by M.J. Mallon
“Mr. Sagittarius” is a wonderful collection of poetry, prose, and pictures weaved into a magical story. The book focuses on three older siblings. The male twins have developed a special relationship, making their sister feeling left out. When one twin passes, that leaves the brother and sister to grieve. The stories have powerful images that move the narrative along and sometimes veer off into the unknown for a quick visit. We are led through picturesque scenery and whimsical moments, which include an unusual bubble bath, a rainbow hat, and an ice cave. The poetry was beautiful and powerful, and the photos captured nature brilliantly. A quick read that I found relaxing and endearing. A perfect escape in unsettled times that I recommend.
by D.L. Cross
Having read and loved all the Astral Conspiracy books, I was excited to see a companion story. I know this can be read as a stand-alone and is a great introduction to the series, but I enjoyed this prequel even more knowing who the Reptars, Separated, and Titans were. This fast-paced, well-written story has two main characters that I couldn’t help rooting for them. Jack Morley wants to be on the beach relaxing but is thrust into the world of CORE Director Victor Cannon. They have different agendas and experiences, while the plot is centered on an underground bunker in Nevada and what it held. There were a few surprises and twists that made this a page-turner. I recommend this and the entire Astral Conspiracy Series.
I enjoy a good post-apocalyptic story, and I wasn’t disappointed in “The Road to Saratin.” There’s something hopeful when humans face the worse in humanity, including greed, power, and insanity— yet survive. Something was released on the public, and cities built up their walls to keep it out. Carl was behind one of these walled cities after being taken from his mother at a young age, for reasons he didn’t understand. A couple of decades later, he was still trapped in an institution being studied. Carl was a character who won my heart with his almost childlike way of looking at a world that was foreign to him. His main goal was to find his mother in another city with help from voices that lived inside him. I love the relationship he developed with Astrid and how he finds his direction. The descriptions of the landscape and mutants made them come to life for me. It was a fast-paced science fiction tale. The ending was satisfying. I recommend this story, especially for all who love an intricate dystopian read.
As much as I loved Dracul’s struggle in the second book “The Son of the Serpent” it was Gadreel’s journey that mesmerized me in this story. A fallen angel, she now wants redemption and sets out to battle the evil threatening to take over the civilization. The relationship between Dracul and Gadreel is almost endearing as they join forces. The story is told from both sides of the battle, and I was always happy to get back to Gadreel and her new friends. Not that I didn’t appreciate the evil point of view, but there was a cruelty that rang true of how people treated each other during the dark ages that were captured very visually. Ms. Quiroz-Vega takes history and weaves biblical stories into it with a fresh take. This was a painful fight between good and evil. “The Rise of Gadreel” isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you love a well-told tale that will keep you reading late into the night, this is for you. I recommend starting at the beginning, so you understand how the characters developed. I highly recommend this book and series.
I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!
Embrace your inner child by reading a good book! D. L. Finn