Mission Improbable

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In the deepest reaches of the galaxy there are places and beings that aren’t impossible, just very, very improbable.

Carrie Hatchett is a low-achieving daydreamer, and the last person on Earth who should be resolving disputes for the Transgalactic Council. After providing a good home for her butt-ugly dog and psychotic cat, her biggest challenge in life is to avoid being fired, again.

But a strange green mist sucks her beneath her kitchen sink, and an unusual clerical error leads to an offer she foolishly doesn’t refuse.

In settling a conflict between the mechanical placktoids and the mysterious oootoon, Carrie reveals a threat to the entire galaxy.

Review
Mission Improbable (great title) is a fantastic mix of engaging storytelling and plotting that will keep you turning pages because the stakes and tension can never be accused of being boring. There is just so much to love and I’m already curious to read more from J.J. Green.

This book follows Carrie Harchett, who is wonderfully described in the blurb as a low-achieving daydreamer… and maybe it’s that element, or maybe something else entirely, but I found Carrie to be easy to connect with. I was excited to see this marked on Goodreads as the first book in a series as I’d love to see more of Carrie in the future.

The adventure in this story is one that will keep you guessing, Green never goes the predictable route. There were a few points in the story where both Carrie and the plot did things I never would have expected.

There are a few points where the pacing lagged a little, but it always recovered nicely and I was rarely tempted to put the book down, let alone stop reading.

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Blog Tour – The Undays of Aralias Lyons

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Don’t miss K.L. Horvath’s compelling time travel fantasy with talking beasts, iron monsters, otherworldly creatures and a desperate father!
For centuries the great Houses of Time have watched over the mythical creatures, those who manipulate the past for their own ends and humankind. But now the houses have dwindled and few are left who remember the mandates. One, in fact, is determined to put the world in its proper place—beneath his rule.
To do that, he’s kidnapped Jack Lyons, the youngest of the Time Travelers. And to get him back and defeat Bliss, Lord Aralias Lyons, Jack’s father, will do anything he has to. He’ll fight wicked spiders, an army of clockwork men, let his son suffer and manipulate time itself in order to right what Bliss has put wrong. He’ll even allow the innocent Miss Clara Heartwell to discover more about the Travelers than most mortals know.
Through secret and deadly deals with dragons, battles back in time and with Jack himself, Aralias has to think smarter, act faster, and be more decisive. Because in the end, saving Jack is all that matters…

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Review

The Undays of Aralias Lyons is one of the most fun books I’ve read in a long time. It feels so different from a lot of the fantasy out there, and I love it for that! I really enjoyed the world building behind the story and all of the different character dynamics that we learned about throughout. I would have loved to have seen the characters fleshed out a little more, but maybe there will be more books in the series to do that later on?

Aralias Lyons is a time traveler and one that many fans of Doctor Who will enjoy. Add in that he basically has a companion named Clara and it’s hard not to wonder if this book was anyway inspired by the classic sci-fi series, though the time traveling elements of the story were handled very differently. It was a fun mix of fantasy, steampunk and imagination.

Although, fair warning that there are a lot of parts to this story that you’ll have seen in other similar titles, and there were a couple of predictable scenes, but for the most part, it was hard to complain as I was enjoying the reading experience so much.

So while this wasn’t a perfect read, it’s still one I would point to for readers who are in the mood for adventure.

Gambit by C.L. Denault

gambitIn Earth’s battle-ridden future, humans have evolved. Those with extraordinary skills rise to power and fame. Those without live in poverty.
Sixteen-year-old Willow Kent believed she was normal. But when a genetically-advanced military officer shows up in her village and questions her identity, long-buried secrets begin to emerge. With remarkable skills and a shocking genetic code the Core and its enemies will do anything to obtain, Willow suddenly finds the freedom she craves slipping through her fingers. Greed, corruption, and genetic tampering threaten every aspect of her existence as she’s thrust, unwilling, into the sophisticated culture of the elite Core city. To ensure peace, she must leave the past behind, marry a man she’s never met, and submit to the authority of a relentless officer with a hidden agenda of his own.
Her life has become a dangerous game. How much will she sacrifice in order to win?

This book was so much fun! Not only is the cover absolutely stunning, but the story inside is one you won’t soon forget. While books about a future version of the world where some people have powers and others do not isn’t uncommon at all anymore, Denault put a lot of fun twists on the genre that will make you not only want to keep picking this book up but also have you struggling to ever put it down in the first place.

Gambit follows Willow whose life very quickly takes a turn for the interesting near the beginning of the book. The stakes are raised quickly and you’ll frequrntly find yourself second guessing what you think is about to happen. There is lots of great romance here as well, and I think that was a big part of why I adored this book as much as I did. Really, all of the characters were well crafted, but of course Reece was a particular favorite of mine.

I hope to see more from this author soon!

The Worlds Traveler by M.L. Roble

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Life on the run from madman Martin Reimer gets in the way of everything.

For fourteen-year-old Phillip, it has meant having to stay hidden, unable to use his gift of moving through maps to search for his missing father. But the arrival of a stranger named Delroy brings unexpected opportunity, for Delroy is a man with the ability to travel worlds hidden within our own and he was sent by Phillip’s father. Now Phillip will do everything he can to find his dad, even if it means tricking Delroy into helping him or a quest through those hidden worlds.

Even if leaving home means Martin can now find him…

Follow in the adventures of Phillip Stone and Natalie Bristol from the award-winning book The Magician’s Doll!

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Back when I was reviewing for my local library site, I had the opportunity to read The Magician’s Doll, a beautifully imagined middle grade novel by M.L. Roble. So when I had the opportunity to join the blog tour for the sequel, I really couldn’t resist signing up. Though I suspect I would have been interested in this book based on the stunning blue tone of this cover all on its own.

This is one of those books that reminds you why you fell in love with children’s literature in the first place. Since moving, I haven’t had as much of an opportunity to engage with younger readers, but I find myself genuinely missing it because of how much imagination and optimism books like this one share with the world.

Phillip and Natalie are characters that you won’t soon forget, and I hope they have many more adventures to come. Both stories in this series so far have been surprisingly complex, and written in a way that is accessible for a large range of readers.

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Death’s Door by David Reichart

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What Jesse Yates wants more than anything is to fit into society and have people think of him as a regular guy. But he’s not a regular guy. He’s an elite warrior, battle tested to the max in Iraq and Afghanistan in Marine Special Ops and later as a Navy SEAL. When he finally decides to walk away from the military, Yates isn’t planning on making further use of his extreme training and lethal skills. But somebody else is. Palm Court Detectives, a skyrocketing new agency run by a laicized Jesuit priest in a refashioned vintage motel, needs a guy exactly like Yates to add clout to its roster.

His first assignment for the detective agency based in Mobile, Alabama, takes Yates under cover at a trucking company that has been targeted by hijackers. Jesse’s civilian naiveté allows him to be drawn quickly into a turf war between hijackers who he likes, outlaw bikers who like him (or what he can do for them), and a drug cartel renegade who has a severe Jesse Yates problem and a chilling plot in the works.

Joining the eclectic, fun-loving team at Palm Court Detectives turns out to be everything Yates had hoped for and more—more excitement, more camaraderie, and more chances to die.


 

 

This book was a little cheesy, which is no surprise after reading that blurb, but Death’s Door was still an extremely enjoyable read. It follows Jesse Yates, an ex-marine turned detective. There’s a lot going on, and anyone who loves a good adventure will find a lot to like about David Reichart’s writing. The pacing and characters especially will keep you turning pages.

The only thing I think could really use an update is the cover. Even just getting rid of the truck randomly driving through the tunnel in the middle might make a big difference in drawing in the right kinds of readers.

Overall, I’d absolutely call this a four star read and will be recommending it to some of my reader friends over the holidays!