Archives

The War Between by Jennifer Withers

Source: Amazon
Format: Kindle
Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

I read this book some time ago now, so it’s long past time I wrote a review.

Set in South Africa between present-day Johannesburg and Pretoria, this book is a dystopian vision of the future. In essence, pure humans live in Pretoria, while superhumans live in Johannesburg. There is mention of other settlements, and one appears in the story, but the focus is on the two.

This was an entertaining read, and very well executed considering the complexity of the story. I would have liked to see some more character development, but apart from that, Withers covered all her bases and delivered a solid tale.

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Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

Slave to SensationSource: Own collection
Format: Ebook
Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

Dive into a world torn apart by a powerful race with phenomenal powers of the mind – and none of the heart. In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of ‘rehabilitation’ – the complete psychic erasure of her personality . . .

Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy co-existence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murder of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion – and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities – or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation . . .

This book was recommended to me by a huge fan of the Psy-Changeling series.

Sascha Duncan is a Psy, and daughter of a member of the Psy Council. The Psy have dedicated themselves to the eradication of emotion. But Sascha feels emotions, and her shields are beginning to show signs of wear as she grows older. Assigned to oversee a development run by Lucas Hunter, a Changeling, she finds herself among people who live and exude the sensations she must, as a Psy, deny herself. And yet she finds herself allowing sensation in, attempting to satisfy the cravings.

But there is so much more to this book than that. There’s a serial killer who is known by the Changelings to be Psy, and there’s a member of the Psy Council who wants to have a private chat with Sascha. And there are leopard cubs.

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I began to read this story, but what I got out was an excellent, well-structured story with plenty of suspense, tension and, well, sensation. One of the things I really appreciated was how “sensational” (for want of a better word) it was. With Sascha’s obsession with and craving for sensation, Singh focused in on this beautifully, communicating Sascha’s need so well. This book wouldn’t have been the same without this element, and it totally reinforced the title. I also liked how protective Lucas is as a person. To a fault, in some instances, but for the most part his heart is in the right place.

An excellent read for those who love animal shifters and characters with psionic abilities. I will be looking out the next book in the series.

Pirate Bound by Carysa Locke

Pirate BoundSource: Copy from author
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

Received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Talented Pirates have suffered loss. Some years ago a deadly virus swept through the female Pirates, decimating them. Now the Pirates face extinction since they have few viable females to bear talented children. Then the Pirates come across two female Talented, Sanah and Nayla, exhausted and wary, who have escaped from a Talented organisation known as Veritas. Nayla is a biokineticist, able to heal on a cellular level, who’s Talent is required by their brother Niall – working for Veritas – for it’s killing abilities.

What a fantastic story. Each of the main characters, and a few of the secondary characters, are well developed with differing personalities, goals and desires. Dem’s qualities as a protective hero make him very endearing, and I enjoyed his internal battle with his Talents. That really made me chuckle. Cannon was an extremely insightful Pirate King who really keeps his finger on the pulse. It would be nice to one day read more about him, and also about Treon, Dem’s enigmatic brother.

Inventive and well-written, I hope to read many more books about the Telepathic Space Pirates. This definitely checks all my boxes in space opera, psychic talents and romance. This is excellent stuff right here, reminiscent of the best of Anne McCaffrey.

Prophecy by Lea Kirk

Prophecy

Source: ARC from author.
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating:  5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

One normal day turns into a nightmare when Earth is attacked. Now ER nurse Alexandra Bock is imprisoned aboard an alien slave ship with no way out. She deems all aliens untrustworthy, including the handsome blue-skinned Matiran captain who shares her cell.

Zhurrat Reviews received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

One night of betrayal leaves Senior Captain Gryf Helyg a prisoner of his enemies. Because of him, Earth’s indigenous people face extinction and his home world is threatened. But his plans for escape are complicated by his inexplicable draw to the Earth woman imprisoned with him.

One ancient prophecy holds the key to free Alexandra and Gryf’s war-ravaged worlds. Can two wounded souls who have lost everything learn to trust and forgive in order to fulfill the prophecy, and find a love that will last for eternity?

Wow. Where do I start?

First up, Prophecy is Lea Kirk’s debut novel, and it’s impressive. I think I have a new author to add to my list of ‘must-read’ authors. This novel is ambitious, but it lives up to the challenge. Galactic warfare, planetary near-annihilation, romance, prophecies, intrigue, villains, heroes and heroines, this book has it all. Oh, and a lovely twist on the soul-mate concept. And if you thought you knew all about Atlantis, think again. Kirk spins a tale that’s so believable you might find yourself rewriting the history you remember.

And I’ll say this: this book provided excellent escapist reading on a day when I really needed it.

Well written and vivid, Kirk easily draws the reader in to the world she has created, then traps them there right up till the end.

Keir’s Fall by Pippa Jay

KeirsFallSource: ARC from author
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

It’s been a year in paradise for Keir and Quin, but now the idyll is over. After Quin falls sick, they return to the hidden sanctuary of Lyagnius, and what she learns there will not only change their lives, but set them on a journey that could separate them forever.

When Keir falls victim to a ruthless Nercaandi Empress bent on conquering the galaxy with her cybernetic army, it will take all Quin’s diminishing powers and the help of her son to find him. But what waits for her aboard the tyrant’s ship will test her strength and the limits of their love, and put everything she cares about at risk. Including Keir.

With the galaxy itself about to fall, will she be able to save him?

Zhurrat Reviews received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

We meet Keir and Quin on Kasha-Asor, their idyllic island on Metraxi. It soon becomes evident that Quin is not feeling herself, and Keir persuades her to return to her Lyagnius base. On discovering that she is pregnant, they journey to Gethyon’s world, Loganum, so that Quin can be with her son until the baby is born. Things don’t quite go according to plan, and Quin finds herself back at Lyagnius, and Keir in the clutches of Tyra-Lee, a power-grabbing tyrant.

This second book in the Redemption series sure packs a lot of punch. When I’d finished reading it, I couldn’t believe that it’s *only* 71k words. Jay gets a lot of travel into those words, and not much goes astray.

At times Keir’s Fall is a real page turner. One evening I was reading it and told myself I had to get off the computer. Half an hour later I found myself still sitting here, reading. Not entirely sure where that time went, but Keir was busy, lol!

It’s fantastic to get another instalment of Keir’s story, and this book doesn’t disappoint. Keep giving us more stories, please!