BBNYA Finalist Blog Tour Review – Haven

Hello, everyone! Today I’m participating in the blog tour for the BBNYA finalist, Haven by Ceril N Domace. This was one of my BBNYA reads last year, and I had a lot of fun participating as a panelist.

BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 15 finalists and one overall winner.  If you are an author and wish to learn more about the BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website http://www.bbnya.com or Twitter @bbnya_official. BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.

Book Info & Links

Print Length: 280 Pages

Publication Date: April 30, 2021

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fantasy, Contemporary Fantasy

Age Category: Adult

Goodreads | Amazon

Book Blurb

Most people think the fae are gone. Most people are wrong.

Owen Williams wakes after a horrific car accident to find his wife is dead—and somehow turned into a gryphon—and his kids gone after a home invasion turned horribly wrong. Shattered and reeling, he vows to do whatever it takes to find them.

When a fae scout appears and promises to reunite him with his kids, he doesn’t hesitate before joining her. But she warns him that if he wants to protect his family, he must follow the fae to their city, the hidden haven of Tearmann.

With enemies on the horizon, Owen needs to set aside his fears and take up arms to defend their new home alongside the people he’s always been taught were monsters—or he’ll lose everyone he’s trying to protect.

My Review

***Thank you to BBNYA for providing a copy of the book. My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.***

My thoughts on this one are mixed. I enjoyed learning about the world the author created, and the characters really tugged at my heart. However, the pace of the story was just dreadfully slow at times, and the writing wasn’t always the best. For example, I had trouble tracking what was going on in some of the action scenes.

I liked the world-building. I found the struggles of the fae to be realistic, and I was fascinated, and a bit horrified, by the process of changing that turned humans into fae. There were so many different types of fae, and I enjoyed learning about each of them. My only problem with the world-building was the delivery. It was really slow and primarily delivered via lengthy dialogue. There was so much telling happening that it felt like I was reading the slowest lecture in history. I found the information on the history of the fae in this world fascinating, but it was a huge drag on the story.

The characters and the family dynamic were the things I loved most about this story. These children grasped hold of my heart and would not let go. The entire family went through so much trauma in this story, and I was in my feelings right along with them. I also liked seeing a story about a father and his kids because it is not something I read nearly often enough. Although, the father, Owen, did get on my nerves sometimes because his characterization was really inconsistent. The text kept saying he was so worried about his kids and would never leave their sight again, and then he’d be off to some new meeting by himself in the very next scene. He made quite a few choices that left me shaking my head.

The themes related to ‘othering’ were timely and important. The story illustrated how important it is to get to know people rather than demonizing entire groups based on preconceived notions and baseless propaganda. The transition of the fae and the persecution they faced afterward reminded me of the challenges facing trans people, who are often demeaned and attacked for transitioning into their true selves. I’m not sure if it was the intention of the author, but that’s what I took away from it.

Was this book perfect? No, but I still enjoyed it. The world-building was clever despite being a bit clunky in its execution, and I would die for the children in this book. I came to love them that much. Therefore, I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

About the Author

Ceril N Domace is an accountant, the owner of the feline embodiment of violence, and a dedicated dungeon master. On the rare occasions she manages to free herself from an ever-growing and complex web of TTRPG, Ceril enjoys taking walks and griping that all her hobbies are work in disguise.

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Top 5 Tuesday – Top 5 thicc books

Hello everyone! Today’s prompt is top 5 thicc books. I typically read books that are less than 600 pages because I get too anxious or bored to sit with one story for too long. However, I was able to find quite a few chonky monsters I’ve actually read (or am reading now) to include in this list. Here are some of my favorite thicc boys. lol. The covers all link to the book’s Goodreads page, and I’ve included the official covers and synopsis when available. Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm, and is now being hosted at Meeghan Reads!

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ARC Review – The Foxglove King

Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing a book that’s received quite a bit of buzz recently, The Foxglove King by Hannah Whitten. It seems like most of my online reading friends have either read this one or are currently starting it. This book will be published on March 7, which I guess explains the activity as everyone scrambles to finish up their ARCs on time. lol.

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First Lines Fridays (65) – February 17, 2023

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!
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BBNYA Finalist Blog Tour Review – Mercury’s Shadow

Hello, everyone! Today I’m participating in the blog tour for the BBNYA finalist, Mercury’s Shadow by PJ Garcin. This was one of my BBNYA reads last year, and I had a lot of fun participating as a panelist.

BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 15 finalists and one overall winner.  If you are an author and wish to learn more about the BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website http://www.bbnya.com or Twitter @bbnya_official. BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.

Book Info & Links

Publisher: Rawktron Productions

Print Length: 308 Pages

Publication Date: July 5, 2020

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera, Action Adventure

Age Category: Young Adult/New Adult

Goodreads | Amazon

Book Blurb

One man’s lust for power threatens the future of humanity—can a young girl from the outer system stop it all?

Imogen “Chim” Esper is thrust into the center of an interplanetary conflict when her family is torn apart by the cruel and indifferent Kardashev Corporation. Forced to run, along with her robotic best friend, Chim struggles to find her place in a society that is poised for revolutionary transformation.

The Kardashev Corporation dominates all commerce and politics in the solar system. Its megalomaniac CEO, Alton Neal, is hell-bent on transforming society by capturing the full energy output of the sun through the creation of a Dyson Swarm.

Citizens of Earth and the stations throughout the system must band together to protect access to the lifeblood of the system or risk becoming permanently enslaved to the Kardashev Corporation.

Mercury’s Shadow is a thrilling adventure that blends real science, big ideas, grand adventure and high stakes to introduce a new heroine and a deep universe that will leave readers asking for more.

My Review

***Thank you to BBNYA for providing a copy of the book. My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.***

I really enjoyed this book. The prose was easy to read and engaging. There was a steady pace throughout, and I never felt bored by the story. The overall premise was interesting, and the narrative contained a good balance of systemic and personal stakes that kept me on edge for the characters.

The story was exciting with plenty of action. Although, it also had some really great personal moments, especially with Chim and her father. The plot did require a certain suspension of disbelief in regards to some of the science and the level to which the main character got wrapped up in such important events, but not enough that it completely disrupted my enjoyment of the plot. The world-building was interesting, and I found this take on the future of our solar system to be horribly relatable. I liked the themes regarding the dangers of letting one corporation have too much control, and it definitely highlighted the potential extreme consequences of that really well. I just wish maybe there had been a bit more subtlety. I also would have loved some more background on the different factions and politics of it all, especially the secret scientific consortium poised in the shadows to save the day.

The characters all had big personalities, and I liked the found family vibes the protagonist had with her friends. They made a great team, and their interactions were fun to read. I especially loved the robot! Chim’s journey was relatable and often harrowing. She was thrust into a huge conspiracy when all she wanted to do was save her father. This conflict between her personal motivations and the larger stakes at hand made her an interesting reluctant hero to follow. The villain was a bit cartoonish and over the top, though, but at least it made it easy, and fun, to root for his downfall.

Overall, I liked this book quite a bit and thought it was a good series-opener. I’d be more than happy to return to this world for more adventures. Therefore, I rate it 3.75 out of 5 stars.

About the Author

PJ Garcin has been writing stories, music and games for most of his life. He writes from the beautiful east coast of Canada where he has worked extensively in video games and technology for the past 20 years. Picking up a long running writing thread, he recently completed the first book in the Kardashev Cycle — Mercury’s Shadow.

The Kardashev Cycle follows the rise and expansion of the dominant Kardashev Corporation and its near universal control over the solar system. The first book in the series, Mercury’s Shadow, introduces the young Imogen Esper — a resourceful young girl from a mining station in the asteroid belt who finds herself caught up in an interplanetary conflict when her father is injured during a routine maintenance mission. The second book, Chimera’s Prism, continued the adventure in 2021.

PJ is a regular speaker at technology conferences on topics ranging from interactive narrative to machine learning. He has an undergrad degree in English, Rhetoric and Professional Writing as well as a Master’s degree in Communication.

He worked as Executive Producer in games on titles that sold more than 27 million units in total. He worked on large franchises such as FIFA, Madden, and Guitar Hero while helping to launch successful indie franchises like The Golf Club (now PGA Tour) and Infinite Air. He currently works as Director of Product Management for an open-source-focused SaaS company.

Twitter: twitter.com/rawktron

TikTok: tiktok.com/@rawktron

Instagram: instagram.com/pjgarcin

Facebook: facebook.com/pjgarcin

Top 5 Tuesday – Top 5 first kisses

Hello everyone! Happy Valentine’s Day!!! 💖💖💖💖 Today’s prompt is top 5 first kisses. It is really strange, but I had a lot of trouble with this one. I read a lot of romance and books that have romance, but for some reason first kisses aren’t something I remember very well. So, I had to go digging, which was fun because I got to re-visit some of my favorite pairings to see if their first kiss stacked up to the rest of the story. The covers all link to the book’s Goodreads page, and I’ve included the official covers and synopsis when available. Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm, and is now being hosted at Meeghan Reads!

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ALC Review – The Tyranny of Faith

Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing The Tyranny of Faith by Richard Swan, a sequel I’ve been looking forward to for a year. I loved the first book in this trilogy, The Justice of Kings, and couldn’t wait to get my hands on this follow-up. Luckily, I was able to snag an advanced copy of the audiobook. 🙂 The Tyranny of Faith is out everywhere tomorrow, February 14, 2023!

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