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Archive for March, 2017

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Gateway to the Past (The Last Bucelarii – 3) by Andy Peloquin

The Hunter, legendary assassin of Voramis, has a purpose: protect Hailen, the boy he rescued from a demon in Malandria.

He joins a caravan in the hope of safe passage across the Advanat Desert. Yet he cannot outrun his enemies: the Illusionist Cleric on a holy mission to capture him, the bloodthirsty raiders out for blood and gold, and the Abiarazi, demons who masquerade as humans.

Every step north reveals who he was before becoming the Hunter, unlocking the truth about the woman who haunts his memories.

Fans of Joe Abercrombie, Brandon Sanderson, and Brent Weeks will love the Hunter…

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Author’s Bio

I am, first and foremost, a storyteller and an artist–words are my palette. Fantasy is my genre of choice, and I love to explore the darker side of human nature through the filter of fantasy heroes, villains, and everything in between. I’m also a freelance writer, a book lover, and a guy who just loves to meet new people and spend hours talking about my fascination for the worlds I encounter in the pages of fantasy novels.

Fantasy provides us with an escape, a way to forget about our mundane problems and step into worlds where anything is possible. It transcends age, gender, religion, race, or lifestyle–it is our way of believing what cannot be, delving into the unknowable, and discovering hidden truths about ourselves and our world in a brand new way. Fiction at its very best!

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My Review

5 stars

The Hunter has found a purpose, to protect Hailen, who seems to calm the demon inside Hunter. Hunter gets them on a caravan heading north and to the mysterious woman that haunts his memories. But where the hunter goes trouble follows. Illusionist Cleric’s, demons disguised as humans, and regular humans that want Hailen and Hunter both. Hunter does his best to try and not kill but sometimes there is nothing else you can do. But he is starting to recover his memories and is being affected by all of those he has killed. But he is bound a determined to figure out who he was before becoming Bucelari.

I love this series. The Hunter is not your typical hero but something even better, someone we can relate to. He has gone through something and wants to reclaim his past. He wants to be better than he is presently and is starting to realize the damage to himself that the killing has done. And Hailen is the perfect light to all the darkness that Hunter has found himself. It just breaks your heart when he has to kill, even if it is for the right reason.

This is a great series filled with a lot of action and a great story. I love all of Any Peloquin’s books. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

I received Gateway to the Past from the author for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Tortured Echoes

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Tortured Echoes (Resonant Earth Volume 2) by Cody Sisco

Tortured Echoes is Volume Two of the Resonant Earth saga that began in Broken Mirror.

Bioinformatics whiz Victor Eastmore at long last gains control over his frightening mirror resonance syndrome, but he still believes his grandfather was murdered.

Victor’s best hope for finding justice lies in New Venice, a tourist town in the Louisiana Territories where his family’s company is exploring new treatment options for so-called “Broken Mirrors” and the stim addicts who experience similar symptoms–blank outs, synesthesia, and euphoria. Only by confronting Samuel Miller, the MRS “patient zero” who was responsible for the Carmichael Massacre, can Victor learn the truth. To do that, Samuel must first be weaned off Personil, the drug that keeps his mirror resonance syndrome in check.

Can Victor learn the data egg’s darkest secrets without unleashing a violent madman?

Meanwhile, a cult dedicated to the sanctity and purity of human life disrupts New Venice with protests and vandalism. When they take an interest in stopping BioScan from medicating MRS patients, including Samuel Miller, Victor finds himself with unlikely allies and divided loyalties.

As pressure builds for the nations of the American Union to pass new legislation to control Broken Mirrors, Victor must become an effective advocate for people with MRS or risk being institutionalized along with them.

A fast-paced sequel to Broken Mirror, Tortured Echoes continues the sci-fi detective saga of Resonant Earth. In this installment, fans of Broken Mirror will finally get answers to their questions: Why was Jefferson Eastmore killed? How did it happen? Who was responsible?

Revisit the world of self-driving cars, stunsticks, brainhackers, and herbalism with Victor, Elena, Ozie, Tosh, and Karine, and several new figures that might help Victor chart a new course for his future, or condemn him to madness.

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 Cody Sisco

Author’s Bio

Cody Sisco is the author of speculative fiction that straddles the divide between plausible and extraordinary. Tortured Echoes is his second novel and continues the series that began in Broken Mirror, which focuses on Victor Eastmore’s journeys on Resonant Earth and beyond. An avid reader of Frank Herbert, Haruki Murakami, and Kim Stanley Robinson, Sisco strives to create worlds that sit in the “uncanny valley”—discomfortingly odd yet familiar, where morality is not clear-cut, technology bestows blessings and curses, and outsiders struggle to find their niche. He lives in Los Angeles.

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My Review

5 stars

Mia Barrias thinks that she can cure those with mirror resonance syndrome, MRS. She begins this story by putting Samuel Miller, the one responsible for the Carmichael Massacre on display for the families and media. But things go terribly wrong and she ends up moving him to the New Venice to start working on a cure.

Victor is treating his MRS with tinctures and trying to stay off the Personil. But he is called in to help work with Samuel. Victor feels that Karine LaTour, his boss, had something to do with his grandfa’s death and has a hard time working with her. If he could just open the data egg again he may find his answers he is looking for.

I love this series. You have a world more advanced than ours yet with its own faults. Victor is the flawed hero trying to maintain his balance as a Broken Mirror yet figure out what really happened to his grandfa. You wonder what happened to Jeffrey and worrying about those that want to hurt the Broken Mirrors and those that want to medicate them into a stupor. And what about the religious group. Are they one to something or are they the catalyst that will bring everything down?

This is a great series that will draw you in and leave you wondering who can be trusted and who is going to use you. If you are looking for a great futuristic thriller look no further.

I received Tortured Echoes from the author for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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My Book Tour - God's Easter Miracles Book Tour Banner

God's Easter Miracles Book Cover

 

  • Publisher:GLM PUBLISHING (February 1, 2017)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:0997332514
  • ISBN-13:978-0997332513

ABOUT THE BOOK:

 

Paul, Jimmy, Brian and the whole town witness God’s Easter miracles in this unique story. God’s Easter Miracles highlights God’s love and provision to His children. The lessons learned are not only about Jesus’s resurrection, but also awareness of treating children with Autism with love and respect, and taking care of God’s creations.

As in previous books, God’s Easter Miracles establishes characters that children can relate to, while capturing their imagination and touching their hearts in a loving way. Written in a fun and endearing way, God’s Easter Miracles also provides interactive entertainment by including hidden symbols for children to locate throughout the book.

 

PURCHASE GOD’S EASTER MIRACLES ON AMAZON.COM

 

Lee Ann Mancini Author PhotoABOUT LEE ANN MANCINI

Lee Ann Mancini’s desire is for children to begin to know and love Jesus from an early age. This passion led her to seek out books for her own children that portrayed an active relationship with Jesus in a relatable way. She knew communicating God’s truth through captivating words and compelling illustrations is a crucial part of establishing that foundation.

An adjunct professor at South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary, Mancini holds a master’s degree in Christian studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School as well as Knox Theological Seminary. She holds a board position with the Florida Authors and Publishers Association and the Alexandrian Forum and maintains memberships with organizations such as the Christian Small Publishers Association and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.

Mancini is an active member in her local community, visiting schools to share the Adventures of the Sea Kids series with children, as well as speaking to women’s groups about the redemptive power of the Gospel represented through the types of brides of the church. Learn more about Mancini and the Adventures of the Sea Kids at glmpublishing.net.

My Review

5 stars

Paul, Jimmy, and Brian are at Sunday School when the teacher surprises them with an Easter Egg hunt. She also included three special eggs that would give the kids a special treasure. The kids go on the hunt and Jimmy ends up with two special eggs. Paul, who has autism, did not find an egg and is not taking this news well. Miss Linda asks Jimmy to give one of his special eggs to Paul but Jimmy says that is not fair. Miss Linda explains how it was not fair for Jesus to die for our sins and ask him to pray for an injured child and about the special egg.

This is a cute kid’s book that teaches children about why Jesus died for us. That the best way to show him we love him is to care for each other. This is a great way to teach children to think of others. It also has some beautiful illustrations that just draw you into this wonderful underwater world.

The one thing that I have to say that I didn’t like about this story was the teacher asks Jimmy to give his special egg to Paul. I understand that this is to keep the peace. My issue that it also shows Paul that he can throw a fit and get what he wants. It was also an opportunity to teach children to be gracious even if they didn’t get what they wanted.

This is part of the Adventures of the Sea Kids, which I didn’t know. I think this is a great story for kids and I think that it would be worth looking into the other books of this series.

I received God’s Easter Miracles from My Book Tour for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

God's Easter Miracles Book Cover

God’s Easter Miracles Character Interview with Jimmy

Background: In God’s Easter Miracles, Jimmy’s character accepts Christ in his heart.

Q: I understand you have accepted Christ in your heart! How wonderful! What did you think of Jesus before you accepted him into your heart?

A: I knew Jesus was special because my mommy and daddy prayed to him. And every Sunday we went to his house and it’s called a Church. But, I really didn’t know Jesus. But He gave me a new heart!!

Q: How did Jesus give you a new heart?

A: Well, I went to Sunday school, and Miss Linda hid some Easter Eggs. I found the two special eggs!! So I got two prizes. Paul wanted one, and Miss Linda asked me to share. I didn’t think it was fair that I had to share with Paul when I found them not him! Miss Linda said it wasn’t fair that Jesus died for my sins. I went home and I felt bad. I didn’t know Jesus did that! So I asked Jesus to help me to be a good boy and be like him. The next morning, I woke up and I felt happy to give one of my eggs to Paul. It made me feel good to share it with him. Jesus changed my heart. He made it nicer! And because I believe in Jesus, I will live in heaven, forever! Mommy said heaven is so beautiful and her and daddy will be there too!

Q: Do you pray to him now that you believe in him?

A: Well, at night, I used to pray to him, but I didn’t really feel anything. But NOW when I pray to Him I feel He is listening to me and I love Him.

Q: Why do you love him?

A: Because he loves me, silly!

Q: Do you tell other kids about Him?

A: I told my baby brother and my friend, Bobby, who lives next door. I told them that Jesus was a real man who is God. They didn’t know, so they were surprised. I like surprising people, it’s fun!

Q: How did Paul feel when you gave him your egg?

A: He was SO happy! He was crying before when he didn’t get one. You know what He did?

Q: What did Paul do?

A: He gave his egg to Lenny who was in the hospital. Lenny was hurt. I prayed to Jesus for Lenny to get better. You know what happened then?

Q: What happened then?

A: Jesus gave Lenny a miracle! He was all better and could go home. Jesus gave me a miracle of a new heart and Lenny a miracle of being all better!

Q: Did you have a fun Easter?

A: It was the best Easter of all! I got lots of candy in my eggs and a chocolate Easter bunny, but the best gift was getting a new best friend. You want to know his name?

Q: What is his name?

A: Jesus, silly!

Giveaway

Check out the raffle for your chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

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Regeneration

Regeneration
by Stacey Berg
on Tour March 13-April 1, 2017

Book Details
Genre: Sci-Fi
Published by: Harper Voyager
Publication Date: March 14th 2017
Number of Pages: 384
Series: Echo Hunter 367, #2
Purchase Links:

Synopsis:

The Church has stood for hundreds of years, preserving the sole surviving city in a desert wasteland. When Echo Hunter 367 is sent out past the Church’s farthest outposts, she’s sure it’s a suicide mission. But just when she’s about to give up hope, she finds the impossible – another thriving community, lush and green, with a counsel of leaders who take her in.

Wary of this new society, with ways so different from the only life she’s ever known, Echo is determined to complete her mission and bring hope back to the Church. She’s unsure who she can trust, and must be strong and not be seduced by their clean, fresh water, and plentiful energy sources. If she plays her cards right, she may even still have a chance to save the woman she loves.

Read an excerpt:

Echo Hunter 367 studied the dying woman in the desert with grudging admiration. The woman had walked long past what might reasonably be expected, if that lurching stagger could be called a walk. When she couldn’t walk any more she had crawled, and after that she had dragged herself along, fingers clawing through sand until they clutched some purchase, body scraping over rocks and debris, heedless of the damage. Now and then she made a noise, a purely animal grunt of effort or pain, but she forced herself onward, all the way until the end.

I smell the water.

Desperate as the woman was, she had still been cautious. Though an incalculable distance from any familiar place, she still recognized danger: the wind-borne sand that scoured exposed skin clean to the bone, the predators that stalked patiently in the shadows for prey too weak to flee. The cliff edge that a careless girl could slip over, body suspended in space for the briefest moment before her hands tore through the thornbush, then the long hard fall.

Echo jerked back from that imagined edge. It was her last purposeful movement. From some great height, she watched herself collapse in the sand. One grasping hand, nails torn, knuckles bloody, landed only a few meters from the spring’s cool water, but she never knew it. For a little while her body twitched in irregular spasms, then those too stilled. Only her lips moved, cracking into a bloody smile. “Lia,” she whispered. “Lia.” Then she fell into the dark.

For a long time there was no sound except water trickling in a death rattle over stones.

Then the high whine of engines scattered the circling predators. Pain returned first, of course. Every inch of skin burned, blistered by sun or rubbed raw by the sand that had worked its way inside the desert-proof clothing. Her muscles ached from too long an effort with no fuel and insufficient water, and her head pounded without mercy. Even the movement of air in and out of her lungs hurt, as if she had inhaled fire. But that pain meant she was breathing, and if she was breathing she still had to fight. With enormous effort she dragged open her eyes, only to meet a blinding brightness. She made a sound, and tasted hot salt as her lips cracked open again. “Shhh,” a soft voice said. “Shhh.” Something cool, smelling of resin and water, settled over her eyes, shielding them from the glare. A cloth dabbed at her mouth, then a finger smoothed ointment over her lips, softening them so they wouldn’t split further when she was finally able to speak. Lia, she thought, letting herself rest in that gentle strength until the pain subsided into manageable inputs. Then she began to take stock.

She lay on something soft, not the rock that had made her bed for so many weeks, although her abused flesh still ached at every pressure point. The air felt cool but still, unlike the probing desert wind, and it carried, beyond the herbal tang, a scent rich and round, unlike the silica sharpness of sand she’d grown so accustomed to. Filtered through the cloth over her eyes, the light seemed diffuse, too dim for the sun. Indoors, then, and not a temporary shelter, but a place with thick walls, and a bed, and someone with sufficient resources to retrieve a dying woman from the desert, and a reason to do so. But what that reason might be eluded her. The Church would never rescue a failure.

Unless the Saint commanded it.

She mustered all her strength and dragged the cloth from her eyes. She blinked away grit until the blurred oval hovering above her took on distinct features, the soft line of the cheek, the gently curving lips. Lia, she thought again, and in her weakness tears washed the vision away. She wiped her eyes with a trembling hand.

And stared into the face of an utter stranger.

Excerpt from Regeneration by Stacey Berg. Copyright © 2017 by Stacey Berg. Reproduced with permission from Harper Voyager. All rights reserved.

Stacey Berg

Author Bio:

Stacey Berg is a medical researcher who writes speculative fiction. Her work as a physician-scientist provides the inspiration for many of her stories. She lives with her wife in Houston and is a member of the Writers’ League of Texas. When she’s not writing, she practices kung fu and runs half marathons.

Visit Stacey Berg on her Website, Goodreads Page, and on Twitter!

Tour Host Participants:

Visit the other stops on this tour for reviews, interviews, guest posts, and more great giveaways!!

http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=276419

My Review

4 stars

Echo Hunter 367 is a clone that has been sent out past the furthest reaches of the Church and although she thinks this has become a suicide mission she finds another community. This community seems to be better off than her current one with its clean water and green grass. But things are not always better on the other side of the fence. No matter what happens, she does still have a mission from the Church. But she sees a possible way to help the woman she loves.

This is the second book in a duology and I do recommend reading Dissension, book one first. I was not completely lost but I think it would have helped reading Regeneration. I loved this world and how it was described. It appeals to the dystopian lover in me.

Echo is not really a hero and is hard to even really like her. She was created to follow orders and not care about the people yet she has someone she loves and is trying to do everything that she can to take care of her. It made following her hard since how can she have no regard for people as a whole yet be willing to do anything for her lover.

I love the whole dynamics of the community. You have those that are willing to accept Echo and others that are weary of her. You also have a group of people that has done what they can to survive and it gives them a different outlook.

This is a really good story. I didn’t expect the ending and I still don’t think I like it. But I am interested enough to purchase the first book in this series to figure out what I missed.

I received Regeneration from Providence Book Promotions for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

Giveaway!!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Providence Book Promotions for Stacey Berg and Harper Voyager. There will be 3 winners of one (1) eBook copy of Dissension by Stacey Berg. The giveaway begins on March 13th and runs through April 4th, 2017.

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Find Your Next Great Read at Providence Book Promotions!

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Realms of Edenocht

Realms of Edenocht by DS Johnson

Shazmpt has been prepared his whole life to complete the prophesy; however until recently, he was unaware of his true identity as a powerful war wizard.
Hidden on an island in a time realm not his own, he must now search for ancient relics in order to stop the growing evil in the world. All he wanted was to hunt in his beloved forest, but is thrown into a world of sea serpents, dungeons, enchanted castles, miniature men, and air buffs.
Driven by duty and hindered by self-doubt, he is sent on a quest to unite the magical realms once more. He must learn to harness his good and evil powers, but will he survive the shadow…?

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Author’s Bio

A little about me, first I want to tell you a story, about a young girl who thought she was dumb. Yes, in the first, second, and third grades this little girl, was in the ‘Resource’ program or ‘Chapter 8’ as I have also heard it called. Even though she was then put in the regular class, she knew all too well by then she was not a smart child. All the way through high school this girl struggled. She graduated with a glorious 2.9. Yes, it was heart breaking for those little numbers to reflect the great struggle and all the efforts she had put forth.

She went on to start beauty school, figuring she wasn’t college material. Suddenly, she learned that she wasn’t dumb after all. She was what is called a kinesthetic learner or ‘hands on’ learner. She LOVED it. She went on to do very well, for many years. Until, life got complicated. She had five children, a husband, and a disabled mother who now required constant care. While contemplating how to earn a little bit of extra income, now that doing hair wasn’t an option, a thought came to her, ‘Write a book’ it said.

She replied by looking around and with her finger pointing at herself, she said, “Who me? I graduated high school with a 2.9 remember?”

The little thought came again, “Yes, you. Write a book.”

It so happened, that she had been telling her children nighttime stories for some time, so she did. It took five years to learn from the internet, a few writing classes, some great blogs, a lot of practice, one very good editor and the awesome support of her family. But she did it, and now I bring The Realms of Edenocht Series to you! Yes, that little girl was me, but no longer.

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My Review

5 stars

Shazmpt has been raised in a secluded land and wants nothing more than to hunt his forest. But then he learns that he is a powerful war wizard and the one that will fulfill a prophecy about a child that will wield all powers to return balance to the world. Shazmpt go on the quest to return to his homeland that he knows nothing about. Along the way, Shazmpt will face all kinds of obstacles which will help him gather the magical artifacts that he needs to fulfill his destiny.

This is a wonderful fantasy story of a young man that has to grow into a powerful wizard. He does not really want this destiny but through the different challenges slowly becomes the man that he needs to be.

This is a wonderfully described world that I felt right at home in. There was enough information to keep you enticed without being overloaded and kept a great pace through. This is a wonderful young adult fantasy story that will appeal to anyone of any age. I strongly recommend it to those that like fantasies. I can’t wait for future books from D.S. Johnson.

I received Realms of Edenocht from Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

Excerpt

Bright white flashes burst from their fingertips. A deafening crack snapped as hues of electric blue shot across the rotunda, breaking the once impeccable crystal stone like a twig. Half crouched and slightly leaned back, he stretched out his hand and slipped under the downward slash of a long blade already dripping. Once clear, he leapt into the air, flipping over concourses of the sky blue robes of the Commission intertwined with the red battle robes of the Velsharoon.

Gavin Rhill’s treacherous needs exempted him from feeling, his conscience was now void. Eyes bloodshot with fury, he sank into the depths of his insanity. The popping cracks of the fire and ice elements against each other reverberated across the slick floor, tousling him about and jarring him from his thoughts. Dust plumes erupted from pockets of crumbling walls. He gripped his shaking head as he pleaded to be released from his harrowing prison. But it was too late. He belonged to the Shadow now.

The hairs on the back of his neck stood out straight, plunging a rippling effect that crawled up and down his skin. An electrifying bolt of unyielding energy surged past his ear, missing only by centimeters. He flipped his long black hair from his flat gray eyes that sunk deep in the pallid hollow of his face. The pungent odor of singed hair and flesh stifled his nose, wreaking havoc on his focus. Anger and hate surged from his bosom.

Sweat dripped onto his sliver thin black eyebrows and down his face, landing at the corner of his mouth. He glowered through the madness and zeroed in on the door at the end of the mysterious hall. He searched for an acceptable route to his destination. Quickly he seized his opportunity and flung himself into the air. He rolled over an oncoming deluge of potent magic, a second before the heat burst his blood red cloak into flames.

As he fell toward the floor, he slipped his arms out of his battle robe and twisted away from the engulfing barrage. He rolled through the fall and jumped to his feet, shutting the roaring shrieks from his ears. All he could hear now was the pounding of his heart as he flipped over a spear that would have pierced it. He thrust his hands out and released his newly acquired powers. Rock fragments pierced through the air like speeding razors, striking several of the newly arrived armored men. Cursed with an unrelenting pain, it paralyzed them from the inside. He dug his toes into the floor. Boosted his feet with a blast of air and whizzed past so quickly, the soldiers spun in their boots.

“Gavin stop!” Castos yelled.

The leader of Queen Ambrosia’s United Forces stood erect.

“You can’t stop me.” Gavin said in a drawn out syrupy voice. The thought welled up inside his chest like a smoldering flame. He could taste it, smell it, and see his destiny. “I have destroyed your beautiful Srinna Vossa.” he said, hissing through a cynical smile.

A flash of anger darted from Castos as he slammed his long gold entwined staff on the ground.

“We will rebuild it you can’t stop goodness. How many people have to die?”

“You’re worse off than I thought.” Gavin said, throwing his head back and laughing a humorless vicious sound.

Castos crossed the staff in front of his broad carved expression. He then lifted his palm, facing up and conjured the elements he controlled.

“Time to put an end to this senseless bloodshed.” Castos said.

He lifted his staff up high and pulled the element of fire from the particles of the universe. With a sweeping motion, he purged the ravaged energy and sent it directly at Gavin. Gavin sucked in his belly, pulled in his arms and legs and transformed into an invisible shriek of air. He rushed over Castos and fed the inferno with life breathing oxygen. The air pulled the fire back toward Castos unleashing it onto its master. The fire didn’t care what it consumed. Only that it feasted on life’s sustenance. Absolute horror hit a split second before Castos was annihilated by his own power.

Gavin sailed through the air with exhilarated weightlessness. His thunderous laughter rattled the windows until they shattered, sending glass shards careening to the ground. Gavin Rhill soared down the long corridors, disarming enchantments along the paths. When he reached the door, he hovered momentarily, then unraveled through the misty tendrils of the air element. He transformed back into his human form, his skinny almost mal-nourished figure reemerged.

The towering solid wood door was intricately carved with ancient symbols and runes. His long, thin fingers manipulated the old puzzle that had taken him over a year to figure out. With the last knot pushed, the door opened with a gasp. A small puff of wind bathed his face with the odor of musky dust. An aroma he quite enjoyed. He heaved the heavy obstacle open and slipped inside. He waved his hand across the smooth orderly lines on the inside of the door. Several clicks and a few slides of unseen latches echoed against the hollow roundness of the room as it sealed shut.

Gavin’s eerie piercing eye darted around the room. His bones ached from its cold darkness. His shadow ran across the isles and his heart jumped, a lump formed in his throat. Relieved it was only his shadow, he searched the room. A large majestic desk sat at the far side of the circular room. Heavy weaved curtains framed tall windows. He found a slight beauty in the carved vaults. Every wall was covered top to bottom with shelves of scrolls. Books were so jammed pack that they overflowed.

“You must not fail.” the Shadow’s voice echoed in his mind. The horrifying image of the shadow sent shivers down his spine.

He picked up the first parchment on top of the desk, read the heading and tossed it on the floor. He picked up another, then another. His intrigue half stopped him. He would love to spend hours, or even better, days, picking apart the exploits of this ancient knowledge. What I could learn from all of these, he thought. But he knew he only had but a few moments until the Council would know where he was. He put his thoughts aside and hastily rummaged through the scrolls and parchments that sat barren and lonely.

“Where is it?” he snarled.

He ravaged the last few particles of writings as the persistent gnawing in his navel grew. With one fowl sweep of his arms, he sent the rest flying to the floor. He slammed his fits on the table, his knuckles pure white. A bead of sweat dripped from his drooped head and splashed onto the marble surface. He stared into the backs of his eye lids and tried to think of where, the Binding of the Crypt spell would be hidden.

Then it came to him. How could I have forgotten the search spell? He thought. He closed his eyes and focused. A dusting of rusty orange sparkles danced into existence and floated around the room. His heart skipped a beat as the magic was sucked into a book, then shoved back out. Over and over, the magic came up empty. His emotions couldn’t take any more. His fear of failure and what the Shadow would do to him threw him into a rage. His tantrum sent books, scrolls and reading implements flying around the room.

Loud booms and cracks echoed against the outer walls. Shrieks of agony crested the horizon. Gavin Rhill knew he was the cause of men and women’s deaths, but he didn’t care. The war outside was only a ruse to get into the protected room anyway. Though it did serve another purpose, if he could destroy the Dodjen, he would gain power over the Wyvern’s. Then he could release the underworld creatures the Shadow controlled. He knew the magic of the united efforts could stop the Shadow. If he could gain control of the bond already forged, he would be unstoppable.

 

*********************************************

“Queen Ambrosia, what do you want us to do?” Aarin asked.

“We wait until the Commission gets here.”

Queen Ambrosia’s soul was hollow as she gazed down from her sixty-level skyscraper. Her beloved Srinna Vossa was under attack and she knew her time was limited. The peaks of the circling spires that surrounded the main building barely passed her flat. The three moons reflected brilliant strings of haze and illuminated the night. Srinna Vossa was a group of islands that floated on the Teorran Belt, raw magic that sprung into the sky like a fountain.

“Our magic defenses are about to give way. If the Velsharoon get in, it will be all over.” Aarin said, his expression pained and wounded.

“They will have to hold. We can’t let them get into the city.”

“Do you not care? Your people will die, all of them. The Velsharoon have the comet at their disposal. Never in history has anything been able to break our defenses.”

Queen Ambrosia turned on her heel and shot him a penetrating glare. Her eyes were red and puffy from crying.

“Do not proceed to lecture me on caring for my people. I will lay down my life for them. I will take the scrolls of the most importance with me to my death. How dare you accuse me?”

Her small slender frame shook with fury, her knuckles clenched white at her sides. The pressures she held as Queen of the most powerful city on Edenocht nearly overcame her.

Aarin stood at attention. His face shadowed from a lack of sleep. “I’m sorr-”

“You are not permitted to speak.”

She threw her hand across her body in a downward strike. Her cheeks burned dark pink. Her long, pale blue robe blew slightly in the wind that came in from the open balcony. Queen Ambrosia paced the floor. Her soft slipper shoes kicked her gown into a rhythmic billowing pattern.

“How dare he.” she said barely audible, her breath almost steaming.

The tightness in Aarin’s chest seized his every whit and his knees weakened. The sweat crested his shoulder length brown hair. He feared he was about to be sent to his death for questioning her. A brisk wind flashed through the room. A flicker of light cast a shadow as a forest green wyvern landed on the balcony. The rider dismounted and tossed the reins over its neck. The wyvern pulled in her massive wings tightly to her side and pawed the smooth surface. The rider pulled off the black leather riding gloves and slipped them under his belt. His chain armor under his obsidian body armor clinked as he moved quickly toward the queen. His square and handsome face framed his deep green eyes. Tears escaped as she nearly ran into his arms.

“Jerim, what are we going to do?” she asked.

She buried her tear stained cheeks into the crease of his shoulder. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her tigh.

“I’m here now, the commission is dispatching troops, and the Rangers are here. I’ve stationed six battalions at each corner of the island and more on the smaller islands. Medrith and I will take you and Serin to safety.”

“No, I must stay here.” she said swallowing the lump still in her throat.

“But Ambrosia.” Jerim objected.

He pulled back from her and rested his warm hands on her bare shoulders. The cool of her skin felt good under the heat of his.

“No, you must take Serin to the Wyvern realm where she will be safe.” The queen wiped her eyes with a handkerchief. “You must promise me you will take care of her. Promise.” she demanded.

The depth of a mother’s love was nothing to be trifled with. Realization overcame his mind and his worst fear was now coming true. He was going to lose her forever. All he could do was nod.

“I will.” he whispered.

“Good, then I will send for the inner circle to secure the scrolls.” Queen Ambrosia said firmly. “Aarin, send for the mages.”

“Yes, your highness.” he said.

“Oh and Aarin,” The hairs on the back of his neck stood as the chills ran down his spine. “I’m sorry for losing my temper.”

Aarin nodded and then left the room quickly. She bit her lip to keep it from quivering and wrung her hands within each other.

“Your adviser? You gave him the ‘What For’?” Jerim asked with a smirk. She nodded, her glassy eyes wondered around the room uncomfortably. “Now tell me what happened?”

He moved to the long meeting table. He pulled out a soft velvet tall-back chair and motioned for her to sit. She sat down eloquently resting her intertwined fingers in her lap. She began to explain that the day had started out quiet and non-eventful. But by mid-morning the alarms had sounded. Gavin Rhill’s air ships had surrounded the horizon of their floating sanctuary. The Velsharoon began an attack on the magical barriers around the city.

“Wait, you said they arrived mid-morning, and the shield dropped fifty percent power by early afternoon? Why did you wait so long to notify me?” he asked.

Her eyes widened as the realization stabbed at her heart.

“I thought the mages could handle it.” she said embarrassed.

He gave her hand a gentle squeeze.

“Go on.” he said.

He sat back in his chair with his arms crossed. His brows scrunched together in the middle of his face in full thought as she recited the rest of the events.

“They haven’t broken through yet and now that you’re here everything will be fine.” Queen Ambrosia said and returned to the open arched doorway of the balcony.

The soft flowing pale blue drapes danced in the night breeze.

“I must tend to the ranks. I will return soon.”

Jerim scooted his chair out and placed it back under the table.

Ambrosia grabbed his hand.

“Be careful, you made a promise to me.” She said softly.

Her eyes locked onto his and held his gaze for a moment.

“I will my love.” he said.

He pulled his gloves out of his belt and slipped them on his hands. The wyvern lowered her body to the ground. He grabbed the reins as Ambrosia flicked her fingers sending a tuft of air to boost him up. He swung his leg over the great beasts back and gripped the reins. Wyverns, once they had melded to a rider, could understand their feelings, emotions and thoughts. The deep green colors of the Forest Wyvern glinted in the glows of the night. She stretched out her wings and shoved off with her thick hind legs. Soaring through the sky, they met the captain of the Air Wyverns on the southern edge of the island.

“How is the Queen?” Eliot asked.

“Holding up.” Jerim said. He searched the night sky. “Where we at?”

Jerim rested one hand over the other on the horn of his saddle. The chinking of metal straps and belts the wyverns wore, clashed against the night breeze.

“Sixty air ships with at least a thousand men each. The scouts have just returned and there are three more fleets making good time from the north. There are four more fleets coming from the south.” Eliot said, shifting his metal helmet.

“Let’s take this battle away from the city. Send your fleet south and Oscar’s north.” Jerim said.

“Sir, when are the Earth Wyverns coming?” Eliot asked.

“I’m not sure they are.”

“Why not?”

“Torn bridges I guess, now let’s go.” Jerim said.

Elliot swooped toward his command and waved. Hundreds of crystal white Wyvern’s leapt into the sky. The sheer size of these magnificent creatures was breathtaking. Even more so as their scales reflected and shimmered in the twinkling of the lights. Medrith leapt into the sky and swooped in the opposite direction. She flew over the islands lush green jungle. Homes and buildings lived in and under the protection of the jungle floor, along with the glorious white stone of the city walls. Evenly spaced spires stood around the edges of the island. Each one was several hundred feet tall and held a large crystal. These crystals harnessed the magic that held up the cities force fields.

“Take down these air ships.” Jerim said as he hovered over the leader of the dark blue Water Wyverns.

“Yes Sir.” Greston grunted.

A sea of blue took to the sky, dividing into groups and swarmed the airships. They pulled the elements of water and began flooding the ships. Plumes of steam filled the night sky as the Velsharoon blocked with counter spells, sending fire to evaporate the water. The water wyverns however were stronger and one by one the ships began to sink. There were so many however, that when one ship fell, another took its place. Jerim flew back toward the city center making his way to the Fire Wyverns. The deep red and charcoal black Wyverns waited near the city’s main port. Medrith’s sharp claws gripped the tree tops as she landed.

“What are your orders?” Ada asked.

Long copper red hair flowed off the back of her head. Her oval face delicately pointed was garnished with a dusting of ginger freckles on her high cheeks.

“Keep your forces here on Srinna Vossa.”

Ada nodded then shot into the sky. Her platoon had more experience in battle and riding, but found it hard to keep up with her ferocity. She had more to prove than just being able to lead her people. Gavin Rhill murdered her father trying to find the scroll and she was just plain pissed.

Medrith released the branches and the tree tops flicked back and forth. Before Jerim could make it more than a hundred yards, a deafening crack scorched the night sky, leaving a scar of brilliant birthstone light. Shattered crystals tumble to the ground, breaking the barrier into the city. A flood of red robed Velsharoon rushed the main port. Medrith stopped dead in her tracks, rolled her head, flipped upside down and barreled back toward the open gate. When Jerim reached the north side of the island, he saw Ada’s forces engaged with the oncoming attackers.

Shrieks of agony cried out as massive blasts of fire billowed from the guts of the fire wyverns. The sky lit up as though it were noonday as everything nearby melted and withered. Another deafening crack reverberated across the sky as another crystal shattered. Small bursts of icy white lighting strikes tangled with bursts of bright blood red, sprinkled the horizon. Jerim tried to deny the pulsing knot growing in his stomach. A small ball of flaming gas appeared to grow a little bigger.

“The comet of Sariandi, the Goddess of Destruction,” Medrith said.

“I guess it’s true then.”

“The Commission is here on the east shores.” Medrith said.

Medrith stretched out her long neck. Jerim laid closely to her as she beat her wings toward the east shore. When they reached the shore they descended like a falling stone. Medrith pulled up at the last second and set down without even a thud. Jerim dismounted and ran through the sand and waited as the enormous air ships slipped up onto the fading sand. Half lowered planks plunged into the soft moist grit upon reaching the shore. Trendell, the leader of the armed forces from Akraven scaled the long plank.

“Jerim, what are the damages?”

“We have lost two of the towers.” Jerim said. He gripped the short stalky brute of a man tightly at the forearm. “We need to evacuate the city and secure the inner buildings.”

The clanking and banging of swords, spears and armor overpowered the distant sounds of agony. Hordes of men in rows of fours rushed from the ship’s cargo bays. The shores filled with men standing at attention awaiting orders.

“Yes Sir.” Trendell said.

He banged his hand against his chest. Turned, leading with his head, and briskly reached the front line. The Commission was divided into ranks of archers, spear and swords men and elemental mages. Trendell shouted out the orders. With an enormous shout, the Commission broke up, each group making their way to their destinations.

“Jerim, we saw a battle already in action. Why are we just now evacuating the city? Shouldn’t we have done that sooner?”

“I know you’re a by-the-book kind of guy, but this one is nothing the books have ever talked about.”

“What do you mean by that?” Trendell asked.

“The Sariandi Comet is upon us.”

Trendell’s head lowered.

“Well then we fight to the death.”

“With honor, brother.” Jerim said proudly.

“With honor.” Trendell repeated as he gripped Jerim’s forearm.

Trendell joined his men in the barrage of oncoming Velsharoon. Ada moved to the sky as the Commission took over the land battle. She turned her attention to the oncoming airships and joined her second battalion. A group of Velsharoon yelped as large vines wrapped around their bodies and swallowed them into the ground. Jerim had commanded the foliage around the inner buildings to devour the Velsharoon. The suns first rays broke through dancing on the heavy smoke that filled the sky. Bursts of flames erupted here and there around the island as rain and wind storms chased fiery lighting strikes.

Sections of brilliant white stone walls on the outer perimeter now sat in rubble. Storms of arrows went buzzing and fizzing through the sky. Metal boots slogged through the slippery sludge of fallen comrades. Swords swooshed and clanked as they met other swords. The further the comet came the stronger the Velsharoon became, making it harder for the Commission. Chaos and confusion surged through the city. A sea of red cloaks engulfed every road and alleyway, throwing magic and swinging swords at everything that moved. The white stone was now stained red and smeared with black shadows of what used to be men.

“Fall back and send a squad to the city center. Set up blockades.” Trendell called.

Through the clouds that hung over the island, Trendell saw the comet barreling toward them with a shield of fiery damnation. His heart sank into his stomach and a tightening in his chest nearly took the breath from him. He swooped his sword upward and blocked a dart of lightening aimed directly at his chest.

 

*****************************************

 

“There’s more than one person that can use the power of the comet.” Queen Ambrosia said through gritted teeth.

Her eyes drooped heavily, sagging under the pressure of no sleep.

“What are you going to do?” Aarin asked.

“Sink the island and destroy Srinna Vossa.”

She walked sternly toward her deep oak desk. Aarin’s stomach lurched inside him as the words hit his mind.

“How? Why?!”

“With this,” she pulled out a long parchment that was rolled tightly. “the Incantation of Undin,” she said, fingering the edge.

“And how will sinking the island stop Gavin Rhill?”

“I will take every last person with it, so that he will never be able to find the Binding of the Crypt spell.” she said dropping one end.

“You’re going to kill all of your people?”

“Would you rather be tortured by Gavin Rhill and the Shadow?”

“No, I guess not.”

“Then make your peace now because as soon as the comet is at the highest point in the sky everything will be over.”

Her stomach lurched too as she felt the despair of not being able to raise her child and see her grow into a woman. To never be with Jerim again and her wonderful council and all of her loved ones, it was almost too much for her to bear.

“What shall I tell the armies?” he asked.

“That its time, and send Jerim.”

Aarin bowed. His once childlike eyes glazed over. Queen Ambrosia studied the scroll once more. She sat it on the desk and walked to the edge of the balcony. One hand on the cold stone, the other gripped her blue sapphire stone necklace. She wore a gold and teal blue robe and her delicately woven crown. The anguished cries of her people now sat on numb ears. A small pink hand gripped the lower half of her robes. With the innocence of young age a small girl, gazed up.

“Mommy, what’s happening?” Serin asked.

“Oh, my dear little one.” The Queen picked up her baby girl. She buried her little girl’s teary face into her shoulder. “Shhh shhhh shhh,” Queen Ambrosia whispered.

Jerim walked briskly up behind her, his clashing and clanking hidden under booms and crashes from the distance.

“Ambrosia, My Queen, you sent for me?”

His heart skipped a beat and he swallowed hard shoving the bile back into his stomach when he saw the little princess in her arms.

“It’s time.” she whispered.

She could hardly see his bruised face through the heavy shield of her own tears.

“Is there another way?” he asked.

“There is no other way.”

“Alright.” he said.

He slipped his arm around her waist and pulled her into his embrace. Her long blonde hair tickled his skin. His hand rested on the side of her face. He leaned in, slowly and thoughtfully, he kissed her. She returned his kiss. Just like the one and only time they had been together.

“I love you. I always have.” Jerim said.

“I love you too, I have to tell you something.” She looked at Serin, then back to Jerim, “Serin is yours, not Mikal’s.” Jerim pulled back and smiled his intoxicating smile. “You’re not mad?” she asked, “I’m sorry I never told you.”

“Nor should you have.”

“Mommy, I’m scared.” The tiny voice came as she played nervously with her mother’s hair.

Queen Ambrosia studied her daughter’s face one last time and said to her gently, “You go with your father.”

“Where?”

“Into the sky with the flyers, ok?” she gave her the last kiss she would ever give her.

“But when will I see you again?”

The queen gave Serin to Jerim and he wrapped her in her blanket.

“Go… take her to the wyverns and get her out of here.”

He bowed and leaped off the stone carved terrace onto Medrith’s back. The Queen sent a furling burst of air under the wyvern throwing them into the sky above. Medrith pulled in her wings and shot through the sky like an arrow. To fight a war was one thing but to give up one’s own flesh and blood is another. When the queen could no longer see them, she threw up her arms. Using the islands powers that came from the center of the Teorran Belt, she shouted at the top of her lungs the incantation, drawing the power of the comet into her being.

 

*****************************************

Gavin’s calculated plan turned to a frenzy of rash thoughts and feelings. Everywhere he searched he couldn’t find the scroll. Even with his search spell, it had continued to elude him. He pulled and shoved every book and piece of parchment out of his way. He hurled a massive spell around the room. Glittering strands of text danced and swayed around him and one by one disappeared. The words he longed for were not found. The only words present were those left by the Grand cleric.

Gavin Rhill,

You will never have this scroll as I have destroyed it once and for all.

If you continue your quest you will be met with certain death. FOREVER!

Did you think that you were the only one that could use the comets power?

Grand Cleric Massue

 

Gavin was shocked out of his delirium with the sudden shift and sensation of falling. He ran to the window, the clouds of dust and smoke began to rise. He slammed his fists on the stone wall.

“She’s… sinking… the… city,” he yelled.

He threw out his arms and sucked himself into the air. The sudden force blew out all of the light in the room as he vanished. Gavin whipped a wind storm that careened through the city, wiping out everything in its path. Debris floated upward as the ground fell out from under it. The comet’s power helped Queen Ambrosia stand perfectly still while chanting. Even as the island fell, she was as firm as she had at first. The last words she uttered were that only a blood heir could enter the secrets of the forgotten city.

The Teorran fountain fell into the center of the ground below, allowing the islands to plummet into a new existence. Enormous rock walls encompassed the fallen earth covering everything under hundreds of feet of ground. It left only a few of the spires that were still intact standing, as a reminder of what the glorious city once was.

 

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Recovered

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Recovered (The Shapeshifters’ Library – 3) by Amber Polo

Bliss D. Light believes she’s an ordinary children’s librarian…until she grows a tail.

Now her life is filled with more magic than any fairy tale she reads the children at the Shipsfeather Library. Bliss’s newly discovered dog-shifting ability allows her to change into a sleek white Greyhound but leaves her yearning to dig up her heritage and track down the dog-shifters’ lost library.

Her best friend Harry, disgraced werewolf/dog-shifter mix, smitten with Bliss and eager to redeem himself, insists he accompany her. Tailed by the devilish werewolf duo of Harry’s supercilious ex-wife Sybilla and bad boy Blaze, their cross-country quest takes them up ancient mounds and into extreme danger.

Chased by federally-funded dogcatchers, sold to a racetrack, and forced to fight wolf-dogs is no walk in the park. Aided by dog rescue advocates and a bookstore cat, Bliss and Harry never lose sight of their goal—or each other.

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

 Amber Polo

Author’s Bio

Amber Polo’s lifelong love of libraries and dogs led to a fascination with lost ancient libraries and curiosity about why werewolves outnumbered dog-shifters in literature and inspired her urban fantasy series The Shapeshifters Library.

The mystical side of Sedona became the comic paranormal setting for Hearts in the Vortex. One day a plane flew past her office window and she turned her pen to her own airpark backyard and Heads in the Clouds was the result.

Author of award-winning fantasies and Arizona romances, Amber relaxes stressed writers and readers. Relaxing the Writer offers a catalog of suggestions and simple exercises while her calming CDs help (almost) anyone relax and find restful sleep.

After living in seven states, she’s settled in a small Arizona town.

My Review

5 stars

This world is a battle between werewolves and dog shifters. The dog shifters are those that promote reading and education where the werewolves are wild and crave power. This story is about Sybilla Dinzelbacher Romano who is smarting from being defeated by a dog shifter. Sybilla has a plan to increase dog catchers, offer free neutering and spaying, and create dog fighting areas. The plan is to remove the dog from the country.

Bliss D. Light is a librarian that is in for a surprise when she changes into a white greyhound. After her initial surprise, her friend Harry is there to help her. Harry is a reformed werewolf and he is showing Bliss the ropes. Bliss decides to quit being a librarian to hunt for the Library of the Ancients. But this is not going to be an easy archeologist dig. Blis and Harry have the werewolves’ attention and they are going to have one heck of a fight on their hands.

I loved this story. It is so easy to get sucked into this world. I loved the dynamics between the dogs that want to educate and the wolves that are fighting for anarchy, essentially. Bliss was a great strong leader and didn’t let the different situations keep her down.

This is a great story and one that I strongly recommend checking out. This is the third book in the series but it was easy to read without feeling lost. Now I really want to check out the other books in this series to see what I have missed.

I received Recovered from Premier Virtual Author Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

 Tour Wide Prize Pack Giveaway

There is a tour wide Prize pack giveaway! Attached is a photo of it and a description.

Please include these, along this the following Rafflecopter to your posts (this is all set up in the html alread if you use that.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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The Sands of Borrowed Time: Hazy Sun Days (Earth After the Supernova – 1)

by Jeffrey Winters

When two suns shine in the sky, mankind will fall… It’s easy to cover up truth amidst chaos. Those who survived the supernova blast, fight for survival, the Earth devastated, its ozone layer destroyed. Dusty storms rule the days while the night’s freeze, taking civilization back to its knees. Pockets of humans now exist in a dystopian society spread across the wilderness. Friendships are difficult and just under the burning Sun, freedom uncertain as enemies lurk on the unforgiving highways. Are these the struggles of a post-apocalyptic world or is something more sinister at work under the cover of misery and destruction? Some are getting suspicious, and one has seen a glimpse of the truth… Follow our main protagonist, Kyla, as she tries to understand what it means to be free as she travels through the ruined cities and the harsh wastelands, fleeing the clutches of her guardians. However, freedom comes at a price. Does she control her destiny or is there a hidden hand controlling her fate? And what of the ship deliberately beached at White Cove Bay. What secret does it hide? Also, the strange lights in the sky have their own tale to tell – but what are they and who is responsible? Follow the intertwining fates of our protagonists as they slowly come to realize the veil that has been placed over their eyes, in this first installment of the Sands of Borrowed Time…>

Amazon     Goodreads

My Review

4 stars

Between a solar flare from a supernova on Orion’s Belt and the Sun, Earth’s atmosphere has been destroyed. Most of the population of Earth has perished from the initial EMP, the heat, or the ever decreasing supplies. Now the world consists of those scavenging to survive. There are several individuals, some groups, and bandits. Many have decided to head north to try and find a better way to survive but many won’t make it due to the head or other people. But what they find there is not what any of them expected.

I love a good dystopian story and I was excited to see where this one would take me. I liked the idea of how people are trying to survive. But I did have trouble keeping up with all the different characters in the beginning. I think this is why I had such a hard time sticking with the book. Having said that, the further you go along the easier it is to keep up with everyone.

A lot of things happen that will draw you into the story. Once I got my footing, it was easy to keep reading. I loved the ending. I didn’t see that one coming and really liked the twist on traditional dystopian stories. I liked how this book ended and I am excited to see what is going to happen next.

I received The Sands of Borrowed Time from Candid Book Reviews for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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