Midnight

The Opposition, #1
by Stefani Chaney

When I finished this book, I had so many feelings: I went right to Goodreads and saw there were only three reviews – HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? THIS BOOK IS AMAZING! Midnight is insanely good, and one of my new favorite novels. Stefani Chaney is a new author to watch – get ready world! get ready to meet… Midnight.

Summary35382009

Jo Harding never thought of herself as a villain. At seventeen, her only adversary was her chronic illness. Yet, when a group of superheroes separates Jo from her brother, nothing will stop her from getting Jamie back. 
After waking up in a morgue, Jo finds herself with no money, nowhere to go, and no way of letting her famous twin brother know she is still alive. To make matters even worse, she starts exhibiting uncontrollable powers. Afraid and in a body she can’t rely upon, Jo scours the town with help from a bookstore owner and his former-military husband. Each encounter leads the superheroes to believe they are fighting a villain. However, the real villain is the leader they are following, the doctor that left Jo to die.

Musings

If you like superhero novels, then this book is for you. It’s not your run-of-the-mill story, it’s unique in more ways to count, but I’m going to try to tell you all about it right here, right now.

Meet Jo: she just woke up in a morgue, it’s three months since she lasts remembers anything, and her brother is missing. And what’s most surprising (other than not being dead) is that the pain of her constant chronic illness is just… gone. She’s not limping, heck, she can run again. And she’s running with a vengeance.

Her last memories are of being betrayed by the doctor – Morgan – who was claiming to heal her. Learning that her brother Jamie was being tricked by the same doctor to take a mysterious drug. Where is he now? The only way for her to find him is to suit up: with help of bookstore owner and his husband the depressed war vet, she’s going after the man who turned against her.

And this leads to one of the coolest aspect of the novel: Morgan has been running tests on other teens in the city, turning them into superheroes. And in their eyes? Jo is the villain. Jo has been chasing them, after all, maybe even stalking them. So they’ll fight tooth and nail to protect their team.

Jo’s the most brilliant protagonist you could ever want. She’s smart, she’s strong, and she’s determined. She gets stronger and stronger, grows with every superhero encounter. She loves her brother more than anyone else, and will stop at nothing to find him. And the other characters… they’re so diverse, and fun! I think Jamie is Ace, and it’s really cool to see a character like him. You also get to see the effects of mental abuse and manipulation.

I really can’t recommend this enough. It’s a complex, fast paced novel that will have you hooked from page one. So excited for the rest of the series!

I got this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review. It in no way affected my feedback. I know I’ll be buying the sequel!

Bounty

by J.D. Cunegan 

Reviewed by S.A.

Here comes my favorite day of the month: Self Published Saturday! A day to celebrate some great self published novels that deserve some serious attention. Topping my list this month is the fantastic debut novel by author J.D. Cunegan – Bounty, simultaneously a murder mystery and a superhero novel, akin to the TV show Castle in sheer fun-factor.

Summary

Jill Andersen is one of Baltimore’s best and brightest detectives, but she harbors a dark secret — a secret that
threatens to come out when the body of Dr. Trent Roberts is pulled out of the Chesapeake Bay. Dr. Roberts’ connection to Jill reveals a past that involves a tour in Iraq, a secretive cybernetic experiment, and a conspiracy that involves a native son. 

Can Jill solve the case while still keeping her secret? Will her partners at the Seventh Precinct find out what she’s so desperate to hide? What was Dr. Roberts looking into that led to his murder? And perhaps the biggest question of all… 

Who is Bounty?

If I had to write a one word review of Bounty, I would say this: Fun. This novel was pure fun, start to finish. You never really know what to expect when picking up a self published novel, but this one really grabbed me and would not put me down. I binge read this novel in about two hours, and loved every minute of it.

Jill is one of those characters you can’t help to love. Stubborn and headstrong, she is made up of 100% determination… and maybe some titanium, and a few other upgrades. Part of a secret semi-gorverment project which aimed into perfecting the soldier, Jill is not your average woman. Now a cop in Baltimore, she hides her secret well, while using her upgrades to close cases, and do a little vigilante work of her own.

She was the main reason I loved this novel so much. First of all, I need to mention – Asexual representation! Yes please! But other than that, her determination and smarts really make her a character to cheer for. You want her to succeed. In a way, she reminds me of Beckett in Castle – I actually pictured her as Jill for most of the novel.

Just because she’s quasi-indestructible doesn’t mean she can do everything herself, and she’s not afraid to ask for help from some great supporting characters. Her cop friends at the precinct are brilliantly written characters, bordering on the cliché, while still managing to hold their own and become unforgettable in their own right.

The fun also came from the well written action scenes, and the superb pacing of this novel. Whenever things turned slightly slow, the author would send you back in time to visit history spanning a lifetime. Scenes from a childhood, eye opening chapters revealing what a dead man had once seen and lived, heart-wrenching passages that made you connect with Jill like never before. Back in the present, you have action packed sequences in dark offices or on rooftops. Never a dull moment. And the twist – I should stop before I spoil anything.

I felt like the villains were not fleshed out a whole lot, but that’s possibly because there’s more to come in the sequel (Blood Ties, January 2016). It may be in need of a bit of editing polish, but overall I didn’t feel like it distracted from the reading experience. I was also surprised that a huge, underlying plot was being laid down, but didn’t seem to get fleshed out – again, I bet the sequel will take care of that.

Bounty is available on Amazon kindle and paperback. If you want a fun, fast read, you’re going to love this novel. Also available, a prequel novel called Boundless – equally as fun.