Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Love Space Opera? Try DRIFTERS' ALLIANCE

Have I got an intriguing series for you!

If you're into the whole sci-fi space opera genre (think Firefly, Star Trek, etc.) then you need to pick up Elle Casey's DRIFTERS' ALLIANCE series.  Thus far it's only three books, but more are on the way - and I can hardly wait.

Now onto the show.

Book Blurb:
One hand of cards and it's all over but the crying...

Cass Kennedy finally gets what she's been dreaming of for the past ten years: a drifter ship to call her own. All the sim time and battle training is going to pay off in spades as she sets her course for the future. She'll be living on her own terms, not those of her father.

But drifting through deep space with a crew of nutty strangers on the DS Anarchy carries a lot more surprises than she bargained for. Nobody told her that her ship is falling apart, that dead chickens are something you really want to hang on to, and that the OSG has big plans for the universe that don't necessarily jibe with her plans for herself.

Jump onboard with Cass and her crew as she charts a course toward an alliance that will either make her or break her as Captain of the DS Anarchy.

My Review:
Through a game of chance, Cass Kennedy has done the impossible - become captain of her very own drifter ship at the ripe age of nineteen.  Now she can explore the far reaches of dark space with her crew and escape farther from the clutches of the OSG - and her father, a major general of the Omega Systems Group elite command.

But the title of captain comes with its own set of challenges - and mutiny doesn't just happen on the Bounty.  Throw in a questionable stowaway, and Cass' maiden voyage at the helm of the DS Anarchy might just be her last.

Especially if she can't avoid the OSG's warships and those hunting her down for escaping their elite clutches three years ago.  Her only hope?  Become a member of a freedom alliance of other drifter ships.

DRIFTERS' ALLIANCE has a great cast of characters in the vein of that short-lived TV show Firefly.  Cass is no wilting flower and has a closet full of skeletons that threaten to expose her and the crew to the mighty and merciless hand of the OSG's ruling order.  But all crew members, both old and new, hide behind secrets of their own.  Each is drawn as unique, three-dimensional individuals which makes them feel like they could leap from the pages into the real world.

The action takes time to ramp up, but the characters drive the plot forward in the interim, which keeps the pace from bogging down and avoids devolving into a bunch of telling.  The reader is simply dropped into the characters' lives where they are without resorting to a bunch of world-building info dumps.  Instead the world-building is nicely interwoven into the storyline as it plays out.

Editing is smooth and clean, with only one tiny error I noticed in the entire story.  DRIFTERS' ALLIANCE is a quick and entertaining read, with each of the three episodes thus far at just around two hundred pages - and yes, I've already read all three books and am anxiously awaiting the next release.  Five stars from me.

Content Warning:  Strong language is sprinkled throughout, but it fits with the characters and the nature of the story.  Some mild sexual jokes but nothing you wouldn't hear in school or the office.  The following books in the series have some violence and blood with danger to the characters, but again not terribly graphic.

Books one through three can be purchased by clicking here on AMAZON, B&N, and anywhere else books are sold.

Author Bio:
ELLE CASEY, a former attorney and teacher, is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling American author who lives in France with her husband, three kids, and a number of furry friends. She has written books in several genres and publishes an average of one full-length novel per month.

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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Dark Thriller Review - All Good Deeds

Hello again, dear readers.  I've got a review for you today for a dark, twisted thriller.  Stacy Green's Lucy Kendall series book one ALL GOOD DEEDS deals with the subject of pedophiles and human trafficking of children.  Oh yes, and murder - Old West style - so this isn't for the faint of heart.  My review is for book one in the series, but I bought and read the package deal of all four books in the series (not including the prequel novella) and recommend you do the same.

If the free first book doesn't make you squirm too much.

Book Blurb:
She's no killer. She's just taking out the trash.

Don’t call Lucy Kendall a serial killer. She’s fighting for the innocent, and she’ll do whatever it takes to bring justice.

When a child disappears, Lucy quickly discovers the link to a predator she’s faced before–a man the state of Pennsylvania decided to turn loose on the streets. Determined to find the little girl and put a criminal behind bars for good, Lucy forces her way onto the case.

As the search for the kidnapped child pulls Lucy into a web of evil beyond her darkest imagination, she’ll have to face her own dark truths to save the little girl–and herself.

Packed with suspense, All Good Deeds is a dark psychological thriller with a finely crafted mystery that takes readers into the deepest recesses of the human psyche.

My Review:
This would've been a five star if not for all of the editing errors (missing words, transpositions, wrong words used, etc.).  As is, I'm giving it four and ahalf stars because everything else about it is fantastic - if you can stomach the subject matter.

Lucy Kendall is a former social worker who quit the system when child pedophiles kept going free because of legal loopholes.  Since then she's obtained her PI license and been on a quest of her own choosing - finding and killing these repeat offenders before they can destroy any other lives.  Lucy practices justice like they did in the Old West - vigilante style.

But killing - even for honorable reasons - is taking a toll on her psyche.  Then someone discovers her secret.

Chris tags along with Lucy in hopes of stemming his own fascination with serial killers - and he has secrets of his own he can't keep in the closet.  When another neighborhood child goes missing, Lucy and Chris discover there are worse things out there on the World Wide Web - and they're in a race to bring down this child trafficking site before another little girl is lost in the ether forever.

Such dark subject matter we have here, but handled so well without short-circuiting and holding back too much or going over the cliff and showing us everything so awful about such a topic.  The plot and pacing races along, just as a thriller should.  Point-of-view is handled well without a bunch of head-hopping in each scene.  Then we are shown all the way along the gut-wrenching ride instead of resorting to a bunch of telling or info-dumping.  This book has everything a great thriller should have.  Like I said, four and ahalf stars from me.

Content warning:  Because we're dealing with the subject of child pedophiles and human trafficking of children, it's difficult to read at times and the emotions it brings out (especially for someone who has been abused) can be devastating.  There's also plenty of language and a few uses of strong language (which seemed a bit overreaching and unnecessary at times), so be aware if you dare.

Book one is free by clicking here on AMAZON.

Author Bio:
Stacy Green is the author of the Lucy Kendall thriller series and the Delta Crossroads mystery trilogy.
ALL GOOD DEEDS (Lucy Kendall #1) won a bronze medal for mystery and thriller at the 2015 IPPY Awards. TIN GOD (Delta Crossroads #1) was runner-up for best mystery/thriller at the 2013 Kindle Book Awards. Stacy has a love of thrillers and crime fiction, and she is always looking for the next dark and twisted novel to enjoy. She started her career in journalism before becoming a stay at home mother and rediscovering her love of writing. She lives in Iowa with her husband and daughter and their three spoiled fur babies. Stacy loves to hear from readers! Visit her website at, or Facebook at