The Nirvana Effect by Brian Pinkerton @BrianJPinkerton @RandomTTours @FlameTreePress #dysotpian #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Nirvana Effect by Brian Pinkerton. I really enjoyed this dysotpian futuristic novel and it was a very addictive read.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this book from Flame Tree Press.

No one goes out anymore.


Society is sheltered indoors. The economy is in ruins. People spend their lives addicted to a breakthrough virtual reality technology, desperate for escapism in a troubled world. The Nirvana Effect has taken over.


Aaron and Clarissa are members of a subculture of realists who resist the lure of a fake utopia. They watch in horror as the technology spreads across the country with willing participants who easily forgo their freedoms for false
pleasures. When the young couple discovers a plot to enforce compliance for mind control, the battle for free will begins.

What started as a playful diversion turns deadly. The future of the human race is at stake.

Purchase LinkAmazon UK

My Review…

I do love a good dystopian story that has a certain amount of believability to it, or one that you can understand how things get to the point they do. The Nirvana Effect is a book that has that certain amount of believability to it and it is one that had me hooked.

This is based on the idea that people can chill out and experience a calm and tranquil state. They can experience new adventures and take part in activities or travel the world without ever leaving their sofa. Sounds ok, I mean we already have VR devices, we use mobile devices and computers to escape from everyday life. Video games are played around the world, movies are watched, books are read and often on a small screen. So is it such a far fetched idea that at some point there could be a chip implanted so that these feeds are automatically sent into a chip inserted into your body!

I like how the author has taken the basis of having various different subscription feeds sent directly to your brain. He has then rather cleverly expanded on this theme so that he draws the reader into a state where everyday life is harder to deal with and the escape is into a virtual reality that can become more real than real life.

He then goes further as he introduces theories from those who are against the chip, as well as from the corporation, management and business. Government and politics are also brought in and these various angles give two clear sides showing a for and against balance.

The characters in the story are from a range of backgrounds and this gives another set of viewpoints to consider. Technology is everywhere in our modern society and this is the next step up to the “Big Brother” style regime. The key characters have their part to play in how and why they are avoiding the chip implants, or why they see dangers ahead in how the chips could be used.


I really adored this story, it has been well thought out and not over the top with tech terminology making it very accessible for a lot of readers. It is a story that I found gripping and it has a certain amount of suspense and tension in it. A good amount of conspiracy always goes down well in this sort of story. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this and would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Brian Pinkerton tells stories to frighten, amuse and intrigue. He is the author of novels and short stories in
the thriller, horror, science fiction and mystery genres. His books include The Gemini Experiment, Abducted (a USA
Today bestseller), Vengeance, Anatomy of Evil, Killer’s Diary, Rough Cut, Bender, Killing the Boss and How I
Started the Apocalypse (a trilogy). Select titles have also been released as audio books and in foreign languages. His short stories have appeared in PULP!, Chicago Blues, Zombie Zoology and The Horror Zine.


Brian has been a guest author and panellist at the San Diego Comic Con, American Library Association annual conference, World Horror Convention and many other literary and genre events. His screenplays have finished in
the top 100 of Project Greenlight and top two percent of the Nicholl Fellowship of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Three of the scripts have been compiled in a collection, Unreleased. Brian received his B.A. from the University of Iowa, where he took undergraduate classes of the Iowa Writers Workshop. He received his Master’s Degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

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The Fall of Koli by M.R. Carey @michaelcarey191 @Tr4cyF3nt0n #compulsivereaders @orbitbooks #fantasy #dystopian #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for The Fall of Koli by M.R. Carey. I am also gutted that this is the final book in The Rampart Trilogy.

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my book with the publisher Orbit Books.

The Fall of Koli is the third and final novel in the breathtakingly original Rampart trilogy – set in a strange and deadly world of our own making.

The world that is lost will come back to haunt us . . .

Koli has come a long way since being exiled from his small village of Mythen Rood. In his search for the fabled tech of the old times, he knew he’d be battling strange, terrible beasts and trees that move as fast as whips. But he has already encountered so much more than he bargained for.

Now that Koli and his companions have found the source of the signal they’ve been following – the mysterious “Sword of Albion” – there is hope that their perilous journey will finally be worth something.

Until they unearth terrifying truths about an ancient war . . . and realise that it may have never ended.

My Review…


The Fall of Koli is the final book in the trilogy and as much as I was eager to read it there is also a sadness knowing this is it.

Having previously read and loved the first two books I didn’t even think about reading the synopsis before I began. The title gives an indication that the story is coming to an end, but how that end is arrived at was something that I was strangely nervous about.

If you have read the previous books then you know that this is set in the future, it has several characters that join the main character Koli. Koli is an exile from his village and has to survive the wilderness. Not your average forest, this one has trees and plants that are as fierce and carnivorous as wild animals.

While Koli is making his journey, the village he has left behind has not been forgotten by the author. Spinner’s character is used skillfully to keep the reader up to date with what is happening in Mythen Rood.

The world the author has created is one that is full of awe, wonder and danger. Old technology is prized, even more so if it still works. One piece of tech is Monono. There are also weapons and medical equipment.

The final book sees the author filling in gaps, linking stories and also going back to finally give the reader the full picture. Explanations about some of the tech, what a strange signal is and also to give such a wonderful conclusion.

I am aware that this review may be vague, but if you have not read the previous books then there should be no spoilers.

M.R. Carey has created a world of characters having adventures that I adored. Each book has been an addictive read, from building blocks of the first book, through to more explanations and travels in the second until the final stunning conclusion of the final one.

An absolutely amazing trilogy from start to finish and it is one I would very absolutely recommend to those who like dystopian and fantasy genres.

About the Author…

M.R. Carey

Mike Carey is the acclaimed writer of Lucifer and Hellblazer (now filmed as Constantine). He has recently completed a comics adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, and is the current writer on Marvel’s X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four. He has also written the screenplay for a movie, Frost Flowers, which is soon to be produced by Hadaly Films and Bluestar Pictures.

Also writes as Mike Carey 

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Here are all three books in all of their gorgeous-ness

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Last Star Standing by Spaulding Taylor @astmcveigh1 @Unbound_Digital @RandomTTours #scifi #dystopian #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Last Star Standing by Spaulding Taylor. This is a sci/fi – speculative fiction story, I haven’t read any sci-fi for a while so this book made a wonderful change. My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my e-copy of this book.

Dystopian/speculative fiction for readers of sci-fi, fantasy, thrillers and
dystopian fiction. Aimed at readers of novels by Neil Gaiman, J.G. Ballard (or
Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go)


It is the 23rd century. Aiden, imprisoned, stares up into a tiny square of sky. A
prominent member of the rebellion, he expects to be executed. Aiden is
battling the Xirfell rulers, whose King oppresses many planets, the Earth
included.

But the Xirfell have executed their king and installed a new ruler. The populace
riots. Amid the tumult, Aiden is sworn in, the leader he’s always longed to be.
Never one to fit in, he must re-discover himself, as an indigenous Australian, as
a fighter, as a lover – and as a leader.

My Review…

Aiden Tenten is the main narrator for this sci-fi /dystopian story. It did feel more sci-fi than dystopian but I still enjoyed it, I found it highly entertaining as I followed Aiden from predicament to predicament. The synopsis indicates that earth has been taken over by aliens, Aiden feels it is his job to help overthrow this alien regime and be the person he wants to be.

This is a highly entertaining read, I am not sure if the author had meant this or not. I did find some of the predicaments that Aiden found himself left me sniggering to myself. He is quite a fun character although he does have a serious nature, I mean after all saving the world from aliens is a serious task. It did take me a few chapters to get into this book as I got to grips with the various creatures, the unusual names, places and general feel of the story. It is quite a while, I might add that I sat and read a sci-fi book.

If you break this down to the basics this is a story of a man finding his place, he has beliefs and is true to the cause. He knew life before and can see how the earth has been destroyed more since the aliens took over. Battling against the odds he does a magnificent job of reeling from one situation to the next. He is in essence a loner, but gradually he gains a few loyal friends. Working out who can be trusted and how far others can infiltrate systems keeps him on his toes.

Once I got to grips with the story I found this quite a compelling read. In someway it did remind me of a couple of books I read several years ago. As I mentioned this is more sci-fi, but there are mentions of things that do give it a dystopian feel. An entertaining book with a good pace and one I would recommend reading.

About the Author…

Alice McVeigh (writing as Spaulding Taylor) was born in Seoul, South Korea, and
grew up in Southeast Asia. After surviving her teenage years in McLean,
Virginia, and achieving an undergraduate degree in cello performance at the
internationally renowned Jacobs School of Music, she came to London to study
cello with William Pleeth. There she worked for over a decade with orchestras
including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and
Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique. Alice was first
published in the late 1990s when her two contemporary novels (While the Music
Lasts and Ghost Music) were published by Orion to critical acclaim.

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The Trials of Koli by M.R. Carey @michaelcarey191 @OrbitBooks #TheTrialsOfKoli @Tr4cyF3nt0n #CompulsiveReaders #Bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to be able to share my review today for The Trials of Koli by M.R. Carey.

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the tour and for arranging my gorgeous copy of this second book in the trilogy.

This is a fabulous trilogy and yes you really should read them in order, it is a trilogy and therefore the first book is the start of the story, this book is the middle and the next is the end – makes sense to read them all doesn’t it? 😉

Let me show you what The Trials of Koli is about…

Synopsis…

The Trials of Koli is the second novel in M R. Carey’s breathtakingly original Rampart trilogy, set in a strange and deadly world of our own making.

Beyond the walls of Koli’s small village lies a fearsome landscape filled with choker trees, vicious beasts and shunned men. As an exile, Koli’s been forced to journey out into this mysterious, hostile world. But he heard a story, once. A story about lost London, and the mysterious tech of the Old Times that may still be there. If Koli can find it, there may still be a way for him to redeem himself – by saving what’s left of humankind.

Get your copy HERE (this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

I have been looking forward to reading this second book in the Rampart Trilogy. It continues the story of Koli as he makes his way towards a radio signal in London. His travelling companions are Ursual and Cup and together they make their way through the wilds, try to avoid others and also survive the danger in the world that the author has created.

The story flits back and forth between Koli as he journeys towards London and also of Spinner. Spinner is back home and this is where the author quickly recaps the first book but from Spinner’s viewpoint. It also continues her story and the villagers after Koli’s disgrace and departure. I like this as it keeps the reader in touch with what happens at home while Koli is away.

I thought the first book was great and while it did have that first book in a series feel it was still addictive. This second in the trilogy is absolutely brilliant and I adored it. I slowed my reading down for this book so I could savour the story. It is a story that is full of hidden dangers and of how society is surviving in an uncertain future in small pockets and communities.

The author paints a vivid picture of a future that still has everyday problems but also a future that has very little technology. The tech that is still in use is highly prized and gives the user a certain status. It is this tech that not only helps but also adds danger to having it as there is always those that want what they haven’t got.

Over the generations, stories have been passed down of what was but it is what is happening now that has people dealing with new challenges. I like the way the author has simplified some of the words that are used, it gives more of an innocence to the characters and it didn’t take me long to fall back into their speech and way of talking.

I absolutely adored this book and it is with great anticipation that I look forward to the next book, but also sad that it is the final one in the trilogy. A brilliant book and one that I would definitely recommend.

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The Book of Koli by M.R. Carey @michaelcarey191 @orbitbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #dystopian #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Book of Koli by M.R. Carey. This is an author who amazed me when I read The Girl With All The Gifts, so when I saw there was to be a Blog Tour for his lteast book I immediately jumped on board.

Let me show you what The Book of Koli is all about…

The Book of Koli begins a breathtakingly original new trilogy set in a strange and deadly world of our own making.

Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognisable landscape. A place where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly seeds that will kill you where you stand. And if they don’t get you, the Shunned men will.

Koli has lived in Mythen Rood his entire life. He believes the first rule of survival is that you don’t venture too far beyond the walls.

He’s wrong.

This is the first book in a trilogy by this author and The Book of Koli got off to a great start. Set in a future earth where small defended settlements are the norm, strangers seldom seen and where the vegetation is just as vicious and wild as the animals.

Technology is the commodity of power and status, being able to use it sets you apart from the general population. It is this desire to own and wield a piece of tech from the old world that sets Koli on his future path.

I like the character of Koli, he is inquisitive and it at an age in life where he wants to know more. The author spends a good deal of time in the first half of the book giving background information, well as much as is possible as the story is told from the perspective of Koli, so the world as it is is through the eyes of Koli.

Koli is the teller of his own story, and it is a format I really liked as after all he is the main focus of the book. I got to know his daily routines, his friends and family as well as his wanting to know more. As well as this the author fills in more about the surrounding area and this I liked a lot. Using some place names that had been twisted over time so that they are still recognised but not quite right, sort of like Chinese whispers, gave a dimension to the story that added to the reading.

For me this does have the hallmarks of being the first book in a series, there are background details, some histories and explanations that are needed to be put in place to make what follows flow in a more understandable and coherent way. There are some good descriptions of plants, scenery, dangers and also how the community works as a whole.

The second half of the book gradually picks up the pace, still not a fast break neck pace, but one that worked for me especially as the pace of life is more walking and running speed. Everything about this book worked well and I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish.

This is the story is of a boy who wants more and goes the wrong way about it, this gives it a coming of age feel but in a very dangerous world. The world that the author has created is so well done, descriptions of the unusual flora plants have been done so well. An edginess and nervous place where danger lurks, under, behind and above. A world that sounds okay within the walls of a community, but not outside them.

I do like a good dystopian read and this for me ticked the boxes. Having read and been amazed by The Girl With All The Gifts a few years ago I was glad to get back to this author, and I am aware that I do have other book of his still to read!

This is a book that I liked a whole lot, it was a little slower as there is a lot of groundwork that has been laid down. As a reader this works for me when I know there are more books to follow, and it suits the lifestyle of the people who live here. The book does finish at a good place but has definitely left me eager to read on with the other two books in the series.

The Book of Koli is a good read and one that I really enjoyed. It is a story that captivated me and one I would definitely recommend.

I also have the next book, The Trials of Koli, on pre-order and have to wait until September before it is released!

Image taken from Amazon UK

M. R. Carey has been making up stories for most of his life. His novel The Girl With All the Gifts was a word-of-mouth bestseller and is now a major motion picture based on his own screenplay. Under the name Mike Carey he has written for both DC and Marvel, including critically acclaimed runs on Lucifer, Hellblazer and X-Men. His creator-owned series The Unwritten appeared regularly in the New York Times graphic fiction bestseller list. He also has several previous novels, games, radio plays, and TV and movie screenplays to his credit.

Purchase your copy from Amazon UK

At the time of writing this post up one of Michael’s other books is on offer on Kindle – The Boy on the Bridge is 99phere is the link

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Goldilocks by Laura Lam @LR_Lam @annecater #randomthingstours #Goldilocks #thriller #dystopian #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Goldilocks by Laura Lam. This is not the Goldilocks that you will know from childhood stories, this Goldilocks refers to a Zone deep in space…

Let me show you more about the book…

A bold, thought provoking and high-concept feminist dystopian thriller.


Ravaged by environmental disaster, greed and oppression, our planet is in crisis. The future of humanity hangs in the balance – and one woman can tip it over.


Despite increasing restrictions on the freedoms of women on Earth, Valerie Black is spearheading the first all-female mission to a planet in the Goldilocks Zone, where conditions are just right for human habitation.


It’s humanity’s last hope for survival, and Naomi, Valerie’s surrogate daughter and the ship’s botanist, has been waiting her whole life for an opportunity like this – to step out of Valerie’s shadow and really make
a difference.


But when things start going wrong on the ship, Naomi starts to suspect that someone on board is concealing a terrible secret – and realises time for life on Earth may be running out faster than they feared…

This book was more than just a story about space travel and sci-fi. For me it was about the relationships between 5 women who basically steal a space ship, as you do, to start a new base on a far distant planet, it is their relationships with each other that made the story work so well for me.

It is set in the future, Earth is dying, climate control has left harsh conditions, diseases are rife and ever-evolving strains are becoming harder to treat… this sounds terrifyingly real at this point in our lives.

The story is set out in a before and now style and is set out in shortish chapters as it flits between the times. They are very easy to follow as they have been marked with dates and days.

Women are gradually being side-lined as men take the first steps into space travel to potentially find a new world where the human race can begin again, and hopefully not make the mistakes of the past. The five women are scientists and experts in their field, they are the ones that know the ins and outs of Atlanta, a space hub that will take them to a new planet called Cavendish.

The story starts well and I gradually got to know the two main characters of Valerie and Naomi. Valerie is the expert and leader of the group, Naomi is the biologist who is tasked with growing the food in her lab and then on their new home.

With any group, no matter how small in size, there is going to be some questions asked. There will be one who wants to take the lead and make decisions, there will one who blindly follows, one that sits on the fence and one that asks questions and these roles are soon realised as the story unfolds. This brings mistrust and threatens plans and adds a thriller style to the story. The dynamics between the women is really interesting and I liked how the author wove it well into the story.

With the current climate in the world, this is going to be a book that many may shy away from. There are mentions of disease and climate change and these are so relevant at the moment as we look at unprecedented changes. But I have to say I really enjoyed this book, it does have a little politics, there is some science but as I mentioned earlier this for me was a story about how the roles of five women change over a period of time. There were also some shocks along the way that added tension to the story.

It was a story that I could have easily read in one sitting. I found it to be quite addictive as I became more aware of little things creeping in to cause uncertainty. I really enjoyed this and it is a story that is quite easy to read and therefore would suit a wider audience that may not necessarily look at this type of book or genre as being part of there usual reading. I enjoyed it a lot and I would definitely recommend it.

Laura Lam is the author of several science fiction books, including Radio 2 Book Club selection False Hearts. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in anthologies such as Nasty Women, Solaris Rising 3, Cranky Ladies of History, Scotland in Space, and more.
Originally from California, she now lives in Scotland with her husband, and
teaches Creative Writing at Edinburgh Napier University.

Follow Laura on Twitter

Order your copy today from Amazon UK

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The Choice by Claire Wade #Dystopian #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for The Choice by Claire Wade. I originally saw a review for this book on Linda’s Book Bag and after reading her fabulous review I immediately ordered a copy.

If you have read this book you will understand the significance of the cake in my photo! If you haven’t read the book then go and get a copy as you will not be disappointed 🙂

‘Eat the best, leave the rest! Remember Mother knows best.’

Olivia Pritchard lives in constant fear since Mother Mason came into power. Everything from healthy eating to exercise is controlled by the government, all in the name of health and happiness. Olivia hates being dictated to, but to protect her family she must follow the rules or face a stay in the Shame Box – a perspex box, placed in a public place for everyone to judge.

After Olivia witnesses an innocent woman being violently arrested, she is no longer able to ignore the injustice. The underground rebellion ‘Cut The Apron Strings’ is gaining momentum and for the first time in years Olivia has a choice: keep her head down or join the fray…

When you hear the saying “Mother knows best” it conjures up an image of your mum knowing what is good for you, helping you to make good and right decisions to hopefully give you the tools for living and leading a good life in the future. However, what if that guiding encouragement is taken to the extreme and becomes more than guidance. What if it becomes a regime! What if Mother is a dictator that does know what is best and controls your life, health, exercise and in fact permeates your every waking moment!

The author has done an amazing job of exploring the idea of choice to a wonderful level. Having a choice about the things we eat, drink, talk about and take part in, is part of our way of life. The author has used the character of Mother Mason to show how a figure in power can use and a political platform and then abuse her position to create a society that lives in fear.

The main protagonist of this story is Olivia Pritchard, a wife and mum of two. She lives in perpetual fear. Fear of being caught doing or saying the wrong thing, of being noticed and it consumes her life. The consequences of making a mistake are severe. It could impact her life, but more importantly the lives of her two children. This is a story that shows Olivia’s “Mothers Love” can make cause drastic and life-threatening implications.

I adored the style and theme of this story. The author has taken the idea of certain foods being bad for us and taking it it to a whole new level along with the idea that rules regarding how a healthy life should be lived. Because of this basis, the story has a really good believable feel to it. Government guidelines are often in the news about what we should eat more of, what we should limit ourselves to and how much exercise we should have. While these guidelines are good, they are also ever-changing.

Olivia was a character that I immediately felt for, I felt sorry for her and I could see why she worried about everything. She was the quiet one who had priorities. Her friend, the slightly reckless Alice, didn’t have children so she could afford to be a little more outspoken in her views. As the story progressed from the opening few chapters, the real oppression could be felt. It gradually got deeper and the full implications started to come to light.

I do love a good dystopian novel that has it’s feet well and truly in the Orwellian Big Brother style and this book really did have that feel.. The fear of your neighbour or someone overhearing a remark or seeing something was so good. It added a thrill element to the story that had me on the edge of my seat.

This is a story that has a core of character that are the main players, there are a few others that are introduced but not too many that you lose track of them. This keeps the flow of the reading as I didn’t have to remember who was who.

This was a fabulous read and had me totally hooked. If you are a fan of this style of story then you are going to love The Choice. It gets a definitely recommended from Me!

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Victory Day by Rachel Churcher @Rachel_Churcher @rararesources #BookReview

I am delighted to share my thoughts for Victory Day by Rachel Churcher. This is the latest in the Battleground series and I have been loving it. It is a YA dystopian that is set in the near future. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my invite onto the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Bex Ellman and Ketty Smith meet in London. As the war heats up around them, Bex and Ketty must learn to trust each other. With her friends and family in danger, Bex needs Ketty to help rescue them. For Ketty, working with Bex is a matter of survival. When Victory is declared, both will be held accountable for their decisions.

The Battle Ground series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence.
Purchase Link

This is the latest in the Battleground series, a YA dystopian set in th near future. Bex and her group are in hiding in Scotland while family and friends are awaiting a trial. Ketty is feeling the pressure in London as the tension increases and her position is reliant on her boss.

Up to this latest instalment in the series, the focus has been on Bex and the resistance trying to evade capture, getting embroiled in skirmishes and trying to survive. The government is using Bex and the resistance in propaganda style news broadcasts and using video clips of family and friends to provoke a reaction. Ketty is the one responsible for the video and is not adverse to using her own strong arm tactics to gather information that could help in the capture of Bex and her group of friends.

Victory Day has a more political leaning to it, the machinations of government and politics has been very carefully woven into the story that has seen the Bex and Ketty pitted against each other from the very start of the series. As we know, when politics is involved things can get messy. People are used and lies are the norm, putting yourself in the best possible position becomes priority and is a matter of survival.

Victory Day see’s these long term adversaries being thrust right into the thick of things once again as moves are made that could change the future in this story. Things are being brought out in the open and truths are finally being uncovered, feelings are shared and the full extent of the past is brought to the front.The tension has really increased with this story, but in a different way to the previous ones.

If you have not yet read any of this series, then you really want to read it from the very beginning. It is full of intrigue and tension as corruption, lies, deceit and politics have all been brilliantly woven to create an amazing series. Victory Day is another fabulous read and had me hooked and it became a one sitting read. I would definitely recommend this book and the series.

Rachel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.
She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.
Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.

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#MeAndMyBooks – My Top Ten Absolute Favourite Books of 2019 #MustRead #TopReadsOf2019

So for the past 3 days I have listed the books from various different genres that I have loved this year.

It has been such an amazing literary year and it has made it very, very difficult to keep my list short… hell, let’s be honest it is far from short, hence the past 3 daily posts… and I could still have added more. So many books that really did deserve a mention.

I have finally added all the books I have read this year to my Goodreads tally, well apart from two manuscripts that I beta read. I am just starting 232nd book of the year. (The Book of Dust Vol 2 The Secret of the Commonwealth by Phillip Pullman, in case you are wondering)

If you want to check out my previous posts then follow the links below

Part 1 – Crime, Thriller, Mystery and also Fiction

Part 2 – Romance, Rom-Com and also Historical Fiction

Part 3 – Fantasy, Dystopian, also YA & Children, and also Non-Fiction.

From all of the books listed I have chosen My Top 10 Absolute Favourite Books of 2019.

So without further ado, here we go…

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My Absolute Favourite Books of the Year from those listed in my previous 3 posts are listed below, in no particular order 🙂

Out of the Silence by Owen Mullen. This was the first book that I added to my rough draft list when I read it in January, and it has stayed with me right the way through the year. It is such a stunningly beautiful and also heartbreaking book that is a murder, mystery and then some. This book will stay with me for a long time!

Dear Rosie Hughes by Melanie Hudson. I didn’t think I was going to get on with this one when I first started it. I was planning on only reading the first chapter before going to bed… yeah I read the whole book! It is told in a series of messages, emails and letters about friends Aggie and Rosie, this book was so addictive and so emotional.

Amazing Grace by Kim Nash. Oh my goodness, this book was an absolute pleasure to read. Yet another one sitting read that had me laughing one moment and sobbing the next. This is a stunning read with some amazing characters and a brilliant story line and those sections in italics… Wow!. I also loved her next book Escape to Giddywell Grange.

The Death of Justice by Tony J Forder. I am a big fan of Tony’s books and I am always so impatient for the next one. The Death of Justice is Book 5 in the DI Bliss series and it is by far my favourite book to date. I felt the author took a real step up with this book. It felt more emotional and there was something extra special about this latest instalment, so special that he reduced me to tears. Fabulous series and a fabulous book.

Dark Deception by Amanda James. This is another author I will automatically read and a favourite of mine. This is another author who I thought also stepped things up this year with this book. The title is so perfect for the devious and deceptive nature of the story within. She completely reeled me in, building more and more intrigue with each chapter. An absolute belter of a read.

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher. This is the story of Griz, never played a game of football, because, well… there just aren’t enough people, and he has never known that many people. This is an emotional, atmospheric and fantastic book that just felt so right when I read it. A book that I savoured and adored, an absolutely cracking read.

Meet Me In Monaco by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb. I just fell in love with this story from the first pages and it kept me hooked right through until the very end. It is set in the height of Hollywood Film Royalty and Grace Kelly steps into Sophie’s perfumer shop, following Grace is a reporter and the story that follows is stunning. The story had the style, luxury and class of the time as the story follows not only Sophie but also Grace. I loved the feel and style of this book, a stunning read.

Becoming by Michelle Obama. Audible version. I loved having Michelle sat with me in the car as I drove 7 hours up to visit my parents and then back again! Well that is what it felt like, it felt as if she was actually talking to me. She spoke of her life growing up, meeting Barack, working, elections, being the First Lady as well as a wife and a mother. She has such a wonderful voice to listen to and an amazing story to tell. I loved listening to this a huge amount.

Black Summer by M.W Craven. Up until last week The Puppet Show, the first book in the series was on my Top 10 list, then I read this 2nd book in the Washington Poe series! I had been told by other Book Bloggers I would love it, and they were so right. I love the characters of Poe and Tilly, they are two opposites in personality and character and they are a readers dream, I love the dynamics between them both. And then there it the story line , dark, deep, twisted and so addictive. Awesome read and a single sitting book as well.


Right if I can count I think that makes 9 out of 10 books to make my Absolute Favourite Books of 2019. I was going to do a drum roll thing but then I thought just get on with it…


So my #1 Book of the year absolutely blew me away. It was a book that sounded so intriguing from the synopsis and then took me on one hell of a journey. It had so many things that made it compelling reading…

Here is what it is all about…

A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world’s last hope.

Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and her sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.

For on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it. As the rest of society collapses all around them–and an ultraviolent militia threatens to exterminate them–the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart–or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world. 

You can read my review of Wanderers HERE


I would just like to thank all of you amazing folk out there who have commented, liked, shared my posts throughout the year. You are all absolutely amazing. To Book Bloggers, Authors, Publishers and Blog Tour Organisers thank you for a fantastic literary year and for making sure I never run out of books to read.

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and I will see you all in the New Year.

Fighting Back by Rachel Churcher @Rachel_Churcher @rararesources #Bookreview

I am so delighted to share my thoughts on the next installment of Rachel Churchers Battleground series. Fighting Back is the fourth in this YA dystopian series and I am loving it so much.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Bex Ellman and her friends are in hiding, sheltered by the resistance. With her family threatened and her friendships challenged, she’s looking for a way to fight back. Ketty Smith is in London, supporting a government she no longer trusts. With her support network crumbling, Ketty must decide who she is fighting for – and what she is willing risk to uncover the truth.

The Battle Ground series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence.

Purchase Link – HERE

This is such a good series and I have loved every book I have read. I will say that to get the full benefit of the characters and the story-lines, you really should read in order.

Fighting Back continues the story of Bex and her friends as they are now refugees. While they are safe, there are those that are not. Her mum and friends who were left behind are now being used in a propaganda crusade by the Government.

Ketty is still in the thick of things in London as she helps work the propaganda machine. She is discovering that life in the machine is not quite as she expects. Propaganda is something that is lies and deceit and it has a knock on effect and so she finds she is having to watch her back.

I really enjoyed this book as the author delves into various aspects of corruption, deceit, lies, conspiracy. Once again she pulls on the emotions of the reader as I got to see another side of Ketty. This character I keep changing my mind about so much and this is all credit to the authors writing, if you are up to date with the series then you will know what I mean about Ketty.

Bex is a character I have always liked, but the author again has worked her magic with this character. While Bex wants to do more and help in the fight against the government, she is starting to become more aware of her limitations. When she decides to do something about it I was so pleased for her, but there is a big downside for her. There is a subtle shift in Bex and I do worry that she is loosing a little piece of herself to do what is right! Oh my goodness Rachel, you are really putting your characters and me through the mill!!!!

This is such a well written series that I know is aimed at a Young Adult but works so well for an older reader. Anyway, who says you have to be a certain age to be young! The series is one that has a relevance to a possible future and it is so well timed with Brexit and all the political shenanigans at the moment.

It is balanced so well and at times questions the readers loyalty to the characters and the situations they find themselves in. This series would be absolutely brilliant for classroom/ group discussion as it explores dilemmas and problems.

This is a fabulous series and Fighting Back is another step up in the intensity of the ongoing story. I think I may have mentioned how much I like this series a time or two already, so it may come as know surprise when I say that I Absolutely Recommend this book.

Rachel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.

She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.

Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.

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See what other Book Bloggers think by checking out their stops on the tour…

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx