Category Archives: Fantasy

Book Review: ‘The Flame and The Arrow’ by Emigh Cannaday

Title: The Flame and The Arrow (The Annika Brisby Series Book 1)

Published: 11th November 2010

Publisher: Silver Poplar Press

Author: Emigh Cannaday

Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/ClubCannaday

Twitter: @EmighCannaday

Instagram: www.instagram.com/emighcannaday

Synopsis:

“Don’t do it, Annika,” he taunted. His eyes were no longer bright and charming but dark and intense, yet they still twinkled. He was tempting, but was he harmful?

Aspiring rock star Annika Brisby thinks she knows where her life is going until she steps through a broken portal that leaves her stranded in a fae – filled realm of fairies, shapeshifter druids, psychic vampires, and other mythical beings. Unable to return until it’s repaired, she’s rescued by wood nymphs who believe her sudden arrival is no accident. After being taken in by a prominent family of elves, Annika finds herself struggling to resist the seductive spell of their youngest son, Talvi. Equal parts arrogant and alluring, the notorious heartbreaker seems like the perfect distraction for her homesickness. Her new friends warn her that she’ll probably regret ever laying eyes on him, and what begins as a casual fling with a telepathic elf for a lover quickly burns too hot to handle. By the time Annika learns the consequences of their forbidden trysts, Talvi’s already under her skin and dangerously close to her heart. But on the journey home she discovers that there’s a mountain of secrets that he’s not telling her, and Annika can’t help wondering who’s really in danger.

You’ll enjoy this edgy & dark blend of New Adult Urban Fantasy, Romantic Suspense, and Paranormal Romance if you’re a fan of Laurell K. Hamilton, Kresley Cole, Donna Grant, Charlaine Harris, Karen Marie Moning, Jeanine Frost, J.R. Ward and Lynsay Sands.

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book over 400 pages. Well this fantasy story has a bit of everything in it all rolled up in to a complex but interesting story. You have elves, fairies, vampires, druids, a unicorn and so much more all hidden through portals to another world. A world Annika is about to get a crash course in.

Oh my there are so many characters in this that at times it’s hard to keep up and remember who is who and how they are connected to each other. The key players help create such a dynamic group though that you just go with the flow. I did feel that the first part, even though good, did drag a little and then the battle at the end went all too fast. I guess it just helped build the tension with what was going to happen alongside the ever-present tension between Annika and Talvi – one very hot elf. A match made in heaven or hell, you can never be too sure with how they act around each other throughout. A prophecy seems to be the key to everything though and not just with them. One he has had time – 300 years to be exact – to think over and finally accept, Annika on the other hand not so much. There are quite a few sub stories running alongside this as well with Talvi’s sister Yuri and her love interest Konstantin, who happens to be a vampire. Also I can never really get a feel for Talvi’s older brother Finn. He’s meant to be such a gentlemen but for how long I wonder.

Annika is going through a bit of a disaster in the love life department. She had a guy, he even proposed, but she never really felt that she was meant to be with him. On some level I think she knew she was meant to be somewhere else with someone else. So when her Uncle Vince says she should come and stay with him while she thinks things through she jumps at the idea. Little did she know then that it would be the start of a whirlwind adventure that would take her to another dimension, Eritahti to be exact. While checking out the village near by a group of people catch her eye. Mainly from how they act but also how they are dressed, almost hippy forest like. I say she’s looking at the group as a whole but really it’s the guy that draws her in. So much that she follows them into a bookstore. Its here that things start to get a little strange with the girls as they all but pounce on her, start calling her Magda and keep trying to get her to lift her top up to look for a birthmark. Flustered she runs away but not before the guy chases her down to say he will find her again. Chemistry is seen right from the start with Annika and Talvi, no matter how much they both try and fight it. He caught her attention enough for her to follow him. Their first meeting you are asking yourself whether it was by chance or fate? It’s later when she’s trying to find herself and explore that she lands herself in trouble. Lost in the woods with a hurt ankle she spots the strange girl from the day before and all but begs for her help. The girl tells her she shouldn’t follow – as she may not get back – but Annika’s in so much pain I don’t think it really registers. When she goes through a waterfall and into a portal however she may want to change her mind, but by then it’s too late.

So now she’s stuck with Sariel, Runa and Hilda who happen to be wood nymphs. Something she’s not quite sure she believes could be real and it gets stranger when they keep telling her she must be related to them due to her birthmark. Seems this is the start of a crazy adventure, one at times she wishes she could escape. Thrown into a strange world with stranger creatures and no way home. The journey will have danger but also some fun along the way. Well if she gives in to Talvi’s suggestion that is. He is drawn to her but keeps holding back and returning to his wondering ways with how he acts around other women. You may want to slap him at times. Annika can never really get a feel on what he really thinks of her. The first time they kiss they both see visions of a future, not that he tells her his straightaway. Perhaps if he had then they wouldn’t have caused each other pain later on. Fate put her on this path and she must keep moving forward not back. Only then will she find her way home. Though she may start to question where home really is as its clear she is part of both worlds and they clearly want her in both.

The fae saying Talvi tells Annika about their love, even if she doesn’t fully understand it at the time, is really sweet. Talks of bumble bees crossing a meadow to get to each other’s flowers. I love that he references it at the end; it did make me laugh, and that it’s inscribed on something important. Their story it seems has only just begun.

4 out of 5 stars

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Book Review: ‘Aversion’ by Kenechi Udogu

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Title: Aversion (The Mentalist Series Book 1)

Published: 1st December 2012

Author: Kenechi Udogu

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KenechiUdogu

Twitter: @KenechiUdogu

Synopsis:

For Gemma Green’s first time, things should have been straightforward. Find your subject, hold their gaze and push a thought into their head to save them from future disaster – Aversion complete. A pretty simple process given that the subject was to have no recollection of the experience. But Russ Tanner doesn’t seem to want to forget. In fact the more she tries to avoid him, the more he pushes to get to know her. Gemma knows she has a problem but is she facing the side effects of a failed Aversion or has the school’s tennis champ really fallen for her?

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with a one-word title. It’s such a sweet romance blooming between Gemma and Russ. Young love growing at its best. A connection is there from the start even if they don’t really know how to explain it.

Living in Sandes with her father Gemma is part of the Mentalists group in training for being an Averter. An Averter is someone who has the ability to alter peoples’ minds. The purpose is to stop them from doing something that could alter their lives too much – like say by getting attacked, robbing something, dying in a car crash, anything really. Seeing a jolt from someone means she is meant to change the outcome. The only difference with her and other Averters is that she is female and, at the moment, seems to think she is the only one. After seeing a visual of what might happen to a guy at school she, along with her father, goes to prevent it by performing her first solo Aversion. She has to push into the persons mind and convince them not to do what they were going to do while making them forget she was ever there. She’s meant to do that and only that. At first all seems to have worked with Russ. He doesn’t go back out so she thinks it’s a job well done. Well that’s before he suddenly comes up to talk to her the next day. Seems she might have messed up and has somehow linked herself to him – not that he really minds. Making a mistake with someone’s mind is dangerous and all she can think about is trying to fix it without letting her father know. She just doesn’t want to see the disappointment in his eyes.

Seems that both Russ and Gemma are drawn together whether they want to be or not. Something bigger is going on and once the Orb that her father gave her to help with her emotions starts changing colours she knows she needs answers. Seems her father has been keeping her the dark about what Averters and Mentalists as a whole are really like. Once she goes down this road more questions seem to rise up rather than getting answers but with Russ by her side she might just figure out what she is meant to do. Well fingers crossed anyway.

An interesting world being created with the Mentalists and Averters with what they can do. Lets see where the journey goes from here on out and how Gemma’s powers are going to expand. Hopefully no more tear filled goodbyes and no more running away which seems to be her go to move, one that’s been taught from her father who does the same thing. Her dad clearly only ever did what he thought was best for her, even if at times he was in the wrong. Lets see how many things can be righted in the next instalment. Roll on Sentient where we hopefully explore more about Sentient Twins.

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4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Winters Rising’ by Shannyn Leah

winters-rising

Title: Winters Rising (Spicy Edition) (Lexcon Tim Travel, The Winters Book 1)

Published: 25th October 2016

Publisher: Carlex Ruby Press

Author: Shannyn Leah

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Shannyn-Leah

Twitter: @ShannynLeah

Synopsis:

Brea was born a Second, a lowly class of people in the Lexcon society. But she also bore the birthmark that destined her to marry a Gatekeeper, the “superheroes” of their world. Some called her destiny a great privilege. She called it doomed to a cage with no key.

Gatekeepers were born and raised to ensure time remained untainted and unchanged, but Brea saw them as overlords who looked down on her kind… on Seconds.

Forced to marry Gatekeeper Jax Winters, Brea vows not to complete the ritual bonding with him until she can talk with council about how Seconds are treated. She plans to use her newfound status to help the plight of those born like her.

But she never dreams of the twist her life will take, moving her into a higher position than she’d ever dreamed. Will she and Jax always be at odds, or will their hearts bond together as their souls already have? Will Brea change the future of Lexcon, or will she be forever doomed to live life in the dark?

Winters Rising
Winters Rebellion (2017)
Winter Resplendence (2017)

Review:

Loved this story right from the start. Has such an intricate storyline, with multiple players pulling the story along. You know change is coming right from the start and are just waiting to see how everything plays out. You are also waiting to see if your theories about who Brea really is are correct.

Lexcon is a world of classes and those that would wish to control everything, including time itself. You have the Elders and those in charge on the Council who you really don’t want calling on you as they can bring trouble. You have the Gatekeepers who are in control of all timeline disruptions. Each prominent family has three children who will become the families Gatekeepers. The firstborn is always the Key Keeper and their future children will be the next Gatekeepers. Unless of course something happens to them and then the role would go to the second born and then so on if something happens to them. In the Winters families case the first-born is Jax, the second born is Declan who has the ability to heal others and the last-born is Gabrielle who has the visions. She sees when a timeline has been changed. This could be done by one of two people. A Rouge, someone who deliberately tries to change something, or a Drifter who falls through a time rip without meaning too. These changes in timelines are what the Gatekeepers need to fix. When they time rip they go into someone else’s body, completely embracing them, and only they can see each other as they really are. The Seconds are looked down upon by the Gatekeepers, thought of as a lower class. Which is ironic, as Gatekeepers children will bond with one if they show the matching tattoo mark. You also have the Unborns. These are the babies born, or in this case unborn, of Gatekeepers who conceive without being bonded and married yet. It is told that these women who conceive will not survive the birth and neither will the baby but nothing is ever quite as it seems.

When your future has been planned for you from the moment of birth you can’t run from it, no matter how much you wish you could. Brea finds herself in a life she wouldn’t have chosen but one she can’t change, all due to a damn tattoo on her neck. Not just any mark but a matching tattoo that means she is the other half of the Winters Key Keeper Jax. Now married she finds she still holds some power over her future. It seems that once married the pair need to bond with each other by simultaneously touching each other’s tattoos. Once done they will then be connected on a much deeper level, right down to their souls. No matter how tempting Jax might be – morning sunshine hitting his naked chest in bed aside – she will not fold until she gets what she wants. She was a Second before she married and she knows the troubles they face and how they are looked down upon. She plans to change things somehow but her first task is more of a personal one, one to a tattoo parlour so hers can be tweaked. Would have worked out fine if Jax hadn’t shown up just in the nick of time. Love the underlying passion that comes off her and Jax when he gets there. One touch on her mark, the slightest graze of his finger, and she almost folds but a bond can’t happen unless both touch. He may be tempting but she knows nothing of him and until he starts sharing the wall between them will only grow higher.

Jax seems to be under the impression that Brea should be pleased she’s married to him and is getting just as frustrated as his family are that they haven’t bonded. Well that and he’s finding it harder everyday to keep his hands off her, the pull is just too strong. The only way he can get Brea to see what he does as something worthwhile is to take her with him. Going by themselves the first few times leads to some very hot passion in the sun and under a waterfall. Seems a little alone time is just what they needed to connect but calm waters aren’t what follows for them or time itself. His personal problems are one thing but it appears that they soon have bigger fish to fry when someone messes with a timeline trying to kill a baby. Jax and his two siblings must time rip to stop it. This is what kick starts an adventure none of them saw coming. Seems there are bigger players at work trying to manipulate the past so it can change the future of Lexcon and the world as they see it. Secrets and lies get revealed and its up to Jax, Gabrielle, Declan, and Brea to set things right. Only together can they fight what’s coming, whether they really want to or not.

There are moments when I wanted to smack Jax over the head for how thoughtless he could be, also a bit with his siblings and parents. You can clearly see with their upbringing they have no clue what Seconds really think or how they are viewed. Love the pirate scene when Jax and Brea time rip though and I’m sure she did too, but not as much as when they are under that waterfall. Talk about needing to cool down after getting so hot. Steamy connection with Jax and Brea once they both let their walls down but the battle for time has only just begun. Can’t wait to see where the story goes from here. Time is of the essence it seems and for some it might be running out if the Rouges have their way.

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5 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Korian and Lucy Part II’ by Zoe Kalo

korian-and-lucy-2

Title: Korian and Lucy: A Cult of the Cat Short Story Part II

Published: 22nd October 2016

Author: Zoe Kalo

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Zoe-Kalo

Twitter: @zoekalowriter

Synopsis:

NOTE TO READERS: “Korian and Lucy: Part II” is NOT a novel. It is a companion short story (about 9,000 words) to ‘Daughter of the Sun’ (Cult of the Cat Book 1). It’s meant to be read AFTER ‘Daughter of the Sun’ and “Korian and Lucy Part I,” otherwise you won’t get the full meaning or references to characters.

BLURB:

It’s January on the Island of Cats and Lucy is secretly pregnant. Her love for Korian is as invincible as ever. Together, they experience the magic of their baby’s movement for the first time.

But the raging Marmara waters and stormy skies match the turbulent state of Lucy’s soul. Isis continues to haunt her dreams. Her aunt’s new ruby ring sends a chill of suspicion up her spine. Scorpions crawl on the edge of her mind… Could Korian be right? Was her aunt involved in his mother’s death?

When Lucy is forced to reveal her pregnancy, she discovers she’s not the only one with news, for her mother and her aunt both have astonishing revelations of their own…

In a world that wants to pull them apart, Korian and Lucy must do everything in their power to stay together.

Review:

This short story is set five months before the birth of Trinity. It is again told through Korian’s POV and then through Lucy’s diary entries. You do really need to read these in order, and have read Daughter of the Sun first, or you won’t really know what is going on.

Oh now things have got a little bit more interesting. Clues where mentioned in Daughter of the Sun that the three would need to work together and it looks like we get a clue as to who they might be. We also get a glimpse into Korian’s life and how his father and Bithiah, her aunt, know each other. There’s a dark past with them involving the death of his mother but to what purpose? Red seems to be the colour of choice for Bithiah, which we learned in Daughter of the Sun, but we get a first look at something she acquired through dark means.

The prophecy gets explained a bit more through Lucy’s diary entries. Her mothers time is spent trying to decipher the papyrus to get all the answers they need. Cats galore are still present throughout – which being a cat person I love. They are very intuitive creatures and can sense when something isn’t quite right. Love when Lucy writes that Isis said she was going to send someone to protect her and she replies ‘I already have’. I think its clear who she sent to keep an eye on her.

We end at not so much of a cliff-hanger but a pivotal moment before the final chapter takes place. It’s almost like a count down until Trinity is born. One you want to read but also slow down, as you know the outcome for the parents isn’t good. Danger is brewing on the island and it seems Isis isn’t the only god playing a part with human lives. The island itself is taking its share of the turbulent emotions running amuck but soon they will be heading to London. It will become the end of their story but the beginning of what’s to come. Lets see how it all plays out.

Both part I and II are short reads but still manage to keep you intrigued for what’s to come next. Best read together though I felt. Lets see what Part III has in store.

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4 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from Author Assistant for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Korian and Lucy Part I’ by Zoe Kalo

korian-and-lucy-1

Title: Korian and Lucy: A Cult of the Cat Short Story Part I

Published: 17th June 2016

Author: Zoe Kalo

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Zoe-Kalo

Twitter: @zoekalowriter

Synopsis:

NOTE TO READERS: “Korian and Lucy: Part I” is NOT a novel. It is a companion short story (about 6,000 words) to ‘Daughter of the Sun’ (Cult of the Cat Book 1). It’s meant to be read AFTER ‘Daughter of the Sun,’ otherwise you won’t get the full meaning or references to characters.

It is the tragic love story of Korian and Lucy (Trinity’s parents) and takes place in The Island of Cats nine months before the birth of Trinity.

BLURB:

Something is stirring on the Island of Cats…

It’s early September. Korian and Lucy are newly discovering the indomitable intensity and power of their love. Lucy’s mother gives her a chilling warning her about their family curse and the tragic consequences this could have for Korian’s life.

But Lucy strikes a deal with the goddess Isis to keep Korian safe, a bargain that can’t be broken.

When disaster strikes, Lucy must ask what Isis really wants. Is she a mere pawn in the goddess’ scheming game, or are there other much darker forces at work?

The world wants to pull them apart, but Korian and Lucy are determined to stay together.

Review:

This short story is set nine months before the birth of Trinity. It is told through Korian’s POV and then through Lucy’s diary entries which gave it a different vibe to Daughter of the Sun. The Island of the Cats is still playing a part in a future that’s already been set in motion, with Lucy just a pawn in Isis’ game.

We get a glimpse into the love affair that would set a series of events into motion. The Goddess Isis clearly had her own agenda from the start, among the other Gods. She saw the special child that would be born from their romance. You can clearly see they were drawn together for a reason but they are merely pawns playing their part in a game they won’t see complete.

The curse of the Walford family, in regards to its priestesses, when it comes to the men they love is a bad one – death seems to become them. Lucy confides in her mother that she knows she can’t break the curse but that she feels its safe to be with Korian because Isis came to her in her dreams. The feeling of warmth and love from Isis soon gets misplaced when a vision shows Korian in an accident. The force of her love is what drives her to write in her diary that she would do anything to Isis if he didn’t survive. Call on all she would fear but the only threat that would make her pause it seems is one to end her own life. Now this is when Lucy knows she is part of something larger. Her life is important to a point but as she cannot see a future for herself, just a blank space of emptiness, she doesn’t really know what’s going to happen next. She just knows she needs to keep her threat clear so Korian is safe. He may know she is different but even with a voice telling him to stay away he can’t leave her. They are in it together, how long together time will tell.

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4 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from Author Assistant for my honest review.

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