Book Reviews: Axiom – The Last Hope by Rachel Marie Pearcy

I highly recommend this book. My review below contains spoilers, but if you like lesbians in space then this is the book for you. Pearcy is an excellent writer and her characters are fantastic. 

***THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR AXIOM: THE LAST HOPE***

It’s been a while since I read a story so compelling I didn’t want to put it down.

Pearcy creates a dystopian world full of fear. A world where biological warfare and a war-ravaged Earth forced everyone to flee to the moon under a tyrannical regime.

Ella and Carly are incredible and interesting characters and the friends they make along that way that both accept them and abhor them make this book so complex and wonderful.

Every twist and turn brought new insight into the characters and Pearcy fleshes them out really well.

I will say there were a few times where I felt like Pearcy fell into some issues with stereotypes. Mainly when Ella and Carly speak ill of STEM subjects like math and science while their male counterparts excel at them.

And again, when Paige is made out to be a shrill mean girl with no redemption arc. I understand that Paige was a strong candidate for that arc while her counterpart and husband, Phillip, was easier to redeem just in time to save everyone in the end. However, those are the small nitpicky things I have to say.

The relationship between the two main characters is heartwarming and fantastically written. Pearcy is a compelling own voices author of lesbian romance, not to mention she truly captures the fear of abandonment and judgment people in the LGBT community can feel when outing themselves to their peers.

Carly is exceptionally well-written and Ella is an excellent narrator.

I am a little sad Ella never gets to see her parents again even once everyone is settled in their new roles, but the ending was so sweet and amazing I’m willing to overlook that little tidbit.

I can’t help but think her dad would have made an excellent grandfather, though.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a truly compelling coming of age story that takes place on the moon.

More about Axiom: The Last Hope

Finally, all parts of the Axiom Series come together in one book.

Generations ago, the human species was driven to the brink of extinction, forcing those who remained to flee to the city of Axiom; a utopian paradise where all your decisions are made for you. The house you live in, your occupation, and even your marriage arrangement are all regulated by the Assembly, leaving the pressures of free will far behind you.

As Annabella Bower enters her last year of schooling, and the final step to adulthood, she’s blissfully unaware of the horrors her perfect city hides, but all that’s about to change. A spark between ‘Ella’ and her new dorm-mate Carly turns her world upside down and opens her eyes to the harsh reality around them.

Suddenly she can see students are dying, there’s a rebel group rising outside the school walls, and if anyone discovers her relationship with Carly, the consequences are dire. With graduation quickly approaching, Ella will have to make the hardest decision of her life- either continue to follow the laws of Axiom or give up everything for love.

Get your copy of Axiom on Amazon

Book Reviews: Impostors by Scott Westerfeld

Most of you know that Scott Westerfeld is my favorite author. I post about him constantly on my social media and tweet at him and I’ve even been retweeted by him. Twice. 

So it should come as no surprise that I devoured his new book.

At first, I wasn’t sure how to feel about a new series set in the Uglies universe. I thought the original trilogy was okay. I wasn’t even really a huge fan of Extras. I hardly even remember reading it save for the bits about Tally and a few of the more outrageous body mods.

On page one, I was apprehensive. Then I realized, without even noticing I’d somehow read 50 pages. Then another 50. And another 50 until it was suddenly 5am and I forgot to sleep. 

I was so interested in Rafi and Frey and their story and their sisterhood that I literally forgot to sleep. I’m a grown adult. I have a JOB. I had family in town from 3,000 miles away. But I literally couldn’t put this book down. 

The romance was great too. Scott Westerfeld is to date the only author who can get me to read and enjoy straight romance. This man is magic. But in all truthfulness, the way Scott gets me to read these kinds of things is by never once making the relationship or romance the sole plot of the story. 

Romance can be a bit nausea-making for me. Especially where purple prose is concerned, but Scott has a way of toning all of that down and focusing on his characters and making them so undeniably real you start to feel connected to them. 

This was a great read. It brought me back to 13 years ago when I read the first Uglies novel. When I became so connected to Tally’s story and her world that I devoured every book Scott Westerfeld has ever written. Frey and Rafi are so compelling as characters that it leaves me wanting more. 

Their story sparked something in me. I cannot wait to read more of this series and to see what else Scott Westerfeld has up his sleeve. 

More about Impostors

Frey and Rafi are inseparable . . . two edges of the same knife. But Frey’s very existence is a secret.

Frey is Rafi’s twin sister and her body double. Their powerful father has many enemies, and the world has grown dangerous as the old order falls apart. So while Rafi was raised to be the perfect daughter, Frey has been taught to kill. Her only purpose is to protect her sister, to sacrifice herself for Rafi if she must.

When her father sends Frey in Rafi’s place as collateral in a precarious deal, she becomes the perfect impostor as poised and charming as her sister. But Col, the son of a rival leader, is getting close enough to spot the killer inside her. As the deal starts to crumble, Frey must decide if she can trust him with the truth . . . and if she can risk becoming her own person.

With Impostors, master storyteller Scott Westerfeld returns with a new series set in the world of his mega-bestselling Uglies a world full of twist and turns, rebellion and intrigue, where any wrong step could be Frey’s last.

Buy it here on Amazon

Book Reviews: Corin by Ava Burkhart

The writing needs a lot of work, but for a debut short story, this was fairly good. I couldn’t really get a grasp on the characters or the world they lived in, so honestly, from my viewpoint, it could have been longer. I’m not a huge fan of vampires, but I do like supporting lesbian romance. However, I think the romance between Corin and Lindsay moved very quickly. I know there’s a lot of joking in lesbian culture about how lesbian relationships move very fast, but I find it hard to believe that Lindsay would have chosen Corin over her mother after hardly knowing her for a few weeks.

There were a lot of things I felt were detrimental to the story. There isn’t enough description or time to grow to like the characters. Magical realms need time to be set up, there’s a lot of world building required to write these kinds of stories. Also, the way the book was designed left a lot to be desired. You shouldn’t have both a paragraph indentation and a double space between every paragraph. It looks bad.

All in all, I did enjoy the story. There’s nothing like a heartwarming lesbian story about two unlikely people falling in love, but I hope in the future Burkhart will continue to grow and persevere to make their writing better. I know from experience how hard it can be to publish something on your own without an editor, cover designer, or someone to format your book.

You’ve made incredible strides, Ava. I wish you all the best and may your stories become even better moving forward. I’ll be watching and keeping up with your work. One LGBT author to another, we need all the support we can get. 

More about Corin

The daughter of a vampire hunter falls in love with the same vampire her mother is hunting. Lindsay and Corin are soon forced to pretend to be dating to keep her mother off their trail.
A pulpy, cheesy novella about useless lesbians in love. 

READ IT NOW ON AMAZON

Book Review: The Unfortunate Expiration of David S. Sparks by William F. Aicher

From start to finish, this book is a complete science fiction masterpiece. I was hooked right away. Science fiction is one of my all-time favorite genres and William Aicher knows exactly what he’s doing. 

He creates a world where David S. Sparks is dropped, with no memories, into a very dangerous place. He meets what is essentially a terrorist, who befriends him and takes him on a long journey through some really interesting places (as you can see I’m trying not to spoil anything). 

There is a lot of things that are super creepy and somewhat gross that happen to David on his journey, but they make the story so much better. There’s all this action and adventure and mishaps in this world David knows nothing about.

There’s a huge reveal about ¾ of the way through that I never saw coming. And, to be honest, I have a really easy time guessing plot points. The fact that William Aicher managed to keep me in the dark until he was ready for me to know that information is incredible. I actually had to stop reading for a few days to recover. 

The prose and overall writing structure of David Sparks flows so smoothly from one idea and one chapter to the next. The writing is incredible and so professional. This has got to be in my top 5 favorite books I’ve read this year. 

Great job, William, I look forward to reading more from you.

MORE ON DAVID SPARKS AND WHERE TO BUY

Who is David S. Sparks? Where is David S. Sparks? When is David S. Sparks?

In the aftermath of The Chemical Wars, nature has reclaimed humanity’s infrastructure. This world, lush with life – yet dangerously uninhabitable for mankind – houses the remaining population who ekes out an existence in quarantined cities anchored off the mainland.

David S. Sparks awakens into the chaos of this future world, unsure of his place in a reality wildly different from his fragmented memories. As the desire to retake the planet swells, so too does the question of how. Will the same mistakes be repeated? Can technology beat nature, or is it time for another approach? And what is David Sparks’ role in it all?

Dive into a wild, mind-bending journey as one man chases the ultimate question of self, discovering the truly elusive nature of reality. 

Buy DAVID SPARKS on AMAZON.

How to Review Books

Recently I published a tweet talking about how important it is to review the works you read. Every single book your reading deserves a review, whether it’s good, bad, or ugly. You owe it to the author to tell them what you thought. 

Another thing I get is “How do I review a book?” or “How do I make my review sound good?” 

And honestly, that isn’t something you should worry about. How did the book make you feel? What were things you personally liked or disliked about it?

Reviews are your way of telling the author that you enjoyed something they wrote or to criticize them constructively on things you didn’t like. Or even both at the same time. 

It is absolutely 100% okay to write a review that simply says “I really liked this story! I can’t wait to read more from you in the future!”

You don’t have to write a novel. All you have to do is give the author the praise and recognition they deserve.

Book Review: Distant Memories by J.L. Keathley

At first glance, Distant Memories seems a little strange. It isn’t your typical impeccably edited novel, but instead J.L Keathley chooses to work outside of the novel standard and write a book with mistakes. This, is a style choice and an incredible one at that.

The story follows Jade, a teenager who lives in Texarkana, Arkansas. She’s your typical, All-American teen who lives with her friendly and wonderful grandmother and has the best of best friends. The book is told from her point of view and very much reads like a teenager’s diary. 

In the beginning, the book is slow, but once it comes time for Jade’s 16th birthday, everything changes very quickly. Jade undergoes an incredible transformation from her human self into something so much more. Her world becomes bigger and brighter and a lot more confusing.

She loses people, she finds people, and she becomes an adult in such a short amount of time. That’s where things get even weirder. J.L Keathley writes this story wonderfully, every single part of it written like a diary entry from Jade’s point of view as she slowly discovers who she really is and what her place is in the world. 

The numerous twists and turns and big reveals had me reeling for the entire book. There is still so much to learn and know about Jade and her new shadow realm family. 

This book is incredible and always left me guessing. The big reveal at the end ALONE was enough to make me shout “WHAT THE HECK!!” angrily at the sky. 

Well done, J.L I cannot wait for the second book, Impossible Decisions, when it is released in 2019. 

You can purchase Distant Memories on Amazon.