Book Review: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

In Margaret Atwood’s dystopian future, environmental disasters and declining birthrates have led to a Second American Civil War. The result is the rise of the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian regime that enforces rigid social roles and enslaves the few remaining fertile women. Offred is one of these, a Handmaid bound to produce children for one of Gilead’s commanders. Deprived of her husband, her child, her freedom, and even her own name, Offred clings to her memories and her will to survive. At once a scathing satire, an ominous warning, and a tour de force of narrative suspense, The Handmaid’s Tale is a modern classic.

My Review

I usually read a book before watching the movie, but I watched the first season of The Handmaid’s Tale before I read the book. I like dystopian novels so I expected to like this book at least as much as the series. Unfortunately, this is one of those cases that the movie (or Hulu series) is better than the book.

Even though there are many similarities between the two, I found the book difficult to read. I couldn’t connect with Offred and there were pages of rambling that didn’t add to the story. It is presented as Offred’s musings, observations, and memories.

Although I was disappointed in The Handmaid’s Tale, I may still read the sequel when it comes out. It sounds like it’s going to be based on the Hulu presentation so it may be easier to read (I’m keeping my fingers crossed).

About the Author

MARGARET ATWOOD, whose work has been published in over thirty-five countries, is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. In addition to The Handmaid’s Tale, her novels include Cat’s Eye, shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize; and her most recent, Oryx and Crake, shortlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize. She lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.

Book Review: Sea of Lies by Rachel McLean

He abducted her. He fell in love with her. He helped her escape. Can she trust him?

Sarah Evans has returned home after being abducted and held in a dilapidated farmhouse by a group of men.

With her is Martin, who turned against the other men to help her escape. He says he’s not like them, and claims to be in love with her.

Can Sarah trust Martin? Does she share his feelings? Or should she listen to her father, himself deceitful and abusive, and turn her back on the relationship?

Sea of Lies is a chilling psychological thriller about secrets, trust, and a family falling apart.

A standalone sequel to Thicker Than Water

Purchase Links

UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Sea-Lies-chilling-psychological-thriller-ebook/dp/B07N5Z7F5R

US – https://www.amazon.com/Sea-Lies-chilling-psychological-thriller-ebook/dp/B07N5Z7F5R

 

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I read Thicker Than Water a couple of weeks ago and was looking forward to reading the sequel, Sea of Lies.

A community on the North Yorkshire coast has worked hard to survive after floods that wiped out their homes six years ago. They’re self-sufficient but on edge because four of the village women were abducted and even though they’re home now, no one knows if some of the kidnappers will return and cause problems. Also, their leader was killed during the rescue so the police could show up and most of the villagers don’t trust the police.

Sarah was one of the abducted women and although Martin was one of the kidnappers, he regretted helping them and tried to help Sarah escape. She was falling in love with him until she found out that he was one of the kidnappers. Now he’s still trying to help in any way he can but Sarah wants nothing to do with him.

Or does she? Her mind tells her one thing and her heart tells her another. Sarah doesn’t communicate with others well but her parents are poor examples. She needs to listen so that she can find out Martin’s whole story. Hopefully, she can do that before it’s too late.

Sea of Lies is mostly about Sarah dealing with the aftermath of the abduction, sorting out her feelings for Martin, and learning more about her parents.

 

 

About the Author

My name’s Rachel McLean and I write thrillers that make you think.

What does that mean?

In short, I want my stories to make your pulse race and your brain tick.

Do you often get through a thriller at breakneck pace but are left with little sense of what the book was really about? Do you sometimes read literary fiction but just wish something would damn well happen?

My books aim to fill that gap.

If you’d like to know more about my books and receive extra bonus content, please join my book club at rachelmclean.com/bookclub. I’ll send you a weekly email with news about my writing research and progress, stories and bonus content for each book. And I’ll let you know when my books are on offer.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rachelmcwrites

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rachelmcleanwrites/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelmcwrites/

Audiobook Review & Giveaway: Savior by AJ Eversley

 

 

Author: AJ Eversley

Narrators: Chelsea Stephens, Steve Campbell

Series: The Watcher Series, Book 3

Publisher: Author AJ Eversley

Genre: Science Fiction; Young Adult

 

 

 

The explosive conclusion to the Watcher Series will decide the fate of the entire human race.

Sawyer has been a Watcher. She’s been a Carbon. Now she must become their Savior.

With the inevitable return of Coleman looming, Sawyer knows their army is not enough. On a journey to convince an ally to join their war, Sawyer discovers why the stars have placed the fate of the human race in her hands. And she’s not alone.
Kenzie is her enemy. He is wrong and ruthless, and he’s tried to kill Sawyer more than once. Yet she still can’t stay away. Both drawn to each other in a way neither can explain, they must learn to trust one another as well as themselves if they want to survive. And soon, Sawyer will find she must trust in the stars to protect her and put her faith in others if she wants to live.

Find out who will survive, and if they can save humanity from a future painted black, in the epic conclusion of the Watcher Series.

 

 

 

AJ Eversley is the author of the WATCHER series. A true north Canadian girl, AJ currently lives in Central Alberta with her husband and dog. When she’s not writing, she can be found binge watching Harry Potter, quoting various movies in everyday conversation, and eating copious amounts of candy.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreadsInstagram

 

 

Narrator Bio

Chelsea Stephens has a long time love and appreciation for the performing arts, with experience in on-stage acting, singing and voice over. Her love for reading books and the pursuit of the story led her to narration. She enjoys unfolding characters and bringing listeners into new worlds. Chelsea is an experienced voice actor with a talent for mystery, fantasy and YA novels. She’s a mom to a gaggle of young ones living in the Midwest with her lumbersexual husband.

WebsiteTwitter

 

 

Narrator Bio

My first priority as a voice-over artist is to convey your thoughts and ideas in an entertaining and insightful manner; not distracting from your message, but enhancing your words. It is my personal goal to help your audience engage with the text in an immersive and memorable way.

As a techie with a passion for performance and a love of the written word, the voice-over industry called to me. I am now fortunate enough to be living my dream of audiobook narration from my home studio, in Calgary, AB, Canada.

 

 

Review

 

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by AJ Eversley. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Savior picks up a short time after the end of Carbon. Sawyer seems to have finally accepted the fact that she is a Carbon. She’s in a relationship with Max who helped her get through Kenzie’s death. But Kenzie is alive and has been turned into the enemy by Coleman so they have him in a cell with his powers controlled. Poor Sawyer truly loves Max but still has a bond with Kenzie that won’t let her go no matter how much she tries and despite the fact that he tried to kill her.

The characters are well developed and they’re as complex as “real” people. The main characters have gone through so much and they’re so strong, that it’s difficult to read about these further trials that they’re going through. Sawyer is in an impossible situation as far as her relationships are concerned and she doesn’t feel comfortable being the Savior. She wants to help others and doesn’t want to be the recipient of help from others, which is understandable given her nature. There are a lot of characters but it was easy for me to keep them separate.

The narrators do a great job. The primary narrator is Chelsea Stephens and she’s perfect performing Sawyer’s part with good timing and inflection. I was able to feel what Sawyer was feeling.

Savior is full of action, heartache, war, a couple of twists, and even a little humor. I was not able to put this book down the first time I read it and it was the same when I listened to it. There was so much happening throughout the book. I liked the ending, which is good after reading three books. 

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Audiobook Review & Giveaway: Carbon by AJ Eversley

Book Title: Carbon – Book Two in the Watcher Series by AJ Eversley
Category: YA Fiction, 300 pages
Genre: Sci-fi Dystopian
Content Rating: PG (No swearing and PG kissing scenes)

 

Book Description:

Sawyer has lost everything. Her family, the man she loves…her humanity. No longer a Watcher, Sawyer must now begin a journey to understand her new identity. Carbon.

With nowhere left to call home, and no one left to guide her, Sawyer must rely on the help of a stranger to learn who she really is now, and how to use it to her advantage. In a world where nothing is as it seems, and who to trust is a thin line between friend and foe, Sawyer will turn to the stars that have shaped her destiny long before she even knew she had one. And the man who fate has sent her.

Book two in this epic series, Carbon will answer questions you didn’t even know you had. And strangers will become the only ones who can help her. Join Sawyer as the journey to save humanity continues.

Buy on Audible

 

My Review:

I chose to listen to this audiobook after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I read this series a while back and was happy to listen to it when I had the opportunity. It’s definitely worth reading more than once and this was a good way to read it again.

Carbon picks up where Watcher left off. Sawyer is on a ship on the way to the United Isles to find out more about being a Carbon and breaking her tie to Coleman. He can control her and all Carbons when in close proximity but she’s told there is someone who has broken the tie. She plans on learning how to do that so she can go after him to seek her revenge and to save the rest of humanity.

Max is sent with Sawyer to assist her but she doesn’t like him at all. He’s constantly teasing her and she’s not in the mood. All she wants to do is grieve the loss of her friends and the love of her life. Eventually, she realizes that he’s trying to help her let go so that she can do what she set out to do. As time goes on, Max grows on her. The relationship between the two becomes a close friendship and maybe more if she can let go of Kenzie. I liked this relationship because it’s one that has grown over time and not “love at first sight.” 

I had forgotten how much this book made me cry! It contains heartbreak, betrayal, loyalty, and strong female characters. There are also some interesting revelations. It can be read as a stand alone but I recommend reading Watcher first. I just got the code for Savior so I can get right back into the story.

The narrators do a great job. The primary narrator is Chelsea Stephens and she’s perfect reading Sawyer’s part with good timing and inflection. 

 
Buy the Book:
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Meet the Author

AJ Eversley is the author of the WATCHER series. A true north Canadian girl, AJ currently lives in Central Alberta with her husband and dog. When she’s not writing, she can be found binge watching Harry Potter, quoting various movies in every day conversation, and eating copious amounts of candy.

Connect with the author:Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

 

 

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About the Narrator: Chelsea Stephens

Chelsea Stephens has a long time love and appreciation for the performing arts, with experience in on-stage acting, singing and voice over. Her love for reading books and the pursuit of the story led her to narration. She enjoys unfolding characters and bringing listeners into new worlds. Chelsea is an experienced voice actor with a talent for mystery, fantasy and YA novels. She’s a mom to a gaggle of young ones living in the Midwest with her lumbersexual husband.
WebsiteTwitter

 

 

 

About the Narrator: Steve Campbell

My first priority as a voice-over artist is to convey your thoughts and ideas in an entertaining and insightful manner; not distracting from your message, but enhancing your words. It is my personal goal to help your audience engage with the text in an immersive and memorable way.

As a techie with a passion for performance and a love of the written word, the voice-over industry called to me. I am now fortunate enough to be living my dream of audiobook narration from my home studio, in Calgary, AB, Canada.

 

Giveaway

 

 

Spotlight & Giveaway: The Final Correction (Condition #3) by Alec Birri

 

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Author: Alec Birri

Narrator: Jonathan Keeble

Length: 6 hours 34 minutes

Publisher: Essential Music Limited⎮2018

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: The Condition Trilogy, Book 2

Release date: Jan. 17, 2018

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The third and final part of a dystopian trilogy based on the author’s command of a top secret government unit.

So, Professor Savage has been unmasked as the monster Alex Salib always knew he was. But what was their agreement, and why is she still determined to see it through? The war on terror appears to be back on track, but why does President Kalten seem hell-bent on ramping it up – are the Americans seriously intent on starting World War Three?

And what of the treatment itself? Despite Savage’s arrest, the “corrections” go on, but to what end? The laws of unintended consequences are about to cause a seismic shift in the very nature of our existence. But then our new master knows that and won’t let it happen until we’re ready….

Ready to accept the unacceptable.

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Alec Birri served thirty years with the UK Armed Forces. He commanded an operational unit that experimented in new military capabilities classified at the highest level (Top Secret Strap 3) and it is this that forms the basis of his novels. Although semi-autobiographical, for national security and personal liberty reasons, the events and individuals portrayed have to be fiction but are still nonetheless in keeping with his experiences.

WebsiteTwitterFacebook

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Narrator Bio

If you regularly enjoy listening to audiobooks then this Shakespearean actor will need no introduction. Winner of a 2016 SOVAS award, Jonathan’s voice is rightly recognized as being one of the best, and his narration of The Condition Trilogy is no exception.

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Book Review: Savior by AJ Eversley

Title: Savior
Author: AJ Eversley
Genre: YA Dystopian Sci-Fi
Editor: Q Books Editing
Cover Designer: Cover Art by Salome Totladze
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Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
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Blurb:

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Sawyer has been a Watcher. She’s been a Carbon. Now she must become their Savior.
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With the inevitable return of Coleman looming, Sawyer knows their army is not enough. On a journey to convince an ally to join their war, Sawyer discovers why the stars have placed the fate of the human race in her hands. And she’s not alone.
Kenzie is the enemy. The obedient soldier who’s just following orders. A pawn in this game. Yet Sawyer can’t stay away. Both drawn to each other in a way neither can explain, can they learn to trust one another, as well as themselves, in order to survive. And soon, Sawyer will learn she must put her faith in others if she wants to live, and trust in the stars to protect her.
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Find out who will survive, and if they can save humanity from a future painted black, in the epic conclusion of the Watcher Series.
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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I had read and reviewed Watcher and Carbon so I was looking forward to reading Savior and I was not disappointed.

Savior picks up a short time after the end of Carbon. Sawyer seems to have finally accepted the fact that she is a Carbon. She’s in a relationship with Max who helped her get through Kenzie’s death. But Kenzie is alive and has been turned into the enemy by Coleman so they have him in a cell with his powers controlled. Poor Sawyer truly loves Max but still has a bond with Kenzie that won’t let her go, no matter how much she tries and despite the fact that he tried to kill her.

The characters are well developed and they’re as complex as “real” people. The main characters have gone through so much and they’re so strong, that it’s difficult to read about these further trials that they’re going through. Sawyer is in an impossible situation as far as her relationships are concerned and she doesn’t feel comfortable being the Savior. She wants to help others and doesn’t want to be the recipient of help from others, which is understandable given her nature. There are a lot of characters but it was easy for me to keep them separate.

Savior is full of action, heartache, war, a couple of twists, and even a little humor. I was not able to put this book down after the first couple of chapters. There was so much happening throughout the book and I had to find out how everything would turn out. I liked the ending, which is good after reading three books. The only thing that bothered me was the lack of editing. 

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AJ Eversley is the author of the WATCHER series. A true north Canadian girl, AJ currently lives in Central Alberta with her husband and dog. When she’s not writing, she can be found binge watching Harry Potter, quoting various movies in everyday conversation, and eating copious amounts of candy.
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Author Links:
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Book Review & Giveaway: Ballistic by Aria Michaels

 

 
Book: Ballistic (Icarus Series Book 2)
Author: Aria Michaels
 Genre: Young Adult dystopian
 The sequel to Killshot 
 
#BallisticTour
 
 

 

Synopsis

 It’s been three days since Solar Storm Icarus silenced the world…three days since the GRS virus wiped out most of humanity and started changing the few who remained. Liv and the others made it through the initial wave, but they’ve lost a lot along the way and the journey to Salvation is far from over. A rogue military organization has taken hold of the area and they possess a weapon that could change everything. 

When Liv finds out her brother and the other refugees are being held captive at Camp Seco, she will risk everything to get him back. As the group embarks upon a dangerous rescue mission, a rival band of survivors threatens their safety and a new storm gathers overhead. The virus has spread and the infected are being drawn together. What’s worse, the beast that lurks inside of Liv is growing stronger and more difficult to control. But Liv has a promise to keep–and her little brother is running out of time.

Will Liv be able to harness her strength to save her brother and the hundreds of other innocents beyond the walls of Camp Seco, or will she let the monster out and put them all at risk?

 

 

Buy Links:

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My Review

I received a free ecopy of this book for an honest review.

I just finished reading Killshot, the first book in the Icarus series, and I immediately start reading Ballistic. Even before Chapter One starts, I found out that Liv’s little brother, Lucas (or Beans as she calls him) is alive. At least that means she and her friends aren’t on a worthless mission to find him. Chapter One begins where Killshot left off.

Ballistic explains more about how the virus has affected people as well as the government’s role in it. But there is so much more to this book. Liv and her friends meet one obstacle after another. There are several twists and just when you think you’ve figured this world out, something else happens. All Liv wants to do is to find her brother and to keep her friends safe. She’s still a good leader but the virus is causing scary changes in her.

Some new characters are introduced in Ballistic. Actually, a couple of them, Eli and Ty, were introduced in Killshot but they play major roles in this book. And Liv’s brother, Lucas, is just as strong as she is…and he’s only 8 years old!

I definitely recommend Ballistic. I suggest reading Killshot first to get the full effect of the story. Aria Michaels has done a great job at making a new post apocalyptic world that is not only full of action and emotion, but shows both the good and bad that could come out in people in this type of situation. 

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Author Bio

Aria Michaels is the author of The Icarus Series, a bestselling young adult dystopian saga as well as a contributor to ATZ Publications’ Chronology of the Apocalypse, and Tricks, Treats, and Zombies (releasing in October 2016). Aria is an avid reader, die-hard zombie fan, and enthusiastic lover of bonfires and red wine. When she is not glued to her computer pouring out the voices in her head, this busy single mom can be found playing in the dirt with her boys, painting, or binge-watching The Walking Dead. Aria is currently hard at work on the next instalment of the Icarus Series and revelling in her role as instigator of literary mayhem and stealth assassin of fictional characters. 

 
“You are never more than one chapter away from a different future.” –Aria Michaels

 

 

Author Links:

 
Twitter or @AriaMichaelsYA