Gary Stringer details an exciting battle through time in his unique fantasy Shifting Stars! Arshes, a girl from the future, uses her time manipulation abilities to save her world. The concept sounds basic, but I loved Stringer’s ability to turn classic fantasy and sci fi tropes on their head! This book was unique, and I really enjoyed seeing the different times and characters in this fantasy world. Combined with a splash of humor and great voice, I was pleasantly reminded of Chrono Trigger! If you love fantasy or time travel, definitely break some cosmic rules with Shifting Stars!
The Weight of Salt
Sandra Montanino takes us back to a time of great change in the United States in her historic romance drama The Weight of Salt! Angelina Pirrello is growing up in a time of upheaval, where the struggle to gain the women’s vote is ongoing and the mafia is making its rise. But when she falls in love, she must learn to persevere as her father promises her to an older man. I love the richness of the time period Montanino chose and the many storylines she expertly weaves together! And the writing in this one is absolutely gorgeous, really making me feel for Angelina and experience everything she does. This is a heartfelt and emotional look back at history, so I highly recommend the trip back to 1906 in The Weight of Salt!
Ranaildo Timms takes us on a beautiful and personal journey through a man’s life in Stormy Weather! This book really hit me in the heart as we’re brought along on this journey. There are some really touching moments and Timms’ writing knows how to snare your emotions. I also loved the bits of humor sprinkled here and there and the interesting philosophical nature of the book that left me thinking long after I put it down! The book has great symmetry from beginning to end, drawing an interesting conclusion about the nature of stormy weather. If you love realistic and uplifting dramas, definitely set sail in the stream of life with Stormy Weather!
Your Service is Required
Jeff Walker paints a bleak picture of a dystopian future ruled by two AI in Your Service is Required! David is just trying to make his way in a world ruled by machines. But when one of the AI overlords, Angela, takes a keen interest in him, David’s world gets turned upside down. Walker does a wonderful job of building a realistic picture of what an AI run world would look like, and bringing it to life through the lens of David! I loved the Anthem or 1984 feel of this one, and the twist of having two AI in charge made things really interesting. If you love classic dystopian tales mixed with sci fi, come get unshackled with Your Service is Required!
Elizabeth Caroline helps us escape an experimental facility on our quest for normal in Adapted: Heat! Claudia has a special ability, one that the facility she’s been raised in tries to nurture for their own purposes. But when her one friend winds up dead, Claudia escapes to figure out who did it, only to be sidetracked by the lure of living a normal life in a normal school. I really enjoyed the moral struggle and crisp writing Caroline imbued in Heat! Claudia was a fascinating and lovable character, and I really loved the Stranger Things/X-Men feel of the book! If you love YA ‘escape from a facility and must hide your powers’ thrillers, definitely come seek your brand of normal with Adapted: Heat!
The Dark Land
DM Shepard puts us in the grips of survival horror in The Dark Land! In search of her foster brother’s remains, Rose heads into the frigid backcountry of Alaska. But something evil stalks the cold forest, and it has set its sights on Rose and her party. Shepard captures everything I love about survival horror: an interesting and somewhat claustrophobic locale, hapless heroes, mystery, a gritty tense feel, and especially the grotesquely imaginative creatures! If you love a good creature feature set in nature like The Descent or The Ritual, definitely strap on your snow shoes and come searching in The Dark Land!
Stella Jorette gives us a strange and entertaining mash up of a psychological thriller and a fun 1969 music exploration in Harmony Lost! After an accident, Pam is left with a mysterious voice talking in her head. Now she must manage her husband’s band, all while keeping the voice’s urges in check. It’s an odd set up, but Jorette tells this compelling story so well, with equal parts fun, humor, and suspenseful mystery! Jorette’s descriptive writing is also gorgeous, really bringing the music side to life. If you love the late 60s early 70s music scene, or are thirsting for something out of The Twilight Zone, definitely grab a mic and hit the club with Harmony Lost!