Book Review: The Curse Of Time (Bloodstone #1) by M.J. Mallon

Author: M.J. Mallon
Release Date: 2nd April 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Series: Bloodstone (Book #1)
Edition: E-book
Pages: 237
Publisher: Kyrosmagica Publishing
Blurb:
Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who’s imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house. When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden pathway where she encounters Ryder, a charismatic, but perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set, and some crystal wizard stones she discovers the truth about a shocking curse that has destroyed her family’s happiness.

REVIEW

★★★★

The Curse Of Time by M.J. Mallon is an intricate fantasy novel with unique supernatural and magical elements which serves as a highly entertaining read. I had a great time reading this novel and exploring the magical world of Amelina full of magic crystals and enchanted mirrors.

The writing is good, the characterization decent and the pacing and tension in sync with the plot. The plot-progression was good and the character development was something I really appreciated in this story. The simple use of language complimented the plot and made it an enjoyable read.

The only problem I had when I started reading this book was that there were a number of themes running through the book, which at times felt a little bit confusing to me. But as I progressed further in the story, everything started to fall into place, and eventually, everything started to make more sense. So, maybe it was intentional or maybe not, either way, it wasn’t a big issue as I enjoyed reading the book and would recommend it to all fantasy and supernatural readers.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon
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Book Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

AuthorStephanie Garber 
Release Date: 28th November 2018
Genre: Techno-Thriller, Action, Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalyptic
Series: Written By Blood #1
Edition: e-book
Pages: 238
Publisher: 
Blurb:
The Sunday Times bestseller WELCOME TO CARAVAL, WHERE NOTHING IS QUITE WHAT IT SEEMS . . . Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show. Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father. When the sisters’ long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show’s mastermind organiser, Legend. Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.

REVIEW

★★+1/2

Caraval by Stephanie Garber is one book that I had waited for a long time to read before, finally, I was able to read it for the buddy read of RMFAO‘s Buddy Read for December’s Fantasy Month. To say that I had monumental expectations from this book would be a complete understatement. I’ve always loved reading immersive and elaborate fantasy books, but after having read The Night Circus, I was completely enthralled to have discovered magic in such a conventional form – Circus. And that was the reason why I was so eager to read Caraval which, to me, seemed a lot like The Night Circus.

Unfortunately, as it turns out, comparing both these books would be an insult to The Night Circus as Caraval miserably and unapologetically failed on more fronts that I even care to count. The only reason I even completed the book was the plot because somehow (unbelievably) the plot managed to keep me interested and I wanted to find out how the book ended.

I was appalled to see that the characterisation was so lifeless that I don’t even remember the names of the leading heroine even though I finished the book only a couple of days ago! And this was not even the fault of my huge expectations because I really feel that if a book is a Sunday Times Bestseller, it has to have something going for it, shouldn’t it??

The descriptions were very forced and sounded repetitive, the characterization was weak and immature and the progression of the plot felt weak too. The pacing was not great as at some places it was so slow that I had to skim over portions. The world building was okay but not as it should have been and the dialogues were outright bad at some places.

I hate writing so much negative about this book as I do feel that this book had a lot of potentials but it failed miserably for me in almost every aspect. I won’t be recommending this book to anyone. Though if you love reading fantasy genre, you should really give The Night Circus a read because that book is simply MAGIC!

this review is also posted on Goodreads

Book Review: Braidy Von Althuis And The Dastardly Djinn By Cassidy Dwelis

Author: Cassidy DwelisRelease Date: 30th October 2018
Genre: Middle-Grade, Fantasy, Supernatural
Series: Braidy Von Althuis #3
Edition: e-book
Pages: 228
Publisher: Precursor Publishing
Blurb:
“He should have known this would happen. Wishes in movies and books seemed to go bad, so why would this one be any different?” 
Ten-year-old Braidy von Althuis misses his family dearly. Ever since his father, his aunt, and his uncle went to look for Gran in Europe, the house has been quiet and lonely. Even worse, Braidy’s cousin Blockhead is miserable after a breakup. Braidy wishes more than anything that he could do something to make his cousin happy. His wish is granted by a mysterious djinni, but the wish does not solve all his problems. Something is wrong with Blockhead, and Braidy learns a dark secret about his family that changes everything he knew. Will Braidy and Blockhead be able to undo the djinni wish, or will Braidy spark a war that may change the world as he knows it? Braidy von Althuis and the Dastardly Djinn is a story about identity, self-worth, consent, and responsibility. 
This book is suitable for children aged 8 – 11.

Review

★★★★

Braidy Von Althuis And The Dastardly Djinn by Cassidy Dwelis is the sequel to Braidy Von Althuis And The Gullible Ghost Hunter. I had a bit of a complaint from the last part because of the absence of a character, but this book totally made up for everything because this part focused mainly on Braidy and Blockhead, Braidy’s cousin. So I really, really enjoyed this book (as much as I did the first one, Braidy Von Althuis And The Pesky Pest Controller.) 

The story in this book starts where the last one left off and the plot progressed further featuring Braidy on yet another adventure, this one, again, a little bigger and better. Reading about the familiar characters felt so good and in no time I was there living the plot myself right beside Braidy. I loved this book and I’m looking forward to reading more books (especially in this series, if the author plans to continue) by the author.

I’d recommend this book to all middle-graders and to their parents and siblings and friends alike because this book has so much to offer that anyone could enjoy it.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Braidy Von Althuis And The Gullible Ghost Hunter by Cassidy Dwelis

Author: Cassidy Dwelis
Release Date: 30th March 2018
Genre: Middle-Grade, Fantasy, Supernatural
Series: Braidy Von Althuis #2
Edition: e-book
Pages: 228
Publisher: Precursor Publishing
Blurb:
“Braidy felt a churning cauldron of fear stirring in his stomach. Uncle Rolo had the habit of destroying good things.” Ten-year-old Braidy von Althuis finally has what he needs: a good friend, Saturday-Morning cartoons, and a loving family. While life has been perfect since Braidy defeated the warlock that attempted to kidnap his father, Braidy knows the quiet will not last. Strangeness creeps through Maple Hills, especially since a ghost hunter moved into town. This ghost hunter has Braidy’s dead Uncle Rolo worried sick, but Braidy’s family thinks the newcomer in town is harmless. Braidy feels otherwise, and to make matters worse, a friend from Uncle Rolo’s past comes to call. Will Uncle Rolo follow the rules and stay safe, or will Braidy watch his uncle tear their family apart? Braidy von Althuis and the Gullible Ghost Hunter is a story about telling the truth, taking responsibility, and what it means to be a family. This book is suitable for children aged 8 – 11.

Review

★★★+1/2

Braidy Von Althuis And The Gullible Ghost Hunter by Cassidy Dwelis is the sequel to Braidy Von Althuis And The Pesky Pest Controller, a book which I heartily enjoyed. This book was a bit shorter than the last one and as a result, for me, did not pack as much punch as I was expecting. Still, overall the series kept progressing nicely through this book and the story in this one tackled another great adventure which was very enjoyable.

The book was good, but I felt that it missed a couple of characters entirely, for example, Blockhead and Kara. Kara at least made occasional appearances, but blockhead was missing entirely from the second half of the book which felt more like a plot hole than a planned event. Even Gran, Aunt Liz and Mrs Althuis were shown very less which affected the characterization in this one (which was really unfortunate as I had huge expectations from this one.)

Nonetheless, the story was exciting in its own way and the plot was, yet again, a winner. I loved the fact that in this book, the story focused on Brady’s uncle, Rolo, and that new characters were introduced in a nice way. I again came across the issue of unpolished dialogues, but the brilliance of the plot again made it up for me.

If you’re looking for a fresh series to explore than I’d highly recommend this series, though I don’t recommend reading this part without having read the first one as the first part, Braidy Von Althuis And The Pesky Pest Controller, gives an intimate knowledge of all the characters and their backgrounds.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Braidy Von Althuis And The Pesky Pest Controller by Cassidy Dwelis

Author: Cassidy Dwelis
Release Date: 10th May 2017
Genre: Middle-Grade, Fantasy, Supernatural
Series: Braidy Von Althuis #1
Edition: e-book
Pages: 323
Publisher: Precursor Publishing
Blurb:
Ten-year-old Braidy von Althuis just wants one thing: to fit in. The other kids at school think he’s weird, and for good reason. Despite his oddities, Braidy wants more than anything for his dad to be able to come to Township Day, a fun-filled event at school, but Mr. von Althuis refuses. “It’s too dangerous,” he says. Things change for Braidy when Mr. von Althuis gets sick, and, even wose, this pesky pest controller won’t leave Braidy alone! Will Braidy be able to get his family to Township Day without his world falling apart? Braidy von Altuis and the Pesky Pest Controller is a tale of frienship, family, magic, and mayhem that takes a look at what it means to be bullied and how to rise above it. This book is suitable for children aged 8 – 11.

Review

★★★★

Braidy Von Althuis And The Pesky Pest Controller by Cassidy Dwelis is an insanely enjoyable middle-grade fantasy book that will definitely warm your heart. This book is about a ten-year-old boy, Braidy, who lives with his odd family in an old palace and faces challenges in school in the form of bullying for being different. But in reality, Braidy is a brave boy who can go to any lengths in order to help his family and loved ones.

This is a beautiful story and I loved it to the core. The characterization is brilliant and the story progression is really, really good. The writing was mostly good but did feel a bit rough around the edges and in all honesty, seems to require a bit of a polish. Even the dialogues felt a bit crude and sometimes out of place, but these are minor flaws which can always be corrected by the author and seem minuscule in front of such a winning plot.

The best part about the book was that it had a lot going on which made the overall plot very interesting as well as very realistic. Each and every character’s internal conflicts were displayed beautifully and I really liked reading about each and every single person and incident.

I’m sure the kids would love to read this book (or listen to it as an elaborate bedtime story.) If you like reading books with honest characterization and concept then go ahead and grab yourself and/or your kids a copy of this amazing book.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: TwoSpells by Mark Morrison

Author: Mark Morrison
Release Date: 21 February 2018
Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy, Young Adult
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 316
Publisher:
Blurb:
Sarah and her twin brother Jon are heirs to an ancient magical realm and its most valuable treasure, an enchanted library. The library endows readers with the supernatural means of crossing into the uncharted inner-sanctum of the second dimension, inhabited with peculiar and sometimes perilous creatures.
The children are emboldened with a wondrous mystical gift that no other being has ever possessed. But fate intervenes and triggers a disastrous inter-dimensional war that disrupts the fabric of time and space spanning multiple universes, tearing destiny a new and savage pathway.
The two must rescue their world from a phantom hybrid alien race controlled by a demented dark-wizard, Jeremy Sermack. They will either assimilate or be exterminated.
Will they be the saviors the prophets spoke of, or will they retreat to the perceived safety of their distant homeland?

Review

★★★

TwoSpells by Mark Morrison was a delightful read with a very engaging plot and decent story-telling. I enjoyed reading this book from start to finish and even though the characterization wasn’t perfect, it was good enough to take the story further. It wasn’t an overly loaded read and proved to be a light and breezy read.

I liked the tension in the book and the build-up was also pretty good as was the ending. It suited the plot and I’m looking forward to exploring more titles by the author. The world-building was good, the pacing was decent and the writing okay and overall it made for an enjoyable read which I’d recommend to all fantasy lovers who don’t mind reading a story with very young protagonists.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Snowtiger’s Trail by Watson Davis

Author: Watson Davis
Release Date: 12th April 2018
Genre: Swords & Sorcery, High Fantasy
Series:  The Windhaven Chronicles (Book #9)
Edition: E-book
Pages: 315
Publisher:
Blurb:
Welcome to Windhaven and the Wrath of the Wizard-King!A deposed Wizard-king leads his ragged band of followers to the last town before the Far Waste and hides there from his vengeful queen while building an army to re-take his rightful kingdom. A regular army won’t do for the Wizard-king. He needs something deadlier, something magical, something demonic.When Wallak of the Bright Fox tribe wakes up from a night of carousing in Ancliff, he can’t find his nephew. He can’t return to his tribe alone, but if he discovers his nephew whereabouts, he may never return to his tribe at all.

This is a swords and sorcery tale of dark, soul-twisting magic where no-one is safe.

Review

★★★★★

The Snowtiger’s Trail by Watson Davis is a beautifully written and a very well thought-out high fantasy read that totally blew my mind!

I am a big fan of the fantasy genre but only if it is done right and that was something I was expecting from this book when I got a chance to read it, and this book did exactly that and so much more. It totally exceeded all my expectations and I was sucked into the story right from the very beginning.

The characterization is spot on, the writing style is brilliant, the world-building is simply amazing and the pacing is superb! All-in-all, this book had everything that I expect from a solid and meticulous fantasy book.

What is really amazing is that even though this was the 9th book in the Windhaven series, I did not feel, even for a second, that I wasn’t getting some part of the story or was missing out on some bits because of not having read any of the earlier parts. Initially, I had forgotten that this was a part of an ongoing series and realized it only when I was near the end (that too only when I was checking its cover on my kindle and happened to read the extra pages of the book which had a list of names of the other parts.) So this can be read as a stand alone without any reservations.

I loved this book and I’d recommend it to everyone who wants to read a nice story involving swords, sorcery and fascinating (and totally amazing) animals.

this review is also posted on goodreads and amazon

Book Review: From Wrath To Ruin by Justin Enos

Author: Justin Enos
Release Date: 26th April 2017
Genre: Dystopian, Speculative Fiction, Fantasy
Series: 

Edition:
 E-book (mobi)
Pages: 386
Publisher: Book Baby
Blurb:
In exile from his homeland…
As a mercenary, Tijodrin has wandered far and wide, and now his travels have
brought him to the great city of Hohvenlor, a city he knows well. He quickly finds
himself caught up in a fierce rivalry that threatens to destroy two powerful
merchant families and turn the streets of Hohvenlor into a battlefield.
Within the city walls, Tijodrin will find danger in many forms. Can he survive
the endless plots of the vengeful merchants and the swords of their bloodthirsty
henchmen, as well as the lurking daggers of the shadowy assassin’s guild??

Review

★★★+1/2

From Wrath To Ruin by Justin Enos is an action-packed dystopian fantasy book with a unique plot.

I’ve read a lot of speculative and dystopian books, but this is the first time I’m reading a mix of in a fast-paced fantasy setting, and I must say it was a very unique and a quite enjoyable experience. I wasn’t able to overly relate or connect to the main protagonist, but I cared enough for him and the other characters to read till the end and was happy with the way it ended.

The best about this book was the element of surprise and unpredictable action. The tension and pacing were high and fast respectively and the overall plot progression was good too. I had a bit of a trouble getting into the flow of the writing initially, but after a couple of pages, I was in for good.

I’d recommend this book to readers who like fast paced stories packed with lots of heady action.

Review also posted on: Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Author: Ernest Cline
Release Date: 5th June 2012
Genre: Science-Fiction, Science-Fantasy, Dystopian, Young Adult
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 374
Publisher: Broadway Books
Blurb:
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

REVIEW

★★★★★

“The Hallidays looked like an ordinary American family. There was no hint that the stoic man in the brown leisure suit was an abusive alcoholic, that the smiling woman in the floral pantsuit was bipolar or that the young boy in the faded Asteroids T-shirt would one day create an entirely new universe.”

This book is EPIC! And that too on SO MANY LEVELS!!
First off, I loved the settings! For a hardcore dystopian lover like myself, it was a pure treat! The setting in the book was dystopian in the real sense and filled me with absolute and total dread – I’d hate to be in a world that is described in this book. So the settings are perfect and it is quite self-explanatory why a person would prefer the utopian OASIS to spend their every waking moment. And that’s why the entire thing seems so real and relatable.

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The Concept of this book is so F**king genius that I was completely stoked!
Who doesn’t like the 80s? The people born in 80s love 80s for obvious reasons, the people born before 80s love 80s and the people born after 80s seriously obsess over the 80s because 80s was the most amazing era whether it was in movies, video games, books, music, or anything whatsoever. I’ve been obsessed with the 80s since my teen years and now we have a book that is an EPIC testament to the era we love, adore and long!

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Video Games, you say? Bloody f**king yes!!
This book mentions so many classics that you’d feel so nostalgic that you will end up searching the old games and downloading them to play them all again. At least that’s what I did (or am doing while writing this review.) I loved reading the loving and notable mentions of some of my childhood favs – GALAGA(!!) Contra, Donkey Kong, Pac Man (who doesn’t love them) and other games that I played on my home console game (sadly I was born in 1990 and not in America so I never got to play games on the arcade machines :/)

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But the majority of the games I played weren’t mentioned in the book as they were popular in the 90s and not 80s. But anyway, I still loved reading about the games and it was an absolute surreal experience to read about characters that were so obsessed with gaming!

I loved Art3mis and felt connected to her on so many levels. I’m a girl game nerd so it made me super happy to read about another girl game nerd. She’s like my soul sister!!

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Virtual Reality
I’m SO glad the book didn’t dwell on the sad and boring topic of perks of the real world over a virtual one. Because I’m an antisocial geek who does not prefer the real world. I even met my husband online! And we’re happy and so much in love even after 7 years of marriage!! So everyone who believes you can’t find honest, good or “real” people online go ahead and read this book and LEARN something! Otherwise just go back to living your sad little lives in the sad little shell that you’ve created for yourself.

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Hail Halliday!!
Yes, I know Halliday is a… ahem… fictional character, but after reading this book, I’ve come to think of him as a Geek God. He’s the man… the real deal… the real geek. So only two words for him – Hail, Halliday!
Even Morrow was the real deal. I really liked him too and his avatar as well. Other characters were good too, though I loved Art3mis and Halliday the best ❤

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The ending is satisfactory – it was very fair and I loved it more than anything. And even though Halliday was not the main character, I still felt a longing when Halliday’s avatar, Anorak, left in the end.

If you still haven’t read this book, GO and READ IT NOW! It is an abso-f**king-lutely and total-effing-badass book!

PS: I really wish someday Ernest Cline writes about modern games and Play Stations and Xbox as that is what I (and the later generations) are well aware of. I’m really hoping to see something on God Of War series – it is my absolute favourite game ever!

PPS: I read this book for RMFAO Buddy Read.

Goodreads

Book Review: Beneath The Skin by R.L. Martinez

Author: R.L. Martinez
Release Date: 21st July 2017
Genre: Fantasy, Elementals > Magic, Witches, Shape-shifter
Series: The Witchbreed Series – #2
Edition:
 E-book
Pages: 365
Publisher: Lakewater Press
Blurb:
Abandoned, betrayed, and wanted for murder, Lady Oriabel Dominax is a witch on the run. The deadly magic now awakened inside her is hungry, and it is all Oriabel can do to control it. With no choice but to trust strangers as her guardians, she quickly discovers not everyone is who they say they are and the very magic she fears might be her only weapon to protect those she loves.
Since rescuing her sister from certain death, Lady Ottilde Dominax’s only goal is to keep Oriabel safe and alive. Not an easy task when both the enemy and their so-called allies are hunting them. Placing all her trust in the very man who held her prisoner, Ottilde must open her heart and mind to a future she could never have predicted, a future guided only by love and survival.
Life, death, and tragedy lie ahead as the Dominax twins set out on a perilous journey to safety. But knowing they are mere pawns in someone else’s game means fighting for family is all they have left.

REVIEW

★★

Beneath The Skin by R.L. Martinez is the second instalment of The Witchbreed series and a sequel to one of my favourite fantasy books, In The Blood.

The first book in this series was so good that when I was offered to review the second one, I was beyond myself and agreed immediately, though I started to feel sceptical about the series as a whole the moment I laid eyes on the cover of this one. Still, I went ahead and read the book because I was sure the story had to be good because… you know… it was the sequel to In The Blood! However, things did not go as per my expectations and this part ended up disappointing me.

I was expecting to see a lot of action and was looking forward to learning more about the characters of whom I was already a fan, but the book proved to be a slog and I was struggling only after a couple of pages. The characters seemed to annoy me for some reason and the pace fo the story was extremely slow in the first half the story. To be honest after about 30% of the book I was literally skimming over the pages not wanting to DNF this book. The story picked up pace after 50% though by that time I was not even interested in knowing whatever was happening.

This is the first time (after DIvergent) that I did not like a particular part of a book series, so I’m not even sure if I’ll be reading the next part.

Goodreads and Amazon

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Book Review: The Blue Curtain by L.G. Metcalf

Author: L G Metcalf
Release Date: 24th May 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal > Vampire, Mystery, Suspense
Edition: e-book
Pages: 
Publisher: Moleyco Press

Blurb:

Devastated by her father’s brutal murder, seventeen-year-old Emily Bliss is determined to find his killers, even after everyone else has given up. As Emily attempts to follow their trail, she encounters a mysterious stranger at a party. Beneath his handsome looks, physical prowess, vast wealth, intimidating presence and hypnotizing eyes, she can sense that he is tormented by demons that she cannot yet fathom. Soon Emily is shocked yet thrilled to realize that she is falling uncontrollably in love with him to the point of obsession and that she is willing say or do anything to make him stay. But an early birthday gift Emily’s father left for her has revealed secrets about her life, buried centuries ago, that will hurl her into a dark underworld that she never dreamed existed and point to a great destiny awaiting her, if only she can survive long
enough to seize it..

Review

★★★

The Blue Curtain by L.G. Metcalf is a paranormal YA romance novel that is quite like the others on the same theme but not too bad to read if you want to read a YA book with a mystery twist.

The writing is good, in fact, it is one of the positives in the book that made me read the entire story. The story was simple but it was made interesting with the use of alternating POVs in two very different timelines. The POV hopping was easy and smooth and made this an interesting read.

The plot was good but predictable and the storyline was not too different from other books in these genres. I liked the characters but wasn’t able to connect with them individually on any level. Though I did like them and cared enough to read about them through the end.

I’d recommend this book to the genre readers and to anyone who likes mystery reads and wouldn’t mind the paranormal or the YA angle.

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Book Review: Pangaea: The End Of Days, Revelations by Bolivar Beato

Author: Bolivar Beato
Release Date: 11th July 2017
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Pangaea
Edition: 
e-book
Pages: 226
Publisher: Self-Published

Blurb:

At the dawn of humankind came the end of all that stood before.
This story is one such fairytale. Except it is not truly a fairytale. It is the story of Giants and Immortals, and of Earth’s greatest legend, Pangaea.
The great continent and the ocean Panthalassa were more than just the earth and the sea—they were the future. They were more than the children that ran across their playgrounds, the farmers that plowed their fields, and the sailors that travelled their waters. More than the hopes and fears of their inhabitants. And much more than the myths and legends who walked the Earth three hundred million years ago. They were a dream, a covenant made long before this universe ever took shape.
This is the tale of an end of an Age.
These are its tragic last days.
Pangaea is being torn apart by magic, and an old evil is set to return. Its greatest champions are blinded by ambition, choked by politics, and crippled by pain.
Brought together by fate, seven young heroes set out to save the world.
But what can children do against living gods?

Review

★★★

Pangaea: The End Of Days, Revelations by Bolivar Beto is a unique new fantasy read written in a different way that is sure to entertain you.

The story is written in the form of various short stories being told of the same world and ultimately coming together in the larger picture. The book was easy to read and quite quick which was a big plus. The writing was mostly simple and understandable, though I had to re-read some sections to understand the meanings of the lines. Maybe it was because of the intricately woven tale of the cosmic world which was not easy to comprehend on the first reading or maybe it was the sentence formation, I’m not quite sure. Though, I did enjoy reading the book.

It was good to read about Indian Gods in one of the stories of the Caldroun and I must say, as different as it might be from Indian myths, it was sure interesting to see them in a fantasy read from a foreign perspective.

I’d recommend this book to Fantasy readers and readers and enthusiasts of cosmic stuff. This book would highly appeal to you if you have a liking for the whole good and evil concept.


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Book Review: Stories From The Witch Store by Olga Gutsol

Author: Olga Gutsol
Release Date: 20th August 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal > Magic and Witches, Humour
Edition: e-book
Pages: 114
Publisher:

Blurb:

Funny and imaginative chronicles from the life of a hereditary witch Arelia who, along with her loyal companions Cat and house-ghost Puck, moved to the small town of Burnaville to open the Magic Potions store. Here she falls into a lifetime of boredom. How have her magical powers resulted in this? What is missing from the charming life she has built?

Review

Stories From The Witch Store is a delightful young adult read sprinkled with beautiful and heart-warming illustrations that’ll win your heart!

This book is written in the form of diary entries from the perspective of the main protagonist, Arelia, the town witch. It is a beautiful, beautiful book and I’m sure that it will steal your heart with the author’s clever writing and impressive imagination. It has been so long since I’ve read such a delightful book about witches. The wittiness of Arelia and her seemingly mundane life with Puck, the house spirit, and Cat, her familiar, is outstanding and very, very funny.

Each and every diary entry is a treat to read, whether short or long. Arelia is a very strong protagonist and I was able to connect to her instantly. I liked her from the first diary entry and was in love with her adorable character by the 2nd page itself. Even all the secondary characters are well-crafted and quite relatable, especially that of Puck and Cat – they’re my absolute favourites.

I’d recommend this book to each and everyone who loves reading, especially fantasy and paranormal (magic and witches) readers.

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Novella Review: Nika: A Seychatka Novella by D.H. Gibbs

29380359Author:  D.H. Gibbs 
Release Date: 1st March 2016
Series: –
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Edition: E-book
Pages: 96
Publisher: Sandphics Creations

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

Taken off the streets Nika is thrown into an unknown world where she’s held captive. As an orphan, she has been on the run and must find her way out before they discover her secret. But these people held the knowledge of her family and who she is. Will she be able to find out before her secret is revealed? After hundreds of years, Demyan has finally found the rightful ruler of his race. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know who she is and is doing everything in her power to escape him. Time is running out and Demyan has to convince Nika to take her rightful place otherwise the battle will be lost and his race extinguished.


Review

Nika by D.H.Gibbs is a Young-Adult Fantasy read that is sure to capture your attention right from the start till the very end.

This book is a real example of how really powerful novellas can be. This is, of course, the first book in a series, but I definitely loved it and will be keeping an eye out for the other parts in this series.

The main character was likable and relatable and the other secondary characters were also good. I liked the writing of the author as its simplicity made this book a very easy and a quick read.
I liked the basic concept of the story about how Nika was the long lost heir of her family, which she was completely unaware of. And I especially liked how she was made aware of everything and how well she adapted to her new surroundings. I see a lot of potential in this series and can’t wait to read the next part!

I liked this book quite a bit and would recommend it to all the YA and Fantasy lovers.


Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Tears Of The Ancient And Other Stories by Jason R. Koivu

30374957Author:  Jason R. Koivu
Release Date: 7th June 2016
Series: –
Genre: Fantasy, Short Stories
Edition: Ebook
Pages: 128
Publisher: C Street

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

Travel to new lands and visit old souls in Tears of the Ancient and Other Stories, a collection of short stories filled with demons and dragons*, betrayal and tomfoolery, a whipsmart goblin and a comedic mushroom!

**It’s more like an oversized lizard, if we’re being honest.

Review

Tears Of The Ancient And Other Stories by Jason R. Koivu is a collection of Fantasy short stories that turned out to be a really pleasant book.

As a fantasy lover, I absolutely adore reading about different creatures, worlds and concepts and this book gave me exactly that. I loved the first story; it was about a human-obsessed goblin who was really smart but was not liked by his fellow goblins. I felt so bad for him that by the end I forgot that I was reading a short story. I could have read a full-length novel on just this story. Another one of my favorites was the title story, Tears Of The Ancient. It had a beautiful concept and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

I liked the writing style as it had an easy flow to it that made reading this book a pleasant experience. Author Jason did a wonderful job in crafting each and every story with beautiful detailing work and perfectly setting the tone for each and every story.

I enjoyed most of the stories, and the only complaint I have is that there were not enough stories for a fantasy lover like me. So I  hope that the author comes up with another such beautiful book soon.

I’d recommend this book to all the Fantasy lovers and to everyone who likes reading short stories.


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Book Review: Esper Files by Egan Brass

32493342Author: Egan Brass  
Release Date: 26 October 2016
Series: Esper Files
Genre: Science Fiction Fantasy, Steampunk, Supernatural, Paranormal
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 
Publisher: Inkitt

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

Set in London during the latter part of the 19th century. An experiment goes wrong at The Oxford Academy of Science, giving certain people extraordinary powers which turns them into ‘Espers’. An institute is set up to teach Espers how to control these power, and stop corrupt Espers from abusing theirs. Nathan and James, two agents from the Institute team up with Freya, a young Esper whose brother (gifted with the strange ability to manipulate emotions) is abducted by a ruthless Baron. The group has to fight against a dark threat to protect the fragile peace of Victorian London… And the rest of the world.

Review

Esper Files by Egan Brass is the first book in the series of the same name and is an enjoyable supernatural fantasy read.

I had no idea what to expect from this book when I was first asked to review it, but when I started reading it and was only a few pages in, I knew it for fact that I was in for a fun ride. And as it turned out, I wasn’t wrong.

Even though the entire concept was quite similar to the X-men team – Professor X, Logan, and Magneto, still I was able to enjoy the new take on the whole “being different” thing.

The writing was captivating and the story was really engrossing. The concept was not unique but it was definitely good. The story progression was really good and I really liked reading this book. I was pulled into the story from the very start right till the end. It was a fast-paced read which proved to be a quick one (another plus for me.)

In this book, I liked the story better than the characters. I won’t say the characters were completely one-dimensional because I liked them, but I wasn’t able to feel a striking connection with any one of them. It was one of those books that made me take enough interest in the characters to want to know what happens in the end and also what happens after it. So I’ll be definitely looking forward to reading the sequel (hoping that now that I know the characters well, I might feel a connection with them.)

I’d recommend this book to fantasy lovers and to anyone who is looking for a light and quick supernatural series to read.


Goodreads and Amazon

Novella Review: Valkyrie On Planet Fury by Lynne Murray

28758000Author: Lynne Murray
Release Date: January 16, 2016
Series: Gravitas Series
Genre: Fantasy
Edition: e-book (kindle)
Pages: 194
Publisher: Createspace

Preceded ByNovella Review: Gravitas- Valkyrie In The Forbidden Zone

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

A forbidden love. An impossible mission. A planet where death lurks at every turn. Sybil of Planet Valkyrie can’t go home until she confronts the rulers of Planet Fury, where assassination is a popular pastime. The Furies demand that Sybil tap the powers of her familiar demons to find an answer that may not exist-or die trying.

Review

Valkyrie On Planet Fury by Lynne Murray is a speactacular novella. It is the 2nd book in the Gravitas series and I enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed reading the fist book in this series.

This series is based on such a unique concept about females running the planet of Valkyrie and having a lot of husbands in order to balance their Gravitas- their all-time dominant pheromones. Needless to say, it was a quick read and I enjoyed reading it through and through.

Sybill is a brilliantly written and an exceptionally well-executed character, and I always find myself chuckling whenever she makes snide remarks that show her intelligence like a glittering star. Other characters well also relatable and I ended up caring for most fo them.

I’ve always like author Murray’s writing style and this time was no exception. Like the first book the writing had a great flow and I literally breezed through the entire story. The pacing was brilliant as well.

I’d recommend this book and the one before it to anyone looking for a unique and light-hearted quick read.


Goodreads | Amazon

Book Review: Nightlife by Matthew Quinn Martin

17672505Author: Matthew Quinn Martin
Release Date: October 21, 2013
Series: Nightlife
Genre: Horror, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Edition: e-book (Kindle)
Pages: 384
Publisher: Pocket Star

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

For centuries an ancient evil has slept beneath the streets of New Harbor. This Halloween, it wakes up.
An action-packed debut horror novel from talented new writer Matthew Quinn Martin, Nightlife pits a feisty bartender and a mysterious loner against bloodthirsty terrors as alluring as they are deadly.

Nightclub bartender and serial heartbreaker Beth Becker might be a cynic. But when her best friend goes missing Halloween night, Beth knows it’s up to her to find out what happened.

Her quest will take her on an odyssey through the crumbling city of New Harbor, Connecticut. Along the way she meets a homeless prophet warning of something he calls the “Night Angel”-a bloodthirsty creature that feeds on the forgotten. And she will form an unlikely bond with a hunted stranger who knows all too well what stalks the streets at night.

REVIEW

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Nightlife by Mathew Quinn Martin. This book is a real page-turner from start to end. It was literally un-put-down-able!

The best part about this book and also the most impressive one was that this book showed Vampires in completely different light. I guess this is the first time someone has successfully pulled off portraying Vampires as really scary creatures. The concept behind the whole vampire mythology was explored beautifully and I was captivated by the author’s imagination. For the first time in my life, the Vampires actually creeped me out! I’m glad that finally, someone wrote a book that didn’t show vampires as the lovey-dovey pets people want to fall in love with.

Author Mathew Quinn Martin showed them for what they are really are – blood sucking nightmares.

Apart from this, the writing was great too, and the pacing was superb. The alternating POVs kept me on on my toes the entire time and I enjoyed the POV shifts mostly because the transition was really smooth.

The characterisation is also brilliant. I loved all the characters, especially that of Jack and Beth. I even liked Beth’s jackass boyfriend. The reason why I liked Ryan is because all his faults and stupidity made him come out as a really believable character. I was able to connect to all the characters.

The book began with an intriguing prologue which threw me right into the story’s heart and was a complete winner for me. I was so engrossed in it that I wasn’t able to put down this book once I started it.

The ending was good and quite practical. I loved it and thought that it was perfect and in tune with the story.

I’m really looking forward to reading more by the author. I’d recommend this book to all the paranormal and horror lovers and especially to all the Vampires fanatics.


Goodreads | Amazon

Graphic Novel Review: Ghostbusters – Who Ya Gonna Call?

28862488Author: Erik Burnham
Illustrator: Dan Schoening 

Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Series: Earth One
Genre:  Paranormal, Supernatural, Fantasy
Edition: ASCM
Pages: 104
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Distributer: Diamond Comics
Source: NetGalley

Rating: ★★★

Blurb: 

When an upstart paranormal investigation and elimination service calling themselves The Ghost Smashers sets up shop in NYC, the Ghostbusters suddenly find themselves out of work and out of favor. But The Ghost Smashers are messing with some shaky science, and it’s only a matter of time until their incompetence threatens the entire world. Ghostbusters #13-16!

Review

As soon as I saw this one on NetGalley, I immediately requested it, but as it turns out it wasn’t what I was expecting. I picked up this book for two reasons, one was, of course, it was Ghostbusters and the second reason was that I saw a female on the cover donning the typical GB’s attire, so I was really intrigued. in fact, I was hoping that it might be related to their upcoming movie, but to my utter disappointment this book failed to please me.

The story was not that great. 90% of it was good enough, but the last 5% of the book completely bounced off my head as it felt unnecessary, to say the least. I was like, “What the hell is this now?” And then the book ended. So, you see, it was really unnecessary.

The illustrations were good but I had a hard time differentiating between two characters who looked too similar for me to easily tell them apart.

The cover of the book holds absolutely no significance and is misleading to some extent as initially, I was hoping to see the assistant (?) to turn into a ghost buster wearing the uniform she is adorning in the cover, but that never happened.

Overall this book wasn’t that bad, but due to high expectations (given its name), it completely fell short.

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Screenshot of Ghostbusters.


You can also read this review at Goodreads, NetGalley, and Amazon.

Book Review: In The Blood by R.L. Martinez

27689746Author: R.L. Martinez
Release Date: March 21, 2016
Series: The Witchbreed Series
Genre: High Fantasy, Magic Realism
(Magic Elementals > Wizards, Witches & Shapeshifters)
Edition: E-book (mobi)
Pages: 356
Publisher: Lake Water Press
Source: Publicist (via NetGalley)
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

The Warrior
The war between Dosalyn and Roanaan has ended, but a new battle begins for prisoner-of-war, Ottilde Dominax. Dreams of her witchbreed twin sister are visions of death and betrayal. Driven by their grim warning, she escapes her captors and races across nations to save her sister.
But she may arrive too late…
The Witch
Oriabel Dominax has kept her healing magic secret while she cares for her family’s struggling estate. But the arrival of a new lord with secrets of his own, the discovery of a dark and addictive magic, and threats from a cruel blackmailer push Oriabel closer to disaster.
Through it all, the Witch’s Tree calls…

Review

I enjoyed this book through and through. I picked up this book in hopes of reading a decent fantasy novel, but this book pleasantly surprised the hell out of me! It is an epic book with a brilliant plot, stunning characterization, and beautiful writing – all weaved together into a fantastic work that I was lucky enough to read.

This book has everything a fantasy lover craves – A new world to get completely lost into, characters whom you can love and hate forming unbreakable emotional bonds and a story that’ll make you forget everything else.
I was completely blown by the simplicity of this book and I’m eagerly waiting for the next part in this wondrous series.

In this book, the author uses realism as her weapon. Not all tales of good witches and helping shapeshifters end happily, and I’m really glad to say, that this book made me realize that the world of magic is not something to play around with.

R.L. Martinez uses her dark imagination to plow the fields of her war-wrought world with realism. It really made the entire witch breed concept interesting and mesmerizing. Now, I’m actually afraid of witches (which is something that is always  missing in most of the fantasy novels.) The author’s writing was really smooth and the pacing was exceptional.

The romance in this book literally swept me off my feet because of its simplicity and subtlety.

At first, the timelines seemed a little jumbled, but once I got in sync with the story I was able to make out the timelines pretty clearly.

In spite of all the raves, there was only one significant negative that stood out while reading this book, and it was the fact that most of the names (both of places and people) were odd and difficult to pronounce. It made it a bit difficult for me to enjoy the first few pages, but once I let go of my obsession of pronouncing the word right, I was able to get into the book easily enough. (Though I’m pretty sure I’ve got more than half of the names wrong, and to be honest, this book is so great that I don’t even care about it anymore.)

As I said earlier, the characterization is brilliant! I felt a really strong  connection with the leading twin ladies of this book (I’m not gonna say the names as I’m sure I’ll pronounce them wrongly.) The other characters were so good that I felt a bond with each and every single character (secondary as well as not-so-important ones.)

This book ended on an excellent note with a smasher of a cliff hanger. After reading the last page I was literally pulling at my hair!

I loved this book and I think that everyone on this planet should read this series as I really think that everyone will love it!

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Opening Line: With cold stiff fingers, Ottilde Dominax rubbed the prisoner number tattooed on the side of her neck.

Highlights: Storyline and magic realism.

Lowlights: Names with difficult and odd pronunciations.

Memorable Quotes:

The world is only so big and you can only run so far.

Final Thoughts: A brilliant high-fantasy read that you simply can’t afford to miss!


You can also read this review at Goodreads, Netgally and Amazon.

 

Book Review: Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1)

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Author:  Sylvain Neuvel
Release Date: April 26th, 2016
Series: Themis Files
Genre: Science-Fiction Fantasy > Robots | Speculative Fiction | Thriller
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 320
Publisher: Del Ray
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb: 

World War Z meets The Martian. This inventive first novel will please devoted fans of sci-fi as well as literary readers hoping a smart thriller will sneak up on them.

17 years ago: A girl in South Dakota falls through the earth, then wakes up dozens of feet below ground on the palm of what seems to be a giant metal hand. Today: She is a top-level physicist leading a team of people to understand exactly what that hand is, where it came from, and what it portends for humanity. A swift and spellbinding tale told almost exclusively through transcriptions of interviews conducted by a mysterious and unnamed character, this is a unique debut that describes a hunt for truth, power, and giant body parts.

Review:

 

This book is a MASTERPIECE. I mean I don’t even know where to start and what to say about this book…

*Sigh* Let’s begin here… At first I had only a faint idea of what this book would be like, but trust me, it wasn’t even 1% of what it turned out to be (in a good way.) It totally BLEW my mind OFF!!!

First off the format is super intriguing and very, very clever. The transcripts, interviews, personal entries, a few random conversations, newspaper articles etc, were not only intelligently constructed but also mixed deftly in what can only be called a really, really impressive combination. The sequencing was brilliant and made this book an epic read. Hats off to the author for pulling this off with such perfection.

I can’t even begin to express how impressed I am with this book’s format and writing. I mean, as an author myself, I can understand how difficult it would have been and for that alone, kudos to the author.

Coming to the story, I was expecting it to be something different. But saying that I was surprised by the direction the plot took in the second half would be an understatement. I mean it was a whole lot different from what I could have expected. The story itself is an outstanding piece of work in itself.

If it’s not obvious already, then let me state it clearly. I LOVE THIS BOOK! I mean really love it. It’s a really, really intelligent book with a very strong plotline and astounding characterization.

The end of this book completely caught me off guard. So yeah, it was good through and through.

And the nameless interrogator cum adviser cum whatever the hell you wanna call him, was simply wow! I love him… I mean he is indeed a real softy (an inside joke for anyone who reads this book.)

In the end, I’d just like to say one thing: If you want to read only 1 book this year, make sure Sleeping Giants is the ONE.

And I just found out (while writing this review) that this book is the 1st book in series, Themis Files. So, now I’m eagerly waiting for the second part… Hope it comes out soon!

Other Stuff

Opening Line: It was my eleventh birthday.

Memorable Quotes: 

If you fall in love with someone, there’s a good chance the person won’t love you back. Hatred, though, is usually mutual. If you despise someone, it’s pretty much a given they’re also not your biggest fan.

There I was, this tiny little thing at the bottom of the hole, lying on my back in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Highlights: Format and characterization.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: If you want to read only 1 book this year, make sure Sleeping Giants is the ONE.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Graphic Novel Review: Warren The 13th And The All-Seeing Eye

27888214

Author: Tania del Rio
Illustrator: Will Staehle 

Release Date: November 24, 2015
Series: 
Genre:  Fantasy | Mystery | Paranormal | Children’s Fiction | Adventure | Sequential Arts > Graphic Novel
Edition: ASCM
Pages: 113
Publisher: Quirk Books
Distributer: –
Source: NetGalley

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb: 

Meet Warren the 13th, a cursed 12-year-old Victorian bellhop who’s terribly unlucky . . . yet perpetually optimistic, hard-working, and curious. Orphan Warren’s pride and joy is his family’s hotel, but he’s been miserable ever since his evil Aunt Anaconda took over the management. Anaconda believes a mysterious treasure known as the All-Seeing Eye is hidden somewhere on the grounds, and she’ll do anything to find it. If Warren wants to preserve his family’s legacy, he’ll need to find the treasure first—if the hotel’s many strange and wacky guests don’t beat him to it! This middle-grade adventure features gorgeous two-color illustrations on every page and a lavish two-column Victorian design that will pull young readers into a spooky and delightful mystery.

Review

Warren the 13th And The All-Seeing Eye is a delightful read not only for children but for adults as well (at least I enjoyed reading it and would love to read it again!)

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WT13ATASE is about Warren (the 13th), a toad-faced and unlucky 12-year-old orphan who stays with his uncle Rupert – a lazy dumb chap – and his wife, Annaconda – a clever witch who continuously troubles Warren to search The All-Seeing Eye (a legendary treasure about which no one seems to know.) Warren is a bright kid who tries to see the good in every situation and who dreams about growing up and restoring his forefather’s hotel to its full glory someday. He’s a good lad who tries to do everything at the same time and wanting nothing in return.

Paleface

Warren stole my heart in the first few pages of the book and, as I read ahead, I was totally spellbound by his cuteness and willingness to help everyone. It really broke my heart to see him trying to be the bellhop of the hotel, carrying all those heavy luggage alone, with no help from his lazy uncle. I also loved chef Bunion, and Mr. Friggs, Petulia and Paleface, but I hated aunt Annaconda and despised uncle Rupert, all to say that the characterization is terrific! The author made me feel like I know all these characters well enough to have such strong emotions and that’s where this book earned all the raves from me.

The illustrations are truly magical. I loved them and they managed to take the story to a whole new level.

This book is simply outstanding and I’d recommend it to all the children, and even to their parents and brothers and sisters. Everyone needs to read such an amazing book!

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You can also read this review at Goodreads, Amazon and NetGalley.

Book Review: Over The Dragonwall by H.C. Strom and Dennis D. Montoya (Dragonwall Chronicles #1)

29370101

Author:  Dennis Montoya & H.C. Strom
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Series: Dragonwall Chronicles
Genre: YA | Fantasy | Adventure
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 277
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: Publicist
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

A thousand years ago the gods brokered a peace treaty with the dragons to save mankind. As a monument, the magical Dragonwall was built stretching from the Dwarven city of Farreach to the port city of Seareach. Over generations, the great dragon’s stories have turned to myths and the treaty forgotten. The wall’s magic is failing and the call for a hero goes unanswered.
Oberon a young monk and his friends leave the city of Delvingdeep to answer the riddle of the existence of dragons. No one expected a short cut though a swamp would ever lead them on a heroic adventure over the Dragonwall.

Review

I enjoyed reading Over The Dragonwall a lot and I really think that this book needs more publicity and attention as it can very well end up as a bestseller among the young adult crowd (but only after rectifying the few faults it has. Read on to know more.)

I loved the concept and the story line, they are simply brilliant. The characterization is also good but needs some work to make it better. Obi as a lead is a really good character and the other characters, the other members of the party, are also a real treat. The concept is a winner but there were a few problems in the execution. The editing is poor. Sometimes there is a slip in narration and out of nowhere it changes to the first person at more than one place.

The words sometimes are repeated and the dialogues feel unnecessary and unpolished. I really think that this book needs some heavy editing and also a new cover, and then it’ll be ready to climb the best selling list.

This book is a mixture of Hobbit and harry potter, sprinkled with dragon tales and undead ghouls (zombies) and wolves and witches – so you see, there’s everything that a fantasy fanatic like me wants from a book.

In spite of poor editing, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I’d love to read it again whenever I’ll have some free time (yes, it’s that good!) I’m looking forward to reading the sequel as the book cleverly ends at the beginning of a new adventure.

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Opening Line: “Why do you haunt my dreams, hag?”

Highlights: Brilliant storyline.

Lowlights: Editing.

Memorable Quotes: 

Tomorrow he might see a dragon, and everything will change.

He hated not knowing the reason for things.

Final Thoughts: A beautiful story that’ll take you on a unique adventurous journey.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Graphic Novel Review: Wonder Woman: Earth One Vol. 1 by Grant Morrison

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Author: Grant Morrison
Illustrator: Yanick Paquette

Release Date: April 2016
Series: Earth One
Genre:  Fantasy | Superhero | Mythology | Sequential Arts > Graphic Novel
Edition: ASCM
Pages: 128
Publisher: DC Comics
Distributer: DC Entertainment
Source: NetGalley

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb: 

Following the New York Times #1 bestselling original graphic novels Batman: Earth One and Superman: Earth One Volume 1 andVolume 2 comes Wonder Woman: Earth One Vol. 1!

For millennia, the Amazons of Paradise Island have created a thriving society away from the blight of man. One resident, however, is not satisfied with this secluded life — Diana, Princess of the Amazons, knows there is more in this world and wants to explore, only to be frustrated by her protective mother, Hippolyta. Diana finds her escape when Air Force pilot, Steve Trevor, the first man she has ever seen, crashes onto their shores. With his life hanging in the balance, Diana ventures into the long-forbidden world of men. The Amazons chase after her and bring her back to Paradise Island in chains to face trial for breaking their oldest law — staying separated from the world that wronged them.

Thought-provoking yet reverent, thoroughly modern but still timeless, the power and courage of Paradise Island’s greatest champion — Wonder Woman — is introduced in this new addition to DC’s New York Times bestselling EARTH ONE original graphic novel series.

Review

I’m new to the Wonder Woman Universe and wanted to start with this book as it is the first in the series and starts with the origin story.As a newbie to the Winder Woman comics, I don’t have any basis to compare the story told in this graphic novel, but I do know a few elements and as far as I am concerned, this book is really impressive.

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As a graphic novel enthusiast, I enjoyed the bright colors schemes and the bold and extravagant characterization. The Wonder Woman comes out asa real superhero in her full glory on each and every single page.

Witty dialogues scattered around this entire graphic novel proved really enterataining and helped author’s sense of humor come across beautifully.

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Though I was expecting the Amazons of Paradise Island to be simple and elegant beauties, I had no idea (that is till I read this book) that they were this amazing bunch of sexy and hot islanders. I loved this interpretation of the Paradise Island, in fact, I found it quite enterataining. But the whole lesbian spin made me wonder a lot about stuff I really didn’t want to think about.

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Still, I really enjoyed reading this graphic novel and I’ll definitely read all the parts to come in this series.

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You can also read this review at Goodreads and NetGalley.

Book Review: The Fulfillment (Fulfillment #3)

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Author: Erin Rhew
Release Date: October 15, 2015
Series: The Fulfilment Series
Genre: YA | High-Fantasy | Romance
Edition: E-Book (mobi)
Pages: 222
Publisher: BookFish Books
Source: Author (Thanks, Erin!)
Preceded by: The Outlanders
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★☆

Blurb:

Layla’s world tumbles out of control when she discovers the truth of her parentage and realizes the Prophecy—the one she upended her entire life to defend—is incomplete. When her new friends share the entire Prophecy, the revelations contained within it alter her destiny and challenge everything she and Wil believe in. Now, she must confront the Outlander queen to save the Ethereal kingdom while grappling with this new reality. Tortured and imprisoned, Nash accepts his fate and offers the First Ones the one thing he has left to give: his life. In a desperate attempt to save the people he loves most, he surrenders himself to the Outlander queen and a destiny darker than he could have ever dreamed possible.
Wil, tormented by the consequences of his choices, realizes he may never be able to uphold his end of the Prophecy. His mistake casts a deep, foreboding shadow over his kingdom and those he loves while its ripples threaten to shatter both the Prophecy and everything he and his family have sworn to protect.
In this epic conclusion, lives are lost, kingdoms clash, friendships are tested, and love and fate collide

Review

This book marks the end of an awesome trilogy, that I believe, every fantasy reader must read. As much as I hate that this series has ended, I am quite relieved because it ended in a really good way.

Though I liked it, I couldn’t help but wonder if this one was a little rushed. It surely felt like it. It didn’t disappoint me in the least if anything it just felt really fast-paced (unlike the first two books that were medium paced.)

The overall tying-the-loose-ends thing worked out well and every question was answered before the book ended on a happy note. I liked how the author gave a beautiful shape to the love triangle that was looming on top of everything, and, I never say this for love triangles, but this one made complete sense.

There’s just so much to say that I don’t know how to write everything in this review, all I’m going to say is- it is a series well written and a plot well executed.

I’ll look forward to reading more books by author Erin Rhew.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “Then you don’t have the entire prophecy.”

Highlights: The satisfactory ending.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: A brilliant YA Fantasy read.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: The Outlander (The Fulfillment #2)

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Author: Erin Rhew
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Series: The Fulfillment Series
Genre: YA | High-Fantasy | Romance
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 345
Publisher: BookFish Books
Source: Author
Buy it hereAmazon

 


Blurb

With King Jesper dead and Prince Wilhelm mortally wounded, Halfling prince, Nash, and the Fulfilment, Layla, assume the throne of Etherea. They must contend with a new Prophecy Candidate who asserts her position, and Layla is surprised to find her fate intertwined with this challenger. Facing a myriad of choices, Nash and Layla’s decisions affect not only their own futures but that of two kingdoms.

Unbeknownst to the Ethereals or the Vanguards, a slumbering menace stirs in the south, awakened after centuries of slumber. The mysterious Outlanders, a force shadowed in mystery, sit poised to tip the balance of power, sending ripples of fear throughout both warring kingdoms.

Elder Werrick proved a formidable foe, but Layla may yet meet her match in the monstrous Outlander queen. This mistress of the dark’s plans, rooted in revenge and ancient lore, now threaten the livelihood of all three kingdoms.

Racing against time, Layla travels to the Borderlands—home of the Voltons and Ecclesiastics—to discover as much as she can about the war, the First Ones, and the prophecy itself. Lives teeter in the balance, kingdoms sit on the cusp of ruin, and a beast, greater than any she’s ever faced before, plots a catastrophic attack.

Review

5 Stars Black

The Outlanders start right where the first part, The Prophecy, ends. It feels as if you’re reading the book in continuation without any break, which in this case, is a good thing, cause really loved the way the book’s been written.

I enjoyed this par more than the first as there were some amazing detailing in relation to the awesome world build by the author for this series. It had layers and layers of elements which took the entire experience to the next level.

The new characters that were introduced in this book are so amazing that either you’ll love them or completely hate them! I mean, this part evokes such strong emotions that it leaves you crazily craving to know what happens next and wonder “how the hell is everything going to get better!?” The drama added an another layer to this awesome story and the love triangle successfully created a complicated web of suspense (in a good way.)

This is one of those rare instances where the middle book of a trilogy is actually the best part of the story. And I’m happy that i read this book, simply because it is an awesome Fantasy read!

If you’re looking for a kickass Fantasy series then this trilogy is what you need!

You can read my review of The Prophecy (The Fulfillment #1) here.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Will stared down at the delicate hand gripping his arm.

Highlights: World-building.

Lowlights: None. 

Final Thoughts: An amazing Fantasy read.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: Monsterland

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Author: Michael Phillip Cash 
Release Date: April 6, 2016
Series: None
Genre: YA | Adventure | Urban Fantasy | Post-Apocalyptic | Horror>Zombies |
Paranormal>Vampires | Shapeshifter>Werewolves | Post-Apocalyptic
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 336
Publisher: Create Space
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Welcome to Monsterland – the scariest place on Earth. All guests can interact with real vampires in Vampire Village, be chased by an actual werewolf on the River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville.
Wyatt Baldwin, a high school student and life-long movie buff is staring bleakly at a future of flipping burgers. Due to a fortuitous circumstance, Wyatt and his friends are invited to the star-studded opening of Monsterland. In a theme park full of real vampires, werewolves and zombies, what could possibly go wrong?

Rating

TRB 5 stars

Review

It was the entrance to the Auschwitz death camp.

http://blewzen.deviantart.com/art/Werewolf-vampire-zombie-sketches-450864569
http://blewzen.deviantart.com/art/Werewolf-vampire-zombie-sketches-450864569

The story line of Monsterland is really unique, fresh and, I must admit, quite chilling (esp. the werewolf part.)

It’s not scary in the literal sense as such but it does gives the chills at more than one occasion. The descriptions are wildly realistic and the images they paint is worth all the time and money spent on this book. I felt that I was the one visiting the Monsterland with my friends and not the fictional characters. The story is beautifully crafted and the detailing is commendable. Being a paranormal/shapeshifter/horror storyline, the author successfully captured the character backgrounds and successfully added layers to the overall concept.

I enjoyed the book right from the first line right till the very last one. The overlapping of the paranormal and horror genres is commendable because, despite my initial reservations, the author managed to woo me with his amazing story and its execution. It is a job well done on the author’s part.

I felt a connection with each and every character of this book. What seemed to be pointless discussions of monster-obsessed teenagers in the initial pages of the book, made more and more sense as the story progressed and finally when it reached the last act.

I also enjoyed the last connection that the author made between the characters. It’s a well thought out storyline with 3-dimensional characters and layers and layers of different elements.

All the elements blended perfectly well together (except for one little thing- why was Raoul the vamp scared of the zombies!?!? Well, this crossed my mind only for a second before I got caught in the thrill of the moment and my mind moved on to other characters who were literally fighting for their lives (when the story is as good as this, who cares?)

I love myself some badass zombies but this is the first time I actually saw them sympathetically as “victims” and poor sick people who are not someone to be shot or bashed in the head by any/everyone, but a sad bunch of unfortunate people who caught the plague.

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http://weknowyourdreams.com/images/zombies/zombies-07.jpg

By the starting of the end, I was actually feeling sad for all the three creatures- the zombies, the vamps and the werewolves- but by the end, all the other things faded from my mind and I experienced what I really wanted to (and why I really picked this book in the first place)  – a complete monster massacre.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: The sky was a sparkling, power blue, mosquitoes droned lazily over the tepid water, frogs croaked messages while they sunbathed on waxy lilypads.

Memorable Quotes: 

Wyatt looked back at the main area of the park, feeling uneasy he was being led somewhere he shouldn’t be going.

Memorable Paragraphs: 

Wyatt glanced back in his rearview mirror and shifted uncomfortable in his seat, remembering why the sign unnerved him. It bore a stricking resemblance to a picture he has seen in his history book. The words were in German and read Arbeit Macht Frei– Work Makes You Free. It was the entrance to the Auschwitz death camp.

Highlights: Superb concept and amazing execution of all the elements.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: A must read for paranormal and post-apocalyptic readers.


You can also read this review at Goodreads, Amazon and NetGalley

 

Book Review: The Prophecy (The Fulfilment #1)

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Author: Erin Rhew 
Release Date: September 29, 2014
Series: The Fulfilment Series
Genre: YA | High-Fantasy | Romance
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 381
Publisher: BookFish Books
Source: Author (Thanks, Erin!)
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Growing up on a small farm in the kingdom of Vanguard, seventeen-year-old Layla Givens lives a deceptively tranquil existence. But her carefully constructed life quickly falls apart when she’s abducted by a religious zealot who proclaims her The Fulfillment of an ancient peace prophecy and whisks her away to marry her greatest enemy.

Wilhelm, Prince of the Ethereals, is reluctant to meet his new bride. He’s grown up believing Vanguards are evil, an enemy to fight and fear…not love. Can he set aside his prejudices and work alongside Layla to bring lasting peace after centuries of war?

Nash, a loner who has never fit in, carries a huge secret, one big enough to destroy both kingdoms. When he accidently meets Layla, he’s no longer content to live in the shadows, but he must resist his growing attraction—for her safety and for the longevity of the two kingdoms.

When Nash’s secret is revealed, a firestorm sweeps through both realms, with Layla at the center. Now she must choose between duty and desire while the fate of two nations hangs in the balance.

Rating

TRB 4 half star

Review

Plot/Story:

I absolutely loved the plot line of The Prophecy. It’s entertaining as well as really emotionally involving. I really enjoyed the story and  it pulled me into the world of Vanguards, Ethereal and Outlanders right from the very beginning.

The world-building is superb and the author has really done a commendable job in detailing. The book is written in multiple POVs and takes us through the lives of all the three main characters in detail. The pace of the story is great and being an absorbing read and all it proved to be quite a fast read.

I’m really excited to read the next book in the series as I honestly want to explore the amazing world of this book.

Characters:

The characterization in this book is really impressive. I loved the main characters, Layla, Will and Nash and even the supporting characters of Vespa, Grant and Volton Holt (there were more but I’m just mentioning my favorites.) I was able to connect with them all and was able to feel all the emotions the characters were experiencing. I really wanted to cry when they cried and literally grin when something good happened (especially when Nash came in the picture.)

Romance:

This book is a romantic YA Fantasy, so what else do you expect!? It has tons and tons of romance and the author managed to pull off the love-triangle thing gracefully. Though at first I thought it to be a little weird, considering Layla’s nature, but it was all explained beautifully in the second half of the book. And yes, it all did make sense (which is really rare these days!)

Writing:

The writing is really powerful which I was expecting and which doesn’t come as a shock because the author is an editor and I’ve read quite a few books edited by there and they were really awesome! T

Begining:

The Prophecy pulled me in right from the start. I loved the Day Of Dawning was intrigued about all the cryptic thoughts Layla had about the First Ones and the Ecclesiastics. I mean that really, really made me curious and that was the point where I realised that I was in for a brilliant read.

Ending:

The ending surprised me, but I must say I did expect a little more (just a teeny bit.) I mean the ending was haw-inspiring but I kind of made my peace with it thinking that at least now Layla won’t have to choose between the two princes. Maybe it’ll be different in the second part but I really needed something more that would have made it a cliff-hanger of an ending.

Blurb:

The blurb is perfect and it totally managed to get me to read this book. So yeah, it’s as good as it can be.

Cover Art:

I absolutely cover the cover art of this book and it really makes me want to pick up a hardcover copy of the book.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Beware of gray skies; they can be an omen.

Highlights: The world-building.

Lowlights: None

Final Thoughts: An engaging fantasy read with brilliant world-building.


 

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: Neverland

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Author: Shari Arnold
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Series: -
Genre: Retelling | Fairytale | Young Adult | Fantasy | Contemporary | Romance
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 359
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

It’s been four months since seventeen-year-old Livy Cloud lost her younger sister, but she isn’t quite ready to move on with her life — not even close. She’d rather spend her time at the Seattle Children’s hospital, reading to the patients and holding onto memories of the sister who was everything to her and more.
But when she meets the mysterious and illusive Meyer she is drawn into a world of adventure, a world where questions abound.
Is she ready to live life without her sister? Or more importantly, is she brave enough to love again?
In this modern-day reimagining of Peter Pan, will Livy lose herself to Neverland or will she find what she’s been searching for?

Rating

TRB 5 stars

Review

Plot/Story:

Neverland is a fairytale retelling of Peterpan and as far as I’m concerned this is the best book I’ve read so far in the fantasy genre. It has a dreamlike  imagery which will leave you craving and begging for more.

The pace of the story was perfect, not too fast, not too slow. I was able to not only read the story in front of me but was also able to live it forgetting everything around me.

This book is literally unputdownable and I love it so much that it has made its place at the top of my all-time favorites! I’ve already read it twice now and I’ll be re-reading it again soon.

Characters:

I absolutely adore the lead characters of Livy and Meyer, so much so that I guess I’m in love with Meyer! The relationship between Livy and Meyer developed slowly and beautifully. The vulnerability of Livy added more depth to each and every aspect of the story.

I wanted to cry when Livy felt hurt and wanted to do a happy dance whenever she got a positive response from Meyer. I even blushed a dozen times while reading about Livy and Meyer’s small interactions.

https://45.media.tumblr.com/f7002f90f03cf17d5c7c5468b2ea3238/tumblr_mqd502krNg1sbgfiuo1_500.gif
https://45.media.tumblr.com/f7002f90f03cf17d5c7c5468b2ea3238/tumblr_mqd502krNg1sbgfiuo1_500.gif

Romance:

The beautiful budding romance between Livy and Meyer was nothing less than magical. It was slow and cute love that started as an odd friendship but developed into something more special. The thing that made their relationship so magical is the subtlety of feelings beautifully expressed by the author.

https://45.media.tumblr.com/1d61ec22b2bd42f451044d203205035d/tumblr_mtp4zcU5VG1svh626o1_500.gif
https://45.media.tumblr.com/1d61ec22b2bd42f451044d203205035d/tumblr_mtp4zcU5VG1svh626o1_500.gif

Writing:

Shari Arnold’s writing style is so simple that it flows smoothly throughout the book. I enjoyed reading this book mainly because of the uncomplicated writing style. I didn’t just read this book, but I was really able to live it (and that’s something.)

Beginning:

The book started beautifully with Livy reading Peter Pan for children in a hospital. How can anyone not get emotionally involved right from the start with this kind of a start! I was swept right off my feet from the very first page. And as the story progressed I lost myself completely in the beautiful world of Livy and Meyer.

Ending:

Ahh… the ending. At first, I was like:

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But then after a few minutes, I thought about it and realized that it was for the best and that the ending couldn’t have been better. Yes, it wasn’t a straight out happy one, but it was realistic and, more importantly, acceptable. After being swept off by this story I really dreaded to know the end, but the author, Shari Arnold, really surprised me with a well-balanced ending.

Cover Art:

The cover art of this book is simply awesome. The colors are so pretty and subtle and the minimalistic design makes it a great cover.

Blurb:

The blurb is perfect and gives a fair idea of what to expect from the book. I picked it up from NetGalley after reading the blurb itself, so yeah, it totally worked for me, and I’m sure it’ll definitely get anyone else’s attention as well!

Other Stuff

Opening Line: It’s just before dinnertime at the Seatle Children’s Hospital.

Highlights: Storyline.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

Their eyes are wide and curious, and I love that. If I focus on their eyes I can forget the disease each one carries around like a nametag.

I’ve found that death makes people uncomfortable, while the death of a child clears the room altogether.

God doesn’t save children around here. Sometimes it feels as if he’s collecting them.

Memorable Paragraph:

Jenna slides up closer to me, her excitement a temperature that keeps me warm. She and Alice are spell-bound. They’re the reason I love to tell stories. It doesn’t matter how often they’ve heard it, or that they already know what will happen next. A story is a story. It takes you away from what you’re doing and how you’re living right then, and whisks you away into someone else’s world.

Final Thoughts: This book is pure AWESOMENESS!!!


 

Book Review: A Fairy Extraordinary Christmas Story

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Author: A.J. York 
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Series: None
Genre: Children's Fantasy|Fairytales|Magic|Middlegrade|
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 31
Publisher: Nova Sky Books
Source: Author (Thanks, Jen!)
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

A fully illustrated Christmas story that will make your heart sing!

Upstairs in the Anderson’s attic there is chatter coming from the Christmas, Easter and Halloween boxes. Someone new has arrived. Tallulah the Christmas Fairy wakes to find herself attached to the top of a tree. She soon makes friends and has a magical first Christmas. Once the festivities are over, Tallulah finds herself in the attic with the other decorations from Easter and Halloween. Each year they watch the seasons change as they wait excitedly for their turn to go downstairs. Until one day new boxes appear and then the unthinkable happens. A Fairy Extraordinary Christmas Story is a magical and uplifting tale for the whole family.

RatingTRB 5 stars

Review

A Fairy Extraordinary Christmas Story is a beautiful book that gives us a peek in the lives of the various decorations (that we assume to be non-living) such as Christmas decorations, Halloween decorations, Thanksgiving decorations, etc. and even a few toys.

It’s a heart melting story about how the decorations get all super-excited as their time of the year comes and how, when the festival ends, they get sad as they are stowed away in the attic. How they wait for the seasons to proceed and for their festival to come so that they can again be hung or placed downstairs and can finally see the family and the world outside (through the windows.)

The story is told from the POV of princess Tallulah, who is a new addition to the Anderson’s Christmas decorations. She sits at the top of the Christmas tree and makes loads of friends over time. And as the years go by all the decorations grow extremely close to each other and finally all the events lead up to the most amazing Christmas ever. (I won’t say anything further as it is a surprise after all!)

This story is so beautiful that not only children but adults will also enjoy it thoroughly. It’s a fairly quick read and will be a nice gift to give it your kids this Christmas. (I know I’m a little late, but what the heck, it’s still holiday season.)

In the Christmas spirit, here’s some magic for all the readers of TRB:

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Source: http://24.media.tumblr.com/eb323b1073d16f12cb46f41f8cc93b3f/tumblr_mftv2hFCaA1ric07zo1_400.gif

Book Trailer

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Tallulah had no idea she was alive. At least, not straight away.

Highlights: Awe-inspiring story.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: A magical read!


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.