#BookReview Extrahumans by Susan Jane Bigelow

Not gonna lie, normally I find sci-fi incredibly boring and couldn’t be bothered with it, and then Extrahumans came into my life.

The plot of this book is essentially: closing up a story about superheroes living among us in a dystopian world. Jill is trying to survive, and somehow gets the team back together in the process. There will be love, loss and lots of fighting in this epic finale. It felt like a cool mix of Star Wars, Star Trek, the beautiful landscapes and colours of Jupiter Ascending and a pinch of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It took all the best things of my favourite sci-fi movies and mashed them together in the best possible way (in book form, of course).

There’s something about this book that makes it fun and engaging, and I could barely put it down. It’s packed full of fun character (with real flaws – they’re not perfect!), there’s lots of action and adventure, superpowers galore, dystopian landscapes, a Pakistani woman lead and a little LGBT representation!

I found it a tiny bit difficult jumping into the last book of this series, but I think Susan Jane Bigelow did an excellent job of filling in the blanks within the book. I would have enjoyed understanding the past relationships and struggles the characters had before, but I was still able to fully throw myself into this book. Either way, I’d love to read more by Susan now because she is just a really good writer! Any writer who can make me love a genre I typically don’t is totally worth reading.

I also did not enjoy Jill’s character in the beginning. I found her super annoying and childish, but then she started growing and changing as the events of the novel took place. And, at least for me, the surprises about her in this book were welcome and absolutely lovely. I was very happy to see her character develop into someone I could actually respect instead of dramatically roll my eyes at.

Overall, I would highly recommend this series! It’s a fun, sci-fi adventure with an excellent writing style. If you love sci-fi, I’m sure you’ll love it more than I did!

Four out of five stars.

i received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

You can find out more about this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

 

If you love this review, this book or sci-fi in general, check out these books:
#BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis
#BookReview – The Last Day of Captain Lincoln by EXO Books
#BookReview – Strungballs by Mike Russell

 

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#BookReview Hart & Soul #1: Kill The Story by Jahnna N. Malcolm

Oh man! I got so excited when I hit the jackpot and found a lot of books from my childhood at a local book sale. I found the first four books in this series and scooped them up instantly. I remember always wanting to read these from the library but I always maxed out the number of books I could have out. I never actually ended up reading this series even though my heart was set on them. So, fast forward many, many years and I finally get to experience the books that all of the ‘popular’ kids were reading.

This book was so pleasant and clearly written back in the eighties and nineties. AND I LOVED IT. It’s so nostalgic for me, which is probably why I enjoyed it so much.

Amanda Hart is a writer (and the editor-in-chief for her school’s newspaper). She is going to release a series of stories about the sororities present in her city and someone is NOT happy. They are going after her with vicious notes and threats. When Amanda and her team call upon a courier service, along comes Mick Soul with his handy dandy bicycle. He gets attacked when trying to deliver a copy of their story, and suddenly Hart and Soul wind up working on the mystery together. Mick enrolls in her high school to help figure out who is threatening her… because what else is a bicycle courier supposed to do in his spare time? School? Pfft, no!

It’s a “will they, won’t they” sort of duo – like Bones and Booth, Ross and Rachel, Jane and Rafael, etc. Hart and Mick have so much chemistry for a middle grade (almost YA) novel that it’s unbelievable. Seriously, I just need to finish the series to know if they end up together because they are super flirty in this book!

There’s a good cast of characters filling up the typical high school tropes: Jason the nerd who wants his story in the paper, Pepper the best friend, Josh the tech geek, Whitney the mean girl, and so on.

My one big flaw is as followed: you can kind of figure out what’s going to happen by the end but it’s not really hinted at. I love when mystery books leave you little hints here and there, but there’s not much until the end. I had a pretty good inkling of what would happen based off reading way to many mystery books and watching too many mystery shows, but I wanted to work my way through this mystery with Hart and Soul. It doesn’t ruin the story by any means, but I’m a picky reader like that.

Side note, this is my FAVOURITE line in the whole book:
“What a slime!”

Seriously, that’s a Briar insult from my childhood. Score +1 for that gem!

Overall, this book is cute and fun! I love a good throw back and I’m so glad I found this book. I will 100% be continuing this series, especially since I have the next three books on my shelf. Hopefully I managed to score the rest of the series! This book is an absolute delight and I 100% recommend it either for middle grader/YA readers or some of you as old as me who want a childhood nostalgia trip.

Three out of five stars!

You can find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Barnes & Noble

If you love middle grade novels, check out some other fantastic books featured on my blog:
#BookReview Unlimited by Kevin Miller
#BookReview Peter Green and the Unliving Academy by Angelina Allsop
#BookReview Monster Blood (Goosebumps) by R.L. Stine

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#BookReview Vanishing Hour by Lisa King

Vanishing Hour by Lisa King is honestly one of my fave reads of 2020.

This book is excellent! It has the coolest mix of thrills and fun all in one. It’s got hints of Up since we have an older gentleman named Matthew and a young twelve year old named Ruby. These two get stuck together during the end of the world: Everyone without some sort of brain illness or injury doesn’t get sick, but all the healthy people suddenly die. They chase after Matthew’s wife (who had Alzheimer’s) who walked off one day and are trying to figure out where the Horizon is, because Ruby’s Dad might be there.

It’s quite the ride and I was thoroughly addicted to this book. Lisa’s writing style is simple, easy and fast paced and kept me hooked the whole time. There was never a dull moment and I didn’t expect some of the exciting parts of this plot that came about. I didn’t expect there to be people trying to colonize (and maybe not doing a good job) and then that ending… Ugh. So sweet, so good, so cute! But massive cliffhanger! Break my heart Lisa!

I love that this is Lisa King’s first novel, because that means (more than likely) she’s only going to get better. This was a stellar start and I can totally see people loving this book! It needs to find it’s audience ASAP because it is just lovely. Add to the bonuses: Canadian author, actual medical terminology, and lots of character development!

I wish apocalyptic horror was more like this. I’d enjoy the genre way more!

I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who likes: fun thrillers, apocalyptic horror, a fast paced story or something to spice up their TBR.

Five out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Lisa King, in exchange of an honest review.

 

You can find this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Indigo
Kobo
B&N

Check out Lisa King on:
https://www.authorlisaking.com
Goodreads Author Page

If you love mysteries, here are some other books featured on my blog that you might enjoy:
#BookReview In Search of Valor by Gary Corbin
#BookReview The Champagne Conspiracy by Ellen Crosby
#BookReview The Fourth Courier by Timothy Jay Smith

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#BookReview Another Five Days by Matt Micros

Another Five Days by Matt Micros is a wonderful, feel good book!

The premise itself is amazing, let alone when you get into the meat of the writing. Matt Micros has crafted a beautiful, heart-warming story about a man who gets to redo five days of his life because of his extraordinary altruism.

Al Sokratis is the kind of guy we want to see in the world: he does amazing things for people. He goes off to war to help protect his buddy, he helps his son with his finances when the goings get tough, and he becomes Mayor to try to better the city for everyone. When he goes to help a man who was in a tragic accident and is killed, he is given a chance to redo five days of his life. To no one’s surprise, he continues to try to help people and is rewarded greatly.

This book literally brought tears to my eyes. At the end (that sweet ending, my goodness) I couldn’t help but feel so warm and fuzzy and let a few tears fall from my eyes. It’s such a feel good and lovely story in such a rough time full of negativity that I can’t help but scream about this book on the top of all the hills. I will be so disappointed if this book doesn’t find an audience. It’s a magical little book that I will be recommending for years to come. To top it off, this book is easy to read, fast paced and a short story so you can binge it in no time.

If you like fiction, want something that will make the world seem better, or you are seeking a short story, grab this book! Matt Micros is an amazing story teller!

Five out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Matt Micros, in exchange of an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca

You can find out more about Matt Micros on:
Goodreads Author Page
https://www.mattmicros.com/
Twitter – @Macros1

 

Here are some other fiction novels you’ll love:
Briar’s Reviews – Goodreads Review of Destinare by Matt Micros
#BookReview The Heirs by Fran Hawthorne
#BookReview Between Sisters by Cathy Kelly
#BookReview Geo by Kevin Miller

 

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#BookReview At Mother’s Command 2 by Kay Brandt

At Mother’s Command 2 continues Max’s story of being whisked away to her biological Mother’s BDSM castle/resort. This time around, Max is essentially being held hostage and isn’t allowed to leave. She meets Neil, a man that I personally don’t trust but who knows, and begins to explore her sexuality a bit. Additionally, she demands the parents who raised her act like they were actually a couple which causes quite the stir. It seems the couple may actually explore these unearthed feelings for one another… despite both being involved with Sumera, Max’s Mother.

There’s more kink and sex in this book. Not only Sumera’s sex life, but some infant and degrading kink as well. While those aren’t my thing and I didn’t enjoy it as much, it’s definitely well written. Kay knows how to write her erotica really well! There will be readers who will eat this stuff up, pun intended.

I’ve very curious to see how the third book will go. I’d like to see Max develop and see what she decides. Will she accept her fate or escape from it all? The plot is just as good as the erotica in this series!

Four out of five stars.

Thank you to Kay Brandt for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

 

This book is available on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca

Find the first book in this series:
On Briar’s Reviews Blog
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

You can find out more about Kay Brandt on:
Goodreads Author Page
Amazon Author Page
Twitter – @MsKayBrandt

Here’s some other books by Kay Brandt featured on my blog. If you liked this book or review, you’ll love them too:
#BookReview Hotwives and their Dirty Desires by Kay Brandt
#BookReview Safe Landings by Kay Brandt
#BookReview Naked by Kay Brandt

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

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#BookReview Love, All by Tamsen Parker

It’s that time again… I get to read another book by my fave! Tamsen Parker’s writing style has always vibed with me in a way I cannot understand. Whatever jedi mind tricks she is playing, I’m totally into it.

I managed to buy this beauty a while ago but lost it among my kindle library (what do you expect, Bookbub these days is killing me with those freebies). I marked it down on my TBR because I HAD to read it. I couldn’t not read a beautiful, little romance by my fave. So yes, I am 100% biased in my review. Beware!

Nate is an engineer who is also a tennis instructor (we’ve already got a winner folks), and he stumbles upon Ruby, who is a single mom looking for a good time. At first, this seemed like an easy one night stand sort of deal, but things get steamier. Ruby doesn’t want anymore time with him, but Nate is head over heels and wants some more!

The chemistry in this book is ON FIRE (totally a pun in reference to another Tamsen book, just saying). I totally loved the relationship between these characters and how Ruby’s daughter perfectly fit into the situation as well. Chloe was actually quite spunky and funny, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

My biggest negative was I wish there was a little bit more. I understand this book was not meant to be very long, but I wanted to see their relationship grow and change just a bit more. Maybe two or three more chapters? The issues were fixed quite quickly for my tastes. Other than that, I think they were quite the pair! Not perfectly matched right away, but they totally grow on you.

Honestly, I adored this book. If you’re looking for a quick read where a relationship builds hot and fast yet actually faces real issues, grab this book! It’s super sweet and worth the read.

Five out of five stars.

 

Check out this fabulous book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

 

You can find more books by Tamsen Parker littered throughout my blog. Give one of these reviews/books a try:
#BookReview If I Loved You Less by Tamsen Parker
#BookReview For Her Own Good by Tamsen Parker
#BookReview Hot for the Holidays by Marie Force, Tamsen Parker et. al

 

Find out more about my fave author, Tamsen Parker, on:
Goodreads
http://www.tamsenparker.com/
Twitter – @tamsenparker

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

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#BookReview The Champagne Conspiracy by Ellen Crosby

The Champagne Conspiracy is now one of my top 2020 reads!

I love a good cozy mystery to snuggle under the covers and read some tea with. This book fit the bill and was a wonderful distraction from the bad weather in my town.

This is the seventh book in the Wine Country Mysteries series by Ellen Crosby, but don’t be discouraged by that number. I found this book super easy to jump into. It would have been nice having all of the background relationships and mysteries to fall back on, but I had zero issue becoming instantly addicted to this book and feeling for these characters.

Lucie and Quinn make wine and are good buddies! At their Vineyard one day, Gino Tomassi (an older gentleman who also likes and makes wine) strolls in and presents an old mystery about his family. Lucie and Quinn decide to help out after a pinch of blackmail and tragedy are brought up. One of Lucie’s friends also has some mystery and intrigue occurring in her life, for which Lucie must help out with. Will both be solved? Will there be any closure for these families? Also, flapper dresses!

This book easily became my guilty pleasure and I truly want to grab the rest of the books in this series. It’s a bit more than a cozy mystery, but still fit the bill quite well. There’s a pinch of romance, lots of drama, a mystery that you can see coming if you pay attention and lots of humour. Also, alcohol and wine! The descriptions of wine… Ellen Crosby has a way with words, let me tell ya! There was also a splash of history, which I always like hearing about! Ellen made the history far more interesting than any of my history teachers ever did.

I found the ending to be a little bit predictable, but only if you really paid attention. I was thoroughly addicted to this book so I saw the signs, but I don’t think every reader will. Books like this deserve all the hype! It’s well written and well thought out!

Overall, this fast paced, cozy mystery is a must read! It’s delightful, full of character development and likeable characters. Also, I love the representation of a physical disability in a main character. It’s shown in such a real and respectable way to – it doesn’t slow her down but it’s there. Much respect!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

You can find out more about this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo
Kobo

 

If you love cozy mysteries, here’s some other books featured on my blog that you might enjoy:
#BookReview Poison by Punctuation by Kelley Kaye
#BookReview Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell
#BookReview A Study for Love by Ruth Miranda

Check me out on:

Twitter: Briar’s Reviews – @ReviewAlholic #briarsreviews

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#BookReview At Mother’s Command by Kay Brandt

At Mother’s Command by Kay Brandt is an erotic introduction to this wonderful series.

Max just turned eighteen years old, and learned that her Mother is not actually her biological Mother. Her parents whisk her away to a giant castle where she learns that her destiny is very sexual in nature. Her Mother, Sumera, is a powerful Dominatrix who runs a very sexual resort where adults can sneak away and explore their fantasies.

This book focuses on Max’s introduction to the world and some of the sexual deviancy going on behind the doors of the castle. It ends on a cliffhanger which made me very happy that I had the second book, but would have totally frustrated me as a reader if I didn’t have it. One thing I’m curious about is if Max will accept her role in this story or not… It seems like it can go either way at this point. I’m sure she will eventually be exploring her sexuality. The poor girl is basically being held hostage!

If you’re into BDSM novels, especially books with doms and subs, than this quickie erotic read will be perfect for you. It’s very hot and very dirty, exactly as a good erotica should be.

Four out of five stars.

Thank you to Kay Brandt for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

You can find out more about Kay Brandt on:
Goodreads Author Page
Amazon Author Page
Twitter – @MsKayBrandt

Here’s some other books by Kay Brandt featured on my blog. If you liked this book or review, you’ll love them too:
#BookReview Hotwives and their Dirty Desires by Kay Brandt
#BookReview Safe Landings by Kay Brandt
#BookReview Naked by Kay Brandt

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

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#BookReview Boston Metaphysical Society by Madeleine Holly-Rosing

Steampunk. Ah, steampunk. I have a love-hate relationship with this sub-genre, but man do I love drowning in it. It’s such a guilty pleasure for me, but it can be so hard to find a good steampunk read. Luckily for me, this wonderful graphic novel is the perfect collection of steampunk.

I’m not the end all be all when it comes to this genre. I don’t read much of it so I’m not super accurate in knowing how well steampunk is portrayed. That being said, I adored this little graphic novel and thoroughly enjoyed myself as I was reading it. I can totally appreciate the work Madeleine put into this series. It’s worth the read if you love a little steampunk in your life. Have I said steampunk enough yet?

This graphic novel is packed tight full of fantastical, paranormal instances dealing with evil and mystery. It’s thrilling, action packed and super fun. There’s lots of science and history hidden in the lore as well, which made me a happy little nerd. Since I’m not typically the biggest reader of this genre, it was nice that it was so easy to jump into and enjoy.

There was constant drama and movement in the plot, which kept me thoroughly enjoyed. I also enjoyed the old time costumes and scenery in the illustrations, so when I wasn’t focused on the story I was admiring the lovely pictures.

Overall, this was super enjoyable! I’d highly recommend it if you love graphic novels and steampunk!

Four out of five stars!

Thank you to Madeleine Holly-Rosing who sent me a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

Here’s some more reviews of Madeleine’s books:
The Scourge of the Mechanical Men – Goodreads
Amazon.ca – Scourge of the Mechanical Men
A Storm of Secrets – Goodreads
Amazon.ca – A Storm of Secrets

Find out more about Madeleine Holly-Rosing on:
Goodreads
https://bostonmetaphysicalsociety.com/
Twitter – @MHollyRosing

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

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#BookReview Between Sisters by Cathy Kelly

Between Sisters by Cathy Kelly was a beautiful contemporary drama.

This novel follows a family through their treasures and troubles. Cassie and Coco are sisters whose Mother left them when Coco was only one and Cassie was eight. That memory hurts and shapes them as adults, leading to a lot of the conflict in this novel. Pearl is their grandmother, who took care of the girls with the help of their Father, when their Mother left.

As adults, Cassie is married and is a strong, working woman. She has two beautiful daughters, Beth and Lily, and seems to have it all: a nice house, a loving husband, two beautiful girls, a lovely sister and a helpful grandmother. Alas, that is not true. Cassie enjoys the drink when life gets tough, and life has been very tough lately. Shay, her husband, seems to be more interested in his Mother than Cassie. Even when Cassie brings it up, Shay doesn’t seem to realize that he doesn’t spend anytime with his wife or kids anymore.

Coco is thirty, flirty and thriving… or so we think. She owns her own vintage clothing store (life goals, much?) and has an awesome bestie named Jo, and is close to Jo’s daughter. A few years back, Coco broke up with her fiancee Red when she thought he was cheating on her. Ever since, she’s had some dates but hasn’t settled won. But, Red has been seen around town… is she over him? And what will she do when tragedy strikes close in her life?

I absolutely LOVED Cassie and Coco. Their story lines kept my hooked to this book like there was no tomorrow. I couldn’t help but binge their stories because I needed to know how they turned out. I felt these girls were very relatable (either hurt or thriving in the loss of a parent) and dealt with realistic scenarios in realistic ways. I did find their intertwined stories very sad (and I kind of want to know how a couple of them played out) but in the end I think it had a good message and moral. We can either grow, do nothing, or let the hurt define us.

The ending itself is very beautiful and I’m glad a certain plot line was able to close. There are some open ended questions left with us, but the ending itself felt… good. It felt nice and made my heart sing and soar! It’s the happy ending I won’t get, so it makes me feel very good inside.

I didn’t enjoy every plot line as much, but not because they were bad. Pearl and Pheobe’s stories didn’t intrigue me as much, but it’s because I just didn’t relate as much to them. They were still beautifully written and a marvelous addition to the book though! Don’t be scared off because I don’t relate to an older grandmother! I also really did not like Shay. Man, was he dumb… He loves that his wife is blunt and to the point, but doesn’t like it when he’s called out on his bullcrap.

If I had a negative for this book, it would be that some chapters moved at a really fast pace while others were slow. Since there was enough fast to out-weight the slow, it didn’t bother me as much. I can see some people not enjoying it though.

My biggest positive is that all storylines eventually intertwine. I love books like that! When you start the book, some of the people seem like they don’t belong… until they do. Cathy does this seamlessly and makes it super impressive! That’s one of the reasons I can rate this book so high. Not only does Cathy have excellent style in her writing, but she can also make it work!

Overall, I am so happy I read this book! It gave me a few too many tears for my own personal liking, but it’s still a gem hidden among my shelves.

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo
Indigo

 

If you enjoyed this book (or review!) here’s some others you might enjoy:
#BookReview A Long, Hot Summer by Kathleen MacMahon
#BookReview Driving on the Left by Gail Ward Olmsted
#BookReview Literature® by Guillermo Stitch

 

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