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.


Novella Review: Gravitas- Valkyrie In The Forbidden Zone

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Author: Lynne Murray 
Release Date:  28th Feb, 2015 
Series: None 
Genre: Fantasy (Space-Fantasy) | Adult
Edition: e-book (.mobi)
Pages: 106
Publisher: Murraymade Books 
Source: Author (Thanks Lynne!)
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

An urgent mission.

A woman with a past.

A dangerous burden.

Sybil, from Planet Valkyrie, carries a risky amount of Gravitas, a top secret aphrodisiac, to trade at a conference on ending slavery in her sector of the galaxy. Attacked by an angry warrior from slave-holding Planet Roggr, Sybil falls through an unmarked portal to land on Earth. The Forbidden Zone. Rescue is impossible. Portals to Earth are sealed. Sybil needs to defend herself, protect her hazardous cargo, and find a way home–while dealing with a damaging overdose of Gravitas.

Rating

4half-stars

Review

Story/Plot:

I loved the plot of this amazing novella. It has a really, really unique concept of having a planet where women dominate men and they undertake several husbands to look after the estate and home affairs. Lynne Murray successfully created a unique world that is both believable and marvellous. It’s uniqueness really stood out and I was longing to be able to visit this wondrous place (but only if they’ll allow a human from earth to visit their planet!)

I loved the attention she paid to all the small details. Everything sounded so beautiful and real. The concept of humans worshiping the alien visitors was hilarious and interesting, I mean what if the world in the book is really ‘real’! God, that will be amazing!

The over all structure of the book is great and it keeps you glued to the book from staring to end.

Characters:

I absolutely loved Val-Sybilla (a Valkyrian.) She is the strongest and the most independent female leads I’ve ever read. She is beautiful in her own way and I love this about her. The second character I loved in this book is Gelbrave. Initially I hated him but the author worked up her magic in showing his growth in the story. By the end I found him to be extremely humble and adorable.

Rest of the characters were also amazing and I was able to feel a connection with each one of them.

Romance:

There was a lot of romance, or should I say, Gravitas propelled lust. Sybil carried around huge amount of Gravitas with her in a ritual jewellery and it made people get attracted to her sexually. So everyone kind of wanted to take her. But, the relationship between Josu and Sybil was beautiful. It was a true-love relationship and I loved the fact that he always supported her.

Writing:

Lynne Murray’s writing is beautiful. It’s subtle and had an easy flow to it. I was lost in the story as soon as I started reading it. No complicated sentence-structures and no unnecessary tongue twisting words – just perfect.

At some points her subtle sense of humour made me laugh. It was a great experiences and for a novella, this book is amazing. Not too long, not too short, just the right length.

Beginning:

I loved the beginning, the first chapter started right in between a complex situation (as you can guess from the first line, see below) and then the author explaines how they got there and then later picks up from there and tells what happens after that first scene. The structure of this books is so amazing that it’ll grip you right from the first page.

Ending:

The ending is perfect. It had the right amount of drama, action, emotions and logic. I enjoyed it and it made me smile broadly after finishing the book.

Cover Art:

I love the cover art. It’s stylish and beautiful. And the red hair girl goes well with the description on Sybil. The colors on the cover really stand out. It’s one of the two reasons I read this book.

Blurb:

The blurb is intriguing and is the second reason for me to accept this book for review.

You canals read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: I landed, naked, on the highway with a lust-crazed Roggarian warrior trying to scramble on top of me.

Highlights: Unique concept.

Lowlights: None

Final Thoughts: A refreshing read with a unique concept.


Review by:

pics-2 copyHeena Rathore P.

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: Waiting For The Machines To Fall Asleep`

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Authors: Hans OlssonBoel Bermann, Erik OdeldahlIngrid RemvallLove KölleLupina OjalaChristina Nordlander , Pia LindestrandJonas LarssonTora GreveAndrew CoulthardAlexandra NeroJohannes PinterAndrea Grave-MüllerAR YngveMy BergströmAnders BlixtMaria HaskinsPatrik CenterwallBjörn EngströmKG JohanssonOskar KällnerSara KopljarEva HolmquistMarkus SköldAnna Jakobsson Lund
Release Date:  6th May, 2015 
Series: None 
Genre: Science-Fiction Anthology | Speculative-Fiction | Short-Stories | Fantasy
Edition: Paperback 
Pages: 324
Publisher: Affront Publishing
Source: Editor (Thanks Peter!)
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

26 short stories from the new wave of Swedish speculative fiction writers. Forget about cheap furniture, meatballs and crime fiction. Sweden has so much more to offer. Waiting for the Machines to Fall Asleep includes twenty-six stories from the new generation of Swedish writers of science fiction and the fantastic. Stories ranging from space horror and post-apocalyptic nightmares to tender dramas. Stories with steampunk horses, android uprisings and cheeky goblins. Stories that are action-packed, wise, silly, beautiful, surreal and horrifying.

Rating

5-stars

Review:

I absolutely enjoyed all the stories in this book (for individual ratings see below.) This book is so much more than just an anthology. It was an experience. So many different stories, so many unique concepts and such amazing writing styles – this book has everything to be a brilliant read. There were some stories that literally made me feel dreadful thinking about what might have happened (Lost And Found) and there were stories that made me smile (To Preserve Humankind.) There were stories that really worked me out in anticipation (Outpost Eleven) and stories that I thought were funny (Jump To The Left, Jump To The Right.) Never have I ever enjoyed a single book so much. I’m going to be looking out for more works from the authors I enjoyed the most. I’m really happy that I am lucky enough to have read this book. I’ll recommend this book not only to Sci-Fi fans but to anyone and everyone who wants to read some beautifully crafted stories. I really hope that they decide to release this book internationally, so that everyone in the world can read this book. Following are the individual ratings for all the stories:

  1. Melody Of The Yellow Bard: 5/5
  2. The Rats: 5/5
  3. Getting To The End:  5/5
  4. Vegatropolis – City Of The Beautiful: 4/5
  5. Jump To The Left, Jump To The Right: 5/5
  6. The Order Of Things: 5/5
  7. To Preserve Humankind: 5/5
  8. The Thirteenth Tower: 4/5
  9. Punchcard Horses: 3/5
  10. The Philosopher’s Stone: 5/5
  11. A Sense Of Foul Play: 5/5
  12. Waste Of Time: 5/5
  13. The Damien Factor: 5/5
  14. Wishmaster: 5/5
  15. Quadrillennium: 3/5
  16. Mission Accomplished: 5/5
  17. The Road: 4/5
  18. Lost And Found: 5/5
  19. The Publisher’s Reader: 3/5
  20. Stories From The Box: 4/5
  21. The Membranes In The Centering Horn: 5/5
  22. One Last Kiss Goodbye: 5/5
  23. The Mirror Talks: 5/5
  24. Keep Fighting Until The Machines Fall Asleep: 5/5
  25. Outpost Eleven: 5/5
  26. Messiah: 3/5
You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: The man approached me when I was on my way home from the university.

Highlights: Brilliant selection of stories.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

It’s a place of maybes, I guess. Where bad things can happen, and often will, but also might not.

Everybody who lives here has seen something they can’t explain. And everybody who lives here has seen things they don’t want to explain

Strange, how quickly you adapt to things if someone tells you it’s normal

Memorable Paragraph:

And then I thought maybe you actually could. Maybe money was some kind of delicious dish. But sister told me people long ago thought the small round things were beautiful. And they just wanted to have as many of them as possible. Way back when the crowd was beautiful I said to myself dreamily. When people just looked at things because they liked to look at things, beautiful things. Not because they were wondering if this thing or that was edible, like I do. But then, I’m always hungry and there is so little to eat in the Newest New World.

Final Thoughts: A must-read for everyone!