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Raw Kingdom: Buried in the Dust

Raw Kingdom: Buried in the Dust by [Y. Daher]

Khadir is beginning to regret going to visit his cousins in Djadzele. It’s hot, nobody speaks English, there’s no cell signal, and it comes with it’s own new dangers. He grew up in the Hood, but this place is different. Yeah there may be a few loose cannons occasionally having drive-by shootings, but at least he never had to deal with animal attacks or full on roving armies. He makes an innocent mistake and drinks some juice so he gets sent to the market. While at the market he sees someone in trouble and decides to help…. and it all goes downhill from there. So much for being the hero.

I found the juxtaposition between Khadir’s American upbringing compared to Mohamed’s Djadzele upbringing to be interesting and engaging. Mohamed is a sweet and practical boy that makes for a good side kick to the story. Khadir is a snarky American teenager, brimming with cockiness and pop culture references. For all his cockiness though, it’s funny to watch him be so afraid of things. Having Mohamed level him out and be more rational was just what the story needed. Mohamed is less worldly, but is also confident. He knows what to do and when to do it, but he lacks the cockiness of his cousin. If they were both confident and cocky, the story would lose it’s charm. In the last chapter or two of the book we get a new addition to the story. We get some hints at their personality, but I can’t wait to see how they fair. Hopefully the next book will be out soon, because they aren’t out of danger by the end of the book! I have to know how it ends!

Raw Kingdom is a thrilling adventure story that will have urban fantasy fans begging for the follow-up novel.

Pages: 123 | ASIN: B08DK3GXRG

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Hot Ice, Cold Blood – Book Trailer

For Victor Sykes, business is good. His illegal diamond importing business is thriving, and circumstances require that he bring more people to his team. His niece and nephew, Rubi Lee and Zeke, are as dangerous as they are desperate, and they follow orders to make sure everything goes right. But when the shipment of diamonds-sewn into the inner lining of a sweatshirt-is mistakenly confiscated, the entire operation is put at risk.

Ever since she moved to the heart of Washington, DC, Daisy’s life has been fabulous. While in graduate school, she enjoys tending bar at the Black LaSalle, one of DC’s most popular bars. After a chance encounter with her childhood friend NT-now called Nick-her future is bright. But one cold night when Daisy wears a left-behind sweatshirt home from the bar, she sets in motion a domino effect that leaves some of her friends in danger and others dead.

Soon, Daisy and her friends are thrust into an elaborate heist involving the higher echelons of government-and when they come face to face with the criminals, not everyone will survive.

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Crossing The Digital Faultline

Crossing the Digital Faultline is an informative and engaging book. Anyone working in an upstart company or established business organization needs to read this book. The author digs deep into the corporate culture, change in digital trends, and why companies need to move with the times. The author’s tone when addressing missteps companies partake in is both firm and calm. When reading through the discussions, one gets to understand where the author comes from and why he makes the points that are written in the book. Sri Manchala tries to make his book as compelling to read as possible. The paragraphs are not long and the sentences easy to comprehend. Whenever the author fuses in a story, he ensures that he gives the reader a back story to avoid confusion.

Sri Manchala brings the future to the present. By talking about ways in which a company can win in the age of digitalization, the author gives solutions to businesses that perhaps are not familiar with the digitalization process. The advice given is solid and the examples given are real. Sri Manchala tries to be practical with all the examples he gives in the book. He modestly illustrates different aspects of digitalization and gives the reader a clear picture of how businesses are supposed to be run. A single example given in the book is enough to open one’s eyes regarding the subjects discussed. The author also suggests methods that companies can apply as they embrace digitalization patterns.

Sri Manchala is not just a great narrator, but also an amazing instructor. While reading the book, one gets the impression of attending a master class as the author particularly arranged related topics, and how modern trends impact the development of businesses. To understand the concepts in the book, one has to read keenly as sometimes the author uses technical words that may not be understood by the average reader who is not familiar with digitalization and related trends. The explanation the author gives is however enough to make a newbie master the jargon and key lessons.  Some of the most impactful discussions in the book talked about customer behavior and disruptive technologies, global markets, a leader’s role in handling a crisis, digital transformation and evolution, and encroachment by the tech industry.

The author is insightful, unbiased, and informed. The beauty of reading a book whose author is neutral in the subject matter is that you are able to form your own unbiased opinion. The author focused on informing people about the importance of digitalization and the rules to follow for a company to advance. There are immense lessons that leaders can take from the book and share with their subordinates and fellow leaders in similar positions.

Pages: 331 | ASIN: B089D9DLSS

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Mattie Boombalatty

Mattie Boombalatty by Wayne Gerard Trotman is a children’s illustrated short story that follows Mattie Boombalatty as she moves to a new town and falls victim to bullying by her new schoolmates. Trotman’s simple yet profound lesson about morality, combined with the book’s vivid and lively illustrations makes this a fantastic book for children.

Nhat Hao Nguyen, the illustrator of the book, is a skilled artist who makes each scene and character come to life. He uses vivid colors that pop, and his life-like yet cherub-like character illustrations add just the right amount of magic and realism to this children’s picture book. His attention to detail on each page is fantastic.

Trotman’s message about treating others who treat us lesser than we deserve is, as aforementioned, simple yet poignant. Mattie faces many anxieties that are understandable and normal for a school-aged girl. Some of her schoolmates decide for no reason that they do not like her and, as mean schoolchildren do, they make their feelings known. As distraught as she is over being taunted by her peers, she displays strength in refusing to wish them ill will, even when she comes across a glowing opportunity to get revenge. Mattie is ultimately rewarded for choosing the high road, and she reaches her happy ending in the story. While we as humans are not always rewarded for rising above our circumstances, Trotman makes it clear that the reward is not what matters – rather, the peace of mind that comes with choosing the right path is what ultimately matters.

Pages: 50 | ISBN-10: 1916184839

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Soul Seeker

Soul Seeker

Soul Seeker opens with a man on death row for the murder of his son. What seems like a heartbreaking homicide with a bleak conclusion turns into a riveting supernatural tale when the man on death row tells his lawyers the truth. A demon named Crighton killed his son. This sets the tone for a novel that is equal parts grounded and gritty with a good measure of the supernatural to keep you guessing.

What I truly enjoyed about this book was the characters. Each one is meticulously developed and evolves as the story progresses. Benjamin Poe, the dedicated father, is empathetic but strong. Crighton is the stand out character, for me, in this haunting novel. He’s Lucifer’s top soul catcher and through his introduction and story line we get to explore various ideas about morality, or the perception of morality, and the dividing line between the two. As well as how choice plays into all of it. Kaylin McFarren has done an excellent job of creating a gray area that allows your mind to wander while being absolutely thrilled by the intricate paranormal story that unfolds.

What happens when a demon and an angel fall in love? As in the beginning, I was not expecting this book to pivot to a paranormal story, and then pivot again to a romance story. Kaylin McFarren has a similar literary talent to Stephen King in her ability to introduce just the right amount of mystery into a story that keeps things eerie and the tension high. Soul Seeker is an exceptional paranormal thriller that delves into the souls of humans, demons and angels. What we uncover is surprising.

Pages: 345 | ISBN: 9798665284903

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The Night And The Land

The Night and the Land is the kind of book you need to get when you come out of a massive reader’s block. The storyline is thrilling, the characters are impressive and Matt Spencer’s writing style is engaging. The author knows how to capture the reader’s interest through minute things like the description of events and details of locations. This is a story propelled forward by Sally and Rob’s characters. A unique development of characterization plays well within the confines of this gritty dark fantasy novel.

We follow the lives of Sally Wildfire and Bob among many other interesting characters. Sally’s family is not the best. They show inconsiderate at best and cruel at their worst. While running away from her family, Sally comes across a compelling young lad, Rob. Sally and Rob begin to develop a relationship that is gripping and provocative. I was fond of Rob but I liked Rob’s father even more. I was thrilled by the father’s surreptitious past and wished the author had written more about him. Reading about the characters’ families, their backgrounds and relations with each other was the most thrilling part for me in the book.

Character development is one of the best features in Mat Spencer’s writing. His style makes it easy for the reader to follow and enjoy the plot and activities the characters engage in. The supernatural elements and the horror incorporated among the themes in the book spiced up the sometimes horrific story. The transition from somewhat real life-like setting to events in dark fantasy is magical.

The Night and the Land is an enthralling dark fantasy novel, utilizing the best parts of the horror genre to explore the depths of some captivating characters.

Pages: 362 | ASIN: B07N7T224R

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Iron Dogs

Iron Dogs follows a group of outlaws who are wounded and on the run. They seek shelter in a deserted New Mexico town. However, they soon realize that something is seriously amiss in the town. Something evil lurks in the shadows. The band of outlaws, once the ones bringing the trouble to town, are now the ones who must fight against it. Each man is tested beyond his limits. Who, if any, will survive the evil that lurks within this desolate town.

Iron Dogs book mixes horror with action and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The story begins with Father Ramon, and immediately there are little tidbits that lead you deeper into an intricately woven story that continues to gain layers as the story progresses. The tone is set from the start, a blend of western thriller with modern horror. I could tell from the first page that the novel was setting a gritty and intense tone. The band of outlaws are close at first, but the challenges that lay ahead test their personal limits as well as the limits of their relationship when they must decide who will be sacrificed.

One of the characters, in particular, Virgil, reminded me of people I knew (in certain scenes) that had me feeling more invested. Especially as the book began to get creepier. One of the things that really thrilled me about this novel was the western feel that permeated the novel, reminiscent of George A. Romero’s gruesome and satirical horror films. Though Virgil was one of the characters who stood out the most to me, I enjoyed Frank’s character as well. As with any good book, the characters act the way they do because of inner motivations and characteristics, making the reader feel a connection to them. A word of warning Iron Dogs will pull you into the characters, but it takes a few chapters. They seem a bit shallow at first, but given time they develop into some intriguing characters.

Iron Dogs is one crazy good story. If you are a fan of riveting horror novels with plentiful action then Neil Chase has written a novel just for you.

Pages: 322 | ASIN: B07CV85D36

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Spider’s Web

Spider's Web (Magdalena Series Book 3) by [Shannon Condon]

The third book in Shannon Condon’s popular Magdalena series, Spider’s Web follows the titular character Maggie and her team of special ops, as they take on new missions from the safety of the Grid. Three years have passed since Maggie’s near fatal injury, but the memories and the scars still haunt her. Unfulfilled and depressed at home, Maggie is determined to reenter the field, whatever the cost. But she’s unsure of who to trust, and equally as unsure of the real world she’s kept herself away from. Before she even has time to plan her next move, Maggie finds herself kidnapped by an unknown foe while on holiday. With old enemies lurking at every turn, will she ever be able to escape the deadly web of her own making?

With plenty of twists, turns, and double crosses that will keep any reader guessing, Spider’s Web is a fast paced novel, part spy thriller, part crime fiction, and part character-driven drama. There’s enough action and adventure to keep mystery enthusiasts happy, and enough turmoil to keep contemporary fiction readers turning the pages. As much about Maggie as it is her kidnapping and the odyssey that follows, the Magdalena series’ third chapter proves Condon’s ability to entertain and enthrall, drawing us into the characters and the world she’s created. 

Peripherally, Spider’s Web is a spy thriller, but Maggie is the core of the story. We learn more about her past, her family, and how all the pieces come together for her. Described as female James Bond, Maggie is an intriguing and complex character, whose hardened interior hides a soft, vulnerable core. Whether her anxieties and her panic attacks humanize her or isolate her, depends very much on the reader. For those that like their characters well rounded, if not flawed, Maggie will be a welcome relief from stock action heroes. But those uninterested in bouts of melancholic wallowing, may find that the heavy dialogue bogs down the storytelling at times. Less of a flaw than a marmite situation, Maggie makes or breaks the work, depending on which side of the fence you sit on. 

Spider’s Web contains an involving story and some fine writing that is a satisfying read.

Pages: 406 | ASIN: B089QKY87S

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