Category Archives: Fantasy

Book Review: ‘Curses of Scale’ by S.D. Reeves

Title: Curses of Scale

Published: 15th November 2017

Author: S.D. Reeves

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SDReeves.Author

Twitter: @SD_Reeves

 

Blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Niena wants nothing more than to attend an elite bardic college, but when the dragon that shattered the empire awakens again she finds herself on the run, through the fey realm of Fairhome, to the city where she was born. On her trail are her army veteran grandfather, thrown into a commander’s role he doesn’t want, the lord of the fairies, trying to steer her to his own ends, and the husband she won’t meet for fifteen years. If she kills the dragon, she’ll save everyone she holds dear. But if she kills the dragon, she’s cursed instead to become it.

 

Review:

Creative fantasy world where many peoples’ paths are thrust together for one main journey’s end, who will make it out is anyone’s guess.

Starts as it means to go on with Calem right in the thick of a skirmish with many more to follow. Dropped right into the middle of action, though I felt like I was playing catch up trying to figure things out. Seems Calem has some magic but not enough to stop a curse from taking hold of his wife. He seeks a deal with Oberon to help but will the trickster hold up his end after being sent to where he needs to be? With Calem slowly going mad from his task is he soon to be a danger to others as well as himself?

Niena wants to be taken seriously by others, mostly her grandfather Captain Marny, and show that she can take care of herself out in the world. Something her grandfather doesn’t want her to endure. She wants to explore, fearing she’ll waste away if she doesn’t, and soon gets her wish. Things don’t go to plan on an ale run and she finds herself alone in a world in chaos with a dragon and battles falling at her feet. Perhaps it’s her imagination she needs to worry over with where it seems to take her and a stranger she meets along the way.

Marny sees the destruction and knows he needs to get his people to safety but mainly he wants to find his granddaughter. The journey is perilous but he needs to keep his head to keep people alive with the route they have taken. Seems these three journeys are soon to collide in a dragon’s destructive path. Who will make it out in this fantasy ride?

Bit of a strange book for me that took a while to get going and even longer to make sense with what was happening. It picks up at near the end when things start to click into place. I think what put me off in places was not the story itself but how the narrative parts were written in first person. It took me a while to get used to the style of writing and it’s not one I would go back to. Also didn’t help that there were different POVs but not always clear at first who you are with. Interesting story all the same.

2.5/3 out of 5 stars

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

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Book Review: ‘The Secrets of Islayne’ by Kari Lynn West

Title: The Secrets of Islayne

Published: 9th June 2017

Author: Kari Lynn West

 

Blurb:

A powerful island. A dangerous mystery. An impossible choice. For centuries, the island of Islayne has given certain residents the ability to revive other people’s memories. These gifted individuals are known as luminators, and sixteen-year-old Ronan Saunders desperately desires to join their illustrious ranks. As he struggles against the prejudice of the old, powerful families who have an iron grip on the trade, Ronan falls under the tutelage of a reclusive luminator, rumored to be insane. Just when his long-desired future is within reach, Ronan and his three friends discover a deadly secret on the island. As they delve deeper into the mystery, what they find forces them to question their loyalties, doubt long-held beliefs, and wrestle with the dire consequences of revealing the truth. Ronan finds himself torn between everything he loves and the only future he’s ever wanted. The entire fate of the lumination trade hangs in the balance of his decision.

 

Review:

Interesting plot told through multiple POVs, some not necessarily needed. A name at top of each chapter might have made things clearer as to which person is talking but not really hard to follow. If you could have a memory restored would you want to?

I liked that back story of the island and its history with the luminators surrounding the three key families (Roscoe, Lydon and Brenningtons). You can feel the ‘old power’ from the family names and how others would feel like outsiders no matter if they have the gift or not. The gift itself is the ability to pull forward a memory once forgotten from others. A power with a lot of responsibility attached to it that comes from parts of the land on the island. When money problems caused the ‘old powers’ to sell some of the land for new houses their gift got diluted to others. You may have the skill but they won’t make it easy for you to use it. Which is where Ronan comes in. Not from a named family but with the gift and wanting to do everything in his power to become a certified luminator, even going as far as having the islands – possibly crazy – estranged family member Ben Roscoe be his tutor. Interesting character that I’m glad we got to delve deeper into why he is like he is and what happened to make it so.

The story revolves around Ronan and his friends Eli and Cassie, and her friend Adele who is over for the summer. They want to make it a summer to remember and definitely get their wish after stumbling across an old book in a cave network. What follows is a mad rush to figure out who the book belonged to and what they were up to with it. Bad vibes coming from both the book and cave, danger from those in power could be key. All while they hunt for answers Ronan continues his training, though not completely how he had been taught in school methods wise. A risky way to open his mind more to what he is capable of doing. Are both situations linked closer than first thought?

There was a bit of fun twist with ‘who’ the enemy really is. Seems some don’t think memories are as sacred as others. There are a few cliché moments thrown in with the romance of the four of the teenagers and what issues they were all dealing with. You have the classic rebel rich kid, father issues, feeling forgotten and the making of bad teenage decisions at times. Though if Cassie hadn’t got them into a bit of trouble at the beginning then she wouldn’t have needed to make it up to them. Which in turn led them to finding the book and unlocking more memories like keys into the past to solve troubles in the present. Some parts felt a little too descriptive which slowed the story down in places but overall was an interesting read that kept me intrigued till the end.

3.5/4 out of 5 stars

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

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Book Review: ‘Fleet’ by Brian T. Marshall

Title: Fleet: The Gods Reborn

Published: 19th April 2017

Publisher: Missppelled Press

Author: Brian T. Marshall

 

Blurb:

A man, lost and naked, on the streets of Manhattan, pleading in an unknown tongue. The retired linguist who realizes it’s an archaic Greek, unspoken for three thousand years. And the young woman who befriends them both, just in time for an unlikely quest. From New York to LA, Nebraska to Delphi, Fleet travels a labyrinth, with a mystery as old as mankind lying at its very heart.

 

Review:

To start with the story is told through many different POVs, some not really needed at all as only there for one chapter or so at the beginning. It would have helped if there were names at chapter headings so you knew whose head you are in. Takes a while until the focus is pulled to the three key people – Simon, Sarah and Noman (the name they give him as he is without memories). The mystery begins with trying to figure out who, or rather what, he is. Just a man that is speaking a long dead language or something else?

So Ancient Greece and all its myths about the old gods and goddesses are about to collide with present day life. Seems Noman being a blank slate memory wise just needed a jolt to push the correct ones back to the surface. Once he knows who is really is that’s when the danger starts. He needs to figure out what they need to do next fast before chaos is created by what’s hunting them – the Ankoy. A battle is about to begin and Sarah and Simon seem to be caught in the middle of it. Just along for the ride or is there more to them being there – a purpose to be fulfilled perhaps? They can’t fight the Ankoy alone though; more help is needed, where to find that help is the next mission. Battle lines are soon formed but are they ready for what comes next?

There was a lot of description of what is happening in places without much dialogue that slowed it down. Does take a while to get going and at times felt like a bit of a chore to get through. If you can push yourself through the first half then the second makes up for it when more of the gods and goddesses ‘wake up’ ready for battle. Left a bit open where a battle was won but the war is coming, and so is the mission to find others of their kind. Few twists near the end with fate having a funny way of putting people together that need to be side by side.

3 out of 5 stars

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

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Book Review: ‘Jake & The Dragons of Asheville’ by Brian Kacica

Title: Jake & The Dragons of Asheville

Published: 11th May 2017

Publisher: Magic Penny Press

Author: Brian Kacica

 

Blurb:

In a small, sleepy town in North Carolina, thirteen-year-old Jake Winston has discovered he carries a unique genetic trait; one that a covert government agency will stop at nothing to obtain. After the tragic death of his father, a local firefighting hero, Jake’s absent grandfather returns and sends him on a journey into the gated forest at the edge of town, bringing Jake face-to-face with a family of ancient dragons thought long extinct.

Determined to grasp the power of the blood flowing through Jake’s veins, the agent from the secret ONX facility begins killing every dragon in his path. This forces Jake in the middle of a battle between the government and the dragons of Asheville, where the true potential of his power is revealed.

 

Review:

Interesting journey Jake goes through to find the truth about who he really is and what he is capable of. Dragons aren’t just a myth in the town of Asheville but part of its history. Jake is about to find out just how close that history links to him and his family. All starts after his father dies and his estranged drunk of a grandfather comes back on the scene.

There seem to be a lot of different people who are after the dragons. To find out whether they do truly exist, or if they already know they do, trying to find ways to make money off them or experiment on them. To what purpose is never really explained, just that they are being hunted.

Jake’s not alone in his journey, his school friend Arnie tags along and as he is a tech pro in the making good to have on your side in times of need. Carrie seemed a bit more with it but mixed up more than she thought due to who her family is. Amanda on the other hand who kept popping up was just a really annoying, clingy, stuck up princess who wanted everything her way.

Characters could have been developed a bit more and maybe delved more into the dragons lives, history, how they have stayed hidden and what they have been doing this whole time while waiting for a saviour – that being Jake it seems.

Would say that the cops are a bit lapse in that town, they stop Jake speeding twice, once with his grandfather in the car and once on his own, and given the fact he is 13, do nothing but send him on his way. What so just because he works with dragons to save the town at the end it gives him free range to drive?

Aimed at a younger audience with style and feel of writing, somewhere between children and young adult – as there are some violent elements. Fantasy elements and myths for the most part which was interesting but then there were some slap stick moments with burps and fart jokes from his younger sister. So not completely fitting in one box, which could be a problem with getting the right target audience. It was an easy going read all the same though.

3 out of 5 stars

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

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Book Review: ‘The Streets of Nottingham’ by Auckly Simwinga

Title: The Streets of Nottingham

Published: 23rd February 2018

Author: Auckly Simwinga

 

Blurb:

A tragedy will echo through history and force the world into chaos once again…

In The Streets of Nottingham, the world has been broken by a cataclysmic clash between the mother of creation and a god-king. Only one small village has escaped this breaking: one which prays to the mother whose distant mercy masks a deadly and merciless force about to erupt.

In that village, there lives a young man who struggles with the long, unrequited love of a childhood girl and a refuge whose boundaries are marked by chaos.

After their village is attacked by wraiths, the young man embarks upon a quest to find a city called Nottingham, a place that ancient scrolls describe in detail, but a place that is reportedly impossible for anyone to ever reach. He wants to travel there to find a healer that the scrolls mention, to try to save the love of his life, a beautiful young woman named Marika, and bring her back from the dead.

 

Review:

It starts with a sort of poem about a healer in the streets of Nottingham that some may need but not know how to find. Hidden meanings within the lines, like riddles to crack to see what it is really telling you. It all comes from a scroll in the ‘great book’ that hopefully has the answers Adam seeks. He must try and figure it out to get there and find the one to help – though this quest is for him alone (well apart from his ever-loyal horse Shadow).

The time line does jump around from here a bit but isn’t too hard to follow. It’s like we are following the journey Adam takes in the present as he remembers events of the past. It’s a perilous journey to find a way to bring back the one he loves after her life is drained by the one they pray to – the Mother aka Rain. Her heart has been darkened by the loss of the one she loves and in the process the world looks like it is set to break again in her destructive path.

Paranormal gods and goddesses are around to cause trouble and chaos but some there to help. It’s a battle of gods waging war with each other and unfortunately humans are stuck in the crossfire with no escape as it looks like the world is being pulled apart and back together again for the second time.

Interesting darker fantasy and mythical elements throughout, whether with what happens at the village or on Adams journey to find a way to bring back his love. He may have felt he never really fit in but is he about to find out why on his quest?

Intriguing read and if you are looking for a quick fantasy adventure quest this is the book for you. Just don’t go in thinking it’s actually about Nottingham. With it being a mythical place it might have been better to give it a more mythical name.

4 out of 5 stars

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

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