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By Rite of Word Reviews

Free, honest, independent

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

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

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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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

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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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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The Witch of Glenaster, Jonathan Mills

The Witch of Glenaster (The Glenaster Chronicles Book 1) Esther Lanark was five when the first shadow of the Witch of Glenaster touched her remote village. By the time she reached her tenth year, rumours and ill fortune were flying on the wind, and stories of men with...

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Ghostlight, Rabia Gale

Ghostlight (The Reflected City Book 1) Trey's job is to keep Lumen safe from marauding spirits. After the Great Incursion, that job is something that cannot be taken lightly. So when he comes across the spirit of a young lady on his way home from a night out, his duty...

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Caligation, Brhi Stokes

Caligation Ripley Mason is a college drop-out, hitch-hiking his way to adventure on the roads of the US, when a car accident catapults him into an existence where nothing is quite as it should be. The city of Caligation, surrounded by impassable fog, is home to...

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The Burgas Affair, Ellis Shuman

The Burgas Affair Boyko Stanchev, previously of the Burgas Police Department and now an agent with the State Agency for National Security, is drinking too much, smoking too much, and on the verge of running what's left of his career into the ground. When an attack...

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Alexandria, Gregory Ness

Alexandria (The Sword of Agrippa Book 2) Following their momentous discovery of the mysterious temple, Agrippa and Samia are working to unlock its mysteries, hampered by a series of elaborate mechanical lockouts. Their prize may well be worth any cost; the wisdom of...

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Bodacious Creed, Jonathan Fesmire

Bodacious Creed was my first-ever steampunk-zombie-Western, and I must admit that if my brush through the first few pages hadn’t immediately grabbed my attention, I might have moved on to one of my better-trodden stamping grounds. I would have missed out if I had done so.

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Circuit Trilogy, Rhett C Bruno

The Complete Circuit Trilogy (Omnibus Edition) Executor Rising Progeny of Vale Earthfall Talon Rayne, ex-enforcer to one of the overlords of the Ceresian clans, is dying. The element that provides gravity to the stations and asteroids that house humanity in the solar...

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Blood and Ink, Holly Evans

Blood & Ink (Ink Born Book 2) Dacian Corbeaux and his tattoo partner Keirn have fled to Prague, and are living embedded on the edge of the Magical Quarter, under the protection of a powerful wood elf named Fein. However, rumours of an ink magician in the city are...

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