As a teenager, Lu Darlington attracted national attention when she and her friend Lisa escaped a sadistic killer known as the Professor of Death. She never told anyone about the daemon who saved her life that day.
Ten years later, Lisa shows up at Lu’s door, fleeing another psychopath stalker. But Lisa’s not the only one seeking Lu after all this time. One by one, the daemons descend:
Voracious Chama. Sinister Black Claw. Beautiful Talion.
Chama wants Lu, but Talion claims her. The women of Lu’s family have always belonged to Talion—and they’ve suffered deeply for it.
As the human threat draws closer, Talion demands that Lu bind herself to him in a harrowing ceremony that will destroy an innocent man and change her forever—but might save Lisa’s life.
Can she navigate the violent intrigues of the daemon world without being consumed by its terrible, all-consuming demands?
Liberty Bound by Nathaniel M. Wrey is a novel set thousands of years in the future from our present day, where a small city, Athenia, remains as the last known beacon of civilization. Finbarl is the main character, and he works to protect the city from the threat of Ferrals, a supposed sub-human race of creatures that seek to destroy the city, if they could ever breach the walls. Inside the city, Finbarl and the other soldiers addictively rely on the Jumblar plant to keep them sharp and ready for the threat.
The novel certainly brims with creativity, which stands in contrast with the rigid system that the characters live with in their lonesome city. There are many varied issues with class and social standing, and Liberty Bound seeks to create meaningful commentary regarding them. The author has developed a fascinating arrangement of a post apocalyptic civilization and tries to use these societal systems to bring about a provocative purpose for their existence in terms of the story told.
However, the story excels within Finbarl’s decisions and the consequences of those choices. He eventually finds himself at odds with the society he has worked so hard to become a part of, and he must decide what he is going to do once he is no longer able to remain within the social structure provided by the city. Will Finbarl find a way to re-enter the good standing in his society, or will he strive to make bigger changes to the city and the people within it? The question was clear throughout the story and I enjoyed watching Finbarl’s evolution as the novel progressed. I could empathize with his character and that connection made the novel thrilling.
All the while, the threat of the Ferral remains, putting pressure on every character, making every decision carry much more weight. The story thrives on this tension, and it makes the pages very easy to turn.
Pages: 227 | ASIN: B087YXKKT3
Tags: adventure, author, book, book review, bookblogger, dystopia, ebook, fantasy, ficiton, goodreads, kindle, kobo, Liberty Bound, literature, Nathaniel M. Wrey, nook, novel, post apocalyptic, read, reader, reading, science fiction, scifi, story, suspense, thriller, writer, writing
When your work is savage and your world is cruel, it’s hard to find your heart. Mahoney knows this better than anyone. He lives in a world that was burned to the ground many years ago, and he knows nothing but cold, hard truth and scavenging his way through life. With the love of his life waiting behind hoping for his safe return, Mahoney is dispatched on a mission to deliver a prisoner for execution. Not one to be left in the dark, Mahoney finds himself struggling to figure out how he has arrived on the legendary Blackheart Mountain. What should have been his opportunity to hand over the one thing everyone around him wants most, may just turn into the moment that changes his life.
Leave My Ashes on Blackheart Mountain, by Dave Matthes, is the thought-provoking tale of Mahoney, an outlaw of sorts who has made his home working for the powerful but evil Gunther Ostrander. Mahoney, by and large a loner, is accustomed to taking care of things his own way. Living in the remnants of a world he never really knew, he often uses violence as his go-to with little remorse.
I was immediately taken with the setting of Matthes’s book. This post-apocalyptic scene is striking in that it mimics the feel of the Old West in both character and setting. From the brief mentions by characters of modern times gone by to the hints of modern technology, readers are taken on quite a visual thrill ride as they try to piece together each scene. I am not a fan of westerns, but this particular book is so much more and carries readers on a captivating journey into the author’s imagination.
The notion of an almost mythical Blackheart Mountain and the ways in which it impacts the main character are fascinating to read. I am a huge believer in drastic changes as a character is developed throughout a story, and Matthes succeeds in carrying Mahoney through some major challenges to mold a character not to be forgotten. From his kindness and almost subdued nature with Cassandra to his quiet viciousness when threatened to his experiences among the Tuskatawan people, Mahoney takes shape before our eyes, and his spirit is almost palpable.
I highly recommend Matthes’s unique tale to anyone who enjoys westerns and modern takes on the genre. I think readers will be pleasantly surprised at how well the mix of action meshes with the tender character development that takes place throughout Matthes’s gripping novel.
Pages: 350 | ASIN: B086TZ41WX
Tags: action, author, book, book review, bookblogger, dave matthes, ebook, fantasy, ficiton, goodreads, kindle, kobo, Leave My Ashes On Blackheart Mountain, literature, nook, novel, post apocalyptic, read, reader, reading, science fiction, story, war, western, writer, writing
The year is 1942 and the world is knee-deep in the Second World War. The world is split with countries taking sides to either fight from the Axis Powers or the Allied Powers. The Allied Powers had risen up to ward off and halt the growing plague of Germans, Italians and Japanese- the Axis Powers- who decided that their countries’ original boundaries were too small. The latter, led by Mussolini, Hitler and the Emperor, had gone on a rampage annexing countries through bloody and violent take-overs. It is within this orchestra of madness we find ourselves in a hot, sunny and sandy city of Cairo in Egypt in Kathryn Gauci’s The Poseidon Network.
The Poseidon Network throws readers into a scintillating world of love, betrayal, murder and war. In this fast-paced and intricately written novel, we see the world from the point of view of Hadley, a British spy working for the Special Operations Executive, commissioned by Churchill, and holding a cover as a newspaper correspondent. His cover is essential to keep him alive in these dangerous times where Egypt is teaming with Greeks, Germans, Italians, Arabs and Britons- all with different vested interests in the ongoing war. It was a dangerous time for sleuths. The Greeks were rooting for the victory of their countrymen against the Nazi back in Greece with a few undesirable characters supporting the enemy of their people. The British were, on the other hand, preventing the imminent occupation of Egypt by the Italians. It is during this time, in his usual foregoing, that Hadley chances upon a creature of mesmerizing beauty, dark haired and enshrouded in attractive mystery. At this point the book picks up a quick pace that kept me on edge with suspense. Would he get to talk to her? Does she eventually fall in love with our ‘good ol’ boy’, Mr. Hadley? Then suddenly a girl is found dead on the banks of the Nile. Is it our mystery girl?
The cover, with sepia pictures of a lady, a sleuth and soldiers, done in a minimalistic style, I think accurately represents the style and period in which this engaging story is told. Once you are a few pages in, you come across Kathryn Gauci’s foreword informing you that the book is a fictional account of real events that occurred during the World War II. True to her word, the book is pin point accurate on the dates and times, events and certain people that were significantly involved in the war. The author has done impeccable research and uses it to colorize and energize this historical romance novel that invites readers into a globe-trotting mystery that is easy to grasp but hard to crack.
Pages: 360 | ASIN: B07ZJJ1NG8
Tags: author, book, book review, bookblogger, ebook, fantasy, ficiton, goodreads, historical, history, Kathryn Gauci, kindle, kobo, literature, military, mystery, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, romance, sleuth, story, suspense, The Poseidon Network, thriller, war, writer, writing, wwII
Jim Riley’s book, Murder in the Atchafalya, is the story of treasury agent, Kristi Blocker who bravely delves into the swamps of Louisiana to solve the murders of her two fellow agents. Things go bottom side up relatively quickly for Kristi. Some villainous figures force her hand, and she defends herself. Subsequently, she flees deeper into the unfamiliar bayou. She finds herself literally up a tree in order to survive the elements and alligators. Lucky for Kristi, Federal Agent, Hawk Theriot shows up on the scene none too soon.
The book begins with Kristi looking for answers about the murdered agents. As quick as a blink, tables turn and turn back as there is a power struggle between the agent and a man who could be involved in the murders. Quick-witted Kristi proves over and over that she will never give up without a fight, and she can generally outsmart anyone in her path. With a new teammate in Agent Theriot, the pair seems like an unstoppable duo.
This is a great book that will keep readers interested from the very first page. The agents always have tough and dangerous work to do. It feels like there is danger around every corner. Tackling, gunslinging, and dodging bullets paired with the already dangerous Louisiana bayou compounds the hazard. This builds the excitement level and keeps things interesting. There is hardly a dull moment. All of these things make the book a real page-turner with the makings of an action movie. I did notice a few (very few) errors in the book. Over all, though, it was very well-written, exciting, and an enjoyable read.
Readers will likely notice the good vs. evil sort of theme that is prominent in age old tales present in Atchafalaya. Our hero figures are met early in the book as they are fighting the forces of evil from the jump. We are thrown into the good guys fighting the bad, and the bad fighting back. The main characters are likeable, and there are corrupt, menacing characters that readers will love to hate. It doesn’t hurt that the agents are smart, capable, tough, and charismatic.
I also love the use of local color in the book. I can just see the store called T-Bob’s Grocery that is frequently mentioned. The language of the Louisiana natives, as well as their customs and cuisine are present throughout the book. Hawk shops for crawfish and shrimp boudin in the store, helping to bring that undeniable Louisiana basin feel.
Riley made a fan of me. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters, and would love to see where they go from here. I enjoyed Riley’s writing style and the southern influence that crept in. I highly recommend it.
Pages: 209 | ASIN: B084SPW5G6
The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.
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Silver Award Winners
Posted in Literary Titan Book Award
Tags: author, author award, book, book award, book review, bookblogger, childrens book, ebook, fantasy, ficiton, goodreads, history, kindle, kobo, literary award, Literary Titan Book Award, literature, nonfiction, nook, novel, picture book, read, reader, reading, romance, science fiction, story, writer, writing, young adult
The Journal, by R.D. Stevens, is the story of a young man’s search for his older sister after she goes missing in Cambodia and the police have given up looking for her. As he navigates an unknown country without any real plans, he realizes his trip isn’t just about finding answers to questions about what happened to his sister, it’s also about finding answers to questions he has about life. In his travels throughout Southeast Asia, as he meets people along the way who help to uncover the events of his sister’s life, he learns to challenge what he thinks he is capable of and to see the world in a different way. In the end, he learns a lesson about what is really important in life.
I thought this story was captivating and that Stevens did a great job of pulling the reader in through a relatable narrative. The narrator shares his thoughts, feelings, and fears with the reader in a way that seems real, relatable, and honest. The regular use of aphorisms in the story is a unique way to not only give the reader some food for thought, but also to help the reader understand the characters better and to get insight into what they are thinking. The way the author plays with time, switching between the current story line and the events of the past, helps to keep the reader’s interest and to slowly develop the characters and their personal histories in an interesting manner.
Although the book itself was compelling, I don’t feel like the title is. It’s vague, nondescript, and, in my opinion, doesn’t really capture what the story was about. In addition, although I found the plot to be well conceived, it bothered me that everything seemed to be a bit too perfect in some parts, a bit too coincidental in the way everything seemed to work out. I felt that the conclusion felt rushed. After taking so much care to build up the characters, the ending came in a few quick paragraphs that didn’t do justice to the complexity of the characters.
That being said, I really enjoyed the book. Although I think there is some room for improvement, the overall quality of the writing was exceptional and the story was engaging.
Pages: 253 | ASIN: B078C7SH7N
Sublime Adoption: A Tale of Love and Mendacity by M. Oliva is a heartwarming tale of adoption. While there are moments of warm, tingling feelings, it also delves into the complexities and emotional responses to adoption. Different characters in the story deal with certain situations in their own way including lies and other forms of deception. While this is a fictional story, there are elements that have truth to them as the characters are confronted with everything that comes from this journey of love. Sublime Adoption is a tale that brings together adoptees, adopters and those who made the ultimate sacrifice of allowing their young to find a better life filled with love.
The author has an astounding voice; she draws the reader into the story from the very first sentence. Every sentence is riddled with emotion and pulls the reader in more. The story doesn’t tell one story but three, that of those who are adopting a child, and that of a woman who gives her daughter up for adoption as well as the young woman who was adopted. The story is filled with deception and lies from the birth mother which in turns causes stress and fear on the adoptive parents. The characters are realistic and complex.
The author takes her time telling the story in a progressive way. She does not leave anything out. She creates a compelling tale that invokes strong personal emotions. There are moments in the story when the reader thinks they can predict what will happen, but then the character would do something completely shocking and surprising. Just when the reader thinks the twists and turns have ended, Olivia throws a wrench into the story and throws her readers for yet another loop. This is a book that draws the reader in and sticks with them, it was definitely difficult to put the novel down. In a few short pages M. Olivia won my heart and admiration.
There were moments that felt as if this story could have possible truth behind them, that maybe some of the things discussed could have been things the author experienced herself. A common thing throughout the book was the use of poetry to express emotions and inner thoughts. Each poem was a beautiful addition to a beautiful story. They each told the reader how the poet was feeling at the time without the use of inner thought or dialogue. It was a fantastic touch and reference to the beginning of the story which was a group of girls hanging on the words of their literature teacher.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a heartfelt story of families coming together under the revealing of long kept secrets. It is a great story for those who have been adopted, or planning to adopt. There were small moments of grammatical errors and long winded sentences, but despite these minor downfalls the book was a wonderful read.
Pages: 193 | ASIN: B019CI5V18