Book Review: The Insurgent (The Colony #2) by Teri Polen


If a megalomaniac threatened your family, would you give up your freedom for them? Would you give up your soul?

Asher Solomon is faced with that choice. And makes the ultimate sacrifice.

Exactly as Director Silas Reeves expected him to.

Unable to live as the Colony’s premier assassin, Ash retreats to a corner of his mind, ceding control of his body to the alter-ego he was engineered to be—Subject A36. As he’s unleashed to battle the Insurgents, the only family he ever knew, the tide of war shifts in Silas’s favor.

Combined with his expansion into new territories, the director is poised to take over the world.

But the Insurgents don’t give up easily. Not on their cause, and not on their people. With the help of a few double agents deep in the Colony, they stand a fighting chance at ending Silas’s reign.

In order to shut down the program, they face almost insurmountable odds. And their most dangerous foe—their former champion turned killing machine, A36.


Goodreads:  The Insurgent (The Colony #2) by Teri Polen 


Rating: 5 stars

*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

After being forced to choose between his family and his soul, insurgent Asher Soloman has now become subject A36, the Colony’s ruthless assassin. Retreating into his own mind to preserve what little sanity he has left, Asher is helpless as A36 kills indiscriminately on the orders of Director Silas Reeves. However, the Insurgents refuse to give up on both their cause and their friend. Whilst finding allies in the most unlikely of places, they plot to save Asher and to take down the Colony once and for all.

I’ve just finished book one in the duology and couldn’t wait to get started on book 2! It certainly didn’t disappoint. There was plenty of action from the word go, that immediately drew me back into the world. The characters have grown a lot since the first book and are united in their cause to save Asher and put an end to the Colony once and for all. The first book ended on a cliff-hanger and so I was eager to see how this played out. The twists and turns were unexpected and kept me turning the page for more.

There were a mix of chapters written from each character’s POV this time, which kept the pacing and continuity flowing well, and also giving them more depth than just seeing them from other viewpoints.

The Insurgent was a great end to the duology, it keeps you guessing throughout and rooting for all the characters. There is also a redemption for one character in particular which I liked. I am sorry to say goodbye to this series, but it was a fitting ending that ties up all the loose ends and gives the characters the send off that they deserve.


Book Review: Subject A36 (The Colony #1) by Teri Polen


If genetic engineering could guarantee you and your family perfect health and unparalleled beauty, would you pay top dollar for it? Would you kill for it?

Residents of the Colony would. And do.

Only the Insurgents can stop them.

Seventeen-year-old Asher Solomon is a premier operative with the Insurgents. He and his team have rescued countless hostages, saving them from painful deaths in Colony labs as desirable genetic traits are stripped from their bodies.

He’s also suffered more losses than anyone should have to.

Then Asher gets intel that might give his people the upper hand. The Colony is searching for Subject A36. If the Insurgents determine the subject’s identity first, they might be able to turn the tide of the war.

Asher and his team embark on their riskiest mission ever, and the stakes have never been higher. But even if he survives the physical dangers, the devastating secrets he uncovers might destroy him.


Goodreads: Subject A36 (The Colony #1) by Teri Polen 


Rating: 5 stars

*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Outlier Asher Soloman’s life and family is torn apart the day that soldiers from the Colony come to his home. The only survivor, he joins the Insurgents, a group of rebels intent on saving the lives of the people captured for genetic harvesting and putting an end to the Colony’s brutal practice. Yet his past continues to haunt him. Why did his father order him to abandon his sisters if they slowed his escape? The guilt at following through with this request still haunts him.  When the Insurgents learn that the Colony is searching for the mysterious subject A36, it gives them to chance of a real shot at winning the war. But only if they can find subject A36 first. However, for Asher the truth may prove to be more devastating than what happened to his family on that terrible day.

I absolutely loved this first novel in The Colony series. The author has crafted a chilling future with underlying warnings for today’s genetic advances and how they might be used for the wrong reasons.

The characters were well developed and continued to evolve further as the novel progressed. With the loss of his family, Asher could have gone down a different path but instead he fights to help people and ensure that children don’t have to go through the same ordeal that he did. I loved his relationships with Brynn and Noah, and these serve very much to keep him grounded and remind him of who he is.

The novel was written mostly from Asher’s POV but with some chapters from a couple of other characters when it was key to plot development. I liked this approach as it gave you a lot of insight into his character, but the addition of the others where needed ensured that events did not happen without the groundwork being laid for them.

The Colony promises to be an excellent dystopian series and I cannot wait to read the second book in the series!


Review: Those Who Remain by Ian Blackport


Those Who Remain by Ian Blackport

Mallory travels forests and abandoned towns with her little sister as a lone companion, scavenging for meager food scraps. Almost one decade has passed since civilization collapsed in the wake of an incurable pandemic, leaving behind a ruined world without meaning or hope.

Only one thing in this unforgiving existence is worth protecting, and no line exists that Mallory is unwilling to cross for her sister. Compassion is a fatal weakness when each day might be her last and the only protection comes by way of a loaded gun. Every stranger is a threat and each human an adversary. In this bleak life, Mallory follows one rule: trust will get her killed. There can be no alternative, because she learned long ago that survival meant sacrificing her humanity.

Purchase Link:

Those Who Remain on Goodreads


*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review *

Rating: 4 Stars

Those Who Remain is set in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity has almost been wiped out by the stricken. Sisters Mallory and Mckayla are taking a perilous journey across America to reach the cape in the hopes of finding a permanent and safe home. Mallory is the older sister and forced to grow up at a young age she will do whatever it takes to protect her sister. Mckayla is younger and possesses more compassion and empathy than her older sibling. On their journey they come across a group of fellow survivors and for the first time the sisters are divided. Mallory wants to push on to the cape whilst Mckayla wants to make a home with their new friends.

Those Who Remain is predominately an action novel with generous descriptions and well-crafted scenes that draw you into the dystopian world. The sisters and their comrades are well-developed characters whom you find yourself really caring for and hoping they all survive.

The only thing that I found slightly disappointing was the ending, which felt to be somewhat abrupt and I would have liked to have this extended somewhat.

Overall, Those Who Remain is a gripping and action-packed read and a great addition to the post-apocalyptic genre.

Review: Five Suns of Treason


Five Suns of Treason (Five Suns Saga #1) by Jim Heskett

Kellen’s tired of politics and the back-stabbing that accompanies it. As a senior staffer to a US senator, he’s privy to all kinds of information, like details about the meteor hurtling though space on a collision course with earth. He also knows what the public has been told isn’t the whole truth, and now he’ll have to decide if exposing the lie is worth trading his life.

Part dystopian epic, part espionage thriller, Five Suns of Treason features six interconnected short stories before, during, and after the downfall of society, with each one unlocking another piece of the mystery of how the world collapsed.

Purchase Link:

Five Suns of Treason on Goodreads


*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 3 Stars

Five Suns of Treason depicts the collapse of society through six short stories which comprise the entire novel. It is an original and clever idea that gradually pieces the mystery together as each story is told. However, for me I felt that all the stories needed to be longer. As they stood they were too short and I just found myself stumbling in various places as I was distracted from following the main storyline with the continuous shift in characters, events and locations. As a result for me as a reader I wasn’t able to make a connection with any of the characters. This was disappointing as I really enjoyed the author’s style of writing. There was a good balance of description and dialogue so you could really get a sense of the fear and chaos of the collapsing world.

Many readers of dystopian fiction will really enjoy the snapshot of viewpoints and the mystery of how society has fallen (not to mention the twist at the end!) but personally I would have preferred each story to have been longer so I could have really gained a sense of who all these characters were and formed more of an attachment to them.

Review: Arkadium Rising (Brother’s Keeper #1)

Arkadium Rising

Arkadium Rising (Brother’s Keeper #1) by Glen Krisch

The Arkadium’s time has come. A religious cult intent on setting history back ten thousand years, destroying modern man’s domination of the planet.

Growing up, the Grant brothers were close, but as they reached adolescence they drifted apart, taking opposite paths into adulthood. Straight-laced Jason works for a small town newspaper. Marcus is into drugs, violence, and self-destruction.

Marcus finds salvation and sobriety when he joins the Arkadium and reaches out to his brother, wanting him by his side to record the new prehistoric era, Arkadium’s era. Jason faces a choice, join his brother in the destruction of humanity, or die like one of the millions of innocents who will fall in the Arkadium’s ascent.

Purchase Link:

Arkadium Rising on Goodreads


*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 4 Stars

Arkadium Rising is the first book in the Brother’s Keeper series by Glen Krisch. It is the story of two brothers, one of whom is estranged from the family due to his drug addiction. When the story begins Jason is visited by his brother’s ex-girlfriend, Delaney, who informs him that not only is his brother clean, but that he has found religion. At first Jason is sceptical and despite knowing this he does not want anything to do with Marcus. His mind is changed, however, when the family receive some bad news and Jason leaves with Delaney to bring Marcus home. What Jason hasn’t been told is that Marcus is high up in the hierarchy of Arkadium, a religious cult that intends on bringing an end to life as Jason knows it.

Arkadium Rising is a fast paced and gripping read with a host of interesting and complex characters all with their own desires and beliefs driving them forward to survive in the new world that dramatically unfolds. There was a lot of violence and bloodshed as you would expect. The emotions running throughout the book were unfaltering and the existing (and new) relationships and connections between the characters made it feel very real.

As it is the first in the series the ending is left open, but without detracting from being able to enjoy the novel as a standalone. I very much look forward to reading the second book in the series.

Review: Mr Ruins


Mr Ruins (Ruins Sonata #1) by Michael John Grist

Book 1 of the Ruins Sonata trilogy.

Ritry Goligh is a former Arctic marine living in a dystopian, tsunami-wrecked future. He works as a graysmith- a specialist capable of diving the minds of others and implanting or erasing memories. Scarred by the events of the Arctic war, he leads a directionless life of alcohol, violence, and sex, until a man calling himself Mr. Ruins offers him a devil’s bargain- gain a future, but forfeit his soul.

At the same time, a crew of hardened marines rouse in a unique submarine designed to dive through lava within a planet’s molten core. They have no memories except their names, ranks, and a burning urge to complete their mission. Yet none of them know what their mission is, or what the stakes will be if they fail.

Purchase Link:

Mr Ruin’s on Goodreads


*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 5 Stars

Mr Ruins is the first book of the Ruins Sonata trilogy. It tells two stories; the first of one man’s struggle against a terrible evil and the second of a group of marines tasked to complete their mission no matter what.

Ritry Goligh is a broken man. Working as a graysmith he fills his empty life with booze and women. When the story begins he’s weak, seriously flawed and at times a difficult character to like. As the novel progresses and Ritry is struggling to get his life back in order he becomes stronger and very likeable, and definitely I found myself caring for the character and his fate.

Mr Ruins is an excellent antagonist and the perfect adversary for Ritry.  He incorporates everything a villain should be; ruthless, devious, manipulative, charismatic, frightening. You could literally feel the atmosphere of the novel change with every scene that he was in.

Alongside Ritry’s battle against Mr Ruins runs the story of a group of marines who are tasked with completing a mission without any knowledge of their time before it began and what might happen should they fail. At first the two stories seem unconnected but further into the novel how they are interlinked becomes clear.

Mr Ruins is a fantastic and extremely well-written science fiction novel. The plot is engaging, compelling and very cleverly thought out, which kept me guessing right up until the very end. I highly recommend Mr Ruins to lovers of the science fiction genre!