Thrifty Thursday : The Harvesters Series by Luke R Mitchell @RemingtonWrites ‏ #StevenBarnett #ThriftyThursday #JIAM #LOVEAudiobooks

Posted June 3, 2021 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review, Thrifty Thursday / 8 Comments


The purpose of Thrifty Thursday is to read a book which was free (at some point).

Author freebie on March 22, 2021  (currently not on purchasing platforms as of writing this post)

Overall rating 4.78 with 23 ratings and 7 reviews



Thrifty Thursday : The Harvesters Series by Luke R Mitchell @RemingtonWrites ‏ #StevenBarnett  #ThriftyThursday #JIAM #LOVEAudiobooksCursed Blood by Luke Mitchell
Narrator: Steven Barnett
Series: Harvesters #0.1
on April 17, 2018
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction
Pages: 133
Format: eBook
Source: Author
One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Lilly Cross has a secret.

And it's not just that she can move things with her mind... That, she could handle—had handled since finding out about her gifts. She'd even carved a real life for herself, with a daughter she adored and a husband who... Well, so what if the spark had died? Life was good.

But when an old friend shows up at her door, Lilly finds herself yanked back into a dangerous world by tales as outlandish as they are disturbing. They walk among us, he says. Hiding in plain sight. Preying on anyone and anything they please. From the shadows, they rule the planet, unnoticed by all but a very rare few. A few like Lilly.

Now, faced with a seemingly unstoppable enemy, Lilly must make a choice that will change the world. If she fails, it could spell doom for us all. But if she succeeds, she might just find that monsters come in all shapes...

What would you do to protect your family?

Cursed Blood is a shorter prequel to the Harvesters series which I think was written after some of the series was already released.  I like to read everything in order, in this case chronologically,  so I started here.  It really set the stage for why things happen and how the dystopian world was created.

The author shared the story on his newsletter or site and I don’t believe it is for sale anywhere currently.  I’m really happy to have the background and insight it provided.


Author freebie on May 21, 2021  (currently $2.99 as of writing this post)

Overall rating 4.11 with 148 ratings and 35 reviews


Thrifty Thursday : The Harvesters Series by Luke R Mitchell @RemingtonWrites ‏ #StevenBarnett  #ThriftyThursday #JIAM #LOVEAudiobooksSoldier of Charity by Luke Mitchell
Series: Harvesters #0.5
on November 3, 2016
Genres: Science Fiction Fantasy
Pages: 86
Format: eBook
Source: Author
AmazonBarnes & NobleApple
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

It's been six years since the bombs fell. Jarek's managed to survive thanks to a one-of-a-kind exosuit, a cheeky AI companion, and a healthy habit of keeping his head down. Then he meets her.

When Jarek reveals the power of his suit to save a life, it isn't long before a well-meaning militia boss shows up looking to recruit. But in a ruined world, what's really worth fighting for?

If he doesn't decide, someone will for him. And he might not like where those decisions lead.

No one ever said growing up in the apocalypse was easy . . .

I was thrilled to get Soldier of Charity from an author newsletter just a day or so before I planned to start reading the series.  Also a prequel and a short novella, it helped me see more of the background of what I presume will be a main character in the series.

A dystopian world with a fight to survive is always an appealing story for me.  We learn about the dark side of those surviving.  Some will do horrible things and others are just willing to look the other way when horrible things are done.  The starvation and the killing by those to get what they want are part of it.  But there are also those who are trying to improve things.

I really enjoyed the characters.  The main character Jarek is young so his perceptions are well, young or a bit naive considering the dystopian survival world he has lived in for awhile. I appreciated the fact he was able to gather a few allies even in this harsh world. Jarek also seems a bit lucky.

His primary companion is Al,  the AI in his ecosuit.  I love technology and Al’s pithy comments do lighten the mood in the dark world.  I hope he can keep Jarek safe and I worry about if the suit needs repairs at some point. It allows Jarek to take on things well beyond what his capability should be.  It’s exciting since Jarek has a conscience but also terrifying.

Kindle freebie on November 1, 2020  (currently free as of writing this post)

I received the audio from the author March 22, 2021

Overall rating 4.03 with 542 ratings and 74 reviews


Thrifty Thursday : The Harvesters Series by Luke R Mitchell @RemingtonWrites ‏ #StevenBarnett  #ThriftyThursday #JIAM #LOVEAudiobooksRed Gambit by Luke Mitchell
Narrator: Steven Barnett
Series: Harvesters #1
on January 2, 2018
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction
Length: 7 hours, 49 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Author
AmazonAudibleLibro.fmBarnes & NobleApple
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

It's been fifteen years since the raknoth made a smoldering heap of Earth. But for some survivors, the problems are just getting started.

Jarek Slater is a sword-slinging nomad with a powerful exosuit and a mean vigilante streak—or was until his exosuit was stolen. He wants it back.

Rachel Cross is an energy-bending arcanist who wants nothing more than to find her brother and bring him home safely.

When their paths collide, Jarek and Rachel are reluctantly pulled into a race across the nuclear wasteland to reclaim his suit and save her brother. All that stands between them and their goals is a vicious alien warlord, some grating interpersonal tension, and a whole bunch of violent marauders. Oh, and a mysterious alien device that may bring on the second apocalypse.

Together, they might just be strong enough to pull it off. Assuming they don't kill each other first . . .

I shouldn’t be surprised to have enjoyed the first full book in the series, more than the prequels. That is not say I didn’t enjoy the prequels, because I certainly did, but a longer book gives more time for world and character development. I am very glad to have read the prequels first.  I loved having that background and development of our main characters before Red Gambit.

Jarek and Rachel have talents and certainly have terrible times in their histories.  Rachel seems a bit out of touch having lived in Unity and away from the fighting.  I can’t decide if Jarek is that immature or just so cynical with some of his flip comments.  They seem just a bit luckier than their skills should make them.  I can live with it since they are the “good” guys.  Overall the tone is more comic book or superheroes than some of the dark, gritty fantasy I read.

I’ll be interested to see how things turn out in the future.  Are there many of the aliens left or are they just minds invaded by aliens doing their wishes?  But then how did Seth stay alive?   How well did Lilly’s blood work and do they drink human blood to counteract it?  Can the humans use her method again or improve on it?

So definitely I hope to understand more by reading further in the Harvesters series.



I have not listened to Steven Barnett previously.  I do have one audio I own where he is the narrator, and it looks like he has narrated quite often in the scifi genre.   The performance was impressive.  The voices sounded appropriate for males, females and ages.  He handled Jarek’s sarcasm and Rachel’s exhaustion well in tone.   I listened at my usual 1.5x speed.

Listen to a clip:


Rating Breakdown
Narration (Audio)
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star


Kindle freebie on April 24, 2018  (currently $4.99 as of writing this post)

Overall rating 4.19 with 277 ratings and 29 reviews


Thrifty Thursday : The Harvesters Series by Luke R Mitchell @RemingtonWrites ‏ #StevenBarnett  #ThriftyThursday #JIAM #LOVEAudiobooksHell to Pay by Luke Mitchell
Series: Harvesters #2
on June 21, 2017
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction Fantasy
Pages: 328
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
AmazonAudibleLibro.fmBarnes & NobleApple
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

It all went off without a hitch. Okay, so there were hitches. Lots of hitches. But Jarek got his exosuit back, and Rachel saved her brother. Then that stupid alien egg had to blow up and ruin all of it.

Now Rachel's brother is in a coma, and they have a tight-lipped raknoth telling them some fresh new hell is about to rain down on their heads—one that gives even the raknoth nightmares. And that's when the strange ship shows up.

No one knows where it came from. Only that it seems to be looking for something. And when it turns out that that 'something' might be Rachel and that the ship's mysterious crew are harboring secrets surrounding her mom's disappearance and the raknoth themselves . . . Well, it's safe to say their day's not about to get any less complicated.

And one way or another, there's going to be hell to pay.

Well, my questions about the previous book do come into play in Hell to Pay.  In some ways, it doesn’t feel like there is as much action but there is definitely more world building.  Some new characters bring us a lot more information on the events of the Catastrophe, the raknoth, the rakul and the Enochians.  If you read Cursed Blood, you will know some of this information but it turns out most of the current day people don’t.

Jarek and Rachel continue to be main characters.  I like them but they seem still seem somewhat immature at times.  They certainly do their best to protect others.  I am glad they are able to trust and support each other as it is a time where trust is in short supply.

Everyone has had to go through a lot of changes and information here.  The book covers a relatively short time, maybe a week or two.  The battles fought, and the discovery of the rakul and Enochian information is overwhelming to them.  I want to read more to learn how they fight and who survives when the rakul arrive.


About Luke Mitchell

Luke is an SFF author whose dreams include being a paid SFF author and also one day growing up (and lots of zombies… don’t ask). Also, the ‘growing up’ bit was a lie.

After studying engineering science at Penn State and neuroengineering at Drexel, Luke finally decided to throw in the towel on actually building a working Iron Man suit, opting instead to simply make things up and write them down. Boy, is he having more fun now.

When he’s not holed up in his cave trying to string words together, he can often be found powerlifting, video-gaming, reading, and/or drinking the darkest, most roasty beers he can get his mitts on.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • C21-Spring

Posted June 3, 2021 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review, Thrifty Thursday / 8 Comments

8 responses to “Thrifty Thursday : The Harvesters Series by Luke R Mitchell

    • Yes the author gave away lots of the starting prequels and books at one time or another including the audio version of the first book. I figure the least I could do is review them.