and enjoyed other stories by, I had to read it.

Outstanding world building in this sci-fi story. It takes place partially on an the Silver planet and partially on Earth. The description of the Silver planet and the culture of its people is vividly drawn, detailed, and fascinating. I adore reading sci-fi stories where the aliens are truly unique and different from humans, not just merely humans of a different skin color or something. This was totally that. I loved the description of the silver anatomy with its bruise like skin, floating heart, and some of the special abilities they have such as staying under water for a long, long time and going into the ground. Excellent sci-fi elements! The Silvers were original, and the first part of the story written while they were on their planet, while the darkest and most disturbing part, was also my favorite. Unfortunately, once the story moved to Earth, it began to slow down and really drag for me in parts.

This is not a light or happy story, in fact, it read as rather depressing a lot of the time. It deals with issues that made me think and feel and ponder. There are some parts that shimmer with tension, and some other parts that seemed flat, unemotional and slow. The first part, set on Planet Silver, was heartbreakingly sad as we see the way the humans thought of and treated the peaceful Silvers. The cast of characters on that ship was quite interesting, as was the outcome of their time there. To be honest, I didn’t like B at all at the beginning, but as the story went on, I at least began to understand him if not ever fully liking him.

On the other hand, Imms (who B started out calling Roach…shudder) was fascinating and heartbreaking right from the beginning to the end. He reminded me a little of Pinocchio wanting to be a real boy.

The prose is sometimes very simple and other times flowery and lyrical almost poetic. The writing style of it didn’t draw me in as closely as it could, which in this case was actually a good thing as it was plenty heart wrenching as it was. A touching, thought provoking romance with mention of sex, but it is all off-page. I enjoyed the ending and yet it did leave me with questions and wanting more.

The new cover on this version is lovely, a subtle, different take on sci-fi that makes me curious. Unique

Pre sales link: Riptide Publishing


Book Details:  

ebook, 2nd edition, 323 pages
Expected publication: July 9th 2016 by Riptide Publishing (first published February 16th 2014)
ISBN 1626493863 (ISBN13: 9781626493865)
Edition LanguageEnglish

A BJ Review: Til Death Do Us Part by Addison Albright

Standard

Rating:  3.25 stars out of 5

Til Death Do Us PartHenry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.

The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive, as well?

Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

I love this sort of story, had been looking from something with this scenario, so for me the story was gripping enough that I finished it in one day to see the conclusion. The descriptions of how they survived on the island were very detailed and obviously very well researched. I enjoyed the story quite a bit, but there were several things that kept me from LOVING it as much as I really did want to.

The survivors did seem to have it remarkably easy on the small island, it wasn’t hard to find water and the supply stayed consistent, there was very little sickness or injuries over the extended length of time they were there. It’s mentioned how dangerous even small injuries can be, and yet there was a mention of blistered hands but no mention of complications from it nor how it was dealt with.  And when we do see one rather serious injury, the care was mentioned but not in depth, and the recovery was pretty much glossed over with no lasting consequences from the injury. They explain how they washed their teeth, but never that anyone had a tooth issue in all that time despite all the fruit sugar and stuff.   

My connection to the characters never felt close I’d find in books that fully engage me. A few days after reading it, I have a hard time to remember them. I wanted to feel more attuned to their emotions and desperation and trauma than what I did. Too much was told than shown, I think, which kept me at a distance from them. And the dialogue often felt unnatural.

Also there were frequent flashbacks to Henry and Sam’s relationship prior to the separation. I think this was meant to make us feel closer to them as a couple, but since it was in the past, I often felt compelled to skim and get back to current matters. The jumping around from present with each guy, then back to the past didn’t work well for me. A little touch once would have been enough for me, I’d actually rather have seen the relationship with Nash develop more rather than the rather cursory depth it was given.

Before they were rescued, despite the lack of depth to the characters, I was invested in the story and would have given it at least a four. But after the rescue, my feelings changed rather quickly. The character’s reactions after the rescue and the dialogue (often times they all seemed to just spout words without even thinking) really changed the heart of the story for me. Because I came to dislike all of them at a time when I should have been feeling for them intensely. All the back and forth, lack of thoughtfulness towards each other and what was said, just pulled me out of the story and made me hardly care.

One character just suddenly dropped off without even a final conversation on page, making me doubt if the other was ever truly in love with him. Basically, the angsty drama I had expected at the end didn’t materialize, it all felt distant. Also, I enjoyed the little boy, Buddy, and his storyline, but again it’s conclusion also so easy and left me wanting just that bit more depth and angst.

Lovely cover is lovely, perfect for the story.

Sales Links:   JMS Books LLC | Amazon


Book Details:  

ebook, 212 pages
Published April 3rd 2016 by JMS Books, LLC
Edition LanguageEnglish
CharactersHenry Miller-Greene, Sam Miller-Greene settingSeattle, WA (United States)
Honiara (Solomon Islands)
Hawaii (United States)

A BJ Review: ’Til Death Do Us Part by Addison Albright

Standard

Rating:  3.25 stars out of 5

Til Death Do Us PartHenry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.

The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive, as well?

Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

I love this sort of story, had been looking from something with this scenario, so for me the story was gripping enough that I finished it in one day to see the conclusion. The descriptions of how they survived on the island were very detailed and obviously very well researched. I enjoyed the story quite a bit, but there were several things that kept me from LOVING it as much as I really did want to.

The survivors did seem to have it remarkably easy on the small island, it wasn’t hard to find water and the supply stayed consistent, there was very little sickness or injuries over the extended length of time they were there. It’s mentioned how dangerous even small injuries can be, and yet there was a mention of blistered hands but no mention of complications from it nor how it was dealt with.  And when we do see one rather serious injury, the care was mentioned but not in depth, and the recovery was pretty much glossed over with no lasting consequences from the injury. They explain how they washed their teeth, but never that anyone had a tooth issue in all that time despite all the fruit sugar and stuff.   

My connection to the characters never felt close I’d find in books that fully engage me. A few days after reading it, I have a hard time to remember them. I wanted to feel more attuned to their emotions and desperation and trauma than what I did. Too much was told than shown, I think, which kept me at a distance from them. And the dialogue often felt unnatural.

Also there were frequent flashbacks to Henry and Sam’s relationship prior to the separation. I think this was meant to make us feel closer to them as a couple, but since it was in the past, I often felt compelled to skim and get back to current matters. The jumping around from present with each guy, then back to the past didn’t work well for me. A little touch once would have been enough for me, I’d actually rather have seen the relationship with Nash develop more rather than the rather cursory depth it was given.

Before they were rescued, despite the lack of depth to the characters, I was invested in the story and would have given it at least a four. But after the rescue, my feelings changed rather quickly. The character’s reactions after the rescue and the dialogue (often times they all seemed to just spout words without even thinking) really changed the heart of the story for me. Because I came to dislike all of them at a time when I should have been feeling for them intensely. All the back and forth, lack of thoughtfulness towards each other and what was said, just pulled me out of the story and made me hardly care.

One character just suddenly dropped off without even a final conversation on page, making me doubt if the other was ever truly in love with him. Basically, the angsty drama I had expected at the end didn’t materialize, it all felt distant. Also, I enjoyed the little boy, Buddy, and his storyline, but again it’s conclusion also so easy and left me wanting just that bit more depth and angst.

Lovely cover is lovely, perfect for the story.

Sales Links:   JMS Books LLC | Amazon


Book Details:  

ebook, 212 pages
Published April 3rd 2016 by JMS Books, LLC
Edition LanguageEnglish
CharactersHenry Miller-Greene, Sam Miller-Greene settingSeattle, WA (United States)
Honiara (Solomon Islands)
Hawaii (United States)