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A Quick Read with a Big Concept

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Today’s book does a great job of packing a lot of story into a small package. If you enjoy Sci-Fi, you’ll want to stick around for this:

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Lonely Phoenix, by Stephen L. Thompson, is a philosophical exploration of life in space. But rather than focus on well-worn tropes like intergalactic wars, alien viruses, and hostile living conditions, this story does something completely different— vampires. Or one vampire. But before you run away with images of blood-drenched teeth and lustful teenagers, this is nothing like Twilight. Instead, the characters tackle the burden of long life and the loneliness inherent in being one of a kind (at least on the ship).

Though some scenes (especially with women) feel a little stiff, the concept is intriguing. In fact, by the time I reached the end of the book, I found myself wishing there were more. This is a book that could easily be stretched into a series, trilogy, or simply lengthened. A great read when you’re looking for something quick to top up your Goodreads Reading Challenge.

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A Sci-Fi Read That Is More Than it Seems

A Sci-Fi Read That is More Than it Seems

This Sci-Fi novel had me on the verge of tears.

A Sci-Fi Read That is More Than it Seems

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Not many books will make me cry. Maybe that’s because I subconsciously avoid depressing books. At any rate, this week’s sci-fi novel tore at my core like Edward Scissorhands in a fistfight.

And it was 100% worth it.

A Sci-Fi Read That is More Than it Seems

A Sci-Fi Read That is More Than it Seems

Sabrina Sabriya knows a few things. She’s an orphan, most of humanity died in a nuclear fallout, and religion is evil. And her best friend, Lindsey Mehdina, is her opposite in every way. Whereas Sabrina prefers practicality and usability, Lindsey is a colorful and visionary artist. Literally. And Lindsey’s visions can see into the past, present, and future.

This is a book of dualities. Religion versus science, flamboyancy versus minimalism, humanity versus machines, man versus woman.

City on a Hill, by Ted Neill, is a post-apocalyptic dystopian novel that delves into the human condition. And holy crow does it ever dig deep!

Since Sabrina was raised by the head of the city, a man she calls “uncle,” she has certain views of the world. Because of that, she enlists in law enforcement. And in the process of furthering her career, she slams up against several difficult truths. While she struggles with these difficult new truths, she is forced to make an impossible choice.

Rating: 4.8 out of 5

Paperback: 402 pages


PS: Want more dystopian fiction? Read this review.




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Fillius Glint Finally Comes to Print

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Taco trees, teleporting messenger squirrels, and a serious case of the houseplants. What’s a world of magic without a little mayhem?

Fillius Glint Print Cover

Physical copies are available to booksellers worldwide starting TODAY! Print copies feature a brand new cover and afterword.

Ask your local bookstore if they have Fillius Glint in stock. And don’t forget to add Fillius to your shelf on Goodreads!

Not sure what’s so great about this book? Still on the fence about whether or not it’s right for you?

To help you decide if this is the kind of novel you would enjoy, here’s what early reviewers have said about Fillius Glint so far:

“An animated, inventive, and infinitely entertaining sci-fi tale.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“I would recommend this book for readers who enjoy Terry Pratchett’s books, who want to read a fresh and utterly different style, and who like fantasy mixed with humour and a dash of absurdity, in the most positive sense of the word.”

—Rabea Scholz, fantasy author

Seem like the book for you?

Fillius Glint

Thank you so much for stopping by. Please come again soon! *waves*

Wishing you the best,

Ditrie Marie Bowie

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Ditrie Marie Bowie (née Sanchez) is a Puerto Rican in British Columbia, Canada who writes fiction. She is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) and co-editor of Strange Stories to Tell in the Park. Bowie is also the creator of the webcomic, This Writer Can’t Draw. A classically trained pianist and former educator, she has lived in three different countries spanning two continents. And she met her spouse in a video game.

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Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Book Rec

I love books.

A mysterious calamity, an island of survivors, manipulation, intrigue, and a centuries old secret that could kill them all.

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The Dead Room, by Stephanie Erickson, is a gripping dystopian novel set on an unnamed island in the Northern Pacific 322 years after an apocalypse.

The islanders know little of what happened to wipe out most of the human population, but their leaders, the nine elders, teach that the islanders are the final remnants of humanity.

The elders aren’t just leaders, though, they are also privy to secrets passed down for generations.

And Ashley Wortham doesn’t trust them.

Not one bit.

“No one knows what claimed so many lives over three centuries ago, and no one asks, except Ashley Wortham. She can feel the secrets all around her, begging to be uncovered.”

~excerpt from official Amazon book blurb

Ashley and her best friend, Mason, embark on an adventure that keeps the elders on their toes and poses as many questions as it answers.

  • What do the elders do with bodies after a funeral?
  • Are the islanders really the last people on Earth?
  • What caused the apocalypse?
  • Why is Ashley the only person asking questions?
  • Can any of the elders be trusted?
  • Will Ashley and Mason survive the elders’ wrath?

The Dead Room is the first book in a trilogy, and was published in 2015. It ends with a devastating cliffhanger that will have you immediately lunging for book two. The sequel, The Dead World, was released in 2016. The third book has yet to be released.

Spoiler Free, Guaranteed

Written in deep third person, the narrative opens with Ashley Wortham as she comes to terms with a horrific incident that has changed her status on the island. It is here that we learn the social hierarchy constructed by the first elders to preserve peace (or maintain power) and to ensure the propagation of the human race. Marriages are carefully arranged to avoid inbreeding, duties and partners are assigned at the will of the elders, and rumors abound of the harsh punishment meted out to those who dare defy the status quo.

But as the story presses onward, the POV shifts to highlight Mason and several of the elders on the island. It soon becomes clear that the elders are more nuanced and complex than they initially appear. Perhaps they know more about the apocalypse than they are letting on.

But when Ashley, and her best friend Mason, go down the rabbit hole, no one is prepared for the truths they uncover. What will they do when they discover the downfall of humanity lies within their own island, deep inside the dead room?

~excerpt from official Amazon book blurb

Content Warning Note: If you are triggered by mention of domestic abuse, this may not be the book for you.

The islanders are procreation-focused out of necessity and operate on a cisgender binary, hetero normative, forced marriage system, but Erickson does a beautiful job demonstrating that this often produces disgruntled, unhappy families.

There is also a clear caste system set in place based on an individual’s ability to contribute to society, but people who overproduce in their assigned duties are labeled show-offs and shunned. Not only that, but at one point Mason calls Ashley out on using ableist language as a way to insult him.

More by Stephanie Erickson

Goodreads: 2 other series

Website: Stephanie Erickson Books

Twitter: @sm_erickson

Facebook: Stephanie Erickson

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoyed this post! Is there a particular book or genre you think I should review? Let me know in the comments below. Until next time I’m…

Wishing you the best,

Ditrie Marie Bowie

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Character Spotlight: James Alan Gardner’s Oar (1 min. read)


Oar is one of my all-time favorite characters, and I discovered her by chance. I was reading through my husband’s considerable book collection, plucking books off the shelf at random. I’m not a stickler for digging through stacks and reading a series in order. I may be a plotter when I write, but I’m pantser when I read.

Even though Oar’s adventures began in a Festina-narrated book called Expendable, I came to know Oar in her own voice in Ascending.

If you haven’t met Oar, here’s a taste of her POV:

This is my story, the Story of Oar. It is a wonderful story. I was in another story once, but it was not so wonderful, as I died in the end. That was very most sad indeed. But it turns out I am not such a one as stays dead forever, especially when I only fell eighty floors to the pavement. I am made of sterner stuff than that.

And then you find out she’s made out of glass. Isn’t that delicious?

She begins the book as an entertaining, hyper-intelligent being with a low social/emotional IQ. Though she has the body of an adult (and naked) woman, she has the maturity level of a child.

Oar is not a perfect person, fascinating characters rarely are. She can be vain, petulant, and lacking in empathy. But over the course of the book, her understanding of the universe and other intelligent beings deepens as she blossoms into emotional adulthood. It is a beautiful and hilarious coming-of-age that is well worth the journey.

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