Tag Archives: scifi

Dream Heist by Christina Farley (Book Review)

 

Your dreams are no longer safe…

Eighteen-year-old Aria Hale loves her job at her father’s dream therapy company where she enters dementia patients’ dreams to save their memories. But when their lab is ransacked, two technicians are murdered, and her father is kidnapped, everything changes for her.

Determined to find her father, Aria and her friends embark on a harrowing hunt across continents using the dreams of their enemies to guide them. But this dangerous journey plunges her into a world she never bargained for: deception, intrigue, and even love. As she races to save her father and hunt down her enemies, she soon realizes she’s in fact the one being hunted. And her dreams are the greatest danger of all.

In the vein of Inception meets The Bourne Identity, THE DREAM HEIST propels readers into fast-paced adventure that will have you racing to the very end.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from R&R Book Tours.
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

A person must treat dream walking as one would time traveling, observe but don’t interact. You need to get in and get out unnoticed. Aria broke her father’s rule. She broke more than one. She knew patient 145 identity and didn’t take fade out of the Dreamscape. Her rule-breaking did, in the end, become their saving grace.

Dr. Hale created MaxLife with good intentions. He wanted to help restore the memories of dementia patients. However, others saw his technology as a way to fatten their bank accounts. 

There was a blossoming romance between two eighteen-year-old high schoolers, but they only kissed. Their connection was crucial to stopping their adversaries in their trackers. 

The methods they used to stop the “bad guys” will intrigue those in the tech world. It’ll be right up the alley of those whose favorite genre is science fiction. 

If you’re a gamer, you’ll like Jake’s private workstation and gaming ideas. Comics fans might like it too! 

Murder. Explosions. Kidnappings. Poison. Humor. Suspense. Action. Adventure. Vivid dream sequences. These ten things made Dream Heist a book I’ll want to read more than once, and hopefully, you too. It also made me rethink ever joining a sleep study test. 🙂

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

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Meet the Author

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CHRISTINA FARLEY is the author of the bestselling Gilded series, THE PRINCESS AND THE PAGE, and THE DREAM HEIST. Prior to that, she worked as an international teacher and at a top secret job for Disney where she was known to scatter pixie dust before the sun rose. When not traveling the world or creating imaginary ones, she spends time with her family in Clermont, Florida with her husband and two sons where they are busy preparing for the next World Cup, baking cheesecakes, and raising a pet dragon that’s in disguise as a cockatiel. Visit her online at ChristinaFarley.com.

Christina Farley | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

 

 

 

 

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Beyond the Father: Gods on Trial by Opëshum (Book Spotlight)

“Beyond the Father” sets the scene for the 8-book Epic “gods on Trial: The Series,” delving into life’s determination to transcend all limitation. Set on the planet Xżyber, citizens of the Sub-median Region, imperfectly reborn into metal oppress those who are organic. Elsewhere, in the Central Kingdom, religion supports royalty’s brutal domination of the lowest class. War over scarce resources is coming, while revolution within each region is brewing, while none know of the eccentric god who created them. This being watches, has fascinating conversations with his often-wiser companion, occasionally learns and rarely intervenes. The many levels and threads of struggle distract nearly all from a far greater threat. Meanwhile, the young Prince Anglid’s vision quest into the unexplored Area X may ultimately change everything. However, just when you think you know the direction of the story, the author has yet another surprise.

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Episode 7 – PREVIEW
Bitter-Sweet Choice

 

“Fleet number, rank, and make?” asked the assignment officer at GATE 11, on the central floor of Team Command.

“44772PX, cadet, 40% Non-Mollard,” the next in line replied, quickly.

“Cleared. Report to HAS 4 in Field 8,” the assignment officer abruptly responded. “Next? I need Fleet number, rank, and make!”

“23619RX, cadet, 30% Non-Mollard,” replied the next in line.

“You’re cleared. Report to HAS 1, in Field 10,” said the assignment officer. “Next!”

“Thank you, yes! I’m next,” responded another cadet, rushing up to the window. Her rucksack slid off of her shoulder, where the stub of a missing arm stuck out just beyond the sleeve of her shirt. “Here are all of my papers,” the cadet said, spreading out a pile of disheveled notes.

“Hold it! I just need a fleet number, a rank and your make. I don’t need your life story,” snapped the officer.

“Of course. I’m 24005RX . . . sub-cadet, 100% Non-Mollard.”

The assignment officer studied the cadet disapprovingly. “100%—non-Mollard,” he repeated, carefully scanning the cadet’s face. “Didn’t know they still let your kind in. And who is your commanding officer?” he demanded.

“Umm . . . Officer Liara, sir. And my name is Purvi,” continued the sub-cadet.

The assignment officer pushed the papers back at Purvi and frowned. “I don’t need all these papers,” the officer scowled. “And I don’t need your name!”

“I see. Thank you, sir,” Purvi responded, retrieving her papers. But then she paused. “But, you’re a Non-Mollard too, aren’t you?” she pressed. “In which case . . . well, it’s just so hard connecting with anyone here. My whole fleet is mostly Mollard, and . . .”

“Why are you still talking?” the assignment officer interrupted, while entering something into his database. “You’re cleared for HAS 12 over in Field 3.”

Realizing her gestures were unwelcome, Purvi quickly repositioned her rucksack and turned to walk away. But then she turned back around and reapproached the window, consumed by what had become a theme in her life—the burning desire to challenge what she felt was wrong. “Why are you so full of hate when you are still part flesh yourself?” she challenged.

Shocked, the assignment officer slowly looked up to meet Purvi’s bold stare and revealed the circuitry behind his colorless, prosthetic eyes. “How dare you talk to me that way, you little ‘scunt!” he seemed to growl through clench teeth. “How dare you even open your mouth to speak to me without being asked a question? You remind me of everything that shouldn’t be. You’re an unfortunate arrangement of flesh and mineral—with a mouth!” Growing even more impatient, the assignment officer stood up quickly from his chair. “You are just a waste and a burden to us all. Your kind shouldn’t even be here,” he sneered, leaning forward to make his point. “Make no error in. I am part of the new Xżyber and you’re . . . you’re completely expendable.” His voice became deeper, as did his frown. “Now get out of my line!”

Purvi’s face turned red as her anger mounted inside of her. The unfriendly exchange reminded her of the last time she spoke with Timmons, her grandfather. It was the day he had declined his chance to be uploaded to the Vangora Rima and achieve eternal presence.

It was a sullen afternoon, with the family and Timmons’ doctor. As they huddled around the bed where Timmons lay weak, his doctor implored him to reconsider his decision, given he was in the last few days of his life. However, Timmons refused to agree to the upload.

This was an opportunity his family could not fathom he would turn down, and an option only typically available to those who were at least 80% Mollard, or to those who had the means to invest in the technology.

However, Timmons, a brilliant Xżyberian—whose only misfortune was the constraints of poverty—had managed to write numerous social advisories intended to promote harmony between Mollards and Non-Mollards. He’d had hopes that his musings would provide him a source of regular income, but his published works were only well received by some. Highly criticized by most, he quickly won the label of an iconoclast and found himself forced into obscurity.

Yet still, his message captivated the Luminaries—the presiders over news and commentary—who deemed that Timmons’ writings could be useful in the management and wellbeing of the Non-Mollard community, and should be archived as a collection of noble artifacts.

With this came the rarest honor—the right to upload his consciousness to the Vangora Rima until a fully prosthetic body was constructed for him.

Purvi’s mother, who was the only surviving daughter of Timmons, sat by his bedside pleading with him to accept the offer. And Purvi, almost nineteen-years-old at the time, sat on the floor weeping.

“Dearest father, the Vangora Rima has never been within our family’s grasp before,” cried Purvi’s mother, Ariel. “We may never get there—any of us. So, why would you walk away from this now?”

Timmons struggled to speak. “Take my hand, Ariel,” he said through strained breathing. “Please remember what I taught you . . . what I taught all of you about desperation.” Timmons opened his eyes slightly. “It can and will cloud your view and disrupt your clearest thoughts.”

“But, Grandfather!” interjected Purvi. “We love you, and we want you to live forever!” Purvi placed her head down onto the bed, wiping her tears against Timmons’ frail arm.

“Ah, Purvi. My little Purvi,” he said, stroking her hair. “The Vangora Rima would not give you back the grandfather you know. The system would scrub me clean of what it deemed were my imperfections: my concern, and my empathy…my ability to love you.”

“I don’t care about how much it would change you, Grandfather,” Purvi cried. “I have enough love for the both of us.” Purvi looked up, her eyes filled with so much water she could barely see. “I am stronger than you think I am! I will love you even if you can’t love me back!”

“Shh . . . my darling, Purvi.” Timmons whispered. “Please gather yourself and listen to what I have to say.” Timmons removed a ring from his smallest finger and placed it in the palm of one of her hands. “One day, Purvi . . .” he whispered. “One day, when you are fully grown,

you will look into the face of pure evil, and I am eternally grateful that that face will not be mine.”

That was the last time Purvi heard her grandfather speak.

“Are you gonna move, or do I need to have you discharged?” The assignment officer’s voice seemed to pierce through the tender silence. “Get this ‘scunt out of my line!” he yelled, talking to one of the other officers.

Before Purvi could gather herself, she felt an abrupt yank on her shirt as she was pulled out of the line and pushed onto the ground. And before she could determine what was happening, her head was pinned to the ground by the boot of her assailant.

Purvi looked up to see two officers over her, both pointing their weapons, ready to remove her for good.

“I’m sorry! Please—” Purvi said. But then, realizing they were Mollards, and that her pleading would get her nowhere, she quickly used what she knew would save her life. “Thank you for teaching me to respect your power. I detest this flesh of mine. I honor all that is Mollard. I honor you! I honor you! Please…I honor you!”

 

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Meet the Author

Opëshum has been writing since she was a child, and believes that authors are selected by their characters to bring their stories to the world. Incredibly shy and introverted, Opëshum does not make public appearances. She prefers to remain behind the scenes as the characters in her books take center stage. Her current work, the 8-Book SciFi Epic Gods on Trial: The Series™ kicks off with Book 1, BEYOND THE FATHER.  

Opëshum calls Sheridan, Wyoming her home, where she is currently writing Book 2 of this series. She enjoys nature walks, full moons, and open spaces where she can stare up at the stars. 

1iR3 Publishers, LLC

 
 
 

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Spacekid iLK: Stranded! by Andrew Hammond (Book Review)

Spacekid iLK is a sci-fi comedy about an alien finding courage through connection.

iLK’s dad is an alien overlord that invades Earth, but finds ruling over this complex planet too annoying, so he hands it down to his son to look after. iLK resists, but ultimately find a diverse range of friends on Earth and discovers a planet that is worth protecting.

In book 2 – Stranded! – having only recently saved Earth from complete destruction, Spacekid iLK now finds himself stripped of his power and sent to school!

iLK must find a way to get his power back, in order to save the world, from the evil genius he accidentally left in charge – Emilio.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

Spacekid iLK: Stranded! by Andrew Hammond is a comedy, sci-fi novel illustrated with comics and cartoons. While the suggested reading age is 7-13, I (a mid-age person) was drawn to the story. The characters were lovable, and the plotline’s resolution was unique. 

iLK, an alien, came to Earth with his father. His father’s mission was to make Earth go boom. Thankfully, he didn’t carry out his orders. Instead, he put his son in charge of the planet, who then delegated the “boring stuff” to Emilio, a human. iLK and Emilio soon butted heads on who should run the world and be named King. Emilio suggests having a special election in forty-six days to decide who should rule the world.

While iLK plots to win the special election, more aliens arrive on the planet. It was funny how earthlings seemed to grow accustomed to being invaded by aliens from outer space. The “Bubbles” were so cute, and earthlings loved them. The bubble aliens went pop a lot – some by accident and some not. I might’ve been a person who popped them on purpose. 

This story had several storylines happening simultaneously, but they soon merged at the end. Humans and Glubwark aliens were working together to save the planet! 

As I said in my opening statement, this book had comedy. I know readers will laugh at the “villain” who has set out to destroy Earth and the means to defeat them. The illustrations will delight young readers. I loved them all, especially the image of a drooling midget fartfly from Squench. It was oddly cute. Oh, and Y-bot posing as a Philosophy teacher was humorous. iLK wondered why no one saw through Y-bot’s disguise. I have three words for you: Superman, Clark Kent. 

I 100% recommend this series to readers of sci-fi or comic books. 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

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Meet the Author

Andrew is a Writer, Illustrator and Director from London. He believes we all have the capacity to be creative and regularly attends schools, delivering comic book workshops, creating opportunities for kids to discover their own stories.

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Child of Etherclaw by Matty Roberts (Book Spotlight / Author Interview)

CHILD OF ETHERCLAW by Matty Roberts

 
 
The bonds of family go well beyond blood.

But can those bonds hold when the blood itself carries a devastating secret?

Fenlee’s opal necklace had always radiated a certain warmth since her mother’s death. But now, at sixteen, her world begins to unravel as the stone sparks to life, revealing itself to be an otherworldly artifact of untold power.

Between her mechatronics studies at the academy and scavenging expeditions beneath the sprawling city of New Cascadia, Fenlee and her adopted brother, Elliot, try to decipher the mysteries of her necklace and its link to events in Fenlee’s past.

But they’re not alone in their search.

Strange undercity dwellers offer cryptic warnings, drones track their movements, and deadly corporate agents lurk in the shadows. When tragedy rips Fenlee’s family apart, she must learn to use the artifact’s power to save those who are deeply precious to her. But nothing can prepare her for the dark truths that she will uncover on that journey…

“Lee,” Elliot mumbled. “I’m not who you think I am.” 

 

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Meet the Author:

Author Matty Roberts

Matty Roberts began their career in journalism where they earned an Emmy and had the privilege of working on several other award-winning projects. They hold an MS from Johns Hopkins University and are now an engineer in renewable energy in Denver, Colorado where they live with their wonderful partner, two extraordinary kids, and the best doggie ever. In addition to writing, engineering, and parenting, Matty is a vegan enby nerd who is in love with this world and will forever be doing all they can to make it a better place. And they may be known to occasionally play in a punk band here or there.

 
 

Do you have a profession outside of writing?

Yes, I work as a software/data engineer in renewable energy. I’m very passionate about making the world a better place, and it’s an industry I’m proud to be a part of. Though I started my career as a journalist a while back, that didn’t last long once the Great Recession hit and I found myself (and all my coworkers) laid off. Still feeling as though I’d just finished college, I found myself back once again pursuing additional education so I could find gainful employment. I loved journalism, but for someone so young and inexperienced as myself, there were just no opportunities at the time.
 

How long have you been writing?

 
I’ve been writing forever, though very little of it shall ever see the light of day. I’m talking everything from awkward fanfiction to overly verbose LiveJournal posts that served as a dumping ground for my angsty opinionated thoughts.
I’ve written a number of partial novels and short stories, but Child of Etherclaw is the first one that I feel confident enough in to release.
 

What do you find to be the most important element of a great book?

 
For me, the most important element of any book is character development. A rich character arc is critical to keep me engaged. I enjoy sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and other genres, but without a well-developed character that I can identify, the best plot out there will lose me. And the characters need to be a little mushy, you know? Sure, “strong” characters are great, but often times too much strength can flatten a character out. I want a character who gets embarrassed, who has anxieties about seemingly trivial things, and who struggles with inner conflicts and self-doubt. I need a character who can cry—whether they do so on-page or not.
 

Do you have any great book recommendations?

 
Absolutely! Some of the more enjoyable books I’ve recently read include:
SAWKILL GIRLS by Clare Legrand
The LIFEL1K3 series by Jay Kristoff
The WANT series by Cindy Pon

And I’m currently reading ENTANGELMENT by Alina Leonova. It’s got a fantastic dystopian society with cyberpunk vibes and a wonderfully unique cast of characters. I’m not quite through with it yet, but would recommend it without hesitation.
 

What advice do you have for people writing their first novel?

 
It’s quite an endeavor just getting through the first draft of a novel. There are times when you feel as though the words come faster than you can type, and other times when you feel your creativity buried under a few tons of rapidly setting cement.
 
Among all the advice out there and the endless how-to guides, I think the most important thing that bears repeating over and over is to celebrate yourself. You wrote 200 words today? Cheers! That’s awesome! You cut out a scene that just wasn’t working and actually had a net loss of 1,000 words? A round of applause! It’s hard to let go of your own writing, but you recognized the need to and you should feel accomplished! Set goals that are small, realistic, and achievable. And when you reach them, celebrate yourself. You deserve it.

 

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Two Roads to Paradise (Book 2: Be Careful What You Wish for Series) by Gordon Jensen with Cara Highsmith (Book Review)

TWO ROADS TO PARADISE (Be Careful What You Wish For Series) by

 
​Although the reappearance of the Alpha Centauri I crew was miraculous, it was not the celebratory homecoming they expected. Their return to a world reeling from a pandemic that wiped out more than half the population thrust them right into the center of controversy and conflict.
 
Now, three years later, though the tide has turned and the survival of the human race seems to be secure, the survival of human relations is far less certain. The cure should have been the injection of hope the world needed to restore balance and end the chaos of the last four decades. Instead, the complex implications for personal rights and freedom have fractured the North American territory in such a way that the division may never be repaired.
 
As the crew dispersed to find their place in this new landscape, Hunter Young found himself embedded in the Marshall administration as an agent for the mysterious K Group. What had been a relatively uneventful assignment suddenly becomes a whirlwind of adventure as he is called to a rendezvous that requires a long and circuitous journey.
 
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book ToursI voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
Two Roads to Paradise carried on three years after the finale of The Way Out. Readers will see precisely how divided the world has become: land and viewpoints. Yeah, we are pretty divided now in our views. 


The book discusses free health care in the blue zones and how red zones have better taxes. It talks about gun control and abortion rights, which we all know are hot topics right now. I imagine they’ll be major talking points for many more decades to come. 


Gordon Bensen and Cara Highsmith (co-authors) created unique maps located in the front and back flap. These maps show 13 zones and their colors: red and blue. Yup, those are the same colors that represent Democrats and Republicans. Don’t worry about memorizing the zones because they will be introduced again through colorful welcome signs. I love those, btw! 


Two Roads to Paradise was slower going and didn’t hold my interest compared to its predecessor, The Way Out. However, I did enjoy reading about people’s viewpoints regarding the “governing” of the various zones. 


Oh, a shocking and disturbing bombshell unveiled by two teen girls to Hunter on their trek to NOLA. It shows how inhumane a person or group can be. I’d love to tell you what, but I want to discover it for yourself. 


With any government or country, there will be individuals who deflect and fight the system. The Resistance was comprised of a couple of shocking members. Again, no spoilers. 


While this book didn’t knock my socks off, it ended with me wanting more. So, with that said, I will be tuning in for book three because I have to see how the final moments play out in the next installment. 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤

 
 
 
Meet the Authors:
Author Gordon Jensen

Gordon Jensen holds an MBA from University of Rochester, New York, Simon School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. After working in finance In New York for several years, Jensen went back to Minnesota to run the family business. He retired after selling the the business and is now fulfilling a number of life-long dreams, including writing a novel series.
 
 

Author Cara Highsmith

Cara Highsmith has always been drawn to the world of books and has found herself working in this industry in one capacity or another for the majority of her adult life. She holds a Master of Arts in English from Belmont University and did work toward a PhD at Middle Tennessee State University. Cara was on the editorial team at Hachette Book Group USA, working with several New York Times bestselling authors, for nearly four years. After leaving Hachette in 2008, she began freelancing, developing proposals and manuscripts for agents, editing and ghostwriting for authors, and assisting clients in preparing projects for self-publishing. Cara is a master of being a jack of all trades, but currently spends her free time working on several personal writing projects and enjoying life on a beautiful northern California mountain.
 
 
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