Friday, August 11, 2017

Ultraxenopia (Project W.A.R. #1) by M.A. Phipps

This review was written by: B
Received: Ebook for Review
Date of Publication: Aug. 1, 2017
Page Count: 355
Stars: 4.75/5

Official Summary:

Don't stand out.  Blend in.  Remain invisible. Those are the rules I lived by -- the rules I thought would keep me alive.

I was wrong.

Wynter Reeves is a law-abiding citizen of the State, a willing conformist whose daily life is haunted by terrorism and oppression.  With the constant threat of death hanging over her like a shadow, she forces herself to live by a strict set of rules, all in the hope of ensuring she is never noticed.  However, on her twenty-first birthday, she prepares to take the placement exam that will determine her future within society, she begins to show symptoms of a rare and debilitating illness -- ultimately attracting the attention of the State.  Taken into the custody of the feared research facility known as the DSD, her worst nightmare becomes reality.

Ripped away from the life she knew, Wynter is forced to become the test subject of the mysterious Dr. Richter.  Through him, she learns the true and terrifying nature of her condition: a disease called Ultraxenopia.

My Thoughts:

I have a huge love-hate relationship with dysptopians.  For example, I'd gladly reread The Giver any day, but I'd really rather not finish the Divergent series.  (Been there, tried that if you know what I mean.)  Most of the time, though, I find dystopians to be just meh reads.  They're pretty good, but I'm not likely to fall in love with them, like with Not a Drop to Drink.  However, Ultraxenopia was one of the exceptions.  Not only does it have a stunning, captivating cover, but it also has a great plot.

We first start off by getting a glimpse of Wynter's world, which the author does a remarkable job of portraying to her readers.  She not only makes it exciting to explore, but she does it in such a way that avoids inserting info dump after info dump, which I know a great deal of readers appreciate.  Right off the bat, we peek in on how those in Wynter's society interact with one another, which is to say not at all.  They avoid eye contact, refrain from exchanging conversation, and generally keep to themselves.  At first, I was like

This is my dream introverted society!  Then I realized how messed up her world was and I was like

The story was engrossing, which is largely due to M.A. Phipps' way with words.  With the book being fairly fast paced I was rarely bored, though I did find some parts to be a tad bit lagging (but this didn't happen often).  

And my two favorite characters!  Let's start with Wynter.  I have a ridiculously hard time dealing with female protagonists, which you may have already read about here on the blog.  If I had a dime for every time I considered a female protagonist annoying to the point where I'd rather cry actual tears of blood instead of read on, I'd be a rich human being.  A filthy, filthy rich human being. Wynter is drastically different though.  I actually didn't want to pull out my own hair because of her.  She turned out to be much stronger than I ever thought she could be, and for that I must give M.A. Phipps a great deal of credit.  Wynter actually surprised me and was able to give me another young lady to add to my favorite modern literary females of all time alongside Zoey Valentine (The Awakened) and Angelica Cross (Paranormal Detectives Series).  Then there's Ezra, who I'm going to let you fall in love with for yourself.  However, on a side note, why does every Ezra I come across in books have to be such a fine specimen?  (I'm talking about you Ezra from First & Then.)  Cue the drooling:

If you're looking for a dystopian trilogy with traditional elements that spins them into something entertaining and refreshing, I'd highly recommend Ultraxenopia.  It's jam-packed with great characters, excellent world building, and a dash of powers!

Release Day Blitz: Omega by Karina Espinosa

Title: Omega
Author: Karina Espinosa
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Cover Designer: Laura Hildago
Publisher: Black Quill Publishing
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Bodies drained of blood are scattered around New York City. With a serial killer on the loose, Mackenzie Grey is obsessed with solving the murders. She dives into her work at the Supernatural Investigative Unit to forget about the events that dismantled her Pack a year ago. When the killer makes Kenz the target, she falls down the rabbit hole and discovers she has a lot more to do with these murders than she realized.
As her past creeps up behind her, she must swallow her pride and seek aid from old and new friends.
In the epic finale of the Mackenzie Grey: Origins series, she will finally become the wolf she is destined to be…

Karina Espinosa is the Urban Fantasy author of the Sins of the Fallen series and the Mackenzie Grey novels. Infatuated with travel, pop culture, and the need to write everything down, she spends much of her days in front of a computer working on her next book, shopping online, and listening to music. With nomadic tendencies, she is currently resting her head in South Florida until the itch to move strikes again. You can usually catch her on Facebook, Instagram and live-tweeting during episodes of Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Orphan Black. Follow her on social media!

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