My Rating: 5 Stars
Another amazingly written short-story crossover between the Egyptian and the Greek mythologies and this time around with the ladies! The perfect continuation for the Percy Jackson and Kane Chronicles Crossover collection!
In this adventure, Annabeth's life is about to take a huge turn and she doesn't realise how much when she follows a two-headed monster on the subway. She ends up coming face to face with a young blond-girl that reminds her of herself. Confronted with a different world so different from their own, Annabeth teams up with Sadie Kane to take on an ancient foe that was raised into the Mortal world by someone Sadie is, unfortunately, very familiar with.
The most exciting thing about this story is, of course, the two blondes with an attitude taking on a common enemy. On the contrary of Percy and Carter in the first story, Annabeth and Sadie are immediately taken by one another and a friendship blooms in the midst of battle. I could feel from the beginning that they would become great friends based on their temperaments and snarky sense of humour.
What I found hilarious was the whole situation and the correspondent reactions of these two compared to their boyfriend and brother. Whoever said girls were more suspicious than boys? Complete nonsense. Furthermore, the ladies adventure was, in my opinion, a lot more complex and a lot more life-threatening. This story is full of action and it was great to read how Annabeth and Sadie work together and how they complement their abilities so nicely.
The second instalment of the Greek - Egyptian crossover that I highly recommend!
My Rating: 5 Stars
I suffered from the syndrome of "Rick Riordan fan" when I read this crossover! I loved every minute of it and I will re-read several times over I'm sure.
A mysterious creature is terrorising the locals in Local Island. When Carter Kane sets on to investigate it he not only meets the monster but also a strange boy called Percy Jackson that doesn't seem to be Egyptian or a magician for that matter. Who the hell is this guy and how the hell can he see this monster?
A brilliant short story that brings together two very different characters: Percy Jackson and Carter Kane, the one that narrates the story. Two worlds collide as the two boys, a demi-god and a godling/magician apprentice, start out on the wrong foot... I mean fist.
I really enjoyed reading their interactions with each other and how they manage to solve a very big problem before it gets too out of hand. Percy is an amazing character, that didn't change and his sense of humour and witty comments made me want to read the Olympians series all over again.
I just finished reading The Red Pyramid for the second time and this short story got me really motivated to start the second instalment of the Kane Chronicles.
A must-read for all the fans of Percy Jackson and of Mr Riordan!
My Rating: 5 Stars
A great novel filled with action beautifully described and with a memorable plot. It’s a very enjoyable wild ride!
In a distant future, Demons and angels are at war and Earth is the battlefield. Poverty, death and power struggles are the consequences of a war that doesn’t seem to have an end. But a prophecy that has been passed down for 600 years describes that a man half-angel half-demon will change the course of the war and the fate of Earth. His name is Drake Blackfaith and this is the beginning of his journey.
It has been a while since I’ve read a novel that takes place in the Heaven/Hell reality but I couldn’t get enough of it. From adventure, action to romance this instalment creates the perfect base for the other novel that comes after.
The plot is very well-developed and all its details are important to the story and its characters. In the beginning of the novel, there is a lot of information to process but the author gives space to the reader to actually understand it. The war is brutal and it’s easy to see who the good guys are and the bad guys but even so, humans suffer in the hands of both. It’s an action-packed novel with a number of twists that arrive unexpectedly.
The descriptions are incredible and they pulled the reader straight to the story. I really enjoyed reading and imagining this world with all the details the author provided: nothing satisfies me more than a world built in solid grounds; its halfway for me to fully enjoy a book.
All of the characters have enough depth to actually seem real and they aren’t perfect. The protagonist Drake is easy to relate to and even easier to feel for him and his inner struggles. He isn’t perfect, and despite the fact that he is half-light and half-darkness, he acts and feels like a human being. The reader can see his character development throughout the story and grow into the man that will change the world.
I highly recommend this book to fans of the reality of angels and demons in a future setting.
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: 4 Stars
This book was so wonderful I can’t even begin to describe it. A story that takes place in the present and the past with fairytale characters that the reader is very familiar with but with a few twists to the story.
Crescenzo is the son of toy maker and carver. The life in the suburb of Virginia is the only place he has ever known and where his mother and best friend disappeared without a trace. Enzo never believed that his father’s works were anything special until the man himself goes missing. Together with this childish adult of a neighbour, Pietro, whose family also went missing, they set off on an adventure to bring together the counterparts of the figurines left by Enzo’s father and hopefully bring them home, safe and sound.
It has hard to put this book down. I completely fell into the story and its characters even though I didn’t like the main character so much in the beginning. But I will get to that in a bit.
The story-line is well thought and developed even though I did get a bit lost at times with all the information that was provided. There are four different timelines in the novel: the recent past, the distant past of the fairy tale world also called the Old World and the present of both worlds. The present shows that is happening in both worlds simultaneously while the recent and distant past of the Old World reveal and explain the events that lead to the darkness that the fairytale world is drowning in and the disappearances of the families of Enzo and Pietro. In my opinion, I thought to the book was a bit too “crowded” at times, which made it a bit hard to keep up with. Luckily the characters made it a bit easier to follow and, in addition, Devlin didn’t leave loose ends and the plot is very much engaging. I did find similarities to the TV series Once Upon a Time but the characters are unique and the concept is very fresh.
The characters in this novel are quite a lot: from Pinnochio, Peter Pan, Mulan, Alice from Wonderland, Hansel and Gretel, Prince Charming to Captain Hook, the Evil Queen, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Quasimodo, the list goes on and on. However, Devlin did an amazing job in going in-depth into these characters and they all seemed very real to me.
What I really enjoyed about this novel, not counting with settings and characters, was how the author presented this magical world. Much like in the real world, the thirst for power and corruption lead the fairy tale world into dark times. At the same time, the author shows that hope can shine even in the darkest places and that everyone has the power of forgiveness. These aren’t the typical loving and happy fairytales: some of the characters decided to leave the Old World and after years of being “human” with homes and families, someone is determined to destroy that peace by kidnapping the adults and leaving their children to go through the trials that searching for their parents includes. However, the reader soon learns that friendship is a powerful bond and tool and that love for the family can overcome even the strongest of foes.
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: 4 Stars
As a believer in astrology when I saw this book on NetGalley I knew I had to read it and I’m very glad I did.
On the date of the wedding of her college friend Geneva Leary, Julia Bonatti is warned by astrological signs that it would end in disaster. However, being the bridesmaid does stop her from ruining the happy atmosphere, a decision she later regrets. An evening that was supposed to end in celebration ends in murder. With the lineup of Moon-Mars-Pluto, a series of unfortunate events take place: an unconscious wedding planner, a missing sister and a deadly shooting. When Geneva asks for Julia’s help, she can’t refuse. Guided by the planets and the stars, she will do everything to find the culprit… but what happens when she does?
Even though I didn't read the first instalment of the series, I was able to get into the story and understand its characters.
The plot is very nice and it’s the perfect mix of fantasy and cosy-mystery. The unusual method of solving the mystery was spell-binding and it was easy to fall into the story and all of its amazing characters. This was the first novel I read where the main character is an astrologist and being a believer in this art made it a treat to read. All the conjunctions and lineup of planets are very well described and the reader can easily understand Julia’s reasoning without growing bored or getting lost. The ending came completely unexpected and suddenly all the clues come together to a surprising outcome. It’s a fast-paced novel that I couldn’t put down. The style of writing is simple and easy to understand.
The characters really are something else. Julia is a unique, fun protagonist that is easy to fall for: she’s witty, brave and even though she is a trouble-magnet, she quickly thinks of a solution and her talent of use of astrological charts to solve a murder is amazing. Her determination and willingness to help her friend no matter the consequences (not that she really thinks about it) for herself is captivating.
A straightforward fantasy cosy-mystery that I recommend to anyone looking for a light, quick read that involves astrology.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Midnight Ink, and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Since two weeks ago was Banned Books Week, I finally got around to read this classic a second time and to actually review it. This tale of determination, the cruelty of Man and thirst for freedom is a masterpiece but also difficult to read, in my opinion.
When I wrote before that the novel was difficult to read, it’s the same reason why I can’t give it five stars. Even though Jack London only portrayed the reality of the time of the “Gold Rush”, the cruel acts and treatment those dogs suffered made me feel revolted with Man; and emotional for the impact of Man’s negative actions. In some parts, it was a struggle to keep reading. For me, it was more difficult to read it now as an adult than before as a teenager.
“The Call of the Wild,” tells the story of Buck, a St Bernard that is taken from his home to work in the Alaskan wild. It’s a tale of endurance, determination, courage and self-discovery.
It’s an impressive novel that is full of moral lessons and life teachings: the survival of the strongest, the power of the strong over the weak, man against nature, life is hard and unfair sometimes and that even though we’re bonded to the rules imposed by society, there is a craving for freedom. These are only a few points that I singled out, the ones that marked me the most. One of the best qualities of this book is that every element in it contributes to the design of a bigger picture, but it still gives enough freedom to the reader to interpret them as they will. The violence and brutally expressed in the pages is painful and yet an eye opener for the abuse of power that we’re still confronted within society nowadays. The thirst for progress, the need to have more, to be better than anyone else is the drive of a society that will stop at nothing to have what they judge as necessary but at the same time, it idealizes nature.
The story-line is solid but very harsh and brutal; it got a bit hard to read sometimes. Man proves to be the cruellest of all animals and the most greedy of them all. The reader is taken on a journey of feelings of despair, hopelessness and suffering that ends with the small light of hope at the end of the tunnel.
Though it may seem that this is the story of a simple dog, the reader will walk with him in his journey and harsh life where, with will, strength and determination, he ends up becoming the pack leader of a wolf pack in the wilderness of Alaska. Buck is a brilliant main character that shows qualities that we humans tend to value and respect: he is loyal to a fault, courageous and determinate to life even though he doesn’t know if the pain will ever end. He proves throughout the book that, even though he battled against savage events that scarred him, his spirit remained unbroken.
The picture that Jack London created with this novel is that hope remains even in the hardest of times and sooner or later, things will get better. A truly inspiring tale that I highly recommend to readers of all ages.
My Rating: 5 Stars
A brilliant, memorable novel. This is a book that shows the other side of the very debated issue of illegal migration. I’m not usually a fan of books that approach the dark side of society, but this one is a must-read for people to realise that in the end, we’re all human and most of the time illegal immigrants are victims forced to flee their homes due to events beyond their control.
A peaceful night of celebration turns into a bloodbath. During the birthday party of his cousin, Pato, Arbo, Gladys and Marcos sneak away quietly from the house to smoke. Suddenly the sound of multiple gunshots ring through the night and the group returns home only to find their families dead and the shooters still in the house. Forced to run, with nowhere to go and a bounty on their heads, the four teenagers are driven across the desert in hopes of finding sanctuary in American territory.
The storyline is very solid and the details are very nicely described. This truly is the perfect novel that portraits the current issues of society and how quickly the media and the people forget that sometimes illegal immigrants are running from life-threatening situations, in this case, extreme violence. It explores how much a person can endure, how they react in extreme conditions just to have a chance at an unknown future. Steve Schafer managed to capture perfectly the effects of the traumatic experience of these characters and it’s both admirable and heartbreaking. This novel shows that all a person has at some point can be taken away and that nothing should be taken for granted. If the objective of the author was to inspire compassion, understanding and empathy towards the victims of the horrors that lead to illegal immigration, he did a brilliant job. For me, he marked literature with this novel.
The characters are very well-developed and it’s very easy for the reader to connect with them. Each one reacts to events and interprets information different, which gives the reader to understand them and bond with them in different ways. It’s even easier to get entangled in their story, to really feel for their struggles and to root for them in their journey. I felt emotionally connected to them and it was both a pleasure and a struggle for me, to know that even though these are characters, these are the struggles of a lot of desperate people.
The story is quite fast-paced and intense at times but it has its slow moments too; I would say that it’s to give the reader a break and to give some time to adjust to the events that occurred before. There aren’t just moments of sadness or fear; there are also moments of humour and some drama when a line of romance starts to develop between two characters, which softens the story a bit and lightens the mood. One thing is for sure, the plot isn’t predictable at all, and the reader doesn’t know what is just around the corner.
It’s a fast-paced, heartfelt novel that I can’t recommend highly enough. It fully deserves its five stars and people should definitely read it at least once in their lives.
I want to thank the author for reaching out and for giving me access to the digital copy of his book through NetGalley.
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.
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.