My Rating: 3 Stars
A marvellous, dark twist of classic stories, fairy tales and legends that leaves a lasting, positive impression!
Perrie Madeline has a pretty ordinary life and very ordinary problems until the strange museum Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault appears in her two of Deer Park overnight. When people start mysteriously disappearing and both her best friend and ex-boyfriend join the missing person’s list, Perrie vows to discover the truth no matter what it takes. The problem is she soon realises that it takes a lot more than she believes. Together with her friend August, Perrie goes in search of her friends inside the museum only to find themselves locked out of their world and trapped in a world of magic and madness. Will they be able to discover the missing people or will they become the next in the missing-persons list?
A peculiar, highly enjoyable novel! It’s the type of book that seems predictable but in the end, makes you fall down the dark rabbit hole into a world where “happily ever after” turns into one of the most horrific fictional worlds possible. It’s not for the faith of heart though. If you want to keep a good image of the stories you know, I strongly advise you not to read it. From the Little Mermaid cutting off her own tale to Pinocchio sowing a suit of human flesh to dress his wooden body, this tale is very far from being a happy one.
The characters are solid and well developed. The main female character, Perrie is very well explored and her way of being and acting make a believable character, almost real. Her troubled family life and the first scenes of that life make you feel for her, it’s easy to understand her occasional rudeness, and her determination to keep the barriers around herself tightly closed. She’s far from being perfect; she often runs from confrontation and hides when she feels uncomfortable. Ultimately, she is sincere and she truly cares about her friends. She grows in a steady rhythm throughout the story but there’s still a lot of ground to work on when it comes to character development. Maisie, Perrie’s cousin and best friend, is a great secondary character. I couldn’t help but connect with her, it’s like she floats through the story but at the same time, she’s very realistic. Her relationship with Perrie is very pleasant to read about and I truly felt that they complete each other nicely.
The plot goes from predictable to full of twists and turns. The beginning starts at a slow pace, almost convincing you that you know exactly what’s going to happen and then it throws you into a loop. For me, the excitement started after they enter the museum. You spend a great part of the book not knowing what to expect and it makes it almost impossible to put down. The ending was brilliant. Nothing satisfies me more than an end with no loose ends and Robinson gives the perfect one to her readers. At the same time, she prepares the stage of the next instalment.
The style of writing is good but there is room for improvement. The language is simple and the transition between the flashbacks and the present are well made. You don’t lose track of the characters or the story in the process. On the other hand, there’s an unbalance with the descriptions. First, there is lack of depth when it comes to describing feelings and the reaction to the surroundings. The characters should describe what they feel, so the user feels them too and connects better with the said character. Here, that didn’t happen. But then, Robinson explores the gruesome scenes in a very detailed way. I think the author needs to explore the emotional expression of the characters more, not just by saying it but by living it in a way. Then the connection between the reader and the story would definitely improve.
Overall, a great book and a refreshing storyline that I will remember. I recommend it to the fans of the horror genre mixed with a re-told version of the known fairytales and legends.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Amazon Digital Services and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 4 Stars
What.a.read! This is one of those books that you stay up all night reading.
Thomas Fawkes has a problem: he’s turning to stone from the Stone Plague that infected his eye. If he doesn’t do something about it, he will turn into a statue. When a solution presents itself, it might be the craziest plot he’s ever seen. He is to join his father in a plot to assassinate the king of England, the Gunpowder plot. The plan is to use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow him up. The problem is that by doing so, he will kill the family of the woman he loves, but if he backs away, both his father and his followers end up on the gallows. Which side will he choose and which one can he live with?
Absolutely brilliant! I stayed up until dawn reading this one, between the action and the heart-stopping moments, I couldn’t put it down!
The plot is great, complex, very well developed and packed with action. The premise of the book is the Gunpowder plot, a true event that took place in England in early 1600s where a group of Catholic traitors plan to assassinate the Protestant king. If you don’t know anything about this particular event, I suggest you only research after you read the book. Discovering it through the eyes of Nadine Brandes, who mixes history with fantasy and fiction, is absolutely worth it. Plus, it keeps the suspense until the end of the story. The pace starts by being very fast, then it slows down a bit in the middle and then it’s just full speed ahead. It gives the reader enough space to breathe and process the past occurrences without breaking out of the story itself.
The characters are the story in this case. It’s like they completely ran out of the author’s control and have a life of their own, they are the plot and the plot revolves around them. They rule the plot, but the plot doesn’t control them. Weird, I know!
Thomas Fawkes, the main male lead, isn’t a very likeable character for me and in the end, I couldn’t completely connect with him. He does bring some spice to the story and I do believe he has a strong character and inner strength; he just needs to grow up a bit more. I felt like he complained a lot during the novel. Even though he has some reasons to, he sounded like a whiny kid. Plus, I couldn’t keep up with his actions and decisions, some of them were incomprehensible to me.
On the other hand, Guy Hawkes is something else entirely. He’s a complex, unpredictable and mysterious type of character. I actually re-read most of the scenes with him. Guy is guided by his sense of bringing justice to the Catholics being prosecuted by the Protestant church. He’s moved by his strong morals and values and in the end, it makes him a memorable character. The main female character is awesome and she reveals herself an important piece of the game. She’s one of the reasons I go so attached to the novel. I cannot go into more details of the characters without spoiling the story, so I will let you discover more of them on your own!
The style of writing is compelling, clean and uses the vocabulary of the 1600s perfectly. Brandes does an amazing job with the descriptions, it’s like you can see a picture of the places and the people. Masterfully done!
Fawkes is a fun read, mixing fiction and history perfectly while keeping a great level of action and suspense throughout the story. I recommend it to the fans of historical fiction with a twist and for those you enjoy the setting in 17th-century London. I can tell you, my friends, the trip to this world is totally worth it!
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Thomas Nelson and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 3 Stars
Callum Hunt’s life has been completely torn apart: his best friend is dead, his killer escaped, everyone knows he has the soul of Constantine Madden and he's sent to prison for crimes he didn’t commit. Incarcerated in the strongest prison for magicians for months, Call is interrogated every day. Until someone sets the fire to the place and breaks him out that is. Unfortunately, his life doesn’t get any easier. A shocking revelation and a promise of freedom come with a very high price. As Constantine’s plans are put in his hands, Call must decide how to use his power and choose a side in a war that threatens to destroy his world. Will he stay with his friends or betray everyone he loves for an old friend?
The plot holds a few surprises for you and unexpected events that will turn the tide on the next instalment. The first part of the novel develops at a steady pace without much surprise. The twists take place more in the second half of the story; some were a bit predictable for me, but one managed to surprise me.
The style of writing is amazing as one would expect from the two brilliant authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. The interactions between the characters are great, filled with real emotion and some humour which breaks the ice in some serious settings.
Just like in the previous novels, the characters are the main and best part of these novels. Call is desperately trying to hold himself together only to learn he might really have some traits of the Enemy of Death. He spends this time struggling to understand his feelings for Tamara and deal with the death of his best friend Aaron. Tamara takes a big role in this book and it’s her decision that changes the course of Call’s life. Jasper is a fun character to read about and his lines always manage to make me smile or laugh. You get to see more of him and get to see a side of him that I definitely didn’t see coming. On the negative side, I fail to see a growth in the characters. Call, Tamara and Jasper spend the book trying to figure out something that is revealed in the previous instalments. Their friendship changes neither for better or worse and only in the end it’s put to the test. It felt like the test was merely to make Call suffer for nothing.
The Silver Mask is the fourth instalment of the Magisterium series and on the opposite of what happened with the previous books, I was a little bit disappointed starting from the number of pages. Don’t get me wrong, exciting things happen and there are some twists but overall, it was all a bit predictable. There is a lot of information revealed about past events but they don’t seem to have an effect on the plot at all. Plus, the characters spend most of the time trying to make pointless decisions and just walk in circles without any results at all. Even though I read it in two days, I felt something was missing.
In general, it was a pleasant read, saved mostly by the writing style of the two authors. I hope I will connect more with the next novel than I did with this one.
My Rating: 5 Stars
After the shocking events that left a grieving Sebastian Braddock, Evelyn wants to put an end to the reign of Captain Goode. As he used his and Sebastian’s powers to kill everyone at the ball, Goode permanently destroyed their world and any hope for them to return to the life they once had. But revenge comes with a high price. Evelyn will have to choose between putting her friends in danger, run from the city or just give up. When Goode turns the populace against them, can she find a way out without anyone else she cares for? A great sequel to These Ruthless Deeds and a great finale to the trilogy.
After the shocking events of the previous instalment, I was very curious to know what would happen in this amazing world. I loved every chapter and I felt a little depressed when it was over so quickly.
The plot is captivating, addictive and builds up perfectly. The development happens at a fast pace and throughout the story; the feeling of connection with the characters grows. At the same time, the thirst to see justice done and for the villain to pay for his crimes grows to the point it’s impossible to let go of the book. The world is built to the minimal detail without being overly descriptive. The authors Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas continue to surprise me, how much they can bring to life with words and how much colour and depth they give this reality and their characters. The depth of everything is breathtaking.
The reader is taken on a ride on a roller-coaster of emotions as the main characters live through the devastating events at the ball. Sebastien, the main male character, struggles to process what happened and to realise that his powers are responsible for all the death he witnessed. I truly left for him. The way Shanker and Zekas describe his turmoil is heart-breaking and truly brings the character out of the book. He is pushed to the ultimate limit when everything turns against him. Even if the killing wasn’t completely his fault, I felt like his sanity was being tested and I must admit that I feared for it in certain chapters.
Evelyn, the main female lead, turns her pain into anger and aims to catch the person that lead to that moment. She is ready to take him on and while other characters recommend caution, she just wants to face him and has a chance to end it all, to ease her pain and the pain everyone she loves. Her fury, passion, determination are impossible not make a difference in the reader. She is a true heroine with flaws but also with a depth that made me want to know her in person. In addition, the depth the authors describes their thoughts and feelings is admirable and brilliant. I could feel their emotions throughout the novel and almost stand with them through their trials.
Captain Goode is a horrible character that manages to always make narrow escapes. It’s very annoying to read about it. He’s a tyrant with a dangerous gift that he uses intelligently. It makes it really hard to catch up to him or guess his next move. I think he’s a great villain, a good story could never be as good without a bad guy/woman play on the same level or even higher than the good guys. Even so, I kept rutting for Evelyn and her revenge. The authors did a great work in building up the “hatred” for Captain Goove. It definitely added spice and adrenaline to the story. A few new characters are introduced, each one with a unique ability and they all fit into the story, they made the difference. No loose ends, no loose characters. Perfect for me.
A great ending to this amazing fantasy series. I have to get my hands on the paperback versions for sure. I highly recommend this collection to all the fans a different type of fantasy in a steampunk world and a badass female character!
I want to the thank Xpresso Book Tours and the authors for accepting me as part of the book tour of These Vengeful Souls.
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: 4 Stars
A great adventure novel about Roanoke Island and the legend of the Lost Colony.
The bizarre and unexplained event of the sudden disappearance of the 114 island inhabitants remains in the memory even 400 years later. When in the present days, 114 of Roanoke disappear without a trace, everything points to a re-run from the legend of the Lost Colony. It’s up to Miranda Blackwood and Grand Rawling to find them before they are gone for good. Between the police, dead alchemists and unrevealed secrets, the teens will race against time to stop history from repeating itself.
I finished this book in two days; it was hard to put it down. It mixes YA, supernatural, mystery with a touch of historical facts in a great way and the style of writing puts a nice ribbon around the whole thing.
The storyline is exciting and complex, full of suspense and action. It’s also very easy to follow and to understand. There are two different points of view, which makes the reader go deeper into the story. There is a steady build-up of the mysteries, details are giving along and each is important to the story. The level of research that was used for the novel was the right amount; it wasn’t a lesson in history, but it was enough to make the story believable.
The style of writing is simple, addictive and easy to follow just like the storyline. Gwenda Bond describes the settings just enough to let the reader an idea of it, which works fine for me.
The characters are very well developed and explored in depth. Miranda, the main female character, has a history of being the “bringer of bad luck” and tries to be invisible as much as it’s humanly possible. She’s bullied and the centre of merciless teasing at school. She really tries to keep her nose in her business but every time she tries to do something nice, everything falls apart. These events bring out empathy and they connect the reader to Miranda. She proves, however, she’s not a victim. She throws herself into the quest, risking her life to protect the people she loves and the ones that and actually manages to have a good relationship with the main male character, Grant, even after he publically humiliated her years before. He’s a good male lead and I enjoyed reading how his relationship with Miranda slowly evolved into the story without being in the centre of it. The other secondary characters are easy to follow and easy to memorise their roles and correspondent stories.
I fully enjoyed this novel, how this world is built and the slow rise of tensions and suspense. It blends YA, mystery, history, romance and the supernatural. I highly recommend it!
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Switch Press and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
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: 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: 4 Stars
A fast, fun, comic read filled with supernatural characters and creatures. The life of Cassandra McKenna isn’t in a good phase. Duncan, her ex demon-hunter is back and determined to make her life very difficult. Not only he broke her heart over two centuries, he hunts Demonoid sorcerers like herself and also baths naked in her river every day. What’s a poor sorceress to do? Things take a sudden turn for the worse when a werewolf attacks Cassie. When Duncan comes to her rescue, they discover that other evil things are on the loose and more are about to come out. Can they stop evil from taking over? Can Cassandra forgive Duncan for his past mistakes?
A cosy fantasy novel filled with romance and many supernatural creatures. It’s not usually my type of reading but it was a good story to just enjoy the ride.
The plot is simple and easy to follow. There are some twists which keep the story interesting and the constant action peaks are an addition to the quick narrative. Lexi George did a great job with the chemistry between the main characters. Their unfinished business of more than two centuries old is a big part of the story and their interactions go hand in hand with the evil mojo. There is humour, funny moments but also heated passion and moments of true friendship. It’s not your typical teenage romance. These characters are mature and as adults, their interactions take a different turn.
The style of writing was acceptable even though there were moments where I struggled to get the meaning of certain phrases and was forced to re-read them several times. Even so, there is a certain charm to it.
The characters are very likeable and it’s easy to enjoy their interactions and individual adventures. The main female character, Cassandra is great: she’s strong, intelligent and doesn’t take hasted decisions, she thinks things through. She can also hold a grudge though. She’s feisty protective of the people she loves and will do anything to protect them. Duncan, the main male character, is, of course, a very handsome devil with two very different faces: the playful and tensing but also the cold warrior with an iron determination. He will anything to mend his relationship with Cassie after he broke her heart and left her to deal with a monster herself. The secondary characters add colour and humour to the story. Jeb is great, he definitely brings out fun times even when the reader doesn’t see him coming. The albino Sasquatch named Sugar is just something else.
An enjoyable cosy, mature, fantasy/romance book a bit different from most but still recommendable.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Lyrical Press 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 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.
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.