The Next Generation by Roger E Pedersen is the second book in a super powered series featuring Professor Steele’s ‘Golden Eagle’ organization, taken over by his nephews after his disappearance. At the same time, twin brothers take control of the rival group DODGE (Department of Defense Genetically Engineered). Both organizations set out to find talented new recruits with the strongest superpowers, and this book charts the activities of the recruiters who travel the world wielding their power mostly for selfish or trivial advantage. The action culminates in a thrilling air battle bringing all the characters together for a final clash of superpower against superpower.
This fascinating story is written as a series of dossiers, as if recording facts, although it is not clear who is making the records. This is an interesting and original idea that could have been quite successful as a structural technique, particularly with the historical fantasy nature of the plot. However, I felt the structure was inconsistent, as the ‘dossiers’ contained descriptions of actions as well as dialogue.
The story is very detailed and filled with lots of facts and descriptions that serve to create very detailed characters, just as in book one. For example, Brittany’s description of the value of her necklace:
“… many people compliment Brittany on her beautiful emerald, [sic] green necklace. She says, “Thank you. It was a birthday present to me. I’ve always wanted an emerald necklace from Columbia [sic] where the darkish green and most expensive emeralds are mined.”
The Next Generation continues the intriguing story setup in book one and illustrates Pedersen’s painstaking research into the detailed development of his characters. For fans of super hero fiction, or for anyone looking for a book that focuses on character development, you will find plenty of details to dive into in Roger E Pedersen’s fascinating action adventure novel.
Pages: 316 | ASIN: B098VPTXM9
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Inside Out follows a young man and his friends as they see their dystopian world torn apart by Freedom Fighters and their government’s harsh reaction to them. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I began writing this novel over a decade ago – when I was twelve years old. I was quite an angsty teenager (I am now quite an angsty twenty-something!) I suppose the real genesis of this novel was asking the question “what’s the worst world I can imagine and what would the consequences be of that?” Worryingly, I think the premis has got closer to reality over time.
Zack is an interesting character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
Inside Out has an ensemble cast – all dear to my heart – but Zack is one of my favourites! He has a very fierce protective streak in him and that gets more apparent as the story goes on. Without wishing to give too much away, that need to protect leads him to take some fairly extreme measures. Whether or not they’re sensible – I’ll leave the readers to decide!
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
One of the biggest themes I wanted to tackle was the destructive evil of prejudice. As a disabled woman, that’s something I’ve had to contend with all my life. It is such a pointless, baseless concept, and yet it ruins so many lives. I also wanted to tackle the fact that those who are in power are not always the best suited to it, and the lengths they will go to maintain their standing.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am currently running final checks on the sequel to Inside Out. Hopefully, it will be released by the end of this year. I am so excited for my lovely readers to experience it!
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Lady Silver follows a warlock and a soldier who grudgingly join forces to prevent the multiverse from collapsing. What was the inspiration for the setup to your epic space opera?
To be totally honest, I really don’t know. I grew up on the original “Star Trek” and “Lost in Space.” Had a major pre-teen crush on Captain Kirk. Then came “Star Wars” and “Battlestar Galactica.” There was “Star Trek: Next Generation” and “Voyager.” I was, and still am, an avid Dungeons and Dragons player.
I think it was a combination of all of these factors, plus my voracious appetite for reading sci-fi, fantasy, and horror books, that formed the basis for the world I’ve constructed in the “Warlock Chronicles” series. I always thought it would be incredibly kick-butt if elements of space-faring sci-fi and epic fantasy could meld. So when I began writing the series, this is basically what came out.
I began writing this tale 30 years ago. It’s gone through multiple incarnations over the years with the final product the one you see in print today.
Bastion and D’Isaac are intriguing and well developed characters. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
I wanted a strong male character who was not ashamed to be male. You won’t find Bastion in skinny jeans or sporting a man-bun. And I wanted to portray a woman who wasn’t afraid to be feminine, to embrace her feminine nature, but who also wasn’t afraid to be strong when she needed to be. I wanted her to grow over the course of the tale from something that society forced her to be to who SHE wanted to be and who she really is. I wanted main characters who weren’t afraid to demonstrate, “This is who I am and I will not allow society as a whole or any one individual to make me into something I’m not.”
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
I wanted to demonstrate how a woman could be a woman in the true and traditional sense while also being strong, independent, and a power to be reckoned with all on her own. The same for the male lead character. Men face just as much pressure to conform to society’s idea of “normal” as women.
It was also important to me to show that doing what is right isn’t always easy, it isn’t always pretty, and it isn’t always something we may want to do. Sometimes you have to fight your way through a lot of what’s not right before you can get to what is right. The ends don’t always justify the means, but sometimes they do. That’s just a fact of life.
This is book one in the Warlock Chronicles. What can readers expect in book two?
“INTO THE WELL: Warlock Chronicles, Book II” picks up the story where “LADY SILVER” ended. It continues the trek of the Maelstrom and her crew into Well space in search of the lost homeworld of the human and warlock races. In Book II, D’Isaac and Bastion must find a way to seal the breach in the barrier between dimensional layers before the multiverse itself unravels. There will be a Book III (“The Emperor’s Son”) and Book IV (“The God of Rycappa”) coming also.
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War Bunny is a riveting post-apocalyptic tale with a wonderful twist that I thoroughly enjoyed. Humans have been consigned to history, and the land has returned to a lush world where sweet herbs grow by the side of rivers and the lives of animals provide the drama. In the world of the rabbits, the predators are the Blessed while a rabbit is doomed to live “only until it is needed” as a meal. They are taught to welcome dying as the natural order of things, and they’re held in such low esteem by the wolves and foxes who hunt them, that they call them “lunch meat”. Anastasia is a rabbit who cannot follow the rules, and she is cast out of her burrow for not conforming. She also questions the rabbits’ preordained destiny as food for predators.
Author Christopher St. John has created a uniquely imaginative post-apocalyptic story while also providing some subtle but poignant commentary on society. The story is creative and droll at times which helps to break up what could have been an overly dark novel. One way he does so is through the clever use of character names. Regardless of their species, the characters all have names in a variety of styles, from the elegant Anastasia and Nicodemus to the goofy Love Bug and Bricabrac. With humor, he draws attention to his use of names when Bricabrac, the craftrat, introduces himself to a mouse called Death Rage. “O, that’s nice,” he says, without irony. “Very feminine.”
Besides this, the story paints a picture of a bunny world that is much more gory and violent than you might expect for rabbits. For example, where you might expect a warren to be called something like Cowslip, as in Watership Down, in War Bunny the home warren is called Bloody Thorn. The very name War Bunny sounds like a contradiction of terms and I love how that seeming contradiction is used throughout the book.
The ending was satisfying and I enjoyed the journey. War Bunny is a fantastic post-apocalyptic adventure novel that provides readers with an offbeat but ingenious story that will stay with them long after they’ve put the novel down.
Pages: 378 | ASIN: B096D18C15
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The Return of the NY Villains for Justice is Marta Nater’s second book of the Villains for Justice series. The story is centered around the villains that were introduced in the first book and the social causes each of them were fighting for. Nina Dansk returns to punish predators and sexual abusers alongside Cora Rollins. Jerico Raven and Danny Rojas team up to help the security forces fight crime and corruption. Shadow Claw on the other hand, the most powerful of all, finds out a secret about his family that will make him want to remain neutral amidst the turmoil that starts to rise in the streets of New York, but it is a neutrality that will be challenged as he starts to feel the safety of his family and friends threatened. Furthermore, inspired by the older villains, a new villain, Amadou, appears in New York with the main goal of bringing an end to the constant racism and discrimination that certain races were experiencing in society, and combating the police brutality that brought an unjustified destructive force upon them.
The villains inevitably team up, which was fun to see, considering the first book only told their stories separately. Many of these villains end up confronting one another, since they disapproved of the way in which some of them were punishing criminals, which brought some interesting interactions to the story. Despite the hatred that some of these villains had for other villains, friendships are made and a group of vengeful vigilantes is formed. Wanted by the police and security forces of various countries, while also being loved and supported by the public, these villains carry their mission of taking justice into their own hands, escaping the law and fighting the most vicious criminals.
The story is highly entertaining. Even though they are trying to bring some level of justice to society and mostly punish the most horrible criminals, they use some violent tactics to achieve their goals, which at the same time stands in their way and doesn’t allow them to get the support that they need from the police force. However, one can’t help but cheer for them despite these flaws. Throughout the story, one can see how some of them even get to change their ways and soften up a bit, trying to find a good balance in the manner they carry out their plans. The story also has some important things to portray about the current state of the legal system, a system that often allows the criminals to get away with their crimes while the victims are left unprotected, which is something that demands some reflection.
The characters are intriguing and it’s interesting following their thought processes and motives, they definitely have some conflicting views about the world. The story is gripping and full of action: the villains are constantly moving around, running away from the police and fighting criminals, so it’s impossible to get bored while reading what each of them are up to. The writing needs a little more editing to improve some aspects of it, but nevertheless the plot is interesting enough to keep the readers glued to the page, eager to find out how the adventure of these New York villains will end. The Return of the NY Villains for Justice is an entertaining story full of fun scenes that will make you wonder, through its social commentary, what you would stand for if such villains were on the loose in your area.
Pages: 91 | ASIN: B09CDWR7YX
Tags: A Fantasy Novel, action, adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, crime fiction, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, Marta Nater, mystery, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, The Return of the NY Villains for Justice, thriller, writer, writing
Bryanna is powerful. It is entirely within the realm of possibility that she is more powerful than even she believes or understands. It is certain that others greatly underestimate the contribution she will soon make. A member of a race different in so many ways from humans, she is able to channel energy, perceive the feelings and internal cries of others, and maintain a shield of defense around herself and those she is bound to protect. There is an apocalypse on the horizon. Those who are responsible know not what they are about to encounter in Bryanna D’Isaac–the woman who is carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders.
Lady Silver: Warlock Chronicles, Book I, by Bobbie R. Byrd, is the science fiction masterpiece centered around main character, Bryanna D’Isaac. Byrd has created an engaging storyline for fans of technologically-rich novels. Cover to cover, Lady Silver delivers action and drama all the while providing readers with superb character development.
Right out of the gate, Byrd’s novel sets audiences up for quite the adventure. We are introduced to the determined Syndria and her intense focus on the mission she has been handed. There is a certain level of ominous doom surrounding readers’ first moments with Syndria. The feeling of building anticipation is addressed on nearly every page. Byrd never allows readers to lose sight of the characters’ missions and the imminent danger which they all face.
Science fiction tales can not stand alone on futuristic aspects–there absolutely must be characters with depth who snag my attention. Byrd absolutely provides that with Bryanna D’Isaac and Devon Bastion. There is something about the mixture of warlocks and space that gives Byrd’s book a special feel.
I truly love the combination of wizardry and science fiction in this novel. Characters Bryanna and Devon could not have been paired any more perfectly. I highly recommend Lady Silver: Warlock Chronicles to anyone looking for a new science fiction author/series to follow. This book contains no lulls, no breaks in the action, and packs a great punch. I look forward to reading more of Byrd’s works.
Pages: 344 | ASIN: B0997Y4T2B
Tags: action, adventure, author, Bobbie Byrd, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, LADY SILVER, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, science fiction, scifi, space opera, story, writer, writing
Hidden Demon by Fish Phillips is a fast-paced crime thriller following Dee Johnson, a US Secret Service Agent who is shot in the line of duty, while trying to save the president of the United States. While healing from the wound, Dee learns she’s fired. The account of Dee going from government agent to civilian life becomes more complicated when she learns a comrade and superior sabotaged her career, and then cold-heartedly fired her. Now Dee needs to restructure her life for the civilian world and heal not only from a gunshot wound but from the betrayal of a trusted friend.
Author Fish Phillips cleverly hides the demon among friends. He creates a military bond of secret service agents who trust each other explicitly. The action is gritty and hard-hitting, and the reader never suspects a mole among the group of trusted comrades because the characters all feel authentic.
This is a detailed and fast moving political thriller woven with realistic action and dialogue. The novel begins in Japan, 2044, as an unsuccessful Secret Service mission is underway, where many soldiers die, and Dee is wrongly held accountable. Dee returns to Washington DC where she accepts another mission, but this time it’s a covert op. This request comes from a phone call straight from the President. I loved the setup to the missions and deep political intrigue embedded in the story because I always felt the importance of their missions, which ensures readers are completely invested in the characters and the storyline.
The narrative is concise and consistently moving forward. This is quite a lean novel, with a solid understanding of the path its forging for readers. However, though the novel is packed with exciting scenes, it took me a few chapters to get a grasp on what was going on because of the fast pace, but I’m sure other readers will enjoy how quickly things move.
Hidden Demon has readers questioning everything in this exciting action-adventure novel. Fans of complex but well conceived plots that come together in entertaining ways will have plenty to enjoy in this slick thriller.
Pages: 346 | ISBN: 9781733865630
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The Oath Breaker continues the story in The Witch Hunter General series. What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce in this book that were different from book one?
I really wanted to add some emotional depth to Victor’s character and make sure he didn’t come off as just some mindless, heartless killing machine. He may be an immortal half-witch, but he is also still half-human who is dealing with an immense amount of grief, sorrow, and loss. I’ve also always loved the idea of the hunter becoming the hunted and wanted to incorporate that element into his story. I think Victor being on the run really gave him a chance to face his metaphorical as well as literal demons head-on which gave him some extra depth for the rest of his team to try to navigate as well. I love watching their team dynamic unfold as the story progresses.
Victor Cain continues to be a riveting character. What were some challenges that you felt were important to his characters development in this book?
I tried to make Victor just as complex as any living person. He’s been struggling with so many things for so long; from the death of his wife and son, to his loss of faith and hatred of God, to the betrayal of the Inquisition. He is a man besieged by guilt and near-crippling depression, all while still trying to lead his team who don’t know if they can fully trust him anymore. Trying to convey all of those things and make it honest and believable was definitely challenging and the most important for his development.
What scene in the book did you have the most fun writing?
The scene that jumps out at me as the most fun to have written was the siege of Requiem Tower. The chaos and devastation the Thunderbird wreaks was a pure joy to write.
What can readers expect in the book in the series?
I think readers will be able to expect a thrilling and epic conclusion in the third book of the trilogy. There are many more battles to be fought and revelations to be had by the time it ends. I am also currently working on a series of short stories that tie into the novel series, each one focusing on an individual character before they joined Victor’s team. There just might be a spin off series in the works as well.
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