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We Like You So Much and Want to Know You Better

Title: We Like You So Much and Want to Know You Better

Author: Dave Eggers

Narrator: Dion Graham

Genres: Contemporary | Short Story | Speculative Fiction

Format: Audiobook

Length: 46m 36s

Source: Promotion on Amazon

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Premise:
Mae is lucky enough to get a job in a major company.
Soon she will find out that the job comes with strings attached.

Review:

This was a thought-provoking story about the impact of the media in our daily lives and how far our employers may demand us to go.

However, the main character was extremely bland.

When the agenda becomes clear, she completely loses interest, providing one or two word replies and relinquishing any sense of personality.

Some things did not seem plausible and the ending felt rushed but this is definitely a frightening glimpse of the future because it feels like it could be real.

This is free on Audible and I enjoyed the narration so I do recommend it.

Listened to on Nov 28th, 2016
GR Review

Drayton, the Taker (Drayton #1)

Title: Drayton, the Taker (Drayton #1)

Author: Tony Bertauski

Genres: Fantasy | Paranormal

Format: Mobi

Length: 70 pages | 688 locations

Source: Author Newsletter / Promotion on Amazon

Rating: 4.5/5

 

Premise:

Drayton does not know why he is the way he is. He only knows what he is compelled to do, which is to take human essence.
To balance his nature, he tries to atone by honouring his victims’ dying wish.

Review:

I absolutely love Tony Bertauski’s ability to come up with interesting new concepts. Even if they are not absolutely new, he has a way of recreating them into something unique.

Drayton the Taker is no exception. I was immediately taken by the story. It is so much more than a vampire’s tale, though there are similarities.
The way Drayton was introduced was incredibly well achieved and it set the pace for the narrative’s development.

It is remarkable how the author manages to depict each character so well in such a small story but the fact is we get a crystal clear idea of who they are and what moves them.

I was intrigued by the change in Drayton’s behaviour considering his past. I would have liked to know what triggered his sense of morale, but I can only hope the sequel(s) will explain that.

This is a brilliant introduction to a mysterious, dangerous character, who seems to also have a soft side and once again Bertauski does not disappoint.

Note:
This book is currently free on Amazon; click here!

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the author for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read on Nov 10th, 2016
GR Review

Lake of Sins for Free!

Hello, lovely people!
I hope your weekend is going well.
I have just the thing to make it even sweeter! I have just learned that you can get the first two books in the Lake of Sins series by L. S. O’Dea for FREE!

I thoroughly enjoyed these books and if you are into YA I am positive you will enjoy them even more than I did.
They are just so imaginative and fast-paced that it might be just the thing for your weekend binge reading.
Feel free to check out my reviews:

Escape (#1)

Escape (#1)

Escape (#1)

Secrets in Blood (#2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now for the yummy part. Free fabulous fantasy, you say? Well how can I get them then??

You can download Lake of Sins: Escape from any of the major retailers and then go here to get the second book free: http://lsodea.com/?page_id=243

Or you can go here: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/4htqW

Instafreebie will send you the first book and the author will send you an email with a link to get the second one.

So what are you waiting for? Don’t miss this opportunity!

Halfskin (The Vignettes)

Title: Halfskin (The Vignettes)

Author: Tony Bertauski

Genres: Dystopia | Science Fiction | Speculative Fiction

Format: Mobi

Length: 258 pages | 1449 locations

Source: Author Newsletter / Promotion on Amazon

Rating: 4/5

 

Premise:
A summary of what happened when biomites were introduced to the world.

Review:

When I got this book as a gift from the author’s newsletter, it was presented as a prequel.

Now a prequel can be defined as noun 1. a literary, dramatic, or filmic work that prefigures a later work, as by portraying the same characters at a younger age.

So imagine my surprise when I start reading it and everything, for some reason, sounds familiar. I recognized all those stories I enjoyed reading so much from Halfskin #1. There they were interspersed with the main narrative and that construction was part of why I enjoyed that first book so much.

As I read on, I identified more and more episodes of all the trilogy’s books, some of them I consider quite spoilery (particularly the cube).

Having read the trilogy before, this just felt like a bunch of lines already written put together with a bit something extra and that was immensely disappointing for the majority of the short story.
As a prequel, I had expected a bit more background on how the world became what it was. There was clearly an attempt to do that but, in my opinion, quite glossed over to get to the juicy bits.

So why the high rating instead of a 1 or 2 or even 3 stars?
Well, for one, the last chapter saved it for me. I do not recall reading about charges at all and it was a great concept that somehow seemed to summarize the entire biomite ambition era.

Secondly, I really, really love Tony Bertauski’s writing.

Repetitive as it was, I did enjoy diving into the biomite universe all over again.

And finally, I accept that not everyone would feel the way I do. I know that I, personally, would be incredibly disappointed if I had read this ‘prequel’ and then moved on to book 1. The sense of deja vu would kill me and I would feel tempted to skip those chapters and then feel guilty about it if I did.
But others may find it had just enough interesting content to get them to move on to trilogy and not be bothered by that feeling at all. Who knows?

So I still recommend it, just in my personal opinion not as a prequel, as I feel the trilogy should be savoured in all its glory. I view it more as a great, thought-provoking sum up of it and would read it a long time after going through the trilogy to refresh my memory.

Note: This is good quality dystopia/sci-fi/speculative science, folks. I highly recommend looking up the author’s site because if you sign up to his newsletter you will receive FREE BOOKS and see for yourself.
This book is also free on Amazon; click here!

And on a final note, there’s no way this book is 258 pages in print, I read it in one sitting and I cannot even begin to tell you how rare that is even if the book is awesome.
I could also tell by the speedy way the percentage on my Kindle advanced and the number of locations.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the author for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read on Jan 04, 2016
GR Review

True Calling

Title: True Calling

Author: Siobhan Davis

Genres: Dystopia | Fantasy | Romance | Science Fiction

Format: Mobi

Length: 400 pages

Source: Author/Promotion

Rating: 2/5

Premise:

Ariana and her family have moved to Novo. Technology is high and she does not think much of it until an event named The Calling comes to be. Her dreams about someone she doesn’t remember only make her struggle more. Can Ariana find the truth? And will she be able to deal with it?

Review:

I have to admit I was pretty confused in the beginning and, quite frankly, often times throughout True Calling. I never really felt captivated by the story, always kept wondering why over and over at whatever was thrown at me, never being able to take it at face value because it just didn’t feel like I was being given proper explanation.

First of all, I felt there wasn’t much of world development. It was never clear what exactly was happening on Novo and on Earth. I mean, it’s a dystopia, the government’s big bad plans need to be well covered up for the story to work, but it needs to make some sort of sense, right?

These people on Novo were subjected to invasive procedures without even thinking twice. Like having selective memories deleted (supposedly so people from Novo would not miss the ones left behind – what????), which I simply cannot fathom how it could possibly be done regardless of how much technology has evolved; having an item implanted at the top of their spinal cord which tracks them everywhere they go and transmits all sorts of information and who else knows what; they go through a battery of scans at an insane frequency and if they get are deemed sick well then God knows what might happen. They get shot with stuff, often by robot medics, and never seem to wonder what’s going in their bodies. They simply embrace everything because, well, new planet and all.

The planet itself didn’t make sense to me at all. This Novo is described as having been ‘chosen’ to house the best human beings because it was so similar to Earth (quite near to it too, like 12k miles I think I read). However, its natural features were transformed by humans to the point of mimicking certain specific locations, all from USA, even though whatever bad things happened happened to Earth as a planet.
I just cannot contemplate how it is possible to change the surface of a planet and to be frank, to this point I am not even entirely sure whether the entire planet was fabricated or not.

We meet Ariana, our main character, who is a cadet at some academy. However, we don’t really know what her days are like, what exactly she does there, only that she is subject to a battery of scans and tests.
I found it so hard to relate to her, because one minute she says she never got used to this and that and the next she totally is. One minute she is rebellious and the next complying. And she of course has a perfect bff who is the pentacle of positivity so naturally diminishes herself in front of Eve because she is just so negative compared to her.
On the other hand, she says stuff like she is so very adept at kissing and whatnot, since she had no recollection of ever doing it before…

Queue love interest which starts with hate/loathing feelings and that’s it, it only goes downhill for me. If you have been following my blog for a while you will know I am not a fan of romance. I can tolerate it if it is part of something bigger, but in this case it just became annoying following Ariana around with her fluttering heart and tingling body sensations.

At some point it all became a bit reminiscent of Hunger Games (Effie immediately sprung to mind), as well asother books of the genre which I never bothered to read for these same reasons, I am sure. The dressing up of the couples and everything being televised is an example – but overall I did find the concept somewhat interesting as dystopian. I just could not stand how it was handled by the main character.

Oh and she is a self-proclaimed prude. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against that, I even praise it and wish I would see it more but the way she speaks about herself is so diminishing while at the same time holding everyone in such high regard that I just could not grow to like her. At first, at least.
Just an example: She says stuff like He’s so freaking hot I still can’t believe I managed to hook him..

One thing that really annoyed me was when the moment finally comes to try and figure out what the heck is going on, what does she do? Prude Ariana jumps on Cal and loses her virginity just like that. Hurry, hurry, the lights and cameras will be back on soon *sigh*

At some point I stopped trying to make sense of what was going on, particularly when they seemed to talk openly about all forbidden subjects even though they knew they were being fully monitored. I know Agent Dale planted a device that put surveillance on a loop but I always thought that was temporary – I mean, they couldn’t fool them with that forever, right? Also, the scenarios changed, they weren’t always at Ariana’s place.

The fact of the matter is I wanted to know more about this dystopian world, not how insecure Ariana is about boys and whatever else. Even as she grew as a character, I simply had no respect for her because she was just an annoying teenager to me.

Don’t get me wrong, the writing is quite good and why I give the book 2 stars instead of 1. The narrative flows well and I am sure that fans of teenage lovestruck heroines who have to struggle with love triangles and family issues will enjoy this very much.
I however had to make an effort to stick with the book while it was all about Ariana and Cal mostly because of all the gushing, and trying to discern whether it was safe for them to be saying certain stuff at certain places, it was just exhausting.

When The Calling began, I felt trapped between Ariana gushing at how all her new clothes hugged her curves perfectly (even though her entire casual wardrobe consisted of pants and she said she never wore them back on Earth, as she preferred skirts and shorts but could not get them on Novo) and gawking at how hot Cal was and how she longed for his touch.

Although things got a bit more interesting towards the end I just could not enjoy the book or the characters. I am partly curious to know what comes next, especially if the romance is toned down, but not enough to spend money. Character and world building and development are far too important for me.

Read this if you are looking for a teen romance sprinkled with a bit of dystopian sci-fi.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the author for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

This book is also available for free at Amazon – click here and if you get to read it please let me know what you thought, I would love to share notes on any book I have read.

Read from Nov 25 to Dec 03, 2015
GR Review