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Archive for May 24th, 2018

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The Awkward Squad by Sophie Henaff

Suspended from her job as a promising police officer for firing “one bullet too many”, Anne Capestan is expecting the worst when she is summoned to H.Q. to learn her fate. Instead, she is surprised to be told that she is to head up a new police squad, working on solving old cold cases.

Though relived to still have a job, Capestan is not overjoyed by the prospect of her new role. Even less so when she meets her new team: a crowd of misfits, troublemakers and problem cases, none of whom are fit for purpose and yet none of whom can be fired.

But from this inauspicious start, investigating the cold cases throws up a number a number of strange mysteries for Capestan and her team: was the old lady murdered seven years ago really just the victim of a botched robbery? Who was behind the dead sailor discovered in the Seine with three gunshot wounds? And why does there seem to be a curious link with a ferry that was shipwrecked off the Florida coast many years previously?

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Author’s Bio

Sophie Henaff is a journalist, author and former Lyonnaise bar owner. She began her journalism career as a critic at Lyon Poche, before moving to Paris to write for Cosmopolitan, where she established her own humorous column, “La Cosmilite.” The Awkward Squad was first published as Poulets grilles in 2015, and is her first novel.

My Review

4 stars

Commissaire Anne Capestan is expecting to be fired when she is called in to headquarters. Instead she learns that she in now in charge of a group of misfits. This is a group that no one wants to work with and they can’t be fired. It’s now up to Anne to get the group together despite all of their perks and flaws. They are now responsible for cold cases. So, Anne divides up the few people that actually show up to work and have them investigating the murder of an old woman seven years prior and the death of a sailor.

This group of rejects has new been put into the Awkward Squad headed by Anne Capestan. They are stuck in a decrepit corner of the station where everyone thinks they can be swept into under the rug and forgotten with cold cases. But Anne is quick to realize that there is more to these rejects and quickly puts them to work. Of course the cold cases are more than they seem and they find they are related.

I really enjoyed this read. I love the fact that everyone on the Awkward Squad are rejects in one way or another yet have their own specialties. Of course they have their own specialties and are as valuable as the more acceptable officers. This is a wonderful mystery and kept me guessing as to how they could be connected. Of course I loved Pilote, you can always win me over with a fantastic animal companion and the sarcasm that joins the group together.

This is a good story. I loved how the losers are the ones that save the day. I know this was Sophie Henaff’s first story but I really enjoyed it and would to read more about The Awkward Squad.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Quercus for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Obscura

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Obscura by Joe Hart

She’s felt it before…the fear of losing control. And it’s happening again.

In the near future, an aggressive and terrifying new form of dementia is affecting victims of all ages. The cause is unknown, and the symptoms are disturbing. Dr. Gillian Ryan is on the cutting edge of research and desperately determined to find a cure. She’s already lost her husband to the disease, and now her young daughter is slowly succumbing as well. After losing her funding, she is given the unique opportunity to expand her research. She will travel with a NASA team to a space station where the crew has been stricken with symptoms of a similar inexplicable psychosis—memory loss, trances, and violent, uncontrollable impulses.

Crippled by a secret addiction and suffering from creeping paranoia, Gillian finds her journey becoming a nightmare as unexplainable and violent events plague the mission. With her grip weakening on reality, she starts to doubt her own innocence. And she’s beginning to question so much more—like the true nature of the mission, the motivations of the crew, and every deadly new secret space has to offer.

Merging thrilling science-fiction adventure with mind-bending psychological suspense, Wall Street Journal bestselling author Joe Hart explores both the vast mysteries of outer space and the even darker unknown that lies within ourselves.

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Joe Hart

Author’s Bio

Joe Hart was born and raised in northern Minnesota. Having dedicated himself to writing horror and thriller fiction since the age of nine, he is now the author of eleven novels that include The River Is Dark, Lineage, and The Last Girl. When not writing, he enjoys reading, exercising, exploring the great outdoors, and watching movies with his family.

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My Review

5 stars

It is a couple years in our future. A new disease has stricken the world, Losian’s. It is like Alzheimer’s where it erases your memories but it also affects all ages. Dr. Gillian Ryan is one of the lead researchers that is trying to map the path of Losian’s in the brain and has almost discovered it when she suddenly loses her funding. She is desperate to finish her research since Losian’s has taken her husband and is not starting to affect her daughter. Gillian is approached and asked to go to a space station by Mars. It seems the people on the station are starting to show the same signs as those affect with Losian’s. Desperate to find a cure Gillian agrees to go.

When Gillian gets out in space she is having withdrawals from a hydrocodone addiction and it is affecting her mind. When she gets to the space station she learns that it’s not just memory loss with crew is suffering with. It seems a murder, suicide, and someone wanting to murder Gillian is on the space station.  There is something more happening to the crew and it’s up to Gillian to figure out what if she plans on returning home.

This book has everything in it. There is a horrible disease that is starting to affect the human population. Of course there the strange event of Gillian’s finding being pulled at the pivotal moment of discovery but was this done to get her in space? Gillian becomes an unreliable character herself with her addiction. And of course, nothing on the space station is what we expected.

This story sucked me in with Losian’s and kept me up late wanting to know what was going to happen next. I love this book, it has a little bit of everything in it. It is one story that you need to check out.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Little Bird Publicity for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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phoenixcyclefrontcover.pngThe Phoenix Cycle: The Best Shall Rise

Publication Date: June 23, 2017

Published By: The Department of Smoke

Genre: Dystopian/ YA/ Sci-Fi

New San Francisco is the last city standing on a world ravaged by storms of ash and debris. The city survived by putting the ideals of the American dream on steroids and inspiring its people to persevere, though they have become ruthless in the process. Its citizens are ruled by the General, who has made sure that his people understand that gentleness and pity have become weaknesses that nature no longer tolerates.

Now Steve and Leslie must choose whether they will apply for the General’s once in a lifetime opportunity to “Rise from the Ashes” and join the Inner Circle that rules the city. If they don’t, they will be damned to spend the rest of their lives in the ghettos of Edingburg, a place where virtual reality has become a government-subsidized addiction.

For Steve, the choice is easy. His loyalties lie with the IRA, a revolutionary army led by a voice only known as “Mom.” They are trying to overthrow the General and free the people of New San Francisco from the cruelties of the City Guard. Steve’s mission is to broadcast a recording of a speech that a famous philosopher died to tell. Many thousands have and will perish to get this message out, but is anyone willing to listen?

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Excerpt

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Every wrist in the stadium beeped. Every boy and girl glanced down at the face of their watch. “00:10” then “:09” then “:08.” Everyone turned their heads to the west. There it was. Right on time, as always. The nightly storm. A wall of blackness had lurched up into the sky, swallowing the setting sun. The hairs on Steve’s neck stood up, urging him to get the hell out
of there.

Instead he grabbed Leslie’s hand, who sat quietly quivering next to him, instinctively pressing her bow into her head for comfort. Steve knew her shaking wasn’t coming from Line’s yelling, the storm, or even the tank pointing at them. Her quivers never came from the barrel of a gun, no, the ragging agony she held within her was the very same thing that pushed him back into the sheets when the sun finally rose—are we going to lose each other?

Leslie’s mind pushed the feeling away for at least another moment. “It’ll be all right,” she whispered. Her brown eyes guided him to the dozens of mortar tubes pointing upward and outward on the vibrant green field and then to the perfect line of churning ash that approached the stands.

“Unity can only be achieved and be maintained when it is the STRONG who come together and fly under one flag! We, like no other in the world, have created a unity that has never broken, has never FLINCHED! When the rest of the world saw THAT—” Line’s long arm pointed at the coming avalanche of black— “They all fell to pieces!”

The earth began to quake as the wall rose over them. Someone screamed. The mortars on the field fired as one at the roiling sky. The blackness spilled over the stadium, then slid over the perimeter of the frizzing wall of static that had encapsulated the field. No Phoenix Cycler had seen—only heard rumors from past Cycle Pref parties—this blackness that was sliding over and them whispering their deaths.

– The Phoenix Cycle: The Best Shall Rise

About the Author

Author Pic

Bob is pretty dope. Firstly, his name is Bob, so…yea. Second, have you seen him rock that suit while in a maximum security prison? Epic.

Yea. That’s Bob. No psychological scarring with that author. Nope. Totally fine.

Gosh he looks good in suits.

Hey Have you read The Phoenix Cycle? He wrote that.

One suggestion before you read it and become one of those fans that leaves him roses by his doormat. Read her slowly. This book is not Twilight. She’s deeper than that. Take your time with her. Show the book you care. Cradle it and make it feel loved. If you do, she’ll be good to you. Go too fast and you’ll have no idea why she’s acting so crazy.

Philosophies Dead | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Goodreads

My Review

4 stars

A meteor strike has caused a nuclear winter where ash constantly falls. The story takes place in New San Francisco. This world has been divided into two castes, the Inner Circle and the lower caste that lives in slum sections, the one we delve into is called Edingburg. The Phoenix Cycle is an opportunity for young men and women to try to raise their castes. The story follows Steve, a resistance member that is trying to get into the Inner Circle.

There is a lot of philosophy in this story and I will be the first one that admits that some went over my head. But it did make you think about the different events in this book. I liked how this book makes you stop and think about what is happening in it and what is going on around you in this world.

The Phoenix Cycle is a great story in a dystopian world with a good cast of characters. There is a Hunger Games feel with the trials to change Steve and Leslie’s castes and the IRA, opposition to the General and are trying to free the lower castes that are such in a virtual prison.

I liked this story but admit that I have had to think about the different things in it. I think I will be reading it a second time to try and process what I just read. I think this is a good read and one that you should check out.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

Giveaway!!!

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The author is giving away 10 print copies (That’s right 10) and 5 Digital copies of his book so make sure you enter as the odds are definitely in your favor! (Runs from May 21st to May 30th)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Schedule

May 21st

Reads & Reels (Kick-Off Promo)

Just for My Books (Excerpt)

The Lit Cottage (Review)

Adventures Thu Wonderland (Review)

The Midwest Ladies Who Lit (Excerpt)

May 22nd

IAMAGEEKINGGINGER (Review)

Tranquil Dreams (Review)

On the Shelf Reviews (Excerpt)

May 23rd

Didi Oviatt (Excerpt)

The Genre Minx (Excerpt)

The Cozy Pages (Excerpt)

Valerie’s Musings (Excerpt)

The YA Book Divas (Interview)

May 24th

J Bronder Reviews (Review)

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Interview)

Bri’s Book Nook (Review)

The Cozy Pages (Excerpt)

Wicked Good Reads (Review)

May 25th

Afire Pages (Excerpt)

Port Jerricho (Excerpt)

Touch My Spine Book Reviews (Review)

Life at 17 (Review)

Blog Tour Organized By:

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I would like to thank R&R Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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