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The Betrayal

The Betrayal, by Doug Dorsey, is set in the future after much of the earth’s population has been wiped out by a series of catastrophic events, but civilization has not yet come to an end. A new government, ruled by Sovereign Alexander Wraith, has risen to power to ensure everlasting peace. In this riveting dystopian novel, not everything is as it seems. In reality, Wraith is a brutal dictator who will do anything and take out anyone to ensure his hold on power. Thankfully, a rebellion is coming.

This rebellion is led by two unlikely heroes. Liam Adler is a loyal citizen and computer genius who specializes in AR and VR technology. All Liam wants is a quiet, respectable life. However, a series of unfortunate events leads him down a rabbit hole, and he discovers his life is a lie. Jessica, on the other hand, is a rebel fighter, an amnesiac, and a fugitive on the run. She has been fighting The Sovereign for years and is a loyal soldier of Mordecai, rebel leader, and prophet. Liam and Jessica are truly compelling characters that make this first book in the trilogy an exciting read cover to cover, which is important in a character driven dystopian thriller like this.

The Betrayal often reminded me of a Christian version of George Orwell’s 1984. One of the main themes of the book is that religion has been banned, and it is down to Christian rebels to free the world. This focus on religion gives Dorsey’s novel an interesting twist. Government surveillance is everywhere, and expression of religious freedom is a death sentence. Liam is constantly thrown for a loop as friends become enemies and vice versa. The Sovereign is always watching. The author deftly borrows from countless sci-fi classics whilst managing to write something new. This is a refreshing twist on some older sci-fi tropes.

The pacing of the storyline is excellent. The first half is a little slower as Dorsey does some important world-building and introduces and begins to define his characters. In the second half, the story ramps up as utter chaos is unleashed.

Liam and Jessica are both great leads who are easy to root for. Liam especially makes for a very cerebral protagonist. Wraith is an immensely dislikable antagonist in all the right ways. The Betrayal, by Doug Dorsey, is a rollercoaster ride and a great read for any science fiction fan.

Pages: 361 | ASIN: ‎ B09RPYHM8F

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Surviving the Second Tier

Surviving the Second Tier by author M.K Lever is a sci-fi novel that is different from anything else out there. It is a combination of dystopian sci-fi, college drama, and an underdog sports story. The setting is nebulous. We know the novel is set in the future, but Lever leaves it up to the reader to decide how distant. Technology has advanced but is not far-fetched. We know that there are drones, automated exercise equipment, and self-driving cars.  The setting is what I would call grounded dystopian. There has been yet another economic crash, and once again, it is the younger generation who are paying the price.

This captivating novel takes a close look at the world of college sport but through the lens of a dystopian future. In this world, college sports as we know it has been replaced with the AFA (American Fighting Association). Male and female athletes now fight in an MMA-style fighting league where only the toughest and best-funded succeed. Like most extraordinary sports stories, we follow Sis Jones, a second-tier fighter who is undefeated and coming towards the end of her college career.  Sis might be successful in the ring, but it isn’t doing her much good. As a poorly-paid second-tier fighter, the fighting takes its toll on her health and grades. We follow Sis and her teammates as they are pushed and manipulated further and further by their greedy coach and college higher-ups. In the end, enough is enough, and the athletes rebel and take on the corruption directly.

Surviving the second tier feels almost like a more grounded Hunger Games. The setting may not be quite as dramatic and the stakes not quite as high, but Sis is still fighting for survival in many ways. Most of us have never had to fight to the death, but struggling to make ends meet will be painfully familiar to most of us.

Lever is a former college athlete herself, and this shows. She has extensive knowledge of the subject and has gone to great pains to highlight the abuse and corruption that goes widely unreported in college sports today. As well as shining a light on the discrepancies between first-tier and second-tier college teams. For every first-tier college athlete that goes on to great success, many are left behind.

Surviving the Second tier is a gripping dystopian novel with a great underdog story full of easy to root for heroes with an important message. This unconventional combination of genres will give readers a unique look into college sports and much to think about.

Pages: 429 | ASIN : B09MDR6FYH

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Mystical Force: Volume 2: Angels and Demons

In Mystical Force: Volume 2 Angels and Demons by Craig Weidhuner, Humans do not believe Earth is the only inhabited planet. Sister Rose is one of five nuns who hunt and kill demons. They are called upon by God to destroy the demons using their magical bullets which are specially designed to kill demons. Sister Rose’s parents passed away long ago, leaving her to become a young orphan raised in the church. Her roots are from the church, and their beliefs are deeply embedded in her mind. However, she meets a demon called Tokijin, who can transform into a human form. They fall in love, and Rose is caught between the beliefs she was raised with and her love for Tokijin.

Long ago, it was common for humans to destroy villages they thought were inhabited by demons and to murder any demon that was found. This created a war between demons and humans that has lasted centuries. However, not everyone in the universe feels demons are evil. For example, there is a planet called Orathos. The beings that reside there are determined to bring peace to the races of demons and humans.

Mystical Force: Volume 2 Angels and Demons is told from several viewpoints and at different locations in the universe. Weidhuner has fantastic character development. Each character is well thought out and brings a unique feel to the story. I found getting to know the characters, seeing their development and growth to be one of the most enjoyable parts of this novel.

The author’s writing style is spellbinding, drawing readers into the plot with strong emotional conflicts. However, the book primarily focuses on the romantic relationship between Rose and Tokijin. A demon and a demon hunting nun are two people who should despise one another because of how they have been raised. Yet, despite being taught from a young age to hate, they see the good in one another.

Mystical Force: Volume 2 Angels and Demons is a thrilling young adult fantasy novel. Combining science fiction elements and paranormal activity, the author creates action and suspense that will captivate teen readers.

Pages: 69 | ASIN : B0921PPSGC

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Myracles In The Void

Myracles in the Void is a fantasy/adventure novel by author Wes Dyson. This coming-of-age story follows two siblings who attempt to unravel the mystery that surrounds their family. After the heartbreaking disappearance of their father and uncle, Gai and Lynd find themselves experiencing some mysterious symptoms. This starts when Lynd’s chaotic emotions begin to manifest themselves physically. Next, their hometown of Hop starts to turn against the family, even acting hostile towards their poor mother. Finally, the siblings decide it is time to find answers to the questions that have been looming over them for years.

Wes Dyson has written a teen and young adult novel that will captivate readers of all ages. The protagonists, Gai and Lynd, have that angsty, restless nature that makes for a great adventure read. Themes of good vs. evil and is someone’s nature predestined are examined in this creative book.

From the very start, it’s apparent that Dyson is a skilled writer and an excellent world builder. Developing a world with memorable characters can be a challenge with so many novels in the fantasy and adventure genre. However, Myracles in the Void has found a way to set itself apart from others in the genre and give readers an exciting and fresh new world to discover.

The magic system and language used to describe fantasy elements are familiar yet unique in their terminology. Magic, sometimes called mana in fantasy, is referred to as “Myra” in this story. It has two sides; the Elix and Ruin aspects of Myra, which seem to represent the duality of life and death in nature. While one may seem more important than the other, both are necessary to keep balance and order in the universe. This duality is also reflected in our main protagonists, Gai and Lynd. Through their personalities, we can see a reflection of this two-sided magic, with Gai being much more level-headed and Lynd unpredictable.

Myracles in the Void is a riveting new coming-of-age young adult novel that combines familiar fantasy and science fiction elements while adding a fresh perspective to the genres. Readers will be drawn to the themes of good vs. evil while magic takes the characters on an unforgettable adventure.

Pages: 380 | ASIN : B09SVV6NW7

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The Right to Revenge

The Right to Revenge is a dystopian science fiction novel by author Veronica North. Set in a speculative future where gene editing experiments have split humanity into three categories. The “unstable” Alphas, the “normal” Betas, and the “enhanced” Gammas. This divide resulted in an ongoing genocide and civil war to stop it. In this world, we follow J, a Gamma rebel out to get revenge for the death of her sisters. This layered novel also explores her mental state and reactions to the violence around her as the story unfolds.

North’s style creates a vivid and distinct world for their characters to interact. One in which the sense of desolation caused by the war is apparent and where the motivations of each faction are understandable, if misguided. The author takes the reader on an intense emotional ride filled with action-packed scenes with quick, fluid, and exciting action.

The characters in this riveting novel are well developed and complex, drawing the reader in with their backstories and insightful dialogue. You love the good guys and have a love/hate relationship with the bad guys. The author has included some plot twists, so readers are hooked throughout the unpredictable story. J is such a strong and passionate character, and you immediately are drawn to her. However, I found it interesting that the plot and other characters in the story often influenced the main character’s actions and choices.

The science-fiction aspects of the story do not overwhelm the reader with scientific jargon but instead compliments the plot and help the story progress. In addition, the futuristic world and components add to the dystopian feel, which keeps readers on edge.

The Right to Revenge is an action-filled novel that opens with an NC-17 warning, often pulling from tropes and styles of Young Adult fiction but with some swears and steamy scenes are thrown in.

Pages: 299 | ASIN : B09MDSVRWN

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Leaving My Comfort Zone

A.G. Flitcher Author Interview

Boone and Jacque: The Brothers’ Odyssey follows three teenage friends as they try to find their way back home; along the way, they must search for and find their lost companion while facing unknown dangers. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I do a month or two of reading, ground work and research for every book I write. For this installment of the series, I researched autism because I wanted to make sure the character, Flint, wasn’t Hollywoodized in terms of the symptoms of Autism. I watched VR simulations of what it’s like to have autism. Mini documentaries and TED talks showing the continuing and evolving study of this neurological disorder. They say there is no definitive answer to where the disorder came from. And no cure. But there is Applied Behavior Analysis. Which is exemplified in extensive research, therapy and even television. I also watched the show Atypical. A Netflix series focusing on a teen character named Sam who has autism. Throughout the series, his symptoms become more focused in terms of where he is on the spectrum.

Outside of research, I incorporated memories from family vacations. These are quite rich in detail, so if anyone would like to hear about them, I am working on a Youtube series called Stories with AG Flitcher. Where I tell stories about my life that inspired scenes and elements of relationships in this ever evolving series. Nevertheless, I will share two things. The different types of environment came from my experiences being at the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea and the miles and miles of desert in between Cairo (the capital) and whichever destination my family and I arrived at.

One story that I didn’t film that inspired a long walk in the Dolov desert, was the time my family and I were stuck in the middle of a desert for 9 hours. The car had a flat tire and finding a tire repair shop was hard to find. It was 45 degrees Celsius, no shade, dry and the backseats had no seat belts.

Lastly, the characters being casted away from the town, is a mirror symbolic moment of me leaving my comfort zone to find my truth as a writer and human being. Leaving the comfort of routine, familiarity, safety nets and doubt was necessary because it meant I had to find what scares me and face it head on.

What character did you enjoy writing for? Was there one that was more challenging to write for?

I would say I enjoyed writing for Flint the most because I’ve worked with people who have autism, heard stories from friends who work primarily with children with autism, and interviewed parents with children who have autism. Hearing and seeing the community of autism helped me to see what it was like to be wired differently than the neurotypical person.

However, the most challenging character to write for was Boone. Because Jacque is far more wise, and therefore his journey is different in terms of growth. Shammy is Boone’s guiding light to growing up. I didn’t want Boone to be exactly like me or grow up like me. My readers, who know me personally, say he is similar to me. So in book 3 and 4, I have him grow to be someone far more courageous yet lost than I am. In addition, he doesn’t develop the same personality as me when he becomes my age.

When you first sat down to write this story, did you know where you were going, or did the twists come as you were writing?

I’m unconventional when it comes to developing plot points. I come up with a rough storyline and then start writing. In fact, for book 4, I stopped writing a rough storyline because I didn’t know whether or not there was going to be a book 5. Which there will be.

For this book though, book 2, I did structure it a little more but not the plot twist. These books take me typically 6 to 8 months to write while I work a full time day job as a maintenance worker at a zoo. So while I’m working, I daydream about plot twists. Therefore giving me the same surprise as the reader. When I revise I’ll add details and tweak plot twists to my liking, but not knowing what they are ahead of time keeps it fresh.

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

I’m working on book 4 of the series, Cytrus Moonlight. It will be out late 2022. I also wrote what I call “writing doodles” on the keynotes app on my phone for book 5. In which it will take place on a fantasy island that has creatures and trees representing the main characters regrets and fears. The only way they can escape is if they confront them and see fear as an important emotion that helps us do better in life. The tentative title for book 5 is Grotto Island.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

Boone, Jacque and Shammy have been casted away to a wasteland under King Reeve’s control. In which they must find Flint on their journey back home. Even though the repercussions could be disastrous and heartbreaking. What is much worse, and far more unpredictable, is the kind of home they could be coming to.

The Advent of Dreamtech

The Advent of Dreamtech is the first book of the Dreamworms Trilogy by Isaac Petrov, and it serves as a solid introduction for Earth in the year 2515. The protagonist of the story is Ximena, a young historian who is attending the lectures of the renowned Professor Miyagi. The studies center around humanity and its status in the year 2399, when the planet was gripped by a disease similar to our dementia but seemed to attack younger and younger individuals until society decided to begin culling humans at age 27 to avoid the disease’s spread. A young woman named Edda sought to effect change, but she needed help from an unlikely source.

This original story establishes a world and series of events that are easy to follow and quite entertaining. There are several areas of conflict to build on, giving readers multiple storylines to follow and the author to build on. One of the secondary conflicts is between the two schools of historians. The opposing views will give readers plenty to think about and draw them further into this intense world that Petrov has created. Another secondary plotline is the intriguing story of Miyagi’s interest in the character Ximena.

The main storyline and source of drama and tension follow Edda, the heroine of 2399, and her efforts to overthrow the system that kills everyone to avoid the disease. Not satisfied with the prospect of killing off all life once they reach twenty-seven. Edda questions why things are still being done the way they are and if it is still in Earth’s best interest.

This novel really excels in how the historical story of Earth is told, allowing viewers to see and feel what the historical figures are doing and feeling. In addition, they use dream technology that enables them to cover much more time than it would typically take, and they can even see the dreams of their subjects!

The Advent of Dreamtech: A Post-Apocalytic First Contact Epic (The DREAMWORMS Trilogy Book 1) is a riveting science fiction novel with mystery and suspense. Readers of sci-fi, fantasy, and apocalyptical fiction will find this thrilling novel a great read.

Pages: 349 | ASIN : B091PZXBNW

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Mystical Force: Vol. 1 Stranger in a Strange Land

Mystical Force: Vol. 1 Stranger in a Strange Land is the first book of this new and exciting fantasy adventure series written by Craig Weidhuner. This gripping story begins with the prophecy that a “chosen one” would bring destruction to the land. Meanwhile, Zolida is convinced that if she summons someone “not from this world,” that person can help save Earth. So Zolida performs the summoning ritual, bringing Shi-ria, a Taman Knight, to Earth from another world.

Once on Earth, Zolida and Shi-ra form a team with friends of Zolida in order to fight off those that are causing harm. Unfortunately, another group of humans is determined to get rid of them for their “ungodly” powers. If that wasn’t enough, a sorceress named Scarlet Knightwalker believes that if the chosen one meets the one not from this world, the meeting will set off a disastrous chain of events. Shi-ria must learn why Zolida is so determined to have her meet the chosen one and what fate Scarlet Knightwalker fights so vehemently against.

This novel builds conflict quickly and with a lot of action. Readers will be catapulted into the adventure from the opening pages. The author provides detailed world-building at the beginning of the story that gives readers a good understanding of where the different characters come from. As this is the first book which sets up the Stranger in a Strange Land saga, this is to be expected. Even though we are given this abundance of details the author always delivers the information within the action of the story so that it flows organically and ensures readers stay engaged even though facts and activity are coming in equal measure. These opening chapters do a great job of building up the tension in the story around upcoming conflict. This high level of tension around the conflict is carried through the novel with a plot and action that is always moving.

Mystical Force: Vol. 1 Stranger in a Strange Land is a riveting fantasy adventure novel that consistently engages readers. This is a fantastic starting point for a genre blending series that takes modern earth and inserts some intriguing science fiction ideas to create a page-turning adventure.

Pages: 95 | ASIN : B08HPHN3CP

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