Book Review: Terror on the Deseret Trail

It’s been awhile since I posted a book review. I’ve been reading and reviewing on Amazon, just not on my blog and Goodreads. Those reviews were only requested on Amazon. I am extremely backed up so I won’t be able to take anymore request at this time.

This book I just finished, “Terror on the Deseret Trail,” was a shocking read, but it was written so well that I couldn’t resist sharing the review. Let me know what you think if you get the chance to read it. Be warned though. It’s over-the-top gruesome, gory, and just foul.

Title: Terror on the Deseret Trail
Author: Jack Hazen
Genre: Historical Fiction, Adventure Thriller
Year Published: March 13, 2021

Wasn’t sure exactly what to expect but what a wild ride! This story is about a bunch of people. The main ones being Reuben Taz and a paleontologist named Hannah Monroe, and her group. At first, you’d think this was your average wild west story, but the further you get into it, the more you realize it’s one really crazy grown-up story with a bunch of strange and unique characters. Everyone has somewhere to go, and out in the west there’s a lot of land and a lot of bad things going on. It’s wise to travel in a group or at least with someone who knows how to shoot a gun or use a knife.

Reuben Taz is the most interesting character in the story. He has an agenda, and it’s to find and kill his father’s killer. However, he’s not anything you’d think him to be. He enjoys eating a good set of dainty toes. Aside from traveling with a whore named Rhonda for some time, a Mark Twain joins them and then a couple of other men later on. The group with the paleontologist consists of assistants, a handicap named Tiny Tim, an Arapaho princess named Sweet Water, and a few others. There were dinosaur bones out there in Utah and Paleontologist Hanna wanted to find them first. Helen James, a Pinkerton detective and a trans, later joins Hannah’s group. The detective was on a case about a kidnapped Mormon daughter and was set to find her. With all the chaos in the Utah and Nevada lands in the late 1800’s it was a very scary time to be traveling, but somehow these people were brave enough to do it.

I loved everything about this story. It was dirty, gruesome, disgusting, there was satire, dark humor, etc., and I enjoyed it all. I wanted so bad to give it five stars but there were so many missing open/closed speech quotes that I struggled somewhat as to when someone was speaking and done speaking. There were also a few misspells but not enough to distract from the story (definitely should get it edited though, it’s such an extraordinary story that I’d love to see it turn into a movie!). Definitely give this book a read if you enjoy settings in the wild west and deep dark themes and conflicts.

Book Review: Dust of the Earth

Title: Dust of the Earth         
Author: Mark Lages
Genre: Science Fiction, Literary
Year Published: September 27, 2021

Date Started: October 12, 2021

Date finished: November 1, 2021

Dust of the Earth by Mark Lages is a science fiction literary story about an AI named Martin who was created by MIT drop-out, Jim. Martin is very sentient-like. He’s nearly human, however, he’s a computer and doesn’t have any human shape to him. He’s very curious about the human psyche and wants to learn everything he can about why humans do the things they do. His learning leads him to want to be an actual human, which then leads to a depression and then eventually to where he wonders what his purpose is.

 I really enjoyed this story. It’s thought provoking. The angle of the AI is unique and making him human-like without a physical body was a nice twist. This isn’t your ordinary sci-fi story. The mix of both sci-fi and literary themes really makes this story worthwhile. I liked the quotes and poems throughout the book as well.

Who should read this book: Anyone who enjoys sci-fi with a mix of literary messages.

Unboxing “Mr. Booker’s Summer Vacation” Sci-fi Novel

This was the book I asked for as a subscriber to author Mark Lages’s newsletter. If you are interested in getting a free book of your choice by Mr. Lages, drop by his website and sign up. You can read my post >>here<< for more information. In the meantime, enjoy my unboxing video of the book.

A Free Book from Author Mark Lages

If you enjoy literary fiction with strong moral themes and a bit of satire and dark humor, Mark Lages is the guy for you. He also writes science fiction, so if you’re like me, you’ll probably be tempted to choose Mr. Booker’s Summer Vacation. I received this book for free as a subscriber to his newsletter. If you’d like to receive a free book from Lages, sign up for his newsletter and he’ll ship one out to you—of your choice. And he’s got quite a list! The images are only of those books that I have. He’s not paying me to share this information. I just think he’s a great writer with beautiful pros and thought provoking messages. You can drop by his website at https://marklages.com/ to subscribe. His offer ends October 15, 2021. Let me know how you like his stories. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

Book Review: Gold Spun

Title: Gold Spun
Author: Brandie June
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Published: June 8th, 2021

Date finished: September 17, 2021

Gold Spun by Brandie June is a Rumpelstiltskin retell about a 17-year-old girl named Nora who finds herself in a mess after rescuing a fae. The fae gifts her with a golden thread and promises to return to her every time she calls upon him. Excited about this golden thread, in her haste, Nora comes up with a plan to make money using it. This captures the attention of the prince who tells her if she could spin a room full of straw into gold, he’ll marry her. If not, she’ll pay a heavy price.

It’s been a long time since I read Rumpelstiltskin, so I had to search it up and brief through it. Gold Spun follows the storyline somewhat but with slightly different characters. I like the idea of the fae and the way he was portrayed. He felt likeable, yet you couldn’t really tell if he was trustworthy, so there was a mysterious edge to him. The prince at first seemed cocky and full of himself, but he turned out likeable. His affection for Nora made him protective and supportive and a real gentleman. As for Nora, I liked that she was always quick on her toes. She doesn’t give up and she has so much love in her for her family and the villagers. However, I also found her a bit childlike. I think she was meant to be intelligent and brave and was supposed to play it down, but I didn’t get that. I wanted her to be a little more mature for someone who was responsible for a lot of things.

The overall story was enjoyable. I love retells and Gold Spun did an excellent job with it. I found the love triangle just so cute. Also, Ms. June’s writing style is flowy and smooth and makes you want to keep reading.

Who should read this book: All lovers of retells, love triangles, and fairytales. This was a truly fun read with magic, faeries, royalty, and everything you could ever ask for in a fast-paced young adult fantasy romance story.

Note: I was given this book to read and review but the opinion is purely my own.

Unboxing: “Gold Spun” YA Fantasy Novel

I finished reading Gold Spun by Brandie June and am getting ready to post the review. In the meantime, I decided to do an unboxing of the book and created a new YouTube channel to share my book unboxing. I don’t get a lot of physical books to review so I’ll probably add reviews (?) or other things related to books on this channel. I hope you’ll subscribe!

Book Review: Scythe

Title: Scythe
Author: Neal Shusterman
Genre: YA, dystopian
Year Published: 2017

Date finished: August 10, 2021

Scythe by Neal Shusterman is a young adult dystopian novel about two teenagers who were chosen to become scythes. The setting is far future in a world of chaos where rules were put in to control the people. One of the rules was the creation of Scythes whose jobs are to take lives, and thus putting fear into the people to maintain order.

The two main characters are Citra and Rowan. They were both chosen to learn the role of the scythe and thus were trained in the skills required for the job. Along the way, a mysterious death occurred leading to a bit of chaos. Lies and deception rang among the scythes in power creating disagreements between the leaders. The decisions Citra and Rowan made were difficult because they had grown to respect (and liked) each other.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and loved how it ended. I’m curious as to why it ended the way it did with one of the characters. My only gripe is that because it’s young adult, I found the killings a bit too morbid. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good grimdark with all the things (ASOIAF comes to mind), but this was definitely a young adult leaning more toward the younger end of the age group, so there were moments where I just couldn’t stomach it, because I couldn’t stop thinking about how a young person would deal with it. If this book was adult with a more mature writing style, I’d totally dig it a lot more.

Who should read this book: If you enjoy stories about teenagers put into a challenge with each other in a world where the authoritarian comes from adults who seem a bit clueless and/or who’ve gained power for their own greed, and the teenagers sort of “fix” the problem, then you’ll enjoy this book.

Added to My TBR List

The other day, I downloaded eleven ebooks onto my Kindle. They were free, so why not? There were so many to choose from but I only picked these ones because anymore and I’d probably get too overwhelmed to read any. They are all sci-fi and fantasy genres and are all by independent authors. I’ve slowly shifted from reading mostly traditional to mostly indie because I find indie a little more refreshing and enjoyable these days. I still read traditional. I think I have about four traditional books on hold at the local library. It’s just so amazing to have access to all these books!

Book Review: Fate is a Hunter

Title: Fate is a Hunter
Author: Susan Wuthrich
Genre: Suspense Thriller
Year Published: 2020

Date finished: July 13, 2021

Fate is a Hunter is a suspense thriller by Susan Withrich. The story is about a woman named Lydia who goes on a search for her husband and children. She hires a private investigator to help her find them, but it wasn’t as easy as she’d thought.

The story is fast paced and has three point-of-views. Lydia’s story is in first point-of-view, the husband is in third limited, and then there’s third omniscient where we’re able to see the story from afar. I found these point-of-views a little confusing because at times I wasn’t sure who’s story it was about. I didn’t think it was necessary to do multiple povs in this way. I also couldn’t really understand the motivation behind what the husband did, but it sounded like he was suffering from depression. The whole story just appeared pretty sad and heartbreaking.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read. I was curious to find out what happened with Lydia and her husband and was pleasantly surprised by the ending.

Who should read this book: Anyone into fast-paced suspense thrillers such as The Widow by Fiona Barter, Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris, and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.