Ellinor Olysha Rask is a feisty warrior on a mission to avenge the murder of her beloved husband, Misho. She holds two parties responsible for the tragedy; the real perpetrators, a bunch of rogue androids, and her former employer, Cosmin, a powerful mafia boss. Her pursuit of vengeance hits a snag when Cosmin abducts her and forces her to take on one last task. She must deliver a coveted magical creature to another mob boss or lose her magical powers forever. Now having to work with her former team she walked away from years ago, Ellinor’s mission is turned on its head when mutiny erupts within the squad. She soon finds herself having to make a difficult decision. Should she complete the task and inch closer to getting her pound of flesh or walk away and learn to live again?
Resistor by C.E Clayton draws its essence from both sci-fi and fantasy genres, but it leans more towards fantasy. Tantalizing fantasy, I must say. The fast-paced, action-packed story is set in Eerden, a fantastic world with intriguing features. The planet’s weird creatures, alongside the fusion of magical and techy stuff, add a burst of color to the story.
The story is one of those “kick ass now, ask questions later” types, and the action is just gripping. At the end of the book, Clayton talks about getting some help from a video game designer, and the book reflects it. From the weapons the characters wield to their combat skills and battle maneuvers, you could tell a true initiate had a hand in creating them. These features are only rivaled by the banter some of the characters often engaged in.
Speaking of characters, I really liked Ellinor, but Kai was the one who simply stole my heart. He’s this big, sweet giant with a tender heart. Think of Hagrid in Harry Potter but with a bigger funny bone. You’d love him.
You could really tell that a lot of effort went into making this book as vivid as possible. While Clayton pays almost obsessive attention to detail, you still only get to know what’s necessary. And her choice of words pulls you in. It brings you closer to the action as she tells a tale of love, betrayal, revenge, loyalty, and heartwarming camaraderie.
Resistor is a well-told story for me. I’d recommend it in a jiffy to lovers of action-packed fantasy, and I genuinely look forward to the sequels.
Pages: 298 | ASIN: B08FBMXP29
The Panama Contagion follows an attorney who must stop an international terrorist organization from killing people. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?
Many strange experiences occurred while my husband and I worked in China with Chinese university students and judges. When China received upgraded trade status with the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United States helped with training China’s judges to learn and implement the WTO’s legal requirements including the Rule of Law. One reason why the US did this was because American companies doing business in China were losing millions of dollars from counterfeit products–they were competing against poor-quality knock-offs of their own products. My husband and I were teachers in that judicial training program, working with China’s judges–some as high as their Supreme Court. From my being hospitalized with early SARS (when China was still covering it up), to a mysterious news editor who appeared at our door professing a terrorist group in Southern China targeting Americans, to touring a primitive island village and finding a modern computer inside a plastic tent on an island filled with hidden caves, to hearing the judges complain about the corruption in their judicial system and how hard it was going to be to implement the Rule of Law, it didn’t take much imagination to create The Net thriller series.
Jason Yi is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?
When the US stepped in to assist China in implementing the Rule of Law,one major barrier to overcome was the existing customs and practices in China. For example, legal decisions weren’t always based on the law–some were determined by who paid the most money to the judge or who had the best family connections, etc. This was deeply ingrained in Chinese culture. Yet the Rule of Law requires that the written laws be followed,interpreted uniformly, and that no one is above the law. The WTO and the US could send in teachers to train the judges, but only by changing the culture and eliminating the corruption could the Rule of Law really be implemented. Of course, it was purely my imagination but I accomplished this in the story by sending in a few undercover Chinese-American attorneys to serve as judges, ferret out corruption, and sway other judges to follow the Rule of Law. Jason Yi is one of those undercover Chinese American attorneys. How he becomes involved is introduced in book 1–The Net Conspiracy. As for ideals behind his character development, there were several: Judges in China are young–some right out of college. The average age is 35. So, Yi would have to be about that age, fluent in the language sand in Chinese and American law, be honorable and trustworthy, and have a sense of adventure in taking on the risk of undercover work. And it never hurts that the protagonist is handsome!
I enjoyed the mystery at the heart of this story. Was this planned before writing or did it develop organically while writing?
I outline when I write and know pretty much where I want a story to go.However, as I wrote The Panama Contagion, the story moved in its own direction–much different than I had planned and it surprised me. I thought the story would be heavy into the virus and the resulting impact on society. Instead, it played out more about the interaction between the characters and their personalities. The Foreigner (bad guy)took on a much more psychotic nature, and a secondary character (Bao) became more involved than I had originally planned. As it turned out,this made for a better ending and segue into book 4, The Harbin Connection.
This is book three in The Net series. What can readers expect in book four?
The terrorist element of The Net organization has pretty much been thwarted, but the vendetta between the Foreigner and Yi (evil and good)will peak in book 4–The Harbin Connection. Where The Panama Contagion dealt with a deadly virus, The Harbin Connection will deal with human sex trafficking. (If you remember in book 3, Bao owned numerous massage/sex parlors that specialized in Caucasian children–acquired through kidnapping and sold off when no longer useful; sold and lost into other markets through the arctic city of Harbin, China.) Bao and Sarah (Yi’s love interest) will play strong roles as The Net targets Sarah to be kidnapped and sold at Harbin. Other evil ploys will prevent Yi’s ability to save her, and her survival will come into question. Yi’s honor and belief in the Rule of Law will be challenged as he comes face-to-face with taking the life of the man he despises. As with the other books in The Net series, book 4 will be filled with international intrigue, suspense, and fast-paced action adventure, without the use of offensive language, graphic sex or extreme violence.
In Jackiem Joyner’s debut novel, Zarya, he takes us on a wild journey through the mythical planet of Cydnus. In the first chapters of the book, there is a heavy focus on the parents of the main character, Zarya, as we are taken through the events right before their mysterious disappearance.
However, later on, the author shifts gears to primarily focus on the main character and her journey through life. As a strong female lead, she exudes brilliance and the unrelenting resistance to hide it, something quite against the norms of the time.
She is portrayed as a confident woman, unhindered by the status quo, and possessing courage that makes her willing to go to extreme lengths to find her parents. Together with her best friend Kizzy, and acquaintance Marco, she embarks on a quest filled with curveballs, tons of action, and unexpected camaraderie.
For a book set in a land that doesn’t value its women, it is interesting that the author includes a lot of strong female characters, all of whom are very keen on making Cydnus a better place. And the few male characters in the book are mostly either evil or rather subdued. It almost seems like the women are fighting against an ill-functioning patriarchal system.
If there is one theme that clearly stands out throughout this book though, it is the importance of family; both chosen and blood bound. But at the heart of it, this book is about the old age fight between good and evil. As such, it contains several scenarios that force characters to choose between what is right and what is easy.
Predictably, the protagonist has a righteous egalitarian vibe to her while the villain seems to be purely evil. In this regard, I feel like more could be done in terms of character development to add more depth to them. I would have loved to see different sides of the characters to make them more realistic.
For instance, it would have been helpful to learn more about how Zarya coped with the absence of her parents in her early childhood and how this affected her behavior. This would have made her plight much more relatable.
However, the plot is solid and is full of detailed and engaging action scenes. Also, the dialogue is quite entertaining and there are no signs of long-winded paragraphs. All things considered, this book is very fast-paced and easy to read. As such, it leaves me yearning to read the sequel. For its ability to enthrall me as a reader, I heartily recommend this book.
Pages: 361 | ASIN: B01J6OXCQY
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The Deck of the Numinon is an epic fantasy novel by GJ Scherzinger. The story takes place in a mysterious universe surrounded by magic. Where cities battle each other for dominance and control, and in faraway lands women in convents known as Sybellines study magical artifacts and train in the arts of shapeshifting. When a deck of magical cards with the power to manipulate people and time falls into the hands of a player with malicious intentions, cards are drawn and a series of catastrophic events follows. As generals and diplomats from the different kingdoms blame each other for the destruction of the fabled towers of Safrasco and prepare their armies for war. The Standish general Artis Ferriman enlists Cerra, a bling girl of humble means, as his agent at the embassy in order to find the culprit of the attacks. Cerra sets off on her journey, accompanied by her demon lover Yutan. Unaware that both of them represent cards in play. While dealing with diplomatic life and an unexpected loss, she soon finds an ally in Havi, a Sybelline trainee entrusted with the mission of finding the deck and removing it from the player. As Cerra navigates a mysterious world dominated by greed, lust, and betrayal, she discovers that her mission goes beyond spying, she is a player in the game representing The Queen of Quills and must embrace those qualities in order to locate the “seer” and stop the game before she runs out of time.
The Deck of the Numinon is an engrossing and riveting novel. From the carefully detailed world to the incredibly original plot, The Deck of the Numinon is everything any fantasy reader can dream of. Once you start reading, there’s no putting the book down. It never gets mundane as events play out smoothly, each with schemes and backstories left and right. The author does an incredible job of describing characters that are complex and unpredictable. Cerra, the main character, is a pacifist unwillingly thrown into conflict, which makes her fun to follow. She is blind, yet her remaining senses compensate for that loss, which makes for a different kind of power. She feels the world in a way that any reader can relate and connect with on a personal level, I know I did! As for the writing, the story is extremely well planned and portrayed, and really has to be to accomplish such a deep story on an epic scale. But the language used is quite complex and can be hard to grasp, an important observation for anyone looking for a light read. All in all, I highly recommend this book for its originality and engaging plot. I definitely recommend it to anyone that enjoys Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones.
Pages: 562 | ASIN: B08CQ937B4
Tags: action, adventure, author, book, book review, bookblogger, ebook, epic fantasy, fantasy, fiction, GJ Scherzinger, goodreads, high fantasy, horror, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, occult, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, sword and sorcery, The Deck of the Numinon, thriller, writer, writing
Quaid is fighting quite the battle within himself. His losses have been great, and he is struggling to get back to normal. Normal for Quaid is far from the normal the rest of us experience. Quaid’s normal involves instinctively knowing who his mate is, and possessing his own wolf form. Right now, Quaid has lost both. Simone, his destined mate, is recovering from a life fraught with trauma, and Quaid is trying to find himself again among all the madness. Will his world ever be righted? Will Simone feel whole again?
Crimson Haze is the fifth book in Georgiana Fields’s Crimson series and focuses on Quaid, his inner demons, and the fight he faces to regain his true form. Following a traumatic amputation, he is unable to change into his wolf form and is plagued with visions of his former self along with a feeling of helplessness where Simone is concerned. Her tragic life up until this point is a source of sorrow for Quaid, but it also presents a dilemma. He doesn’t know how or if he can help her recover from the horrific sexual abuse she has suffered. Quaid, intent on making the world right for them both, sets out to change the course of their lives.
One of the many things that makes Fields’s writing unique and worthy of binging is the sense of family she weaves throughout her cast of characters. Her already unique Dhampir cast captures readers’ attention, but the tight-knit family is evident from cover to cover. From sibling spats to fierce protection and reverence for their elders, her characters offer a long list of relatable qualities for readers.
Throughout the Crimson series, I have been impressed with the way Fields links one book to the next. There is just enough backstory given in each new installment to start readers off on the right foot, and then the new plot is off and running. As with the other books, Fields wastes no time in bringing the action. Readers will not be disappointed with Quaid’s introduction and the events surrounding his struggle to regain everything he has lost. Action is the name of the game with Fields.
Crimson Haze deals with the sensitive issue of sexual abuse in a tasteful way and offers hope to readers. It is strange to look at a vampire fantasy as having a therapeutic effect, but I believe Fields’s plot can provide readers a place of comfort and safety as they lose themselves in Quaid and Simone’s story.
Pages: 508 | ASIN: B07W5X81TW
Tags: action, adventure, author, book, book review, bookblogger, Crimson Haze, ebook, fantasy, fiction, Georgiana Fields, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, paranormal, read, reader, reading, romance, shapeshifter, story, supernatural, suspense, thriller, werewolf, writer, writing
After escaping the Adversary, Shawna Keys is left alone in her quest to find her protégé, Karl, and stay alive, all while trying to find out who is truly the master of the world – in the second part of the serial Worldshapers. In this steampunk, Jules Verne-esque world, our protagonist learns how to deal with and use her unique ability to shape her fate as she enters a whole new world she knows nothing about.
Shawna Keys has a power that almost everyone has wished to possess at some point in their lives – the ability to shape and create things with just a thought. Cool, right? Not for Shawna. Being a Shaper is not that fun when you’re all alone in a world you’ve only ever read about in books. Torn by the constant pressure of not knowing who she can trust, Shawna has to rely on her brains and abilities in order to learn more about the world – and herself, in the process.
Master of The World is the second installment of the Worldshapers series. I would suggest reading book one because there is a lot happening. Luckily, Willet’s style of writing and meticulous skill of storytelling is very easy to follow, creating the feeling of a mutual flow between the author and the reader. This, in combination with the constant excitement and the connection to the great Jules Verne, is what makes this novel a splendid and detailed piece of fiction.
The thing that adds extra excitement when it comes to literature is fantasy-fiction novels. The reason is in the two key segments that these novels nurture: the appearance of a fascinating, almost parallel universe we’ve seen only in our dreams, but never had the privilege to experience; and the element of an almost childish fascination that keeps reminding us to take care of the fragile, unbroken, and innocent little kid that we all carry inside of us. Another criterion, which is not by any means less important than the others, are the skillfully crafted characters that ground us and let us know that, no matter how realistic it looks, we are still indulging in a fantasy world, created by an author that knows how to make that same world magically appear in your head. It seems as if this is exactly what the author has been aiming for in this extraordinarily-written book. Edward Willet has given us yet another rare piece of perfectly-combined fantasy and fiction in his book Master of The World.
Pages: 384 | ASIN: B07LDT9299
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Jenny isn’t like the others. She’s special, but she would never admit it. As a healer, she is able to take away the pain of her patients in the most unique way. When Royce suffers an attack and escapes with the most severe burns she has ever witnessed, it’s left to Jenny to again make him whole. The same attack that wounded Royce took her friends’ lives and has left deep emotional scars on all of them. As Jenny goes about the job of healing Royce, she must continue to live with a secret she refuses to share with anyone–refuses out of fear for her very life.
Crimson Dawn, by Georgiana Fields, is the fourth book in the Crimson series. As with its predecessors, Crimson Dawn begins with a bang and the action never ceases from cover to cover. Fields opens each of her books with the most impressive and captivating events, grabbing readers’ attention and drawing them into the characters’ dilemmas from the first paragraph. The introduction of the race called the Dhampir in book one only continues to grow more involved and more mesmerizing with each passing chapter.
Jenny is the true standout in Book Four. Her self-proclaimed defects only serve to make her more of a heroine to readers. I have always had a fascination with characters who were able to read minds and heal. Jenny is a prime example of the misunderstood character who breathes life, quite literally, into an already gripping plot. Somehow, Fields has managed to shape a character who is the perceived underdog but at the same time revered by her peers. Jenny is in a truly unique position as a guilt-ridden empath and healer.
There is a seamless connection between all of Fields’ books in the Crimson series. While I tend to be one of those readers who likes to follow a series through to its final installment, I do prefer a series where each book is strong enough to stand alone. Fields has more than accomplished that in her series. Readers could pick up any book in the Crimson series and be up to date within a chapter or two. References to the plots covered in previous books are thorough enough to be effective without interfering with the current book’s story line.
I feel that I need to say this for those who might be on the fence about Crimson Dawn. The cover, while artfully done, seems a bit misleading. I got the impression that the book would lean toward more romance, but it is its own brand of vampire fantasy. While it contains definite romantic elements, it is much more for fans of the vampire genre.
Excited for Book 5, I highly recommend any of Fields’ Crimson books to readers wanting to invest time in an engaging cast of characters with something brand new to offer the vampire fantasy genre.
Pages: 382 | ASIN: B07KT9ZXJV
Tags: action, adventure, author, book, book review, bookblogger, Crimson Dawn, ebook, fantasy, fiction, Georgiana Fields, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, paranormal, read, reader, reading, romance, story, supernatural, suspense, thriller, vampire, writer, writing
While in the Lake District, journalist Emmeline Kirby and jewel thief/insurance investigator Gregory Longdon overhear a man attempting to hire international assassin Hugh Carstairs, a MI5 agent who went rogue. They race back to London to warn Philip Acheson of the Foreign Office and Superintendent Oliver Burnell. But it’s a devil of problem to prevent a vicious killing, if the target is a mystery.
More trouble brews as Emmeline pursues a story about shipping magnate Noel Rallis, who is on trial for murder. Rallis is desperate to keep the negative publicity from exposing his illicit schemes, especially something sinister called Poseidon. Lord Desmond Starrett, whose dark past made him easy prey for blackmail, is getting cold feet about their dubious partnership. Hovering in the shadows of this ugly secret world is a Russian mole buried inside MI5. Scorned prima ballerina Anastasia Tarasova makes the fatal mistake of threatening to reveal all she knows. The hunt for the answers takes Emmeline and Gregory up to Scotland, where they learn that the truth has lethal consequences.
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