Book Review: After the Flood

Title: After the Flood

Author: Kassandra Montag

Genre: Dystopia/Science Fiction

Source: Borrowed (library)

Rating: ★★★★

Book links:

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One Sentence Synopsis

After the world is covered in flood water, Myra takes her youngest daughter on a harrowing journey to try and rescue her oldest daughter who was taken by Myra’s husband.

Favorite Quote

“But I knew that was the kind of hope that betrays. The kind of hope that’s an illusion, that shackles you to your desire. I needed hope built on real possibilities.”

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Book Review: American Dirt

Title: American Dirt

Author: Jeanine Cummins

Genre: Contemporary

Publication Date: 21 Jan 2020

Source: ARC sent by Flatiron books

Rating: ★★

Book Links:

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One Sentence Synopsis

Lydia and her son, Luca, are the sole survivors after the local drug cartel murders their entire family and flee to the United States to escape.

Favorite Quote

Honestly, nothing. Continue reading to find out why.

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Book Review: Come Tumbling Down

Title: Come Tumbling Down

Author: Seanan McGuire

Genre: YA Fantasy

Source: Borrowed (library)

Rating: ★★★★

Book Links:

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One Sentence Synopsis

The no-quest rule at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children is about to, once again, be broken when an ex-student stumbles back to ask for aid.

Favorite Quote

“Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children was an island of misfit toys, a place to put the unfinished stories and the broken wanderers who could butcher a deer and string a bow but no longer remembered what to do with indoor plumbing.”

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Book Review: The Tenant

Title: The Tenant

Author: Katrine Engberg

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Published: Jan 14th, 2020

Source: e-ARC (Netgalley)

Rating: ★★★

Book Links:

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One Sentence Synopsis

A detective duo must investigate a murder that is following the plot of a unpublished murder mystery being written by the victim’s landlord.

Favorite Quote

This quote is from an uncorrected copy and may change in the final version

“It is no coincidence that the heart has become the symbol of love, because when someone loves and loses, grief sits in the chest, just to the left.”

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Book Review: The Starless Sea

Title: The Starless Sea

Author: Erin Morgenstern

Genre: Contemporary fantasy

Source: Purchased (local bookstore)

Rating: ★★★★★

Book Links:

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One Sentence Synopsis

Zachary Ezra Rawlins, a young college student who enjoys books and video games more than the company of most people, comes across a very real story from his past in an ancient looking book of fairy-tales.

Favorite Quote

“Not all stories speak to all listeners, but all listeners can find a story that does, somewhere, sometime. In one form or another.”

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Book Reveiw: Nameless Queen

Title: Nameless Queen

Author: Rebecca McLaughlin

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publication Date: Jan 7th, 2020

Source: e-ARC (Netgalley)

Rating: ★★★★

Book Links:

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One Sentence Synopsis

Coin, a thief and grifter from the lowest class of Seriden society, the Nameless, suddenly finds herself queen when she inherits a magical tattoo.

Favorite Quote

This quote is from an uncorrected copy and may change in the final version

“When you tell the truth, don’t ever look down. Don’t be ashamed and don’t be afraid. The truth isn’t something you control. It’s something you live with, and if you want to let it make you stronger, it has to be something you own.”

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Book Review: A Heart so Fierce and Broken

Title: A Heart so Fierce and Broken

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publication Date: Jan 7th, 2020

Source: e-ARC (Netgalley)

Rating: ★★★★

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One Sentence Synopsis

In the sequel to A Curse So Dark and Lonely, rumors of a lost heir who can to the Emberfall throne who can also wield magic are causing chaos not only within the country but between former allies.

Favorite Quote

This quote is from an uncorrected copy and may change in the final version

“These political games feel so unfair, when real people and true emotion sit at the center of it all.”

(There are others, but I had to pick something non-spoilery!)

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Blog Tour: The God Game by Danny Tobey

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Last year, I got an email from St. Martin Press asking if people were interested in being part of a blog tour for a new sci-fi book coming out. I had recently started up my blog and I’d always thought being part of a blog tour would be an exciting opportunity. Then I noticed that the book was being compared to Ready Player One and I couldn’t sign up fast enough! Ready Player One is one of my all time favorites and I’ve been looking for something that could compare for awhile! So I want to say a hearty THANK YOU to St. Martin’s Press, Netgalley, and the author for sending me a free book in exchange for an honest review and for letting me be a part of this tour!

Synopsis

You are invited!
Come inside and play with G.O.D.
Bring your friends!
It’s fun!
But remember the rules. Win and ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE.™ Lose, you die!

With those words, Charlie and his friends enter the G.O.D. Game, a video game run by underground hackers and controlled by a mysterious AI that believes it’s God. Through their phone-screens and high-tech glasses, the teens’ realities blur with a virtual world of creeping vines, smoldering torches, runes, glyphs, gods, and mythical creatures. When they accomplish a mission, the game rewards them with expensive tech, revenge on high-school tormentors, and cash flowing from ATMs. Slaying a hydra and drawing a bloody pentagram as payment to a Greek god seem harmless at first. Fun even.

But then the threatening messages start. Worship me. Obey me. Complete a mission, however cruel, or the game reveals their secrets and crushes their dreams. Tasks that seemed harmless at first take on deadly consequences. Mysterious packages show up at their homes. Shadowy figures start following them, appearing around corners, attacking them in parking garages. Who else is playing this game, and how far will they go to win?

And what of the game’s first promise: win, win big, lose, you die? Dying in a virtual world doesn’t really mean death in real life—does it?

As Charlie and his friends try to find a way out of the game, they realize they’ve been manipulated into a bigger web they can’t escape: an AI that learned its cruelty from watching us.

God is always watching, and He says when the game is done.

Book Details

  • Author: Danny Tobey
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
  • Publication date: January 7th, 2020
  • Pages: 496
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Content Warnings: Suicide, violence

About the Author

Danny Tobey is a fifth-generation Texan. He went to Harvard College, Yale Law School, and UT Southwestern medical school. Harvard gave Danny the Edward Eager prize “for the best creative writing.” He wrote and edited the Harvard Lampoon and was anthologized in The Best of the Harvard Lampoon: 140 Years of American Humor.Danny’s first novel, the sci-fi fantasy thriller The Faculty Club, came out from Simon & Schuster. Danny is a noted expert on Artificial Intelligence. In 2019, the Library of Congress gave Danny the Burton Award for his work on AI and the law.

My Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Holy &*#%, this was a WILD ride! It was blurbed as a page-turner and it did not disappoint!

We start this story following a teenager named Charlie. Charlie’s mom has recently died of cancer, his dad has completely checked out, and he has completely checked out of school, going from top of his class to very near the bottom. The one thing that brings him any kind of solace these days is hanging out with his friends in the Tech Room doing “nerdy” things, like building robots and coding. One day, Charlie is introduced to an AI that calls itself God, which leads to an invite to a very interesting game…

Let me just say that this book did not have me sold at the very beginning. It had a slow start establishing who our main characters were and the entire premise of the G.O.D game. But, once the game aspect of the book really kicked in, I was absolutely HOOKED! The pacing afterwards was just spot on. It was high octane and engaging enough to keep me on the edge of my seat. And the game itself! Oh, I absolutely loved how the game was woven into the story. The details were magnificent, the science kept me thinking, and the action wasn’t too over-the-top. It was real and intense and terrifying at times and I LOVED IT!

The characters were a little less to my liking, though they definitely got better as the story progressed. They all felt like they were lacking depth, at first. Charlie was a kid who lost his mom and lost his way and… that was it. He was someone I’d seen in a million after school specials and I just wasn’t feeling it. As I got deeper into the story, however, and saw how Charlie grappled with some serious questions about morality, he started gaining depth and I found myself enjoying his character a lot more. The same holds true for his core group of friends. They all grew into far more interesting characters than they had been at the beginning of this book.

They were all terrible, but that’s neither here nor there. And, honestly, who wasn’t when they were a teenager?

I will say that the perspective shifts sometimes threw me off and the word choices were not always the best, but, in the end, this was an incredibly enjoyable read that I had a hard time putting down. Did it live up to the Ready Player One comparison? In a way, yes. The game aspect of this story definitely kicked in some memories of the Oasis from RPO. Beyond that, it had a very different feel, but this book definitely stands on it’s own two feet, as well.

Final thoughts: This was an amazing sci-fi adventure that had a bit of a slow start but was a gripping story once the game really got rolling. If you’re looking for a fast-paced thrill ride with morally grey characters, you can’t go wrong with this book!