My Rating: 5 Stars
A must-read amusing, complex and elegant epic story.
In the American West, Missouri in 1854, Didier Rain has a long list of occupations. Poet, philosopher, a gentleman in the making and a low-life rogue. In desperate need to have money, Rain accepts to become a Sacred Deliverer and take a baby girl named Virtue to the Prophet Nehi in the City of Rocks for her to become his wife. Even though he feels this is way over his head, he accepts and starts a long journey filled with dangerous encounters, new friends, new enemies and difficult choices. Will they make it?
This is a novel that readers can read several times and never get tired of it. It’s a complicated, intriguing story that is seen and lived through the eyes of Rain, a man will flaws that faces his past and his own conflicts throughout this journey.
The style of writing is poetic, elegant, philosophical at times and very engaging. The author Brian Kindall delivers a witty dialogue that mixes both vulgar and philosophical language and ideas, creating rich interactions. He also manages to blend both human and religious themes that give relevance to the story and the feeling the reader gets as the adventure proceeds. From the trials of fate, the fragility of the human mind to religious beliefs and ultimate love, Kindall revealed himself a master of story-building and character development. A lyrical style that pulls the reader deep into the plot and its characters and leaves a long-lasting impression. This is a novel to remember.
There are quite a number of characters in the novel and each contributes one way or the other for the growth of the characters. Some encounters are symbolic which adds a wonderful spark to the story. Rain is a grand main male lead. He’s both despicable and lovable and his misadventures are both hilarious and heartfelt. It’s impossible not to connect with him, feel for him and understand his actions. Deep down he proves to be a man of pure heart, good intentions and able to forgive and forget just for the sake of his mission. He proves to be a better man than Nehi and his followers. In addition, his instincts are the only thing that saves him from tight situations and places. He’s a complex character, haunted by his past that both repulses and attracts the reader. The best part is that the reader always ends up learning something with him, both with his victories and failures. Virtue, the female protagonist, is a silent spectator that also manages to leave a lasting impression and teach a few good lessons too. She’s not a normal child, as she grows at an incredible rate during the journey from babyhood to womanhood. Her relationship with Rain is touching and to read about their growing complicity, how they complement each other is one of the many highlights of the story.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It’s the type of novel that changes something in the reader, that holds on and when it’s over leaves a feeling of longing. I will definitely read it again.
I want to thank the author Brian Kindall for reaching out and sending me a paperback version of his novel in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 5 Stars
A great, fresh novel with a gripping storyline that is on the level of Hunger Games.
Welcome to The Beck, a society divided into several sectors: Agriculture, Sustenance, Development, amongst others. In the Assessment, everyone gets assigned to their factors or, if they fail, sent to the Clearance, the darkest place in The Beck. Life there is very simple: follow the rules, always obey your orders. One infraction and you’re sent to the Clearance. Governed by tight laws and regulations, everything is controlled to the maximum, including human touch and interactions. Quinn has only known the Agri Pod, where she and her friends work in the fields. However, she thirsts for something different, something that can make her feel alive. When Quinn makes a decision, it will change her life forever. When Quinn discovers the terrible truth about the system, she realises that her choice comes with a high price.
A great storyline with brilliant characters! The story has a steady pace to it and the reader is slowly introduced to the world of The Beck and its dangers though Quinn’s eyes. It’s a brutal reality and Clare Littlemore gives the reader glimpses of hope through the interactions and the emotions of and between the characters. There is friendship, truth, violence, oppression and the difficult choices one has to make to change their lives. Every piece of information that the author gives it important and is part of a bigger picture. There is also a bit of romance in the story, it builds up nicely but it’s not in the centre of the novel, which is perfect for me. A few surprises and twists kept me connected to the story from beginning to end.
The style of writing is captivating and engaging. The language is simple, easy to follow and to understand. Littlemore gives enough descriptions and details for the reader to imagine this world but leaves the details open to interpretation and design.
The characters are very nicely constructed and developed in depth. They are all very likeable and it’s easy to feel the connection they have with each other. Quin is a great main leading female character: she is compassionate, determined but kind and very down to earth. She knows her limits and he’s not afraid of going for a change that feels like a jump into the unknown. Nonetheless, she takes the leap and even when things don’t go as planned, she keeps going while motivating the others. Cameron, the main male character is still a bit of a mystery but his relationship with Quin was a very addition to the story and I’m curious to see what happens next with them. Quinn’s relationship with the other characters, Cassidy and Harper was a treat to follow. They share a very strong connection and the reader can both see and feel it throughout the novel. I hope the author will reveal more about these characters in the next novel.
This novel is a breath of fresh air for the fans of dystopian novels. I highly recommend it!
I want to thank Clare Littlemore for reaching out and sending me a free digital copy of her novel in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 4 Stars
A great, creepy graphic novel to be fully enjoyed!
After the death of his mother, Christian and his father moved to Shell Bay. Christian doesn’t seem to be destined for an easy life. As he starts in a new school, he becomes the target of bullies. When the group of weird kids help him, Christian becomes part of something that he doesn’t fully understand. Unknowingly, he joins them in an occult ritual that gets them possessed by darkness. Soon, they all start developing strange powers and Christian learns right after that it comes at a high price. Faced with horrifying truth, he has to make a choice if he wants to reverse the ritual: kill off the circle before they kill him or let the darkness take over him completely. Will he be able to make his choice before time runs out?
Both the story and the art are amazing and they complement each other very nicely. The angle of the drawings and the dark colours only bring out the horror of the story more.
The story develops at a steady, suspenseful pace and it ends with a dramatic climax. There isn’t a boring moment with this graphic novel. There aren’t any loose ends left when the story is over and I felt that the story should have a sequel. Damon Clark started and finished the story completely, but I think there’s still space to explore Christian’s life after his horrifying adventure. However, I felt that the deaths and the ultimate feeling of fear weren’t truly there. Everything happens very fast and I couldn’t feel or see the impact of the events on the characters. It would have given more depth to the plot.
This graphic novel is all about wrong choices; how bad life can get, especially when one thinks it cannot get any worse. On the contrary, of other graphic novels, the main character doesn’t have a single drop of luck. Every time he tries to make amends, everything just turns ever so darker.
I read this novel in one go, I couldn’t put it down. Even though it’s a horror story, I felt nostalgic and a bit like a kid again when I was reading it. I recommend it!
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Diamond Book Distributors and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
A great sequel to the first instalment of the Lost City series! In this one, we get to know more about Noryad and what happened after he left.
During the attack of the Caribbean, the royal family was whipped out. As Raphael ranges in search for the boy of the prophecy, the king sends his fourth son through a portal to the Guild Never Too Late. Unfortunately, the boy was marked by the dark vision of his family being slaughtered before his eyes. 24 years later, an older Noryad is forced to leave the Guild that he dedicated his life to because his powers are running wild, making him a danger for the people he cares about. He has no choice but to go back to his origins and face the dark memories that never stopped haunting him. His mission is to find his ancestor’s weapon and claim his rightful place as King of Camelot. But, if he fails to overcome his thirst for revenge, he will lose everything: his kingdom, the woman he loves and his life. Will he be able to fulfil his destiny before the evil that approaches takes over?
D.L Cólon didn’t disappoint, and this novel was, for me, even better than the first one. King's Inheritance is a novel filled with action, adventure, mystery, fantasy and a bit of romance. It takes a different approach to the legend of King Arthur, developing more the after-legend. The war between good and evil with supernatural beings, God and the Devil in the front seats just pull the reader into the story.
The plot is well developed and everything connects perfectly. It’s a fast-paced story-line, never a boring moment. Cólon takes the reader on a memorable journey and it’s easy to fall into this world and feel its loss after the book is over. In the end, I wanted more but I’ll have to read the next one!
There are quite a few number of characters and three main ones: Noryad, Coral and Merlin. Every simple one contributes to the story, they are there for a reason. They aren’t perfect, each one has their inner conflicts and issues but it’s what makes them so believable and likeable. Adding colour, spice and depth to the story is one of the elements that make this novel so unique.
The style of writing is very nice and I could definitely see an evolution in it compared to the first novel. It’s very easy to read and even though they're a nice number of characters, the reader doesn’t lose track of the plot. The descriptions are detailed but not enough to be boring.
I highly recommend this series to all the fans of a good epic novel that mixes several genres and it’s packed with action and adventure.
I want to thank D.L. Colón for reaching out and sending me a free digital copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 5 Stars
A great sequel to The Carver! A gripping adventure that gets better and better with each installment.
Enzo, Zack, and Rosana continue their exhaustive search for their family members. As they end up in Wonderland, their journey takes a turn to the crazy and the unpredictable. In a place where nothing is what it seems, friendships and trust will be put to the test. On the other side, the lost relatives are stuck in the Old World with no way of getting out. King Bellamy declares no one can leave. They have to join forces with old allies and enemies to escape imprisonment, find their children and defeat Queen Avoria. The queen fled from Wonderland and left the power to the King of Heart. His mission: to break Enzo and his friends. As she grows in power, the threat of war between kings too. Is there still hope of stopping her before it’s too late? Can the war be stopped? At what cost?
The Unseen takes a deeper dive into the story of Enzo, Rosana, and Zack. The reader gets to know them better and the character development is incredible. Each of them has come to accept their identity and the truth about their parents’ lives and their identities. With the past behind them, they now have to take a leap of faith in their own destinies and take a journey that will test their friendship and their courage.
The plot is very engaging and very well developed, much like the first one. The adventure is exciting, filled with humorous moments and dangerous tasks. It keeps the reader on their toes. Devlin is a master of connecting worlds and not losing track of the characters and the plot itself. Each individual mission comes together beautifully to complete a bigger picture. It’s exciting to see how they all fit: everything is connected and in the end, there aren’t loose ends. A dynamic and amusing story while enough twists to leave the reader running through the pages. The story is addictive!
The author is a great storyteller: the way he builds this fairytale world is fresh and it pulls the reader into the plot without much effort. The references he uses gives richness to the story. Characters are given depth, a consciousness and a character that will change the view of how fairytale characters are seen.
His style of writing flows perfectly and raw emotion jumps off the words. The setting is a place that readers are familiar with but Devlin’s re-imagines them but at the same time, the feeling of going to that world is the same. Keeping track of the different storylines comes naturally and no extra effort is needed to understand or follow them.
I highly recommend the reading of the previous novel of the Order of the Bell series and its sequel! I can’t wait for the next adventure of Enzo and his friends.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Blaze Publishing and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Honourable Miss Fisher is back and this time for a story that considered one of the best.
Miss Phryne Fisher is approached by her two friends Cec and Bert to investigate the suspicious death of two of their army friends. Paris, 1918: Seven comrades walk through the station of Montparnasse after the war. Now, only five remain. When the number grows even smaller, it’s up to Miss Fisher to discover the truth of why they are getting silenced years later. Phyrne is forced to come face to face with her demons while investigating the disappearance of a young girl. Moreover, she might also need to find a new butler, as Mr Butler threats to leave if she doesn’t permanently cut ties with Mr Lin, who is about to get married. Does the life of a lady detective ever to be easy?
As I wrote on my previous Miss Fisher review, I’m a big fan of the TV series Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries and of Miss Fisher as a strong female character. Even so, I will not compare them, as they are a bit different.
The plots are well developed and integrated amongst each other. The main plot is the death of the two soldiers, followed by a mystery in Miss Fisher past and then the case of the missing girl. Kerry Greenwood did a great job in going back and forward in time and not losing track of characters and details. The historical details and the integration of known individuals give depth to the novel and add colour to it too.
The style of writing is simple but classy, just like everything else in this novel. It flows through the pages and the way the descriptions are made, for me it seemed like a painting on sale in the small streets next to the Seine. It’s charming by its simplicity.
The characters are, as always, the best part of the novel. Miss Fisher is an amazing character that stands out for her strength of character, her class and her ability to help anyone in need. She’s resourceful, completely unafraid to break the rules and, at the same time, she’s also vulnerable and afraid of the ghosts of her past. In this novel, the reader gets to have a glimpse of her difficult past. As she remembers her time during the war, we’re introduced to her time as an ambulance driver, to her lover and abuser that left deep scars about to get reopened. It’s an emotional part of the book that made me feel more connected to her than ever. She is truly one of the best female characters ever created for me.
I highly recommend this book to all the fans of Miss Fisher and/or of a strong charming lady detective.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Poisoned Pen Press and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
A memorable, unique historical thriller packed with action and an impressive research of historical poisons. It’s very hard to believe this is a debut novel.
This is the tale of a female assassin on the 16th century that uses different poisons as weapon of choice. Lavinia Maud craves for the death fashioned by her own creations, her preys both poor and rich. However, fame brings risk to a higher level. Between avoiding the anger of her patron and struggling between love and death, Lavinia finds out the hard way that the heart is hard to silence and that revenge is served better with a tasteless poison.
Now, this is a new, refreshing novel with an original plot and a fantastic main character. A femme fatale that murders all levels of society, aiming for the ultimate game of her career: what is there not to like? It’s darkly compelling and addictive until the very last page.
The plot is brilliantly thought and developed. It’s fast paced with twists and turns that will swep the floor from under your feet. The originality of the plot is a breath of fresh air in the world of historical thrillers and the level of suspense is enough to make any heart skip a few beats.
The setting is perfectly chosen, the research made by Kara Pohlkamp on the time period and the poisons are impressive and perhaps even a bit scary. The Tudor era is one of my favourites in English history so I was more than pleased to jump into the story. The author provides just the right amount of detail to give the reader the perfect view of this dark tale.
The seductive and hypnotic style of writing pulls the reader deep into the story of this murderess and turns this journey of sin, obsession and murder into a pleasant ride. Pohlkamp is a magician with words, so smooth and seductive that will make readers fall for her novel like clockwork.
The main character is great and memorable. I know she’s an assassin and I know she has an unhealthy obsession with poisons and killing, but at the same time, the way the author presents her, it’s impossible not to connect with Lavinia and admire her. She is a powerful, deadly intelligent woman that uses everything she has to survive a world ruled by men. Her battle between cold logic and her heart is mesmerising to read and her struggles give her an incredible depth as a character.
I can’t wait to see what other tricks Kara Pohlkamp has up her sleeve!
For all the fans of historical thrillers looking for something new and exciting, you can’t let this one get away.
I want to thank the author Kara Pohlkamp for reaching out and sending me a digital copy of her book in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 5 Stars
This is the type of comic that never disappoints! Beautiful art mixed with a great story.
The tale starts with Lady Mechanika on a journey, trying to put a tragic event behind her. In the small town of Santa Catrina, it’s that time of the year, the celebration of the Dia de Los Muertos. As she learns more and starts enjoying herself, a mutilated boy comes into town before collapsing. He is the latest victim of the Jinetes del Inferno, a group of gods that require sacrifices every year. If they don’t get what they want, they torture children as the warning. This time, they get more than what they bargained for. Lady Mechanika makes it her mission to put a permanent end to them.
I read and reviewed the previous volumes of the Lady Mechanika collection and this one can be read as a stand-alone. There is enough background story in the plot to make sure the reader doesn’t feel lost.
The storyline is very nice and dramatic. For the readers of the previous volumes, you will know there is nothing new to that. The story is simple, easy to follow and very compelling just as the style of writing.
The art is memorable as usual. The excellent graphics, the steampunk mixed with the typical Mexican art is simply amazing. The lines, the colours and the attention to detail blend perfectly with the story and the character of Lady Mechanika. The reader ends up being pulled into her world and her adventures.
Another great read, one that I recommend to the fans of the series and of steampunk art.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Benitez Productions and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
A great beginning to the new series Amish Candy Shop Mystery! Amanda Flower proves yet again to be a memorable writer of cosy-mysteries.
Bailey King has the perfect life: she works in her dream job, being an assistant chocolatier at JP Chocolates in New York City and she’s up to a promotion. Unfortunately, nothing is meant to last forever. When she gets a call that her grandfather is very ill in Harvest, Ohio, Bailey rushes to them. Adapting to their Amish ways isn’t easy but it was there, at the Amish candy shop Swissmen Sweets she grew her passion for chocolate. One night, while coming down from her room into the kitchen’s shop to grab her phone, she trips on a dead body. It’s Tyson Colton, the man that was interested in buying all the shops in Harvest and he was stabbed with a kitchen knife in her grandparent’s shop. With her grandfather appointed main suspect, Bailey knows she will do everything to prove his innocence.
A cosy-mystery with a different flavour. The fusion between mystery and the Amish ways add the spicy to the story.
The story-line is solid and engaging and the mystery is twisted and impossible to guess that happens next. When the reader thinks they know what’s coming, it just The setting is also unique and refreshing. I had no previous knowledge of Amish and it’s quite nice to discover them with Bailey. Flower builds up the mystery in a steady pace, building the list of suspects and takes the reader through a colourful little town and its people. Additionally, the amount of research the author did is impressive. It seems like she actually visited a place with these values and used them masterfully in the creation of this story.
The characters are, as always, the best part of Amanda Flower’s novels. They have depth, they are engaging and the reader feels and walks with them through the story. Bailey’s grandparents, Clara and Jebediah, are very well-developed; they are kind-hearted people that radiate warmth across the pages. Even though Bailey doesn’t share her family’s beliefs, it’s not possible to miss that she shares the deep knowledge and values that her grandparents taught her. She is a great main female character and her chemistry with the handsome deputy Aiden is the chilly in the chocolate. It will be a treat to get to know them better in the next books.
A tasty and chocolaty beginning of a series that I recommend!
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Kensington Press and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
This collection is the perfect read for lovers of books and mysteries. What can be better than murders themes around books?
These 15 short stories were written by distinguished mystery writers and they make every story count. The editor Otto Penzler put together an anthology of crime between books that fill fit the likes of most readers. From hidden messages inside old books, a deadly bookseller and the deep secrets a library might hide, make this book impossible to put down.
Each storyline is different but they all have something in common: books. The title was definitely well picked and it describes perfectly its content. All the stories take place in modern times and they all involve different types of books or characters related to books like booksellers, book collectors, books privately owned, public displayed books and even an old scroll. Even though most of the stories can be classified as thriller/mystery, some of them have a fantasy touch to them and one fits in the fantasy genre completely.
The authors with stories on this collection, by order of appearance, are:
The editor Otto Penzler did a great job putting this anthology together. All the authors have different styles of writing, different ways of describing and interaction with the reader which is very refreshing when you’re jumping from story to story. Some of the authors I’m familiar with and it was a treat to read some short works from them, like Jeffrey Deaver, Thomas Cook and John Connolly. Additionally, discovering other authors just made my to-read list a bit longer for next year.
I absolutely recommend this anthology to all the fans of murder mysteries and books. These great authors write great stories and getting to know other creators of this genre might help you discover some great books you haven’t read yet.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Pegasus Books and the editor for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.