Sunday, 14 December 2014

Aquarious Rising by Brian Burt


On an Earth ravaged by climate change, and a disastrous attempt to reverse it, human-dolphin hybrids called Aquarians have built thriving reef colonies among the drowned cities of the coast. Now their world is under siege from an enemy above the waves whose invisible weapon leaves no survivors. Ocypode of Tillamook is an Atavism: half-human and half-Aquarian, marooned in the genetic limbo between species. Only he knows why the colonies north and south of Tillamook Reef have been destroyed, literally turned to stone. Ocypode knows that Tillamook will be targeted next, but sharing the reason might prove as deadly to Aquarius as the Medusa plague itself.

Ocypode and his Aquarian and human comrades flee into the open ocean to escape Medusa, until another Aquarian's treachery leaves them at the mercy of a killer storm. Ocypode must pass through the Electric Forest, where he faces nightmarish creatures and a legendary sea witch who becomes an ally. Finally, he must confront the cyber-ghost of the human he most despises: Peter Cydon, the Great Father who bioengineered the mutagenic virus that gave birth to the Aquarian species. These unlikely allies provide the only chance to stop the Redeemers, rogue scientists who are determined to resurrect the land by slaughtering the sea. Even these allies will not be enough, and Ocypode must decide whom to trust with a secret as lethal as any plague.

This book won the 2014 EPIC eBook Award for Science Fiction.

Where to Purchase Aquarious Rising

The Author

Brian's Website / Goodreads / Facebook 

Brian Burt works as an information security engineer in West Michigan, where some of his most bizarre flights of fancy wind up in threat assessments.  He's been blessed with a wife and three boys who tolerate his twisted imagination and even encourage it.  He enjoys reading, cycling, hiking, horseplay, red wine, and local micro-brews (so hopefully the virtues balance the vices, more or less).  At every opportunity, he uses his sons as an excuse to act like an overgrown kid (which is why his wife enjoys rum, school days, and migraine medication).

Brian has published more than twenty short stories in various markets, including print magazines, anthologies, and electronic publications.  He won the L. Ron Hubbard Gold Award in 1992 for his short story, “The Last Indian War,” which was anthologized in Writers of the Future Volume VIII.  His story “Phantom Pain” received an Honorable Mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, Tenth Annual Collection, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling.  He's a card-carrying member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.  His debut novel,Aquarius Rising: In the Tears of God, won the 2014 EPIC eBook Award for Science Fiction. Book 2 of the Aquarius Rising trilogy, Blood Tide, is scheduled for release from Double Dragon Publishing in 2015.

Book Review -- Aquarius Rising: In the Tears of God by Brian Burt

Aquarius Rising: In the Tears of God (Aquarius Rising, #1)Aquarius Rising: In the Tears of God by Brian Burt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was provided with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Aquarius Rising is the promising first book in The Tears of God series. The premise of the book holds a lot of potential and I am certainly eager to know how the plot unfolds in the sequels of the series. It's definitely hard to categorise this book into just "science fiction" - because there is so much more to the book than that, with a lot of emotional tension among the characters, a sense of dangerous adventures and so on.

The story brings us to the point where two hundred years into the future from now, global warming has completely taken a toll on earth and its inhabitants and there is a near apocalypse. When a genetic experiment leads to the release of a virus, around 10% of the population turn into a human-dolphin hybrid race, called Aquarians, and are one of the few races who have been able to survive, with their reef colonies. What didn't help matters was stripping the carbondioxide from the atmosphere using powerful nanoparticles. Today, when an evil power threatens to collapse their world even further, they turn to Ocypode, an Atavism, to save them. Atavisms are said to be born from "the tears of the God" being half-human and half-Aquarian. Can Ocypode avert the disaster and does earth continue to thrive with what little it has left, is what the book takes us through.

The author has my appreciation for a powerful narration that brings out horrifying dangers about a seemingly calm medium from the outside - the ocean. I found the electric forest particularly terrorising. The pace is brisk and holds the reader's interest. It takes a lot to absorb all the different scientific phenomena and the different incidents, that one finds it hard to concentrate on the characters, despite the emotional drama in many scenes - which is probably how the author intended to have it.

I would highly recommend this book to lovers of sci-fi adventures.

My rating for this book: 4 stars

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Board Indiscretion by Jessica Jayne

Mark Olson isn’t just known for owning his three large care dealerships. He’s also known as a player, at least since his divorce. For a while, he believes he is satisfied as a member of Advantage Insurance Company’s board of directors and bedding a different woman every weekend. That is until someone decided to call his bluff.

Suzannah McCormick is the sweet girl working hard as the executive assistant to Advantage’s CEO. But underneath her saccharine southern charm is a vixen-in-waiting. She’s never been with a man that tapped into that side of her, but she set her sights on Mark Olson with high hopes.
Mark doesn’t realize his single status and his heart are in jeopardy.

Since his divorce, he’d convinced himself that remaining single was what he wanted. It made things less complicated for his two pre-teen daughters. Shit! It made things less complicated for himself. But that lifestyle could also be quite lonely.

That’s where Suzie came in and complicated the hell out of his life. She was the executive assistant to the CEO of Advantage Insurance Company, Michael Herron, and well… Mark was a member of Advantage’s board of directors, had been for several years. He loved his position on the board. Aside from the small amount of prestige it carried, he’d made great friends with the other members, particularly the two younger board members—John Dorsey and Greg Snow. A relationship with Suzie could compromise his position on the board and with the members, but truth be told, he also loved his most recent position between her legs. 

If only the situation was different.

A familiar giggle wafted in from the direction of the dance floor. The delicate sound stirred his cock to life. It stiffened against his black trousers instantly.  After several weeks of clandestine meetings involving dirty talk and hard fucks, he’d know that giggle anywhere. He’d heard it many times afterwards when they lay tangled in each other’s limbs. Turning his head in the direction of the dance floor, anger heated his face and his hands clenched into fists on the bar top at the sight he witnessed. 
Sandwiched between two guys that he’d now refer to as dickheads, danced the woman that wreaked havoc on his single life status.  Her little black dress clung to her trim frame, emphasizing her small, but very perky breasts and showing off her figure that could easily grace the cover of any fashion magazine. Her legs stretched for miles and her creamy white skin contrasted nicely against the jet black of her dress. Flinging her silky blonde hair over her shoulder and down her back, her pink Pursecase carrying her iPhone dangled from her wrist as her hips gyrated against her two dance partners. The taller man dancing behind her slipped his hand over her hip and rested it over her low belly as he rubbed what Mark was sure to be a rock hard erection against Suzie’s ass. 

What the fuck is she doing? 

First, she never came to the Beach Club. Never. In all his regular visits to this club over the last couple of years, he had yet to see her in here once. Not once!  Second, she was practically dry-humping two guys in the middle of the dance floor. That wasn’t her typical style.

Suzie was one of those beautiful women that appeared to have the girl-next-door innocence. She didn’t dress too provocatively.  

She was sexy, but in that way that was just natural. Her bubbly Southern charm won over all the men on the board of directors and Mark speculated it would win over anyone. He flirted with her, teasing her on board days to get a rise out of her. There’d always been a twinkle of mischief in her eyes when he flirted with her that would leave him questioning whether he knew her at all. 

At last quarter’s board meeting, she left him dumbfounded when she responded to his flirtation with a proposition. After mulling it over for a bit, which actually had turned out to be a couple weeks, he called her bluff. He asked her over to his place for cocktails and she showed up. What he learned was that there was a lot more to Suzannah McCormick than met the eye. The rest was history. 

Throwing back the last remnants of his whiskey, he stood from his stool, tossed some cash on the bar, and turned toward the dance floor. He wrestled with what his next move should be.

About the Author:

I am a born and raised small town  Ohio girl, who moved to the Sunshine State after graduating from college. I graduated with a bachelor's degree in English. What college major could possibly be better than one that requires you to read novels and write about them!  After spending a year traveling, I attended law school and use that knowledge wisely. 

In the journey of life, became a wife and a mother of three children. So, life is always an adventure. 

I love to read and write... obviously! I’m a huge sports fan, especially college football and the Ohio State Buckeyes!  Go Steelers!  Go Rays! Go Lightning! I LOVE to travel... LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to travel. And I love sharing my love to travel with my children. Did I say I love to travel? I love to drink coffee in the morning and tea at night! I love a good glass of wine, especially if it comes from a bottle made by the FOOLS wine club… yep, I’m a founding member of that crazy group!  ☺  I love hanging out with my family and my friends!  Music makes me happy. I’m a mix between country girl and city chic. But I love nothing more than putting on my jean shorts, tank top, cowboy boots and hat and watching Tim McGraw or Eric Church belt it out!  I’m a sucker for a cowboy hat!

Author Links:


Book Review -- Board Indiscretion by Jessica Jayne

Board Indiscretion (Taking Advantage #3)Board Indiscretion by Jessica Jayne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was provided with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book is part of the Taking Advantage series, and having not read the first two books in the series, I was apprehensive about how I would find this one, the third in the series. The author's charming and smooth narration makes it easy for the reader to relate with the characters, and I believe this book can be read just a stand alone, given that the characters and the plot can be thought of as being new.

The story revolves around Mark Olsen, a self-appointed player and womaniser, and Suzie McCormick, the wild and reckless girl who walks into his life, cloaked with the innocence of an executive assistant. Mark's resolve to not get entangled begins to crumble and Suzie is ruthlessly meshing him further in the net. Is Mark able to resist being drawn to Suzie more and more each day, and does Suzie acknowledge her true feelings for Mark, is what the book takes us through.

Considering that this was a fairly short book, the author deserves a commendation for having gone into the characterisation as much as the length of the book allowed for. Although the mindsets, idealogies and takes on life for the characters couldn't be dealt with in detail, the book gave enough insight into the characters' heads to understand why they do what they do. I was able to perceive that the characters had known each other even before they came together in this book - which probably ties in with me not having read the first two books in the series. I am unsure if they were the protagonists in the first two as well. But in this one, I feel it in fact has helped keep the book crisp that the author didn't dwell too much on how the two protagonists encountered each other. Overall, it was a good read and I am looking forward to reading the first two in the series now.

Recommended for romance lovers!

My rating for this book: 3.5 stars

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