Skull Nuggets by Amy M. Vaughn

I don’t read a lot of bizarro. Actually, I don’t think I have really read any bizarro. So when I was offered the opportunity to review a bizarro book I got really excited. The title totally peaked my interest and I loved the cover. So when my copy of Skull Nuggets was hand delivered I started it immediately.

Synopsis: When it is discovered that mental illness is linked to neurophages Robert jumped at the chance to get help eradicating them.

What I liked: I enjoyed Vaughn’s writing style. The story premise was interesting and new. The characters were well fleshed out and three dimensional. The plot kept me completely engaged and wanting to find out what happened with the characters. I enjoyed the pace of the story. The characters where interesting and I cared about what happened to them.

What I didn’t like: There was nothing about this story that I really didn’t like.

Star Rating: 4 Stars

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed the story. I LOVED the cover illustration which is by Betty Rocksteady. I really enjoyed Vaughn’s story telling. Skull Nuggets was a great introduction to the bizarro genre. I loved the nuerophage idea. I think that the way Vaughn used to describe the the way nuerophages and mental illness felt very personal.

A big thank you to Amy for the review copy.

Blog Tour: The Record Keeper by Agnes Gomillion

I love working with Titan Books. I have been introduced to new authors and so many different stories. Today I am super excited to participate in a blog tour for The Record Keeper by Agnes Gomillion.

Synopsis

After World War iii, Earth is in ruins, and the final armies have come to a reluctant truce. Everyone must obey the law – in every way- or risk shattering the fragile peace and endangering the entire human race.

Although Arika Cobane is a member of the race whose backbreaking labor provides food for the remnants of humanity, she is destined to become a member of the Kongo elite. After ten grueling years of training, she is on the threshold of taking her place of privilege far from the fields. But everything changes when a new student arrives. Hosea Khan spews dangerous words of treason: what does peace matter if innocent lives are lost to maintain it?

As Arika is exposed to new beliefs, she realizes that the laws that she has dedicated herself to uphold are the root of her people’s misery. If Arika is to liberate her people, she must unearth her fierce heart and discover the true meaning of freedom: finding the courage to live – or die -without fear.

About Agnes Gomillion

Agnes Gomillion is a speaker and writer based in Atlanta, Georgia, where she lives with her husband and son. Homegrown in the Sunshine State, Agnes studied English Literature at the University of Florida before transitioning to Levin College of Law, where she earned both a Juris Doctorate and Legal Master degree. Agnes is a voracious reader of the African-American literary canon and a dedicated advocate for marginalized people everywhere.

My Review

What I liked: There is so much to unpack with this story. The story feels very personal. The first thought I had was that this was the history of the US but set in the future. Gomillion’s writing style draws the reader into the story and doesn’t let you go. The feeling of danger through the book was palatable. The characters are third dimensional and well fleshed out. There are parts of the Novel that are hard to read, emtionally. But Gomillion deals with each of these issues in the novel with such grace that the reader is put at ease.

My thoughts: The scene where Arika is being locked away in the pit was so well written. When you are reading you feel the dark and the claustrophobia that Arika must have been feeling at the time. The story was in the vein of The Handmaids Tale. It is one of those stories that are going to stay with me for a while. I want to push this book into everyone’s hand to read.

Next Stop on the Blog Tour

I want to thank Titan for allowing me to participate on the Blog Tour for The Record Keeper. The next stop on the tour is Travel the Shelves and Angry Angel Books.

Finding Baba Yaga by Jane Yolen

Imagine my surprise when I opened the mailbox a few days ago and there was a little brown package from one of my favorite people. This little brown package contained a book. *That is obvious right* My last couple of weeks have been horrible. So over the last couple of nights I read this amazing little novella. It also speaks to how well she knows me. Myth, folklore and legend mixed with horror is my jam. Some of the scariest stories are rooted in the folklore our grandparents heard from their grandparents. Baba Yaga is one of these myths. After I read about the little sorceress that flew around in a mortar and pestle and lived in a house that walked around on chicken legs I was hooked. She is nether good nor bad, I really believe that she is the personification of human kind. Finding Baba Yaga was a beautiful story of a girl and finding the baba.

Summary: A novella in prose about a young girl who leaves home and finds Baba Yaga.

What I liked: Honestly, I loved the entire novella. The story is heartbreaking but at the same time it isn’t. It is modern and beautiful. I personally believe using verse makes it even more enchanting. It is a old fairytale wrapped up in modern gift wrapping.

What I didn’t like: There was nothing that I didn’t like about this novella. It was perfect.

My thoughts: I love when authors update myths, fairytales and legends. You can tell that Yolen really cared about the story that she was trying to tell. The care and the deliberate use of words really showed how much Yolen cared. This little tome took two weeks of hardness and washed them away. It was like magic. Like Baba Yaga herself was helping me out. Spinning her magic taking the worry and the stress from my shoulders.