Review of “Flight of the Spark” by Evelyn Puerto

Dystopian YA fiction often has something to say about our current society or mankind in general, and this book did a great job of illustrating several different evils. The leaders in this dystopia rule by keeping the populace ignorant and afraid, and it was easy to believe that that could happen, even to this extreme. The common villagers’ infighting and betrayals are a product of this. The abuse is as well. Through young Iskra’s eyes, we see what it would be like to be brainwashed into believing that semi-enslavement is for their own protection. It was incredibly frustrating at times, and often you want to shake Iskra and tell her not to be so stupid, but at the same time you get why she is the way she is.

The plot of the book is pretty straightforward, and suspense builds and builds as you follow Iskra through her discoveries and decisions. There’s a constant sense of impending doom, but there’s also hope as she learns from the Riskers and begins to find confidence in herself. I really liked that we got to see the perspective of the “bad guy” to learn more about what was really going on, and this also worked to build tension as he suspects her of rebellion. The first part of the book drags a little bit but has plenty going on to hold your attention. The last part of the book skips forward as things come together, and it’s in this part that you definitely begin to understand how this is going to be part of a series.

The writing itself is quite descriptive and easy to read. There’s enough description to give you a great picture of what this world and people are like. The dialogue feels natural. The action scenes pull you in.

I’d definitely recommend this for anyone who enjoys YA dystopia that doesn’t feel like it’s aimed only at teenagers. Because Iskra is fifteen, some of the situations she gets into might make some readers uncomfortable, but nothing is gratuitous.

See it on Amazon!

Review of “Border Lines” & NEW RELEASE “Every Storm Breaks” by L.E. Fitzpatrick

(I don’t normally post reviews of sequels, but these books are REALLY good, you guys.  To see my earlier review for Book 1 in this series, go here:  The Running Game)

33553840I love sequels that don’t feel the need to recap every little thing from the first book before moving on with the story. While you should read the first book in the series first, this one is very much its own thing. Same characters, yes, but the setting quickly becomes different and the job, dangers, and relationships are different.
The dynamics between Rachel, Charlie, and John are great. The interactions between the brothers feel and sound the same as they did in the first book, but with Rachel added to the team they’re now more protective and a bit more loving. Rachel isn’t afraid anymore and has her confidence bolstered by the brothers, and I really liked how these three worked together.
The story’s world again feels very dystopian, and there’s some interesting commentary here about the health care system in particular. The “whodunit” aspect adds a nice mystery element. The ongoing background tension with characters from the first book ties in nicely to keep the books connected and the overarching story moving forward, but it was balanced well with the brand new plot of this book.
The writing is great, witty, and sets the mood perfectly for the story. I eagerly look forward to the next book.

5 Stars

See it on Amazon!

21148270_1355021074595848_121658889_n(Okay, so I didn’t wait long between reading the previous book and this one.  I was supposed to read other books in between, but I cheated.  That’s how good these are.)

I loved the first two books in this series, so saying this one is my favorite should give you some indication how much I really, really loved this one.  We know these characters by now, we know how they interact, we recognize the world they’re in.  At the same time, nothing that happens in this book feels predictable or boring.

Charlie, John, and Rachel are once again quickly in over their heads in a dangerous situation, and the suspense and twists kept me reading.  I love how subtly this dystopian world is different. The telepathic, telekinetic Reachers add a Sci-Fi element, of course, but it blends so well that it doesn’t feel overly Sci-Fi.  These books all feel more like crime thrillers, in a way, which is a cool way to approach it.

The fact that this chunk of the overall story is once again a complete book unto itself is also great.  It helps to read what’s come before, of course, but this book feels like its own unique part of that story with nice resolution for what’s happened here.  You feel satisfied with the ending because it wraps up this particular storyline, even though it’s obvious Charlie, John, and Rachel have more work ahead.

5 Stars

See it on Amazon !



Because the above book is a new release, the author was kind enough to give me a snippet to show my followers!



Reacher Series #3


The concrete barrier separating London and the surrounding Safe Haven was impenetrable. Built to withstand a full militia invasion, it was guarded day and night by trained security officers. On a normal day they would be watching a queue of traffic as the daily commute crossed the open gates, but this wasn’t a normal day. A full watch was gathered at the top of the blockade, automatic weapons poised, ready to shoot, ready to kill. The growing crowd being kept out was swelling, spilling over into the surrounding streets like an overflowing drain. The bubbling cesspit of discontentment polluted the atmosphere. Tension climbed as more and more people took up the plight of the immigrant workers, fuelled by fear, isolation, and more hardship. The rioters crushed themselves against the gates, kicking at the barbed fencing; screaming, climbing, falling. Blood stained metal like crimson rust. Things were turning bad and turning quickly.

John pulled up the car at the junction leading to the main gate. It was farther away than they had originally planned their ambush, but there was no way they were going to get any closer without being swallowed by the crowd. A raucous energy surged through the concrete jungle. Rachel dared a glance behind them. Another tribe of urban warriors was coming towards the gate, and soon their current position would be compromised too. Police sirens were getting louder, a tinnitus in this nightmare. It was going to erupt into a full-scale riot, and in a few minutes all of S’aven would be engulfed.

She twisted her fingers together, focusing on the closed border, allowing her powers to penetrate the collective feeling of the mob. The concentrated fear and hatred were overwhelming. She could feel their frustration, their utter hopelessness, even as far back as she was. Desperation was winning, and nothing short of a miracle could sate it. Bottles, launched into the air by the protestors, smashed against the fence. Glass rained down on the crowd, and blood started to pour. The police were closing in. Soon the fighting would flood into the surrounding streets. All of S’aven would be consumed. Rachel watched the gate and the air around her seemed to thin. She took a desperate gasp, trying to visualise their rescue attempt in this chaos. Anything leaving London was going to get swallowed up; anyone trying to help would be trampled.

“What if they don’t come out?” she asked.

“They’ll come out.” The certainty in John’s voice was unwavering. Nothing about their current view seemed to concern him. His composure was measured, as though he were watching this from a distant window, unaffected by the consequences of the phone call he had made.

Rachel couldn’t understand how he could be so calm. A couple of hours ago he was throwing bottles at a wall like the desperate men and women in front of her. Now he was sitting patient and expectant, waiting for a miracle she couldn’t believe in.

“And what if they do come out?” she said, softer this time. She clasped her hands together. The anguish around her was contagious. She wanted to lash out. To scream. To charge the gate and save Charlie herself. This wasn’t fair. This wasn’t how people should be treated. The rich shouldn’t be locked behind a wall with all the wealth, while people on the other side died in squalor. People shouldn’t be punished for wanting a better life. For trying. For being different. They shouldn’t be locked up, experimented on, executed.

“Hey, the gates are opening,” Roxy said, drawing her back before her outrage compelled her to action.

A shower of rubber bullets and gas canisters rained down on the crowd. Through the chemical mist, a vehicle pushed into the mess. It was unmarked, but it was obviously a government transporter. What else would brave leaving London in the middle of a riot? Before anyone could react, the guards behind it opened fire again. People dropped to the pavement, gasping in the smoke, crying out as feet stomped on their helpless bodies. Rachel could feel the rage surge through the street. If there had been a chance this was all going to pass over, they’d just lost it.

“Well, that was a good idea,” Rachel said.

The smoke hissed, making it impossible to see anything. Bloody, bruised people fell out of the poisonous fog, into cleaner pockets of air, but more were coming. Coming from the surrounding streets; healthier, stronger, angrier. And the border patrol continued to fire. Rubber bullets giving way to metal. This wasn’t a security mechanism—this was war. The gas was clearing and the gates were once again closed, but that left the van stranded and suddenly the only thing the crowd could retaliate against.

“Oh God, do you think Charlie’s in there?” Rachel said, unable to control her panic. Would the crowd take mercy on a prisoner? She didn’t think so. Even if they did, how much damage would they do before they even reached him?

“He’s in there,” John said. Still cool. Still calm.

The protestors started pounding on the truck, rocking it back and forth. Again and again.

“Holy shit, they’re going to tip it!”

“Take the wheel,” John told Roxy. “Turn the car around and get ready to move. Do not fall behind. Rachel, you’re on crowd duty.”

“Are you bloody kidding, they’re going to rip you apart!” Roxy shouted.

John gave Roxy a look, half smug, half challenging—I’d like to see them try—and gestured for Rachel to get out.

Marginally inspired by John’s confidence, Rachel took his hand and focussed. If they were going to have any chance, she couldn’t let her surroundings frighten her. The people’s tension and anger were fuelling the riot. This wasn’t going to dissipate. This was years of stored-up fury at the richer classes, at the injustice folk on the wrong side of the border suffered. There was so much hate. Too much to control. The weight of it was oppressive and, as Rachel tried to sway the crowd to her favour, she found herself blocked and unable to push her commands into their one-track minds. Her subtle Let me pass was being ignored, or unheard, or deliberately disobeyed, as though that was the one command they had conditioned themselves to reject. She needed something more, something that suited their mood.

Red and blue started flashing. The police were encircling them. They were surrounded, unable to go anywhere, and Rachel knew what to do.

“Stop the police cars,” she said, tapping the nearest man to her. He paused, his hand held up in the air as her words filtered into his brain. Then, like a switch being pressed, he was charging towards the nearest police car. She touched another, giving him the same command. By the third, the crowd had picked up the idea. They covered the police cars like a swarm. There was no escape.

Rachel squeezed John’s hand. She braved a step deeper into the rabble. If her powers failed, if her concentration slipped, they could both be crushed. A shot was fired in the distance. More smoke canisters struck the crowd. John took over. He pulled her towards the truck, somehow able to see what was happening in the frenzy.

“Get in the passenger’s side,” he told her.

She let him go, and for the briefest moment she was drowning. Smoke stung her eyes, and she had to hold on to the vehicle for support. As her hands touched metal, she could feel Charlie inside. The connection to him steadied her nerves. It was as though he were speaking to her, only there were no words or directions, just a feeling, a knowingness. A tremor passed through the vehicle, and she knew he had unlocked the doors for her.

She grabbed the door handle and pulled. It flung open, and she nearly went with it. A rioter pushed past her and grabbed a fat man from the passenger seat. As he came hurtling out of the truck, she launched herself inside. She swung the door closed and jammed the lock in place. Another rioter pounded on the glass, ecstatic that she’d breached the vehicle. He cheered, and a bullet hit him in the temple, spattering the window with pink flesh. His body fell out of view, swallowed by the violence below.

She turned to the driver and froze.

Mark was staring back at her. His lost brown eyes were wide, his mouth agape. Of all the people to come across. She tried to think of something to say, and then she saw the barrel of John’s gun press against his head.

“Don’t do anything stupid,” he said, and hauled Mark from the driver’s seat.

John slammed the door closed. A bullet hit the safety glass, scratching the surface. “We need a route out of here,” he said.

Rachel nodded and closed her eyes. She pressed her hands on the dashboard. Her heart was racing, but her head was focused. The command was instinctual. Attack the border! Immediately, the crowd was moving, abandoning the vehicle and heading straight to the gate. She didn’t watch them go; there was enough on her conscience already. John slammed his foot on the accelerator and hit the road.


See all 3 books here:  Reachers (3 Book Series)

Dystopian IF Giveaway

Quick note today:

For anyone looking to snatch up some free books, here’s a giveaway I’m participating in on Instafreebie.  I’m definitely going to check out some of these myself!


Click Here to see a list of books and how to get ’em!

#AuThorsday with LE Fitzpatrick

5233596Today I’d like to welcome LE Fitzpatrick, dystopian author of  The Running Game.

Can you give us your quickest description of your books?

Fast paced, paranormal/dystopian thriller.  Blade Runner meets Guy Richie.

Interesting!  Do you picture that kind of movie-like direction while you’re writing scenes?

I get told a lot that my books read like films, although I never set out to write them that way.  Mainly I get ideas and inspiration from films I love and they end up somehow being incorporated in my stories.  I like a lot of slick dialogue and action in my books rather than internal monologues, so maybe I use my characters a bit like you would actors and instead of delving into their inner workings, I put a gun in their hands and let them interpret a scene themselves.

What are you working on currently?

Currently I’m working on the rest of the Reacher series, there’s about 6 books planned so far, along with a few shorts to expand on too.  Book 2 is with the publishers at the moment and fingers and toes are crossed for a 2016 release.

I’ve just started writing shorts myself and find it really enjoyable.  Do you plan to use your shorts to tell backstory for your existing characters or to introduce something new into the story?

The history surrounding the backstory of the characters is quite extensive.  The Running Game, the first book in the series, starts when my four main characters come together for the first time, but each of them has come from some sort of dark and traumatic backstory.  When I start mapping out the main story arc of the series I find it really useful to write little snippets of history, etc., and after publishing The Running Game I realized that a lot of the snippets came together to form a little short in its own right.  For me the short stories are a bit like the extra bits you get on a DVD boxset – the deleted scenes, or documentaries – which aren’t part of the main story arc but are great for people wanting more.  Most of the stories concentrate on the additional secondary characters in the book who don’t get as much attention as they perhaps deserve.

What is your favorite scene you’ve written?  Can you give us a peek?

They met at the edge of the docks, where the smell of fish and sea collided with the sulphuric fumes of the neighbouring factories.  John stood like a tall mast protruding out of the harbour. When he made himself visible he was impossible to miss. Wrapped up in his thick black trench coat he was an immovable figure against the harsh breath of the ocean. He was immaculate, despite a night in the lockup, which was more than could be said for Charlie.
The elder brother hobbled forward like some kind of decrepit swamp creature. He stank of sweat and vomit and grime. There were stains down his coat, dirt clogged to the thick layer of stubble against his face. And he felt worse than he looked. He nodded at John, marking the start and end of their apologies.
“You armed?” Charlie asked.
“The usual.” He had one pistol in his holster that they would find. One snub in his boot which was lazily concealed and a knife they would have to autopsy him to uncover. “Is there a plan?”
“Leave alive.” The best laid plans, Charlie thought to himself.
“Sounds good.”
They walked towards the warehouse as a united front.

So much great description in just a small chunk!  Do you prefer setting the tone of a scene with dialogue or description, or a combo of both?

If I want to slow the tone of the story down I will usually rely on my own narrative and descriptive scenes to lay some history or imagery into the plot.  Like above, brothers John and Charlie are meeting for the first time after a huge fight, they are very different in appearance but very similar when it comes to dealing with their relationship.  I wanted the reader to see this scene from a distance, because it’s a private moment between them.  But as the scene progresses and the move towards an action scene I like to use snappy dialogue to change the pace and suddenly grab the reader and involve them in the danger.

When you get stuck in your writing, how do you make yourself keep going?

I find that the process of writing is the easiest thing in the world, it comes more naturally to me that breathing.  For me getting stuck in is very rarely a problem, but getting out again… well let’s just say very few chores happen at home.

Haha.  Do you have to force yourself to stop when you’re on a roll?  Most people indeed have the opposite problem – having enough in their head to get on paper all at once.

Sometimes you have to just stop.  If it’s the wee hours of the morning anything I’m putting down is probably gibberish and you just have to stop for the greater good. But if I’m working through a difficult scene or plot issue I’ll often push to get through it.  I tend to write most days and nights but I’d say at least 80% of those words get deleted.  I sometimes think you have to write 100 pages of nonsense to get to 10 pages of perfection (or at least satisfaction).  My trial and error method could be very frustrating for a lot of people, but I’ve done it this way all my life.

Same here.  Do you use your personal experiences in your writing?

I tend to write fantasy or sci-fi so a lot of my books are very much from my imagination, but I like to inject a lot of humanity into my characters and I tend to put a lot of myself.

So you try to make your characters relatable even when they’re in unfamiliar worlds?  Do you find that comes naturally as a storyteller, or are there times when you feel like you need to infuse your characters with more humanity? 

Everything about my books is character driven.  The settings and unfamiliar worlds fall around the characters and often they reject ideas that are just incredulous or absurd.  I’ve never struggled with making my characters more human per se, but I often struggle with them accepting my plots.  If the story arc isn’t natural and believable the characters reject it and I just can’t get anywhere.  Sometimes it feels like they’ve got more control of the story than me.

Thanks, LE, for sharing!

WHERE TO FIND: LE Fitzpatrick 
Goodreads:  LE Fitzpatrick
Amazon Page:  LE Fitzpatrick
Facebook:  LE Fitzpatrick
Twitter:  @L_E_Fitzpatrick

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: