Blog Tour Book Review: Unanimity by Alexandra Almeida


Title: Unanimity
Author: Alexandra Almeida
Genre: Fiction > Science Fiction, LGBT, Romance, Dystopian
Length: 570 Pages
Publishing: 18th October 2022

LINKS:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0B1TGN5FM/  
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/62835573 

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. A huge thank you to TheWriteReads and the author for this copy! All opinions are my own.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Shadow is a reluctant god with a broken mind and a death wish. He used to be Thomas Astley-Byron, an affluent young screenwriter whose creativity and idealism saved a world from the brink of collapse. Together with Henry Nowak, an AI expert, Tom created heaven on earth by inventing a Jungian simulated reality that helps humans confront their dark sides. The benevolent manipulation platform turned the two unelected leaders into beloved gods, but now everything is failing. The worlds suffer as a sentimental Tom descends into his own personal hell, becoming the embodiment of everything he despises and a shadow of his former self.

His journey from an optimistic, joyful Tom to a gloomy Shadow is paved with heartache and sinister interference from emerging technology. Humans and bots fight for his heart, but their aims differ: some want to own it, some to dissect it, and others to end its foolish beat. Still, the biggest threat comes from within—none of the sticky stories that steer Tom’s life end well.

Who’s pulling on Shadow’s heartstrings? Are their intentions malign or benign? It’s all a matter of perspective, and Shadow has none left.

Now, a young goddess—Estelle Ngoie—has been appointed to replace him, and unlike Shadow, Stella takes no prisoners, and her heart bleeds for no one.

This was a really good sci-fi book with an interesting plot and even more intriguing world and concept that was nicely done, creating this vast world that left me with lots to explore and more to crave. Right away, the plot is intense, we have a goddess questioning herself for reviving a god who clearly did not want to be revived. Straight away, Goddess Stella, a stark contrast to the main character and previous God, Shadow, gets right into business, stating her reason for resurrecting an bringing back Shadow to being that he is needed to save the Down Below, or Spiral World and he’s the only one that can do it.

The book has some pretty complex characters that have some good amount of depth, background, flaws, and problems of their own. Each personality is vastly different from the other and many of them loathing someone else in the group, but it’s going to take a lot of cooperation if things are going to go smoothly and for the plan to work, which is mainly about keeping Shadow alive long enough to “save the worlds.” I really enjoyed the cast of characters from Sybil, the AI operating system that is sketchy through and through, to our protagonist, Shadow, and to Stella and Thorn, two seriously badass female characters. There’s also Nathan Storm, Shadow’s (Tom) soul mate as well as Twist (Henry), Tom’s best friend and co-creator of Spiral World. A colorful bunch indeed, especially as, when it comes to gods, this group seems to be the brattiest I’ve ever seen.

The writing was neat, smooth, and full FULL of dialogue. There’s a lot of talking whether it’s an interview between a talk show host and another character, a deep and intimate moment between lovers, or even in battle, there’s lots of talking. The pace was fine and the characters changed between the current timeline and the past, to give more background and information as the story moved on, which was kind of neat and besides learning more about each character and their origins, as well as their ties to each other and the plot, it’s also a small relief from the intensity of the current timeline, a small breather (although the past can occasionally get intense on its own). 

I did have a couple of issues though. Sometimes, I just got lost in the plot. I could understand the overall plot and so small details could occasionally be sacrificed. Sometimes though, I might come across a section or even whole chapters where I had to reread because I was a bit lost resulting in either “oh, got it” or just leaving it because while I’m still confused, I figured it’s a small enough detail to deal with later. Then, while I loved the characters (ok, I mean I sort of hated them because it was like being the adult standing in between teenagers and their fighting) I felt a little distant from them. I couldn’t connect with them or their emotions and feelings. Both issues were quite small though and didn’t take away from the overall read. It’s just that something felt off every now and then.

Overall, a pretty good read of hard science as well as bits of philosophy with moments to think and ponder, lots of dialogue and lots of action, intense conversations and intense scenes, high on emotion and I, again, can’t emphasis enough how neat the concept of exploring the dark side of a human’s mind, the level of worlds, and the complex (and coolness) of the science of AI and bots in this dystopian world. A good read, I’d recommend it and wouldn’t mind rereading it again either. 

Alexandra Almeida has over 25 years of experience in technology, strategy, and innovation. In her role as Chief Transformation Officer, she acts as a senior advisor to enterprise executives. Alexandra is an experienced speaker at events such as SXSW, and the Women in Tech Series.

For the time being, and to protect her creative freedoms, Alexandra prefers to write using a number of pen names.

​Her debut fantasy novel, released under another pen name, has received the following awards and recognition:

  • Reader’s Favorite Awards – Gold Medal Winner – Young Adult – Fantasy – Epic
  • Reader Views Awards – 1st Place – Fantasy
  • CIPA EVVY Book Awards – 2nd Place – Fiction – Mythology
  • B.R.A.G. Medallion Recipient
  • Eric Hoffer’s Da Vinci Eye Awards Finalist for Best Cover Artwork
  • The Wishing Shelf Book Awards Finalist – Books for Adults
  • Awesome Indies Approved


Following the self-publishing path by choice to retain full control of her IP, Alexandra invests in the best editors available in the business to match publishing quality standards.

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Blog Tour Spotlight: Where David Threw Stones by Elyse Hoffman

Happy Friday, my lovely peeps🐥! I’m actually at the office today rather than working from home and actively planning my lunch break shopping plans already.

Today starts the blog tour for Where David Threw Stones by Elyse Hoffman and I’m happy to share a spotlight for my stop! A huge shout-out and a big thank you to TheWriteReads for hosting this blog tour.

Book Description

Title: Where David Threw Stones
Author: Elyse Hoffman
Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 442 Pages
Publishing: 27th September 2022
Links: [AMAZON LINK] [GOODREADS LINK]

Blurb

“Welcome to the Brennenbach of Midnight! The Curse Hours have begun.”

West Germany, 1968


When ten-year-old David Saidel’s parents are murdered by Neo-Nazis, he is sent to live with his grandfather in the anti-Semitic village of Brennenbach. David, miserable and lonely, finds solace in his kindly Grandpa Ernst, who has one strict rule: never go out after midnight.

One night, when David breaks curfew to search for his missing dog, he discovers why Ernst is so serious about his curfew: Brennenbach is cursed. When midnight strikes, the town is thrown back to 1943, the height of Hitler’s reign.

During the Curse Hours, the Nazi ghosts that infest Brennebach are just as dangerous as they were in life. They’re hunting for David because they think David is the last remaining member of the Kogan family. Whatever happened to the Kogan’s caused the Curse, and David and his grandfather won’t be safe until he finds a way to end it.

Through the help of a little girl named Maria Rahm, the daughter of a vicious Nazi Lieutenant, he sets out to uncover the truth behind the Kogan’s. Can he end the Curse that plagues the town of Brennenbach before it claims another victim?

This spellbinding Historical WW2 Fantasy Novel is a story of a ten-year-old boy’s loss, redemption, and ultimate courage. Award-winning author Elyse Hoffman has crafted an expertly woven tale of World War II’s horrors. This thrilling story is perfect for readers of Marcus Zusak’s “The Book Thief,” John Boyne’s “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” or Michael Reit’s “Beyond the Tracks.”

About the Author

Elyse Hoffman is an award-winning author who strives to tell historical tales with new twists. She loves to meld WWII and Jewish history with fantasy, folklore, and the paranormal. She has written six works of Holocaust historical fiction: The Barracks of the Holocaust five-book series and The Book of Uriel. Elyse’s books are the way to go if you love history and want to read some unique stories.

Blog Tour Spotlight: Rising Shadows by Phillip Blackwater

Book Description

Title: Rising Shadows
Author: Phillip Blackwater
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 342 Pages
Publishing: 14th August 2020
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Rising-Shadows-Phillip-Blackwater/dp/B09G9JHB6B/ 
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54922086-rising-shadows

Blurb

As tension rises between the southern and northern nations of the small continent of Exitium in the world of Anteris, the Elves turn to their eastern neighbors, the Humans, for help. They wish to learn the ways of combat, which they are not accustomed to, for they have always wielded a power far greater than forged steel. The Shards of Creation, mystical artifacts of great and virtually infinite power, have always been their prized weapon, but times have changed. They now face the same threat as the Humans: the southern nation known as the Ethula.

Wariel Ritch, general of the Human army, will take upon his shoulders this burden. But when a shadow of a past long forgotten threatens what little stability is left in the world, he will have to leave everything behind to stop it. Medregal Tergrast, an Ethulan king, dead for a thousand years, plans his return to the world of the living to gain back his former glory and finally fulfill his destiny by gaining control of the Shards of Creation. But is he really the threat people make him out to be?

In the meantime, in the bowels of the Human Kingdom, the reign of Dana Crystaloak is put into jeopardy when people around her start questioning her decisions. If she falls, war could break out across all lands.

About the Author

If you found your way here, then you must already know I love to write. I am a fan of fiction, mostly fantasy, sci-fi, and post-apocalyptic (amongst others), and in all its forms, whether it is books, video games, movies, or tv-shows.

The first time I truly realized how much I loved fiction, was through The Lord of the Rings’ movies (like probably a lot of people). Since then, I traveled to so many different worlds: Halo, Mass Effect, Warcraft, Elder Scrolls, Witcher, and Fallout (to only name a few). It made me want to explore my own imagination and see what worlds I could create. This is what led me, among other things, to writing.

What can you expect from my books? I don’t bother myself trying to be a flowery writer, I want my writing to be available to everyone. And what I want above all when people read my books, is for them to have a good time and some fun. This is what truly matters to me.

When I’m not writing, I am: A husband. A father of three cats. Reading, gaming, or watching movies and tv shows. A big hockey fan. And when I’m done with all of that, I’m a big geek and collect a lot of stuff (No, I’m not a hoarder, I swear!).

Full novels will all be available on Amazon, and short stories, artwork, or anything else will all be available on my website: phillipblackwater.com.

You can follow my Twitter (@phil_blackwater) or my Instagram (@phil_blackwater), or register to the newsletter on my website, to know when new stories are available.