Tag: Science Fiction (page 1 of 33)

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY – ISAN (International Sensory Assassin Network #1) by Mary Ting

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY - ISAN (International Sensory Assassin Network #1) by Mary Ting

I loved every single minute of ISAN and it’s going down as one of my favorite books from this year! So check out my 5 Star Review below and enter a fabulous giveaway. Enjoy!

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY – ISAN (International Sensory Assassin Network #1) by Mary TingISAN (International Sensory Assassin Network #1)
by Mary Ting
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads




Meteors devastated the Earth. World Governments developed plans to help surviving citizens. The United States disbanded and salvageable land was divided into four quadrants—North, South, East, and West—governed by The Remnant Council.

Struggling to survive, seventeen-year-old Ava ends up in juvenile detention, until she is selected for a new life—with a catch. She must be injected with an experimental serum. The results will be life changing. The serum will make her better. To receive the serum, Ava agrees to join a program controlled by ISAN, the International Sensory Assassin Network.

While on a training mission, she is abducted by a rebel group led by Rhett and told that not only does she have a history with him, but her entire past is a lie perpetuated by ISAN to ensure her compliance. Unsure of who to trust, Ava must decide if her strangely familiar and handsome captor is her enemy or her savior—and time is running out.


ISAN was an explosion of action and emotion and I loved every single moment of it!  From that very first page, this book had me in it’s grip.  I was addicted to the story and the characters, which made it impossible for me to put this book down.  So if you’re a fan of dystopian, kick ass girls and a sprinkling of romance then you have to check out this book!  Or even if you liked the Bourne movies (one of my favorite movies!), then you’ll probably enjoy this story as much as I did.  ISAN is definitely going on my favorites list and I can’t recommend it enough!

My destiny had been set. They owned me. They would use me. I had no choice.

Right from the start we got brought into Ava’s world.  As the story progressed, so did our understanding of everything.  It all unfolded beautifully, but be patient because there were things even Ava didn’t understand.  And we got to learn right along with her. Ava had found herself in juvenile detention when she was given a chance to join ISAN.  ISAN was a secret organization that trained girls without much of a future, let alone any family, into killers. ISAN also used experimental drug on them to enhance their abilities.  The girls constantly found themselves training with either simulations or tests. And their training was intense, page turning, and made me forget to breathe.  I was completely consumed with what they were doing.  But Ava started to question if ISAN was the better option.  She was their killing machine and there was no way out.

I’m not giving up. This isn’t over. His words echoed in my mind.
Sniper haunted me while awake and in my dreams.  My gut told me something wasn’t right. And the
what ifs nagged at me. I shoved Sniper out of my mind.

I loved Ava with my whole heart and soul!  She could be so selfless and I loved how smart she was.  And I was impressed that she was able to see the bigger picture during their training and missions.  She was born to be a leader. So Ava quickly earned my respect and her plight easily made me connect to her.  But Ava was special since she could see a map in her head, no matter where they were.  And as I started to have a firm grasp on the world Ava lived in, things started to happen.  Strange messages from someone named Sniper started to appear on her TAB and a comment from a higher up made her pause.  He acted as though she had done something in the past, yet Ava had no recollection of it. I felt as lost and confused as Ava during those moments, but I loved every single minute of it!

None of my planning mattered. When the door slid open, Rhett stood as if he knew I would be there. His eyes roamed intensely over my body, causing me to blush, and then landed on my hand with the syringe.
Wearing an irresistibly sexy smirk, he planted his hands on either side of the doorway, muscles flexing, blocking me.
“Going somewhere?”

While out on a mission, Ava got abducted by Rhett.  Rhett claimed he had a past with Ava, yet she had no clue what he was talking about.  And while Ava questioned what she felt towards Rhett, I loved what little bit I knew about him.  Rhett was protective and intense, but he continuously made me laugh and smile.  And at the same time, my heart hurt so horribly for him.  Rhett was tortured since Ava didn’t remember him. I even found myself with tears in my eyes during a few of those moments.  But I kept holding out hope that Ava’s heart would find her way back to Rhett.

Without thinking, I reached for his hand and stood next to him under the night sky, under the stars and the moon. The universe joined us in a mesmerizing moment of awe. Nothing mattered. I drifted to another place and time where Rhett and I were a real couple, and I was not an assassin, but a simple girl.

So while Ava had created friendships back at ISAN, she also found herself trying to figure out how she fit in with Rhett and his crew.  Well, if she even did.  Ozzie was one of Rhett’s friends and he made me laugh so much.  He was definitely one of my favorites! Ozzie added so much light, humor and the friendship he tried to establish with Ava warmed me to the tip of my toes.  He was such an adorable guy! But back at ISAN she had Brooke and Tamara who were her friends. I have a huge guess about Brooke, but time will tell!! And while Ava and I adored both Brooke and Tamara, things happened with Rhett that made her second guess everything.

“….I’ll tell you this, no one in this world loves you as much as I do.” – Rhett to Ava

There is SO much more that I want to say and it’s going to kill me!  But ISAN was the hugest surprise ever. I hoped that I would like this book, but I had no clue that I would fall head over heels in love with this story!  So if you love action packed stories, strong friendships, being in the dark at times, kick ass girls, a boy with a tortured heart and a little bit of romance mixed in then definitely pick up this book.  I am so excited to see what will happens next.  It ended at a perfect spot, but my heart is begging for that next book to be released asap!!

PS I don’t care how hot Mitch was, I never liked him.  Ha!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by Xpresso Book Tours. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*


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About Mary Ting:

International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter



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BOOK REVIEW – The Raging Ones (The Raging Ones #1) by Krista and Becca Ritchie

BOOK REVIEW – The Raging Ones (The Raging Ones #1) by Krista and Becca RitchieThe Raging Ones (The Raging Ones #1)
by Krista Ritchie, Becca Ritchie
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


In a freezing world, where everyone knows the day they will die, three teens break all odds.

Franny Bluecastle, a tough city teen, dreams of dying in opulence, to see wealth she’s never known. Like the entire world, she believes it’s impossible to dodge a deathday.

Until the day she does.

Court Icecastle knows wealth. He also knows pain. Spending five years in Vorkter Prison, a fortress of ice and suffering, he dreams of life beyond the people that haunt him and the world that imprisoned him.

Mykal Kickfall fights for those he loves. The rugged Hinterlander shares a frustrating yet unbreakable connection with Court—which only grows more lawless and chaotic as their senses and emotions connect with Franny.

With the threat of people learning they’ve dodged their deathdays, they must flee their planet to survive. But to do so, all three will have to hide their shared bond as they vie for a highly sought after spot in the newest mission to space. Against thousands of people far smarter, who’ll live longer, and never fear death the way that they do.

We found each other in the winter wood. 
He threw his arms around me like I’d been his long-lost friend. I hugged him like I was meeting my soul again. There are some moments and some feelings that I can’t even explain. I’m a young man of medicine and science and logic, but the sentiments I wield for Mykal transcend all three.

Dang you guys this was good. I mean I don’t know why I ever was worried because I have read and loved just about every single other book by these ladies. BUT in my defense, they had never ventured into the world of YA before and that can be a much different thing than the romance that we had been used to up until this point. I can very happily say that I am here to announce their debut into the world of YA is a stunning one (and I hope you all think so too!)

“But what will I do until then?”
She smiled as bright and lovely as the smile she wore on her deathbed. “You will live Franny. You will live hard…” She cupped my face.“Fast.” She rested her forehead on mine. “And full.”

The first thing that deserves note is the genius plot. Our main characters Franny, Court, and Mykal live on a planet that is always cold (f that) and a society that is separated into three different classes called the Influentials, the Fast Trackers, and the Babes. When everyone is born, everyone receives a death day and based on how old you will be when you die, you are fitted into one of those categories. Influentials will live to an old age and are able to go to school and make a good living for themselves because they simply have the most time, Fast Trackers ususally only live to be about 29 and are therefore forced into the labor jobs that don’t take long to learn but usually live the fiercest, and Babes of course only get a few years and are love and cherished for as long as they can be.

“You keep saying that you make my life dismal and bleak. But my world never felt as bright, as worthwhile and full, until I met you.” 

What I thought was the most interesting was that compared to other books/movies based on people who have a countdown to their death, these people enjoyed knowing. They each had their specific roles in life and found comfort in knowing when exactly they were going to die. I mean on one hand I get it because you would never have to worry about the unknown—you would never get sick enough or injured enough to die before that specific date. You could plan to live life to its very fullest in the allotted time you were given. 

His smile stretches his cheeks like they’re my cheeks. I can’t stop feeling. Can’t stop starting. Gods bless that’s beautiful.

In the case of Court, Franny, and Mykal though, they dodged their death day and are somehow irrevocably bonded (literally) because of it. They can feel each other’s emotions, pain, tastes, etc. THIS is where I knew that the story would be solid right from the beginning. If those of you who have read this, haven’t read their other Calloway Sisters andAddicted series, you will have missed out on the AMAZING interactions they are able to portray between couples/friends/families in their books. You can never not feel the love, hate, hurt—any emotion on the spectrum. I don’t know what it is but their characters and their relationships are my favorite parts of their writing. I was worried about the possibility of a love triangle but it was for nothing. Court and Mykal do have a stronger and deeper emotional and physical connection (no secret, we see this right away) but the one they share with Franny becomes just as important. I really wonder how it all will play out, especially with ~certain~ revelations that come out at the very end of this first book.

I feel them. For the first time I realize they’ve been my strength, my hope, and they can be my peace. I just have to let them help me. And to do that, I need to grow the courage to speak.

The only part that people *might* not like is that these ladies don’t give us all of the information right away..on anything really. At first I didn’t have a concrete vision of the planet, what the different social structures were all about, or why these three dodged their death days and became connected when no one else has. You do gain this knowledge though as you go along and once I started to, I kind of like that we were kept in the dark at first. I mean, Franny was thrown for such a loop when she dodged her death day and I felt like we were there with her, learning about how Court and Mykal have lived like that for years and how she now had a possibility to begin a new life and maybe even see the stars in the process.

“You’ve stolen my heart, you little crook.”
His smile only stretches further and brighter. “My most valuable theft.”

I hope that everyone gives this a try and that they love it, I really do. I think this is going to be one kick ass series and I am already so in love with each character and so intrigued with what could possibly happen in the next book. That’s the only hard part about getting ARCs….not only do I have to wait for this to actually come out for everyone else, but it makes the wait for book two that much longer. SIGHHH. Oh well, it was more than worth it!

ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review. The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. THANK YOU NetGalley and Wednesday Books for the chance to read this early.

BOOK REVIEW – The Vanishing Spark of Dusk by Sara Baysinger

BOOK REVIEW – The Vanishing Spark of Dusk by Sara BaysingerThe Vanishing Spark of Dusk by Sara Baysinger
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


Stand up.

When Lark is stolen from Earth to be a slave on the planet Tavdora, she’s determined to find her way back home to her family, no matter the cost. Placed in the household of a notorious slave trader, Lark quickly learns her best assets are her eyes and ears. And if she’s brave enough, her voice.

Be heard.

Kalen is the Tavdorian son of a slave trader and in line to inherit his father’s business. But his growing feelings for Lark, the new house slave who dares to speak of freedom, compel him to reveal his new plan for the slave ships returning to Earth—escape. Together, they just might spark a change that flares across the universe.

Fight back.


The beginning of The Vanishing Spark of Dust was magnificent.  It contained a heroine who I knew would come out of her shell, an alien who was forbidden but oh so addicting and a world that was beyond fascinating yet terrifying at the same time.  I was completely glued to the pages and thought that I had found my next favorite book.  But at 10% into the book, everything changed for me.  There were two triggers that adversely affected me.  And they made me take a huge step back emotionally, and unfortunately I wasn’t able to connect to the characters again. I tried again and again to feel what I did for Lark, our heroine, and Kalen, our alien, yet it never happened.

My eyes start to burn. My chest heaves. And I break. Shatter. Fall to my knees. And I don’t know if these are teardrops or water dripping down my face, but I don’t care because I’m broken. So broken.

So two of my triggers are cruelty or death to animals and children.  And this sadly had both of those.  In the first instance, we don’t get to know what happens to the dog that follows Lark around.  Something happened during Lark’s kidnapping, and I was left reeling.  There’s no closure or answers to what happened to her little dog.  I thought that possibly down the road we would find out, but by that last page we are still just as clueless.  And while that really bothered me, the next thing that happened upset me even more.  In the second instance, a child gets killed point-blank.  And it’s not just some random child, but one that I became attached to.  It was extremely hard to read, and it was difficult each time Lark rehashed or thought about what happened.  I truly wish those scenes didn’t affect me so strongly, or that I didn’t have these triggers, but unfortunately it is what it is.

Kalen said never to mention freedom again, but that doesn’t mean I can’t fight for it. And I will. I’ll fight for it—I’ll risk my life for it. Because a life as a slave isn’t life at all.

So after those two events, which were pretty close to one another, I struggled big time.  I couldn’t find my way back to connecting to Lark or Kalen who has serious book boyfriend potential.  Sigh.  I read till the very end because I thought that something would grab me and pull me back in.  But all I could feel was indifference.  So while this book didn’t work out for me,  some of my book friends may truly enjoy this story.  And just know that while the book ended at a great stopping place, the door was definitely left open for a future book.  So here’s hoping that if you give this book a shot, you’ll end up enjoying this story much more than I did.

*ARC kindly provided by Entangled Teen via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

BOOK REVIEW – Undone (Unknown #3) by Wendy Higgins

BOOK REVIEW – Undone (Unknown #3) by Wendy HigginsUndone (Unknown #3)
by Wendy Higgins
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


USA Today and New York Times bestselling author, Wendy Higgins, brings you the gripping, sensual conclusion to her apocalyptic trilogy.

Amber Tate never dreamed their heart-wrenching escape from the enemy’s attack would lead them to the most beautiful place she’s ever seen, marred by one ugly fact; it’s under enemy control. Like everywhere else in the world, Elmendorf military base in Alaska has been captured, and it’s time to take it back—all of it—one base, one city at a time. After losing so much, Amber clings to the only precious person she has left, and vows to sacrifice everything to help save the Earth.

Remy Haines is a lover, not a fighter, so when she finds herself in enemy territory, expected to feign allegiance while gathering intel for the rebel cause, she’s never been more out of her element. Tensions only increase when her feelings for Jacob “Tater” Tate won’t go away, and the enemy’s leader takes an interest in her. She’s torn between what her heart wants, and what she knows she should do. As for what her body needs…well, it’s always had a mind of its own.


*Spoilers for Unknown #1 & Unrest #2 but the first paragraph is safe to read. *

Undone was a stunning conclusion that had me on the edge of my seat!  I kept hoping that all of those that I loved would get their happily ever after, even though the odds were stacked against them.  And in this final book, there was a completely different element that didn’t appear in the previous two books.  We alternated views between Amber and her best friend Remy.  And let me tell you, while I loved Remy, I couldn’t believe that I became just as obsessed with her.  I loved that they each added a different view of what was happening in the world.  It made this story that much more emotional and I felt as though the stakes were even higher.  

A lump filled my throat as Rylen pulled me aside and pressed his forehead to mine. We didn’t kiss. No hugs either. We just stood there, foreheads touching, eyes closed, breathing each other in, letting the urgency of our hope rise up and twirl between us, spinning until it was a powerful cyclone of unspoken words, holding us together.
Be safe.
Stay alert.
I love you more than life.
Don’t you dare die.
– Amber & Rylen

But before I can talk about anything else, I have to say that I absolutely loved Amber and Rylen together!!  Thank goodness they finally took that step and found some happiness in the bleak world that surrounded them.  And now that we got to see all sides of Rylen, I fell even harder for him.  He was so passionate, in control and sooooooo sexy.  The scenes of them together, in Undone and Unrest, was scorching hot!  But underneath it all, I loved that their relationship was based on the most beautiful friendship.  Their love truly encompassed it all!  So of course I was scared any time they weren’t together or when they went on missions together.  My heart was in my throat hoping that they would stay safe and alive!

As scared as I was, we had so much to live for. We had to win. – Amber

This book had a ton of action that had me flipping through the pages as fast as I could.  But at the same time, there was also some slower, heartfelt moments.  It all meshed together so perfectly and made the pace feel just right.  While there were moments of horror and sadness, I easily found strength in Amber and Rylen’s love for one another and the friendships that surrounded them.  But I wish I could have said the same for Remy.  While my heart hurt for Amber and Remy in different ways, I was beyond terrified with the hell Remy found herself in.

He’s the enemy.
But he wasn’t looking at me like an enemy. – Remy

Remy had been captured at the end of Unrest, and was taken to the aliens compound in Nevada with Tater and Linette.  They found themselves prisoners, well more like slaves.  Not only were they worked to the bone, but the aliens flipped their world upside down.  Family units no longer existed.  Touching no longer existed.  And if anyone wanted to rebel in any way, then they would either die or have the worm *shudders*.  It felt as though I was constantly holding my breath, frightened with what was going to happen next to Remy, Tater and Linette.  But there was one element I never even considered, since I didn’t read the synopsis.  And that was Remy’s interaction with the enemy’s leader.  

I feared him. I took comfort from him. I was disgusted by him. I admired him. I pitied him. I was drawn to him. – Remy

We witnessed Remy interact with those monsters.  And while the majority of them were easy to lump into the enemy category, they weren’t all like that.  I hated seeing those shades of humanity in the few aliens we become close with, because then I felt guilty wishing for their annihilation.  And that’s exactly how Remy felt too.  But then it got taken up a level when Remy started to feel something towards their leader.  I felt as though my emotions were being torn in different directions and that my brain was a convoluted mess.  Especially when I thought about Tater, ugh.

My vision swam with tears, and the loudest sobs in history rose from my soul. I fell forward, begging myself to calm down, but finding it utterly impossible. – Amber

But before I wrap up my thoughts, I have to say that I did have three issues with this book.  The first was that there was a scene that was a mesh of two scenes from Independence Day.  I’ve seen that movie probably a hundred times, so it stuck out very clearly in my mind.  The second issue was that there was a discrepancy between book two and three View Spoiler ».  And my third issue was that the epilogue left me desperately wanting to know so much more.  Yes we got a fabulous closure, but there were so many questions hanging in the air for me like View Spoiler ».  So while these three issues made me remove a half a star, this series is still going down as one of my favorite dystopian series ever.  Don’t let this paragraph deter you, I just wanted to give a heads up.

“They’ve tried to break us.” Rylen released my hands and brought his fingers to my neck, weaving them through and down my hair. “They wanted to break us apart.”
“And they failed,” I said.

So a huge yes, I definitely recommend this book to dystopian and Wendy Higgins fans!  It was full of action, love, friendship, and heart stopping moments.  Plus it had the most amazing book boyfriend ever.  You have to meet Rylen!  He was fierce, protective, loyal, seductive and definitely sexy!  I’m so glad I read this trilogy and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that some day down the road we’ll get a peak at this world and characters again.  I already miss them!

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)

Unknown #1


Unrest #2

Undone #3

BOOK REVIEW – Unrest (Unknown #2) by Wendy Higgins

BOOK REVIEW – Unrest (Unknown #2) by Wendy HigginsUnrest (Unknown #2)
by Wendy Higgins
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


Being on the run in the desert means food and sanctuary are hard to come by, but Amber Tate and her crew are not about to give up. Not after having the things they love brutally ripped from them by an unknown enemy who sent their world into the apocalypse.

Survival takes precedence, but once safe shelter is found, their guards fall and the emotions they’ve been holding in are finally released. Anger, insecurities...lust. In their tight quarters, Amber, Rylen, Tater, and Remy can't escape it. The past must be faced, and passions run even stronger in the darkest of times.

In the midst of unrest, their worlds are rocked again when they discover the truth about the war that’s ruined their lives. They thought finding out the enemy's identity would give them the edge; instead it’s revealed terrifying dangers they never thought possible.


*Spoilers for Unknown #1, but the first paragraph is safe to read. *

We were too trusting in our nature, as humans, we let them take control despite our reservations. I had ignored my instincts.
Never again.

Unrest was action packed, heart stopping and filled to the brim with emotion!  I absolutely loved the second book in this trilogy.  And just like the first, sadness and fear permeated throughout parts of the story.  It was something that felt impossible to shake off or ignore at times.  Especially when there were so many obstacles in their way.  But don’t worry, there’s tons of light too.  Friendships, love and laughter were splashed across the pages.  It all felt so heartwarming and beautifully real.  Unrest definitely had it all and I can’t wait to read the final book in this trilogy!

Fear of the unknown threatened to make me cry out, but I strangled it back down. We had to move forward.
We had to survive and fight.

Unrest started off right where Unknown ended, and we found ourselves surrounded with heartache.  Without a true moment to grieve those that they had lost, they were on a mission to travel to safety.  And to get there, they had to embark on a terrifying journey.  With not enough gas, and food supplies dangerously low, they had a lot against then.  And if that wasn’t enough, there was a stillness and fear that seemed to roll off of the desolate areas they drove through.  Every single minute of the day, their safety was on the line, and I was terrified for them.

We sat there, quiet under the gray winter sky of the desert. It made me wonder how many others were out there like us. Lost. Grieving. Looking for survivors.

The ten of them – Amber, Rylen, Remy, Tater, Devin, Sean, Texas Harry, Matt, and NY Josh – became so close.  They created a new family unit and I loved how everyone had each other’s backs.  They cared so strongly for one another and the bond they created seemed unbreakable because of all of the horrors they faced together.  But I was beyond nervous and had fear in my heart.  Not only because of what they were all up against.  But because I was super attached to all of them.  And I saw how well that worked out for me becoming attached to Amber’s family *sobs*.

My heart thumped rapidly, mixing with the white noise in my mind. Rylen and I were on the cusp of something. Something there would be no coming back from. Things between us would change today, for better or worse.

There were two relationships I loved the most though.  First, I loved that we got to see the full scope of Amber and Remy’s relationship, she’s Amber’s bff btw.  They told each other their fears and confessed some of their most intimate secrets.  Their friendship wasn’t always perfect, but it always felt real.  And they loved each other just as strongly as any real sisters would.  And secondly, of course I have to mention Amber and Rylen.  While they still seemed to be dancing around the possibility of something more, I just have to say something happened in this book that had me screaming….I won’t tell you if it was a happy scream or one of anguish and pain, but my gosh it was huge.  I’m definitely talking about it in my review of the final book.  

They’d ripped everything, everything, from me. I wouldn’t let terror and loss kill my spirit, not while there was still breath in my lungs and blood pumping through my heart.
I pressed my hand against the window and stared out at the dark night as one hot tear slid down my cheek, and I made a promise to my family. Remy. Rylen.
“I won’t let it be for nothing.”

There so much about the plot that I can’t really talk about, but we did learn more about the War.  And the facts surrounding it chilled me to the core.  You see, it was creepy, horrifying and fascinating all rolled together.  And it made me feel even more overwhelmed with all that they were up against.  But thankfully hope, friendship, determination and love flooded the pages.  And I loved every single moment of this page turner!

PS There’s a tease remark that had me laughing so hard I was crying.  Twice.  Oh my gosh, it was so great lol!

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)

Unknown #1


Unrest #2

Undone #3
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