Book Review: ‘The Replacement’ by Bianca Sierra-Luebke

A sci-fi novel that is well worth reading.

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51tsXWRXbDLThis is a fascinating and enjoyable sci-fi read. The story is compelling and the characters are well-developed, becoming better understood by the reader over time as their histories and motivations are revealed.

The author uses both Angelica, the main character, and the Lymerian race and its interaction with humanity on earth to explore questions of identity, destiny and free will. There is a powerful divide between “then” and “now” developed in both levels of this story, created in Angelica’s story through the flashbacks in her dreams, and amongst the Lymerians in the almost wistful tone in which they speak of what used to be while clinging to the structures and rules of their society.

The world-building is quite neo-classical, yet enhanced by technologies and extraordinary abilities among the people that make Krisenica an original and complex place. The Lymerian social system and history add interest and a sense of mystery, while the main character’s struggle to reconcile her experiences and understand the events happening around her add emotional depth and ensure the reader’s loyalty toward her.

Acorn Award II Silver

‘The Replacement’ is well worth reading and will hold definite appeal to sci-fi readers who are looking for something new and original to read within their preferred genre. It has been awarded a Silver Acorn.

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘The Incredible Aunty Awesomesauce’ by J.S. Frankel

This brilliant book that should be on every teen’s reading list.

Jesse Frankel The Incredible Aunty AwesomesauceWhat a brilliant read! Highly original and very imaginative, the author takes YA sci-fi to a new level by demonstrating how very believable is the concept that we are “not alone” in the universe. By setting this story in our world, he positions the reader to explore thought-provoking questions about identity, self-knowledge and acceptance of others for who and what they are. This story is so engaging and action packed, it was really hard to put the book down once I had started reading.

Sam and Kym are both very realistic and relatable teenage characters. Both have endured bullying in different ways by their peers, and both finding their own ways of dealing with that. Their friendship and the way in which it develops is natural and the pair complement each other really well. The author has made Kym in particular a really strong and proactive character, and it’s great to see that she remains a positive female role model by really taking it up to the antagonists in the story and using her intelligence and strengths to counteract some really negative behaviours and attitudes.

Acorn Award I Golden

‘The Incredible Aunty Awesomesauce’ is a book that should be on every teen’s reading list and in every library, and is fully deserving of a Gold Acorn.

 

Find your copy at Amazon, Kobo, or Nook – if you prefer a different store, it’s probably there, too!

Book Review: ‘The Captain and The Ambassador’ by Carol Ann Kauffmann

A very satisfying and enjoyable read.

Carol Ann Kauffman The Captain and The Ambassador‘The Captain and The Ambassador’ is an enjoyable blend of science fiction adventure, space-travel and lighthearted romance, with some well-developed mystery and drama woven through the story, infusing it with greater depth and tension.

Regardless of the fact that the book is largely set beyond earth, Kauffman demonstrates the universal truths of human nature through her characters. It’s easy to see that a character in a book is putting other concerns ahead of those of the heart, but on reflection, the reader understands that this is very often the sort of limitation that an individual puts on oneself for one or more different reasons. It takes only a little empathy for the reader to want the heroes of the story to end up happy, but this also carries the reminder that it’s important for each individual, reader included, to choose the life that makes them happy, too.

Whether it’s because they have enjoyed them or because they haven’t, everyone understands the value and importance of acceptance, love, personal freedom and justice, and it is those qualities that make ‘The Captain and The Ambassador’ a satisfying and very enjoyable read.Acorn Award I Golden

I’ve awarded this great book a Gold Acorn.

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘Ether’ by J.S. Frankel

If I could give ‘Ether’ six stars, I would.

Jesse Frankel EtherWhat an absolutely brilliant read!

Frankel is a master of inventive stories that surprise and enthral the reader. This book has all the ingredients of a page-turner – mystery, danger, teen angst, an unlikely romance, thugs, and surprise twists – and they’re bundled into a highly unique storyline that hooks the reader in and keeps them hostage until the story is done.

The characters are all crafted with expertise. Sam is a regular guy with flaws, hopes, and struggles that readers will definitely relate to. His responses to the unpredictable turns that his life takes reinforce the reader’s respect for him. Esther is refreshing and very individual, and presents a very strong female character who does far more than merely complementing Sam’s character. Her leadership and initiative are driving forces in the story, which no doubt would have ended very differently without her.

Acorn Award I Golden

‘Ether’ is one of those books that will leave you wondering what on earth you’re going to read next that might possibly compete with the incredible ride you’ve just had. It is most deserving of a Gold Acorn.

Grab your copy today on Kobo, Amazon or Devine Destinies.

Book Review: ‘Red Sarah’ by C.A. Kauffman

A delightful fantasy story that blends the historical, magical and contemporary worlds.

C.A. Kauffman Red SarahThis is a delightful fantasy story that blends the historical, magical and contemporary worlds with an interesting sci-fi twist.

While the mystery around Sarah and the Reds is answered as the story develops, questions about the fate of Lucas and the kingdoms of Mist and Marlowe remain until the very end. The story does have a surprisingly satisfying ending, although most likely not the one most readers expect or prefer.

As with many stories this length, none of the characters are particularly thoroughly developed, but the reader does come to feel that they know Sarah and Lucas fairly well, and that they are invested enough to want particular outcomes for them.

‘Red Sarah’ is an interesting and enjoyable short read that can be read comfortably in the space of a little over an hour, or managed easily enough during breaks in a busy day.
Acorn Award II Silver

This book has been awarded a Silver Acorn.

Get your copy here.

Author Interview: Emanuel Andrei Cosutchi

Book Squirrel chats with sci-fi author Emanuel Andrei Costuchi.

Interview Orange

Welcome, folks! Today Book Squirrel chats with Emanuel Andrei Cosutchi, a Sci-Fi writer from Romania, part of the European Union.
Hi Emanuel, welcome!

Thank you for having me, Book Squirrel!

unnamed What inspired you to write?


I became writer because I love the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genre.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?  

I was a consumer like everybody, this means I watched movies, I read books and I played computer games, but one day I decided to create my own Sci-Fi universe. So was born the space opera Starship “Apple of Discord”.

What’s your favourite thing that someone else has written?

I love to read and I have read a lot of books, no matter of genre.
My favorite Sci-Fi book is “Roadside picnic” by Arkadi and Boris Strugatsky.
My favorite Fantasy book is the “Rune Swords” series by multiple authors like Clayton Emery, Rose Estes, Tom Wham, J.F. Rivkin.

What are you working on writing now?

I finished the first three volumes of my space opera Starship “Apple of Discord” on November 11, 2017 and now I am looking for a publishing house. Starship “Apple of Discord” is about the adventures of a man from Earth, named Adam, who will meet alien civilizations and technology.
I plan to write more volumes, because my saga isn’t finished yet, and I have other projects too. I want to write another Sci-Fi novel called The Independence, and even Fantasy books.

Who designs your book covers?

This was me. For my Sci-Fi book The Restoration, which is published on all Amazon websites, I used free images from Internet and the cover template provided by CreateSpace.
I paid an young artist from my country to draw the redhead android, which I want to use it as my cover for my space opera Starship “Apple of Discord”. His name is Cosmin Benchea.

What’s your favourite TV show?

This would be Games of Thrones, but I love Vikings and Star Trek too.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

This would be Star Wars: Rogue One. Although I love Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, Vader, Obi Wan, Yoda and many other heroes, I think Jyn Erso is great too.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I have a nice story about this, which is posted on my Amazon Author page. My maternal gradma asked me this too, and I answered that I want to become a cowboy. My grandma mocked me and said that I want to become a cattle herder. I read comics at that time and my favorite character was a lone ranger. Still is. I said “cowboy” because I was to young to know the word EXPLORER.
I didn’t became an astronaut like Yuri Gagarin or Neil Armstrong. Or the next Jacques Cousteau, Steve Irwin, or “Bear” Grylls. I have some health issues with my heart. I was born like this, but I don’t complain about that. I take medicines daily.

What’s your favourite quote, ever?

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin

Another one is created by me:  “If you can’t provoke any emotion, there’s little point in writing.” – Emanuel Andrei Cosutchi

I like that!

Thank you!

Where can readers follow you on social media?

If readers would like to contact me, I would love to hear from them. I personally read and respond to all inquiries.
I have a website, and I am on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram. I also have another page on Facebook for my book.

Fantastic! And where can we buy your book?

It’s available at Amazon.

 

Book Review: ‘The Unlikeliest Candidate’ by J. S. Frankel

An absolutely ripping read for NA and grownups.

Jesse Frankel The Unlikeliest CandidateHarry Cannell’s life is going to hell in a handcart – fast. He’s a regular guy with regular problems that start piling up until one extraordinary event changes everything for him.

It’s great to find a brilliant story that revolves around a character who is actually so ordinary and who struggles to make sense of exactly how he arrived at the point in life where he finds himself as the book opens. This makes him relatable to the reader, and positions them to feel sympathy for the misery he experiences.

This story is a unique blend of mystery, sci-fi, comedy, romance and adventure all in one. It’s a great escape into the realm of ‘What if?’ that tempts the reader to wonder and hope that there might actually be something more, some unrealised possibilities that we simply overlook as we pursue life as we know it.

There is some physical intimacy in this book, so it’s suitable for New Adult audiences and up, rather than YA.

‘The Unlikeliest Candidate’ is an absolutely ripping read from start to finish.
Acorn Award I Golden

Book Squirrel has awarded it a Gold Acorn for brilliant storytelling and great writing.

Find your copy at Amazon.