Review: The Gatherer by Colleen Winter

gathererThe Gatherer by Colleen Winter

Expected Publication: November 26, 2019 by Rebel Base Books

Buy this book at: Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Synopsis: Storm Freeman gave the world a miracle. She designed The Gatherer to draw electromagnetic energy from the air and disperse free and infinite electricity to rural and underprivileged communities. Her invention helped people but devalued power industries. Some revered Storm as a deity. Others saw her as an eco-terrorist.

Then the miracle became a curse. The Gatherer unleashed a plague that damaged the human electrical system, bringing pain, suffering–and eventual death–to anyone continually exposed to the technology. Stricken herself, Storm goes into exile, desperate to find a cure–and destroy her invention.

But there are people in the government and in the corporation that funded The Gatherer who refuse to publicly acknowledge the connection between the device and the spreading plague. And they will stop at nothing to find Storm and use her genius for military applications . . .

Rating: 4 star out of 5 stars

Review: 

***Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book for free on NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you NetGalley!***

This book was a nice surprise for me. I read the synopsis and thought to myself, “Well, that sounds like just about every dystopian young adult book I’ve ever read.” But it wasn’t and that surprised me a lot. I found the plot intriguing and the characters were crisp and refreshing. I didn’t really mean to make them sound like apples, but there we are.

Really only to things got on my nerves and I hope they are rectified before publishing. 1. The plot moves back and forth in time quite a bit, and there is no indication in the text about when we’re in a particular time period. I found it rather confusing with no idea what time period we were in until I had read a page or two. Even a “X year” at the beginning of the chapters from the past would help. 2. Sometimes the text seemed a bit disjointed. For example, I would read something and then all of a sudden they’d be talking about a dead body and I’m thinking “wait, when did someone die? what happened?” So I went back and read those passages again and still can’t figure out what happened. This didn’t occur a lot, but it happened a few times.

Storm was a good character, though I found her assumed helplessness a bit annoying sometimes. This book was the time for her to harness the power she still has and step forward into action. I saw that a little bit at the end, but it was quite literally only in the last 2 chapters. Prior to that she was a passenger to the plot and I wanted more from her.

Maria is a great character, a real kick butt strong woman with a purpose. The only drawback to her character is that I felt she was a vehicle to the next book. She seemed a little irrelevant to this particular plot but she was the method of getting our characters to the next book.

The plot moved at a good pace and the writing is exciting. I really enjoyed the journey this book took me on as a reader and I look forward to the revelations we get in the next book. I wish I could come up with more great things to say about this book, but anything else will spoil the plot and I endeavor to keep this review spoiler free. But it is a good, fun read that you should check out.

I tried not to name names but fuck you Arlene Lagos

butterflies wake

I posted about this author awhile ago on another site, and didn’t name any names because I was mostly just frustrated. But let me give you a timeline of this spammer named Arlene Lagos.

1 year ago: Approximately a year ago, this author data mined a group I was in. The intention of the group was to get ARCs to bloggers for guaranteed reviews (not guaranteed to be positive). In order to get the ARC, you provided your email on the thread and the ARC was sent to you. She wasn’t a part of the group, but took a bunch of email addresses from the group and used them to spam me and others. I blocked her on GR and stopped participating in the group when the moderators refused to make it private to protect that information.

After I reported her to GR about using my email that she got from the site and put in a status update about it, she PMd me to say she really wasn’t spamming but sorry if I thought she was. She was new to this and had no idea that was not acceptable. Yeah, right.

Past few months: Recently this author has been spamming me on Twitter. Mentioning me (and others) Twitter handle individually in tweet promotion about her stupid book. This happened repeatedly. So I blocked her and reported her for spamming. Apparently Twitter doesn’t think this is spamming, I don’t agree. https://twitter.com/ArleneLagos

Today: I get home and what do I find? Another fucking email from this fucking woman to spam me with her new fucking book.

lagos2

Leave me the fuck alone you lunatic woman! I am never, ever, ever going to read your books. You are a spammer and a really stupid one at that if you keep coming back to me no matter how much shit you get for it.

Review: Red Cells by Jeffrey Thomas

red cellsRed Cells by Jeffrey Thomas

Published March 18th, 2014 by DarkFuse

Buy this story at: Amazon

 

Synopsis:

Private detective and mutant shapeshifter Jeremy Stake (hero of the novels Deadstock and Blue War) has fallen on hard times in the far-future city of Punktown. When he is offered an opportunity to masquerade as another man to do his prison sentence for him, Stake agrees, but this is a new type of penitentiary—existing in its own pocket universe.

In this isolated prison, a series of gruesome murders have occurred, and the inmates soon force Stake to investigate. Can Stake catch a killer that might not even be human, without becoming just another victim?

 

Rating: 3 star

 

Review:

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this story from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you DarkFuse!

A story that is under 100 pages has no excuse to be boring, this one was boring. But it was also not badly written. In fact, I think if the story was given more time and space to develop then it could have been really good. As a short story, however, it felt rushed and hectic.

The character of Stake was an interesting one. He is a mutant who can assume the physical form of another human. He is normally a private investigator but things are tough and he agrees to do a stint in prison for someone else. Naturally chaos follows and gives him a mystery to solve. I liked him as a character, though he was a tiny bit stereotypical for a private investigator type. However, because the story was so short I felt like I didn’t really learn much about him. Since he is the main character in two novels this is not to be expected, but it would have been a nice addition.

The story was also a good one. A prison that is located in pocket universe and something is killing the prisoners. That is very interesting. But unfortunately, the story was told to me almost exclusively instead of showing me. That was annoying. Don’t tell me! For heaven’s sake do a little bit of creative writing and show me.

It was also pretty predictable. As soon as they described the killer to me, I thought….well of course it’s that X thing/person that they told us about. And it was. This could have been done a lot better. I have no doubt that the author can write better than this, I can see the talent there. But this story did not showcase that talent at all.

Review: Snowblind by Michael McBride

SnowblindSnowblind by Michael McBride

Published November 27th, 2012 by Delirium Books

Cover and synopsis provided by the publisher.

Buy this book at: DarkFuse / Amazon

Synopsis:

They come at night.

Forward.

A stranger staggers out of the wilderness under the cover of a blizzard and stumbles into a diner full of people. He collapses in the entryway, unzips his jacket, and allows the object hidden inside to fall out. Screaming commences.

Down.

Four old college buddies embark upon their annual elk hunting trip into the Rocky Mountains. This promises to be their last, for the passage of time is as merciless and unpredictable as the Colorado weather. And they’re not alone.

Help.

There are other hunters in the mountains, stalking game of a different breed. They know exactly what they’re doing, because they’ve been hunting in these woods for a long, long time. And no one ever survives to betray their existence.

Rating (out of 5): 4 star

Review:

This is a short story (only 69 pages on my e-reader, I know it made me giggle too) but it is a creepy one in that short amount of time.  I had never read anything by this author prior to this story but I must say that I am going to check out his other work now.  The basic premise is that four long time friends go out elk hunting once a year to bond, get drunk, and just have a good time.  This year, however, they run into the middle of a blizzard.  They retreat to the safety of an abandoned cabin for shelter when one of them is gravely injured but soon find that they are not the only ones doing some hunting, but now they are the prey.

The aura of this book is super creepy.  I could feel the tension from the very first page when we have a man who is halfway dead stagger into a diner and throw open his coat and everyone starts screaming.  I admit that I had a moment where I giggled inappropriately imagining him as a flasher, but that passed quickly into uneasiness and major creep factor.  Right away I sensed that this mystery man was one of the four friends but I was anxious to find out which one, and what he had in his coat.  He referred to it as “proof”.  I spent the whole story contemplating what kind of proof and proof of what exactly.

One of the more remarkable things about this story is that I was terrified of this monster, whatever it was, that was stalking these men but didn’t actually see it for the majority.  Not until the very end did we actually see the monster.  Most of the time whatever was hunting them was hiding in the shadows and using the blizzard as cover.  This made it  incredibly scary and every time one of the men turned a corner I wanted to shout, “No!  What if it’s hiding around the corner!!”

I was highly anticipating the ending of the story and that is where it falls off the five star train for me and runs to the four star track.  I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but I will say that it was one of those moments where I celebrated and then sat there and thought “Wait, what?!  What just happened?!”  It was jarring, which is a good thing.  But it also didn’t make much logical sense to me.  I think anyone with an ounce of common sense would not have done that.  Unless of course they did it on purpose.  Actually, now that I think about it that would make it ultra sinister.  Hmmm, I am not sure if it was a flop ending or magnificently creepy. Maybe you should read this and decide for yourself.

I received an ARC copy of this story from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  No compensation or promises were made.  Thank you Delirium Books for this great read!