ARC Review: Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

Author: Melanie Golding
Release Date: 30th April 2019
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Adult Fiction, Horro, Supernatural, Suspense
Series: 
Edition: Ebook
Pages: 304
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Blurb:
“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Grimms’ Fairy Tales, and Aimee Molloy’s The Perfect Mother.
Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.
A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley—to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.
Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.
Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking—and rechecking—your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.

REVIEW

Let me begin by saying that when I first saw this book’s listing on NetGalley, I was totally in awe! It had the most amazing cover, an incredible blurb and (upon further research) some really good reviews in the book’s favour. So basically it had it all and I was positive that this will be one heck of a read.
To be honest, I couldn’t start reading this book fast enough and I felt like this right till the moment I started reading this book:

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But when I started reading this book, say about 20-25 pages in, I was really not sure if I was reading the right book because the writing felt very forceful and unnecessarily dramatic. For one, the author kept going on and on about how the main character (don’t even remember the name) did not feel “the rush of love” for her newborn twins. I am all for complex and grey characters, but after a while, it did start to feel like the author was unnecessarily pressing the point on the readers in order to make them hate the MC (or maybe they just wanted to make the readers feel that the character was very complex) either way, it felt too forced and outright fake. Still, I kept on reading in the hopes that maybe once this part gets over the good part would begin.

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Then came the part where the MC was being checked by the doctor in order to see if her womb (?) was okay (not even sure if I even understood that part) and then everything went to hell because the descriptions got so crazily gross that it’s going to take me a long time to get over it. I mean, if you haven’t been pregnant ever, then I recommend not to read this part as it sure as hell scared the shit out of me!!

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AND THAT WAS IT FOR ME!
I COULDN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!

If you’ve read this book and liked it, then hats off to you! But you haven’t yet read this book and are planning to read it, then I’d suggest to check out some other book on twins and/or pregnant-female-horror fiction like Cleaving Souls by Chauncey Rogers or stick to the plain ol’ decent thrillers like Sister Sister by Sue Fortin or The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena.

You can also read this review 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: Souls Of The Dark Sea by A.F. Stewart

Author: A.F. Stewart
Release Date: 13th September 2018
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Horror, Supernatural
Series: Saga of the Outer Islands (Book #2)
Edition: e-book
Pages: 202
Publisher:
Blurb:
From the depths, darkness is rising…
Something ancient and powerful stirs beneath the sea of the Outer Islands. A creature strong enough to challenge Captain Rafe Morrow, God of Souls, for control of the dead and the survival of the living.
Still reeling from the aftermath of his battle with the Goddess of the Moon, Rafe and the crew of the Celestial Jewel find a mysterious shipwreck and strange tales of bones. Tasked by a new ally to find answers, Rafe stumbles on long-buried secrets shrouded in the shadows of the Nightmare Crow.
Now armies of the dead ascend from the ocean. And their master is not far behind.
Set sail on a new adventure with ghosts, gods and sea monsters!

Review

★★★

Souls Of The Dark Sea by A.F. Stewart is a dark fantasy novel with a strong plotline and good writing.

The book started out good, the progression was also decent but at some places the pace slowed dramatically and then picked up at unexpected places, making it a mixed bag of positives and negatives. The characterization, to me, felt a bit off but that might be because I haven’t read the prequel to this book.

On the whole, I liked reading this book; I might not have loved it but it was still a good read – dark (as promised), well-written with a good storyline and didn’t feel like it was a part of a series (as the blog tour promised) but I think I would have appreciated the characters in this book more had I read the previous book.

I’d recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a new dark series to explore.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: One Night’s Stay by C.B. Collins

Author: C. B. Collins
Release Date: 9th September 2018
Genre: Supernatural, Thriller
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 476
Publisher: C.B.C. Publishing
Blurb:
Thirteen strangers check into the Sunset Inn hoping to find rest. When one of them is murdered in the middle of the night, the survivors realize they’ve found something else entirely; an ancient evil looking to satisfy an undying hunger. If the guests want to make it through the night, they’ll have to discover the secret behind the motel and the mysterious town it serves. However, in uncovering the truth, they might find that the town’s past is nowhere near as dark as their own.

Review

★★★

One Night’s Stay by C.B. Collins is a new supernatural thriller with a lot of potentials that serves as a perfect Halloween read.

When I started reading this book I was pulled into it so fiercely that for the first 30% of the story I was not at all ready to put it down! But, much to my dismay, as the story progressed, I started to feel a little distant as the plot began to drag and the characterization started to falter. It began to get more and more difficult for me to feel a connection with the characters that started to emerge as the main ones as the story progressed. And by the time I finished 80% of the book I wasn’t sure if it was the same book that I had started. Maybe it’s simply my monumental expectations from the story or maybe the story was that way, but I feel that overall the story progression suffered heavily after the first 30-40% of the story. The second half of the story was totally dominated by the first half and wasn’t able to live up to the expectations that were set in the brilliant first half of the story.

Still, it made for a good Halloween read with an engaging plot. If the characterization would have been better, I would have given this story another star, but it wasn’t. So if you like stories with a decent plot and can do with not-very-strong characterization in a supernatural setting then do give this book a try, you might enjoy it more than I did.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Cleaving Souls by Chauncey Rogers

Author: Chauncey Rogers
Release Date: 10th October 2017
Genre: Horror, Supernatural, Thriller, Suspense
Series:
Edition: E-Book
Pages: 225
Publisher: 
Blurb:
Some dangers you cannot outrun. Some nightmares do not end when you wake.
Something is watching Katherine Harris. She can feel it when she goes out. She can feel it inside her home. She feels it in her bed. Her husband, Alex, wants to blame her anxiety on her pregnancy, but he’s often away for work. He doesn’t know what it’s like to be stuck in a small town, to be trapped in a tiny house on a run-down street, to be alone. Kat does, and the feeling only grows worse.
Whatever is going on, Kat’s certain that it’s far more serious than pregnancy jitters. When Alex takes Kat on a second honeymoon to get her mind off things, it becomes far more dangerous as well.

Review

★★★★+1/2

Cleaving Souls by Chancey Rogers is a super fast-paced supernatural read that is literally un-put-down-able.

Wow, what a suspenseful and goosebumps-inducing ride! The first part (out of all 3) was my favourite as the suspense built up was so perfect that it was literally impossible to put down the book! The characterization wasn’t overly relatable for me, but it felt very realistic and seemed apt for the story, so it served the purpose well.

A very well-written book with simple and smooth writing which made for a very quick read. The flow of the writing was so good that I finished this book in less than 48 hrs when I wasn’t even planning on reading it and happened to pick it up randomly on a whim, earlier than I had planned.

My only complaints are the slight slack in pacing around the 70-90% mark in the ebook and a somewhat down-played climax-built up. Just before the end, the plot progression suffered because of downplaying the main conflict of the story. It wasn’t bad as suck, but I feel that given the thrilling Act I and the sensational Act II, this part, Act III of the story could have been so much better in terms of tension, pacing and overall progression of that bit. Thankfully, the ending made up for this little negative, the only negative in the book.

I’m sure as hell looking forward to reading other books by the author! And I’d recommend this one to all supernatural and horror fiction fans and to those who won’t mind reading an unsettling or pregnancy-related story.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Our Frail Disordered Lives by Mary M. Schmidt

Author: Mary M. Schmidt
Release Date: 1st June 2018
Genre: Horror-Comedy, Supernatural
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 188
Publisher: Lulu Publishing Services
Blurb:
Larry Kavanaugh is an ordinary kind of guy. He’s got a nagging wife and two kids, both annoyingly gifted. No matter what he does, there is no end to what his family needs. What’s a regular, everyday guy to do? Well, he cuts a few corners, obviously—one very big corner in particular. He sells his soul to the Devil. Maybe it’s not the actual Devil, but Larry is ready to make a deal with one of the Devil’s minions. He meets some demon whose name he can’t remember. Funny, it was right on the tip of his tongue, a name of something you step on. Roach the Demon has sort of good intentions. He just wants a re-write of Dante’s Inferno with himself as the star. Roach goes after Larry as a rogue operation. He needs to make a point to his boss, Satan, so he uses the body of a human to follow Larry around and stir up trouble. He offers Larry an airtight guarantee that nothing could possibly go wrong. After all, Larry doesn’t feel like he has much to lose—or does he? Even Roach might be in over his head this time.

Review

★★★

Our Frail Disordered Lives by Mary M. Schmidt is a unique story about a guy who sells his soul to the devil a demon in order to make his life better and what follows is a litany of situations one could do better to stay away from.

A very unique story with lots of drama and twists and turns to keep the readers entertained throughout the book. Overall speaking, I liked the idea of the book, the main concept that is, but felt that it needed more polishing in terms of the execution of that concept. The writing was okay but the characterization, for this kind of story, felt weak, and that was my biggest issue. The pacing was good and the plot progression okay, but I really felt that if I would have been able to connect with the main character, Larry, a bit more then the story would have meant even more to me.

Still, it proved to be a pretty quick and easy read. So if you’re looking for a fresh quick read then this might be for you if you’re okay with reading stories with not very relatable characters and care about the story more than characterization.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

AudioBook Review: A Witch’s Concern by N.E.Conneely

Author: N.E. Conneely
Narrators: Jeff Hays and Laurie
Release Date: 
16th January 2018
Genre: Paranormal, Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, Magic Realism
Series: 
A Witch’s Path, Book 4
Length: 7 hours 25 minutes
Publisher: N.E. Conneely
Blurb:
Michelle has been figuring out what her life is like now that the demon has been killed and Sylvia and Varro are dead. Even the clans of witches trying to attract her to their way of life have backed off and given her a chance to grieve. Her relationship with Elron is stronger than ever, but there are things left unsaid.On the way to her parent’s wedding, the delicate calm she’d been living in is broken. Witches are out for her blood, her family is caught in the crossfire, and friendships are threatened. Work doesn’t let up either, and she partners up with Elron to deal with magic gone wild. Michelle finds that her problems are larger than one clan of witches, and is forced to choose between the people she holds dear and the way of life she loves.

Review

★★★★

A Witch’s Concern by N.E. Conneely is a refreshing and highly entertaining read, revolving around a young witch and her adventures.

I loved this book; the plot was unique, the characters and their conflicts felt real and the sub-plots were very interesting. I enjoyed listening to the story from start till the end, and even though this is the 4th book in A With’s Path series, I didn’t have any trouble getting into it. So this book can safely be read as a stand alone as well, but I am considering reading all the previous parts before going for the next ones.

The characterization was good, if not brilliant, and even though I wasn’t able to connect to the main lead, Michelle, in a very strong way, I liked her quite a lot and that was enough for me to read about her and her adventures (or misadventures.) Elron’s character felt a bit shaky initially but by the end of the book, he proved to be a strong male lead.

The narration was good for the most part. It took me some time to get into Elron’s (Jeff Hays) narration, though I did love the female lead’s narration a lot! Lauri’s voice and expressions were really good and made listening to this audiobook a very pleasant experience.

I’d recommend this book to all the paranormal and supernatural lovers, along with those who love reading about witches, elves and magic.

this review is also posted on audible and goodreads

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Book Review: The Night Parade by Ronald Malfi

Author: Ronald Malfi
Release Date: 26th July 2016
Genre: Science-Fiction, Dystopian, Apocalyptic, Supernatural
Edition: Ebook
Pages: 384
Publisher: Kensington Press

Blurb:
First the birds disappeared.
Then the insects took over.
Then the madness began . . .
They call it Wanderer’s Folly–a disease of delusions, of daydreams and nightmares. A plague threatening to wipe out the human race.
After two years of creeping decay, David Arlen woke up one morning thinking that the worst was over. By midnight, he’s bleeding and terrified, his wife is dead, and he’s on the run in a stolen car with his eight-year-old daughter, who may be the key to a cure.
Ellie is a special girl. Deep. Insightful. And she knows David is lying to her. Lying about her mother. Lying about what they’re running from. And lying about what he sees when he takes his eyes off the road . . .

REVIEW

★★★★

The Night Parade by Ronald Malfi is a very engaging and emotional read.

Initially, after reading the first couple of pages, I felt the plot might be similar to Firestarter by Stephen King, a book I really, really loved(!) but as the plot progressed I felt reassured that this book was not entirely like it. Though the basic concept is the same – Father-daughter duo fighting and running from the world because of the daughter’s supernatural ability, this book was different in its own way. In this book, for one, the father did not possess supernatural abilities. This really made things different, though the main conflict of the father was that he did not have enough time (just like in Firestarter.) The one thing that made this book entirely different from Firestarter is the main backdrop and the central theme – The apocalypse, a world falling prey to an unidentified and seemingly incurable plague. Though I do feel that this book is kind of a homage to Mr King’s masterpiece.

The best part of the book was the conflicts, both inner and outer. I liked the characters of David and Ellie and rooted for them both till the very end. The buildup was very good and the ending was reasonable, though I did see it coming, because really, how could a book like this end? Still, I felt like I was sucker punched in the belly.

The alternating timelines added a lot to the suspense buildup and, overall I really liked this book. In spite of being almost 400 pages, it proved to be a quick read because of the high tension that was maintained throughout the book.

I’d recommend this book to every dystopian fan, though sci-fi and apocalyptic lovers might find this book a bit “low-key” as compared to the action-packed drama we normally expect from these genres.


Goodreads, NetGalley and Amazon

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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Goodreads and Amazon

Graphic Novel Review: Suicide Squad Vol.1 – The Black Vault

32993892Author: Rob Williams
Illustrator: Jim Lee
Release Date: 7th March 2017
Series: Suicide Squad (Vol.1)
Genre: Supernatural, Graphic Novel, Sequential Art
Edition: E-book
Pages: 160
Publisher: DC
Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

A part of DC Rebirth!
From writer Rob Williams, superstar artist Jim Lee and Philip Tan comes the new Suicide Squad!
The government has once again handpicked the worst of the worst for its Task Force X. Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Katana and Killer Croc. All deadly criminals sent on the most dangerous missions possible by a governement that wants them killed. But their newest challenge? A teammate so powerful that even this group of murderers and thieves can’t control.
Behind the pencils of Jim Lee and Philip Tan, as well as the pen of writer Rob Williams comes SUICIDE SQUAD VOL. 1! Collects issues #1-6 and SUICIDE SQUAD: REBIRTH #1.
Rebirth honors the richest history in comics, while continuing to look towards the future. These are the most innovative and modern stories featuring the world’s greatest superheroes, told by some of the finest storytellers in the business.
Honoring the past, protecting our present, and looking towards the future. This is the next chapter in the ongoing saga of the DC Universe.  The legacy continues.

Review

This book was pretty awesome and I loved the illustrations! The story was pretty good too and I liked the part where all the backgrounds were given. It helped me connect to all the characters as I didn’t know about half of their pasts.

The dialogues were good too and overall I think this is one of the best graphic novels that I’ve read in the recent years. The female characters were neither over-dramatically sexy or muscle-ly or gay. They were really awesome and bad-ass and I really liked Harley Quinn and Katana.
I loved Deadshot and Colonel Rick Flag and even Croc, but Boomerang was just… meh.. though his background story was cleverly told.

All in all, I liked this book better than any other that had Harley Quinn in it and hence, I’ll be giving it an extra star.


Goodreads and NetGalley

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

Book Review: The Conveyance by Brian W. Matthews

29985686Author: Brian W. Matthews
Release Date: June 17, 2016
Series: 
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 260
Publisher: JournalStone

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

Beneath the calm waters and pastoral fields of Emersville, a deadly secret lurks. But when psychologist Dr. Brad Jordan stumbles upon the odd happenings in the town, he sets off a series of tragedies that threatens to expose a danger long kept hidden from the world. Relentlessly following a trail of madness, suicide, and murder, he soon finds himself confronted with a massive conspiracy, and a sinister device known as the Conveyance.

REVIEW

The Conveyance by Brian W. Mathews is a splendid Supernatural Thriller novel.

The author has cleverly used his background as a psychiatrist to use in the novel as the protagonist’s profession. The struggles and the conflicts of the main lead were so realistic that i was able to connect with him right away and the bond only deepened as the story progressed further.

I was literally pulled into the book right from the very beginning, where the main lead is shown talking to one of his patients (a kid,) and I wasn’t able to put down the book right till the very end when everything goes to hell.

The pacing and the timing were brilliant and so was the fast paced plot. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and some of the parts really creeped me out! This book is a brilliant example of how a good super natural story can be written without having any of the stereotypes in it (yes, I talking to the Vamp and Werewolf lovers.) The author took the concept of creepy dolls to another level. It really blew my mind off!

I found the author’s writing really easy to follow and it made reading this book a really pleasant experience. It was fresh, clever and had a distinctness that I really liked.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who has a liking and an appetite for a creepy supernatural book that actually crosses its path with Sci-Fi genre. So, all in all, if you like Stephen King books and the likes then you really have to read this book!

My copy of The Conveyance:

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The Conveyance by Brian W. Matthews


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: Sisters Of Sorrow

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Author:  Axel Blackwell
Release Date: 24th April, 2015
Series: February 17, 2015
Genre: Fantasy | Adventure | Young Adult | Magic | Supernatural | Mystery | Thriller | Suspense
Edition: mobi
Pages: 332
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Anna Dufresne lives in a factory that eats children. If the brutal machines don’t kill Anna, her guardians’ neglect and abuse probably will. The only thing this abandoned teen wants is out. But the factory is inside a stone fortress, on an island, where people are sent to be forgotten. It serves as a dumping ground — both for orphans who are not welcome at finer institutions, and for nuns who have disgraced the Church. The walls of Saint Frances du Chantal’s Orphan Asylum hum with secrets and buried scandal.

In the catacombs below the factory, something long dead, something almost forgotten, stirs. It offers Anna a key, and promises freedom, if she will seek it out when she escapes. She knows her plan will endanger the other children, but Anna cannot resist the call of freedom.

Her escape attempt triggers a chain reaction of chaos, shaking the orphanage to its foundation and laying bare its deadly secrets. As Anna flees into the night, she discovers that the evil nuns were the least of her worries. The swirling mist of the island hides terrors more dangerous than she could ever imagine.

Rating

5-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

Sisters Of Sorrow has an amazingly superb plot-line. It is a complete adventure-mystery package and this book is by far one of the best books I’ve read by an independent author. I enjoyed each and every chapter to the core and I literally had to drag myself away from the book to sleep at night.

This book is a masterpiece and I’ll recommend it to all the adventure and mystery fans. If you want to read a good book with an amazing story and superbly crafted characters, then this book is for YOU.

This book is about an orphan girl who tries her best to get away the cruel nuns of SFDCOA. She risks everything, even the life of her girls (sisters) and other orphans. But when she gets out, she discovers the ugly truths of the island and the asylum itself. The story shows her struggles and dilemmas beautifully and the of course highlights her choices which ultimately makes her a hero.

I enjoyed every ounce of this story and I’m going to re-read it soon, in fact I wanted to start it over again as soon as I finished it, but I have a lot of stuff to do right now to indulge in something so absorbing.

Axel Blackwell has beautifully proved that YA genre is so much more than Hunger Games, Divergent and Immortal Instruments.

Characters:

The author, Axel, did a fabulous job in creating, what I like to call as, the perfect characters. The characterisation is so strong that you’ll fall in love with each and every single character. I felt so bonded with Anna and Donny that I wanted to get in the book and help them out at tight places.

Even the characters of the evil nuns are so beautifully created that you’ll want to get stay away from McCain and Eustace.

Another character that I really enjoyed was that of Joey. The author really impressed me with such a unique character. I enjoyed having such a different being in a story like this.

Romance/Kills:

It’s a YA book and the main character is 14 years old, so there’s no romance but there’s a lot of love. Anna’s love for her girls (whom she lovingly calls her sisters of sorrow) is so heart-warming. Her attitude towards all her girls make me want to cry the tears of joy. She is such a brave little girl that I really, really love her.

Writing:

Writing style of Axel Blackwell compliments the story beautifully. He is an amazing story-teller. the writing is simple and perfect. I enjoyed reading the perfectly written third person throughout the book and based on this book I’m going to read all the books by him.

Beginning:

My heart clenched so bad when the story began. The nuns terrified me to no end and thinking about little girls and boys under their supervision gave me the willies.

The beginning was so powerful that as soon as I read the first page, I knew that I’m not going to be putting this book down anytime soon. I started to feel the bond with all the characters (that were mentioned from beginning) in the initial pages only and by the time I was half way through the book, I knew it’s going to be my new favourite.

Ending:

The ending of this book is perfect. It couldn’t have been better than what it is. I was so relieved and happy that the author maintained his level of brilliance throughout the book, till the very last word.

Blurb:

The blurb gives a fair idea about what to expect from the book. This book has so much to offer that it’s practically impossible to sum it up in a small blurb.

Cover Art:

Nice. I really like it and coupled with the blurb, it gives a really mysterious feel to the book. I love it.

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Anna Dufresne sat on the edge of her cot in the predawn hour, staring down at her mummified pinky finger.

Highlights: Amazing plot and brilliant characterisation.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

When I’m dead, there’s nothing else they can take away. And that is it’s own kind of freedom.

No food and no blankets gets you dead little girls and boys.

If a child will not work, neither let him eat.

Being Anna’s friend is a bad idea.

They can only kill you once. After that, they can never hurt you again.

Memorable Quote:

A troop of broken orphans, shell shocked into doing the next thing that must be done. The only difference was that this time, the next thing that must be done involved sneaking through a storm while being chased by ax-weilding nuns and a Joseph-Thing. These girls have faced the stampers and needle machines on a daily basis, this wasn’t much worse.

“Lady!” Jane interrupted, in a voice that made Anna want to hide under a cot. “are you blind as well as stupid? Look around you. There used to be a fortress here. It stood here for a hundred years. It’s gone now. You know why? Because it made Anna it’s enemy. If anyone ought to be scared, lady, it’s you. There used to be a factory there, now it’s just a hole full of sand and seaweed, because it tried to keep Anna on this island.

“Anna fought off an entire order of evil nuns, an army of mercenary witch-hunters, a pack of wolves and a-a-a Joseph-Thing, to rescue her girls and get us off this island. And now you are going to just saunter up in your silly white dress and threaten her? I’ve seen a lot of moronic behaviour since I’ve lived here, lady, but you take the cake. You are one dumb-witch.”

Final Thoughts: You’ve GOT to read this book!!!


Review by:

pics-2 copyHeena Rathore P. aka The Reading Bud

My name is Heena and I’m a freelance writer, blogger and a book-reviewer (and soon-to-be author.) I’m an introvert, thinker, neat freak (cleanliness OCD), hardcore idealist, fitness junkie, music fanatic, compulsive reader, self-assertive, opinionated, dog lover and an atheist.

The Reading Bud is my brain-child and is a huge part of my life. I love reading and reviewing. What started as a hobby has become my passion.

Read more about me here.


Book Review: The Woman In The Movie Star Dress

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Author: Praveen Asthana 
Release Date: December 20, 2014
Series: None
Genre:  Fiction | Mystery | Suspense | Thriller | Supernatural
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 313
Publisher: Double Wood Press
Source: Author (Thanks a lot Praveen!)
ISBN NO.: 9780692367445
Buy it here: Amazon