Book Review: Signal To Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

It is Mexico City, 1988. Meche, short for Mercedes, loves music, a passion inherited from her father. This is the time long before iTunes, Spotify, or MP3 players. It is all about the vinyl, and her beloved portable record player. Meche is an awkward fifteen year old teenager, unpopular with few friends, and her parents’ marriage is falling apart. She throws herself into music as an escape, and discovers magic. Her friends Sebastian and Daniela help her discover the extent of her powers. But then it all goes terribly wrong, and friendships shatter. Meche flees town, never to return, she thinks. However, nearly two decades later, her estranged fathers funeral drags her back, and she has to face up to what happened all those years ago.

This story is told through multiple storyline approach. The primary is set in the 80’s when Meche and her friends are coming of age, trying to find themselves and where they fit in the world, and how to cope with all the changes that life brings. The other is then twenty years later, with Meche’s return, and trying to cope with the anger she still feels. I was a bit conflicted reading this one. While on one hand I enjoyed the coming of age, mixed with the discovery of magic and how its power was found, I found the intense anger still felt by Meche twenty years later a bit confusing. She was a successful woman, with an excellent job, living a great life, yet still held onto resentment that one would  imagine would have faded somewhat over the years.  

As a story about love and hate – and how sometimes it can be hard to separate one from the other, it was written well. The characters are well developed. Some become a tad annoying – Sebastian I am looking at you!! But the emotions felt, the growth, the life portrayed was all done very well. I always enjoy reading Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s work, and while this was perhaps not my favourite to date it still did bring Mexico to life, along with three teenagers just trying to belong.

*I received this copy from NetGalley for review, but all opinions are my own.

Book Review: Mindwalker by Kate Dylan

An apocalyptic event has wiped out most of the world as people knew it. Tech companies now rule the world, and tech body modifications and implants have become the norm. Eighteen year old Sil Sarrah has embraced the tech modifications to the extreme. Working for the Syntex corporation, she has a super computer embedded in her brain. She IS a super computer, designed to rescue Syntex field agents – by taking over their minds remotely and getting them to safety. She is a Mindwalker, and the best one to date. She has less than a year remaining before the computer grafted to her brain burns out, killing her. 

In her ten years working for Syntex, she has a flawless record. Until something goes wrong – and she ends up on the run, fighting for her life and desperate to find a way to prove she is not a traitor. In this search she finds much more than she expected. The resistance takes Sil in, and she starts to realise that her view on the world may not be the only way to view it. That is all I am willing to share, to do the story justice you have to read it!

Mindwalker was a stunning read. It packed as much of a punch to read as Sil does when she is angry! I could not put it down, and stayed up far later than is acceptable when you have work the next day to finish it. There is skillful character building, realistic world development, gripping storyline, and never ending action. The book is so well written. The story in a wasteland of a dystopian world is fresh and exciting, in what can be a tired and worn genre. Every aspect pulls you in, has you wanting to join the resistance. Where can I sign up? Where can I get some of the mods? (I am looking at you rainbow hair!). I say run, don’t walk to read this one. You won’t regret it.

*I received this book from NetGalley for review, but all opinions are my own.

Book Review: A Sh*tload of Crazy Powers by Jackson Ford

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group (UK) 

Publication Date: 12th May 2022

When starting this book I didn’t realise it was part of a series. But I quickly figured I was missing out on part of a story – a good part! However, it was still a fantastic read, entertaining, hilarious, quirky, almost slapstick at times. It introduced me to Teagan and the China Shop, and the rest of the crew. I feel like this, the fourth in the series, likely is really showing a development in the story and characters. For me, reading it as a stand alone piece I was still greatly entertained. Teagen is a hot mess with the ability to control objects with her mind – PK. She is even more of a hot mess when her dead brother and sister make an appearance. Then, just when you think she can’t get any more messed up…you get it. She becomes even more of a mess and loses her PK. Chaos ensues. Messy, entertaining, quip filled chaos. Tegan is a disaster, but she pulls through when people need her most. She has a very entertaining manner which as a reader, makes you enjoy every interaction with her.

I really enjoyed this book, and the first three in the series are on my ‘to read’ list now, and I would recommend that all four go on your list. This is a series that has teeth, full of action, a mix of different characters and fantastic writing. I hope it continues for a while, I am excited to read more from Jackson Ford!

*This book was provided by NetGalley for review, but all opinions are my own.

Riders on the Storm – Rob Blackwell

Book:Riders on the Storm (Available on Amazon*)

Author: Rob Blackwell

Could we take a moment for this stunning cover?!

 A book to define a genre!

There is little that Rob Blackwell writes that is not pure excellence and very unique. However when I heard sci-fi western I will admit to a brief raised eyebrow. I am not typically a reader of westerns. If you feel the same let me tell you – this book will convert you. It is a true page turner, I could not put it down until I was finished, and then immediately wanted more.

Set in the year 1883 in the Dakota Territory it is decidedly unsci-fi in many ways. Horses and six shooters are the standard fare. No space blasters, shiny silver space suits and hover cars here. Throw in bandits, stick-em-up bank heists and stagecoach robberies, and it is looking almost decidedly normal. Then comes the twist. The rolling storm clouds, that are squirming, alive with monsters. These are the Vipers and they are impossibly fast, can’t be killed with regular bullets and if they so much as scratch you, well say your goodbyes fast.

Early on in the story we meet Jules Castle – she is a thief, con artist, the daughter of an outlaw and raised among outlaws. She is the best of the best. Whip smart, ruthless and unbeatable with her gun, and with her sister by her side, nothing can stop her, except perhaps the Vipers. She is searching for clues to track down her father, who vanished mysteriously a few years before. However pursued by the U.S army, some of her father’s former posse and not to mention the Vipers how successful can she be?

This book evoked memories of Firefly, but dare I say it, even better?! More Jules Castle please!!

I received this book from the author for review, but all opinions are entirely my own.

This review is also listed on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Goodreads.

*No affiliate links, I am just linking to make your life easier!