Review: “Shadow Fray” by Bradley Lloyd

TITLE: Shadow Fray
AUTHOR: Bradley Lloyd
PUBLISHER: DSP Publications
COVER ARTIST: Anna Sikorska
GENRE: Dystopian
LENGTH: 284 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 30, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $16.99 -paperback


Family is worth fighting for—and family doesn’t always mean blood.

No one knows what calamity poisoned the earth and decimated the human population, but living close to the toxic ground means illness and death. Justin is determined to keep his twin sister and younger brother from that fate—no matter what he has to do. To earn enough to keep his family safe in a high-rise, Justin enlists in a deadly sport called Shadow Fray. He quickly finds himself in over his head, especially when he is scheduled to face the most dangerous player.

Hale—who competes as Black Jim—knows he won’t be on top forever, despite his skills. He fights for a better life for his daughter, but his time is running out as Shadow Fray becomes increasingly lethal. Something about the newest fighter intrigues him, but does he dare defy his masters to investigate? Justin and Hale will clash in the ring, while beyond it the powerful elite and the crumbling world seem determined to keep them apart. If they can find common ground, they might have a chance to fight for their futures.

I remember my first dystopian very clearly. Something about a not so bright future always fascinated me. It’s weird, right? I know…

With this book, it wasn’t different either.

Bradley Lloyd’s dystopia is a nuclear-bacterial dystopia. We don’t learn so much about why we—the human race—earth ends up in the way it ends up.
The world after a nuclear-bacterial disaster is infertile. Girls are lacking and a new race Uni is born. No one lives anymore on the ground level, and those who do, have a short life. The social class is measured in how high you live. The higher you live, the richer you are. Women learned to fight to protect themselves. The UNI’s are born half male—half female and infertile.

Justin, his twin sister (fertile) and his small brother, Charlie leaves at 14th floor (not 13th, 14th). There is an underground fight club getting more and more popular called Shadow Fray. No one knows who’s behind this organization, they just call, between themselves, as Shadow Masters. Justin’s handler (now dead) organized a fight for him that ends up differently. He won though, and he got popular.
Justin has a crush. But it’s a secret. Being gay in this society is a taboo, although the lack of woman is creating more man-on-man relationships. But nobody acknowledges it, no one talks about it. Justin’s crush is another Shadow Fray fighter, Black Jim. He doesn’t wear a mask. But from his neck up, when Black Jim enters the arena, is smeared with black oil. Unrecognizable. The man is fierce, agile and unbeatable.

When Hale aka Black Jim is paired up with this new star named The Night Visitor everything changes. He studied this new opponent by watching the kid’s previous performances, again and again. The fight ended up in a way that changed the game. The Visitor fascinates him, he can’t get the boy out of his mind, and that’ when he decides to find out who is behind the black mask, and what’s the reason of fear in the kid’s eyes?

The book is an honest 4.5 OptimuMM. If you are a dystopia fan, I highly recommend you read this book!

One of the most genuine sex scene I ever read in MM book!

***The ARC was provided by DSP Publications. My review is an honest opinion of the book***


Review: “The Journey of Jimini Renn” by April Kelley

TITLE: The Journey of Jimini Renn
AUTHOR: April Kelley
GENRE: Sci-fi; Dystopian
LENGTH: 192 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 10, 2016
PRICE: $3.99 -e-book / $9.99 –paperback


In a world without surface water, Jimini Renn wants nothing more than to live inside the protective walls of Adam City for the rest of his life, but his little brother has other ideas.
As far as Jimini is concerned, Adam City has everything he needs. It has a well that provides much-needed water, food, and safety from the dangers of the outside world. When his bookworm of a brother leaves to chase waterfalls, Jimini must follow even though he knows it will probably mean his death. When the first person he meets on the outside pulls a gun on him, he’s proven right. No one who calls himself a slaver and has a gun has Jimini’s safety in mind, even if he is sexy. The journey Jimini expects isn’t the one he gets.

levilogooptimummThis was my first book from this author, and I must say I’m well impressed.
Dystopia is one of the genres that’s fascinating me. However, if you ask me why, I couldn’t answer your question, but I often find myself thinking of what if…

The story take place in world where is no more surface water. There are strongly protected wells, endless deserts and shady towns. Except Adam City, the home of Jimini and there is no better place on earth…or so Jimini likes to think…
Jimini is a young man, who takes on the responsibility of raising his smaller brother after their mother dies in the plague that took with it almost the half of the city. He is also taking care of their garden, growing plants, which he exchanges for water.
Aurri, Jimini’s younger brother is a dreamer, he wants out of the city. Their old neighbor Ester and his friend Bentee fuels Aurri with endless stories about waterfalls and green land. One day, with the help of Jimini’s friend Bentee, Aurri escapes.

Then when Jimini meets the slaver Aaruth on his way to rescue Aurri…

Aaruth is a loner, fighting in this cruel world to survive. Jimini though…Aaruth is amazed by the purity of the boy, what sometimes borderlines with pure naivety. His feelings are instant and burning. But Jimini is planning to go back to Adam City after they find Aurri and he’s afraid that the boy will take his heart with him.

Although the book has no sexual content, their story is angsty. The only thing I’m sorry about is that I finished too soon because I loved the plot, the dialogue and the inner fights. I have no idea if April will make a sequel of this book but I would read for sure!

 4.5 OptimuMM's

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC.  My review is an honest opinion of the book***