By Rite of Word Reviews

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5 stars

Icarus features an atmospheric mystery with enough darkness woven into it to keep the reader on edge – sci-fi noir at its finest.

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5 stars

Tomasz Chrusciel’s thrillers offer gripping adventure with a flavour of danger and history – addictive and enjoyable.

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5 stars

Through the Hostage is the story of the only human to enter the world of the Cortiian mercenaries and leave alive…and still human. Full of fast-paced action and underlaid with a conflict of loyalties in a society where the wrong move gets you dead, this is adventure sci-fi at its best.

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5 stars

Rabia Gale’s writing brings her story to epic life in the glare of gaslamps and the frenetic gaiety of a world clinging to survival by its fingernails.

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5 stars

Her Last Breath is another twisty, intelligent mystery thriller from author J. A. Schneider, where the evidence coils and turns like an eel on a hook, and the suspense will keep you turning pages to the explosive finale.

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5 stars

Outland Exile: Old Men and Infidels opens in the Unity, a high-tech, totalitarian society where designer drugs are distributed by the government and computer-generated experiences and reality are interchangeable; a society where specialised training begins at thirteen and forcible retirement from society comes at forty.

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5 stars

It’s a Nightmare peels back layers of complacency to reveal a disturbing alternate-universe view of how the gender biases ingrained in our society could play out, a chilling and brilliantly-written exposé on the danger of being different.

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5 stars

The Alchemist’s Box is a well-written fantasy adventure, spiced with magic that hardly anyone believes in, true prophecy that no one wants to believe in, and full of unlikely alliances.

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5 stars

The Enemy Within is a brilliantly written sci-fi thriller, with a plot twisty enough to keep you guessing all the way. Between the armed forces, the group of desperate teenagers on the run, and the mysterious Eye, the divergent interests in play kept the stakes and the tension high right through to the finale.

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5 stars

The White Light of Tomorrow is a brilliantly original read, seamlessly mixing the legendary Knights of St. John with a dystopian future in which Earth has been destroyed, the Inquisition has made a comeback, and only the most common and vital tech is tolerated by the Church.

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5 stars

Tales from Alternate Earths is a unique and well-crafted collection of alt-history stories, offering a series of ‘what-if’ snapshots ranging from how time travel contributed to the extinction of the dinosaurs to if China had converted to Islam and discovered South America.

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5 stars

Phoenix Afterlife is a fast-paced, thought-provoking sci-fi thriller with a chilling twist – guaranteed to keep you thinking, and looking over your shoulder, long after you close the book.

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5 stars

Kahtar: Warrior of the Ages creates a world within a world of Covenant Keepers, living beside the modern world, invoking touches of the folklore of the faery land of Underhill woven in with Christian mythology.

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5 stars

Conversations with Larry Xenomorph is a devastatingly, hilariously accurate commentary on every aspect of current society from Facebook to political correctness to the reason for the CIA, as told by a stock broker to an alien from outer space.

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5 stars

A Mighty Rolling Thunder is a masterful blend of fantasy and dystopia, a fast-paced and original story of what happens when good and evil are quite literally unleashed in all of us.

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5 stars

With excellent pacing and incredibly convincing characterisation, this book totally earnt its five stars. I Belong to the Earth is a complex story of family and tragedy, complete with fantasy elements that are solidly thought-out and woven into the plot with a realism that chills.

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5 stars

If there be Giants Giants is a story of archaeology and myths, giants and visions, set in Cornwall, the seat of all British legend. Ellison Blackburn has created a story richly woven with archaeological detail and Christian mythology, bound to keep you guessing.

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5 stars

Playback Effect is a fantastic blend of sci-fi, romance, and detective thriller in this book. In a world where dreams have power and the Pandora’s Box of the virtual reality world is the legal and ethical nightmare of a moment of death recording,

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5 stars

Stolen Ink is cynical, laugh-out-loud funny, and between tattoo magicians and exploding pixies, will drop you into a startling, unique world of magic guaranteed to keep you up way past your bedtime.

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5 stars

In a setting with strong overtones of Mad Max, Salt in the Water is the kind of gritty, kick-ass sci-fi dystopia that punches you in the teeth to get your attention – complex, nasty, and well-thought-out.

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5 stars

Stone and a Hard Place is a story of magic, academia, and a demon for good measure. Alastair Stone has a quiet job teaching Occult Studies, to classes mostly composed of would-be horror authors. Unlike his colleagues, Alastair actually knows what he’s talking about; he’s a mage.

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5 stars

Dead Sea Games is a fantastic example of the action / horror genre, where the characters are unquestionably real and the action grabs you in a chokehold and never lets up.

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5 stars

With elaborate scheming, insider agents, and the immediate threat of inventive physical mayhem, The Janus Enigma started out strong and kept the momentum going.

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5 stars

With a plot where the supernatural blends seamlessly into a murder mystery, peopled with circus performers, murderous clowns, and the closed, ritual-bound community of the Skomori, Bloodwalker will suck you in from the first page and not let go until the last one.

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5 stars

Lightfingers is a thrilling debut novel, sketching a palimpsest London of back alleys, hidden secrets and magical beings.

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5 stars

Jack Croxall’s Anchor Leg is a fantastic sci-fi novel, with a fast-paced plot, twisty intrigue, and incredibly well-developed characters. An incredibly satisfying read.

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5 stars

Forgotten is a twisty, complex thriller, where family relationships add a complex layer of intrigue to the action. Claudia needs to figure out who she can trust – before it’s too late.

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5 stars

A.I. P.I. is a beautifully crafted story in the style of a ‘50s crime thriller, set in a future society whose prejudices and reactions are stunningly plausible.

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The Long Road to Missouri, Bowdoin

The Long Road to Missouri: The Pivot Papers Chapter One The Long Road to Missouri offered an interesting combination of thriller and horror. Missouri is 'retired', otherwise and unofficially known as too much trouble, and too well-connected, to kill. He’s living in a...

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The Rose Thief, Claire Buss

The Rose Thief The Rose Thief has an upside down opening: quite literally, as Ned Spinks, Chief Thief Catcher, is suspended by his heels for questioning at the time. Someone's been stealing the Emperor's roses, and one of them embodies the force of love. Steal that,...

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Vileness, Rowan Waters

Vileness (Samantha Brooks Thrillers Book 1) In a twisty tale of betrayal and good intentions gone bad, Vileness follows Samantha Brooks as she begins to work as an agent for her brother's network, working with victims of domestic violence to help them disappear and...

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Children of Zero, Andrew Calhoun

Children of Zero (The Planet Zero Trilogy Book 1) Children of Zero has an original take on the multiple-universe theory, positing a system of portals between worlds. One is our Earth. Another link in the portals is VGCP Eleven, home to a female-dominated society in...

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The Janus Enigma, William R Dudley

The Janus Enigma (The Janus Chronicles Book 1) The Janus Enigma offers a twisty, intriguing blend of sci-fi, dystopia, and thriller. Calder is a trouble-shooter for hire in the Outer Levels of Janus, with a past he's walked away from and a present that's going to take...

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The Rise of Ares, Serge Alexandr

The Rise of Ares: Mortal Sins (Volume 1) Serge Alexandr’s The Rise of Ares: Mortal Sins is the story of an intricately-envisioned future solar system. Humanity has reached the outer fringes of the Oort cloud, and most policy is de facto formed by the Bank. Privilege...

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The Masks of Monsters, Narayan Liu

The Masks of Monsters The Masks of Monsters, by Narayan Liu, is set in the late 1700s, when a young English nobleman, Darius Burke of Farnham, murders his father in revenge for his treatment of his family. Taking refuge from his deed in the forest, Darius meets a...

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Royal Deception, Denae Christine

Royal Deception Denae Christine’s Royal Deception is an epic fantasy of shape-shifters and assassins and royalty, told primarily from the view point of the sickly young Prince Symon of Arton. Animal shifters, the Gahim, are despised by the ruling class, executed, sold...

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Searching for Sam, M G Atkinson

Searching for Sam Finn is a chimera, a serial killer with a marked pattern: he kills paedophiles, pimps, and human traffickers. The kills span countries and continents, and they're both recognisable and brutal. Interpol’s file on him is extensive, but quite apart from...

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