The Initiation Review

The Initiation
by Chris Babu
Genre: YA sci-fi
Release Date: February 27th 2018
Permuted Press

Book Summary

Everyone is equal. But no one is safe.

In a ruined world, Manhattan is now New America, a walled-in society based on equality. But the perfect facade hides a dark truth.

A timid math geek, sixteen-year-old Drayden watches his life crumble when his beloved mother is exiled. The mystery of her banishment leads him to a sinister secret: New America is in trouble, and every one of its citizens is in jeopardy.

With time running out, he enters the Initiation. It’s a test within the empty subway tunnels—a perilous journey of puzzles and deadly physical trials. Winners join the ruling Bureau and move to its safe haven. But failure means death. Can Drayden conquer the Initiation, or is salvation out of his grasp?

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This is one to remember. Drayden is such a great character to follow. Kind and smart, he tries to do what is best. Though life isn’t easy in New America. Everything he thought he knew starts coming to light with the reality of the world. His mother asks him to take care of the family but not to do the Initiation just to find the truth of her exile. But with mounting stress of their situation and even the encouragement of his brother, he gathers the courage to try. Failure could mean exile and very likely his end.

The book takes off from there. High intensity action and tense moments had me gripping my screen. It was hard to tear myself away as Drayden and the other contestants went through their tests.

Overall chilling was the looming history of how the Confluence happened. All indications we see in our world today. Suddenly this dystopian world just seemed like a glimpse in a not-so-distant future. Then present still in this world were the same disproportionate societies that boasted equality. Ironic considering the names of the Dorms versus the Palace. This book has very intelligent writing, great character growth and can get very emotional. I recommend this one a lot!

About the Author

Chris Babu grew up in North Haven, CT, playing soccer and the violin in his free time. After devouring The Shining under the covers with a flashlight when he was eight, Chris was hooked on fiction. He’s always had a thing for young adult books. But he’s also a major science and math nerd – physics being his favorite – and he has a math degree from MIT.

For nineteen years, he worked as a bond trader on Wall Street, riding the subway to and from work every day. He traded mortgage-backed securities for Bank of America and then Deutsche Bank, where he eventually ran the MBS trading desk. Now Chris writes full-time, always with his trusted assistant Buddy, a 130-pound Great Dane, who can usually be found on his lap. They split their time between New York City and the east end of Long Island. Their omnipresence at home drives his wife Michelle and daughter Lily crazy. The Initiation is his first novel.

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Riley’s War: Review

Riley’s War: Phase 1
By Kiersten Jackson
Genre: YA Sci-fi Fantasy
Release date: December 2017

Book Summary

The year’s 2027.

Humanity has split into two halves: First World, the floating plate above that covers ⅓ of the planet built with futuristic technology and home to 56 million First Class citizens, and Second World, the Original Earth below running to ruin from war, famine, and poverty.

Recruited by Second World from jail, Jukebox is taken to their Base, discovering files with dragons, mythical shape shifting snakes from China—even the ghost from his past. And when the dragons actually show up, threatening to destroy humanity within three days, it doesn’t make it any better. Not even the androids and cyborgs that are sent to kill him on an everyday basis. Maybe it’s because they’re looking for his dad that holds all the original secrets and truths behind their world’s destruction, like him.

And when a comet is learned to hit both worlds soon, Jukebox is faced with the decision of fighting for his race or himself when the meteor is established to contain a power that could grant mankind renewed life, or instantaneous death— his power. Both worlds are at a clash to get to him and the comet once learning Jukebox can stop it—on the price of dying, deeming this battle as Second War—Riley’s War. And Jukebox doesn’t even want to stop it.

RILEY’S WAR: PHASE 1 is a powerful explosive sci-fi YA fantasy and action/adventure complete at 38,600 words with undeniable series potential that would appeal to fans of diverse POC with LGBTQIA+ main characters and supporting cast.

Buy on Amazon


I first took notice of Riley’s War by the summary. It seemed so wild and unusual. It did not disappoint in that impression. Also, the cover by Anna Dittman is amazing and I knew I had to read this to figure it out. It was easy for me to be captured by this quick story. I’d honestly just recommend reading it in one day. Have some snacks ready as well. The pacing and characters were good and well developed. It was an excellent first novel from Jackson.

This books has it’s quirks and may have some challenges for certain readers. For me, it was a speedy read with a diverse and engaging energy. The reader needs to actively focus on the details and storyline. I recommend reading it with an open mind on a day you want plenty of unique details and action. I’d definitely read more from Jackson!

About the Author

Kiersten Jackson is an African-American author born in the United States, from Florida. She is very active in BLACKLIVESMATTER and LGBTQIA+. She currently likes to sleep, eat, and nap as long as she can. Her talents include drawing, writing, and being the Best at what she does. Greatest of All Time. Forever.

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Assassin of Truths Review

Assassin of Truths (Library Jumpers #3)

By Brenda Drake

Publication Date:  February 6, 2018

Publisher:  Entangled Teen

Book Summary

The gateways linking the great libraries of the world don’t require a library card, but they do harbor incredible dangers.

And it’s not your normal bump-in-the- night kind. The threats Gia Kearns faces are the kind with sharp teeth and knifelike claws. The kind that include an evil wizard hell-bent on taking her down.

Gia can end his devious plan, but only if she recovers seven keys hidden throughout the world’s most beautiful libraries. And then figures out exactly what to do with them.

The last thing she needs is a distraction in the form of falling in love. But when an impossible evil is unleashed, love might be the only thing left to help Gia save the world.














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Assassin of Truths excels in it’s fast paced and intense storytelling. Like the first books, it quickly moves to more and more suspenseful situations that Gia struggles to face. Ridden by her own guilt and recent losses, she’s determined to focus on her goal of stopping Conemar.

This book has a massive world and will call for the readers upmost focus. Most scenes jump quickly and I did find myself going back to read it again to catch up or keep track of characters. The writing somewhat reminded me of watching a fast paced episode by episode series. I can easily see this series becoming a show. Drake brings out the stark imagery in her scenes, both the majestic and the brutal. Like the first books in the series, the love for libraries and knowledge is clear. The creative elements to this world are staggering and inspiring. It’s clear how much work was put into making this Mystik world come to life.

Gia learns from her mistakes and with the weight of the world on her shoulders, her true growth comes out. What stands out most is the relationships between the characters. Gia and Bastian’s love for each other to reminiscent throughout the book. Her previous conflict with Arik is also addressed and I was happy with the way things turned out for all of them. It was easy to become attached to some of the other unique characters in the book. I often wanted to see more of them as well.

The ending was surprising and heartbreaking as well. Overall I enjoyed the series and this last installment did not pull any punches. I recommend it for readers that really love intense fantasies, action, and world building.

About the Author

Brenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. With kids of all ages populating Brenda’s world, it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical for both younger readers and the young at heart. And because she married her prince charming, there’s always a romance warming the pages. Her favorite books are The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Kings Row by Henry Bellamann, and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. When she’s not writing, she hosts workshops and contests for writers such as Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness on her blog, and holds Twitter pitch parties on the hashtag, #PitMad. In her free time, Brenda enjoys hanging out with her family, haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or just reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

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Of Sea and Stone Review

Of Sea and Stone
By Kate Avery Ellison
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: February 2014

Book Summary

Aemi lives in a village carved from stones and surrounded by sea. She wins spear-throwing competitions in disguise and earns slaps from her spoiled mistress by talking back. She hates being a slave. She survives by remembering her mother’s tales of home, a paradise called Perilous.

Aemi intends to find it.

But then, black ships rise from the sea in the night. Aemi is captured and taken to Itlantis, an underwater world of cities and gardens encased in glass, dazzling technology. and a centuries-long war.

She is determined to escape, even if it means conspiring with fellow prisoner Nol, who fills her with equal parts anger and desire. Even if it means impersonating her mistress. Even if it means fleeing into the territory of the Dron, the bloodthirsty barbarians of the deep.

But when Aemi witnesses firsthand an attack by the Dron, she realizes not all is as it seems below the sea.

And Perilous might be closer than she thinks.


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I really enjoyed this book. Once I started it, I constantly wanted to keep reading despite the day to day responsibilities I needed to do. I finally ended up downloading it on my phone so I could read it any time I wanted. What a richly filled world with twists and turns that Ellison created. Everything seemed effortless in its complexity.

First, all my beliefs were completely wrong. Which was great. I kept thinking I knew where things were going to go or what secret was going to be revealed. Nope. Plot twist, there’s going to be many plot twists. I loved it. It’s a great book for many ages. Aemi is clever, skilled, a bit naive, and a great role model as well. Her perspective is very observant but she still has much to learn before knowing the truth. All her beliefs and feelings are twisted. It’s so shocking by the end. I couldn’t read fast enough.

All the other characters are lovable as well. Even characters that are briefly in the book are so intriguing and well developed. I hope to see them again in book two. The friendship between Aemi and Lyssia was profound. I really enjoyed their interactions and growth that they inspire in each other. Even when Aemi accidentally reveals the truth about herself, I felt like it was on purpose in a way. Once treated cruelly by her masters, she eventually allows herself to open up to Lyssia. She realizes that she’s found more friendships in her new life then she ever had before. The thoughts of escaping back to the surface is plagued with doubt. Especially with more and more revelations that occur.

Along with all of these conflicts and surprises is Nol. The only one from her formal surface life. Once obnoxious in his authority, he is now an angry captive like her. Aemi’s thoughts and descriptions of Nol were amusing to say the least. Since childhood, they’ve had a rivalry and that doesn’t seem to change in their new circumstances. However, he is a conundrum to her and is frequently in her thoughts. I’m anxious to see what will happen in book two.

I could keep going for this book…instead I’ll encourage you to read it. I’ve already downloaded book two!

About the Author

I’m the author of the Frost Chronicles, an Amazon bestselling series and source material for the adventure app game Frost by Delight Games, as well as numerous other fantasy and science fiction novels. I love putting a dash of mystery in everything I write, an ode to a childhood spent reading Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, and Sherlock Holmes. I can’t resist adding a good twist in the story wherever I can.

I wish I could live in a place where it’s always October, but until that’s possible, I make my home in humid Atlanta with my husband, children, and two spoiled cats.

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Elephant Dreams Review



Genre: Young Adult / Historical Fiction / Sweet Romance

Publisher: Melange Books

Date of Publication: September 2, 2017

Number of Pages: 224

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Desperate to escape her squalid life on the streets of New York City, sixteen-year-old Fiona Finn seeks help at the magnificent Church of the Ascension where Charles Loring Brace, a social reformer horrified by the plight of New York City’s street children, arranges for her to go west aboard an Orphan Train.

Fiona’s homeless, alcoholic father has other plans, however.  He wants Fiona to “work” the streets to support his drinking and pursues her across the midwest until she is forced to abandon the train in Houston to avoid a sheriff bent on returning her to her father.

Alone in the dark on the Texas prairie, Fiona’s terrifying experience with a circus elephant, Bolivar, sets the stage for a future she could never have imagined.


Elephant Dreams will be featured in the January, 2018 issue of the Historical Novel Society magazine.

“What a story! With scenes to be likened to any Charles Dickens novel, the author, Martha Deeringer, carries the reader on a breathtaking journey through despair and hope that changes as often as the wind changes direction. Great characters, a believable story, an insight into another world, and an empathy for a character that a reader would have to have a heart of stone not to sympathise with. Although billed as a young adult story, this will readily appeal to an adult reader. Very visual writing and the makings of a classic.” — Jane Finch for Readers’ Favorite

“I absolutely adored this novel; I couldn’t find a single thing to dislike about it, other than of course the characters we are meant to dislike. The secondary characters were just as well rounded as the primary characters, leaving the reader with a feeling of contentment at the end of the novel. Each character brought his or her own three-dimensional personality to the novel, giving me a reason to either love or hate them passionately.” — Acwoolet for Online Book Club


“I thoroughly enjoyed Elephant Dreams. It is a captivating story with a spunky heroine who is determined to turn her life around. I loved the unique settings that covered New York City slums, an orphan train and a Texas Circus. I would recommend it for teens through adults.” – 5 Stars, Kindle Edition | Verified Purchase


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All Fiona wants is a new life. A better life. New York is a city filled with people struggling to survive. The bitter reality is that everyone is scared and can only think about their own family and livelihood. However, Fiona hopes for more. The children like her roam the streets rather than be sent to the Children’s Asylum or worse. After a frightening attack, she determines that her life will not get better unless she takes a step forward. She walks into the Church and implores the Pastor for help. This brave decision sets her on a unpredictable path and adventure.

Only looking to work and have an honest life, her compassion and willingness bring out the sympathy of others. She discovers many varieties of people that, despite their situation, help her escape her dire situation. The largest and most gentle is Bolivar, a male Indian elephant. Once scared of him, Fiona’s admiration for Bolivar grows as she observes his vitality and kind spirit. I especially liked her passages in her journal about the people and animals in her life.

‘When he walks beside me I feel powerful, even though the power is his and not mine, and when he wraps his trunk around me I imagine it is the arm of a friend.’

Bolivar becomes a way that she can open up and remember what it was like to have a family. With the strength he gives her, she finds herself becoming part of this lively and contrasting family. I was just so enamored about this book. I read so much fantasy and to fall into this gritty and exotic tale with bits of history made the pages fly. I had to stop myself from staying up all night to finish it.

Deeringer made me cry. There I said it. It’s sometimes difficult to connect with characters when I read quite a lot. Yet her characters are so wonderfully written. They struggle and love one another. Aunt Mollie Bailey, the circus owner, is prepared to defend a young girl she just recently met. The contrasting themes and situations in this book make everything stand out and incredibly vivid. I felt like this book had such passion and that Deeringer put a lot of love into it.

Martha Deeringer lives with her husband and their large, extended family on a central Texas cattle ranch. She writes magazine articles, often about history, for children and adults and is a frequent contributor to regional and national magazines. 

Martha also writes Young Adult fiction, occasionally inspired by her teaching experiences or the antics of her children and grandchildren. She loves ranch life and sometimes abandons her writing to cope with assorted issues involving kids, dogs, cats, horses, orphan calves, and occasionally armadillos, coyotes and rattlesnakes. 

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The Night Realm Review


The Night Realm 
By Annette Marie 
(Spell Weaver #1) 
Published by: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
Publication date: October 20th 2017
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

Book Synopsis

Clio is good at all sorts of things. As a nymph, she’s great at outdoorsy nature stuff. As a nymph living in exile, she’s got the “blending in with humans” thing down pat. As a nymph living in exile because she possesses the rare ability to mimic magic, she’s had to pick up some unique survival skills.

But stealing from the most dangerous spell weavers in the Underworld? Not so much.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what she has to do to earn a ticket back home. Conning her way into the night realm may have gone pretty well, but now she’s got a new problem. His name is Lyre and he’s a sinfully alluring incubus, a dangerously skilled spell weaver, and the only thing standing between her and stealing some damn magic.

Maneuvering around him without blowing her cover shouldn’t be that difficult, but chaos has been dogging her every step, monsters hide behind beautiful faces, and Lyre keeps saving her neck even though they’re enemies. Kind of enemies? Either way, her mission is getting complicated fast, and in the Underworld, even one mistake could prove fatal.

I was incredibly impressed with The Night Realm. This book is dark, mature, mysterious, and had me reading as fast as I could. It’s definitely one of those books that you immediately crave more. Clio is a kindhearted nymph that just wants to return home. Only thinking the best of people (or Overworlders), she learns the bitter reality that everyone has secrets and agendas of their own. She is essentially exiled by her half-brother, told it is for her safety and carries out dangerous missions in hopes to return home. Despite being half royal and with no real training or responsibility to protect the kingdoms’ people, she doesn’t hesitate to protect them. She immediately agrees to a mission that is more dangerous than she knows but still doesn’t hesitate. I honestly loved her character so much and her entire growth in the book was so empowering. She’s someone that has never thought she could be important or powerful but doesn’t hesitate to fight for ones she cares for. Her instinct is kindness and despite the dangers and cruelty she faces, her kindness never goes away.
I originally thought I’d have issues liking Lyre. He seemed to be like the usual perfectly chiseled love interest that saves the day and can get a bit stale. However, despite the chiseled-ness not going away, Lyre is incredibly complex. Sometimes, he doesn’t save the day, sometimes the opposite. They do save each other in different ways though. Both inspiring change in one another, they make decisions on their own to grow. It was all very refreshing and their interactions together were sometimes comical to say the least.
The world building was amazing. I loved the intricate details and the general descriptions as well that allows the reader to create a fantastic vision on their own. It was the perfect balance in my opinion. The potential to explore the opposite of The Night Realm is even more intriguing. Overall, the pace is quite good. Sometimes the story could drift a bit as Clio is attempting to steal a powerful spell but it quickly became an exciting and twisting action packed adventure. With it’s share of tragedy and dark tones, don’t miss your chance to read this book and the ones to follow. I look forward to them!
About the Author
Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon best-selling Steel & Stone series, which includes Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night, and fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast- paced urban fantasy and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.
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Gate Of Air: Review and Giveaway

Gate of Air 
By Resa Nelson 
(Dragon Gods, #1) 
Publication date: June 19th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Book Synopsis


burning woman,illustration digital painting

Frayka must find and convince the dragon gods of the Far East to appease the gods of her Northland heritage. If she fails, her own Northlander gods will destroy all the mortals who once promised to worship them.

The Far East is a mysterious place of legend to Northlanders like Frayka. Only an old map can show her how to get there. Once she arrives, all of Frayka’s sensibilities put her in danger. And every dangerous turn delays her from finding the dragon gods whose help she so desperately needs.

Although Frayka looks like a Far Easterner, she is a powerful Northlander warrior who is quick to voice her thoughts. She is trained to fight and won’t hesitate to do so.

But everything about Frayka puts her in deadly peril in the Far East, where the laws are strict and the punishment cruel.

Especially when the one being punished is a woman.


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Another great book with dragons that drew me in. This is a fast paced tale that will easily tempt you to finish reading in a day. Nelson has a unique style of writing and humor that was really enjoyable and easy to read. I liked the chemistry between the characters and overall concept the story followed. It was interesting delving into the culture of the Far East with all sorts of magic thrown in!


Frayka is tasked with an important mission but still wishes to be herself and can be brash at times. As her and Njall travel to the Far East, she is faced with learning a new culture different from her own. The flow is Gate of Air was easy to follow and I could easily appreciate the details Nelson created in her book. I read this as the first book of the series but didn’t have any issue following along in this thrilling world. The ending will leave you on the edge of your seat and surely wanting more!


About the Author


Resa Nelson is the author of the 4-book Dragonslayer series: The Dragonslayer’s Sword (nominated for the Nebula Award, finalist for the EPPIE Award), The Iron Maiden , The Stone of Darkness , and The Dragon’s Egg . Her 4-book Dragonfly series takes place after the Dragonslayer series.

Her standalone novels include the mystery/thrillers All Of Us Were Sophie and Our Lady of the Absolute .

Resa has been selling short stories professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America), and she is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop. Resa was the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years as well as a regular contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.

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Across the Darkling Sea: Review and Giveaway


Across the Darkling Sea
K. Ferrin
Publication date: November 12th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Rating: 3/5

Book Summary:

Across the Darkling Sea is the first book in the new serial fantasy series Magicfall, by K. Ferrin!

Magic is forbidden in Brielle, but that never stopped Evelyn. Until Now. Because Evelyn has discovered she is magic, and now she is running for her life.

Her only hope is on an island cloaked in shadow, an island of dark magic and even darker beasts. An island warlocks call home.

Evelyn’s friends have turned against her, her own mother tried to kill her, and the place she calls home has banished her. Hidden away in the belly of a riverboat, a stowaway, her journey begins.

Across the Darkling Sea is book one in a serial series. Each book is roughly 50,000 words or about 150 pages. To emphasize, this is a serial series, meaning it’s one story that stretches across multiple books.


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My Review:

Across the Darkling Sea is a charming and captivating tale about a girl named Ling whom finds out that she is a changeling, finds the “her” she thought she was in a deep sleep, and decides to find her maker and be unmade so that the girl, Evelyn, can wake up from her sleep. Beautiful premise and it instantly wove a place in my heart as Ling set out on her daring quest. Ling is everything you want in a classic heroine, driven, brave, and sincere.

As for other characters go, I simply loved Dreskin, but he wasn’t in it enough! He’s a certain ship member that decides to help Ling on her journey. He’s mysterious and I found myself eagerly wanting to know more about it. Perhaps we will find out in book 2!

The only thing I wasn’t a fan of with this book is that it does sort of just end. But it’s the kind of ending that makes you ready and excited for book 2!

If you like magic and fairies and ships and fantasy then this book is definitely for you!

Author Bio:

K. Ferrin spends her days surrounded by engineers, technology, and humming

machinery, but her evenings are steeped in magic, myth, and adventure. She writes fantasy, loves gardening, and eats way too much pie. She lives at the foot of the Colorado Rockies with her husband and two pooches.

Her novels include the stand alone YA fantasy novel Magicless, as well as Across the Darkling Sea, and A Dying Land, the first two books of a series. You can find her online at

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Finding You: Review


Finding You 
By Lydia Albano 
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: September 19th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult


Book Synopsis


Taken from home and family, all they have is each other.

Isla is kidnapped from a train platform in broad daylight, and thrust into a nightmare when she is sold to a sadistic aristocrat. Locked in a dungeon with a dozen other girls, Isla’s only comfort is a locket and the memory of the boy she loves. But as days pass and more girls disappear, she realizes that help is not coming… If they’re going to survive, they’ll have to escape on their own.

Swoon Reads is proud to present Lydia Albano’s debut novel, a powerful story of a teen girl finding strength and hope in even the worst circumstances.




Finding You isn’t for the faint of heart. This book follows the tragic but inspiring tale of Isla. Isla is a young girl in love that lives with her father and spends her days reading for the next adventure. Her longtime friend and love interest, Tam, dreams of the both of them exploring the world. One day, however, she’s stunned to hear Tam has enlisted in the army and is leaving very soon. This sets off the heartbreaking and tense events of her kidnapping.

Isla is more than just a girl in love though. She’s smart and braver than she knows. Trapped with other girls like her, she holds a strength in her that inspires the rest to survive and escape their prison. Isla, at times, doubts her decisions and wants desperately to be rescued but will suddenly and fearlessly fight to be free and protect others. She’s inherently good. Even feeling bad about stealing food or other girls taking her place, Isla makes heartbreaking decisions that she knows will change her forever. Her connection to Tam and the locket he gives her, gives her strength to retain who she is. Isla’s journey and unending strength was powerful to read. Lydia Albano brought such life and sometimes grittiness to her scenes. The light and the dark seemed to fly off the page and I never wanted to put this down until I knew Isla was safe. It was more than just Isla’s story though.

The underlying story is about a girl that is forced into a horrible injustice. When she overcomes this and grows in the process, she still chooses to keep going. Isla and her friends won’t stop until ones like them are free.

Future readers note: I would caution that it does have some graphic and sensitive topics but nothing too harrowing. This can cause some issues for people with trigger words. It doesn’t depict these issues in an unjust manner and I do recommend this book.



About the Author


Lydia Albano is a (self-proclaimed) Bunburyist living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she promotes Oxford commas, spends her money on musical theater, and demands the Myers-Briggs letters of everyone she meets. Her debut novel, Finding You, will be released in September, 2017, with SwoonReads/Macmillan.

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Joined: Review



By Mara Gan

Genre: YA/NA Sci-fi Romance

Release Date: September 12th 2017

Inkspell Publishing

Book Summary

Duty and prophecy get in the way of everything.

All I ever wanted to do was read my books, play my sports, and help people. Life and prophecy had other things in mind.

Helping people is what I do; as an empath and semi-frequent telepath, I can easily sense and understand people’s needs and emotions. Sometimes even before they do. Being able to read everyone’s thoughts and feelings all the time can drive me crazy with anxiety, but that moment when I can finally make someone’s life better makes everything worth it.

Unfortunately, I’m also the next in line to rule the galaxy, I’m the only diplomat most planets will listen to, assassins try to kill me on an annoyingly regular basis, and a much-vaunted Prophecy has decreed that I’m going to die. Oh, and someone blew up my home planet.

Kind of a lot to deal with, right?

Too bad I just got another problem: a big, irritating, overbearing bodyguard with serious anger management issues.

And I think I’m falling for him.


I really enjoyed the premise and creative blocks that went into Joined. I haven’t read a lot of books that involved telepaths and empaths and was instantly drawn in when I read the summary. There was plenty action that pushed this story forward. Especially since it is longer than average and could sometimes get a bit jumbled at points. While it followed some of the more typical YA novel movements, I found the characters to be engaging and likable. I’m interested to see more growth to Meda’s personality and how she will face challenges in the future.

There are quite a bit of lovable traits in Joined. I love sci-fi and mythology and found it really cool when one played into the other. The romance was there but not over-bearing. I thought it was a bit funny as well when Meda interacted with her ‘bodyguard’. Meda is a future ruler from a world that no longer exists. Her frustrations with her abilities and her situation come out and make her actions very real and head-slapping at times. She is very endearing though and has many admirable qualities that are in a chosen one trope.


I would say this book all depends on the reader. I can easily see some reading this in a day to reading it in a few weeks. Either way, it’s an enjoyable first installment that has a promising future.


Buy Links

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About the Author

A Pacific Northwesterner by birth and disposition, Mara has lived in Washington DC, Oregon, Japan, and most recently the beautiful Pacific Grove, California, before returning to her roots in Seattle.

By day she teaches history to unsuspecting teenagers, and by night she writes books and travels to far-flung places. She loves to be with animals, read, play sports, and drink more London Fogs than is likely good for her.

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