Tag: 4 stars

Book Review: Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson

Goddess in the Machine
Series: Goddess in the Machine #1
Author: Lora Beth Johnson

Published: June 30, 2020
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Dates Read: September 27-October 12, 2020

Book Description:

When Andra wakes up, she’s drowning.

Not only that, but she’s in a hot, dirty cave, it’s the year 3102, and everyone keeps calling her Goddess. When Andra went into a cryonic sleep for a trip across the galaxy, she expected to wake up in a hundred years, not a thousand. Worst of all, the rest of the colonists—including her family and friends—are dead. They died centuries ago, and for some reason, their descendants think Andra’s a deity. She knows she’s nothing special, but she’ll play along if it means she can figure out why she was left in stasis and how to get back to Earth.

Zhade, the exiled bastard prince of Eerensed, has other plans. Four years ago, the sleeping Goddess’s glass coffin disappeared from the palace, and Zhade devoted himself to finding it. Now he’s hoping the Goddess will be the key to taking his rightful place on the throne—if he can get her to play her part, that is. Because if his people realize she doesn’t actually have the power to save their dying planet, they’ll kill her.

With a vicious monarch on the throne and a city tearing apart at the seams, Zhade and Andra might never be able to unlock the mystery of her fate, let alone find a way to unseat the king, especially since Zhade hasn’t exactly been forthcoming with Andra. And a thousand years from home, is there any way of knowing that Earth is better than the planet she’s woken to?

Jessica’s Review:

It is rare that I read a sci-fi novel, but the book description sounded intriguing to me, so I decided to read (well listen) to it: And Goddess in the Machine is a LONG one coming in at a 15 hour narration!  

I was really only interested in Andra’s unique situation, and  Zhade’s storyline did not interest me at all.  I could care less that he is the bastard son and his whole situation.  Part of my problem with Zhade’s perspective in the novel is the linguistics of the people in the year 3102.  It is easy to ‘catch on’ with the way they speak; it just did not work for me.  I think I benefited listening to the audiobook because of this versus having actually read the book. I think if I had tried to read it that I might have DNF’d it.   I give props to Johnson for coming up with an ‘updated English language’ as this must have taken some time and effort to come up with.  This is also her first novel, so bravo for doing something different language wise.

I did not really like Zhade with him using Andra for his own benefit.  Though I do like how his name is pronounced in the audiobook.  I did really like Andra (her name is short for Andromeda.)  She is an average, normal teenager thrown into the most unexpected and unusual situation and having to try and struggle to survive in a new world and time with everything unfamiliar. 

There are twists that come up throughout the novel that I would have never seen coming in 1000 years. As the ending of the novel creeps closer, we get more twists which was setting up for the second novel, which I need NOW!  My husband heard a little of the audiobook as we were driving one day and he ended up reading and enjoying Goddess himself, though he did figure out the twists that I didn’t. That could be that he is more of a sci-fi reader/ watcher.  He is not a reviewer but he said he would have given it 4 stars.

For a novel that is outside of my ‘comfort zone’ 4 stars is a very strong review from me!  I would recommend this one to those who enjoy sci-fi and maybe those not so into sci-fi. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: The Shining by Stephen King

The Shining
Author: Stephen King

Series: Book One in The Shining series
Published: January 28, 1977
659 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 Stars

Book Description:

Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote…and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

Kim’s Review:

I finally decided to read The Shining. Ivan and I have watched the movie multiple times and we love the story. Strangely enough, my brother read the book before I did and he watched the movie with us once and he kept bringing up the book. I was intrigued so I started reading. What a great book! I’ll admit that there is the typical King slump right smack dab in the middle where it doesn’t seem like the book will ever end. But aside from that, the story is fascinating! I’d love to go stay at the Overlook Hotel sometime!

Jack and Wendy Torrence have an interesting relationship that I spent a lot of time pondering, even when I wasn’t reading. One can’t help considering what one would do differently if one was in their position. I’ll give it to Jack, he does make an effort! But I also understand Wendy’s frustration. Throw in a bunch of ghosts and a strange kid with an imaginary friend . . . A descent into madness was inevitable! Overall, this was a great book that I’d recommend to anyone who wants a creepy read.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

[Top]

Book Review: Fiona’s Guardians by Dan Klefstad

Fiona’s Guardians
Author: Dan Klefstad

Published: October 2, 2020
310 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: September 21- October 4, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

When a vampire seduces you, death is minutes away. When she hires you, you’ll soon wish you were dead.

It’s a truth known to every guardian who worked for Fiona, including Daniel. Aside from managing the day to day chores and keeping her protected, he manages an investment portfolio to buy stolen blood from hospital workers. The 250-year-old Fiona needs 10 pints of human blood every night. As a result of this, Daniel and Fiona are always on the lookout for police, but fail to notice their gradual encirclement by Mors Strigae, an ancient order of monks dedicated to the extermination of vampires. Gone for a century, the monks start a new war when they destroy Fiona’s sire. This time, her vampire family is pushed to the edge of extinction — and the humans who serve them are hunted and executed.

After 35 years, what keeps him loyal? And will he ever be allowed to leave?

Jessica’s Review:

Fiona’s Guardian’s is a vampire novel for the 21st Century!

Vampires have been around forever in legends and are the most well-known ‘monsters’ out there, and now Dan Klefstad helps to bring them into the 21st century.  This is the perfect time for a new vampire to be released as we are in the month of October when all things scary come out to play, and now we have Fiona to look out for.  (Be especially wary of her if you are of the O negative blood type, as that is her preferred drink. And she WILL find you if she finds the need).

Klefstad brings a fresh take on the vampire lore: They need 10 pints of blood NIGHTLY and because of this, Fiona hires human ‘Guardians’ to help her with acquiring her needs of her special dietary restrictions.  We meet Daniel who has been working for the 250 year old Fiona for the last 35 years and he is finally nearing retirement. He just needs to find a replacement.  But things are easier said than done.  

There is so much more to the novel than it seems.   Dealing with Fiona’s special diet and the extreme lengths that Daniel has to go to to appropriate her 10 pints of blood nightly. We do get to see a good bit of that.  But why does Daniel stay with Fiona after all this time? 

We are also dealing with the Catholic Church and some monks in a society called the Mors Strigae determined to kill all vampires and the humans who work for them.  The novel goes back and forth between both sides as the battle fights on. 

Fiona’s Guardians is composed of short chapters, which I always enjoy.  Those short chapters make it hard to put down! I just wish I had had more time to read more of it together rather than spaced out over time. And Ms. Fiona even speaks to the reader a few times herself!  Fiona is what this novel is about whether she is in the scene or not: Everything is about Fiona. As I read the novel I pictured Fiona as Angelina Jolie. I would absolutely love to see her play Fiona! 

I have worked with Dan over the past few years when Fiona’s Guardians started as short stories including The CaretakerThe Caretaker is Daniel’s letter of warning to the applicant that is chosen to replace him.  I am happy to see Klefstad’s hard work pay off as Fiona’s Guardians finally is published.  Many thanks to Dan and his publisher Burton Mayers Books for granting me an e-arc to read and review. It has been a pleasure and I hope we see more of Fiona in the future!  

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

[Top]