Book Review: ReMade by Matthew Cody, Kiersten White, E.C. Myers… & more!

So, as you may have already gathered, this review is a bit different from any of my other ones. I was given the opportunity to review a unique YA serial called ReMade. Team-written by some of today’s most popular YA authors, ReMade is brought to you by Matthew Cody (Super), Andrea Phillips (Revision), Kiersten White (And I Darken), Gwenda Bond (Girl on a Wire), Carrie Harris (Bad Taste in Boys), and E. C. Myers (The Silence of Six). ReMade is Serial Box’s first YA serial; it’s like a TV show, with episodes being released every week building up to the season finale. Season One will unfold across 15 episodes beginning September 14th , with a new installment dropping every Wednesday until the season finale on December 21st.


Blurb:

You live. You love. You die. Now RUN. ReMade.

Every minute, 108 people die.
On October 14th, 2016, from 9:31-9:32 p.m. EDT, 23 of those deaths will be teenagers.
Now they are humanity’s last hope for survival.

Awakened in a post-apocalyptic world and hunted by mechanical horrors, these teens search for answers amidst the ruins of civilization. Fate, love, and loyalty face off in this adrenaline -pumping YA adventure.

I received ARCs of the first 3 episodes, so below, I will be giving my thoughts on each episode as I read it followed by my overall review at the end. Here we go!


remade-1 ReMade [Season 1 Episode 1]: Shadows and Dreams

Rating: 4 stars

Thoughts: I think the first episode of ReMade really started out with a bang. It managed to grab my attention from the beginning ’till the very end. I was so curious to find out what’s going on, so A+ for the intrigue!This sure is a great start to the rest of the season! Also, I can totally picture the characters and imagine the descriptions realllly well. The succinct writing style helped with that. I can totally picture this as an actual TV show!

 

 



remade-2ReMade [Season 1 Episode 2]: Hungry

Rating: 4 stars

Thoughts: Just finished another episode of ReMade and it was just as engaging as the first! We’re introduced to another POV character, May, and get to know her and her backstory better. This just made me even more excited to continue on with the series. There are soo many possible explanations and theories about what’s going on! The story’s concept is very interesting. So far, this is actually slightly reminiscent of The 100, which BTW is my fave TV show ever! Y’know, a bunch of teenagers dropping down from space with no idea why, and trying to survive in the wilderness by themselves. Also, since this is probably going to be told from the POVs of many narrators, I’m really excited to learn more about the other teenagers!


remade-3ReMade [Season 1 Episode 3]: Home, Perilous Home

Rating: 4 stars

Thoughts: So, this episode is from yet another author and yet another narrator, and boy do I love her! I think Nevaeh is my favorite character so far! I love the inclusion of diverse characters and how all the POV characters we got so far are extremely relatable! I’m still really curious to know what the hell happened, but unfortunately I only have ARCs for the first 3 episodes, haha.

 


Review:

Everything about this digital serial is interesting. The fact that it’s basically a TV show in book format with new “episodes” being released every week? Uh, sign me right up! Each episode takes about 30-40 minutes to read, just like an actual TV show. At first, I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to get into the story in such a short amount of pages, but by the time I started reading, all my worries were forgotten!

The story starts out with a very intriguing premise. A bunch of teenagers wake up in an abandoned post-apocalyptic civilization, with no idea how they got there. What they all have in common? They’re all pretty sure they died in their “past life”. Hunted by metal spider creature thingies, they must figure out a way to survive in this world and find out what the hell is going on.

Now, this may sound like a typical YA post-apocalyptic/dystopian story, but it didn’t feel like it to me. It was refreshing, and not once did it feel like a cliché. Each episode introduces us to a new character, while at the same time furthering the plot and world-building. I genuinely enjoyed reading this! Since each book is so short, there’s a lot of pressure to make it engaging and interesting, and it definitely did not fail in that. My attention was captured in the pilot from the very beginning!

The pacing of the story is also great; it matches the story’s theme and tone. From what I’ve read so far, there’s a lot of mystery in the tone, which really pulls you in to keep reading in order to find out what’s going on. The writing’s vivid, but succinct, enabling you to easily picture what’s happening.

In short, I think the episodic nature of this serial definitely works for me. The premise is compelling, and the plot so far sets a high bar for the remaining episodes. The writing quality is superb, which makes the story even easier to get into. Each POV character we are introduced to has a distinct voice, making them very relatable. I would buy a subscription to the series, for sure!

Jump into this digital serial, available in both text and audio, and find out what the future of fiction holds.

You can purchase a subscription to the series, and have each episode downloaded automatically, or buy each episode individually. Episodes are available on the Serial Box App, at www.serialbox.com/remade, or wherever ebooks are sold.

Rating: 4 fish!

4 fish

 

 

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(Mini) Book Review: Melophobia by James Morris

melophobia

Melophobia by James Morris

Published by Kindle Press on September 22, 2015

Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopia

Pages: 265– ebook,

Format: ebook

Source: Author (James Morris)

BUY LINKS

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Blurb: 

Melophobia: fear or hatred of music.

The time—now; the place—America, but in a world where the government controls all forms of art and creativity. Any music sowing the seeds of anarchy is banned—destroyed if found—its creators and listeners harshly punished.

Merrin Pierce works as an undercover Patrol officer assigned to apprehend a fugitive musician who threatens the safe fabric of society, only to confront everything she thought to be true – her values, upbringing, job, and future.

Can love survive in a world without music?


 

Review:

*Huge thanks to the author, James Morris, for providing me with a copy for an honest review.*

It took me quite a while to get into the first 10% of this book, but soon after that, I really flew through the pages. I was done before I knew it, and I needed more. For me, this book had everything – from music to intrigue to romance. Everything about the way the book was written was just practically flawless.

The premise, however, was what really drew me in. It’s about an alternative dystopian world where music is illegal and believed to be, not a form of art or creativity, but a sower of anarchy. Merrin Pierce, our main character, is an undercover Patrol officer who arrests music fugitives and other music-lovers/rebels who are perceived to be a threat to society’s mold, spending her time busting concerts, raves, and underground parties. She is assigned one final mission to rid the world of music – find “The Source”, an unknown person who connects all the branches of music’s genres with his own talent. On this search, Merrin soon starts to doubt herself and slowly fall in love with music; romance blossoms and music is in the air.

The first thing I’d like to discuss is how this was an extremely well-executed book. It’s obvious the author knows what he’s talking about, which is such a refreshing change from other half-assed books out there. Everything was very original, creative, and had me reading faster than my eyes could follow! What made this such a page-turner was also the writing style. Beautiful and filled with emotion. It was also very empathic & articulate which made it easy to follow, too.

The dynamic characters – especially the MC – hooked me in from page one! I really felt their emotions and connected with them; just brilliant! The secondary characters weren’t just there for entertainment, they contributed to the story too, which I loved. They added a unique perspective to the story thus contributing to the main character’s path to discovering herself. Their development throughout the story was also really interesting to read!

All in all, I’d like to say that this was an absolutely compelling page-turner of a book. With it’s eye-grabbing premise, dynamic characters, and beautiful writing, I seriously can’t recommend it enough!

Rating: 4 fish!

4 fish

Book Review: Gamenian by Alethia Fraser & Bonita Vear

gamenian

Gamenian by Alethia Fraser & Bonita J Vear
Published by Vinspire Publishing on November 23, 2014
Genres: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Pages: paperback – 306, kindle – 242
Format: ebook (ePub)
Source: Won through LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. Provided by Vinspire Publishing.
                        BUY IT
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Blurb:

Freedom is a lie.

It’s been four years since Tori escaped the desert planet of Esandira and her life as a drug-mule and assassin for a dictator named Craik, but she is as enslaved as she ever was. While she is physically free, inside her mind, the past blurs with the present, and she’s desperate for a cure from the faces that only she can see, and the voices that only she can hear.

On the run from an assassin and a bounty hunter, she crosses paths with Spencer, a seventeen-year-old who isn’t sure where he’s going. Spencer doesn’t want anything to do with her, and while she shares the sentiment, their lives are twisted together by the death of a mutual loved one.

With her enemies drawing closer, Tori is getting tired of running. And she sees only one way out. Craik must die. It’s a dangerous cat and mouse game, but the closer she gets to Craik the more her dark secrets begin to surface and the more she begins to question the path she has chosen.


Review: 

*I have received this book from LibraryThing’s ER program via the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
What really grabbed my attention about this book was the blurb. Once I spotted the word ‘assassin’, I knew I was going to have to read this book. Seriously, I’m a sucker for books with assassins. To say the least, the book did fail to meet some of my hopes and expectations. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. To me, this was an average book. I felt like it had a lot of potential and could’ve been better. I disliked the main female character at first, but she really did grow on me. I do seem drawn to books with strong, arrogant female characters. Anyway, let’s just get into the dissecting!

This book was very hard getting into at the beginning because I felt like I couldn’t really connect or empathize with the main character. I wasn’t able to feel sad for Vỉcŧor because I didn’t get to know him as well as Tõri did. Sure, the author includes some flashbacks here and there, but it feels like the book just picked up in the middle of a series or something. I found myself looking up the book just to make sure I didn’t just accidentally start reading a new series. When I started the book, I had absolutely no idea what was going on. I thought to myself: ‘Oh well, everything’s going to be explained in a few more chapters anyway.’ I was wrong. I was already more than halfway through the book and I still couldn’t understand some things. I guess you could say that this is an example of weak story building.

This is especially sad because I felt like this book could’ve become something more; the book’s plot had really great potential, which brings us to our next point – the plot. Even though I’ve finished reading the whole book and everything, I still do not know what the main idea/plot of this book is. The book blurb seems to say something which the book itself doesn’t have anything to do with. Who knows? Maybe it’s just me and I just assumed the wrong things. Sometimes, I’d feel like the plot was actually going somewhere but then something would happen and I’ll still be as confused as ever. This story has a pretty unstable plot. In the first part of the book, Tõri was the Strÿker and she was stealing money and stuff. In the second part of the book, Tõri is concentrated on protecting a chip. In the third part of the book, Tõri wants to get the prototype and kill Craik. Plus, not everything was explained clearly – I don’t know if the authors did this on purpose or not.

Holy Seøøoth. I think my favourite part about this book was the swear words. Xѐraiṫh, Çetiçs, Permisterathis, Seøøoth, Resett, Einaďgræ. They’re pretty creative, but the accentuations are hella weird. Frankly, all the names in this book were weird! How do you pronounce ¥sh? Is it ‘Ash’? And why was there a need to spell Tõri with the ‘õ’, may I ask? I’m not hating or complaining about the names but they were pretty damn confusing. Especially the planetary and galactic names. Seriously, don’t even get me started on these. S`Erria, Shër`rathës, OceaN°iarra, Ra`eat Island, Niғva… I could go on & on & on. However, the glossary at the end of the book was pretty helpful in terms of pronunciations and meanings. Too bad I didn’t realize there was a glossary until after I finished the book.

My favourite thing about this book were the characters. I just adored Tõri’s arrogance and strong personality. You do get to see a soft side of her once every blue moon. Spençer is such a sweetheart and I love his and Tori’s relationship. Admittedly, I did think that Tõri and Spençer was going to happen – in a romantic way – but then ¥sh happened. I had mixed feelings about the bounty hunter in the beginning of the book, but I’ve decided that I like him, although I did feel like his and Tõri’s relationship was kind of spontaneous. I can’t really say anything about Vỉcŧor because I didn’t experience any character attachment to him. I guess he was kind of Tõri’s father figure? Oh, and speaking of fathers, throughout the story I’ve been wondering the following question: Where are Tõri’s parents? I really wanted to know the answer to that…

To conclude, this book has caused a lot of mixed opinions; it really all depends on you. There was weak story building and a shaky plot that tended to meander off point. This book had a kind of vagueness about it – you can decide if you like that or not. It also had a terse writing style which, again, all hinges on you. There were a few loose ends and unanswered questions that weren’t all properly tied together. I’d recommend this book to you if you’re willing to take the risk of picking up the book and deciding whether you’ll like it or not. Signing off. ‘Till next time!

Rating: 3 fish!

3 fish

Book Review: Blood Veins by Brian Young

bv

Blood Veins by Brian Young
Series: The Maker’s Mountain trilogy (Book One)
Published by Rogue Phoenix Press on December 31, 2011
Genres: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Action/Adventure
Pages: 273
Format: ebook (ePub)
Source: Goddess Fish Promotions

BUY IT

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Blurb:

A black wave of terror has passed over the thriving kingdom of Larista. Mysterious invaders have swept over the land, laying waste to everything in their path and leaving ghost towns in their wake. No one knows where they came from and no one knows their purpose.

Tasting nothing but defeat after defeat after, the light of hope is fading in the kingdom; but the guerilla forces resisting the invasion have received new information. The news has provided a small glimmer that could possibly spark into something more. Captain Maximus Rex leads a daring rescue mission deep in the Laristan forests to save the lone surviving member of the royal family.

Once freed, Prince Alexander Novelle, along with his friends and comrades, face a perilous journey deep behind enemy lines. Their destination is Castle Varanasi. The once proud Laristan capital, gateway to heaven and salvation, lines in ruins under Dolus occupation.

Mysterious assassins, underworld savages and renegade Dolus survivors stand between them and the answers they seek. What they find there will shatter their perceptions and lead to unknown perils none of them are ready to face.


Review:

I must say, I did dive into this book with pretty low expectations. The cover looked as if the book wouldn’t really grab my attention, but boy was I wrong. As the ubiquitous English idiom would say: “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. This book keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole story; it’s very stressful and tension-inducing – in a good way. With all these exciting characters and its action-packed plot, this story kept me guessing the entire time.

This author has a really wonderful grasp on story building. The characters are really great and each brings a unique aspect to the book. I loved the members of the “team”, Percival, Briah, Alexander, Maximus, Klivos, Willks – I’ve grown quite attached to them. There is great action in this book; it’s very engaging and tension-filled. I felt like the plot was actually going somewhere, it has a purpose. Also, the subplots were tied together really well. You know, that moment when Lady Wieven explained everything about Jameson and the you-know-what. It all just fits together beautifully. This book had a lot of POV switches, but, surprisingly, they weren’t annoying. I enjoyed them! They were excellent and very well-paced. My favourite POVs were that of Percival and Briah. And no, that isn’t me making pterodactyl noises.

Now that we’ve discussed the more enjoyable points of the book, let’s talk about a few things that weighed the book down. The author has a tendency to simultaneously drop huge amounts of information on you; this can get very disorienting and confusing. When this happens, I’ve found that I just stared at the page, rereading it over and over, in order to completely absorb the information. It’s very time-consuming. The author also describes things too much. For example, sometimes I’d find a whole paragraph just describing a hallway. Characters keep getting introduced to the story faster than I can memorize their names and remember their faces. In the beginning of the book, I had to repeatedly go back and check which character was which. As a result, the excessive details make the book seem a bit sluggish paced.

Once you get past all these points, it’s actually a great book – though there are still a few unanswered questions I’d like to know the answer to. What are Brother Mables’ motives? Who is he working with? Who were the Dolus running from? What were the Dolus frantically looking for in Larista? Hopefully, they’ll be answered in the second book of the trilogy.

Overall, this was a suspenseful book with dynamic characters and an engaging plot. The author’s writing style is descriptive, lively, and full of action. I’d recommend this to anyone who is looking for an exciting book to keep them on the edge of their seat. Until next time!

Rating: 4 fish!

4 fish

(Mini) Book Review: The Nightingale Circus by Ioana Visan

*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

2014 The Nightingale Circus


Synopsis:

Don’t be shy and come inside! The Nightingale is waiting to take flight!

Welcome to The Nightingale Circus! Listen to the singer with an enchanting voice. Watch the knife throwers who are also prosthetic builders. Here is a telecharger on the run and a ballerina with no lungs. There is a broken pole dancer and an Asian bot. You’ll be amazed by a regular girl who becomes exquisite and frightening at the same time.

They’re better known as the famous Nightingale, the Blade Masters, the Magician, the Swan, the Firebird, the Rocket Girl, and the Golden Lady.

They are all waiting to tell you their story about how they came to the circus and why they stayed.

This is a companion short story collection to Broken People.


Review:

Honestly, this was such an imaginative book! I’ve never really been a big fan of circus books, but The Nightingale Circus—prequel to Broken People—is definitely something else! Reading about each of the characters’ backstories and how they came to the Nightingale Circus was incredible! I haven’t read ‘Broken People’ yet, but after reading the prequel, I’m definitely going to pick it up. Broken People will be free on Amazon on January 29-31, so don’t miss out!

Okay, back to The Nightingale Circus. This book kind of has a futuristic, steampunk, science fiction feel to it. The stories in the book show us an insight into each character’s life before and after they came to the Circus. Through each story, we learn more pieces of information about the Circus and how everyone there works as a unit together.

Each character has a prosthetic that signifies a part of their story. The characters are intriguing and the plot is very well-paced. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more of Ioana Visan’s books and delving into this unique story world.

As a conclusion, I’d like to state that this book has it all—unique plot, intriguing characters, and a remarkable story world & setting. I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone; so go on, add it to your TBR lists!

Rating: 5 fish!

fish rating

Book Review: The Dearly Departed Dating Service by Rae Renzi

I received this ebook Advanced Reader Copy for free from the publisher (Grey Gecko Press) in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

 TDDDS     


Synopsis:

“Joy had it all: a promising medical career, a handsome and kind fiancé, a bright future. Until it all came crashing down in one shattering moment.

Two years later, nothing is the same. Joy has a mountain of debt, a boss with the barest hold on reality, and a complicated—to put it mildly—private life. The arrogant young surgeon she reviles and the pack of well-meaning but misguided ghosts don’t help.

Still, her idea for a new business just might be crazy enough to work…”


Review:

I gotta admit, I dove into this book with pretty low expectations. The synopsis didn’t really grab my attention, but I can assure you, the book most certainly did! It really surpassed my expectations.

There are funny lines that made me snort and moving lines that made me tear up. The descriptive writing is so well written that most of the time I can vividly imagine the place the author is describing. That’s a pretty special talent.

I love how the book is paranormal-ish fiction laced with a few real life elements. I felt like it obscurely addressed these real life issues. They aren’t that obvious but if you really concentrate on looking for them, you’ll probably spot them. Also, I don’t normally read paranormal genre but this book makes me think twice about that decision.

The plot & story line are well-paced from scene to scene and the ideas are pretty well-developed. Although the plot and ending were a little predictable. The characters, such as Luke and Marybob, are hilarious and I loved when Joy got sarcastic. I’ve spent much time giggling in the early hours of the morning because of this book.

Overall, this was an engaging story with unique characters and a descriptive writing style. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in a fun, light read.

Rating: 4 fish!

4 fish