Failstate: a book review

Description:
Why did Robin Laughlin (a.k.a. Failstate) think being a superhero on a reality show would be a good idea?

Things seemed so simple: Win the show, become an official, licensed hero. But with his brother, Ben (a.k.a. Gauntlet) stealing America’s heart—and with Rob’s own powers proving too unwieldy for TV—Failstate begins to wonder if he’s going to live up to the failure in his name.

Until one of his friends and fellow competitors is murdered.

Robin vows to find the killer, and he sets out on a very real quest to unmask the hidden villain. Can Failstate find justice? Or will his lunk of a big brother ruin everything-including taking the girl who has stolen Rob’s heart?

Very soon, Failstate and Gauntlet will come to blows.

Which has been the villain’s plan all along.

My Review:

I originally bought this book because I was bored and thought that with its rather silly sounding premise would at least be worth a few laughs. Boy was I ever wrong! And I say that in the best possible way!

What I found was a surprisingly serious, – though sometimes purposefully cliche – realistic, and well thought out story world that, while it was still full of you typical overblown superhero action scenes, felt almost as though it could actually happen.

Some parts read more like a good mystery novel. There was plenty of investigating to be had and it was great to see Failstate using his head and not just his powers as too many superheroes seem to do. The characters were very well rounded and likable. I love how the author subtly weaves his faith into the plot without ever  shoving it in your face. This book is also very clean and this reader appreciates that a great deal.

This book was a surprise gem that has set John Otte high on my list of favorite authors. And since I have read both of the sequels, I can assure you it only gets better from here!

My Rating: Five Flames

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Heat Advisory: Note – I read this book a few years ago. I think I remember all the pertinent details, but it is possible I have forgotten a few things.

Romance: Clean. Only a kiss or two
Language:  Clean
Drinking/Drugs: clean
Blood/violence: Oh, there’s plenty of violence here. It is a superhero novel after all! You have a murder, kidnappings, giant robots, and I believe I recall someone blowing up a building…

Amazon Kindle Link:Failstate Currently FREE on Amazon!!!!!
Amazon Paperback Link: Failstate

Author Website: John W. Otte
Facebook Page: Author Facebook

Happy Reading y’all!

Free books from Enclave Publishing

Enclave / Gilead publishing, one of my favorite spec-fic publishers, has been on my mind lately with the list of new titles that are releasing this week. Tomorrow in fact.

See earlier post: Cover Love: Enclave Publishing Covers – Summer 2016

So, to celebrate that, right now most of my posts are going to be related to that in some way.

Currently Enclave has a number of awesome series starters up for free right now if you want to check them out for the first time. Click on the cover to go to the Amazon Page.

    1. By Darkness Hid – Jill Williamson

Description:
Darkness divides the land.

Half of Er’Rets is locked beneath an impenetrable shroud. On the side that still sees the sun, two young people struggle to understand the mind-communication abilities thrust upon them.

It’s called bloodvoicing. Some say it’s a gift. One of the newly “gifted” wish it had never come.

Achan had been a slave all his life. Worse than a slave—a stray. He is consigned to the kitchens of a lord and forced to swallow a foul potion every day. When an enigmatic knight offers to train Achan for the Kingsguard, he readily accepts. But his new skills with the sword do not prepare him for the battle raging between the voices in his head.

Vrell Sparrow is not who she seems. She masquerades as a boy to avoid capture by the powerful forces that seek to exploit her. But Vrell feels called to help a young squire who recently discovered his bloodvoicing gift, even if doing so requires her to work with those who could destroy her.

While Achan learns to use his new ability, Vrell struggles to shut hers down. All the voices strive to learn Achan and Vrell’s true identities—and a different kind of voice is calling them both.

Toward a destination that is by darkness hid.

My Thoughts: This one is an old favorite of mine and one of the earliest fantasy novels I read. I highly recommend this one!

2. The Restorer – Sharon Hinck

Description:
Soccer mom in our world. Promised deliverer in another.

Susan Mitchell thought she was an ordinary homemaker.

She was wrong.

Pulled through a portal into another world, she finds a desperate nation waiting for a promised Restorer.

While she struggles to adapt to a foreign culture, she tackles an enemy that is poisoning the minds of the people, uncovers a corrupt ruling Council, and embraces a profound spiritual journey.

Will this adventure demand her life? Can she find a way back to her family? She has always longed to do something important for God, but can she fill this role?

Explore this new expanded edition complete with devotional guide, bonus scenes, and other fun extras.

My Thoughts: I read this book back when it was originally published through Navpress. But that was so many years ago that I really don’t remember much about it anymore. However I do recall not being able to stop until I had finished the whole trilogy in a matter of days. I need to go back and find it on my Kindle to read again.

3. Daughter of light – Morgan L. Busse

Description:
What if with one touch you could see inside the soul?

Rowen Mar finds a strange mark on her hand, and she is banishedfrom her village as a witch. She covers the mark with a leather gloveand seeks sanctuary in the White City. She lives in fear that if shetouches another person, the power inside her will trigger again, aterrifying power that allows her to see the darkness inside the humanheart . . .

But the mark is a summons, and those called cannot hide forever. For the salvation of her people lies within her hand.

My Thoughts: You really have to get this book. Morgan writes an absolutely incredible series here. This first book is a little slower than the others, but you won’t regret it. Book 3: Heir of Hope was my favorite read of 2015. Very heartfelt and thought provoking.

4. The Word Reclaimed – Steve Rzasa

Description:

Baden picked up the wrong book.

In the far future, the civilized worlds have finally been freed of the curse of religion. Tolerance now rules the five colonies.

Thanks to the secret police, no one has been bothered by so much as a hymn in two generations—much less a Torah, Koran, or that most dangerous of books, a Bible.

Baden is a young man with an attitude. He spends his spare time salvaging wrecks in deep space, claiming for himself whatever the pirates leave behind.

One day, Baden finds a book. A strange and very old book, preserved carefully against the ravages of deep space. Thinking he’ll become rich if only for the value of the paper, he takes it. He counts himself lucky beyond all imagining.

Until it begins talking to him.

Amidst an interstellar war that threatens to overthrow the monarchy and drive great families to oblivion, Baden must evade the secret police and their attempts to get that book.

Baden never had much use for religion. But it seems one has use of him.

My Thoughts: This is definitely one for the guys. Not that I didn’t like it too, but it definitely has a more masculine appeal. There is a lot of military action in this one. The plot never stops moving for a minute. It remains one of my brother’s favorites and we are eagerly anticipating the long awaited sequel out this week.

5. Failstate – John W. Otte

Description:
Why did Robin Laughlin (a.k.a. Failstate) think being a superhero on a reality show would be a good idea?

Things seemed so simple: Win the show, become an official, licensed hero. But with his brother, Ben (a.k.a. Gauntlet) stealing America’s heart—and with Rob’s own powers proving too unwieldy for TV—Failstate begins to wonder if he’s going to live up to the failure in his name.

Until one of his friends and fellow competitors is murdered.

Robin vows to find the killer, and he sets out on a very real quest to unmask the hidden villain. Can Failstate find justice? Or will his lunk of a big brother ruin everything-including taking the girl who has stolen Rob’s heart?

Very soon, Failstate and Gauntlet will come to blows.

Which has been the villain’s plan all along.

My Thoughts: This book is awsome! I’ve never been much of a superhero novel fan but this one had me locked in to the end and had me wanting more. Must buy!

6. Firebird – Kathy Tyers

Description:
Her death was expected, but something more powerful kept her alive.

Lady Firebird was born to the royal family of Netaia. Because of her birthplace in the family, however, her life is expendable. Honorable suicide is the highest calling she could hope to attain. When she is chosen to lead an attack on the neighboring planet of Veroh her death is expected. Instead she is taken prisoner during the battle and is held by the enemy.

With her own people seeking her sacrifice, Firebird must choose between two worlds before she can carve out her new destiny. This is the story of Lady Firebird’s personal battle and its eternal consequences, not only for herself but for everyone around her, and especially the man who loves her.

My Thoughts: Firebird is a classic. It was one of the very first Christian spec-fic novels to hit the market, a real groundbreaker. It deserved it. Now on its fourth round of publication, Firebird remains strong as ever.

7. Crosswind – Steve Rzasa

Description:
Aeroplanes and intrigue…

It’s been almost five hundred years since the collapse of the Great Commonwealth. The plagues left folk few and far between. City-states rule the continent of Galderica. There’s coin to be had in trade—whether you take your wares by aeroplane or ride them over the rails.

Winchell Sark has a fine life as a reporter for the Perch Advocate newspaper, a good family at home and a faith that seems downright peculiar to most everyone else. So when he is called out to investigate a biplane crash at the foot of Perch, the finest center of aviation in the Sawtooth Mountains, he doesn’t think much of it.

But there are dark powers at work—powers that have their eye on Perch. Powers that mankind long thought consigned to the trash heap of mythology. ’Cept they were wrong.

It’s up to Winch and his brother, Copernicus, a hotshot pilot, to save their people—and it ain’t going to be easy.

My Thoughts: I actually haven’t read this one yet. It’s still buried somewhere in my to-be-read pile. But it’s steampunk. so it has to be good, right?