A Masterpiece of a Debut – Now is the Real Dystopia? All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

A Masterpiece of a Debut – Now is the Real Dystopia? All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

ALL OUR WRONG TODAYS

by Elan Mastai

10

APRIL, 2017

  • Title: All Our Wrong Todays
  • Author: Elan Mastai
  • Series: Stand-alone
  • Pages: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Books
  • Release Date: February 7, 2017
  • ISBN-10: 9781101985137

One of the best books I’ve read in a long time, All Our Wrong Todays, was a far-reaching, insightful, and witty novel, disguised as time-travel fiction. I cried, I laughed, I yelled in frustration as I read, Elan Mastai’s debut. It was an emotional roller-coaster, that tugged at my heart-strings. At first, I was skeptical, the narrator and main character, Tom Barren, is not likable. He has a rather stutter-start of an introduction, he begins the novel with a very shallow and egotistical interpretation of his world, and himself. It doesn’t make him endearing, or empathetic to his quandary. Yet, as the story progresses, Tom begins to grow on you, he reveals more about himself, and word by word, each sentence you fall deeper and deeper into a marvelous story of love, loss, friendship, life, death, and our distorted reality. Man, All Our Wrong Todays rocked my world.

This one is hard to break down in a manner that does it justice. The main character, Tom, is an underachiever in a very over-achieving world. He lives in the perfect 2016, think Jetson’s and you’ll come close. No war, no hunger, they even invented the instant outfit and hair machine that I lusted after while watching the Jetsons. His father invents time-travel and the only reason Tom is involved in his father’s project is because of nepotism. He knows he’s only there because of his father, all the people around him know he’s only there because of the man, but he goes along with it, he doesn’t really have anything else to do. But, in the process of helping his father achieve his dreams, Tom falls in love, with the rock star of the time travel team. And she might like him back…or so he thinks. They share the best night of his existence, and it is followed by Tom unmaking an entire timeline, by a stupid move on his part. Now, transported to “reality,” or what is our reality of 2016, Tom is forced into his dystopian universe, faced with the fact that he annihilated billions of lives and the perfect future. The basis of the plot might seem like a shallow, science fiction, time-travel novel, but it’s anything but. The author’s ability to craft a scene is awe-inspiring, not to mention the witty, self-deprecating narration of Tom that brings it all together.

They had this one moment in the beginning of the book, I can’t describe it because it would give it all away, but it was utterly heartbreaking. The character went from a guy I wasn’t too sure of, didn’t actually like, maybe kind of pitied, to a man I could really get behind, root for, and care about, with just one line:

“For just a moment I had a home.”

I stopped the audiobook and I cried, because it made Tom come into perspective and then shattered everything. That doesn’t happen often. It happens rarely, actually. The narration was done by the author, which is usually a red flag for me, but you can tell that Tom was and is part of Elan, so his narration was perfect. Not technically perfect, but it fit the mood, and the narrator’s voice.

The science of the book was another thing, the amount of research, technical knowledge, and brainpower that was required to write this novel was another accomplishment that I give props to the author for. I had to look up his bio to see if he had some sort of advanced degree with MIT or something, the science jargon was that convincing. But, no, he’s a writer, a screenwriter from Canada, who is currently working on the film adaptation of this book. That should be an interesting movie.

I can’t rave about everything, though. I did run into some issues. The author is quick and repetitive, with a jumping and often confusing pace, similar to Vonnegut, whom he mentions a few times within the pages, so I’m assuming he was trying to emulate. There is one scene which is a repetitive use of curse words over and over again, which I would have skimmed over in a book – but was forced to experience in full-force via the audiobook. The climax was also very confusing, and I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t go into detail, but there were moments when I was lost within the details. But, nothing that took away from the novel. My only advice when starting this book, give it time…let it sink in. Hopefully, you’ll love it as much as I did.

“We all have parts of ourself we want to cut away.”

A Masterpiece of a Debut – Now is the Real Dystopia? All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

Published by Dutton Books on February 7th 2017
ISBN: 1101985135
Genres: Adult, Science Fiction, Time-Travel
Pages: 373
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher

You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we'd have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren's 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed . . . because it wasn't necessary.
Except Tom just can't seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that's before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.
But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom’s search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future—our future—is supposed to be.




This Must Read Science Fiction novel might be a good choice if you’ve read and loved the following books:

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A Diverse Read That Takes a Bit of Patience to Read…Finding Gideon

A Diverse Read That Takes a Bit of Patience to Read…Finding Gideon

FINDING GIDEON

by Eric Jerome Dickey

03

APRIL, 2017

  • Title: Finding Gideon
  • Author: Eric Jerome Dickey
  • Series: Stand-alone, but it is part of the Gideon series
  • Pages: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Books
  • Release Date: April 18th 2017
  • ISBN-10: 1101985496

Finding Gideon was marketed as a stand-alone, even though there are more stories in this series, and technically it is, but I did feel that I fell feet first into a story that I wasn’t ready for. I think it had to do with the main POV in the beginning which was Medianoche, which starts out in a place I didn’t want to be. I didn’t like him, I didn’t want to read about him…and it kept increasing. Dickey tried to explain his backstory, but then just as you were getting comfortable, another tidbit was introduced and I was lost in someone else’s backstory. It got confusing at times and I stopped reading the book at a few points, only to pick it back up again, thinking it might a failing on my part. Maybe I wasn’t in the mood. Because I did want to like this book.

The overall gist of the story is that there are bad guy vs. bad guy, each one has a length backstory of why they are bad. Gideon, the somewhat redeemable bad guy, is one set on revenge against the hired killer that is sort of his nemesis. But, Midnight – or Medianoche isn’t an easy target – and that guy is set on killing Gideon even more. There is a lot sex, but none of it romantic. There is a lot of violence, which is all quite gory, and there are a lot of cool references to usually not featured places, which I thought was the best part of the book. But, it’s all packed into 450 pages that seem to go on forever.

My overall experience of the book was not a good one, unfortunately. I found the writing style hard to digest, I can only describe it when your ten-speed is on some crazy setting and you pedal and pedal and the pedals move fast, but you aren’t going anywhere. The anticipation and anxiety was high, the talk of killing and revenge, when only ten minutes passed in the book. It was all devious thoughts in the characters head. Then I was popped out of the book because something didn’t make sense, or a phrase I didn’t get. I liked exploring what it meant – but it’s hard to get back into a book like this.

I did like the diversity, and the descriptions of the different places, the authors knowledge of certain aspects described in the book, and the intensity of the entire novel. I wish I could have gotten into it more. Maybe if I read the first books, I would have. If it looks interesting, go back and check out the Gideon series.

“Everything was as normal as it could be for people like us.”

A Diverse Read That Takes a Bit of Patience to Read…Finding Gideon

Finding Gideon by Eric Jerome Dickey

Published by Dutton Books on April 18th 2017
ISBN: 1101985496
Genres: Adult, Mystery Thriller
Pages: 448
Source: NetGalley

A professional job turns personal for jet-setting contract killer Gideon in this sexy, thrilling page-turner by New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey. As a hit man from the time he was very young, money, women, and danger have always ruled Gideon's life; but for the first time, the job is taking its toll. Neither Gideon nor the city of Buenos Aires has recovered from the mayhem caused during Gideon's last job. But before the dust has settled and the bodies have been buried, Gideon calls in backup--including the lovely Hawks, with whom Gideon has heated memories--to launch his biggest act of revenge yet . . . one he believes will destroy his adversary, Midnight, once and for all. Yet Midnight and his second-in-command, the beautiful and ruthless Senorita Raven, are launching their own revenge, assembling a team of mercenaries the likes of which the world has never seen... and Gideon isn't their only target. Gideon will need all of his skills if he is to save not only his team, but his family as well. Dickey's new novel stirs up a whirlwind of sex and violence that spans the globe . . . and leaves no moral boundary uncrossed.




This diverse, suspense thriller might be a good choice if you’ve read and loved the following books:

P.S. I haven’t read many books like this one, and I only like to compare books that I’ve read…so this is a nebulous comparison.

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A Diverse Read That Takes a Bit of Patience to Read…Finding Gideon

Finding Gideon was marketed as a stand-alone, even though there are more stories in this series, and technically it is, but I did feel that I fell feet first into a story that I wasn’t ready for. I think it had to do with the main POV in the beginning which was Medianoche, which starts out in a place I didn’t want to be. I didn’t like him, I didn’t want to read about him…and it kept increasing.

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Romancing the Weekend: Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

Romancing the Weekend: Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

SILENCE FALLEN

by Patricia Briggs

31

March, 2017

Title: Silence Fallen 
Author: Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #10
Pages: 352 pages
Publisher:
Release Date: March 7, 2017
ISBN-10: 0425281272

Blurb:  In the #1 New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson novels, the coyote shapeshifter has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when Mercy’s bond with the pack and her mate is broken, she’ll learn what it truly means to be alone…

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe…

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise…

PJV Quickie:

Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series has been a favorite of mine for several years, and by book 10 (10!!!) these characters are like old friends.  I love paranormal stories, and Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thomson series is one of the best.  She had my attention at the first line:

“I died first, so I made cookies.”

 

Review:

As always, when I really enjoy a book, my thoughts are all over the place, so please forgive me if I jump around 🙂 I’m not going to recap the story as the blurb is easily readable on the left sidebar.

Let me start by saying that Silence Fallen was just what the doctor ordered.  I’m still stuck in a months-long reading slump, but, luckily, to come back into Mercy’s world is always a pleasure.  Mercy is, in a way, a “self-rescuing princess”, and she is a fabulous character. I know, I know, “princess” isn’t usually a word you’d associate with Mercy Thompson, but, her relationship to Bran kind of allows the title to fit, however loosely.  And in Silence Fallen, “self-rescuing” is spot on:  from the moment she is taken, Mercy uses her smarts and strengths to escape, over and over again.

One of the great things about having a long-running series is that, if the author is good (and Patricia Briggs definitely is), you’ll get characters who are really fleshed out and dynamic, even if they’re not the hero/heroine.  It was an unexpected treat to get to know more about the witch Elizavetta, and I also enjoyed getting to meet the European vampires and werewolves and to learn more about the way they operate.

There are a lot of politics playing out in Silence Fallen, and while he’s stuck dealing with his European “hosts”, Adam’s annoyance is tangible, and his devotion to Mercy is evident in every line of his anger and frustration. Something unusual this time around is that Ms. Briggs gives us both Mercy and Adam’s point of view.  Also, the story is not told in a linear style, there is some time overlap between tellings that make the reader go “Oh – so that’s why that happened!” It’s important to read the notes at the beginning of each chapter, as they help the reader to be aware of what’s going on in the chapter and what to watch for.

In Silence Fallen an unlikely source helps Mercy realize who she is as a coyote and I think that in the future we may learn more about her resistance to vampire suggestion – a lot more.  I’m wondering how Stephan is going to feel about that?

So, a lot going on in a short period of time…We briefly step away from the Adam/Mercy relationship dynamic and gain some interesting knowledge about the supes in Mercy’s world, and I loved it.

I promised, he told me. I promised not to tug on the leash.  I promised.  Don’t hurt yourself so. I keep my promises, Mercy.

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson #10
on March 7, 2017
ISBN: 0425281272
Genres: Adult, Paranormal
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Also in this series: Fire Touched
Also by this author: Dead Heat, Fire Touched
4 Stars



This adult paranormal novel with romantic elements might be a good choice if you’ve read and loved the following books:

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A Diverse Read That Takes a Bit of Patience to Read…Finding Gideon

Finding Gideon was marketed as a stand-alone, even though there are more stories in this series, and technically it is, but I did feel that I fell feet first into a story that I wasn’t ready for. I think it had to do with the main POV in the beginning which was Medianoche, which starts out in a place I didn’t want to be. I didn’t like him, I didn’t want to read about him…and it kept increasing.

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Book Three is Here! I Repeat Book Three is Here! Liar by Gillian Zane…

Book Three is Here! I Repeat Book Three is Here! Liar by Gillian Zane…

Available Today! LIAR by GILLIAN ZANE

u

Case # 3

Cassie’s cases continue in the Karma Inc. series!

Liar!

She’s back at work and this time Cassie needs to dish out some karma to a Big Fat Liar…

Complicated...

Things get complicated in Cassie’s own personal life as she gets closer to her killer.

Available Now!

Download now on Amazon – Free on KU!

About the Book:

Liar

Liar by Gillian Zane

Series: Karma Inc. #3
Published by Parajunkee Publishing on March 28, 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 131
Format: eBook
Also by this author: Live
5 Stars

Case # 3 of the Karma Incorporated Series.

Karma doesn’t get an off day. Working for Karma Incorporated might sound like the best job in the world, but there’s one really big catch: you’ve got to die to get it. Cassandra Mercier died at the ripe old age of twenty-one and is now gainfully employed by the Afterlife Corporation as a Karma operative. She’s still working nine to five, undercover as Cassidy Hail to deliver some much needed cosmic payback.

Her next target is a big, fat liar.

Lori Kay Biggly, Lori Kay, not Lori by itself. There was another Laurie, but the other Laurie spelled her name with an ‘AU’. To set herself apart she must be called Lori Kay. Kay as in the middle name, not the letter. Her last name was Biggly. Lori Kay Biggly. Maiden name Craig, but she goes by Biggly only. No hyphenation or ‘feministly’ holding on to old last names for this girl. And Lori Kay Biggly was a liar. She lied. She sabotaged others at her work, she manipulated the boss with sexual favors…and she was getting her just desserts. Courtesy of Karma, Inc.

While on the case, Cassandra also has the matter of her own death that she must solve, a goddess that has decided to take a more “hands-on” approach to management and a curious private investigator who she finds it hard to maintain her own lies with. It’s just another day working for Afterlife Corporation.




Haven't Read a Karma Inc. Book Yet?

Cheat – Book #1 is Free Today Only!

You know you want to read this Urban Fantasy series…

Karma Inc. Case #1

Karma’s a bitch…and her name’s Cassie.

Working for Karma Incorporated might sound like the best job in the world, but there’s one really big catch: you’ve got to die to get it. Cassandra Mercer died at the ripe old age of twenty-one and is now gainfully employed by the Afterlife Corporation as a Karma operative. Her job duties include manifesting bad karma on unsuspecting victims.

Two months into her internship Cassie is promoted and given her first solo case. His name is Bishop and he is a cheat. He needs some bad karma, and Cassie’s the right girl for the job.

Inflicting a bit of payback on this cheat should be easy for Cassie, so she gets permission from her boss to do a little investigating on her own time. Investigating into her living life, the one she can’t seem to remember. The only problem, she is forbidden from doing the digging herself. Afterlife Corporation rule. She can hire someone to look into it for her, though, and that someone turns out to be Drake Greco. She regrets her decision the moment she walks into his office…

Learn More

Karma Inc. Case #2

Cassie is still at it…dishing out Karma to those that desere it most.

She’s taken on the persona of Cassidy Hail and she’s going undercover to deliver some much needed cosmic payback. Her next target is a Shark.

Phillip Liam Nixon. Millionaire. COO of Butterfield Advertising Group. Chronic gambler, chronic womanizer and part-time embezzler. He’s going down and Cassidy’s the one who’s going to help him on his way. That’s if she can manage her own afterlife in the process, which is now brimming with Gods and Goddesses she didn’t know existed, an overly curious investigator who has his sights set on Cassidy, and the budding suspicion that something isn’t quite normal about the way she died.

Learn More

Find Out More About Gillian Zane's Series

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Meg’s Final Story Wraps it Up in Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

Meg’s Final Story Wraps it Up in Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

ETCHED IN BONE

by Anne Bishop

19

MARCH, 2017

  • Title: Etched in Bone
  • Author: Anne Bishop
  • Series: Stand-alone
  • Pages: 397 pages
  • Publisher: Roc
  • Release Date: March 7th 2017
  • ISBN-10: 045147449X

Anne Bishop’s The Other’s series is a gem among gems. It is an Urban Fantasy set within an alternate reality where supernaturals rule and humans are relegated to small communities, afraid of the wild areas.

In the fifth installment, and rumored, LAST installment of The Others, (which really it’s only Meg’s last story, it’s been announced that there will be more Other novels, just not within Meg’s story ARC) the tension is high between humans and others. The line is drawn between some humans and some shifters, and Meg Corbyn is afraid of what lies ahead, because her visions are showing her death.

This final recap brings more attention on the humans and others and how they come together. It also focuses on Meg and Simon, with almost a detailed building up from almost the beginning. The other stories in the series have been intense, action-packed stories and this one is a little different. It wraps up Meg’s story, shines lights on previously foggy issues, and then exposes some other topics that might be brought into the spin-off.

Overall, The Other’s is a fantastic Urban Fantasy series. Bishop’s writing style is unique and I could wrap myself up in the dialogue. She has a way of writing the inner thoughts of the “different” kind of creatures that make up the Others that makes things seem so clear. I’m impressed with Bishop’s series and look forward to reading much more from her.

“They tried it several more times, just to be sure, and eventually decided that they did like kissing. They liked it a lot.”

Meg’s Final Story Wraps it Up in Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

Etched in Bone (The Others, #5) by Anne Bishop

Series: The Others #5
Published by Roc on March 7th 2017
ISBN: 045147449X
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 397
Source: NetGalley
4 Stars

New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop returns to her world of the Others, as humans struggle to survive in the shadow of shapeshifters and vampires far more powerful than themselves…
After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders—a primitive and lethal form of the Others—the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them now know to fear the no-man’s-land beyond their borders—and the darkness…

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end—with her standing beside a grave




This adult, Urban Fantasy novel might be a good choice if you’ve read and loved the following books:

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A Diverse Read That Takes a Bit of Patience to Read…Finding Gideon

Finding Gideon was marketed as a stand-alone, even though there are more stories in this series, and technically it is, but I did feel that I fell feet first into a story that I wasn’t ready for. I think it had to do with the main POV in the beginning which was Medianoche, which starts out in a place I didn’t want to be. I didn’t like him, I didn’t want to read about him…and it kept increasing.

read more
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