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The Return of the NY Villains for Justice

The Return of the NY Villains for Justice by [Marta Nater]

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

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A Gilded Death

A Gilded Death by [Cecelia Tichi]

A Gilded Death by Cecelia Tichi is a riveting historical romance novel with a dash of mystery. Set in The Gilded Age in the United States, the reader is plunged into the world of the affluent society of the time. Georgina Brush, Cassandra Forster’s beloved aunt and the heiress to the Brush fortune, dies at an annual ball under odd circumstances. The death of Georgina’s daughter months later under identical circumstances oblige Mr. and Mrs. DeVere, Cassandra’s family by affection, to investigate the murders and prevent a third horrific murder from taking place.

In addition to the historical events depicted in this enthralling whodunit novel, the author uses ample details to show the manners and attitudes of the society at the time, from the fashion and lifestyle of the ladies and gentlemen, to their conversation, and their greed for power and wealth. An eight-plume funeral in the novel proclaiming the great wealth of the deceased epitomizes the avaricious age to which Cecelia Tichi transports readers.

Despite the somewhat serious plot, there is humor, imagery of nature, and irony in the novel. I had to lookup a few terms, historical events, and names of people in history such as Lucrezia Borgia. While I was not familiar with these things overall I certainly appreciated the attention to detail and found that it made the novel feel authentic. Upon looking at the age and events, however, they all began to make sense in the complex plot. This novel is very well characterized, with extravagant clothing, expressions, and mannerisms. The vivid description of elaborate dinner parties and décor is fascinating as well.

While I enjoyed the story, I felt the pace was a bit slow. Although I did feel that the pacing gave time for the development of events and provided a realistic touch to the novel, I felt like some of the conversations between characters seemed redundant. But this does not detract from an otherwise impassioned mystery novel.

A number of aspects of The Gilded Age are examined in the novel, including the exclusion of women from law-making, and the importance of etiquette to the gentlemen and women, the lack of which was met with a scoff. A Gilded Death has an engaging and eventful storyline up until the very end. This is a dramatic story that will appeal to sleuth fans looking for a historical setting to a stirring murder mystery.

Pages: 354 | B09BNRVZZM

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LADY SILVER

LADY SILVER: Warlock Chronicles, Book I by [Bobbie R. Byrd]

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

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BIRDS, WHO ARE THEY?: A FIRST LOOK – Book Trailer

Are birds like humans? What are they really like and where did they come from? Are we really so different, or, as parallel species, can both birds and humans join equally in the care of our beautiful world? A preview and reflection on the latest findings about what birds – and we – ultimately are. Prepare to be surprised, illuminated, and delighted.

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The Deeper Crime

Lisa Towles
Lisa Towles Author Interview

Ninety-Five follows a college student who uncovers an on campus scam that’s connected to a larger criminal underworld on the dark web. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

From an investigation perspective, most crimes are like icebergs. What you see sticking out of the water often has nothing to do with what’s really going on, with the deeper crime and the layers of secrets protecting it. Zak was a transfer student trying to reset his academic journey and an on-campus party led him down a rabbit hole and, ultimately, a one-way trip to hell.

Zak is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Duality was one of the ideas I wanted to explore with Zack – bravado and vulnerability, he’s jaded yet innocent, and I was very curious how he would react to not only challenges in his immediate environment but to things that challenged his view of the world, of reality itself.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Ninety-Five is my seventh published book and I think I’m addressing the same themes as an underlying commonality – abuse of power, secrets, corruption, and family connections. But for this book specifically, I found the dark web, crypto, and Pharma elements pulling me deeper into the story.

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

This year I finished writing my first series – a three-book private investigator series. I’m hoping the first book in that series will be published in 2022.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Troubled University of Chicago student, Zak Skinner, accidentally uncovers evidence of an on-campus, organized crime scam involving drugging students, getting them to commit crimes on camera, and blackmailing them to continue under the threat of expulsion. Digging deeper, Zak discovers that the university scam is just the tip of the iceberg, as it’s connected to a broader ring of crimes linked to a darkweb underworld. Following clues, Zak is led to a compound within Chicago’s abandoned Steelworker Park, only to discover that he’s being hunted. While trying to find his way out alive, Zak discovers there’s something much more personal he’s been running from – his past. And now there’s nowhere to hide.

Akil and Jafari

AKIL AND JAFARI: VOL.1 HOW TO SELL YOUR SOUL by [AYURA AYIRA]

Akil and Jafari (Volume 1-4) by Ayura Ayira is a story about two boys who are childhood best friends turned rivals. Despite his health issues, life was better for Akil Chistopher than for many others, including Jafari Omar, but he still wanted more. With dreams of escaping a life of poverty in Africa and going to America, the pair hope to gain money and fame by becoming professional mixed martial arts fighters. But then a series of poor decisions leads to Akil accidentally shooting and killing his father. Jafari takes the blame and ends up sentenced to seven years in juvenile detention for the fatal shooting. Will the forced separation caused by the dark secret they share turn out to be the end of their friendship?

I liked the interactions and banter between Akil and Jafari when they were kids and missed that lighthearted tone and bits of humor during the rest of the story after events seemed to place a wedge between the two. I also liked the aspect of the story where the ghost of Akil’s father visited him and offered him encouragement when he needed it most. The story had a happy ending, which I was glad to see after all the struggle and strife that Akil and Jafari went through.

While I enjoyed this impassioned and thoughtful story, I felt that it ended abruptly. I wanted to know what happened after the two former friends were finally reunited, and to learn a bit more details about Jafari’s motivations for his actions. The story was told from Akil’s point of view, but I would have liked to see parts of the story from Jafari’s point of view, as well.

The focus on their close friendship in the beginning, which was my favorite part of the story, seemed to be replaced by a love interest for Akil in later parts of the book, giving this novel a surprising romantic element.

Akil and Jafari is a riveting story that will appeal to readers looking for a rousing and dramatic book of two intriguing men who face adversity in different ways.

Pages: 179 | ASIN: B09B2ZJQXN

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Unseen

Unseen: Evil Lurks Among Us by [Jeffrey James Higgins]

Unseen, Evil Lurks Among Us, is a gripping thriller written by Jeffery James Higgins. The novel has a strong line up of characters, an interesting plot and enough action to keep the reader glued to the book.

There are two main characters in this story, Malachi and Austin; the traditional hero and villain. Rookie Homicide Detective Malachi is a former economics academic, turned detective after the death of his father in the Boston Marathon bombing. Austin is a man hell-bent on revenge after he lost his girlfriend at the hands of an Islamist infiltrator. An ex-solider, he plots his revenge whilst keeping up his appearance as an innocent bachelor who lives with his beloved dog Sophie. These are complex characters, as both show that they have both good characteristics and traits, as well as more disturbing aspects to their personalities. At times both fight their own inner demons. These two characters are well developed and are supported by a range of minor characters including a girlfriend, children, an ex-wife and friends and colleagues. Although they aren’t as well developed, all the minor characters are an integral part of the story.

Unseen, Evil Lurks Among Us is set in present day Washington. Higgins draws the readers into the story by describing the setting in detail. Opening the story with a scene in a bar, the action moves quickly to the outdoors, where even the oppressive humidity is described. Numerous sounds, sights and smells are described throughout the novel, as the story unfolds across various parts of Washington.

This is a fast-paced thriller that follows the typical structure, but the story is told from two points of view (Malachi and Austin’s). It starts with an action packed first chapter, with numerous clues and red herrings. Jam packed full of adventure; it keeps the readers guessing right until the end!

Unseen, Evil Lurks Among Us is a fast paced and enthralling novel. The characters are well developed and interesting, and the storyline, while complex, is still easy to follow. But most importantly for this genre, the plot just keeps you guessing with many twists and turns along the way.

Pages: 377 | ASIN: B09BLN26MG

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From Memory And Imagination

Palmer Smith
Palmer Smith Author Interview

The Butterfly Bruises is a collection of thought-provoking poetry on nature, technology, culture and childhood. What was the inspiration for the ideas behind the poem in this book?

I wrote this book because I felt the need to tell these stories. The inspiration behind the ideas really comes from memory and imagination and the intertwining of these two facets of the mind. I wanted to write poems that readers could relate to that would also make them ask questions about their own lives.

My favorite poem from the collection is ‘Can Time Ever Fall?. Do you have a favorite poem from this book?

My favorite poem is definitely “The Dollhouse on Fifth Avenue.” I think it encapsulates the absurdities of apartment living and city living.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The main themes that were important to explore were: love, communication, nature, and technology.

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

I am working on a fiction novel about a character who sleepwalks and a complicated family. The book is set in NYC/the south.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

The Butterfly Bruises is a collection of poems and stories regarding animals, the ocean, miscommunication, childhood, Northeastern versus Southern American culture, family, nature versus technology, and the imagination of the introvert. In these lyrical texts, a couple sleepwalks together, a therapist is imagined as a snake, a manatee befriends a widow, a ghost haunts an old Charleston home, and New York City becomes its own character. Stepping into these pages brings about new worlds-some full of magic, others full of mystery.
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