Monthly Archives: October 2021

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Book Review: Anchored, by Bridget E. Baker

I picked up a free audio copy of Bridget E. Baker‘s Anchored on Google Play. It was narrated by Jennifer Jill Araya.

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Two worlds, one fate…

Alora was born with the ability to Lift, a power no other women on Terra possess. If the wrong people find out, there’s no telling what will happen. But when she almost kills a man in self-defense, her secret is exposed and she’s forced to run for her life.

On Earth, Alora’s running from something else: hazy memories of her parents’ death and the social worker who wants to separate her from her brother. When she sees the man she almost killed on Terra at work, she’s flummoxed. She’s never recognized anyone from there before—after all, Terra exists only in her dreams…

When her dreams begin to leach into reality, something incredible awakens in Alora. But she knows better than anyone that everything comes with a cost. As the barrier between worlds crumbles, Alora must decide which is safer, which is more powerful, and which world is worth saving.

my review

It’s not that I didn’t like this, it’s just that I was ready for it to be finished way before it actually was. The book is loooooong and it feels even loooonger than the 412 pages (14 hours 27 minutes) it is listed as. And I get it—the book contains two interconnected, but not completely overlapping stories. So, I understand why it’s required a lot of pages to tell the tale. But good lord, I thought it would never end.

The writing is fine. The narrator did a good job. As far as I can tell in audio, the editing seems fine. But I was just a little sick of the special-special snowflake that was Alora. She was the best at everything, important to almost every named male character in the book (be it familial love, attraction, or fanatic hate) and there didn’t even seem to be any other female characters of note. Plus, Alora was too wrapped up in her own head, too many characters showed up and then were dropped as unimportant as the story progressed, and the ending wasn’t particularity satisfying. Not enough of the overarching issues were actually explained and the last minute attempt to make the villain relatable fell flat for me.

All in all, I didn’t hate it. But I’m not in any hurry to read more of the series either.

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Other Reviews:

Iheart Fictional People – Review: Anchored, by Bridget E. Baker

Ya Books Central – Anchored




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Book Review: Annihilation Aria, by Michael R. Underwood

I borrowed a copy of Annihilation Aria (by Michael R. Underwood) from the local library.

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An exuberant space opera that dares us to lose ourselves in battle songs and nonstop action!

A woman who can wield a weapon like a song and her voice like a weapon. A man who can out-think any problem. A pilot who can outmaneuver the best of them. Lahra, Max, and Wheel live and work aboard the Kettle, salvaging artifacts from dangerous galactic ruins to keep scraping by.

But those artifacts can unlock an ancient power which threatens the iron-fisted rule of the galaxy’s imperialist overlords, the Vsenk. To protect their dominion, the Vsenk have humbled entire civilizations. They eat ships like the Kettle and her found family for breakfast.

Lahra, Max, and Wheel are each just trying to get home to the lives they lost, but they’ll have to evade space fascists, kick-start a rebellion, and save the galaxy first to do it.

Board the Kettle for a space opera like none you’ve ever read before; an adventure of galactic subterfuge, ancient alien lore, a secret resistance force, lost civilizations, and giant space turtles.

This is a little rambly, but I have scattered thoughts.

I enjoyed this a lot. I did think the pacing a little inconsistent—it dragged in the middle—and it felt a little like a second book sometimes, because of how much history was referenced between the characters. But overall, I loved spending time with the characters, enjoyed that the two main characters were married and seriously in love (no need to be a romance if the relationship is already established), appreciated the diversity in the alien species, thought there was a ton of witty humor, and several moral quandaries that invited deeper thought.

I also got a personal little amusement after I spent the whole book thinking, “Wow, this has a real Stargate feel to it” (along with anything and everything like Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider,—we had a lara/Lahra after all—Farscape, Star Wars, Firefly, etc, but mostly Stargate)—with the archeologist stepping through a gate and getting lost in space—and then realizing Max was referred to as ‘son of Danielle.’ Close enough to Daniel for me to call it a tribute, right? I’m running with it. It made me happy.

Lastly, as an aside, I recently read several books that I found recommended in a Fantasy Readers’ Forum in which the OP asked for books in which martial women protect nerdier guys. (Totally my jam too, BTW.) Well, this may be Sci-Fi, but it fits the OP’s request better than just about any of the books I saw recommended. (Except maybe His Secret Illuminations). So, if that’s your thing too, pick this book up.

All in all, I don’t know if a second book is planned, but I’d be happy to read it (or more of Underwood’s work) if one is.

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Other Reviews:

Garik16: Review Annihilation Aria

Review: Annihilation Aria by Michael R. Underwood

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Book Review: Bloody Kingdom, by Kayleigh King

I received a signed paperback copy of Kayleigh King’s Bloody Kingdom in a Supernatural Book Crate book box I purchased. I think it was maybe the August one.
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This isn’t a fairytale.
I dethroned Prince Charming long ago.
They call me the King of darkness and death.
Ruler of the underworld.
My reign is ruthless, my word is the law.
If I want it, I take it, regardless of the bloodshed.
But then she walks into my life.
I don’t want her, I need her.
She can fight, she can beg, but her fate is sealed.
Until her debt is paid, she’s mine.
She ran from her old life, but she can’t outrun me.

Welcome to my Bloody Kingdom, Quincey Page

my review

This is a fine Beauty and the Beast retelling. Though I don’t know why authors insist on trying to tie every damned story into a retelling. Why can’t a story just be a story? I digress. This is a fine Beauty and the Beast retelling. But it does not live up to the blurb at all. I expected this to be dark vampire romance, maybe even erotica. Instead it really isn’t particularly dark and there isn’t even a sex scene until around page 225. It’s a fine sex scene, but it’s not especially impressive or dark. And there’s not even very much sexual tension up until that point. So, that blurb makes promises the book does not deliver on. Hell, the story isn’t even particularly bloody. So, even the title is misleading in that regard.

Having said all of that, once I let go of the expectations the title and blurb set up, I enjoyed it well enough. It was entertaining. The love was basically insta-lust that morphs mysteriously into insta-love and the whole thing ended on a cliffhanger. So, admittedly, it’s not super satisfying. But I did enjoy the time I spent reading it. I’d be winning to read book two, if I could get it at the library or as a freebie. But I don’t think I’d be willing to pay for it. (That’s kind of my go-to system of deciding how much I like or dislike a series; would I pay for more of it?)

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Other Reviews:

The Phantom Paragrapher – Review: Bloody Kingdom

Bloody Kingdom by Kayleigh King | Book Review