Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Audio Book Review: The Science of Supervillainy

The Science of Supervillainy

By:  C.T. Phipps

Publish Date:  April 1, 2017, Audiobook Release April 11, 2017

Format:  Audiobook - 6 hrs 5 mins
Narrated By:  Jeffrey Kafer

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  4th in The Supervillainy Saga series; Book 1 ~ The Rules of Supervillainy, Book 2 ~ The Games of Supervillainy, Book 3 ~ The Secrets of Supervillainy

Impression:  Family and friends are important, even to supervillains.

Synopsis:
Gary Karkofsky a.k.a Merciless: The Supervillain without Mercy™ returns in the fourth volume of the popular Supervillainy Saga. Having discovered the world's greatest superhero slain by his doppelganger from another reality, Merciful: The Supervillain with Mercy ™, and the arrogant President Omega, Gary dedicates himself to overthrowing both. Unfortunately, this is harder than it looks since Merciful has all of Gary's genre savviness while President Omega has the entire brainwashed United States military behind him. In the end, though, there can be only one ruler of the world and two of these three feuding villains will have to go.

First Sentence:
The air above me was full of more blue, red, and white energy blasts than the G.I. Joe cartoon from the eighties.

Purchase At:
Amazon 

Audible

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.

Gary aka Merciless may have stopped President Omega (for now?) but he still has Other Gary to tend to. After his imprisonment by Other Gary, Gary returns to Falconcrest to find Other Gary has taken Gary's name and turned the city into a wonder, run by a superhero. Gary must now overthrow Other Gary to get things to return to normal.


Jeffrey is a treat to listen to. In this book, he made me laugh out. What did he do? He did a villain's laugh for Gary. Yes, a laugh laugh not just telling me the words describing the laugh. It was awesome! These are the little things narrators do that catch my ears and draw me in. I wonder how many times Jeffrey had to speak the tongue twister sections, as they are perfect in the audiobook.

I'm so excited to get back into this world. Gary is kicking it strong with his references in this book. C.T. has weighted the book heavily with these cool nods to all sorts of memories of shows, comics, and so much more. All hit home as soon as I hear them, and make me smile at the memory and joke. So many references to the shows, comics, and more are in comment, actions, and title.

Gary's colorful look on events and life makes this book a joy to listen to. If you enjoyed Gary's perspective on events and life, you'll continue to enjoy this book. He really believes what he thinks, whether it's true or not. When he's wrong his friends point it out and he plays it off. He never thinks back to it and rolls with it. It's a hoot.

I love the twist to good and evil and live and death interpretation on things done in this book. It's a fun twist authors enjoy playing with, and C.T. has the ground work in place to do that with Gary and Other Gary.

Gary keeps friends and loved ones near and dear. Gary loves his wife, Mandy, so deeply. He is so caught on her, and it's great. He's not stalkerish, he's just full of heart or heartbroken or... well, he always wants the best for Mandy and hopes to have his relationship back. Gary meets a very special little one. The communication and conversations with the little one is cute and fun. I love the references to cartoons.

We get a lot of family (blood and picked) time. Gary was imprisoned in a town for five years and has a lot to catch up on. We do, and learn what happened with Other Gary in their town.

Just when I think things are going to become as I expect, C.T. throws in a surprise. I just never know what's going to happen or appear in a scene. Sure, I can guess and let my mind run wild, but then I miss something! lol.

Gary gets sidetracked so easily! lol. It's funny how this mans brain works. We have a goal, to stop Other Gary. But we get waylaid with family and friends along the way because things are different after five years imprisoned in Undertown, living the 1950's life style. At times I almost forgot what the end goal was with all we talked through with family/friends. This story's focus feels to be more on family, those we create by blood and more.



****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Author Guest Post: Say Hello to my Little (Human) Friend

Today we have Ed Greenwood sharing about his story that will appear in The Awakened anthology that is funded through Kickstarter. If you are liking what you are reading here, go get in on the extras in the Kickstarter!



SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE (HUMAN) FRIEND
by Ed Greenwood

There’s something intriguing about animal companions. We look at pet cats and dogs and swear they can read our minds or understand every word when we’re talking to someone else and they’re eavesdropping. And they can do things we can’t do: fly, or hear or smell keenly, or creep about unobserved due to their stealth or size or just being dismissed by other humans as “a dumb animal.” What if we could harness that? Work as a team?

What would it be like, soaring like an eagle? Or seeing through the eyes of one? Or telepathically talking to one?

What if a “beast” was your trusted conspirator in crime? Fellow secret agent? Sword-brother-er, sister, er . . . wing-bushytail? Wise-cracking, perhaps gruff and snarly—and forever different, non-human, with world-views and parts of their brain and depths of senses and instincts you can never see and never share.

Do they trust you? Can they trust you?

Dare you trust them?

And what about love? As in, are they capable of it? Or gratitude? If something goes wrong, will they have your back? Or will their animal natures cause them to do something unhelpful, from scampering away in blind fear to skunks spraying to chewing off their own limbs to going berserk? (My mind leaps to a possible AWAKENED human-lemming partnership, and a story called “Always Leaping Off The Nearest Cliff.” A very short story.)

Boy, I’ve been asking a lot of questions. Fitting; this human-beast-mind-linkage thing provokes a lot of questions.

Yes, if AWAKENED tales are new to you, I did mention a mind-link. When the wolf pounces and bites down to kill, you’re along for the ride . . .

Or to put it a tad more formally, AWAKENED stories explore what it feels like to be in a bond, a mental partnership, a linkage of human and “creature.” Beings who may be smarter than humans. And who, when caught up in events humans might deem “adventures” or even “deadly peril,” may have an endless capacity to surprise other humans.

That’s why AWAKENED tales are such fun for me to pen. Hal Greenberg is a genius to have come up with this ongoing series, and plugged away at keeping various creative folks at work on new human-beast stories. The idea isn’t new, but putting together anthologies of very different takes on this theme between one set of covers for a reader to readily enjoy is . . . filling a gap in entertaining literature that’s obvious the moment you open an AWAKENED book.

This is a fascinating sub-genre, and you have been missing it. The question is (cue not-comfortably-distant-enough wolf howl) will the critters go on missing you?

AWAKENED stories thrive in the fantastical world Hal first envisaged them taking place in, and this book proves they thrive in our modern times. Where and when next? Fantastical creatures? Oh, but I mustn’t start with the questions again, because the stories in AWAKENED: MODERN raise a bunch of their own. And, delightfully, answer quite a few, too!

I don’t think I’ll ever tire of running with the beasts. Grab this book, immerse yourself in its tales, and see if you feel the same way!

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Ed Greenwood is a New York Times-bestselling Canadian writer, game designer, and librarian best known for creating The Forgotten Realms® fantasy world fifty years ago. His 350-plus books have sold millions of copies worldwide in more than three dozen languages. Ed was elected to the Academy of Adventure Gaming Art & Design Hall of Fame in 2003, and has won multiple ENNIE and Origins and other awards. Through The Ed Greenwood Group, he now helms many shared storytelling worlds he’s created; they can be found at OnderLibrum.com

Awakened Modern is currently funding on Kickstarter, http://tiny.cc/AwakenedModern.

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Post #168

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share new about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

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Weekend oh weekend, where did you go?!

I took a drive down to the big city, Pittsburgh, Friday night. The SFWA Nebula Conference was/is going on this weekend. Now, I can't afford the pass for all weekend or even one day. Yep, for me it's expensive. But Friday night they did a signing and I knew several authors that were going to be there and wanted to say hi. I asked a friend to go with me and she did. She now has a whoooole new list of books to read. Muahahahahaha. It was great to see everyone and talk to a few new authors.

I wanted to see Tee Morris, Philippa Ballantine, KT Bryski, Lauren Harris, and Piper Drake (PJ Schnyder in paranormal books). All amazing people and authors. Then I got to talk to a few new authors that I've seen their books around. Marie Andreas which I recognized from a recent freebie that sounded amazing - The Glass Gargoyle. And Keith O. McLaughlin I recognized from seeing his book somewhere on the web that caught my eye - Valhalla Online.

My son's been asking when I'll start the series 13 Reasons Why. He has loved the show. He feels it helps open eyes of those who have no idea what it feels like on the other side and that one should be aware of ones actions. He put on episode one so I had to watch it. I have mixed feelings on this show for so many reasons. I'll watch it with him as he wants to watch it again and we've been talking about the show and what happens for weeks now.

As for the rest of the weekend... Well, baseball game for kiddo and trying to get things done around here. I have a hefty list of things to do.

Next weekend I probably won't post, unless I find a way to squeeze time in. I'll be at BALTICON!!! Woohooo! I missed last year and was so bummed. I need a few days to unwind and relax and this is my time. I may not have much money to eat on, but I'm going. 
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The Fit Booker:

Goal:  Workout in any form of exercise (or on Wii Fit) 2x's a week. (to feel better and hope to drop a few pants sizes)

How did I do last week... Okay. It's been rough with all I have to get done in life. I did get on treadmill Tuesday and Thursday and cut grass on Wednesday. I also got on the treadmill yesterday, Saturday, for a bit.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
Slipspace: Harbinger by P.C. Haring

Current Audiobook:
Villain's Rule by M.K. Gibson

Current Podcast Book Listen:
Stonebriar Casefiles: Bad Alchemy by Laura Nicole Spencer (You can listen for free too!)


Finished Last Week: 
nothing yet.

Audiobooks from Audible:
Hound's Bite by E.J. Stevens



Finished Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing yet.


DNFed:

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Last Week on the Blog:


Cover Reveals: (click titles to go to post & learn more)



Posts:

Spellbound in a Flash:
Nothing new last week. I have pictures to touch up and share, but time has not been sharing lately.

Challenged Writers:
March Update on writer-ly items, with a picture of book working on.


Around the Internet...


Reviews:
Ghosts of Empire by Terry Mixon

"It sounds like a lot of people, but the way Terry adds them keeps them all individual and easy to get to know before adding more to the group. I love this as it does not stress me out. He introduces them in their 'home' environment and when they appear on the page it's in relation to who and where they are, even not spoken or written. This makes it very easy for me to remember who's who in this growing cast of characters."

Stone Cold Bastards by Jake Bible

"We see the last Sanctuary with humans who're not possessed pull all they have to stand against the demons, and try one last effort to save what little is left of the world."




Podcast Review:




Mama Bitchstress Reviews:



GIVEAWAYS:


~~~~~~~~~~

This Week to Come on the Blog:


I will have two reviews and a guest post.

Mythical Monday posts are now on hiatus until next year.


~~~~~~~~~~

Received Last Weeks:
(Note: Links to Amazon are buy links where I could earn commission, in case you are interested.)


For Review Consideration:




Audio Books Requested for Review:
Laced in Lies by Colleen Helme
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Meet Shelby Nichols, mind reader extraordinaire.

A typical day in the life of Shelby Nichols involves cheating husbands, solving the hardest cases for the police, and working for a big time mob-boss, all because of her little secret that she can read minds. It can get complicated, especially considering she has a husband and two kids.

Ramos, Uncle Joey’s hit-man, is reluctant to involve Shelby when an acquaintance from his past comes into town. Uncle Joey has a favor to ask Shelby which involves heading to New York City and meeting his estranged relatives. Then there’s Dimples, a police detective, who needs her help finding the person behind a deadly new drug.

It’s no wonder Shelby has a hard time keeping everything straight. But the worst is deciding how to explain her crazy, mixed-up life to her kids. So far, her explanations have all been laced in lies, and she worries that, if the truth ever comes out, they will never trust her again.

Of course, none of that matters if she doesn’t escape the deadly enemy that takes her by surprise. Facing death has a way of putting things into perspective, if only she can stay alive long enough to appreciate it…

Lucifer's Star by C.T. Phipps
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
From the bestselling author of The Rules of Supervillainy:

Cassius Mass was the greatest star pilot of the Crius Archduchy. He fought fiercely for his cause, only to watch his nation fall to the Interstellar Commonwealth. It was only after that he realized the side he'd been fighting for was the wrong one. Now a semi-functional navigator on an interstellar freight hauler, he tries to hide who he was and escape his past. Unfortunately, some things refuse to stay buried and he ends up conscripted by the very people who destroyed his homeland.

LUCIFER'S STAR is the first novel of the Lucifer's Star series, a dark science fiction space opera set in a world of aliens, war, politics, and slavery.




Purchased/Winnings/Gifts:
Book:
Dragon's Magic by Robyn Wideman
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Lyric has won the tournament and an unwanted marriage with Sibylle. But his nemesis Talon Horne won't accept defeat at the hands of a foreign born street rat. Talon and his father manipulate the king and once again Lyric is an outcast.Only this time he is being hunted. With nowhere else to turn, Lyric heads to the mountains to find his dragon. 

However, Lyric isn't the only Finch who is dragon blood.


Audio:




Free Ebooks:
(On my Kindle and Nook App) Links to books under title. They may or may not be free at this time.



Free Audio Books/Stories:


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Reviews to Come:

Soulless by Skyla Dawn Cameron
The Sentinel by Chris Lester
The Muse by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Making the Cut by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Whispers in the Wood by Chris Lester
Lex Talionis by Starla Huchton
Spark by Starla Huchton
Heir to Kale by K.L. Bone
Tales from the Archives Vol 4 #5 - Old Sinner's Bones
The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan
Cursed Moon by Jaye Wells
The Science of Supervillainy by C.T. Phipps
Hound's Bite by E.J. Stevens

Friday, May 19, 2017

Author Guest Post: At the Intersection of Fantasy and Reality

Our first author sharing about their story in The Awakened anthology based on magnificent images is Torah Cottrill. There is still time left to get this anthology and many great extras!


At the Intersection of Fantasy and Reality
Torah Cottrill

When Hal Greenberg asked us to bring The Awakened phenomenon into the 21st century, I imagined the possibilities of using the sudden appearance of Awakened individuals throughout the world to explore how the powerless might use unexpected gifts. In The Awakened universe, a second moon awakens latent abilities (the ability to communicate with an animal companion, or one specific ability such as the ability to heal or to control an element) in a very small fraction of people on their 19 birthdays. In the fantasy world of Grimaton, people are aware of the possibility that they may be Awakened, and different societies have different ways of incorporating Awakened individuals. But what would happen to people in our world who discover powers that seem to be magical or supernatural? What will they do with those powers, and how will they be treated?

I had seen a documentary about sex workers in India, many of whom had been sold into the red-light districts and were kept as literal captives, and I wondered how these women, powerless and voiceless in the modern world, would react to becoming Awakened. Would they use their abilities to free others or to enact revenge? How would the world around them react to the most marginalized becoming powerful?

Genre fiction—fantasy, science fiction, horror, urban fantasy, and other blends of the fantastic and the mundane—is a perfect vehicle for exploring the ripples that promulgate from a shift in reality. You can change one thing, and see where the consequences lead. Many of the most engaging works of genre fiction explore the impact of a single decision or event on the larger world, like Simak’s City, Hopkinsons’s Brown Girl in the Ring, Gaiman’s American Gods, the Strugatskys’ Roadside Picnic, or Willis’ To Say Nothing of the Dog. In my own far more modest story “Return of the Devis,” I wanted to explore the places at which physical power intersected social powerlessness, to see where having an Awakened power made a difference to a character’s life and the world around her, and the places where it couldn’t.

One of the joys of writing in a shared universe is being part of the creation of a far larger work. Writing for the Awakened series has given me a chance to see the many different ways genre fiction can explore new ideas. One set of circumstances—the process of becoming Awakened—leads to stories as different as the authors. We can use comedy, swashbuckling, problem-solving, crime-fighting, and psychological drama, among many other tools of the genre writer, to explore the ways a fictional universe can reflect the essentials of human existence.

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Torah Cottrill is a professional editor and amateur video gamer whose short stories have appeared in Stupefying Stories, Luna Station Quarterly, Ares Magazine, and Tokyo Yazuka, among other publications. She wastes her free time researching hand-to-hand combat techniques for her novel and failing to complete the seasonal set dungeons in Diablo III.

The Awakened Modern is currently funding on Kickstarter http://tiny.cc/AwakenedModern

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Audio Book Review: Stone Cold Bastards

Stone Cold Bastards

By:  Jake Bible

Publish Date:  February 24, 2017, Audiobook Release March 3, 2017

Format:  Audiobook - 7 hrs 59 mins
Narrated By:  Jeff Hays

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  Stand-alone ?

Impression:  The last stand for the little bit of humanity left on the world...

Synopsis:
Only a rag-tag team of gargoyles stands between humanity and extinction.

Hell has released its ravening horde of demons, leaving most of humanity a puke-spewing, head-spinning mess of possession.

Humanity’s last hope? A team of misfit gargoyles—including a cigar chomping, hard-ass grotesque—come alive and ready for battle during the End of Days. They guard the last cathedral-turned-sanctuary atop a bald knoll in the North Carolina mountains.

Gargoyle protection grudgingly extends to any human who can make it inside the Sanctuary, but the power of the stonecutter blood magic, which protects the sanctuary, may not be enough when a rogue grotesque and his badly-wounded ward arrive.

All the hounds of hell are on their heels. The last Sanctuary is about to fall.

First Sentence:
The small, gray head popped off and rolled toward the end of the bar.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository

Audible

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.

The gates of hell have fallen and demons possess more humans than not, others have died. But there are pockets of humans in sanctuaries protected by gargoyles and grotesques still striving to live. Morty is one of the protectors at this cathedral, and with the news of another sanctuary falling they need to prepare for a siege as the possessed are going to circle and wait to get through the locked iron gates guarded by those like Morty to get to the un-possessed humans.

I enjoy when Jeff gets a book he can showcase his vocal talents. And this is such a book! There are a few different characters and each are greatly different in voice and personality. Jeff even adds small extras to the characters with relation to what they are doing. When it's written that a character scuffs or smacks his lips, Jeff does the action. It's much more personal than hearing the words - bringing the story to life. Totally awesome work!

This isn't a high action read out of the gate, but it's crafted in the world creation and the G's (gargoyles and grotesques). I would have liked a few more small details added in the beginning to know the relation of the characters talking, but it all become apparent quickly as to the world and relationships. I would have liked a little bit of description or foreshadowing to details we suddenly get so they don't feel to come out of nowhere, but I enjoyed the book for the fun. The fighting picks up as the book goes. The fights are a bit bloody. But that happens when you have hard stone or marble fighting soft, human flesh. There is strong cursing too.

The last stand for the little bit of humanity left on the world... Demons have almost taken over the world. This book all takes place in one day's time. We see Morty and his adventure along with what he finds. Then we see what's happened inside the Sanctuary while he's gone, with the siege and the teens leaving. Then both sections collide in a moment. We see the last Sanctuary with humans who're not possessed pull all they have to stand against the demons, and try one last effort to save what little is left of the world.

This is a stand alone novel and ends as one. Cool. This way I'm not left wondering about anything. Though, there are a few questions as to the stone cutter, but that's my speculative thinking.

We get to see a few different grotesques and gargoyles. They are all of different personality and bring something different to the protection they provide. They are all special in their own ways, a few more than others for fighting. The G's were made for this reason, and that's why they are alive now. I'm not sure why the G's don't try to save humans when the demons leave their bodies. Why not bring them into the sanctuary? I think there's something I'm missing after a demon already possesses a body. But they aren't necessarily to save people as they are to keep their sanctuary safe, and what's in it.

We get to meet the people in this sanctuary. They are struggling to get by and tensions do run high in the world that's now restricted to a small area. The people we meet are different and have knowledge they bring to the story. They aren't ready to give up though.



****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank  you.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Author Guest Post: The Awakened: An Origin Story

How did The Awakened come to be? We have Hall Greenberg, the creator, here today sharing his development of the world.


The Awakened: An Origin Story
Hal Greenberg

For years, I had this idea of a young man who was bonded to a lion and his friend who had control over plants, and I would think of scenarios for them, and the world slowly built around these two characters. From that point the world just expanded and when I realized I had something I started building a land, I first hired a cartographer to draw the map of Grimaton. I decided that there was no equator it went from south is cold to north is hot to cover all types of environments. Then I broke the land up and made different sovereigns, that was when I added other authors to start to fill up this world with stories of who was Awakened and those around them, I determined that you could have a bond with one creature not of your choosing but that creature became sentient and another character in the story and could mindspeak with you (stole that from The Horseclan series). If you were Awakened and not bonded with an animal you would have control over one specific sphere of magic, it could be elemental or psionic, it did not matter if it was a specific type of magic and if you used it too much you would have drained your mental constitution and may need to rest or may even go into a coma.

The world was created, the rules were set and as the world grew from the two anthologies I was struck early on, what if this event happened on earth, right now, how would the people, the government and those who were Awakened act? Heroes, villains, selfish, charitable what would happen? How would you react if your friend became Awakened but you did not? These thoughts passed through my mind and Awakened: Modern was born.

eSpec Books liked the idea and we worked on the project together and it is currently on Kickstarter, great stories by gifted authors will let you see what happens when a second moon suddenly stops near Earth and certain people become Awakened.

http://tiny.cc/AwakenedModern

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Hal Greenberg is an ENNIE winning art director, author, game designer, lead on anthologies, and world builder. Some of his works include the world of The Awakened®, Sisterhood of the Blade®, Bluffside: City on the Edge, Approaching Dawn: Witching Hour. Hal has worked with such industry veterans as Monte Cook, Todd Lockwood, Jeff Easley, Jim Butler and many more. He has been a guest at GenCon, Necronomicon, and Salty Bay Con.

Hal is a divorced father of two, with one dog, who resides in Florida. His hobbies include collecting: books, games, movie and TV props, art (sci-fi/fantasy and animation), watches, knives, and swords. He has also recently taken up the art of Bonsai with his daughter. Hal enjoys playing RPG's (online and in person), board and card games, and binge watching Netflix® in his spare time. You can find him on Facebook at realhalgreenberg.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Audio Book Review: Ghosts of Empire

Ghosts of Empire

By:  Terry Mixon

Publish Date:  December 13, 2015, Audiobook Release February 16, 2017

Format:  Audiobook - 10 hrs 12 mins
Narrated By:  Veronica Giguere

Genre:  Science Fiction

Series:  4th in The Empire of Bones series; 1st Book ~ Empire of Bones, 2nd Book ~ Veil of Shadows, 3rd Book ~ Command Decisions

Impression:  Wow. Fascinating story with characters we love.

Synopsis:
When on deadly ground, fight!

Jared and Kelsey won the battle for Harrison’s World, but the enemy holds thousands of Fleet personnel prisoner. They must get their people back without revealing who they really are or the sentient AIs will eradicate the new Terran Empire.

Coordinator Olivia West sees and opportunity to free her people from Harrison’s World now that the AI that had crushed them under its heel was no more. To do that, she must outwit the Fleet officers holding the keys to her planet’s destruction.

But foes striking from the shadows will go to any length to derail their plans. Can the three of them settle their differences before the ghosts of the Old Empire return to haunt them all?

First Sentence:
"What the hell is that?" Princess Kelsey Bandar asked.

Purchase At:
Amazon  

Audible

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.

Having planets under control of higher powers can be a feeding ground for conspiracies and resistances. Here on Harrison's World, we get both. And they know very well who their enemy is. Harrison's World holds knowledge Admiral Jared Mertz and Princess Kelsey Bandar need to continue their fight against the Rebel Empire. But, can they get their people free and make allies at the same time? Or will the conspiracies of the Rebel Empire go deeper than all expected?

Veronica is talented at keeping pace with the excitement of the story. When the events pick up pace and the heart of the characters is pumping, Veronica has the feel of the fast tension to her voice, drawing me into the rush of the moment. Yet, Veronica is crystal clear in speaking so I know exactly what she says. There are moments through the book that have an echoy sound to them. I'm not sure what this is or why, me or the recording, I'm not sure. I'm repeatedly wowed at Veronica's ability and beyond any talent to give a vast cast of characters their own voices and personalities.

With Terry's writing we have come to be very close to our characters here. We've slowly added new characters that I've grown attached to as well. Now we are adding more people to the mix. It sounds like a lot of people, but the way Terry adds them keeps them all individual and easy to get to know before adding more to the group. I love this as it does not stress me out. He introduces them in their 'home' environment and when they appear on the page it's in relation to who and where they are, even not spoken or written. This makes it very easy for me to remember who's who in this growing cast of characters.

We get the story from Kelsey and Jared's POV's like previous books. But we also get a new view here. Commander Sean Meyer is in a different spot and we get to see from where he's at. And Coordinator Olivia West, who has a special connection to things.

Oooooh this book. There is so much to learn! We start to learn details of the Rebel Empire and how it's set up with their lords and rulers. Very interesting. Just when I thought things could get boring, Terry surprises me and keeps me held fast to the book. Things could easily be repeated, but they aren't. What we learn and deal with at Harrison's World grows to new heights, unlike at Pantagar.

We see how two worlds collide with needs and desires to do more. There are items that both want, yet only one has and can have. There is also desires for more on the new world we are negotiating with, Harrison's World. These worlds are damaged and the people are angry. Different people want different things - revenge, freedom, power, and more. There are people who want to rebel against the Rebel Empire and others with plans of their own. All clash as Jared and Kelsey work to get their people freed from Harrison's World. Will they make a new ally or an enemy? Or come to even grounds? There is a different hierarchy here, and it's going to be difficult to get anywhere.

This book had me groping for all sorts of ideas on how things could turn out. Oh to see how the people of Harrison's World who want to rebel against the Empire have worked for what little they have in place, and to know where those items are. Wow. There is more in common with Jared and Kelsey with Olivia and her people, they just don't know it right away. I worried how this common ground could be destroyed before it's ever found because everyone's so worried about keeping things safe against the AI and their Rebel Empire.

The creation of the Rebel Empire and their treatment of the planets is a feeding ground for rebellions and conspiracies. People wanting to be free. People wanting to climb the power ladder. It's a crafty web people weave to get what they want, and the extents they will go to. I was worried and anxious for all our friends, old and new, hoping things would turn out as they get into tight spots. I'm always mesmerized at the craftiness of authors that create systems and conspiracies this deep and this believable. Amazing talent!

Battles in space and on land. Car chases and fights. Caring people with close relations to their crew.

Aside from all my rambling, I just love this spectacularly written story, characters, and world!



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