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The Surreal Adventures of Anthony Zen

The Surreal Adventures of Anthony Zen by Cameron A. Straughan is a collection of twenty-three chronological short stories about the day-to-day life of Anthony Zen. As illogical as this book may seem, the character is not fazed by the absurd adventures he has to face on a daily basis. Anthony is a man who runs to work without pants, owns a cat named Monty that rings, and finds this wacky behavior normal. This humorous tale of a man who lives his life to the fullest is wildly creative and entertaining. This eccentric story is full of shenanigans and outrageous creatures. It is a creative tale with backward logic that makes you laugh.

The book is brimming with wildly imaginative shenanigans and outrageous creatures that are sure to keep readers entertained. The writing is sophisticated and free of grammatical errors, making it a joy to read. Although I think the book would benefit from illustrations, the quality of the writing and the depth of the characters is enough to engage readers and take them on a journey through Anthony’s surreal world.

While most books with eccentric worlds have a set of rules that guide the reader, The Surreal Adventures of Anthony Zen does not. The author adds details seemingly at random, leaving readers in a state of anticipation, never knowing what to expect next. This unpredictability adds to the entertainment value and keeps readers in suspense.

The book’s structure is broken up in a way where each chapter functions as its own individual story, but the book consistently follows Anthony’s overall narrative. This non-traditional approach to storytelling is refreshing and makes the book stand out.

The Surreal Adventures of Anthony Zen is a well-written and creative book that offers a unique take on storytelling. It is certainly an enjoyable one that will leave readers both amused and engaged.

Pages: 191 | ASIN : B088LQF344

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Cargo 3120

It is the year 3120, and humans have entered the world of intergalactic travel and commerce. The Milky Way has become a battle zone for resources between all the different alien races that reside there. With a new power source discovered, it is a race to see what race will control it, giving them the upper hand to control the direction of the galaxy. Can humans win the race? What will it take to get the job done and gain control of this new resource?

Author Aaron Walker Sr.’s Cargo 3120: Ties that Bind is an excellent science fiction adventure. Set in the distant future, the spirited members of the outlaw group, Raven Squad, find themselves in the middle of a heist gone wrong that could have implications for the future of the entire galaxy. Led by the imposing Marcus La’Dek, Raven Squad comprises sci-fi mainstays; the hotshot upstart, a cocky explosives expert, a brutish heavy gunner, and a brilliant hacker. Walker Sr. breaks some molds with the situations he puts his characters into, primarily by showing the devastating consequences of their actions.

At times, Cargo 3120 feels more like a crime drama than a sci-fi novel. There’s plenty of scheming, backstabbing, and betrayals. However, Marcus’s crew is brave and ambitious, often to a fault. The story takes a lengthy, albeit necessary, detour depicting a miserable stint in a galactic penitentiary. La’Dek is sent there for his past actions and the actions of his crew. Once “reformed,” Marcus is put into the unenviable position of choosing between his squad and his family. The author makes the situation work as La’Dek struggles to deal with the “ties that bind.”

Walker Sr. does an excellent job of building a vibrant world. The varying factions and syndicates of the Interstellar League of Planets are fleshed out and feel like real organizations. I like how the author presents a “real” fictional history for his future world. Also, the science fiction elements aren’t too far out there, allowing the reader to enjoy Marcus’s and the other characters’ journeys.

Cargo 3120: Ties that Bind is a riveting science fiction adventure that takes space opera fans into the world they love and gives them new villains and battles to follow along with. This remarkable story is sure to be the start of a captivating and engaging series that will garner the love of old and new sci-fi fans alike.

Pages: 263 | ASIN : B09B8454KV

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Erift’s Journeys: The Dark Messengers

After more than a year since their journey to the Sealed Forest, Joseph, and Eric, who were about to head off to college, were suddenly brought to another adventure. The best friends were called by Professor Ben, and during their travel from home to the Murean Islands, they were met with supernatural challenges. Unfortunately, things got even more chaotic when they arrived on the island. New enemies started emerging, bringing more conflict to the three, and a foe from the past took this time to announce their return. In this sequel to Secrets of The Sealed Forest, the boys are once again pushed to their limits and, with their friends’ help, must do everything they can to go home to live the peaceful lives they strived for.

Erift’s Journeys: The Dark Messengers by J.T. Tenera is a new compelling narrative that brings back Joseph and Eric, two memorable characters, and pulls them back into the world of fantasy and magic. We see how much the two have grown in terms of their relationship and powers, which they execute particularly in the book’s first half. As for the main character’s personal journey, the author should be applauded for making them human despite all that is happening around them. It is essential to keep in mind that Joseph and Eric are still trying to figure themselves out, have internal conflicts of their own, and are also on a path toward self-actualization. Knowing these about them had me rooting for their success even more, so they can go home and fulfill their individual dreams.   

True to their characters, the funny, quick, and unnecessary banters stayed even during the fight scenes, reminding us once again that this book is humorous as it is riveting, keeping readers invested in going through the pages. The other side characters were a welcome addition to the mix, both friends and foes, giving a fresh take to the setting of the previous book.

The second book from Erift’s Journeys is a gripping coming-of-age fantasy novel that teens and young adults will love. I would recommend this for high school students, for I believe the main characters’ language and their penchant for fun despite hard times would resonate with them.

Pages: 435 | ASIN : B0BR4JZT9R

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Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case

Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case is a captivating tale that transports readers to 1932 Los Angeles. This engrossing story follows the journey of an 11-year-old girl named Sparky, a street-smart and resolute young girl who unwittingly becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a young blonde girl she found dead on a bench. The story begins on her birthday when she had saved up a box of sweets to celebrate her special day. However, her birthday takes a drastic turn when she finds herself accused of a crime she did not commit.

Author Rosalind Barden’s writing had me hooked from the first page, and Sparky’s character immediately drew me in. The author has done an excellent job of painting a vivid picture of the buildings and characters, making them easy to visualize. Tootsie’s character adds an interesting layer to the story, and her home is described in such detail that it feels like a character itself. The food Sparky is offered at Tootsie’s house is also beautifully described, making the reader’s mouth water. Sparky’s character is tough and independent, but the author has also demonstrated that she has a kind heart that she tries to keep hidden. This makes her a lovable character, and the reader cannot help but root for her as she tries to solve the case and live her life without fear. The mystery in this story is expertly crafted, pulling the reader in and keeping them gripped until the very end. The suspense is palpable, making it difficult to put the book down. I found myself constantly wanting to know what would happen next and how the story would unfold.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well-written, suspenseful mystery. Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case is a page-turner that will leave readers eager for more.

Pages: 218 | ASIN : B07H49P46T

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I Need a Hero

Ron Clamp’s I Need a Hero is an exquisitely crafted literary masterpiece that blends romance, fantasy, and sci-fi elements in a truly epic fashion. This gripping story takes place in a dystopian future. It follows the exploits of Commander Charlie Jackson, a brilliant war tactician and strategist who is tasked with leading the intergalactic ship Perseus. With a crew consisting of Charlie’s computer-savvy brother, Jacob, gifted teenage prodigies, and loyal team members, the ship’s initial mission is to serve as a repair vessel. However, as they embark on their journey, Charlie and Jacob find themselves embroiled in a perilous personal mission, one that threatens to sever their connection with Earth. With the constant threat of the Obsidians, the enemy, lurking in the shadows, Charlie must forge a bond with his crew and his ship to ensure everyone’s safety. Meanwhile, on Earth, Charlie’s wife, Maddie, discovers that her dark past has caught up with her. Despite the vast distance separating them, Charlie is determined to rescue Maddie, no matter what the cost.

I Need a Hero is an incredibly rich and beautifully written work of literature that seamlessly blends music, Greek mythology, fantasy, and a tragic love story to provide the reader with a wholly satisfying experience from beginning to end. The author’s vivid descriptions transport the reader onto the ship Perseus, allowing them to feel the characters’ heightened emotions and experience the richly detailed world first-hand. Each character’s backstory is tragic, akin to epic Greek tales, which makes it easy for readers to identify with them. As the crew becomes a close-knit family, the bond they share inspires and motivates readers.

The author skillfully maintains the book’s momentum, ensuring that readers are constantly engaged and on the edge of their seats. The intricate explanations of war in outer space are evocative and captivating, and every aspect of the book, from the action to the heartbreak, is compelling and intricately woven together. The novel is a page-turner, complete with a spectacular ending that is sure to leave readers yearning for more.

I Need a Hero is a phenomenal read that will appeal to anyone looking for a fantasy or sci-fi novel with a highly original plotline. The galaxy in this novel is full of depth and complexity, and readers will undoubtedly want to explore it further. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more from this talented author.

Page: 376 | ASIN : B0BS1VPQZD

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Song of the Sea

Song of the Sea by Meredith Leigh Burton is a charming and engaging story about mermaid princess Aria and her sister Octavia, who live in their beloved ocean home. As daughters of the Sea King, they are responsible for protecting the sea, helping the spirits of the departed, and discussing their potential fiancés, all of which are part of their everyday routine. However, their lives are upended when a mysterious storm threatens the life of human prince Reginald, and Aria risks everything to save him.

Burton’s tale of tolerance and understanding draws inspiration from classic fairy tales, particularly The Little Mermaid, as Aria embarks on a dangerous adventure to uncover the truth and save two kingdoms from destruction. Aria and Reginald’s friendship and alliance are at the heart of this story, and Burton’s use of musical terminology adds depth and richness to the narrative. This novel has many twists and turns, keeping readers hooked as they watch the thrilling plot unfold. Burton manages to keep readers guessing, waiting to discover the fate of the two kingdoms.

Song of the Sea is a compelling and thought-provoking story with a plot that closely follows the storyline of The Little Mermaid. Aside from that similarity, this novel has a new villain and a fresh take on well-known characters, making this story stands out as a unique work. In addition, their book has some mature content, making it better suited for older teens and young adult audiences.

Song of the Sea is a captivating and enjoyable read with an important message of love, harmony, and cultural understanding. It is perfect for readers who enjoy a fresh retelling of classic tales, and its story of diplomacy and friendship offers a new perspective on a familiar theme.

Pages: 132 | ASIN : B0BMM6PY7K

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PACK OF THE LOST – The Uninviting Forest

Nikita Kapoor’s Pack Of The Lost – The Uninviting Forest is the first novel in the Pack of the Lost series. When the pack of wolves falls apart, Daffodil and Jasper, two young wolves, find themselves lost in the forest and at the mercy of dangerous creatures. While trying to find their way back to each other, they make friends with new canines and discover the secrets of their ancestors. With an amulet that connects Daffodil to Felix, the wolf god, but prompts her to act maliciously and Jasper’s dreams of impending doom, they struggle to return home. Their goal is to rebuild their pack in a bid to live an adventurous life with liberty.

The Pack of The Lost is a mystical fantasy novel with animal protagonists targeted at young readers. The underlying themes in the story are perseverance, friendship, and leadership. With animal characters, the author frames social orders in a new context. The story features talking canines, supernatural creatures, and realistic portrayals of animal life in the wild. The author gives human-like qualities and personalities to these characters. They experience different feelings, including guilt, excitement, anger, pride, and sympathy. This way, the author continually employs personification to drive home the story’s plot. One thing that stands out in the book is the author’s love for nature and its creatures. She uses vivid words to describe the surroundings and convey the thoughts and surroundings of the animals. Her writing style is poetic, and she uses brilliantly couched sentences. Readers would also find interesting the supernatural elements and legends of magical ancestors.

The Pack of the Lost is an exciting novel full of adventures and innovative analogies. It is a perfect read for younger readers like middle graders, who would undoubtedly discover lessons from this unique form of writing.

Pages: 181 | ASIN : B0BHZGJDCP

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Spiral: Book One Of The Crane Trilogy

Spiral by James M. Fisher is a captivating coming-of-age novel that follows the story of Michael Price, a young man deeply affected by his mother’s loss. His happy life crumbles when his father remarries a Trophy Wife, and Michael is forced to attend a Catholic private school, where he struggles to fit in. He befriends a football jock named Dave, who helps him make school feel less lonely. Michael is once again uprooted from his California life and is moved to Utah. He befriends Tony, who introduces him to the world of punk, self-destruction, and Danielle.

The author takes readers on an emotional rollercoaster as we follow Michael through his struggles and triumphs. The story opens on a dramatic note, and I was immediately intrigued. Fisher adeptly highlights the stark contrast between life in California and life in Utah, adding depth to the story and characters. The dialogue feels real, and I began to feel sorry for Michael because of what he dealt with his stepmother and real father. I was sad to see Michael and his father’s relationship deteriorated after the passing of his mother.

Through vivid descriptions and Michael’s nightmares, the author allows readers to understand Michael better and relate to his angsty teenage character. I found it amusing that Michael referred to his parents as “real mom,” “jock dad,” and “trophy wife,” as this shows his true feelings towards the people in his life. This short read moves at a smooth pace, but the tension picks up in the middle of the book, immersing readers into Michael’s world.

This unpredictable and unexpected twist had me guessing until the very end. Overall, Spiral is an enthralling read that many readers will empathize with, as we have all experienced life-changing events that shape us into who we are today. I eagerly anticipate the next book in this series.

Pages: 268 | ASIN : B07NFBVBZ9

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