May 2016 Wrap Up

May 31, 2016
May 2016, Monthly Wrap Up, In Tori Lex, Book Reviews

Check out the links below for my Reviews, and Book Scoops in May: 


Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (3.5 STARS)
The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse  (3 STARS)
 The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins (5 STARS)

Artificial (The Kepler Chronicles #1) by Jadah McCoy (3 STARS)
Guilty Pleasures: A Novel by Sonya Harris (2.5 STARS)


This was a bad reading month for me, for a few reasons. My great aunt passed away, and so I spent a significant amount of time dealing with that. I was sick a few weekends this month, and work was super busy for me. I sadly only managed to read 5 books this month.

The best book I read was The Library at Mount Char, its a great adult fantasy with violence action and humor. The most disappointing read for me was Guilty Pleasures: A Novel, it was my Book Club's pick and I just wanted it to be better. I have a lot of great books I will be reading in June. I will also be posting more discussion posts now that work has calmed down again.

Were you able to read what you wanted this past month?

Book Scoop May 20- May 27 2016

May 27, 2016
InToriLex, Book Scoop, Book News
Book Industry News and Links to Sift Through When Your Face Isn't buried in a Book 


Netflix Releases The Little Prince Trailer Out August 5


Finding Trans Writers in Your Favorite Genres
I've Got A Time Bomb, Sybil Lamb, Book Scoop, InToriLex

On her way home from a gay wedding, Sybil’s eponymous protagonist is ambushed, beaten, and left for dead on the train tracks. Days later, Sybil awakens in a hospital and finds her skull has been reconstructed, but it quickly becomes clear that her version of “normal” and “reality” may have been permanently altered. When she falls in love with a very beautiful, but very married, actress, Sybil does what comes naturally: she presents the object of her affection with a homemade explosive device, and then abruptly leaves town.

I’ve Got A Time Bomb chronicles her surrealistic journey living among the loners, losers, and leave-behinds in the dark corners of Amerika.
I’ve Got a Time Bomb

How Well Do You Know The Hitchhikers Guide?

Did I miss anything happening in the Book World this week?

Guilty Pleasures: A Novel by Sonya Harris

May 26, 2016
Guilty Pleasures: A Novel, Sonya Harris, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: Sayha Publishing on March 31st 2005
Format Read: Paperback (186 pages)
Genre:  Adult/ Contemporary/ Women's Fiction
Series: Standalone
Source: Purchased
Guilty Pleasures
Outstanding African-American Fiction Award winner, Guilty Pleasures is an unpredictable story that captures the challenges of love, life, and social drama that Simone Miller encounters on her journey for self-preservation and emotional fulfillment in all the wrong places. As her life unfolds, many other characters come to light and a microcosm of the human race is seen. This work of fiction is actually a deep look into what draws us to self-destructive behaviors, failed relationships, and to be consumed by a desire for love from all the wrong places. Guilty Pleasures reverberates with painful truths about how we lead our lives and points us to a way of renewal with its words of wisdom and inspiration. Simone helps us reconcile with and appreciate that one person deep within. Guilty Pleasures entertains, opens the eye, raises self-awareness, encourages self-esteem, and guides readers to a path of closure and a sense of renewal. It takes readers beyond the drama and delivers a message: Learning to love yourself is a journey that starts within.


This book had some great  themes and humor, but unfortunately the writing wasn't great. Simone Miller is a protagonist who has to juggle her Christian faith with a unhealthy relationship. I enjoyed the humor involved, and the portrayal of a range of Black women, with different lifestyles. However the back and forth between some graphic sexual terms mixed in with Bible verses, felt jarring at times. The themes I was happy to see addressed were domestic violence, therapy as a positive tool and finding ways to prioritize yourself first. It's important for all women to find ways to empower themselves, so I appreciated that message.
"One day at a time. Don't take on more than I can handle. Expect setbacks and grow from experience."
This was a short read, but everything happens too fast. The short chapters keep the reader engaged but important plot points aren't fleshed out enough. The plot is very fast paced, and a lot happens in a short amount of time. Since the plot is fast moving, its hard to relate and connect with the characters in the book. Character development is one of the elements of a book that I enjoy the most, so it was disappointing that there wasn't a lot here.

The writing itself seemed inconsistent style-wise. There would be slang used in dialogue between characters, but then the word choice for inner musings included phrases like 'heart of hearts'. This interrupted the flow of the story for me, and was a distraction. This was a Boston Radical Women of Color book club read, and I'm excited to have this local author join us for the discussion. I did enjoy the positive themes of the book, but I wouldn't recommend it.


Sonya Harris resides in Boston, Massachusetts. She holds a business degree and a masters in education. She's a mother and a Promising Pen Pal. Her first novel, "Guilty Pleasures" won the Outstanding African-American Fiction Award. Her sophomore novel "My Body Is Calling" is highly anticipated. Sonya aspires to raise self-awareness in readers by empowering them, through her books, to connect with and nurture their mind, body, and spirit with the goal of self perseverance.


Artificial (The Kepler Chronicles #1) by Jadah McCoy

May 23, 2016
Artificial, The Kepler Chronicles, Jadah McCoy, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: Curiosity Quills Press on April 4, 2016
Format Read: Kindle Edition
Genre: New Adult/ Dystopia/ Sci-fi
Series: Book One of The Kepler Chronicles
Source: Author Request
Artificial (The Kepler Chronicles #1)

She struggles to feel human.
In 2256, the only remnants of civilization on Earth’s first colonized planet, Kepler, are the plant-covered buildings and the nocturnal, genetically spliced bug-people nesting within them: the Cull. During the day, Syl leaves her home in the sewers beneath Elite City to scavenge for food, but at night the Cull come looking for a meal of their own. Syl thought gene splicing died with the Android War a century ago. She thought the bugs could be exterminated, Elite city rebuilt, and the population replenished. She’s wrong.

Whoever engineered the Cull isn’t done playing God. Syl is abducted and tortured in horrific experiments which result in her own DNA being spliced, slowly turning her into one of the bugs. Now she must find a cure and stop the person responsible before every remaining man, woman, and child on Kepler is transformed into the abomination they fear.

He struggles not to.
For Bastion, being an android in the sex industry isn’t so bad. Clubbing beneath the streets of New Elite by day and seducing the rich by night isn’t an altogether undesirable occupation. But every day a new android cadaver appears in the slum gutters, and each caved in metal skull and heap of mangled wires whittles away at him.

Glitches—androids with empathy—are being murdered, their models discontinued and strung up as a warning. Show emotion, you die. Good thing Bastion can keep a secret, or he would be the next body lining the street.

He can almost live with hiding his emotions. That is, until a girl shows up in the slums—a human girl, who claims she was an experiment. And in New Elite, being a human is even worse than being a Glitch. Now Bastion must help the girl escape before he becomes victim to his too-human emotions, one way or another.


This book had a well paced plot, and action scenes that I enjoyed. However the lack of character development, made it hard to stay engaged while reading. Syl is a bad ass who is determined to do what she can for what's left of the human race. Bastion is a charming android who's sympathy for Syl leads him to fight against fellow androids for the greater good. Together they make a great team, but there wasn't enough character development for either of them. The future on this world was described well, but still left some details out.
"Modern science can change the genetic makeup of a person, but it can't give me more time. No, nothing so helpful as that."
There are lots of imaginative sci-fi elements in this book. The androids mimic humans despite their hatred of them, and have personality quirks of their own. The hover cars, plasma cannons, genetic experiments and menacing super androids made this plot driven book enjoyable. Syl has to grapple with loss over and over again. Her adventures and decisions were sometimes surprising, but always well described. The Glitches were mercilessly targeted and killed by their fellow androids, I wanted more of an explanation about how they were found out.
This was a New Adult book, so there was some adult content, and  well placed profanity. The book goes back and forth between Bastion and Syl's point of view, but neither provides much back story.  I wanted to care more about Bastion and Syl as 'beings,'  but never found the reasons too. I didn't enjoy the ending, because it left important questions unanswered. But since this is a series those questions may be answered in future books. This book had so much potential I'm sure future books in the series will be better. I would recommend this for readers who enjoy plot driven, sci-fi books.

I received this e-book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 


Jadah McCoy currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee where she works as a legal coordinator. Artificial is her debut novel.


Book Scoop May 13- May 20 2016

May 20, 2016
InToriLex, Book Scoop, Book News, Weekly Feature
Book Industry News and Links to Sift Through When Your Face Isn't buried in a Book 


Geek Love, Katherine Dunn
Geek Love is the story of the Binewskis, a carny family whose mater- and paterfamilias set out–with the help of amphetamine, arsenic, and radioisotopes–to breed their own exhibit of human oddities. There’s Arturo the Aquaboy, who has flippers for limbs and a megalomaniac ambition worthy of Genghis Khan . . . Iphy and Elly, the lissome Siamese twins . . . albino hunchback Oly, and the outwardly normal Chick, whose mysterious gifts make him the family’s most precious–and dangerous–asset.

As the Binewskis take their act across the backwaters of the U.S., inspiring fanatical devotion and murderous revulsion; as its members conduct their own Machiavellian version of sibling rivalry, Geek Love throws its sulfurous light on our notions of the freakish and the normal, the beautiful and the ugly, the holy and the obscene. Family values will never be the same.
Geek Love


The Loney, Andrew Michael Hurley,
If it had another name, I never knew, but the locals called it the Loney - that strange nowhere between the Wyre and the Lune where Hanny and I went every Easter time with Mummer, Farther, Mr and Mrs Belderboss and Father Wilfred, the parish priest.

It was impossible to truly know the place. It changed with each influx and retreat, and the neap tides would reveal the skeletons of those who thought they could escape its insidious currents. No one ever went near the water. No one apart from us, that is.

I suppose I always knew that what happened there wouldn't stay hidden for ever, no matter how much I wanted it to. No matter how hard I tried to forget ...
The Loney

Poetic Word Clouds: Most Common Words Used in Poetry

Maya Angelou

Presented by My Poetic Side

Did I miss anything in the Book World this week?

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

May 18, 2016
The Library at Mt Char, Scott Hawkins, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: Crown on June 16, 2015
Format Read: Paperback (388 pages)
Genre: Adult/ Fantasy/ Horror/ Sci-fi
Series: Standalone
Source: Blogging For Books
The Library at Mount Char
Carolyn's not so different from the other human beings around her. She's sure of it. She likes guacamole and cigarettes and steak. She knows how to use a phone. She even remembers what clothes are for.
After all, she was a normal American herself, once.
That was a long time ago, of course—before the time she calls “adoption day,” when she and a dozen other children found themselves being raised by a man they learned to call Father.
Father could do strange things. He could call light from darkness. Sometimes he raised the dead. And when he was disobeyed, the consequences were terrible.
In the years since Father took her in, Carolyn hasn't gotten out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have been raised according to Father's ancient Pelapi customs. They've studied the books in his library and learned some of the secrets behind his equally ancient power.
Sometimes, they've wondered if their cruel tutor might secretly be God.
Now, Father is missing. And if God truly is dead, the only thing that matters is who will inherit his library—and with it, power over all of creation. As Carolyn gathers the tools she needs for the battle to come, fierce competitors for this prize align against her.
But Carolyn can win. She's sure of it. What she doesn't realize is that her victory may come at an unacceptable price—because in becoming a God, she's forgotten a great deal about being human.


This was a fantastic thrill ride that never stopped being interesting and fun. This is fantasy done very well. There was the right mix of modern life contrasted with bizarre fantasy to work flawlessly. The beginning is a bit jolting because things are immediately happening, then the world building comes soon after. While reading I was horrified, emotionally moved, grossed out and left in suspense.  Carolyn is a strong and resourceful protagonist who leads you on a epic journey beyond earths rules and possibilities. Steve is a want to be Buddhist, that is thrust into complex situations he barely understands but has to adjust to. Together they form a formidable team to carry out what needs to be done.
Funny, relateable, dark, violent and strange, it's hard to describe the reading experience well. The book included multiple point of views, including animals. The librarian's are fascinating and able to bend time, space, and reality to their will. All of the characters were developed well enough to make me care about what happened to them. The humor contrasted by some very violent acts, took some of the tragedy out of what was being described.The author was able to make me feel, and contemplate  my own life, which only the best books can do.
"He had no idea how many people had been firsthand witnesses to not one but two lion attacks, but he thought that the number would be very, very small. Gangsta, baby, he thought , and wet himself."
This book had some of everything, but never overwhelmed the reader. I enjoyed it so much, because it had elements of mystery, and involved cult-ish themes. The reasons this is five stars book is because I never wanted to stop reading or skip over any parts of this book. Every chapter and plot point was well though out and purposeful. The ending revealed some things I was not expecting, which is always a great thing. I would recommend this book to everyone, because although it's fantasy there's enough elements from multiple genre's here for everyone to enjoy.

I received this book from BloggingforBooks in exchange for an honest review.


I'm a computer programmer. I live in the Atlanta suburbs with my wife and a lot of dogs. I write fantasy set in the modern world.

Book Scoop May 6- May 13 2016

May 13, 2016
Weekly Feature, Book Scoop, InToriLex, Book News
Book Industry News and Links to Sift Through When Your Face Isn't buried in a Book 



Connie Ramos, a woman in her mid-thirties, has been declared insane. But Connie is overwhelmingly sane, merely tuned to the future, and able to communicate with the year 2137. As her doctors persuade her to agree to an operation, Connie struggles to force herself to listen to the future and its lessons for today....
Woman on the Edge of Time

Is there anything happening in the Book World that I missed this week?

The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse

May 12, 2016
The Neverland Wars, Audrey Greathouse, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: Clean Teen Publishing on May 9 2016
Format Read: Kindle Edition ARC (302 pages)
Genre: Young Adult/ Retellings/ Fantasy
Series: Standalone
Source: Author Request
The Neverland Wars
Magic can do a lot—give you flight, show you mermaids, help you taste the stars, and… solve the budget crisis? That's what the grown-ups will do with it if they ever make it to Neverland to steal its magic and bring their children home.

However, Gwen doesn't know this. She's just a sixteen-year-old girl with a place on the debate team and a powerful crush on Jay, the soon-to-be homecoming king. She doesn't know her little sister could actually run away with Peter Pan, or that she might have to chase after her to bring her home safe. Gwen will find out though—and when she does, she'll discover she's in the middle of a looming war between Neverland and reality.

She'll be out of place as a teenager in Neverland, but she won't be the only one. Peter Pan's constant treks back to the mainland have slowly aged him into adolescence as well. Soon, Gwen will have to decide whether she's going to join impish, playful Peter in his fight for eternal youth… or if she's going to scramble back to reality in time for the homecoming dance.


This book was packed with imaginative and whimsical moments in Neverland. However I was surprised that most of the book takes place there. Gwen is a protagonist that we can all relate too. She  wants to hold on to her childhood for as long as possible. Although she is 16 in the book, I did find the way she was described, read as much younger. The writing was really good, and  what I liked most about the book. The book has a great premise, but I think some of the story was lost in the execution. While Gwen is in Neverland, I was less engaged at  times because it was unclear how the plot would develop.
"In Neverland, everything that occurred appeared to be a quantum supposition of fantasy and reality, and simply believing in an event seemed to change its outcome."
The world building did not fully explain how magic worked in reality and in Neverland. The magic involved in both worlds was glossed over as it focused on how Gwen experienced it. This was a character driven fantasy. The stories described, sometimes served little purpose to advance the book, although they were good. I wanted to learn more about Peter Pan and who else was involved with the Neverland War. However the war itself was not a major plot point, so there was limited action where the two worlds interacted.
"Age did not- it could not have any real effect against the nature of a human life."  
The author did a great job of capturing the fantastical elements of Neverland, which made it fun to re-imagine. The action that was included didn't mesh with the rest of the book, and was too sparse. The ending set up a possible sequel, but left too many questions unanswered. There is also no indication that this will be a series, so the loose ends were disappointing.  Overall I did enjoy some elements of this book, but was let down by others. I would suggest this for tween readers, who can relate to the struggles of growing up and are fans of Peter Pan.

I received this e-book from the author in exchange for an honest review.


Audrey Greathouse is a Seattle-based author of science-fiction and fantasy. Raised in the suburbs, she became a writer after being introduced to NaNoWriMo during her sophmore year of high school. Since then, she has drafted more than a dozen books, 100 sonnets, and 800 other poems, and a handful of short stories and one-act plays.

After dropping out of her university and beginning training as a circus performer on the aerial silks, she returned to school to study at Southern New Hampshire University College of Online and Continuing Education to earn her B.A. in English Language and Literature, with a minor in Computer Information Technologies.

Audrey Greathouse is a die-hard punk cabaret fan, and pianist of fourteen years. She's usually somewhere along the west coast, and she is always writing.

Book Scoop April 29- May 6 2016

May 6, 2016
Book Scoop, Weekly Feature, Book News, InToriLex
Book Industry News and Links to Sift Through When Your Face Isn't buried in a Book 


2016 Best Translated Book Awards
Yuri Herrera explores the crossings and translations people make in their minds and language as they move from one country to another, especially when there’s no going back.

Traversing this lonely territory is Makina, a young woman who knows only too well how to survive in a violent, macho world. Leaving behind her life in Mexico to search for her brother, she is smuggled into the USA carrying a pair of secret messages – one from her mother and one from the Mexican underworld.
Signs Preceding the End of the World


Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.

Men Have Book Clubs Too

Did I miss anything happening in the book world this week?
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