Review: Gambit by C.L. Denault



Publisher: Reuts

Publishing Date:

ISBN: 9781942111061

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 1.5/5


Publishers Description: In Earth’s battle-ridden future, humans have evolved. Those with extraordinary skills rise to power and fame. Those without live in poverty.
Sixteen-year-old Willow Kent believed she was normal. But when a genetically-advanced military officer shows up in her village and questions her identity, long-buried secrets begin to emerge. With remarkable skills and a shocking genetic code the Core and its enemies will do anything to obtain, Willow suddenly finds the freedom she craves slipping through her fingers. 

 Review: Ruh roh, super speshul alert! Willow Kent is a hotheaded barmaid with a tart mouth and a hot sexy bod. All the men want to bang her (she’s only 16) and she falls in insta-lust with just about every hot manly man that comes into her sphere of life. First there is Tem, a local guy with a heart of gold and a roguish glint to his eyes. Then there is mysterious Joshua. Tall, handsome, blond locks of hair and he can teleport in and out of her life at will. She longs to rest her weary head in his strong arms. Then there is the mysterious and somewhat evil officer Reece.  Flashing eyes, and oh my, he walks around without a shirt on! How scandalous! So what he killed her friend, threatened to kill her Dad and beat up her BFF’s, she still blushes at the sight of his rippled abs and arms of steel. 

Between you and me I think Willow is an emotional slut with the morals of a gerbil. But she just happens to be a…….you guessed it, a lost Princess! With super speshully powers that the, DUN DUN DUN!!, Core desires above everything. She doesn’t just have one power like everyone else that is special, she has two powers cause she’s super fuckin’ speshul and super hot ….at the same time. Well our reluctant hero could care less how hot and talented she is, cause to be anything more than ambivalent would alter her “for the greater good’ persona. Hate her yet?

So nevermind that grown men are going to bang a 16 year old and that this novel devolved into a 4-way insta-love romance rather than being something more adventurous and gritty. Forget that Willow could have escaped to the mountains where the other outlander specials hide and started a revolution of sorts. Noooooo, we have courtly life and hot, hunky Reece sniffing her neck and her belly doing flip flops at the sight of him. Nope just be happy with the overt blushing, clenching/grinding of teeth and the murumurrrrringgg of things best left alone. Fug.


Review: An unattractive Vampire by Jim McDoniel



Publisher: Inkshares

Publishing Date: March 2016


Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.2/5

 Publishers Description: After three centuries trapped underground, thousand-year-old Yulric Bile—also known as the Curséd One, the Devil’s Apprentice, He Who Worships the Slumbering Horrors—awakens only to find that no one believes he is a vampire. Apparently he’s just too ugly—modern vampires, he soon discovers, are pretty,

 Review: This was a heck of a lot of fun to read. There is so much going on what with the historical referents, funny footnotes and even funnier situational scene development that you have to keep up in order to stay relevant with the storyline. Great character development coupled with exceptional writing makes Koeur a happy boy. GET IT!


Review: Gracie, Dead or Alive by Sofia Gabel



Publisher: Escargot

Publishing Date: September 2015


Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2.5/5

 Publishers Description: Gracie Daniels has it all. She’s young, pretty, in love and about to graduate from the University of Southern California, but her world is turned upside down when she wakes up, dead, in the morgue. But that’s only the beginning of Gracie’s new undead life. 

 Review: Gracie wakes up and she’s dead only her animator is a ditzy young witch with face piercings. So off to the unbelievable storyline races we go. This started out pretty good but the “Gracie running from here to there from one exploit to the next” made her dumb. The storyline just dragged on and on and on and got even more mundane with the love interest/triangle crap. “Oh, Troy is so hot…..I hate my old boyfriend…….I want to have hot sex with Troy……I love it when Troy is so playful….We just cuddled in the back seat….”. Fug. 

What’s wrong with Gracie having a complete mental collapse under the circumstances and watching her character develop throughout her ordeal? Imbue a sense of reality with her situation rather than being glib ALL THE TIME and tone down the insta-love infatuation? Build her character through her internal struggles to realize a sense of self and move the story line to a successful (or not) resolution? Great idea, poor execution.


Review: The Life Engineered by JF Dubeau



Publisher: Inkshares

Publishing Date: March 2016


Genre: SciFi

Rating: 3.2/5

 Publishers Description: JF Dubeau’s debut novel, The Life Engineered begins in the year 3594, where humanity is little more than a memory—a legend of the distant past destined to reappear. Capeks, a race of artificial creatures originally created by humans, have inherited the galaxy and formed a utopian civilization built on the shared goal of tirelessly working to prepare for their makers’ return.

 Review: Reviews on this work are varied. Some liked the storyline while another reviewer said it had visualization issues.  There is, to a degree, a lack of descriptive enterprise where not enough information is imparted to accurately visualize 1) space battles 2) various Capeks 3) reincarnation space 4) galactic travel. These are pretty important themes to the main storyline and ultimately provide elements of a wholly developed character(s).  Because of this it was hard connecting to any of the characters which may be a facet of the robotic genre.  Most of the dialogue was of the internal kind, from Dagir’s perspective. The writing, technically, is very good and will only get better as the storylines are parsed to accommodate considered scene progression.


Review: Mission Improbable by J.J. Green



Publisher: InfiniteBook

Publishing Date: November 2015


Genre: SciFi

Rating: 3.6/5


Publishers Description: Carrie Hatchett is a low-achieving daydreamer, and the last person on Earth who should be resolving disputes for the Transgalactic Council. After providing a good home for her butt-ugly dog and psychotic cat, her biggest challenge in life is to avoid being fired, again.

 Review: This was a fun read from start to finish. Light reading at its finest. The character development was well paced with the movement and the aliens, along with the world building were inventive if not creative. Looking forward to the next in the series.


Review: Jail For The Damned by TS Mercer




Publisher: Venture

Publishing Date: December 2015

ISBN: 9781519550828

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 2.3/5


Publishers Description: Your world can change in the blink of an eye. Newton Supermax, a corrupt and expansive city prison set way out in the desert, is Hell on Earth. Its streets and crumbling buildings are the refuge of the world’s rejects. Outside the walls, a vast, anonymous desert teems and crawls with a host of crazies, searching wildly for only one thing: food. And those prisoners unlucky enough to find themselves trapped inside Newton Supermax are prime prey. 

 Review: “Who run Bartertown?”. Well in this case Mogul does, only it is a self-sufficient super-max (Max?) prison in the middle of nowhere with young hot chicks and ripply ab men walking around with insta-love on their minds. Lets not forget the hoards of serial killers that reside outside of the prison along with the native Brute Boys that wage constant war on the inmates.

Claudi Drive is a new prisoner and quickly falls in insta-love with a handsome douche and suddenly has the interest of Newtons leader, Mogul (Humongous?). In this twisted love triangle the odd person out is the super hot priestess K’Leon (Aunty?) whom wants to ultimately rule Newton by herself. What follows is rioting, bloodletting and an escape to nowhere.

I liked the premise of this novel and the story line, while jumbled, was pretty good underneath the stilted dialogue and scene progression. A few questions come to mind while reading this. 1) In a city of 80k criminals of the worst sort, how is it that Claudi and her hot friends are never raped and/or killed? 2) How do the Dirt people manage to survive the Brute boys on their own? 3) How is it that they can escape to the mountains, not get killed by the Brutes (no one has survived to date) and decide to go back to prison to make life better for everyone there? 4) How can everyone not know where they are when the Brutes scream at them in a foreign language? 5) Is it really believable that rich people on the outside will pay huge amounts of money for serial killer offspring? 6) How can anyone not know what happens to the people sent to trash town and what it looks like?  7) If this is a place for the worst of the worst why are Claudi and her compatriots the only ones with hearts of gold? 8) Does cellophane camouflage really work against snipers? 9) How does a feral native population get sniper rifles? 10) How is a city of such magnitude not self-immolating with violent criminals? 11) Shouldn’t disease be rampant? 

Fix the plot holes and this is an easy 3.5 stars.  

Review: The Oddfits by Tiffany Tsao



Publisher: AmazonCrossing

Publishing Date: February 2016


Genre: SciFi

Rating: 4.5/5

 Publishers Description: Eight-year-old Murgatroyd Floyd doesn’t fit in—not as a blue-eyed blonde living in Singapore, not in school, and certainly not with his aloof expatriate parents, who seem determined to make his life even harder. Unbeknownst to him, there’s a reason why he’s always the odd boy out: he is an Oddfit, a rare type of human with access to the More Known World, a land invisible to most people.

 Review: That Justin Bieber cover has got to go.

Fug me this was good. So good in fact that I read it in one sitting. The character development is superb as is the world building that combines hope of an alternate existence away from the clouded misery of being stuck in the known world.  The cast is varied in its simplicity rendering the characters with a wealth of depth. It is at once funny, poignant and sad which tends to grab your psyche and pull you into the author’s alternate reality.  GET THIS!


Review: School of Deaths by Christopher Mannino


Publisher: MuseitUp

Publishing Date: May 2014


Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2.8/5


Publishers Description: Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail. 

 Review: This had a unique storyline, what with a world where Deaths are taught to transport souls to the hereafter. Yet if followed a Harry Potter formulaic theme where young adults are thrust into a dark mystery and the villain is seemingly benign but expected in his machinations. Like Harry Potter’s Quidditch, Deaths play a unique game with scythes called “Boskery”. The amount of time playing and explaining Boskery hints at the authors novel-to-movie aspirations. I liked Suzie’s character and she developed well with the movement as did Frank. This world has room to expand and encompass a better storyline that is void of “Potterisms”. 



Review: Soulless by Jacinta Maree



Publisher: Inked Rabbit

Publishing Date: October 2015

ISBN: 9780994383907

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 3.3/5


Publishers Description: Nadia Richards lives in a world plagued by reincarnation, a system of recycling souls where all past memories, personalities and traumatic events are relived daily in disjointed sequences. Trapped within their own warped realities, not even the richest and most powerful are saved from their own minds unraveling. Madness is the new human nature, and civilizations are crumpling beneath themselves trying to outrun it.

 Review: The cover art is really good. This started off so malignantly dystopian that I couldn’t put it down. People killing for places in line, dead bodies in the streets and robotic enforcers shocking the shjt out of malcontents.

Nadia is soon captured due to her unique qualities and liberated by a feral terrorist. What follows is a not too believable (and constant) scrape with death at the hands of raiders and the constant death threat of a terrorist whom Nadia hates but soon is swimming in his “earth brown eyes”. Fug.  Nadia is either starving, shot, stabbed or barely conciouse for most of the novel. The lucid moments she does have is spent ruminating on her predicament.

Although Nadia’s plight is not believable, the world building and character development are exacting and fantastic. If the novel resists being trended into a YA mewling love splatter, then I look forward to this series and a more believable interaction between Nadia and her world.


Review: Waking Up Dead by Emma Shortt


Publisher: Entangled

Publishing Date: October 2013


Genre: SciFi

Rating: 3.5/5


Publishers Description: Jackson Hart is a survivor. It’s been two years since the virus first hit the country, and she watched almost everyone she loves die…or turn into zombies with a ferocious and insatiable appetite for flesh. Her instincts and her machete keep her alive, even if she’s forgotten almost everything she knows about living.

Review: If you can look past the cover long enough to read a few pages you might get hooked on this novel. The movement is really good what with constantly running from, fighting and killing of zombies. The good thing is that the characters have depth that follows the movement. The romance fits the story line as you might expect if a zombie apocalypse occurred. Really well done.