*ARC REVIEW* ~ The Divinity Bureau, by Tessa Clare

#newadult #dystopian #romance


The Hunger Games meets Romeo and Juliet in a stunning debut about a forbidden romance between a young activist and a government employee for a corrupt bureau that controls the population by deciding who lives and who dies.

Roman Irvine is a disgruntled IT Technician for the Divinity Bureau, a government agency that uses random selection to decide who lives and who dies. In a world where overpopulation has lead to pollution, a crippled economy, and a world in crisis, he’s accepted the bureau’s activities as a necessity… until he meets April McIntyre.

April has every reason to be suspicious of Roman. He works for the Divinity Bureau, which sent her father to an early grave. But he’s also sweet and loyal, and unbeknownst to her, he saved her life. As Roman and April fall deeper in love, the deeper they’re thrust into the politics of deciding who lives and who dies. Someone wants April dead. And the bureau’s process of random selection may not be so random after all…

My Review – 5 stars

Super Dystopian Romance 

The Divinity Bureau is a page-turning New Adult read, full of danger, suspense and romance. It has a thought provoking plot, with well-rounded and believable characters, which kept my interest throughout.

In the novel science has found a way to render the lucky few who can afford it immortal. The ensuing overpopulation has resulted in an environmental and economic catastrophe where there are huge divisions in society. To manage the population the government has set up the Divinity Bureau, an organisation which decides by random selection who can live or die. Although this is brutal Roman, an IT Technician for the Bureau, has accepted it as a necessary evil. However, he inadvertently discovers evidence that the selection is not as random as he believes, a discovery that will change his life and that of another…

Roman’s actions save the life of April, a young woman of privilege, whose own father was selected for death. Their growing friendship and romance, against the backdrop of growing civil unrest, is a sweet one. It is also full of danger and suspense as both Roman and April find themselves under threat, a threat that for April may result in her death. I enjoyed how their relationship develops and how they come to empathise with each other despite their differences in social standing and personalities. I appreciated how the author slowly revealed the secrets at play and the motivation behind the threat that hangs over April, which made for a page-turning read.

Roman is an out an out geek, but clearly a good guy and his actions are honourable throughout, even if he is less than truthful with April. He has a lot to lose and must tread carefully, lest he lose all he has achieved. Can he step up to the mark, reveal all that is rotten at the heart of the Bureau, save his skin and protect April in the process? It is a tall order and I was totally gripped at how the story develops!

April is a young woman who wears her heart on her sleeve and will not shy away telling it like it is – a character trait that has got her into a lot of trouble in the past. She is nonetheless a poweful individual, due to her family background. When she discovers exactly what and who she is up against, she must re-evaluate her close relationships, including that with Roman, and the couple must decide where their loyalties lie.

I don’t want to say any more about the characters and plot, except to say that it’s a super dystopian read. I would love to see other books set in this world. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that an ARC of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  Amazon US

Connect with the Author



Love in the Time of the Dead, by Tera Shanley

Zombruary Tour Special!!!

LTD_coverLove in the Time of the Dead

By: Tera Shanley

Genre: Zombie/Dystopian Romance

Available in paperback and e-book from Omnific Publishing.

Be afraid, be VERY afraid! We at A Reader’s Review Blog have put our big girl pants on and invited Tera Shanley to share details of her awesome novel, Love in the Time of the DeadTera is running a Zombruary Tour this month, where you can check out the blurb for her book, admire her unforgettable cover (the image has been ricocheting around inside my head since I saw it) and find out more about and connect with the author. You can also enter the Rafflecopter in which prizes of 2 ebooks of the novel are up for grabs! Link at the end of this post. We hope that you enjoy the sound of this book as much as we do!

Tina 🙂


Laney Landry has been fighting Deads alongside her brother and friends for three years. But she has a secret. She’s immune to Dead bites and has to find the right people to trust with the information. Her team rallies around her to find a doctor who can extract a vaccine from Laney which could fight the virus that ended the world.

Sean Daniels leads a colony that provides her team with much needed shelter and supplies. He is obviously interested in Laney. The question is whether he’s only intrigued by her as a source for the possible vaccine, or for something more. Tests for the cure might push her body beyond what it can endure, and just as she faces a ghost from her past, her longtime teammate Derek Mitchell hints at an interest in more than just her Dead slaying abilities.

Two honorable and alluring men – one colossal decision to make. Despite historically bad taste in men, can she rise above the chaos of the apocalypse and choose the one who deserves her heart? The right choice could mean the difference between surviving…and living.

Author Bio

author pic 

Tera Shanley writes in sub-genres that stretch from Paranormal Romance, to Historic Western Romance, to Apocalyptic (zombie) Romance. The common theme? She loves love! A self-proclaimed bookworm, she was raised in small town Texas and could often be found decorating a table at the local library. She currently lives in Dallas with her husband and two young children and when she isn’t busy running around after her family, she’s writing a new story or devouring a good book. Any spare time is dedicated to chocolate licking, rifle slinging, friend hugging, and the great outdoors. For more information about Tera and her work, visit www.terashanley.com.

Author Links

Website: http://www.terashanley.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/terashanley

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/terashanley.author?ref=hl

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7212904.Tera_Shanley

Blog: http://www.terashanley.blogspot.com/

Buy Links



Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-in-the-time-of-the-dead-tera-shanley/1117193723?ean=9781623420581

Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Time-Dead-Tera-Shanley/dp/162342058X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1382382615&sr=8-1


Win 2 ebooks of Love in the Time of the Dead and some Zombie themed swag by entering the Rafflecopter!

Just click on the link. Good luck! Tina 🙂

Rafflecopter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YTFkNGRjYjNhYjg3OGQ0NjkyZjRkZTRjMGM1ZGE1OjE=/

The Father, Joshua Tree Trilogy Book 2, by N. W. Harris


The Rip-Roaring Adventure Continues!

Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy

Please note this review contains spoilers for book #1 in the series. Joshua’s Tree.

The Father follows on seamlessly after the first book in the trilogy, Joshua’s Tree (click title for our review), which tells of how the hero Joshua finds himself unexpectedly transported to a future dystopian Earth, which bears little resemblance to the world as he knows it. The planet is populated by warrior like people and strange creatures, including the terrifying and cannibalistic Sweepers. There Joshua meets a kick-ass, sword wielding female warrior, Nadia, who views him as the saviour, destined to save her world by destroying The Father, the creator of the Sweepers who threaten to annihilate all others.

During their quest to fulfill Joshua’s destiny, Joshua and Nadia form a mutual attraction and Joshua in particular learns a great deal about personal growth and self-sacrifice as he approaches his goal of destroying The Father. The big reveal at the end of this book is that Joshua discovers that The Father is his future self, the man responsible for the creation of the Sweepers and also the other races on Earth, including Nadia’s warrior tribe and the ocean based Atlanteans.

Book Blurb for The Father, Book 2: After discovering he’s destined to annihilate nearly all life, Joshua must take charge of a cannibalistic army of mutants with hopes of starting a civil war that will end the reign of evil—or bear the responsibility for destroying the few good people who remain on the planet. Captured by the leader of the sweepers, Josh learns he will grow up to be a genetic engineer responsible for creating the monsters. The Father recruits him to lead an army of sweepers against the evil generals who resist the termination of the sweeper experiment originally designed to bring an end to a global war that threatened to render the planet uninhabitable. At first repulsed by his telepathic ability to control the sweepers, Josh becomes addicted to the power to control thousands of the creatures at once. Believing him dead, Nadia rejoins her people, where she struggles to gain respect while leading them to safety. Inadvertently pursuing her across the land, Josh may not be able to stop his sweepers from destroying Nadia and her dwindling tribe when they collide in battle.

This series is just brimming with originality and adventure and it is crafted in such a way as I cannot guess where it is leading, my head is just full of so many possible scenarios! I loved how the author describes Joshua’s initial fear and utter disgust at fighting alongside the despised Sweepers and how he feels when he enters their minds to control them and strives to take on the mantle of a warrior. I admired how Joshua does all that is in his power to protect Nadia and her people from being destroyed. His relationship with The Father, his future self, is complex, as expected. Whilst Joshua has no affection for him he has no choice but to follow his advice if the Sweepers are to be prevented from destroying all others and if he is to have any chance of returning to his own time.

Can Joshua cope with leading the Sweepers, whom he fears and despises? Can he trust his future self? Will his actions inadvertently lead to the demise of Nadia and her people? Will he be able to bring himself to leave Nadia when and if he returns to his own place and time? As Joshua becomes addicted to his psychic control of the Sweepers the situation becomes more and more perilous and his sanity is on the line.  

The warrior Nadia is just as kick-ass as ever in this book, but she feels that she has failed to protect Josh and returns to her people accompanied by a band of Atlanteans, headed by Hydromidus, whom we met in the previous book. Hydromidus has formed an attraction to Nadia, an attraction which Nadia is aware of and which she also feels towards him. However, she has given her heart to Josh. I really liked the character of Hydromidus as he is himself is honourable and respects Nadia’s own prowess as a warrior, Events in the book are not always easy for Nadia and she has her own challenges to contend with as well as the worry of what has happened to Josh.

I enjoyed the The Father every bit as much as Joshua’s Tree! We find out much more about the history of the Earth and why the Sweepers were created and how they operate.  Once again there are vivid and detailed descriptions of the strange landscape of this future Earth, the Sweepers and the frequent battle scenes, which contain much blood and gore. The book is full of excitement, adventure and suspense from start to finish and the author carries the reader along accompanying Josh and then Nadia on their respective adventures. I am eagerly awaiting the next instalment.

I highly recommend this book to young adult readers and above, who are fans of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Futuristic reads, especially where the reader likes their reads to contain adventure, suspense, self-sacrifice and romance.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Reviewed by Tina Williams



Cover art by Marion Sipe www.marionsipe.blogspot.com

To Buy Links: Amazon US    Amazon UK



Stilts (Tessa Dark Trilogy #1) by Tim O’Rourke


Stilts ResizedOh wow! Stilts has blown my mind!!! Such an original idea combined with the need to survive in this great dystopian adventure and not without the conflicts of character,  along with a sweet romantic element. Needless to say, I absolutely LOVED this story from beginning to end! Yes, Tim O’Rourke has done it again with his fascinating imagination for story and characters as well as his ability to keep the reader constantly surprised!

‘Stilts’ is the first book in a new dystopian trilogy by #1 bestselling author Tim O’Rourke.

While eighteen-year-old, Tessa Dark was serving her prison sentence for murder, the world beyond her cell walls changed forever. The thunder came and destroyed the world she had once known. 

Trapped inside the prison and faced with no future, Tessa’s only glimmer of hope is her friendship with fellow inmate Joe McBride. 

Despite Tessa’s fear, Joe decides to go beyond the prison walls to seek help. But when he fails to return, Tessa is determined to go and search for him. 

To gain her freedom, Tessa must first learn to walk, run, and fight on stilts if she is to survive the new and terrifying world on the other side of the prison walls.

When I looked at the words ‘Chapter One’ and read the first sentence “My elbow crunched into his face” it had me straight away. And that is a great example of Tim’s writing, direct, to the point and providing plenty of curiosity for the reader to want (and have) to read on!

The concept of the stilts is a very original idea. Before reading the book I was a little unsure of how this idea could be used in a believable way but I have to say it does work and it works brilliantly! The stilts are used to help the prisoners to survive. And the main focus of ‘Stilts’ is the need to survive for the sake of mankind. Trapped in a prison, it isn’t too long before supplies run out and in order to leave for more they need some way to try and avoid being attacked by Scorchers. Elements of the story early on reminded me a little of ‘The Walking Dead’ tv series. However, instead of zombies here we have Scorchers who have an easy ability to melt/scorch anything they touch.

The turning point is certainly when Joe leaves the prison in the hope of bringing back help. When he doesn’t return hope seems lost. The reader really experiences the rawness of  Tessa’s determination to be able to find Joe and help for all of the inmates. These are desperate times and Tessa will do anything for a chance to find Joe. During Tessa’s adventure the reader is not hidden from the destruction and horror in which the thunderstorm has created. Many of the scenes involving the Scorchers are edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting, excruciating excitement. All of the action scenes are intense, dramatic and gory at times.

Tessa is a great heroine and, for me, not too unlike Keira Hudson from Tim’s Keira Hudson series. Tessa is a strong, decisive, young woman who, when challenged in some pretty terrifying ordeals, she rises above with her head held high and gives it what she’s got. I love her energy, her practicality and her drive. However, unlike Keira, Tessa has been on the wrong side of the law and trouble has come to her. ‘Stilts’ is told from Tessa’s point of view and reads like a narrative, allowing the reader to always be with Tessa and understand all of her thoughts and feelings.

Joe is adorable. Although very much a character to keep himself to himself, especially after past experiences, he almost has no option but to try and fit in after realising there are only those within the prison walls that have been unaffected by the change of the world. It isn’t too long before he finds a friend in Tessa and as their relationship blossoms so do the romantic gestures and dialogue. The writing is truly beautiful, so sweet and heartwarming. It certainly pulls on the heartstrings and the reader could lose a tear or two!

An example of a romantic moment between Tessa and Joe is when Tessa realised Joe had been keeping a CD player in secret:-

‘“Why didn’t you show it to me sooner?” I asked, my face just inches from his.

“Because I preferred to listen to you hum,” he smiled, leaning in and kissing me gently on the cheek.

Closing my eyes, I kissed him back. We danced together cheek to cheek in the workshop while the music played softly all around us.’

One of my favourite areas of Tim’s writing is the describing of the scenery. Tim always makes it so intensifying and exciting, allowing the reader to understand where the characters are and how they deal with their surroundings and the weather. However, whilst some authors can be a little too descriptive Tim writes in such a way that it is incorporated with the characters and their actions, whilst allowing the reader to imagine it for themselves. In ‘Stilts’ the world as we know it becomes cracked, smoking, and even the sky is a constant shade of red. It is absolutely fascinating stuff!

Already ‘Stilts‘, being the first of a trilogy,  is making me a little sad to think that after the next two books it will be over. I didn’t want to stop reading about these characters. The only dislike I had was having to finish it. I’ll certainly be looking forward to the sequel, due for release in 2014!

A copy of ‘Stilts’ was provided by the author for the purpose of an honest and fair review.

‘Stilts’ is published by Hashtag Books and was released on the launch of the publishers, 1st December 2013, along with Alan Williams ‘Gentleman Traitor’ (soon to be reviewed) and Will Davis’ ‘Demonica’. Please check out our review of ‘Demonica‘ and enter your name for a chance to win an e-copy of the book!!!

‘Stilts’ is available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

 Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Tim’s books are suitable for for young adults and over. To read our reviews of many of his other novels please click on the titles below:-

Vampire Shift (Keira Hudson Series 1, Book 1)

Vampire Wake (Keira Hudson Series 1, Book 2)

Vampire Hunt (Keira Hudson Series 1, Book 3)

Vampire Breed (Keira Hudson Series 1, Book 4)

Wolf House (Potter’s Story) (Kiera Hudson Series 1 Book 4.5) – novella

Vampire Hollows (Keira Hudson Series 1, Book 5)

Dead Flesh (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 1)

Dead Night – Potter’s Secrets (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 1.5) – novella

Dead Angels (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 2)

Dead Statues (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 3)

Dead Seth (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 4)

Dead Wolf (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 5)

Dead Water (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 6)

Moonlight (The Moon Trilogy #1)

Moonbeam (The Moon Trilogy #2)

Vampire Seeker (Samantha Carter #1)

Witch (Sydney Hart #1)

Vampire Shift – The Graphic Novel (Volume One) (Keira Hudson Series One) –  illustrated by Craig Twyman

Unscathed (written with C.J. Pinard)

PODS (Book #1), by Michelle Pickett, BOOK TOUR, REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY!


Today we are hosting Michelle Pickett’s book tour of her Amazon bestselling Young Adult Science Fiction/Dystopian novel PODS. Read on for a book synopsis, my review and to find out more about the author. Residents of the US can also enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to win 1 signed copy of PODs and some Swag!  Details below. Tina 🙂


Seventeen-year-old Eva is a chosen one. Chosen to live, while others meet a swift and painful death from an incurable virus so lethal, a person is dead within days of symptoms emerging. In the POD system, a series of underground habitats built by the government, she waits with the other chosen for the deadly virus to claim those above. Separated from family and friends, it’s in the PODs she meets David. And while true love might not conquer all, it’s a balm for the broken soul.

After a year, scientists believe the population has died, and without living hosts, so has the virus. That’s the theory, anyway. But when the PODs are opened, survivors find the surface holds a vicious secret. The virus mutated, infecting those left top-side and creating… monsters.

Eva and David hide from the infected in the abandoned PODs. Together they try to build a life–a new beginning. But the infected follow and are relentless in their attacks. Leaving Eva and David to fight for survival, and pray for a cure.

My Review of PODs, by Michelle Pickett

13425802 PODS coverTitle:   PODs

Author:   Michelle K. Pickett

Genre:   Science Fiction/Dystopia, Young Adult, Zombies, Romance

Published:   June 4th 2013 by Spencer Hill Press

Page Count:   312 pgs

Terrifying Future Tempered by Tender Romance!

PODS, by Michelle Pickett, offers readers a vision of the future which I found both realistic and terrifying. In the novel a deadly virus, which kills its victims within days and which has no known cure, has struck the Earth’s population. In the US the government holds a nationwide ‘raffle’, the winners being guaranteed apparent safety, alongside essential government personnel, scientists and military etc. in specially designed PODS deep underground. Meanwhile the virus wreaks havoc topside and the hope is that it will die out in the absence of remaining live hosts…. The tale centres on Eva, a 17 year old High School student. We witness how she, her family and others react to the news of the virus, the raffle, Eva’s guilt at being selected and the bittersweet realisation that once she enters the POD system she will never see her family or friends again.

Before going into the PODS Eva with the other ‘chosen’ spend two weeks in isolation in quarantine to ensure that their bodies harbour no nascent virus. Only then does she enter one of the many PODS, with other young men and women (for it is only the young and healthy who have been selected). All find it difficult to adjust to being separated from the life they knew and their loved ones and need to work together to remain sane under such claustrophobic and bizarre circumstances.

It is in the POD that Eva befriends David and it is not long before their mutual attraction turns into a budding romance, despite the difficulties of conducting a relationship with such a complete lack of privacy, not to mention misgivings such an attachment may not be a good idea, in case it turns sour. Ensconced in their POD, Eva and David struggle to contain their feelings and the other inhabitants all have their own dramas to cope with. Meanwhile both topside and within the PODS the virus has not yet had its fill….. When they are finally allowed back to the surface, after more than a year underground, the world and the rules which govern it have changed beyond recognition. Worse than that, the virus has mutated, creating terrifying Zombie like creatures and the battle for survival, whilst avoiding infection, is on……

I loved the the two main leads Eva and David. Both show themselves to be very level headed in a crisis and believe me there are many that they face! Their growing relationship is a delight to behold and there are many tender and bittersweet moments. The couple not only harbour a strong physical attraction to one another, but are also well suited in terms of their character. David is a real hottie who puts Eva’s welfare above his own and Eva is a strong and caring individual who is willing to fight for the safety of those she cares for and she wants to be with David whatever the cost. They and the other survivors have to put their youthful dreams behind them and adapt to survive, even when the actions they are compelled to take are far from palatable and heartbreaking at times.

Other characters in the novel were well drawn. My particular favourites whilst the scenes unfolded in the PODS were Jai Li and Tiffany. Once topside I liked the character of Devlin, who along with David protects others from the infected. There is plenty of tension in terms of characters who do not see eye to eye with others and the ever present government authorities who control life for those within the PODS and many areas topside, holding the destinies of many within their hands. The tale contains adventure, blood and gore, betrayal and self-sacrifice and plenty of romance. I found the tale a realistic portrayal of what could happen if such a fate ever befell humankind.

I recommend PODS to readers of Young Adult novels who like a thought provoking romance set within a future dystopian society. The second novel in the series, Infected, comes out this month. Read on for the buy links for PODS, how to enter the GIVEAWAY (open to US residents only) and to read about the author Michelle Pickett and her works.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of PODS was given to me by the author for the purpose of an honest and fair review. The Book Tour is hosted by Making Connections Blog Tours

Buy Links for PODs:

Amazon ׀ Barnes&Noble ׀ Books-A-Million The Book Depository׀

Giveaway – open to US Residents only

Win 1 signed copy of PODs and some Swag!

Click on the following link to enter the giveaway for one signed copy of PODS and some SWAG! Good Luck to all who enter! 🙂


Coming Next………………..


About the Author

Snapshot_20130721_16I’m a wife, mother, author, reader, although not always in that order. I’ve been an avid reader since a young child. I began writing for personal enjoyment in college, where I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in accounting. Why I chose a degree that didn’t encourage creativity is a mystery to me. I’m addicted to Reese’s peanut butter cups and eat way too many while I write. I have a weird obsession with hoodies and can’t write without wearing one. I hate to cook, but love to watch cooking shows. I’m an unabashed romantic and love swoon-worthy happy endings that give me butterflies for days. Born and raised in Flint, Michigan, I now reside in a small community outside Houston, Texas with my incredibly supportive, not to mention gorgeous, husband, three amazing school-aged children, a 125-pound lap dog, and a cat that thinks she’s queen. I write adult and young adult Sci/Fi, urban fantasy and paranormal romances. I love to hear from readers and other authors, so drop me a note and say “Hi!”

My work includes:

The Amazon Bestselling young adult novel “PODs

Milayna, March 2014

Buy Links for Milayna:

Amazon ׀ Barnes&Noble ׀ The Book Depository

Milayna’s Angel (Milayna #2), September 2014

The Infected, a PODs novel, November 2014,

The Innocent (Milayna #3), April 2015.

I always love to hear from readers, bloggers and other authors!

Find me here:




Email –  Michelle@Michelle-Pickett.com







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