#BookReview Open Source by Anna L. Davis

 

Open Source by Anna L. Davis is an R rated, epic, sci-fi, fantasy, crazy adventure!

This book far exceeded my expectations, especially since sci-fi isn’t my usual genre. Anna makes this fantasy novel come off the page and take over my brain (pun totally intended, by the way).

Ryker, our home-less former writer lead, doesn’t have a NeuroChip in his brain. Everyone else in this world does, and it’s a fad that’s taking over the nation. Soon enough, our friend gets himself into a difficult situation and a chip is forced into his brain. His buddy Sawyer, Rae, Rae’s ex Nox, a bag lady, and many more quirky characters dance across the pages and whisk us through a not-so-distant, potential future. What do we do when chips are in our brains, following our every move? Will politics get in the way of the potential good? It’s sci-fi, the answer is always yes.

This is one of the few books that I didn’t see the ending coming, and I loved that. There’s so many little hints along the way, yet I just didn’t connect those dots. Anna has a well crafted story on her hands and it’s so well thought out. The seeds planted along the way will make you question reality itself – what the heck is going on in this book?! Everything ties itself up nicely in the end, thank goodness. But… I still want that sequel. It says this is book one in the series everywhere I look, so I really hope Anna throws us some more epic fantasy our way!

I don’t have many cons about this book. I would have liked to read this as a book I binged instead of putting it down. I’m not much of a tech or sci-fi fan, so I ended up forgetting some of the terminology and background when I left it for a few days. It’s still easy enough to read if you step away, but personally I want to binge it.

I like that the story leaves off like the book could end, even though the story could continue. I hate cliffhangers, so this ending bides well with me.

Overall, this book is truly an epic. I could see a television show or a movie being made of it. It’s just so darn good! I have to say… it’s one of my top reads of 2019!! I never thought I’d put a sci-fi that high on my list, but I did! And it’s all Anna L. Davis’s fault!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Find out more about this book and the author on:
Goodreads – Open Source
Twitter – @annaldavis1
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Barnes & Noble

Check out some other reviews and books you might enjoy:
#BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis
#BookReview – Strungballs by Mike Russell

 

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#BookReview Gods in Oslo by John Plaski

Gods in Oslo by John Plaski is a thrilling ride full of super power-like abilities, Odin and the gods and love of action!

This book looks very daunting – it’s over 400 pages and looked WAY to big to tackle, but I did it anyways. It was one of the greatest decisions I ever made, because it was ridiculously cool! This was one of those books I was actually interested in and wanted to read more.

John Plaski creates a world and builds it exponentially in this book. Kaitlin, Marc and Claire are on an adventure. They have superior abilities that makes them stronger than your average human. As they try to solve some problems and fight bad guys, things don’t go according to plan…

I felt like this book needed to be binged. I put this book down for a few days, jumped back in, and I forgot half of what happened. There is so much world building and unique story telling elements, that it was just too much for me to remember. If I would have binged the book and not put it down for longer than a day, I feel like I would have loved it even more. What’s even more troubling is that every character has two names (a “normal” first and last name, and a name representing their abilities). I couldn’t keep them straight when I jumped away from the book. I almost wish there would have been an index or summary of all of the names in the back of my copy of the book to help me out.

Despite the troubles I had with this book, John Plaski has made one truly remarkable novel. The book makes you think and pulls you in to the point of addiction. The unique themes and commentary throughout the book got me involved more so than I do with my typical fiction books. I love books like this! Throw in the fact it felt like a fantasy meets spy/thriller novel… yeah, it was worth the read.

Overall, I think this book was a wonderful first novel from John Plaski. He has a real knack for writing and he’ll only get better with the more books he writes and releases. I hope he continues writing because this book was really cool!

I’d definitely recommend this book if you like thrillers, fast paced books, fantasy (along the lines of Greek/Roman gods), super heroes and books that make you think.

Four out of five stars. It would have been five, but I kept getting a little lost when I jumped away from the book.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

You can purchase this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

If you enjoyed this book or review, here are some others you might enjoy:
#BookReview – Strungballs by Mike Russell
#BookReview Tamisan by Susan McKenzie
#BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis

 

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#BookReview The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale is a book that I have been debating over since high school. Everyone I know from high school absolutely HATED this book (with a ridiculously strong passion) yet I had this feeling that I should read it anyways. After watching the 2017 television adaptation and LOVING it, I decided it was probably best to just bite the bullet and pick up this book. Of course, I had to remember to buy it to be able to read it and that took some time.

So, during this wonderous break from school and work I decided to indulge myself a little and pick up a book I REALLY wanted to read. Luckily, this book was within sight and reaching distance so I devoured it in under two hours. I binged this book SO HARD and it was SO WORTH IT.

If you’ve watched the television show, you know the basis. The show expands a lot more on the content (and changes some) but you’ve got the jist of the story. Offred is a Handmaid to the Commander and Serena Joy. Her “goal” is to get pregnant and give them a baby, and that isn’t going to well. So she hatches a plan with Serena Joy to be able to have a baby to get out! But… nothing ever goes to plan, and chaos ensues. That is the non-spoiler synopsis.

This book feels all too real even all these years later. It faces political, environmental and religious tones in such an amazing way that it really blew my mind. Margaret Atwood’s writing just adds to this story and gives it way more depth than I ever expected. Every little twist and turn makes me question who you can trust, if Offred is a reliable narrator (at times) and if this world can ever change. Unfortunately, you don’t find that last point out in this novel. The book ends rather abruptly and leaves me feeling cheated. I want to know what happens OH SO BAD. That’s the only reason I enjoy the television show just a little bit more – it expands a lot on the narrative and we will most likely get some kind of ending (eventually… it’s only at two seasons currently at the time I write this review).

You could definitely tear this book apart for “plot holes” – like… how did society crumble so fast? How could these women not over power some of these leaders? How did people let this happen? There’s so many questions that I want answered, but I don’t think that’s the purpose of this book. It felt like a warning tale, like 1984 by George Orwell or any of the Shakespeare tales. It’s a different take on society as a whole and is criticizing it in some way (and it’s also just really good fiction, let’s be honest).

My biggest flaw is how short this book is – I want more and I want to understand more. This world is just way too good, complex and big to not explore! I hear there’s another book coming out soon (oh please give us a sequel I want mooooore) but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Overall, this is a book that makes you think. I love books like that because I can sink into my chair (or couch… or bed…) and just let myself fall into the story. I escape this world and all of my worries and just take in this whole new world. I think Margaret Atwood is a seriously good author with ridiculous amounts of talent and I will for sure be looking for more books by her. Books like this make me SO happy that I love to read and have the time and ability too. Books like this make reading an absolutely breath taking hobby!

Seriously, if you love dystopian fiction, books that you can theorize and form conspiracies over or books that you probably would have read back in your high school English class- PICK THIS BOOK UP!

Five out of five stars.

 

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If you enjoyed this review (or book!) check out another you might enjoy: #BookReview Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

#BookReview Tamisan by Susan McKenzie

Tamisan by Susan McKenzie was an epic, action-packed, sci-fi fueled novel!

Action. Adventure. Sci-Fi. New Adult. Thriller. Suspense. Fantasy. Supernatural.

All of those terms can directly be applied to this magnificent novel by Susan McKenzie. Seriously, I didn’t know what I was in for when I picked up this book! The synopsis makes this seem like just another fun, sci-fi novel yet it was so much more than I expected! Zhenna/Tamisan was a lovely character to follow along her absolutely insane journey and I can’t wait to see more of her!

Zhenna is traveling to assist in some space science experiments when things go horribly wrong. She’s the only survivor of her crew, but that’s not the only thing wrong. Her soul has also been moved into the body of one of the gorgeous natives to the planet. This disturbing science experiment changes her life forever and sends her on a troubling journey in a foreign land. Slowly, she discovers the powers this woman held and all of the magic that goes along with being supernatural. Oh, and there’s a little romance in store for her too!

This book had a lot packed into one book, and that’s why the book is so good! But that is also the book’s weak point – I felt like this book could have been split into two or three novels. I seriously loved every minute of it, but there’s was just SO much. Most readers will be okay with this, since Susan delivers with a fast-paced and thrilling adventure, but some may not be as fond of it.

Whether you’re looking for a fantastical book or a science fiction, this book is definitely worth the read. It has a lot of marketing potential with the various genres it holds inside. I like that it didn’t just stick to one genre because it did make this book far more unique. If anything, I felt like I was most confused on which age group it should be marketed too. The genres was easy – it mixes fantasy with science fiction and thrills and suspense. There’s so much in there! But at times it felt like it was moving close to an R rating (with potential rape scenes and some harsh violence) but then it slowed back down in the romance department and felt like a Young Adult novel. My best guess was it was going for New Adult and it seems to fit well there.

Overall, this book was one solid thrill ride! The positives of this book far outweigh the negatives and I’d highly recommend it! It’s a little on the longer side but it’s worth every word on every page!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Find this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Kobo

Barnes & Nobles

Chapters/Indigo/Coles

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

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If you liked this book, check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis

#BookReview I Am Radar by Reif Larsen

I am Radar by Reif Larsen is a character study of a black man born to white parents.

This book was very slow and hard for me to read, I have to be upfront about that. The book is written beautifully and Reif Larsen is a terrific writer, but I just couldn’t get into this book. It took me months to get through because it’s so packed full of narrative. It is packed full of science, relationship drama, history and major character conflicts and soul searching.

I wish I would have loved this book more, because I am amazed at Reif’s writing style. I fell in love with these characters, but then the story would switch up and go somewhere else. I just got devoted to Radar and his parents and then the story switched around and took me somewhere I didn’t want to go. I wanted to watch Radar’s life tumble in front of my eyes, but I didn’t get that. Honestly though, Radar and his parents were my favourite part of this story. Watching them grow and react to life was a real gem. I wanted way more of that, because I absolutely loved them.

If you like books that follow the entire story of a person, including their backstory and their family’s story – you’ll love this book. It truly is a cool character study. Following Radar is the main purpose of this book, but we learn so much more about other characters as well. It’s a fictional drama story that is written beautifully. That’s where it stands with me. It also includes great illustrations and historic notes making it feel more non-fiction than fiction at times. Oh, and did I mention lots and lots of science and radio waves?

I would definitely suggest this as a book for an English class. I’d love to see someone pick it apart and explain it to me. I was just not invested enough to re-read sections and to go back and understand a lot of the book. It’s not a book to just sit down and binge – it’s too full of knowledge and information. You have to be willing to go back and understand everything that’s happening to really get it. So, it’s just not for me at this point in time.

Overall, the over 600 pages were not my cup of tea. I think Reif is a wonderful writer and I hope he finds his readers! He’s too talented, I don’t want it to go to waste! Pick up this book if you love a good drama full of science and knowledge. I’m honored to have read this book, because it is really cool. I’m just not his ideal reader.

Two out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Find this book on:

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Goodreads

 

Check out some other books and reviews you might enjoy:

#BookReview Gene. Sys. by Aaron Denius Garcia

#BookReview – The Last Day of Captain Lincoln by EXO Books

Quick Book Review: Escape Vector and Other Stories by Bryan Young

 

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

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#BookReview Gene. Sys. by Aaron Denius Garcia

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This scientific dystopia is an excellent read for those who like apocalyptic stories!

The world is getting ready for the apocalypse, and Atom is at the center of it all. Him and the other teenage Genetic Systems must survive and help “restart” the earth when everyone is wiped out. Along the way, drama, romance and war ensues – all creating havoc upon the teens.

This book reminded me of a Young Adult novel – the drama and fighting definitely sat around a young adult audience level, in my opinion. I could easily see youth and adults enjoying this book. The plot itself was very reminiscent of many YA novels I’ve read – apocalypse, teenagers being the only ones who can save the world, and the YA romance tropes.

I did find the writing and conversations to be very simplistic. That doesn’t make the novel bad, but I’m a reader who likes complex words, not using “said” or the same words all the time, and lots of excitement. The writing style just didn’t match with my reading style! I feel like there is a lot of potential in this book, and maybe in a sequel (?? pretty please??) it could be enhanced to a much higher level.

I did like the plot itself – I think Aaron Denius Garcia put a unique and fun spin on it that made me want to continue reading this book. I was desperate to follow these characters (specifically Atom and Ev) to see where their adventure would go. Throwing in actual history was also a really cool part of this story, since it was looking at history from a different point of view. I also found the nuclear aspect to be extremely scary (due to the realism) in this fictional world. It did take me about half the book to get really into the story, but once I got there I was hooked and addicted. I absolutely HAD to finish this book!

I felt the book left off in a way that it could continue in some form, so I’ll definitely be looking out for the next book! I hope Aaron continues with this story because it has so much potential, it’s really fun and it has one epic story! Maybe one day a publisher will pick this book up and pimp it out to readers everywhere!

I’d highly recommend this book if you like sci-fi, apocalypse stories, young adult or just fun fiction! It’s a great book, even if it wasn’t the best book for me! I loved it and would definitely want to read more!

Three out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

On a side note, I LOVE that Aaron signed my copy of the book AND spelled my name right! Authors (and anyone really… coworkers, family, etc) rarely spell my actual name right, and it made me so giddy!

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads – Gene. Sys.

Amazon.com – Gene. Sys.

Amazon.ca – Gene. Sys.

 

Find out more about Aaron Denius Garcia on:

Goodreads – Aaron Denius Garcia

http://www.genesysbook.com/

Twitter – @AaronDenius

 

If you read this review, comment below with your favourite YA dystopian novel!
And… give me a shout out on Twitter! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis

#BookReview Savior by A. King Bradley

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Savior by A. King Bradley

This novel was a great read – it was a mix of fantasy, paranormal and superhero all rolled up into one beautiful package.

Within this story, I get the feeling you are supposed to pity Adam (our main character). His story is daring and full of action and drama, but I always was left feeling bad for him. There would be moments where I would feel delighted and strong with him, and then I just felt like it was a day to rain on Adam’s parade…

But then you must realize Adam isn’t your normal, everyday teenager – he has powers! Hence the superhero tag I left on my Goodreads. It’s not totally fantasy to me, it seems superhero-ish as well with these superpowers he uses.

There’s some subplots among the action and main story – a pinch of romance, but nothing wild (or that would give you the hint that it’s a romance novel. It’s not).

I will say this book is great for a first book in the series. While I might not be able to pick up the rest of the series, I think it’s a great start. This isn’t my top book of the century, nor was I hooked to this book and desperate to finish it, but it was good and well written. A King Bradley is a great writer by my standards and deserves his spot on library and bookstore shelves alike.

The downfalls of this book (as listed by me):
1. I didn’t like the cover. Yes, don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but I really do. If I’m in a book store and I want a random read and I’m stuck between three REALLY good back cover/inside cover plots that make it super difficult for me to pick just one on a budget, I choose the prettiest or coolest cover of the three. Is this a bad thing that the cover isn’t drawing me in? No, but it could be for other readers who choose books like me.

2. This book was a good mix of predictable and unpredictable. I love when there’s twists and turns that I don’t guess and can keep going, but this book has a few to many spots where I could see everything coming from a mile away. That bored me more than anything, despite this read being absolutely fantastic at times.

3. Cliffhangers. I HATE cliffhangers with a passion. Why, you might ask? I have read countless books where a cliffhanger is left and then the author never gets to write the next book (or they write it and it’s never published). It infuriates me, and by the time the next book comes out I either forgot everything, can’t afford the book or can’t find it. It left a little to much unknown/cliffhanger-ed for me. It’s a well written cliffhanger, but it annoys me to no end.

4. Pacing issues. Sometimes this book is slow paced and leaves me waiting for something interesting, but when it hits it’s dramatic and action packed points it moves fast and furious! This is something that seems to come with time for writers – the more they write the better they seem to get. This issue did make me drop this book for a while though. It took months for me to finish it, despite me trying to jump back in numerous times.

Overall, this book is a pleasant surprise. It’s well written, has a great plot and is a great read. It’s a definite recommendation to those who love sci-fi and fantasy. It’s not a book for me, but it’s a FANTASTIC book!!!

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out this fantastic author on Goodreads: A. King Bradley on Goodreads

Or on his website: A. King Bradley.com

A. King Bradley on Twitter

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Photo from Goodreads.