Sara Fields-Savage

This is another double header day. Only today we’re getting a Sara Fields twofer. We’re going to look at the first two books of her new Alpha Brotherhood series, with Savage being the first book. These are MF post-apocalyptic omegaverse stories.

So, we have Freya. She’s a very rare alpha woman, and she’s also a very fierce fighter. She’s probably the best warrior her city has, including their king. After their last big battle and their last win, the king decides that he’s going to have a big celebration, and he’s going to announce that he’s going to take a mate. And oh, guess who that mate is going to be? Yeah, you guessed it, he wants in Freya’s pants big time. Except, yeah, Freya ain’t about to let that shit happen. So she grabs her handy dandy knife and beats the shit out of the king, and then jams her knife into the side of his head. Now she’s Queen Freya, and is fierce AF and is taking over the world.

We also have Aric. He is an alpha and he is a sage in a secret Brotherhood charged with keeping the balance of light and dark in the world. He has been summoned because Freya is threatening the current balance of the world. She isn’t doing it on purpose, it’s happening. But the Brotherhood knows one thing about Freya that not even she knows about herself. She has both alpha and omega genetics. Her omega genetics can be awakened by a compatible alpha. And Aric would be the compatible alpha. So, his job is to go infiltrate her city, and to deal with her, however it needs to happen. He decides that he’s just going to show up in her bedroom and force her into estrous and then bond with her.

I love Freya. She really is smart, fierce, and is incredibly competent. She is a great fighter, and her people like and respect her, which doesn’t always happen when it comes to rulers, but it does with her. I think it’s because everyone knows that she will do everything she can for her city and her people, up to and including laying down her life. She’s not one of those rulers who sits on her ass back in her safe castle, she’s out there, on the ground, leading from the front, getting bloody and fighting the enemy. I have mad respect for her.

Aric is a good man. He wants to do everything he can to maintain the balance of the world, but then he meets Freya, and while he’ll still do what he has to, Freya immediately becomes his first priority, which is how it should be, of course, but it doesn’t always stay that way. I’m impressed with him and how he handles Freya and the fact that she’s a queen and powerful in her own right.

I just love how Aric and Freya interact everywhere. While their dynamic changes, depending on where they are, they are both happy with the way they are interacting with each other. They are definitely so much better together than they are apart.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! And hang on for the next one. Happy reading!

Addison Cain-Swallow it Down

Surprise! Addison, the tease, has dropped a new book for us. Swallow it Down is a holy fuck of a book, and it will leave you trying to figure out exactly what you just read and then scratching your head trying to make sense of what you just read. Don’t worry if you are left feeling slightly used up at the end of this book, I think most of us are. I know that I was. I’m still not sure if the ending is a HEA, HFN, or just the end. And I love that.

This is post-apocalyptic and dystopian. Basically bombs dropped all over the place, and now, 6 years later, civilization has completely broken down. There are pockets of people living in various places, but you really don’t want to just fall into those places, because they ain’t too great.

Against this backdrop, we have Eugenia. She has managed to somehow survive the last 6 years. She’s killed people in order to stay safe, when she couldn’t manage to sneak away, talk herself out of trouble, or escape. She’s willing to do a lot of things in order to stay free and find a good place to be. She’s heard of a place to be safe and she’s taking no chances. She’s even managed to pick up a traveling companion named John. He may be a whiny little twat, but there is some safety in numbers. He did push her to take a shortcut, and now they are stuck on it. It’s hot, there’s no water to drink, and they are surrounded by a lake full of poison. And suddenly, there’s a flash of light off in the distance. There’s a boat, a very, very large boat, in the distance. And what’s more, it has electricity.

Eugenia knows better, but John drops his stuff and decides to jump into the water and swim for the boat. She waits to see what is happening, and decides that she’d rather go out fighting than not, so she swims out to the boat. Where she is promptly grabbed and sent to Level 15.

I like Eugenia. I think she is snarky, smart, funny, clever, and witty. She manages to keep a lot of men liking her even if she isn’t giving them all what they want. She also manages to stand up to the Captain, which is an interesting choice on her part. As much as I do like, I also think that she is naive. I get it, I mean, she wants to believe that there is some good left in the world, I don’t blame her. Before the bomb dropped, she had a pretty cushy life, and she still has the filters that nice life gave her, even after 6 years of living hard after the bomb. I don’t think that it’s a failing in her, but I don’t think she ever really had to face some hard choices before, so it’s easier for her to believe that there are good places to be out in the world. I think that if she had had some roughness in her life before the bomb dropping, she might be a little less naive.

Aaron, the Captain. Hmmm… I don’t know that he’s good or evil I think that he just is. If I were to create him as a D&D character, I would give him a chaotic neutral alignment. I understand his choices. I can even agree with *some* of them. But, that said, I wouldn’t go about certain things the way that he does. I know that a leader has to make hard choices and that the good of the many outweighs the good of the few or the one and all, but there are just some choices and actions that are heinous for anyone to have to make. And I think that Aaron would make those choices, quite easily. Honestly, I can’t tell you if I like him or hate him. I think it varies from moment to moment. Maybe even from word to word. I think, among other things, that he may be a pure sociopath. Or, at the very least, have sociopathic tendencies.

Like I said, this was a holy fuck book. I loved every word of it, and I literally ignored my family the entire time I was reading it. My poor kitty kept trying to get me to pet him, and I made him leave me alone, which should tell you how involved in this book I was. I think that this is going to be one that I read and reread often. And I think that I will come up with a different conclusion every single time I read it.

OK, that’s all for this one. No spoilers today. Go to your favorite bookseller and check it out! Happy reading!

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Kit Rocha-Deal With the Devil

I love post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction. One of my absolute favorite series is Kit Rocha’s Beyond series. (The first one, Beyond Shame, is available for free on Amazon) I recommend it to people often, and generally describe it as fucking to save the world. And it is that, and there is a whooooole lot of fucking. But it is so much more than that. The series is subversive, funny, sad, intense, dark, light-filled, and a helluva good story. The ladies who make up Kit Rocha have done a fantastic job with worldbuilding, creating something that is gritty and realistic without being over the top or so dark and dirty that you don’t want to experience the world. It feels very real, and the characters in it become friends and family. In fact, Jas, from the first book, is one of my 3 core book boyfriends.

Anyway, when I heard that there was a new series in the works, the Mercenary Librarians (best series title ever, right?) I was all like sign me up! I knew that it wouldn’t be in the Sectors like te Beyond books or the spinoff Gideon’s Riders books, but it would take place in the same world, just a different location. So, I started counting down the days until Deal With the Devil came out, and I was not disappointed one little bit, not that I expected to be.

So, for those who are unfamiliar with the world in general, it takes place in the middle of the 21st century. The world has basically fallen into complete hell. There were Energy Wars, and all manner of unrest. Then, finally, about 40 years before the books take place, there were massive solar flares that did huge amounts of damage. Now, the world is very local. People don’t do a lot of traveling, instead they live in safe-ish towns and cities, and the empty spaces in between are the homes of raiders and who knows what else. It’s very much a case of safety in numbers, and also very much might makes right. Those in power can be ruthless, corrupt, crooked, and do some terrible things. This series takes place in Atlanta and at the moment, there is very little crossover with the Sectors, which are in the west. Atlanta is ruled by the TechCorps HQ and their Protectorate. And of course, they are pretty absolute about their rules, and Atlanta is pretty much a company town.

In this setting, we have Nina and her partners, Maya and Dani. They are a team and each has her own specialty. They are all modified and trained so that they can be the very best they can at their specialty, and they are that. Nina is an information broker. If you want information on something or you need something moved or found, Nina is your goto lady. She will get what you need and get it to where you need. And heaven help anyone who gets in her way. If they are lucky, she will only hurt them, a lot. If they aren’t, she will kill them, and do it quick. The 3 ladies are the cornerstone of their neighborhood. They help take care of people, including doing things like printing out books for people to read, digitizing books that they can find so that they can print them out for people, providing freeze-drying services so that people can store the food that they grow, instead of having to buy from the company store. (And yes, I have Tennesse Ernie Ford and 16 Tons running through my head while I’m writing about the company store) All the ladies ask is for a percentage of the food or a fee to cover the paper costs. Nina, Maya, and Dani are also working on renovating their basement so that there is a warm, safe place for winter for the people who don’t have one. They aren’t really idealists, but they are very much leaders, especially Nina.

Then we have the Silver Devils, Knox, Rafe, Connall, and Gray. The Silver Devils were the best team that the Protectorate had to offer. Then Knox started going off the rails. He made decisions that didn’t quite match the goals of his superiors. So, they locked the men up in see-through cells, and let Mason, their medic die. You see, these guys all have bio-engineered implants that make them stronger, smarter, whatever. But the implants need periodic adjustment, otherwise they start to fail, and when the implants fail, the person gets sick and eventually dies. That’s what happened to Mason. It’s not a quick process, and it could be called torture. That experience made the Silver Devils leave. But they are now in trouble because their biohacker has been kidnapped and their implants are all starting to fail. The kidnapper has told them what the ransom is. It’s Nina. The Silver Devils are to bring Nina to a certain location, and they will be able to get their biohacker back. Now all they have to do is to come up with a hook with which to catch Nina. And what do you bait a hook meant to catch an information broker with? A lost library.

So, Nina is pretty awesome. She’s everything I expect from a Kit Rocha heroine. She’s ballsy, strong, vulnerable, loyal, loving, and a leader. I like her better than I like Knox. It’ not that I don’t like him, it’s just that I identify with her more. There’s just something about her that is really powerful. I’m not going to say that she’s like Lex, or Six, or Jyoti or any of the O’Kane women, (I just chose those 3 because of their positions in the Beyond series), that would be a disservice to all of them. What I will say is that all the women are cut from the same cloth or at least the same kind of cloth. I’m pretty sure that there would be a lot of respect in between Lex and Nina. In fact, I really hope in some future book that they manage to get together. That would be totally epic.

We don’t get to learn as much about Maya and Dani as we do Nina, because she is the focus of this book. But, we do get in their heads a little bit. I really like how Kit Rocha doesn’t always just give us POV chapters of the main characters. That lets us meet the supporting cast and become friends with them before we get their book. I think that Dani is really going to be fun. And probably murdery. But fun.

So, let’s talk about Knox. He is not a bad man. He has done some bad things. There’s a difference. He is a desperate man. I also think that he’s afraid. Things are way out of his control, and he doesn’t know what he can do, and his team is starting to fall apart, including him, and the stress isn’t making things better. It will be interesting in later books to see if there is a difference between Knox in this book and him in those books. I like him. I like how he is willing to go to extremes to make sure that his men are going to be OK. I don’t necessarily agree with the extremes he’s willing to go to, but I respect the actions. He does have a journey to go through in this book, and it’s one that really opens his eyes.

Now that I’ve read DWTD, I’m now counting down the days until the next one. And when I binge read the Sectors again, and it will happen soon, since it always is coming soon, DWTD will go right after.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. You should definitely go check this one out! Happy reading!

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Nicolina Martin-I Am Eve

Before I get into I Am Eve, I want to do something I don’t regularly do. I’m going to give you a trigger warning. Mostly because this is a post-apocalyptic story that has the apocalypse being a virus. In our current situation, this may be a little real for some people. Now granted, Nicolina went a lot further than what’s going on outside our doors right now, but Covid-19 trauma is a real thing, and it’s something that we all are dealing with, so just be aware when you read this. It didn’t bother me, but I don’t want anyone to go into it blind. OK, now book.

It’s been months and months and months since the sickness went through. Eve’s family left her alone with her grandmother, and her grandmother has since died from the sickness. Now she’s left alone in her huge family home, all alone. She doesn’t go outside. She doesn’t interact with any humans except for her friend who brings her supplies, and even then, they don’t touch. When they talk, they are standing far apart, and they wear masks. Then Eve washes up, just in case. And this is the way that life is in the current time. Eve is also an artist, more precisely, a sculptor. Her basement is filled with her sculptures.

Then we have Adam. He is the leader of a gang. Well, maybe not strictly a gang, but he’s still the leader. They live in a power station and keep the power on. He has reasons that he wants to be the leader and be in a position of strength. He has a son and he wants to do everything he can to make sure his son is safe. So when one of his trucks disappears, along with a load of weapons, he has to figure out what is going on. He and one of his men go to find out what’s happening. They end up in a neighborhood in suburbia. Adam ends up getting left while his man follows the truck. He needs to find a way to keep an eye out, and he sees a house with a turret that would be perfect. Of course you know that it’s Eve’s house. He sees some asshole kids pestering her, and she has her door open, and he manages to sneak in.

I think that Eve is really kinda otherworldly. There’s just something about her that doesn’t quite seem like she belongs on this plane of existence. She seems to know things that you wouldn’t necessarily think that she should know. I really like that about her. I think that she is really strong, even though she’s been sheltered for a lot of her life. There’s just something in her that is just strong and powerful. I like her so much.

Adam is a very interesting man. I think that he is a lot better man than he wants to give himself credit for. I mean, he is handling a lot of shit, and yeah, he has to do some terrible things, but he still manages to be a good man. I like him too.

OK, no spoilers today. You have to read it, so go read it.

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Isoellen-Choosing Her Alpha

Isoellen is the newest omegaverse author to publish on Amazon. Choosing Her Alpha is her very first published book, but she has been publishing on Wattpad, I believe. One of the things I really like about the omegaverse is that it’s still a new enough sub-genre that there are still a lot of fresh and new ways to look at the world. And Isoellen really managed to come up with something new and interesting, and I’m looking forward to seeing where she’s going to go with her world.

So, here’s how it goes. We have the A/B/O breeds and then we have the drones. The drones are basically your bog standard humans. They are very much like bee drones. They do the scut work, and are the lowest of the low. In some sectors, they are kept as slaves. After massive disasters, the humans were genetically modified, creating the new breeds. So now, alphas are at the top of everything.

The world itself has been broken down into one kingdom with 12 sectors. Each sector has its own alpha leading it, and there are rules that govern all kinds of things, including registering omega breeders. The women get to go to Selection when they mature so that they can choose their husband-mate. The rule is that the omega chooses.

Sasha is 18, but she hasn’t had her first heat yet and so she hasn’t physically or sexually matured. You see, in this world, until an omega has her first heat, she basically has a child’s body. Then when she hits her first heat, she starts to get a womanly figure and her body transforms. Her next heat will let her mate, if she wants.

Sasha’s mother is on her third husband, and he’s kind of slimy. He has taken their family inn and turned it into a brothel and trashed it. Her mother is dying, which isn’t as much of a loss as it sounds, since the woman is homicidally insane. She hates Sasha and wants to do everything she can do to make Sasha’s life miserable, up to and including trying to kill her. Maura knows that she’s dying, and she and Merrick have cooked something up so that Sasha is going to be fucked, and not, you know, in a good way.

Sasha doesn’t want that to happen. She knows that if Merrick gets control of everything, including her, that things are going to be seriously bad. The only thing she can think to do is to find a stronger alpha and offer him the inn and the recipes for the gin and mead that she makes. So, when she hears Merrick talk about Constantine Kane, she knows that he has to be the person go to see. She sneaks away and crosses other sectors to get to where he is and sneaks into his house. Which of course, leads to all kinds of other issues, and loads of things that she didn’t expect to happen.

I like Kane. We don’t know a lot of what’s going on his head. In fact, a lot of the time he’s off doing other things, so we can’t even necessarily get to know him from the scenes he’s in. But, he appears to be a really honorable man, even if he’s a little bit, or maybe a lotta bit, rough around the edges. Ok, a really huge bit violent around the edges. And probably the middle too.

Sasha is a really interesting character. She is this real mix of naive and worldly. She’s lived in a brothel, so she knows what sex is, but she doesn’t know how it really works and she doesn’t get the appeal of the whole thing. In fact, she thinks that it just sounds messy. She really doesn’t know how the world outside her sector and her inn really works, so as strong as she thinks she is, and she is, it’s not quite as strong as she really is because the world is different and she doesn’t know how to cope.  She’s also very smart, which can sometimes get her in trouble.

I really like the worldbuilding that Isoellen has put into this world, and I’m not doing it enough justice because to do that, I would have to go way in. Just trust me when I say that it’s a different version of the omegaverse than some of the other worlds.

I don’t think that I have any spoilers today. I don’t think that I could pin it down to just one or two things, and everything ties into other things so well, that I don’t want to mess anything up. So, go check it out. Happy reading!

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Cari Silverwood-Cyn

Cari has finally released the last book in her Beast Horde series with Cyn. I was totally ready for this book, and I’m not sad for the wait, not like it was a horribly long wait. But this was definitely worth every single second that I had to wait for the ARC.

Now, before I get started, I want to remind people that there are likely to be spoilers in this review for the first two books because of the way that Cari wrote them. So, if you’ve been waiting for Cyn to come out before you read the rest of the books, this is the time to do it, but wait until you read them before you go on with this. If you get spoiled after this, well, I warned you.

So, when we left our intrepid trio, Willow was gone and we learned more about where the beasters came from. The original beasters got dwarf, fae, or gargoyle DNA mixed into their system. The Maelstrom beasters, like Cyn, come from trolls and demons. Can you guess what kind of DNA that Cyn got? If you guessed demon, you get a flaming ovation. It’s like a standing ovation, but with flaming hands instead. Cyn, Rutger, Vargr, and their remaining beaster party decide that they need to go talk to the War tribe, because well, their name speaks for itself, doesn’t it? This is when we start to find out exactly how awesome Big Daddy is, and it really is.

Meanwhile, we have the Ghoul Lord Avidex who is up to no good at all, and who is doing nasty things. He’s also plotting and planning, and making interesting decisions. And maybe, just maybe, some things that he didn’t see happening may happen. It’s just one of those things that we have to watch and see.

So, Cyn has always been a fascinating and badass character. I mean, look at some of the things that she’s done in the last two books. She’s just gone out and fought and killed as necessary. There’s also the fact that she really doesn’t know much about herself before waking up and being the only person to come back from the GL. I, personally, have theories about who she was before she was changed with the nanites, but Cari didn’t ask me. I think that her explanation of Cyn’s history works, it’s just not my personal theory, but it’s her world, so it’s her canon, so…

Anyway, yeah, Cyn has been badass and fascinating, but I have to admit there were times that she was a little scary in this one. I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who thinks that too. I know that Vargr does at times. I’m not sure about Rutger though. He keeps his counsel a little more and I’ve always had a harder time reading him and his feelings.

The thing about Cyn being a bit scary in this one is that she doesn’t even mean to be. She has reasons to do what she did, and they are very logical reasons. They make sense in the context of what happens. That doesn’t make her any less scary. Not in the least.

And before I go, I want to give a huge shout out to Little Mo. He’s the Samwise Gamgee of this world, and the series would be lesser without his character in it.

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Oh, Little Mo, how I love you.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Cari Silverwood-Rutger

Cari is back with the second book in her Beast Horde book. And you remember how I’ve talked about her obsession with giant cocks with extras? Yeah, Rutger is nice and dirty, with a giant cock with extras. This one picks up basically where Vargr left off, so there are likely to be some spoilers in there. You know that I try to keep them to a minimum, but it happens. So, if you don’t want any spoilers, stop reading now, go read the book, and then come back. I’ll still be here.

So, anyway, we’re back with Cyn, and she’s basically all alone right now. After the climactic events, most people are staying away from her and she’s about to stand trial. Vargr has walked away from her, even though they are supposed to be bonded. So, she’s feeling pretty not great right now. But, as she gets taken out to trial, Rutger is there, and he is obviously standing on her side.

Eventually, it’s decided that they are going to go out and find Big Daddy, and see what they can learn. Vargr is still avoiding her, but Rutger has taken over and is helping keep her sane from the Lure, and well, fucking her sideways. And doing it right smack dab in front of Vargr, rubbing it into him that he walked away from Cyn. So, OK, Vargr may have some justification for walking away from her, maybe, but I’m still going to be mad at him for doing it.

I like Rutger a lot more than I like Vargr. I’m not saying that I don’t like Vargr, because I do, but I think that he’s… I dunno, more idealistic maybe? I don’t think that’s the right word, but that may be close. He doesn’t just seem as practical as Rutger does. That’s part of why I like Rutger. He really is very practical. He sees and understands things that I don’t think that Vargr does, and I think that he understands Cyn and what she wants and needs a lot more than Vargr does.

Vargr does have some big changes happening in this one, and I am looking to see how those changes are going to affect things to come in the next book.

We also get to meet some lovely new characters, who I really like. We have Neo, Lennox, and Vincent. I think that they may be more closely related to Cyn than they are to other beasters like Willow, Vargr, and Rutger.

As always, with any Cari book, there is a great adventure story along with all the epic dirty fucking and cocks with bonuses. I ways know that I am going to get something hot to read as well as a fantastic story that I am going to enjoy when I pull out one of Cari’s books. There is also a nice dose of humor that shows up in these books.

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I really want to know what Vincent, Neo, and Lennox have to do with Maelstrom. I also can’t wait to see what the GL are doing.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Cari Silverwood-Vargr

The Queen of Post-Apocalyptic Porn and Empress of Crazy Giant Cocks is back with a new book full of all the crazy giant cocks and post-apocalyptic porn you could possibly want. Cari’s new book Vargr is the first book in a new series, and I can’t wait until book 2.

The world has been taken over by aliens called the Ghoul Lords. They like humans. More specifically, they like to eat humans, and not, you know, in the fun way. They have taken over the top of the world, living on the tops of all the skyscrapers. They also have something called the Lure, which sucks humans in draws them up to the Top, where the GL can suck them in. The Lure works best in the light, but in the dark, humans are safer. Not safe, but safer.  What humans are left are kept chained up or are bond-mated to beasters.

Beasters are humans who were altered with nanites to be the human’s weapon against the GL. There are different kinds of beasters. There are some winged men, like Vargr, some who are techies, who can see what kind of nanites are in a person’s blood, some who are weaponsmiths, well, you get the idea. They all live in various tribes, named after the areas they live in. Vargr is a Mercantor. There is also a tribe called the Worshippers because they are based in a quarter that has a lot of churches and temples.

So, here’s our story. Cyn slowly woke up at the Top of a scraper, at the mercy of a Ghoul Lord. She manages to somehow escape, and oh yeah, take part of the GL with her. Then she ends up falling off the top of the skyscraper. She catches herself part of the way down, but ends up slipping off again. Luckily, there is a hot like burning man with wings who happens to see her and rescues her.

Vargr isn’t quite sure that is going on with her, because no one has ever escaped from the Top, and if Cyn managed to, then maybe she is an agent of the Ghoul Lords. Or maybe not. Maybe she’s just a plain vanilla human, but it doesn’t seem like she is. At first, she doesn’t seem to be affected by the Lure, but then it seems like she is affected by it. So, the only option he has is to chain her up, and fuck her. But Cyn isn’t going to make that easy at all, even if she does want it.

There is a whole buttload of struggle fucking in here. It is fucking hot too. I love the way that Cyn forces Vargr to prove that he’s dominant over her and how she provokes him so that she can get what she wants.

I love how Cyn’s personality seems to go from nice and calm to I like to lick guns and violence is good. I really like both sides of her personality. I think that she is pretty much chaos incarnate and that everyone should watch out when it comes to her. I can’t wait to find out more about her.

Vargr, now him, I have other feelings about. I’m not sure that I like him that much. I’m not sure that I dislike him that much either. I do know that I am disappointed in him right now. I think he’s going to be one of those characters where how I feel about him changes from sentence to sentence.

There is a lot of humor going on in this book, which is always nice. I enjoy being able to laugh when I’m reading post-apocalyptic porn. There are also oddly placed tattoos, which make me wonder how they felt going on. And of course, being a Cari book, there are giant cocks with additions, like knobs and spikes that extend when the guy orgasms.

I am dying for the next book, because there is going to be so much more to learn.

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I like Rutger. I think that he has Cyn’s back more than Vargr does right now, but I don’t know how much that currently is.

I understand why Vargr is upset right now, but I think that he is in the wrong about stuff right now. I dunno.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Alta Hensley-The Truth About Cinder

Have you ever wanted a fairy tale that took place in a post-apocalyptic world where most everywhere in the world has dried up and water is more precious than gold? If you have, then Alta has the perfect story for you, The Truth About Cinder. As you might be able to guess from the name, this is the story of Sleeping Beauty. OK, it’s a dark, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, kinky version of Cinderella. And I gotta tell you, I much prefer Alta’s version over the Brothers Grimm’s version. More sex and spanking, for one thing.

So, pretty much all the water has dried up. There are a few places where water can still be found, and in those areas, communes have sprung up where people live. The communes aren’t very pleasant places. They are really just surviving, and you know how people are when they are in that kind of mindset, so just imagine how nasty the people were in some of those communes. Think something like Mad Max or Tank Girl. Outside of the communes, the rest of the world is a desert, with no plants, no animals, no nothing.

Into this desperate, desiccated world trudges Cinder. She left the commune she was born into, and has stayed here and there at various communes on her journey. She has an ultimate goal in her journey, and it has taken her quite a while to get to it. She is going to the Palace of Lazar. She wants to join the harem there. Everyone says that it is just a myth, but she knows deep in her soul that Lazar exists and she’s going to get there. It isn’t an easy journey, by any means, but it is worth it for Cinder. In fact, for Cinder, it’s so worth it that she nearly dies on her journey.

But when she wakes, she discovers that she has made it to Lazar, and a gorgeous man is there in front of her, telling her that she has made it and if she meets the requirements, she can join the harem. Donte is the man, and he tells her that if she doesn’t behave, he’ll be in charge of punishing her. He stands there while she’s examined to see if she’s a virgin then takes her to the baths and watches as she is groomed, and all her body hair is removed. Cinder is all about having him there, as she is drawn to him and he makes her feel safe.

Months go on, and Cinder is happy in the harem and being trained, but of course, nothing stays the same, and when you live in a dangerous world, even if you are living in a palace in the lap of luxury, no place is safe forever.

I really like Cinder. She knew what she wanted and she was willing to go out and get it. I mean, it had to have been scary to go out into the world from her birth commune, and then to leave one after another so that she could get to the palace. And she had to do that without knowing exactly where she’d be able to get more supplies or if what she carried would last her as long as she needed. I’m not sure that I would’ve been able to do it, especially trudging through the desert. I am not a trudging through the desert kind of woman. I am not a going to the desert kind of woman. It’s hot. I don’t like to be hot. We get to see a lot of that fire and strength in Cinder. I mean, yeah, she has her moments, but overall, she is a very strong character. That doesn’t mean she’s not submissive too. The two things aren’t mutually exclusive. You can be both strong and submissive. And Cinder definitely is.

Donte seems to be a really good man. He cares for the entire harem, and wants everyone to be safe. He is stern and disciplined, as well as being the disciplinarian. But it seems like everything he does to discipline the women of the harem is done in a caring way. In fact, there is one point when he’s been brought in to punish Cinder that he asks if she thinks that she deserves it and listens to her explain why she doesn’t. We really don’t get to know much about him, except through Cinder, since everything is from her POV.

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OMG, that last scene with Maysa? I’m pretty sure that’s going to be nightmare fodder for me. That was… Yeah.

OK, that’s all for me. Go check this out! Happy reading!

 

Laura Thalassa-Pestilence

I love a good post-apocalyptic story, and you can’t get much more apocalyptic than Laura Thalassa’s Four Horsemen series, which starts with Pestilence. And yes, it’s the four horsemen as in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. See, can’t get much more apocalyptic than that.

So, here’s how this world works. Five years ago, the Horsemen rode out on Earth. Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death each picked a direction and rode. And in their wake, everything that made up the modern world stopped working. Then, they suddenly disappeared. Now, some things are starting to come back, well, sort of. There is some television, there is some electricity, but not much. And they aren’t very trustworthy. But there is enough television to let people know that Pestilence has now come back, and where he rides, the Messianic Fever follows. The modern day plague has a 100% death rate. And it’s not a pretty death. It involves swellings, and sores, and pustules, and just yucky in general. Luckily, Pestilence the Conqueror is following a predictable path, so they are able to issue evacuation warnings so that the towns can empty. The further you can get from Pestilence, the better.

Sara is one of the few firefighters in her town who stayed to help everyone evacuate. Now it’s down to just these few, and they are drawing straws to see who is going to stay and kill Pestilence when he rides through their town. Guess who the lucky one is? She knows that it’s a suicide mission, but if she can kill Pestilence, then she can save the world, so her life is a good tradeoff. So, she sees off her friends, and goes to find the perfect place to hide so she can kill Pestilence with her grandfather’s rifle. Only, it turns out, Pestilence is harder to kill than you might think, and now Sara is stuck with him. He’s not going to kill her. He’s going to make her suffer.

This story just emotionally wiped me out. I had to spend a couple of days processing it until I could talk about how it made me feel. It’s a slow book. Not just a slow burn, but a slow book. There is a lot of riding, and a lot of analyzing of feelings, and a lot of suffering. There are quick bursts of action in places, but most of the time, it’s a fairly slow book. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s kind of like the Lord of the Rings books. There’s a lot of walking and riding to get to where they are going, but it’s during that walking and riding that you get to know the characters and get to see what makes them tick. Then you get the quick bursts of action which give you a nice jolt and make the characters realize things.

There are times I hate Pestilence, but the thing is, as I think about it now, it’s kind of hard to hate him. It’s like hating a hurricane or a force of nature. Pestilence just IS. How can you hate something that just is? I could easier hate a tree. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I like him a lot of the time. He is who he is, and he is implacable. He is doing his God-given duty, and Pestilence isn’t just his name, it is who he is.

Sara isn’t always likable either. I truly dislike her a couple of times, but in general, I tend to like her. She’s dealing with a hell of a lot of stuff and not just physical pain or anything. There’s a lot there, and I don’t think that I could’ve handled everything that Sara had to deal with. I would’ve probably totally shattered, never to be able to be put back together again.

I can’t wait for War to come out. It’s supposed to come out soon.

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Rob and Ruth just broke my heart and then put it back together again. It was a beautiful section of the book.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Go check it out and make sure to tell me what you think of it. Happy reading!