Preternatural – G.S.Anderson

From the reality of the known to the depths of imagination, these twelve tales will skew your perceptions. Embracing mystery, science fiction, horror, and fantasy, the stories examine greed, ignorance, superficiality, and our ideas of home. A little girl wonders about the price of her new home. A woman searches for a place to fit in. A contest exposes hidden personalities. A man tries to overcome his fears. A gift comes with strings attached. A man lives his greatest dream. A fairy tale finds a little girl. An artist describes her process. A soldier discovers the past. A woman encounters reality. A man holds the key to saving the world. Tales to entertain, surprise, and make you think.
My thoughts:
There are 12 stories and as the book is only 60 pages then yes all the stories are really short. But they all pack quite the punch.
That is also why I can’t say a lot about the stories, cos I say one thing and the whole thing is spoiled.
1. Seemingly dystopian, then it change for the little girl. And the end, yes I did not see it coming. It’s about a little girl getting a new home.
2.A story about a woman who has a bookloving sister. A more quiet story.
3. A mum tells her son to go out and play….boom! Ha.
4. A relative dies and sets a contest about who will get it all. Boom! I love her endings!
5. Astraphobia. A man is afraid of the thunder. Honestly all I could say about all of these are, awesome ending!
6. The Gift. Dystopia with a nice twist.
7. One man at a time. A man gets the chance of a lifetime. Happiness or not?
8. The unicorn. I love all the twists and turns.
9. Piecé dé résitance. An artist shows us her work. Freaky.
10. Short fable.
11. To kill Hitler. A time-travel piece.
12. The end. Apocalyptic story with you guessed it, a twist.
I could not say much cos all these stories will surprise you. And in a good way. Twists, turns and surprise endings. Great short stories, and they are great just like that, as short stories. Because this way they all will thrill and surprise you. 😉
I would recommend them and they would fit perfectly for before bedtime. A short story and then night 🙂

ebook, 60 pages
Published April 18th 2014 by The Story Vault
Science-fiction /dystopia /post-apocalyptic
For review 

Mishel Reviews: Endure – Laura Diamond

Series or Stand Alone: Endure series, book one
Release Date: July 2013
Publisher: Etopia Press
Pages: 336 (ebook)
My Rating: 3/5 
Source: Publisher
Cover: Thumbs Up – I like the color usage and it goes well with the story. I do wish the cover was more focused on the male since Justin is the main character.
Seventeen-year-old Justin’s anemic blood is a blessing. Or a curse. It all depends on who you ask. 

To most of the immortal Vie, his blood is a scourge: untouchable and useless. To some Vie, his blood is a drug. To Justin, it’s something that gets him in a lot of trouble. Being poisoned by a Vie is just one example. His sister getting kidnapped is another. Whether it’s being coerced by a deluded cult leader, or negotiating with Alex—n Vie scientist addicted to Anemie blood—Justin struggles to keep every mutated drop of blood he’s got.

His fight for survival gets more complicated when he meets Alex’s slave, Cara. Despite coming from different worlds, they’re both prisoners, at risk of being drained by a hungry Vie any moment. When she risks her own neck to help Justin find his sister, he’s left with a terrifying choice.

Saving what’s left of humanity.
Saving his sister. 
Saving the girl he loves.
Or sticking a stake in Alex’s chest. 
Justin can’t decide which option will get him killed first.
I think Endure is a really promising start to a series that will stand out in the Young Adult crowd. The beginning starts out with an introduction to Justin and his younger sister Sammie. Like other Anemies, the siblings spend their days on the run and their nights in hiding, trying to survive and not get taken during Vie raids. Already in a weakened state due to his illness, Justin does his best to keep the two of them alive on food and water pellets distributed to all Anemies. When Sammie gets kidnapped during a raid, Justin not only loses his baby sister but finds out some shocking information that turns his already fragile world upside down. 
My main issue with Endure is that I never really got a good grasp on the world of the Vie. Similar to vampires, I gathered that Vie were once normal humans who were granted immortality through science (and money/power). Now, regular humans are Vie slaves and humans who suffer from anemia are no longer even considered humans. I think I would have liked a history lesson or something thrown into the book that helped me better understand the kind of world Justin lives in. I felt a little cheated because I would get small threads of information concerning the past or about current events in the book and then they would be gone. The characters were pretty well-rounded but I think some more detail and explanation would have gone a long way even if it added more pages to the book’s length.
Another very minor (and personal) issue I had was the language use…I myself use explicit language. I’m no potty mouth but I honestly could care less about the usage of curse words. (As long as it isn’t used as every other word and unnecessary) If I recall correctly I think maybe one or two true curse words can be found in Endure. What’s the problem then?? Clots and sludge brain… I should have counted how many times I read those words – *shudders* I get that they were substitutes for curse words but it just turned me off every single time. 
I did enjoy the budding romance between Justin and Cara, a Vie slave. The romantic story arc was a good addition that did not complicate or take away from the main conflicts of the story. I also appreciated and really enjoyed the fact there was no sugar coating of the violence within the story. I won’t ruin any parts but be prepared for the honest and brutal way of life that Justin is living in. I feel really weird admitting how pleasantly surprised I was to find the author wasn’t shy in killing off characters. I guess I didn’t know how much I liked violence *shrugs*
Even though I haven’t had the chance to get a lot of YA dystopian novels under my reading belt I still like the unique premise of Endure and what it has to offer. While there will be a second book (Evoke), I’m glad Endure did not end on a major cliffhanger. Justin’s story is far from over and I like the fact that I don’t feel the need to tear my hair out waiting for the next book, I can be a good girl and wait patiently 🙂

Did I ever introduce Mishel? Well if not then here is a few words from her 🙂

Reading hasn’t always been my passion. I remember some Anne Rice, a few Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, some Dean Koontz, a couple of John Saul’s, a Stephen King at some point. I dabbled a little here and there…had a quickie a time or two…but I really fell in love when I picked up Dark Guardian by Christine Feehan sometime in 2007. Can’t tell you how or why my switch was flipped, but I sure haven’t looked back since then. I admit I’m a bit (ooookay a lot a bit) of a cover-whore and I may or may not have a book-collecting problem…like “gotta have em’ all” problem =) … I’m a sucker for anything cute and cuddly. I like super heroes, cartoons, tv shows I can never keep up with and collecting random things.  I enjoy all things romantic, paranormal, and fantasy. But I like when some YA, historical, sci-fi, contemporary and horror/thriller gets sprinkled into the mix as well…basically if it tickles my fancy – I’ll give it a go!

Review: Osiris – E.J.Swift

Osiris is a lost city. She has lost the world and the world has lost her. 

Adelaide Rechnov, wealthy socialite and granddaughter of the Architect, spends her time in pointless luxury, rebelling against her family in a series of jaded social extravagances and scandals until her twin brother disappears in mysterious circumstances. 

Vikram Bai lives in the Western Quarter, home to the poor decedents of storm refugees and effectively quarantined from the wealthy elite. His people live with cold and starvation, but the brutal winter coming promises civil unrest, and a return to the riots of previous years. 

Brought together by circumstance and fate, these two very different people attempt to bridge the divide lurking at the heart of Osiris, but who is using whom, and what secrets will they uncover?
My thoughts:
Osiris was a dream that turned to dust, but then what kind of dystopia post-apocalyptic book would we have if everything did not go to hell?
In this world storms and well everything really turned the world to a wasteland and Osiris was a refuge for some. The rest of the world is dead..or is it? (no really is it? I wanna know!! I guess I have to wait until book 2 for that). But this Oasis is not a happy place. There are citizens who have it all, and then refuges behind a wall who has nothing and freeze to death. The perfect setting to cause some conflict. Especially since our heroine is a spoiled rich girl and the hero a poor Westerner.
The premise is interesting. A city eating itself, but some being to close-minded to see it. A world where I wonder if anyone is alive in the world? Because the rich have secrets.
The characters are not exactly lovable. Adelaide is rich and spoiled, and obsessed with finding her lost brother. Vikram on the other hand is nice, but maybe a bit naive. Sometimes you just have to storm the barricades. But they grow on you.
Osiris has a pace of it’s own, it moves slowly, like a dream but always forward and never slowing down that it would get boring. And when it ends I do wonder, what’s next? I enjoyed it.

Series; The Osiris project #1
Genre: Post-apocalyptic, dystopia
Pages: 448
Published: February 2013 by Del Rey UK
Source for review

Review: Divergent – Veronica Roth

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
My thoughts:
Another book that was really hyped about. Sure it was good, but was it mind blowing in any way? Nope. The only good thing was a compelling story that I read fast.
Will I still go all snarky on it? Oh yes. No amount of good will save this book. Sure I am pissed that book 2 is borrowed since I would want to read it at once, but I have the flu and I wanna tear something apart.
The world building was not good. I need more people! This was not enough. The entire system of factions was beyond stupid. I did not fit a single one, humans are not such simple creatures. And this would stop war and shit? Ha! Humans are not that simple. So the factions and the world was a fail. Dauntless, oh do not even get me started on those idiots. Brave equals stupid it seems. And the whole system also throws away people, now how is that a better world? Why have factions at all? And of course there are divergents cos as I said, humans are not simple.
The heroine Tris is of course the savior of mankind, a weak little girl that is not in fact weak but rises to the challenge. Ok I did like her even if she was a little too good for her own good. Then there is a love interest and I am happy to see no triangle, but hey this is book 1 so that might happen still (I sure hope not).
But in the end, like I said,a compelling story that made me want more. But an epic dystopian masterpiece? No. For that I need to question society, and here that was way too simple do to. Too many things not adding up, not explained. Anyway, all things said, I do want to know what happens next. But with my luck it will entirely suck as all part 2 of every freaking dystopia series I have read have done.
Cover: Boooooring

Series: Divergent #2
Genre: YA /dystopia
Pages: 487
Published: 2012 by Katherine Tegen Books
Source. Library

Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars – Diana Peterfreund

It’s been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot’s estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth–an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret–one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she’s lost him forever.
My thoughts:
When I heard about this one I knew I had to read it. A re-telling of Persuasion, and I do love that book. It did not disappoint.
This is a post-apocalyptic world, a dystopian society where The Luddites rule over the reduced and the post-reduced. Genetic experimentation went wrong and some kids were born wrong(The reduced) and after a few generations they did get birth to normal kids but they are still owned. It was a great society, ok do not get me wrong, it was a horrible society, it was just great to read about as I love when an author truly creates something good and well terrible. The world has crumbled, you can’t travel across the ocean as you would get lost. Technology (high tech) is forbidden. God punished these people. As you can see, what an awesome premise. I do think it was the world I liked the most.
But ok on to the story. It followed Persuasion in some aspects (I mean after all this is a dystopian messed up society so everything can’t be in there). I liked the story of how 18 year old Elliot meets her old friend Kai again. He was owned by them before he ran away. Now he has money and fame as the Posts are making names for themselves. The world is changing. Kai was a bit of an ass (as he should be), he was hurt and Elliott is trying to cope with her new responsibilities. As just as in Persuasion her sister and dad are idiots.
A good dystopian book, great world, and a love story that even if not in the spotlight, surely burns inside of them.

Series: For darkness shows the stars #1
Genre: Dystopia / Jane Austen variation / YA
Pages: 402
Published: 2012 by Balzer and Bray
Source: Library

Review: Pandemonium – Lauren Oliver

After escaping from Portland, Lena makes it to the Wilds and becomes part of an Invalid community. Weak and grieving for Alex, Lena fights to survive. And then she fights her oppressors.
As the viewpoint shifts between Lena’s time in the Wilds and the present day, which is set in Brooklyn, Lena transforms into a warrior for the resistance. In New York City, the grass-roots movement for a Deliria-Free America (the DFA) is gathering strength, and its leader, Thomas Fineman, recruits more supporters by the day. His son Julian–as-yet uncured–heads up the DFA’s youth organization. Lena is tasked with blending into the DFA’s rallies; she seems to be a supporter yet she is really a spy.
My thoughts:
I really liked book 1. I read it in a sitting and I liked the world. No feelings. Awesome premise. So of course I really looked forward to book 2. Sadly it went down in a flaming piece of pooh.
What went wrong? Honestly? Everything! First of all I spent the first chapters confused. Then that was settled but it still felt messy. See the book have 2 timelines. Then, when she is in the Wilds (yawn) and Now, when she is for some reason in the Resistance. Of course these timelines never met. The whole Now was just confusing.
So then we have that out of the way, the confusing bits. Let’s move on to how the book was so freaking boring, blah blah blah. I could care less about anyone in the book or anything in this world.
Ok so this point is not the thing that made the book suck but come on! Yes love triangle. A freaking love triangle in a book where love is classified as a disease. Not to mention that I never felt it.
Moving on again, Lena was boring, not a good heroine this time around. Oh and do not even get me started on how she suddenly turns into a ninja or something. The whole last part was just a fail.
The only good thing I liked in the entire book was the cliffie in the end. That was actually good. Even if so obvious.

Series: Delirium #2
Genre: Dystopia / YA
Pages: 329
Published: 2010 by Hodder
Source: For review

Review: Fever- Lauren DeStefano

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago – surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous – and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion…by any means necessary.
My thoughts:
I can’t even snark that much as nothing happened in this book, and people were drugged much of it too. Hug disappointment.
But first, really..really?! She ends up in a brothel. But does she get sold to the next costumer. Oh no, of course not, instead she gets put on display. Now that is just bad business. If the girl is that damn pretty and special then sell her body. But we can’t have that happen to our heroine. So do not let her end up there then. It set the tone for the book and I did not like it. This is supposed to be a horrible future and she *big eye roll*. Lame.
The other problem with the book was that I did not care. Book was tough provoking, here I did not care either way. Women dying at 20,whatever. Women sold to slavery, yawn. Yes you can see my problem. The whole book suffered for it. Nothing happened, she talked with Gabriel (did I feel they were in Scary evil father-in law, well ok he was good, cos he was actually evil. The only good thing is the mad scientist.
And how is this series gonna end. Oh I am sure she is the cure for it all. Did this book made me want to read the next? No thanks. I mean, it was still ok, cos I finished it in no time. It was simple.

Series: The Chemical Garden #2
Genre: YA/dystopia
Pages: 341
Published: 2012 by Simon & Schuster
Source: Library