Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Reviews

Book Review: The Sound of Blue by Michael Duda

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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, Michael Duda, for an honest review.

Genre: Short Stories/Science Fiction

Plot: Aliens exist everywhere. They are android. They hide within the mind. They live on other planets. And they can even travel the universe using technology far beyond our understanding.

Markey VI, an android on an orbiting space station, assists an artificial intelligence. David, the A.I., ponders the question of humanity’s fate. The ultimate question is, “Should life be returned to Earth?” The answer is known as the Singular Conclusion. But the answer’s impact reaches far deeper into Markey VI’s electronic components and programmed logic than could be anticipated. And the android’s final moments bring it closer to humanity itself.

David Grayson volunteered for a project called, ‘Threading.’ Unfortunately, Threading slowly alters David’s mind. And it affects the other two subjects. But in what way? After the final test goes wrong, David unleashes a powerful ability capable of distorting time.

Shiran accuses Abian of murdering her husband. She claims that Abian tells lies about the events leading to the death. She also keeps a secret that could reveal the truth. When Abian uncovers Shiran’s secret, Shiran discovers that there is more to her simple village life than she first believed.

It’s a futuristic version of 1930s Chicago. Named Chicago VI, the shielded space city exists somewhere at the far edge of the Oberon Galaxy. And all space cities connect by jump trains, faster-than-light machines. Bobby and his dog, Mister Pleats, barely make ends meet at Chicago VI’s jump train station. But when Bobby meets an alien Xenoarchaeologist, he’ll discover that there’s more possibilities in the galaxy than shining shoes.

The Sound of Blue takes you on four journeys of alien discovery. A journey just out of atmospheric reach. To a mysterious planet and at the far end of a galaxy. And into the mind where superhuman powers wait to be untapped.

Opinion:

“In a galaxy so vast, what really is home?”

You’d think that after reading my fifth book by Michael Duda, I’d cease to be amazed at how his mind works.

But alas, here I am.

Still dumbfounded and astounded by his brain.

Michael Duda is able to take the most mundane facts that we know as humans, about our society and ourselves, and reshape them into poetic tales of beauty and darkness. He is able to transport the reader into future and sideways dimensional settings that exude immense wonder and deep horrors. I am always left feeling nostalgic and unhinged by Duda’s writings. It’s like he has dipped his fingers into my brain, found the innocence and fears, and gingerly extracted them and wove them onto paper.

Now if you have an unhealthy addiction to science fiction that can both excite and terrify you, then you will love this collection of short stories.

The first is called The Sound of Blue. Immediately the reader is skyrocketed into the ever-popular idea (or probability) that Artificial Intelligence and robots will take over the world, eradicating humankind from existence. This story follows dialogue between David, an A.I., and Markey VI, an android. David is attempting to discern if humans will be able to return to Earth, while also delving into the idea of what it means to be human.

It is a quick story, but one that made me pause after reading to reflect on what it means to be human. As per usual, Duda started this book off with a bang that immediately had a sense of anxious wonder creeping inside me. It is the most sorrowful and delicate of these four stories, and one I could imagine being a closing scene for an epic sci-fi movie.

The second short story is Last of Lasts and immediately reminded me of the Netflix show Maniac. It is about three people who are in dire need of money, so they agree to participate in a series of experiments. The story is told through the eyes of David as he is thrust back into another test of the “threading”; one that puts the other two subject’s lives at risk as the scientists look for a specific outcome. It is one of the longer stories, but one that will keep you hooked as you try to figure out what the hell is going on. It is also probably the most fantastical of the bunch, but as always, one that has legs and could easily be turned into a full series.

The third story is Waking from an Eternal Sleep. The inhabitants of a village look to those called the Unmarked Ones for guidance and insight into events and their lives. But when Shiran’s husband is suddenly killed by a fellow villager named Abian, she demands to know why and that he be put to death. But the reasoning behind her husband’s death is much bigger than what she could ever fathom. Naturally, in Duda form, I am left wanting more and MORE of this tale. ALWAYS with the cliffhangers

The fourth short story is Jump Trains and Simultaneity and my favorite kind of science fiction fable! It is set in an old-timey futuristic world that can only be described as the 1930s meets Cyberpunk 2077. If you are like me and are obsessed with Sci-fi like Altered Carbon, Blade Runner or Mute, then you will without a doubt love this. Bobby lives in one of the many cities called space cities, which are connected by jump trains. He is a homeless and sweet kid working as a shoe shiner, until he meets Theodore Rattletrap, an alien who studies extraterrestrial cultures.

THIS short story is the one I NEED to be turned into a full novel, then a Netflix show. It is phenomenal and fantastical, and the one that threw my imagination into overdrive. I couldn’t help but be completely invested in Bobby’s well-being, because he is a genuinely innocent character. Duda ensured that I had a decent level of skepticism for Theodore Rattletrap the entire time, and even now, I’m not too sure about him. This is by far my favorite story of the collection.

Unsurprisingly, I am obsessed with this new book by Michael Duda.

I have been hounding him for some time now to please write a novel before I wither away into dust and fly off into the wind, and he is! But in the meantime, I highly suggest you guys read Stars in the Winter Sky, and a few of his other short story collections under his other pen name M. Duda: Bedtime for Seneca, A Cat Will Play, Deny the Father.

5-stars

 

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Book Promo · Books · New Releases · Takeover Tour · The Parliament House Press

Takeover Tour: The Sin Soldiers (Fragments, Book 1) by Tracy Auerbach

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Publisher: The Parliament House
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Book Title: The Sin Soldiers
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Series: Fragments, Book #1
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Author: Tracy Auerbach
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~*~ Takeover Tour ~*~

I have teamed up with The Parliament House Press for the Takeover Tour and Release Day of The Sin Soldiers, a YA Science-Fiction tale of chemically trained teens!

It’s the first in the Fragments series and described as an action-packed, adventurous, and exciting tale of a young girls journey to stay alive and find her twin brother, Dex.

~Click here to purchase a copy!~

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There is also a GIVEAWAY for a chance to win a SIGNED Paperback of The Sin Soldiers, or an E-book edition!
Head over to my Bookstagram to enter! ❤
@JenacideByBibliophile

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Book Synopsis

Red compound makes them angry. Yellow exhausts them. Blue drives them into a state of ravenous addiction. The thief Kai knows about the chemically controlled soldiers of the Eastern forces and their savage, deadly nature. When a robbery attempt at Club Seven goes wrong, Kai is captured by a handler and his bestial soldier-boy. She wakes up inside the military base with no idea what happened to her twin brother, Dex.

Things go from bad to worse when Kai is started on a drug and training regimen, and forced to take injections of blue compound. The scientists in charge plan to make her into a working soldier who will mine the mysterious power crystals beneath the desert. Kai becomes a victim of the bully Finn, a handsome but nasty soldier whose years on red compound seem to have erased his humanity. Still, she begins to pity the Seven Soldiers, including the monstrous boy who tried to rip her to shreds at the club. They appear to be nothing more than genetically enhanced, drug-controlled teenagers.

On the outside, Dex and his tech-savvy boyfriend try to crack the soldiers’ chemical code to find a weakness that will break the system. But Kai has already been drawn deep into her new world. Strong feelings for the soldiers she’s come to know have started to cloud her judgment. Can she escape and find Dex without becoming a monster herself?

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Social Media Tags:
Instagram: @auerbach.tracy , @theparliamentpress
Twitter: @TracyAuerbach , @Parliamentbooks
Facebook: tracyauerbachauthor, The Parliament House
Website: https://tracyauerbach.com/

 

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books · New Releases · Pre-order · Upcoming Releases

Bindings of Bindings #19: My Top 10 Anticipated June Book Releases

So this was supposed to be posted on Friday, just like every other Binding of Bindings post.
But…it wasn’t.
So…
Happy MONDAY!

 

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~* My 10 Anticipated June Book Releases *~

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1. Before the Broken Star (The Evermore Chronicles, Book 1) by Emily R. King
Release Date: June 1, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Sci-fi/Steampunk

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Before the Broken Star is said to be a “dark re-imagining and gender swap of Pinocchio“.

Intrigued?

Of course you are.

The series is a YA Fantasy, Sci-fi, Steampunk, Historical Fiction about a girl who turns herself in for crimes she hasn’t committed in order to avenge the murder of her family. In all honesty, the synopsis for this book is vague, and the reviews aren’t giving me much to go on here.

BUT there are mentions of a lethal female main character, clock shops and gadgets, deceit and murder, and a possible romance.

From my experience, sometimes the best books have the crappiest books descriptions.

Need I say more?

 

2. Ghosts of the Shadow Market (Books 1-10) by Cassandra Clare
Release Date: June 4, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy

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If you have read any of Cassandra Clare‘s books (The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, The Dark Artifices) then you’re probably already losing your pretty little mind over this release.

This series follows Brother Zachariah and a smattering of other characters like Anna Lightwood, Mathew Fairchild, Tessa Gray and Valentine Morgenstern as they come and go in The Shadow Market.

This is the first release of all 10 books in one edition, and I am honestly so excited to get my greedy hands on it!

 

3. The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen
Release Date: June 4, 2019
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Romance

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Emma Saylor‘s mother died when she was 10 years old, leaving behind stories of the Lake she grew up near. Now a young teen, she is sent to the same lake to spend the summer with her grandmother and cousins. But North Lake is divided between the working class and the wealthy, and even her own identity is divided between the daughter she is to her father and the girl she is to her mother’s side of her family.

The Rest of the Story is about Emma‘s journey to learn who she is, and the secrets her mother left behind. It is a coming-of-age tell about a girl who must decide who she wants to be, when two sides of expectation are pulling her in opposite directions.

 

4. The Beholder (Book 1) by Anna Bright
Release Date: June 4, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Retelling

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The Beholder seems to be a retelling of various stories and fairy tales wrapped into one, but the two most prominent adaptations would be Cinderella and The Odyssey.

It is the story of a young Princess who yearns to marry a young man she has been in love with for as long as she can remember, but is rejected. Wishing to find her “Happily Ever After“, she is sent away by her stepmother on a voyage to find a future husband.

Though I have been seeing a lot of conflicting reviews on this story not being a true retelling of The Odyssey, I am still really excited for an sort of adaptation that follows the classic. It sounds like a very creative story, and I am a sucker for any type of period piece.

 

5. The Haunted by Danielle Vega
Release Date: June 4, 2019
Genre: YA/Paranormal/Horror

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YES!!!!!

I received an ARC copy of this in a Goodreads giveaway and I have been talking about this book for WEEKS and WEEKS!

Finally…it will be releasing!

The Haunted is your typical haunted house tale. A young girl and her family move to a new town, to a house that has a reputation for being haunted, and basically…s**t just hits the dusty ceiling fans. But in typical Danielle Vega fashion, I know this is going to be a story that creeps me out more than anything.

SO EXCITED!

 

6. Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich
Release Date: June 11, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Horror/Retelling

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Teeth in the Mist is a retelling of Faust – the tale of a man who makes a deal with the Devil in order to receive knowledge and pleasures.

It switches between the lives of three women, all from different parts of history. Zoey is sixteen living in modern times, and explores the haunted ruins of Medwyn Mill House with her friend. Roan is seventeen in 1851 and is, along with two others, the newest ward of Mill House. Hermione in 1583, is a young bride married to a man with plans of building a mansion and water mill.

Their lives are intertwined in this spooky horror retelling, and their only chance of survival is finding the man that brought them all together.

 

7. Bunny by Mona Awad
Release Date: June 11, 2019
Genre: Fiction/Suspense

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THIS. LOOKS. AMAZING.

Reviews are boasting of the weird, confusing, strange, creepy and obsessively wonderful characters and plot of this book…and honestly, it DOES sound weird AF.

It is about a group of strange rich girls at a University who call each other “Bunny“, who have an immense love and affection for one another, and who are always entangled in a fierce embrace. When outsider Samantha is invited to the Bunnies‘ “Smut Salon“, she is pulled into the dark and twisted world of the Bunny cult.

I know that sounds bizarre, but the actual synopsis of the book sounds much more intriguing and addicting. This book is at the top of my list for June – I can BARELY contain my excitement!!

What…a freak show.

 

8. The Exact Opposite of Okay (Izzy O’Neill, Book 1) by Laura Steven
Release Date: June 11, 2019
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Feminism

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Feminist hearts, UNITE!

It is the typical tale of a young woman being labeled a slut after being found in a compromising position with the son of a powerful man. The Exact Opposite of Okay follows Izzy as she is forced to deal with peer judgements, gossip and ridicule.

In a world where women are standing up for themselves and each other more than ever before, this book is proving to be an important piece to educating audiences on the cruel reality that many women face.

I can tell this is going to be a heart-wrenching story, but one we can all relate to and appreciate.

Put this on your TBR list!

 

9. The Girl in Red by Christina Henry
Release Date: June 18, 2019
Genre: Fantasy/Horror/Retelling

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I’m telling you guys, 2019 is the year of retellings!!

The Girl in Red is a Little Red Riding Hood retelling set in a post-apocalyptic world of evil, darkness and grit. It is a Horror based novel that follows Cordeila, or Red, after a mysterious viral outbreak has decimated the world. She sets out on a journey to her grandmother’s cabin in the woods, and along the way is forced to do anything she can to survive.

I cannot wait to dive into another dark and depressing world that Christina Henry so eloquently creates! She has a knack for turning our beloved fairytales into one’s of pure horror! 

 

10. The Evil Queen (The Forest of Good and Evil, Book 1) by Gena Showalter
Release Date: June 25, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Retelling

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ANOTHER RETELLING!

A retelling of Snow White, The Evil Queen is about a girl named Everly who was taken away from the magical land of Enchantia as a baby and raised in the mortal realm. But as Everly grows older she learns of an ability to communicate through mirrors, and starts to see a strange girl in them. It is prophesized that she is the Evil Queen and enemy of Snow White, and that the darkness will soon take her over completely. Forced to return to Enchantia, Everly does everything she can to fight the prophecy and to change her fate.

There is a lot of Maleficent vibes flowing around this book, and I can’t help but be really excited for it. I love a story that twists the villain into a character that isn’t actually so villainous, and when the author gives them a spotlight to show how amazing they really are.

Bring on the darkness!

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Are you guys excited for any of these releases?
I’d love to hear about any other books you are anticipating the release for in June, there are so many great ones coming out this year!!
As always, Stay Witchy! ❤

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Reviews

Book Review: Zombie Dog (Zombie Dog, Book 3) by Doug Goodman

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Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book by the author, Doug Goodman, for an honest review

Genre: Fiction/Horror/Suspense

Plot: You have to be there for your dog. On any search, your dog is the only one who didn’t volunteer for this work.

Murder has always been there for Angie. He stood loyally by her side in the Colorado wildfires, and he led her to safety in Big Bend National Park. But now they are hunting zombies in the city, joining the City of Houston Zombie Task Force. Their mission is to discover the source of weaponized zombies and prevent gangs from using them. Working with police detectives and curanderos, Angie and Murder work their way through Houston’s criminal underworld, but at what price? Angie must remember, Murder is her responsibility, and he is her loyal friend. Can she protect him as well as he has protected her?

Opinion:

HOLY S**T, Doug Goodman.

You just took this zombie series to a whole new level of disturbing, dark and twisted!

GOODBYE fluffy tale of a woman and her dog hunting corpses controlled by giant wasps

HELLO seriously deranged, body tensing book of 100% pure horror!

I can’t…look…away…

I love it.

They succeeded in the Colorado wildfires and survived the dangerous chase into Big Bend National Park. But back in Houston, “Ground Zero” for the wasp outbreak, Angie and Murder’s zombie tracking services are needed more than ever. Reports have been flooding into Houston PD of gangs weaponizing zombies, missing persons reports, and suburban homes that may be hiding monstrous creatures. Enlisted to assist the Houston Zombie Task Force, Angie and Murder begin working diligently to hunt the living corpses into extinction, all while helping form the Zombie Squad of other tracking dogs. But as the task force comes closer to uncovering the reason for the disappearances and Frankenstein zombies, they find something much more grotesque than they had ever expected.

Run for your lives, kids.

The wasps are multiplying.

I am honestly SO shocked with Zombie Dog, I’m not even sure how to begin.

I have fallen in love with Angie and Murder over the years, looked forward to their amazing and dangerous adventures, and delighted in their resilience. So as I began book 3 in the Zombie Dog series, I expected to feel much of the same mild, skin-crawly vibes and elated adoration for these two amazing characters. But what Doug Goodman has given the reader in this installment is

so much more than I could have ever asked for in this series.

I am severely disturbed by the gruesome evolution and reproducing of these zombies, obsessed with the Curandero elements, and beyond impressed with the detail and OBVIOUS research this author has done. Books 1 and 2 don’t even compare to the gut-punch that this book is! It is horrific, it is emotional, it is touching, exciting and borderline demented! Look, I thought wasps with giant stingers kidnapping people was bad…

…but what they’re doing NOW?!?!

THIS IS SO MUCH WORSE!!!!!

Goodman has raised the “what in the actual f**k” bar by about 1,000,000 Scoville. I’m sweating, I’m frightened, I’m cringing into the couch whimpering and wailing like a six-year-old version of myself that sees a spider free-falling from the ceiling towards her face.

There is SO much happening in this story. Gangs are turning zombies into walking death traps by attaching saws, blades, nails and metal armor to their bodies. Dogs Chainsaw and Kali are being trained to join the Zombie Squad in hunting down the growing wasps. Elements of voodoo and magic (can I call this magic?) are intertwined FLAWLESSLY into the story, making it nearly impossible to remember this is fiction. And the pregnant women are…

…*sigh*…the pregnant women…

But I think what is really impressing me, is Angie. Her character makes SUCH strides in this installment. She has blossomed from a somewhat cold and serious character to this beautiful, loving and fiercely passionate woman! She’s still as sarcastic and fiery as ever, don’t you worry! But in Zombie Dog I feel like I finally get to KNOW who she is. The author really took the time to go much more in depth with Angie and Murder, and it is something I didn’t even know I needed until I was immersed in it.

I know Doug Goodman is a huge outdoor enthusiast and previously worked in search and rescue, so I can never be surprised by the amount of resources that he pulls into his stories. This author goes above and beyond to give you EXACT directions to areas of Houston, precise details of how a task force/police unit is assembled and organized, and an easy and exciting understanding of how to read a dog when they are on a scent. These books aren’t just thrilling rides of fiction, they are pamphlets of knowledge and survivalist tools. This author literally puts everything he has into creating these books, and it is shouting through the pages. I wish more authors would put the amount of effort and heart into their work, as much as Doug Goodman obviously does.

Goodman lives and breathes the outdoors and the connection between man and dog, and it shows in every word that he shares on these pages.

5-stars

 

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