Book Review #26: Transcendence by H.G. Ahedi

Zane Carter is a survivor– a hardened, broken soldier. The confidence he used to have in his country is gone, and he knows, without a doubt, that the US is going to lose WW2. So, when a battle goes sideways and Zane blacks out, he’s sure he’s dead. This is the end for him.

Except, it’s not. When Zane wakes up, he finds himself behind enemy lines in a German-run world. The US did lose, and now the Nazis have taken over. As the days progress, though, Zane discovers that this world isn’t what it appears to be. Weird shadowed men lurk around him; strange visions keep appearing to him.

Unlocking the truth to this new strange land will be more than he bargained for. Zane will learn that, believe it or not, he’s more than just a soldier.

This was a REALLY good, quick read. As far as genres go, it’s a surprising blend of historical fiction, alt-history, and science fiction. You don’t really see the sci-fi at the end, and it did throw me for a bit of a loop. Yet, I still enjoyed it! I saw a lot of familiar themes from pop-culture and novels. For example: the obsession with uniformity and one person who stands out from the Divergent series, the looping aspect from movies like Groundhog Day, and the weird simulation-like scenarios from the Matrix.

The storyline is interesting and engaging enough to keep you guessing up until the very last moment. The reader is just as lost as Zane is, and the act of putting together the little puzzle pieces was so much fun. It was like a guessing game. I went from “he’s in a coma” to “he’s stuck in an experiment” to “omg aliens.” It kept setting me up for one thing and then proving me wrong. I absolutely loved it. Somehow, the ending STILL caught me off guard!

Essentially, if you’re a fan of alt-history or science fiction, you’ll enjoy this quick read. Solid 8/10 for me. Very well done, H.G. Ahedi!

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Book Review #25: These Troubled Days by James Tarr

Boston is in shreds. America is sinking quickly into a fascist government. With unfits quarantined into the Chelsea Internment Center, millions of people are in distress.

Yet Harold, an ex-activist, only has one concern in life: protect his daughter Aiden from the very life he used to frequent. ProServ Officers like Eckart and Blair make it near impossible, though. When the riots turn sour, Harold is forced to face the rebellion whether he likes it or not, and everything starts to climb to a pinnacle.

Eckart, Blair, Harold, and other citizens are soon entangled in a game of life or death with the country’s freedom at risk.

These Troubled Days

First, this book wasn’t what I was expecting. At all. Sometimes, when you pick up a book and a quarter of the way in you start thinking, “this isn’t what I signed up for,” you’re probably not going to enjoy the rest of the novel. This was my exception. Although the beginning was a bit slow for me, the ending grabbed me with such ferocity that I was sitting up reading long after my bedtime.

Second, I want to commend the author on how clean and well written These Troubled Days is. Tarr is extremely knowledgable about the topic at hand– the act of domestic terrorism and police dealings in general. While a lot of the information was a bit over my head, I can still appreciate the sheer immersive nature of the writing. Tarr clearly knows how to write a fluid, action-packed scene and he does this exceptionally.

My one complaint, and I’m not sure if there’s a solid fix other than adding a few ten-thousand more words, was that I would like to have gotten to know the other main characters, notably Blair. We get to know Harold quite in depth, understandably because he’s the main MC, but I felt like we just grazed the surface on Blair. His actions are so interesting, though, and I’d love to dig more into his mind.

Overall, this was an exceptional read, despite the fact that it threw me for a bit of a loop initially. If you’re a fan of the futuristic political thriller genre, then this is a book you don’t want to miss.

Out for pre-order now here:

These Troubled Days is set to be published May 25th!

Book Review #24: Tempting Fate by Emily Stormbrook

Miranda Grace Avery is a disappointment. A disgrace. Unloved. Disgusting. Responsible for her sister’s death. Useless.

And tired. Oh, so tired.

Maybe that’s why, after eleven years of torture at the hands of her abusive husband, Miranda bolts, faking her own death and running back to the only place she’s ever felt safe– Barrett’s Bay. But keeping her identity a secret won’t be as simple as a stack of fake IDs and a duffle full of bloody cash. Especially when her teenage crush– the breathtakingly handsome, knight in shining armor, Jesse– still harbors feelings for her and everyone else in town could pick her out of a busy crowd. Can Grace keep her past at bay and finally find happiness in the arms of Jesse Fateson, or will the things she’s running from catch up to her?

Tempting Fate: A Barrett's Bay Romance (Broken Fate Book 1) by [Emily Stormbrook]

Stormbrook has crafted a breathtaking erotic thriller that will leave you holding your breath to see what happens next– and next– and next. The suspense never ends. From the intro scene to the very last page, I never wanted to stop. The plot itself is absolutely magnificent– bordering on perfect. You’ve got typical romance tropes (strong, handsome men with hero complexes), and then, you’ve got very real, very personal mental health topics. Stormbrook doesn’t shy away from any of it.

I was concerned that Grace would kind of fall into the “weak and helpless” category, but goodness, was I ever wrong. Time and time again, she’s able to pull herself out of a dead-end situation. She’s the epitome of self-sufficient while also being very vulnerable and real. I’ve never related to a character’s feelings like I did with Grace at the end.

A spectacularly dark, passionate novel. Solid 9/10. So much better than I was expecting.

Book Link: