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The Mad Scientists of Planet Terrorista

Transcending time and space, Hyacinth enlists the help of Sherlock Holmes to find her daughter who disappeared mysteriously at age three. Sherlock locates her on a distant planet Terrorista. She was abducted by mad scientists sponsored by their government to study the mechanism of planet Debonnaire Neuroleptics as these interfere with communications between inhabitants of these planets through what is called on debonnaire hallucinations.

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Love’s Story of Why We Are Here

Love's Story of Why We Are Here: And What We Can Do About It (Making Sense of It Book 3) by [O'Neill, Francis]

Why are we here? Where did we come from? Is there a bigger picture than the existence that we know? Is human life purposeful? Humans have contemplated the answer to these questions, and others that are similar, for much of our history. Here, author Francis O’Neill makes his own attempts to provide answers through a mixture of science, religion, the supernatural, and some ancient mythology. O’Neill’s theories lead to a definitive “yes, we are here for a reason”, but the journey to his conclusion is more interesting than the resolution itself.

In Love’s Story of Why We Are Here, O’Neill explores one of humanity’s most philosophical conundrums from a wide variety of angles. By his own admission, the theories that are proposed are speculative, and therefore untestable. For that reason, much of what he provides as answers can’t be considered true science. Many might argue that there is no science involved at all since much of the book focuses on the idea of a living Earth (not terribly far-fetched) and the importance of extraterrestrial life in human evolution. Despite the very unusual ideas that are discussed, O’Neill’s theories are presented in a well researched and organized manner, often including quotes from well known scientists in a plethora of fields. The professionalism of his work protects the subject matter from ridicule. The excessive use of commas throughout the book seems to imply a casual, conversational tone but instead creates long and circuitous sentences which often hide O’Neill’s intended meaning. I had to read many sentences multiple times, which interrupted the flow of the text and made it difficult to comprehend some of the concepts.

The theme of this book is simple- existence, purpose, and an explanation for both. Curiosity is a basic human trait that propels us forward and O’Neill uses that interest in the unknown to explore these ideas from a fresh standpoint. While some of what he discusses is not exactly new, he creates a fresh combination out of multiple theories that have been proposed in the past. It is also interesting that he uses both science and religion to support his theories, since those two schools of thought are typically contradictory.

There were parts that laid out simple rules for happiness and self-care, which everyone could stand to be reminded of. There was also a quick lesson on quantum theory that is thorough yet simplified, and incredibly interesting. Ultimately though, much of the book had a very new age and enigmatic feel. While this would be appealing to readers that are already interested in such subjects, it would likely make very few converts out of those that are not.

Pages: 163 | ASIN: B07FDG9FSL

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The Rebellious Earthling: Tale of the Turquoise Mirror

The Rebellious Earthling: Tale of The Turquoise Mirror by Andi Hayes completely caught me off guard. The title and opening pages led me to believe that the novel was going to be a run of the mill work of science fiction – creepy aliens, flat personalities, and clichés galore. But within a few chapters, I was completely hooked on Hayes’s story. I consider myself to be a pretty diverse reader, and I have read and reviewed a significant number of books, but this is the only one that had me staying up two hours past my bedtime to finish it. And, when I didn’t finish it that night, I was up in the morning reading it on the treadmill, suffering through the bounciness and struggles of reading while exercising, just to get to the end – I needed to know what happened!

Clearly, I think that The Rebellious Earthling is a five-star novel. Not only is it completely unique in its subject matter, story line, and characters, but it is also incredibly well-written and thoughtful. The Rebellious Earthling spans several distinct but related, and all equally fascinating, story lines. To give a high-level overview without revealing too much, it follows the demise of race of goblins who are corrupted by greed and lust after being overtaken by a new, cruel overlord. The other primary story line follows Ermina, the titular earthling, and her experiences in the depraved goblin world. Readers follow Ermina as she navigates this bizarre and debauched planet alongside Fairuzo, the handsome ruler of the goblins, whose dark history is hinted at throughout the pages. Hayes excels at managing the differing timelines yet tying them together seamlessly. Sometimes novels struggle in making different timelines understandable for readers, yet Hayes’ is skilled at making the current situation apparent yet not dumbed down.

I also enjoyed how Hayes tied together science fiction and romance, yet never in a tacky or lewd way. Though the lecherous and vile goblins as well as their overlords indulge in vile sexual acts, Hayes has a tactful way of describing these acts in a way that feels appropriately literary. As Hayes develops a romantic relationship between some key characters, I appreciated that the characters felt as if they truly got to know each other before progressing their relationship. The Rebellious Earthling is not a harlequin romance with pulsing clichés on every page, but there is a decent dose of enjoyable, indulgent amour. As a Game of Thrones fan, this felt slightly familiar – a little bit scandalous and addictive to read.

The 300 pages of The Rebellious Earthling fly by, as Hayes keeps the story action-packed yet never rushed. Hayes dedicates an appropriate level of detail to making all of the main and supporting characters three-dimensional and complex, and by the end I felt as if I knew these characters in an intimate way, and I pondered what I thought might happen in the conclusion as I drifted off to sleep. I could not get these characters out of my brain, in the best way possible! As I felt the pages winding down, I began rushing through the pages to get to the climax. And while Hayes left me hanging, I am hopeful that there will be more stories to come in the worlds of Ermina and Fairuzo.

Pages: 334 | ISBN: 0692132899

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Real-World Conflict

Sarah Katz Author Interview

Sarah Katz Author Interview

Apex Five is a thrilling science fiction story following several races as they try to restore the balance of power to the Plane. What was the inspiration for the setup to this novel?

Thank you kindly! The inspiration for this clash of civilizations largely stemmed from real-world conflict, such as ongoing political strife in the Middle East and the colonization of the Americas and Australia.

We’re introduced to many different and distinct races throughout this book. What were some themes you wanted to capture in each race?

With the dominant nation of Tabira, I seek to capture an adamant emphasis on technology as the primary means of progress. With the Lir and Garo, I aim to capture two nations at war, though each representing a side two the occupier-freedom fighter coin. Each sees the other as the perpetrator of oppression and violence. Finally, the Ayam symbolize the nation least impacted by technology and industrialization.

I really enjoyed the character progression in this story and the ease with which you introduced each. Who was your favorite character to write for?

My favorite character has to be Rohem. Writing for a person who doesn’t even know where they come from is always interesting, as it allows for relatively free reign as far as their life decisions. That said, Oria is a close second, as her proximity to super-human individuals despite not being one herself provides the opportunity for much self-improvement and exploration as she learns how best to help protect her nation.

This is book one in The Plane series. Where will book two pick up and when will it be available?

Book Two will pick up quite literally from the scene where Book One left off. This sequel, Eon One, should be available by late 2019.

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Apex Five (The Plane Book 1) by [Katz, Sarah]For millennia, the people of the Plane have worshipped five megaliths as relics of the mysterious Zaam. In recent years, the nation of Tabira has employed remarkably advanced technology to subjugate the entire Plane and eradicate all belief in the Zaam. 

Now, the three remaining nations must uncover the secret behind Tabira’s sudden forward leap in civilization. At the forefront, a doctor, three intelligence officers and a freedom fighter embark on their respective journeys to restore a balance of power to the Plane.

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11 11: The Awakening Code

11 11: The Awakening Code by [Light, Star]

Initially this book seemed to be about what the 11 11 awakening code is about and how it shows up in life. At first the author talks about her son and how his birth and death, along with that of his cousin, are all impacted by the synchronicities of 11 11. After a discussion of how she came to see this pattern in life, the book turns political while also stating that there is no desire to make this book political. While names of politicians are omitted, keen observers will be able to understand who is being discussed. This book covers topics such as: socialism, war, farming, legalization of pot, secret societies and even alien lifeforms.

The book is written in a stream of conscious style of writing,  with no chapters or dividing sections, and jumps from one topic to another and back again with little to no segue. The topics discussed are varied and interesting. If you are into conspiracy theories, like aliens, secret societies and new wave thoughts of how you consume energy, then you would definitely find this book intriguing.

Star Light uses this book to convey thoughts and opinions about today’s society. These views do tie into the idea of the awakening code and the ideas expressed push readers to awaken their mind and not be sheep just following the status quo news that we are fed. This is an idea I like and I think many people would benefit from. The author encourages people to think more about their actions and how they live their life. 11 11 The Awakening Code is and interesting read, although it would benefit greatly from an editor and some structure. The views expressed are more idealistic rather than evidence based, but the ideas are genuine, interesting and are used as a justification to prove the existence of the 11 11 synchronicities.

Pages: 70 | ASIN: B07964M478

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Apex Five: The Plane

Apex Five: The Plane, Book One by [Katz, Sarah]

Apex Five: The Plane, is a science fiction novel that details life on another plane of existence. We are given a very brief history of this world in the prologue, and then in Chapter 1 we find the story propelled forward about 12,000 years from a life altering event known as The Storm.

The first character we are introduced to is Nasin, and the story immediately takes a rather political turn. Nasin was sent to Tabir to try and secure a sort of trade deal between her own nation of Lir and the people of Tabir. The story and dialogue are well written, but I couldn’t help but feel that it was rather dry reading from the onset and it had a hard time keeping my attention. However, once we are introduced to Hazard 14, the story becomes a lot more intriguing.

The character Hazard 14, whose real name is Rohem, is absolutely fascinating. I think the author did a great job of describing his physical differences (anomalies?) from other people; the scene where he is being examined by the doctor in Lir was a great way to introduce the reader to his unusual abilities. From this point forward, it’s hard to put the book down. It’s clear from the beginning that the Tabirians think that Rohem is a dangerous criminal, while Nasin sees a vulnerable little boy who needs protection. The distinct differences between the Tabir and Lir nationalities really become apparent through their treatment of Rohem. I really loved how the author brought these things to light through his character, rather than in a more direct way.

I always think it’s a little bit difficult to get acquainted with characters in a science fiction novel of this type; where all the races and customs are new to the reader. As well as some of the names being a little difficult to pronounce. However, overall the author did a good job of creating dialogue between the characters that explains the characteristics and histories of the races while still seeming like natural conversation. A lot of times this type of description can seem forced and pretentious but I did not think that it came across that way in Apex Five.

I also found the imagery in the book to be really great. I could envision the different terrains; the dunes of Lir, the industrial feel of Tabir, the rainforests of the Ayam. The evolution of all the different groups of people, from the The Storm forward, is a very believable progression and also written really well. It’s clear that while their relationships with one another are largely diplomatic, there are undertones of distrust. For instance, when Nasin is in Tabir she is asked if they’ve (the Lir) succeeded in making any weaponry, to which she fibs and tells them they have not. The reader is quickly privy to the fact that something is culminating between the different races that is soon going to come to a head. This suspense definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall, I ended up enjoying the story thoroughly and wouldn’t hesitate to pick up any other book by this author.

Pages: 338 | ASIN: B07BRCRD8V

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Aeon Rises

Aeon Rises by [Cronin, Jim]

Justin Madrid, in Aeon Rises, is a teenager, unhappy with how he is fitting in with his peers. The problem? He is not fitting in with his peers. He is weird and different than most of the other teens around him. He cannot play video games without getting blinding migraines. He also can’t be on anything electronic. He does have one good friend, Kevin. He spends most of his time trying to get his mom to give him a ride to school instead of making him ride the bus. Oh, and he really wants a smartphone so the other kids will stop making fun of him. Sounds pretty typical, right? Well, the book takes a whole other direction almost immediately.

Jim Cronin creates a different, fun world in this engaging book. Justin soon learns that he is not at all who he thought he was. He also learns that all is not as it appears in his small town. For instance, there are aliens running the library (an idea most kids could probably buy). The Skutarans, led by bad guy Keldon Ankara, at the library immediately see Justin as a threat and the adventure begins. Justin’s uncle, Jonah, knows all of the information that has been kept from Justin. He takes over with Justin and opens up a whole new world for him. With all of the new information, it is now up to Justin to save Earth from the Skutarans.

I enjoyed this book from the first chapter. I was immediately pulled into the story. The main characters are all teenagers, but I don’t think that affects who would enjoy the book. I think I enjoyed it as much as my teens would. Aliens play a huge part in the book. That aspect of it was very entertaining. I enjoyed reading about earthlings through the eyes of the aliens.  It is very well written.

Along the way, Justin and his friend Kevin team up with an otherworldly girl named Myah. One of the best parts of the book is the way Justin and Kevin communicate in movie quotes, a fact that drives Myah crazy at first. It all evolves in a fun way though.

I would recommend this book to anyone, adult or child, science fiction lover or not. It was fast-paced and exciting. Despite it being science fiction, it was written in such a way that it almost seemed believable. I found myself reading it without having to suspend my disbelief. I also found myself thinking that the story would make a great movie. I liked the three young characters in the same way I liked the characters in Harry Potter when I first read that book. I highly recommend it.

Pages: 201 | ASIN: B07H5PCSJ4

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What if it Were Possible?

What if it Were Possible? by [Collins, C. Ray]Ray Collins’s book, What if it Were Possible?, is a space-age adventure set not too far in the future. Protagonist, Ray Holland, finds himself heading up a top-secret mission that he didn’t sign up for. He had spent his career working in public relations for NASA, and is a self-proclaimed “average guy.” He couldn’t have predicted that he would be leading a crew of ex-cons on a recognizance mission into the unknown. Ray and the crew set out on this dangerous mission knowing they won’t see earth for years, if ever again. Like any good adventure, there are I was figurative and literal bumps throughout the journey.

This is an entertaining space adventure story that appealed to the kid in me that is always hoping for a whirlwind adventure. The book flows well, but sometimes hit patches where it would drag. I wanted them to get to space so badly that the buildup was killing me. I liked the way the middle section was written with Ray’s logs giving insight into current scenarios and how much time had passed. I preferred the writing in the parts that dealt with space travel. Apart from a few typos the book is written very well. They were few and far between.

Collins did a great job of explaining how the ship flew with the cabin area moving independently of the ship to keep that area level. He explained the ship’s technology in an understandable way. He also explained the wormhole and other space elements in a way that made sense. I didn’t get too lost in the details and could get a pretty good grasp on what was happening and how.

I wasn’t a big fan of the “aliens” being so similar to the people of earth. I could have gotten past the physicality being the same, but there were an overwhelming number of similarities that I couldn’t wrap my head around. Being an 80s/90s kid, I loved the Star Trek and Star Wars throwback references. It was a nice way of keeping everything from getting too technical or heavy. It also showed Ray’s humanity and made his character one that will be identifiable to readers. The references also made it feel like the story wasn’t too far from our own reality or time.

There is a love story that develops in the begginging chapters that I would of liked to see developed further, but the story takes a sharp turn into an entertaining space adventure story and left that bit behind.

What if it Were Possible? was a good read that I recommend to readers of the Sci-Fi genre, especially anyone looking for a space adventure story that stays true to it’s roots. The journey through space was my favorite part and kept me engaged. Readers will root for Ray and his crew of misfits. I look forward to reading more of their adventures in the future.

Pages: 292 | ASIN: B077ZDCWBN

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Solstice: The Star-Crossed Saga

Solstice (The Star-Crossed Saga) by [Cosby, Braxton A.]

An otherworldly adventure awaits readers in the pages of Solstice by Braxton A. Cosby. The third book in a series starts off with a bang as readers are introduced, or reintroduced, to our protagonists Sydney and William. Theirs is a story for the ages as they defy distance and fate to be together. This epic saga will take readers on a journey through the stars and intertwine between lives and destinies. Come along as we watch our protagonists face their fears, develop who they are and take on what could be seen as an impossible undertaking. They aren’t alone and their friends will be there to help and support them every step of the way.

For those who are new to the series, the first few chapters might seem a little overwhelming. It’s clear that some major world-building was established in previous installments in the saga. There are some circumstances and terminology that readers will feel goes over their heads when they first bite into it. Not only does the story take place in outer space for a large portion, there are legends and transformations at hand that require a solid understanding about what has happened, in order to understand what will occur. The story is engaging and invites young readers to see themselves in the characters. We all go through some sort of metamorphosis as we develop into our adult selves. The transformation that Sydney undergoes could be likened to that. It’s just a bit confusing for new readers to understand the impact of previous events without reading about them.

If there has to be something to nitpick then perhaps the grammatical and stylistic errors that pop up ever so briefly would be the culprits. They aren’t startling enough to detract from the story, but a few rereads might be needed to make sense of what the sentence is supposed to say.

Cosby knows his craft and he knows his audience. It’s clear that he wrote this book for young adults as the language is easy and comfortable to read. The teens speak like real teenagers and ask the questions while speaking the frustrations that most teenagers might be too afraid to voice. It’s comforting to be able to read a book targeted to your age group and actually be able to identify with it. The fact that Cosby can share a point of view from the perspective of a young woman with just as much ease as sharing one form the view of a young man shows that he is dedicated to telling the best story that he can.

The space-odyssey of Solstice by Braxton A. Cosby is not a book to miss. It’s engaging and well written that readers of all ages will enjoy it. Young adults will get the most out of this book as they identify with the trials and tribulations our protagonists find themselves going through. While it might be confusing for new readers who have picked up this third book in the Star-Crossed Saga to understand what’s happening in the beginning, if you’re patient and devote your energy to this book, you will not be disappointed.

Pages: 317 | ASIN: B01LZ4OMHI

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Beyond the Physical Realm

J. Elizaga Author Interview

J. Elizaga Author Interview

Penchant Revealed follows Miles as he discovers his superhuman anomaly after he protects his wife from a paranormal attack. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?

I originally outlined a simple possession/horror story but it did not feel exciting or unique. Plus, I did not want yet another story showcasing an evil subject getting away with things. By chance, I watched a rerun of Ancient Aliens which speculated that alien DNA had been incorporated into human DNA. Suddenly, the idea that if nature finds a way, and alien DNA had been suppressed in human DNA, that it would manifest eventually– that is why there are seers who can see beyond the physical realm, or ghost whisperers who could speak with spirits–came to me, my Eureka moment I suppose.

Miles Penchant is an intriguing character that, I felt, continued to develop as the story progressed. What were some obstacles that you felt were important to the development of his character?

I wanted to introduce a superhero/superhuman who does not rely on any machines or lab-introduced enhancements, who was not aware of his power, and who has a biological weakness. You see his character change as the story unfolds.

This book is filled with some fantastic paranormal and ancient alien sci-fi. What balance did you want to strike between realism and the supernatural?

On the setting, I picked a tropical and sunny location on the planet (near the equator) to show that evil exists everywhere, not just in dark and dreary locations. The characters have regular jobs and the usual differences. On the character of Lucifer, he was initially the standard evil being who possesses people on Earth. But religious texts mention that Lucifer was defeated in a battle and imprisoned for a million years. So how can he possess people on Earth if he’s imprisoned somewhere? In developing his character, I had to answer questions on where he came from and what turned him into the ultimate evil against humans.

Also, I incorporated real science elements in the story. For example, there is a chapter that alludes or pays homage to nuclear fission. 🙂

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am in the midst of finishing a new short story inspired by the story of Joseph Merrick, known as the Elephant Man, hopefully ready by winter. After that, I return to Miles Penchant and the continuation of his story. Now with the knowledge that he has superhuman abilities, what does he do with that power?

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Penchant Revealed by [Elizaga, J.]Miles Penchant keeps a secret from his wife. But even he isn’t sure what his secret is, until he defends his wife from a paranormal attacker and a band of otherworldly beings discover who he really is. This short story reveals the beginning of Miles Penchant’s fate, entwined with ancient aliens and archangels.

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