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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The Darker Light by Lynn McCain finds Lily in the midst of deep dissatisfaction and restlessness. Although she has tried to forget the trials and tribulations of Arcadia, she somehow feels even more out of place in the world she belongs in now. Soon, however, she is summoned back to Arcadia by a terrible prophecy that she has to fulfill. She has to defeat a foe much more powerful than Reciful this time around. All the while facing the possibility of a tragic betrayal from the one she holds closest to her heart.
Since she has had her memories removed, she has to relearn all the tragedies of her past. Henry, Calev, and her grandfather all had been hiding dark secrets from her that haunt Lily for the rest of the story. However, she meets and befriends some fantastical new characters that assist her in the journey, like Lord Bran.
The plot of The Darker Light is fascinating because there is an inherent greyness to the characters that comes from being held helpless against a prophecy. Although Lilith is conducting horrible misdeeds, I could still feel a modicum of empathy towards her. Everyone seemed to be doing the best they could to protect themselves and fight for their loved ones.
It was also fascinating watching Arcadia unfold from Lily’s best friend, Clarice’s perspective. There was a pleasing contrast between Lily’s recognition of this fantastical place and Clarice’s wonder. I appreciated this subtle shift in perspective that was present throughout the story. Calev, Henry, Lillith, everyone was allowed to present their own views on the situation. It made for a story with a lot of depth and intrigue.
Like the previous installment, this story had some strong Narnia resemblances: everything from the evil queen to the different anthropomorphic creatures. There were a barrage of characters being introduced every other chapter and it could get a little confusing, but the plot remained crystal clear and quick-paced. The Darker Light is perfect for anyone who is home for a few days and looking for a Narnia-esque adventure.
Pages: 298 | ASIN: B07592DFKG
Dime is a remarkable legal thriller by Luis Figueredo that I found hard to put down once I started. Though there are many books, series, and even movies made about the cartel, this one is a bit different and that’s what makes it stand out.
The author sets the stage by introducing the elements of intrigue. Pierce Evangelista is a sharp lawyer hired to defend Juan Carlos because of his arrest for an alleged deal gone bad. It is then we come to know that he is a person of interest due to his association with the Carraboca cartel. The story is fast-paced as we get a close look inside the dangerous world where there are no rules, loyalty, and vicious violence. I was so enthralled that I was imagining myself a part of the team as Pierce, Shane, and their buddies try to navigate the minefield with both the cartel and the DEA after Juan.
The conversations felt very real and takes the reader deep into the story which is pretty well laid out. I just loved the turns and the twists in the story that kept me turning page after page, consuming the content gleefully. Along with an unpredictable and fast-paced theme, the story is equally engrossing. As for the climax, it will surprise everyone as I could not see it coming. A must-read for anyone who is looking for suspenseful fiction with a new twist on the narco-trafficking ecosystem. I really enjoyed this book, but if I had to pick one thing I didn’t like, I would say the length of the book was quite long and a bit daunting.
Dime is a well crafted thriller with unique insights into the criminal world, propelled by compelling legal drama, and punctuated by moments of literary fireworks.
Pages: 597 | ASIN: B083KQ7CHB
Nothing about Dakini’s existence is simple, not even her name. She grows up with little knowledge of her roots and has to make do with sketchy and terse details about her heritage from her father. There is little hope that she will ever find answers to her many questions but things take an interesting turn. Possessed with an intense desire to be a successful writer like her father, Dakini tries to do more than just report conventional stories as most journalists do. She takes an interest in the age-long art of storytelling and goes in search of the perfect story. Her search leads her to an ancient manuscript bearing an incredible tale that would change her life forever.
The Mermaid’s Grandson by Eleanor Tremayne is a work of fiction that plunges us into the world of mythical creatures: mermaids and their interactions with humans. Tremayne gives us an exquisite taste of two worlds: mermaids in water and mermaids on land, amongst humans. Sounds like something out of Disney, doesn’t it? Trust me, it’s just as thrilling. She makes her mermaids stroll through the portals of time at will (apparently, that’s one of the powers of mermaids) so we get glimpses of several eras and can appreciate the peculiarities of these times alongside the story’s plot.
While stories about mythical creatures with a greater focus on the supernatural abilities of these beings could easily captivate a younger audience, a more mature audience would look to underlying themes to better appreciate the stories. Tremayne appeals to both our sense of imagination and our thirst for meaning by crafting her story around powerful themes. One is the unfathomable power of love and how it can drive beings to points far beyond their perceived limits, cause them to damn even the gravest consequences and make the bravest sacrifices. Tremayne also turns our attention to the strength that lies in resilient women, community and togetherness. Also, by contrasting certain traits of the mermaids with human characteristics, we can further appreciate some precious instincts we’ve been gifted with and even the deficiencies we are stuck with.
I liked how Tremayne made the characters narrate their tales in the first person. It helped create some sort of realness about them, especially the mermaids. They had voices that could be heard and personalities that could be read. This took the book from being just a fantastic work of imagination to being a stimulator of strong emotions. In addition to this, the author’s knack for sprinkling literary works ranging from short poems by famous authors, to insightful quotes from notable people added extra style and spice to the book. If you are one who enjoys fiction plus fantasy, you’ll love Tremayne’s latest work.
Pages: 319 | ASIN: B084DYVYSB
The U.S. has to defend itself and the world from extremist organizations and political tyrants yet again. The Green Alliance, a well-funded radical environmental group leads America’s formidable enemies this time. The group’s plans to tackle global warming are causing serious climate changes bordering on a mini ice age in Europe and North America. The Ocean Reconnaissance Commission and Associates, a renowned private security firm is called in to stop them. ORCA tries to juggle this new mission with an existing one that required it to track down and eliminate the killers of top government officials. To further complicate issues for ORCA and the US.., China attempts to take back Taiwan yet again. With this, ORCA and the U.S. find themselves fighting multiple simultaneous battles in a frantic race to preserve world peace. Will these battles prove to be insurmountable even for the world’s number one superpower nation and the globe’s leading private security firm?
The Green Alliance is the fourth book in the ORCA series by Amazon Bestselling Author, Andrew Rafkin. The events are set in the 21st Century, accompanied by a peek into the near future. Places and political structures are real but we see the introduction of intriguing advancements to familiar technology like Artificial Intelligence and nanotechnology. Rafkin’s skill at mixing fictional characters with real places, and politics and technology, give this book a thrilling yet relatable feel.
Rafkin crafts his story around several themes including the United States’ affinity for standing up for itself and the possibilities that man’s tinkering with technology could create. For example, ORCA with their highly sophisticated supercomputer; MOBY. I personally enjoyed all the cool weapons and gizmos used in the book. The story also sheds light on modern environmental problems and the opportunities we have at escalating them into serious global crises in the coming years; eco-terrorism and power struggles among nations. I also enjoyed the way cute love stories were plugged in amidst all the chaos.
Rafkin’s work also proved to be incredibly informative, but in a fun way. Think of learning about seemingly drab concepts like climate change and the propulsion systems of sophisticated boats while being distracted by a riveting plot, now that’s what I call learning made easy. Also, conversations are filled with light-hearted banter and interesting interactions that help to portray the characters, especially members of ORCA as humans and not just ice-cold killers or superheroes in the Superman class. Although, some of the explanations on boring concepts seemed redundant and there were places where characters recounted entire experiences that readers were already privy to.
The Green Alliance is a thrilling action adventure story that kept me entertained to the last page.
Pages: 287 | ASIN: B082RJ2STT
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Murder, betrayal, & scandal plague the Colburn family. A curse has shadowed them throughout time. This tale of intrigue follows the Colburns back to their beginning in New Orleans, Louisiana. Matt Colburn’s duty is to protect an aristocrat named Arial. From the moment they meet, she steals his breath away. They dance and it feels like a brush with destiny, but Arial has a dreadful secret that endangers the lives of everyone she holds dear, especially Matt. Will he be able to save her or will she become the next victim of the Louisiana Strangler…
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Banks and O’Neil are on a mission, and they have a defined target: Clint Holden. Obtaining access to one Clint Holden will not be the easiest of tasks, though. Making their way from their own world to Clint’s is the first obstacle. Finding him among the masses of country folk is their second. Standing, unknowingly, in their way is Jason Cooper, a washed-up police officer still biding his time on the force. Banks and O’Neil face some interesting obstacles as they search for Clint Holden and seek to accomplish their mission. If they can get past Cooper, finding Clint will be a breeze, or will it?
Requiem, Changing Times, by R.J. Parker, is an adventure of otherworldly proportions. Peppered with humor, steeped in suspense, and filled with everything fantasy fans seek, Parker’s novel delivers it all.
I enjoy humor in any fiction book I read. Some plots call for it more than others. Parker understands this better than anyone. Throughout this unique plot alternately set on Earth and beyond, Parker manages quite well to give lighthearted lines to his cast of characters. Their exchanges are welcome breaks to some of the more intensely focused exchanges.
One aspect of the book that did tend to interfere with the flow was the introduction of accents by some of the characters. Rather thick and intricate accents permeate much of the reading and require some rescanning of text to fully grasp the character’s intent. While I am all for accents and a true-to-life feel, these accents seemed to halt the flow somewhat.
Parker introduces Clint and Corbin as relatable characters readers will appreciate and find likable. Watching the entire adventure unfold with school-age boys as the key protagonists makes the story all the more relatable. Readers who want the feel of the adventure stories from their youth will find Requiem, Changing Times right up their alley. Complete with school drama and a teacher every reader will love to hate, Parker’s novel sets up a fantastic background for the two main characters, Clint and Corbin.
I highly recommend Requiem, Changing Times to any reader seeking a new science fiction fantasy. Those of us intrigued with stories of the extraterrestrial will find Clint and Corbin’s adventure a fast-paced quick read for its length. Memorable characters and a unique set of circumstances involving the two young boys make Requiem, Changing Times a must-read.
Pages: 450 | ASIN: B07XY439NX
Tags: action, adventure, author, book, book review, bookblogger, Changing Times, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, requiem, RJ Parker, science fiction, story, suspense, thriller, writer, writing