The Last Hour of Gann is dark, intense, romantic, sad, violent, suspenseful, thought provoking; I could go on. It hadOMG! I loved this book. Amazing.
The Last Hour of Gann is dark, intense, romantic, sad, violent, suspenseful, thought provoking; I could go on. It had everything. It's a combination of science fiction, fantasy and romance, and it works so well. The characters are amazing; some you love and adore, others you hate with a passion.
The heroine, Amber, is strong and determined, which I loved, and the hero, Meoraq, is a sexy lizardman. Amber and Meoraq are amazing characters, and although they are very different from each other, they worked really well together, as well as individuals. I felt every emotion, every physical thing that happened to Amber and Meoraq; and a lot happens to them.
Violence is prevalent throughout with rape, beatings and murder; definitely not for the faint hearted. But it's all relevant to the story and the world the characters inhabit. Nothing is added just for the sake of it. The alien world the author has created is vibrantly described, I really felt as though I was there.
This story is so much more than a romance, the plot is well thought out and executed, and the supporting cast of characters are just as interesting as the main characters. It’s quite an epic story and I loved it. I will definitely be picking up something else from this author in the very near future.
Smith is an awesome writer. I honestly can't recommend this enough. One of my favourite reads of the year....more
Direct Contact is a quick intriguing read with a really interesting story. It’s set in a New World, TerecinaReviewed by Cass for www.bookchickcity.com
Direct Contact is a quick intriguing read with a really interesting story. It’s set in a New World, Terecina, which is run by an Emperor who has a team of scientists managing a procreation program to raise him a very special wife.
The Old World (our world), is underneath Terecina, and from descriptions in the early part of the book, it’s a bit of a wasteland and living there is hard, and made harder still by the fact the Emperor refuses to give aid to the remaining humans living there.
The chief scientist, Malcolm, and attendant, Julie, have grown very fond of the girls they are rearing for the Emperor, and both know that the scientific testing that they will have to put them through soon to make them stronger, and as genetically perfect as possible, may kill them. Malcolm and Julie aren’t allowed to form attachments with the girls (who don’t even have names, just numbers) but secretly they can’t help themselves. Both of them hate their jobs, but they don’t want to leave the girls, so they work together to formulate a plan to save them. The plan is something that Julie started to formulate years ago, but she needs Malcolm’s help, because she thinks their only hope is to leave Terecina and head back down to Earth where she believes a former colleague is preparing to start a revolution.
I enjoyed the first half of this book, it was such a good idea. Julie and Malcolm are interesting, sympathetic characters whom you are almost instantly rooting for. Malcolm is a bit of a geek and Julie is a warm, funny woman. You can’t help but hope for a solution for them and the girls that they are looking after.
The romance between Julie and Malcolm starts out slowly, but it becomes apparent that they’ve both been attracted to each other for a long time and that makes it sweet and endearing. There are a few sex scenes, and they are cleverly written into the story so that they fit in rather than take away from the action. I found it quite hard to imagine anyone called Malcolm in an erotic scene, but maybe that’s just me!
My problem with the book was its length. If it could have been fleshed out and depth added to the story and characters and I would have loved it, but it felt like it ended just as I was getting into it, and because of this I put it down for a couple of weeks in a bit of a sulk! This is probably just my personal preference though, it is a good little read – I was just greedy for more detail.
Considering this is Swann’s first try at Dystopian, she has done well. She’s obviously a good writer and her writing impressed me.
Direct Contact is a good, quick read if you’re looking for a romance with some action and adventure. I’m still in a bit of a sulk that it wasn’t longer though. The characters are strong and well written and the romance is sweet and believable. Although this is part of the New Reality series, it can be read as a stand alone.
Like every second book in a series, there was a lot to live up to with such an excellent start Croft had wiReviewed by Gemma for www.BookChickCity.com
Like every second book in a series, there was a lot to live up to with such an excellent start Croft had with 'Break Out'. Luckily, she managed to pull off another excellent story… However, I do have a few reservations.
"Deadly Pursuit" is longer than 'Break Out', which was a novella, and in some ways it slightly suffers because of it. Don’t get me wrong the characters are just as complex, and the story goes along at an excellent pace, but for me there was a slight repetition in how the two main characters tried to solve the problem of getting the 'groups' that are chasing each of them, off their backs.
In a way, I can see why Croft decided to go down this road, as in my opinion it was in order to get the setup for the next book, but I didn’t really like it. This is of course my personal opinion, those of you who've read it may beg to differ ;)
As for the actual romance, it was brilliantly handled and by the end I really did fall for both Alex and Jon. Both managed to overcome big obstacles in order to meet their happy every after. I really enjoyed the foreplay between the two of them. Once scene in particular was so sensual, building up only for it to be interrupted, never going the full hog, which made it a joy to read. This was an occurring theme throughout the book and each time you kept thinking, “Maybe, just maybe...”
However, one part of this dance was very much out of place and it left a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth. Somehow (I won’t give any spoilers) Alex is surrounded by men who want to really harm her. They make their intentions clear and she is almost raped. Jon saves her, but what really got me was the fact that she nearly ends up sleeping with him after the incident. And I mean literally minutes have past since Jon has basically chowed down on them. For such a traumatic experience, I found it hard to believe that Alex would so easily jump into bed with Jon.
I did enjoy the wonderful plot twist at the end concerning the Collective and I can’t wait to see how this all pans out. Croft manages to juggle this overall plot arc with great ease.
Apart from a couple of issues I had with "Deadly Pursuit", I still really enjoyed it and the last chapter sets us up for the next book in the series brilliantly. You don’t have to have read 'Break Out', the first book in the series, to enjoy "Deadly Pursuit", but it might make things a bit clearer....more
This has to be the best example of science-fiction romance I’ve come across yet. ThGuest Reviewed by Grete from 'Book Thing' for www.BookChickCity.com
This has to be the best example of science-fiction romance I’ve come across yet. The characters were well written and brought to life in such a way that I came to care about them in a very short time. Their backstories were really well fleshed out which was impressive given the length of the book. The plot was both intriguing and well set. Even though this was a novella, I didn’t feel it was rushed or had bits glossed over, it just flowed at a lovely steady pace. It had several touching and funny moments which made the cast all the more real.
Mitch and Lara were both brilliant characters and I loved their interactions as they tried to come to terms with past and present events. Both fierce and loyal to their causes and with several reasons to distrust each other, they still managed to overcome them and work together to save Lara’s brother. I definitely had a happy sniffle by the end of the book.
The technology could have become very confusing but it was actually well integrated within the story. It was also very inventive and made for a gripping setting. The Spiral Path itself is an enigma, a doorway to another dimension with the Chimeran’s bridging the gap, with Terra and Creed on either side. I felt a little bit sad for Lara and her brother not being able to grow up with their father because of the toll being in another dimension took on a non-native body. Born of both, the Chimerans can exist in either dimension indefinitely and, by the end, I had a hopeful feeling where Lara would choose to stay.
A wonderful, touching and exciting story with all the elements that draw me in; heroism, determination, fierceness and above all, love....more
This is actually a hard story to review because I both loved it and was also a bitGuest Reviewed by Grete from 'Book Thing' for www.BookChickCity.com
This is actually a hard story to review because I both loved it and was also a bit disappointed with it. I really liked the premise and it had many elements that I love; good writing, engaging characters, hot sex and shapeshifters in an intriguing sci-fi setting.
The disappointment came from it only being 25,000 words. While it is definitely a complete story, it still felt like two chapters had been taken from a book and I was left wondering where the rest was. P.J. Schnyder did a great job in giving us background and realism to the characters in such a short time, but it felt second place to the two sex scenes which kind of dominated it. While they were very good, I wanted more of the story to wrap around it so that it felt more balanced. I believe there is another story coming and hopefully that will be fleshed out so that it feels more like a book than a snippet.
An odd mix. It’s an excellent and engaging story but so short I was left wanting a lot more. It did catch my imagination enough that I will definitely be reading the next instalment in the 'Triton Experiment' series and more from P.J. Schnyder....more
From the very first page to the very last, Nina Croft's series debut is a delight to reReviewed by Gemma for www.BookChickCity.com - 9/10 on the blog.
From the very first page to the very last, Nina Croft's series debut is a delight to read. She manages to carve out a world in 117 pages, that some authors fail to do in a full length novel.
For any fans of the TV show Firefly, this book is a must as you can almost imagine the characters in this book crossing paths with the crew of Serenity. They may even carry out a few jobs with them or chug down a few drinks.
The crew, or more correctly put bandits, are hired by the mysterious Skylar to break her brother from a prison that is reminiscent of Alcatraz. The captain of the crew is Tannis, a tough yet loyal mortal hired by Rico, the hero of the piece. Tannis takes the safety of her crew very seriously and is instantly distrusting of Skylar, but agrees to take the job to get the credits she need to buy the Meridian, which will make her immortal. She seems interesting and you instantly warm to her.
Rico on the other hand is a bit of an enigma. We find out that he is a vampire, but only get snippets of his former life. He is a bit of a smart ass, and pushes all of Skylars buttons but in a loveable way. What I really liked about him was the fact he pretends to be aloof yet he cares just as much as Tannis does.
Yet, the most intriguing character in the story has to be Skylar. Through her point of view, you get the feeling that everything is not what it seems. She is in conflict about her mission to save her “brother” and a few times a massive hint is thrown at the reader. What is great though is the fact that Croft takes you down one road only for her to pull the rug from under you near the end.
Right up to the very last chapter, I thought I had the conclusion all figured out, only for it to go a completely different way.
One last thing I have to mention is the fact that the romance between Rico and Skylar is written in such a way that it starts off with Rico insisting that along with the credits, he will only take the job if Skylar agrees to be his source of food (blood) and sex, although it's not put in quite those words.
It turns into a challenge between the two, with the reawakening of long dormant feelings within Skylar. The scenes where they are fighting an attraction that goes deeper than lust are a joy to read, especially with the constant interruptions by the crew. There is a great explanation to why this is the case, but I won't say what it is as I don’t want to spoil it for those who want to read the book.
A few of the secondary characters seem to have interesting stories to tell and thankfully the next book 'Deadly Pursuit' looks like it will explain one of the more mysterious crew members.
I found myself drawn so completely into "Break Out" that I couldn’t read fast enough. The plot is tightly constructed and before you know it you have come to the end.
A great start to an interesting series which managed to keep my interest from beginning to end. It can be read as a stand alone but it does leave you wanting to find out about the rest of the characters on the ship. My only gripe is that I would have loved for it to be longer. Luckily, for the Mass Market Paperback issue, Croft promises that there will be more Rico... ...more
Plix is a woman whose has dedicated her whole life to seeking vengeance, determined toReviewed by Laura for www.BookChickCity.com - 7/10 on the blog.
Plix is a woman whose has dedicated her whole life to seeking vengeance, determined to get to the bottom of her father's death. She's had her body upgraded with computer components to enable her to be the best she can be.
Waking up battered in a gutter, she has no memory of how she got there, and she seeks the one person she know can help her - Edison. Edison is a tuner, who specialises in 'tuning' human computer upgrades. He's been patching Plix up for years, but each time gets harder and harder.
This novella is a combination of science fiction mystery and romance. We watch Plix so determined to get to the bottom of her father's death at the expense of everything else in her life. At first the love story is just hinted at as we watch Plix too driven to notice anything else, and Edison's pain as he is unable to stop her suicide mission. But this unrequited love really does capture you as the reader right from the start.
While there was a certain amount of intrigue about the mystery part of the story, I did want to see what had driven Plix to become the woman she was and left her with nothing else in her life. There was not enough time in the book to really develop this theme as much as I would have liked.
I was fascinated by Plix's upgrades and the futuristic setting of the story. I found it hard to picture what Plix looked like in my head. I wanted to know more about this world, how these upgrades worked and how it had changed humanity. This important aspect of the book lacked explanation. But, the possibilities of these human adaptations were really interesting. I really hope that the author is planning to write another book in this world as this novella was sadly just too short to explore some of the clever concepts it created.
I really did however, love the romance. I felt for Edison as he continued to patch Plix up and send her out into the unknown, and as he did the gulf between them painfully widened. It made the romance seem not only genuine, but gave me a smile of satisfaction when it finally did happen.
An easy read novella set in an intriguing new world, but more importantly, a really fab romance....more
I liked that the connection with Captain Michael Drake was established straight awaGuest Reviewed by Grete from 'Book Thing' for www.BookChickCity.com
I liked that the connection with Captain Michael Drake was established straight away, from the memories of his past to the nightmare he now finds himself in. As a character he had all the things that hold my attention – integrity, determination, and the will to survive, not just for himself but for his crewmates as well. Queenie was a harder sell for me and I think that was mainly down to the shortness of the book. We’d had time to form a stronger bond with Michael but once the ship was at the prison, things happened at a much faster rate.
The prisoners bothered me a little bit as well. No doubt there are a lot of people who deserve a second chance and want to make a better life for themselves, and the only chance they have to do that, is to join forces with the Relentless’ crew. The part I thought was glossed over were the people who really wouldn’t have fit into the new order. It was demonstrated in part by the execution of two gang leaders, but there would have been more than just two people who really should not be let out into society again.
I think again my feeling for this was down to the length of the book, and could have done with being fleshed out more. The romantic side of things was well done and the tension and attraction was built nicely until the Captain and Queenie gave in to their desires.
On the whole I liked the story, it was well written, engaging and I could empathise with the characters. I have to confess I am a sucker for a ‘fight against overwhelming odds’ book, and the romance between the two main characters was good. I think this could have been a great story had it been longer and taken more time to get to know Queenie but it was still worth reading. I will certainly be looking for the next book....more
I would definitely describe this book as a romance with a science fiction setting rather thanReviewed by Laura for Book Chick City. 7/10 on the blog.
I would definitely describe this book as a romance with a science fiction setting rather than the other way around. But isn't without its fare share of action. Mara Skiren makes a living as a Black Market scavenger, she's also an ace pilot. When one of the 8th Wing's pilots gets kidnapped, only a scavenger can get them in to save her. But Lara is a loner and hates having passengers on her ship.
Commander Kell Frayne needs to rescue his pilot and friend and Mara is his only hope. Fortunately this is nothing a little bit of blackmail can't solve. This book sucks you in right from the beginning. Mara is just my kind of heroine, tough smart and seriously knows how to kick ass. She and Kell are tough equals in the it own right and the love story between them crackles and pops.
At just under 200 pages this is a fast read, but it still delivers plenty of punch. Both Mara and Kell are complex characters with difficult pasts. While on the surface they are total opposites, a strict Black Wing pilot and a scavenger, look deeper and they are both very similar fighting their way for their own place in the world.
The chemistry between them is thick and a touch on the super sexy side. But it goes with the story and their strong personalities. I loved how they moved from clashing, to lovers, to partners which was all written in a believable way.
Yes, there are a couple of parts that are slightly predictable in the story, but it really didn't detract from it at all.
A fun, smoking read I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. Mara and Kell are great characters, and l really hope there are going to be more books in this new sci-fi romance series....more
'In Enemy Hands' was a little inconsistent for me. I swung between enjoying it and getting frustrated with the pReviewed by Laura for Book Chick City.
'In Enemy Hands' was a little inconsistent for me. I swung between enjoying it and getting frustrated with the pace. Set in the future, Moon is a scientist working on a ground-breaking project to re-animate dead stars. But, most of the Galaxy is controlled by the brutal and uncompromising Republic where failure would mean death, or even worse exile.
Moon is assigned the extraordinarily clever Srin Flerovs as her research partner. So intelligent is Srin, that he is the equivalent of a human computer. But Moon soon discovers that the Republic's reign has no bounds. After they realised nearly twenty years ago that they could no longer control Srin, they began chemically erasing his memories every forty eight hours. And this has been his empty, cyclical life ever since.
The premise itself is a clever concept. Not the sci-fi setting or even the omnipotent dictatorship, but the way the Republic control Srin. It raised not only ethical issues, but added an interesting twist to the budding romance between him and Moon.
For a lot of the book I found Moon quite naive. For a very clever woman, she seems to miss a lot of what is going on around her. But she did have the endearing quality of wanting to always see the best in everyone and everything. But it was Srin that stole the story, from the complexity of his condition, to his switch between happy-go-lucky to brooding intelligence.
The sexual chemistry seemed to ebb and flow, building and then dissipating as though it was never there. I think this was because of Srin's disappearing memories. There was one scene that comes to mind with Moon. Now, how to put this delicately.... when she relieved her own sexual tension, *ahem*. I don't believe I'm a prude, but the whole thing seemed to come out of nowhere, there just wasn't enough budding sexual tension in the narrative to make it work and the whole scene made me cringe and quickly flick the page over.
There was a lot of scene setting in the book, details of Moon's past, the science experiment, her relationships with other members of the ship's crew and this did slow things down. Then came 'the great escape' which was crammed into a few chapters in the end.
However, the last few chapters did have lots of great pace and adventure, but unfortunately they were just too short. I wonder if this is the beginning of a new series, because there is no way the ending can be considered in any way a conclusion.
An inconsistent novel with promise. I did have a lot of problems with it, but for the most part I enjoyed the story. Srin was a fantastic, charismatic hero. But I wonder if this might have been a better novel focusing on his predicament, with the romance just being a small part of the story....more