ARC Review: A Disappearance at the Bonne Nuit Hotel by Dominique Daoust

Book Details:

Author: Dominique Daoust
Release Date: 
31st March 2022
Series: The Deadly Exclusives Trilogy (Book #1)
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Historical Fiction
Format: E-book 
Pages: 210 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
Secret sources have a whole new meaning.
Newbie reporter Rita Larose is tired of getting assigned boring stories at one of Montreal’s most popular newspapers. It’s 1930 after all, women don’t need to only write about household chores anymore! But when a high hat socialite gossips about the New Year’s Eve party at the Bonne Nuit Hotel, a riveting mystery falls right into Rita’s lap. This is her chance to prove to herself and her underestimating colleagues that she has what it takes to write the hard-hitting articles.
While going undercover as a maid to get the scoop, Rita will soon discover unexpected friendships and an unusual gift of her own to contend with. Will she be able to juggle this newfound ability while not blowing her cover and jeopardizing her career-making article?

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A Disappearance At The Bonne Nuit Hotel by Domonique Daoust is a cleverly plotted and well-executed cozy mystery laced with historical elements and twists. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book right from the first page to the very last one and the ending, surprisingly, turned out to be satisfying. I am now looking forward to reading the next book in this trilogy as there are some answers that I still seek from the sequel (which I am sure will be answered in the next part or maybe the one after that, but I am patient.)

The characterisation was really well-developed and the writing felt very smooth, which was surprising as this is the author’s debut novel. I was impressed by the number of details and their impact on the overall plot. I would highly recommend this book to cozy mystery fans and to readers of light historical fiction brimming with light suspense.


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Book Review: White Storks Of Mercy – Formation by  Joni Anderson Van Berkel 

Book Details:

Author: Joni Anderson Van Berkel 
Release Date: 
23rd November 2021
Series: White Storks Of Mercy trilogy (Book #1)
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Format: E-book 
Pages: 405 pages
Publisher: jponipress
Blurb:
The first book of this new trilogy is set in a world where reality and fantasy coexist. The story starts in ancient Egypt’s Eighteenth Dynasty and ends in twentieth century Portugal. A supernatural clairvoyant Sacred Stork of the Bach named Tara travels through time searching for a group of diverse women to join her on a mission to reset humanity’s moral compass.
Tara saves a pharaoh, a martyr, a warrior, a queen, and a Gypsy girl from death. She grants them eternal life and the ability to transform into the White Storks of Mercy. Her chosen companions must wear the magical talismans gifted by their leader or they will become mortal. The birds transform into human females called the Merciful Ones when their feet touch the earth. Tara manifests her own human body along the way.

Throughout the course of this epic journey Tara’s jealous sister, an ancient Egyptian Siamese cat named Reba, attempts to thwart the efforts of her moralistic twin. Reba possesses telepathic power and mind-controlling blue eyes. She conscripts a member of the White Storks of Mercy to spy on Tara. The cat also befriends a Druidess from the Iron Age and implores her to use Celtic magic in an effort to achieve a self-serving transformation of her own.
Will the White Storks of Mercy overcome perilous odds on their quest to inspire humans of diverse ethnicities, backgrounds and religions to live together in harmony? Or will the peacemakers be foiled by the schemes of the manipulative Siamese cat and her collaborators? Filled with magic, mystery, and mayhem, this novel promises to thrill and enchant its readers.

Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

White Storks Of Mercy: Formation by

I enjoyed reading this book thoroughly because it had so much going on throughout the story. The multiple plot lines interspersed with the main story of the book kept me glued to the pages late in the night. I loved the story thoroughly and I’m now early awaiting the next book in this series. I loved the writing, the characterisation that brought this story to life and the pacing of the events.

Reading about the various exotic locations added a fun touch to the story as it made it all the more engaging and entertaining! I would highly recommend this book to all historical fantasy readers.


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Book Review: Sunflowers Beneath The Snow by Teri M. Brown

Book Details:

Author: Teri M. Brown
Release Date: 
5th January 2022
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction
Format: E-book 
Pages: 334 pages
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Blurb:
A Ukrainian rebel. Three generations of women bearing the consequences. A journey that changes everything.
When Ivanna opens the door to uniformed officers, her tranquil life is torn to pieces – leaving behind a broken woman who must learn to endure cold, starvation, and the memories of a man who died in the quintessential act of betrayal. Using her thrift, ingenuity, and a bit of luck, she finds a way to survive in Soviet Ukraine, along with her daughter, Yevtsye. But the question remains, will she be strong enough to withstand her daughter’s deceit and the eventual downfall of the nation she has devoted her life to? Or will the memories of her late husband act as a shadow haunting everyone and everything she loves, including Ionna, the granddaughter that never knew him?

In Sunflowers Beneath the Snow, Teri M. Brown explores the tenacity of women, showing that even in grueling circumstances, they can, and do, experience all the good things life has to offer – compassion, joy, love, faith, and wonder.

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Sunflowers Beneath The Snow by Teri M. Brown is a beautiful book about love, courage, compassion and faith.

This book covers the time period from 1973 to 2021 – taking the readers through the lives of 3 generations of women facing the most harrowing of situations that life has to offer but yet, somehow, never give up or lose sight of what is important. Author T.M.Brown takes the readers through a plethora of events that this book showcases, Right from living under communist rule to facing the punishment for a betrayal committed by one of the family members and the rest having to live with the consequences.

This is an epic family saga that is beautifully written and intellectually expressed. I would strongly recommend it to all readers of historical fiction, women’s literature and literary fiction about families under the communal rule. This book is is a must read!


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Book Review: Prisoner Of Mauvias (Book #1 Of The God’s Game Series) by Tiffany Brazell

Book Details:

Author: Tiffany Brazell
Release Date: 
20th December 2020
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Series: The God’s Game Series (Book #1)
Format: E-book 
Pages: 252 pages
Publisher: Regalis Publishing, LLC
Blurb:
The Destroyer’s Empire Part 1 is the first book in The God’s Game, a new epic fantasy series by Tiffany Brazell. A cursed world…
An immortal empress…
A girl with forbidden knowledge and unknown power…
Although she has read all about Vias the Destroyer’s dreaded liths, Salmaara has never seen one. In fact, she’s not even sure the nightmarish, mouthless creatures exist.
She’s never been to Mauvias, land created by the goddess Vias the Destroyer, ruled by a ruthless immortal empress, a place where the very air is cursed with insatiable thirst, or to the ancient city Kalitoomba, a city of soaring glass towers ruled by a benevolent god-king. Following her rescue from a river, Salmaara lives a quiet life working in her father’s pottery shop, trying to discover who she is in a town where her golden eyes and fair skin make it clear she doesn’t belong. Illun, the man she loves as her father, is keeping a secret. An important secret.

Her looks aren’t the only thing that makes her different. Salmaara can sense where people are by their souls, and can connect her soul to theirs.
One morning, she reaches for the feeling of her father’s soul and hears his thoughts, something she thought only the servants of the Destroyer could do. Before she can discover what it means, one of the liths appears, takes her captive, and carries her away to the gruesome prison city of Günhai, where even the stones cry out in pain. Within its lightproof halls, Salmaara will have to decide, will she do what she’s told, and become a pet, a tool of the empire, of the destroyer herself? Or, will she have to risk her life and very soul, to discover who she truly is and how her powers will be used?

“Imaginative and vast, The God’s Game Series is a big story vividly told, sure to satisfy fans of epic fantasy.”

Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of The Saga of Seven Suns.

“Tiffany Brazell’s imagination takes off where others’ end. This is a tale of high magic that is sure to please.”

David Farland, New York Times bestselling author of The Runelords.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Prisoner Of Mauvias by Tiffany Brazell is the first book in The God’s Game series – an epic fantasy series. This book is an adventurous journey that will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions where dangers are lurking behind every turn.

It is a fast-paced fantasy read that follows a simple yet meticulous plot structure that keeps the action tight throughout the story. This book had good, if not superb, characterisation. I was able to connect to or relate with most of the characters, secondary as well as primary. I enjoyed reading this book and am really looking forward to reading the next part in the series as I am sure the characterisation would be further developed in it.

I would definitely recommend this book to all fantasy readers.


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Book Review: Jamie Whistler Plays Out of the Park Baseball Because It’s the Only Thing That Matters by R.J. O’Sullivan 

Book Details:

Author: R.J. O’Sullivan 
Release Date: 
15th December 2021
Genre: Science-Fiction, Political Satire
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 235 pages
Publisher: RHELM, LLC
Blurb:
After losing his entire family to COVID, the baseball-obsessed heir to a corporate empire uses his family fortune to hit the re-set button on America. Concocting a plot to kidnap a million QAnon followers for the purpose of “deprogramming” them, Jamie Whistler takes the lessons learned from playing his favorite simulation game and applies them to the real world.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Jamie Whistler Plays Out Of The Park Baseball Because It’s The Only Thing That Matters by R.J. O’Sullivan is a unique and refreshing new political satire sci-fi novel.

This book has an intelligent plot, well-written prose to complement it and a cast of interesting and engaging characters that made this book a compelling read. The author has used his amazing sense of humour and subtle phrases to take digs on the current political scenarios, especially relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, drawing the readers attention to the real matter that should be of concern to all of us.

I loved reading this book and would definitely recommend it to all reads of satire and political fiction who won’t mind a sci-fi setting.


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Book Review: Fate’s Final Destiny: A Novel of Love, Betrayal, Heroism, and Devotion by E.T. McNamara

Book Details:

Author: E.T. McNamara
Release Date: 
7th July 2021
Genre: Historical Romance Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 371 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
2022 Literary Titan Gold Award Winner, ”Fate’s Final Destiny” is an epic story of two life-long friends who fall in love, only to have fate tear them apart. Set during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, the story begins in Goodwell, Oklahoma. Caught up in the tidal wave of world events, they find themselves beginning new and separate lives. Never fully understanding the reasons for their separation, they find it difficult to move on.

As they and their families are experiencing the life-changing events of Pearl Harbor and the war in the Pacific, these members of the Greatest Generation find themselves swept up by both current and future events. Whether it be the life-or-death decisions made on the battlefield or aboard a navy hospital ship, fate affects both their lives. As the two star-crossed lovers become entangled in the major events that shaped our nation’s destiny, readers will be able to go along with them on their journey through one of the most interesting periods of American History.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Fate’s Final Destiny by E. T. McNamara is a beautifully written historical fiction romance novel that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster ride. This book is a literary work of fiction that takes the readers through the well-constructed lives of the main characters as they grow up on their farms and fall in love only to get separated due to the historic events that shook the world to be reunited in the most unimaginable and emotional way.

This book had really good characterisation, a great plot, a very good concept (that was well-executed) and an excellent tension graph – all of which kept me hooked to the pages throughout the story. I was engrossed in the book from the very beginning till the last page! I would strongly recommend this book to readers of historical fiction especially those who like reading historical romance novels.


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Book Review: A Soldier’s Quartet by Colin Baldwin

Book Details:

Author: Colin Baldwin 
Release Date: 2nd September 2021
Genre: New Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction, War Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 227 pages
Publisher: Shawline Publishing Group Pty Ltd
Blurb:
CONRAD BENTLEY ENJOYS HIS RETIREMENT.
By chance, he comes across a letter from WWI — a German father writes about his grief of losing a son to war — buried by his three comrades near a small French village. The letter resonates with Conrad and he commits to researching its backstory.
Months later, Conrad makes contact with the fallen soldier’s family. He falls deeper into their history and other untold stories from this era, including the fate of young Tasmanian soldiers who also fought on the Western Front.

A Soldier’s Quartet is inspired by true events, a story of perseverance and happenstance that transcends time and reaches across continents. It presents the human faces behind uniforms and battle plans, conveys love and hope set against various landscapes.
Conrad’s discovery of the letter brings the past into the present as he reflects on his own life and loss.

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A Soldier’s Quartet by Colin Baldwin is a beautiful book about love, loss, hope, heartbreak and most of all about the reality of the war that was fought that changed not only the world as we know it today but how it had also affected the relationships and personal lives of generations of families of the soldiers who fought in the war.

I am falling short of words in describing the beauty of this book. It is simply outstanding. The writing, the characters, the settings and the backdrop of the war and the present time – they all interlace perfectly together creating an irresistible blend of a book.

I would like to congratulate author Baldwin for having dealt with such a sensitive and delicate topic with such great care and love that it has metamorphosed into the wonderful and enthralling piece of art that this book is. I would highly recommend this book to all the readers because it has a lot to offer to readers all across the globe.


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ARC Review: Destiny of Dreams: Time Is Dear by Cathy Burnham Martin

Book Details:

Author: Cathy Burnham Martin
Release Date: 31st August 2021
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 242 pages
Publisher: Quiet Thunder Publishing
Blurb:
What happens when an American girl of Eurasian descent finds herself suddenly immersed in all facets of her Armenian ancestry? Told with an often soulfully introspective voice, “Destiny of Dreams” follows the true story of a teenager and her grandfather, retracing loving, learning, and terrifying footprints of the past. While survival remains center stage, love and courage must emerge, or all will be both lost and forgotten. More fact than fiction, the author reveals her Armenian roots in this historical novel, chronicling her family members’ love, strength, and resolve to both survive and thrive in treacherous times. Reflecting the traumas suffered by all people displaced from their original homelands, this Armenian story focuses on one family’s challenge to find light in the dark days of the waning Ottoman Empire. Anyone with the diaspora in their family heritage will relate. Whether thinking of Jewish people from Israel, Africans scattered through slavery, Armenians fleeing annihilation in Turkey, so-called boat people escaping Asia, or Syrians fleeing life-threatening violence in their own nation, humans continue to rise up in the face of the toughest times. Who would emerge from extraordinarily desperate places, and how could they choose to set positive examples of humanity during highly inhumane times? Set in the early 1900s and flashing forward to the 1960s, the story’s themes ring with tolerance and intolerance, dreams and destroyers, family and friends, amidst challenges that eerily parallel life in current judgmental scenarios.

Written for Young Adult and Adult audiences, the book contains some explicit descriptions and a couple of disturbing, though not graphic, violent scenes. While not gratuitous, the depictions may be unsuitable for young readers

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Destiny Of Dreams: Time Is Dear by Cathy Burnham Martin is a beautifully written historical fiction book about survival and the darkness that plagues our society.

This book was a rollercoaster ride of emotions, along with quiet graphic descriptions of violence, which lent this book an air of seriousness that otherwise would have been missing. I liked reading this book from cover to cover because the plot was very engaging, the writing was good, the characterisation was well done and the execution of the story was really good.

I would recommend this book to all historical fiction buffs. Although do keep in mind that this book has some graphic violent scenes (for those who might find them triggering.)


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Book Review: Through Forests and Mountains by Margaret Walker

Author: Margaret Walker 
Release Date: 16th February 2021
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: E-book 
Pages: 392 pages
Publisher: Penmore Press
Blurb:
Yugoslavia 1942. 

Anton Marković didn’t believe in a girl with a gun. 

How could the Partisans win this war with only farmers, labourers and women for soldiers? The experiment was ridiculous. He should have stuck to the ships he knew and not be in a forest in Bosnia with a rifle in his hands, and a bullet in his head, and a woman by his side cackling like a throttled fowl in some dazzling display of hormonal triumph. 

Tito had allowed the girls from the villages to serve in combat roles, and Mara was all in favour of anything innovative for women. She had just shot her first fascist, and her face beneath Anton’s was exuberant, breathless and beautiful. 

He was at war, and clearly on more fronts than he anticipated. 

But could he save Mara from that brilliant and psychotic fascist she could not shoot? 

From the forests and mountains of Bosnia to the White Cliffs of Dover, the Nazis and the Ustasha battle the most successful resistance movement in Occupied Europe. 

Death to Fascism!

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Through Forests And Mountains by Margaret Walker is a beautifully written story about personal emotions and difficult situations (socially and otherwise.)

This book reads more like an experience than a story and takes the readers to the historical settings of upheaval in Yugoslavia in the year 1942. The historical backdrop is beautifully articulated and I was really impressed by the author penchant for details. The characterisation is brilliant and I loved the main leads, Anton and Mara, as well as the cast of secondary characters. All the characters had so much to offer to the story and the build-up of the plot, that it made the book a rich combination of a solid plot with equally strong characterisation.

This book covers a wide spectrum of emotions – from one’s love for their country and friendships between individuals to blossoming romantic relationship between the leads (that is built slowly and steadily.) Overall, this book is a highly engaging and entertaining read and I would recommend it to all readers, especially readers who love historical fiction works.

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Book Review: Bayan by Pramudith D. Rupasinghe

Author: Pramudith D. Rupasinghe
Release Date: 29th April 2018
Genre: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Sri Lankan Literature
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 272 pages
Publisher: Vor Press
Blurb:
In the serene tempo of classical Soviet literature charmingly merged into modernity, Bayan is a unique blend from among the work of Pramudith D Rupasinghe. 
Bayan begins in the sunny Ukrainian summer and ends with a hidden, deeply meaningful message. It is not only the story of a strange, bearded old man who finds solace and a soulmate of sorts, in a traditional string instrument, while facing a common narrative of his era; it is a commentary on life, and a celebration of the ultimate coming of age. 

It juxtaposes the failure of physical strength and faculties to the accumulation of immense emotional fortitude. It lulls you into feeling safe in spite of the passing of transient seasons, the waning of political ideologies and the inevitable disintegration of the corporeal being. 
Bayan tells about changing world`s order, revolutions and the ravages of time, the music of life will go on.

Bayan is the only novel by a Sri Lankan author to be translated into Polish, Ukrainian, Burmese and Hungarian languages. And its German, Russian, Hindi and Sinhala translations have been added among the books of Sri Lankan authors translated into other languages. 

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Bayan by Pramudith D. Rupasinghe is a beautifully written book full of, and highlighting, a wide spectrum of emotions and emotional sensibilities.

It is difficult to summarise my opinion of reading this beautiful book because it was nothing short of an out-of-the-world experience and simply cannot be expressed in words. This book takes you on a journey to a time and place where you’d be struggling between contrasting emotions of wonder and revulsion. It is not an easy feat to write about the times of war and the post-war world because they both are two subjects that need a very good, and thankfully, Dr Pramudith – the author, did it so wonderfully well that I was left in awe.

This book is written beautifully well, interspersed with odd letters and poems, which made the experience of reading this book even more realistic. The characterisation was brilliant and I ached and pained for the plight of the characters. This book not only helped me understand the emotional background of many people who might have experienced the events told in this book but also made me reflect on the present times and how far the world has changed today from those of the earlier times.

This is a very good book that I will recommend to all readers, of all genres because it is an experience that no one should pass on.

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Book Review: From Legend (The Reeve #1) by Ian Lewis

Author: Ian Lewis
Release Date: 8th April 2019
Genre: Alternate history fiction, Fantasy, Suspense, Mystery
Series: The Reeve (Book #1)
Format: E-book 
Pages: 252 pages
Publisher: 
Blurb:
Sober, serious, and driven, Logan Hale is the highest peace officer in Beldenridge, and he knows his city better than anyone: the labyrinthine streets, the vaulted architecture, and all the dark corners where tales of mutations and a vicious enemy still linger like hushed secrets. Logan is quick to dismiss these accounts as part of a storied past with which he’d rather not contend, but when a suicide investigation leads him to believe there’s something more sinister at hand, he questions whether that near-forgotten lore isn’t the stuff of legend after all. 

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

From Legend by Ian Lewis is the first book in the alternate historical series The Reeve.

The first thing I loved about this book is the cover art! I absolutely loved it and once done with the book I was really happy (and grateful) that the high expectations set by the cover were fully delivered by the author in this book. I enjoyed this book tremendously and the many elements it had to offer to a speculative fiction lover like myself. I loved the writing, the world-building, the characterisation as well as the fast pacing and high tension throughout the story.

I liked how the author interweaved the alternate historical settings with fantastical elements and used old lores, legends and fables to build intrigue as well as the perfect atmosphere for keeping the reader on edge. I would highly recommend this book to all readers who like reading speculative fiction, fantasy as well as alternate history and also to those who are looking to explore a new author or a new series. This book would be a really good pick for most readers.

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Book Review: William Ottoway’s Utopia and other stories by Christopher Griffith

Author: Christopher Griffith
Release Date: 28th May 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Historical, Comedy, YA, Short Story collection
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 126 pages
Publisher: 
Blurb:
William seeks contented ease, not tragic hardship; Rick loves simple melody, not its mysteriously melancholic effect upon him; Emily dreams of anything but having to work another day for darkly comic Carol; Saman is overcome by revenge fantasy, but the subject of his vengeance wants only reconciliation; and young Will Shakespeare’s dream is to act, not write though the latter as history tells comes eagerly calling for him instead. Each protagonist definitely planned something else when life, in form of these unfolding stories, haply intervened!

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

William Ottoway’s Utopia by Christopher Griffith is a vibrant short story collection of diverse nature showcasing different varieties of narration.

This collection contains 5 tales and I liked reading all of them. I liked this book mostly because of the assorted nature of all the stories. They all had a very different setting, characterisation, narratives, and ever time periods and crossed different realms even. Each and every one of them was very different from each other but equally good and engaging. I liked the way characters were brought to life in a fitting way and the pacing that was set by the clever use of varied types of sentence structures.

I’d recommend this book to readers of all genre especially if they like reading experimental styles of narrative prose.

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Audiobook Review: The Mystery Of Martha by Eliza Harrison

Author: Eliza Harrison
Narrated by: Eliza Harrison
Release Date: 2nd October 2020
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction
Series:
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 9 hours 13 minutes
Publisher: 
Blurb:
Two women, two millennia apart, with seemingly unconnected lives – one from the English Lake District and the other from Bethany in Palestine. Neither is sure of their role or purpose, which leaves in them feelings of emptiness and uncertainty. 

Martha of Bethany has Yeshua as friend and guide. From a place of tenderness and intimacy, she witnesses the last three years of his life and sees him embody the mystery and power of love. This leads her on a journey to the Sacred Isles where she finds her own pathway to awakening. 

Martha from Borrowdale’s story begins in 2000 AD as she faces challenges that expose her deepest fears and insecurities. With her partner Ben, she discovers the mystical Aramaic teachings of Yeshua that offer her a pathway to Self-realisation and freedom. 

These two redemptive stories weave alongside each other until finally they converge. It is a tale of revelation and mystery that uplifts and transforms.

Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Mystery Of Martha by Eliza Harrison is a unique kind of mystery novel that is set against the historical backdrop and inlaced with spiritualism that takes the reader on a surreal journey.

I was intrigued about this book from he start because spiritualism is a little hard to blend into a historical mystery and so I was curious to see how the plot unravelled. It was good for the most part and the writing was good. The narration wasn’t the best but it made for easy listening and I appreciated it a lot. The overall concept was a little out of my personal comfort zone, but it still made for a good and engaging read.

I think that if you are into spirituality and like reading experimental literature revolving around it then you’d appreciate this book a lot more than me and it would make for a really good read.

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Book Review: The Dunnes of Brittas: An Irish Family’s Saga of Endurance by Kevin Lee Akers

Author: Kevin Lee Akers
Release Date: 17th March 2021
Genre: Historical Fiction, Family Saga
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 
Publisher: Bassett Street Press
Blurb:
The illustrious and ancient Dunne family has ruled over land in the heart of Ireland since time immemorial.

In the manor house known as Brittas, resides the family of clan chieftain, General Edward Dunne. His estate agent and cousin Peter raises his brood in the servant’s wing. These two related yet very separate branches struggle to secure their futures during the country’s darkest, most formidable years.

As Ireland is crumbling, the West is rising in Golden sunshine.

In 1848, San Francisco lures James Dunne and eventually his brother and sisters to literally create a new city out of sand dunes and gold dust.

The Dunnes of Brittas follows three generations of family who share in each other’s triumphs and tragedies finally discovering that their strength doesn’t derive from their separate branches but their common roots.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Dunnes of Brittas: An Irish Family’s Saga of Endurance by Kevin Lee Akers is an emotional journey about three generations of a family who are trying to navigate difficult situations through life and finding solace in each other’s company.

I liked reading this book because it had so many layers of complexity embedded throughout the story and mainly because the author has done a fine job with the overall characterisation. The story is good and the writing complimented it well.

Overall it made for a very engaging read and I would definitely recommend it to everyone who enjoys reading historical fiction and family sagas with complex plot and characters.

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Book Review: The Heritage by Jack Michonik

Author: Jack Michonik 
Release Date: 25th June 2020
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 388 pages
Publisher: 
Blurb:
The year is 1926. Thousands of Jewish families are forced to flee poverty and anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe. Fate takes two families to the magical continent of South America, which opens its generous arms to them. Many surprises await the immigrants in the New World. In this exciting story of their lives from their early teens in the “shtetl” to leisurely musings of middle age, we see the hardships immigrants face in the long journey to America, the complex process of adaptation to an unfamiliar environment and the phenomenal development of their businesses.

Parallel to the story of the main characters, another story emerges: that of the birth of a typical Jewish community within a Christian city. Translated from the original Spanish book, La Descendencia, The Heritage is peppered with reflections on religion and historical events of the time regarding the Jews and the state of Israel. Throughout the narrative, the author captivates us with a fascinating story of overcoming, human conflicts and addresses issues of assimilation and identity. Though not an autobiographical novel, it could be the story of the parents or grandparents of any Jew from Central or South America. The author preferred to use a fictional provincial capital of Latin American so that the reader can recognize the history of his or her own Jewish community, as all Jewish communities in Latin America came into being in an almost identical manner.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Heritage by Jack Michonik is a heartfelt tale of the author’s Jewish community immigrating to South America in the 1920s. This book was historically enlightening and made for a great read as a real-life story. It highlighted the plight of the immigrant Jews who had to live in a country whose religion was not simply pre-dominantly Catholic but was entirely that. And to preserve their Heritage, the family had to walk on the precarious line of balancing between preserving their Jewish heritage and settling in their day to day lives in an entirely and unforgivingly Catholic town (and also setting up their business/trade on top of that.)

This book is a really gem and reading it made me understand the plight the immigrants have had to face in those times, whether Jew or not. I really appreciated the historical accuracy of the facts as well as the effort that was put into the writing of this beautiful story.

I would definitely recommend it to everyone who loves historical fiction and to the entire Jew community.


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Book Review: A Thanksgiving Tribute – Ancestors In New World America by Gayle Michelle Fowler

Author: Gayle Michelle Fowler
Release Date: 9th September 2020
Genre:  Holiday Story, Historical
Series
Format: E-book 
Pages: 103 pages
Publisher: 
Blurb:
Through a granddaughter’s narrative, peek into the phenomenal triumphs that led to a “Gratitude Celebration,” a Thanksgiving tradition.
The story centers on William Brewster, ancestor to many, father of the pilgrims and the nation, who perseveres through dividing issues of his era.

Living in an oppressive state that deems him an outlaw, he must hide before indenturing himself to servitude. Knowing the suffering endured by the tiny fraction who lived to tell of the horrific sacrifices it took to survive in the New World, he shepherded his family onto the Mayflower to voyage to undeveloped lands on a foreign continent to make a new home.

This short exposé connects the holiday feast to both of the first victorious American settlements Jamestown and Plymouth, covering Queen Mary and King James; notable sea captains during the pirate era: Newport, Smith, and Argall; First Nations Indians: the Powhatans, the Wampanoag and their chiefs, Powhatan and Massasoit, as well as crucial pilgrim allies Pocahontas, Namontack, and Squanto. Historical pictures provide visual accompaniment to an epic that passes on these early ancestor’s spirit of survival, hope, and actions for an amicable future.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A Thanksgiving Tribute by Gayle Michelle Fowler is a beautiful holiday story about one of the most famous holidays in America – Thanksgiving. But even though the book is primarily about the American tradition and the history behind it – the sacrifices and the bravery of the ancestors, it also shows the relevance of the tradition in other countries, such as India.

Hailing from a country and religion where being grateful is one of the ways of life, I was able to relate to the book a lot, on many levels. I enjoyed it as well as got to learn a lot from it. The main theme of knowing and respecting one’s roots strung at the strings in my heart and I felt emotionally satisfied reading this beautiful book.

I’d definitely recommend it to all readers, especially considering that it is a short and sweet read and also the fact that with Diwali and Halloween approaching, the holiday season is just around the corner!

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Audiobook Review: Tattooist Of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Author: Heather Morris 
Narrated by: Richard Armitage 
Release Date: 11th January 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series:
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 8 hours
Publisher: Bolinda/Bonnier Audio
Blurb:
A tale based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov.

In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.

Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.

One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her. 

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Tattooist Of Auschwitz by Heather Morris is the real-life story of Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, who was imprisoned in the infamous Auschwitz Concentration Camp during the holocaust. Although the story is mainly about how he met his wife, Gita, and fell in love with her, the details and the insights of the concentration camp were horrifying and agonisingly insightful. The horrors of the camp were told from a very neutral perspective and therefore gave the readers a chance to feel things on their own without clouding their judgement. And for me, that was the best part of the book.

The romantic part was not particularly appealing to me, but the rest of the story was pretty good. I really thought that the character of Gita wasn’t done enough justice in the book, especially considering how the book was actually written for her. Male ended up dominating the story far more and it felt like his tale alone.

Though I did like the epilogue by Lale and Gita’s son as it lent an air of eery realism tot he book. I’d definitely recommend it to all historical fiction lovers and to all holocaust enthusiasts.

“𝑰𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒘𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒖𝒑 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈, 𝒊𝒕 𝒊𝒔 𝒂 𝒈𝒐𝒐𝒅 𝒅𝒂𝒚.”

H𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝑴𝒐𝒓𝒓𝒊𝒔

Book Review: Annihilation: A Story of the Armenian Genocide by Michael Bosland

Author: Michael Bosland
Release Date: 1st November 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: 
Edition: e-book
Pages: 242
Publisher:Read All Over Publishing
Blurb:
A Story of the Armenian Genocide is the story of Rosmerta Bedrossian, a thirteen-year-old girl living outside Bayburt with her extended family. The Armenians are ordered out of their houses and sent on a march. As Rosmerta witnesses acts of increasingly senseless violence and cruelty against her family and her people, her initial confusion at their treatment gives way to indignation and anger, moments of despair, and occasions of renewed determination to survive. She also receives kindness and help from a variety of people.

REVIEW

★★★★

To those who were massacred during the genocides of World War I. To those who survived despite being forced to endure unspeakable horrors. And to the descendants who keep their memories alive.

-Michael Bosland

Annihilation by Michael Bosland is a touching story that is definitely worth a read. It a compelling story providing a glimpse into he 2nd most talked about genocide int he history of the world. I am not a huge history buff so prior to reading this book I knew very little about the Armenian genocide, therefore I was really looking forward to read this book. And keeping up with my expectations this book turned out to be equally as insightful as it was engaging.

The characterisation felt realistic and the writing was really good and complimented the story well. But the best part was of course the concept and story. The author did a wonderful job in depicting the dilemmas and the horrors faced by the characters in dark times. It was a very informative read and even though the subject matter fo the book was so intense the book surprisingly did not felt too heavy.

It is a really good book and I’d recommend it to everyone who likes reading Historical fiction.

On a side note, after putting down this book, I looked up the topic on the internet and found it baffling about how less people know about the Armenian genocide. Everyone knows about the Holocaust but a lot of people, including me, are not aware of the details of this horrific period. So if you are someone like me and like researching stuff of the past, then do give this topic an eye. It was pretty mind baffling. Especially considering the term ‘genocide’ was coined for this particular massacre (basically, it happened even before the term was even coined – it started before and continued during WWI.)

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: In The Shadow Of The Kingmakers by Vahid Imani

Author: Vahid Imani
Release Date: 9th February 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 300
Publisher: Stormtop Publishing
Blurb:
The shadows were closer than he thought …
Tehran in 1924 is the stage for a daring international showdown over the control of Persian oil fields. James Malcolm, a British operative stationed in Tehran weaves an intricate plot in hopes of installing a new loyal Persian king. A teenage boy’s accidental involvement becomes a distraction. When his plot is sabotaged, the fragile peace in Persia is threatened along with the boy’s life. Malcolm’s clandestine investigation entangles him with unwitting American diplomats, treacherous double agents, and murderous Soviet spies, all seeking to foil the oil grab of the British.

REVIEW

★★★★

In The Shadow Of The Kingmakers by Vahid Imani is an immersive historical suspense thriller that pulled me in right from the start to the very end. I really liked it because of the complexity of the plot and the ease with which it was laid by the author for the reader to read.

The writing is really good and the book is easy to follow, making it a relatively quick read. The characterization was also good and I was able to feel a connection to the protagonist, James, and was rooting for him throughout the book. The plot was the hero for me and the story felt very well fleshed out, especially the cultural details and the rich exposition.

The ending was apt and it made a lot of sense. I enjoyed this book through and through and would recommend it to all historical fiction fans and readers of mystery and thriller genre.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Traveller – Inceptio by Rob Shackleford

Author: Rob Shackleford
Release Date: 25th February 2017
Genre: Time-Travel, Historical, Science-Fiction
Series: Traveller (Book #1)
Edition: E-book
Pages: 
Publisher: Book Baby
Blurb:
If you were sent 1000 years into the past, would you survive?

Traveller – Inceptio describes how the Transporter is accidentally invented and becomes public knowledge when it sends a subject 1000 years into the past.

A Special Forces team of Travellers is then selected and trained with the intent to send them to Saxon England to explore what could be a very dangerous period of history.

From the beaches of Australia to the forests of Saxon England, Traveller – Inceptio reveals how Travellers discover they need a lot more than technology to survive the trials of early Eleventh Century life.

Book Review

★★+1/2

Traveller Inceptio by Rob Shackleford is a time-travel story set 1000 years in the past, through the machine that was invented by mistake. What follows next is an interesting tale about how our ever-so-reliable-science-and-technology can’t bail us out of dangerous situations and how power-hungry people can go to any lengths in order to get their hands on any new invention that can trip the scales in their favour.

The story was good and pretty engaging. The events were interesting and some of them even capturing. The overall world-building was good and the pacing was even. I enjoyed the book on the whole but had a couple of issues both with the plot and the writing. The author went overboard with the exposition, as a result of which I found myself skimming over a lot of pages. The beginning of the book and the base of the story felt a bit weak as it seemed too far-fetched a concept to have actually invented a time-travel machine that travels only certain years and then has the ability to come back when summoned too. I mean the concept could have been a bit more believable if the machine had at least some faults and wouldn’t have been this perfect. After all, it was a result of a mistake.

But after the first part was over, the story only got better. The research appeared to be impeccable and the story got more and more interesting, save for the exhausting bits of exposition. The plot started to feel realistic and I was able to connect with it once the first part was over.

Characterization, unfortunately, felt like another lingering problem as I had a hard time connecting with the characters. They were not badly created, but they weren’t overly impressive nor relatable. I just liked them enough to have been able to read and finish the story (which seemed to be much longer than it should have.)

Overall, I think the book needed a bit more tweaking and that a good editor would have been able to make this book much better. Still, it was an enjoyable read.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Memory Tree (Carson Chronicles #2) by John A. Heldt

Author: John A. Heldt
Release Date: 30th April 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction, Time-Travel, Sci-Fi, Relationships & Family
SeriesCarson Chronicles – Book #2
Edition: E-book
Pages: 659
Publisher: 
Blurb:
Days after barely escaping 1889 with their lives, the Carsons, siblings from the present day, resume their search for their missing parents in 1918. While Adam and his pregnant wife, Bridget, settle in Minnesota, unaware of a wildfire that will kill hundreds, Greg seeks clues in his great-grandparents’ Mexico, where he finds love, danger, and enemies. At the same time, Natalie, the ambitious journalist, follows a trail to World War I France, and teen twins Cody and Caitlin rekindle a friendship with an old Pennsylvania friend haunted by her past. In THE MEMORY TREE, the sweeping sequel to RIVER RISING, several time travelers find answers and meaning as they continue the adventure of a lifetime in the age of doughboys, silent movies, and Model T’s.

REVIEW

★★★★

The Memory Tree by John A. Heldt is a compelling sequel to River Rising, book one in the Carson Chronicles series. Just like the first part of this series, and the others I’ve read by the author, this book was equally interesting, entertaining and emotional. It had a lot to offer in terms of the rich American history, WWI and the culture of the years long gone. This book was especially good because it had a twist which I was not expecting and the element of surprise really caught me off-guard as I’ve come to understand where things are generally moving in author Heldt’s books because of having read many of them and being familiar with his style of writing. So the twist was a pleasant surprise for me.

The characterization was good and I was able to see the development of all the characters from the last book experiencing new worlds and living in times new to them. The writing was good and complimented the story well. And I’m really looking forward to reading the next part of this series.

I’d recommend this book to all historical fiction lovers and to everyone who loves reading stories on relationships and families. It is an honest-to-god feel-good story that will definitely warm your heart.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Afterlives of Doctor Gachet by Sam Meekings

Author: Sam Meekings
Release Date: 1st August 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 290
Publisher: Eyewear Publishing
Blurb:
Who is that mournful man in the painting? THE AFTERLIVES OF DOCTOR GACHET tells the story of Paul Ferdinand Gachet, the subject of one of Vincent van Gogh’s most famous portraits: one that shows what the artist called “the heartbroken expression of our times.” But what caused such heartbreak? This thrilling historical novel follows Doctor Gachet from asylums to art galleries, from the bloody siege of Paris to life with van Gogh in Auvers, and from the bunkers of Nazi Germany to a reclusive billionaire in Tokyo, to uncover the secrets behind that grief-stricken smile.

REVIEW

★★★★

“I know some people argue that our lives are predicated on the quirks of our genes, that our destiny is inscribed in the code of our DNA. On the other hand, it is only when we are tested in the outside world that all the possibility bristling within us is whittled down and we really take shape.”

The Afterlives Of Doctor Gachet by Sam Meekings is a very delightful and a pretty compelling historical read with a powerful, well-written and brilliantly executed storyline. This book was such a good break from all the contemporary fiction I read. The plot was very unique, fresh and pretty captivating. I enjoyed reading this book a lot because I truly enjoyed reading each and every single sentence of this book (which is very rare  for me.) The writing was beautiful and the author’s style was pretty impressive. I guess I can say without a speck of doubt, and as rare as it may be, that in this book the writing was the best part.

I loved the characterization and character development in every chapter. I also appreciated the side-story of which was given in alternating chapters; it kept the story from being monotonous and made it very interesting.

I’d recommend this book to all historical-fiction readers and to anyone who is looking to take a break from their usual choice of books and might want to explore something refreshing and brilliant. Also, I’m sure Van Gough enthusiasts and fans would definitely love reading this book and exploring the background of the subject of one of his most talked about pieces.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Madrone by Jack B. Rochester

Author: Jack B. Rochester
Release Date: 15th July 2014
Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 340
Publisher: Wheatmark
Blurb:
The year is 1969. After an interminable four years under the boot of the US military, twenty-four-year-old Nathaniel Hawthorne Flowers is ready for his real life to begin. His plans are straightforward: spend as much time as he can with his girlfriend, Jane, finish college, and become a writer. But when Nate is denied admission to UC Santa Cruz, he decides that a bachelor’s degree isn’t necessarily the path he’s laid out for himself. He can learn about literature on his own, and he’ll have more time to write if he isn’t in school. His choice doesn’t sit well with everybody. Jane’s father asks Nate how he’ll support Jane without a degree. Jane’s mentor offers to pull some strings at SC if Nate agrees to become his student. And when a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presents itself, even Nate is tempted by the allure of conventionally defined success. Picking up where Wild Blue Yonder left off, Madrone inspires us to consider how far we’ll go to remain true to ourselves.

Review

★★★★★

Madrone by Jack B. Rochester is a beautiful sequel to Wild Blue Yonder, which picks up where the first one left off giving a detailed glimpse into the life of the protagonist, Nathaniel Hawthorne Flowers, after he enters the next phase of his life and explores the world outside of the military.

Just like the previous book by author Rochester, I thoroughly enjoyed this book as well. I’m glad that I got a chance to read the first book so close to this one because the whole story of Nathaniel felt like a nice long movie. The writing was really good and felt apt for such a beautiful story. The characterization was great as instantly I was able to connect to Nathaniel, and was able to relate to him while he went about living his life in a world that was new to him.

The book is based in the 1960’s and the author has done a commendable job in enabling people like me, who never saw that era, to be able to live it through his amazing cast of characters. The settings did not only make the book very interesting but also very enjoyable.

It is a good book with a heart-warming story and exceptional writing to compliment it, sprinkled with a cast of characters that would steal your heart in a blink and I’d recommend it to everyone who loves reading a meticulously constructed story with fully fleshed-out characters.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Wild Blue Yonder by Jack B. Rochester

Author: Jack B. Rochester
Release Date: 1st August 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 306
Publisher:
Blurb:
“Nathaniel Hawthorne Flowers, eh?” said First Sergeant Wilford H. Buford. “That yer real name or one you picked up out there in fairyland Cally-forny?” “Wild Blue Yonder” is the coming-of-age story of Nathaniel Hawthorne Flowers, a smart but sheltered boy from suburban Chicago whose beloved father suddenly dies, resulting in his flunking out of college. It’s the 1960s, so he gets a draft notice but joins the Air Force to avoid going to Vietnam. Nate’s adventure takes off as he tries to understand the military mindset and the massive social disruption going on in America. His journey takes a Kafka-esque turn when he is sent to Germany to become a military newspaper correspondent whose stories will never see print. Existential, psychedelic, fun-filled and laced with the rock ‘n’ roll of the times, “Wild Blue Yonder” is the story of Nate finding his personal and spiritual values as he discovers the love of a girl and the meaning of family and friendships.

Review

★★★★★

Wild Blue Yonder by Jack B. Rochester is a beautifully written historical fiction book with such realistic characterization that it takes the book to a whole new level of awesomeness.

I truly enjoyed reading this book; it had great writing, really good characterization, very nice pacing and tension and the plot-progression was really, really good. And on top of all this, the story was not only realistic but also very emotional and deep, which made reading this book so worth it. I was pulled into the story right from the start and was in it for good till the very end. The conflicts felt real and the backdrop was fantastic. Overall, it is a very, very good book.

I’d recommend this book to the readers of historical fiction as well to those who are looking for a refreshing new dramatic story and won’t mind the backdrop of war.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Krishnaa : Queen Bee of No. 8 West Iyen Street by Radhika Giridhara And Vidya Nagaraj

Author: Radhika Giridharan and Vidya Nagaraj
Release Date: 12th December 2017
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Indian Literature, Historical Fiction
Series:
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 302
Publisher: Notion Press
Blurb:
When a marriage proposal from a much married 30 year old Raghavenrda for 12 year old Krishnaa comes knocking on the door of Gundappa Chowltry, life takes on a dramatic turn for Krishnaa. An official bride-seeing ceremony and a quick peek at the bridegroom  seals things  and  before long Krishnaa finds herself embarking on her new journey with her new husband-a man she barely knows, to the temple town of Kumbakonam. What lies in store for Krishnaa in her new house as Raghavendra’s second wife? Where is Raghavendra’s first wife?  Are Krishnaa’s dreams and desires fulfilled? What cards are dealt to Krishnaa by the hands of destiny?While tracing Krishnaa’s life journey from 1904 to the modern times, the book captures the soul of the Indian Joint family system, the customs and traditions, the love and laughter and the ever green human values. Set in the picturesque temple town of Kumbakonam, on the banks of river Cauvery, amidst the majestic Gopurams of Chakrapani and Sarangapani temples, the story of Krishnaa unfolds in all its colourful glory.

Review

★★★+1/2

Krishnaa: Queen Bee Of No.8 West Iyen Street by Radhika Giridharan and Vidya Nagaraj is a very interesting take on marriage, in general, and the Indian joint-family system and its quirks.

This book was a welcome change from the western books I read, and as a bonus, it had a good story that was equal parts interesting and entertaining. I enjoyed reading this book a lot and I felt the joy that I always feel while watching Rajshee films (which are famous Bollywood movies based on Indian joint-families and are about Indian traditions and belief-system.)

The characterization was great, the writing was good and overall the book was a quick and easy read. The story had quite a few turns that made it very enjoyable and the authors’ ability to not go melodramatic over issues like child-marriage and second marriage is really commendable.

Overall, it was a nice read and if you are an Indian or an Indian culture enthusiast, then you should definitely consider reading this book.

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Book Review: River Rising (Carson Chronicles #1) by John A. Heldt

Author: John A. Heldt
Release Date: 7th February 2017
Genre: Science-Fiction, Romance, Historical
Series: 
Carson Chronicles
Edition:
 e-book
Pages: 661
Publisher:
Blurb:
Weeks after his parents disappear on a hike, engineer Adam Carson, 27, searches for answers. Then he discovers a secret web site and learns his mom and dad are time travelers stuck in the past. Armed with the information he needs to find them, Adam convinces his younger siblings to join him on a rescue mission to the 1880s.
While Greg, the adventurous middle brother, follows leads in the Wild West, Adam, journalist Natalie, and high school seniors Cody and Caitlin do the same in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Like the residents of the bustling steel community, all are unaware of a flood that will destroy the city on May 31, 1889.
In RIVER RISING, the first novel in the Carson Chronicles series, five young adults find love, danger, and adventure as they experience America in the age of bustle dresses, gunslingers, and robber barons.

REVIEW

★★★★★

River Rising by John A. Heldt is an engaging sci-fi historical book that’ll take you on an emotional rollercoaster ride.

I’ve always loved author Heldt’s books because of the beautiful storylines and his exceptional storytelling skills, and this book is no different and had the same charm that I find nothing short of magic. In fact, this book was all this and so much more; it had elements of mystery and something very different from the author’s previous books – this book is a series based around the same family. This made me look at the characters, the main ones as well as the secondary ones, in a very different light.

Overall it was a very good read and I enjoyed every aspect of it. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, science-fiction – time travel, simple romance, family drama and easy mystery.

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Book Review: The Legend of the Washo Gold by Jon Budd

Author: Jon Budd
Release Date: 17th October 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: The Vince Davis Trilogy
Edition: E-book
Pages: 177
Publisher: Jonathan H Budd Publishing

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

To prevent a repeat of the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, Hank, a modern day Native American Indian, overcomes his doubts about his tribe’s ancient religion and leads a war party to recover a cursed Indian treasure.
Succumbing to the genocide brought down upon them during the infamous 1849 California Gold Rush, the Washo Indians were teetering on the brink of extinction. With the help of a mysterious stranger, they devised an ingenious plan to survive. Many years later, when the secret of their survival is threatened, the tribe appoints a modern day warrior to lead a war party to San Francisco to recover stolen Indian treasure and secure the secret of the Washo Gold.
This novel enables the reader to experience the infamous 1849 California Gold Rush from the perspective of a tribe of Native American Indians who lived through it.

Review

The Legend Of The Washo Gold by Jon Budd is a very interesting and engrossing read.

This book is one of those rare reads that make you realise how the world can be a very difficult place to live in. That minorities are not always treated right and sometimes they have to go for extreme means to sustain and survive the cruel world that’s nothing more than an enemy to them. This book does exactly this and so much more.

The story was really good and gave a unique perspective of a small Native American Indian tribe that was not treated well and had to take up extreme measures for their survival. The writing is good and makes the reading of the book easy and smooth. The imagery was good and the overall the story was full of internal as well as external conflicts.

The characterization was good and though not every character was memorable, the important characters stood out, albeit a bit slowly. I enjoyed reading about them and that was more than enough to keep me glued to the book right until the end.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes reading historical fiction and won’t mind the tribals’ point of view.

More from the author: Author Interview: Jon Budd

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Book Review: The Beekeeper’s Daughter by Jane Jordan

Author: Jane Jordan  
Release Date: 26th November 2016
Genre: Dark Thriller, Historical
Edition: E-book
Pages: 
Publisher: Black Opal Books

Rating: ★★★

Blurb:

Annabel Taylor, a beekeeper’s daughter, grows up wild and carefree on the moors of England in the late 1860s, following in the footsteps of her mother, a beautiful witch. Annabel’s closest friend is Jevan Wenham. The son of the blacksmith, he lives his life on the verge of destruction. His devotion to Annabel is full of twists and turns as brutality melds with deepest desire. But when Jevan is forced to travel to London to receive an education, Annabel is devastated.
Then Alex—heir to the Saltonstall legacy and son of Cerberus Saltonstall, the wealthy landowner of the foreboding Gothelstone Manor—comes into her life. Alex is arrogant and self-assured, but he cannot stop thinking about the outspoken girl he encounters on the road to Gothelstone. Not only is he bewitched by Annabel’s beauty, he feels drawn to her by something he can’t explain. Alex and Annabel are socially worlds apart, but that doesn’t stop him from demanding her hand in marriage. When Annabel refuses, she is forced into an impossible situation. Jevan believes she has betrayed him, regardless of the fact that her decision saves him from the hangman’s noose.
As a devastating love triangle unfolds, disturbing revelations thrust Annabel into a startling reality, where nothing is as it seems. Now both her life and Jevan’s are in danger, and her fledging powers may not be enough to save them…


Review

The Beekeeper’s Daughter by Jane Jordan is a historical book that was a bit of a heavy read, at least for me.

I did have a lot of expectations from the book, but when I started reading the book the writing itself failed to pull me in and this happens very rarely with me. Needless to say, it proved to be a hard read for me and in spite of trying my best, I was not able to connect to the lead the way I should have and, as a result, the rest of the book obviously started to feel like a drag.

Though I must say that the story is unique, in spite of the cliched love triangle. I really wish I was able to connect to the lead because then it would have been a much pleasant read.

This book has a lot fo positive reviews, so I’m sure that Historical Fiction lovers might actually like this book. But it wasn’t for me.


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Book Review: Sherlock Holmes And The Nine-Dragon Sigil by Tim Symonds

32666837Author: Tim Symonds
Release Date: 21st November 2016
Series: Sherlock Holmes
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Suspense.
Edition: Ebook (PDF)
Pages: 
Publisher: MX Publishing

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

It’s the year 1906. Rumours abound that a deadly plot is hatching – not in the fog-ridden back-alleys of London’s Limehouse district or the sinister Devon moors of the Hound of the Baskervilles but in faraway Peking. Holmes’s task – discover whether such a plot exists and if so, foil it. But are the assassins targeting the young and progressive Ch’ing Emperor or his imperious aunt, the fearsome Empress Dowager Cixi? The murder of either could spark a civil war. The fate of China and the interests of Britain’s vast Empire in the Orient could be at stake. Holmes and Watson take up the mission with their customary confidence – until they find they are no longer in the familiar landscapes of Edwardian England. Instead, they tumble into the Alice In Wonderland world of the Forbidden City.

Review

Sherlock Holmes & The Nine-Dragon Sigil is an exceptionally well-written book.
Writing about the two MOST loved characters of all time – Sherlock Holmes and Watson – is in itself a humongous task, and pulling it off successfully is not only nearly impossible but also unreal.
But Author Tim Symonds successfully took these two legendary characters and completely owned them in his epic new release Sherlock Holmes And The Nine-Dragon Sigil.

I haven’t read the previous parts in this series, but I am certainly looking forward to reading them as soon as I can get my hands on them because I really enjoyed and loved reading this book.

Author Tim Symonds’ writing is exceptional. It flows in tune with the settings and the era the story is set in and reminds the reader of the beautifully poetic and enchanting rhythm that the classic authors had.
I was completely spellbound by the captivating storytelling and the flow of the sentences in old English.
The plot is ingenious and the pacing is moderate, but it picks up wherever the need arises, keeping it thoroughly engaging for the reader.

I absolutely enjoyed the narration, no doubt, but I enjoyed the plot even more. Staying true to the most famous traits of the most amazing and observant detectives on the planet, the author created a fabulous plot, which kept me guessing at each and every turn.
And needless to say, the end completely baffled me and left me sitting there, holding the Kindle in my hands, smiling at the author’s cleverness. It was a true jaw-dropping ending! And it was mostly because the author handled foreshadowing really well.

The characters were done complete justice and I really enjoyed how the author’s classy sense of humor came out through the characters.
And a bonus for me was that being an Asian myself, I enjoyed the author’s fascinating details and descriptions of China to no end.

I loved this book and would recommend it to all the Sherlock Holmes fans, mystery lovers and anyone with a craving for a well-written piece of English literature.


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Book Review: Guardian Of Paradise by W.E. Lawrence

26769446Author: W.E. Lawrence
Release Date: September 20, 2015
Series: 
Genre: Historical Fiction, Action-Adventure, Romance
Edition: ebook (Kindle)
Pages: 297
Publisher: 

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

In 1888, Kira Wall, surviving daughter of missionaries swept away in a tsunami, lives a primitive, but enjoyable life with natives on an isolated island in the South Pacific. But her serene world is turned upside down when an Australian merchant ship, commanded by the sinister Captain Darcy Coleman, arrives with an overabundance of modern and lavish goods. Kira suspects ill intent. Chief Ariki refuses to listen to Kira’s warning, forcing her to uncover the real plan of the captain on her own. Unfortunately, she has a distraction. A six-foot tall, blond, and handsome distraction. Trevor Marshall, doctor and botanist, hopes to find exotic plants on the island to research new cures and medicines. He is dedicated to science, but when meeting the strong-willed, beautiful Kira Wall, he’d prefer to spend time researching her—all night.
The captain thwarts Kira’s attempts to call him out at every step, turning the village chief against her. With only Trevor and her best friend Malana by her side, she stalks the captain and his officers through the dense, predator infested jungle, toward the island’s inactive volcano. Frustrated by her failure to reveal the captain’s true intentions, Kira begins to think maybe she’s wrong about everything. Then an explosion and earthquake bigger than anyone on the island has ever seen renews her resolve. Was the blast natural or man-made? She is determined to prove it was the captain’s doing. Kira races against time and the island people’s naivety to stop the captain from destroying her home and killing everyone she loves.

REVIEW

Guardian Of Paradise by W.E. Lawrence is a action-packed historical read.

I really enjoyed reading this book especially because of the beautiful setting of this story. The fitting descriptions made the island’s beauty come to life and I was left craving for more.

I’m not a Historical Fiction fan, but there are a few authors who really write this genre well, and W.E. Lawrence is definitely one of them. I liked the romance bit too. It was the main theme, but thankfully the author did not overburden the story with mindless romance.

The adventurous undertones and the well-written plot were really engaging. The writing was really simple and easy to follow, making this book a really breezy read. I was hooked right from the beginning to the very end. And the characterization was also good. I didn’t feel a very strong connection with the leads, but considering that it’s not one of my favorite genres, I cared enough about the characters to want to know what happens next – and it was good enough for me.

Despite a few minor flaws (lacking justification of some of the actions of the islanders and a few odd loose ends) I liked reading this book and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to read a moderate-paced and light-hearted Historical novel.

 


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