Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Release Day Review : Strength of the Rising Sun (The Borders War #5) by S.A. McAuley

stength of the rising sun

Title ~ Strength of the Rising Sun (The Borders War #5)

Author ~ S.A. McAuley

Publisher ~ Pride Publishing

Published ~ 26th January 2016

Genre ~ Dystopian, Science Fiction, Action/Thriller, M/M Romance



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Merq’s always known there’s only one way Armise and he can end.
The Opposition is losing—both the war and the fight for citizen support—and the Revolution’s victory appears certain. Despite that success, Merq knows his leaders won’t let two of their greatest assets simply walk away. But with Armise fighting for his life, getting out becomes Merq’s primary objective.
Almost two decades of selfishness can’t be alleviated with one right decision, and Merq is faced with the reality of how deeply he has wounded Armise in ways that cannot be seen from the outside. Merq’s world has been upended more times than he can count and he’s always survived, but life without Armise is no longer an option. He just has to prove that to Armise.
Merq believes there are few who are strong enough to challenge them when they stand together. But when the secret Armise has been protecting Merq from is revealed, the truth has consequences neither of them can prepare for.
Reader Advisory: This book contains graphic violence, mention of torture and genetic experimentation.

Macky’s Review

This book...OMG!...THIS BOOK!

To say I was excited about jumping into the final offering of a set of books that have quite simply blown me away from the onset, is an understatement. When I finally settled down to read I was practically quivering with anticipation...

This phenomenal series has had me on a knife edge from the day I picked up One Breath, One Bullet and there have been times when I've despaired about how the final outcome would—or could— ever play out. As much as I've hungered for the release of the each book,  I've also dreaded what's to come, as no character has ever had a guaranteed safe passage and nothing has ever gone the predictable or expected route. Making this one hell of a thrilling, constantly twisting and turning, roller coaster of a ride. Over the passage of the story I've learned to steel myself for its unpredictable moments of shock horror but also had to not let any hard earned moments of euphoria blindside me either. You can not relax for one minute with this saga or take anything for granted!

If you've followed Merq Grayson and Armise Darcan's precarious journey, you'll understand just how important it is to not let anything...and I mean ANYTHING...slip out about this storyline. Just one tiny spoiler...and you've totally blown it for everyone, so this review is definitely all about the feels and how emotionally affected I've been by Ms McAuleys epic vision, of a frighteningly possible dystopian society.

The story itself is heart stopping but for me the heart and soul of Borders War has always been former enemies, Merq and Armise's emotionally dysfunctional but highly passionate relationship. Two unforgettable characters whose fight and fuck attitude at the start of the story has transformed, over its course, into one of the most beautiful, emotionally charged love stories I've ever read in this genre. To watch their progression from hard boiled, tunnel visioned 'super' soldiers on opposite sides of a tech driven war—rife with intrigue and political machinations—to reluctant lovers and finally soul mates, has just been amazing. Two decades of a tense, fractured relationship fraught with conflict and danger; it's been torturous in more ways than one experiencing their journey alongside them, but so worth the heartache they (and we as readers) have endured. A culmination that, in this last book, reached pinnacles that surpassed even my high expectations. Leaving me exhausted, battered but ultimately awe struck by what I'd just read.

It's no secret that I could gush for England about the Borders War saga; this is storytelling at its finest. A master class in how to intricately build a complex universe and interweave it with the type of storyline so cleverley plotted throughout, that you can never once predict it's next move or incarnation, and that in itself is glorious. A master manipulator and emotional assassin; S.A. McAuley didn't just nail this final episode she killed it... and me in the process. But what a way to go!

The moving and poignant interactions that shone between Merq and Armise brought me to tears more than once but OMG! I ended this book a complete and utter sobbing mess. I had to keep stopping to wipe away the waterfall flow of tears blocking my vision before I could carry on; only for floods of tears to gush again as soon as I picked it back up! No lie. I wailed (hard and ugly) through the last three chapters, including a POV from Armise that ripped me apart and Sam's own closing acknowledgements that touched me even more. I cried for at least another 15 mins after I'd closed my Kindle! I was heartbroken but I can't tell you why, because there is no way I'm taking the sheer wonder of its jaw dropping conclusion away from any reader out there who hasn't yet got to savour the sheer excellence and wonder of Strength of the Rising Sun's content.

Finally I have to pay homage to each much loved character, whose importance and involvement across the five books has only strengthened what has made this series a platinum star reading experience for me.

Merq, Armise, Simion, Neveed, Jegs, Exley...I will miss you all terribly. The nasty ass, heinous bastards whose cruelty and cold heartedness chilled me to the core...not so much! But then again without the bad guys this story would not be the tour de force it is! Hopefully this won't be the end.....

I worship these guys, so much that a selfish part of me wants to keep the whole thing to myself...MINE!...but how can I not share the abiding love. So once again I'm shouting loud to all the Borders War virgins out there...do not pass this by...


Purchase Links

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Meet Sam McAuley


Sam sleeps little, reads a lot. Happiest in a foreign country. Twitchy when not mentally in motion. Send her a picture and a song and she's bound to write a story about it. And yes, that's an invitation.



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Author Amazon Page



One Breath, One Bullet (The Borders War #1)

FREE from PRIDE PUBLISHING (Offer ends 31st January)

99c/99p Amazon

AGL ARe Review

Dominant Predator (The Borders War #2)

99p/99c (Offer ends 31st January)

AGL ARe Review

Powerless (The Borders War #3)

AGL ARe Review

Falling, One by One (The Borders War #4)

AGL AReReview

Strength of the Rising Sun (The Borders War #5)



  1. Oh, Macky. I don't know how to respond besides to say thank you. This review blew me away!!!! Thank you thank you thank you for reading my words and loving Merq & Armise. I hope to meet you in the UK!! xx

    1. You're so welcome Sam. I just love this series and Merq and Armise so much...and your writing of course! So Thank You! And I'd love to meet you to. Hugs. X