Tagged: YA Science Fiction

Eve of Eridu – Review

Twitter image for Sam's Teen Reads Corner review of Eve of Eridu by Alanah Andrews
Sam’s Teen Reads Corner reviews Eve of Eridu by Alanah Andrews

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

About the Book

Eve of Eridu, Alanah Andrews

Teen & Young Adult, Dystopian  

Michael Terence Publishing (August 13, 2018)

Humanity with Purpose

In a world where emotions are forbidden, what happens when you start to feel?

The harvest separates the worthy from the unworthy. Those who pass are destined to continue the human race, and the unworthy are culled.

For years, Eve has been the poster girl for emotional control. But ever since her brother was culled, Eve is finding it difficult to keep the monitor on her wrist an acceptable blue.

The next harvest ceremony is approaching and Eve will do whatever it takes to avoid the same fate as her brother.

Gripping and intriguing, Eve of Eridu explores the lengths that humans will go to in their quest for survival.

This YA dystopian novel is written by the award-winning speculative writer, Alanah Andrews.

What readers are saying about Eve of Eridu


I think it would be a huge understatement to say that I enjoyed this book. I absolutely love this story. You could say that I’ve gone “old world crazy” for it. I couldn’t put down this intelligent, gripping, dystopian YA science fiction thriller. I read it over just two days. I’m blown away by Alanah’s skill and talent for complex, imaginative world-building, and the ability to create strong and realistic, relatable characters, all while weaving an intriguing storyline with a profound message. Alanah is an incredibly talented writer. Definitely, one to watch! I look forward to reading more of her work. I gave it five stars only because I couldn’t give it more. – 5 star Amazon review by Monnath Books

Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. I honestly can’t fault this book at all! Eve is such a likeable character and I went through every single emotion she felt with her, even ending the book with a giant sense of loss about all Eve has been through. Alanah is an amazing writer, with a great eye for descriptions and imagery. This is one of those books that I can already see being made into a movie. – 5 star Amazon review

Eve of Eridu seems inspired by dystopian styles, but it has its own voice. I found myself easing into the story, enjoying every chapter, and looking forward to the next. Alanah Andrews has an engaging style of writing that is neither too much introspection or too heavy on action. If you enjoy light dystopian reads, then this book would be a great addition to your TBR list. – 5 star Goodreads review

I found this hard to put down at times and I’m hoping this will be a series – 5 star Goodreads Review 

Fans of popular dystopian novels would definitely eat this one up. It kind of reminded me of The Giver mixed with Divergent. 

About the Author

Alanah Andrews grew up with a steaming mud pool in her back yard – so it’s no wonder that she writes speculative fiction! Alanah has won several awards for short stories, including the Avid Reader’s Flash Fiction Prize, Birdcatcher Books Short Story Award and Sweek Short Story Competition.

Her work has been published in anthologies such as Hammond House’s ‘Eternal,’ Lane Cove Literary Awards Anthology and Birdcatcher Books’ ‘Mosaic.’ Her writing has been recognized internationally, including being read aloud at LitFest Pasadena, California, as a finalist for the Roswell Award.

Alanah specialized in creative writing at Monash University where she studied a BA in Professional Communication. She also has a Master of Teaching and loves being able to foster a love of reading in her students. She currently teaches English in Australia.

Alanah has published a book of short stories ‘Beyond,’ and has a YA dystopian novel coming out in August.

Sam’s Review

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Eve of Eridu is a dystopian novel filled with danger, even though it was a wee bit boring. It’s still good, though. Don’t get me wrong on that.

Emotion. In the underground land of Eridu, it’s forbidden. Emotion leads to war in the old world. Emotion leads to death. Now, Eve has lost her brother. She’s begun to feel. Knowing that this will lower her chances in Eridu, she does everything in her apathetic power to control it. Sam, an informer, and someone she should stay far away from isn’t helping.

Really, I don’t have much to say about this book. I was bored with it, but I read it so I could get the review out for this for people who like dystopian novels. I was lost by the ending. It was a cliffhanger, but it was confusing how she made a promise to somebody that she wasn’t even friends with, and wasn’t culled despite being so low on the leaderboard. I don’t get how a little tiny foldable screen doesn’t break when you fold it.

In the section of things that I liked, well, I have a couple of things on the list. I liked how Eve falls in love with somebody who’s been brought back from the Grid (read the book to learn more). It brings a nice lil’ twist to the story. Although, can somebody please explain why Sam was telling Eve all of his secrets in one night? Please?

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Sam’s Teen Reads Corner reviews Eve of Eridu by Alanah Andrews

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, and Paperback editions. [affiliate link]

Aaru – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn's long-awaited review of YA Science-Fiction thriller Aaru, by David Meredith, on this edition of Thrice Read Books' review blog
Jenn’s long-awaited review of YA Science-Fiction thriller Aaru, by David Meredith

About the Book

Aaru, David Meredith (The Aaru Cycle)

Adult Sci-fi/Fantasy 296 Pages

Self Published July 9, 2017

Rose is dying. Her body is wasted and skeletal. She is too sick and weak to move. Every day is an agony and her only hope is that death will find her swiftly before the pain grows too great to bear. 

She is sixteen years old. 

Rose has made peace with her fate, but her younger sister, Koren, certainly has not. Though all hope appears lost Koren convinces Rose to make one final attempt at saving her life after a mysterious man in a white lab coat approaches their family about an unorthodox and experimental procedure. 

A copy of Rose’s radiant mind is uploaded to a massive supercomputer called Aaru – a virtual paradise where the great and the righteous might live forever in an arcadian world free from pain, illness, and death. Elysian Industries is set to begin offering the service to those who can afford it and hires Koren to be their spokes-model. Within a matter of weeks, the sisters’ faces are nationally ubiquitous, but they soon discover that neither celebrity nor immortality is as utopian as they think. Not everyone is pleased with the idea of life everlasting for sale. 

What unfolds is a whirlwind of controversy, sabotage, obsession, and danger. Rose and Koren must struggle to find meaning in their chaotic new lives and at the same time hold true to each other as Aaru challenges all they ever knew about life, love, and death and everything they thought they really believed.

About the Author

David Meredith is a writer and educator originally from Knoxville, Tennessee. He received both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from East Tennessee State University, in Johnson City, Tennessee. He received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee. On and off, he spent nearly a decade, from 1999-2010 teaching English in Northern Japan, but currently lives with his wife and three children in the Nashville Area where he continues to write and teach English.

Jenn’s Review

Wow… Just finished Aaru by David Meredith. I’ve had it in my TBR pile for quite a while, as it got lost in a storm of review requests. Sitting around an airport for hours had me flipping through my Kindle files, and I ran across this story, and quickly shuffled it to the top of my (now written) list! And now that book 2 is out… I am trying to figure out how to shuffle some more…

Thirteen-year-old Rose Johnson is dying. She’s tired of life, of pain, of hospitals and endless treatments. In short, she knows she’s run out of time. She doesn’t want to leave her sister, though, as they’ve been best friends all their lives. And Koren doesn’t want to lose her sister, either.

The man their father brings to meet Rose in the hospital, offers a “cure”, which Rose only truly understands when her body dies. She wakes up in a virtual Paradise, Aaru.

Koren doesn’t handle the loss of her sister very well – she falls into a depression, rebels against everything in her life, and loses all hope – a devastating thing at her young age. So when her father introduces her to the man who helped her sister, Koren isn’t very cooperative. Until they introduce her to Aaru, and her sister, Rose.

It’s a tough moment for Koren, but she’s so happy to see her sister, she agrees to become their spokesperson. Sudden stardom comes with a heavy price, which Koren doesn’t have a lot of say about paying.

This one’s a suspense/thriller, to be sure, but it’s a lengthy and sometimes difficult read. And, I would caution parents about the suitability for their own teens. While nothing explicit happens on the page, the problems of stalkers, child pornography, sex (it doesn’t happen on the page, but it does make an appearance as a problem in the story) and murder are all encompassed in the plot.

Additionally, I struggled with the author’s choice of writing style – this is a personal note, and not a condemnation of Mr. Meredith’s ability. He has a vast and, at times, obscure vocabulary. While this doesn’t pose a barrier for me, the story is mostly told from the perspective of the teenaged sisters, and the word choices the author favors didn’t quite feel authentic for the ages of the younger primary characters. They were fitting for the antagonist, however. Again, this is my own opinion of my reading experience – others might readily disagree.

All in all, I did enjoy the book. The plot, characters, and setting were all well-developed, and the conflicts and plot twists kept the story engaging. This book is for those who enjoy suspense and mystery, though I would suggest a more mature (not quite R rated) audience though, as some of the scenes might be a little too intense for younger teens.

Jenn's long-awaited review of YA Science-Fiction thriller Aaru, by David Meredith, on this edition of Thrice Read Books' review blog
Jenn’s long-awaited review of YA Science-Fiction thriller Aaru

Other Books in the series:

Aaru: Halls of Hel (Book 2)

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and in paperback editions from Amazon below. [affiliate link]

Jem of Skye – Review

Sam reviews George Wier's YA Science Fiction novel Jem of Skye on the Thrice Read Books blog

About the book:

Jem of Skye by George Wier

Book 1 in the Factions of Skye series     YA Science Fiction

Published by Flagstone Books January 18, 2018

226 pages in print

Jem is an orphan living in the floating city of Cirrus. As the dreaded Horn attack, Jem and his friends are scooped up in the adventure of a lifetime when the floating orphanage, Janus, is destroyed. Not only must Jem, Crowen, Kaetu, and a mec named Goat survive aboard a Horn capital ship, but they must find a way to save each other and all of Skye. In order to do so, Jem and his friends soon find themselves in the crosshairs of the two greatest fleets ever assembled, with a battle coming that may bring nightfall upon Earth forever. But there is hope in a well-kept secret buried beneath a mountain far below in the Land left devastated by the two-hundred year-old holocaust.

About the author:

George Wier is the author of the popular Bill Travis Mystery series, and a number of other standalone mysteries. He also writes science fiction and steampunk. 

The Bill Travis Mystery series has been hailed as a tour-de-force among modern mysteries. In this adrenaline-fueled series, George Wier throws all sorts of fantastic scenarios at his protagonist. The characters and situations are often quirky, but no less true to life, and the feel is such that the reader is present alongside Bill Travis as he struggles through one disaster after another.

In his own words: “I currently live in Austin with my lovely wife, Sallie, along with two cats and two dogs. I began writing in earnest in 1986, although I have been creatively writing far longer than that. I find that I have far more ideas than I could ever write down, and so I pick and choose only the best story ideas. I write what I, myself, like to read, and nothing more. I am always happy to talk to a reader and would dearly love to hear your comments. Please visit my website at www.georgewier.com. There you will find free short stories, anecdotes, and links to other books and writers. Thanks for reading!”

Sam’s Review:

Jem of Skye by George Wier is a science fiction book about a boy named Jem. His world is falling apart, though he doesn’t realize it. No one does. But when the dreaded Horn attack and he’s forced to take a Horn ship for his own, along with three friends, counting a mec by the name of Goat, he learns that the Horn isn’t the real enemy.

Fun filled, cute, and kind of funny, the list for the things that I liked about this book goes on. Jem and his girlfriend, Kaetu are very sweet together. Jax (the captain of a trading ship that played a HUGE role in the story) and Jem’s friend, Crowen, both can pilot a ship wonderfully.

However, it seemed like the book moved too fast for me. Other than that, I enjoyed it.

Sam reviews Jem of Skye by George Wier - YA science fiction novel - on the Thrice Read Books blog.

Buy the Book: 

This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

The Princess of Tyrone – Review

About the Book:

Apolline is happy hunting magical creatures on her pirate infested outer-perimeter planet. She is a fantastic shot, and doesn’t flinch at the blood and guts of her kills. Never once did she consider she could be the missing Princess of Tyrone. All her life, she has heard the story of the Princess, cursed to sleep for eternity, unless her betrothed, the Prince of Oran, gave her true love’s kiss.

Although Apolline knows she is betrothed, she thinks her fairy guardians arranged it out of ignorance of human ways. The thought she could be a princess is inconceivable. Then Allard appears. Handsome, charming-but he’s not hers to have. He’s betrothed, too. Her guardians warn her against her new found friendship, but she and Allard meet in secret anyway. Despite her rough exterior, he sees beyond her gun-slinging bravado, and their love blossoms. But the deadline for the sleeping curse is approaching. If Apolline falls in love with the wrong person, she could end up sleeping forever. A quirky, adventurous retelling of Sleeping Beauty, with a less than princess-ly princess!

About the Author:

Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush”, and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.

After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and their dog.

She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing.
When her debut novel, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, climbed into bestselling status, she believed she was onto something, and now has a slew of novels now available, and is published through Curiosity Quills Press, Soul Mate Publishing, and REUTS Publishing.

Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports, and be a good wife and mother. She now works as an Acquisitions Editor to help support her family. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

Jenn’s Review:

Young Adult, Science Fiction and Fairy Tales. What could possibly go wrong? The potential for this to be a dull, rehashed fairy tale story is huge here.

Katie Hamstead’s Princess of Tyrone is the first in a series of YA science fiction novels that are based on the old fairy tales most of us have grown up with. A little twisted, but certainly recognizable.

And book 1 was a fabulous read! The story is well told, the heroine is spunky and snarky (my favorite kind!), and the parallels to the old Grimm tales are hard to miss.

Then, we have the star-crossed lovers. Well, they think they are ill-fated, but a fairy godmother is looking out for Apolline and Allard. Even the antagonist, Bryanna has a voice in the story, and for my part, I’d say she’s pitiable, because even when it’s pointed out to her that her situation is the consequence of her own decisions, she insists on blaming others for her plight. Reminds me of a number of people in my own life.

Ms. Hamstead has woven a beautiful world with fun characters and a twisty plot that kept me cheering for the protagonists, even when they insisted on remaining oblivious to the obvious.

This is easily a YA novel that can be read by middle graders. They might find the kissy moments near the end.. well.. mushy. The language and content, however, are clean. Easily a four-star read.

Sam’s Review: 

So, I loved how it told the tale of Sleeping Beauty in another way, whereas the princess (Apolline is the name she grew up with, and that’s the name I’m calling her) is a bright, courageous, and spunky huntress who has fallen for a guy whom she doesn’t know is her betrothed.

Of course two of the three fairies that are raising her hate the idea, yada, yada, yada. But that’s not the point here! I’m getting off track, which I have a tendency to do. Anyways, I, well, can’t find anything about the book that I didn’t like. That’s a new one for me.

Buy the Book:

This book is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle format here. [affiliate link]

Other books in this series:

Myths of Mish (Hansel and Gretel)

The Dwarves of Calcus (Snow White)

Myths of Mish – Book Review

About the book:

Hansel and Gretel Herrscher survived the witch in the woods, but the experience has made Hansel paranoid for the past ten years. He sees dark magic at every turn. When Gretel has a marriage arranged to a much older man, and Hansel discovers he’s about to be sent halfway across the galaxy, he knows something sinister is afoot.

Wilhelmine Nordon has plenty of experience with Hansel’s quirkier side. So when she catches him and Gretel running away in the middle of the night, she follows to keep them from getting killed. The siblings have never left the capital of Mish on their own, so they need a babysitter. Except when she’s discovered, Hansel gives her his usual cold shoulder, and Gretel secretly begs her to take them back.

The problem is, Hansel’s paranoia turns out to be well founded, and they’re all being hunted.

About the Author:

Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush,” and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing. After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter, and their dog. She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing. She is currently at school studying English and Creative Writing. Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports and be a good wife and mother. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

Jenn’s Review:

Myths wasn’t as good as Princess of Tyrone. 

Yeah, I know I don’t start reviews out like that, but it’s the honest truth. Not that Myths was a bad book; but the hero, Hansel, is a little over the top with the paranoia and his abusive treatment of Minna through almost 3/4 of the story.

And Minna falls in love with him anyway (before he stops acting like an a-hole).

The plot itself is fast paced, and while I could see the plot twists coming, I didn’t accurately predict where they were headed until each was upon me. Gretel tries desperately to play matchmaker between Hansel and Minna (again, why? He’s an absolute jerk to Minna – why would you try to hook your best friend up with someone who treats her like trash?).

Perhaps my issue with the relationship between hero and heroine in this story is my age. This is, of course, a YA sci fi romance, and here I am at 41, a survivor of abuse, trying to wrap my head around a young woman falling in love with an abusive male. Yes, Hansel mostly outgrows his perpetual jerkdom by the end of the book. The evil antagonist is vanguished, everyone gets married and has a happy-ever-after (Gretel meets someone on their adventure… if I tell you more, I’d have to put spoiler alerts all over this post!).

Sam’s reading this book, as well, and I should be adding her review in the near future. My final verdict, though? Mixed review, 3 stars. Great plot and character development; had a hard time accepting the love-the-abuser thing.

Sam’s Review:

Katie Hamstead is back with Myths of Mish, the prequel to Princess of Tyrone. While Princess of Tyrone told the story of Sleeping Beauty, Myths of Mish explained what happened to Hansel and Gretel after they defeated the witch, only with a interstellar twist. This book, along with the other books in the series, is for young adult audiences.

Even though it’s a prequel, the story blends right in to Princess of Tyrone.  I can almost see it happening while Apolline and the rest of the gang from the first book are doing their thing, while at the same time, I know that this is a prequel.

I loved how the characters’ personalities were well defined, and the places were well made. Filled with humor and tension where and when they were needed, I felt like I was part of the action.

Buy the Books:

This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Other Books in the series:

Princess of Tyrone

Dwarves of Calcus

Dwarves of Calcus – Review

About the Book:

When she was thirteen, Snow Sabbia crash landed on the dwarves’ home planet of Calcus. After fleeing from her step-mother’s huntsman, seven brother dwarves took her in to hide and protect her. She has hidden for years on the peaceful planet, tinkering with old automobiles and pushing papers in the mine office.

Then, Timothy White shows up.

The shy, nervous, nerdy heir captivates Snow before she even knows who he is, and quickly she falls in love. But his high profile in society draws unwanted attention from her vengeful stepmother, who wants Snow dead.

Geneva believed Snow died years earlier and she had consumed her innocent heart. With her late husband’s wealth, Snow’s inheritance, in tow, she married a young lord, Conrad. Both are using each other—Geneva for his title and to have a child, Conrad for her money and beauty. But when Conrad lays eyes on his boyhood rival’s lovely fiance, Snow, his overwhelming desire for her reveals the truth to Geneva, that Snow lives.

Desperate to hold onto her wealth and power, Geneva seeks to kill Snow properly this time. Snow has the power to wield the one thing that can destroy her, so she cannot let the girl claim possession of the family heirloom, the Nevollo Sword.

Snow soon learns her step-mother knows she is alive. But she is a pacifist, so she must outwit Geneva and remain hidden… until Geneva, disguised as a child, presents her with an apple.

About the Author:

Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush”, and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.

After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and their dog.

She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing.
When her debut novel, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, climbed into bestselling status, she believed she was onto something, and now has a slew of novels now available, and is published through Curiosity Quills Press, Soul Mate Publishing, and REUTS Publishing.

Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports, and be a good wife and mother. She now works as an Acquisitions Editor to help support her family. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

Jenn’s Review:

Snow White has been one of my favorite fairy tales for as long as I can remember. In the third installment of Katie Hamstead’s Fairy Tale Galaxy series, we get a fresh retelling (that’s only been hinted at in the first two books), of the Snow White story.

As you probably know by now, book 2 in this series wasn’t a big fav of mine, however, book 3, Ms. Hamstead is back in business with wit, likable characters (minus the villianous Geneva, of course), and a fast-paced plot. 

I remember being young and awkward, especially in the social department – I could relate easily to both main characters. Snow is a capable, strong young woman, even if she has no grace when it comes to social situations (she’s grown up with dwarves, and NO humans), and Timothy isn’t the brave, dashing prince we’re used to seeing in this story – he’s a nerd and utterly socially inept (lest you believe he’s just a bumbling idiot, he’s not – the source of his social insecurity is laid out by the end of the book), but Snow is able to draw him out of his shell. And just when everything seems to be going well for them… Poof! Something comes up to keep them apart. Reminds me a bit of my own high school sweetheart (whom I eventually married, despite our own delays).

In the final analysis: Dwarves of Calcus is a winner in my book. Strong characters, well-defined conflicts and plot, and villains vanquished. 

And since I enjoyed two of the three books in the series, and Ms. Hamstead has plenty of other material she can work with (other potential plots are hinted at throughout the series as it stands now), I’m hoping to see more of this series in the future.

Sam’s Review:

Telling the story of Snow White this time, Dwarves of Calcus explains the peace between Oran and Tyrone. See, Oran and Tyrone weren’t always allies. They were enemies at one point. But when Snow Sabbia meets Timothy White, it’s love at first sight. Now long after, about a couple of weeks or so, they’re engaged. Talk about moving quickly.

But Snow and Timothy (let’s just call him Timmy.) have one person in the way: Snow’s siren of a stepmother, Geneva. Literally, she’s a siren. Snow and Timmy get married, and Geneva gives Snow a poisoned apple. The rest of the story that you are familiar with takes over, moving this fascinating story along its tracks.

With twists and turns at almost every angle, a nerdy prince charming, and seven funny dwarves, Dwarves of Calcus is fun to and easy to read. Its for young adult audiences, and is the third book in a series.

Buy the book:

This book is available in Kindle format from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Other Books in the series:

Princess of Tyrone

Myths of Mish

Runners & Riders – Review

About the Book:

RUNNERS AND RIDERS, by Jordan Elizabeth 

Series: Return to Amston Book One

Genre: steampunk, adventure

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Release: August 22, 2016

Cover Artist: Eugene Teplitsky   

Juliet loved growing up at the seaside, although it meant lonely hours chasing after the other beach rats while her mother worked as a seamstress. Juliet never expected her seaman father to inherit a fortune and move the family to New Addison City. Suddenly her mother is a socialite and Juliet is best friends with a strong-willed girl who actually likes her. When Juliet’s new friend welcomes her to the Runners, a gang that has plagued the East Coast for years, Juliet sees it as the opportunity to fit in, learn tricks, and make eyes at one of the hottest members. What the gang does isn’t really wrong…right? She’s used to being a pawn for the Runners, but she starts to question what she sees as harmless fun when the gang uses her to attack a young officer.

Jonathan Montgomery vowed to end the Runners after they murdered his family. He joined the Riders, an elite police force dedicated to stopping the Runners’ crime spree. They have put him in New Addison City, but rookie mistakes follow Jonathan as he struggles to accomplish his goal, until a young woman feeds him inside information to bring down the Runners.

Between murders and secrets, Juliet will need to find her strength to help Jonathan, before the founder of the Runners crawls up from the sewers amongst her inventions to burn down the city.

About the Author:

Jordan Elizabeth

Jordan Elizabeth, formally Jordan Elizabeth Mierek, writes down her nightmares in order to live her dreams. With an eclectic job history of working as a college professor; historic costumed interpreter at Fort Stanwix, Victorian Leisure Fair, and Mayfaire on the Green; office specialist; sales clerk; election inspector; and trainer, she is now diving into the world of author.It happens to be her favorite one.

When she’s not creating art or searching for lost history in the woods, she’s updating her blog, Kissed by Literature. Jordan is the president of the Utica Writers Club and maintains JordanElizabethMierek.com.

She roams Central New York, but she loves to travel. A great deal of time has been spent in a rural town very similar to Arnn, the setting of her novel ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW.

Find the author Online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Jenn’s Review:

My very first Steampunk novel… 

Admittedly, the first few chapters of this story were confusing as the author lays the groundwork and backstories for the major players in the plot (namely Juliet and Jonathan). Once past that point, however, the story unfolded and kept me turning pages late into the night, especially past the halfway point. I read the second half of this book in a few hours – it was that engrossing.

Ms. Elizabeth’s storytelling is superb, weaving clear descriptions that allow the reader a clear mental image of settings and characters, and the mysteries that flow just under the surface of the main plot unfold with surprising twists and turns.

That said, readers should be prepared for a few bumps in the road, especially if small inconsistent details throw you out of the “realm of belief”. I ran across a few scenes in the book where some small detail changed from paragraph to paragraph – minor editing misses that, for me anyway, were just enough that I had to work a little harder for a few pages to slip back into the realm of the story.

Overall, I loved this story, and will be reading the sequel, The Secrets of Bennett Hall, next.

Buy the Book:

 This book is available as a paperback or Kindle ebook from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Find Online: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

The White Pavilion – Review

About this book:

Five hundred years ago, Old Earth was facing certain destruction. In the country we know as Spain, a Clockmaker was visited by an Oracle, who told her that a new world must be created.

La Relojero, the Clockmaker, thus fashioned Tierra Mejor, a world governed by clockwork. Along with Seven Companions, she left the dying Earth behind.

But now, an illness is spreading across their world. Machines are failing, crops are diseased, and the Green-bands, led by a man known only as la Rebelde, the Rebel, are spreading discord.

Every year, the Daughters of the Pavilion dance to honour the myth is being performed by the Daughters of the Pavilion. Imre has been chosen to play the part of la Grulla. It is her task is to honour the Pattern by placing a white feather into the hand of a statue of la Oracula, the Oracle. At the last moment, she stumbles.

The Pattern has been disrupted, and Imre’s future is now in jeopardy. The Prince Regent, Thaniel, insists that she is brought to the Citadel. The Prince is young, easily distracted, and determined to bury his insecurities under a screen of drugs. Senor Grath, the Prince’s Advisor, is the effective governor. He dislikes Imre immensely – she is everything he despises. Then there is La Boca, leader of the mysterious Brotherhood, whose sinister plans seem to involve disposing of the Prince – and Imre is in his way.

Thrown from her old life into a world of politics and intrigue, lust and greed, tradition and romance, Imre must confront the Brotherhood and save her people. She will have to fight to ensure the final part of la Relojero’s plan is completed – and that the children of the Seven Companions can return home to Old Earth.

About the author:

Ruth has been an avid reader her entire life and, inspired by the books that engrossed her as she was growing up, she aims to create stories that can draw readers in and enthral them for days or weeks. She writes every day and lives in Ballarat, Victoria, with her husband, her cat, and an ever-expanding library of books.

Ruth completed a Bachelor of Arts/Diploma of Arts in Professional Writing and Editing in 2006. She has worked as an editor as well as an illustrator. She often illustrates her own work and hopes to publish many more books in the future.

Visit her website for more information.

Jenn’s Review:

I think that this is possibly the most challenging review I’ve ever written. The White Pavillion made me reach, as a reader; think differently, as a writer; and persevere, as a reviewer.

Ms. Fox’s work in White Pavillion is very different from what I normally chose to read. However, as Sam was dying to get her hands on this particular title, and we weren’t entirely sure of the book’s rating, I chose to push on.

I would not consider this a fast paced read. In fact, it rambles rather slowly until the climax, at which point it speeds up considerably. The setting was also unusual – while I could easily picture the place, I struggled to wrap my head around the sense of time. While I can easily accept other forms of telling time in created, fictional worlds, this book left me stumped in a number of places – Had Imre been held for what would amount to days? Weeks? Months? 

In terms of the “steampunk” element of this story, Ms. Fox takes the prize for world-building. Her creativity in building the world her characters inhabit excels, and while some elements are strange to our mundane world, she has managed to create an element of realism that is hard to find.

I mentioned earlier that the story was slow. Honestly, I don’t normally feel that I am dragging myself through the pages of a read, but this one felt supremely slow. However, that said… Patience is the reward in this novel. Without giving away spoilers, the plot twists near the end of the story blindsided me, while many of the plot twists earlier in the story were expected. 

As a parent, pre-reading this book for a 12 year old who frequently reads YA Fiction, this is not a book for younger teens. Imre is, after all, the equivalent of a high-class prostitute in training (in context, this isn’t as odd as you might think), and she is, first and foremost, a sensual being, a Dancer, an escort. She finds lust and love along her journey in this story, in the arms of both men and women, and the scenes are not “behind the bedroom door”. They are described, elegantly, but not subtly.

In the final tally, The White Pavilion was a worthy read. Reviews are, of course, subjective, and what I have trouble with in one book, another reader might love (and vice versa). If you are a fan of science fiction, speculative fiction and steam punk, you might give this plot a whirl.

Buy the book:

This book is available through Amazon in Kindle format here. [Affiliate link]

Secondborn – Book Review

About the book:

Firstborns rule society. Secondborns are the property of the government. Thirdborns are not tolerated. Long live the Fates Republic.

On Transition Day, the second child in every family is taken by the government and forced into servitude. Roselle St. Sismode’s eighteenth birthday arrives with harsh realizations: she’s to become a soldier for the Fate of Swords military arm of the Republic during the bloodiest rebellion in history, and her elite firstborn mother is happy to see her go.

Televised since her early childhood, Roselle’s privileged upbringing has earned her the resentment of her secondborn peers. Now her decision to spare an enemy on the battlefield marks her as a traitor to the state.

But Roselle finds an ally—and more—in fellow secondborn conscript Hawthorne Trugrave. As the consequences of her actions ripple throughout the Fates Republic, can Roselle create a destiny of her own? Or will her Fate override everything she fights for—even love?

Sam’s Review

Hello once again, and our topic for today is the book Second Born. This wonderful tale of treason and tyranny against the second born children of the Fates’ Republic is very slow for most of the book, but speeds up very close to the end.

The storyline is very good though because of Roselle’s heritage and her allies’ attempts to throw her first born brother off of the throne. The book is science fiction, and the heroin’s spunky attitude will be hard to hate.

It gets 4 of 5 stars. Please do not forget to subscribe, like, and enable notifications.

Check out the link to Thrice Read Books, which is somewhere. Oh! There it is! Check it out, as well as some of my other videos, and I’ll be doing another video next week. Bye!

Buy the book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, paperback, audiobook and MP3 CD here. [affiliate link]

Voices – Book Review

About the book: Ansul was once a peaceful town filled with libraries, schools, and temples. But that was long ago, and the conquerors of this coastal city consider reading and writing to be acts punishable by death. And they believe the Oracle House, where the last few undestroyed books are hidden, is seething with demons. But to seventeen-year-old Memer, the house is the only place where she feels truly safe.    Then an Uplands poet named Orrec and his wife, Gry, arrive, and everything in Memer’s life begins to change. Will she and the people of Ansul at last be brave enough to rebel against their oppressors?Sam’s Review:

Voices, by Ursula K. Le Guin, is a fantasy story built in a land that thrives on books for knowledge, though not everyone sees books like the people of Ansul do. Filled with moments of caution, times of suspicion, and feelings of treachery, people who love prophecies, wars and books in general will love this fine storyline. Memer, the spunky heroine, will not disappoint the ones who have high expectations for those who take it upon themselves to defend their homeland. Filled with magic, lovable characters, and dubious enemies, Voices can keep people going until the end, leaving one wanting more.

This book is young adult level, and please remember to check out the link to Thrice Read Books.com that is in the description box. Don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already, enable notifications if you haven’t already, and leave a like. If there is a book you want me to read, please let me know in the comments, and I might get back to you. I will see you all next week in Sam’s Teen Reads Corner. Bye!

Buy the Book:

You can buy the book in Kindle, Hardcover, paperback, audio or preloaded digital player from Amazon here. [affiliate link]