ARC Review | The Sound of Stars

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Title: The Sound of Stars

Author: Alechia Dow

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 400

Publication Date: February 25, 2020

Categories: Sci-fi, Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.

Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.

Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.

Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.

Thank you to Inkyard Press and NetGalley for giving me a chance to read this eARC.

The Sound of Stars is a very interesting mesh of the sci-fi, dystopian and romance it’s infused with love of music, books and the love of love really. It explores so many subjects like race, and colonization plus it has aliens! There is a lot going on in this surprising book.

Janelle or Ellie, as everyone calls her, lives in New York City but the world has been taken over by aliens called the Ilori and their labmades. Say what? Yes, Earth’s problems have become insignificant with this way bigger threat taking over. Humans have been killed and are now undergoing a process where they will be given vaccines and their bodies will be husks. The Illori will be able to inhabit these husks to vacation on Earth. Yes…Earth is basically being colonized by these powerful aliens who have been colonizing planets all around the universe.

Ellie is just a teenager, who keeps a secret library. If she is found out by the Ilori it would mean a death sentence. But she meets an Illori, a labmade commander named M0Rr1S, or Morris, who wants to trade. He will keep her secret if she can get him some other kind of contraband – music.

This story is a journey of books, music, love and watching two different species find common ground.

  • Love for books and music is at the heart of this book. It reminds us that no matter what’s going on, how as people we can be divided or conquered, the written word in story form or music form transcends hate and can bring people or in this case species together.
  • I was intrigued about this alien race, the Ilori, and their labmades. This story lays out some of the problems on Earth from climate change, to race relations and the corrupt government (hmmm sounds very familiar!). But with the Ilori invasion (which didn’t start out as one really), the humans have pretty much united to fight the aliens. Learning that the Ilori have been colonizing planets for awhile made me want to learn more about their alien race and these planets that they have found in the universe.
  • Labmades are an interesting part of the Ilori. They aren’t true Ilori, they were basically, made in a lab. So in their society, they are looked down upon. So Ellie being black and Morris being a labmade shared the feelings of being inadequate and “less than” everyone else.
  • It’s a unique story all around with the romance between a human and labmade. The way the story unfolded reminded me almost of a space opera (though they are not in space) – but Ellie and Morris travel throughout America to get to their destination and it feels like this epic space journey…but on land. If that makes sense?
  • The romance at first for me…was totally cute. A labmade and human relationship? I was totally for it! And I think a lot of people will find it an amazing part of the story, but at the end it was getting a bit cheesy for me. 🤣 But that’s just totally a “it’s me” thing…Ellie and Morris totally fell for each other and I swear it started to become some space opera musical (yes with singing involved).
  • The first few pages was hard for me to connect to because it’s sci-fi (not my favorite genre) with a lot of technical jargon that just left me scratching my head. I just needed to be patient, because soon I was 40% done with the book without knowing I was reading that fast. I loved learning about this Earth as aliens take over and their plans for humans. The story kinda lost me again 75% in and maybe because of the romance and cheesy/cuteness.
  • I don’t know that I connected to a character most…maybe Morris because I was fascinated with his life as a labmade.

Even though it was sci-fi and dystopian, it had lots of romance and optimism because of the love between Morris and Ellie. They are seriously the sweetest couple. The world-building of the Ilori and Earth after an invasion felt realistic and I wanted to know more about the aliens! There is so much going on in this story. There is adventure, deception, humans on the brink of being hosts to aliens, Earth being made into a vacation destination, music, books and love. For me, The Sound of Stars was a very unexpected yet fun story to read.

Book Review | Girls With Sharp Sticks

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Girls With Sharp Sticks

Author: Suzanne Young

Format: Hardcover (borrowed)

Pages: 393

Categories: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Suspense

The Girls of Innovations Academy are beautiful and well-behaved—it says so on their report cards. Under the watchful gaze of their Guardians, the all-girl boarding school offers an array of studies and activities, from “Growing a Beautiful and Prosperous Garden” to “Art Appreciation” and “Interior Design.” The girls learn to be the best society has to offer. Absent is the difficult math coursework, or the unnecessary sciences or current events. They are obedient young ladies, free from arrogance or defiance. Until Mena starts to realize that their carefully controlled existence may not be quite as it appears.

As Mena and her friends begin to uncover the dark secrets of what’s actually happening there—and who they really are—the girls of Innovations will find out what they are truly capable of. Because some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns.

Girls with Sharp Sticks is a really interesting book and I don’t say that just to say something about it. It’s a book that made me think a lot after I read it, because of the some elements to it (and yes I’m trying not to spoil it 😅).

Philomena “Mena”, and her friends are students at a boarding school called Innovations Academy. They are all very beautiful girls with perfect bodies and looks. Something small like having a scar devalues a girl’s beauty. They attend classes and learn subjects to assimilate into society but they aren’t allowed independent thoughts. Thinking is a bad thing. They aren’t allowed excessive emotions, like regular girls, and take vitamins every night to keep them functioning the way the Academy wants them to.

The further into the story I got, it just made me feel creeped out because the way the men treat these girls is just wrong. And when I say men, I’m talking about their professors, their Guardians, and the administrator, Anton. They threaten, then smile at them, blame them if they don’t “obey”, and then praise them. And then if they really do something bad, they get impulse therapy. Ugh. They are grooming these girls, but for what? Apparently for investors interested in them- but we don’t know what they need them for. It reminded me of The Stepford Wives and when I mentioned the premise of the story to my husband, he said it sounded like Westworld.

One by one the girls start to “wake up” and then we find out what’s really happening at this school. The story kept me interested enough but it is slow going because we keep learning about the girls’ regiment and their life at the Academy. It unfolds like a mystery actually and hardly anything happens outside of the Academy. Mena is a daydreamer, kind of bland, but I see why since she wasn’t woken up yet. She loves her friends very much though – but emotion as well, isn’t something appreciated as a quality for these girls.

The meat of the story is at the end. There is action, a plot twist, questions and some answers but I’m hoping a lot more will be answered in the second book.

If you read the book and feel creeped out, it did its job. The book is supposed to make you uncomfortable like how girls or women feel when boys and men treat females a certain way. The grooming, the abuse, the assault, the constrictions, the expectations and rules placed on these girls is wrong. It is a book for right now with all the issues we are presently dealing with in society.

I wanted the pacing to pick up a bit more because I wanted the girls to start fighting back. Like, enough of this treatment! Let’s kick these guys’ butts already, I was getting so mad. 😤 But I was also getting mad because I was afraid for these girls, they needed help and there seemed to be no one they could turn to. The ending was gripping and it makes me curious as to what will happen in book two. Let’s hope the pacing in book two is quicker and Mena and the girls are equipped with more than just sharp sticks to fight back.

So be a girl to make them proud afraid.”

Girls With Sharp Sticks by. Suzanne Young

Get it here: Amazon

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!


Arc Review: Heartwood Box

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Author: Ann Aguirre

Format: eBook (NetGalley eArc)

Categories: Mystery, Time Travel, Paranormal, Romance

Pages: 336

Publication Date: July 9, 2019

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

In this tiny, terrifying town, the lost are never found. When Araceli Flores Harper is sent to live with her great-aunt Ottilie in her ramshackle Victorian home, the plan is simple. She’ll buckle down and get ready for college. Life won’t be exciting, but she’ll cope, right?

Wrong. From the start, things are very, very wrong. Her great-aunt still leaves food for the husband who went missing twenty years ago, and local businesses are plastered with MISSING posters. There are unexplained lights in the woods and a mysterious lab just beyond the city limits that the locals don’t talk about. Ever. When she starts receiving mysterious letters that seem to be coming from the past, she suspects someone of pranking her or trying to drive her out of her mind. To solve these riddles and bring the lost home again, Araceli must delve into a truly diabolical conspiracy, but some secrets fight to stay buried… 

Thank you to MacMillan-Tor/Forge and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this eArc.

Heartwood Box is a mystery story that builds slowly in the beginning and packs a punch at the end with an ending that is somewhat bizarre but it works. I thought it was creative and different. My reaction was more like, what?……🤔

While reading this book, I was wondering if this was a ghost story but some things didn’t add up especially when there are people going missing in this strange town. I mean if it was just haunted, why would people go missing? Also, this is the second book I’ve read this month with references to World War I! That’s pretty cool since most people are engrained in World War II history, so I like having the spotlight be on WWI.

I enjoyed the diversity represented with the characters. Araceli is a strong young lady who grew up abroad in Central and South America, so she’s seen a lot of things, especially with parents who are investigative reporters. But this town is something different and she has a challenging time figuring things out.

I thought the ending was a nice twist and a bit strange. But I still enjoyed it because the story is well written. It flowed nicely from a slow mystery, which took me a few days to get into and then it took a turn with full on action and time-travel in the last part of the book. Yes, it did that.

Overall, I like this book! It’s not usually the type of genre I read but it was a nice change of pace.

Get it here: Amazon

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost for you. Thanks!

Friday Five: 5 Fantasy/Sci-Fi Book Series – I Read On Kindle Unlimited

I’ve been meaning to do some fun Top 5 or Top 10 list post and sometimes I just don’t have the time! How do you awesome bloggers do it? 😘

So Kindle Unlimited – let’s talk about it. For a monthly subscription you get to read unlimited books in the Kindle library. When I had no kids, I bought books like crazy! When we moved into a small house, I had to donate my books, keeping only a few. When I had kids, and a bigger mortgage – I had to be on a budget! Thank goodness for libraries!

I tried out Kindle Unlimited because of one author, Christi Caldwell. I was looking for new romance authors because it was my favorite genre but I was having a hard time finding ones that appealed to me. I read one of her books and wanted more so I got a subscription. But because it’s a monthly subscription, there were times I was in a reading rut trying to find something good there – and cancelled. I joined again, cancelled and joined again! 😅 Then I tried some of the fantasy ebooks…and I’ve had a steady subscription since. So here are my 5 fantasy/sci fi (mostly fantasy) book series I’ve found on Kindle Unlimited that I’ve enjoyed so far!

The Spoken Mage Series by. Melanie Cellier

This series is pretty good. I enjoyed seeing Elena, the spoken mage, learn, grow and fall in love. My favorite thing though is the friendships she’s made along the way. I’m going to be finishing up the series soon, so hopefully it ends on a good note.

The Tainted Accords Series by. Kelly St. Clare

I read this series last year and really enjoyed it! I was transported to a fascinating fantasy world. Princess Olina has worn a veil over her face since her infancy and watching her transform from a girl with a veil to one without is pretty awesome.

Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles by. Elise Kova

I should feature the Air Awakens series but honestly it’s been four years since I’ve read it. So instead I’ll talk about Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles, the re-entry into Elise Kova’s fantasy world filled with magic and political intrigue. I’ve only read book one, and will get to book two eventually when I get this TBR list down a little. 😅

The Culling Trials by. K.F. Breene & Shannon Mayer

These academy books always get me! I’m serious! Haha – but this series is very addicting. I’m in the middle of book three right now and can’t wait to see how it ends. Sometimes these indie book are so short, they could have mashed these three books to make one book! But I don’t mind the short wait between the books. In this series we have a very strong female character who is surrounded by vampires, necromancer, goblins, magic users and assassins. It’s so fast pace and fun! It’s a wild adventure throughout the whole series. Speaking of “Wild” that’s our character’s nickname and I can see why! Loving this series so far!

Secondborn Series by Amy A. Bartol

I am not a big sci-fi fan. Actually this was the series that got me saying, oh, okay maybe I like sci-fi, maybe… I love Amy A. Bartol’s stories because they are creative even if they go off a bit tangent and wild, there is something about them that is addictive. Secondborn is cool, Traitor Born is my favorite and Rebel Born – though I gave it 4 1/2 stars because the romance part came together the way I wanted and I’m obsessed with Reykin haha, this book goes almost into another dimension diving into sci-fi/mythology/fantasy it made my head spin. It works for some people and others hated. I actually understood what the author was trying to do – but there was a lot of info dump about parallel universes, mind control and then add the mythology…it’s a whirlwind. It would have played out better if we had hints of these things in book one and two for sure! I still love it though. 😬

Have you read any of these books? Are you a Kindle Unlimited subscriber? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Reading! 😘

Book Review: Rebel Born (Secondborn, #3)

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Author: Amy A. Bartol

Format: eBook

Pages: 315

Publication Date: June 4, 2019 (eBook); August 13, 2019 (paperback)

Categories: Sci-Fi, Young Adult, Romance

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Book Blurb:

Roselle faces a mind-reeling showdown with the deep state agent controlling her psyche in the conclusion to the Wall Street Journal bestselling Secondborn series.

Roselle St. Sismode is many things: victim of a conspiracy, unwilling host of an ever-evolving mind algorithm, spy for a rebel army, and heir to the Fate of Swords. As a warrior, she’s also the anticipated main event at the Secondborn Trials. When the opening ceremonies erupt in chaos, Roselle is abducted by a sadistic agent with a diabolical plan: transform Roselle into a mind-controlled assassin to topple society. But a rogue scientist has implanted Roselle with a genius technology that is far more powerful. It renders her untouchable. Faster. Stronger. And maybe immortal.

With her enhanced abilities come the highest stakes yet, as Roselle confronts shifting realities at every turn as well as her own mother’s stunning betrayal. Racing against time with a determined resistance group, can Roselle overthrow the forces of destruction and reclaim the most valuable of commodities—her humanity?

MY REVIEW

Thank you to 47 North and NetGalley for giving me an opportunity to read this e-arc. I screamed when I saw I was approved to read it!

Rebel Born is the last book in the Secondborn series. So here is a mini recap of what happened in the previous books: secondborn children in the Fates of the Republic (there are nine fates) are property of the government. Thirdborns die, you get the idea. Roselle, a secondborn from the Fate of Swords becomes a soldier in the fight against the rebels, the Gates of Dawn. Census is the acting body of the republic who upholds the secondborn law, among other things. One person in Census in particular, Agent Crow, has a sick fascination with Roselle. The more successful she is, the harder he tries to take her down, but his plans are more sinister than anyone imagines. With the war between the Fates and the Gates of Dawn heating up, Agent Crow is brewing up something nasty to take over everyone.

Rebel Born takes place right after that heart-stopping Traitor Born cliffhanger ending. Roselle is separated from Reykin in a horrific fashion. She is unfortunately under Crow’s mind control now but with the help of a somewhat familiar face, a technician in Crow’s lab – she has a better chance of breaking free from the madman.

This book is filled – filled with information on Crow’s ability to control minds and I wasn’t patient enough for it. Keep in mind, I was here first and foremost for Reykin and Roselle. 😉 I felt like I was hyperventilating looking for his name in the first few pages. I teared up when they were finally reunited in this story. I’ve been waiting a whole year for this to happen. After I was reassured they were okay, I told myself to really focus. And as a lover of this series, I also knew I was going to re-read Rebel Born many, many times over, so I forgave myself for rushing through a lot of the technical parts in my first read.

The author goes into tons of detail about mind control, implants, biotechnology and so much more, I got lost trying to understand how it all worked. Mind you, I am not a big sci-fi genre reader but when Amy writes it, I read it. ☺️ The first two books of this series introduces us to the Fates, the characters, the Gates of Dawn and the rebellion. This third book is about Crow’s take over of the Fates and him trying to infiltrate the Gates of Dawn. And then it escalates even more and at one point it was data overload for me. Because then the story adds additional surprising elements and it’s a mind bend. But I do get it, Agent Crow wanted it all, more than mind control, he wanted power forever…immortality and Roselle is a key to that.

But this is one of the reasons why I love this author. Amy A. Bartol always kicks things up a notch. And it seems crazy and chaotic but I find her stories super creative, fascinating and exciting, plus I love her characters. There is a new character in this book who was pretty fun to get to know. The author is so detailed in her descriptions that I can see these books on screen, and actually I wish I was watching this as a tv series instead of reading it.

Roselle, has always been a fierce and smart character. Agent Crow wants her because she’s an amazing fighter. I love how she can be strong and yet vulnerable. Here in Rebel Born, she is broken down emotionally by the mind control, but she is also upgraded in amazing ways.

When I read the ending I thought I missed something because I was waiting for Crow’s ultimate destruction. I wanted him completely eliminated. He is such a villain, so I thought the ending was abrupt but the epilogue made up for it. Then I realized the ending left a possibility to return to this world some day and that made me really happy.

In the end, I was satisfied with the story. It gave me exactly what I wanted for Reykin and Roselle especially, and then some. I’m not even sure if the extra stuff was needed, but I’m here for it all if Amy is writing it. Overall this is a good ending to a fabulous series. I’m already looking forward to see what she will be writing next.

Get it here: Amazon

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost for you. Thanks!

Book Review: Breakout

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Author: A.M. Rose

Format: E-book

Pages: 400

Publication Date: June 3, 2019

Categories: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, A.I., Technology, Dystopia

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Book Blurb:

Six days. 

That’s the amount of time until Lezah’s execution. 

She’ll die never knowing what got her locked up in this godforsaken prison in the first place. Her only chance of survival is to escape. Except the monitoring bracelet that digs into her wrist, the roaming AI, and the implant in her neck make freedom close to impossible. 

Her best chance is to team up with the four other inmates who are determined to break out, even if one of them is beyond (gorgeous) annoying—oh, and in for murder. But he has a secret of his own. One that could break Lezah if she finds out, but could also set him free. 

Figuring out how to work with him and the rest of this mismatched group of criminals is the only way Lezah will survive to see the outside world again. 

But nothing in this prison is as it seems. And no one.

MY REVIEW

Thank you to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for this opportunity to read this free e-arc for an honest review.

First off, I was attracted to this cover. It looks menacing with that huge spider and the book blurb sounded mysterious so I was curious enough to request this book.

Lezah is in prison but she can’t remember why she’s in there. In this prison there are A.I. robots: WALTERs (WALKing compuTERs) that resemble humans and AIRS which are security guard robots. And everyone has a SOUL – it’s a device that is a phone, computer, appearance alternator, and money. Hmmm…how does all that work?! 😮 Seriously an appearance alternator would benefit me daily. 😂 Well I can’t say everyone has one, Lezah and the other kids in prison do not have a SOUL, it’s taken away from them. All prisoners have a bracelet attached to their wrist that zaps them and basically it’s a horrible place to be. With Lezah’s execution coming up, she needs to breakout.

The story is told in first person through Lezah. There is a lot of action and it is non-stop. This whole book is full of tension and it is fast-paced. It’s some parts creepy, but plenty parts exciting. It kept me guessing and left me with a few questions.

The world building is different and fascinating. It is set in a futuristic dystopian United States where climate change damaged coastlines and left them with fewer resources than before. A.I. is everywhere and the technology aspects were very detailed. So much detail that some of the explanations went over my head.

Lezah’s meets different companions on her way out of this prison and they add to the story in different ways. For one, it’s hard to know who to trust and everyone she encounters has a story tied to Lezah. There is a tiny bit of a romance, but nothing that takes over the story. Everything starts to piece together in the end but there are still loose ends to tie up by the time the story is over.

This was an interesting, fast-paced, young adult sci-fi novel with lots of twists and turns. I think sci-fi lovers would enjoy this better than I did but overall it was a fascinating story.

Book Review: What The Woods Keep

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Author: Kataya De Becerra

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 365

Categories: Mystery, Psychology, Physics, Dark Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Mythology

Book Blurb:

On her eighteenth birthday, Hayden inherits her childhood home—on the condition that she uncover its dark secrets.

Hayden tried to put the past behind her, and it worked. She’s getting ready for college, living in a Brooklyn apartment, and hanging out with her best friend and roommate Del. But now it’s all catching up with her: her mother’s mysterious disappearance a decade before, her father’s outlandish theories about a lost supernatural race, and Hayden’s own dark dreams of strange symbols and rituals in the Colorado woods where she grew up.

As soon as Hayden arrives at her hometown, her friend Del in tow, it begins: Neighbors whisper secrets about Hayden’s mother; the boy next door is now all grown-up in a very distracting way; and Hayden feels the trees calling to her. And among them, deep in the woods, Hayden will discover something incredible—something that threatens reality itself.

MY REVIEW

This is one of those books where I borrowed it because of it’s lovely cover. The book blurb sounded interesting but I didn’t quite know what to expect.

What The Woods Keep, follows Hayden, who just turned eighteen and inherits her mother’s home in Promise, Colorado. Hayden has a quite a past: a childhood in Promise with memories of these dark woods, her mother disappearing, her dad who is a physicist but obsessed with Nibelungs. And yes I had to google Nibelungs to see if they were a real thing and they definitely are a thing, a thing of legend and lore.

This story is different and I was drawn into Hayden’s psychosis. She has dreams that haunt her, she’s a warrior on a horse. Hayden’s past also revolves on an incident of unexplained violence at her school – her counseling sessions are presented to us in the book like evidence.

When she goes to Promise with her best friend Del, more strange things start to happen. The people in town have eyes like her, one color different than the other. The woods around them are creepy and a white raven is constantly watching her. Plus there is a facility called Blue Haven Research Institute in Promise with security guards. What is going on? I kept reading to find out, so this book definitely kept me engaged.

This book is hard to categorize. It’s a mashup of sci-fi, fantasy, and mystery. I really loved how most chapters started off with some scientific tidbit on physics or psychology. And some parts were creepy too whenever it was about the woods. What is in these woods? What did Hayden’s mom do there? How did she die or disappear? Are the Nibelungs real? The story moved along quickly for me. I loved all the extra things in this book like Hayden’s case files, newspaper clippings and her mother’s hand written notes.

The only thing that didn’t grab me was the romance between Hayden and her old childhood friend Shannon. It happens a bit quick after they reunite but I guess I can surmise the feelings were always there because they grew up so close together.

Overall, this was a pleasantly surprising fun book to read! It is a really good debut from this author. I look forward to seeing what she writes in the future.

Get it here: Amazon

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost for you. Thanks!

Book Review: Honor Bound (The Honors #2)

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Authors: Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre

Format: Hard cover

Pages: 467

Categories: Space, Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Cliffhanger

Book Blurb

Zara Cole was a thief back on Earth, but she’s been recently upgraded to intergalactic fugitive. On the run after a bloody battle in a covert war that she never expected to be fighting, Zara, her co-pilot Beatriz, and their Leviathan ship Nadim barely escaped the carnage with their lives. Now Zara and her crew of Honors need a safe haven, far from the creatures who want to annihilate them. But with two wounded Leviathan to treat, plus human and non-human refugees to help, they’ll have to settle for the nearest outpost, called the Sliver: a wild, dangerous warren of alien criminals. Zara’s skills from the Zone may be invaluable. However, Zara discovers that the secrets of the Sliver may have the power to turn the tide of the war they left behind—but in the wrong direction. Soon Zara will have to make a choice: stand against the ultimate evil or run from it. But she’s never walked away from a fight.

MY REVIEW:

The exciting space adventure continues with this second installment of The Honors series, Honor Bound.

I usually read books with romance in it but this book is different. I can’t describe it as a romance because the relationship is between Zara and her ship, a Leviathan named Nadim. I would call it a deep friendship bond – like soulmates and it’s a beautiful thing. I imagine these leviathans to be like whale space ships, who are intelligent and communicate with their Honor (their human). Are they in love? Sometimes I think they are but maybe it’s my own human limitations of my own experiences I’m applying to their relationship. I should know by now after reading two books in this series, anything can happen. And that goes for what happens when Beatriz is included in the bonding moments too. 👀😬

The world building is fantastic. I’ve only started getting into space operas, I’m not that big into the Sci-Fi genre but this series has kept me interested so far. I can imagine this world of multi-gender, slimy, blobby, tentacled, reptilian-like, God-like aliens. The writing is descriptive and the action scenes are so exciting, it kept me on the edge of my seat.

I thought the beginning of the book was slow but it does pick up when they have to dock somewhere for repairs. Of course they stop at the Sliver, a place with shady deals going on, where anything goes if you want to earn currency and is run by Bacia Annont. Zara Cole, shines in this book. She kicks ass, literally! Whether it’s in the Pits, on a mission for Bacia Anont, or fighting the Phage and the Lifekiller, this girl has the heart of a fighter and the smarts too. She’s saving her friends, making friends, and trying to keep everyone alive.

Now the ending is a major cliffhanger! I was like, NO, you can’t end there! One thing that threw me off a little and had to dig in my memory bank for was the issue back on earth with a part of Zara’s past. It emerges in the last part of the book and I was trying to remember who this person was to Zara from the first book. I think it will just make for more action and fighting in the third book, but I wasn’t sure if it was even needed? Zara is dealing with so much already in space. What’s one more thing to mess up her mission, right?

All I know is Zara Cole can handle anything that comes her way with the bonds she has solidified with her friends, new crew members and leviathans. Let’s hope she can make it out alive in book three!