The Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

 

Book: The Beast Player

 

Author: Nahoko Uehashi (Cathy Hirano is the translator)

 

Book Series: The Beast Player (books 1 and 2)

 

Rating: 5/5

 

Diversity: Japanese based and characters!

 

Recommended For…: epic fantasy lovers

 

Publication Date: March 1, 2018

 

Genre: YA Fantasy

 

Recommended Age: 14+ (violence, slight gore, terrifying monsters)

 

Publisher: Pushkin Press

 

Pages: 512

 

Synopsis: In epic YA fantasy about a girl with a special power to communicate with magical beasts and the warring kingdom only she can save.

Elin’s family has an important responsibility: caring for the fearsome water serpents that form the core of their kingdom’s army. So when some of the beasts mysteriously die, Elin’s mother is sentenced to death as punishment. With her last breath she manages to send her daughter to safety.

Alone, far from home, Elin soon discovers that she can talk to both the terrifying water serpents and the majestic flying beasts that guard her queen. This skill gives her great powers, but it also involves her in deadly plots that could cost her life. Can she save herself and prevent her beloved beasts from being used as tools of war? Or is there no way of escaping the terrible battles to come?

 

Review: I really loved this book! The book is a translation and I think that it was well done (but I can’t read the original one so I’ll have to defer that opinion to someone who can compare the two). The book had amazing world building and it was a ride from beginning to end! I loved the characters and the writing was so well done.

 

The only issue I really had with the book is that the pacing is really slow in spots and it can get a bit wonky at times.

 

Verdict: Highly recommend!

Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Confessions on the 7:45

Author: Lisa Unger

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3/5

Recommended For…: mystery lovers, thrill seekers, crime

Publication Date: October 6, 2020

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Recommended Age: 18+ (violence, gore, sexual content, romance, death, and marital issues)

Publisher: Park Row

Pages: 368

Synopsis: Be careful to whom you tell your darkest secrets…

Selena Murphy is commuting home from her job in the city when the train stalls out on the tracks. She strikes up a conversation with a beautiful stranger in the next seat, and their connection is fast and easy. The woman introduces herself as Martha and confesses that she’s been stuck in an affair with her boss. Selena, in turn, confesses that she suspects her husband is sleeping with the nanny. When the train arrives at Selena’s station, the two women part ways, presumably never to meet again.

But days later, Selena’s nanny disappears.

Soon Selena finds her once-perfect life upended. As she is pulled into the mystery of the missing nanny, and as the fractures in her marriage grow deeper, Selena begins to wonder, who was Martha really? But she is hardly prepared for what she’ll discover.

Review: For the most part this was a good book. The book was well paced and the characters were well done. The book did well with the plot as well.

However, the book was predictable and I predicted the ending early on. The book also didn’t have a lot of world building.

Verdict: Predictable, but good!

Amid Stars and Darkness by Channi Lynn Feener

Disclaimer: I bought this book based on my friend @aparanormalromance recommendation!

Book: Amid Stars and Darkness

Author: Channi Lynn Feener

Book Series: The Xenith Trilogy

Rating: 5/5

Recommended For…: Sci-fi, alien human romance, political intrigue

Publication Date: July 18, 2017

Publisher: Swoon Reads

Pages: 357

Recommended Age: 16+ (sexual content, bombing TW, language, kidnapping TW, slight violence and gore)

Synopsis: Delaney’s entire world is thrown into chaos after she is mistaken for Lissa Olena, an alien princess hiding out on Earth in order to escape an arranged marriage.

Kidnapped by the princess’s head bodyguard, Ruckus, and imprisoned in an alien palace, Delaney is forced to impersonate the princess until Olena can be found. If she fails, it will lead to an alien war and the eventual enslavement of the entire human race.

No pressure or anything.

Factor in Trystan, the princess’s terrifying betrothed who is intent on unraveling all her secrets, and her own growing feelings for Ruckus, and Delaney is in way over her head.

Review: I really loved this book! It was such a cool sci-fi romance and I instantly fell in love with the writing. The book did well with the character development and the world building. The book also was very well paced.

If I had to say a downside of this novel it would be that the book was a bit weird with the different time skips, but overall I really enjoyed it!

Verdict: Definitely recommend!

Awaken the Three by D.L. Jennings

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author and R&R Book Tours. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Awaken the Three

Author: D.L. Jennings

Book Series: Highglade Series Book 2

Rating: 4/5

Recommended For…: fantasy lovers, ya readers

Publication Date: August 11, 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy

Recommended Age: 16+ (violence, gore, death, war)

Publisher: Indigo River

Pages: 546

Synopsis: Beyond the Wastes of Khulakorum, a storm is rising . . .

The Shaper of Ages is gone, and along with her, the Breaker-yet gods are not the only threat to the peace of the living.

Aldis Tennech, the once-great general of the armies of Gal’dorok, finds himself in exile. His only hope of reclaiming glory lies in the hands of a self-proclaimed emperor, and the unearthly powers that put him there. Meanwhile, improbable alliances are forged in the north as unexpected enemies rear their heads and threaten ruin-with a single thread in common, connecting them all.

In the sequel to his award-winning novel Gift of the Shaper, D. L. Jennings once again brings to life an epic tale of war and chaos as earthly armies fight for otherworldly prizes. Ancient powers lying dormant must be called upon, bringing strength to those who need it and conquest to those who seek it; battles will rage and cities will fall, but only the most desperate or reckless would seek . . .

. . . to awaken the three.

Review: I think the author did well with the sequel. I enjoyed this book more than I did the first one and I think the author did well advancing the plot and continuing the world building.

However the pacing continues to be a problem for me in this series and I also felt that the characters weren’t as well developed in this book as they were in the first one.

Verdict: It was really good!

Lyrical Chaos

Lyrical Chaos

Today I am excited to share the follow-up novel to Prodigal, Lyrical Chaos by Samantha Sanchez!

received_277950946760138Lyrical Chaos

Publication Date: August 13th, 2020

Genre: Contemporary/ Urban Fiction

The cameras are off but the world is still watching. The BFC have gone their separate ways and Lyric is learning that life in the spotlight isn’t as fun as it seems. She is publicly maligned by her fiancé’s family, and privately disrespected by the man himself. His paranoia and possessiveness hint at a far deeper issue than just mere jealousy, as she struggles with the decision of whether or not to follow through with their marriage. Lyric’s attempts to legitimize herself as an actress is less than ideal but her vocal talents catch the attention of one of the biggest rap duos of the day. While her celebrity status begins to create enmity within her church social group. How will the chaos in Lyric’s life affect her heart? Will the pressure turn her into a diamond? or will the flame prove too hot, and shatter her mind like glass?

Excerpt

The audience applauded and the music started. I sang the first verse, with Anthony grunting and “yea”-ing in the background. Then it was his verse and I sang background repeating certain lines he would say. A couple of “Oh’s and a few “Yea’s” then came the hook which I
sang while he repeated key words and phrases in the background. Everything went flawlessly, as rehearsed until the very end. The music stopped, everyone applauded, we got a standing ovation and that should have been the end of it.

“Hold on!” Anthony called out. “Hold on, ya’ll” I started to walk away but Anthony grabbed hold of my hand. “Wait a minute, Lyric.” I snatched away but stayed still. He put his arm around my shoulder. Trey looked pissed. I was annoyed and I couldn’t hide it. I shrugged his arm from around me and tried to step away but he kept pulling me back. He wrapped his arm tightly around my waist, so tight that it hurt. I pinched the inside of his arm and he moved it to pin my arm to my side. His girlfriend looked confused too. Then he started rapping again.

“You know, I really gotta get this off my chest, this woman right here really is the best. I can tell you not happy, ya man not doin his job. F–k that nigga man he’s just a slob. When I had you I didn’t know what to do but MiMi, I’m sorry, I love you too.”

Before I could even process what he just said he swooped me up, dipped me and put hismouth on mine in a kiss. I felt his tongue trying to separate my lips and I tried to pull away but he had one arm tight around my shoulder and another arm tight around my waist. My arms were
pinned to my side. I turned my face but he followed. I could hear the audience hoot and holler at the spectacle. I grabbed his lip with my teeth and bit down as hard as I could. I could taste his blood in my mouth. He yelped in pain and moved one of his arms to hold onto his mouth. With
one hand free, I smacked him hard across the face and spit his kiss out of my mouth just as Trey rushed onto the stage with a fist to Anthony’s jaw.

Security moved to break up the fight between the two, just as Natalie snuck up behind me and grabbed me by my hair and hit me in my face. One hand reflexively went to the hand holding my hair. She pulled but the only thing that came out was the extensions the glue hadn’t
really dried all the way yet so I didn’t feel the pain when she pulled it out. I managed, even in heels which made me very proud to side step duck and swoop out of her reach and land a jab to her nose, and in quick succession a straight shot to her eye and a hook to her jaw. Did nobody
warn her that I took boxing lessons?

Natalie staggered backward and then tried to lunge at me. I moved out her way, she missed and I grabbed her in a headlock. I squeezed, not to kill but to cause her to lose consciousness. She beat against my hold scratching at my arm and my face, security got to me trying to get me to let her go, but got distracted when Anthony stumbled into them. Natalie’s friend managed to sneak past security and attack me to defend her friend. I was outnumbered but not for long. Cas distracted security by pretending that he was about to jump on stage and fight too. Keisha ran past the guy restraining Cas, jumped in and took off on the friend
and I started in on Natalie again.

Everyone was fighting, it was chaos. Kendrick ran up on stage, trying to get to me. Hepulled me away while I was still swinging at Natalie. Another security guard carried Keisha away and they finally managed to separate Trey and Anthony. I was pissed, Trey was pissed,
Keisha was having fun and Kendrick was laughing with pride.
We were escorted off the stage. Kendrick finally put me down when we got far enough away from the melee.

Availble on Amazon!

About the Author

author500a

A native of San Diego, Samantha Sanchez is currently finishing a degree in psychology as well as in social and behavioral science. Having a background in both church and drama, she hopes to use her degree and creativity to reach and relate to many people in her community and beyond helping them learn to understand themselves and each other.

Samantha Sanchez

Big thanks to these amazing hosts!

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The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

Disclaimer: I bought this book! Support your authors! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Sound of Stars

Author: Alechia Dow

Book Series: Standalone (so far??)

Diversity: biracial demisexual ace rep, the anxiety rep, the enby rep, and the bisexual rep

Rating: 5/5

Recommended For…: LGBT+, diverse reads, ownvoice readers, sci-fi lovers, dystopian lovers

Publication Date: February 25, 2020

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Pages: 419

Recommended Age: 16+ (violence, gore, death, hangings, suicide TW, racism, language)

Synopsis: Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.

Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.

Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.

Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.

Review: Oh my goodness! This book combined two things I absolutely love: space vibes and dystopia. I loved the world building done in this book and honestly this seems to be a very plausible outcome for the world in dystopian terms (not like we’re not already in one but whatever). The book has well done characters and I absolutely loved Janelle. I loved the biracial demisexual ace rep, the anxiety rep, the enby rep, and the bisexual rep. I also felt the pacing was very even and the book kept me hooked from beginning to end! I definitely need a sequel!

My only issue is that the book was a bit confusing with the aliens, but that’s probably because between work and such it took me over a week to read and I forgot some details.

Verdict: Highly recommend!!!

Aphordite: A Humorous Regency Novel by D.G. Rampton

Disclaimer: I received this ebook from the author. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Aphordite: A Humorous Regency Novel

Author: D.G. Rampton

Book Series: Regency Goddesses Book 2

Rating: 4/5

Recommended For…: romance lovers, historical romance

Publication Date: October 22, 2019

Genre: Historical Romance

Recommended Age: 16+ (romance)

Publisher: Indie Published

Pages: 328

Synopsis: When the beautiful Miss April Hartwood arrives in London to be introduced to Regency high society, she hopes for some fun and frivolity after a life spent in rural obscurity in Cornwall. Unfortunately for her, her grandmother has other ideas…marriage.

Lively and strong-willed, April does not appreciate being compelled to catch a husband. Yet, before long, she finds herself courting the affections of the Duke of Claredon, while struggling with a wholly inappropriate attraction to the insufferable Mr Royce.

In the lead up to Christmas, in the year 1820, a delightfully devious campaign is orchestrated to bring together two people destined for one another, regardless of the obstacles to be overcome and the inconvenient tendency on the part of the protagonists to resist their attraction…until they are finally brought to realise they cannot escape fate, or the meddling of one determined grandmother!

Review: Awww this was a cute romance! I loved the story and it might be because I just watched Pride and Prejudice with my movie watching friends (@abookloversplaylist and co), but it was so cute and I adored it. The characters were well done, the storyline was interesting, and I enjoyed this book.

My only issue is the pacing. It’s so slow in most spots and I’m used to faster paced books.

Verdict: This was adorable!

Neanderthal King by Matt Ward

Disclaimer: I received this ebook from the author. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Neanderthal King

Author: Matt Ward

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 4/5

Recommended For…: ya fantasy, war

Publication Date: August 8, 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy

Recommended Age: 16+ (violence, gore, language, slavery, war)

Publisher: Myrmani Press

Pages: 318

Synopsis: It’s 1107, and the once-great Neanderthal empire is no more, laid waste by the dark Sapien king, Isaac, the same bastard who slaughtered the Thal queen’s young heirs. A brutal reversal of medieval power forged in blood and fueled by Sap ingenuity.
But one babe escaped the mad king’s wrath.

Raised the son of a simple Thal herder, Maralek’s a rough lad with the ferocious pride and temper of his ruined people, a scorn for rules and rulers, and less than a little creativity in his thick skull. In a word, your average Neanderthal.

And life’s livable, until King Isaac resumes his bloodthirsty crusade, and Maralek’s forced into slaving shackles. Then, a rowdy caravan, a mysterious gypsy, a whispered prophecy… A whirlwind of devastation and war as his master is murdered, his fate unwoven, and his world ripped asunder in an epic battle to end all.

Neanderthal King is a historic epic YA fantasy by renowned science fiction and fantasy author, Matt Ward, that features savage twists and darker secrets, raging kings and enslaved heirs, and an audaciously ambitious coming of age quest set in an alternative medieval Europe. If you love Brandon Sanderson, Ursula le Guin, or Robin Hobb, or explosive high and low fantasy classics like Lord of the Rings, the Kingkiller Chronicles, and the Earthsea Cycle, you’ll love this heroic historical tale.

Grab the 1st five chapters of Neanderthal King today for a bold new take on a daring teen hero’s fantastic adventure…

Review: For the most part I thought this book was really good. The book had a game of thrones feel and was very action-packed. The book was very fast-paced and I think the author did well with the storyline and the plot.

However I do think that the characters weren’t as developed as I would have liked them to be. It just feels like I didn’t really know the characters. I also thought the world building could have been more.

Verdict: It was good!

Dr. Beau ABC Vet Book Tour!

 

Tour Schedule:

September 28 – Paige @popthebutterfly
September 29 – JP @mr.pink.ink
September 30 – Stacie @borenbooks
October 1 – Nicole @thereadingrebel
October 2 – Ellwyn @ellwynautumn
October 3 – Ode Ray @oderayauthor
October 4 – Krishnasree @_bookmarked

In this rollicking story, Dr. Beau cares for all sorts of animals who have all kinds of problems! From Allie the Alligator’s misbehaving child to Zsa Zsa the Zebra’s terrible fever, Dr. Beau helps everyone he meets.
Young readers will love the bouncy, rhyming text by author Shelby Crawford and the laugh-out-loud funny illustrations by Andressa Meissner.

The Vanished Queen by Lisbeth Campbell

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Vanished Queen

Author: Lisbeth Campbell

Book Series: Standalone

Diversity: bisexual rep!

Rating: 3/5

Recommended For…: Fantasy, court intrigue, mystery

Publication Date: August 18, 2020

Publisher: Saga Press

Pages: 496

Recommended Age: can’t recommend dnf-ed

Synopsis: When a country is held in thrall to a vicious, despotic king, it’s up to one woman to take him down.

Long ago, Queen Mirantha vanished. King Karolje claimed it was an assassination by a neighboring king, but everyone knew it was a lie. He had Disappeared her himself.

But after finding the missing queen’s diary, Anza—impassioned by her father’s unjust execution and inspired by Mirantha’s words—joins the resistance group to overthrow the king. When an encounter with Prince Esvar thrusts her into a dangerous game of court politics, one misstep could lead to a fate worse than death.

Esvar is the second son to an evil king. Trapped under his thumb and desperate for a way out, a chance meeting with Anza gives him the opportunity to join the resistance. Together, they might have the leverage to move against the king—but if they fail, their deaths could mean a total loss of freedom for generations to follow.

Review: Unfortunately I had to dnf this one at 33%. The story was good and I liked it but it just wasn’t grabbing my attention. Maybe another time will be better for me. Also, this book has a bi rep!

Verdict: Not for me at the moment but maybe for you!