Monday, July 25, 2016

The Wizard's Heir by Devri Walls ~ Review


Title: The Wizard's Heir
Author: Devri Walls
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 270 Pages
Publisher: SuperStorm Productions
Release Date: November 2015
Source: Review Request
Rating: 3 Star
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Tybolt’s a Deviant, a hated race immune to direct magic in a world where Wizards ensure survival. But when he loses his entire family to a spell-made storm he joins an elite group of Wizard hunters, organized beneath the new non-magic wielding king.

Now eighteen, he spends his days capturing Wizards. But the nights are his, reserved to feed the starving villagers of Eriroc under cover of dark. There’s always more people in need than he can help, and one of these days he’s going to hang for theft from the royal kitchens.

Although Tybolt and his fierce partner, Auriella, have imprisoned many Wizards, the one partially responsible for the storm that killed Tybolt’s family is still out there: Alistair. When an old informant claims to have information regarding their elusive prey, everything changes.

In a cruel twist, Tybolt realizes he isn't who he thought he was at all. How can he save himself, the people, and those he loves while keeping his secrets safe? Can he hide his true nature and allow the corrupt king to remain on the throne?

Or will he have to unveil himself and risk possible execution to save them all?
 



Lots of really great fantasy elements weave their way through The Wizard's Heir. We have magic users, fighters, a beautiful lady that caught the eye of the evil king, and a hero ready to rescue everyone. There's a lot going on the world and sometimes it got a little rushed. There are rivalries and enemies that I don't quite understand how they began. Perhaps I'm too much of a series girl and just like to always know more.

The middle was my favorite part. As Tybolt realizes his past and what that means for his future, there are some really great scenes that are incredibly well written. But then we move into chase scenes that seemed to be filler, that just didn't seem to actually move the story forward.

Overall this was a fun read. I enjoyed it, but I think it needed a little more at some points and a little less at others.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Imperial Wife by Irina Reyn ~ Review


Title: Imperial Wife
Author: Irina Reyn
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction
Length: 288 Pages
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Two women's lives collide when a priceless Russian artifact comes to light.

Tanya Kagan, a rising specialist in Russian art at a top New York auction house, is trying to entice Russia's wealthy oligarchs to bid on the biggest sale of her career, The Order of Saint Catherine, while making sense of the sudden and unexplained departure of her husband.

As questions arise over the provenance of the Order and auction fever kicks in, Reyn takes us into the world of Catherine the Great, the infamous 18th-century empress who may have owned the priceless artifact, and who it turns out faced many of the same issues Tanya wrestles with in her own life.

Suspenseful and beautifully written, The Imperial Wife asks whether we view female ambition any differently today than we did in the past. Can a contemporary marriage withstand an “Imperial Wife”




The Imperial Wife follows two stories - one of modern Russian immigrant Tanya, and the other of Catherine the Great famous empress of Russia. I feel like these two stories were supposed to be more related than they I found them to be. Instead they came across as two stories that just happen to be told at the same time.

Of the two stories, I found Catherine's to be much more interesting. In all fairness, her life has always fascinated me and I may be a little more biased in that direction to start with. Catherine's story was not complete, but ends as she takes control of Russia. It skips over some her of life, but hits on some very interesting point of time as she adapted to her new life in the Russian court. I loved every page of it.

Tanya's story on the other hand just wasn't is interesting to me. I found myself wanting to rush through it to get to Catherine's. There are some very interesting pieces to her story, and her Russian clients were one of them. However, the relationship with her husband just didn't seem to justify her response in the end. In fact, the whole ending of her story just seemed off to me. I did enjoy the stories of her as a child, growing up and learning about America for the first time, trying to adapt to a new culture - much like Catherine did, and maybe this is why I enjoyed this aspect so much. 

Well written, and well researched. I had a hard time connecting to Tanya's story, but with the level of writing done by the author, I'm sure other's will be able to connect very well.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*


Monday, July 18, 2016

Dead Man's Curve by Alex Van Tol


Title: Dead Man’s Curve
Author: Alex Van Tol
Release Date: October 2016
Publisher: Leap Books Shine
Genre: Young Adult Horror
Length: Novella



The road to Hell passes through Dead Man’s Curve.

It’s been two years since Booker broke up with Rachel, and he wants to get her back. Only problem is, he doesn’t realize it until he and his four friends are hip-deep in a deadly nightmare. They've run over a wispy figure on the highway on Halloween night and now something is preying on them, one by one, going after their deepest fears. 

Lost and scared in the New England wilderness, the group realizes they’re trapped in their own twisted version of The Blair Witch Project. They're powerless against dark forces. When Rachel's life is threatened, Booker realizes it’s up to him to figure out a way to stop the unholy madness. 

If he’s man enough to face it head on.

About Alex Van Tol:

A born writer, Alex Van Tol cut her teeth on Stephen King novels so terrifying she had to turn them face-down on the floor in order to sleep at night. Alex writes across a broad range of genres for youth and adults, including contemporary, paranormal, historical and, of course, horror and thrillers. She lives between the mists and moody skies of Vancouver Island.
Watch for Alex’s Leap Books: Shine YA horror novella DEAD MAN’S CURVE launching fall 2016. When 18-year-old Booker accidentally runs over a mysterious figure on a wilderness highway, he and his passengers are forced to veer along a horrific, ever-shifting road to madness.


Follow Alex via her website, and on Facebook and Twitter.

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Tangled Lines by Bonnie J Doerr - Cover Reveal and Giveaway



Title: Tangled Lines
Author: Bonnie J Doerr

Release Date: August 2016
Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery


High school changes everything for Kenzie Ryan and Angelo Sanchez—especially their relationship. After spending all summer cracking crimes against endangered wildlife in Big Pine Key, Florida, now they barely see each other. Angelo hangs out with a Porsche-driving quarterback and a stunning local “Conch princess” and Kenzie struggles with being a newbie among the Key West cliques. 

But high school drama gets over-shadowed when horrific numbers of pelicans are found tortured near the islands where they live. Kenzie begs Angelo to help stop the slaughter, but he refuses until a stunning family secret is revealed. 

When a Sanchez Fish House employee falls under suspicion, the list of suspects explodes, and the discovery of illegal activity exposes Angelo and Kenzie to the same deadly risk faced by the pelicans they are trying to save...

About Bonnie J Doerr:
Bonnie J. Doerr, an avid traveler, gardener, and nature lover, is the acclaimed author of eco-mystery novels for tweens. For over thirty years, she taught reading and writing skills to students of all ages—from kindergarten to college. Ms. Doerr enjoys sharing her ecological research, writing experiences, and educational insights with adults and children. Her work has been described as a “mashup of Jean Craighead George and Carl Hiaasen” by some and as a “teen detective series inspired by Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys by others. Her work has been honored by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) with a grant for its use in environmental education and has been included in Milkweed Editions literary field guides. She lives in a log cabin on the edge of a historic park in North Carolina.
Learn more about Bonnie at www.BonnieDoerrBooks.com.
Follow Bonnie on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Immortal Crown by Kieth Merrill ~ Review


Title: The Immortal Crown (Saga of Kings #1)
Author: Kieth Merrill
Genre: Adult, Fantasy
Length: 544 Pages
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Source: Amazon Vine
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

A thousand years ago, the Navigator possessed thirteen stones touched by Oum’ilah, the God of gods. Over time, these power-ful stones of light were scattered and a prophecy arose declaring that a “child of no man” would gather them again, and he would be given immortality and reign forever as god and king of Kandelaar.

Now, in an age of chaos, the time has come for the prophecy to be fulfilled. Light and darkness have each chosen a champion to claim the legendary stones:


The sorceress of the cult of she-dragon has chosen Drakkor, a warrior and mercenary who travels with bandits and a corrupt stone of darkness.

The Oracle of Oum’ilah has placed his faith in Ashar, a young postulant who is unsure the stones of light even exist.

Meanwhile, miles away, a slave named Ereon Qhuin dreams of freedom. Abandoned at birth, his only possession is a strange stone that he believes is the key to his destiny and freedom.

A mercenary, a postulant, and a slave—which one is truly the child of prophecy? Who will wear the immortal crown?
 



I love finding a good epic fantasy series to really dig into. The Immortal Crown has a lot of the elements I love to see. We start out with a prophecy - one that's changed over the years and over the miles. We even start with a hint of dragons.

Eventually we follow several potential prophecy fulfillers as they journey into new parts of their life - from adventure to first tastes of freedom to potential love. There are sooo many characters, but each story seems to entwine itself in the overall storyline in an easy and memorable way. I didn't once have a problem remembering who was doing what and where they were in the journey.

Some of the characters and lore were a little expected - the girl who prefers pants and is surprisingly good at swords, the ancient people who left a forgotten legacy, but it was done with just enough of a twist or with a little bit extra that it really made the characters stand out.

I would have liked a tad more excitement. There are a few great moments, but I feel like I missed a bit of the "sword" in the "sword & sorcery" book. 

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Elementals 4: The Portal to Kerberos by Michelle Madow - Cover Reveal and Giveaway


Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals 4: The Portal to Kerberos, is the latest installment in Michelle Madow’s exciting Elementals series. Follow Nicole and her fellow Elementals as they journey to a new and dangerous world to save one of their own, battling monsters and trying to keep their sanity in a prison dimension designed to make them lose their minds.


Title: Elementals 4: The Portal to Kerberos
Author: Michelle Madow
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Series: Elementals #4
Format: eBook and paperback

She will venture into hell to save the one she loves.

After being betrayed by one of their own, Nicole watches helplessly as Blake is snatched into the prison world of Kerberos—along with Medusa’s head, which is the one item they need to stop the Titans from rising again. Now Nicole and the other Elementals must enter the portal, find Blake, and bring him and Medusa’s head back to Earth before the deadly monster Typhon returns and wreaks havoc on the world. But there’s one catch—their elemental powers don’t work in Kerberos. In a dimension designed to make those within it lose touch with reality, and that's filled with dangerous creatures who want to stop them from completing their task, will they make it out alive?

In this penultimate book of Nicole’s story, join the Elementals as they journey through hell to save the world… before it’s too late.

Pre-order:  Amazon



The adventure began in the first book in the series, Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows. To grab a copy of the first book for free, visit www.michellemadow.com.


Giveaway:

Michelle is hosting a giveaway for a Kindle Fire! To enter the giveaway click here!

About the Author:

Michelle Madow writes fast-paced YA (young adult) fiction that will leave you turning the pages wanting more!

She grew up in Baltimore, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she writes books for young adults. Some of her favorite things are: reading, traveling, pizza, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle went on a cross-country road trip from Florida to California and back to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

Visit her website,
www.michellemadow.com, to get books of Michelle's for FREE!

Connect with Michelle:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Fall of Thrones and Thorns by Jennifer Ellision ~ Cover Reveal


Fall of Thrones and Thorns
Jennifer Ellision
(Threats of Sky and Sea #3)
Publication date: September 27th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
War hurtles in, a typhoon over the sea.
After Bree’s life was torn apart, Nereidium had represented a haven to her. A place that—if she could save it—was beyond the King’s reach.
And, at last, she’s arrived upon its shores. But things in Nereidium are not what they should be.
The land is plagued by a rash of mysterious earthquakes, the likes of which it’s never known. The governors are distracted by old traditions, while Bree and her friends grapple with changing identities and the sense that the longer they wait to take action… the greater the danger from Egria grows.
Bree is tired of living under the shadow of King Langdon’s power. And she’s tired of waiting for him to be the first to act.
In this final chapter of the Threats of Sky and Sea series, it all comes down to Nereidium or Egria. To Bree or the King. It’s kill… or be killed.
And not everyone will escape the battle unscathed.

Previous books in the series:
20498423 Beautiful woman with katana isolated on the white background


Author Bio:
Jennifer Ellision spent a great deal of her childhood staying up past her bedtime with a book and a flashlight. When she couldn't find the stories she wanted to read, she started writing them. She loves words, has a soft spot for fanfiction, and is a master of the fangirl flail. She resides in South Florida with her family, where she lives in fear of temperatures below 60 Fahrenheit

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