Book Tour & Excerpt: The Departed by @kristycooperYA


The Departed


Author: Kristy Cooper
Published: July 6th, 2016
Pages: 176
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia, Religion


Source:  I received this book for free from YA Bound Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review.

FREE on Kindle Unlimited


Blurb:

What if someone tried to fake the rapture?

When hundreds of thousands of people disappear in the middle of the night, including sixteen-year-old Gwen's best friend Lana, no one knows why. Some believe they were taken in the rapture, while others are convinced that it can't be true. Doomsday prophecies abound that involve horrifying tales of plague, famine, earthquakes, and more.

At first, Gwen doesn't know what to think. While she is busy mourning Lana, many people around her are getting taken in by the cultish True Believers Temple, including Gwen's dad and her friend Mindy. It is clear that more and more people are going to be pressured to join this church, as it starts taking over the media and the government, gaining zealous followers all over the world.

Then Gwen starts receiving emails from Lana. She claims to have been forced into hiding with thousands of others in an underground compound. Gwen is convinced the emails are real and the only other person who also believes her is Isaiah, her moody crush. Together they resolve to find out where everyone is hiding and help set Lana free.


My Review:

The Departed Excerpt from Chapter 1

The first strange thing that happened was that my best friend Lana didn't text me back that morning. This is the kind of statement that makes adults roll their eyes, and at first I didn't think anything of it either. We usually exchanged about twenty-plus messages every morning before we got to school. I figured that she may have just gotten in trouble and her parents had taken her phone away, which happened pretty often. One time they took her phone away because she had been caught texting during a church service. Another time they took it away just because her lip gloss looked too "lipsticky"—whatever that means. They were super strict like that.

The next weird thing that happened was when I came down to the kitchen for breakfast and found my mom completely absorbed in her tablet. This was only weird because she had a rule about anyone using devices during "family time," which the ten minutes it took me to eat breakfast were supposed to constitute.

Normally, she would immediately put it down when I came into the room in order for me not to think she was being a hypocrite. Instead she continued her concentrated scowl in the glow of her tablet's screen, despite the fact that I had already poured my cereal and was sitting across from her at the table.

"Ahem," I finally said with my eyebrows raised.

Mom looked up at me sheepishly. "Sorry about that, Gwen," she said, putting her tablet down. "What do you have planned for today?" I figured whatever she was looking at must not have been that important if she didn't think it was worth mentioning.

"The usual. You know, going to school and stuff." I knew how much my mom hated vague answers to specific questions. She prided herself on having open communication with her teenager.

"Okay, I deserved that."

I smiled. "I think Lana is in trouble again," I offered.

"What else is new?" she laughed.

"She hasn't replied to me yet all morning."

"Holy rollers can be such buzzkills. Aren't you lucky to have cool parents that are not punishing you all the time?"

"Yeah, you guys are so cool . . ." I said, rolling my eyes. I considered that maybe I should find some friends whose parents were obviously cooler so my mom didn’t let it get into her head that she is such a "cool" parent. "There's totally nothing cooler than parents who point out how cool they are all the time."

"Well, if we don't point it out, you might forget," my dad said as he walked into the kitchen. "What's going on this morning?"

"Lana hasn't texted Gwen back yet this morning. So obviously something catastrophic has happened," Mom answered.

"You know, she could just be in the shower or something?" Dad pointed out. "Or do you guys bring your phones in the shower now too?"

"Yeah, it's been like a half hour. No one showers that long."

"Well, I would if I didn't have to go to work every morning."

"Great story, Dad . . ." I said and took another bite of my cereal.


About Kristy Cooper:

Kristy Cooper found herself often contemplating unusual what-if scenarios and knew it was time to start writing them down. She worked as a librarian for years and is now busy raising small children and writing YA novels. 

Stay up to date with her books at kristycooper.com, follow her on twitter @kristycooperYA, and find her on facebook at facebook.com/AuthorKristyCooper.


Book Review: Saven Denial by @siobhandavis

Saven Denial


Series: Saven #2.5
Author: Siobhan Davis
Published: May 21st, 2016
Pages: 98
Audience: YA
Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel, Aliens


Source:  I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review.

Available for FREE with Kindle Unlimited


Blurb:

THE TRUTH HURTS

My mother was right to fear me. 
I’m an abomination. 
And the world should be very afraid.
 

Sadie has been kidnapped by the Tor, the vindictive alien race who destroyed Thalassic City. As her past, present, and future collides, her worst nightmare looks set to become her shocking new reality. 

A deliberate pawn in leader Griselda’s vengeful game, Sadie is horrified to learn the truth about her heritage and the destiny that’s already been mapped out for her. Refusing to cooperate, she risks paying the ultimate price for her defiance. 

Love for Logan is her only motivation to stay alive. Saving him is the only thing that matters—the fate of the world depends upon it. While he may never forgive her, she’s determined to protect him. Until her dying breath. 

Note from the author: 
This continues the story from where it ended in Saven Disclosure. This is not an optional novella but an essential read if you don't want to miss out on important plot developments. Please note there is a cliffhanger and it is not a standalone story. You will need to continue the series to find out what is next in store for Sadie and Logan.


My Review:

If you have been keeping up with my posts, you will see that this novella is #2.5 in the Saven series by Siobhan Davis. Check out earlier review of Saven Deception and Saven Disclosure here.

If there’s one thing Davis does well is grip you with some amazing story telling and this novella doesn’t disappoint. Although Denial is much shorter than the previous novels, it packs a mighty punch in both the story and in your feels.

Disclosure left you in a high stakes cliffhanger that resumes in Denial. Sadie’s life is crazy. She’s involved in all kinds of political drama – both human and alien, she’s fighting for equal rights, her love life is smoldering *wink wink* to those who have/will read the book.

Without her choice, Sadie is whisked away to another alien world where she discovers many truths about herself, most of them appalling. She holds on her love for Logan and all of her friends and family left behind on earth – using that love to strengthen her resolve.

“She acts as if she knows me, and it scares the hell out of me” – Saven Denial, Siobhan Davis

Denial was by far my favorite book of the series (so far). I can honestly say my love for this book is because Logan is not a key player. He’s in her thoughts and fuels her actions, but he’s not there being overbearing. It was refreshing.

We are introduced to new characters – specifically Axton who I enjoyed and although I know Logan is Sadie’s eterno/soul-mate, I’d ship her with Axton any day just because he can control his über alpha maleness better than Logan.

Seriously though, there was so much information revealed and deep character development for Sadie that redeemed some of the quirks I grew to dislike. Her actions and history revealed in Denial should make for an interesting return to Earth.

“The truth is on the outskirts of my mind, playing a spiteful game of hide and seek.” – Saven Denial, Siobhan Davis

Pick up this novella. I speculate that you will have to read this novella to continue the series. So don’t miss out. If you like aliens, fire-powered babes, politics, secret histories, crazy time-travel enigmas that you could easily forgive because hey it’s science fiction, and a heroine who just wants to know what the hell is going on… pick up Saven Denial.

Blog Tour & Review: Artificial by Jadah McCoy @theQueryFaerie + #GIVEAWAY


Artificial


Series: The Kepler Chronicles #1
Author: Jadah McCoy
Published: April 4th, 2016
Pages: 225
Audience: New Adult
Genre: Science Fiction, Genetic Engineering


Source:  I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review.

Available for FREE with Kindle Unlimited


Blurb:

She struggles to feel human.

In 2256, the only remnants of civilization on Earth’s first colonized planet, Kepler, are the plant-covered buildings and the nocturnal, genetically spliced bug-people nesting within them: the Cull. During the day, Syl leaves her home in the sewers beneath Elite City to scavenge for food, but at night the Cull come looking for a meal of their own. Syl thought gene splicing died with the Android War a century ago. She thought the bugs could be exterminated, Elite city rebuilt, and the population replenished. She’s wrong.

Whoever engineered the Cull isn’t done playing God. Syl is abducted and tortured in horrific experiments which result in her own DNA being spliced, slowly turning her into one of the bugs. Now she must find a cure and stop the person responsible before every remaining man, woman, and child on Kepler is transformed into the abomination they fear.

He struggles not to.

For Bastion, being an android in the sex industry isn’t so bad. Clubbing beneath the streets of New Elite by day and seducing the rich by night isn’t an altogether undesirable occupation. But every day a new android cadaver appears in the slum gutters, and each caved in metal skull and heap of mangled wires whittles away at him.

Glitches—androids with empathy—are being murdered, their models discontinued and strung up as a warning. Show emotion, you die. Good thing Bastion can keep a secret, or he would be the next body lining the street.

He can almost live with hiding his emotions. That is, until a girl shows up in the slums—a human girl, who claims she was an experiment. And in New Elite, being a human is even worse than being a Glitch. Now Bastion must help the girl escape before he becomes victim to his too-human emotions, one way or another.


My Review:

“When the sky is bruised purple, when the shattered glass no longer glints, that is when they wake.” – Artificial, Jadah McCoy

When it comes to science fiction, it doesn’t take a lot to make me excited. The genre speaks to me in ways that none of the others can compare to. Yes, I have been feeling a little BLAH with the influx of dystopias as of late, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t pick one up.  That being said, when I was scanning through book tours and saw the absolutely gorgeous cover for Artificial and then read the exciting blurb – I got all kinds of excited for this novel.

“If I’ve learned anything from the few yellowed and fragile history books that remain, it’s that mankind loves nothing more than a scapegoat.” – Artificial, Jadah McCoy

Artificial is not a typical YA/NA dystopia. It’s a layered masterpiece of storytelling that keeps you both enthralled and confused by the complexities of this futuristic society. AND I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT! I just cannot think of another book – that I have read – that includes so many SciFi elements (genetic engineering, androids, other worlds, dystopia society, and all wrapped in a neat cyberpunk package) in a way that doesn’t feel phony and weave them into a multifaceted story of civil liberties of intelligent creatures and morality.

Syl, a human living in the sewage under the former human city of Elite, is a gritty and raw lead female that has no issues expressing herself and fighting for what she feels is right. She is a refreshing character in the expansive landscape of female-lead dystopias.

“That look is back – the starry-eyed one I always ignore. Maybe if I ignore it long enough, his feelings will go away.” – Artificial, Jadah McCoy

Syl’s hardness is a direct result of having to fight for her life every day since the moment she was born.

“That’s just like him, shove little Syl out of the way so the menfolk can blow stuff up with their big, phallic guns.” – Artificial, Jadah McCoy

Her tenacity is forged from being told that her job as a woman is to ensure humanity’s survival through procreation instead of fighting.

“I refuse to be one of those wide-eyed women back at the Sanctuary – the ones who stare as the Cull’s pincers slice them in two.” – Artificial, Jadah McCoy

Then there is Bastion, a sex android who is trying to stay under the radar of those in charge of the machine-run town of New Elite. He is a glitch – an android who has emotions. In an ironic twist of governing, the androids in charge have deemed glitches as “human sympathizers” and will be destroyed. Bastion character compliments Syl perfectly. Where Syl tamps down any emotion she feels and tries not to make any deep connections, Bastion feels everything and has a sassy personality to boot – never thought I would ever write that about an android. Since the story is told from both character’s perspectives, the reader gets to feel his emotions without Bastion giving himself away.

“She would fight him like an angry kitten would fight a dog, but she would still lose.” – Artificial, Jadah McCoy

Let me be straight with you, I honestly thought going in that Syl and Bastion would either insta-love or do the slowly, but steady fall madly in love with each other thing. Neither happened and – again – I couldn’t be happier. Yes, there is a spark of feeling between the two that encourages their continued involvement in each other’s lives, but it doesn’t go much farther than that – I’m sure future installments will expound upon those feelings and for that, I cannot wait.

When it comes to series, authors (myself included) tend to leave endings open or in a maddening cliffhanger. McCoy leaves Artificial wrapped up rather nicely to where you feel like you finished a story, but then sets up the next book in a way that doesn’t leave the reader feeling unsatisfied. Bravo McCoy!

If you like an imaginative world building that is descriptive in subtle ways – my favorite type of narrative when it comes to complex science fiction worlds – a gritty female lead, a sassy sex-bot android, monsters of the genetic variety, as well as, human and android, and dystopian societal structure just looking to be taken down… look no further. Artificial is the book for you.



About Jadah McCoy:

Jadah currently lives in Nashville, TN and works in law. When not babysitting attorneys, she can be found juicing her brain for creative ideas or fantasizing about her next trip out of the country (or about Tom Hiddleston as Loki - it’s always a toss up when she fantasizes).

She grew up in rural Arkansas, yet can still write good and sometimes even wears shoes! She did date her first cousin for a while but they decided against marriage for the sake of the gene pool.

Her true loves are elephants, cursing, and sangria - in that order. If you find an elephant that curses like a sailor whilst drinking sangria, you’re dangerously close to becoming her next romantic victim - er, partner.

She cut her writing teeth on badly written, hormone-driven fanfiction (be glad that’s out of her system), and her one true dream is to have wildly erotic fanfiction with dubious grammar written about her own novels. Please make her dreams come true.


Author Links:

https://jadahmccoy.wordpress.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14903289.Jadah_McCoy

https://www.facebook.com/Jadah-McCoy-Author-1570450153179469/


Book Review: Saven Disclosure by @SiobhanDavis

Saven Disclosure


Series: Saven #2
Author: Siobhan Davis
Published: April 21st, 2016
Pages: 303
Audience: YA
Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel, Aliens


Source:  I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review.

Available for FREE on Kindle Unlimited


Blurb:

THE TRUTH WON’T HIDE FOREVER

To protect Logan, I have no choice but to deceive him. 
But I’m not the only one hiding the truth. 
Will our love survive all the secrets and lies?
 

Enemy alien ships crowd the skies over Earth while the world waits with bated breath. The Saven have been exposed, and where once they were abhorred, they are now championed as our greatest ally and our only possible savior. 

Logan and Sadie have been separated, and the longer he is gone, the more their love is tested by duty, doubts, and deception. 

Sadie and Jarod have infiltrated the highest levels of government, but they are playing a dangerous game. Surrounded by people with conflicting agendas—hell-bent on using her for their own aim—Sadie is confused when the lines between good and evil are blurred. It’s impossible to tell friend from foe, and no one can be trusted. 

When the full extent of the experiments taking place in Sector Twenty is disclosed, Sadie can no longer sit back and watch as the lower classes face a horrific fate. Racing to save her loved ones and mankind, she risks her own safety and the love she’s waited a lifetime for to do the right thing. 

But no one thought to save her from herself.


My Review:

A few months ago, I reviewed a little book called Saven Deception. Although I wasn’t keen on the romance, I still really enjoyed the world and the intricate plot, so when Davis offered for me to be on her ARC team – I jumped on board. There was so many questions left in Deception that needed answered.

Saven Disclosure started off kind of slow for me and it was hard to get back into the world of Sadie and Logan, but it didn’t take too long for things to pick up and the plot to further thicken. There is so much that happens in Disclosure. I’m serious – at times I had a hard time keeping up with the lies and deceit. With that being said, I wasn’t surprised or shocked by any of the twists. In all actuality I was a little bummed with some of the reveals.

But I can tell you what I did love about Disclosure – Aliens! We were introduced to new species and worlds. The details of the alien culture and politics are vivid in their intricacies.

“Spiraling peaks of high-rise buildings glistened and glittered amidst rays of colorful lights sprouting from the dazzling, pulsing city below.” – Saven Disclosure, Siobhan Davis

My little nerd heart went a flutter with the infinite possibilities of additional alien races. Needless to say, I want more aliens.

As far as the characters go, there isn’t much change for me from the last book. Separately, Sadie and Logan’s characters grew in ways that I enjoyed. For example, Sadie grew a little bit more of a backbone.

“I can’t recall the exact moment I became an adrenaline junkie, but there’s no denying my worrisome excitement.” – Saven Disclosure, Siobhan Davis

But together they were just not happening for me and it’s because of the romance, but I’ll get more into that later. Sadie’s relationship with her sister was amazing to read. I loved every moment of them together – I wish the book was more about that kind of love.

“Making new memories is the best cure for past ills.” – Saven Disclosure, Siobhan Davis

I really enjoyed the exploration of lies in relationships – not only romantic ones but in friendships as well – and how it forced the characters to grow and become more aware of others in the sense of how lies can not only emotionally hurt, but in the political environment Sadie finds herself in, lies can be deadly.

Ahh… the romance. At times it is heartbreaking:

“I often wonder how I survived pre-Logan; in those bleak, dark, depressing days when I never had anyone to call my own and my heart was only a life-sustaining organ in my chest.” – Saven Disclosure, Siobhan Davis

At times it can be real:

“I never imagined love could be so complicated and come with so many conditions.” – Saven Disclosure, Siobhan Davis

Then there is this:

“Being with him means more than I can express. It’s everything. He’s everything. I start and end with him.” – Saven Disclosure, Siobhan Davis

I just can’t get on board with the intense all-consuming love that removes Sadie’s will. It just isn’t healthy for the characters or for young female readers. Plus, what bothers me the most is that this relationship is only 6 weeks old at the beginning of Disclosure- most of which they have been separated. Yet, they know each other so well that they can tell when the other is avoiding answering serious questions, but they’re not able to catch any “tells” that the other is lying.

I... I... I just can't.

What it all boils down to me is that I really don’t like this Eterno connection and everything it entails. I really hope something or someone changes in future installments. But until then I’ll agree with Hayden:

 “He isn’t worthy of you. You deserve better, don’t you see?” – Saven Disclosure, Siobhan Davis

Saven Disclosure is a wild ride full of political betrayal, espionage, new worlds, alien wars, ROMANCE EVERYWHERE, and at the center a girl who just wants her people to be free and not conquered by an alien species.

Really is there more you could ask for?  


About Siobhan Davis:

I write young adult science fiction fantasy romance books, set amidst a dystopian world, because they are the types of books that I love to read. Expect lots of kissing and romantic scenes! I also haven't been given the moniker 'The Cliffhanger Queen' for nothing!

A self-professed teenager forever--at least when it comes to books, music, and films, I am totally addicted to YA and NA fiction and superhero/blockbuster movies. I love baking, shoes, bags, makeup, anti-wrinkle cream, anything pink, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, and Robert Pattinson (definitely Team Edward).

Before pursuing a full-time writing career, I forged a successful corporate career in Human Resources over the last twenty years. I live in the Garden County of Ireland with my husband and two sons.

Follow my blog: http://myyanabookobsession.com

Connect with me:

Website: www.siobhandavis.com
Twitter: @siobhandavis
Facebook: TrueCallingBooks
Google+: +SiobhanDavisAuthor


Book Tour: Operation Omen by Taylor Brooke @taysalion + #GIVEAWAY


Operation Omen

Author: Taylor Brooke
Publisher: limitless publishing
Published: January 26th, 2016
Pages: 240
Audience: YA
Genre: Post-apocalyptic, science fiction

Source: I received a copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.


Blurb:

After an epidemic spreads through the country, Brooklyn Harper’s high school years come to an abrupt end.

Implanted in a rural camp, Brooklyn and her friends are cut off from their families and the outside world. Each day is filled with combat training to assure their safety against the crazed, belligerent, and deadly— those infected with a mysterious virus.

If the world couldn’t get any crazier, a letter ups the insanity…

After being assured day after day that the world outside their little camp had been compromised, Brooklyn’s cabin-mate, Dawson Winters, finds a letter that turns everything they’d known upside down. There is a world outside the trees that surrounds their camp, and the virus they all feared seems non-existent.

Determined to see it herself, Brooklyn plots with others to attempt an escape…

On the outside, Brooklyn finds the world is as normal as ever. But when they are attacked in the city, they dispose of their attackers far more efficiently than any normal human.. Is there more to Brooklyn and her friends then just being highly trained?

As their exploration continues, the group is faced with impossible feats. Betrayal, love, death, and a powerful sense of camaraderie lead Brooklyn and her friends to fight for their life, their freedom, and most of all, each other.



About Taylor Brooke:

Taylor Brooke is the author of the sci-fi adventure trilogy The Isolation Series. She started out as a freelance makeup artist, and quickly discovered her love of elves, zombies, mermaids, kaiju, and monsters of all kinds. After receiving eight professional certifications in special effects makeup, working on countless projects, and fleshing out a multitude of fantastical creatures, she turned her imagination back to her one true love — books. Taylor has had a knack for writing since she was a little girl, and received recognition for her skills throughout grade school and junior college. When she’s not nestled in a blanket typing away on her laptop, she can be found haunting the local bookstore with a cup of steaming hot tea in her hands, scanning the shelves for new reads, or hiking one of the many mountains that surround her home in Oregon.