***I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***
“Delusional”, at its core, is the story of a professional young woman who has her head down, focused only on her work, constantly trying to remove herself from office drama in order to exceed in her career. Which gives her a rather bland personality, Patricia’s only vice is adhering to a strict exercise regimen, and pining to find a new romantic partner because, according to her life plan, it’s about time she start hunkering down and start a family. Then Patricia sets her sights on a married man, and things start getting weird, leaving Patricia to wonder if she’s losing her mind, or if someone is tormenting her, and if so, who, and how? For Patricia’s symptoms and visions are so outlandish, that they can’t possibly be real, right? Right.
“From the Ash” is not your average post-apocalyptic dystopian book. This isn’t a series about a young woman going on a quest to fix her broken and charred world, she’s not on a mission to put the world back to the way it was before the bombs dropped. No, all Phoenix wants to do is go home. She desperately is trying to get across the barren wasteland that most of the United States has been left in to get back to Maine, where she clings to the hope that those she loves are there waiting for her. Phoenix has no idea if her father or boyfriend are alive, but the idea of them NOT being there and waiting is beyond her comprehension. At its core, “From the Ash” is the journey of a young woman running away from her depression, blindly believing that something better HAS to be on the other end of that tunnel, because if not, then what would be the point of even trying to go on? I love the subtly of that feeling Phoenix has, from someone who has suffered from anxiety and depression, I can relate to that feeling. That irrational hope that you cling to because, if you didn’t, the idea of just getting out of bed in the morning would be pointless. But that’d be a really, really depressing book to focus purely on, so Heron wonderfully bundles that within a physically strong and capable woman, and gives her a task that shows the reader her struggles packaged in an apocalyptic world—that is far more believable then most books out there—and that’s wonderful!
****I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review****
Despite the name, this is NOT a creation myth retelling. In fact, if you go in thinking that the names are more of a coincidence then this is actually Lucifer, fallen archangel, and devil sent to plague humanity, then I think you’d be happier. Think of this as a science-fiction meets dark fantasy where fantasy creatures/aliens and world building gods clash over the right to live, rule, create, and who has access to knowledge. Think of this as the journey of one immortal prince (who is only immortal as long as he doesn’t get killed) as he goes to avenge his twin brother, only to learn that his brother’s death was perhaps not so murderous, and the being responsible has plans to destroy the prince’s world to power his own designs. Then, as the prince rushes home through light years of space after being trapped for thousands of years, he learns that another has taken his place, and he must now take back everything that was stolen from him, and also save his primal pattern (or, world really) from being destroyed. Get rid of the name Lucifer and Jehovah and apocalypse, and this book gets a bit closer to a better told story. But unfortunately, you can’t do that, either.
This may not have been the best time for me to read “The Casquette Girls”. Hurricane Harvey just passed, Hurricane Irma is on the way, so reading a book that takes place during the after effects of a major Hurricane was probably not smart on my end (oops?). But Arden weaves a lovely story of 16 year old Adele, who is determined to return to her home despite all the trouble the slowly recovering New Orleans faces. There, she learns more about herself, her family, and even tangles with a few of the immortals who knew her family “back in the day”. Discovering family secrets, and what to do with that knowledge, plus the mystery behind the rampant deaths in the French Quarter, PLUS going to a new preppy school and having to make friends when few of the people have returned to the area, has Adele constantly looking over her shoulder and asking: “what the heck is going on?”. As someone who currently lives in New Orleans, this was a fun read, but the story wasn’t new, nor would it be to any of the natives, or the tourists who frequently visit.
****I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review****
The “Time-Bender” is a quirky young adult sci-fi story with a cast of loveably flawed dorks (in the best way possible). The book follows the main character, Selina, as she makes a wish for a boyfriend. At sixteen, she’s a social outcast, her skin has a blue-ish tinge, and she has ADP which essentially means she avoids most people, think extreme introvert. The only one able to break through her shell is her lifelong friend and neighbor, Alex. Then, her wish is granted and two hunky aliens fall from the sky posing as exchange students. But these two guys competing for Selina’s attention are not all they seem to be as they begin pressuring Selina to leave with them, by any means necessary.