Book Review: Fancy Shop by Valeri Stanoevich

Book Details:

Author: Valeri Stanoevich
Release Date: 
10th August 2021
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Surreal Fiction, Short Stories
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 88 pages
Publisher: Matador
Blurb:
The stories contain features of fantasy, urban legends, mystery, magical realism, penetration in the deepness of the human soul.
The characters are different: knights, anonymous people, dreamers, outsiders, crazy ones, technocrats, cockroaches, holders of secret knowledge. They crave for another world of dreams come true, inexpressible truths and oases of redemption of past guilt. On the way to their new identities, they move freely between reality and fantasy.

They are in constant conflict with themselves, and the front line is the line dividing the two hemispheres of their brains. The stories are very short but each has a complex plot, provocative suggestions and a surprising end. Without in any way denying the traditional concepts of good-evil, simple-profound, they lead the reader into worlds in which paradox is a synonym of universal meaning.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Fancy Shop by Valeri Stanoevich is a very unique short story collection in which the stories are written in an abstract form drawing inspirations from the mundane and turning them into a dreamlike subject. I liked this collection quite a lot because I found the author’s take on things very interesting and intriguing.

Because of the abstractness of the subject matters of the stories and the dream-like quality of the writing, this book feels surreal and may take readers more than the first read to be able to grasp the intention of the story entirely. Though, trust me, it’s worth more than one reading. The multiple layers of meaning and the metaphorical writing instantly drew me into the book and kept me hooked till I turned the last page.

I would recommend this book to readers of short story collections and also to those who like reading surreal, dream-like (borderline speculative) fiction.


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Book Review: After Today by Jacqueline Hayley

Book Details:

Author: Jacqueline Hayley
Release Date: 
28th December 2021
Genre: Apocalyptic Fiction, Dystopia
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 258 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
Can love survive an apocalypse?
After a deadly virus ravages Chicago and destroys Mackenzie Lyons’ carefully curated world, Mac escapes the devastation and horror to her childhood hometown with the help of her best-friend’s little brother, Jake. But the small-minded community of Sanford isn’t exactly welcoming, and the virus isn’t the only battle brewing.
Jake Brent has secretly loved Mac forever, and while this isn’t the way he’d dreamed of their relationship beginning, with the uncertainty of the outbreak he’ll take every opportunity with Mac he can and hope—pray—for a better future.

But when Sanford’s misogynistic council torment the survivors with horrifying demands and a lawless motorcycle gang threatens their fragile sanctuary, somehow Jake and Mackenzie must form new alliances and face down dangerous enemies in a struggle far worse than the outbreak.
Surviving the virus was one thing, surviving humanity after is another.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

After Today by Jacqueline Hayley is a dystopian post-apocalyptic book with a great concept, amazing characters and a well-written plot.

I was sucked into the immersive world of this book right from the first page and was left wanting more after turning the last one. This book is full of ups and downs and that kept the tension so tight that it was impossible to put it down even for a minute. The writing is simple yet very effective and had a great flow. The execution of the plot and the world-building were spot-on and the characterisation felt realistic and relatable.

I enjoyed reading this book a lot and would highly recommend it to all dystopian and apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic genre fans. This book has a lot to offer to all its readers and I am sure that anyone who has the slightest interest in post-apocalyptic worlds would definitely enjoy it tremendously.


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Book Review: The Solar Realm – The Silver Slayer by PM Black

Book Details:

Author: PM Black
Release Date: 
5th December 2021
Genre: Science-Fiction Fantasy
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 332 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
Empress Saltome, sovereign of the eight planets, has been captured through an act of betrayal by blood-thirsty demons who plan to make the billions under her rule their personal livestock.
Hope for the survival of her people lies in Kora, an infamous assassin and loyal protector of the Empress who evaded capture with the Imperial Orb, the source of the Empress’ power. Kora is charged to deliver the orb and protect seventeen-year-old Jenanine Blackwater, the secret heir apparent of the realm and, outside of the Empress, the sole individual with the ability to wield the orb’s power.

Growing up in a hidden palace kingdom void of the racial hate plaguing her two largest neighbors, Jeanine can’t wait to begin her training as Empress. She wants to bring peace and well-being throughout The Eight while wearing the most fabulous dresses and hosting the most lavish balls. 

When Kora crash lands on their planet, she brings with her a league of demons and assassins hunting to destroy the Imperial Orb. The fate of The Eight now rests on a small band of warriors and a wide-eyed, young girl who has never left the hidden valley of her home. But what will happen when the few allies Jenanine has turn out to be her biggest threat? 

Review

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Solar Realm: The Silver Slayer by PM Black is an immersive sci-fi novel that will take you on an inter-galactic rollercoaster.

This book had good characterisation, decent writing and a good concept that was executed nicely enough. I enjoyed reading this book as the pacing was great and the action was consistent. There were some dull moments but the following tension more than made up for them each time. The world-building was really good and overall I think it is a well-written book and I am really looking forward to reading the next part in this series.

I would recommend this series to all sci-fi fantasy readers.


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Book Review: Falling For The Competition by Jen Smith

Book Details:

Author: Jen Smith
Release Date: 
6th December 2021
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Contemporary Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 295 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
It’s going to be the best summer ever for ambitious, overachieving Quinn. A huge history buff, not only has she landed her dream job interning in the archives department of the local castle, but her best friend will be working there too.
However, Quinn isn’t the only one to be working in Archives this summer; Quinn’s academic rival, Patrick, is sharing her office in Muniments. They’re competing for the Letter of Recommendation (singular) from the research historian that Quinn needs to get her dream future placement.

Their emotionally-loaded and competitive rivalry turns into a reluctant friendship, as they spend every day working together in silence (and sharing the occasional Twix). Until the Re-Enactors arrive. Between Patrick and Harry – the Golden Knight of the jousting team – Quinn’s carefully planned summer is thrown into complete disarray. Meanwhile, her best friend’s relationship may look perfect on the outside, but Quinn is starting to realise that there’s more going on than there seems.

Although Quinn is determined and single minded about planning every detail of her sparkling future, she comes to discover that the best things in life are the spontaneous ones – and that some people are more important than any Letter of Recommendation (singular) could ever be.

Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Falling For The Competition by Jen Smith is a new un-put-down-able YA romance.

This book is well-written with a great plot that kept me engaged right from the first page to the very last one. I was able to relate to the characters, both the main ones as well as the secondary ones, and was able to form a strong connection with the main lead, Quinn. This book is as interesting as it is entertaining. There wasn’t a single chapter where I felt bored or unfocused and that was a blessing as most YA books tend to do it (at least to me.) So I am really thankful tot eh author for great pacing and tremendous tension throughout the book.

I would highly recommend this book to all YA and romance readers.


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Book Review: The Race by John Russo

Book Details:

Author: John Russo
Release Date: 
30th September 2021
Genre: Humour, Short Story
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 24 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
The future. What does it hold?
Sadly, no one knows. Well . . . except for Amazon delivery drones.
Imagine a world where your Amazon package reaches you within minutes, instead of days. A world where technology has outsmarted the mailman for the last time.
This is the world in which Johnny and Robert Hesston find themselves.
The problem is, they’re old school. A bit TOO old school. Equip them with the right primitive tools, and things might get out of hand.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Race by John Russo is a hilarious and hearty short story about two brothers that will take you on a quick adventurous ride that you won’t be able to forget for a long time!

I loved this book because the story was great, the characterisation was well done and the execution of the plot was great. The writing was simple to follow and had a nice flow which made it a really quick read. I’d recommend this book to all short story readers and to those who are looking for a new author’s work to explore.


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Book Review: Newer Testaments by Philip Brunetti

Book Details:

Author: Philip Brunetti
Release Date: 
15th November 2020
Genre: Psychological Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 182 pages
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Blurb:
Ever get the feeling that your life is caught up in some kaleidoscopic Jungian dream and that you weren’t exactly dying but still everything you’d ever been is flashing before your eyes-and then when you wake from this dissolutive dream, your reality remains altered and time has become concurrent and characters from thirty-plus years ago walk into your life again, if ambiguously, and press you on matters of a sacred-profane written text that you never completed?

Heretical and outrageous, ironic and absurd, Newer Testaments scores a hit in the heart of where the existential meets the fated, and the writer’s task becomes both revelatory and abject. Into this formidable personal struggle a cast of untoward and/or diaphanous characters rotate including The Jesus Girl, John Baptist, Macbeth, King Kisko, The Tree Girl, Nurse Mother, a glass satyr and a French New Wave Mother. Has the nameless narrator lost his mercurial mind, or is this a subconscious-shadow-world sojourn he’s been practicing for all his life?-the keys to the kingdom of being.

“In the tradition of Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son, Brunetti’s wondrously wandering writing is taut and cryptic, vivid and hallucinatory, rendering an irony-laden, aberrant odyssey for his impossibly likable protagonist.”
-Franco D’Alessandro, playwright & poet, Roman Nights, Stranger Love, and Everything Is Something Else

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Newer Testament by Philip Brunetti is a uniquely gripping and psychologically testing work of fiction. I was blown away by the bizarre nature of the book, especially in the initial chapters. It did take me some time to get into the rhythm of the book, but once I was caught in it I enjoyed it tremendously.

This book is unlike anything as the author has used a dreamy tone and style in his writing making the reader feel like they are in a surreal trance. And this is what made this book stand out and so different from others, apart from the story itself of kids writing the newer testament continuing the book of revelations with a twist.

I would highly recommend this book to all readers as it is a very good story that should be read by every reader.


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Book Review: Rosetta Gnome by Ashley Parker Owens

Book Details:

Author: Ashley Parker Owens
Release Date: 
7th October 2021
Genre: Fantasy, Dystopia, Speculative
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 334 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
In the fight for freedom, a reluctant and unprepared leader faces agonizing choices that will seal the fate of his family—and his heart—in this captivating fantasy adventure.
Simple gnome gardener Wil and his faithful rabbit companion Roddy flee the devastation of the village they once called home as it burns behind them. Still reeling from the loss, they stumble across a ragtag group of gnomes who have escaped from the slave fields of the terrifying ogres. Despite the small clan’s missions of theft and murder, Wil decides to stay. Like flowers huddled together through cracks in stone, Wil and his newfound family cling to each other, desperate for something to call their own.

A shocking and violent act of betrayal splits the clan and thrusts Wil into an unenviable leadership position. Now, tasked with the impossible, he must decide between consciousness and kin. Complicating things further, the newly married gnome is distracted by the choice between duty and desire as his heart yearns for another.
Each moment wasted with uncertainty brings Wil closer and closer to losing everything.
A fantasy adventure drama with a unique premise, Rosetta Gnome is an enthralling read for any fantasy lover. If you’re a fan of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, you’ll love Rosetta Gnome. – Pikasho Deka (Readers’ Favorite)

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rosetta Gnome by Ashley Parker Owens is an adventurous dystopian fantasy read that will take you on a perilous and emotional roller-coaster ride!

I was pulled into the story from the very first chapter till the last line. I loved reading this book because the concept was so unique! I liked the writing (for the most part – ignoring a couple of mistakes here and there) as it was simple and complimented the story on the whole. The characterisation was pretty good and I was able to feel a connection with all the characters.

I’d definitely recommend this book to all fantasy lovers and also to those readers who like reading about dystopia-laced adventurous journeys.


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ARC Review: Below Torrential Hill by Jonathan Koven

Book Details:

Author: Jonathan Koven
Release Date: 
3rd December 2021
Genre: Coming Of Age, Contemporary Fiction, Magic Realism
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 190 pages
Publisher: Electric Eclectic
Blurb:
It’s Christmas, and strange occurrences are plaguing the small town of Torrential Hill: a supernatural comet, undead insects, exploding streetlights, and a presence luring people into the woods. But when the mother of Tristen—a wistful, fatherless sixteen-year-old boy—hears voices from the kitchen sink, all he can think of is running away.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Below Torrential Hill by Jonathan Koven is a well-written coming of age contemporary tale that is full of intrigue and surreal appeal.

I liked reading this book mostly because the story had a great flow and the pacing kept me glued to the pages until the end. I was able to relate and connect to the main character, Tristan, and really enjoyed reading about his journey. The writing is good, the story is great and the execution is amazing. The suspense in the story ran high throughout the pages and I enjoyed the surrealness of the supernatural elements that took the story to an entirely another level.

I highly recommend this book to all readers because this book has something to offer to all its readers. And I can’t think of a better novella to recommend reading so close to Christmas!


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Book Review: The E.Q. Revolution – Mastering Your Emotional Heart-Print by Michael Vincent Moore

Book Details:

Author: Michael Vincent Moore
Release Date: 
10th October 2021
Genre: Non-Fiction, Self-Help
Series: The E.Q. Revolution (Book #2)
Format: E-book 
Pages: 333 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
Wake yourself up, get to know who you truly are, and follow a path to become part of a new revolution, the greatest one!”
Reclaim your authentic self, increase love to a life of meaning and purpose, and stop endless cycles that prevent you from being happier and fulfilled… In his second book in The E.Q. Revolution series, Michael blends age old spiritual wisdom with modern knowledge and timely advice to create a renewed understanding of what it is like to be human in today’s world.
Start dreaming again, things can get better!


Learn how, and why, that it all starts from within… And only when enough people take on the most heroic challenge that ever was, to truly and irrevocably become the masters of their own fate, can we see a future beyond all wars and overcome much of human suffering.
Life isn’t just about choosing a career and making money anymore, or finding a special someone, there is so much more to it than that. Humanity needs to grow beyond the limits our societies have dictated to us, beyond our self-imposed boundaries and programming, to our ultimate nature.
We have not become successful as a species yet, not where success counts most; of who we are and what we stand for, and how much we care about one another and ourselves.
And the best part of sharing such a journey: Your whole life becomes better in the process, better relationships, more fulfilled, greater opportunities, and more loving, for yourself, and others.
So, Mastering our Emotional Heart-Print is about understanding our impact from the inside out, similar to the effect of our carbon footprint, but in love and kindness, and how that relates to the whole world becoming what it is…
We are all in this together, and only together can we make this place of ours great! So, will you be one of the people who will take part in the New Era of Social Responsibility towards the best future we can ever dream of?
Read the book, and find out for yourself!

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The E.Q. Revolution – Mastering Your Emotional Heart-Print by Michael Vincent Moore is the second book in The E.Q. Revolution series and the sequel to The E.Q. Revolution – From Emotional Intelligence to Emotional Maturity: Transform your life through Emotional Growth and Maturity! This book focuses on the Universal or the one-mind theory – one is all and all is one. I found this book very insightful and interesting because the author has explained how, as humans, our energies (the one-ness) can be collectively put to good use for saving our planet and possibly having a better future. The author also talks about being able to see beyond the daily necessities and wants of one’s life and draws the reader’s attention to the core values of kindness and compassion towards, not only others but our own selves too.

The author has a very unique way of explaining how by working on ourselves and focusing on our energy we can in turn change this world, bit by bit. And that is what really impresses me. I personally believe in this way of life too and would definitely be implementing the exercises and ideas suggested by the author in this book.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to read a book on self-development and reading interesting ideas and thoughts about how we can do our bit to make this world a better place to live in.


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ARC Review: Making Money For Teenagers by Phoenix Read

Book Details:

Author: Phoenix Read
Release Date: 
November 2021
Genre: Non-Fiction, Finance
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 144 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
The Teens’ Guide to Personal Finance:
How to Save, Invest, Build Your Wealth, and Become Richer than Your Parents


Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Making Money For Teenagers by Phoenix Read is a book on managing finances for teenagers.

I liked this book because it has some really good advice for teenagers on how to not only make and save that money but also on how to invest it diligently. I personally think that kids should be taught the investment side of finances from an early age, and this book is exactly that. A lot of people don’t even think about investment until they are well into their 30s and then they end up taking wrong or unyielding decisions. This happens because of a lack of education and experience in investing money from an early age. I loved this book because it focuses on building investment mentality early on in a person’s life which will prove very effective and healthy in the long run.

The writing in this book is simple and can be easily understood by teens. The author has gone to lengths to explain complicated terminologies as well as concepts in very simple way that would definitely help the teen readers to understand them and be able to execute the strategies explained in this book in their lives.

I would highly recommend this book to all teen readers, as well the parents of pre-teen readers so that they can help them understand the concepts of this book better.


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Book Review: Whiplash (Rust Chronicles #1) by Morgan Quaid

Book Details:

Author: Morgan Quaid
Release Date: 
8th November 2021
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Dystopian Fiction
Series: Rust Chronicles (Book #1)
Format: E-book 
Pages: 322 pages
Publisher: Markosia Enterprises
Blurb:
Are you ready to fight?
Abducted in the dead of night by a mountainous thug and a ginger-haired dwarf, eighteen-year-old Jack Flint is taken to an underground bunker where he and a group of other teens are forced to fight an implacable enemy in a dream world rife with danger.
Whiplash is a fast-paced story set with a rich and intricately detailed fantasy world where nightmarish creatures from the world of dreams threaten the waking world and teens with the ability to lucid dream must fight in a war for humanity’s survival. Above the throng, powerful demigods vie for control while Jack and his companions struggle to find a path out of the madness.
Perfect for fans of The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, Divergent and Ender’s Game.


Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Whiplash by Morgan Quaid, the first book in the Rust Chronicles series, is a highly imaginative, original and entertaining story.

After a long time, I’ve finally found a young adult book that was actually as good as the blurb suggested. This book has rich characterisation and a brilliant world-building that made this book a memorable read. I loved to read about each and every character and was able to relate to most. The world-building was explained well and the concept’s execution was done very cleverly creating a strong base for the readers for the next books to come in this series.

I enjoyed this book a lot and would definitely recommend it to all YA, Fantasy and Dystopian fiction readers.


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Book Review: The Oncoming Revolution by Sam Mansourou

Book Details:

Author: Sam Mansourou
Release Date: 
20th October 2021
Genre: Non-Fiction, Socio-Political
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 50 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
Author Mansourou ignores the left-right discourse and targets the ruling class as he calls for united civic action against the current paradigm maintained by the elite’s media, politicians and academia.


Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Oncoming Revolution: Overcoming The Current Paradigm by Sam Mansourou is an essay-esque book about the current socio-political conditions in the world around us. The subject matter and the topics covered in this book by the author are not just confined to a particular country or continent, but is applicable and is relevant to each and every place I can possibly think of in this world.

The author’s writing style is very refined and the ideas presented did not, in the least, sound preachy which seems to be the go-to style for most political writers these days; on the contrary, the author’s views came across in a very graceful and elegant way as he first puts across his thoughts in a neutral form and then goes on to explain why he thinks what he thinks.

I’d recommend this book to readers interested in socio-political conversations and who enjoy reading non-fiction on politics and finding reasonable solutions to the problems faced by the world around us, especially the oligarchy countries.


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Book Review: The E.Q. Revolution – From Emotional Intelligence to Emotional Maturity: Transform your life through Emotional Growth and Maturity! by Michael Vincent Moore

Book Details:

Author: Michael Vincent Moore
Release Date: 
6th December 2020
Genre: Non-Fiction, Self-Help
Series: The E.Q. Revolution (Book #1)
Format: E-book 
Pages: 273 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
“Don’t let your negative emotions and thoughts diminish your quality of life and success, take charge, get motivated, and make your life AWESOME!”

Learn why emotional maturity will become the new social responsibility era, how emotional intelligence is not enough, and why healing, love, and connectedness are the main driving forces behind this next phase in our evolution, and how it all relates to your own personal better life…

Everyone’s best life has something to do not only with how they help themselves, but how they help others at the same time. Emotional Intelligence is an important skill, it helps to make more money, have a better lifestyle, improve relationships and have better social skills… But learning how to develop Emotional Maturity, is to add love and kindness to the emotional intelligence you develop, which is key to increasing self-love, and also crucial to make your dreams come true. Emotional Intelligence, or E.Q., is a skill, and Emotional Maturity is emotional growth, a maturing process to becoming the best version of ourselves.


Part of knowing what your dream life can even look like, is related to knowing yourself at a deeper level, which is related to loving yourself fully and unconditionally. And part of that is seeing and feeling yourself, and all of your life, for what it is, and being in full acceptance of it. Healing, overcoming your struggles, defeating your fears, all contribute to growing in self-love, not an easy process, but well worth the effort!

Make your life great, and everything else will follow!

It is part of the message that all great leaders and wise people of our history have shared with us, and is the only true path to loving ourselves more, towards mastery of one’s life! And since we can only love others to the same extent as we love ourselves, it is all related to developing not only the best relationship with ourselves, but with others as well.

Don’t wait for anyone to make your desires come to life, find out how to do it yourself, and make it happen!

“That is The E.Q. Revolution, mastering ourselves from the inside out and making us, and the world, change with every step each one of us takes on that journey…”

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The E.Q. Revolution – From Emotional Intelligence to Emotional Maturity: Transform your life through Emotional Growth and Maturity! by Michael Vincent Moore is a new self-help book that focuses on the acceptance of one’s self the way it is and going and thinking beyond emotional intelligence and transcending into emotional maturity.

I liked this book a lot because it had a lot to offer on how acceptance, love and kindness to your own-self will ultimately lead to a happy life instead of only focusing on the materialistic aspect of one’s life. This book will, in a way, teach you to retrain your mind and understand that emotional maturity is as important (if not more) as emotional intelligence. Unless a person is emotionally matured, the happiness we seek on the surface will remain exactly that without being able to fulfil one’s deep sense of self.

I’d recommend this book to all readers who like to read non-fiction works that focus on improving one’s understanding and thus by extension their quality of life. This is a really good book!


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Book Review: Requiem (Tales Of The Five Realms #1) by Rachel V. Knox

Book Details:

Author: Rachel V. Knox 
Release Date: 13th October 2021
Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, Fantasy
Series: Tales Of The Five Realms (Book #1)
Format: E-book 
Pages: 394 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
In a world where light and shade battle for hearts and minds, young rebel, Hagar, earns a scholarship to study magic. But dreams can turn into nightmares. And if someone gets their way, she won’t see the end of her first year.
At first, Vanar University seems a wonderful place. Hagar aspires to study hard with no distractions and to become an accomplished mage. But distractions are happening to her whether she likes it or not.
Hagar’s old friend, Noq, is at Vanar too. But he’s up to something, and he won’t tell her what. There’s romantic potential with the intelligent and handsome Jude. But is that a good idea, with all his secrets and a needless interest in forbidden dark magic? And there’s an invitation to join Requiem, a prestigious secret mage society. Hagar should feel honoured. But is Requiem all that it appears to be?

Things start to unravel with conflicting work as a double agent and something dark and hidden in her past that’s coming back to haunt her. The campus that has become her happy place is going to witness an unleashed evil.
Before the end, Hagar will look into hell itself, and she’ll discover that even loved ones can’t be trusted…
This new paranormal fantasy is ideal for fans of dark academia and fantasy with magic, witches, and wizards. Imagine studying for a degree in magic at a university with an old library full of magic books and grimoires, demons and ghosts loose on campus, secret societies, and sorcerers into dark magic. Add to that a diverse cast, blossoming romances between student mages, and an exciting end battle against evil.

Suitable for YA, NA, and adult readers.
This is a full-length novel that can be read as a standalone, or as the first in a series set in the Five Realms, a world of supernatural phenomena where light fighters push back against shade, and the Dark

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Requiem by Rachel V. Knox is the first book in the Tales Of The Five Realms series. It is a fantastic fantasy book with amazing world-building, a solid plotline, great characterisation and a very well-executed concept.

I was pulled into the world of this book right from the very first page and was left wanting more when the book ended. I was able to relate to all the characters, primary as well as secondary and enjoyed the world-building tremendously. I am eagerly waiting for the next part in the series to see how things turn out for the characters in the next book.

I would highly recommend this book to all fantasy, YA and NA readers!


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Book Review: A Soldier’s Quartet by Colin Baldwin

Book Details:

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

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

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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

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

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


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Graphic Novel Review: Chelsea’s Forever Garden by Laura Lamb

Book Details:

Author: Laura Lamb
Release Date: 9th October 2021
Genre: Children’s Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 32 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
Imagine being given a gift beyond your wildest dreams! Chelsea is beyond excited to now possess her own plot of land on her parents’ farm! It is hers to do with as she pleases. Travel with Chelsea through the decisions she must make. Share in her delight as she spends countless days and nights watching the natural unfolding of her garden and its creatures. Walk with Chelsea as she learns the wisdom of Mother Nature. See how her special bond affects her everyday life. Until, one day, she realizes she’s lost that connection to her special garden. What happens now? Will Chelsea ever regain her feelings of joy and freedom again? Treat yourself to these pages that hold incredible insights for both the young and old.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Chelsea’s Forever Garden is a beautiful book about that special place where a person feels happy and safe and, more importantly, how to find it in the midst of chaos and challenging situations. This is a wonderfully written and brilliantly illustrated book which will teach the reader a very important lesson – you can always find joy, no matter what, if you’d only allow yourself the time and put in a little effort to find it.

I would highly recommend this book to all young children, pre-teens and teenagers as this book will explain to them the value of finding peace and connecting with happy memories and places in times of dire need.


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Book Review: Playtime in Vella Dera by Benzon Ray Barbin

Book Details:

Author: Benzon Ray Barbin
Release Date: 27th October 2021
Genre: Science-Fiction Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, Short Story
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 54 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
What are the consequences of denying one’s true self?
A traveler named Enauria has returned home for the first time in many years. She connects with a psychiatrist and renews a plan to fulfill a promise to an old friend.
“Playtime in Vella Dera” is a speculative fiction short story. Set in the future, it unfolds a familiar, contemporary vibe with jazz music, lounge life, and varying cityscapes. Adventure and danger intensify as lore and concealed magic intersect.
Enjoy Vella Dera as a stand-alone, or as a companion piece to the novella Reflections of Destiny.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Playtime In Vella Dera by Benzon Ray Barbin is a well-written, concise story that packs a powerful punch.

I loved reading it as the story was good, moved quickly and had a lot to offer in such few pages! The character of Enauria is beautifully crafted and as I already knew her, it felt like meeting an old friend. It felt like a side-quest in an RPG – that is how relatable the main character is.

This book is a companion story to Reflections Of Destiny but as the author clarifies it can also be read as a standalone novella. It intersects the world and the events of the RoD so I’d highly suggest reading them both as they both are great pieces of speculative fiction/fantasy.


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Book Review: Into the Violet Gardens by Isaac Nasri

Book Details:

Author: Isaac Nasri
Release Date: 16th August 2021
Genre: Science-Fiction, Cyberpunk
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 252 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
The year is 2024. A ruthless cartel dominates Latin America, and the FBI’s Troy Levi gets commissioned to intervene. A cyborg for the bureau’s Virtual Division, Levi delivers a devastating blow to the cartel’s power but encounters a wave of social resentment in the aftermath.

As the people’s feelings for cyborgs grow bitter, former black-op cyborg ally and CIA operative Soriana Salazar finds herself caught between sides. Eliminating the cartel destabilized the region, fueling anti-cyborg sentiments in neighboring countries and afar. But tough decisions await Salazar after civil unrest forces the agency to sever all cyborgs ties. And that’s only the beginning…

Betrayed by the government, hated by the people, a vengeful league of cyborgs spawns a sinister scheme of liberation. And While Levi searches for Solace amid the turmoil and Salazar seeks balance, both will have to take a grave stand if they hope to stall the impending chaos.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Into The Violet Gardens by Isaac Nasri is a well-written science-fiction novel about a dystopian world that is much like the one we live in. The author has cleverly and intricately incorporated the realistic socio-political aspects of our society into the book’s world-building making it an extremely relatable and a very realistic read.

The characterisation is well-done, the writing is great and the prose flows seamlessly through all the action-packed fast-paced scenes. I enjoyed reading this book a lot because it was a very quick and entertaining read.

I highly recommend this book to all science-fiction, cyberpunk as well as action/adventure readers because this book has a lot to offer to its readers. I am sure you won’t be disappointed at all!


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Book Review: 50 States: A Collection Of Short Short Stories by Richard R. Becker

Book Details:

Author: Richard R. Becker
Release Date: 21st June 2021
Genre: Short Story Collection, Literary Fiction, Psychological Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 358 pages
Publisher: Copywrite, Ink.
Blurb:
50 States is a debut collection of short stories that reflect on the human condition. The book spans several literary genres, moods, and situations across the American states between 1955 and 2020.
Two runaways cross paths in a Tennessee bus station with only one ticket between them. A middle-aged man in Illinois eyes the daily grind of a young basketball player who never boards the school bus. A family sees looters racing toward their home as they escape an Oregon wildfire. 
These and 47 more stories make up the collection. Together, they provide a sampling of the American experience over the last 60 years, similar to the Spoon River Anthology by Edger Less Masters or The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer with more diversity. 

You can find 50 States here:
Amazon (Print) | Amazon (Kindle) | Barnes & Nobel | Books-A-Million | Apple (with graphics) | Apple (with aoutflow) | Google | Google (with aoutflow) | Target | Blurb | Kobo | Odilo E-Sentral Ciando

Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

50 States: A Collection Of Short Short Stories by Richard R. Becker is an impressive short story collection that will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

In this short story collection, author Becker has written about stories set in 50 different states in the US. But that is not the best part, the best part is that he has totally broken all the stereotypes related to every state and has written about rich and meaningful experiences of a variety of diverse characters and that is what makes this book so special.

I would like to congratulate the author for writing such good characters that were relatable and felt very real. All the stories are great and I would definitely recommend this collection to all short story readers as well as lovers of the slice-of-life genre.

Video Review


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Graphic Novel Review: Sticky Icky Vicky by Alysia Ssentamu and Michael Ssentamu

Book Details:

Author: Alysia Ssentamu & Michael Ssentamu
Illustrator: Noor Alshalabi
Release Date: 19th October 2019
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 38 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
Meet Sticky Icky Vicky, a girl who wants to get over her fear—once and for all
In Courage over Fear, the first book in the Sticky Icky Vicky™ series, authors Alysia and Michael Ssentamu introduce readers to Vicky, a fun-loving girl who doesn’t mind getting a little sticky and icky. She loves rolling down hills and playing in mud—but when it comes to water, Sticky Icky Vicky’s fear prevents her from joining in the fun. Then Vicky gets an invitation for a waterpark party, and she decides that she really wants to go—even if it means ignoring the Negative Ned voice in her head and getting over her fear.

With vibrant illustrations and catchy rhymes, Courage over Fear offers children an inspirational/loveable heroine who learns some valuable life lessons, such as:
● Courage
● Positive thinking
● Goal-setting
Aimed primarily at readers aged six to ten, Sticky Icky Vicky: Courage over Fear is a reading experience that leaves kids believing that they, like Vicky, can get past any obstacle in their way. 

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Sticky Icky Vicky by Alysia Ssentamu & Michael Ssentamu is a beautiful and brilliant children’s fiction book that has a lot to teach the kids.

This book is really good and has such amazing characters. I loved Vicky and her friends, but apart from them I also loved how the authors intuitively and smartly created Negative Ned and Positive Ted. I mean, it is a stroke of brilliance because it makes this book a precious gem that will teach the children about the negative and the positive voice inside their heads (which we all know but are scared of most of the time.)

The story is great and I loved how the authors displayed courage in this engaging story. The illustrations are beautiful and made reading this book a real treat! I would definitely recommend this book to all parents for their kids because it is a very educative and entertaining read.


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Book Review: Tiny Yellow Hat by J. Michael Chamberlain

Book Details:

Author: J. Michael Chamberlain
Release Date: 13th April 2019
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction, Humor
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 202 pages
Publisher: Quinn-Hill Publisher
Blurb:
This wildly entertaining book is laced with wicked concepts, cheap shots and a few bright ideas; a feast of funny words and clever notions without once mentioning vampires or zombies. J. M. Chamberlain created the perfect blend of madcap rants and true life experiences guaranteed to put a never-ending smile on your face. Actually, a never-ending smile might be cause for alarm; if your smile lasts longer than four hours, please call a doctor. In a nutshell, this extraordinary slice of life is almost too good to read, but I suggest reading it anyway. I also suggest telling forty or fifty of your closest friends to read it, because www.peopleneedtolaugh.com (less)

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Tiny Yellow Hat by J. Michael Chamberlain is a witty, heartfelt memoir that is as entertaining to read as it is relatable.

I enjoyed reading this book because, unlike most memoirs, the author uses his amazing sense of humour to lace even the simplest aspects of life and presents them with so much passion that one can’t help but relate to them while at the same time laughing their butts off. The fact that the author covered topics from his life and career that most people can relate to only adds to the appeal of this surprisingly quick read.

For me, the best part is that the author presented some important life lessons and anecdotes in such a light way that the readers can take away a lot from this book without actually feeling burdened by their weight.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes reading memoirs and enjoys a good dash of humour.


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ARC Review: What Lurks In The Woods – Struggle and Hope in the Midst of Chronic Illness by Nicole Bell

Book Details:

Author: Nicole Bell 
Release Date: 23rd October 2021
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 250 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
Russ and Nicole Bell were an upwardly mobile happy couple: two kids, big house, fun hobbies, marvelous life. But something wasn’t quite right—with Russ. He started forgetting things, he got lost, he became enraged, he was harsh with the kids. And he could no longer be trusted with minor responsibilities.
They visited doctor after doctor after doctor to try to determine what was wrong, to no avail. “Alzheimer’s,” they were told, but that didn’t make sense. Russ was too young for that. As the formerly brilliant engineer literally lost his mind and his self, the answer finally became clear—but was it in time?
In this beautifully written but tragic memoir, Nicole Bell documents their journey through the medical minefield as they searched for answers and treatments. This book will inspire people who are suffering from chronic, symptom-based illnesses to dig deeper, so they can find and treat the root causes of their disease before it’s too late.

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What Lurks In The Woods by Nicole Bell is a heart-wrenching and emotional memoir that is hard to read but even harder to put down.

This book is a very realistic and harsh reminder for the reader about how tragic chronic illness is and how it affects everyone including the patient and the caregiver. The author has bravely shared a deeply personal as well as emotionally taxing and psychologically jarring experience of her husband’s descent into dementia and how they struggled with finding answers that were crucial to their lives, especially to her husband’s health.

This book is very well-written and I would definitely recommend it to everyone because it is a treasure trove of lessons for each and every single reader, no matter what you do, where you are from or who you are.


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Book Review: A Head Full Of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

Book Details:

Author: Paul Tremblay 
Release Date: 2nd June 2015
Genre: Horror, Psychological Mystery
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 309 pages
Publisher: William Morrow
Blurb:
The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.
To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.
Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface—and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

In one sentence, this book is a heart-breaking read. One that I don’t think I will be able to get out of my head for a while.

This book is so well-written that at times I’d have to pause to fully appreciate the gravity of a simple sentence that the author adds in between a seemingly benign paragraph that leads to an unsettling realisation that the book is told from the perspective of a child who doesn’t fully understand the consequence of anyone’s (least of all their own) actions or decisions, whereas at the same time failing to understand the gravity of their predicament or the situation going on with others around them.

This book makes one confront the odd truth of life that memories are always polluted and diluted by one’s ever-changing perspective, other’s perception of their reality and truth and their own quest for filling up the ‘gaps’ – the blank spaces that the mind cannot recall or would not recall. It is a heavy read and cannot be read as a casual or a horror read because it covers so much ground that it will baffle, shock and stun you at times. 

The ending is obviously a very lucrative thing in this book. The author leaves it to the reader to make of it as they please and so it is a haunting end in its own right.

“To be honest, and all the external influences aside, there are some parts of this that I remember in great, terrible detail, so much so I fear getting lost in the labyrinth of memory. There are other parts of this that remain as unclear and unknowable as someone else’s mind, and I fear that in my head I’ve likely conflated and compressed timelines and events.” 


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Book Review: Oh, Lords! Who We Date, Why We Date Them, and What We’ve Learned by Jes Averhart and Terresa Zimmerman

Book Details:

Author: Jes Averhart,  Terresa Zimmerman
Release Date: 1st October 2021
Genre: Non-Fiction, Dating, Self-Help
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 188 pages
Publisher: Stonebrook Publishing
Blurb:
Oh, Lords! is about two women sharing their dating stories, dating glories, and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. Oh, Lords! Who We Date, Why We Date Them, and What We’ve Learned is the only book of its kind to discuss dating in the context of archetypes, “Lords”, through the eyes and experience of the authors.
You will meet the Lords: Lord Journeyman, Lord Contradiction, Lord FOMO, Lord Layaway, Lord Self-Absorbed, Lord At Your Peril, Lord Good Guy Not My Guy, and Lord My Guy. These are the men, the archetypes, that litter the landscape of the dating world, and when you see them for who they are, you might start making different choices about who you spend your time with.
You don’t have to be dating to find the humor, insight, community, and reminders of your own triumphs and turning points.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Oh, Lords! Who We Date, Why We Date Them & What We’ve Learned by Jes Averhart & Terresa Zimmerman is a uniquely fresh and refreshingly witty book about the dating experiences of the authors.

In this book, the authors, Jes and Terresa, talk about their dating history – breaking down men into categorical archetypes called Lords, the lessons they have learned and sharing the wisdom of someone who’d ‘been there, done that.’ The book is full of funny stories, humorous yet relatable comparisons and honest confessions that provide a keen insight into the process (including pre as well as post) dating scenario and situations.

I enjoyed reading his book a lot even though I’ve been out of the dating sphere for over a decade because this book is so shockingly relatable. We all have been there and dating some of the men mentioned in this book (or maybe more than some 😉 ) I’d definitely recommend this book to all women readers because I am sure you will find the content outrageously relatable and will definitely have a good couple of hearty laughs at the least! The single women, though, will definitely find this book very informative and helpful.


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Book Review: The Pod Tower by Pete Alexander

Book Details:

Author: Pete Alexander 
Release Date: 30th July 2021
Genre: Speculative Fiction, Dystopian Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 208 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
It’s the winter of 2057—the coldest for nine years. For failed family man Marcus Calvert, however, there are other matters on his mind.
Mistrustful of his government and cynical about change, he has chosen to live beyond the Outer Zones, free from the digital age and a world he no longer feels any affinity towards.
But now his son’s future looks bleak, threatened by the very secrecy that even now still surrounds his family’s past.
Amid rumours that his own idyllic lifestyle is under threat, Calvert begins a search for the truth, only to discover that everything he has learned since early childhood has been a lie.
On the horizon, Mother City casts its shadow over Sector 21, one he has spent the last twenty years determined to avoid.
But time is fast running out, and that option looks set to expire.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Pod Tower by Pete Alexander is a dystopian story that’ll take you in a futuristic dystopian world of digital horror underlined by humanity’s new low in relation to deception and subterfuge.

I liked reading this book because it had equal parts intrigue and entertainment. Every chapter brought with it some new information and call to action that kept the action going in the story at a great pace. In spite of being a comparatively short book (of around 200 pages), this book packed a lot of punch, which I personally found very appealing.

The characterisation is good, the writing had a nice flow and the plot was executed well making it a great fit for speculative fiction lovers such as myself. I’d highly recommend this book to all sci-fi, speculative and dystopian readers.


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Book Review: Reflections Of Destiny by Benzon Ray Barbin

Book Details:

Author: Benzon Ray Barbin
Release Date: 7th September 2020
Genre: Science-Fiction Fantasy
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 148 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
Cheating death is becoming an art.
Enauria, a battle-tested heiress and expatriate, journeying between Earth and beyond on a personal vendetta only she understands.
Jaye DiVista, a top government assassin, willing to risk everything to rekindle a love with Arlene Asariel.
Enauria has a plan to thrust Jaye and his colleagues through an interstellar campaign. Can Jaye and Arlene derail Enauria’s grand scheme?
Reflections of Destiny is a science fiction and fantasy thriller. Magic collides in a futuristic landscape where an ensemble cast takes part in gunplay, dogfights, and eyes gaze at every sand in the hourglass.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Reflections Of Destiny is a fun sci-fi fantasy thriller novel that will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

This book is well-written, had a cast of versatile characters and an interesting and entertaining story that kept me hooked from the first page to the very last.

The characters are very relatable and I liked the secondary characters too because they added a lot to the story. There was a very interesting and important romantic sub-plot that drove the story with a powerful force raising the stakes and thus, making the story more interesting.

I enjoyed reading this book a lot and would definitely recommend it to all fantasy and sci-fi thriller readers.


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Audiobook Review: Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

Author: Liane Moriarty
Release Date: 14th September 2021
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Adult, Contemporary
Series: 
Format: Audiobook
Length: 18 hours
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Blurb:
The Delaney family love one another dearly―it’s just that sometimes they want to murder each other . . .
If your mother was missing, would you tell the police? Even if the most obvious suspect was your father?
This is the dilemma facing the four grown Delaney siblings.
The Delaney family is a communal foundation. Stan and Joy are the envy of all of their friends. They’re killer on the tennis court, and off it their chemistry is palpable. But after fifty years of marriage, they’ve finally sold their famed tennis academy and are ready to start what should be the golden years of their lives. So why are they so miserable?

The four Delaney children―Amy, Logan, Troy, and Brooke―were tennis stars in their own right, yet as their father will tell you, none of them had what it took to go all the way. But that’s okay, now that they’re all successful grown-ups. Well, that depends on how you define success. No one in the family can really tell you what Troy does, but based on his fancy car and expensive apartment, he seems to do it very well, even if he blew up his perfect marriage. Logan is happy with his routine as a community college professor, but his family finds it easier to communicate with his lovely girlfriend than him. Amy, the eldest, can’t seem to hold down a job or even a lease, but leave it to Brooke, the baby of the family, to be the rock-steady one who is married with a new solo physiotherapy practice . . . which will take off any day now.
One night a stranger named Savannah knocks on Stan and Joy’s door. She says she chose their house because it looked the friendliest. And since Savannah is bleeding after a fight with her boyfriend, the Delaneys are more than happy to give her the small kindness she sorely needs. If only that was all she wanted.
Later, everyone will wonder what exactly went on in that household after Savannah entered their lives that night. Because now Joy is missing, no one knows where Savannah is, and the Delaneys are reexamining their parents’ marriage and their shared family history with fresh, frightened eyes.

REVIEW

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This book was so perfect… till the last 4 hours ruined it entirely!

I love Liane Moriarty’s books because she is an excellent writer who can create genre-defying plots and build super amazing and realistic as hell characters. In fact, whenever I take a fiction writing class, I always ask my students to read any of her books to study her characteristics and notice the techniques she uses. And this book was no different, at least on the character front. 

The characters in this book are near perfect and they are what brings so much life into this (almost) amazing story. The only thing that totally ruined it was the ending… and the flimsy motivations… and the superficial stakes. 

Why, Liane? Why?

I feel so outrageously angry that the author botched up the ending for no more reason than a stupid girl’s hunger. I mean WTAF!! I get it she was being starved, but shouldn’t Savannah take revenge from her mother who starved her? Or her father who was partially responsible? Or her big-time brother who never took her seriously? 

Why the hell does a person take such a meticulously planned revenge on someone whom she visited only for a brief period in a day 20 years ago? I mean… seriously????

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Book Review: A Hero Dreams by Mark Ristau

Book Details:

Author: Mark Ristau
Release Date: 21st September 2017
Genre: Coming-Of-Age, Supernatural
Series: Hero’s Path (Book #1)
Format: E-book 
Pages: 288 pages
Publisher: 
Blurb:
Devastated by his father’s sudden death, eight-year-old Ricky begins to see things—a ghostly silhouette in his bedroom window, a gruesome train accident involving four local teenagers, a terrorist attack that won’t occur for another twenty-five years. After a traumatic incident at a New England summer camp, the visions become more frequent, more vivid, and more disturbing. A mysterious voice assures him everything will be okay if he crosses the “threshold.” But just what is the threshold? And what lies beyond? 

IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award 
– Popular Fiction (Winner of Silver) 
National Indie Excellence Awards 
– New Fiction (Winner) and Visionary Fiction (Finalist) 
Next Generation Indie Book Awards 
– First Novel (Finalist) and Inspirational Fiction (Finalist) 
Best Book Awards 
– Best New Fiction (Finalist) and Visionary Fiction (Finalist) 

Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A Hero Dreams by Mark Ristau is an imaginative and unique supernatural book about a protagonist that will remain in your heart long after you’ve put the book down.

This book is really well-written and has a brilliant concept, for the book itself as well as the series – from what can be seen as the foundational layout of the plot. The characterisation is good and I was able to connect and relate to the protagonist, Ricky, who is an 8-year-old kid on a path to something he cannot comprehend entirely for the most part. This raises the stakes in the story to a point where the book becomes unputdownable.

The only thing I had a problem with is the sexual abuse that kind of felt forced in the way to only drive the plot forward and justify the visions the kid has. This could have been tackled in a better way in my opinion. Apart from this, the book as pretty good.

I liked this book and am looking forward to reading the next book in this series to know what happens next in Ricky’s life. I’d definitely recommend it to readers of all genres as this book is a coming-of-age story that has a little something for every reader. Though if child sexual abuse is a trigger for you then you might want to reconsider.


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Audiobook Review: The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks And Sarah Pekkanen

Author: Greer Hendricks  and Sarah Pekkanen
Release Date: 9th January 2018
Genre: Dark Fiction, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
Series:
Format: Audiobook
Length: 12 hours
Publisher: Macmillan Audio 
Blurb:
When you listen to this audiobook, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are listening to a story about a jealous ex-wife.
You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love. 
You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.
Assume nothing. 
Twisted and deliciously chilling, The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage – and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.
Listen for the truth between the lies.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Woah! You will not know what hit you in the face when the big reveal is unravelled!

The book begins with a run-of-the-mill plot where you assume that a good chunk of the book is going to be about stalking in a revenge drama, but then the author leaves and omits certain details that make you question whether that is the case or not because you cannot be certain!

And then, after many twists and turns you realise that you have been wrong, or more likely mislead, but who cares! Because by then you are so taken aback that the entire plot was a set-up – for the readers! I know I shouldn’t be liking it as much because it is borderline wrong to mislead readers to this extent, but what the hell, Riley Sager and Alex Michaelidis use it all the time – and not quite this effectively I must add. I applaud Hendricks for plotting such a clever book because this kind of thriller cannot be written, it can only be plotted and I respect the author for it!

I’d recommend this book to all thriller buffs!

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Book Review: Raising Chickens for Beginners: The Complete Guide to Raising Backyard Chickens With Joy and Excitement by O. Banks

Author:  O. Banks
Release Date: 30th June 2021
Genre: Non-Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 
Publisher: 
Blurb:
How to raise chickens like a pro — even if you have zero experience with animals!
Have you been toying with the idea of becoming more self-sustainable?
Are you exploring the option of raising chickens?
Do you have absolutely no idea where to start?
Then you’ve come to the right place!
Doing anything for the first time can be intimidating — and the stakes are even higher when your new hobby involves being responsible for something that’s, well, alive.
What’s more, the increasing popularity of self-sustainability practices has led to a plethora of information being available online, much of it completely unreliable and sometimes straight out dangerous.
But with decades of poultry growing experience under his belt, and a strong dedication to helping newbies master the techniques, knowledge, and tools they need to become pros in no time, Otis Banks is here to help.
Under his guidance, raising chickens will not only become uncomplicated, but also a complete joy.
And it’s not just about the delicious eggs you’ll be able to enjoy each morning.
You’ll soon find yourself developing a rapport with these delightful birds, and you’ll be amazed at how raising them will transform your life.
Spending time with them after work will help you immediately relax and refocus on what truly matters in life.
And if you have young kids, you’ll marvel at the beautiful relationships they’ll develop with their feathered friends — and at how much they will learn from them.

In Raising Chickens for Beginners, here’s just a fraction of what you’ll discover:

  • 5+ scenarios you absolutely need to prepare yourself for — and how
  • A list of all the precautions you need to take before you embark on your exciting adventure, including the laws you need to consider
  • How to prepare for your flock’s arrival, and which breeds are best for beginners
  • How to choose the perfect feed for your flock, and how to tell how much you need to feed them and when
  • Common chicken health problems you need to be aware of, including signs, causes, home-made treatments, and advice on when to seek veterinary help
  • Why eggs sometimes… disappear — and what you can do about it
  • Everything you need to know to stay on top of litter management, including how to maintain a coop that’s nasty-smell free
  • How timing your egg collection can literally make or break your eggs
  • Tips to keep your chickens warm in the winter and cool in the summer
  • 6 reasons why hens may not lay eggs — and what you can do to help them

And much more!
Written with a complete beginner in mind, this easy-to-understand guide will give you the confidence you need to expertly navigate this amazing and unimaginably rewarding world.
Accompanying you every step of the way, Otis Banks will help you discover the joys of raising chickens and help you go from an anxious beginner to a seasoned pro, before you even realize it.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Raising Chickens For Beginners by O. Banks is a very insightful and comprehensive book on, as the title clearly mentions, raising chicken for beginners. Right from where to begin, what you’ll need, how much you’ll need of everything to how to develop a rapport with the chickens and not just having them for the sake of it, this book covers everything!

I’d highly recommend it to anyone who is planning to get more insights into raising chickens, especially those who don’t have any idea of what they are dealing with.


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