Valos of Sonhadra, Book VII and Book IX by Tiffany Roberts and Regine Abel – Two Reviews


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About Undying

Orishok is the last of his kind — a valo shaped by the Creators to embody death. He’s stood vigil over his people for centuries, watching them fade away, one by one succumbing to the entropic energies they hold inside. With his slightest touch unwillingly bringing death to all living things, he has remained isolated in his people’s city, his heart as empty as the buildings around him…until a pale, slight female arrives and shakes the foundations of his world.

Quinn Dalton lost everything when she was convicted of murder — her sister, her niece, her budding career — but it isn’t until she’s transferred to an interstellar penitentiary that she realizes her very life is no longer her own. Her existence aboard the Concord is a nightmare, broken only when the station is torn through a wormhole and crash lands on an alien world. After waking up alone and bloodied, but somehow unharmed, she seeks shelter in an abandoned city — where she discovers an ancient, wondrous mystery. Can she survive alongside a being whose touch means death?
Warning: This book contains foul language, explicit sexual content, and violence and is intended for mature readers only.


Review of Undying
Review by Riley
4 Stars

I loved that the human, Quinn, meets something extremely alien. Not just Orishok, but also the planet and the city. Orishok meets something just as alien to him when Quinn appears. Language, food, singing, sleeping, even emotion. When Orishok and Quinn first meet, they have nothing in common. But each has a reason to make the attempt to get to understand and know each other. There are serious moments and moments of humor. The developing relationship was tender and hopeful and heartwarming.

Very near the end of the story, Quinn and Orishok will meet some bad guys. The story needed more conflict, so I appreciate that it was in there, but it seem a bit contrived because it was not part of the entire story. Such is often an issue with a shorter novel.

Amazon says there are 180 pages in Undying. I don’t believe it.  The e-book read like 80 pages, I absorbed it so fast! I guess I am saying that this book was easy to get into and hard to put down.

Undying is part of the Valos of Sonhadra series which is a shared collaboration of nine scifi and fantasy romance authors. If you want more after Undying, know that they can be enjoyed in any order and happily ever afters abound.

About Unfrozen

When the penitentiary ship she’s incarcerated in gets sucked into an anomaly, Lydia barely survives the crash onto an alien planet. Only the sadistic experiments performed on her by the prison’s scientist allow her to survive this harsh and dangerous world. The future looks grim until she stumbles upon a magnificent city of ice and its most unusual inhabitant.

Kai is fascinated by the delicate stranger fallen from the stars with the power to bring his hibernating city back to life. She stirs emotions long forgotten by his frozen heartstone. Can she be the salvation of his people or will the trap set by the Creators bring about their collective doom?

Review of Unfrozen
Review by K J Van Houten
4 Stars

Unfrozen opens with our heroine, Lydia imprisoned and undergoing experimentation against her will. She has an unusual condition where her body produces great heat, and she can also withstand great heat, as well as extreme cold. The experiments have only made her inexplicable condition worse.

The prison ship Lydia is on crashes onto the surface of an unknown planet. Lydia escapes, uncertain if anyone else survives or not, determined to get as far from the crash site as she can. She stumbles upon an abandoned city – well, inhabited by the strange statues of tall, humanoid men, made of an unusual substance that seems both hard and soft to touch at the same time, and bearing gaping holes in their chests. As Lydia studies the statues closer, she realizes that the holes are uniform, more like an open slot than damage. With a start, she realizes the statues may be more than they seem. As Lydia explores more, she begins to feel that she is being watched. Exhaustion finally overcomes her, and she falls asleep on a bed of ice – think of the famous ice hotels in some colder parts of Earth, like Norway.

While Lydia sleeps, met meet our hero, Kai. At first he things Lydia is from the race his people call the Creators or the Strangers. He has been the one watching her as she explored the city, as he is the only of his people awake. He watches over her as she sleeps, and brings her food for when she awakens.

Lydia is startled to find Kai. They speak different languages and have trouble communicating at first. Fortunately, Kai is capable of learning languages quickly the more he hears of it, so they are soon able to exchange basic words and ideas.

As they spend more time together, learning each other’s language and behavior, a growing attraction develops between Lydia and Kai. Lydia learns the secret of Kai’s people – an interested race that seems to be a cross between a cyborg, a golem, and an ice elemental. The holes in their chests are where their heartstones belong. These are a part of them that allows them to feel emotion and a provide a desire to go on living. Most of Kai’s brethren are in hibernation as they have lost this desire for life, others have gone to the extreme and shut down permanently. The heartstones were taken out by the previous race of Creators/Strangers that left the planet a very long time ago. The heartstones are piled in particular locations, which cannot be reached because they are surrounded by lava pools and the extreme heat would kill Kai’s people if they tried to reach them. Lydia’s ability to withstand extreme heat give hope that they can be restored.

This book starts off a little confusing for me. Not sure if it’s because the story is written in first person POV and the character isn’t ‘introduced’ to us by name for quite a while into the story. Although fortunately, the chapters are labeled “Lydia” or “Kai” to let us know which POV we’re getting in each. I normally don’t have an issue with reading first person narratives, however, and it didn’t take me long to settle into the story, once I could put a name and description of the main characters in place.

I find this world very interesting. Lydia seems a little too good to be true with her abilities, but she’s a likeable heroine. Kai is fascinating because I can’t put a single description to what he is. I tend to think ‘ice elemental-golem’ in my mind, and I don’t think I’ve ever come across a hero which like this. The pacing of the story is not fast, and it seems that learning to communicate and uncovering the secret of the heartstones and what needs to be done to save Kai’s people takes up most of the action of the story. The attraction and eventually love between Lydia and Kai is cute, at times playful, at times tender, and eventually a bit steamy – how does an ice elemental-golem handle the heat of a woman like Lydia?

There are, naturally, more twists than I’ve given away in this review. Lydia and Kai do have more hardships to overcome than just their communication problems, after all. The more I read, the more I wanted to keep reading. While the ending of the book is satisfying, it does open the way for more stories in this series. There are some unanswered questions such as why was Lydia on the prison ship, and what about the friends she mentioned leaving behind when she escaped? I’m intrigued enough that I think it’s worth going back to read the previous stories as well as ones to come.




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Short Reviews – Four by Nora Roberts


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Reviews by Linda

Year One (Chronicles of the One, #1)
Circle Trilogy: Morrigan’s Cross, Dance of the Gods, and Valley of Silence

About Year One

It began on New Year’s Eve.

The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed—and more than half of the world’s population was decimated.

Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magick rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river—or in the ones you know and love the most.

As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.

In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

The end has come. The beginning comes next.


Review of Year One

This author has written books on romance, and crime. She has now entered the arena as an author of romantic science fiction. This is the first book in a series named Chronicles of the One, Book 1. She has written about the end of the world and the emergence of several factions. Humans who have survived the plague and seem to be immune. Humans with magic, whose powers have increased and are on the light side. Humans whose magic increased and they chose the dark side. Humans who were evil to begin with and see the Doom as their chance to destroy civilization. The world is in utter chaos, who will help restore it? Don’t expect all the answers in this first book. I can guarantee I will be watching for the second.
Happy reading.



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About the Circle Trilogy Books

As a storm rages, a tale begins of a powerful vampire’s lust for destruction—and of the circle of six charged by a goddess to stop her…


At the goddess Morrigan’s charge, Hoyt Mac Cionaoith must gather five others to form a ring of power strong enough to overcome Lilith. And it is in this circle, hundreds of years in the future, where Hoyt will learn how strong his spirit—and his heart—have become…


While demon hunter Blair Murphy has always worked alone, she finds herself drawn to Larkin, a man of many shapes. To prepare for their fight against Lilith, the circle of six travels through time to Larkin’s world, where Blair must decide if she can risk everything for a love that can never be…


As queen of Geall, scholarly Moira must prepare her subjects to battle against the vampire who killed her own mother. Still, there is one vampire to whom she would trust her soul. But how can Cian truly love a woman whose life is sure to end—if not by Lilith’s hand, then by the curse of time?


Review of the Circle Trilogy Books

Time travel, witches, sorcerers, vampires and gods these are just a few words to describe these three books. The books have been here in our library since 2009. One of our patrons  and I were discussing Nora’s new book that is a sci-fi thriller and the first book in her new trilogy. She asked if I had read these three books. If memory serves me right I had not until now. If you missed this trilogy you need to read it. It certainly affirms that she is one of the most versatile authors of our time.



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Rafaroy (The Cyborgs Reborn #2) by T.J. Quinn – Review


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Review by Riley

About Rafaroy

Earth was attacked by the Taucets, an alien race, determined to steal the planet from us. Forced to fight against a powerful enemy, humans created the cyborgs: enhanced human warriors, but they soon forgot about the human part of these powerful warriors.

Enslaved by the humans and forced to act against their will, the cyborgs quickly rebelled and started to escape the human’s oppression. Rafaroy is one of them. Helped by a human woman,he escapes during the invasion from a Taucets’colony,but gets injured on his way out.

Elena, a human female enslaved by the Taucets, uses the attack on the colony she’s in, to escape both the humans and the Taucets, just to fall prisoner of the sensuous cyborg she bumps into on her escape. They go through a journey not only of escape but also of self-knowledge as they act on the potent attraction between them.


Review of Rafaroy

I’ll start of by telling you that the author provided copies of both Khajal and Rafaroy in exchange for my honest review. Rafaroy was the one that I was most interested in, but I did scan Khajal, to make sure I had the proper background going into Rafaroy.

I have entirely mixed views about these first two books in The Cyborgs Reborn series. The negative aspect of my mixed views stem from the fact that both have the element of sex slaves in them. The slaves are human females abducted and enslaved by the alien invaders. Add the fact that the aliens track their slaves with nipple rings and I am a little put off. In addition to the nipple rings, they are also branded with a traceable bar code, which makes the use of nipple rings redundant. The bar codes are not, because they become a key prop in the story. In actuality, the aliens are motivated to abduct the women for reason other than using them as sex slaves. This other reason, which I will leave for you to discover, could easily have been the only reason and would still have made a good story.

The positive side of my mixed views has to do with cyborgs. Human advancement in biology, whether through genetic manipulation, planned reproduction or technological enhancements, is one of those areas that I usually enjoy reading about in fiction. The results of those types of advancements can never truly be anticipated as long as a human is the basis for the evolution. So the cyborg dilemma in Rafaroy makes this a story that will draw my interest. That being said, I would really like to see the human/cyborg issue brought out more.

In addition to the cyborg ethical element, the relationship between Elena and Rafaroy is a plus. Both have their own agenda after escaping the Taucets. And it seems, despite their growing attraction, there is no way they will be able to stay together. They must concentrate on survival first. But this is a romance! I enjoyed seeing Elena and Rafaroy figuring out how to make romance happen. (P.S. – this will which involve some heated romance and love making.)

As with most series, characters from book #1 appeared and also characters that I assume will be part of a future installment in this series. The continuity is appreciated and I think it gives a kind of a homey feel to the story.

So overall, 3 stars for the sex slave aspect, but 4 stars for everything else (and I always round up).

Thanks to T.J. Quinn, who author provided copies of these books in exchange for an honest review.



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