Book review: Steven Ramirez, Even The Dead Will Bleed (@byStevenRamirez )

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Phase one, infect a local population and turn them into engineered zombies. Phase two, reviewrelocate the patients who had the mutated strain for further experimentation. That appeared to have been the plan for Baseborn Identity Research, or at least the immediate one, but they hadn’t taken into account Dave Pulaski, and his insatiable desire to avenge his wife’s death. They were playing the long game, but Dave’s plan was simple, find Walt Freeman, the man responsible for his wife’s death and the carnage in his home town, and kill him. The zombies, however, have upped their game, they’ve evolved once from draggers to cutters, and now they flay their victims alive. Whilst Dave will stop at nothing to deliver his judgement, fate puts someone in his path who gives him a whole new purpose, this person is Sasha, and she is the key to everything. But those in charge won’t simply stand aside while he claims what could be their greatest triumph. Now he has a purpose, something other than revenge to die for, and nothing will stand in his way.

If you’re looking for a suspense filled, creative, well-executed, zombie apocalypse style read then you really want to give the Tell me When I’m Dead series a try. I came in at book three, Even the Dead will Bleed, but the Steven Ramirez does an impeccable job at filling in the need to know details in order to make stand alone reading possible. I really appreciated the insertion of Spanish phrases as appropriate, as a fairly competent speaker I was able to translate, however, the sentences are structured in such a way the meaning is clear even with no knowledge of the dialect. This action-packed zombie gorefest is not for the faint of heart as carnage as rising body counts are described in stomach churning, gruesome details, but at no point is character development sacrificed. There is a perfect balance of character growth and development, action, intrigue and suspense that will keep the reader hooked from the first page to the ultimate conclusion. I’ve read my fair share of zombie style books, and this one certainly stands up there with the best. It’s not your run of the mill, mass produced, zombie book, rather it is intricately designed, well-executed, imaginative and plausible. There’s a lot to the plot, and I enjoyed every revelation.

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Book review: Dr Shawn Phillips’ Darkened Demigod

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Imprisoned, observed, goaded. This was the life the Demigod had endured for over a decade. reviewThe people who held him sent a new observer, the others had met their end, more often by his hand, or more precisely, his thumb. This one he named Bookworm, and to him he finally begins to divulge his secrets. He whispers of how a demigod is created, of sacrifice and of worship. This demigod had failed his people, failed to uphold the values they had expected of him, and he brought about the end. It had started so innocently, a desire to better the country, create a sustainable life, but allies became enemies, robbing him of his family, his motivations, but this had been his beginning, the time his power awoke. They need to understand him, to understand their kind. This demigod was the cause of the apocalypse, and now it seems he is the sole hope of the survivors.

There is a hint of American Gods within the pages of Dr Shawn Phillips’ Darkened Demigod: Weapon of War, specifically how worship creates power, although the mechanics take on a slightly different twist making their own miracle interventions via a petition for prayer. The characters are well-developed and their little mysteries and histories are slowly revealed as the characters gain depth and grow throughout the involved plot. Despite a steady paced start you’ll soon see a rise of momentum to create a super powered, dystopian, science fiction. There are some fascinating ideas, and many the scientific aspects are well explained, especially for those who know their stuff; clearly a lot of time, thought, and research was spent perfecting this aspect. This book has a bit of everything from comedy to involved science and philosophy, not forgetting the occasional twist or surprise to keep the reader on their toes. If you enjoy a science fiction space drama, then this will certainly appeal,  and as a bonus it also gives the reader a little something to think about themselves.

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Book review: Jennifer Chase, Scene of the Crime (@JChaseNovelist )

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Chip was dealing with the aftermath of a crazed psychopath laying waste to his home six reviewmonths ago the only way he knew how. He was keeping busy, restoring his home and working hard. But just because he was away from the crime scenes, didn’t mean the horrors of murder simply stopped. A string of bizarre murders saw the police chasing their tales, and if there was any evidence as to the perpetrator it would probably be overlooked given the state of the scenes. They needed an expert, they needed Doctor Chip Palmer. Soon his new team is on the job, but it could very well be more than they bargained for, especially when the killer strikes too close to home.

Being written in alternating perspective between Chip Palmer’s first person and alternative characters third person gives the reader a great opportunity to not only catch insight into the inner workings of the Chip Palmer Forensic Mystery’s protagonist, but also provides a fleshed out version of events, characters, and scene setting. And what a scene setter Jennifer Chase is. From the disturbing to the everyday, graphic and vivid scenes assault the reader’s every sense. Whilst Scene of the Crime is the second book of the series, it operates seamlessly as a standalone. Anything you need to know is explained in a way that not only fills in any blanks, but makes a reader curious and intrigued enough to want to visit the first book for a fuller picture. Written with brilliant prose and enhanced by vivid characters and a plot that keeps you on your toes, this is a must for mystery fans. If you’re looking for action, danger, mystery, and evolving characters and relationships wrapped in a high stakes situation, then look no further.

This book is also available on Kindle Unlimited, so if you’re a subscriber you can pick it up for free.

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Book review: Eichin Chang-Lim, Flipping (@EichinChangLim )

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JonSun knew from the moment he caught a fleeting glimpse of her that his heart bellowed to the reviewmysterious woman in the library. Vigilantly he returned, hoping to catch sight of her again, and when he did, the unimaginable happened. Despite being far beyond his reach, she agreed to go on a date. Her parents wanted her to marry a doctor, but as time went on she had only eyes for him, and was willing to sacrifice a life of comfort, even her family to be with him. Her father had told JonSun he would never be good enough, he was determined to prove him wrong, but knew the life he provided was less than she deserved. But this is not just their tale, and theirs is not the only relationship to watch.

Eichin Chang-Lim writes with an amazing talent and gift. In Flipping she takes the stories of two unconnected families and pulls you into their individual stories, their plights, desperation, and struggles, then brings them together. This isn’t just one story, it’s three, the tale of JonSun and SuAnn, The struggles of the McMeri family, and finally the third tale of Wynson and Christa. Each story Is part of the whole and is a struggle against the odds. The plot is gripping, emotional, heart-wrenching, and most of all believable. The writing and characters are filled with such emotion they bring the story to life. Eichin Chang-Lim has an amazingly polished, concise writing style that will tug at the heartstrings from beginning to end. If you enjoy romance, conflict, struggles, and uplifting tales then this author is the one to watch. If you’re a KU subscriber like myself, you’ll also benefit from being able to grab this brilliant tale for free.

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Book review: Eichin Chang-Lim, The Lovelock (@EichinChangLim )

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Childhood devastation had brought together the two hearts of Violet and Dylan, reviewreuniting them when the time was correct. They were the perfect match for each other, and a token of love, a lovelock, was shared between them. This token offers a memory of good times as fate once more separates the two lovers and they go their separate ways, each living their own life. To say they did not go as they had planned would be an understatement. Their lives spiral out of control, and whilst they are no longer part of each other’s lives, they retain the token of their past, a source of comfort and despair. Can they take control of their own lives before they hit rock bottom, and will fate once more reunite those who remain connected through time?

The Lovelock is one hell of an emotional read. The first few chapters alone are enough to stir deep emotions. Eichin Chang-Lim knows how to write wrenching, gritty emotion that plays the reader like a fiddle forcing them to experience the highs and lows of the deep, vivid, flawed, and believable characters. The Lovelock is a heart-breaking tale of shattered dreams, uncertainty, despair, regret, romance, and just a touch of the supernatural. This book is written in parts, and each one is its own gem. Get a box of tissues at the ready, and see what plans fate has in store. I wouldn’t hesitate to read more work from this talent author who excels at infusing such raw emotion into their writing. Unquestionably a five-star read.

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Book review Erin S. Riley, A Flame Put Out (@erinsriley1 )

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Selia had made her decision. She had stayed with her berserker husband despite being reviewoffered an escape. But having children altered things. Then came the day she feared Alrik, already despairing due to a devastating loss listened to a rumour, and turned his hand not only against her but against the children. Selia knew she had a difficult choice to make between the man she loved and the safety of her children. There is only one person who offered her sanctuary, but so long has passed would he even be willing to help?

Having read the first book I couldn’t wait for tiger my hands on the next instalment and it did not disappoint. Heartbreak, betrayal and secrets are paramount, and not just those Selia has been keeping from Alrik. As before Erin S. Riley conjures a believable setting and realistic characters, each with their own complex history bringing real depth to some amazingly portrayed characters. Care has clearly been taken to ensure the events and commodities accurately reflect those of the chosen era. A Flame Put Out is another brilliant read, and book three is certainly in my must read list.

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Book link: Marty Myers, The Dungeon Con (@Grimshawl1972 )

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Hank’s plan had been simple, take his girlfriend to Dungeon Con, celebrate their one reviewyear anniversary, and enjoy the festivities. It was barely lunchtime not only had his relationship come to an abrupt end, but he had been tricked into signing a contract by a being from another realm seeking someone to build their master’s dungeon. The thing was, he wasn’t exactly the dungeon master the imp had thought, but inadvertently he had returned with something much more powerful. A human not afflicted by the boons and caps of the Light all people of this realm were born with. His potential was unlimited, and the Dark had great plans for him, great plans indeed.

The Dungeon Con is Marty Myers’ addition to the LitRPG genre.  It has a solid plot with some great ideas. The character building and situations are designed to a point the reader becomes invested in their story and what will become of them. The original thinking and execution is engaging, interesting, and enjoyable. I’ve given this book four stars, whilst it does need some polishing, you can fix grammar, typos and some narrative perspective complications far easier than a poor plot, and The Dungeon Con has the plot, it just needs the polish.

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Book review: A.R. Cook, The Secrets of the Moonstone Heir (@ARCook_writes )

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Desert Rain could have been adored and showered with gifts like any other Hijn. Instead, reviewshe sought isolation, visiting the town on rare occasion. Keeping to herself led the people there to believe her to be a charmer. Until her secret was revealed. The truth of her identity was the beginning of the end. She sought solace with a Wretched, who had been stripped of his memories by a trickster. They were the enemy, but in him she thought she had a friend. Until one fateful day she found the memories that had been stolen. The cost of returning them had been beyond her imagination. A Wretched now rampages, destroying all she held dear and, worse still, he had taken something from her of such value she had no choice but to pursue. Hoping to save not only those in his path, but the whole world from his cruel distortion.

The Secrets of the Moonstone Heir is the first book in A.R. Cook’s The Scale Seekers series. It centres around Desert Rain, a Hijn who has isolated herself from people, afraid of their judgement. She had been changed more than most, and feared persecution. From the start of the book to the end you see a strength and resolve begin to materialise tempering her into a stronger character. It is written in a soft, easy flowing narrative making it simple to follow and whilst there are scenes of violence they are handled in a suitable manner for a young adult audience, as is the suggestion of a sexual situation. A quest to drive back loneliness becomes a tale of friendship, action, and adventure that paved the way for the adventure to continue.

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Book review R.J. Blain, Whatever for Hire (@rj_blain )

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Bad things happen when the devil is bored, fortunately, Kanika seems to have captured reviewhis attention. His unwanted help in rescuing a cat from a tree had been a catalyst, leaving her with a debt and giving him a personal invitation for him to come and manipulate her. He had great plans for her. But she was no fool, she knew better to play with the devil… She had known better. Yet now he was one of her clients, and he had made an offer too tempting to refuse. All she had to do was sign something, without reading it, and accept the first job he sent her way as repayment for a debt. What she didn’t expect was things to be so complicated. A kidnapping gone wrong sees her victim turn the tides, but had he not, then they would never have uncovered the undead plague that afflicted the world, a problem that if not reined in could spell the end of days.

The narrative in Whatever for Hire is so brilliant you will struggle to tear yourself away for even a minute. It has a great humour to it, and the first person narrative holds true to Kanika’s character perfectly. I enjoyed every minute of this book, from the flippancy of Kanika when dealing with the devil, seeing how far she could push her luck, to her awesome, if somewhat unreliable, shifting abilities. There is a lot to this plot, and it certainly went beyond what I expected. R.J. Blain has written an amazing paranormal romance / urban fantasy where you can’t help but will for the characters to get together, this is helped by the fact they are so believable. There are questions about Malcolm that will plague you until the moment of truth, and the added bonus of the mystery surrounding Kanika herself, but all that pales when placed beside a plot which just keeps getting better. Brilliantly written, full of action, mystery, suspense, romance, revenge, and more than a little interference from Heaven and Hell.

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Book review: Michael Okon, Monsterland Reanimated (@IAmMichaelOkon )

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The aftermath of Monsterland was global devastation. Wyatt is haunted by events, and reviewimages of the violence he both witnessed and executed to survive plagued him as much as the revelation that his own father had been a zombie in the exhibition. Whilst the events are fresh and all-consuming, there are other concerns. The world government collapsed, most people of power were wiped out during their visit to Monsterland, paving the way for the co-conspiring  Vice President to take the mantle of reign. With so few survivors Wyatt knows he must find a way to alert the outside world of what really happened. But something stirs in the ruins of Monsterland, something new and dangerous. Monsterland had been constructed in a place of great power, and Vincent’s plans had not been terminated with his death. Every villain must always have a plan B, the time has come for it to be revealed.

Monsterland Reanimated by Michael Okon is a rapid flowing, action-packed, suspenseful, paranormal thriller, filled with beautifully crafted descriptions, and amazing scene setting. Tension is slowly built as the progression of events warn there’s something more to the situation at Copper Valley. Having read the first book I can really appreciate the growth of the characters, not only from the last book, but throughout the progression of this one. Careful thought and consideration has gone into each character and their own individual history and plot, adding to the depth and believability. There are some great action scenes which only serve to enhance a well-executed and conceived plot. The stakes have been raised, and as a reader I find myself eagerly awaiting the next book in this imaginative and thrilling series.

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