Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Changing the Script: "Scrooged" by Laura DeLuca

Author Laura DeLuca has given her fans a special Christmas novella featuring one of my favorite fictional characters, Justyn Patko, or, as I prefer to call him Lord Justyn Patko! It's Christmas and everyone has gathered at Justyn's Mom Darlene's warm and cozy home for some paleo friendly eggnog and good times celebrating theYule. Everyone, that is, except  Stan Hope, Rebecca's father. Surly and snarky as ever towards Justyn and his family, never the in-laws he would have chosen for his only daughter. Unable to take part in the joyous evening he skulks home, alone. Even his wife, Mary, Rebecca's mother, wanted to stay to enjoy the festivities, happy to do so without him.
Well, he would just have a drink and watch Christmas movies on TV. That was better than having to spend time with those weirdos! Or was it? Falling asleep to A Christmas Carol ...Stan might find being alone on Christmas ...and maybe in his future... was something he was going to have to face up to, or possibly set a different path in motion.
Ms. DeLuca brings some sinister characters from her previous books back to help Stan shed his Scrooge outlook. Great fun and any story that combines Lord Justyn and a Christmas Carol will make this one a favorite to enjoy now and future holiday seasons! Get a copy here for only .99:Scrooged

Friday, December 19, 2014

After "In the After": "In the End" by Demitria Lunetta

Carrying on the momentum of In the After, this companion volume follows Amy and her ...Stop! Read No More if  you haven't read In the After there are SPOILERS because this IS a sequel!!!! OK, after her escape from the Ward (horrors!!!) and New Hope and leaving Baby behind because she has to find a safe place for them, Amy is making her way through what's left of civilization. Armed with some of the elite Guardian gear, like the emitter that gives off sound waves to ward off THEM (aka the Florae), and the fabulous synth suit that protects her from pretty much anything, and she's surviving until she gets a message from her Guardian mentor (and former rock star) Kay, through her amplified earpiece warning her that the evil, mad scientist Dr. Reynolds of New Hope has Baby!!!! Oh No!!! Baby is one of the sweetest, most lovable characters in  all of dystopian fiction! What can Amy do to save her "sister"???
Kay tells her to go to Fort Black and find her brother, a research scientist working on secret secrets possibly related to the Florae. Fort Black has a terrible reputation. Amy has avoided going to this other settlement but now must brave its walls and guards  and do whatever it takes so she can save Baby!
These are two action-packed yet absorbing and even believable books and so visual you can picture the whole thing going down. They might even make great films, but don't wait for the movie versions. Read these now! The Recommender says so!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Steampunk Phantom: "Of Metal and Wishes" by Sarah Fine

A co-worker at the library where I work ( Emily!) gave me a heads up about this when it was published, as a new take on the Phantom of the Opera story so...of course it had to be mine! I fell in love with the alternately dreamy/ nightmare-y world and the haunting love story the author, Ms. Fine, has created. 16 year old Wen lives with her father above his clinic based in a horrifying slaughter house. After her mother's death, she is forced to leave their lovely home on a hill, her beautiful dresses sewed and embroidered by her beloved mother and accompany her father to the rooms they now share. Now she sews tiny, neat stitches in the torn flesh of workers caught in the killing machinery.
No matter how hard her father and the slaughterhouse workers work, the bosses and under bosses call all the shots. Food and clothes are all bought from the company store and there never seems a way to save or much hope for the workers of a life beyond the daily grind.
Many of these people pray to a ghost. There is an altar where they leave gifts and wishes. Some he seems to grant. Wen scoffs at these superstitions. Then, when there is a shortage of workers, some outsiders are brought in to work on the floor, these are the Noor. They are disparaged and looked down on, not as good as the Itanyai, Wen's people, and yet there is something about them. They walk unbowed, unlike the weary workers they are joining and their leader seems to be a tall, copper haired boy with jade green eyes. They had a reputation as warriors. Wen is intrigued but when something happens to embarrass her in the cafeteria in front of the workers, she makes a wish to the ghost, herself, and then is afraid it might have come true.
The treatment of the workers by the bosses and the Noor by everyone is like an alternate version of Orwell's 1984. It's a truly frightening vision and you'll keep your fingers crossed for Wen but I don't want to spoil the secrets of what goes on behind the hellish walls of the slaughter house, or of Wen's discoveries. Or of someone observing from the sidelines.