Archive for the ‘5 Star Books’ Category

Sleeper Protocol

Sleeper Protocol by Kevin Ikenberry


(Excerpt from Goodreads) Kieran Roark awakens in a wheelchair, unable to remember anything. As part of a classified experiment, he will have one year to learn his identity and recover his memory, or he will be euthanized by the state.

Scientist Berkeley Bennett has one mission: manipulate Kieran’s emotions in an attempt to bring back his memory. But when she falls in love with him, she is forced to make a harrowing decision that may cost Kieran his life.

What Kieran knows could save Earth from a coming war. Whether he believes the future is worth saving is another matter. Racing across an unfamiliar world in a body he does not recall, Kieran needs to discover who he was and, more importantly, who he is.

Kevin Ikenbery

Kevin’s head has been in the clouds since he was old enough to read. Ask him and he’ll tell you that he still wants to be an astronaut. Kevin has a diverse background in space and space science education. A former manager of the world-renowned U.S. Space Camp program in Huntsville, Alabama and a former executive of two Challenger Learning Centers, Kevin continues to work with space every day. Kevin lives in Colorado with his family.

Kevin is a member of Fiction Foundry, Pikes Peak Writers, the Horror Society, and the Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group. His short fiction has appeared twice on the webzine Mindflights and in print with Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine Issue #56, and Twisted Dreams Magazine. His story “Maelstrom” appears in the Extreme Planets anthology forthcoming from Chaosium. His now self-published novelette “Ascent” won an Honorable Mention in the 4th Quarter 2011 Writers Of The Future Contest.

Kevin’s debut science fiction novel, SLEEPER PROTOCOL, will appear from Red Adept Publishing in late 2015.


My Review

5 stars

Kieran wakes to find himself in a wheelchair. He can’t remember anything but quickly gets told that he has a year to figure it out or he is going to be terminated. Simply put there is an alien attack on the way and Kieran is a sleeper. If they can get him to remember his past they may be able to stop the invasion. But there is a difference of opinion between the military and government on how the sleeper should be handled. Hopefully Kieran can regain his memory before they decide they are done with the project.

This is a great thrill ride from the start. You can’t help but like Kieran, here is this soldier that has no memory but may have the key to humanities survival locked is his brain if he could just get to the information. You can completely see the Sleeper program being real just by the way the military and government can’t seem to agree on how to run it.

I loved how this book was written. It’s a great thriller that relies more on psychology than action and lots of questions of identity. Although it has a slight slow start once it got on a roll it took off. I had a hard time putting it down and getting some sleep. I really need to stop reading such great book on work nights.

If you like psychological thrillers and scifi stories look no further. Make sure to pick up a copy of Sleeper Protocol. I just hope this is going to be a sequel.

To purchase Sleeper Protocol make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Kevin Ikenberry’s website.

I received a copy of Sleeper Protocol for free from Sage’s Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review.

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School of Deaths


School of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder’s Secret – 1) by Christopher Mannino

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Thrust into a world of men, can a timid girl find bravery as the first female Death?

Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail.

Scythes hungry for souls, Deaths who subjugate a race of mysterious magicians, and echoes of an ancient war with Dragons.

As her year progresses, Suzie suspects her presence isn’t an accident. She uncovers a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths. Now she must also discover the reason she’s been brought there: the first female Death in a million years.


My Review

5 stars

Suzie is having a tough time, she is starting to get thinner and thinner. She is losing weight and no one can figure out why or even stop it. Then someone approaches her and tells her that she is Death and takes her to the Land of the Dead to go to school and learn how to be Death. The problem is that there has not been a female Death in a million years, the last one betrayed the Reapers. Of course Suzie is going to be the main target for bullies and any things that goes wrong will be blamed on her. Her only chance to get out is to pass the test at the end of the year, the same test that most people fail.

When I first read the description I was curious. There has to be more going on than just that quick blurb and trust me there is so much happening. Suzie is much more than your typical 13 year old. She is a lot more mature and I think that helps her deal with everything she does. I loved how Mannino discussed all kinds of topics from bullies, self-image, friends, and everything else that kids go through that tends to get over looked.

The pace of the book is rather fast but there is a lot of ground to cover. This did leave me a little lost a couple times. I also admit that the story was a little slow to get moving. But I loved all the description and detail that goes into the grim reapers. It was hard for me to put School of Deaths down and after I finished it I was left wanting more. Thankfully Sword of Deaths is out and I could start reading it.

If you like young adult stories with fantasy this is one series that I recommend you check out. You will not be disappointed.

To purchase School of Deaths make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Christopher Mannino’s website.

I received School of Deaths for free from Kathy at I Am A Reader in exchange for an honest review.

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Urban Fantasy / Paranormal / Dystopian

Date Published: January 26, 2016

In order to restore peace after the Dawn of Dae, the United States has declared martial law. Enforcing the militant regime won’t be easy, and a new policing force of dae and their bonded humans has been mustered to keep the populace under tight control.

Alexa wants nothing to do with the government, its army, or the special forces meant to keep rebellion at bay, but she has a choice: do what Kenneth Smith wants or die a quick death. As one of the unawakened, she has no chance of infiltrating the police on her own. Forced to partner with Kenneth’s dae, who dislikes her almost as much as she dislikes it, her life hinges on how well she convinces others she’s a big, bad monster just like them instead of an ordinary human woman.

Working for the police is no easier than dealing with Kenneth’s work. During the day, she’s a part of the law, but at night, she’s a tool of crime and war. It’s only a matter of time before she’s caught–or fails her mission and is killed by her drug-dealing boss.

If she wants to live a free life, she’ll need to take care of Kenneth once and for all. Since he won’t listen to reason and let her go, she’s determined to buy her freedom with his death.

Unfortunately, Kenneth isn’t the only problem in her life, and unless she does something about Rob, she’ll lose the independence she fought so hard for. Worse, unless she’s careful, he’ll make her like it…


My Review

5 stars

The government is trying to maintain peace or order after Dawn of Dae. There is martial law and strange new laws. Alexa is now on a mission to buy her freedom from Kenneth. To do so she partners with Kenneth’s dae, who hates her just as much as she hates it, to join the police force. Things are just going to keep getting complicated trying to live as a cop during the day and for a criminal at night. With the help of Rob and Colby she might just make it through.

This is a crazy story but a great one. You learn more about the Dae and this story starts to make sense, in a crazy sort of way. I loved Alexa, she is a woman on a mission and will do everything she can to kill Kenneth and get her freedom from him. I really liked how Rob and her have become closer. Their banter helps make them even more of a great couple in my mind.

I am really starting to love this series. It’s odd and out there but it really starts growing on you. It is definitely original and one of my favorite series. I can’t wait to see what happens next. I hope there is another book.

To purchase Unawakened make sure to check out Amazon and Goodreads.

Don’t forget to check out the first book in the series – Dawn of Dae.


The Dawn of Dae (Dae Portals – 1) by Trillian Anderson

(Excerpt from Goodreads) The chance to attend college is just what Alexa Daegberht needs to break out the mold of her caste. If she can become a Bach, she can escape the poverty she’s endured ever since her parents died when she was five. Only through education can she rise above her birth caste–and she knows it.

All of her plans fall to dust when she opens a portal within her refrigerator, turning her macaroni and cheese casserole into a sentient being. By dawn the next day, the mysterious dae have come to Earth to stay. Hundreds of thousands of people vanish into thin air, and as the days pass, the total of the missing number in the millions. Some say it’s the rapture of the Christian faith.

Alexa knows better: their dae ate them, leaving behind nothing more than dust as evidence of their hunger.

As one of the unawakened, she doesn’t have a dae, nor can she manifest any forms of magical powers. She’s lacking the innate knowledge of what the dae are and what they mean for the world. Now more than ever, she is an outsider. Her survival hinges on her ability to adapt to a world she no longer understands.

Unfortunately, one of the dae has taken notice of her, and he’ll stop at nothing to have her. Alexa’s problems pile up as she’s forced to pick her allegiances. Will she submit to the new ways of the world? Will she become some monster’s pawn? Or, against all odds, can she forge her own path and prove normal humans can thrive among those gifted with powers once the domain of fantasies and nightmares?


My Review

4 stars

Alexa’s world is pretty close to ours except there is a caste system. It is not really explained but when Alexa’s parents die she is pushed to the lowest caste. A local drug dealer, Kenneth picked her up and uses her to find people and things that he needs. All the while Alexa is trying to improve her caste with an education. But when she returns home one day to find that her macaroni and cheese is alive and a strange man stepping out of her refrigerator she thinks that Kenneth slipped her something. The day just keeps getting stranger.

The Dae have come into Alexa’s world. The Dae are all fantasy creatures that you can think of and plenty more. They either merge with humans, protect them, or eat them. Now Alexa has to try and survive in this new world. She does find a Dae attracted to her for her pain and another that wants to protect her. Of course she is going to be strong willed and not let anyone help her. But that is not a choice that she can make in this new world.

Alexa feels like a real person, she is down and out and trying her hardest to improve her place in life. The Dae are strange, creative, and insane. There are so many different creatures and you can’t just them by how they look. Yes, I admit that Colby was a kick in the shorts and quickly became my favorite character.

I did find it a little challenging to figure out what was going on since the caste system wasn’t really explained. I also was surprised that it was not that surprising when the Dae started appearing and the mass amount of people that disappear. You would think humans would be a little more surprise, upset, something?

Over all I really liked this book. It did take a little to get into the story, but once I did I couldn’t wait to see what happened to Alexa. Make sure to check what happens in Unawakened.

To purchase Dawn of Dae make sure to check out Amazon and Goodreads.

Reading Addiction

I received both The Dawn of Dae and Unawakened for free from Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

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The Book of Secrets


The Book of Secrets (Forbidden Books – 2) by David Michael Slater

(Excerpt from Goodreads) The world was turning out to be not just a book of secrets, but a whole library full.

Dexter and Daphna Wax have learned incredible secrets. Their mother was thousands of years old and on a Council devoted to destroying the First Tongue. And there are connivers, like Asterious Rash, who would do anything to learn Words of Power. They also know the Words were hidden in the Book of Nonsense.

But now it’s out of their hands, and they may not survive long enough to get it back.

The twins might stand a chance of completing their mother’s mission—if they can get on the same page—but danger looms closer to home than they ever thought possible.

And the new secrets Dex and Daphna uncover are ones they never wanted to know.


My Review

5 stars

Daphna and Dexter have just survived their brush with Asterius Rash. But there is so much more going on. Their dad Milton is recovering from the bump on his head. But he is continually getting worse. He keeps saying the name Adem Tarik and keeps looking worse and worse. Why does Milton keep saying that name and feeling like he is failing as a father? Then there is the son of the coffee shop owner in Turkey, a truck load of copies of the Book of Nonsense, words of power, and a bully that has his eyes set on both Dex and Daphna. The kids have their hands full, hopefully they can keep their dad safe and both the Ledger and Book of Nonsense out of the hands of Adem Tarik.

This is a great sequel to The Book of Nonsense. Neither Daphna nor Dex can part with the Ledger and the Book of Nonsense and being able to read them and use the words with power is very tempting and both use the words they have learned yet try to keep the secret from the other one. Things take an interesting turn when they find the coffee shop that their father visited in Turkey years prior, even though he doesn’t like coffee and that leads to another headache for the kids to try and fix. The bully doesn’t make things any easier for the kids either.

This is a great story for midgrade reader to adults. I couldn’t help but cheer the kids along each step of the way. And the ending, I was really surprised and can’t wait to see how this is going to affect the kids in the next book.

If you are looking for a wonderful fantasy book, look no further. This is a great series with lots of twists and turns and it will appeal to anyone. Make sure to get your copy today.

To purchase your copy make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and David Michael Slater’s website.

I received The Book of Secrets for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Kings or Pawns

Well I missed this one, I just knew I was forgetting something yesterday. Anyway, here is my review for Kings or Pawns.


Kings or Pawns (The Kings: Book 1, Steps of Power – 1) by JJ Sherwood

(Excerpt from Goodreads) The first book in JJ Sherwood’s Steps of Power epic fantasy series. The Kings, Book I: Kings or Pawns is a political intrigue that spirals into an action and adventure series as the final events unfold.

8,994 P.E.-The elven city of Elvorium has become corrupted to the core by politics. With his father dead and The Royal Schism at his back, Prince Hairem becomes the king of the elven world on Sevrigel. Young and daring, Hairem is determined to undo the council’s power, but quickly finds his loyal council members brutally murdered by an assassin loosed within the city.

As corruption and death threaten to tear the city apart from within, the warlord Saebellus threatens the city from without, laying siege to Sevrigel’s eastern capital. With the elven world crumbling around him, Hairem finds himself in a dangerous political balance between peace and all out war.

JJ Sherwood

J.J. Sherwood lives in Ohio with her husband and four near-identical cats. KINGS OR PAWNS is J.J.’s widely anticipated debut novel, and is the first book of The Kings quartet. The series is set in the high fantasy world of Aersadore, home to hundreds of characters who all clamor for J.J.’s attention. To learn more about the trials and tribulations of General Jikun and King Hairem, visit StepsofPower.com. J.J. Sherwood will be at the tenth Fandom Fest Comic Con in Louisville, Kentucky this coming August 7th-9th.


My Review

5 stars

The city of Elvorium has become corrupted and is now run by the counsel of Elves. Years prior, the king left the city because of this corruption. But now Prince Hairem going to try to get rid of the counsel of Elves and clean the kingdom. But this is not going to be an easy task. The counsel’s power reaches further than he realized. Those few council members that Hairem has managed to persuade to his ideas are being found murdered. There is an assassin that is bound and determined to keep Hairem from taking full control from the counsel. Now Hairem has to figure out who is friend or foe, who really wants to help him or kill him, and he has to keep Saebellus from attacking Sevrigel.

This is an amazing story. There is so much detail that I felt right there in Sevrigel. There are a wide variety of characters but they all were beautifully described. I couldn’t help but cheer for Hairem, he is trying to do the impossible by removing the corruption from Elvorium. If that was not a big enough task he also has to deal with an assassin killing loyal council members and Saebellus trying to invade Elvorium. His work is definitely cut out for him.

If you like epic fantasy stories I recommend you get a copy of Kings or Pawns. This is the first book by JJ Sherwood and I cannot wait for the next one.

To purchase Kings or Pawns make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and JJ Sherwood’s website.


I received Kings or Pawns from iRead Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.


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The Book of Nonsense


The Book of Nonsense (Forbidden Books – 1) by David Michael Slater

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Before there were books, there were Words of Power, and those who spoke them could rule the world…

Dexter and Daphna Wax don’t quite fit in, even with each other. She loves reading and he loathes it, but neither is pleased by their “special” thirteenth birthday gift, a ruined old book full of nonsense.

But the moment it enters the twins’ lives, bizarre things begin to happen. Why is their father, who found the book, suddenly so distant? Is the old man who took it from him some kind of hypnotist? Why is a giant, red-eyed boy stalking them?

Now Dex and Daphna have to work together to stop the old man from ruining their lives. But as they unravel the secrets of The Book of Nonsense, they will discover the truth about their own extraordinary destiny.


My Review

5 stars

Daphna and Dex are pre-teen twins that find themselves on an adventure when their father brings home a rare magical book. Their father, Milton, works as a book scout. He seems to always be off on adventures looking for rare books. He brings one home with him and Daphna convinces him to take his books to the new store that just opened, Antiquarian Book Center or abc. There they meet the owner, Asterius Rash.

Rash knows that the book is a magical Book of Nonsense and must own it. He uses mind control on Milton and a strange kids that watches the twins. Now the twins must work together to save their dad and keep the Book of Nonsense out of Rash’s hands.

I really liked this story. I could relate to Daphna’s love of books even if she comes across as a know it all. I felt for Dex, I could understand why he doesn’t like reading. Although the twins fought like cats and dogs they do work together to keep the book from Rash’s hands. Rash was a creepy bad guy and I liked his role in the story.

This is a great story with lots of action and a really evil bad guy. I can’t wait to see what happened in the next book. This is a great story for mid-grader readers and adults alike. Make sure to get yourself a copy of The Book of Nonsense.

To purchase The Book of Nonsense make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and David Michael Slater’s website.

I received a copy of The Book of Nonsense for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Upper West Side Story


Upper West Side Story by Susan Pashman

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Upper West Side Story is a tale of friendships between people of different races.

The narrator, Bettina Grosjean, is a professor of Women’s History, and her husband, a high-ranking environmental policymaker in the New York City mayor’s office. Once a pair of student radicals, they are now raising their two brainy children on New York’s Upper West Side.

Their fierce parental love is tested in a startling eruption of racial hostility and political chicanery within the very community they have long loved and helped to build. Their world is suddenly thrown into crisis by a shocking and tragic event: During a school field trip, their son Max and his best friend, Cyrus, are horsing around when, in a freak accident, Cyrus falls down a flight of stairs, and dies a few days later.

The fact that Cyrus is black, that his mother is Bettina’s closest friend–that jealousy, suspicion and resentment have long been simmering in the community, and that there are powerful political forces at work as well–all conspire to reveal an ugly underbelly of the community the Grosjeans have worked so hard to shape into a model of an enlightened, multiracial world.

Upper West Side Story portrays a remarkable multi-racial friendship, the love of two women united by their ideals and their devotion to their children, then divided by events that spiral out of control.

With cries for racial justice again rising up all over our country, Upper West Side Story is a story you will want to read.


My Review

5 stars

Bettina and Stephen Grosjean have two kids, 13 year old Max and 9 year old Nellie. Both have high pressure jobs that look at the world from almost opposing sides. This has strained their marriage. Max is on a field trip and accidently pushes his best friend, Cyrus down some stairs. Cyrus is rushed to the hospital and initially the event is figured to be an accident by the police. But when Cyrus dies the fact that he is black makes everyone believe this is a racially fueled, intentional incident. Max finds himself in juvenile detention and Bettina and Stephen find themselves fighting for their child.

With the current events in our country today this is a great story to go along with them. Max and Cyrus are best friends and this is clearly a horrible accident. But once the media and everyone else learns that Cyrus is black they instantly turn it into a racial issue. I loved how Bettina and Stephen come together to fight this charge. I really liked how both mothers where there for their kids too.

This story is well told with a lot of truths in it. The characters are beautifully described and it broke my heart to follow along with Bettina. The story is told from Bettina’s perspective and journal entries from Max. I really liked that even though this is all happening, Bettina still struggles to keep her friendship with Cyrus’ mother. But even better is Stephen, he is wrapped up in the political view of Cyrus’ death. Usually you see politicians folding for the popular vote. I loved how he stuck to his guns, fought for his marriage, and was still there for his son.

This is a great story that really fits with present day situations. I think everyone should read this book.

To purchase Upper West Side Story make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Susan Pashman’s website.

I received a copy of Upper West Side Story for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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