Book Review: Wood for the Trees by K.R. Allcoat

61fPXmemyaL._SX260_Since the beginning of recorded history mankind has searched for the truth, about life, the cosmos, and everything in between and beyond.

Physicists struggle with a unified field theory and find only paradoxes. The more they learn the less they must admit to knowing.

Religions lay claim to the truth. But without submitting to the faith, one cannot expect to know the truth. And with contradictory interpretations of religious texts in abundance, would-believers have cause to be sceptical.

Philosophers strive for incontestable truth, but none seem to have found any that amounts to much, or if they have, their discovery has been overlooked.

Other sciences explain the hows and whys of the natural world with evidence and logical deduction, but logic is only as effective as the assumptions upon which it is based and the limitations of its evidence-gathering. It is yet to account for the irrationality of human emotions and the mysteries of the mind.

Politicians offer the answers to our most pressing needs, and pander to the demands of voters.

Conflict between different belief systems has brought us to edge of the abyss, where post-truth has taken over, as if the actual truth doesn’t matter any more. And we are faced with what some are calling the sixth mass extinction of life on earth.

But is our extinction inevitable? If so, what will come after? If not, can it be prevented and should we even try to? Is the end of the world really such a big deal?

Could it be that we are asking the wrong questions? Are we approaching the problem from the wrong perspective? Might there be a way to resolve all the paradoxes and inconsistencies and finally arrive at some sort of universal truth, something which no religion, science, philosophy, nor politician has successfully addressed? Are we failing to see the wood for the trees?

If so, what are the questions we need to be asking and what are the assumptions we need to make?

Most works of fiction have a pleasing format, with a beginning, a middle and an end, with clear signs, justified behaviour, and no loose ends. But that is not a true reflection of the lives we each lead. Read More »


Cover Reveal: The Exercise Of Vital Powers by Ian Gregoire

Ian Gregoire’s debut fantasy novel was self-published with no fanfare in the spring of 2017. On a whim, he entered the book into the SPFBO competition organized by Mark Lawrence two weeks later and was just as surprised as everyone else when The Exercise Of Vital Powers was selected as Kitty G’s first semi-finalist. The book subsequently garnered a number of positive reviews, culminating in a place on the long list of nominations for Best Self-Published Novel in the inaugural BookNest Fantasy Awards.

Originally written and published as a stand-alone novel, the soon to be released the second edition of The Exercise Of Vital Powers is now book one of a five book series called Legends Of The Order. Readers who missed out the first time around will now have the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the book’s precocious protagonist before she returns in the sequel, coming soon.

Some Lessons Must Be Learned The Hard Way

Since its inception, The Order has been dedicated to the prevention of the misuse and abuse of magic. For seven decades this mandate has guaranteed peace and stability throughout The Nine Kingdoms. But a potential threat to the peace has emerged, and its source is much closer to home than the leadership of The Order may realize.

Arrogant, manipulative, confrontational and angry. Undesirable qualities in a person at the best of times, but more so in a young woman born with the power to bring kingdoms to their knees. Kayden Jayta, a precocious apprentice of The Order, is all these things and more, yet wholly unwilling to acknowledge and rectify her many troubling traits.

Unbeknown to anyone, Kayden’s resolute determination to join the ranks of The Order is born of a secret that puts her priorities at odds with the precepts of the organization, setting her inexorably on a collision course with the most powerful institution in The Nine Kingdoms.

If Kayden is to be dissuaded from walking the path she has chosen, averting tragic consequences in the process, two unanswered questions must be answered: What is the dark secret guiding Kayden’s actions? And, why has a legendary figure within The Order, with a secret of her own, taken undue interest in Kayden’s future?

Praise for the Book

“I don’t know what I was expecting, really, but I don’t think I was expecting such an engaging, well thought out story from a self-published debut novel I had never heard of before…” Kristen (Superstardrifter)

 “I don’t pretend to be the most well read person, but I found this to be completely unique, and I loved it!  I felt very engaged right from the start, and somehow became even more engaged by the end.” Kim (The Writing Process)

 “I love reading about flawed characters, and the development that Kayden shows through the course of the novel is impressive.” Rachel (The Perspicacious Bookworm)

 “Overall, TEOVP, being a debut work, is a good book that every fan of character-driven fantasy should try to read.” Lukasz (Goodreads)

 “Gregoire has done an amazing job of creating a feeling of tension throughout, while leaving  us guessing as to what will happen next, or even how the outcome will turn out.” Dianne (Tome Tender)

 “…this book was sneaky amazing.” Angelica (The Effervescent Bookworm)

Expected Publication

The Exercise Of Vital Powers is due to go on sale from Monday 2nd July 2018, in ebook and paperback editions. Pre-orders will be open in June via all the usual online retailers.

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author-headshotThe reclusive Ian Gregoire is a taciturn introvert residing somewhere in London, where he was born and raised. Of all life’s diversions, reading and writing are the only ones he ever deemed worthwhile enough to be passionate about. This eventually led to his belated decision to pursue his true calling in life as a fantasy and science fiction author. His debut novel, The Exercise Of Vital Powers, is just the first of many books he intends to inflict upon an unsuspecting world.

On the occasions he steps out of his reading and writing comfort zone, Ian has a fondness for computing, melancholy music, retro gaming, and Asian Cinema. Ian also loves peace and quiet, something that is in frustratingly short supply in his life.

Ian can currently be found (or not) living the life of a hermit somewhere in London, continuing his quest to become your future favourite fantasy and science fiction author. To find out more about him and his ongoing publishing journey be sure to visit his official online hangouts.

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Book Review: Sons of Ares by Pierce Brown

31178398Brutally Honest. Explicitly painful. Beyond Courageous. This Graphic Novel from Red Rising written by Pierce Brown gives us a new perspective on how did the Sons of Ares became which focuses on the life of Fitchner au Barca whose personality crafted by how cruel the society in Red Rising is. Since born, Fitchner was labeled weak, tested with starvation to death, and judged by the higher-ups of Golds that there is no Gold that as ugly as Fitchner.

He survived the youth – the story from this Graphic Novel introduces us on how cruel the Academy, his growth to survival, where did the Sons of Ares start and his struggles on fighting for his son and lowColor wife. The Prequel offers a new diverse set of characters set on where loyalty is tested, where Gold was corrupted by their own system, where a human treated as a dog for their selfish gains, and where love between different colors is omitted.

With the brilliant combination of art, style, and story by Brown, Hoskin, and Powell – they gave us a new heartbreaking, thrilling, and yet terrifying story of conquerors, beast, and a monster, who only, in the end, fell in love – fight for love and save his son. The story is compelling that it shows more than how the human nature could go far for something they want, something they want to control. The irrationality of a person displays so much in this set of arts – equally stunning and painful.

Red Rising: Sons of Ares by Pierce Brown discusses morality, ethics on humanity, politically inclined stories with variables in motion from a different perspective. I’ve never liked Fitchner from the Red Rising Trilogy but knowing what he had to suffer and to fight for in this book makes me mourn for him. I would like to empathize with him for having the brave and brilliance to secretly destroy the system. And now, we will understand why Fitchner confronts Darrow in Morning Star. Just don’t let Sevro die.

“Perhaps I am one.

Through Pain and Loss, they made me this way.

But in Darkness, far from light —

–Even monsters can fall in love.”



6474348Hello. I’m Pierce Brown, the author of the Red Rising Saga, a NYT #1 bestseller. The newest entry, IRON GOLD debuts January 15, 2018.

I figured I’d write you myself than have corporate copy pasted below my totally natural author photo.

In my books you’ll find stories of men and women finding their inner strength when all seems lost. You’ll also find me exploring themes of power–what it means, why people seek it, and how they hold onto it–love, violence, and hope.

I read a bit as a kid. Count of Monte Cristo, Dune, Lord of the Flies, Star Wars (expanded universe), GRRM, Antigone, Hyperion, and Harry Potter were some of my favorites. If you liked those books, maybe just maybe we’re on the same page.

IG @piercebrownofficial
Twitter @pierce_brown


LIFEL1K3 Terminal.jpg

Hey, guys! The Royal Polar Bear is back! I’m hosting another tour for the PH Book Bloggers with the much-anticipated book – LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff. Huge thanks to Penguin Random House International for giving me the opportunity and allowing me to host this blog tour.


From the coauthor of the New York Times bestselling Illuminae Files comes the first book in a new series that’s part Romeo and Juliet, part Terminator, and all adrenaline.

On an island junkyard beneath a sky that glows with radiation, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap. Seventeen-year-old Eve isn’t looking for trouble–she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she spent months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, she’s on the local gangster’s wanted list, and the only thing keeping her grandpa alive is the money she just lost to the bookies. Worst of all, she’s discovered she can somehow destroy machines with the power of her mind, and a bunch of puritanical fanatics are building a coffin her size because of it. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it. The problem is, Eve has had a worse day–one that lingers in her nightmares and the cybernetic implant where her memories used to be. Her discovery of a handsome android named Ezekiel–called a “Lifelike” because they resemble humans–will bring her world crashing down and make her question whether her entire life is a lie. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic sidekick Cricket in tow, Eve will trek across deserts of glass, battle unkillable bots, and infiltrate towering megacities to save the ones she loves…and learn the truth about the bloody secrets of her past.

Title: LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff

Publication Date: May 29th 2018 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

ISBN: 9781524713928

Genre: Young Adult and Science-Fiction



The tour will run from June 11, 2018 to June 15, 2018 with two (2) or three (3) bloggers to post a book review each day and will be given three (3) to five (5) days to read the book and then one (1) day to pass it to the next blogger. There will be multiple copies of the book that will be passed on this tour. The book blogger must be willing to shoulder the shipping expenses to the next blogger. This blog tour sign-up is open only for Philippine Book Bloggers. Tour sign up will end on 18th of May 2018. A creative post is highly encouraged.



4735144Jay Kristoff is the #1 international, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE, THE ILLUMINAE FILES and THE LOTUS WAR. He is the winner of five Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, has over half a million books in print and is published in over thirty-five countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6’7 and has approximately 12,000 days to live.

He does not believe in happy endings.

Picking Favorites in the Apocalypse by Megan O’Russell + Giveaway

Boy of Blood Banner.png

Boy of BloodPublisher: Fiery Seas Publishing

Series: Girl of Glass

Genre: YA Dystopia

Release Date: April 10, 2018

After Nightland’s vicious attack on the domes, the safety and perfection of the world within the glass has been contaminated. Desperate to rebuild, outsiders are allowed into the domes to help, breaking the cardinal rule: outsiders and Domers must always be separated. But the city is in shambles, crumbling into chaos without the Vampers of Nightland to keep order, and one name is carried on the wind: Nola.

Clinging to Jeremy, Nola struggles to find a way to exist in the domes, turning her back on all she learned in the city. But when one of the outsiders brings the dark secrets of the domes to light, the line between survival and murder blurs against the spectre of the dying world.

Can Nola follow the dark path laid out by the Domes? Will the dangers of the night become her new sanctuary?


Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iTunes


Please click here for the sweepstakes.

By Megan O’Russell


In authoring, as in parenting, you really aren’t supposed to have a favorite character. But in every book I’ve written, I always have one. In the Girl of Glass series, my favorite character is Raina, a knife-wielding vampire.

To avoid sounding too much like either a love letter or a letter of recommendation, I’ve created a list for the many reasons I love Raina.

  • She is excellent with knives. In a mid-apocalyptic world with chemically-induced vampires, if you’re going to run with the vampires, you want well-armed and competent blood drinkers on your side. Raina will not only fight her enemies, she’ll kill them with style and finesse.
  • Raina might seem a little jaded—the end of the world could do that to anyone—but really she’s very caring. If she decides she wants to care about you, she’ll fight to her last breath for you. If she doesn’t like you… run. You probably still won’t live, but at least you’ll feel productive in the last few seconds of your life.
  • Gender barriers… not a thing. She’ll fight alongside the men and never bat an eyelash. If a man tries to insult her, take advantage of those weaker than themselves, or just plain piss her off… once again, run.
  • Not to sound shallow, but I’m kind of envious of her hair. Streaked scarlet and purple, it’s a look I’d love to rock if upkeep weren’t such a difficult thing.
  • Her relationship with Emanuel, the leader of our vampire clan. She’s stood by his side as he built his home and saved his people. He trusts her completely. If the head of an underground society of vampires trusts you entirely, you’ve either killed a lot of people or made some huge sacrifices to reach that position. With Raina, it’s a bit of both.
  • Her backstory. I’m not going to go into it because I’m not a fan of spoilers, but I love where she came from just as much as where she’s going.

Basically, Raina is a strong, independent, potentially deadly woman, and that’s just the sort of person I’d want on my side as dystopia descends.

There are other characters that hold my heart as well. The protagonist: whose heart is too big to watch others suffer. The alpha male: whose belief in duty binds his freedom. The rebel: who has given everything to others. The leader: who has staked everything he has on the chance of survival for his child.

But Raina… leather-clad, knife-wielding Raina. If the apocalypse were a game of dodgeball, I’d choose her first for my team.


Megan ORussellMegan O’Russell is the author of the young adult fantasy series The Tethering, and Nuttycracker Sweet, a Christmas novella. Megan’s short stories can also be found in several anthologies, including Athena’s Daughters 2, featuring women in speculative fiction. Megan is a professional performer who has spent time on stages across the country and is the lyrist for Second Chances: The Thrift Shop Musical, which received its world premier in 2015. When not on stage or behind a computer, Megan can usually be found playing her ukulele or climbing a mountain with her fantastic husband.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Blog


Interview with Daniel Cohen!

1. What or Who was your motivation when you decided to write Coldmaker? Where did you get the idea or the concept of building the storyline of Coldmaker?

I was motivated mostly by frustrations and confusion with life, particularly by how the hierarchy of power is established. One day I closed my eyes and saw a boy walking through hot sands. I knew he carried a world-altering secret. I haven’t shared this publicly yet, but here’s the exact sketch I made at the very beginning of my own journey.

DCRead More »

Book Review: Please Don’t Go Before I Get Better by Madisen Kuhn

please-dont-go-before-i-get-better-9781501196812_lgRealistically painful. Empowered with life. Relatable to a whole new perspective. Please Don’t Go Before I Get Better by Madisen Kuhn is that one poetry book that will suck your soul into the depths of her writing and words. Where you feel her sadness in her prose, where your longing will ignite in her poetry, and where you will find life realizations at some point that will help you to love yourself more than to give than others.

This book is an extraordinary piece. It tackles love, emotions, feelings, being lost, life’s hardships, the negative perspective turn into a positive outlook – which a unique book that offers more comfort and yet resilience in one voice. It dwells in her inner demons that eating her thoughts. It felt like the novel was written because of complete depression, where her sorrow is on its peak – relationships getting crushed, taking rest for a whole day became unproductiveness, and your own thoughts invalidating your own feelings. It discusses the most mundane actions that we think of as a luxury and yet it is a key point for our own self-care.

I believe that everyone should at least own a copy of this book on their own shelves. This is a book that you want to get back to from time to time – when you are feeling down or you don’t want to be eaten by your own demons or you just want to have a time for yourself or maybe you felt like you are lost on your own way and don’t know how to get on track. This book is a voice of a woman who will validate your feelings, who execute letters into words, digest the words into a paragraph and use it as a platform to become a voice to everyone who is struggling to find their own little happiness in everyday life. It taught me that you are important above anyone, that you should prioritize yourself more than anyone. You may be viewed it as a selfless act but you can’t heal anyone if you are broken.

Please don’t go before I get better by Madisen Kuhn crafted a literature that will validate your worries, anxiety, and stress – they come in life and she discusses here that we are living and experiencing these emotions because life wouldn’t be life without the ups and downs. This compelling, profound, beautifully weaved novel will keep you from reading, realizing, and understanding a new angle about your actions – that sometimes, what you are doing, either it was a big or small action, no matter how fast or slow this decision is, no matter how sad or happy you are doing this purpose, you will have growth no matter what you choose.



14728840Madisen Kuhn is a writer and photographer living in Charlottesville, Virginia. She likes to explore topics of identity, belonging, sexuality, and mental illness in her work. In 2015, she self-published Eighteen Years, a collection of over two-hundred poems. She writes a monthly column for Local Wolves magazine and is currently pursuing a BFA in Studio and Digital Arts.