Raging At The Stars

– by Lesley Davis

raging-at-the-stars

 

5 words to sum up what this book meant to me…

THE. TRUTH. IS. OUT. THERE.

Plus….

X-FILES! X-FILES! X-FILES!

YES!!

Lesley Davis has once again sucked me in with something that I’ve always been fascinated with and a believer in the “Nothing is what it seems. Nothing. Open your mind” way of life! With “Raging At The Stars,” I felt an immediate connection to it because…. The X-Files! It was like Davis wrote it especially for me! All the conspiracy theories, the mindset, circumstances that she described were as if she tapped into my mind, retrieved them and crafted into this truly captivating, engrossing and positively exciting tale! Or, that she and I just happen to share similar mentality where this subject matter’s concerned! Plus… “The X-Files!!!” I would be shocked if Davis isn’t an X-phile herself! She literally took the mythology of the phenomenally ground-breaking cult series, compiled them altogether and ran with it, putting her very own unique story and writing stamp on it! Even better? Infinitely, I’d say? LESBIANS!!!!! Lesbian romance in the midst of it but not so much that it’d distract from the massive plot! That’s the genius of her tale-spinning. As much as I was enamoured of the entire collection of conspiracy theories that were brilliantly deconstructed as the plot unfolded, Davis also soothed it with a lovely, charming romance and…let’s not forget, which I now know to expect from Davis…. The WIT! The HUMOUR! The HILARITY! In the dialogue between the protagonists and the other always-interesting secondary characters making the entire reading experience…FUNFUNFUN!!

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The Sovereign Of Psiere (Mystery of the Makers Book 1)

– by K Aten

 

Having read a few of her books of different genres, I can safely say that K. Aten has one wicked creative and imaginative mind! Her books I’d read so far had totally different takes on the popular genres and tropes. Her upcoming book, “The Sovereign of Psiere,” the first installment of her newest speculative fiction series, “Mystery Of The Makers,” is no exception. Only this time, it was the linguistic style that was creatively generated to tell the tale, not to mention, a couple of other characteristics that shaped the scope of the story even more uniquely different than the other spec fics in lesfic out there! Describing the series as a mixed genre is an understatement, surely! Read it and tell me I’m wrong! I honestly never came across a reading experience quite like I had with this book before! It was jam-packed with so many moving parts, presumably related to the overall arc of the series going forward, being introduced and displayed in Book 1 alone. Phew, what a rush! Needless to say, it wasn’t so much reading the book as experiencing it, for me. What a ride, indeed!

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Chosen

– by Brey Willows

 

Just read Brey Willows‘ “Chosen.” Firstly, it wasn’t what I expected…in a fantabulous way, I can’t even! Yes, I went in preparing meself to read and feel about all the ghastly horrors of climate change (which I was dreading because of the knowledge that we’re actually heading that way IRL, what with all the horrifying signs and evidence of it already!), with the usual depressing, doom-and-gloom dystopian, post-apocalyptic atmosphere suffocating the air everywhere, violence and brutality signifying human decay, the lot. But that wasn’t the case!! At least it didn’t give me that expected feeling of hopelessness, which delighted me to no end! Me heart and mind literally did a little happy jiggle! Thank you, Ms. Willows, for smashing me awful preconception (I blame me past experience!) to smithereens, good and proper, renewing me faith in your brilliant story ideas and creativity!

Ok, before I start gobbin’ off, I must mention that “Chosen” was vastly different than the “Afterlife Inc. Trilogy.” What I mean is, this book, compared to the Trilogy, had a more deeply enriched and solemn “voice” from the start. Obviously because of its subject matter. So it wasn’t a surprise so much as it was a delight, like hearing a fresh sound that really sparked me interest right there and then. It’s like “Afterlife” was “Another One Bites The Dust” and “Chosen” was “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Both fabulously executed but for different occasions and emotional levels. Anyway, me mind wasted no time adjusting to the tune change with eager anticipation. And whereas “Afterlife” was a hyperactive, 100-mph mad dash of a perfectly executed roller-coaster-thrill-type piece, “Chosen” was much quieter and calmer, more deliberate, unhurried, presented at a decidedly restrained pace. And I appreciated Willows for that, for having the understanding that telling this story had to have a solid footing in every step of the journey, so the reader is grounded at all times.

As such, I had time to absorb every word and expression voiced out, ponder their meanings and contemplate the implications of every description of the circumstances that Willows deftly laid out in a world where the climate was earth and humanity’s grim reaper. Willows’ character elaboration was what I was looking for – detailed, nuanced, and had implications of what their choices, paths and journeys were to be as the story progressed, be it as the “chosen” ones (a group of scientists and highly-skilled specialists of certain targeted fields who were basically rounded up by the government/military to be shipped off to a brand new planet, whether they chose that path or not! Pfft! Chosen my arse! Pretty ironic to use that word, innit? I see what you did there, Willows! I’m on to ya, you genius!) or the ones left behind.

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Waking The Dreamer

– by K. Aten

K. Aten’s speculative fiction novel, “Waking The Dreamer,” was me first full-length read of hers (yes, I previously breezed through her incredibly original, endlessly bonkers and FUN,  Awkward series shorts from AOO just to check her writing and storytelling style right after she so generously offered me to read any of her books in return for an honest feedback! Wicked, innit?). I chose it primarily because of its subject matter as I’m a huge believer in the mysteries and the power of the conscious and subconscious mind, the metaphysics and have scoured all available info in the science, philosophy and parapsychology and read them most of me life. So, ever the curious nerd, I just had to read it. So, I cashed in on Aten’s offer and long story short, read it in one single sitting.

Waking The Dreamer” had everything that I was expecting to find which I thoroughly appreciated. From the start, Aten set up what was to become of Julia, the protagonist, (who was “patient zero,” or in this case, Dreamer Zero, the first-ever person to be discovered to have the ability to dream walk), for the next decade and beyond. But instead of approaching it like a “Prologue,” with a distinct cut-off from the main body of the book, Aten blended it in as part of Julia’s journey via Julia’s own voice recapping her past to the reader from the start. I was immediately intrigued by what happened to her which was through her dream and within that dream, videos of her past as a kid…it was like a whirpool, swirling inward to get to the info, if you know what I mean. Refreshing story-weaving style, I must say. Precisely matching the subject matter of the story. Speaking of Julia’s own voice, yes, the story was told in a first-person narrative and every single scene and scenario involving other characters was perceived solely from Julia’s own point of view and perspective. Furthermore, I kept wondering why Aten didn’t use a prologue because it certainly warranted it judging by the contents of what Aten described in the first pages.  I will get back to this point later on.

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The Extractor Trilogy (Book 1 – 3)

– by Robyn Nyx

extractor-trilogy

*The following commentary applies to ALL 3 Books, “Escape in Time,” “Change in Time,” and “Death in Time” in The Extractor Trilogy.*

I finally decided to dive into Robyn Nyx‘s much-talked-about The Extractor Trilogy after contemplating for much too long because…. Time travel. Yes, I have a complicated relationship with this subject matter in fiction, be it in books or on-screen, for the longest time. I read a lot of non-fiction science books, in particular, those related to quantum physics/mechanics and its subsets, the many theories and hypotheses, mathematical proofs. Obviously, the most popular question when dealing with this highly debated subject matter has always been time travel. But I’d been let down previously because they all ended up using the same old, tired “Back to the Future” method which I can’t accept in me head! I’ve been searching for a good time travel book in fiction that at least tries to venture into a more updated, more probable theory, specifically in quantum physics that relates to current hot topics amongst the science/astrophysics community, i.e. multiverse/parallel universes, string theory, quantum entanglement, etc. Nyx’s Trilogy sounded, based on its blurbs, very intriguing and me curiosity was definitely piqued when I first found out about it. I resisted. But I kept going back to read the reviews on GR. Highly rated and reviewed but none of them touched on the “science” part of time travel in the books. So I was still wary of disappointment yet again. Then one day, for no reason at all, I just felt compelled to read The Extractor Trilogy. So I followed me instincts. Thank Christ I did because…let’s just say, I ended up binge-reading all three of them at lightning speed! It was abso-bloody-lutely a THRILL to ride the journey! The methodology of Nyx’s time travel, whilst still clinging to the way that cannot beat the grandfather’s paradox, but did expand into something like the multiverse theory (albeit only indicated, at least in me own interpretation, not mentioned directly) and a couple of possibilities that I could accept on face value so in the end, I could forego some others, which “troubled” me, (I know, I’m one crazy nerd!) through a bit of suspension of disbelief on me part. This made me reading experience infinitely more exciting and fun (because I didn’t have to reject the notion every 5 minutes like I used to when I read the others that let me down!).

The Extractor Trilogy, comprised of “Escape in Time” (Book 1), “Change in Time” (Book 2) and “Death in Time” (Book 3), is about a group of time travellers trained by a highly secretive, non-governmental private organisation, Pulsus, to go back in time to change specific events in order to influence the future (the present time depicted in the books) by neutralising or moving the person(s) responsible. Each “jump” is usually led by 2 teams: first team comprising of Operatives (responsible for scouting the targets locales and establishing positions before the 2nd team arrives, which takes a bit of time with every mission, days/weeks/months or even years) and the 2nd team led by an Extractor, charged with the mission of neutralising/moving the human target(s).

The Extractor Trilogy is one EPIC story spanning all 3 books. I see it as a 3-act story structure, so to speak – Act I = “Escape“; Act II = “Change,” and finally Act III = “Death.”

Escape — Change — Death

Beautiful and poetic, innit?
(well, you’ll see what I mean when you read the entire series)

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Compass Rose

– by Anna Burke

After a captivating read of Anna Burke‘s latest novel, “Thorn,” obviously I HAD to read her debut work, “Compass Rose.” The critics were right. By gosh, what a fantastic, thrilling, captivating ride indeed! This swashbuckling action-adventure where I got to read about pirates, mercs, and the military all converging in the high seas (not to mention monsters!), marking their territories and warring for more was exceptionally depicted with persistently vivid visualisations of each and every situation, environment, surroundings, all described with such realism that I was transported to every scene that Burke created, like I was there meself, observing every action and sequence….virtually!

Burke’s “Compass Rose,” at times, was reminiscent of Jules Verne’s classic sea voyage adventure literature, “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea,” and at times reminded me of “The Pirates of the Carribean,” for me. Except, Burke’s voyage was infinitely better for me, imho, because of many factors, namely, all the badarse, kick-arse leading characters were WOMEN! Bloody hell YES! Having expressed just how much I loved Burke’s literary, lyrical writing style in “Thorn,” Burke continued to impress me to no end with her brilliant knack for creating a glorious sense of music in her richly descriptive, heart-tugging words in every scenario and dialogue/monologue that somehow transformed into lyrical notes in me head as I read on!

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Bugs’ Best Lesfic Books Of 2018

This is me first time publishing me own Best Lesfic Books Of 2018. The list is based on all the lesfic books published in 2018 that I’ve read in the same year. Me Top Ten of 2018 included, obvs! Figure it out. 😉

* Me list of categories was inspired by the incomparable Goodreads reviewer’s, Lex Kent. 🙂

Disclaimer: Me choices of favourites in the following categories are mine and mine alone. The criteria of making the list was solely based on how each book affected me reading pleasure, how it moved, provoked, intrigued, challenged, motivated and inspired me mentally and emotionally. In short, books that gave me ALL. THE. FEELS. End of.

So, here goes nothing…😊

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