Book Review: Disintegration by JE Purrazzi

Disintegration (Malfunction Trilogy Book 2) by [Purrazzi, J.E.]

5/5 stars

JE Purrazzi is a part of the Phoenix Fiction Writers, a marketing collective of speculative fiction authors of which I am also a part. PFW authors consistently put out quality work, and Purrazzi is no exception. Her Malfunction Trilogy (the third book is in process) is one of my favorite dystopian series’ EVER. If you like Red Rising or Wool, you will really enjoy this series.

Disintegration is Part 2 of the series. All I can say is… WOW. What a fantastic follow up to book 1. Purrazzi does it again, and in every way, too. Unforgettable characters, fantastic action, twisting plots, and so much more. Cowl is rib-cracking hilarious, Bas just rips your heart to pieces, and Menrva… well, I’ll just let ya’all read the book. Do it. You won’t be disappointed.

Grab it on Amazon, or add to your Goodreads.

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Book Review: Out of Nowhere

Out of Nowhere (The Immortal Vagabond Healer Book 1) by [LeClerc, Patrick]

3/5 stars

I can’t remember the last book I’ve read that’s left me with so many mixed opinions about it. That in itself is a good thing, I think. There is a lot to commend, so I’ll start with that. First, the writing is clever and the voice is unique. Sean was a mostly like-able, in an annoying yet funny type of way. He reminded me a lot of one of my brothers, actually. Witty, snarky, with enough eye-rolling humor to make me want to slap him in the back of his head while laughing. Second, it’s refreshing to read a story centered around the medical field by someone who actually knows what they are talking about. As a nurse, one of my pet peeves is an author not doing their research about this, and so it was nice that I didn’t have to that with this story. The jargon wasn’t forced, it was natural. So clearly the author was trained in the field. I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. Third, Sean felt like a real person, with conflicting motivations, emotional responses, and varied reactions to situations that were believable. I liked how, since he is supposed to me immortal, he seemed “set in his ways,” at times yet open to change at others. I suppose that’s why the seeming sexist comments and thoughts he had didn’t bother me like it seems to have bothered other readers. While his views on women leaned toward objectification at times, he didn’t go full throttle in that direction. He has this moment at the end of chapter 34 of self-reflection in this regard, and it was incredibly refreshing how the author handled it. Sean was honest with himself without having an unrealistic, total change of heart or mind. It was a step in the right direction, and much more real to life than other books I’ve read touching on this subject.

So why the three stars? Most of the reason is personal preference, I think. There were aspects of the story that drove me a bit crazy. Immortality is a fascinating concept to explore, but I feel like it was brushed over in favor of witty humor. Sean, although seeming like a real person, seemed to just accept certain things about himself that I feel the author could have delved deeper on. While the character was entertaining, he also came across as only skin deep. I enjoy a read that dives deep into issues instead of only brushing on them. Second, the plot itself left me mostly uncaring what happened. I wanted Sean and Sarah to win, of course, but I wasn’t invested in it, more like a half hearted “Oh yay, hope you guys succeed”, give a thumbs up, and then walk away. And honestly, at the climax I skimmed over it because it was leaving me unsatisfied. It seemed unrealistic to the point of boredom. This is all going to end based on a duel? Except it’s supposed to be modern day but this drug dealer is actually bound by family honor going back centuries? The author tried to address it by commenting that Americans tend to not understand this. Meh. Maybe, but it still fell flat. And since the duel itself was so short, I feel like the author threw a in that last bit about Pete almost dying almost as a bone for the reader. Hurried, here I’ll add this to extend the climax a little bit, type of thing.

All this to say, I enjoyed it enough to finish. And I’m sure lots and lots of people will love it. While I can see why this was entered into SPFBO, I also don’t think it quite fit the criteria. It came across as more thriller than fantasy.

3/5 stars, and kudos to the author. Entertaining, for sure.

Grab it on Amazon or add to your Goodreads.

Book Review: Skies of Dripping Gold by Hannah Heath

Skies of Dripping Gold by [Heath, Hannah]

5/5 stars

Hannah Heath is a part of the Phoenix Fiction Writers, a marketing collective of speculative fiction authors of which I am also a part. PFW authors consistently put out quality work, and Heath is no exception. Everything she puts out is pure gold (see what I did there?) She is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.

Skies of Dripping Gold is my absolute favorite short story I’ve ever read. Heath manages to create a grand, epic scope of a world in just one short story.

Skies of Dripping Gold is a beautiful, haunting story. I read a lot, yet it is rare to find something that really touches you, in your heart and soul. But this story did. The sibling relationship between Gabriel and Lilly was unique. The concept of faith was illustrated in a way I’ve never read before. The themes of pain, suffering, special needs, and love were powerful. There is really no reason why this story shouldn’t be read widely. I loved it.

Go grab this one now for only 99 cents. Or add it to your Goodreads TBR. It’s a steal. Trust me on this one.

Book Review: Never Die

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4.5/5 stars

When I first started the book, I knew I would love it. It starts with a good hook, and then doesn’t disappoint as it delivers chapter after chapter.

In fact, it exceeded my expectations. You know it’s good when throughout the day you find yourself preoccupied with when you can get your tasks done and go finish reading. When I finished, I couldn’t decide whether it was a 4 star are 5 star for me. I finally landed in the middle.

First, the characters were incredibly unique. You’re first introduced to Cho, also called Whispering Blade. There isn’t much backstory given until later in the book, but it only adds to the character’s mysteriousness. Part of the character arc, if you will, is the fact that she takes her oaths incredibly seriously, and endears herself in that way. Then, Ein is introduced. I have a huge soft spot for creepy children characters (weird, I know), and employed one in my own book series. So maybe I’m biased. Either way, Ein has all the right elements: a mysterious power, an unknown backstory, a strange mission, and yet is likeable.

More characters join into a motley crew of strange heroes who are subject to Ein and his mission. Each one of them is unique, to the point it borders on genius. You never confuse who is who, even though they each have two, if not three, names. But the POV is so well written you don’t get confused about whose viewpoint you’re in (although, one critique… it was a more distant POV so sometimes you were into the POV by a few paragraphs before you knew what perspective you were reading from). Although, this isn’t unusual for fantasy. All in all, it’s the characters who really drive the book. My personal favorite was Iron Gut Chen.

The plot was pretty ingenious, but I don’t want to go into too many details so I don’t spoil it. My only minor complaint, and one reason for 4.5 instead of 5 stars, was the endings predictability. The entire book was so well written, though, that is was nearly impossible not to guess what was going on. This is generally the opposite for why I find books to be predictable: bad writing leading to too obvious conclusions for the ending. However, Never Die is so incredibly well done that you can see where it’s going, and the excitement builds, and bam! The delivery comes and you’re left breathless.

I could go on and on. Honestly, this is my favorite book of 2019 so far. One tiny complaint: it needed one more proofread before publication. There were a few punctuation errors per chapter, and a few tense changes mid sentence scattered throughout the book. But it no way detracted from the overall feeling of quality work you get as you read.

All in all, a massively well done story. If you are a fan of fantasy reads, add this one as “next to read” on your TBR piles!

The Hidden Queen

So, for quite some time now, I’ve kept a secret. But now, it is out on the internets.

Coming January 31st…

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Secrets and betrayal. Fear and courage. Can one woman save her nation from destruction?

Check it out here, where you can pre-order. Want to say up-to-date, and receive info like this earlier than any one else? Join my newsletter, and receive free content (including a free book), announcements before the general public, and a host of other freebies.

Now available! The Last Steward

Part 3 of the Steward Saga is here. Try not to lose your mind with excitement. I am enough for the both of us. Check it out, and leave a comment with what you think!

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The Triumphant King is on the march. The Stewards are in hiding. The Sisterhood must unite.

Step into a new world from visionary fantasy author Janelle Garrett. This sweeping tale takes you into new cultures, an intricate magic system, and in-depth plots that will spark the imagination. See what readers are calling “masterful storytelling”, a “rich, complex story” and “a perfect example of epic fantasy.”

When Brate and the Sisterhood rescued Malok from Polbine Voltaire, the victory was short-lived. King Voltaire escaped with his life, and Isa, the mysterious and powerful warlock, disappeared after sending Voltaire running. But just who is Isa? With his help, Brate, Malok, Priva, and Graissa are convinced they can defeat Voltaire once and for all, and stand a chance at closing the Rift.

But Voltaire is Soulbound to the Liar. And he marches toward the Bright Lands, intent on taking the Stone Throne for himself and establishing his dominance across the Lands. The Stewards and the Sisterhood must unite and stop him, otherwise the Rift will never close. But with strife and contention from one corner of the Lands to the other, their chances of stopping Voltaire seem slim. They will need the help of the one person they can’t find: Isa, who has his own ideas about what closing the Rift will entail.

When all hope seems lost, one single act will alter the course of the entire sphere. The surprising truth will change the Stewards, change the Sisterhood, and open the floodgates of the Deep. But will the sacrifice be worth the reward?

The Last Steward is Part 3 of a four-part epic fantasy series. Fans of Brandon Sanderson, Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, and Robin Hobb will enjoy this fresh, new voice in fantasy literature.

The world of the Steward Saga, available on Amazon:

  1. Part 1 – Rift in the Deep
  2. Part 2 – Rise of the Warlock King
  3. Part 3 – The Last Steward
  4. Part 4 – coming late summer of 2019
  5. The Tale of Briton’s Fury – prequel novella
  6. Justice: A Steward Saga Short Story Collection

Justice Explained

You know an author’s busy writing their books when their blog is neglected. However, I can’t say that I’m sorry. Priorities, priorities. Not only am I busying writing the Justice short story series, but I’m preparing for the release of Part 3 of the Steward Saga, The Last Steward.

Justice has been quite the challenge to write. If you’re at all familiar with my work, you know I use multiple points of view in my books. Well, Justice is just one. It’s all told from the POV of Trinn Ma’allard, the main character and antihero, if you will. You might recognize her from Rise of the Warlock Kingand she makes various appearances in The Last Steward, too.

Her story isn’t difficult to write just because it’s from one perspective, though. The themes in the stories are deep, concerning issues of revenge, forgiveness, justice, and identity. You might say, “Yeah, but you tackle those issues in The Steward Saga series, Janelle.” And you would be correct. But Trinn Ma’allard is coming from an entirely different place than say, Brate or Graissa. You might just have to grab the series to see what I mean.

Issues like the ones mentioned above can be difficult for a writer to tackle because we all face those same problems in every day life. We’ve all be wronged, in one way or another. We’ve all wronged others. We must face the decision to daily forgive those who treat us poorly, or enact our own righteous revenge fantasies. How often have you plotted how to get even with someone, whether by word or deed? I know I have. When my husband or friend or children lash out, my first inclination is to seek “justice”: lash back out at them, because they started it. But what if there was a different way?

That’s what I try to address in Justice. Check the stories out below (all are available for free through Kindle Unlimited), and pre-order Justice Part 4 – The Dreadwood coming out October 18th. Stay tuned for further details about The Last Steward, including the cover reveal in mid-October!

Justice Part 1 – The Misty Sea

Justice Part 2 – The Palisade Kingdom

Justice Part 3 – The Nomad (available October 4th)

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