Posted in Blog, Reviews

Review: Zarya by Jackiem Joyner

Zarya was forced to grow up without her parents. When she discovers they are still alive and the military is behind their disappearance, she races to find them. Along the way, she discovers something far greater is at stake.

Zarya: Cydnus Final Hope

I really enjoyed the fast pace of the book. The characters were all likable (even the bad guys were great as bad guys). The interactions between friends were exactly how teenagers would react to each other. Especially when a new character is introduced, best friends must figure out the new piece to the puzzle.

Author Jackiem Joyner does a fantastic job describing the landscapes, helping the reader visualize but not drown in the details. The balance can be tricky to find, but Zarya nails it.

The author designed a world in need of a hero and a quest that was perfect for a laid-back but enjoyable read.

As an adult, I enjoyed it, and I know that my younger self would have loved it too!

Get your copy here (affiliate link).


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Review: You are Deathless by Nicole Angelique Kerr

You Are Deathless chronicles Nicole Kerr’s near-death experience and the lessons that she learned.

Throughout the book, Nicole shares photos from her recovery. Pictures with the people who helped her. And most interestingly, the image from the news article of the crash shows the car. Seeing that photo makes me wonder how anyone could have lived through it.

Early in the book, Nicole delves into the topic of our identities and how they can be wrapped up in different things. When something tragic (like a car accident) happens, we lose our sense of identity. That chapter hit me hard as I identified with losing my identity after an unknown injury prevented me from kickboxing. I felt so alone throughout my struggle to find out who I am now. Reading Nicole’s story helped me know I am not alone in that struggle. 

The other key takeaway Nicole shared was the connection to food to feel joy from past trauma. Struggling with food is a common problem. You Are Deathless explores past traumas leading us to our current behaviours.

Overall, this is an interesting read.

Get your copy here (affiliate link).

Posted in Blog, Reviews

Review: Love and Pieces by Peter Topside

Love and Pieces is a creepy story about Roger losing the love of his life. He isn’t ready to let her go, but something else is ready to have her.

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The book starts in Meadowsville, the city of his previous trilogy. Don’t worry; you don’t need to have read the others to understand that destruction breeds destruction. The chapter doesn’t go too far into the story of Blackheart (read the preternatural series to know more), which I appreciated since I knew the other stories, but even if I didn’t, I don’t think it would have taken away from this story. This is a standalone story in the same world as the trilogy.

The book starts strong with the destruction of Meadowsville and continues on this dark path as the story moves to its main city.

Roger, the main character, has recently lost his young wife. He isn’t ready to let her go and takes her home with him, only to find out that a decomposing body doesn’t hold up well. He is on a mission to find someone to help him keep the body together. This is how he meets Mr. Whiskey, arguably the best character in the whole book because of all the cheesy mortician jokes!

While Roger is trying to keep his wife alive, something else has a taste for her. This ghoulish encounter piques Roger’s interest to know more about the creature. Eventually, leading him to… (oops, no spoilers).

The writing in this book has a darker tone than the Preternatural series and a more adult theme. Peter Topside continues to perfect his writing style and dig deep into human relationships.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I think it is my new favourite by Peter Topside!

Get your copy here (affiliate link).

Posted in Blog, Reviews

Review: Recruited by D.C. Gomez

Sixty-five years in the future, the world is turned asunder. Elisha, a witch, with her familiar, Elijah, are tasked with finding a potential cure to the plague. Elisha doesn’t want to help the humans, but she is intrigued by what this cure could be.

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Recruited is an easy, fast-paced read. DC Gomez sticks to the necessities of the story and keeps it moving.

This story is separate from the Intern Diaries but mentions the other series. You don’t need to read the other series to read this, but if you have, when Constantine and Death are mentioned, you can chuckle at the reference.

Elijah is my favourite character! A smart-mouth cat that likes to play with friends – zombies. His personality is exactly what I think a cat would be like if they could talk. Elisha is pretty badass, and I wouldn’t want to be up against her in a fight.

Overall, I enjoyed this story and would love to see how it ends in the next part.

Get your copy here (affiliate link).

Posted in Blog, Reviews

Review: 5150: A Transfer by Duncan MacLeod

Mental health affects everyone, directly or indirectly, with various onset times. Schizophrenia often has an onset in the early 20s, and this novel takes us through Ethan’s psychosis. He is taken into outer space and must find his way back before his brain turns to cotton. The orange juice makes him forget, and he is losing time.

When I was first given this book, I didn’t understand the title, 5150. Once I learned that 5150 meant being put on psychiatric hold, I realized that was what ‘being formed’ meant where I live. The title fits the book perfectly!

There is not much outer dialogue but a huge amount of inner dialogue. 5150 is written in first person, giving insight into Ethan’s state of mind that second or third-person viewpoints would not have been able to provide. It was the perfect choice for this book.

Seeing the world through Ethan’s eyes as he slowly falls deeper into his psychosis is heartwrenching. He has no idea what is happening to him and has strangers (doctors) telling him what to do. He didn’t even know he was ill.

5150 is a must-read for anyone interested in the mental health field.

Get your copy here (affiliate link).