Genre: Action & Adventure Fiction

(Not quite a) Book Review | “The Smoke Hunter” by Jacquelyn Benson one reader’s struggle with how ‘dark’ fiction can become for #YALit

Posted Friday, 5 May, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I am a new reviewer for Hachette Books and their imprints, starting with FaithWords which is their INSPY (Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction) imprint of releases focusing on uplifting and spiritual stories which are a delight to read whilst engaging your mind in life affirming and heart-centered stories. I found Hachette via Edelweiss at the conclusion of [2015] and have been wicked happy I can review for their imprints Grand Central Publishing, FaithWords & Center Street.

I initially received this ARC Autumn 2016, however, it was during a period of time where my computer died (in a fierce lightning storm), my migraines were frequently giving me grief and shortly thereafter, right as things felt they were going to calm down for a bit, my father had a moderate bilateral stroke (see also Post). Ergo, I had to table a lot of my readings which were in queue towards the end of 2016 and the start of 2017. I have been progressing towards resuming where I left off and finding a renewal of joy reading the stories I was not able to alight inside until now. I received this ARC for review consideration and I was wicked happy for the discovery of finding an author who set her story in Central America. My keen interest is also linked to my own adventures in the Mayan ruins of Mexico City and the Yucatan peninsula inasmuch as my former field of choice to study: Archaeology. (see also Review to a bit about why I love Mexico)

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “The Smoke Hunter” direct from the publisher Grand Central Publishing (an imprint of Hachette Book Group Inc.) in consideration for an honest review. I was not obligated to post a review but I decided to share my thoughts for my own edification as much as broach the topic of discussion about how ‘dark’ fiction is becoming. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comI positively LOVE Action & Adventure stories yet finding stories with a healthy dose of Archaeological Intrigue is not always as easy to unearth.

My wanderings inside this niche of literature has it’s roots in the Graphic Novels based off of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and the fictionalised novels of Indiana Jones. One in particular truly celebrated what I loved about finding inside stories like these which was Indiana and the Seven Veils. Finding stories which suit my interests with the archaeological angle and keep me on the edge of my chair whilst reading the adventure the lead character is undertaking is sometimes a bit hit or miss depending on how the story evolves.

In the recent past, I have become re-inspired to seek out these stories by my discoveries of the following stories:

  • the Cobbogoth series by Hannah L. Clark (see thread)
  • the Awesome Jones series by AshleyRose Sullivan (see thread)
  • the Jaya Jones series by Gigi Pandian (see thread)
  • the Space Opera series by Cindy Koepp (see thread)
  • the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency series by Iain Reading (see thread)
  • The Legend of the Gypsy Hawk by Sally Malcolm (see also Review)
  • The Land of Look Behind by Aaron Blaylock (see also Review)
  • the first Ian Quicksilver novel, not the second (see also Review)
  • *if I said ‘see thread’ this denotes a series is still in-process

I was hoping this novel might be one I could appreciate in the similar vein of interest I had felt with Jaya Jones; as I truly do appreciate finding Lara Croft-esque characters who are wholly true to themselves but have a fierce passion for their fields of study. I love strong female leads who have a penchant for adventure and of uncovering the historical past in a way which will benefit humanity by the artifacts and discoveries they are making. I also loved The Mummy films starting Brendan Fraser where he was only one-half of the duo of archaeological explorers seeking to understand the lore and legacies of Ancient Egypt. So you can see, I have a healthy interest in reading these kinds of stories but it’s finding the stories which I can truly rally behind and say “I loved reading this!” which has become a quest of it’s own!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

(Not quite a) Book Review | “The Smoke Hunter” by Jacquelyn Benson one reader’s struggle with how ‘dark’ fiction can become for #YALitThe Smoke Hunter
Subtitle: Unlock an Ancient Mystery. Unleash an Earth-shattering secret.
by Jacquelyn Benson
Source: Direct from Publisher

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

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ISBN: 9781455569069

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Archaeological | Anthropological Historical Perspectives, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense


Published by Grand Central Publishing

on 13th September, 2016

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 448

Published by: Grand Central Publishing (@GrandCentralPub)
an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteBooks)

Formats Available: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #Historical + #YoungAdult or #YALit, #AdvFict, #HistFic and #TheSmokeHunter

About Jacquelyn Benson

Jacquelyn Benson Photo Credit: Jasmin Hunter

Jacquelyn Benson has always known who she wanted to be when she grew up: Indiana Jones. But since real archaeology involves far more cataloguing pot shards and digging through muck than diving out of airplanes and battling Nazis, she decided to devote herself to shamelessly making things up instead.

Jacquelyn studied anthropology in Belfast, Northern Ireland and married a man from Dublin, New Hampshire. She wrote a thesis on paranormal investigators and spent four years living in a museum. When not writing, you may find her turning flowers into wine, herding an unruly toddler, or hiding under a blanket devouring genre fiction.

Photo Credit: Jasmin Hunter

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Posted Friday, 5 May, 2017 by jorielov in 19th Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookish Discussions, Coming-Of Age, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Grand Central Publishing, Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Treasure Hunt

Blog Book Tour | “The Loudest Actions” (sequel to The Remnant in the Stars) by Cindy Koepp #IndieSciFi #RRSciFiMonth

Posted Friday, 18 November, 2016 by jorielov , , 5 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a stop on the “The Loudest Actions” an Indie Science Fiction release focusing on Space Opera. The tour is hosted by Tomorrow Comes Media who does the publicity and blog tours for Seventh Star Press and other Indie and/or Self Published authors. I am a regular blog tour host with Tomorrow Comes Media, seeking out new authors and stories within Science Fiction, Fantasy and Cosy Horror wherein my readerly journey takes me inside novellas, short stories and full-length novels.

I was especially appreciative of Ms Koepp for understanding why I needed an ARC print copy to read due to my chronic migraines; truly blessed she understood and I had the opportunity to read this sequel. I received a complimentary ARC copy of “The Loudest Actions” direct from the author Cindy Koepp in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On why jorie loved the first novel of this series:

Any writer who can insert humourous nods of irony involving knitting and sewing get a full clap of wicked sweet joy from me! Being  a knitter, I especially loved the riddling but it was hope it was inserted at key moments of punch that delighted me the most! The humour is deliciously quirky and it was such a lovely backdrop to the action! Koepp has a natural capacity for etching in humanistic thematics focusing on family and the life of the stars in balance with one another – wherein you feel pulled into the emotional throes of her characters, even at first meeting! Her characters feel vibrantly real – sincerely honest and particularly human, even the ones who are most decidedly from another world!

Koepp bridges spoken speech and telepathic communication well – you are never guessing what is being exchanged or by which method either!  A true joy is watching how her characters interact and express emotion – as their emotion is nearly surmised by their body language and their choice of words, enveloping you in the urgency of the crisis they are facing. Koepp has developed this world quite well – as each character in turn wholly feels fully fleshed together with their individual quirks and trademarks of personality.

– quoted from my review of The Remnant in the Stars

I was thankful to be able to read books one and two in direct sequence on behalf of this lovely series – when I first joined the blog tour, I hadn’t realised they were part of a series, as I thought they were two independent stories without connective threads between them. Finding out there is a third novel coming next is quite exciting as I had a feeling ahead of reading The Loudest Actions, I would want this to keep moving forward!

The reason Sora left such a strong impression on me originally is because his spirituality and approach to life reminded me of the Japanese and the Vulcans; he approached his life with patience with a directed intent of being mindful of his actions, the consequences of his mistakes and the way in which he communicated. There are a lot of layers to this series, not just in finding a connection with characters, but with concepts and first contact meetings of other beings which bring to centre how enlightening it is to traverse outside one’s homeworld and discover who or whom is living amongst the stars.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “The Loudest Actions” (sequel to The Remnant in the Stars) by Cindy Koepp #IndieSciFi #RRSciFiMonthThe Loudest Actions
by Cindy Koepp
Source: Author via Tomorrow Comes Media

First contact missions are hard enough, but they get even tougher when the negotiator has an ego the size of a gas giant. Burke Zacharias, a first contact researcher, is chosen to spearhead humanity’s first official contact with Montans, an insect race that has already had a run-in with less friendly humans. Although his words and overtures toward the Montans are cordial enough, the Montans are put off by how he treats the crew of the scout ship that brought him to the world.

With other, less friendly forces trying to establish a foothold on the world, the negotiation must succeed in spite of Burke, or the Montans could be facing extinction.

Places to find the book:

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Also by this author: Hero's Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, Remnant in the Stars, Q&A Cindy Koepp

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Science Fiction, Space Opera


Published by Under the Moon

on 27th August, 2016

Format: Spiral Bound ARC

Pages: 210

Published By: Under the Moon
Available Formats: Softcover and Ebook

Converse on Twitter: #IndieSciFi + #SpaceOpera

About Cindy Koepp

Cindy Koepp

Originally from Michigan, Cindy Koepp has a degree in Wildlife Sciences and teaching certification in Elementary Education from rival universities. After teaching for fourteen years, she pursued a master’s degree in Adult Learning with a specialization in Training and Performance Improvement. Cindy has five published science fiction and fantasy novels, a serial published online, short stories in five anthologies, and a few self-published teacher resource books. When she isn’t reading or writing, Cindy spends time whistling with a crazy African Grey. Cindy is currently working as an optician in Iowa and as an editor with PDMI Publishing and Barking Rain Press.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • SFN Bingo 2016
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Posted Friday, 18 November, 2016 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Equality In Literature, Fathers and Daughters, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Hard Science Fiction, PTSD, Science Fiction, Space Opera, Tomorrow Comes Media