Rebel Rising (Cage of Lies book 1) by Susanne Valenti and Caroline Peckham

This is the first book in the Cage of Lies series.

I live in a cage.
This city is a lie.
And I’m done following the rules.

No one knows what lurks beyond The Wall.

Only criminals are sent into the wastelands to face the Lawless Trials and I never thought I’d find myself fighting amongst the ruthless convicts who live in the shadows of society.

But the more rules I break, the more secrets I unveil.

Like the fact that not everyone beyond The Wall was killed by the contamination a hundred years ago.

Some of them became something…else.

I got too close to the truth and now I have no choice but to play their twisted games or else risk the contamination beyond the borders of the arena.

So when a wild man offers me the possibility of a new life in the ravished world, I have to take it.

Coal Carson is like no man I’ve ever met. He’s strong, savage, fierce and the freedom that shines in his dark eyes calls to me like nothing I’ve ever known.

A life with him is wrought with danger, but also hope…and maybe even love.

But the Guardians won’t let me run for long. They’re coming to destroy me before I uncover the truth they’ve spent so long disguising. And I’ll do whatever it takes to stay ahead of them.

But with the full force of the city coming for me, I might just have to find a way to fight back

I loved reading this book. It had a brilliant storyline, the plot developed well and the characters are brilliant.

I loved this series when it was initially released as Chained and I can’t wait to read it again and see what changes have been made.

Maya is a great character. Her personality shines the whole way through. She’s not quite able to defend herself like Laurie, but she’s not totally useless either. I liked seeing here learn new skills before the trials and I loved seeing her learn about the world outside of the city. Her and Laurie’s reaction to the outside initially is brilliant.

Coal is brilliant. I love his character and I loved seeing his relationship with Maya grow. He’s strong and fierce, but he also has a caring side too. I also love Alicia and Laurie. They’re both brilliant characters. I love how the four of them gel together. Hunter is also a great character. However, with Taylor, there’s something about him which annoys me. If I recall, I felt the same way with the previous release too.

The storyline is brilliant. I love the post-apocalyptic setting and I love the idea behind the creepers. After reading the Tainted Earth series, I loved the little link at the beginning to that. I felt it was an added treat.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book. The characters and storyline were brilliant and I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series. I would definitely recommend it.

My rating: 5/5*

Past This Point by Nicole Mabry

Karis Hylen has been through the New York City dating wringer. After years of failed relationships, she abandons her social life and whittles her days down to work and spending time with her dog, Zeke. Her self-imposed exile ends up saving her life when an untreatable virus sweeps the east coast, killing millions.

Alone in her apartment building, Karis survives with only Zeke, phone calls to her mom, and conversations with two young girls living across the courtyard. With the city in a state of martial law, violence and the smell of rotting corpses surround her every day. But her biggest enemy is her own mind. As cabin fever sets in, vivid hallucinations make her question her sanity.

In addition to her dwindling food and water stash, Karis must now struggle to keep her mind in check. When a mysterious man enters the scene, she hopes she can convince him to help her make it to the quarantine border. With the world crumbling around her, Karis discovers her inner strength but may find that she needs people after all.

I enjoyed reading this book. This apocalyptic tale had a great storyline and the plot developed at a good pace.

Karis was a great character. I liked the fact that she was middle aged and having a slight mid life crisis. She was strong willed and was able to do what needed to be done to survive. She was overly cautious and savvy. I also liked how it took a 12 year old to speak some sense into her.

I loved her relationship with Emma and Julia. Their little story in this book was just as good as Karis’s

I loved Ollie. Everything about him was great. Karis was lucky that she took a chance on him. I loved seeing their relationship developed, and ultimately, the ending was brilliant. I loved that once they met, he didn’t over power anything. They were both equal in surviving the situation.

Zeke was amazing, but then again, most pets are.

Her mum annoyed me a little. Yes she was worried, as most mums would be if that situation happened, but she was a little too over the top for my liking which was slightly annoying to read at times. So, yes I could see where she was coming from, but I also feel that it could have been toned down just a little.

The only other thing which I could have done without are the little North American words for things, but this is definitely coming from a British perspective. The story slowed down at a few points and but the brilliant character building did manage to keep the story going.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and would definitely recommend it. The virus was well thought out and the characters were too. It was a slow burn tale of survival which had a good storyline. The character building was faultless.

My rating: 4/5*

Compete (The Atlantis Grail book 2) by Vera Nazarian

This is the second book in The Atlantis Grail series.

It’s one thing to Qualify…
But do you have what it takes to Compete?

With Earth about to be destroyed by an extinction level asteroid, teenage nerd, geek, and awkward smart girl Gwen Lark, and a few of her friends and loved ones, barely Qualified for rescue onboard one of the thousands of ark-ships headed to the ancient colony planet Atlantis.

Now faced with a year-long journey in space, life in a wondrously alien environment, and many tough life choices, Gwen must decide who or what she will become. Fleet Cadet or Civilian? Friend or lover? Average or extraordinary?

Can she make new friends? Can she trust the old ones, such as Logan Sangre, her sexy high school crush and an Earth special operative?

Time and time again, Gwen’s uncanny ability to come up with the best answer in a crisis saves her life and others. And now, her unique Logos voice makes her an extremely valuable commodity to the Atlanteans — so much so that her enigmatic commanding officer Aeson Kassiopei, who is also the Imperial Prince of Atlantis, has taken an increasingly personal interest in her.

Before the end of the journey, Gwen must convince him that she has what it takes to compete in the deadly Games of the Atlantis Grail.

It’s becoming apparent — the life of her family and all of Earth depends on it.

This book continues pretty much straight on from the first.

I love this series so much. The storyline is brilliant, the plot develops at a good pace and the characters are amazing.

I’m in love with Aeson. Completely and utterly.

I also love Xel.

I wish these were real people I could meet and keep. 🙄

In this book we learn all about Atlantis with their tech, their language and their way of life. It’s fascinating to read.

I love reading the journey through space. The different planets they pass and then with the jump. It’s interesting and it’s all described brilliantly. Very imaginative.

The storyline is great in that we follow Gwens journey in getting to know about Atlantis and space, but also her journey in getting to know the people. She works closely with Aeson and I just love reading their interactions and seeing them get to know eachother. Then there’s all the other people. Her relationship with Logan, her siblings and the other Atlantians in general.

On top of all that, there’s always tue bigger storyline with the whole asteroid. One simple sentence throws a deeper plot in to the mix.

Who are they?

It’s a brilliant book.

My favourite thing by far is Aeson. I just love him and I really can’t mention that enough.

The ending. I have never been so excited about an ending of a book ever. It’s just brilliant and I love what happened. I find that I really feel a connection to these characters, so that ending really had me feeling excited, and reading this for the third time, I felt exactly the same as I did the first.

Overall, this series is absolutely brilliant. It’s my all time favourite. Everything about it just brilliant so I would definitely recommend it.

My rating: 5/5*

Qualify (The Atlantis Grail book 1) by Vera Nazarian

This is the first book in The Atlantis Grail series.

You have two options. You die, or you Qualify.

The year is 2047. An extinction-level asteroid is hurtling toward Earth, and the descendants of ancient Atlantis have returned from the stars in their silver ships to offer humanity help.

But there’s a catch.

They can only take a tiny percent of the Earth’s population back to the colony planet Atlantis. And in order to be chosen, you must be a teen, you must be bright, talented, and athletic, and you must Qualify.

Sixteen-year-old Gwenevere Lark is determined not only to Qualify but to rescue her entire family.

Because there’s a loophole.

If you are good enough to Qualify, you are eligible to compete in the brutal games of the Atlantis Grail, which grants all winners the laurels, high tech luxuries, and full privileges of Atlantis Citizenship. And if you are in the Top Ten, then all your wildest wishes are granted… Such as curing your mother’s cancer.

There is only one problem.

Gwen Lark is known as a klutz and a nerd. While she’s a hotshot in classics, history, science, and languages, the closest she’s come to sports is a backyard pool and a skateboard.

This time she is in over her head, and in for a fight of her life, against impossible odds and world-class competition—including Logan Sangre, the most amazing guy in her school, the one she’s been crushing on, and who doesn’t seem to know she exists.

Because every other teen on Earth has the same idea.

You Qualify or you die

I love this series.

I’m re-reading it… again, in preparation for the next book being almost ready, and since I didn’t review it then, I’m doing it now.

This is my all time favourite series. The storyline is brilliant, the plot flows brilliantly and the characters are absolutely brilliant.

You know a book is written well when you’re in love with the characters.

I’m completly in love with Aeson.

Completely.

He is the best thing ever to be written. I might be saying this because I’ve read these books before, but reading these books again is just as good as the first time I did. I’m just falling in love with him all over again.

Gwen is a brilliant character. She’s not the strongest, and she is by far not the best person competing, but her clever mind and crazy tactics save the day. I absolutely love reading her journey and I enjoy seeing her interactions with Aeson.

The storyline is brilliant. I love the dystopian and apocalyptic feel. The Atlantis culture we learn about is interesting. The qualifying trials are also interesting and exciting to read. I also love the fact that not everything always goes according to plan. Things are brutal. It only adds to the excitement of the story.

Overall, this series is simply brilliant. It’s my favourite, so I would definitely recommend it. Even if only to read about Aeson.

My rating: 5/5*

Free book deal!

The Demise (A Bubo Series Novella) is free this week (1st-5th).

Why not grab a copy or tell a friend about it!

2045.
Everything was as it should be. Leah was worried about her upcoming exams and her future, when everything went wrong.
Alone. Confined.
They made it seem like it was all nothing to worry about until she saw it with her own eyes. Death seemed imminent at any moment. They say the plague has mutated and it is after many victims.
With her two best friends in tow, will she ever make it to her family inside the Safe Zone or will she die trying?

The Demise (A Bubo Series Novella)

My novella is complete and up for pre-order now on Amazon for 0.99.

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07VZ67NYL

US:

It’s a prequel to my novel, The System (The Bubo Series Book 1), although I believe it can be read as a standalone.

If you don’t fancy reading it then sharing it with anyone who might would be amazing.

Here’s the blurb:

2045.
Everything was as it should be. Leah was worried about her upcoming exams and her future, when everything went wrong.
Alone. Confined.
They made it seem like it was all nothing to worry about until she saw it with her own eyes. Death seemed imminent at any moment.
With her two best friends in tow, will she ever make it to her family inside the Safe Zone or will she die trying?