ARC Review: Dreadnought by April Daniels

dreadnoughtGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

“The shelter of boyhood ended, and they called me a young man. For no reason at all, they looked at the things that felt right to me, and they took them.

Even down to the way I carry my books and cross my legs. They took it. They took everything. Puberty came, and my body turned on me, too. Watching every part of myself I liked rot away one day at a time, the horrified impostor staring back at me. Watching the other girls, the ones who they let be girls, head in the other direction.

Every day, torn away further from myself, chained down tighter. Suffocated. Strangled.

They’ll make a man of me. Show me how to be a man. Teach me to man up by beating me down.

They never ask if I want to be a man.”

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Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of the world’s greatest superhero. Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, she was trying to keep people from finding out she’s transgender. But then her second-hand superpowers transformed her body into what she’s always thought it should be. Now there’s no hiding that she’s a girl.

It should be the happiest time of her life, but between her father’s dangerous obsession with curing her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he’s entitled to date her, and the classmate who is secretly a masked vigilante, Danny’s first weeks living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined.

She doesn’t have much time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer, a cyborg named Utopia, still haunts the streets of New Port City. If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.

review4 Stars 

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Diversion Books

+++Potential triggers: violence, verbal abuse

With a classic superhero fix that would do Marvel proud and a protagonist that speaks from the heart, Dreadnought is the book you didn’t know your soul needed, but it answered just the same. 

Sometimes the world is a bleak and terrifying place and so much seems hopeless. All we can do is fight through the darkness and stand strong in our convictions. Dreadnought is that quintessential story. The world can be a cruel place for those who are different and humanity can leave a lot to be desired. Dreadnought is a story of strength, hope, and perseverance, of embracing what you know in your heart and not letting anyone tell you different, despite the adversity and fear. 

Danny (Danielle) Tozer has lived her life in a body she feels betrayed her. I’ve never had such a keen insight into a character and their emotions. Danny’s story reflects the boxes that our sex puts us in, the way that society pushes and crafts each child into perceived ideas of masculinity and femininity. Danny has always known she was female, despite being anatomically male. She talks about how she gradually was pushed out of a circle of girls that she was friends with, how she was pushed into sports, and what she was expected to act like to assume the role of a male. My heart broke a little more with each loss, because that’s what they are deaths. It didn’t matter if Danny wanted to hold her books is a “girly” way, she was criticized for being too feminine and forced to adjust even the smallest of her mannerisms for fear of reprimand, even if part of her was dying inside with each small defeat. It’s eye-opening. How many times are people dismissive? How many times do people say, what’s the big deal, it’s a choice, what’s it matter, just hold your books differently? When you’re hit with Danny’s emotions and how it’s slowly killing her inside to relinquish even the tiniest bit of herself to satisfy society’s need to dichotomize, it cuts deeply. It’s powerful and insightful and will make you see the world differently. A transgender superhero. This makes my heart happy.

Dangerous forms of masculinity and femininity are summarized in Danny’s parents. I felt sick and disgusted by the way Danny’s father treats her and the way her mother cowers. The verbal abuse is gut-wrenching. There are all sorts of abuse and words can be just as painful and damaging as physical blows. I felt rage and hatred, and so sad for Danny. All she wants is to be accepted for who she is and the people who are supposed to love her unconditionally cast her aside. 

Throw in randomly gaining a superhero mantle on top of all this emotional turmoil. Obviously the adrenaline and emotions are high. The Legion is full of a diverse cast of superheroes that are both memorable, occasionally prejudiced, and super interesting. 

Calamity. I LOVE HER. She’s a little clichéd, but that’s her schtick. She’s funny, reckless, smart, and daring. The way she accepts Danny right off the bat and befriends her is sort of serendipitous and heartwarming. 

That being said, the world building was iffy. There were details just thrown in as explanation. Things weren’t clearly defined. They were more broad than anything. 

Utopia’s plan for domination is creative and she’s complex as a villain. However, all of these plot points were piled on at once and a little much. There’s not much spacing. The reveal too was so in your face that it didn’t pack the punch it could have. Some of the action scenes were too step-by-step and lasted an abnormally long time. Not in the sense that they dragged, because the description was epic, but you kind of wanted them to hurry up so we could get to the next catastrophe. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Thrilling reading, 

Jordan

Release Day Blitz: Austin & the Magical Jawbreaker by Austin Hildenbrand with Heather Hildenbrand

austins-mj-ecover-both-namesAmazon/B&N/iBooks

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Austin’s normal 5th grade life is changed forever when he eats a magical jawbreaker that gives him superpowers. Now, it’s up to him to defeat the city’s evil candy-stealing villains starting with Tootsie and her chocolate minions.

Will Austin’s sweet-toothed superpowers be enough? Read on and find out!

This sounds super fun!

Jordan

 

 

ARC Review: The Masked Maiden by H.D. Gordon

the masked maidenGoodreads/Amazon

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HERO OR VILLAIN? YOU DECIDE.

When she decided to become a vigilante, no one told 17-year-old Aria Fae about the possibility of public backlash, or the attention the media would garner by dubbing her The Masked Maiden of Grant City.

On top of this added heat, a rogue supernatural known as The Scarecrow has escaped his prison, and his history with Aria makes her the crazed warlock’s obvious target.

Now, she must face her past and defeat The Scarecrow once and for all, or die trying.
When things reach their worst, will The Masked Maiden be the hero Grant City needs, or the villain they’ve made her out to be?

review

4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author

I was hesitant to pick this book up because I wasn’t completely sold on the first book in the series. So I put it off for a while and rediscovered it in the process of catching up on back reviews. I’m absolutely floored. I really don’t know where to start because this is such a drastic change from book 1. I am now 100%, completely, and totally invested in this series. 

Aria Fae has always been a badass, but she’s grown so much as the story progressed, not only in maturity, but in heart and understanding. Aria’s past is highlighted. There are flashbacks and agony over her horrible childhood. The cruel way the Brokers rob the Halflings from their homes and the tasks they put them through are truly horrific. Aria as a child is just as feisty as she is now and outspoken. She doesn’t take anything from anyone, she’s a fighter from the get-go. There are moments of fear, and uncertainty, and heartbreak as seen through her young eyes and the emotions are on full chaotic display. 

The story arc is fantastic. A perfect blend of teen angst, superheroes, and serial killers. The suspense is heart stopping, the dangers will keep you on edge. Serious adrenaline rush. There were many moments where I held my breath, hoping that Aria would get there in time or make it out alive. 

The scenes with the Scarecrow are straight out of your deepest fears and worst nightmares. From the way he talks to Aria, the grotesque form of his body, the blunt descriptions of his psychotic murders. Chills. These flashbacks are particularly disturbing and sickening. Every ounce of terror rolls off the pages. 

Romance. Forget triangles. This is definitely a love rhombus. And (un)fortunately they’re all perfect. Dreamy sigh. Aria has the best luck romantically, everything else not so much. The struggle is real. Choosing between a blast from the past childhood love, a super sweet and gentle millionaire heir, and an older ex-military protector, no wonder she’s so spastic and jumps at every opportunity to escape the awkward. The feels are strong. There are many cute, passionate scenes that are both romantic and gasp-out-loud sexy. The way they look at her, happy sigh, the way they make her feel. Break out your Keats poems and put on a romantic comedy post book to recover. 

Secondary characters are as lively as ever. Each has a unique and developed story. It’s not ALL about Aria. She’s there for her friends, she’s kind, she’s awesome and epic and better than before. Her humanity is coming out and it’s glorious. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Epic reading, 

Jordan

Release Day Blitz: Unbreakable by Liz Long

UNBREAKABLEBANNER30296890Amazon

synTrue heroes refuse to be broken.

Nova started the fight against Fortune for simple revenge, but now it’s turned into something much bigger. Arcania’s criminals are at each other’s throats, putting the city right in the middle of a warzone. She’ll have to work with a few unlikely allies to end Fortune’s games once and for all. Nova thought she understood what it meant to be a superhero, but will she have to lose herself to truly defeat Fortune?

Fortune has given Cole a choice, one with unbearable consequences. When Cole takes matters into his own hands to save his sister Penelope, he realizes too late he’s another pawn in Fortune’s games. Fortune will use Cole’s gift against his enemies…including Nova. Cole will have to become the hero he always wanted to be if he’s going to protect the love of his life.

Nova and Cole could finally save Arcania from Fortune’s deadly games, but are they willing to sacrifice each other?

Haven’t Started the Series Yet?HoA Trilogy Release Sale

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Liz Long is a proud graduate of Longwood University. Her inspiration comes from action and thriller genres and she spends entirely too much time watching superhero movies. Her day job includes writing for a magazine publisher in Roanoke, VA.

The Donovan Circus series has best been described as “X-Men meets the circus.” Adult horror story Witch Hearts tells the tale of a serial killer hunting witches for their powers. New Adult PNR A Reaper Made is about a teen Reaper who gets caught between falling in love or saving her sister’s soul. All titles are available for paperback or ebook on Amazon.

To learn more about Liz (including more information on her books, plus writing, marketing, and social media tips), visit her website: http://lizclong.com.

Want to Meet Liz?

HoA Book Signing Flyer

Happy reading, 

Jordan

Cover Reveal, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Choosing Eternity by K.T. Webb

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The Evolved (Book 1)

Thatcher Kline has a fiery personality. His life sucks and he isn’t interested in talking to anyone, let alone helping them. Despite his thoughts on the matter, fate has another plan; Thatcher has a secret but when he meets a handful of others with similar secrets he’s catapulted into a dangerous and ancient battle.

The Evolved are the final descendants of the Old Immortals. Their super powers not only make them freaks but also make them the only people who can save the world. Together with their remaining ancestors they must discover who they are, the prophecies that guide their lives, and face a terrifying enemy.

Growing Hope (Book 2)

Tahlia is a mystery, she has no memory of her life before she joined the Old Immortals, but they begin to remember a life before her.

The legend is that she was locked away in the golden sphere with the evils of the world. When Pandora released the Maladies on an unsuspecting world, she also released Tahlia, the spirit of hope personified, and altered the course of humanity forever.

Despite their still-healing wounds, the Evolved have embraced their mission. They’ve spent the last five years cleaning up after their battle with Absalom, but now they are discovering that new enemies are stepping out of the shadows. In order for the Maladies to drown humanity in their darkness they must first snuff out the light.

Choosing Eternity (Book 3)

Nora never asked to lead an army. She never asked to risk everything to ensure the survival of the world. But, when a bloody battle is inevitable and everyone looks to her for guidance, she realizes her decision is easy.  

As they face the return of the strongest evil ever to exist, the Evolved must expose long-held secrets and forge alliances to strengthen their cause. They quickly discover this is an enemy they are not meant to fight and have to overcome the obstacles he puts in their way to keep them from bringing back the only person who can.

The final prophecies are coming to pass, death is all around them, and they face uncertainty at every turn. 

guest

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who preferred to spend her time reading a book rather than socializing with other kids. That little girl dreamed of becoming a writer. She had so many fun ideas but never decided on a story that felt like it really needed to be told, until one morning when she was twenty-two.

A crazy dream led to multiple crazier conversations with her mother. The dream eventually began to take shape into a story…..and I’m bored now.

So, that’s me in a nutshell. I was never a social person. I actually got in trouble in high school for skipping lunch to read in the library. The first book in my series, The Evolved, was inspired by a dream I had about a guy who could control mechanical devices with his mind. Oddly enough, you won’t meet any characters in these books with that particular ability.

The characters who have been talking to me for the last eight years are a quirky bunch. Many of them share personality traits with me or people I know. One of my favorite things about these characters is that they tell me how the story is supposed to go. I know, that sounds completely nuts, but it’s the truth. I can sit down and write an outline, but when I start writing, anything goes.

My books incorporate many mythological, historical and religious stories. I had a blast weaving those things together and creating an all new take on familiar figures and legends. Many of the supporting characters are representations of the gods and goddesses of every religious or mythological tradition. I have always been fascinated by the similarities found in the stories told in very different parts of the world. There has to be a common thread that ties them all together. That’s where my story began.

The Evolved sets the stage for the rest of the series by giving just enough background information to make readers wonder what’s going on. The characters discover who they are and what they’ve been tasked with. Growing Hope dives deeper into where they came from and what they’re fighting for. Choosing Eternity pulls it all together and brings them to the ending they’ve been working towards.

I made the decision to re-brand and relaunch the first two books in the series because I didn’t feel like the covers were attracting the young readers that the books were written for. I took a look at the covers that make me want to read a book and realized how very different my covers were from the ones that attracted me. I hired a fantastic cover designer and we made covers that I think really fit the feeling I was looking for!

I can’t wait to share this wild ride with new readers!

authKT Webb

KT Webb is a big city girl living in small town South Dakota. Although she was born in Michigan, most of her younger years were spent between the suburbs of Chicago. Moving to South Dakota was a big change, and she never would have guessed she’d fall in love and decide to stay. She has been married to her wonderful husband since 2006 and they have two beautiful children ages 7 and 4.

KT has been writing for as long as she can remember and always dreamed of becoming a published author. She loves to create stories that make readers look at things differently and question reality; which is probably why she tends to write paranormal or fantasy novels.

She is a firm believer in the power of redemption, second chances, and that magic surrounds us every day if we know where to look. KT is a goofy and fun-loving person and is often described as snarky, bold and brash.

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In order to enter to win the giveaway, sign up for K.T.’s newsletter. Anyone who signs up between August 2nd and August 6th will be eligible to win. The winner will be chosen randomly.

Newsletter Sign Up!

Magical reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review & Release Day Blitz: Supernova by Liz Long

SuperNova (1)HOA_FINAL-ebooksmAmazon/Goodreads

synThe streets of Arcania are overrun with crime, deteriorating as a madman named Fortune makes himself at home. He shows no mercy, striking down anyone in his path – including Nova Benson’s little sister. Devastated, Nova vows to seek justice for her family, but aside from her freak strength and impenetrable skin, how is she supposed to stop a monster like Fortune?

Cole Warner wants to help people. Entrusted to keep his family’s secret, he’s also frustrated at having to hide his gift. He knows he could do more to help in the fight against Fortune. If he could convince his sister Penelope to join him, they might even have a chance at beating him. When Cole meets Nova, he realizes his whole world is about to change. And he’s going to welcome it with open arms.

Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan.

Then again, neither was becoming a superhero.

review

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author

Supernova is perfect for readers who like their stories full of feisty heroines, heartache, and a whole lot of buttkicking. Nova is a force of nature. Her determination, strength, and heart make her as admirable as she is fierce. Get ready to cheer her on in her epic battle for justice and closure. 

After the horrific death of her little sister at the hands of a diabolical madman (Fortune), Nova is a shell of who she once was. Devastated and heartbroken, Nova spent the summer in a cloud of pain and guilt, that she could have done something more to protect her sister. After the recent bout of attacks by Fortune, Nova decides to shuck off her sadness and replace it with something else, a hunger for revenge. 

The new Nova is scarred, but her pain makes her compassionate, powerful, and grants her the bravery she never had before. She throws off the trivial drama and nonsense of high school and embraces her Gift. Nova is someone I can get behind. She’s a planner, brave, and throws herself into danger, arms up and ready to fight. From thwarting bank robberies to saving girls from their pimps, Nova learns self-defense and she works it. 

I loved that Nova was best friends with a guy (Henry) and that there was ABSOLUTELY ZERO chemistry or even attraction. Finally a male-female friendship that isn’t rife with cliché angst.

Some of the secondary characters were predictable archetypes of the classic populars, but at least there was no mean girl stuff going on. 

The pacing staggered at points when nothing happened. All of those runs at night with zero activity were a little boring and threw off the action-packed scenes that were spaced far and few between.

Cole and Nova took FOREVER to happen. You’ll want to knock some sense into both of them. For seriously brave characters who run head first into danger and risk their lives to conquer evil, they’re scared little things when it comes to making a move.

The initial bank heist is FULL of tension and anxiety. It’s really scary. The fear and danger take over and serious foreboding. A great intro to the story. Fortune is a worthy and terrifying villain. 

There was a lot of telling. I wanted more graphic, more emotion, instead it was a punch her, and sad face there, I think it needed to be taken a step further. 

Penelope is a firecracker, whirlwind of emotions. She’ll keep you guessing that’s for sure. She is unabashedly herself and that makes her insanely likable. She’s quick-witted, opinionated, and delights in her gift. 

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Liz Long is a proud graduate of Longwood University. Her inspiration comes from action and thriller genres and she spends entirely too much time watching superhero movies. Her day job includes writing for a magazine publisher in Roanoke, VA.

The Donovan Circus series has best been described as “X-Men meets the circus.” Adult horror story Witch Hearts tells the tale of a serial killer hunting witches for their powers. New Adult PNR A Reaper Made is about a teen Reaper who gets caught between falling in love or saving her sister’s soul. All titles are available for paperback or ebook on Amazon.

To learn more about Liz (including more information on her books, plus writing, marketing, and social media tips), visit her website: http://lizclong.com.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

BURNINGEbook-Defects-book-1-in-the-seriesPowerless7245329

Cover Reveals: Heroes of Arcania Trilogy by Liz Long

13001310_1080721518653534_7236633590365319623_nHOA_FINAL-ebooksmAmazon Pre-Order/Goodreads

synThe streets of Arcania are overrun with crime, deteriorating as a madman named Fortune makes himself at home. He shows no mercy, striking down anyone in his path – including Nova Benson’s little sister. Devastated, Nova vows to seek justice for her family, but aside from her freak strength and impenetrable skin, how is she supposed to stop a monster like Fortune?

Cole Warner wants to help people. Entrusted to keep his family’s secret, he’s also frustrated at having to hide his gift. He knows he could do more to help in the fight against Fortune. If he could convince his sister Penelope to join him, they might even have a chance at beating him. When Cole meets Nova, he realizes his whole world is about to change. And he’s going to welcome it with open arms.

Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan.

Then again, neither was becoming a superhero.

Fortunes Favor_FINAL-ebooksm

Amazon Pre-Order/Goodreads

syn

Nova will learn it takes more than sheer strength to be a superhero. Her world implodes when Fortune strikes back for all the trouble she’s caused. His dangerous games put everyone around her at risk, especially when he decides to turn Arcania against its precious Heroes. Nova wants to protect Arcania, but how does she save a city that doesn’t want her help?

Cole has no idea how to deal with his sister Penelope, especially now that she’s learned the truth about their family secret. Thanks to Fortune, she’s headed down a dark path, one with no return. Torn between helping Nova and protecting his sister, Cole will be forced to make a choice. Tensions rise as Cole and Nova discover war will come to Arcania if they don’t get Fortune off the streets…or preferably six feet under.

Nova and Cole might have each other, but will they lose everything else in their mission to save Arcania?

Unbreakable_FINAL-ebooks,

Amazon Pre-Order

Nova started the fight against Fortune for simple revenge, but now it’s turned into something much bigger. Arcania’s criminals are at each other’s throats, putting the city right in the middle of a warzone. She’ll have to work with a few unlikely allies to end Fortune’s games once and for all. Nova thought she understood what it meant to be a superhero, but will she have to lose herself to truly defeat Fortune?

Fortune has given Cole a choice, one with unbearable consequences. When Cole takes matters into his own hands to save his sister Penelope, he realizes too late he’s another pawn in Fortune’s games. Fortune will use Cole’s gift against his enemies…including Nova. Cole will have to become the hero he always wanted to be if he’s going to protect the love of his life.

Nova and Cole could finally save Arcania from Fortune’s deadly games, but are they willing to sacrifice each other?

auth88dc1-liz

Liz Long is a proud graduate of Longwood University. Her inspiration comes from action and thriller genres and she spends entirely too much time watching superhero movies. Her day job includes writing for a magazine publisher in Roanoke, VA.

The Donovan Circus series has best been described as “X-Men meets the circus.” Adult horror story Witch Hearts tells the tale of a serial killer hunting witches for their powers. New Adult PNR A Reaper Made is about a teen Reaper who gets caught between falling in love or saving her sister’s soul. All titles are available for paperback or ebook on Amazon.

To learn more about Liz (including more information on her books, plus writing, marketing, and social media tips), visit her website: http://lizclong.com.

Fantastic reading, 

Jordan