#BlogTour Space Academy by Hannah Hopkins

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Space Academy by Hannah Hopkins.

About the Author

 In 2017, Hannah Hopkins released a self-published novel entitled ‘The Split’; the story of four teenagers navigating life after Earth as they journey through space to a new planet. Two years later, the book was picked up by ‘The Conrad Press’ and re-vamped as ‘Space Academy,’ with a new cover, new title and new additions to the story. ‘Space Academy’ was released in 2020, kickstarting Hannah’s career as a writer.

Hannah is currently busy writing a historical fiction novel with a feminist twist. She spends the rest of her time working at a University and caring for her two young children in the UK.

Follow Hannah Hopkins on Facebookon Instagram, on Amazonon Goodreads, Visit hannahhopkinsauthor.co.ukBuy Space Academy

About the book

It’s the year 2100. Earth is dying. A young woman, Elsie, has risked everything to get her newborn son, Will, aboard ‘The Mayflower’ – a spaceship that will transport a select number of people to a new planet they can call home. Elsie’s luck takes a turn when she discovers the captain of ‘The Mayflower’ is an old friend. He allows her to board with her son, giving them a place on the luxurious Floor One, where they live amongst the most honoured of ‘The Mayflower’s’ passengers.

Thirteen years later, and Will is ready to start school at Space Academy, an institute specialising in subjects such as Alien Studies, Technology, and Rocket Control. While a pupil there, Will starts to uncover secrets about his father’s death, becoming wrapped in a mystery that he and his friends must solve if they are to have any hope of saving humanity from the threat that lies in wait.

Review

Will has plenty of questions about is father and his death. He throws a mention in here and there to get his mother to finally fill him in on the details. What is worth staying so tight lipped about? What is his mother hiding?

I thought the historical parallels were interesting – naming the ship The Mayflower and having only the chosen be part of the saved race. Humankind is on its way to reboot, rebuild and live in space. The handpicked crop of people, which is quite elitist and also no different from life before the catastrophic changes. So much for save the world and its inhabitants.

The Mayflower has echoes of the Titanic on her maiden voyage, whereby the worth of human is dictated by which floor they live on. First floor is the elite and the further down you get the less money your parents have in their pocket.

It’s a YA sci-fi dystopian read with a space mystery vibe. Will and his teenage gang of friends are navigating the space boarding school experience, which includes the same kind of opportunistic bullies, hierarchies and distinctions of class remaining firmly in place, despite the end of the world. You would think the human race would change just a bit to suit the new circumstances instead of carrying on with the same destructive patterns and habits.

Where did the alien animals come from and how do they know they are animals, as opposed to the actual species of alien. Seems a wee bit colonialist to presume humans are the only species out there in the great open space. There are plenty of unanswered questions and a lot of ideas left with a bare frame and lack of substance. Just minor hiccups in an otherwise pacy read.

Buy Space Academy at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: The Conrad Press; pub date 4 May 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Waiting Rooms by Eve Smith

Today it’s an absolute pleasure to take art in the BlogTour The Waiting Rooms by Eve Smith.About the Author

Eve Smith writes speculative fiction, mainly about the things that scare her. She attributes her love of all things dark and dystopian to a childhood watching Tales of the Unexpected and black-and-white Edgar Allen Poe double bills. In this world of questionable facts, stats and news, she believes storytelling is more important than ever to engage people in real life issues.

Set twenty years after an antibiotic crisis,her debut novel The Waiting Rooms was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize First Novel Award. Her flash fiction has been shortlisted for the Bath Flash Fiction Award and highly commended for The Brighton Prize.

Follow @evecsmith on Twitteron Goodreads, Visit evesmithauthor.comBuy The Waiting Rooms 

About the book

Decades of spiralling drug resistance have unleashed a global antibiotic crisis. Ordinary infections are untreatable: a scratch from a pet can kill. A sacrifice is required to keep the majority safe: no one over seventy is allowed new antibiotics. The elderly are sent to hospitals nicknamed ‘The Waiting Rooms.’ Hospitals where no one ever gets well.

Twenty years after the crisis takes hold, Kate begins a search for her birth mother, armed only with her name and her age. As Kate unearths disturbing facts about her mother’s past, she puts her family in danger and risks losing everything.

Because Kate is not the only secret that her birth mother is hiding. Someone else is looking for her, too.

Sweeping from an all-too-real modern world to a pre-crisis South Africa, The Waiting Rooms is epic in scope, richly populated with unforgettable characters, and a tense, haunting vision of a future that is only a few mutations away.

Review

There will probably be a consensus about how freakishly timely this plot is given the whole Covid-19 situation we are living in at the moment.

Kate is on the frontline of life and death, perhaps it’s better to say death and more painful death. The world post-catastrophe is one of division, policies and a general lack of humanity. Lily is on the cusp of entering the disposable human age and Mary takes readers back to a time before a new-age plague changes the world forever.

Woven into this dystopian tale are the very real threats that govern policy choices when it comes to healthcare and costs. Antimicrobial resistance has been laid at the feet of decades of overuse of antibiotics and the lack of new drugs to combat new strains. In this scenario cost cutting measures are written and put into place to the detriment of the elderly. Everyone above the age of seventy is no longer given anything to combat any infection. It’s a little more complicated than that obviously, but I don’t want to give everything away.

It’s a Logan’s Run scenario, for those who remember the old nugget. People are sorted into two categories – before and after the cut-off date. There is only fear, pain and the feeling that death has become a well-oiled machine that makes a profit.

I thought it was interesting how Smith drew in the topic of euthanasia. Having a directive or not becomes the difference between painless choice or painful torture, which is clouded by public opinion viewing it as murder.

Smith is an excellent storyteller. Dredging every fear that goes through our heads, things none of us can possibly control and are unable to fathom in their entirety, to create a frighteningly realistic futuristic scenario. Then as if the science, medicine and fear weren’t enough the author raises the stakes by adding a complex family dynamic and our possible future to the mix. It’s an incredible read.

Buy The Waiting Rooms at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books; pub date ecopy – 9 April 2020. – pub date Paperback 9 July 2020Buy at Amazon comBuy at Orenda Books.

#BlogTour The Girl Who Found The Sun by Matthew Cox

Today it’s also a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Girl Who Found the Sun by Matthew Cox.About the Author

Originally from South Amboy NJ, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Since 1996, he has developed the “Divergent Fates” world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, The Awakened Series, The Harmony Paradox, the Prophet of the Badlands series, and the Daughter of Mars series take place.

His books span adult, young-adult, and middle-grade fiction in multiple genres, predominantly science fiction, cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic, and fantasy.

About the book

It started with the insects.

The mass die-offs had been a warning unheeded. Before society realized the danger, the Earth had inexorably begun a transformation into a place where life could not survive. A small group found shelter in the Arc, an underground refuge safe from the toxins ravaging the surface.

After centuries of darkness, humanity’s second chance is running out—and Raven Wilder knows it.

Her job fixing the machinery in the Arc makes her aware of how close everything is to breaking down. When the systems fail, the last survivors of the human race will suffocate in the tunnels meant to protect them from the deadly air outside—starting with the most vulnerable. Unfortunately, in an example of history repeating itself, those in charge dismiss her concerns.

When her six-year-old begins showing signs of oxygen deprivation, Raven refuses to go quietly into oblivion. She will break every rule to keep her daughter alive.

Review

Raven is part of a nearly two-hundred person strong community. Survivors. Descendants of survivors. The last remnants of the human race living deep under the earth in a multi-layered facility built exactly for that purpose.

Raven is also one of a very small number of women of child bearing age, so according to the community it is up to them, their wombs and their fertility to keep the human race alive and kicking. No romantic matches – just genetically more or less suitable copulation. Sounds really enticing.

When certain details of her daily job start to make her suspicious about the safety of the underground facility and simultaneously about how dangerous it actually is above ground. You know, where the air is poisonous and the aliens are waiting to disintegrate any human in sight. She starts to ask uncomfortable questions.

It’s a dystopian futuristic story with a strong and determined main character.

Although the story is heavy on the technical and mechanical details, it was refreshing that the women are equal in skills and job assignments. I say that, despite the fact they are also treated like convenient descendant incubators. There is no question of capability when it comes to securing and repairing equipment that will keep them alive underground or doubt in her skills when she is chosen to fix something on the topside.

From a dystopian and sci-fi genre perspective the concept of an underground community, the survivors of a major earth destroying disaster reinventing the wheel somewhere deep under the earth, isn’t a new one. It is however always fascinating to see how authors interpret a scenario like that differently.

Cox delivers a compelling read about survival, denial and the way entire civilisations are driven by myths and rules dictated by ancestors.

Buy The Girl Who Found The Sun at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Division Zero Press; pub date 7 Dec. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour iRemember by S.V. Bekvalac

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour iRemember by S.V. Bekvalac.

For a limited time, iRemember will be available for only 99p.

About the Author

SV Bekvalac was born in 1987 in Croatia, in what was then Yugoslavia, but grew up in London.

She studied German and Russian at Oxford, and went to film school in Prague. After almost becoming a film-maker and then an academic, researching cities and films, she found herself writing fiction about cities instead. She started off with screenplays and short stories, but they got longer and longer. iRremember is her first novel.

She has lived in cities all over Europe. Now she lives in London, or in one of her own imaginary cities.

Follow @sandra_bek @EyeAndLightning on Twitter, on Amazonon GoodreadsBuy iRemember

About the book

The city of iRemember shimmers in the desert haze, watched over by the Bureau, a government agency that maintains control through memory surveillance and little pink pills made from the narcotic plant Tranquelle.

It looks like an oasis under its geodesic dome, but the city is under siege. ‘Off-Gridder’ insurgents are fighting to be forgotten.

Bureau Inspector Icara Swansong is on a mission to neutralise the threat. Her investigation leads her into iRemember’s secret underbelly, where she finds herself a fugitive from the very system she had vowed to protect. She has to learn new rules: trust no one. Behind every purple Tranquelle stalk lurk double-agents.

A sci-fi noir with a psychedelic twist, iRemember explores the power the past holds over us and the fragility of everything: what is, what once was, and what will be.

Review

Off-Gridders – the rebels, the anarchists and those who want to stay way under the invasive radar of the powers that be. The people determined to stop their every thought, but especially their bad thoughts from being uploaded and stored on government servers. Then they sit and wait until the need arises to use them.

Lucien Ffogg is part of the resistance, well technically it’s more about profit and less about fighting for the cause, but perhaps somewhere in that grumpy stubborn brain there lives a tiny rebel. The last thing Lucien wants or needs is a government official turning up to put the entire compound he is tasked with maintaining, a Memory Processing Plant in the middle of a desert, to put him and the site under scrutiny.

Inspector Icara Swansong knows deep down in her bones that Ffogg – double ff and double gg – is up to something. She just hasn’t been able to find out what and where, aside from the clear signs of neglect and age that is.

It becomes a battle of minds, although it’s interesting that neither of the characters evokes super negative emotions, perhaps because it is easy to understand both views.

It’s speculative sci-fi with a dystopian flair.

Bekvalac pits the two main characters against each other in a cat and mouse game of deception and revelations. A game that leads them to a surprising escalation and an endgame neither of them expects.

The world-building is extensive and intricate, and the premise is intriguing. Being held hostage by your own thoughts and memories, something you are unable to control and yet others want to use them to control you. Quite a read.

Buy iRemember at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Lightning Books; pub date 30 Mar. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

#SeriesBlogTour Tomorrow’s Ancestors: The Museum of Second Chances by A.E. Warren

It’s my first turn on the Series Blog Tour for Tomorrow’s Ancestors: The Museum of Second Chances by A.E. Warren and will be blogging about the second book, The Base of Reflections, in a few days.About the Author

AE Warren lives in the UK. A not-so-covert nerd with mildly obsessive tendencies, she has happily wiled away an inordinate amount of time reading and watching sci-fi/ fantasy and gaming. She is interested in the ‘what ifs’.

The Museum of Second Chances is her first novel and she is currently writing the third book in the ‘Tomorrow’s Ancestors’ series.

Follow @amauthoring on Twitter, on Facebookon Instagramon Goodreadson Amazon, Visit aewarren.comBuy The Museum of Second Chances

About the book

What happens when the future recaptures the past?

In a post-apocalyptic world the human race has evolved beyond us through genetic engineering – and we’ve been left behind to make amends for the damage inflicted on the earth.

The reversal of the extinction of long lost animals is key to our reparations and all of these are housed in the Museum of Evolution – along with another species of human that hasn’t existed for 30,000 years.

Elise belongs to the lowest order of humans, the Sapiens. She lives in an ostracised community of ecological houses, built to blend with an idyllic landscape. Deciding to widen her stagnating life in the manufacturing base, she takes a chance opportunity to become a Companion to a previously extinct species of human.

And while living in the museum, Elise realises that little separates her from the other exhibits…

Review

Now and again you find an unexpected gem of a read and this is one of those reads. The worldbuilding, research and thought that has gone into this makes it an extraordinary and interesting experience.

Hierarchy and sub-levels of humans isn’t a new idea per se, doing it from the Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens onwards perhaps more so. This is set in a future after the Homo Sapiens has self-imploded their own civilisation, and because of that they are considered less superior than other groupings of humans.

In fact any group above them is genetically superior. Stronger, smarter, taller – every possible advantage can be bought or is yours by birthright. If you’re really lucky you might even win the opportunity to rise up in the ranks by adding genetic advantages.

Elise is Sapiens, which means she is treated either like dirt or as non-existent in the grand scheme of the hierarchy laws. She isn’t satisfied with being confined to a specific job just because she was born in a certain area. She applies to be a Companion to a museum exhibit, which displeases her own family and other Sapiens.

Now imagine the exhibit living in a bubbled replica of their native environment. Caged like an animal, studied like a lab rat, but an ancestor to all the other human species.

It’s very much a case of you don’t belong to the higher social group if you come from below and those below no longer accept you as one of their own when you rise above your own social status. No difference there really – it’s the same in present day society.

It’s a dystopian novel with post-apocalyptic and futuristic elements. Warren combines anthropology, natural science, genetics and eugenics to create a fascinating read. I’m looking forward to the next part in the series.

Buy The Museum of Second Chances at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.  Publisher: Locutions Press; pub date 17 Feb. 2018. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Victory Day by Rachel Churcher

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Victory Day by Rachel Churcher. It’s also book 5 and the end of the Battle Ground series.

About the Author

Rachel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.

She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.

Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.

About the book

Bex Ellman and Ketty Smith meet in London. As the war heats up around them, Bex and Ketty must learn to trust each other. With her friends and family in danger, Bex needs Ketty to help rescue them. For Ketty, working with Bex is a matter of survival. When Victory is declared, both will be held accountable for their decisions.Review

This is the fifth and final book in the Battle Ground series. One might expect for the finale to be all guns blazing, bombs blasting and death by the thousands. Instead it seems as if the penultimate book in the series takes that spot. This one is more introspective and reflective.

In a way it’s a bittersweet goodbye, but also a necessary one. Looking closely at what has become of the characters and they in turn take a close look at their decisions during the civil war. The author delivers an end to their stories, their lives after the war. It’s possibly the most important aspect of the battle – what comes afterwards when a fragile peace has been established.

Can Bex and Ketty ever have a friendship, should they have one? The actions and decisions of both young women in the previous books would suggest that there is too much water under the bridge.

It’s a dystopian novel – a frighteningly realistic scenario of what the future could look like. Churcher takes the fear, anger and divisiveness of our current times and let’s a worst case scenario play out.

Where one would perhaps expect a different outcome because the major players are young and filled to the brim with ideology, the result is actually the same regardless of their age. What does that say about human-kind? Are we always destined to destroy each other? Are younger generations always fated to repeat the mistakes of older generations?

Buy Victory Day at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Battle Ground #1, Darkest Hour ( Battle Ground #3) and Fighting Back ( Battle Ground #4) by Rachel Churcher.

#BlogTour Rage by Suzanne Lowe

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Rage (Seventeen #2) by Suzanne Lowe. It’s the second part of the dystopian YA series Seventeen.

About the Author

Suzanne was born in Perth Western Australia and as a young adult grew up in the small country town of Tom Price situated in the outback of Western Australia. Her current home is in Perth with her husband, two daughters and cat Abby.

Suzanne has a Bachelor of Science Degree, majoring in Sports Science. Her interests include watching movies, particularly sci- fi, travelling, photography and reading. She also enjoys going to the occasional comic book convention!

Like the young women in her stories, Suzanne has had the opportunity to experience many exciting adventures in her life so far including being part of the Australian Army Reserves, climbing to Mt Everest base camp, descending into one of the pyramids at Giza in Egypt, flying in a hot air balloon over the Valley of the Kings, parachuting from a plane at 12000 feet in York and sitting on the edge of an active volcano on Tanna island in Vanuatu.

Suzanne has won the award for best Sci fi/Horror in an e-book in the New Apple literary awards for her YA novel Seventeen and received a bronze medal from Reader’ Favorite International writers’ literary competition for her children’s novel The Pirate Princess and the Golden Locket.

Suzanne is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Australian Society of Authors.

Her published works include;

Seventeen, book one in the Seventeen Series. A YA dystopian adventure story set in Australia. Rage, book two in the Seventeen Series. The Pirate Princess and the Golden Locket, a pirate adventure story for middle grade children.

Follow @Suzanne_Lowe_ on Twitter, on Facebookon Amazonon Goodreadson Instagram, Visit Suzanneloweauthor.comBuy Rage

About the book

“Revenge. It was all he could think about.

His body ached for it, burned for it like a relentless fire waiting to be quenched. It was all he wanted.”

With the KV17 virus now in its mutated form and the older children infected, Jasper’s Bay faces an uncertain future as they attempt to find a cure.

When old enemies return, causing tension and turmoil throughout the town, Lexi must face her fears and suppress the rage building inside her. Will the virus take hold or can she maintain control? How can you defeat an enemy when it is part of who you are?

The exciting and compelling YA series set in the harsh Australian outback.

Review

This series reminded me of The Tribe, a television sci-fi series from the late 90s, and Gone by Michael Grant. The face of humanity has been changed by a virus called KV17, which has wiped out all the adults. Now the virus has mutated and is infecting the older children or those nearing adulthood.

Although this is the second in the series it can be read as a standalone novel, because Lowe gives readers sufficient information without rehashing the entirety of the last book. In the first book of the series, Seventeen, the small group has no choice but to send three of their group into exile, because they are starting to show signs of the infection. This causes disruption and perhaps a wedge between some of the children.

What it does do without a doubt is enrage the exiled, who are out for revenge, but to do so they need to ensure their ranks grow. They approach another small community of children struggling to survive and persuade them to help get revenge on Lexi’s group.

It’s a YA dystopian story suitable for both older and younger readers, an apocalyptic adventure series. The author plays into the anxiety of many adults by presenting the vulnerability of children if they are put into a position of having to feed, clothe and keep themselves safe. That’s the bit that tugs on the heartstrings.

The flipside of the coin is the correlation between adulthood, a lack of empathy and more aggressive behaviour. It begs the question whether those elements are driven by coming-of-age or by the virus itself.

Buy Rage (Seventeen #2) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published in paperback and ebook formats by Silvergum Publishing on 2nd September 2019. Buy at Amazon comAt Amazon AuAt BlackwellsBuy at BookDepository. At Waterstones.

#BlogTour Fighting Back by Rachel Churcher

Today it is my turn on the BlogTour Fighting Back, the fourth part in the Battle Ground series, by Rachel Churcher.About the Author

Rachel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.

She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.

Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.

About the book

Bex Ellman and her friends are in hiding, sheltered by the resistance. With her family threatened and her friendships challenged, she’s looking for a way to fight back. Ketty Smith is in London, supporting a government she no longer trusts. With her support network crumbling, Ketty must decide who she is fighting for – and what she is willing risk to uncover the truth.

The Battle Ground series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence. Review

I recommend reading the rest of the series to get the full gist of the characters and this series. The books can be read as standalone books, but I think readers will get more from the entirety of the series.

Set in the future post-Brexit and post Scottish Independence era, the series Battle Ground is an alarming dystopian scenario, perhaps more so because it isn’t a far-fetched premise. A civil war rages in the country, a war driven by propaganda and false facts.

In this fourth part of the series Churcher shows the reader how both sides are unable to present themselves as free of guilt and blame. When the resistance takes their fight to the next level and in doing  so an event happens that targets innocent bystanders, well they no longer have a leg to stand on when it comes to presenting themselves to the world as the better solution.

Does the end justify the means? Do two wrongs make a right? I think this is the bitter lesson that certain characters learn within this story. Will some of these choices or retaliations make some of them rethink their position in this vicious war?

It’s a dystopian series set in the near future and set around a premise that isn’t that far-fetched at all. At present the UK is divided by starkly different political opinions, and the question of refugees for instance, which brings us back to the question of race and racism. The division is being defined and driven by the agendas of foreign countries, media bias and the upper echelon of the wealthy. Is it any wonder that there are plenty of voices of dissension. Churcher uses the fire that burns to fuel her stories.

Buy Fighting Back  (Battle Ground #4) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.  Publisher: Taller Books; pub date 20 Nov. 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy the Battle Ground books at Taller Books.

Read my reviews of Battle Ground and Darkest Hour by Rachel Churcher

#BlogTour King of Fools by Amanda Foody

Today it’s my pleasure to take part in the BlogTour King of Fools by Amanda Foody. It’s a complex combination of dystopian meets fantasy, which is enhanced tenfold by the excellent world-building.About the Author

Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. After spending her childhood longing to attend Hogwarts, she now loves to write about immersive settings and characters grappling with insurmountable destinies. She holds a Masters in Accountancy from Villanova University, and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from the College of William and Mary. Currently, she works as a tax accountant in Philadelphia, PA, surrounded by her many siblings and many books.

Daughter of the Burning City was her first novel. Her second, Ace Of Shades was released in April 2018. The second book of The Shadow Game, King of Fools, was released 2nd May 2019 and the third in the trilogy will be released in 2020.

Follow @AmandaFoody @HQStories on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit amandafoody.com

Buy King of Fools

About the book

Indulge your vices in the City of Sin, where a sinister street war is brewing and fame is the deadliest killer of them all…

On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.

Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.

As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive…

Review

I highly recommend reading the first in this series, Ace of Shades. You don’t need to read it to get the gist of this one, which can be read as a standalone novel, but you are missing out on a cracking read.

Once again I can only commend Foody for creating such a complex combination of dystopian meets fantasy, which is enhanced tenfold by the excellent world-building. The characters have plenty of depth, perhaps even more so than in book one, if that is even possible.

This time the reader follows three characters or rather we get three different perspectives, of Jac, Enne and Levi, and the situations they each have to deal with. They grow individually as people and work towards their own goals, whereas previously there was more collusion between them. Having to accept certain realities about their existence and the world they live in forces maturity upon them. I think as the stakes in the game grow higher the more inclined they are to secure their own survival.

As I have said previously the whole gangs and gangland aspect of the premise reminded me of Locke Lamora, but with more of an urban fantasy vibe. This time there was a focus on political intrigue and power plays, again very different from the first book, which was all about identity and discovery of self.

I will remain purposely slightly unclear about the exact story-lines, because I think it is one of those reads that works better if you go into it without too much detail. Better to savour the intricate story-telling. What I found quite remarkable is how Foody not only managed to take things up a notch, she also took a different approach to the premise. I bet the next book is going to boggle minds. The exuberance and power of this read is palpable.

I am looking forward to reading the third book, which is due in 2020. I am genuinely intrigued as to where Foody is going to take this series next..

Buy King of Fools (The Shadow Game#2) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Young Adult; pub date 2 May 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody.

#BlogBlitz Thicker than Water by Rachel McLean

Today it’s the Blog Blitz for Thicker than Water by Rachel McLean. It’s a dystopian, apocalyptic and futuristic tale, which is perhaps more of a reality than one would prefer to imagine.

About the Author

My name’s Rachel McLean and I write thrillers that make you think. What does that mean? In short, I want my stories to make your pulse race and your brain tick.

Do you often get through a thriller at breakneck pace but are left with little sense of what the book was really about? Do you sometimes read literary fiction but just wish something would damn well happen? My books aim to fill that gap.

If you’d like to know more about my books and receive extra bonus content, please join my book club at rachelmclean.com/bookclub. I’ll send you a weekly email with news about my writing research and progress, stories and bonus content for each book. And I’ll let you know when my books are on offer.

Follow @rachelmcwrites on Twitter, on Instagramon Facebook, Visit rachelmcwrites.com

Buy Thicker than Water

About the book

Six years after floods made her family homeless, Jess Dyer has found safety on the wild North Yorkshire coast. Her sister-in-law Ruth is forging a role as doctor to their community of refugees and the rock around which the family revolves.

But the family is haunted by memories of the journey north and the loss of their mother Sonia. And their community is under attack from the local population.

When Jess answers a distress call at sea, she brings strangers to their village and puts Ruth in jeopardy. Jess must calm the community, mount a rescue mission and keep her brother Ben from tipping into insanity.

Will she succeed? And will she find Ruth before it’s too late?

‘Thicker Than Water’ is a gripping thriller about family, belonging and revenge.

Review

It’s slightly bizarre reading a dystopian novel set in the area you live in, walk around in and drive through nearly every other day. It does however make it easier to picture the surroundings, although to be fair the author does a good job of describing them.

Jess finds her every word and decision being challenged by the people she is supposed to protect. She is a woman and she has inadvertently usurped her brother Ben. His supporters and Ben think she has betrayed her brother and isn’t capable of keeping their small community protected.

When she sees a boat in distress one evening she decides to override the concerns of others and take some strangers in. To offer shelter to those in need. Little does she realise that this is the beginning of a nightmare for the town and her family.

Although this can be read as a standalone novel I think it’s a given that reading the series will give the reader a bigger picture and allow the author to show where her premise is going. I would like to know what separates the small community from everyone and why are they a target for attacks?

McLean captures the narrow mindedness of a small community. The expectations of old lives vs the new expectations in line with the dangers of a world or country in the midst of a survival crisis. The inability to comprehend that where certain aspects of life, before the natural catastrophe took place, were easy and not worth a second thought, they have now become dangerous and life-threatening. One scratch, a cough or a rash can be fatal.

It’s a dystopian, apocalyptic and futuristic tale, which is perhaps more of a reality than one would prefer to imagine. I think that is also an element of the premise I enjoyed, the more realistic approach to the end of the world as we know it or scenario which could be the beginning of the end, as opposed to something more fictional or less likely. The straw that breaks the camels back and throws the country into complete chaos and desperation.

Buy Thicker than Water at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads or any other retailer. Publisher: Catawampus Press. Buy at Amazon com

Come back on the 25th of March 2019 to read all about Sea of Lies by Rachel McLean.