Book Review: Electric Grids (Electric World Book 2) by M. Black

Electric Grids (Electric World Book 2) by M. Black

A Sicence Fiction/Cyberpunk Novel published (04/25/18)

Summary:

After finally escaping the Electric Gardens, Lexi and her friends find a post-apocalyptic world on the outside of the Tins’ compound. They don’t have time to stop and admire the wasteland because they are being pursued by the Tins. With a Tin of their own, they have a destination in mind, to find the other enlightened Tins and band together.

Keywords:

Science Fiction, Robotics, Apocalypse, Technology, Dystopian, Teenagers, Strict, Escape, Rules, Secrets, Control, Power, Powerless, Desperation, Friendship

My Review:

Electric Grids jumps in right where Electric Gardens left off and pulls the reader immediately back into the sci-fi universe Black has created.

The idea behind the story was solid and intriguing. The concept of robots taking over the world is not new, but the details in Electric Grids come from fresh sci-fi eyes.

A lot of details are left out or glossed over and the writing style does a lot of telling versus showing. For instance, the birth of baby Seth happens nearly instantaneously and without sensory details one would expect with the birth of a baby in the middle of nowhere with limited medical supplies and no doctor.

This novel was published on 04/25/2018.

TL;DR Star Rating: 3.25

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Amazon

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Book Review: Tar by Taylor Hohulin

Tar by Taylor Hohulin

A Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction Novel published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (11/27/18)

Summary:

For as long as Brendan has been alive, there has been tar in the world. Tar infiltrated the world as an infection that took over the bodies of people who got too close to it. Tar attacks the body by hollowing out the insides and replacing blood with blight. There is no cure. Brendan has managed to survive as a salvager, trading his finds for a fitful night of rest in one of the converted hotels that offer safe shelter. The only protection from tar is to stay away from it and those infected, but as easy hauls dwindle in Brendan’s town of Newhaven he must venture to new places and take more risks. Brendan has never known a world without tar and he has become very good at avoiding it, until one day when another gang of salvagers bumps into him. That same day, Brendan runs into another stranger who believes that Brendan is the key to ridding the world of every last speck of tar. If Brendan believes this stranger and goes with him on this quest, would he be better off without a world of tar?

Keywords:

Cyberpunk, Evil, Tar, Post-Apocalyptic, Survival, Mistrust, City, Infection, Distance, Monsters, Avoidance, Salvage, Shelter, Ruin, Power

My Review:

Every book I’ve read by Taylor Hohulin is better than the last. The writing style sucks you into the first page. Being thrust into the middle of an action sequence keeps you reading past the first page. The world Hohulin has built keeps you reading through to the end of the first chapter. By then you are hooked and you haven’t even gotten to the good part yet.

The three main characters were fully developed and had such distinct personalities and backstories. They all felt so alive and real. Brendan does everything he can to stay alive down to the careful skepticism of every stranger, acquaintance and even friend. He doesn’t let down his guard. Almost all his actions are propelled by his strong will to survive. He is one of the most selfish people you will read about. Hohulin cleverly builds Brendan’s character throughout the book, showing us just how far he will go to survive and then puts Brendan into a position where he will have to make a difficult choice. Is there an alternative? Can Brendan make this kind of decision? As a reader, I was so hopelessly obsessed with Brendan and the way he approached the apocalyptic world he lives in, that I finished this book in less than two days.

I loved Krystal! She was the empathetic do-gooder who was easily taken advantage of, always looking for the good in people. And yet, years and years after the apocalypse, she still survives. She is the opposite of Brendan in so many ways and yet they are friends. She is smart and tech-savvy but also the voice of reason and humanity for Brendan. Will she be able to influence him enough that he can set aside his own will to survive and help others or will he finally prove to her that the world is a terrible place?

What is tar? It is more than a simple alien substance. It creates the worst monsters out of people. It is a substance that zombifies its host, but also sticks to inanimate objects, waiting for any victim to walk too close.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. on 11/27/18 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.0

Links for more information:

Taylor Hohulin’s Website

Twitter

Goodreads

Book Review: Sunlight 24 by Merritt Graves

Sunlight 24 by Merritt Graves

A New Adult Science Fiction Novel to be published (10/03/18)

Summary:

“You need power to be heroic, but there’s no way to get it if you’re shackled. So, you have to start as the villain, grab the power, and then put the shackles on.”

Dorian Waters, along with the majority of humanity, cannot afford the nano-implants and genetic augmentations that are now available. Without Revision, Dorian, will never be as smart, as fast, or as good at anything as those who can afford to Revise. He, along with many others, is fast being left behind. Not only can he not compete in the same sports leagues, but he is fast losing any prospects for a job, a career, or a worthwhile life. And that’s no way to live. But Dorian has one trick up his sleeve. All he needs to do is get enough money to Revise and then the smarts that come with that upgrade will help him buy more Revisions. All he needs is that first push, that first bit of cash, to get him started. After that first Revision, there’s no going back and it’s like Dorian has pushed himself down a steep slope and with every passing moment, every little Revision, the momentum pushes him further and faster toward the bottom. And there’s no stopping, only an imminent impact.

Keywords:

Upgrade, Genetic Manipulation, Genetic Augmentation, Implants, Speed, Robberies, Thefts, Criminals, Mastermind, Choice, Self-Enhancement, Anxiety, Worry, Regret, Unravel, Police

My Review:

Ethan is the partner in crime – willing to take everything to its farthest – which makes him the greatest partner, but also the worst in the end. Ethan will pull Dorian in, but he will also pull him in so far that neither of them will be able to crawl back out.

Dorian is smarter than he gives himself credit for and he gives himself enough quite a bit of credit. It’s just not enough to compete with the Revised… Being your best and trying your hardest isn’t enough because the rich kids can purchase better genes and are suddenly twice as good without even trying.

I fell in love with more than just the characters. Their situations and how they felt about their own lives was so tangible, so real that I empathized with them and their actions. Dorian IS a good guy. He spent five years trying to help a guy who had crippling anxiety. He spent years helping his brother pretend to be empathetic and cope with who he is.

I didn’t know what was coming, but I knew something was coming. Something big that was going to blow everything up for Dorian. The ending was everything I wanted it to be and more.

I was so intrigued with everything Jaden… Jaden is this black hole that is drifting closer to planet Dorian, ready to swallow him up.

I loved all the little details of this book and can’t wait to read more by Merritt Graves.

This novel will be published on 10/03/2018

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Goodreads

NetGalley

Book Review: Lakes of Mars by Merritt Graves

Lakes of Mars by Merritt Graves

A Space Opera Science Fiction Novel to be published (09/04/18)

Summary:

“There was so little I understood about this place. It all felt like I was teetering on the edge of a nightmare.”

“What kind of worlds would there be if people invented monsters and no one tried to stop them?”

Aaron expected to be sent to the rim; he expected to die. Instead, Aaron is assigned to Corinth and some other luckless foot-soldier assigned to the rim as a fatality statistic. Corinth is a training ground for students and home to some of the most elite scientists. The first rule of Corinth is to not break the rules, but Aaron and the other new students don’t even know the first rule yet. The superiors look the other way when certain rules are broken, but come down hard on those in their way and it won’t take long for Aaron to stick his nose out too far.

Keywords:

Science Fiction, Space Opera, Death, Planet, Colonize, Friendship, Fighting, Points, Blood, Classes, Science, Lab

My Review:

I was instantly sympathy with the main character, Aaron. Even though he chose his fate to be a suicide, an act of intervention (that we learn the details about later), gives him a kick in the butt to do otherwise with his life. It’s the camaraderie with the other students at Corinth and the sticking up for Sebastian that helps to show him that he wants to live. That he has something to fight for. Aaron spends a lot of time with his inner thoughts and turmoil regarding the morals in the choices he will make. I was right there with him, analysing the problem, and trying to find a solution where people wouldn’t die. It never felt black and white, I was torn about it as much as Aaron.

The lingo for the fights is above my head, but I could feel the excitement and follow the big picture. The specific tech lingo gave the scenes more authenticity, especially within the science fiction genre. My vocabulary; however, was challenged, in a good way. The writing style was smooth, yet complex. I was only confused by the time jumps with chapters.

The classes and the professors appeared authentic, and the information was delivered scientifically and logically. I felt like those classes truly exist somewhere in a universe somewhere. On that note, the world building was incredible.

The plot was built layer by layer into a flawless stack-up that slowly unraveled. Not everything was easy for the characters. They made mistakes. Wrenches were thrown in their plans. New developments arose. It was like watching a real life catastrophe unfold in slow motion. This book had one of the most suspenseful and well-written climaxes that I’ve read.

This novel will be published on 09/04/2018

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Goodreads

NetGalley

Book Review: Electric Gardens (Robot Dystopia) by M. Black

Electric Gardens (Robot Dystopia) by M. Black

A Sicence Fiction/Cyberpunk Novel published (03/15/18)

Summary:

Lexi019 has lived most of her life under the tight control of the robots known as Tins. After the apocalypse, the Tins stepped up to herd and shelter the remaining humans. Lexi019 and some of the others aren’t so sure that the world is uninhabitable outside the Tins’ compound. The Tins’ rules are so strict that Lexi019 would rather take her chances outside. Leaving isn’t an option and escaping might prove more difficult than Lexi019 and her friends can handle by themselves.

Keywords:

Science Fiction, Robotics, Apocalypse, Technology, Dystopian, Teenagers, Strict, Escape, Rules, Secrets, Control, Power, Powerless, Desperation, Friendship

My Review:

 

The world building details in this novel were interesting and full-fledged. I loved reading about this entirely different robotically-run world. Since it’s been over a decade since the ‘apocalypse,’ I wonder what life looks like outside of the Tins’ compound and how the Tins’ technology works.

Lexi019 was very young when she joined the Tins’ compound, so her memories of the world outside of the Tins are vague and mostly unknown. This reminded me of the Maze Runner series and I sense a big reveal or a twist about the world outside of the Tins.

The pacing was a bit flat in the middle of the book and the ending was somewhat abrupt (though concluding of the main action/goal of the characters). The action and Lexi019 carried the book from the beginning to the end. The subplot with Digit was also very intriguing and I wanted to see more of that develop.

The Tins confused me. They appeared to have absolute control over the humans with their very strict rules and their very strict consequences for breaking those rules. Being meshed sounds absolutely horrible! Even with this absolute control, Lexi019 and others are able to go behind the Tins back and get away with quite the number of shenanigans they shouldn’t have been able to get away with.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions shared are 100% my own.

This novel will be published on 03/15/2018.

TL;DR Star Rating: 3.50

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Book Review: Mind Secrets: A Science Fiction Telepathy Thriller (Perceivers Book 1) by Jane Killick

Mind Secrets: A Science Fiction Telepathy Thriller (Perceivers Book 1) by Jane Killick

A Science Fiction Novel published by Amazon Digital Services LLC (01/11/16)

Summary:

Michael wakes up with amnesia, but he knows the agent in front of him is up to no good. Trusting his instincts, he flees. Getting away from the agent wasn’t too hard, but living without memories, identity, money, or a place to go prove much harder. The world he finds himself in is torn between those who can perceive emotions and those who are afraid of the Perceivers. Michael falls in with one of those groups of Perceivers and wants to help them as much as he wants to find out who he was.

Keywords:

Telepathy, Thriller, Mind Power, Sensing, Thoughts, Emotions, Sanctuary, Teenagers, Power, Memory, Friends, Destruction, Confrontation, Secrets, Deception

My Review:

This book was full of action and scenes of chase and destruction. It was a fun read about a possible science fiction future where society is split between those who have a power and those who resent and fear those with that power. Of course people would turn to laws and legislation to bind those with telepathy and to erase whatever part of their minds houses the telepathy with no regard to their identity and opinions. It made me grind my teeth at times how insensitive those in power were for trying to suppress the use and future of telepathy, even when it was ingrained into the person’s identity like another sense.

I did find it hard to believe that the teenagers would be able to oppose the government like they were able to in this book. They also seemed to be able to source whatever they needed in this opposition, such as access to a lab.

I really liked the angle this book took on ‘mind control’ as it was a very soft version of telepathy, like the beginning stages of the evolution of mind control.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services LLC 01/11/16 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 3.75

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Jane Killick’s Website

Book Review: EXOTIQA (YA Robot Cyberpunk Dystopia) (EXOTIQA WORLD Book 1) by M. Black

EXOTIQA (YA Robot Cyberpunk Dystopia) (EXOTIQA WORLD Book 1) by M. Black

A Sicence Fiction/Cyberpunk Novel published by Amazon Digital Services (03/01/17)

Summary:

The technology of the world in 2055 has given humans the ability to easily connect with others using integrated robotic parts. The technology has also created robots that are more human-like than ever. For Fione, as a human, she doesn’t think that the robots are still obeying their fundamental laws. For Maci, as a robot, she has found a way to elevate her consciousness outside of the parameters of the robotic laws. And now her creators are out to shut her down.

Keywords:

Cyberpunk, Robots, Dystopia, Technology, Canada, Human-like, Online, Consciousness, Artificial Intelligence, Identity, Self-Awareness, Politics, Life, Death, Living, Escape, Running, Futuristic

My Review:

The difference in thought, character, personality, and dialogue/speech patterns between the humans and the robots was very distinct. I loved the very different voice of Fione versus Maci and very much appreciated having both distinct voices in alternating chapters. I loved how even Pix differed in personality and thought process from Maci, even though both were robots. Not all ascended robots are equal and this novel does a great job layering in their personalities seamlessly with their voices and not overpowering the ongoing plot.

This book contained a lot of action. The setup for the main premise of the story happened a bit abruptly at the beginning, but the storytelling was fairly seamless from that point on. Fione does not jump at the chance to help Maci immediately and she has her doubts. Fione’s character is built on the mistrust of the robotic infiltration into her world. She is sympathetic to them, as her best friend is also a robot, but she distrusts them as a whole.

I loved the subtle hinting of a potential romance between Fione and her best friend Pix, as if he really is a human.

I did feel that Fione’s overpowering of her mother was a bit off-putting and her mother’s inability to think for herself made her a flat character, but other than that this book was a sound and juicy addition to science fiction and cyberpunk in particular.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services on 03/01/2017 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Book Review: The Watch & Wand: The difference between science and magic is a matter of perspective (Project Gene Assist Book 2) by Allie Potts

The Watch & Wand: The difference between science and magic is a matter of perspective (Project Gene Assist Book 2) by Allie Potts

A Science Fiction/Cyberpunk/Dystopian Novel published by Axil Hammer Publishing (12/5/17)

Summary:

A worldwide economic collapse has left society in shambles with only basic technology. Stephen is able to connect to what’s left of the grid to play a video game with a stranger. What’s left of tech is easy for Stephen to manipulate. It’s not enough to sneak off to play games online and Stephen longs for excitement. That’s exactly what he gets when he has to go to town to get parts. He meets a girl on the run from the new government enforcers – the Watch.

Keywords:

Genetic Engineering, Science and Technology, Rivals, Technology,  Future, Dystopian, Survival, Dark Ages, War, New Government, Towers, Grit, Magic, Evolution, Economic Collapse, New Order, Salvation, Friendship, Romance

My Review:

I was immediately immersed in this post-apocalyptic world. First the focus was just in Stephen’s barn as he connects with a stranger through an online video game. Then the world expands as we see Stephen’s home life “off-the-grid” on the farm. We don’t linger there long before Stephen is off to find parts to fix the grid and our world expands a bit more as we see what a typical town looks like. The world continues to expand as Stephen’s adventure continues and his problems increase.

Stephen was a great character. He underwent a significant change throughout the story. He was willing to take a chance on the strange girl and help her, not expecting anything in return. She, Bean, was also a character I immediately took a liking to in this story. She had many secrets and I liked the mystery that surrounded her. Stephen and Bean together made for a great team and the romance that built between them felt very natural and sweet. Their romance was not the focus of the story, which I appreciated. The story remained focused on Stephen and his goal and the overarching plot that kept sweeping Stephen up in its grasp.

The world felt full. The technology and world building were explained adequately. The only parts that was harder to understand and appreciate fully were the magical element, but I thought the author did a good job integrating the fantasy element into the story and the world.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this novel. This is my honest review.

This novel was published by Axil Hammer Publishing on 12/5/2017 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Allie Potts’ Website

Goodreads

Twitter

Book Review: Falling Into Flight by Linda Jordan

Falling Into Flight by Linda Jordan

A Science Fantasy Novel published through Metamorphosis Press (3/27/15)

Summary:

Caer was the first person born into the post-apocalyptic Seattle with wings. In a world where buildings are grown and ballets are performed in the air, Caer fits right in with her dance company. She only wants to dance, but fate has other plans.

Keywords:

Wings, Evolution, Arts, Dancing, Air Dancing, Flying Ballet, Creativity, Building, Architecture, Family, Future, Apocalyptic, Romance, Soul Mate, Dreaming, Corporate, Corruption

My Review:

A new take on post-apocalyptic fiction! I absolutely love the crossover that happens when science fiction meets fantasy and this book was a wonderful example. Buildings can magically grow and people can be born with wings in this society. These two aspects are uniquely distinct for this world, but they both grew out of the post-apocalyptic history of the world.

I love books set in Seattle and it was interesting to see which parts were ‘underwater’ and which parts were ‘new.’ In this world, there are still high-rises (because buildings grow). I would have liked to see more detail (science) into how they grew buildings, how they killed buildings, and everything in between for this new technology.

The details of the air ballet were incredible and I felt like I was right there in that building watching that performance. I wish air ballet existed today.

The storytelling was smooth and the world building was unique. I wouldn’t mind reading more fantasy by Linda Jordan.

This novel was published through Metamorphosis Press on 3/27/2015 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50

Links for more information:

Linda Jordan’s Website

Goodreads

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