The Point by John Dixon #bookreview #YA #scifi #thriller #TuesdayBookBlog

What if you had a power you had to hide from everyone–until now? In this bold sci-fi action thriller, a secret training program at West Point is turning misfits into a new generation of heroes. 

Welcome to The Point, future leaders of the Posthuman Age.

New Cadets, society is not ready for you. The oldest, fiercest fear is ignorance. The general population would burn you at the metaphorical stake.

Here, you will train alongside other posthumans. You will learn to control and maximize your powers and to use them for the greater good. You will discover camaraderie and purpose.

You will become a part of something bigger than yourselves: the Long Gray Line. 

Scarlett Winter has always been an outsider, and not only because she’s a hardcore daredevil and born troublemaker–she has been hiding superhuman powers she doesn’t yet understand. Now she’s been recruited by a secret West Point unit for cadets with extraordinary abilities. Scarlett and her fellow students are learning to hone their skills, from telekinetic combat to running recon missions through strangers’ dreamscapes. At The Point, Scarlett discovers that she may be the most powerful cadet of all. With the power to control pure energy, she’s a human nuclear bomb–and she’s not sure she can control her powers much longer.

Even in this army of outsiders, Scarlett feels like a misfit all over again, but when a threat that endangers her fellow students arises from the school’s dark past, duty calls and Scarlett must make a choice between being herself and becoming something even greater: a hero. 

I’m an X-Men fan, so obviously I couldn’t pass up reading this book.  Think military X-Men battling rogue X-Men, but the ‘good’ X-Men are under government regulation – the bone of contention in Captain America: Civil War – and are a secret.

Scarlett is a great protagonist – an out of control, rules-be-damned, free-spirited teen who learns a hard lesson in responsibility and consequences.  But once she commits to something, she’s in it wholeheartedly.  I thoroughly enjoyed her character arc.

Clearly, the author did extensive research on West Point, and it makes the story feel more authentic.  Nearing the last quarter of the book, I assumed there would be a sequel, but after a no-holds-barred climax, I was pleasantly surprised to see this novel is a standalone.  All questions are answered, and no plot lines are left dangling.

Although The Point doesn’t really bring anything new to the genre, it’s a fast-paced, action-packed read that will appeal to superhero and sci-fi fans.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

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#Fantasy Authors Unplugged #TuesdayBookBlog #YA #bookpromo

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being hosted by fantasy author P.H. Solomon for his Fantasy Authors Unplugged series!  Click here to read the interview.

While you’re there, check out his Reader’s Favorite and Book of the Year Bow of Hart Saga, and read today’s post about his experience with archery.

#Giveaway, #BadMoonRising, and @YASBookCon

Last week was an obstacle course of problems – it felt like one of these ‘Whack A Mole’ games.  I’d solve one, then two more would pop up, so I didn’t get as much done on the WIP as I’d hoped.  But then on Saturday night while watching a movie, a character introduced himself to me quite suddenly, and informed me he’d be a part of this WIP.  I have a feeling he may take the plot in directions I hadn’t counted on.  We’ll see where it goes.

If you’d like to win a signed copy of The Gemini Connection, YA Books Central Instagram is hosting a giveaway.  Didn’t they do an outstanding job on the pic?  Wish I had that creativity.  Click here to enter!

I still have openings for Bad Moon Rising in October.  If you’re a horror, thriller, or paranormal author, click here for more information.

I’m thrilled to be included in YAS Book Con in October right here in Bowling Green!  I’ll totally be fangirling over some of the other attending authors, and predict a staggering increase in my TBR.

Have a great week!

 

 

Hades Rising (Assassin Fall #0.5) by Aden Polydoros #bookreview #YA #thriller

Best friends, Two and Nine, have spent their entire lives within the Academy’s barbed wire fences and tall brick walls. Deep in the San Juan Mountains, they have lived in absolute isolation with the other subjects, trained so that one day they may be integrated into the outside world.

Two dreams of becoming the perfect military leader the Academy wants to groom him into. However, when he learns that Nine is leaving the Academy, he realizes that his future is meaningless without her. With time running out, he hatches a plan for them to escape together — even if it means going against the brutal overseers of the project he was born into.

Project Pandora was hands down one of my most compelling reads last year, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this novella.  At least it will tide me over for a while until Project Prometheus is released.  Maybe (but I doubt it).

Hades is my favorite character in Project Pandora – he’s cunning, dangerous, and a trained killer, but underneath all that lies a boy who’s been hurt many times over and desensitized to nearly every emotion.  Hades Rising explains his evolution from a young child into an assassin, and it’s a chilling and heartbreaking story.  His relationship with Two (Elizabeth) is the most important thing in his life, and when that’s ripped away from him, it’s easy to understand his transformation – but I still believe there’s good in him yet.

I’d highly recommend reading Project Pandora before reading this novella.

Calling #Horror #Thriller and #Paranormal #IndieAuthors For #BadMoonRising

For the month of October, Books & Such will again be featuring Bad Moon Rising!  If you’re an indie author of horror, thriller, or paranormal books and would like to be featured, send me your info.  Free publicity, book sales (hopefully!), new authors to follow, and more books to buy – what’s not to like?

Each post will feature one of your releases, a blurb, author bio, social media links, buy links, and a short interview.  If you’d like to include a giveaway or have alternative ideas for your post, I’m open to suggestions.

This is the fourth year of Bad Moon Rising and spots tend to fill up fast, so if you’d like to be included, email me at tpolen6@gmail.com.

WWW Wednesday: What Am I Reading? #amreading

WWW Wednesday is a meme from Sam at Taking On A World Of Words

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houck.  The world-building is unlike anything I’ve read, with an unexpected steampunk flavor to it.

Welcome to a world where nightmarish creatures reign supreme.

Five hundred years ago, Jack made a deal with the devil. It’s difficult for him to remember much about his mortal days. So, he focuses on fulfilling his sentence as a Lantern—one of the watchmen who guard the portals to the Otherworld, a realm crawling with every nightmarish creature imaginable. Jack has spent centuries jumping from town to town, ensuring that nary a mortal—or not-so-mortal—soul slips past him. That is, until he meets beautiful Ember O’Dare. 

Seventeen, stubborn, and a natural-born witch, Ember feels a strong pull to the Otherworld. Undeterred by Jack’s warnings, she crosses into the forbidden plane with the help of a mysterious and debonair vampire—and the chase through a dazzling, dangerous world is on. Jack must do everything in his power to get Ember back where she belongs before both the earthly and unearthly worlds descend into chaos.

I can’t say I recently finished this book, because it was a DNF for me.  This month’s selection for one of my book clubs was to read a popular book you never got around to reading, and Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas had been in my TBR for years.  I was expecting a badass female assassin, but over the 100 pages I read, she seemed more concerned with clothes and men.  I know it’s a tremendously popular series, but it just wasn’t for me.

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

Next I’ll be reading The Echo Room by Parker Peeveyhouse.  I’m not sure what to expect.  The description sounds a little Groundhog Dayish with a twist of horror.

Rett wakes on the floor of a cold, dark room. He doesn’t know how he got there, only that he’s locked in. He’s not alone—a girl named Bryn is trapped in the room with him. When she finds a mysterious bloodstain and decides she doesn’t trust Rett, he tries to escape on his own—

Rett wakes on the floor of the same cold, dark room. He doesn’t trust Bryn, but he’ll have to work with her if he ever hopes to escape. They try to break out of the room—

Rett and Bryn hide in a cold, dark room. Safe from what’s outside.

But they’re not alone.

Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black #bookreview #YA #mystery #TuesdayBookBlog

Valentine has spent years trying to outrun her mother’s legacy. But small towns have long memories, and when a new string of murders occurs, all signs point to the daughter of a murderer. 

Only one person believes Valentine is innocent—Rowan Blackshaw, the son of the man her mother killed all those years ago. Valentine vows to find the real killer, but when she finally uncovers the horrifying truth, she must choose to face her own dark secrets, even if it means losing Rowan in the end.

Small towns seem to contain the most secrets, and this one had more than most.  Layers upon layers.  And that’s what prevented me from putting down this book.

This novel kept me guessing.  At certain points, I rolled my eyes, certain I knew which direction the plot was headed, and how similar this book was to so many others I’d read.  And I was very pleasantly proven wrong.  Twists and surprises are sprinkled throughout, with strong characterization of both the MC and supporting cast, and an enjoyable Victorian era setting.  The ending is something rarely seen in YA books with romantic angles – and it’s perfect for these characters.

One trope this novel does contain is a love triangle, something I’ve never been a fan of.  This triangle and the drama that accompanies it slows the plot about halfway through, and bogs down what is otherwise a captivating, fast-paced read.

I’d recommend this book to fans of mystery, suspense, and romance who enjoy unexpected twists and surprises.  Girl At The Grave is scheduled for publication August 7th, 2018.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the digital ARC.