Book Review: Orphan’s Price

In this novel, the Pearl Nation has relegated itself to devoting its resources and people to scientific endeavors, as it has not produced a magic-user strong enough to pass the tests to become a full-fledged sorcerer in over 300 years—much to the country’s embarrassment. However, all that may be about to change with the unlikely character of Ren, a 16-year-old Orphan with nothing to his name. When he gets in a tussle with a classmate, his powers activate themselves as they never have before, which he admits to two diplomats from the Amethyst Nation—the country where sorcerers are trained. Now, Ren has to find a way to get himself to the Amethyst Nation to be tested and see if he can begin training to be a sorcerer, avoiding the various bullies in his life who would prefer to see him fail.

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Book Review: Insynnium

In this mysterious novel by Tim Cole, one of the main characters, Max, is able to time travel after taking a new sleeping aid pill. His time traveling lasts 1 full year and has no consequences in the present time. As we travel through the book and Max's past, we find that there is an even bigger conspiracy at play here. Duncan and Pierre hide their involvement in the creation of Insynnium, Max's mom Grace and Duncan hide their relationship, Max and his wife Rachel struggle through rocky times, and new age technology is cropping up in the Middle East. How does all of this connect to Max and Insynnium? Only time will tell!

Book Review: V World

In this sci-fi by Nick Berry, Alex Binary is one of millions of humans living in the virtual (V) world. Years ago, the humans in the real (R) world decided to forsake their world and transferred all their consciousnesses to the V worlds, where they will live out the remainder of their lives as well as the future of humanity. This V world is perfect in every way; grass cut exactly one-and-a-half inches, houses all the same, no death, no sickness, no hunger. That is, until what seems to be a glitch changes everything in Alex's V world, and it begins to turn on itself, killing all who live within it. Luckily for Alex, she is guided out of the V world and into the R world by an A.I. Turns out the various V Worlds are under attack from a psychopathic A.I. in the R world, where he wants to destroy all of humans. Will Alex, now in a human body with all of its imperfections, be able to overcome this faction of A.I.s and save her world before it's too late?

Book Review: The Childless Ones

In this novel of intermixing stories of reality and fantasy, Jack is our guy. He is the man whose life we follow in the reality version along with his wife's (soon-to-be-ex) life. We see both struggling in their different relationships, while also steadily overcoming their respective pasts. As for the fantasy side of the novel, we meet a variety of characters, almost as a short-story anthology, all connected at the end. We go on various journeys with different races, different magic, different purposes in mind. But all seem to bear some similarity to the real world that Jack is suffering through currently. He uses this fantasy world to cope with his reality, and it creates a surreal narrative that is an ultimate pleasure to read. 

Book Review: Sugar: A Novel

In this contemporary romance, we follow the exciting life of neurotic chef Charlie Garrett. Stuck in the same job for the last several years with a cruel boss and empty promises of greatness, Charlie lucks out on a job offer from her ex-boyfriend, Avery. Little does she know, after moving cross-country from New York to Seattle, that this normal job as a chef at a high-end restaurant is also a TV gig. Is she able to juggle her newfound romance with Kai--a cook at a lovely local diner--with her chef duties and TV stardom? Or will it all unravel in her hands?

Book Review: Legion of Mono

In this short fantasy story, Mono must leave his husband and daughter in their home of Lethotar, while he--the last commanding officer alive of their army--must lead the final battle against the Holy Empire. If Mono's force falls, all of Lethotar and its people will be subjected to the mercy (or lack thereof) of the paleskins of the Holy Empire. They have already shown their true colors by breaking the treaty forged in good faith between the two nations... Will the Lord of Light's, Lethotar's people manage to hold off the overwhelming force advancing towards them? Or will the paleskin's tyrannical religion sweep them away?

Book Review: Barriers

60 years into the future, and the Earth has been tormented by the sun for the last 40 years. Something caused it to destabilize at that time, and since then has been bombarding the Earth with powerful solar flares, baking the land and killing off its inhabitants. Luckily, a scientist was able to create a Barrier system, which now protects certain cities from the sun's harmful rays. Unfortunately, those Barriers come at a steep price, and do not cover even close to the entire world. In order to supposedly fund the Barriers and their upkeep, the government has strict regulations on who is able to be a Barrier resident, meaning that residents over the age of 12 have to be able to earn a meaningful income. Nathan is on a mission to fight these terms of living.

Book Review: Timur’s Escape

In the Ottoman Empire, the vampire Queen rules with absolute control. The human Sultan is under her constant compulsion and she has turned all of the officials into Ubir. But are all of the Ubir happy with this? There may be a plan afoot to depose the Queen... Timur is an orphan Ubir, with no recollection of being human. He fears himself, his Ubir curse, and attempts to get by with as little blood as he can to survive. Emel is a mischievous human girl of marrying age, set to marry the son of a detestable woman. However, Emel and Timur alike are drawn to each other, ever since their chance encounter that day in the streets. Can they stay apart? Can Timur afford to remain away from her and her blessing of relieving hunger?

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