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Echoes of War: A Novel by Cheryl Campbell

July 28, 2019

Three of my favourite genres, survival, post apocalyptic and science fiction, all in one book? Add into the mix a complex, and flawed female protagonist, and plenty of action to keep me interested, it’s easy to see why I couldn’t look past Echoes of War when I saw it offered up on Netgalley for an honest review. And despite my high expectations, Echoes of War did not disappoint.

The first in a trilogy by Cheryl Campbell, Echoes of War is an edgy, post-apocalyptic sci-fi set in New England. Dani is a scavenger, living on the fringes of society as a Brigand, not trying to be a hero, and just trying to live another day with her brother, Jace. She avoids the Wardens, an alien race that has come to Earth and spent the last few decades trying to eradicate humans. But that all changes when she risks her life to save a human boy, and when he calls her out on her inaction, she decides to step up and out of the shadows, and try to fight back against the Wardens.

I loved the fact that Dani was far from perfect. She makes mistakes, sometimes even big ones, and in doing so, felt much more believable and complex. I enjoyed her gradual growth as a character from the first chapter, right up to the very end, the changes brought about by not only the events that unfold, but the friendships she builds over the years.

I found the first few chapters a bit confusing and it was difficult to really tell what was going on, and who was who. But once I got my head around that, I found Echoes of War difficult to put down. The romances, like the characters, were complex, and not the focus of the novel, though I did find Gavin’s love for Dani a bit sudden and out of the blue, with few scenes at that point to establish it. However, as we do start to see them interact, it does start to make more sense.

Overall, I really enjoyed Echoes of War, and can’t wait to see what Cheryl Campbell comes up with next in the sequel.

* This eBook ARC was provided by Sparkpress & Smith Publicity through NetGalley for an honest review.


Heart of Iron (Heart of Iron #1) by Ashley Poston

April 17, 2018

Portrayed as a sci-fi retelling of Anastasia, this novel takes you on a swash-buckling adventure with Ana and the outlaw crew of the Dossier, as they try to find a way to fix her failing robot, D09, commonly called Di. Secrets are gradually unraveled and the stakes are risen, as An learns more about her past, and her best friend, Di.

For a book that has gone to print, there were a surprising number of typos throughout the book, and even some wrongly printed names that made a confusing world all the more difficult to navigate. The world building is one of the aspects that definitely fell short in this novel with so many things referenced with little to no explanation or context as to what they meant. I found myself having to re-read several passages and even chapters just trying to get an understanding of what is going down.

The story is told from multiple points of view, and at times the frequent shifts between them really seemed unnecessary, and I feel that the story could have benefited by dropping some of them. It was very jarring and it made it difficult to relate and connect with many of the characters.

The pacing slow at a number of points, but the ending certainly picked up the pace, but I found that most of the plot twists were predictable with little in the way of surprises throughout. Things progressed exactly how I thought they would, and that made it difficult for me to continue to the end.

What I did love though was the characters and the representation, the building relationship between Jax and Robb was adorable and fun to see. And I while I did love Di and Ana individually, I wasn’t sold on the whole insta-love and I would have loved to have seen a bit more of a build there, and got a few more glimpses about what makes their relationship what it is.

For me, this was a 3 out of 5 stars. Maybe 3.5.


The Boy from Earth by Darrell Pitt

March 11, 2018

I had the honor of receiving a copy of The Boy From Earth in return for an honest review. Though rather than read this book myself, I handed it over to my ten year old son to enjoy and give me his thoughts on it; he fits the book’s audience much more so than I!

This middle grade book follows a young boy, Bobby, who is scared of almost everything, which makes the prospect of attending an international Space Academy all the more frightening. My son, who has a few fears of his own, was easily able to relate to Bobby, and right from the first chapter was invested in the character and how the story would unfold. It was funny, and my son was laughing while reading frequently, and the fact that it was set in space too was just the icing on the cake as far as he was concerned.

It was perhaps a little bit below his reading level, so it was a quick and easy book for him to read, but he still loved it all the same.

* This ebook ARC was provided by Text Publishing through NetGalley for an honest review.

4 / 5 Stars.


Unearthed by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

February 8, 2018

I really wanted to love Unearthed. It seemed to have all the elements I would like: space fun, planetary exploration, mysterious aliens, archaeology puzzles and a whole lot of sci-fi…

But I really struggled with reading it. With the shifting back and forth between Amelia and Jules, there was no mystery as to what either of them were up to. All their thoughts, and plans, and lies were all laid out to the reader each time we shifted to their point of view.

And boy was it laid out! It felt like the inner monologue made up a good 75% of the book at times with action and dialogue taking a back seat. Which is a pity because when we did get to see the interaction between Jules and Amelia, it was great! I just wanted to see more of it!