South Wales, United Kingdom.
17-year-old sorceress Ariessy Taylor is on the verge of losing her father to a mysterious illness, and she must take drastic measures to cure him.
When the Authority finds out, the Veurrulfar (a race of shapeshifters created by Odin to protect humanity) are alerted, and Ariessy is left fighting for her life. A shocking secret comes to light that can save them both, but it comes at a price.
Is freedom worth dying for—or can her secret save her?
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Rats in a Maze by Peter Bailey is a crime novel surrounding the mysterious accident in Pier 54. Ray Fisher, the detective assigned to the case, believes there is more than what meets the eye. Together with his partner, Brad, they both try to uncover the mystery behind the accident. The accident uncovers the horrible truths of the world to Detective Fisher and his life changes. The concept of death becomes clearer to him as he goes about his job. What Detective Ray and Brad did not know was that they were signing up to one long suspenseful rollercoaster the moment they started the investigation on what seemed like a simple and normal traffic accident.
I was highly impressed by the story; it is not the typical crime fiction story going through the motions of a police procedural. The writer introduces readers to the characters on a high note, getting you to relate and empathize with the character so you care about what happens to them, and I liked how this feeling was consistent throughout the story. The characters are crafted specifically to fit into their roles. Peter Bailey does a fantastic job in incorporating different aspects of life into the story which made things feel authentic and grounded. We’re thrown into the detectives life through Detective Ray’s storyline but we are also thrown into story lines on family, romance, even in office settings. The way the writer switches up chapters keeps the reader engaged with the story, if not with the plot. Every chapter brings up a new event and a new twist without losing the progression towards the stories arc.
Rats in a Maze is a riveting mix of everything I wish for in a good crime fiction novel; government conspiracy, humour, people in power, romance, always with a dash of cunning crime solving. The book leaves readers with a cliff-hanger that will have you begging for a follow up novel.
Pages: 199 | ASIN: B08JMC8VHJ
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In The Empath’s Lover: A Sci-Fi MM Romance Novella by Sidonie Savage, Davon Pax is the Chief Medical Officer and Microbiologist on the Explorer 2. Davon wakes from cryo-sleep after a ten year journey from Earth and is excited to be one of the first humans to explore Neptune and its moons. But before the crew can complete the mission, their research vessel is attacked. They are saved by an alien named Tulq’on, a Kyphomi Intelligence Officer who has been studying humans. He is injured, and Davon heals him. The two find themselves feeling unexpected emotions for each other. But unless Tulq’on can convince the Kyphomi that humans are worthy of life it will be the end of all humanity.
This short novella was a quick and engaging read. I enjoyed the meeting of two worlds and reading about how Davon and Tulq’on interacted together when they first met and as they learned to communicate and discovered more about each other, both their differences and the ways that they were the same. I liked that they had compassion and respect for each other, acting selfless in putting the other before themselves, as they worked together to prove that their species could coexist. Due to the short length of the book, I felt that the conflict was resolved quickly, but I liked that the story had a happy ending for Davon and Tulq’on even though they came from different worlds.
It was interesting to learn the details of the Explorer 2’s mission at the beginning of the book, but I think this level of detail would have been better suited to a longer story, or for a story that was sci-fi fiction rather than romance. For a romance novella, the heroes should have met sooner in the story. This did not happen until after the first quarter of the book, which didn’t give the heroes much time to come to know each other before declaring their love. I felt that this was too rushed, and I would have liked the book to be a bit longer to allow for more focus on this aspect of the story. I also wanted to see how Davon adapted to life among the Kyphomi, and how Earth reacted to the introduction of the alien species. There was not much world-building and I would have liked to know more details about the Kyphomi and their society.
Pages: 76 | ASIN: B08H4W2YHF