The Cephalopod Coffeehouse #Review: Armada #scifi #videogame

The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you’ve finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same. In this way, we’ll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers. Please join us below.

So, not only am I late this month but I’m coming up short. I’ve read several books in the month of October and liked most of them, but I haven’t sat down to review any of them. I’m currently reading Armada, the second book by Ernest Cline. So far the story is really good, but I’m still not sure how I feel about it overall. I’m definitely interested in where the story is going.

I’m 96% finished with my Goodreads Reading Challenge, but I still have about six books left to read on my personal ‘to read’ challenge. Guess I’ll have to hunker down over the next two months.

Even though I’m disappointed that I missed this post, properly, at least it’s not the only one. I missed my usual Reading Challenge and Wip Update,  my movie review, and more. Hopefully, I’ll be back on track next month with a proper book review and my regular blog schedule (though, I may have to change some things).

Please stop by and see what others have read. 😀


Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#Bookreview: Strength #fantasy #book

This is a special post I do once a month to highlight a book I reviewed some time ago, but never actually featured on my blog. Because this is an author blog and not a book blog, I don’t always feature all the books I read. Like all good and dedicated fans of the written word, I do my part and leave reviews on Goodreads.com, Amazon.com, and sometimes other places, but don’t always bring attention to what I’m reading, unless you follow me on YouTube… hint, hint, wink wink 😉 In any case, please enjoy this review of a book I read at some point in my life.

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I realize this should be a WIP and or Reading Challenge Update, but… life happens. I’ll have it next Friday. Promise :D.

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Goodreads

Title: Strength

Series: Mark of Nexus #1

Author: Carrie Butler

Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance

Pages: 389

Reading Level: Teen Adult

Content: R (violence, brutality, sensuality, sexual content, dark and mature themes, adult situations, suspense)

If only my college experience had been so interesting.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There were times when I didn’t know exactly where it was going, but it all came together in the end. At no point during reading it was I ever bored, but there were times when I had to really think about what was going on in the story, and I appreciated that. I like that this author made me think as well as entertain me.

This is a new adult story, very realistic and a bit steamy in places, but that’s what college is for. There’s nothing shocking in this story, but is very mature and sophisticated. The heroine isn’t a ditz who doesn’t know how pretty she is, but despite that, when she meets a man who looks like a god, she does drool a bit. Who wouldn’t?

Out of character for me, I fell hard for the strong, brooding, and dark Wallace. Not sure why, but who cares. We soon learn that there’s more to him than his brooding and there’s no doubt that he’s the type of dangerous that you want on your side, perhaps cuddling up with you at night… I digress.

Wallace’s family, not so alluring at first, but I won’t go into that.

Back to the heroine, Rena. I like her. She’s practical and smart. She’s more scared of going to church than she is facing a possible homicidal maniac, but she has her reasons. She also has a great group of friends. I want to say more about this but I don’t know how without giving away something.

This is thrilling from beginning to end. The slow parts add an edge of suspense to an already intense story and the action is amazing to the point where my superhero geek mind was definitely blown. Yes, there is a romance in this story, but it is second to the actual story and action. Got the next two books already.

Recommended to adult readers (teens with parental agreement) who like urban fantasy.

I give this book a 5.

This review has been posted to GoodReads.

If you’d like to obtain a copy of this book, try this link: Amazon

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse #Review: Cress #scifi #fairytale

The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you’ve finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same. In this way, we’ll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers. Please join us below.

Title: Cress
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Science Fiction, Fairytale Retelling
Pages: 560
Reading Level: Teen
Content: PG-13 (violence, brutality, doom, war, mature and dark themes, adult situations, oppression)

I honestly didn’t see the girl trapped on a satellite turning into a Rapunzel retelling, but it totally works. I love how the author embeds plot points from the original fairytale into this futuristic saga in ways that actually make perfect sense. I won’t geek out about it too much because I don’t want to give away spoilers, but if you like the Rapunzel story, you’ll appreciate this installment of the Lunar Chronicles where Thorne kind of plays the role of the prince.

Before I say more about what I liked in this book, I’ll mention that there wasn’t enough Wolf and Scarlet interaction for me. I understand why they aren’t focused on too much and appreciate where the story is going. I will also admit that I’ve been on the fence a bit about whether or not I really ‘get’ Cinder as the great hero and this story really helped me to appreciate her more. I already liked her, but I just had trouble seeing her as a hero, knowing that the character struggles with that notion herself, makes her feel more real.

I also found that this installment made me appreciate Emperor Kai more. As I read the story, I was pleasantly tasked with reminding myself that these are young, teenage, characters trying to save the world. Too often, for my taste, YA stories make me wish the characters were older. I felt it was a mark of superb storytelling and character development that allowed me to accept the, few and far between, teenage angst because I realized that the story needed light tones from time to time.

Being a sucker for “the one” tales, I really enjoyed how Cinder began to hone her Lunar gifts and complement them with her cyborg advancements. I appreciated the uniqueness of her character and role she plays in bringing light to issues of stereotyping, superstition, and discrimination. I also love that Iko got more involved (can’t wait to read her graphic novel).

Recommended to teen and adult fans of fairytale retellings, cyborg or machine tales, and a good fantasy and sci-fi mash-up.

I give this book a 5.

This review has been posted to GoodReads.

If you’d like a Kindle copy of this book, try this link: Amazon.

Get a print copy with free international shipping at this link: Book Depository.

If you’re up for it, I could really use some support for my Thunderclap campaign, which promotes my 10 Kindle book sale and 5 paperback giveaway.

Please stop by and see what others have read. 😀

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#Bookreview: Torn from Troy #epic #myth

This is a special post I do once a month to highlight a book I reviewed some time ago, but never actually featured on my blog. Because this is an author blog and not a book blog, I don’t always feature all the books I read. Like all good and dedicated fans of the written word, I do my part and leave reviews on Goodreads.com, Amazon.com, and sometimes other places, but don’t always bring attention to what I’m reading, unless you follow me on YouTube… hint, hint, wink wink 😉 In any case, please enjoy this review of a book I read at some point in my life.

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Goodreads

Title:  Torn from Troy

Series: Odyssey of a Slave #1

Author: Patrick Bowman

Genre: Epic Fantasy, Mythology

Pages: Audio Download (199)

Reading Level: Teen

Content: PG-13 (violence, adult situations and content, oppression)

It doesn’t take long for the action of this story to pick up, none the less, I had trouble getting into it. I received a free audio version of this book from a summer reading program I signed up for and was determined the give the book a fair shot. I’m glad I did. The overall story and lasting impression was good. It’s a different spin on an ageless tale and I’m glad I finished the first installment.

After the fires of the Trojan War have burned out, Alexi, a 15-year-old Trojan is taken as a slave by the Greeks and sent abroad to serve them on their journey because he just happens to speak Greek. The typical tale of the Odyssey is there in the background of this story, but all the vantage points are skewed. The great Grecian heroes are perceived as dirty barbaric oppressors and poor Alexi is caught between doing what must be done to survive or deciding whether or not there’s any point to trying to escape.   With dangers lurking around every corner, path, and even wave, being a slave to the Greek armada might just be the safest place for him, if they don’t kill him first.

For me, this story is interesting enough to warrant me reading the next book, but then I do have a thing for finishing what I’ve started. I think this adventure will greatly appeal to the younger readers it’s targeted to, especially since many of them may not be as familiar with the original story as I am.

I’d recommend this to pre-teen and teen readers as well as anyone who likes new takes on old myths.

I give this book a 3.

This review has been posted to GoodReads.

If you’d like to obtain a copy of this book, try this link: Amazon

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#IWSG September 2017: How I surprised myself with #writing, my insecurities, & my kudos.

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Created and hosted by the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writers Support Group posts the 1st Wednesday of every month. Click the image to learn more or sign up.

Monthly Question: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? (For example, by trying a new genre you didn’t think you’d be comfortable in?)

Never would I have thought in a million years that I would write anything resembling romantic comedy, yet, I have. And, I’m attempting to do it again in a sequel, but I’m pretty sure I’m in over my head. Give me fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal stuff to read all day long and I’m a happy camper, but when it comes to romance and or comedy, things are little more complex. I honestly don’t like most of the romance I read, but I keep trying it. I do find that romance with comedy is what I’m likely to enjoy more. When it comes to writing comedy, I don’t actually try to be funny; I just stick to what I know best- sarcasm.

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Now on to the personal updates.

I had a health scare recently, on top of my usual health issues, and became consumed with worry over it. I’m fine now, but I lost about three weeks of productivity. My house was in shambles, I got no writing done, and I was barely able to hold myself together my first week back to work. Since then, I’ve cleaned house, recorded a few videos (see my thoughts on book reviews below), finished reading some books, and plan to start writing (working on my current wips) after scheduling this post.

I’ll admit that I’ve been struggling with insecurity over whether or not I’m able to finish series I’ve started. I have so many notes outlining the continuation of stories I’ve already published, but I’m having the darndest time putting the continuations down on paper or screen. I think the main problem with this issue is that I also have new stories that need to be written. And then, I have all these side stories, works of fan fiction or, what I call ‘venting fiction’ (where I write a story to vent about an issue I’m having) that keep popping up. Needless to say, all of these stories are starting to keep me up at night…Oh…And…Of course, I feel like everything I’ve written to date needs to be rewritten so they can simply be better than they are (I may be able to come up with great stories, but I’m not always the most skilled writer).

My book, Chip and Skip Need Each Other, is nominated for an award and could use your vote. Please check my side panel <– if you are up for it. I’m still just so honored that someone actually nominated me. 😀

I got a great review (the first) for my book, Plants and Animals Change Over Time. Check it out here.

Next month, for my birthday on October 21st, I’m having a Kindle sale and a giveaway. For the occasion, I’m attempting to put together a Blitz and would love it if you signed up.

If the Blitz isn’t your thing but you’d wouldn’t mind to help spread the word, please consider supporting my Thunderclap campaign. Jump over to my side panel <– to support in the manner that suits you best.

If you have a moment, I’d love for you to visit my CURIOUS QUESTIONS page and offer your two cents on the question being asked. Thanks bunches.

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So, have you surprised yourself with your writing?
Insecure about finishing a series or two?
Received any awards or great reviews lately?
Think Thunderclap campaigns are worth the bother?

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After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
Tyrean Martinson,
Tara Tyler,
Raimey Gallant, and
Beverly Stowe McClure!

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Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share more inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #60).

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords