My Rating: 5 Stars
A brilliantly written dystopian novel that will remain in the mind of its readers for a long time.
When your parents are deemed enemies of the state, you’re sent to a secret detention school. For Reed Paine meeting new people and making friends isn't something he truly considered until he becomes friends with a girl named Riley and slowly began opening up to other detainees. Together, they discover information and a long forgotten history in hidden tunnels underneath the school. As they begin to question the system and what they thought they knew about their society, the government reveals its intention to sell the school. Reed and his friends will have to make the decision of standing by and do nothing or to do something that might bring them freedom, change the world but also get them killed. Can they make it without losing their lives in the process?
The plot is very well-developed and its depth makes it almost tangible, which both admirable and scary considering the dystopian story-line isn’t that far-fetched; it’s original and refreshing. It's the type of book that can be read in one sitting.
The concepts in which the novel develops around remind the reader of the importance of history, country values, patriotism but also the importance of accepting the hard moments in life and that making mistakes is that makes us human. Furthermore, it serves as a reminder that nothing in life should be taken for granted, and that includes liberty. The style of writing approaches these themes in a subtle way, seducing the reader in going deeper into the story and into the lives of each character. Froelich’s style is impressive and it makes the story memorable.
The novel is fast-paced and packed with action and it keeps that rhythm throughout the story. The characters are very well-developed and it was easy to become a part of their adventure. Their depth is incredible and it’s almost like they’re real people that decided to tell their story. One of the things that I appreciated a lot in this novel is the fact that, yes, there are couples, but romance isn’t highlighted, friendship is. I can’t begin to describe how much I enjoyed reading the character’s interactions, their behaviour with each other and how often physical gestures are used to offer comfort and show that they care. I think the readers can truly relate to these characters and appreciate this view of friendship. The ending was like a door closing but a window opening at the same time: it’s a conclusion but there is enough space for a sequel.
This book got me hooked from page one and I recommend it to anyone interested in a fast-paced YA dystopia with historical references and lessons.
I want to thank the author Jennifer Froelich for sending me a free digital copy of her book in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 5 Stars
This book is on my top readings for this year. An epic fantasy that deserves its five stars without a shadow of a doubt.
A young boy is forced to flee from his home when his father is brutally murdered and barely escapes with his life. Accompanied by his mother and their faithful protector Sebastian, the young boy finds himself travelling with a circus in order to hide from the enemies that seem to be lurking in every corner. The boy is Prince Valiant, a Child of Leif, heir to the throne of the Munich and this is the beginning his journey.
From where do I start after this amazing read?
The plot is great both in construction and in its depth. The story starts with a flash forward to the present and then the reader is taken back in time in order to understand how the characters arrived at that point. The novel is told, in most part, from the perspective of young Valiant, smoothly moving to a third-person perspective in certain chapters. The rhythm of the story is perfect: the plot develops at a steady pace with enough action and adventure to keep the reader interest at all times. It creates a solid foundation for future books that might come, since it gives the perfect background of who the characters are and how they overcome enemies and grow, especially prince Valiant. Better than being just fast-paced it’s the level of suspense the author manages to maintain and develop throughout the pages and the fact that we go from a simple plot to something a lot more complex with each passing chapter.
The style of writing is mesmerising and it creates a perfect, solid narrative with no loose ends. The world that the author created is breath-taking and every element comes together beautifully, from the narrative settings and the colourful characters. The author has a great sensibility towards what the readers need to adapt to an event or character, something I consider a gift. I couldn’t put it down and I didn’t want to.
The characters are, for me, the best part of the novel; they are unique with their own personality traits and their own story. Despite the fact that there are quite of a number of them, the reader doesn’t get lost or loses track of who is who, especially when it comes to the people of the circus. All the characters are very likeable: Sebastian, the brave and faithful protector of the prince, whose loyalty and love knows no bounds; the kind owner of the circus, Konrad, that doesn’t hesitate in helping them and welcoming them into his family. I really enjoyed reading about the circus, it brings a feeling of nostalgia of sorts that got me even more involved in the story and it portraits perfectly the tricks and traits of what happens before and after the curtain opens and closes. Each character develops throughout the book and each has an impact in the story,
An action-packed, adventure fantasy novel that got me completely immersed and that I can highly recommend to all the fans of the genre.
I want to thank Chris Pridmore for reaching out and sending me a digital copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 5 Stars
I absolutely love and admire Miss Phyrne Fisher. A woman wise beyond her years with modern vision and temperament; what is there not to love?
The story starts as a murder mystery always starts: a death. A sweet, innocent fairy-story writer/illustrator is found dead. This time, Miss Fisher will jump into the world of magazine publishing and investigate deeply to find the truth. As the staff isn’t at all helpful, she works together with the police to see the matter solved and justice done. However, she is also involved in a second case, of a more personal nature. Her lover Lin Chung travelled to China a few weeks before and no one has heard from him since. In a family ruled by secrets and dark intents, will Miss Fisher be able to rescue her lover before it’s too late?
This was a deep and complex novel, just how I like them. There are two different plots in the story: the writer’s murder and the disappearance of Phyrne’s lover in China. The author did a great job in developing these two different cases in one story without them getting mixed up together or leaving loose endings. The first plot is steady-paced, very “according to the law” procedure (suspect interviews, taking evidence, analyzing patterns); but the second plot is where the juicy things happen. The tempo is a lot quicker, full of suspense and action. In addition, since it’s a more personal case, Miss Fisher works alone which makes things a lot more interesting.
The characters are memorable. I really enjoy Miss Phyrne Fisher as the main character, she is a force to be reckoned with. She has the determination of iron, she will do everything to protect the people she loves and lives by her own rules. She is a strong woman with a matching temper, not afraid to make her opinions known, to call out injustice and of breaking the rules every now and then. She is the opposite of what a woman should be back in 1928. Dot is a great companion and a lovely character too. Lin Chung is, as I imagine him, very handsome and sweet but at the same time, he hides a few secrets of his own. He’s daring and interesting which is why I enjoyed the chemistry between Phyrne and him so much.
A great read that I recommend to fans of strong female protagonists and of a great murder mystery!
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Poisoned Pen Press, and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
Rating: 4 Stars
An enjoyable read set in Europe, full of twists and a lot of great powers.
In the streets of Rome, a young teenage boy of sixteen discovers that he has the power to walk in another people’s dreams. Narciso di Angelo is convinced that he’s the only one in the world with this ability until he walks into the dream of a beggar and he is faced with other Dreamwalkers much like himself. Ciso is introduced to a secret division of the United Nations called Somnus that, led by Commander Sawyer, quickly becomes his family. At the same time, he discovers that there is a terrorist group called Tantibus that will do everything to take over the world. Will Ciso join the case of the Project and use his power to uncover their plans? At what cost?
It’s a brilliant, creative plot that grabbed my attention from the beginning. The story-line is very well thought and developed and no stone is left unturned. Everything is explored, explained and everything fits together throughout the novel, leaving no loose strings. The best part is: it’s not predictable.
The story is fast-paced; the twists are unexpected and leave the reader hanging for more. Additionally, the setting is a breath of fresh air since most of the novels take place in the US. Italy is full of historical riches and old tales and legends; it was a treat to read a novel set in this beautiful country.
The writing style is very nice and it flows perfectly; it pulls the reader into the story and all the action that happens from the very beginning of the novel.
The characters are very well-developed and characterised. I really enjoyed reading about Ciso and his journey, but also enjoyed immensely seeing him grow into his powers and the best version of himself. Commander Sawyer is a great secondary-character; the reader can feel that he not only manages and works with his unit, he respects them and treats them like family.
It was a pleasure to discover this world of Dreamwalkers and I'm convinced the author set a strong foundation for the next instalments. A read that I recommend for all the fan of YA that enjoy reading about magic powers.
I want to thank the author and Xpresso Book Tours allowing me to participate in the Blog Tour of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 5 Stars
In the sequel to Alice, the Red Queen proves to be a worthy finale for the dark story of Alice and Hatcher.
After escaping the Old City, Alice and Hatcher face the first disappointment: the awaited green fields and the smell of grass and trees are nothing but a desert of ash and dust. On a quest to find Jenny, Hatcher’s daughter, the duo faces a journey filled with obstacles and old curses. From an enchanted forest to unseen creatures, Alice will have to gather all her courage and strength to battle an old evil and save the man she loves from the hands of the Red Queen.
The Red Queen isn’t as dark as the first instalment but it still contains a bit of horror somehow. While in the first novel, the reader is confronted with rape, murder, women trafficking and a lot of dead-body scenes, this one is more of a psychological terror of losing someone that keeps the main character sane. When Alice finds herself having to make her decisions and face cruel environments without Hatcher to protect her, she is forced to grow mentally, accepting herself and her magic. She is genuine and hopeful making her a very likeable character. The Red Queen is a worthy foe even if I have a mixed opinion of her. She is both terrified by the curses she places but also a coward. Even though she has power, she avoids leaving the walls of her castle unless it’s extremely necessary. For me, a terrifying character is the Black King. He’s like a ghost that can see and feel what his victims’ fears and hopes and just play with their minds.
The writing style is very engaging and it’s able to grab the interest and the full attention of readers together with the story-line. I thought at some point that Alice’s journey to actually enter the Red Queen’s palace was a bit too long, but the author managed to create challenges that made a difference, there weren’t just there to fill the pages. The shocking twist at the end made my heart stop, I truly wasn’t expecting that and it was brilliantly thought. I would have like to read more about the what Alice and Hatcher would do next since it ends without much to go on with.
I’m sad that it is only a duology but I’m glad I got to read Alice’s journey.
I highly recommend this collection to all the lovers of the dark Wonderland universe.
My Rating: 5 Stars
One of the best mystery thrillers I’ve read this year! I’m a fan of Caine’s work on The Great Library series and it was a pleasant surprise to read something so far from the fantasy world!
Gina Royal had it all: the house, the husband and her two children, completely unaware of the deadly secrets hidden behind a perfect family picture. When a car accident brings to light that her husband is a serial killer, Gina becomes Gwen Proctor, a woman on the run from accusations and internet stalkers that find her guilty of helping her husband. In desperate need to settle down, Gwen moves to the remote house of Stillhouse Lake where she thinks her children and herself will finally have some peace. That is until the body of a woman is found floating in the lake, killed with the same method Gwen’s husband used.
It’s a horrific, thrilling and suspenseful novel that had me glued to its pages, right from the first chapter. The style of writing and the very well thought plot made this novel very addictive and compelling. The feeling of paranoia is always present and the characters will share that feeling with the reader. The atmosphere builds up perfectly and every event just adds to a great climax. The novel works perfectly on the dangers of the internet and how “internet is forever”. The author describes very well the social dilemma of how the family of a criminal is easily put in the same bag even though they had nothing to do with the acts committed by that individual. People tend to forget that there is a chance they might be victims too. Also, beware: if your husband doesn’t show you his garage, maybe it’s not just his workshop after all…
The characters are well developed and very well described. Gwen is a great main character and a warrior; I was proud to read about her deeds and the demonstration of her courage. Her first priority is always her children and if she has to break the rules and moral codes to do it, so be it. It takes a lot of courage and a strong spirit to be able to do what she does in the novel. Overall, the relationships in the novel are solid, especially between Gwen and her children and Gwen and her neighbour.
A great psychological thriller that I recommend to all the fans of these genres.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Thomas & Mercer. and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Another page-turner! This collection keeps getting better and better, exciting and a bit sad.
After being separated and living in two different worlds, Connor and Alex try to adapt and learn as best as they can without each other. Connor, living in the real world, dedicates himself in writing fairytales and wins the chance to see the Brothers Grimm graves in Berlin. He ends discovering a mysterious clue left behind in one of their unpublished works: a warning about an enemy trapped in time and worlds. Together with his classmate Bree and Mother Goose, Connor will travel far to return to the Land of Stories and stop this new threat. Meanwhile, Alex is a fairy-in-training with few magical attempts turning out right. Can she deal with the pressure of being the next Fairy Godmother and lead the Fairy Council?
The setting is perfect as always and I really enjoyed reading the beautiful descriptions of Berlin, a city I had the pleasure of visiting before. What is really great is that there is always a new part of the Land of Stories that the reader will get acquainted with and secondary characters that we’ve read about in the first novel make a reappearance.
The plot was amazing, very imaginative. The idea of setting the French army from the Napoleon times as a villain and how exactly they end up in the Land of Stories is very well thought and very well executed. An outside enemy from the Otherworld is also a great way to unite the habitants of the magical world and to start a new path, a new era.
The characters continue to grow and it’s very enjoyable to see their transformation throughout the books. Red is still one of my favourite characters, she makes me laugh so much with her comments but I also felt for her when things took an unexpected turn. She is truly a queen at heart and by the end of the book, she grew a bit more. The additions to the story just added more spark and thrill. Bree is very much like Connor: the love for adventure, they both share the ability to see through the lies. Emmerich is sweet and innocent but has the heart of a warrior. He trusts Connor and Bree right from the beginning and jumped into an adventure that he didn’t fully understand. They make a grand team! Alex will always be a heroine for me; the way she takes on her defeats and how she takes control of things when everything gets out of hand is inspiring especially considering her young age.
A very good book just like all the others before it!
My Rating: 5 Stars
An epic fantasy worth all the five stars!
Two young men from different circles have a greater destiny beyond their wildest dreams and hopes. Quint is the son of a powerful religious family and leads a sheltered life, but everything changes with the introduction of the tribes of Dragonborn. When his life is turned upside down, Quint has to lead and advise his people. Will he be able to since he knows very little of his responsibilities? On the opposite side, Whym’s life has always been haunted by poverty, being born in one of the poorest parts of town; he has little hopes for the future. His life changes when he is given the opportunity to become the apprentice of a mysterious figure. Both men will have to face the journey of their lives, forced to go through dangerous geographical and political paths and war, filled with hidden enemies, dangerous lies and glimpses of truth.
I have a lot to write about on this novel. I loved every moment, every page of this story: I was taken into a different world, immersing myself in its history, its complexity, its characters and social life. But allow me to start from the top.
The style of writing is mesmerizing and I truly admire how the author managed to described and give depth to the world of the Lost Lands and its characters without leaving the reader bored or tired of the descriptions. Furthermore, the organized and methodical structure of the novel leaves no space for loose ends, which is the best satisfaction a reader like me could have. It starts with the lightness in the first chapters, thoroughly building up, providing background stories, introducing characters that sooner or later will have an impact in the story. I have this image that the words are like puzzle pieces that come together to create something bigger and beautiful. I got completely absorbed by the words; it was difficult to put the book down.
The characters are just as complex as the reality they live in. I have to be honest and confess that I did have to make a list with the names of the characters and who they were since I did end up forgetting who they were at some point, but that didn’t influence my view of the novel at all. It is an extensive list of characters however and all of them have a distinctive way personality, and they are all very aware of the issues of their society. They have depth and are well-developed; it was easy to connect with them. The way the novel is written gives the reader the opportunity to get to know the characters as individuals and then as a group. I really felt their connection with each other, not only based on their conversations but also their actions.
Overall: beautiful scenarios, unique characters and a thrilling story-line make this a very promising fantasy series! I vividly recommend this novel to all the fans of fantasy that want to live a unique adventure in this wonderful world!
Thank you, J. Kyle McNeal for reaching out and giving me access to the novel through NetGalley.
My Rating: 5 Stars
A great, gripping novel that takes place in the near future where technology is key to immortality.
In a world where human conscience can be uploaded into a computer and loaded into a new body, the Metaform Corporation’s goal is to put an end to death. Gabriel, son of the leader of a cult, confronts his father and as a result, becomes the leader himself with a single objective in mind: to bring down Metaform Corp. Will his plan work or will he get more than he bargained for? It seems that some secrets aren’t meant to go public and some will do everything to make sure that doesn’t happen.
The novel is very addictive and gripping; the storyline is brilliant, refreshing and there is enough action to captivate the readers' attention. I never considered this approach for the future, but it’s true that it actually fits with the quick evolution of technology that we are witnesses of nowadays. It’s a bit concerning to think that only the sick and the old get buried or cremated while the bodies of the young and the healthy get turned into vessels for other consciousness to live on.
The writing style is intelligent, captivating and witty; by the descriptions, it actually seems like that world is very real. I think the author really made emotions transpire through her writing and her characters. Certain moments made me laugh; others hold my breath and in others even tear up a bit. I really enjoyed how Harding gives hope in a world ruled by technology where immortality is a reality, how people deal with the choice of dying or living another lifetime in someone else’s body. It’s a haunting question, which one would you choose?
The characters are very likable and they fit perfectly with the story and this reality. They are complex and deep, which made me love the novel even more. The author did a great job managing the changing between the first and the third person in the novel; it was easy for me to follow the story.
I’m not a fan of the sci-fi genre but Manumission became one my favourites. I will definitely buy it on paperback. I highly recommend this novel to all the fans of dystopias and sci-fi!
Thank you, E.R. Harding, for reaching out and sending me a free digital copy of your in exchange for an honest interview!
My Rating: 4 Stars
This is the first time I read a novel by D.L. Coln and I’m glad I did!
After finishing his tasks to become a Master, Glaycol Masters returns home to his family to celebrate. But the celebration doesn’t last very long: the village is attacked by a dragon, killing his family and leaving him without one eye and with severe scars. Living only for revenge, Glaycol vows to kill the responsible for his loss and will stop at nothing to achieve it. As he faces a dangerous journey where trials test his will and both his physical and mental strength, will he be able to average his family or will he die trying?
A great read. The story is fast-paced and the descriptions of the fighting scenes are very straight to the point. The story is written in the third person which gives a broader view of events.
I enjoyed reading the adventures and misadventures of Glaycol Masters. He's complex, full of grieve but also unwavering when it comes to getting what he wants. He’s not hot-headed though; he actually uses his knowledge to pass each obstacle, not just brute strength. The story centres around him and it doesn’t leave much room to get to know the secondary characters better. I enjoyed seeing the relationship between them and Glaycol evolving and how they protect each other no matter what comes their way. I would have enjoyed reading more descriptions of this fantasy world, I think I would have connected more with the novel. Even so, in my opinion, the author did this deliberately in order for the reader to connect completely with this character.
The detail of the mystical creatures and how diverse they are is a plus for me. There are actually creatures I hadn’t heard of before, which is both refreshing and entertaining. The way the author imagined the dragons is brutal: they want to control everything and have no limits to what they will do to achieve what they want. For those who challenge them, the villages are burned to the ground; and as they gain control over others, tyranny takes over.
An enjoyable read that I recommend to the fans of dragon fantasy books!
Thank you D.L Colon for reaching out and sending me a free digital copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.