Tag Archives: Sci-Fi

Forced proximity and a surprise twist make this second entry a hit

58657555._SY475_Declared by Sam Burns & W.M. Fawkes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This second entry in Sam and Fawkes’ alien Sci-Fi series is just as good as the introduction book but has a totally different tone.

The differences between Jax and Wesley were never more obvious than after their ship was forced to land on the ice cold moon Zathkar with most of its systems damaged but Wes is very quick to put Jax in his place about thinking he’s weak just because he’s smaller.

I loved the dynamics between them. Jax may be in line to be the Thorzi’s next Proeliator, their greatest warrior, but he’s also a ray of sunshine, always smiling and very aware of his place as a hybrid.

Wes may be a human, and more susceptible to the intense cold of the moon, but he’s also resourceful and won’t let Jax despair over the fact he can’t “protect him”.

When Wes meets the leader of the ancient enemy the Zathki that live beneath the surface in cleverly constructed tunnels, it becomes very clear that both sides in the turbulent conflict have been played by Crux.

I loved the tone of this book, it’s a bit less directly political than the first one and there’s obviously less need for extensive world building so the narrative moves swiftly through the crash landing and into the revelations that the Zathki are actually Thorzi also, just a different version. They are the Scientists to the Thorzi Warriors.

They bounce off each other as Jax begins to realise that there is more to what he’s been told about their planet’s history and the nature of the human abductions that Crux (he of the bad behaviour in book one and the series’ main nemesis) has been performing.

Learning about the differences in what are essentially the same people has more than a few similarities with how humanity treats people differently because of their ethnicity or where they were born.

It paints a poignant picture of a home world destroyed by people unwilling to work together towards better goals and instead, utterly destroying their planet and being forced into exile on Thorzan and Zathkar.

There’s also a bit more of a sense of slowburn in the relationship between Jax and Wes, even though it takes place over a relatively short period of time. It’s clear there is an attraction between them, but Jax’s honour and his future role makes him feel he cannot accept Wes as a potential mate because of his own hybrid nature.

Wes, with a great deal of humour, some rather funny pointed Star Trek and Star Wars references which had me chuckling, puts Jax firmly in his place about what’s suitable or not and their have a few very sweet and low key sexual encounters before the main story arc kicks in.

Suffice it to say, eventually things take a turn for the better and Wes’ position as Jax’s mate becomes as obvious as Lucas’ was for Kaelum in book one!

And it all leads into the final set-up for book three which I am desperate for. Kaelum’s half-brother Vorian, the Bastard – like literally that’s his official title! Born from Crux’s forced mating of Kaelum’s human mother and Beau, the most vulnerable of the humans who were abducted from Earth.

I can’t wait!

#ARC kindly received from the authors in return for an honest and unbiased review

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Blog Tour: The Left Hand of Dog by SI Clarke

The Left Hand of Dog | SI Clarke

Starship Teapot #1

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Release Date: August 17th, 2021

Publisher: White Hart Fiction

Word Count: 51.8k

Cover Artist: Tom Edwards

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COVER - The Left Hand of Dog

Blurb

Escaping intergalactic kidnappers has never been quite so ridiculous.

When Lem and her faithful dog, Spock, retreat from the city for a few days of hiking in Algonquin Park, the last thing they expect is to be kidnapped by aliens. No, scratch that. The last thing they expect is to be kidnapped by a bunch of strangely adorable intergalactic bounty hunters aboard a ship called the Teapot.

Falling in with an unlikely group of allies – including a talking horse, a sarcastic robot, an overly anxious giant parrot, and a cloud of sentient glitter gas – Lem and the gang must devise a cunning plan to escape their captors and make it back home safely.

But things won’t be as easy as they first seem. Lost in deep space and running out of fuel, this chaotic crew are faced with the daunting task of navigating an alien planet, breaking into a space station, and discovering the real reason they’re all there…

Packed with preposterous scenarios, quirky characters, and oodles of humour, The Left Hand of Dog tackles complex subjects such as gender, the need to belong, and the importance of honest communication.

Perfect for fans of Charlie Jane Anders’ Victories Greater than Death – especially ones who enjoy endless references to Red Dwarf, Star Trek, and Doctor Who. This book will show you that the universe is a very strange place indeed.

Warnings: anaphylactic shock, minor injury to a dog, this book is not for TERFs.

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Excerpt

Copyright © 2021 by SI CLARKE

All rights reserved.

Startled by the sound of movement behind me, I whirled around to face three … they had to be children in bunny costumes. ‘What?’ That’s what they had to be, right? I mean, they weren’t actually rabbits. Definitely not. For one thing, they stood upright. Real bunnies don’t normally do that, do they? For another, they were about the size of Spock.

But the costumes looked real in that no skin showed through – not even on their faces – and I couldn’t see any zips. Also, I was pretty sure rabbits didn’t come in pastel rainbow colours. Actually, they reminded me of a toy I’d had as a child. Bunnyboo, I’d called it. Four-year-old me was terribly inventive.

‘Check out your floopy-floppy ears! How adorable are you?’ Nervous sarcasm still intact then.

I was nauseated enough that shaking my head seemed like a bad idea. ‘It was beer I had last night, right? Not, like, psychedelic mushrooms? Maybe some natural tree spore that makes a person have trippy visions?’ No one answered me. Or even looked at me.

Spock sat neatly and dropped her brain in my lap. She lifted a paw towards the nearest of the bunnyboos – for want of a better word. The creature’s mint green fur matched the emerald hue of its humongous Disney princess eyes. ‘Yip,’ said Spock in her smallest, most polite voice.

This is not happening. I must be dreaming. Or hallucinating. Something.

Pulling a device from a holster like a carpenter’s apron, the bunnyboo pointed it at Spock. Or maybe it was merely reading what was on the screen – if it even had a screen. Who was I kidding? I had no idea what they were doing.

Another, slightly taller bunnyboo – this one periwinkle blue with eyes like Wedgewood plates – stepped forwards and ‘spoke’ to Spock as well. That is, its mouth moved and Spock’s full attention was on it. But no sound emerged. Spock yipped again in response to whatever it was I couldn’t hear.

Spock pointed at me with her long, sable nose then looked back at the bunnyboos and emitted a low noise, not quite a growl.

‘Would someone please tell me what the bollocking pufferfish is going on here?’ I demanded. Okay, not demanded. Requested. Well, pleaded. Whined, maybe. Whatever verb it was I verbed, no one paid me any heed.

The bunnyboos of my strange hallucination were too deeply engrossed in their silent conversation with my very real dog to spare me any of their attention. It was like watching a TV on mute – except I could hear movements and breathing and the sound of my heart beating a drum on the inside of my chest.

After a few further moments of this bizarre fever dream, Spock leapt down out of the coffin and turned to face me. She sat on her haunches and looked me in the eye. Then she lifted one paw at me in a clear imitation of the ‘stay’ command I used with her.

A bunnyboo with heather purple fur lowered a rope lead over Spock’s head. Spock stood and followed them from the room.

‘Where are you taking my dog, you fluffy bastards?’ I clambered out of the coffin-bed and scrabbled after them as fast as my besocked feet would carry me. But the thick metal door slid shut seconds before I got to it.

I pounded impotently on the door, screaming, ‘Spock! Come back. Don’t let those fuzzy arseholes hurt you.’ Unable to find a door knob or control panel or anything, I leant against the wall next to the door and slid down until I landed on my arse. I shivered and hugged my knees to my chest.

Why can’t I wake up? Letting my head fall forwards, I cried for a bit, whimpering Spock’s name periodically.

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About The Author

AUTHOR - The Left Hand of Dog - SI CLARKE

SI CLARKE is a Canadian misanthrope who lives in Deptford, sarf ees London. She shares her home with her partner and an assortment of waifs and strays. When not writing convoluted, inefficient stories, she spends her time telling financial services firms to behave more efficiently.

When not doing either of those things, she can be found in the pub or shouting at people online – occasionally practising efficiency by doing both at once.

As someone who’s neurodivergent, an immigrant, and the proud owner of an invisible disability, she strives to present a diverse array of characters in her stories.

Social Media

Website: https://whitehartfiction.co.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/clacksee

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/clacksee

Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/32693/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/SI-CLARKE/e/B082GXW66G/

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Release Blitz: Servitude by Rebecca Cohen

Servitude | Rebecca Cohen

Reagalos #1

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Release Date: September 2nd, 2021

Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design

Universal Link: https://bit.ly/2XKmQ6n

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58459518-servitude

READ MY REVIEW

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Blurb

Lornyc is good at keeping secrets, because secrets can get you killed.

Lornyc’s forbidden relationship with Methian, heir to Xenetra, has caused him enough grief. Ripped from his life as a student to fulfil a magical contract as punishment for his family’s past, he now has to play valet to Methian for ten years. It’ll be hell on their already strained relationship.

And with his city of Katraman under attack, Lornyc needs to connect to the powers he’s been hiding. If he can’t master his powers and find the leader of the plot, he could lose everything he knows and loves: his family, his future as High Lord, and Methian.

Trigger warning: mind control, attempted assault

Previously published, this second edition has been edited and reworked for release.

Tags:
Secret relationship, Magic and mayhem, What’s this thing on my arm? Romanus you old reprobate, Coming of age, Temporal vampires (sort of). Lornyc’s just about had enough! Methian needs to deal with it, Orbs are shiny, Ooh pretty blue sparkles, Didn’t see that coming, Lornyc looks good in valet clothes, Not ready but no choice, Youngest ever High Lord, That’s gotta hurt, Magical belly rumbles, Pseudo-Regency, Seriously they wear frockcoats, This is just the beginning…

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Reagalos Series

Book #0.5 – College Days – Pre-order Here (Out Jan ’22)

Book #2 – Idolatry – Pre-order Here (Out Oct 7 ’21)

Book #3 – Avarice – Pre-order Here (Out Nov 4 ’21)

Book #4 – Restitution – Pre-order Here (Out Dec 2 ’21)

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About The Author

REBECCA COHEN spends her days dreaming of a living in a Tudor manor house, or a Georgian mansion. Alas, the closest she comes to this is through her characters in her historical romance novels.

She also dreams of intergalactic adventures and fantasy realms, but because she’s not yet got her space or dimensional travel plans finalised, she lives happily in leafy Hertfordshire, England, with her husband and young son. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and sloe gin with lemon tonic in the other.

With contemporaries, historicals, sci fi and fantasy in her back catalogue, there should be something for every taste in Rebecca’s work.

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