author, reading, writing

Book review: Anthony Carinhas – Clever Ruse (@anthonycarinhas )

Fifty thousand pounds a year to every psychiatris–with the option to nominate reviewa beneficiary to receive it in their stead on death–was enough to ensure most detrimental secrets remained undisclosed to the masses. It was better they were kept where they belonged. When the house was built it was created with its own unique scruples and guidelines, and by 2028 guests had started to occupy it. But it was doubtful it was what many whispers believed it to be.

The first few quarter of Anthony Carinhas’ Clever Ruse reads a lot like a historical report, filling in the facts, manipulations, and evolutions of what would become the mansion and the structure, plots and schemes of those within. It is only after these foundations have been laid the narrative switches to adapt a third person omniscient perspective and you are introduced to the two main characters. In contrast to the previous chapters, you’ll find heavily dialogue driven progression and you come to learn of the roles in society they played and the impact they had on various lives. It shows how people with power turn situations to their advantage, and expresses them in the extreme, like foreclosing on a house because an elderly lady owed a matter of cents, and manipulation of student debt and immoral practices to keep a glass ceiling in place. There’s some things addressed that will make you think and reflect on the current state of affairs. The conversations follows the rise, exploitation and ultimate collapse of the world as we know it. It is a book of reflection focusing on the main characters, and with a revelation at the end you may not expect.

RF_Official_Reviewer

book link:

 

author, book review, reading, writing

Book review: Dr Shawn Phillips’ Darkened Demigod

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.

RF_Official_Reviewer

Book link:

 

author, book review, reading, writing

Book review: S. A. Gibson’s Pratima’s Engines (@gibsonauthor )

Pratima was summoned, the Duke required help with some technology, and she was just reviewthe person he needed. Long ago the Collapse was thought to be caused by human arrogance, they believed their thoughts were truth to be displayed and enforced. The libraries set rules, rules intended to keep everyone safe, and it appears the Duke’s secret antics are a direct violation. Can his intentions be uncovered before terror ensues?

S. A. Gibson’s book, Pratima’s Engines is set is set in a futuristic era, where technology has reverted back to the olden times following the Collapse. It is a short and gripping read, and as a bonus also contains a second  story, Asante’s Gullane Journey. Genre wise it is a cross between dystopian and steam punk. Short, enjoyable, with good characters.

Book link:

author, book review, reading, writing

Book review: SEEDS The Journey Begins by Cary Allen Stone (@CaryAllenStone1 )

Humanity was about to embark on a new frontier. Returning to the role of Explorer they reviewwere destined to be. Only this time they were going further than any have been before. Their destination, Titan. Mother Earth was angry with her children, exhausted of resources and her anger rained down on those committing matricide. There would be no hospitable climate, no redemption, and so they turned their sight to the sky’s and the space race began.

This is not the first book I’ve read by Cary Allen Stone but it is the first science fiction by this particular author. Reading, SEEDS The Journey Begins just goes to show his diversity and a writer as he brings you a dystopian Earth and a race to be ready to leave before either man or nature pull the final plug. Within the pages you’ll find a wealth of technology and written in a plausible and understandable manner.  Cary Allen Stone has some amazing ideas and meshes know theories with their own ideas and challenges. As a character driven plot you’ll find yourself drawn into their world, and watch them form new relationships and mature as people. This was good read, and I imagine one that will be readily embraced by sci-fi fans.

Book link

author, book review, reading, writing

Book review: Addiction & Pestilence by Edmund Kelly (@edkell99 )

War is constantly advancing. Biological warfare was just another method. Tired of reviewsending their young off to die the military have a contract to Concord Labs to design a ‘super battlefield bug’ something they could drop on the enemy, but that wouldn’t spread and die out quickly. Under the guise of a drug treatment centre Concord Labs had access to all the test subjects they could want. Brian had fallen into the same downward spiral that had claimed his wife, except he thought he had found a hand of mercy. Instead he found himself isolated within the  testing facility, but for some reason, despite countless exposures, his test never returned positive. Then one day the unthinkable happened, the virus got out. The first of the four horseman rides, his name is pestilence, and death follows on his heels.

Addiction and Pestilence is filled with a cast of vivid characters who are three-dimensional, well-developed, and drive the plot onwards. Edmund Kelly has an intuitive style for dystopian fiction and appears to effortlessly set scenes and build tension. Filled with tension, drama, and intrigue you’ll find it hard not to be drawn through each dark and harrowing scene.

Book link:

https://www.amazon.com/Addiction-Pestilence-Edmund-Kelly-ebook/dp/B01M0TSI7T

author, book review, reading, writing

Book review: The Baby Auction by Peter Taylor-Gooby (@PeterT_G )

You don’t make friends in Market World, there are no heroes, no acts of kindness, and reviewespecially no gifting. This was the way of life, ‘don’t pay, don’t get’. It didn’t matter if someone’s life was on the line, if you acted freely you answered to the law, and the Enforcers ensure all adhered to the One Law. ‘Property, Equity, Dignity, Trade’ were the words inscribed upon they city’s crest. But in a city where the law is to never owe more than you can pay, sometimes dignity is unaffordable. Matt watched as a child as his father was taken away by Black Shadows, his mother later leaving for the city in hope to find him. When Matt came of age he was seized for re-education, but never once was his alleged crime revealed, only the hint that it was his parents’ fault. When he was finally released he was determined to discover what happened to them, and Ed, the girl he had bonded with in re-education, was only too glad to help. The balance is askew in Market World, but the poor are just too blind to see it, believing they are protected from persecution by the One Law. The truth, however, is always a little darker, and corruption is often unseen when carefully woven into a way of life none would question. Lose yourself in the gripping pages of Peter Taylor-Gooby’s The Baby Auction, and witness dystopian world which is just a single law away from our current world.

The Baby Auction is a gripping read, written in third person with an excellent atmospheric style. Our world could easy become the one portrayed, especially given the ‘workers or shirkers’ mentality being enforced by the government. The Baby Auction just takes our world that one step further. You can feel the characters’ desires pushing the plot forward, and their nature and instincts challenging the very core of this society.  Peter Taylor-Gooby creates a complex city, with only one law, one that is enforced without favouritism. But sometimes corruption works its way in without anyone even realising it’s there. The book is written from two perspectives, Matt and Ed’s, who believe this law destroys all that is good, and Dian and Anna who think the One Law creates an equal and fair environment. The characters show great development and growth as events cause their paths to cross and re-examination of their beliefs. Highly charged, emotional, gripping, and disturbingly close to what could be, The Baby Auction is certain to leave you thinking, and perhaps even cause you to reflect on your own actions.

rf_official_reviewer

Book link:

author, book review, reading, writing

Book review: Dystopia: The Long Road by D.J Cooper (@DJCooper2015)

John loved Amy, she was beautiful, 4157r8Ub0hL._SY346_pristine, and her excellent culinary skills seemed to always ensure he carried an extra few pounds. The two of them couldn’t have been much different, Matt was outdoorsy, a prepper, and with Sept 11th just around the corner it was time to make sure things were in order. Just in case. Then came the newest of the Ebola scare, but something about it didn’t sit right. This broadcast marked the beginning of a hidden threat, and a journey where life itself was the only reward. That, and working out who can be trusted.

Having read the first book it was really interesting to find myself in the same time frame, following the adventure of John and Amy as they attempt to make their way to safety. This was a good read, adding a sense of depth to the characters and also serving to enhance the first book as it is things unseen by the reader in the first. It works well as stand alone, and is a good and realistic read.

Book link:

author, book review, reading, writing

Book review: Subnormal by Stuart Kenyon

Britain was in trouble. Austerity became the way of life, global recession hit everyone, with 51nkdzv9gslthe election drawing near everyone wanted to win support, but a new group, Unity, made promises which seemed too good to be true. A self-sustaining, profiting Britain on the rise to the glory it knew in the less than distant past. They planned to stop foreign aid and get their own house in order. They won, but people had no idea what voting them into power would reap. They would keep their promises, but Britain would not be recognisable. Its populace had purpose, crime rates are low, unemployment almost a thing of the past. Everyone has a place where their skills were utilised. At least to those looking in, but the truth of Britain’s transformation is darker and more horrific than anyone would realise, and only scarce few evaded the control of this new rule. But they are a minority, subnormal, what could such a selection hope to achieve? Perhaps more than you think, especially when they realise how this drastic and easily-accepted change came about. People thought the government knew what they were doing, but they were wrong. Unity’s queen bee was in charge now, and everyone thought exactly how she wanted them to… Well almost everyone.

I’ll say one thing for Stuart Kenyon , he likes to write the gritty and unpleasant, pulling the reader far from their comfort zones in an unbuffered, non-diluted way. So much of what he writes could easily come to pass, attitudes for such things are already blooming across the world. He simply takes it that little bit further, and some of what he writes will invoke and stimulate an array of emotions within the reader. In Subnormal he designs a vast and complex cast of characters, all cogs within his tale which beautifully mesh and interlink with each other to craft his vivid and well-connected plot. Everything you read eventually becomes part of the bigger picture, and what a terrible one it is.
Book link:
author, book review, reading, writing

Book review: Apocryphal of Julie by G.W. Miller II

Julie arrived at Teotihuacan, the City of the Gods, a place said to be where men went to 51mujnodkml-_sx331_bo1204203200_become immortal. Elbow deep in blood, she had held on as long as she could, her life flashing before her eyes, warning her the end was nigh, but she held on, she fought. Her dreams of the future had started at a young age, the dream inseparable from reality except for one thing, the presence of Dantelion. But those of OWL have heard this name before, as one of the fallen angels. They did all within their power to free Julie of this figure’s influence, until she learns deceit is better than torture. She flees her life, embarking on a new quest where she learns the truth of her destiny, if only she can make it in time.

A charming short tale set in post-apocalyptic times. The world has turned to ruin, zombies and horrors walk the world, and the worst is yet to come. But Julie can change the very course of the future. Apocryphal of Julie (Aquarius Ascending) is an imaginatively written, engaging read by G.W. Miller II. For a short tale you are granted great insight into the character of Julie, her troubles, hardships, and the destiny she must face. Personally I would have liked to have seen a little more descriptive writing, and more depth in some areas as this would have really enhanced the tale for me, but all in all, a gripping read.

rf_official_reviewer

Book link:

Apocryphal of Julie

author, book review, reading, writing

Book review: Harnessing Altruism by Sava Buncic

Harnessing Altruism is a dystopian fiction written by Sava Buncic

The government’s did their thing. They promoted their successes while brushing their 319ouetmbolfailures under the carpet, keeping them quiet, away from the public eye as much as possible. But not everything can be kept a secret, especially something that impacts life itself. Groups had rallied, spoken about the warnings of global warming, the impact of the environment, on resources. And they listened, from their comfortable chairs, cranking up the air-conditioning and pretending things weren’t as bad as they seemed. They diverted the fickle minds of the public, pointing them elsewhere until it became too late. Agriculture was failing, energy almost depleted, and even if there was money to import supplies every country suffered the same hardship. There was no chance of surplus, no plan of action, and people would soon learn what it truly meant to tighten their belts. This desperate situation brought about World Organization for Resource Management, or WORM for short. Things were no longer about the fate of an individual, but civilization, but at what cost, and do the ends justify the means?

Harnessing Altruism is a brilliant example of a dystopian world, one which could very easily portray our own future. One question came to mind throughout, is it really worth saving humanity if we sacrifice the very values that make us human? As a species we want to survive, we take from the land and ignore warnings about how much more it has to give. We think things will work out in then end. But they don’t always. Sava Buncic opens a reader’s eyes to a possible path of the future, one of micromanagement and categorisation based on worth, even the restriction of who can be allowed a child with whom. The world becomes divided into Key personnel, developers, and doers, and never the twain should meet. Sava Buncic weaves a thought-provoking tale, with a cast of well-designed characters in both main and supporting roles who take you along on their journey into what could possibly be our own future.  Wrought with imaginative ideas, solutions, and creativity, Harnessing Altruism is not a tale to be overlooked, and is certainly something that will leave you thinking.
rf_official_reviewer
Book link: