Reviews 12

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This Infinite Moment

Reem Aquil

Rating: 4 Shrimps!

This Infinite Moment by Reem Aquil is a gritty love story at its core.  Written very well in a realistic and somewhat sarcastic manner, it follows young Alexis on her downward slide as she deals with life and the search for love.  I enjoyed the novel’s gut punches and surprising insights sprinkled throughout.  This one’s good for anyone who enjoys romance and drama nestled in gritty realism!


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Autumn Eternal

Kyle Bagsby

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

Kyle Bagsby’s Autumn Eternal was a lot of fun!  Young Kip moves to the mysterious town of Arno, a place where it’s always Autumn, birds moo, and things go missing.  Uncovering Arno’s secrets is charming and I really looked forward to seeing what Kip and his friend Marleigh would discover next.  The magic of Arno is what I loved most so I won’t spoil it by saying too much, but this one’s a must read for anyone that loves a good light-hearted adventure!


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The Kishi

Antoine Bandele

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

The Kishi by Antoine Bandele was refreshingly unique!  Its fantasy world of Esowon is based on African folklore which immediately sets it apart from the classic fantasy tropes.  I enjoyed exploring this world and really enjoyed the creative main character of Amana.  After travelling to the village of Bajok, this pacifist monk must battle the forces of darkness at great cost to his own soul.  This one’s perfect for anyone who loves fantasy and mythology like me!


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Understanding the Alacran

Jonathan LaPoma

Rating: 4 Shrimps!

Understanding the Alacran by Jonathan LaPoma explored a young man’s journey across Mexico.  The travel aspect of the book was fun, and LaPoma does a great job of making you feel like you’re there, but it’s the emotional journey that’s most rewarding.  It’s a little bit morose, but seeing how our main character changes over his travels is quite satisfying.  This one’s good for anyone with the travel bug or wants to delve into some difficult emotions!


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Blood Rage

Allan Walsh

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

The thing I love most about Allan Walsh’s writing is his ability to paint a vivid scene.  This still holds true in Blood Rage.  The descriptions of the fantasy land of Armada are gritty and realistic, setting the perfect stage for this great drama to unfold.  I love Conall, our hero thief, and especially his moral dilemmas as he fights to save a kingdom that despises him.  This is a great adventure for anyone who loves a good visceral fantasy like Game of Thrones!


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Missing in London

Rita Lee Chapman

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

Rita Lee Chapman does it again with her mystery Missing in London!  I love the way Chapman brings a place to life allowing you to explore while Anna Davies hunts down clues to a mystery.  After the disappearance of author Arthur Hambleton, Anna must scour gritty gray London for any sense of what happened to him.  I always loved Anna as a character and the clever twists Chapman weaves into her plot.  A must for any Sherlock Holmes fans out there!


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Reverie Girl

Nico Genes

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

In the follow up to Magnetic Reverie, Nico Genes captures more of the magic that made the first one great!  Reverie Girl continues the story of Claire and Lana, two women who met and fell in love on a connecting flight.  The drama only deepens this time (in a pleasant way) and we get more of a look at Lana and her mysterious dreams.  I felt like she is the heart of this story and I love the depth of the relationship between her and Claire.  A great romance for anyone who loves drama and a bit of mystery!


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Freaky Franky

William Blackwell

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

What would you do if your son was dying?  Would you worship Santa Muerte, a death god?  These and many other great moral questions are thrust at protagonist Anisa in William Blackwell’s Freaky Franky.  Despite the more light-hearted sounding name, this novel is satisfyingly intense as Anisa squares off against a cult, religious zealots, and even Santa Muerte himself in her struggle to save her friends and family.  If you love a good tense novel with deep moral undertones then this one’s for you!


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Undercover

Stephen Bentley

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

Undercover by Stephen Bentley is a truly fascinating inside look at a real life drug bust.  This memoir about the famed Operation Julie was both informative and reads well.  It was like being there in the moment trying to infiltrate a dangerous drug ring.  This is a great one for any true crime lovers and I can’t wait to read more from Bentley!


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The Plight of a People

J.W. Barlament

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

J.W. Barlament’s The Plight of a People was an awesome journey through the timeline of a made up world.  The best part about it is how it’s organized.  The novel is separated into three parts, each occurring in the same land but centuries apart.  We follow different characters, some heroic war heroes like Solinus, others terrible dictators like Emperor Aethon, as the novel takes us on a fascinating look at the different views on freedom and the struggle for that freedom.  This was a really cool and fresh way to explore the concepts of tyranny and liberty well worth a read!


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The Perfect Generation

Emily Uhlig

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

The Perfect Generation by Emily Uhlig is currently one of my favorite dystopian novels!  Tawny is a girl that lives a fake virtual life, but when her mother falls ill and dies, something that should have been impossible, she is forced to flee the city and live in the forest.  It’s here that she meets Micah, a boy from the ‘wild people.’  I really enjoyed Tawny and Micah’s dynamic and Uhlig’s deeper question of what is perfection?  Can’t wait to see where the story goes next!


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There Stand Empires

Baylor Blackwell

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

Sarah returns in Baylor Blackwell’s There Stand Empires.  You think she’s seen it all after her struggle in the first book, but her new journey takes her down darker roads.  She fights to protect Tiah who has grown sick as they struggle to get by in the civil war that has engulfed Utopia.  It’s Sarah and Tiah’s bond that’s the heart of this book and I was always on edge waiting to see if they’d make it out okay.  Well written and tense, this is the perfect follow up to Utopia’s End!


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Bewitching Breeze

K.M. Daughters

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

K.M. Daughters always fill their books with a lot of gentle, heartwarming moments, but that didn’t stop them from adding tons of action and intrigue into Bewitching Breeze.  We follow Bree and her twin sisters, a group of women with special powers who run a storied inn.  When Jack and his daughter come to stay, love and attraction begin to grow with him and Bree, but that is all quickly threatened when Bree finds herself wrapped up with an FBI sting gone wrong.  There’s a lot happening in Bewitching Breeze, but it all comes together to make a very touching and fast-paced story!


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A Nest of Vipers

Richard Storry

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

A return to Ruritania adds a darker plot in Richard Storry’s A Nest of Vipers.  Right at the cusp of peace talks in the brutal war with the neighboring country, citizens of Ruritania are mysteriously falling dead.  To add to this, a string of robberies has broken out.  But are they related?  Storry does a great job of bringing his world to life through practiced description and a cast of believable and likeable characters.  I’ve loved my adventures in the intrigue-stepped nation of Ruritania and can’t wait to see what happens next!


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Terror in Boring Town

Hoot N. Holler

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

Whenever I pick up a Hoot N Holler book, I know I’m in for some fun and Terror in Boring Town doesn’t disappoint.  Friends Sam and Rex live in Boring Town which, as the name implies, is very boring.  But when a pair of strangers arrive that Sam and Rex are convinced are criminals, the plot quickly heats up.  This is a fun mystery akin to the Boxcar Children or the Hardy Boys and I enjoyed every second of it!  Can’t wait to see what mischief Sam and Rex get into next!


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Global Burning

Jonathan Sturak

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

Jonathan Sturak’s latest novel Global Burning is an intense action packed ride!  It’s the year 2045 and the Earth has become a fiery oven.  The unlivable conditions on the surface have forced humanity to flee underground.  Still, the threat of the fires above loom as the rising temp begins to wear away the shielding protecting humanity’s oxygen.  It falls to Melissa and James to find a solution to the ever ticking time bomb that’s humanity’s future.  This is an edge of your seat novel through and through and I loved every second of Sturak’s thrill ride!


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Naked Came the Sharks

Devorah Fox and Jed Donellie

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

If you’re looking for a mystery that’s both fun and intriguing, look no further than Devorah Fox and Jed Donellie’s Naked Came the Sharks.  When Holly’s father passes, she returns home to find that his death may not have been innocent at all.  In a battle over not just land, but the heart and soul of a coastal community called The Gap, Holly must face off against a slew of unscrupulous characters.  Quirky at times, serious at others, Naked Came the Sharks is a lot of fun and well worth your time!


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Wraith

Jacob Malick

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

Jacob Malick crafts a really cool villain origin story with Wraith.  After being strangled to death, Cadence Whitfield finds new life in a new body.  This is confusing for her, filled with mysterious people she doesn’t know.  Her solution is to cling to one solid thing: revenge.  Taking down Trevor Nash becomes her life’s guiding star.  I always love a good revenge story, and the supernatural elements make Malick’s story particularly unique.  This sets the stage perfectly for the next Broken Remnants story and if it’s anything like Wraith, I can’t wait to check it out!


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The Fifth Prophet

Dr. A.R. Davis

Rating: 4 Shrimps!

Have you ever heard that you shouldn’t discuss religion and politics with your friends?  Well, throw that out the window.  Dr. A.R. Davis doesn’t shy away from these tough subjects with his speculative fiction novel The Fifth Prophet.  We follow Sam, a seemingly normal scientist and average Joe until one day God chooses him to be His next prophet.  One of the things I loved about this novel was how much depth and scientific knowledge Dr. Davis adds to his work.  This is a cool story, but especially in the way it makes you think.  If you’re looking for a novel that’s not necessarily easy but worthwhile, then check out The Fifth Prophet!


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The Battle for Halcyon

Peter Kazmaier

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

As we return to Halcyon in Peter Kazmaier’s The Battle for Halcyon, we see a more turbulent world.  Kazmaier does a great job jumping us into the action without losing the sense of exploration that drove the first novel.  We rejoin Dave and the rest as they face new challenges, including a new menace assisting Meglin and the ever moral struggles of Halcyon’s pursuit of Utopia.  This is a novel with depth woven in throughout all the action making it a quick and enticing read!


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The Methuselah Strain

Stuart Aken

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

Stuart Aken brings us on a gritty and surreal adventure through the human soul in The Methuselah Strain.  This novel is futuristic, yet relatable.  We follow Luce, the Prime Renegade, as she searches for something more than the basic fulfillments the dystopian future offers.  Aken draws us along a fascinating thread all the way to the ending’s unique twist in a novel any Philip K. Dick fan will enjoy!


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In the Silence of Words

Cendrine Marrouat

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

You know a play is well written when you can see the performance in your mind just from the dialogue.  Cendrine Marrouat accomplishes this with In the Silence of Words, a three act play.  This story is very moving with the loss of Cassandra’s mother and the resulting questions about self sacrifice.  It’s almost a mystery as we pick through the past, but the heart of the play is a moral and emotional tug of war.  I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s a beautiful read, especially if you love the theatre!


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After

Barbara Ehrentreu

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

There’s a lot going on in Barbara Ehrentreu’s After.  Poor fifteen year old Lauren is slammed with a lot of difficult things at once.  Her father has a heart attack.  Additionally, Lauren must navigate those complicated teenage feelings of love towards her best friend Joey, who just so happens to be going out with her enemy.  I couldn’t help but relate with Lauren on a lot of levels and Ehrentreu’s writing makes this complicated story a smooth and meaningful read worth your time if you’re in the mood for something heartfelt!


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Wolf Heart

Konstantina P.

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

Konstantina P.’s Wolf Heart introduces us to a really cool world where two powerful supernatural species are duking it out for dominance.  One is the werewolves led by Jen and (inadvertently) her brother Steven.  When being sent on a mission, Steven happens upon Cora, an enemy Magic (with a capital M).  There’s a lot of great political intrigue that I don’t have time to get into, but what really makes this book is the dynamic between Steven and Cora and the moralistic struggle it creates.  Konstantina perfectly blends fantasy and romance in a way that will please any supernatural fans willing to give Wolf Heart a try!


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Poison by Punctuation

Kelley Kaye

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

Kelley Kaye returns to her mystery universe with Poison by Punctuation.  Teacher Emma has survived her rocky first year teaching only to stumble on another body, this time student Kisten.  Emma jumps back on the case.  She’s the same fun witty character from before, but you can see how the experience from the first book has affected her, and the loss of a student pushes her in whole new directions.  Even though it’s a little darker than the first installment, Poison by Punctuation is a fun witty dive back into Kaye’s feel good mystery world that you should take!


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Rescued by the Captain

Laura Barnes

Rating: 5 Shrimps!

To a degree, Rescued by the Captain by Laura Barnes is a straightforward romance.  Captain Thorn finds Ivy in a lifeboat at sea.  But there is more going on here than at first glance.  The plot has plenty of intrigue, both romantic and otherwise, but it’s Barnes’ writing that carries this novel.  Her descriptions are well-paced and flowing, making Rescued by the Captain an emotionally satisfying read that’s perfect for any romance lovers out there!


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