Book Review: Magicmals – The Troublemakers by April Enciso

Author: April Enciso
Release Date: 18th June 2019
Genre: Middle-Grade Fiction, Children’s Fiction, Adventure, Fantasy
SeriesMagicmals
Edition: E-book
Pages: 68
Publisher: 
Blurb:
After all the excitement of talking Magicmals, disappearing buildings, and space travel last year, ten-year-old Eva, her younger brother Diego, and her best friend Jenny are all looking forward to a nice quiet time in school. But algebra and art class are soon forgotten when they get an urgent message from wizard cat Willie Whiskas. Two of the Magicmals, Pookie and Gray Baby, have gone rogue, vanishing into outer space where they are wreaking havoc on a new planet! In Book Two of a series that’s hilarious fun for the whole family (pets, too!), Eva and the Magicmals gang go head to head with twice as many obstacles, have twice as many adventures, and get two very naughty cats out of trouble.

REVIEW

★★★★

Magicmals: Troublemakers by April Enciso is the sequel to Magicmals: The Beginning in the Magicmals series. This book was every bit as good as its prequel, even more so in my opinion, and I enjoyed reading every single bit of it!

The story picks up a year later when the happenings and adventures of the last book are all part of the new routine for Eva and gang. But right when they think that things are smooth and studies are the only troubles they have then end up in the middle of another bigger and riskier adventure!

I enjoyed the plot a lot and felt that the writing showed some improvement, though I’d say that it needs some more work. Even some tight editing would do wonders for the book, but again, the plot and characters steal the show and make up for these and any other flaw the book might have. I guess I love the main character of Eva so much, who reminds me constantly of my own cat, that I was okay with the minor technicalities. Though if these faults are to be rectified in a proper way then this series has a lot of potential in the children’s fiction-fantasy market.

If you are a cat person then you MUST read this book and this series!

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Magicmals – The Beginning by April Enciso

Author: April Enciso
Release Date: 20th January 2019
Genre: Middle-Grade Fiction, Children’s Fiction, Adventure, Fantasy
SeriesMagicmals
Edition: E-book
Pages: 69
Publisher: 
Blurb:
When Eva and her brother Diego move to a new city, she expects the worst attending a new school. As she struggles to fit in at her new school, strange things begin to happen to animals in her neighborhood. She discovers a race of animals called Magicmals that possess powerful magical powers. When buildings start mysteriously disappearing in her town, they all go a hair-raising adventure to return their city to normal.

REVIEW

★★★★

Magicmals: The Beginning by April Enciso is an adventurous and very entertaining new children’s book that you simply cannot miss.

I am a cat person through and through. And coincidentally my very first furball’s name is Eva too! So I had to read this book and there was no way that I wouldn’t have liked it. But keeping my personal bias aside, this book has so much to offer its readers that it would make for a perfect read for kids. It is full of adventures, perils, drama, magic as well as beautifully portrayed friendships.

I personally feel that nowadays there should be more books like this in order to make children understand that even animals have feelings. This book would help make children not only considerate towards animals but will also teach them to empathise with animals.

Technically, I feel that the writing could have been a bit more polished but this is my first book by the author and hopefully, we’ll see improvement in the next instalment of this series. But to be honest the plot more than made up for it, therefore I loved every bit of this book and would recommend it to all middle-graders and also adults who love animals, especially cats.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

ARC Review: Simon Grey And The March Of A Hundred Ghosts by Charles Kowalski

Author: Charles Kowalski
Release Date: 1st August 2019
Genre: Middle Grade, Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure, Historical, Travel
SeriesSimon Grey (Book #1)
Edition: E-book
Pages: 192
Publisher: Excalibur Books
Blurb:
Alone and lost in haunted Japan…

Japan, 1620: A mysterious shipwreck has left cabin boy Simon Grey stranded in an unfamiliar, dangerous land.

He hoped that a long sea voyage would provide some relief from his “gift” of seeing ghosts everywhere on land. Instead, he finds that his ability draws him into the shadowy world of yokai, the spirits and monsters that roam Japan by night. Together with the mysterious Oyuki, daughter of an English sailor-turned-samurai, Simon must earn the yokai’s trust and help, while staying one step ahead of the Shogun’s guards and an evil sorcerer determined to discover the “secret” of Simon’s powers.

As they struggle to stay alive and find a way home, Simon and Oyuki deal with friends and foes from both sides of the grave.

Simon Grey and the March of a Hundred Ghosts is a gripping fantasy adventure that will appeal to fans of Percy Jackson and Young Samurai.

REVIEW

★★★★

Simon Grey And The March Of A Hundred Ghosts by Charles Kowalski is a beautiful historical story set in the backdrop of Japan, laced with unlimited adventure, which proved to be an absolute entertainer.  I enjoyed reading this book because it had the perfect characterization a solid and unique concept and good writing style. It had all the elements to make it a complete and fun read.

The writing style was simple yet effective and the story flowed pretty well from the beginning to end. The pacing was even and the tension created had a great graph. The book was culturally rich and provided keen insights into Japan’s history all the time carefully managing not to get too overly informative.

Overall it was a really enjoyable book and I’d recommend it to all readers who enjoy reading adventure stories in historical settings, especially the readers who like exploring new cultrues.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Bort’s People (The Sunset Of Magic #3) by Alistair Potter

Author: Alistair Potter
Release Date: 11th February 2016
Genre: Science-Fiction-Fantasy, Adventure, Quest, Magic Elementals
SeriesThe Sunset Of Magic (Book #3)
Edition: E-book
Pages: 260
Publisher: 
Blurb:

Magic, dragons, drama and adventure… did I mention the dragons? Lots of those! The wizard Zerphal, Bort and Lofti the Dunnit Sprite leap across the void between Nephus and the Harrowen homeworld, Mirt. Each have their reasons: Zerphal, an agent of the Council of Wizards, seeks to discover how his species, the warlike Harrowen, have managed to escape Mirt; Bort, on a mission of hope, to find out if any of his Trollid race, kidnapped and enslaved some some 300 years earlier, still survive; and Lofti… well… because a true friend would not allow Bort to make such a journey alone.

REVIEW

★★★★

Bort’s People by Alistair Potter is the third instalment in The Sunset Of Magic series and the sequel to The Counsel Of Wizards. It is a very entertaining sci-fi-fantasy adventure that has a mix of characters from both the previous books in this series who embark on an adventurous journey, which entails serious action, mild drama and a good emotional arc.

This book is in lieu of the previous one, and therefore, I enjoyed it to no end. It had good characterization and a well-written plot that progressed with an even pace. The tension rose and fell as needed and the action scenes were both well timed and well executed.

I enjoyed reading this book as well as this series would definitely explore more books by the author. I’d recommend this book, and the rest by author Alistair Potter, to all sci-fi-fantasy readers, lovers of hardcore sci-fi and those who love adventure genre.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Counsel Of Wizards (The Sunset Of Magic #2) by Allistair Potter

Author: Alistair Potter
Release Date: 15th May 2014
Genre: Science-Fiction-Fantasy, Adventure, Magic-Elementals, Quest
SeriesThe Sunset Of Magic (Book #2)
Edition: E-book
Pages: 259
Publisher: 
Blurb:

Action, adventure, magic and more! Scholarly Grant Moy is sent by the dying Wizard Torven to a distant world in search of the Council of Wizards. Without another wizard to inherit Torven’s legacy, all his vast knowledge and experience will be lost. Ahead are challenges and adventures beyond Grant’s wildest imaginings.

 

REVIEW

★★★★

The Counsel Of Wizards by Allistair Potter is the sequel to The Last Trollid, being the second book in the series Sunset Of Magic. This book is more of a magical adventure than anything else and I loved it for that. After reading author Potter’s books back to back, this one, even though being as technically detailed as it is, felt like a respite from hardcore sci-fi and gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling of a really great adventure story.

I enjoyed reading this book a lot and liked the character of Grant Moy a lot. He was very relatable and I felt a connection to both, him and his quest. Some of the characters from the previous book also joined Grant on his journey and it was good to read about them in a bit lighter settings. I think this is so far my favourite book in the series (though I’ve just read two) and can’t wait to see what more do the author has in store for us in the next instalments.

If you’re an adventure and magical quest buff then you should definitely read this book.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: The Box Of Tricks by Alistair Potter

Author: Alistair Potter
Release Date: 13th May 2014
Genre: Science-Fiction, Action, Adventure
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 290
Publisher: 
Blurb:
Multiverse spanning action and adventure, with eye-popping special effects (requires reader input). To prevent catastrophe Earth needs the ultimate eco-warrior, but is mild-mannered Edinburgh taxi driver Tom Mathers up to the challenge?

Exploring questions of ethics, resource management, and caring for our planet, this hilarious, yet sobering journey through the multiverse hides deep philosophical questions beneath a veneer of joviality and witty sarcasm.

Book Review

★★★★

The Box Of Tricks by Alistair Potter is an explosive sci-fi novel that has something to offer to all of its readers. It has a great storyline that is executed well and a brilliantly created world that made reading this book a complete delight. The characterisation was excellent and I was able to feel a connection with the main characters, Tom, Caroline and Fanshawe and felt that the secondary characters were also very believable.

The writing was good and easy to read. The tightness of exposition made it a really pleasant read for me as I always appreciate brief yet informative exposition over unnecessarily lengthy one, so this book made for a really smooth and quick read. Author’s humour really shone through the prose and went a long way in making this book both entertaining as well as light as it had some emotional and moral themes that could have, otherwise, made the plot very weighty.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book and waiting eagerly to get started with the next book by Mr Potter. I’d recommend this book to all sci-fi readers.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Slant Six by Christopher Cobb

Author: Christopher Cobb
Release Date: 18th July 2017
Genre: Science-Fiction
Series: 

Edition: E-book (mobi)
Pages: 260
Publisher: Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.
Blurb:
The year is 2252 and Loman Phin is in trouble. A washed-up channelship racer turned freelancer, he hits pay dirt with his latest mission: a fortune is on the line if he can transport forty-three kilograms of human skin to a remote villa on Pluto’s moon, Nix. Little does he know his very life is at stake when he gets caught up in an ancient feud, chased by a space vampire, and forced into a death-race by the king of Ceres. Meanwhile, danger is always hot on his heels in the form of a massive space freighter out for Loman’s blood. With just his wits, his friends, and his beat-up cruiser, the Slant Six, Loman sets out on the most dangerous adventure of his life.

Review

★★★★

The Slant Six by Christopher Cobb is a unique new science-fiction book that is equal parts action and adventure.

I enjoyed this book as it was a perfect blend of sci-fi, action, adventure and humour. After the first few pages, I was hooked on to the story for good and enjoyed reading it right until the very end.

The overall characterization was good and the world-settings felt realistic. The writing was simple and easy to follow and the author’s sense of humour really shown through the entire story.

I’m not a fan of the book cover, but it does align with the central theme of the story.

I’d recommend this book to all sci-fi genre lovers.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Bitterhold by Hunter Trammell

Author: Hunter Trammell
Release Date: 10th December 2017
Genre: Science-Fiction, Adventure, Action, Thriller, Suspense
Series: 
Phoenix Rising (Book #1)
Edition:
 E-book (mobi)
Pages: 131
Publisher: Outland Publishing
Blurb:
In the future, Earth’s civilization has spread across the stars and now humans and aliens peacefully coexist under the rule of the Eglar Empire as it spreads relentlessly across the universe. Crime is almost unheard of and to many the Empire is a Godsend.
But for an enlightened few it is different. While the media distorts the facts, the universe is on the verge of destruction as the Elgar’s get closer to the Aisle of Dominion, an ancient fable that tells of immeasurable power to whomever beholds it.
An attack on an Eglar Militia base forces Decklan Brady, a grieving father of one of the casualties, to embark on a quest for retribution. But as he investigates he discovers that there is more to it than he was led to believe.
Falling foul of the law, Decklan ends up as a prisoner in Bitterhold, a cryogenic reformation colony onboard the Starship Arcadia. There, he befriends Wesley Rhead, the former leader and founder of a militia group known as Phoenix.
Together, the two devise a plan to escape and rekindle the fire of a broken dream. But can Phoenix really bring justice to the oppressed and restore peace throughout the stars? And can Decklan expose the harsh truth of what happens within the Eglar Empire?

Review

★★★★

“Bitterhold is the home to the worst beings the galaxy has to offer.”

Bitterhold by Hunter Trammell is a powerful beginning to a new sci-fi adventure series, Phoenix Rising.

I really enjoyed reading this book because it was an interesting mix of new and unique concepts, settings and beings (aliens as well as humans.) The technology was another thing that really interested me.

The descriptions were good, without being too overwhelming (which a lot of sci-fi novels tend to be) and the characterization was good. I liked the lead but wasn’t overly able to connect with him, though I did care for him and his sufferings enough to want to know where the story takes his character. I liked other characters too and overall they all made the story very engaging.

The plot, for me, was the strongest element of this book; it was complex (in a good way), very detailed and had really good twists and turns that made it a very entertaining read.

Overall, Bitterhold makes for a good read packed with high tension curves and action that is easy to digest. It is an engaging and a pretty quick read and I’d recommend it to all sci-fi and adventure readers.

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Review also posted on: Goodreads and Amazon

RMFAO Buddy Read: On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers

This month for RMFAO we’re having a buddy read for On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers. So far we have 4 people reading the book and the reading is going great. I’m presently halfway through the book and enjoying it so far.

One of the main reasons why I was so eager to start reading this book was that it is the inspiration behind the 4th instalment of Pirates Of The Caribbean movie series – Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. The other reason was that I have never read any book with pirates at the heart of it, so I was quite intrigued when a fellow member and one of the RMFAO’s moderators, Cheryl, suggested this book for December’s buddy read. Also, this book fits in the adventure-fantasy genre so it makes it easy for all who are participating in RMFAO 2017 Genre Challenge – December – Adventure/Fantasy to count it in.

If you like pirate novels or want to explore one then come along and join us. This is a month-long buddy read so you can join in anytime as long as you finish the book by the end of the month.

Here’s the discussion thread for On Stranger Tides buddy read: Buddy Read: On Stranger Tides

My next reads are going to be Beneath the Skin (The Witchbreed Series #2) by R.L. Martinez and A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin.

What are you reading for this month?

Hope you guys are having a great bookish festive season!

Ciao


Book Review: Hiding In Third Person

Author: Phil Bradley
Release Date: 31st May 2017
Genre: Action, Adventure, Mystery
Edition: e-book
Pages: 260
Publisher: Archway Publishing

Rating: ★★★+1/2

Blurb:

Ricky, a flippant orderly befriends a mental patient at an asylum he refers to as the spa and dude ranch. He listens to the sick man, the others refer to as Mr. River, tell a dubious tale of two teenage boys on the run from an assassin.
In River’s story, the boys take refuge at an abandoned military base, BOMARC, nestled in the idyllic New Jersey Pinelands. Also trailing the boys are several cops. False identities and coded messages hinder the cop’s search.. Mr. River’s story ends in a bloody showdown at BOMARC.
Asylum doctors plan to move Mr. Rivers to a dark and remote facility. Their ultimate decision hinges on the validity of the sick man’s story. Seemingly, Ricky is the only believer and he has to risk his life to prove the patient’s story to be true.

Review

Hiding In Third Person is an entertaining yet light-hearted read.

I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect from the book in terms of plot and the story, but once I started reading it I found it a very engaging and an entertaining read. The writing is good and has a nice flow to it. No complex words, no complicated sentence structures and no unnecessary detailing – in short, it was a light and casual read.

The characterisation was not great, but I did care for the main lead, Ricky, enough to finish the entire book pretty quickly. As I already mentioned, it is a light read so it worked for me.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes action, adventure or mystery and even to those who are looking for a breezy read to take a break from their usual reading genres.


Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Lost City Of The Monkey God: A True Story by Douglas Preston

30145126Author: Douglas Preston 
Release Date: 3rd January 2017
Series: 
Genre: Non-Fiction, Adventure, Anthropology, Archeology, History, True Events
Edition: Ebook
Pages: 337
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

A five-hundred-year-old legend. An ancient curse. A stunning medical mystery. And a pioneering journey into the unknown heart of the world’s densest jungle.
Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God-but then committed suicide without revealing its location.
Three quarters of a century later, bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization.
Venturing into this raw, treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful wilderness to confirm the discovery, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. But it wasn’t until they returned that tragedy struck: Preston and others found they had contracted in the ruins a horrifying, sometimes lethal-and incurable-disease.
Suspenseful and shocking, filled with colorful history, hair-raising adventure, and dramatic twists of fortune, The Lost City of the Monkey God is the absolutely true, eyewitness account of one of the great discoveries of the twenty-first century.

Review

The Lost City Of The Monkey God by Douglas Preston is a sensational true adventure book about the very famous legend of ‘Casa Blanca’ a lost city in the unexplored part of the Honduran rainforest.

The book started out so good that I was immediately pulled into the story. It was an exciting and a thoroughly entertaining read and I enjoyed reading every bit of it! This is the first time that I’ve read a true-adventure story and, surprisingly, this book absolutely blew my mind!

I would have never even imagined of reading this book had it not been for The Obsidian Chamber, a book co-authored by Douglas Preston. I really liked the writing style used in that book and hence, when I was offered to review this book, I immediately accepted knowing that, if not the genre, at least the writing of the author was something I was familiar with. But to my pleasant surprise, the writing in this book turned out to be even better than what I was expecting. Douglas Preston has the skill to tell a complex and technical tale in such beautiful and simple words that even a layman like me understood everything and was able to enjoy the entire book.

The only problem I had (and the reason why I dropped my rating from 5 to 4 stars) is that the last 2-3 chapters were a bit of a slog. They were interesting and informative, but they had a lot of stuff that bounced right off my head and left me skimming over paragraphs.

Other than this, the book is a brilliant read and gives a detailed account of not only the search missions author Douglas Preston participated in, but also about the earlier attempts and hoax discoveries related to the legend of the Lost City Of The Monkey God, which was both insightful as well as fun to read.

I’d recommend this book to all the adventure and true-adventure genre lovers and to those who wouldn’t mind taking an adventurous and a really exciting trip to a really, really beautiful legendary rainforest.

“… legends are frequently based on the truth, and this one, so persistent and long-lasting, is no exception.”

Here’s a list of the articles published on the National Geographic website along with the real photographs (these articles were also mentioned and sometimes quoted in this book):


GoodreadAmazon and NetGalley

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.

 


Goodreads | Amazon

Book Review: Chakana by W.E. Lawrence

28094715Author: W.E. Lawrence
Release Date: December 2015
Series: 
Genre: Historical Fiction | Action | Adventure | Suspense | Romance
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 325
Publisher: CreateSpace
Source: Publicist
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

In 1939, before the start of World War II, James Fleming, the original British secret agent, races on a high-stakes chase to track down the ancient lost treasure of King Huascar of the Incas. He must recover it before the Nazis do or the whole world will be in imminent danger.

But this is no ordinary treasure hunt. The Incas have proven their cunning and intellect in not only how they hid their treasure, but how they protected it. Fleming joins forces in the remote ruins of Peru, South America with Kate Rhodes, a policewoman on leave from the United States, her archaeologist brother, Nick, and their college professor, Dr. Charlie. Together, they must decode, interpret the clues, and face the challenges of the Chakana on their hunt for the treasure.

If this wasn’t difficult enough, the group is hounded throughout their search of the ancient Sacred Valley by international artifact smugglers, familiar with the Chakana and working with the Nazis, who are determined to acquire the treasure to help finance their war effort. Intrigue, danger, suspense, action, adventure, and even romance abound in this brave band’s quest to save the free world.

Review

This is my first book by W.E. Lawrence and I must say that I’ll be reading more books by him soon.

In Chakana, the story began with a simple, yet interesting, prologue and I was drawn into the book right from the beginning. The alternating POvs kept the plot clear and interesting throughout the book. It ended on a great note and I really enjoyed the little twist at the end.

The characterization is good, but I hate to say that I wasn’t able to feel a strong connection with either of the leads. The characters are built nicely, but something about them felt amiss. In spite of the author’s efforts, James came out a little disconnected and crude, and Kate’s character didn’t have enough clarity. As a result, the romantic angle seemed dull, in spite of all the steamy make-out scenes.

I enjoyed the adventure on the whole and, apart from minor flaws, this book makes for an interesting and engrossing read.

This book has a great storyline and the historical settings make this adventurous novel a really interesting read. I liked the author’s writing style because it had a great flow. The pacing was good too.

Overall this book makes for a really good read and I’d recommend it to all the adventure buffs.

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Opening Line: The rumble of thunder sent the horse into a nervous prance.

Highlights: Writing and storyline.

Lowlights: Lack of strong connection with the leads.

Final Thoughts: A lovely historical adventure book that’ll make for a nice summer read.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

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

29370101

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

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

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

Review

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

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

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

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

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

Bookstagram:

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

Highlights: Brilliant storyline.

Lowlights: Editing.

Memorable Quotes: 

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

He hated not knowing the reason for things.

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


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: Monsterland

26835271

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

Blurb

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

Rating

TRB 5 stars

Review

It was the entrance to the Auschwitz death camp.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Stuff

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

Memorable Quotes: 

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

Memorable Paragraphs: 

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

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

Lowlights: None.

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


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

 

Book Review: 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 Mine (Northwest Passage #1)

The Mine

Author: John A. Heldt

Release Date: December 6, 2013

Series: Northwest Passage #1

Genre: Science-Fiction > Time-Travel | Historical-Fiction | Fantasy | Adventure | Romance | NA 

Edition: mobi

Pages: 316

Publisher: Not known

Interest: Requested by author

Source: Author (Thanks a lot John!)

Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

In May 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can’t use, money he can’t spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of swing dancing and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.

Review

5-Stars

Positives

The Mine is the best time-travel book I’ve read in a really, really long time! It’s a brilliantly written book and the strong and realistic characterization will definitely blow your mind. Joel Smith, the lead, is such a gentleman and is just so adorable that I really can’t praise enough. You can feel the connection, with Joel, develop over quite a few pages but once he time-travels and starts his new life, you’ll start understanding him better and better with every page you turn. Joel is my new favourite time-travelling character. He is everything a stud, time-travelling brilliant and smart guy should be. He handles the fact, that he has indeed walked into a time-machine and come 59 years before his time, pretty well and starts acting accordingly.

Among the other characters, Ginny really stands out. She is this amazing women whom you really idealize and start respecting instantly. John has left a lot of big authors far behind in the race when it comes to character building (atleast for me!)

The plot is amazing and develops slowly in a very subtle way. It ends beautifully and leaves you craving for more and more. From the historical point of view, as far as I know, John has paid very close attention to the details which is highly commendable.

Negatives

None!

Conclusion

The Mine is a beautifully written book and definitely a must read. I’d recommend it to everyone, particularly the fans of Time-Travel, Science-Fiction, Adventure and Historical-Romance. Trust me, you really don’t wanna miss out on a wonderful book like this one!

You can also read this review at Goodreads.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “Joel eyed the remains and laughed at the animal that had caused the carnage.”

Highlights: Excellent writing and perfect characterization.

Low-lights: None.

Memorable Quote:

“Beneath that delicate exterior is a strong, resolute woman who does nothing halfway. Never take her for granted and never underestimate her. She will amaze.”

Final Thoughts: The best time-travel book I’ve read till date!

Book Review: Lord Of The Flies

15732006Author: William Golding
Release Date: 1954
Series: None
Genres: Classics|YA|Brit-Lit|Adventure|Dystoia| Sci-Fi
Pages: 230
ISBN NO.: 978-0-571-20053-5
Publisher: Penguin India

Blurb

A plane crashes n a desert island. The only survivors area a group of schoolboys. At first they revel in the freedom and celebrate the absence of grown-ups.

Soon though, as the boys’ fragile sense of order begins to collapse, their fears start to take on a sinister, primitive significance. Suddenly, the world of cricket, homework and adventure stories seems a long way away. The boys are faced with a more pressing reality – survival – and the appearance of a terrifying beast who haunts their dreams.

Book Review: Eagle En Garde

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Olga Godim
Olga Godim
Author: Olga Godim
Release Date: May 2014
Genre: Adventure | Fantasy
Edition: e-book (epub)
Pages: 271
Publisher: Champagne/Burst Books
Interest: Requested by author
Source: Author (Thanks, Olga!)
Buy: Amazon

Summary

Darin, a mercenary officer, lives in Talaria, a kingdom surrounded by a magic-resistant spell. While some people wish to break the spell and invite magic back into the country, the fanatical sect of Cleaners is determined to prevent the return of magic. Darin doesn’t agree with the Cleaners’ doctrine but he doesn’t dispute it either. He is a soldier, not a philosopher. Then he accidentally overhears the Cleaners’ hidden agenda to destroy all magic workers in Talaria, including witches and elves, and his orderly life is turned upside down. His sweetheart is a witch, his daughter is a half-elf, and he has many elven friends. He can’t allow the Cleaners’ murderous scheme to succeed, can’t allow innocents to suffer from the rabid zealots. But what can a lone mercenary do against a horde of extremists? His only choice lies in trickery and deceit to outsmart his enemies. And the anti-magic spell on the border suddenly becomes his only ally.

Review

4

**Spoiler Alert**

The book starts with Captain Darin Barclay saving a women (a witch) form a bunch of cleaners in a fair in Coll, Talaria. Talaria is an imaginary kingdom whose borders are bound by a spell that prevents magic to enter inside the kingdom. Anything that has magic or anyone who can perform magic (elves and witches) can not enter the spell-bound boundaries of Talaria. Darin Barclay is a courageous 24 year old, dangerously handsome, captain of the Eagles, who has sworn to protect the people of Coll, Talaria. Cleaners are a nasty bunch of people who are against magic and all the magical people and want others to follow their Gods and believes. A few elves and witches who live in Talaria can never leave it’s borders because if they do so they’ll never be able to return because of the spell. These good-natured elves and witches are constantly haunted by the cleaners to leave Talaria.

This books takes the reader through the adventurous journey of Darin Barclay in saving elves from cleaners and in doing so, saving numerous lives, including that of his daughter Leatanis (who is half elven) and his love Ana.

Olga Godim captures the reader’s imagination effortlessly. This light-hearted story has just the perfect amount of adventure, magic, emotion, drama, morals and most of all courage. I would like to quote this book as a “no-nonsense adventure”. Right when you think something is going to go wrong with Darin’s plans, he successfully pulls off each and every plan neatly. This really made me wonder about a reader’s unnecessary need for twists and turns, just so that they have something to think about. And this is where Olga Godim, for me, has given this book a new, very positive, direction. The story runs smoothly and at a quick no-fret pace.

You can read this review on goodreads here.

Other Stuff

Map:

Map Of Talaria
Map Of Talaria

Opening Line: ‘Behind a thin wooden fence, the spring fair in Coll pulsed and hummed like a human sea.’

Highlights: Darin Barclay.

Low-lights: None.

Interview: You can read the author’s conversation with the novel’s protagonist, a mercenary officer Darin Barclay here.

Final Thoughts: A light-hearted adventurous read.

Sign

Book Review: The Breath Of Aoles (Ardalia #1)

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Author: Alan Spade
Release Date: February, 2014
Series: Ardalia #1
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Edition: e-book (epub)
Pages: 337
Publisher: Self-published
Interest: Requested by author
Source: Author (Thanks, Alan!)
Buy: Amazon

Summary