The Prisoner of Cell 25 (Michael Vey #1) by Richard Paul Evans #bookreview #YA #fantasy

My name is Michael Vey, and the story I’m about to tell you is strange. Very strange. It’s my story.

To everyone at Meridian High School, Michael Vey is an ordinary fourteen-year-old. In fact, the only thing that seems to set him apart is the fact that he has Tourette’s syndrome. But Michael is anything but ordinary. Michael has special powers. Electric powers.

Michael thinks he’s unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor also has special powers. With the help of Michael’s friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up this way, but their investigation brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric children – and through them the world. Michael will have to rely on his wits, powers, and friends if he’s to survive.

I’ve had this title in my TBR for longer than I can remember, and when the assignment for my book club was to read a novel set in school, I decided it was time pull this one out of the pile.

I loved Michael right away.  He has a lot on his plate – he’s dealing with the loss of his father, his mom is miserable in a job for which she’s overqualified, money is tight, he’s bullied nearly everyday at school, and he has Tourette’s syndrome.  He also has the ability to shock people – not the minor type of shock you’d receive from an electrical outlet – it’s the fatal kind, and he has to hide it.

Michael and his best friend, Ostin (who is smarter than all the characters put together), have unique voices and bring a big dose of humor to the table – especially Ostin.  Even when put in extreme situations and forced to make impossible choices, Michael keeps his wits about him and is a pretty cool customer.  He has the makings of a natural leader – and from the hints at the end, I’m pretty sure book two heads in that direction.

Although an interesting read with enjoyable characters and a bad guy you love to hate, it’s similar to many other superhero origin stories and doesn’t offer anything new or unique.  But I’m still a sucker for this kind of book, and I’ll probably continue with the series at some point.

#BadMoonRising: The Hat by C.S. Boyack #paranormal #superheros

Happy Friday!  This has been an incredibly busy week, but why don’t you take a few minutes to sit back and enjoy today’s Bad Moon Rising author.  If you’re not familiar with C.S. Boyack’s work, now’s the time to get acquainted.  He’s crafted some wildly imaginative stories, and today’s is one of my personal favorites.  He also might be the guy to hang with during a zombie apocalypse.  Read below to find out why.

Thanks for having me back this year, Teri. I always enjoy this event, and tried to send other authors your way.

In the Halloween spirit, I’m here to talk about my novella, The Hat.  This one is kind of a paranormal/superhero mashup, set to a blues and rockabilly soundtrack.

Lizzie St. Laurent is dealing with many of the struggles of young life. She lost her grandmother, and her living arrangements. Her new roommate abandoned her, and she’s working multiple jobs just to keep her head above water.

She inherits an old hat from her grandmother’s estate, but it belonged to her grandfather. This is no ordinary hat, but a being from an alternate dimension. One with special powers.

Lizzie and the hat don’t exactly hit it off right away, but when her best friend’s newborn is kidnapped by a ring of baby traffickers, Lizzie turns to the hat for help. This leads her deep into her family history and a world she’s never known.

Lizzie gives up everything to rescue the babies. She loses her jobs, and may wind up in jail before it’s over. Along the way, she and the hat may have a new way of making ends meet.

Humorous and fun, The Hat is novella length. Wonderful escapism for an afternoon.

***

Time for me to get on with the interview questions. Here we go:

In a zombie apocalypse, what is your weapon of choice?

Good question. I own this lovely little Remington Coach Gun. It’s a side by side twelve gauge shotgun. It was designed for cowboy action shooters, so it looks authentic to the old west. Has exposed hammers, a short barrel, and everything. A shotgun is hard to miss with, and twelve gauge ammo would be relatively easy to scrounge. (At least in Idaho, where I live.)

What is the hardest part of writing?

This one varies by the day. I’ve been at this a while, and to be honest it’s plots. I’m good at characters, situations, and some of that. It’s the big picture that really strains my mind. To write a novel, we have to have a big issue that drives the story. To that end, a friend recommended a book called The Seven Basic Plots. I’m going to be digging into it in the next few weeks.

If you were paid to spend the night in a haunted house, would you do it?

I mean, how much money are we talking here, Teri? I may have my price. Can I take a notepad for story ideas? Can I take my Remington Coach Gun? You didn’t say I had to stay there alone. Can I take Lizzie St. Laurent and her hat along?

What’s your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I’m a weekend warrior for sure. I hold a full time job, so writing has to fit in the cracks somehow. My problem is different than others, in that I require silence to be productive. Sometimes this means setting an alarm for 4:00 so I can get in a few hours before everyone else wakes up. I’ve also been known to use my vacation time to get in some writing time.

Creepiest thing that’s ever happened while you were alone?

I actually wrote about this on my blog a few months back. We have hard surface floors in the house. There is a breakfast bar against the kitchen with three tall stools. On the day this happened, there was a box on one of the stools.

I turned on the morning news and was dealing with blog comments. My two bulldogs were eating, then they usually go back to sleep that early in the day. The combination of bulldogs and hard flooring is noisy.

There wasn’t a sound made. I went to refill my coffee, and the stool with the box had been slid away from the counter, turned around backward, and placed in the path so that nobody could have gotten by without moving it. It blocked the bedroom door, and access to the kitchen where it was placed. I’m only about fifteen feet away, and would have heard it if the dogs had bumped into it.

What are you working on now?

It just so happens that I’m filling this out the day after I completed the draft of Voyage of the Lanternfish. This one is a pirate fantasy adventure, complete with black magic, monsters, and bad weather.

I’ll be writing blog tour posts, in anticipation of publishing, making my editing passes, then seeking beta readers. I’m also commissioning some posters of my spokes model, Lisa Burton, in various pirate themed settings to promote the story with.

Speaking of Lisa, and trying to bring this full circle. The Hat is permanently priced at 99¢, and since it’s a novella you can read it in a day. It’s my most successful story to date, and it has the most favorable reviews. To whet your appetite, here is one of the posters I commissioned for Lisa to promote The Hat with.

Purchase Link: http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B078YYCNSF

Author Bio

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Craig

You can catch up with me at the following locations:

Blog My Novels  Twitter Goodreads Facebook Pinterest BookBub

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.