StreetSlam: Wishes of a Broken Time by Leon Langford


[Edit: Originally published July 30, 2016]

Hold onto your seat belts because this book is a wild ride from start to finish. 

Devin Maxwell joins Titan Force after his mother is killed by a menacing green beast. His goal? Bring her back to life. 

Simple story, pretty cliche, right? 

Cliche yes, simple no. The plot is much more intricate than I expected. You’ve got the green energy monster responsible for the death of Devin’s mother, you’ve got a man planning to use a young girl to cause insurmountable death and destruction, you’ve got a rogue agent with an unclear agenda, and that’s not even everything. It can be a bit confusing, but it works out.

However, not every plot piece is tied up at the end, in fact, the book leaves you with more questions than get answered. There’s a reason, it seems, that the cover of the book declares it to be “Volume One.”

StreetSlam is action packed to the point of rollercoaster and I love it. Where does the fight scene take place? Literally everywhere, also I think you mean fight scenes. Palatial mansion, on the open highway, a mall. The real question is where doesn’t a fight take place. The one thing I’ll say is that the fight scenes can get long. The fight scenes strike me as very anime in their style, they’re the kind of fight scenes you might find in an anime/manga like Naruto and the weapons like something out of Final Fantasy 7. 

As much as I loved the fight scenes, my favorite parts of the book were the characters. They were so amazingly developed and diverse. I mean, just take a glance at the cover to get an idea. It’s a stellar cast of characters and I promise you’ll come out with at least three characters that you adore. 

Issues and warnings: 

  • There was an issue of women getting killed off (or presumably killed off) to further male character development/provide angst for the protag.
  • There are some minor inconstancies. Such as a characters hair color sometimes being brown and sometimes being blond. It’s not a huge thing, but it can throw you out of the text a bit.
  • Typos. There’s not an enormous amount, but it’s definitely more than just one or two things. Sometimes it took rereading a sentence a time or too, but it was nothing that threw me too terribly out of the story. 
  • There were a few instances of fatphobia coming from various characters.
  • Animal injury. There’s a shapeshifter bad guy who turns into animals, he gets his ass kicked.
  • Violence of a level pretty typically for a fight driven action packed book. Descriptions of blood and injury, but nothing I’d call over the top gore.

Despite the issues that popped up while reading I really enjoyed this book. It was very fun. It was definitely tropey and cliche at parts, but that was just part of the fun honestly. Sometimes you just need something fun and tropey and StreetSlam delivers. 


You can find the book here.

Related Reviews: The Valhalla series.



Before the City Rises by C.K. Slash


[Edit: Originally published July 6, 2016]

The June Rebellion. That might mean absolutely nothing to you. It did for me until I read Les Misérables. It was a small failed rebellion in an attempt to overthrow the government in France in 1832. This is the backdrop for Before the City Rises.

If you’re in the Les Mis fandom, you might actually know Before the City Rises, butas the fanfiction “Teach me how to Love You”. The fanfiction was flipped to be an original work and was released in mid June. 

You don’t have to know Les Misérables to enjoy the story, however. You’re given all the information you need about the rebellion and the circumstances of in the beginning of the story when our heroine, Zephine, pays a visit to Notre Dame cathedral. 

The story is also given a sci fi element when you learn that the oppressed group being fought for in the story are those with supernatural abilities. It’s not overly present but it’s there in the background, and if you forget momentarily, you’ll be reminded a few pages later. 

The foreground and driving force of the story is that it’s a lesbian erotica. A lesbian erotica with a trans woman (named Nichole) as the love interest.

Zephine goes to visit Nichole, a friend of sorts and part of the group that has been organizing this rebellion, though she’s been a voice of dissent and disbelief of their cause more often than not. However, if Zephine wants her to fight with them tomorrow, Nichole could not refuse. They share one night together. One very Not Safe For Work night. And Zephine learns things about Nichole she never would have imagined. 

Like I said, this is an erotica. The sex is very well written and very explicit. This is definitely not a book for young eyes.

There were a few errors when I read it that occurred due to the flipping of the book. Some names got missed in the flipping process. Those have since been fixed by the author.

You can find the book here.


Related Reviews: When to Hold Them

Sweet Nightingale (Book 1 of the Birdcatcher series) by Robin Swift


[Edit: Originally published July 2, 2016]

I bawled like a baby when I finished reading this book. I cannot thank Robin Swift enough for writing this.  Sweet Nightingale is a Cinderella story with a trans male protagonist. The young man Char, is victim to his stepmother’s whims. 

There’s more to it than just a simple Cinderella story, however. The princess, (yes our dashing Char, gets a princess instead of a prince) is in danger.  There have been several assassination attempts since she was born and a plot emerges for a third during the balls the princess has put on for finding potential suitors. 

I really enjoyed how much the political aspect was shown. In most Cinderella stories (and fairy tales in general I think) you get vague notions of Kings and Queens and ruling, but this story takes a dip into court politics that goes farther than most retellings I’ve seen, which grounds the story in reality though it certainly doesn’t detract from the fairy tale aspects of the story.

I loved the stepsisters. Lucille and Ria, they’re younger than Char. Their cruelty comes from emulating their mother, but by the end, they’ve grown and learned and turned against their mother and her treatment of Char. And Char, does his best to care for the girls he loves them, despite their treatment of him. 

Sweet Nightingale comes with the the warnings of a typical Cinderella story. Child abuse being a large one. It’s probably got one of the best depictions of non-physical abuse I’ve ever read in regards to how that kind of abuse affects a person. Particularly why it isn’t just as easy as getting up and leaving. Tied in with this there is some transphobia, but it’s pretty much exclusive to the stepmother. 

There’s also some minor character death, and the violence that comes along with that, plus remember those assassination attempts I mentioned?. There is an animal death as well, a horse. That surprised me a little when it happened.

Back to my first point that I cried like a baby. This is a story about a trans man with a rough life and then gets a beautiful and wonderful happy ending with a beautiful woman (who I totally read as a trans woman, though I don’t think it’s ever touched upon if she’s cis or not). I don’t think I can really put into words how much it meant to see myself represented in fiction in a way that wasn’t a coming out story. I don’t think I could have asked for a better book to be my first experience reading something with a trans male lead. 

I am eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series. It’s not often I keep up with book series that are current and ongoing, but this one is definitely worth following.


Find the book here.