#BookReview: The Astral Conspiracy Series by @StaciTroilo-and-The Emissary Book One by @MarciaMeara

Hi everyone. Today, I have two book reviews for you by authors near and dear to me, Staci Troilo and Marcia Meara. I loved these reads so much.

Basically, I binge read all five of Staci’s Astral Conspiracy Series books, and all of them are five-star novels.

I’ve yet to read the next two books in Marcia’s Emissary series, but book one was certainly a great read, and I look forward to getting to the other two.


He lost his job. He lost his girl. Now it’s all he can do not to lose his life.

Landon Thorne is a disgraced archaeologist, a laughing stock in his field because of his unconventional beliefs – he’s an ancient astronaut theorist. No one takes him seriously.

Until an alien armada targets Earth.

Now Landon’s in high demand – by the US government and someone far more sinister.

They race across two continents to the Gate of the Gods, the one place on Earth that might give humans an advantage over the aliens. But no one is prepared for what they’ll find.

And not everyone will make it out alive.

Fans of action, intrigue, and aliens will love The Gate, the first book in the Astral Conspiracy series. Pick up your copy now!

My Review:


Having read other books by this author (Staci Troilo/D L Cross), I grabbed my copy of The Gate as soon as it went on pre-order, and I haven’t been disappointed.

What a fantastic fast-paced read. We meet Landon Thorne, long ridiculed for his outlandish beliefs. Then we meet the agents of AATIP, who pull us into a world of betrayal, back-stabbing, ambition, lies, and intrigue.

Meanwhile, an Astral App has alerted everyone on Earth that Aliens are coming.

All of a sudden, Landon Thorne is the man everyone wants. And while he’s happy his beliefs and life’s work have, finally, been recognised and vindicated, he’s less than thrilled at the mess and complications he gets pulled into.

While the author has obviously done lots of research for this book, she doesn’t bore the reader with it, but uses it to enhance an already gripping tale of Aliens, conspiracies, government secrets, and betrayals. While this first episode in the series does end on a bit of a cliffhanger, it also rounds off many of the preceding threads nicely and leaves you wanting more.

I’m eagerly awaiting the second book in the Invasion Universe (Astral Conspiracy) series. If you’re a fan of ancient-alien theories, thrown together with modern conspiracy theories and plenty of action, suspense, and intrigue, then you’re bound to love this book.

I can’t recommend this first book in the series highly enough. It gets a solid 5 stars from me. Go out and buy it now.


He’s running from Astrals. Running with Black Ops. And running toward the end of the world.

Landon Thorne belongs to an elite group: he’s one of the few people who have ever accessed the Akashic Record. He discovers a weapon that could defend the Earth.

The Astrals want to stop him. The government wants to control him. Even his allies are hiding something.

Through it all, he has one purpose. One compulsion. He’s drawn to the Georgia Guidestones.

His journey is fraught with danger – bandits, cannibals, and ancient booby traps — but when Landon finally reaches the Stones, even he is surprised by what he finds. If he can decipher the code, he can save the world.

If he can’t? His discovery may destroy him – along with the rest of the human race.

The Stones is a taut, fast-paced Indiana Jones meets Falling Skies style thriller that spans the globe and digs deep into humanity’s past, unearthing mysterious artifacts and clues to aliens’ motives for invading our world. It is the second book in the Astral Conspiracy Series, set in the world of Platt and Truant’s groundbreaking Invasion Universe – the original series with over 1000 5-star reviews.

D.L. Cross has a flair for high-stakes, heart-pounding thrillers that will keep you up late into the night.


He can’t trust his allies, won’t trust his enemies. Now he fears that he shouldn’t trust even himself.

Landon Thorne is convinced the key to defeating the Astrals is in the vault — a repository of ancient artifacts, origins unknown, covered with undeciphered glyphs. He’s also convinced he’s the one person on the planet who can translate the markings.

But strange, frightening things happen every time he gets close to the relics.

His allies decide it’s not safe to let him near the vault, so they force him to take a new mission. He’s captured by the Nine — the nefarious organization he’s been running from.

Their leader makes him an offer he can’t refuse — study the Dropa Stones for the answers they seek. Or else. To do that, he needs a cipher. And there’s only one place he can get it.

Getting in will be difficult. Getting out may prove impossible.


They took the world’s best hope. Took the father of her children. Now she’ll take revenge.

Landon Thorne was abducted by the Astrals. But Reverie Sterling doesn’t have time to dwell on his absence. She has twins to raise in a dystopian world.

Twins with psychic powers.

She was trained to rise to any challenge, so that’s what she does. As one of the Resistance’s top fighters, she’s vowed revenge against the Astrals. To get it, she partners with an unlikely ally — the Nine, the mysterious organization that’s been thwarting the Resistance since Astral Day.

The tenuous alliance converges on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, or what’s left of it. There they wage a war against local zealots and Astral warriors.

Reverie thinks she’s protecting her children. Too late, she realizes the twins have more power than anyone — and she’s the one who needs protecting.


One last mission. One last stand. One last hope.

Time is running out for the planet. The twins insist on traveling to Illinois to find Jovian, their grandfather. He’s been communicating with them telepathically and promises he has all the answers the Resistance has been searching for.

He does, but they come at a cost. A steep cost.

Now Reverie and the Resistance must make their last stand: the Astrals have judged humanity and found it lacking. Annihilation is coming, unless Jovian can deliver on his promise.

Earth’s best chance is deep in his laboratory under Monks Mound.

And the old man has one last surprise no one is expecting.

My Review:

A Mind-Blowing Series

Wow. Absolutely fantastic set of five books. I’ll be devouring these again at some point. Such a lot to process. Brilliantly imagined and written. Excellent world building and characterisation. If you love aliens or sci-fi or just plain politics and machinations on a global level, read these books.

The whole Astral Conspiracy series from D L Cross is a must-read 5 star epic tale.


The Emissary: A Riverbend Spinoff Novella


Was Gabe Angelino, the mysterious truck driver in Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2, really an angel, as Willow Green believes? Or was he simply a good man, determined to help a stranger in need? Find out, as author Marcia Meara reveals the truth in the first Riverbend spinoff novella, The Emissary.

An angel’s work is never done—that’s part of the gig. But angels hadn’t been created to deal with such a vastly over-populated planet, rife with misery, suffering, and general chaos. Helping souls in peril has become a nearly impossible job, and even angelic tempers are frayed.

The archangel Azrael has had enough. He believes he’s found a way to ease their burden while saving jeopardized humans, too—hired help.

When Jake Daughtry lost his life rescuing a total stranger from certain death, he was on the fast track to Heaven. But that was before Azrael pulled him right out of line at the Pearly Gates. Now, as an Emissary to the Angels, Jake is taking to the highway in a quest to help souls in trouble. But the innate stubbornness of human beings bent on self-destruction is a challenge unlike any he’s ever faced.

It’s up to Jake and Azrael to bridge the gap between humans and angels. Will they ever convince the Council of Angels this endeavor is worthwhile? Can Jake figure out how to play by Azrael’s complicated rules? Will Azrael ever master the use of contractions in general conversation?

To find out the answers, hop on board Jake’s big red-and-white semi and travel the roads from the Florida Keys to north Georgia on an adventure that will make you laugh hard and cry even harder.

My Review:

I won this book, along with the other two in The Emissary series, from an online competition. As I’ve read other books by this author, I was eager to read these. And I’m so glad I bumped this novella up my to-be-read list. It is a short but thoroughly enjoyable read, and I’ll be reading the next two as soon as I can.

The writer brings you all the emotions you could ask for in a book: humour (lots of laugh-out-loud momemts), sadness, despair, grief, determination, hope, etc.

I loved the two main characters in The Emissary, and Azrael is brilliant. The whole concept of overworked angels grabs my interest and arouses my sense of humour. All in all, a fun and intriuging read.

It gets 5 stars from me.


NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.


I’d love to hear what you think of these reviews. Thanks for stopping by 🙂


If you’re interested, I’ve linked the titles to Goodreads.

24 Comments on “#BookReview: The Astral Conspiracy Series by @StaciTroilo-and-The Emissary Book One by @MarciaMeara

  1. Great reviews, Harmony! I’ve read both Marcia’s Emissary series and Staci’s Astral Conspiracy series and loved them both. I gave all the books in both 5 stars each. I can’t recommend them highly enough. Very different worlds and characters, but all so intriguing and spell-binding. Congrats to both Staci and Marcia!

  2. Fantastic reviews, Harmony! I came into Marcia’s trilogy with the last book, so now need to backtrack and read the first two. 🙂 I look forward to reading Staci’s new series! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Thanks so much for such a great review of The Emissary, Harmony! I had a wonderful time writing the entire trilogy, and it makes me very happy to know you enjoyed it. And it’s even nicer to be sharing the spotlight with Staci this morning! I’ve just finished my re-read of the first book in the series, The Gate, and loved it all over again. Now I’m going to binge read all the rest, which is my favorite way to enjoy any series, when possible. I can highly recommend The Gate and expect to feel the same way about the next four. Well done, Staci!

    Thanks again for a great surprise this morning, Harmony, and I hope you’ll the rest of Jake, Dodger, and Azrael’s story when you have a chance to read the next two books. 🙂 <3

    • Errr … could you please imagine I had the word “enjoy” inserted in that last sentence? Rushing this morning, but should have proofed it. Sorry. And when, oh when, will I remember that your blog doesn’t translate the < and the 3 into a heart emoji? DOH!!! (Well, you know I love ya anyway!) 😀

      • I love Marcia’s series and can’t wait to read the third book. I have been enthralled with Staci’s series and I’m half way through the final book. Great reviews!

    • You’ll adore the whole series, Marcia! And I cannot wait to get back to the rest of the Emissary books 🙂

  4. Wonderful reviews all around. I’m part way through Staci’s series and am loving it. Congratulations to Marcia and Staci.

  5. Great reviews, Harmony. I have a feeling that I’ll reread the Astral series sometime again. I’m sure to pick up on things I missed and I agree. Five stars to each book.

    Haven’t read the Emissary series yet, but I’ve heard good things about it. I enjoyed Marcia’s Riverbend series.

  6. Azrael is brilliant. It’s hard to pick a favorite in the Emissary series, but I think I have to give him the edge.

    So glad you enjoyed the Astral Conspiracy series so much, though I’m sorry you lost sleep over it. Thank you for the glowing reviews. And the glowing animation! And all the quoted tweets, which always brightened my morning when I checked my stream. Your enthusiasm for this body of work truly means a lot to me.

    • That makes me happy, Staci. Best of luck with this series and all your other projects! 🙂

  7. Great reviews for Staci and Marcia thanks Harmony… I am reading the Wake-Robin Ridge series first but will get to The Emissary books soon…Not familiar with Staci’s books as yet but will put on the list..hugsx

    • Yep, I’ve been taking more down time lately, which means more reading (yay!). Thanks, John 🙂