Sometimes I get very lucky in life. One such instance was being given a review copy of Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller. While this book was initially not on my radar, I thank the person who gave a copy away because I could not put it down once I started.
For starters, you have a post climate collapsed world that has a structural marvel, the city of Qaanaaq. Qaanaaq is a floating city controlled by shadowy “shareholders” and in part by an artificial intelligence. It really is something to behold. At times I felt like I was in Qaanaaq. The world building was exquisite to say the least.
However, no one said living in the city was great for everyone. You still have your elite and your poor. Being transported from one section of the city to another as you share different characters’ POVs was something else. It was easy to see and feel just how different life was for certain sects of people. You could not help but feel for those living in the dregs of this society despite the fact that it is an upgrade from the way some homeless people currently live in NYC for example. Add in that space is at a premium in the floating city and mix in a deadly disease known as the “breaks” and you have a city that is on the cusp of revolution.
Just when you think you might have seen it all as a citizen in Qaanaaq, one day a woman arrives in the city riding an orca with a caged polar bear. To say the least this woman surely knew how to make an entrance as everyone quickly heard about the arrival of the orcamancer. What no one knows is why this woman is truly here however. This orcamancer is one badass grandma! Only the orcamancer knows why she is in Qaanaaq and needless to say something bad is bound to happen to those who deserve it.
The story is told through difference characters POVs. Ankit works for a politician on the verge of losing an election and longs to see her mother freed from the "Cabinet". Kaev is a fighter at the end of his career working for one of the city’s many crime bosses. Fill is a rich gay playboy looking for purpose in life. Last but not least you have my favorite character in Soq. Soq is a slide messenger who has an impossible to typify gender and generally wants to see Qaanaaq destroyed. While all of the main characters seem disconnected, events unfold to bring these characters together and show them they are all more closely related than they ever knew.
So many secrets unfold as the story continues to be told. Secrets that were meant to be hidden away forever are brought to light. A daring prison break, reuniting of families, old lovers working together and a father finding a child he never knew he had are all waiting for you throughout this story. This is one that you will not be sorry you took the time to read and one I bet you hate to put down even to sleep.
Posted By: Frank Miceli
Thunderhead by Neil Schusterman
Book #2 in the Arc of a Scythe Series
Right off the bat we know we are in for a treat just by looking at that phenomenal cover. You can see how the cover depicts two Scythes, our two main characters to be exact. Yes, Rowan and Citra are back to shake things up in the Scythedom.
In the first book, you are given a chance to see Rowan and Citra mature from kids into adults as they fought for a job neither wanted to begin with, to become a Scythe. While each chapter in Sycthe had excerpts from Sycthe's journals as an interlude, this time around we are given interludes that contain thoughts from the Thunderhead itself. It was such a great idea and I can only imagine just how difficult it was to write these while sounding like an all-powerful, dare I say "god-like", machine responsible for keeping all of the world alive outside of gleanings. The author pulled this off unbelievably! Each interlude gave you an introduction to the Thunderhead on a personal level, learning what it thinks and what it even feels.
Boy oh boy were there some very, very big twists and secrets in Thunderhead. The Scythedom is in trouble. Not only does it appear to be crumbling from the inside as different sections of Scythes vie for power but there is a Scythe "Lucifer" on the loose who seems to be gleaning and burning Scythes who have strayed. With all of the political angles at play now you throw in Scythe Lucifer and a new main character with whom we can root for, this book nails it on all fronts.
There was even a very nice surprise waiting at the end of the book. The author goes Chapter by Chapter and gives you a short snippet of what he was thinking when he was putting each chapter together. To get a bit of insight like that is always interesting. It was in a sense an interview that everyone gets to enjoy before saying goodbye to the series for now.
If you liked Scythe you are sure to like Thunderhead as well! This was one of those books I was able to fly through because it was so good but also be disappointed that you finished reading it so quickly.
Posted by: Frank Miceli
The New World by Scott K. Andrews
Book 3 in The Time Bomb Series
For those of you who take the time to read the reviews and follow my twitter account, @addicted2fantac, you will know that I have been a champion for this trilogy from the start. The premise of time travel is intriguing to say the very least. Compare that with three main characters being brought together from three wildly different time periods who must outwit an unknown foe from the future and you had a series that could be fantastic. Let me tell you here and now – the third book in this trilogy fully delivers on all fronts.
In the first two books you receive a look at each main character and their family, spend time in their own time period and get to know each on a personal level. You are allowed to see who each character is and why in a deep way. This is not something you are always afforded in a trilogy. However here it made each character’s growth throughout the series even more impressive.
What never failed was the world building the author was able to provide in each book. Whether it be in the past, near present or future, you were able to be immersed in worlds that felt real. The future was not some far-fetched idea that could not be envisioned. It was sadly a reality which could completely become plausible even if you discount the fact that one day time travel is possible for a select few individuals.
The one thing the first two books offered was, to me, a simple way of understanding some of the science behind time travel. Science and I have never gotten along so for someone to come along and present ideas in a way that I was able to understand them and not have it take away from the story was important. In the final installment there is a bit more of the technical presented and while it made me read a bit slower, it was still not something that was so over the top I was not able to follow along. This was key in that it needed to be done to keep the story intact and for the reader to completely understand one of the back stories in play while not being so complicated that it felt like reading a textbook.
While I will not ruin the end one thing I truly enjoyed was how this was all wrapped up. There are times where I find the way books or movies end is just not satisfying. I have no idea just how hard it is for an author to write a trilogy, let alone find an ending that fits while having to say goodbye to characters that they have created and been with for what I am sure is years. As readers we sometimes forget all the work that goes into these creations of art. However, this series ended absolutely perfectly! Everything was revealed in a way that made sense without taking forever to arrive at the conclusion. There was absolutely no better way I could have imagined this series ending!
Do yourself a favor and grab a copy of each book in the series if you have not already. Whether on e-book or in paperback, you will not be disappointed in your investment.
Posted By:Frank Miceli
Sometimes it is hard to think where a review should begin. It is odd to have this predicament
with a book that I did not want to put down once I started it but nonetheless it is happening. I suppose
a quick summation while avoiding as many spoilers as I can is appropriate so let’s begin there.
The Tethered Mage is a mix of magic, schemes, love, trust, friendship, traitors, a dangerous
prince and a spoiled heiress. How all of this is mixed into one book amazes me but it truly is well done.
From the very beginning you meet special characters whom you fall in love with while throughout the
book you are able to hate other characters. In a world where magic is scarce, those who have magical power are enrolled into the army as a Falcon. Now the good thing about this is that they live a life better than they could in the outside world. Those born with magic are marked and usually easily identified. Once identified, the outside world does not always treat them so kindly. Being enrolled in the Falcon Army and living a life where you do not have to wonder where your next meal comes from seems like it would be better. However for Zaira this is not the case. Since she has spent her life fending for herself and making her own choices, being controlled is not something she wishes. As we all know, we do not always get what we wish for and Zaira soon faces a predicament that changes her life forever.
While the story is told from Amalia’s POV, the spoiled heiress I mentioned above, Zaira steals
the show for a good portion of the book. You never know what to expect her to do or to say. You soon
find out there is a lot more to Zaira than anybody ever thought. The question then lies as to whether
she can be trusted and getting an answer to that is something you will have to figure out on your own.
To prevent a war from starting, Amalia has to become the heiress her mother has always
wanted her to be. To watch Amalia grow throughout the story was great. Her eyes are opened to a
world she never knew existed. While continuing to say “Momma” and sounding like a child, she
definitely experiences major growths throughout. The one downfall for Amalia is her heart and as we all know our hearts can get us into some sticky situations.
There is a love angle in play but figuring out the schemes, plots and what Zaira will say next were the main selling points for me here. This is a series I will eagerly continue when the next book, The Defiant Heir, releases in April 2018. If you are looking for a fantastic world filled with magic and treason, this is definitely a book for you. Feel free to let me know just how much you loved it in the comments section below!
Posted B: Frank Miceli
Today I have the privilege of introducing Emily Suvada, author of This Mortal Coil. This Mortal Coil is Emily's debut novel. Born in Australia, Emily now resides in Oregon. While she studied math and astrophysics in college, she never forgot her first love - books. A Star Trek fan, Emily also enjoys coding and has an interest in genetic engineering. Both topics are heavily present in This Mortal Coil. Emily has been kind enough to answer some interview questions for us.
Posted By: Frank Miceli
I did not realize how lucky I was to trade books with someone and receive a copy of a This Mortal Coil ARC. The paperback copy itself was stunning with a great cover and red sprayed pages. Then you begin reading and from the very start of the book I was hooked. I knew this was one that I would finish quickly, love the entire time and then be pissed that I was done so fast.
Posted By: Frank Miceli
One of the most amazing parts about being a book blogger is the opportunity to interact with some amazing authors. This month I have the esteemed pleasure to interview Scott Reintgen to discuss th first installment of his planned trilogy Nyxia. For those of you who have not put this on your TBR list yet, please check out my review of this amazing book or click the link below to order it!)
Posted By: Frank Miceli
If you were a fan of Red Rising or Ender’s Game, then you are going to enjoy Nyxia. Through conversation with Scott via social media, he has confirmed that there are clear shout outs to some of his favorite books throughout Nyxia. Aside from the two mentioned above, I also got a hint of Avatar and a little bit of Scott Sigler’s The Generations Trilogy. Picture all of those stories mashed together with new characters, new twists and new villains and in a nutshell you have Nyxia.
Posted By: Frank Miceli
Book two in Jessica Cluess’s series is here and wow did it not disappoint!! A Shadow Bright and Burning set the bar pretty high but the second book in this trilogy was fantastic! I feel as if the second book is sometimes the hardest book for an author to write. Sometimes it can be too slow or there is not enough action but neither is the case here.
War continues to be waged in England. The Ancients are wreaking havoc and despite Henrietta destroying one Ancient, trouble keeps brewing from both inside the Order and outside. Being the “prophesized one” is not all it is cracked up to be. Secrets upon secrets keep piling up and it is not just one character that has them.
Posted By: Frank Miceli
The wait for the second and third installments of a trilogy always seem to drag because I am so looking forward to seeing where the story goes next. Inevitably, I then tend to race through the next installment in a matter of days. In this case, this took roughly 3 days for me to complete as I could not put it down, considering where the first book left off and how this one picks up.
"I know my opinions will not always align with everyone else’s. I hope this blog serves as a way to introduce others to books they would otherwise not have read." - Frank Miceli Jr.
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