The Scent of Memory (Green Rising, #2) by Shari Elder – Review

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About The Scent of Memory by Shari Elder

Twelve years ago, Marisol lost Aren. Now he’s back—pointing a gun at her head and treating her like a stranger.

Rebel hacker, Marisol Martinez, never thought volunteering to keep the hospital safe from cyborgs would lead her back to the man sabotage ripped from her arms. The man she swore to avenge by any means possible.

For over a decade, Cap protected the cyborgs under his command from every danger. Until he meets an insurgent, whose scent wreaks havoc on his control. She calls him Aren and insists she knows him. But she’s wrong. He has no past, no present, no future—only orders he’s programmed to complete.

Forced together, Marisol and Cap can’t resist the passion that keeps building between them. With time running out, Marisol must use her computer skills to restore Aren’s memories or Cap will kill all subversives on the planet—starting with her.

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Review of The Scent of Memory

Four years after Race to Redemption was published, Shari Elder has released the second book in the Green Rising series.  Since book 1 made good impression, I was very happy to read The Scent of Memory.

There are quite a few differences between the books.  We go from a desert world to a frozen tundra appropriately named Nordika.  Instead of storm racing, the sport is dog mushing.  And the cast of characters is mostly different. Hacker Marisol and cyborg Cap are both fierce personalities, bent on doing what they consider is the right thing.  Getting the right thing for both of them to align will be the challenge.

What carries over from the first book are the bad guys and the conflict between the privileged corrupt rich and poverty stricken poor.  One of the things I liked about this book is that the government of Nordika, personified by governor Luke de Graaf, really does have the best interests of the people in mind.  Even if it sometimes means bowing to superior, not-so-sympathetic forces. 

Here’s the thing about hacking being a key defensive/offensive weapon.  It is low on action.  As a hacker, Marisol seems to be able to get at anything she sets her mind to.  While this seems a little unbelievable, ultimately it was a critical part of the plot.  However, hacking is not all that interesting to read about.  So instead of focusing on that kind of action, the relationship between Marisol and Cap takes center stage.  Because, ultimately that relationship will become just as critical as Marisol’s hacking ability and Cap’s cyborg talents.

I would have liked to get to know Aren (who became Cap) a little better.  At least that is what I first thought.  Cap is not Aren.  Cap is Cap.  A cyborg who hasn’t been around all that long.  So maybe the reader is not supposed to know more about Aren.  Like Marisol, we need to figure out Cap.

I liked Ariana, Marisol’s daughter.  Ariana a) is cute and b) she humanizes Marisol.  The cute kid is almost never out of place in a serious story.

Thanks to the author who provided a copy of her book in exchange for my honest review.

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A Paradox of Fates (Prevent the Past, #1) by Rebecca Hefner – Review

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About A Paradox of Fates by Rebecca Hefner

One woman bred to save the world…

Dr. Elaine “Lainey” Randolph was born with one sole purpose: to prevent the past. With her brilliant mind and unwavering spirit, she works tirelessly to solve the equations that will finally unlock the mystery of time travel. Then, she will leave the post-apocalyptic future her grandfather created and travel back in time to prevent his calamitous actions.

When handsome military captain Hunter Rhodes appears at Lainey’s remote scientific hub, he offers her protection. But there are strings attached to the mysterious soldier’s proffer, and Lainey finds herself wary of the man who stokes unwelcome longing and desire in her unemotional heart. For Lainey is a scientist, obdurate and dispassionate toward the notion of romantic love.

As Lainey’s band of ragtag scientists and loyal soldiers endeavor to escape the dystopian future, the evil New Establishment threatens to destroy them all. In their unpredictable timeline, the nefarious regime has become all-powerful and will stop at nothing to ensure complete world domination…

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Review of A Paradox of Fates

A Paradox of Fates is a sci-fi time travel adventure tempered with romance.  Intense characters, a save the world plot and a seemingly impossible task make this a great read that I found hard to put down.

I appreciated the author’s scientific research that went into making time travel at least a little believable, even if it is still an impossibility – as far as we know.  Scientific detail is minimal though, making the story move along nicely.  Instead, the reader sees the time machine at work and the people that make it work.

Lainey is the extremely focused heroine of the story.  Determined to succeed, she puts all her efforts into her work, shunning Hunter’s attention, even though we (the non-Lainey characters and the readers) know they are meant to be.  The romance between Lainey and Hunter was slow and believable and exactly what it needed to be for these two characters.

A Paradox of Fates is a story of intentional time travel.  That is, time travel for the purpose of causing something to happen or not happen.  Change history, change the how things turn out.  When it comes down to it, this is a very tricky thing to do.  One wrong move and nothing turns out the way you expect.

Time is complicated.  So here I am overthinking this.  So, what if Lainey and Hunter achieve their objective.  Does that mean there is no need for a time machine?  And if so, how do the future Lainey and Hunter go back in time to achieve their objective and if they don’t go back, that means the timeline is not changed.  So there really is a need for a time machine.  You see where this is going?

Paradox is a common theme in the book and not fully resolved by the end of A Paradox of Fates.  The story continues in two more books in this series.  I’m going to have to see where this goes!

Thanks to the author who provided a copy of her book in exchange for my honest review.

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The Shadowed Path (The Fae Files, #3) by Cecilia Dominic – Review

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About The Shadowed Path by Cecilia Dominic

Be careful what you wish for…

Exiled princess Reine’s return to Faerie isn’t what she hoped. First, she has to sneak in rather than enter in triumph. Second, she has to figure out what to do with a certain handsome gargoyle, who still hasn’t forgiven her or her brother for a major betrayal.

Third, someone in her grandmother’s court is trying to kill her.

As Reine travels the shadowed paths typically forbidden to those of the Light Court while evading a hidden, yet clever pursuer, she has to navigate her own interpersonal complications and face the truth about who and what she truly is. Otherwise, she’s guaranteed to lose the final battle against the powerful enemy who’s been pulling the strings all along, and Faerie will never be the same.

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Review of The Shadowed Path

Having fulfilled the objective her mother had given her, Reine returns to Faerie.  In this mission to find her place in her homeland, Reine is accompanied by the witch, Kestral, who is looking to define her own powers. Also along for the journey are Ellerin, the mysterious sometimes helpful (sometimes not) gray fae who is the guide and John, Kestral’s father.

Going into The Shadowed Path, I was leery of the change of location.  I mean, the previous stories had taken place in a perfectly good location on earth – Atlanta.  Now, in book 3, Reine is in Fae land.  Turns out, this is just what Reine’s story needed.  Being in a magical land means anything is possible.

Faerie is dark, gray and light.  It is full of danger, adventure, magic and beauty.  The same might be said of Reine, whose Fae-ness will become increasingly apparent as the story moves on.

Gargoyle Lawrence is also back in the story, having followed Reine’s troop, ostensibly to protect his goddaughter, Kestral, and John.  In reality, he has not forgotten Reine, even though he feels betrayed by her (see the events of Shadows of the Heart).  In the first two books, I found it difficult to see how Lawrence would fit into Reine’s story.  But now I can say with certainty that he does.

A new character, the dark Fae Troubadour, adds mystery and possibilities to the story.

I can’t forget Sir Raleigh, the gimalkin/cat is a delightful character/pet.  He is usually just where he needs to be and can communicate with just a look (like most cats I know).  He is superior to humans (like most cats I know) and is not afraid to show it.

Before The Shadowed Path, I was concerned about Reine fulfilling her Fae destiny while still having a soft spot for earth and earth-bound people.  Lets just say that this part of the story has just begun and there is so much potential there. Now, more than ever, I am looking forward to the next part of the story!

Thanks to the author who provided a copy of her book in exchange for my honest review.

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