Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tour Stop | Interview & Review | Stepping Off A Cliff by Doug Dillon @Doug__Dillon

 Title: Stepping Off A Cliff
Author: Doug Dillon
Length: 321 Pages
Released: November 2013
Banner Made by: Julia Hendrix


An otherworldly, evil and dangerous force infests America’s oldest and most haunted city, St. Augustine, Florida. Everyone living there, or visiting, is at risk in ways too horrible to imagine.

Standing between this invader and the people of St. Augustine are teenagers Jeff and Carla, the mysterious Native American shaman, Lobo, and Lyle, the homeless guy.

In their quest to save themselves and all the inhabitants of this ancient Florida city, Jeff and Carla uncover lost parts of St. Augustine history, push past the limits of space and time, and come face-to-face with what they come to realize are the true walking dead.

Lobo, the old Native American Shaman
Doug Dillon Interviews Lobo, the old Native American Shaman (Location: On the open porch at Lobo’s house on Matanzas Bay, St. Augustine, Florida)

Doug: Thanks for letting me come over so we could talk for a while.
Lobo: Skip the happy talk. Why are you here? Being the author of The St. Augustine Trilogy doesn’t give you the right to barge into my world any time you like.

Doug: Of course not. I won’t take up much of your time.
Lobo: Oh, I’ll make sure of that. So get on with it.

Doug: Sure. You see, I’m starting to write Book III of the trilogy and I want to ask you some questions about St. Augustine.
Lobo: You need to be a lot more specific than that.

Doug: Absolutely. What I want to know is why St. Augustine is such a well-known center for paranormal activity. I mean not just in my novels but in the real world as well.
Lobo: Are you saying this world of mine isn’t real? Don’t you know that once you as an author create a work of fiction it actually exists in a parallel realm?

Doug: Uh, well, I thought that might be a possibility but I wasn’t really sure.
Lobo: Not sure? You’re sitting on my porch here in St. Augustine but you’re not convinced what you see here truly exists?

Doug: What I meant was . . .
Lobo: What you meant was that you really don’t know what you’re talking about. Jeff tried to explain this to you in a recent interview you did with him but obviously his words didn’t sink into your brain.

Doug: Oh, that.
Lobo: Yes, that! What you still fail to grasp is that the creation of plots and characters definitely establishes new worlds that exist side-by-side with your own.

Doug: So even though I think I’m just imagining this interview and writing it down, it is actually taking place in a different reality?
Lobo: Well what do you know? The knucklehead author gets enlightened by one of his characters.

Doug: Uh, well this sure isn’t what I expected when I decided to create your interview.
Lobo: Listen carefully, Doug. Your constant association with St. Augustine and the writing you do about paranormal activities in this city is what helps to give vivid life to me and the other characters in your novels as well as your imagined version of St. Augustine.
This city, whether it’s in your world or mine, is one of those rare places on earth where multiple realities intersect. You sense some of that but you have not yet fully recognized the part you play in all that when you write your novels.

Doug: Oh.
Lobo: Oh? Brilliant response. This interview is at an end. Come back when my words have penetrated that thick skull of yours at a level where we can really talk in depth. You’re nowhere near that point. Now get off my property.

Doug: Right. Will do. Thanks for your time.
Lobo: (No response)

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. I will attempt to keep this fairly spoiler free.

Premise: Jeff Golden and his friend, Carla, turn to Lobo to get help for Jeff's headaches. They find themselves caught in a world where the past comes to life in unique ways.

The Annoying
The narrator has a really awful habit of saying things like "Don't ask me why" - a lot. A few times is understandable but hardly a chapter goes by without him thinking something to that effect. I wanted to reach in and say, "Nobody asked you anything, fool, move this narrative along." If having the narrator talk to you doesn't bother you, then you'll probably just fine with the book. I like teenagers but I don't want to be trapped in the head of one, which is essentially what the author strives to do. (It's done reasonably well, but as a narrator, Mr. Jeff addresses the reader WAY too much. Did I mention he talks to you? Yeah, see how annoying that can be?) If it were done only in the beginning as a sign that the narrator's finding himself, fine but this happens 97% of the book - and the last 3% are author notes.)

Pacing was painful and slow - I'm not a history buff and while some descriptions of items such as coins were neat and obviously well done, getting there was arduous. I was reading on a kindle and it literally took 30 ish% of the book before Jeff and Carla even got into their quest conversation with Lobo. It took until about 70% before Jeff stops "fighting the problem" which lead to a lot of early conversations that traveled this basic path: Lobo - you should... Jeff - Why? Carla - listen to Lobo. Jeff - Why?

A few places in both dialogue and description I felt the narrator slip away and sound like a middle age guy.

The Good pts I'm neutral on...
It's a unique and awesome way to describe history. I'd acutally never heard of St. Augustine before hearing of the book, but it seems like the perfect setting for such a book.

The descriptions are very thorough. While that made the climax and battle scene awesome it slowed down everything else.
Dialogue is for the most part pretty authentic.

I'm not overly fond of time travel books because I think few ever explain it well. This one doesn't bother trying to explain the whys and wherefores of time travel which is fitting and a good choice on the author's part.

It ends well. From about 80-94% on the kindle (battle) the book was exciting and quick moving, exactly what you want from a book. Ending a book well is a key point in one's overall impression because it's the last word.

Would I read a sequel? Probably. That's where a good ending comes in handy. It leaves one feeling like there's hope for sequels. There was a tremendous amount of setup, some necessary and some not, but hopefully, book 2 will skip all that and get to the good stuff quicker.
Would I buy a boxed set if it was ever available? No.
Would I recommend it to kids who like history? Yes.
Would I recommend it to people who like only historical fiction? Maybe. They might find the paranormal bits too annoying.
Would I recommend it to people who like only paranormal? Probably not, you've got to have some part of you that appreciates history. Those heavy handed historical descriptions would likely bore you.
Is it kid-safe? To a degree. There are some curse words, but probably no more than they've heard in their first grade class.

Conclusion: If the things that annoy me don't bother you and you do like history and paranormal stories, this might be a totally awesome read for you. To me, it was okay. I enjoyed the battle at the end. It's a series that starts slow but shows some real promise in the end.

*** I received a free copy in exchange for an honest opinion. I will attempt to keep it spoiler free ***

Things that didn't resonate with me: (odd things sometimes bother me, so take what I say with that in mind.)
- PB - Particle Being was too clunky a term for me and PB made me think peanut butter.
- plot pacing - a good chunk of the book seemed to follow the pattern "explain things to Jeff", have something happen, "explain things to Jeff", rinse and repeat. This changed near the end, but it slowed things down.
- Lyle - has the potential to be a neat character but he added zilch in terms of moving the plot forward.
- Carla - I wish she was more important to the plot. She's got some super awesome gifts but they're seriously glossed over.
- Jeff as a narrator - still breaks the 4th wall too often. The story would be much quicker if the kid just stopped talking to the reader and told the story.
- missing emotions - I'm not going to mention the situations b/c that would probably be a plot spoiler, but several really devastating events were skimmed over with little to no emotional impact.

- Jeff become more important and does some things on his own this time around.
- The history inclusion, though slightly less this time, seemed cooler.
- The time travel aspect was well-integrated.
- Lobo = the man; his power and wisdom approaches the unbelievable, but he's still pretty amazing. Ironically, the more incredible his powers became, the more believable he became as a character. Maybe it's just because there seemed to be backing for the previous hype.

Conclusion: If you enjoyed the first book, there's no reason for you not to like the second book in the trilogy. The history is nicely integrated with the story. There's more action than the first book, which is a step in the right direction. If you haven't read book one, that might be helpful before jumping into this story. Jeff, Carla, and Lobo face new supernatural dangers in this YA, paranormal tale.

About the Author
A former award-winning educator, Doug writes about things paranormal and historical. His interest in the paranormal comes from personal experiences as detailed in the nonfiction adult book he and wife wrote titled, AN EXPLOSION OF BEING: AN AMERICAN FAMILY'S JOURNEY INTO THE PSYCHIC. Out of those events and extensive historical research, he created SLIDING BENEATH THE SURFACE for young adults, Book I of the St. Augustine Trilogy. Doug set his trilogy in the oldest and most haunted city in the United States, St. Augustine, Florida not only for those reasons, but also because it's his favorite place to visit. Books II and III of the trilogy are on the way.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Promotional Event | Runes by Ednah Walters @EdnahWalters #FREE #Amazon

Book Title: Runes
Series: A Runes Novel: Book 1
Author: Ednah Walters
Release Date: May 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Firetrail Publishing
Presented by: As You Wish Tours
Banner Made by: Camelia Miron Skiba


Seventeen-year-old Raine Cooper has enough on her plate dealing with her father’s disappearance, her mother’s erratic behavior and the possibility of her boyfriend relocating. The last thing she needs is Torin St. James—a mysterious new neighbor with a wicked smile and uncanny way of reading her.

Raine is drawn to Torin’s dark sexiness against her better judgment, until he saves her life with weird marks and she realizes he is different. But by healing her, Torin changes something inside Raine. Now she can’t stop thinking about him. Half the time, she’s not sure whether to fall into his arms or run.

Scared, she sets out to find out what Torin is. But the closer she gets to the truth the more she uncovers something sinister about him. What Torin is goes back to an ancient mythology and Raine is somehow part of it. Not only is she and her friends in danger, she must choose a side, but the wrong choice will cost Raine her life

EDNAH WALTERS grew up reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and dreaming of one day writing her own stories. She is a stay-at-home mother of five humans and two American short-hair cats (one of which has ADHD) and a husband. When she is not writing, she’s at the gym doing Zumba or doing things with her family, reading, traveling or online chatting with fans.

Ednah is the author of The Guardian Legacy series, a YA fantasy series about children of the fallen angels, who fight demons and protect mankind. AWAKENED, the prequel was released by Pill Hill Press in September 2010 with rave reviews. BETRAYED, book one in the series was released by her new publisher Spencer Hill Press in June 2012 and HUNTED, the third installment, was released April 2013. She’s currently working on the next book in the series, FORGOTTEN. Visit her at

Ednah also writes YA paranormal romance. RUNES is the first book in her new series. IMMORTALS is book 2. She is presently working on book 3, GRIMNIRS [Book 2.5] was released in December 2013. Read more about this series and the world she's created here

Under the pseudonym E. B. Walters, Ednah writes contemporary romance. SLOW BURN, the first contemporary romance with suspense, was released in April 2011. It is the first book in the Fitzgerald family series. Since then she has published five more books in this series. She's presently working on book seven. You can visit her online at or

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Review | The Princes of the Golden Cage by @NathalieMallet

Title: The Princes of the Golden Cage
Author: Nathalie Mallet
Length: 321 Pages
Released: Oct 2007


Prince Amir lives in a lavish and beautiful cage. He lives in a palace with hundreds of his brothers, all barred by law from ever leaving the palace until he, or one of his brothers, becomes the next Sultan. Living under constant threat of death at the hands of his scheming brothers, Amir has chosen a life of solitude and study. His scholarly and alchemical pursuits bring him under suspicion when his brothers begin to die from seemingly supernatural means. Amir finds himself thrown together with his brother Erik, the son of a barbarian princess. Together they must discover the dark secret that is stalking the halls of their golden cage. 

Overall, I enjoyed this quick read. It's classic mystery done well with a fantasy/ horror flare. The main character can get annoying and sometimes he definitely sounds like a sulky little girl, but the action is fairly well done and the plot twists are nicely executed. I agree with whoever just said that the characters are at times unnecessarily obtuse. I would have more bluntly put it: I hate when characters are just plain dumb.

There's hardly any characterization, but that's fine because the emphasis is mainly on the mystery. The author has a pretty smooth writing style. I'd be interested to know how middle-eastern readers would take this book, as it often strikes me as if it were written by a "western" woman who loved the culture but couldn't quite master how to capture it.

I'll probably read the sequel, but I hope they really put some effort into really editing that book. There are nearly a dozen simple grammatical errors and one continuity error, which strike me more as a self-published book bane than a professionally published work.

Here are some of the mistakes:
15 a flawless profile I was proud to bare.
17 "You don't mean with our scholarly brother, Amir!" (note: Amir was not the one being addressed here; this sentence is just plain odd. For the context it was going for, it would have been better suited to say: "You don't mean with our scholarly brother, Amir, do you?")
32 Hassan became silent and his attention turned ton his hands,...
37 "Before going any further, tell me your name," I asked,... (Note: There's no question here.)
78 lack there of
179 Another clue of its recent use was the unpleasant smell of brunt flesh lingering in the air.
217 I thought, my mistake "Shh," I made.
226 ... the blade sliced through the dark demon repetitively, sending puffs of smoke and a sulfuric smell in the air instead of blood. (Note: word choice... repeatedly might be better)
228 Rami walked strait to me.
252 ... baring the same name...
257 one can not steal what isn't there. (Note: this is an acceptable form of the word just not used that often.)
280 the venom in Mir's words was hard to bare.
283 By wearing loose clothing and spending most of my term locked inwith her, we thought I might hide my pregnancy.
290 While Mira and I will contend ourselves with watching you from a balcony with Salima.
(excerpt from next book) 312 ... was made of Telfarian steal, hence too good a quality...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Re-Vamped Cover Reveal | Promises In The Dark by Princess Racena McConnell @PrmTjm1981

 Book Title: Promises In The Dark
Series: Secrets of the Mystic
Author: Princess Racena McConell
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Released:  November 17, 2013
Length:  345 Pages Print
Presented by: As You Wish Tours
Banner Made by: Julia Hendrix


What began as a casual dinner with friends quickly blossoms into a beautiful friendship for Rachel Adams and Derek Williamson. In time, it will develop into something much greater than either could have ever imagined. The pair have each had their share of tragedy and heartbreak that time has yet to heal. As their friendship evolves into something much more, Rachel begins to open up to the man she has fallen in love with about secrets that have consumed her life for so long.

Just when life seems to be opening up possibilities for the two of them, inexplicable and unsettling things start to happen. When these mysterious occurrences begin to invade their happiness, they are faced with the reality that they must find the truth about what haunts them. Will they survive as they uncover some of these long-kept secrets? Will the mystical forces that linked the lovers together so long ago be the same to destroy them in the end?

Book Links

Princess Racena McConnell( who has never and will never go by her first name) was born in Kings Mountain NC and now resides in the busy little town of Summerville SC with her husband of 32 years. She is the mother of 3 and grandmother to 4 with a 5th one on the way! "Promises In The Dark"; her debut novel—is part 1 of a story that has been in her mind for many years, and finally had to be told! She enjoys spending time with her family, and is so thankful they all live within 20 minutes! She also enjoys reading, writing and anything horror related. Her dream is to someday see her books splashed across silver screen!

Author Links

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Teaser Tuesday | Heartfelt 1: The Collins Case Chapter 5

Hard Truth

“Where are my children?” Rachel demanded, a new strength entering her. “I want to see them right now.”

“Do watch your tone, Dr. Collins. I have no desire to waste precious energy on your bad moods.”

The lecturing voice made her angry, which was sort of good. The angrier she got, the more awake she became. “You must know that I’ll be much more willing to listen once I know my children are safe,” she snapped, staring daggers at the shadowy man.

Tell me where my kids are, you jerk!

Another infuriating chuckle emanated from the screen. “I see why he fell in love. I told him not to do that, but since when did he ever take good advice?”

What the heck does that mean?

“Very well, Dr. Collins, have it your way.”

A click caused Rachel’s heart to skip several beats. She feared the man had cut the conversation off for good, but after a few painful seconds, there was another click.

“Mrs. Hart will be there shortly with Jason and Emily.”

Rachel flinched, despite the good news. Hearing the man say her children’s names gave her the creeps. “You mean they’re here?” She partially stood—ready to hit the nearest thing—not quite knowing how to take the news. Her elation over Jason and Emily’s nearness was offset by horror of them being in danger. Rachel’s right palm slammed down onto the table, causing a wonderful stinging pain that gave her something besides the grim situation to concentrate on.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Musings on NBC's new show Crisis

Nice plot twists. The lines b/t good and evil are probably going to flip around several times this season.
Decent characterization.
Gillian Anderson's back on the small screen. 
Okay sense of closure at the end of the pilot, yet it leaves you wanting more.
Pulls off the stereotypes well (young, pretty FBI agent, frantic parents, high school mix of kids, etc)

Okay: a few of the lines were kind of corny. ie. Marcus's speech to the bad guy. sideways, blurry, and shaky camera = :-(

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Review | Invincible (Star Wars: Legacy of the Force, Book 9) by Troy Denning

Title: Invincible
(Star Wars: Legacy of the Force, Book 9)
Author: Troy Denning
Length: 299 Pages
Released: May 2008

No war can last forever. Now, in the long and punishing battle between the defiant champions of the New Jedi Order and the juggernaut that is the Galactic Alliance, the endgame is finally at hand. With so much lost–and nothing less than the course of the future still at stake–there can be no turning back. No matter the consequences.

The rebel cause is losing ground under the twin blows of Admiral Gilad Pellaeon’ s assassination and the death of Mara Jade Skywalker. At the same time, having gained the support of the Imperial Remnant and its ruthlessly efficient forces, the Galactic Alliance, with the extraordinary power and dark brilliance of newly ascendant Sith Lord Darth Caedus at its helm, may be unstoppable. Tormented and torn between the call of duty and the thirst for vengeance, Luke has searched the Force and beheld an unspeakable vision of the galaxy enslaved under tyranny more monstrous than even Palpatine’s. Now it seems that the last, best hope lies in mobilizing the scattered Jedi for one decisive search-and-destroy mission. The objective: eliminate Darth Caedus.

It’s a plan that will be as difficult and dangerous to execute as it is daring. For Caedus is a scion of both the Skywalker and Solo bloodlines whose command of the Force surpasses even that of his grandfather

Darth Vader. There is only one who is bound by destiny to stand against him in what will surely be a duel to the death, only one with an outside chance of bringing down the dark lord who was once Jacen Solo.

Failure is not an option. The furious final moments between power and peace are here, and whoever confronts Darth Caedus will decide the outcome–and the fate of those left standing.

Features a bonus section following the novel that includes a primer on the Star Wars expanded universe, and over half a dozen excerpts from some of the most popular Star Wars books of the last thirty years!

After the Dark Nest disastrous bit of horrific storytelling, I've always taken anything Troy Denning writes with a grain of salt. Yes, that's a cliche. This book is pretty good.

Painful Parts
  • First off, Denning can't do Boba Fett at all. Nearly all of Fett's lines are out of character, and Denning's version of Fett just plain talks too much. That nit aside, there's not that much of Fett in the book, so it's not all that painful.
  • Second, there's not much else to do with Jacen's character, so absolutely nothing is done. The man spends more than half the book glowering or reining in his smoldering anger because of what happened "last time".
  • Third, Ben's bit seems contrived. It's like the author stuck him in because he was told to have a piece with Ben Skywalker. This is especially true in the end scenes of the book.
  • Fourth, the whole thing with Tahiri's character "development" is so predictable it's hokey.
  • Fifth, there seemed to be a bit of "oh, this is the last book of the series, we don't really need that character, let's kill him off" going on.
  • Sixth, loose ends. I hate loose ends. *** spoiler-ish comment coming*** At the end of the book, a certain Jedi character just drops off into space, much like Raynar Thul did all those years ago. I know it's becuase they want things to write about in the future but the ploys are getting pathetic.

Pretty Parts
  • First, I'm hopelessly attached to the character of Jaina Solo. Seeing as she was in a good number of the 299 pages of this skinny book, I was happy as a hutt at a fixed podrace.
  • Second, Luke does a little more thank just sit on his hands all day.
  • Third, the action scenes were well written. Star Wars thrives on healthy action scenes. That a good number of the situations these days are pathetically set up does not detract from the power these authors have over spinning the action portions of their tales.
  • Fourth, the book passed the late night test... anything that can keep me up to 3:20 in the morning gets some props for the accomplishment.
  • Fifth, the end was satisfying, if predictable. At one point they almost had me believing they'd do something incredibly stupid but then I remembered that this is Star Wars and those light and fluffy "awww" notes are the bread and butter of the galaxy.
So, all in all, if you're reading this it most likely means you've read the rest of the books and are contemplating whether or not to go ahead and spend the $17.00-ish. That or you've already bought it, read it, written your review, and just want to see what others have to say. The reviews here are rather mixed and your opinion will most likely differ from ours, so go ahead, read the book then say your piece. It's a worthwhile read.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Ashlynn's Dreams On Sale - Amazon eBook 50% Off at $.99 #99Cents

Listed on Ereader News Today:

I woke up with the headache of all headaches. Whatever that big jerk had shoved into my arm was like drinking hard and taking meth at the same time. (Not that I obtained that bit of knowledge via personal experience.) A very nasty kick in the head would have been kinder. In addition, my arm ached like I’d had a dozen shots and then pitched thirty innings of softball. My hands still stung too, but everything else hurt so much that that particular pain seemed negligible. I tried shaking my head, hoping that would clear away the pain. Big mistake. The pain morphed from not-so-good to very painful to excruciating. It felt like my brains wanted to leak out my ears. If that would have stopped the pain, I’d have been tempted to take the trade.

My first thought was, Owwwww. And my second thought was Jillian!

I think I said her name out loud, but I can’t be sure because I’m pretty sure I passed out again. I seemed to be doing a lot of that. I might have opened my eyes or just thought I did. It didn’t really matter because, like I said, I didn’t stay with it very long. I sensed another person in the room and had the sensation like I wanted to vomit before blissful nothingness slipped me past the headache.

The second time I woke up, I forced myself to lie still and finish the waking process with the least pain possible. Not that I could have moved anyway, since these people obviously had trust issues and had tied me up as well as giving me that wonderful naptime cocktail. My headache came back down to tolerable levels, though every heartbeat was like a dull hammer being slammed to the floor millimeters from my skull. My eyes felt all gummy like I’d slept for a month; my eyeliner must have melted or something.

I must look a scary sight.

I winced, partly at the head pain but mostly at the stupidity of worrying about my eyeliner at a time like this.

Someone had left a candle burning a few feet from my head.

Well, that’s dangerous.

Nevertheless, I let myself enjoy the candle’s comforting glow.

What do I do?

Review | James Earl Jones Reads The Bible (Audio CD) by James Earl Jones

Title: James Earl Jones Reads the Bible
Author:  James Earl Jones
Format:  Audio CD
Released: June 2009


* For the first time ever - the International Best Seller - James Earl Jones Reads The Bible, is now available on CD!!

Includes the entire New Testament - King James Version
Over 19 hours on 16 compact discs!
Digitally Re-mastered
Featuring a beautiful music soundtrack (background)

In a voice as rich as it is recognized, James earl Jones lends his narrative talents to the King James Version of the New Testament. In over 19 hours on 16 compact discs enhanced with a complete musical score, James Earl Jones interprets the most enduring book of our time utilizing the acclaimed actor's superb storytelling and skilled characterizations. Hailed as the greatest spoken-word bible version ever, and with almost half a million copies sold, this exquisite audio treasury is certain to enthuse and inspire.

James Earl Jones possesses the most recognized and rich narrative voice of the modern era. His film credits include The Lion King, Hunt for Red October, Star Wars, Field of Dreams, and many others, as well as being "the voice" of CNN. In this extraordinary box set, an incredible talent reads the New Testament of the Bible in its entirety. You will be mesmerized by Mr. Jones’ style and punctuation, and will listen to this beautiful recording over and over. Without doubt, the greatest spoken-word audio product ever produced on the Bible. Digitally re-mastered, and enhanced with a beautiful background music score, this will be a collection treasured for a lifetime.

Vader reads the Bible, what could be better? In all seriousness, this is a nice and relaxing way to hear the Bible. It's definitely better to read the words for yourself, but not everybody enjoys reading. The music is pretty loud but it doesn't drown out his voice or anything. It's all instrumental. Go get it from a library if you feel like you're going to "waste your money."

The value lies in the words being read. I would be interested in hearing what someone thinks of this if they've never heard these books of the Bible before. I've read them before but not in a while.

Nice experience. Well worth the time.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review | Ally (Wess'har Wars) by @karentraviss

Title: Ally
(Wess'har Wars)
Author: Karen Traviss
Length: 402 Pages
Released: March 2009

The worlds orbiting Cavanagh's Star are in turmoil.

Civil war on Umeh—ignited by outsiders—threatens to annihilate the teeming masses of a grossly overpopulated planet. On Bezer'ej, the handful of native aquatic creatures who survived extermination must take extraordinary and terrible steps to ensure the future of their kind . . .

And the interlopers from a distant planet called Earth can only watch the chaos they helped, in part, to create—knowing their home world will be next to suffer.
The day of reckoning is rapidly approaching when the powerful Eqbas will remake the Earth at the expense of its dominant species. And Shan Frankland—once a police officer, once human, now something much more—must decide where her loyalties truly lie: among the gethes, on a planet she once called home, or here, where a dying species presents her with a new and unexpected crisis.

So, why does it only get 4 stars from me? It's something I call the time test. If it takes me more than 2 months to read something, it probably isn't all THAT compelling. This work does indeed cover much of the same ground as the previous books. It's still good, and still very much worth the read. It is not, however, Traviss' best work. I tried to think of the major plot points and couldn't come up with much. It's a lot of waiting and staring down and developing the cultures. The newbies, Skavu, struck me as stereotypically psychopathic, which is unusual for Traviss, who tends to excel at well fleshed out cultures. The two flavors of Wess'har are nicely developed, and she's done a lovely job of pinning down the flaws in humanity. Her descriptions are apt and lively. The language is fluid if a bit crude. If you're not a Karen Traviss fan, shame on you. If you are, you probably already bought the book anyway. If you aren't but plan to be, get cracking reading.