A Free Dreamer Review: Dawn (Expedition 63 #3) by T.A. Creech

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Sequel to Expedition 63 Book 2: Dark

Yakecen Sinohui can see the end in sight for the stranded crew of the Station. Each breath is a countdown until they’re able to return to Earth, until the poison clouds have cleared enough to leave. Though it’s a bad idea, Yakecen is drawn into the orbit of their resident biologist, Eli, someone who has kept Yakecen’s head in the game with his sunny presence.

The universe, however, has one last middle finger to give the weary crew.

Eli Palamo doesn’t object to Yakecen’s covert attention. He’s pined for his friend from the first moment they met, and isolation has strengthened their bond as the hardships forced them lean on each other completely. Yakecen is all he’s ever wanted. Nothing will be enough to tear them apart, if Eli has anything to say about it, not even Yakecen’s own demons. Definitely not the end of their disastrous mission and their fight for survival.

“Dawn” is the third and most probably final part of the “Expedition 63” series. While each book features a different couple, I don’t think it will work as a stand-alone.

Just like the two previous books, I found “Dawn” too short and shallow for my likes. The setting is fascinating and has great potential but the execution just kind of fell flat for me.

This time, Eli and Yakecen are paired off, the last two singles on the station. There are some hints that Yakecen has faced abuse in the past. He’s very particular about personal space, loud noises and intimacy. He also seems to have some physical scars. We never find out what kind of abuse he faced, though. Really, we learn next to nothing about either of our MCs, only small bits and pieces but not enough to make them feel like real people with actual depth.

The relationship felt very rushed. Which is odd, because they’ve known each other for years and were stuck on the small space station for three whole years. But the book is so short, and there was need for some actual plot in the second part, I guess there just wasn’t time for any kind of build-up. We don’t learn much about these two in the previous books, so that’s no help either.

The action in the second half was actually kind of exciting. Quite dramatic, certainly. Again, I wish it had gotten more depth, though. As such, it was all a mad rush with very few details.

I’m assuming this will be the final part of the series, since there’s nobody left to pair off. As such, I found the ending kind of dissatisfactory. There were just too many unanswered questions left. I’d love a fourth book for some kind of closure, but I don’t think there will be one.

Overall, the “Expedition 63” series was an okay read for me. Great potential, but lacking in the execution. It was all too short and shallow and “Dawn” was probably my least favourite of the three.

I’m still not a fan of the cover. Once again, the space station and the planet underneath are gorgeous, but the guy just looks like an alien. At least it fits with the rest of the series.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC  | Amazon

Book details:

Kindle Edition, 101 pages
Published July 28th 2018 by JMS Books LLC
ASINB07FSGDZJN
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesExpedition 63 #3

Release Blitz for Dawn (Expedition 63::Book #3) by T.A. Creech (giveaway)

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Buys Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books
 
Length: 31,400 words
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Expedition 63 Series
 
Book #1 – Dusk – Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books
Book #2 – Dark – Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books



Blurb


Sequel to Expedition 63 Book 2: Dark


Yakecen Sinohui can see the end in sight for the stranded crew of the Station. Each breath is a countdown until they’re able to return to Earth, until the poison clouds have cleared enough to leave. Though it’s a bad idea, Yakecen is drawn into the orbit of their resident biologist, Eli, someone who has kept Yakecen’s head in the game with his sunny presence.


The universe, however, has one last middle finger to give the weary crew.


Eli Palamo doesn’t object to Yakecen’s covert attention. He’s pined for his friend from the first moment they met, and isolation has strengthened their bond as the hardships forced them lean on each other completely. Yakecen is all he’s ever wanted. Nothing will be enough to tear them apart, if Eli has anything to say about it, not even Yakecen’s own demons. Definitely not the end of their disastrous mission and their fight for survival.

 

About the Author


I am a house-parent to a rambunctious small child and happily mated to an equally rambunctious military spouse. My adventures in writing began with fanfiction, and once I was hooked I never looked back.


While I’ve always tried to make my fanfiction unique, what I enjoy most about creating original work is the ability to delve into my stranger ideas without worrying about how I might apply them to someone else’s world and characters. With my own creations, I take pride in twisting familiar tropes into something new and unexpected.


When I write, it is with the intention that my stories will leave a lasting impression. I hope you enjoy the characters and the worlds I create, and that they help you to find a place to exist, for a while, outside of your own.


–T.A. Creech

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A Free Dreamer Review: Dark (Expedition 63 #2) by T.A. Creech

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

As the stranded inhabitants of the Space Station mark the opening of their second year since the world ended, Saito Naotatsu is determined to shake off some part of the grief infecting their temporary home. Maybe find a little happiness, too, with his best friend and communications specialist, Turlach Quinn.

The situation explodes when Turlach finds his attraction to Saito confusing and relentless. At every turn, it seems Saito is there to break his control. With the Station falling apart around their ears and the crew breathing down his neck, Turlach finally has enough.

Problems keep piling up. The crew is weary and waiting. Earth is a dark shadow of what it once was. Will they ever get home? Is there even anything left to go home to?

While “Dark” features a different couple than “Dusk”, I do believe you need to read part one before you can fully understand part two.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue the series after “Dusk”, which was just an okay read overall, but when the opportunity presented itself, I couldn’t resist. And it paid off. “Dark” was definitely better than “Dusk”.

Part of it was probably because Turlach and Saito are just getting together and we get to experience the whole falling-in-love thing. Usually, I enjoy established couples, but in this case, I think the new couple had a better dynamic than the established one. The connection I missed in part one was much more present in this sequel.

We also see a bit more of how life on the station works from day to day. Once again, not a whole lot actually happens action-wise. But we do get more details of how the crew stays alive, which was mostly skipped over in part one.

But once again, the book is just too short to fully live up to its potential. The setting is really unique  and not one I’ve come across before. It’s a shame the story doesn’t get more room to truly unfold. There was also a bit of gay for you and drama because of lack of communication, which are two tropes I don’t particularly care for.

If you liked book one, you should read part two as well. While there’s still room for more, I definitely liked “Dark” more than “Dusk”. And now I really want to find out how this all ends.

The cover looks good but doesn’t really fit the story imo. The person looks like an alien, when there are none in the story. Once again, it would’ve looked better with just the space station.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC  |  Amazon

Book details: ebook,110 pages

Published May 19th 2018 by JMS Books

A Free Dreamer Review: Dusk (Expedition 63 #1) by T.A. Creech

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

When contact is lost with Mission Control, Commander John Dennington isn’t overly concerned. Such hiccups in communication are common. The first inkling of the larger problem occurs when he sees the very shape of the world change before his eyes.

John must ease his crew into a new mission and keep the Station together by any means necessary. The crew jeopardizes their chances by fighting his orders, but Jason Weiss, his mission specialist and the light of his life, makes John’s situation more bearable.

The smallest malfunction to Station or crew would spell the end for six astronauts trapped high above a ruined Earth. It’s their mission to carry on. Random chance of the universe hasn’t operated in their favor so far, but John is determined to see them all safely home.

I’ve read plenty of books set in space but I’ve never read one that’s set on a space station in this day. I think it makes for a very interesting setting.

The blurb made me expect lots of action and suspense. It’s the end of the world, after all! But the plot is very slow to unfold and not all that much actually happens. There was one suspense-filled scene toward the end, but that’s about it.

I really enjoyed that scene but I did wish for some more action and a little more detail. We never really get to see how the six of them make this mess work. There’s quite a big time skip, so we are presented with the final solution very soon.

I didn’t expect a lot of romance from this book. And there wasn’t. That was mostly fine by me, though I would have liked a little more detail again. How John and Jason met, how they came to love each other, how they spent their lives before they went to the space station.

Having said all that, “Dusk” did have a certain kind of pull. It was quietly addicting and I found it very hard to put down. It was a very fast read and I quite enjoyed it. I was sad that it ended so soon.

If you find yourself between two books and need a quick read, “Dusk” might just be the book for you. If, however, you want an action-packed romance with lots of world building, you will probably be disappointed.

Usually, I don’t read sequels of a book that I’ve given less than 4 stars. There are too many potentially brilliant books out there to spend time on a book I’m pretty sure will only be average. However, I do want to find out how this whole mess ends, so I’m definitely interested in the next part. I think this has potential to be really awesome.

The cover is a bit of a mixed bag for me. I do like the general look of it and the colours are really pretty, but I’m not so fond of that man in the stars hovering behind the space station. I think it would look better without him.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon

Book details: ebook,135 pages

Published March 17th 2018 by JMS Books LLC

Release Blitz – Dusk (Expedition 63: Book One) by T.A. Creech (excerpt and giveaway)

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Universal Buy Links

Length: 42,700 words approx.

Publisher: JMS Books

 
Blurb


When contact is lost with Mission Control, Commander John Dennington isn’t overly concerned. Such hiccups in communication are common. The first inkling of the larger problem occurs when he sees the very shape of the world change before his eyes.

John must ease his crew into a new mission and keep the Station together by any means necessary. The crew jeopardizes their chances by fighting his orders, but Jason Weiss, his mission specialist and the light of his life, makes John’s situation more bearable.

The smallest malfunction to Station or crew would spell the end for six astronauts trapped high above a ruined Earth. It’s their mission to carry on. Random chance of the universe hasn’t operated in their favor so far, but John is determined to see them all safely home.

Excerpt
 

“Nobody’s going to be angry if you literally can’t get a hold of them,” John tried to placate him. The wrinkled nose on his cool bronze face didn’t reassure him that Yakecen would let it go, but he had to try. His prickly friend was going to blow a gasket one day and John hated the thought.

Yakecen confirmed his fear with a shake of his head, simple crow black braid swishing against the interior panels like an agitated cat’s tail. “I don’t want to get dressed down again. The last time, the asshole on the other end of the line said she’d put a reprimand in my file if I couldn’t stay on schedule.”

That was news to him. “Who told you this?”

“Some drone in Control. I don’t remember,” he told John, the discomfort in his whole body clear as day. Yakecen wasn’t a people person on his good days and when someone had a problem with his work, it just made him dig his heels in.

John sighed and ran his index finger down the bridge of his nose. It didn’t help the headache that brewed right behind his eyes. “I’ll get it straightened out. People can’t expect everything to go perfectly all the time and they shouldn’t take it out on you.”

“Thanks, John.” Yakecen meant it, John saw it in the earnest way he thanked him. John was happy to be the buffer for his crew, especially for Yakecen, but fuck, he hoped someone would take up the duty once they back on the ground. John had plans and he couldn’t do that job full time.

John nodded and started to back out of the capsule. “So, yeah, comms are down. Just sit tight, okay?”

“Sure thing.” Yakecen ducked out of sight between the seats. “And tell whoever has the camera to knock off with the flash. It’s so bright, going off in here, that it almost gave me a headache.”

John paused. A camera flash wasn’t anywhere near that strong and the interior wasn’t that dark. And someone would’ve made a lot of racket getting past the garbage container over his head. “You see who it was?”

“No,” was the muffled answer, but his crewmember popped up again and gave John a strange look. “I didn’t see anyone when I checked. Although, how any of our guys avoided me seeing them, I’ll never know. Saito even has a problem getting in here.”

Saito was the smallest of them all, barely five feet in his socks.

“Huh.” That was peculiar. “You know, Turlach was saying the same thing. Maybe Saito knows something about it. He’s been in Destiny for a few hours now.”

“It was annoying as fuck.” Yakecen popped back out of his spot and pointed a finger at John. He hated that finger, because Yakecen always managed to have a disapproving look that matched John’s mother’s so perfectly, he thought they were clones for a second. “I don’t have a problem with the candid shots, but not while I’m working in here. It’s too dark for it.”

“Understood,” John promised.

About the Author

I am a house-parent to a rambunctious small child and happily mated to an equally rambunctious military spouse. My adventures in writing began with fanfiction, and once I was hooked I never looked back.

While I’ve always tried to make my fanfiction unique, what I enjoy most about creating original work is the ability to delve into my stranger ideas without worrying about how I might apply them to someone else’s world and characters. With my own creations, I take pride in twisting familiar tropes into something new and unexpected.

When I write, it is with the intention that my stories will leave a lasting impression. I hope you enjoy the characters and the worlds I create, and that they help you to find a place to exist, for a while, outside of your own.

–T.A. Creech

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A MelanieM Review: Knight Errant (Legends of Osaire Book 2) by T.A. Creech

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Sequel to Witch King

When an Archmage needs a guard to see him through the enchanted Alahanai Forest, dwarf Einith Redstone jumps on the opportunity. The amount of coin offered for the contract is enormous, and he wants to help a fellow dwarf find his Heartstone. And then Einith is stunned when the enticing elf Tae’liamath joins them as their guide.

Their journey through Alahanai is more dangerous than expected, physically and personally. Between the search for a missing knight out of legend and a bond unexpectedly formed, Einith and Tae find themselves growing close, and their emotions are sent reeling. With a Heartstone at stake, magickal encounters, and falling for each other, Einith and Tae have much to overcome before their journey ends.

Knight Errant (Legends of Osaire Book 2) by T.A. Creech reads like a much longer story.  In  that I mean, the author, T.A. Creech has managed to make 107 pages feel like double that in a marvelous way.  Creech (a new author for me) managed some lovely universe building, great characters that made me committed to the tale and their relationships (I laughed, cringed, and white-knuckled in all the right places).  Not only that but did it in a way that I felt I didn’t lose much by coming in at the second story.

Yes, once again I dropped into a series at book two. Honestly I had no idea because when you are looking at the title there was no indication there was a previous story or even a series. However, I enjoyed this so much that I intend to go back and pick that one up asap.  Unfortunately I already know how it ends (those characters appear here), and my favorite ones from this story, the dwarf and the elf will probably be nowhere at all.  Sigh.  How I came to love them both!

Yes, I think this will turn out to be one of those series that needs to be read in sequence as when the characters from the first story popped up here I really had no idea who they were or their importance in this universe (huge).  What I enjoyed was the author’s myth building, ability to create an atmosphere (in one case dark, full of black magic) and make me feel it creep from the page as well as play with the characters emotions.

The romance between dwarf Einith and elf Tae is slow, and a wonderful thing to behold.  I loved Einith and his recognition that his Heartstone might be at hand was a joy to read. I really could have used a second book with these two and I hope this is not the last of them that we see in this series.  There’s another couple here too that you will need just as much of.  The four of them are just plain addictive narratively speaking. More, T.A. Creech, I definitely need more!

So back to book one I go.  If you are as unfamiliar with this series as I was, you will want to go there to.  There head here for a wonderful fantasy adventure.

Cover art is dramatic and perfect for the story.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 107 pages
Published July 8th 2017 by JMS Books LLC
ASIN B073MFBBDS

A Lila Review: Witch King by T.A. Creech

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Witch KingKing Solna Nalion is tired of war. Standing in the aftermath of yet another battle over an ancient insult, he longs for the possibility of ending the wars at last — and finds it in Vius Tylele, a wounded warrior who is not what he seems. In light of Tylele’s charm and intelligence, Nalion schemes to unite their countries for a lasting peace, one that might even bring love.

Nothing is as it seems and Vius Tylele knows that all too well. But King Nalion’s marriage proposal, while ridiculous, has merit. Between petulant generals, tainted magic, and falling unexpectedly in love, Vius discovers he has more to lose than he thought. His country, his magic, and even his heart.

Witch King was a surprising find. I loved the book’s premise and how vivid the opening scene was. Solna’s and Vius’s connection became evident with the simplicity of their first contact and the reverence Solna had toward the injured man he kept in his arms until he had to let go.

From the beginning, we get a good view of Solna’s commitment to his people and how hard he had worked to defend them. It was nice to see a king willing to do everything to bring peace to his kingdom even if it was at his expense. Vius was lovely and his reasons, when different from Solna’s, were more important than his own happiness. We get two selfless men in search of more from life.

There are many secondary characters involved in the story. We get their names, relationships, and a good reason for most of them to be part of the story. There’s also a good sense of place, and the world build is perhaps too far reaching for such a short story. It has good bones; it just needed a couple of extra pages.

Yes, the story suffered just like any other novella from the lack of additional content to explain how things happened behind the scenes or to wrap-up every single loose thread. It feels like it’s missing some chapters and a solid ending. Overall, it’s a fantastic story with lots of potential to be turned into a novel or a series of novellas.

I like the cover, but personally, I’d had switched the two pictures, having King Solna on the bottom and Vius on top.

Sale Links: JMS Books | Amazon | ARe

Book Details:

ebook, 88 pages
Published: June 11, 2016, JMS Books
ISBN: 9781634861281
Edition Language: English