New Book Reviews Blog Pages

Future Cities by Stefano L Tresca

Stefano L Tresca's "Future Cities" springboards information about the dramatic growth of the urban population during the next 30 years and the tremendous opportunities provided by that change. 

Tresca interviews people, from a Chinese entrepreneur to an investment director to a startup CEO, among others. The interviews ask illuminating questions that bring the reader startling, affecting information. There's an interview about a tile company that can create energy from human footsteps that really highlighted the importance of forward-thinking for me.

At the least, this book will make you think about things you've never thought of before. At the most, it will prepare you for success in a changing world.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants a powerful read about the changes the next 30 years will bring.

The Immortal Coil by J. Armand

“The Immortal Coil,” by J. Armand, is a sci-fi fantasy (with action and horror elements) that follows a young man as his life is turned upside down by the arrival of otherworldly intruders. The novel opens with Dorian, an aspiring model, at a casting call. His life seems normal – the hunt for work, relationship with his family, experiencing a new place – until he sees a CDC van in his neighborhood. Strange, right? Turns out, it was just a small sign of what is to come – an encounter with terrifying mutant creatures. Dorian finds himself on a life-or-death adventure, learning about the creatures and trying to figure out a solution. He meets some interesting characters along the way, such as Noah, a martial arts expert whose weapon of choice is a short version of the katana. Armand does an excellent job balancing scifi/fantasy world building with lots of action and adventure. I’m a huge fan of fight scenes, and was pleased to learn Armand writes gripping, vivid scenes that put you right in the thick of the action. I'd recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of sci-fi fantasy with lots of action. 

Hopelessness by K.M. Lessing

In “Hopelessness,” part 4 in “A True Story,” K.M. Lessing once again invites readers to explore her no-holds-barred view of modern life, this time focusing on the feeling of hopelessness that arises when analyzing one’s existence. Lessing opens explaining that her book is aimed at people who find the common “escapes” from society, such as alcohol, TV, social media narcissism, etc, worthless, before diving headfirst into a combination of criticism of societal norms and reflections on her past. Some of the recurring themes revolve around religions, greed, sexuality, and shallowness, among others. A lot of the material is very relatable, such as the anecdotes about corporations nickel and diming the average American over every transaction (eg Lessing talks about the printer cartridge racket).  Compared to the other books in the series, this one covers a wider breadth of topics. The book made me thing about a lot of issues that I had considered before, but not analyzed. I’d recommend this to anyone who wants to take a critical look at the way society operates and their own place within society.

Madman Across the Water by Caroline Angel

Caroline Angel's "Madman Across the Water" is a horror novel about an evil in the woods that is killing people... Whatever this thing is, it's not new. The locals have heard about it for generations, but it's behavior is becoming more drastic...more brutal. 

People decide to take a stand, but the thing in the woods is merciless and powerful. Does anyone stand a chance? Angel writes with bone-chillingly descriptive narration that paints dark scenes filled with horror. As is required for horror writers, she has a knack for building tension, making your hair stand on end at all the right moments. She also writes an eclectic cast of characters, none of which are immune to what lurks in the woods, which is important for allowing me to get immersed in the story. I'd recommend this to you if you want a fresh horror novel to read before your soon-to-be-delayed bedtime!

Gotcha!: Your Little Black Book to a Safer E-xperience by Dr. Sally Ernst

"Gotcha! The essential handbook on Cyber Security," by Dr. Sally Ernst, is a must-read for anyone looking to address the growing threat of cyber security vulnerabilities in their business or organization. Before you can address the problem, you need to understand.

"Gotcha!" does an excellent job breaking down the field of cyber security so that someone with minimal knowledge of the topic can understand it. There's a list of the different kinds of attacker profiles and their objectives that really sheds light on what your business/organization is up against. After granting the reader an understanding of the threats, Ernst goes on to the action items -- how to make your organization or business safe? The book is well-written and concise with visual aids, such as graphics and charts, that make the read easy to digest. I would recommend this book to you if you want to get the low-down on how to keep your organization or business safe from cyber threats.

Madcap Mulligan Jokes for Kids: Volume I by D.K. Nanook

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I bought "Madcap Mulligan Jokes for Kids: Volume I" by D.K. Nanook for my nine-year-old niece (she's a big jokester), and she loved it. The print is relatively large and the formatting is easy on the eyes, perfect for young readers who aren't ready to sift through a bunch of text crammed onto a page. The jokes are clean and very funny. There's a good mix of different topics to keep the reader interested. Although the book is aimed at kids, adults will get a kick out of the jokes, too. 

Born Villain (Pelagius Game book 2) by R.J. Jerome

R.J. Jerome’s “Born Villain” (book 2 in the “Pelagius Game” series) is sure to delight readers with its unique blend of elements from multiple genres (fantasy, spirituality, adventure, etc) that expands upon the incredible world that Jerome built in book 1.

Timothy Anderson and Scott McCree return in this installment hoping to put an end to a power grab by Pope Orlandis, in which he hopes to become the totalitarian ruler of Earth. Jerome really ups the ante in this volume.

The stakes are higher, and the characters are driven by the knowledge that what they do – or don’t do –  can shape the future of Earth. Jerome does an excellent job incorporating elements from multiple genres seamlessly, and the plot twists and turns with lots of action. I'd definitely recommend this if you’re looking for a book that’ll make you think deeply while entertaining you with a gripping plot filled with action and adventure.

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The Secret Ecology of Sex by R. Vania

R. Vania’s “The Secret Ecology of Sex” addresses current issues in the world, such as the destruction of the environment and climate change, through the story of one woman's journey and personal growth. The main character is Laurel Bradford, who is faced with the task of taking over her husband’s furniture store after his death.

With the help of her husband’s former assistant, Megan Yates, and her wife, Laurel begins on a journey of empowerment and discovery. When Megan encourages Laurel to meet escort and environmental activist Dak Gordon, she explores her beliefs, sexuality, and desires, experiencing more than she could have ever imagined. Vania does an excellent job balancing an interesting plot with thought-provoking, well-researched facts about the environment.  A recommended read if you want an entertaining read that’ll make you think and inspire you at the same time. Looking forward to the next installment in the series!

My Quintessence by Jasmine Farrell

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"My Quintessence," by Jasmine Farrell, is a collection of poetry that makes you reflect, appreciate, and ... just feel. With artistic, soulful writing, Farrell explores topics such as identity, growing up, and love. Her style is upfront, playful, employing a narrative arc that takes you on a journey to get you to experience a wide range of emotions and people.

My favorite piece is "Strutting Freedom," an empowering work about getting over trauma that lets you see the narrator experience pain and fear only to rise up from the ashes "like a phoenix." If you're a poetry fan or just someone who values the human experience, I'd highly recommend "My Quintessence" to you.

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A Gateway to Hope by E.C. Jackson

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“A Gateway to Hope,” by E.C. Jackson, is an inspirational romance with an engaging plot and a message of moving forward when faced with challenges. The story follows the optimistic, introverted 21-year-old Neka and 29-year-old James Copley; two people from very different backgrounds. When James’ fiancée leaves him the day she’s supposed to meet the family, James is in a predicament because his dad requires him to marry for him to continue to be involved with the family business.

Neka steps into the picture, and the two, each with their unique personality, force each other to face issues they had been avoiding, while opening new doors at the same time. Jackson has a knack for writing in a way that deals with real problems while still being optimistic and uplifting. The romance plot is paced well, with plenty of ups and downs, and Neka and James have great chemistry. If you’re looking for an inspirational romance, I'd highly recommend “A Gateway to Hope" to you!

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A Change of Heart by Lynda Gray

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"A Change of Heart," by Lynda Gray, is a fun, well-written medical romance that is sure to please fans of the genre. The story follows Guinevere Winter, a nurse having recently left Boston for a New York hospital. When she meets head cardiologist Dr. Jonathan Pike, her interest is piqued. Unfortunately, his traumatic romantic past gets in the way of him being open to a new relationship.

Gray does an excellent job writing characters that are believable and dynamic, and the chemistry between Guinevere and Jonathan is done well, with lots of ups and downs. Gray paces the story well, striking a balance between setting the scene and tension/conflict. If you like medical romances, you'll love "A Change of Heart."

Illuminarium (book 1 in the Soliloquy Labyrinth Series) by Truth Devour

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Truth Devour’s “Illuminarium,” the first book in the Soliloquy Labyrinth Series, is a fantasy/paranormal novel with a thought-provoking philosophical theme. The reader follows a psychologist, Harper, as she journeys into a mysterious world, explores her past, and finds herself in the midst of a push-and-pull conflict between good and evil.

With beautiful, philosophical writing, Devour manages to draw the reader into the main character’s mind as she navigates a variety of abstract concepts and ideas. The main character possesses a thirst for knowledge that is insatiable, despite struggling to see beauty in the world, at times. As readers, we are exposed to important ideas about introspection and moving forward while being entertained with a fascinating plot. A powerful, thought-provoking novel, I’d recommend “Illuminarium” to everyone who wants to read paranormal fiction that’ll make them think.

Circulus de Potentia (Magicae Mathematica series) by Jim West

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Jim West’s “Circulus de Potentia,” book 2 in the Magicae Mathematica series, takes the reader on an adventure as our young hero races to find an enigmatic wizard to help her crack the secret of a mysterious symbol, which is the Circulus de Potentia. As in the first book, math and Latin play an important role in the plot. For those with a math/history background, you’ll recognize Pythagoras – for those unfamiliar with him, you’ll learn!

Alex’s journey is every bit as eventful as the first book, with her contending with wolves, a mysterious forest, and a perplexing maze. Fans of the series will be delighted to know that the Guardians and Archimedes have returned. West does an incredible job seamlessly incorporating mathematical ideas into the story so that even someone who isn’t interested in math can get it excited about it. The cast of characters is diverse and interesting, further allowing young readers to engage. Definitely a great read for young readers!

Evangeline | Sir Dred's Capture by Mason Renee

"Evangeline: Sir Dred's Capture," by Mason Renee, is a novel about a young lady's journey to save those she loves from an evil king. The novel opens with the protagonist, Evangeline, on the run as evil beasts called crorochers attack her village. Her parents are killed, and she finds herself on a quest to find her brother. Her quest leads her to the evil king, Dredromous, who does the unexpected...

Written in first-person, Renee does an excellent job writing a story that puts you in the head of the main character. With realistic dialogue and descriptive narration, you really get a feel for Evangeline's situation. The plot is paced well with plenty of twists and turns. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to read an engaging novel with a determined protagonist and a plot with a fantasy vibe!

A Taylor-Made Love by Kary Rader

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Today I'm proud to feature a review of  the new adult romance novel "A Taylor-Made Love," by Kary Rader, as part of the Enchanted Book Promotions blog tour.

The novel follows Taylor Smith-Taylor, a twenty-year-old widow and cancer survivor, who has been tasked with running her late husband’s billion-dollar gaming business. The plot kicks into gear when things start heating up between Taylor and her handsome attorney Brad Richards.

The relationship between Taylor and Brad is complicated by high-stakes business decisions and shared responsibility over difficult negotiations. As often is the case with relationships, stress from outside factors can seep its way into the romance. Rader does an excellent job capturing this in a way that's engaging and interesting. The two main characters are well-developed, and as the reader, I really feel as though I understand the characters.

If you're looking for a fresh new romance, you'll enjoy "A Taylor-Made Love."

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