Tag Archive: Cidney Swanson



Cidney Swanson has me under her spell. I love all her books. I feel so fortunate to be able to be an early reader for her. I am especially giddy when she writes about Mars. This latest series is called Shadow of Mars. This was book three. This one is so new it isn’t even listed on Amazon or GoodReads yet. When it is, I will copy from here the parts about her book and paste them there. Usually, it is the other way around. I write the review on GoodReads, then copy to Amazon, and then here on WordPress.

I want to put the picture up here, too. But I don’t know if that is even okay yet. So I’ll do the best I can with my words.

Just a quick blurb, since there isn’t one to grab out there, I’ll see if I can give you a bit of what has happened and what this book is about. Book one was So Dark the Sky, in which our main character Penny Wanjiru, a school teacher, finally gets the chance to go to Mars. But leaving her elderly grandmother makes the decision difficult. Book two was So Bright the Stars, in which Penny is on her way to Mars. This third book is So Still the Dawn, in which Penny is on Mars and wondering if she is going to get to stay.

Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love and have loved science fiction, especially space travel. Cidney writes to my inner kid to teen. Especially in her Saving Mars series. But this series is aimed toward adults. Even though I would have read it as a youngster. I read too many of men getting to go to space. They were kids. They were adults. I wish there had been women in space novels who weren’t eye candy. Ms. Swanson makes you feel more that the adult in the book isn’t so much a wimpy woman crying for romance but an adult who happens to be a woman who is brilliant in her own way.

Another wonderful thing Cidney does in her books is dive deep into the character’s psychology. All those creeping thoughts we record early in life that make us feel unworthy or wrong for what good could happen. Cidney brings that forward and helps us to grow with the character. Go Cidney!

Okay, I don’t want to spell it out for you or give you spoilers. As soon as the book goes ‘live’, I will make sure you can go get it. I highly recommend it!


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Payback Royale (Payback Society Book 3)Payback Royale by Cidney Swanson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The book was to come live on the 29th. (And Yay! It did!) I finished reading this book four nights ago. I hated finishing it. I always want to know what will happen after I close the book. I enjoyed the book, thoroughly! The most exciting part was about space travel and its purpose. I have to admit to nearly squealing as the main character promotes it.

I know I’m not the target audience missing the ages by five decades or so. Even so, I can remember being a young adult. I can imagine I would have loved, well, everything Miss Swanson writes. Her characters, world’s, and plots are fresh and fun. The books read themselves, okay, with the help of text-to-speech. But I don’t want to put any of them down until the last word! Payback Royale was no different. Loved it!

On the other hand… I hate the antagonist. I don’t see hope for him. Please let’s put an end to his story! Without killing our friends, please!

I can’t wait to read more by Cidney Swanson!

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The Payback Letters (Payback Society Book 2)The Payback Letters by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. Gladly. I have loved every book Cidney Swanson has written. I always admit that my favorites were the Saving Mars series. But the time travels, and Ripplers and now the Paybacks have been a delight to read, also.

Cidney has characters that are believable, relatable, even when they seem to be well to do, and going to a rich-kid boarding school. BUT this brain got confused in this book. So a warning: Clair is the main character of the first book and Fiona is of this second book. What kept confusing me (or unconfusing) were that I remembered that Clair’s parents were dead and her brother had helped in significant ways. Fiona’s aunt keeps referring to her parents helping with tuition and her brother being dead. I am horrid at remembering names But relatively good at recognizing certain aspects of a story. I had to go to the book blurbs to understand where I was getting confused. If you read book one, you remember poor Fiona going with the horrid Sly. That should lead you down the trail of the story Ms. Swanson has present us.

After I understood who the star was, I think I love her more than Clair. Yeah, she gets a little gah-gah about a guy, but in the long run, I was rooting for them as much as for Fiona’s future.

Since the Payback series is separate from Ms. Swanson’s other books, you can pick them up and enjoy them now without reading everything else. That said, I hope you read the rest, eventually, as they are all fun adventures. I wish I had someone writing these kinds of books when I was a teen.

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The Payback SocietyThe Payback Society by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once again, Cidney Swanson pulled me in and delivered a good story, one I didn’t like to put down for the night. Cidney knows how to write stories that are believable. The characters and plot are always well developed.

As a young adult, I think I would have loved this even more. The romance is not the most important aspect of the story. Of course, it is there. They are teens. But this story goes deeper. One guy thinks everyone should worship him. When our main character refuses all hell breaks out and payback is required. The reader will feel the need and satisfaction of said payback.

I want to say more but I’m afraid I will end up slipping serious spoilers.

If you get the chance pick up any of Cidney Swanson’s work and you will be on adventures you cannot believe. Of course, my favorite still remains the Saving Mars series. All others are fun, too.

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A Crown in Time (Thief in Time Book 4)A Crown in Time by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cidney Swanson has done it again! This was a fun time-travel to Elizabethan England from 21st century here in America. It is the perfect ‘what if?’ with a mixture of thrilling moments fighting evil and or impossible situations and sweet moments of love. Imagine you could actually meet THE Queen Elizabeth!

Ms. Swanson presents some of the questions of time-travel and puts her own spin on things. Those crazy questions brought up in the past of seeing one’s self in the past, etc.

Meanwhile, there are three young women, newlyweds with spouses from other times. So well written that I found myself fighting a sore throat when the main character complains of same. Yes, it was coincidence but I worried about hypochondria. But after being out in public I realized it was allergies to certain perfumes had irritated my throat. Hot tea took care of it. But that is scary to think you can be so drawn into the book that you ‘catch’ their disease. Good thing I’m too old to feel the pregnancy symptoms! LOL!

If you get the chance, read this series. Even better start with my favorite series Saving Mars. Cidney Swanson can pull you into her books within a sentence or two and keep you up way past sleep time as you try to find a good stopping place.

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A Sword in Time (Thief in Time Series Book 3)A Sword in Time by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely love this series. Nearly as much as I did Saving Mars. Let’s see, space travel, living on another planet, or Time Travel to ancient Greece? Space Travel. But this runs a close second.

Cidney Swanson writes the way I wish I did. She grabs your attention and won’t let go until the book is finished and then leaves you wishing for more.

Maybe it is from too many nights awake reading this that I got this latest fibro attack? Maybe worth it?

At any rate, this is a must read series! I think you will like it! I can’t wait for more!!!

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A Thief in Time: A Time Travel NovelA Thief in Time: A Time Travel Novel by Cidney Swanson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was so excited to get A Flight In Time to review. Cidney Swanson is one of my favorite Young Adult writers. Come to find out she lives in a nearby Oregon town. She’s lucky I don’t have a car! And that I have social anxiety that keeps me from seeking out people I don’t know. Still, her Saving Mars series is my favorite series for young adults and up. I wish she could write more of those as it really helps the me I was as a pre-teen/teen. There was very little out there in the sci-fi realm that had strong female leads. Please read the series if you get the chance. Her Rippler series is good, too.

But back to A Flight in Time (book 2). Here is a comment I made under A Thief in Time (book 1):

Oops, somehow I am reading book two that isn’t on GoodReads yet. Maybe I should see if I got it? I am 37% into A Flight in Time. Now I feel confused as to what to do.

Then I realized that at one point or another I did get book 1. It was $.99 at the time. Somehow it got marked “Read” so I never saw it in my “Currently Reading” shelf. So I stopped reading book 2 and started reading book 1. This series may soon rival Mars in favorites!

A Thief In Time is very exciting. The main character, Halley, is quite the character. I love the depth of spirit she shows in spite of a less than ideal upbringing. Ms. Swanson built her so well that I felt she was real. I love her friends and how it is they found themselves in the enviable position of having access to a time machine.

By the way, I love the names of the characters. Good nods to science!

I want to put more here but I don’t want anything to spoil a future reader’s experience with that book or the next.

So, those who follow my reviews know how I hate cliffhangers. This was not that. But awfully close. No one was left in danger. But I was so in love with the characters and the time travel adventures that I was so happy I had the next book downloaded and ready to go.

~~~~
Since I can’t find the place to review book 2, A Flight in Time, I will put it here and move this part to that book when it is live on GoodReads. Right now it is $.99 on Amazon whereas book 1 is $3.99. Both are well worth the money!

I will give this five stars also. My biggest problem was the names when I read #2 first. After getting to know everyone in #1 I still had that problem. I expected to see a little more about Halley and her life. So it was a bit of a shock to start reading about her friend, Jillian. Her life wasn’t as interesting or as full of challenges, as far as I was concerned, but she has a sciencey mind and is working towards her own goals. That warmed me to her.

I must admit that I couldn’t quit reading this book–another 4 AM sleep time. The book was full of anxious moments, ‘how were they going to get out of this?’ kinds of questions sailed through my head. And lots of time travel!

AND that ending!!!! I can’t wait to find out the resolve for that. Still, not a cliffhanger. Just a little something to have Cidney Swanson fans waiting with bated breath!!!

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Siren SpellSiren Spell by Cidney Swanson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cidney Swanson has done it again! If you aren’t a fan of hers by the time you read the Rippler series or the Saving Mars series, I don’t know what to say. She definitely made it into my favorite authors category by those two series. But this one book stands alone. I don’t think it’s going to be a series. It could be I liked the characters enough. But the ending was too satisfying to need to know more.

Not long ago I read an illustrated children’s book about mermaids. So I was still in the mood to read more about mermaids.This book did not disappoint me. But it wasn’t just about mermaids. It was about family, ballet, Russian immigrants, living with a single mom and a grandmother. It was about two sisters who were teenagers, who are somewhat typical as teens. It is always difficult being a teenager and it is always difficult to have a teenager. Teens need to become their own person and feel the parents are in the way. Parents just tried to guide their children as they always have. And so it is in this book. What I liked about how Cidney Swanson does it, is there seems to be no judgment from the author about either of those parts of a family. And there wasn’t a lot of angsty, teenage romance happening. The adolescent sisters seem to have a bit of common sense in their choosing of friends and boys. It felt more natural to me than a lot of these young adult books do.

It was fun too to notice that this book takes place in Oregon. Is it because I live here now that I notice It more?

If you’re looking for a little bit of fun check out Siren Spell. I loved it!

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Rippler (Ripple, #1)Rippler by Cidney Swanson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my second read of this book. It was fun to go back and re-experience Sam and the gang and see the rippler life reborn. The reason for the reread was to listen to the new Audible version. I did enjoy the narration of Sarah Mollo-Christensen. Now as good as she was, Ms. Mollo-Christensen, I found her voice too low in comparison with my inner voice. Only the fake male voices were right. So my guess is that if this was your first time reading this book the narrator’s voices will be the correct ones. By the way, the hardest voices for me to hear were Sam’s friend, Gwyn Li and her mother. They just were too low and too — boring. They should sound a lot more energetic. But even so, I am giving this audio version five stars. That is because I am assuming a first time listener wouldn’t have so many preconceived ideas.

Thank you, Cidney Swanson for letting me enjoy this version at a discount. I love your work!

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Perilous: A Ripple Novel (The Ripple Series Book 7)Perilous: A Ripple Novel by Cidney Swanson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Aw, shucks! The series is done. This was a well-rounded ending. Lots of anxiety and worry for the characters and how they would get through. Yet all threads are securely tied down. I do have a question, but rather than giving a spoiler, I will write the author.

Cidney Swanson is now one of my favorite authors. Her writing is so well done. She managed several plot lines and keeps the reader interested in all the characters, even those who are not so likable. She builds a world you can see and feel as the characters run or, um, kiss. You can feel the weather, humid or not, cold or hot. You can taste the cookies!

I am glad that this final book takes us back to Sam (Samantha) and her goals and problems and sees her through some of her own challenges. But it was nice to be able to get inside the heads of her friends and enemy. Ms. Swanson keeps the points of view separated and personal for each.

This is a great series for anyone, young adult and up. As a 65-year-old, I could still relate with all of it. In fact, the author includes people of other ages within the story, parents, step-parents, the ancient rippler who has learned to stay alive longer than anyone ever has. Most young adult books have the young people without older adults. Cidney manages to keep the story strong with all these people included.

Okay, I can’t let this go by without a nod to my favorite of these two series that Cidney Swanson has developed, Saving Mars. Yes, I love the Rippler series, but Saving Mars is my all time favorite sci-fi of all time. Again, it is for the young adult and older. I highly recommend both series.

I can’t wait to see what Ms. Swanson comes up with next!

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