Changing Course

– by Brey Willows


Brey Willows‘ latest outing, “Changing Course,” was her first attempt at telling a story in the sci-fi (space) genre. First off, I was intrigued by the title itself because I had an inkling that it may be a thematic and symbolic term to use for various characters and/or objects/places featured in the story. Let’s just say that by the end of the book, I was not wrong!

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–  by Eden Darry


After reading and thoroughly enjoying Eden Darry’s debut published novel, “The House,” I was looking forward to reading her sophomore effort, “Vanished.” Although after reading its blurb, I realised that it wasn’t going to be a horror story, rather, a speculative fiction, more like. I was intrigued to see how Darry weaved an apocalyptic/dystopia story, even though this particular sub-genre of spec fic isn’t my usual cuppa.

In the first few pages, I realised that this “end-of-the-world” story was going to have a heavy religious connotation throughout. Two words: NOAH’S ARK. Even if you’re not from the Christian/Muslim/Jewish persuasion, I’m sure you’ve heard about it since it’s been so mainstreamed already. Anyway, Darry started off the book with a huge storm and then a massively blinding white light descending upon the MCs (and the rest of the world), which caused the vanishing of just about everyone overnight! Well, except for the select (“chosen”) few including Ellery and Loveday, the 2 MCs, along with their pet dog and cat.

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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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Running From Forever (Blood Resonance Book 1)

– by K. Aten


K. Aten‘s latest outing, “Running From Forever,” the first in the “Blood Resonance” series, was the fourth genre that I encountered from her books, so far. Talk about a writer with creative pursuits spanning nearly all lesfic genres, eh? Let’s see, I’ve read her Sci-Fi, Speculative, Contemporary Romance and now Urban Fantasy books. So far, Aten has hit the nail on all of them with very creative and original stories, and I’ve enjoyed all of them, thusfar! So, after reading the “Awkward” series, “Waking the Dreamer,” “Rules of the Road,” I was very optimistic and wanted to next explore Aten’s approach in Urban Fantasy, a genre I utterly enjoy in lesbian fiction, particularly in the world of vamps and weres. Enter “Running From Forever.”

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– 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


*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)

Continue reading “The Extractor Trilogy (Book 1 – 3)”