Day and Nights of Witches in Space

I’ve been on a small reading spree. I’m trying to stop letting books pile up, be they physical books, or files in ym cloud reader(s). I confess, I have no less than 4 e-reader apps on my phone/computer, and we’re not even going to mention the number of books piled up in my office. In any case, I finished a book I’d been slacking on:

All Things Rise by Missouri Vaun 

All Things Rise

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

100 years after the collapse of big oil and industry, humanity has fled the ground for the skies. Living in floating “cloud cities”, they eat synthetic food, wear synthetic clothing, and live a peaceful life. Ava, a pilot, flees her city in an effort to clear her mind after a botched attempt at intimacy with a long time friend. She crashes into the ground, and meets Cole, a young woman who helps her aunts run a farm. Ava quickly learns that everything she has learned about the ground life is false. Upon being gravely injured, Cole is whisked away to the cloud city for medical attention. She meets Audrey, the friend and failed relationship of Ava. A strong connection binds them instantly.

So…what we have here is a ” surprise, imagined love interest is not” followed by the “love at first sight” cliché followed by “gasp, the people different from me are still people?!” cliché followed by the “this is for your own good because you’re obviously not smart enough to make decisions for yourself, you inferior being” cliché with bits of gratuitous sex in between.

Points off for massive overuse of “cloud city”, ” boyish and boyishly good – looking” as descriptives. Warnings for : descriptive sex [between women] and repetitive adjectives. 2 stars.

Then I remembered I’d gotten a free book from the Barnes & Noble Nook store, called Days Gone Bad by Erik R. Asher

Days Gone Bad (Vesik, #1)

Damien Valdis Vesik. Necromancer. Owner of a new age magic shop. Brother of a vampire. Landlord to fairies who live in his clock. This is the first book in a new series, but the first few chapters are confusing, and read more like the second or third book in a series. I kept getting the feeling that I should have known what was going on, and who the people were. In any case, Damien receives a call from his master, one Zola Adannya, who has been missing for a while. She presents him with a doll that houses a tainted aura and attempt sot train him. Story is, someone is trying to raise a demon, and is making zombie puppets out of vampires. This leads to a treasure hunt for fae artifacts, fights against zombies, malicious destruction of property, and a lot of blood and guts. Surprisingly, there is no romance, except between secondary characters. Beginning in chapter 3, it held my attention, though there were a few parts that forced me to read two or three times. Reading the sequel is a strong possibility, but mainly to see if there are more (better) explanations for some of the events and villains. 2.8 stars. Warnings for blood, gore, violence, death, and language. 3 stars.
A friend gifted me a copy of  Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements that I’d been itching to read. As a fan of the late Octavia Butler, I was eager to read stories that embraced her legacy.
Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements
I wasn’t disappointed.
Octavia Butler had a strong sense of social justice that was apparent in all of her work. The pieces collected here follow the blueprint that Sister Butler left behind. Exploration of ancient/collective memory, alternative reality, beings of light, and even the zombie apocalypse are not only not off limits, but embraced and used to draw parallels between this society and whatever comes next. “Hollow” by Mia Mingus, “Children Who Fly” by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, and “Kafka’s Last Laugh” by Vagabond are some standouts among the many excellent stories collected here. Highly recommended. Warnings for language, mentions of death, torture and abuse. 4 stars.
If you know anything about me, you know that I adore the subgenre of urban fantasy. When I discovered that this book, Witch Hunt by S. M. Reine
Witch Hunt (Preternatural Affairs, #1)
was free on Amazon AND supposedly featured a Latino main character, I downloaded it without hesitation and began to read.
Cèsar Hawke awakens with a vague memory of a wild night, handcuffs on his headboard, and scratches on his arm. When leaves his bedroom, however, he discovers a gun, a pool of blood, and a dead woman in his bathroom. Detained by the very organization he works for (the Office of Preternatural Affairs), he escapes custody and attempts to prove what he believes is his innocence. A run in with a witch, some shady procedure, and a handful of incubi later, Cèsar is ready to turn himself in and give up uncovering just how deep the betrayals go.Good first book in a series, but relies heavily on (manufactured) coincidence and tries too hard to make the plot twists believable. Warnings for mentions of detailed sex, language, death. 3.5 stars with the willingness to read the sequel. 3.5 stars.
In fact, the sequel, book 2 of the series, Silver Bullet was available for just $0.99 at Amazon. I happily downloaded and read that one, as well.
Silver Bullet  (Preternatural Affairs, #2)
Barely a week after the events of “Witch Hunt”, Agent Cesar Hawke is part of a special investigation unit headquartered in a Reno, Nevada penthouse. This adventure begins with the interrogation and eventual suicide of a demon informant. A mysterious “she” is alluded to; that tidbit sends Cesar and his team off and running. Demonic spiders, nightmares made flesh, werewolves, zombies, a powerful witch and a doomsday cult await the team’s special brand of expertise. Warning for language, blood, gore, death. 3.5 stars, and a decent read for a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Now go read something…because Sumayyah Said So.

 

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