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 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
This book can only be described as pure magic, for several reasons. It resonates with the soul.
A young girl forgot part of an important memory of her childhood. Nineteen years later, Liesl is an under-appreciated girl that seems to be doomed to remain the ugly shadow of her beautiful young sister and her talent brother. She lives to care only for others, not caring about herself at all. Growing up with stories of the Goblin King, Lord of Mischief seemed just like any other fairytales, stories that in time stop being listened to. Everything changes when her sister is taken by goblins into the Underworld and the Goblin King himself sets a challenge: she has to rescue her sister and give her life in exchange for her freedom. As her relationship with the King grows, her life grows short. The wheels of fate and choice are set in motion: to stay and die or to live at the cost of her music?
This novel is a pure work of art. The writing style is breathtaking and slowly but surely it sings to the readers’ soul. The words are like music notes that play quietly in the distance and they bring out the longing and the nostalgia of memories that are half-forgotten. It’s like reading poetry but in verse. S. Jae-Jones revealed herself to be an enchantress of words.
The plot is unique and developed in a unique way. It’s a strange world where reality and illusion meet and, from the beginning, the reader isn't supposed to try and distinguish them. Wintersong is imagination, a vivid dream and it’s so well described that it pulls you in right from the first page. Everything that happens in the story and even the descriptions of rooms, the forest and Liesl’s home, they all mean something. The symbols are there so the reader can interpret them and the author leaves them that freedom. The scary part is that, in the end, everything just leads to the same ending. It’s a tale of remembrance, loss of innocence, sacrifice and acceptance, not only of the circumstances but also of one’s self and our individual value.
The characters are just as unique as the story. Liesl is an incredible heroine and she isn’t the typical fair maid that needs rescuing. She is a real, unpolished young girl that couldn’t be more of an opposite to her family and their ways. On the contrary of her sister that is known for her beauty and her arrogant, spoiled character, Liesl doesn’t mind staying in the shadows with her self-doubt, her jealousy and her desperate desire to be noticed. She isn’t pure, at times she’s cruel, but that’s the way humans are. She needs to be broken in order to find her true self, to go beyond social barriers, expectations and most of all, her own self-doubt.
The characters are good and evil, innocent and devilish, self-absorbed but selfless too. The Goblin King, the main male protagonist, is also a victim of a trick of fate and destined to be judged by a title he never desired. He’s a tragic figure, bond to live eternally alone, in darkness. There are no heroes and no villains in this story.
This book will mark its reader deeply, for its melody, its soul-felt story and beautiful characters. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
My Rating: 5 Stars
A wonderful plot, unlike anything you’ve read before. A great beginning of an epic journey.
A storm during a delivery to a rural area completely changed the life of Robby Ribbon. After a few wrong turns, he’s completely lost and without meaning too finds and rings a Bell that isn't supposed to ring at all. After the incident, everything changes and war follows. Was it just a coincidence? Robby embarks on a journey that he doesn’t understand, meeting companions along the way that in the end will change more than just his world, they will reveal who he truly is.
I completely fell in love with this book. It starts with something so simple and develops into something more complex and it turns the novel into something epic and memorable. I’m counting the days for the next instalment. It’s a novel that is to be read at a steady pace. For me, it’s not meant to be rushed, it’s meant to be savoured and to be enjoyed to the minimal detail.
The world building of The Bellringer is fantastic. The author takes his time to explain the history of this world and build you a complete painting of how it’s organized. I really enjoyed the map detail: there are maps in the introduction that shows each continent and country. For me, it’s a very positive point since it allowed me to have an overview of the general lines of this world. In the beginning, I had struggled to read it since the pace was a bit too low for my taste, but it’s needed to have a better grasp of everything that comes after. Once the bell in rang, all hell breaks loose and the pace speeds up significantly. Sadly for me, it doesn’t have a happy ending and it leaves the reader with a big book-hangover.
There are several storylines and each one is a different adventure. The best part is that some of them come together in the end and others are left to the imagination of the reader, which for me it’s a positive point. The characters are incredibly created: there are several main and secondary characters and they are all developed in depth. In this novel, it’s easy to be drawn to the characters and just journey with them. Sometimes the reader might even wish to be there to give some insights and advice. They are so well imagined and developed that I could almost hear their voices in my head throughout the novel. Robby, the main character, has a great heart. Even though he’s completely at loss, in the beginning, he takes on a journey that might actually be the death of him and he still has his head held high. Better than Robby, just Shelia, the female character. She is a badass, tough because of her background. I’m curious to see what her role is going to be in the next instalment. There isn’t much information about her apart from glimpses of her past, but I have a feeling she will be very important in the future.
This isn’t the typical fantasy book. I can’t really put it in words, but the feeling it gives and the feeling it leaves in the reader is deep and long-lasting. I have a major book-hangover with this one. I highly recommend it to all fantasy fans. This is the beginning of an epic saga!
I want to thank Xpresso Book Tours and the author William Timothy Murray for sending me a paperback copy of the 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
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: 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.
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.