My Rating: 5 Stars
An extraordinary brilliant start from Roan Ryan with this debut novel!
Jimmy Dice isn’t the luckiest of individuals as his life is complicated, to say the least. Coming from a loving but troubled family, he loses a leg to a dog attack, three fingers to a gambling match gone wrong, the love of his life to suicide and he lives ignorant to the fact he had a twin brother that died at birth. Even though his life seems like a bottomless pit of unfortunate events, Jimmy grows up to be a man that faces life unafraid and stands up for what he believes in. This is the story of a young man that lives through the worst and uses his experiences to become someone with a good heart, courageous and loyal to a fault.
I completely fell in love with this story. Although the story seems depressive, it’s not, it’s a story of hope, loss and about standing up no matter how many times life knocks you down.
The story takes place in Dublin, Ireland where the reader accompanies the constant changes of the life in the streets of this beautiful but dangerous city. I never had the pleasure of visiting Dublin yet, but I fell in love with it just by reading the descriptions. It was refreshing for me to read a novel that takes place in Europe, especially one with such history and background.
The characters are incredible and for me, they are the best part of this novel. The Ronan Ryan created and explored each character in depth, gave them all unique traits, personalities and thoughts that truly brought this novel to another level. Each character is very easy to understand and relate to and they are important as they all have an influence on the main character’s life and his decisions. Jimmy is definitely my favourite character: he faces life with such a spirit and conviction that it’s impossible not to root for him all the way. Instead of falling into depression, much like his mother, Jimmy learns very early that in life every moment counts and it’s a blessing to actually be able to live it. So he’s gentle, caring but also strong and passionate. He is an inspiration to me and I admire Ryan for creating such a brilliant and memorable character.
Fractured Life of Jimmy Dice is a tale of loss, hope and love in the life of a brave man that tries to find his place in an ever-changing world. Everyone should this novel, it’s a reminder that life has both good and bad phases but learning from them makes us grow and appreciate the small moments with the people we love and not focus so much on material things. It deserves all its 5 stars.
I want to thank the author Ronan Ryan for sending me a paperback edition of his book in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 5 Stars
An incredible book that was worth the time it took to read it. This is probably one of the best books I’ve read this year and also one of the biggest.
In 19th century England magic is remembered as part of a glorious past but no longer used in the present. Even so, there are those that question if magic will return and if it’s possible t bring it back. The reclusive Mr Norrell starts his journey by moving from the quietness of his home and the company of his books to London where he brings a young woman back from the dead and summons an army of ghost ships to give England an advantage on the war with France. The road to fame and glory seemed imminent until a young, handsome, charming, untrained magician makes an appearance. Jonathan Strange is the opposite of Mr Norrell and in time a battle of wits, beliefs and magic puts in motion a series of events that will change the fabric of history and unleash consequences that will remain the in memory of England forever.
A compelling story and an enchanting novel that isn’t meant to be rushed but to take time to savour.
Being a little over 1,000 pages this novel proves that Susanna Clarke not only wrote a story but she also created a unique and mesmerising world. The accurate interpretation and use of historical facts and the typical language of this period bring this novel to a league of its own, bringing characters to life and pulling in the reader until the very last page. There is a perfect balance between fantasy and historical fiction and the deep knowledge of the magic spells and myths which allows the reader to fully understand the story without getting lost in the process. In some parts of the book I thought it grew a bit tedious but then something changes in the storyline and I couldn’t put it down again.
The style of writing is beautiful, subtle and very compelling. I admire the author for the brilliant use of the typical 19th century English with all its smooth phrases and rich vocabulary and how she manages to capture the readers' attention, to engage their imagination but at the same time not losing any of the strings that build the story in a steady pace. The amount of detail is just enough to allow the reader to vividly imagine the setting, the characters and the interactions between characters. Susanna Clarke is a true word magician: she was able to create a solid plot, with no loose ends while bringing together magic, history, warfare, politics, social and domestic life. A genius of literature.
The characters are extraordinary and there is no difference between the amount of characterisation of the main and secondary characters. The depth and solidity they have are incredible, each one with its own story, beliefs, opinions, qualities and flaws. Furthermore, all the characters contribute to the story in one was or the other and it was thrilling to see how their actions, both direct and indirect, are pieces that make the puzzle come together in the end. Jonathan Strange is my favourite character. He has his flaws, like being impulsive and arrogant, but at the same time his passion, his thirst for knowledge, his passion for books and his almost obsessive need to understand the past in order to build something new are some of the features that I highly enjoyed. The relationship between Strange and Norrell was one of my favourite to read and explore throughout the novel. Going between friends and rivals, their confrontations and verbal disputes creates such a chemistry that makes the reader anxious for more direct encounters.
A great book that I recommend for the fans of stead-paced story build-up and a unique tale that will leave a long-lasting impression.
My Rating: 5 Stars
A great sequel to the memorable first novel The Red Pyramid.
Ever since the gods of Ancient Egypt got released into the world, the lives of Sadie and Carter Kane has been turned upside down. Now responsible for the House of Life in Brooklyn, the siblings train others with pharaohs’ blood, trying to get ready for the dangerous mission ahead. The most feared enemy of Ancient times is awakening and with it bringing destruction to the world and drown it in Chaos: Apophis, the serpent of Chaos. To stop it, they must do the impossible: find the god of the sun, Ra and re-establish him as the King of the Gods. Easier said than done, however, no one knows where the god retired to exile and no one has seen him in decades. So, the world is about to end and they have no idea where to start. Just another normal day in the lives of the Kane family.
This adventure keeps getting better and better! Just as the first volume, Sadie and Carter narrate the tale of their impossible missions in a witty and entertaining way and this time their adventures will them to a trip around the world.
The story-line is great, consistent and leaves nothing to chance. Every detail the reader learned in the first book is explored and easily understood throughout the story, going deeper into the characters and the plot itself that starts to become more complex than the reader would have expected. Action, funny interactions, dangerous encounters are only a few of the moments that make this story so addictive
The writing style is typical of the great writer that Rick Riordan is known for and it keeps the reader glued to the pages from beginning to end.
The settings in this instalment change just as quickly as everything else: from Brooklyn to Egypt and Russia. It was great to see a change in the setting that accompanies the pace of the story: filled with action and unexpected truths, this story-line
Rick Riordan presents a new group of characters that complement the story perfectly. Bes, the god of dwarves that has the power to scare people away with his ugliness, the handsome Walt that makes Sadie’s life a bit more complicated and true Zia that makes Carter’s life a lot more difficult. Carter and Sadie grow so much in this novel that it’s Impossible not to grow attached to them. Their relationship changes as time pass and it’s a nice change to see that even though they get along better actually able to have a normal conversation, they still have their snarky comebacks and rocky brother-sister conversations.
This series keeps getting more and more interesting and I’m sad that there’s only one volume left.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Another brilliant series by the renowned author Rick Riordan, and this time with Egyptian mythology.
The Kane siblings have two very different lives ever since their mother died. Carter, raised in the US, the oldest, travels the world with his father, being home-schooled and used to the fact he never stayed in one place long enough to make friends; and Sadie, taken under their grandparents wing in the UK, goes to school, has friends, but only has the chance to see her father and brother no more than a few times a year. Their lives change forever when an accident unleashes the gods of Egypt into the world, the good and the bad ones. They soon discover that the gods are unable to stay on their plain unless they take a human host, one strong enough to sustain them. Thrown into a world that was hidden from them, Carter and Sadie find themselves on a race against time to save the most important person to them and stop Set, God of Chaos, from destroying the world.
Rick Riordan did it again: a mind-blowing and involving middle-grade novel that all ages can enjoy. In this novel, he takes on one of the most complex religions and manages to make it very simple to the eye of his readers.
The story-line is very solid and the reader is taken on an adventure of a lifetime with the Kane siblings. All the mythological myths, legends, and godly characters are very well represented and their story is presented in a way that will keep even the younger readers engaged in the story and the characters. The novel is fast-paced, filled with action and unexpected twists that will leave the reader second-guessing throughout the story. There are two perspectives in the novel, both from Sadie and Carter which allows the reader to get to know them simultaneously and have a better understanding of the story.
The characters are amazing. For the first time, the main characters of this novel are brother and sister and with such dynamics that is both refreshing and very entertaining. I think readers with siblings will be able to identify to some of their thoughts about each other and their reactions. At the same time, I think the author did a great job in developing their relationship since they were raised apart. In the end, they don’t know each other that well and struggle to understand one another. Furthermore, Carter and Sadie are very different: Carter is humble, methodical, logical and with a vast knowledge of Egyptian culture; and Sadie is sassy, rebellious and usually acts before thinking. Both characters are very well-developed as well as the secondary characters, which become more important throughout the story.
I really enjoyed this book and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s an action-packed adventure that will impress all ages.
My Rating: 5 Stars
This book includes everything I enjoy in a story: a good, scary Gothic tale set in Victorian times.
The story starts with Elsie Bainbridge, a young woman that is recovering in the hospital, unable to speak about a number of murders that she’s accused of committing. Since she doesn’t speak a word, she’s advised by one of the doctors to write down her story. Elsie is a recently married and recently widowed young woman that moves to her husband’s old estate, The Bridge, in order to bury him and give birth to her child. Surrounded by her husband’s cousin Sarah and three servants, Elsie begins to realize that in the walls of the old estate dark secrets are whispered in its walls. From strange figures of children and maids painted in wooden boards which seem to watch every move and seem to never stay in their designed place, to some old diaries that described the horrific events that took place in the beginning of the Bainbridge family’s downfall, Elsie slowly begins to transform from a confident and bright young woman to a broken shell governed by nightmares of past events she doesn’t fully understand.
A creepy Gothic horror novel that left me afraid to look at the walls and the paintings of my house for too long. It’s a deeply unsettling story that I will remember for a long time as being one of the books that made me be afraid of the dark for a few nights.
The setting is perfect for me, it hold everything for this novel to be a true horror story. It takes place in 1866 in Victorian England and in an old estate that has more history than its inhabitants realize until it’s too late. The story-line is solid and all the historical facts make this novel memorable in many ways. It’s a psychological horror story that develops perfectly from beginning to end, suspenseful until the very last page. The fact that the author started with the end, the reader is fully aware from the first page that this story doesn’t have a happy ending.
The style of writing is brilliant and it creates this atmosphere of suspense within a complex plot. I’m an admirer of the authors that manage to recreate a Victorian novel with all the phrase structure and vocabulary that truly brings the reader closer to the plot and its characters. The way that Laura Purcell writes builds up the horror throughout gets the reader completely addicted to the story even if deep down they're waiting for something scary to take palce.
The characters are amazing and as mesmerizing as the plot itself. Elsie is a great character and it’s impossible for the reader not to get involved in her story and feel for her as she walks down a dark path without realizing. Her transformation from a strong woman to a depressed, hollow, traumatized, mute, full of scars character is both admirable and scary.
A brilliant, creepy novel that will scare any reader out of hers/his wits. I highly recommend this novel for the fans of the genre and of Victorian fiction.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Bloomsbury, and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating. 5 Stars
This a great change compared to the other collections Rick Riordan created. A hilarious breath of fresh air!
Handsome sun god all-mighty Apollo is banished from Olympus after the great battle with Ghea. He is now in the body of a teenage boy with acne and not even the shadow of his 8-pack; and, because things had to be worse, he doesn't have his powers either. With the help of the demigod Page, Apollo gets to Camp Half-Blood only to find that his oracles have gone silent and demigods have gone missing. When the ex-god is given a quest, can he make it out alive?
This new series continues after The Heroes of Olympus and it makes the start of a great new adventure with a very unlikely main character.
The story-line of this novel is refreshing and creates a solid base for the future instalments. There isn't time to grow bored with this novel, the action starts right from the beginning and the style of writing and the humour keeps the reader engaged until the very last page. Plus, since the story is told through the perspective of Apollo himself, the reader gets to know in depth this character that has as much arrogance as he has regrets.
The settings where the novel takes place are already familiar to the reader which gives a feeling of familiarity but at the same remember the danger of specific places.
It was great to see old characters that the reader got so used too in the previous collections and new recruits that add spice and colour to the story. Page, the main female protagonist, is q mystery and very difficult to get to know since she's very quiet and keeps to herself. On the other hand, to see her interactions with Apollo and how their friendship grows was a treat and a hilarious journey. Apollo is not your regular main character: he is narcissistic, selfish, completely oblivious to the feelings of others and a complete drama king. Even though he has his flaws (which he doesn't see as such), he has his heart in the right place and he actually grows as a character throughout the novel. The reader will be taken on a ride of emotions with Apollo aka Lester, living through hilarious, witty comments to heart-stopping action scenes and heart-felt moments. It was very refreshing to read a book of Rick Riordan where the main character is so different from all the others he created so far.
A very enjoyable and easy read that I highly recommend to the fans of Rick Riordan, his amazing writing style and his memorable characters. I you think you've seen it all, you should definitely try this one!
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 craver. 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 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.
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.
Disclaim: All the images used serve for illustration purposes only, I don't own them. All the reviews and opinions are my own.