Category Archives: Fantasy

Book Review: ‘Demons and Destiny’ by Catherine Milos

Title: Demons and Destiny (Angels and Avalon Book 2)

Published: 26th October 2016

Author: Catherine Milos

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CatherineMilosOfficial

Twitter: @CatherineMilos

 

Synopsis:

What else are friends for, but to rescue you from a deranged reincarnated dark Viking shaman serving a lazy lesser Celtic god? Ex-Angel Tyrel Hanson is cursed. He must send all demons back to Hell before he can be with the woman he loves. The mission is enough to drive him to darkness. Elizabeth McAllistar discovers she is magic-blind. A dangerous condition which could end up killing her and her best-friend Madison. Madison Porter is a scientist. When she suddenly discovers she has magic and a past-life with Tyrel her world is thrown into chaos. Her magic might be the only thing that can free Tyrel from his cursed destiny and keep them all alive.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book that features supernatural powers. Hold onto your hats as this is going to be another supernatural filled ride with past and present lives colliding.

After failing in her training with the Druids Madigan chose to become a Blue warrior. Well it was either to become a Blue warrior where she might die or be a willing sacrifice to their god Nuada (one she maybe shouldn’t put too much faith in). The Vikings are coming for their land and its up to them to defend it. If the battle turns then one needs to get away to tell their leaders of what comes. She almost does but soon is captured. The Vikings mother tongue is different from her own so she is shocked when one man laughs after she curses the one that caught her.

Tyrel remembers his past life as Angel Tyrryal and because of it has the ability to talk many languages, among other things. With this he needs to find a way to get Madigan to tell him where her leaders are so his people can talk trade. If not then they will kill her and take everything else by force. He feels a connection for her straight away, so claims her to keep her safe. She still doesn’t know if she can trust him but after it seems that her god has blessed them – and by gifting her a dog companion to keep her safe – she doesn’t hold back her feelings for him.

Seems they were both too trusting of Nuada as he was just using them as parts in a game he is trying to control. With the help of darker magic he forces fate in another direction. One that would see heartbreak and death for both and end up binding Tyrel to do his bidding. Seems Tyrel can walk in the Shadow Realm and was once the Angel of Justice where he had to send demonic creatures back to hell. Seems Nuada wants him to be his warrior again. Once all demons are returned to their realm, she will be returned to him. Seems these fallen angels love fiercely and are willing to go through hell (literally) to find their way back to their soul mates.

I think I liked it better that you didn’t spend too long in a past life and got back to the present day. Also liked finding out that before Tyrel fell, and ultimately meeting Madigan for the first time, he spent the time the look for most of Adamina’s children to see them safe. Seems to have worked too as the past lives of Adamina’s children, well most of them, have been reincarnated and found there way back to each other. Remembering their pasts and still having magic in their presence, connected to their souls perhaps? They all seem to work with Tyrel at his PI firm, aka the firm that helps get rid of demons. They need to band together to fight a new evil but you never quite know which direction it will be coming from.

Present day sees Tyrel wanting to get close to Elizabeth’s (Adamina in her past life) friend Madison from the first moment he saw her. I think you can guess why. He might have found his past love but she has no memories of him and danger is never too far away. Seeing her just made him more focused in his task of getting rid of demons because once done he could finally be free and be with her. With his single mindedness though he can be easily led in the wrong direction. All he does is to protect Madison but he can go about it the wrong way.

Elizabeth is feeling lost now she is magic-blind after everything that went down with Lucifer, Uriel/Roger and Gabriel and seemingly in danger because of it. Was good to see Gabriel again as you see more of who he really is and how he acts in his new relationship with his adopted daughter Morgana, who happens to be his and Adamina’s daughter from their past life in Avalon. His gentleman butler Alan was great and played a bit more of a role with being interlinked within the story, which was cool.

Seems everyone has a gift and they are all needed to play their part in what’s to come so they better start practicing because the time for destiny is upon them. The moment Avalon was created a balance was shifted and it needs to be reset. The only ones that can help are the Angels. Seems the fallen ones are soon to be called home. Another fun, creative read with magical elements and soul mates throughout.

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: ‘Angels and Avalon’ by Catherine Milos

Title: Angels and Avalon (Book One)

Published: 2nd September 2015

Author: Catherine Milos

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CatherineMilosOfficial

Twitter: @CatherineMilos

 

Synopsis:

Fed up with the antics of gods and their wars, the Archangel Gabriel takes refuge in a secret paradise. The only condition, he must protect Goddess’ treasure. Driven by pride and darkness, Lucifer aims to dethrone God. Avalon is the perfect place of power and Adamina is the key. Reincarnated, Adamina and Gabriel desperately try to find each other and stop Lucifer. But a soul can only take so much. Elizabeth McAllistar wants a new life free of Angels and Avalon. Will she be able to overcome the tragedy and the past that haunts her?

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book set in the future. It starts in a distant past on a world created by Goddess and goes forward in time through reincarnation with the characters. A book of two parts with Avalon and then forward to present day, two very different worlds where only a few of the same people are found in both. Mainly when reincarnated, whether they remember the past lives is another thing entirely.

Goddess has grown tired of the games and politics of all the Others (Fates, Time, Balance, Death, Birth, Darkness, Light, Justice, Hope, Agony and God himself). She longs for a tranquil place to call her own. But to create a new world, as she can so easily do, without the Others is now forbidden. The last time Goddess and God created without them was when the Angels came into existence. Not created by all, so not bound by the same rules. This doesn’t stop her from creating Avalon though. A place made from the very heart and soul of her but a world that must stay hidden. On another of her worlds, one that is dying and will soon cease to exist is a girl, someone who holds a piece of her own light within her. She knows she shouldn’t but can’t stop herself from saving her and taking her to Avalon. Naming her Adamina she enlists the girls love and asks her to become her Priestess and protect Avalon. She now has a calm existence from the terrors she grew up with but is lonely. Connecting with animals and the world around her is one thing but she longs to connect to a person, to have a friend. So Goddess lifts a veil for a ship to sail through and with it brings Pagan.

Pagan is given the same request to worship the Goddess as she would worship a mother. To teach Adamina the ways of people and care for the land with those that came with her, but her own request is what changes Avalon the most. To have the shipping port left open so trade can come and go. The island has stories attached to it to stop people venturing too far inland, well that and a little help from Gabriel. Only those worthy pass and soon a family of women and young children become the Priestesses of Goddess. To honour her whether she is near or far. It’s when she is away that things start to change. Mainly by the arrival of Angels, something she always feared.

Gabriel had grown tired of his existence and longed for a place to retire. He went to his mother, Goddess, and she sent him to Avalon as long as he would keep it secret and watch over Adamina. To protect her as she grows, keeping her safe. He stays hidden from view for many years. Watching and helping along the way until he hears rumours of God sending out Angels to look for Avalon. His time away leaves Avalon and Adamina open to danger. Said danger in the form of Uriel, an Angel so easily manipulated by others. He makes her a deal to keep Avalon safe from other Angels if she will become his wife. A deal she may soon regret when she sees his true nature and finally accepts her true feelings for Gabriel when she meets him. Years pass and with them come children. All gifted in their own way but all girls. Uriel wants a son, someone to mould in his image and it seems willing do whatever it takes to get one, whether it leads to the destruction of Avalon and Adamina in the process.

I think that part two should have started with the most present day reincarnation of them all rather than jumping around others a few hundred years apart. Or had that as a mini part between the two. This second part is like another complete story following Elizabeth, who was Adamina in her past lives. She is still followed closely by those who would seek to use her power – Lucifer being at the top of that list closely followed by Uriel who just turns out to be crazy. Gabriel just wants to find the other part of his soul but even he has his stupid moments where you are like ‘what are you playing at she is your soul mate stop messing about!’ Everyone is still connected and Elizabeth still has power but something hides her true strength. She is going to need that strength again to take down Lucifer before he strikes. His greed for power will be his downfall and Uriel will soon follow suit.

I would have liked to know what happened to all of Adamina’s children. You know they escape but then you just start jumping through time following her and Gabriel. Can they find their way back to each other and if they do will they be stuck in the past or live in the present? Interesting read with creating a wealth of worlds and characters, all interlinking with each other in their own way to get to one final showdown. Good vs. evil lets see who wins.

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: ‘Scavenger Girl: Season of Atchem’ by Jennifer Arnston

Title: Scavenger Girl: Season of Atchem

Published: 20th October 2017

Author: Jennifer Arnston

Facebook: www.facebook.com/scavengergirl

Twitter: @JennArntson and @Una_of_Ashlund

Instagram: www.instagram.com/scavenger_girl_series

 

Synopsis:

Stripped of their birthright and shunned by the people of Ashlund, Una and her family are forced to live on the fringe of society as Scavengers. There is no question that her family’s bond is strong, but the law of the Authority is stronger…and soon it will come to collect her. After all, the family is on borrowed time already.

When a night of torment and truth reveals well kept secrets, Una takes new freedoms – free from the Authority, her family, and possibly her fate. Pulled between the life she’s always known and a world where status and rituals are everything, Una struggles to understand a culture that has rejected all she holds dear. As Atchem comes to an end and she learns who she really is, will Una find the courage to do what it takes to ensure her family’s survival, or will she find the faith to follow her heart?

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book set on another planet. Now this world is similar to our own but different in others. More moons for one so I’m counting it as another planet. An interesting one to delve into anyway so enjoy.

Delve into a fantasy world with a family full of secrets and mystery. When these secrets come out they could turn their world up side down in a moment. Dreams could be clues and if you get a weird feeling about someone you should really listen to it.

Una, Calish, Marsh’s parents have been stripped of their birthright as Citizens, which branded them and their future children as Scavengers. They survive by picking up what others too easily discard without really being seen. Scavengers have much to be fearful of with the Authority. The first being that any daughters they have are sold at the first sign of womanhood at the festival, said festival coming up with Una soon to be attending. The other being the Talium Hunt where if her family aren’t safe behind their barriers it seems they are fair game in the hunt. All Una really wants is a way to protect her family from what’s coming. Seems a vision put everything in motion from the moment she was born. She’s different and is only now starting to figure out the world around her and her place in it.

A way for Una to save her family and get security for herself comes in the form of Blue. Now don’t get too blown over with his soft charm to begin with, as he seems to have an entitled feel to him the more you get to know him. He gets what he wants when he wants and right know he wants Una. He might want to shower her with gifts but the luxuries of the Citizens grow old when you see how twisted they have become with the gods they worship. Seems a lesson has been lost along the way. Blue says he will give her time to win her heart but that’s going to be hard to do as it belongs to another.

Una has a lot of thinking to do and it’s not helped when she is almost thrown into the deep end with what the festival is really like. Her family only has to by law attend the last evening and you can see why they would have shielded her from the other days. This is not a festival to be celebrated as some really despicable things happen there in the name of their “gods”. Things Una wishes she could unsee. Seems her mother might have the right idea to just worship the Great One. Seems we might be seeing a bit more of this in future books.

Now one brother’s story I didn’t see coming but the others and hers you could see a mile off. But that was from snippets of conversations people were either having to Una or around her when they thought she wasn’t listening. It’s giving you breadcrumb clues to try and see if you can figure it out before she does.

A good setup for the fantasy world created, very imaginative. Good at interlinking the story around the world and leading you on a journey with Una. Who she chooses and where her journey goes from here on out will be interesting to see. Is she to follow her heart for herself or her head to protect her family? Lets hope we find out soon.

4 out of 5 stars

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

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Book Review: ‘The Heart of Stone’ by Ben Galley

Published: 30th March 2017

Author: Ben Galley

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bengalleyauthor

Twitter: @bengalley

 

Synopsis:

Merciless. Murderer. Monster. He has been called many names in his time.

Built for war and nothing else, he has witnessed every shade of violence humans know, and he has wrought his own masterpieces with their colours. He cared once, perhaps, but far too long ago. He is bound to his task, dead to the chaos he wreaks for his masters.

Now, he has a new master to serve and a new war to endure. In the far reaches of the Realm, Hartlund tears itself in two over coin and crown. This time he will fight for a boy king and a general bent on victory.

Beneath it all he longs for change. For something to surprise him. For an end to this cycle of warfare.

Every fighter has a last fight. Even one made of stone.

 

Review:

This is an intricate story linking together a multitude of players from many sides of the same war fighting for Hartlund. You have the Truehards and the Fadings battling it out, along with the Treyarch who use old magic and a few others who seem to be crossing sides many times over. Are some people playing two sides, three or more because many have their own views on how they want this war to end? How it ends has a lot to do with how everything started. You just need to fill in the blanks about who the players are and what their end game is.

We start with Lesky, a street-smart girl, who sees all, taking everything in. Well you never know what bit of knowledge might come in handy later on. She is also the first person that quickly befriends Task. Her mum always says that you just need five things in common with someone to become best friends. She’s well on her way with Task, especially with a chance of magic being one of those five. He may be a monster to some but she sees something more and with a little help he soon starts to see that too.

Task is the stone Wind-Cut golem – lots of magic, very powerful and best of his kind – that is brought in to help win the war for the Truehards. His master gives him an order and he must obey, but this golem feels and it’s his emotions that they need to watch out for. He has a connection with water and if he touches someone he can feel and see their memories. Not so good when he has to clean up some of the battlefields dead with reliving their final moments. His creator might have thought there was something wrong with him but I think that his emotions make him stronger. He has values and honour in the battlefield and once he starts making friends with the Dregs he almost becomes more human and feels his heart. It seems the moment Task finds his heart its the moment all things come together. Seems Lesky is the key to that too.

Alabast, the Knight of Dawn, is a fighter somewhat down on his luck that seems to catch a break when the Fading hires him to take down Task. Well only after paying off some of his many debts. Taking him down might be easier said than down as whatever you might remove off him in a fight just gets pulled right back to him. Seems a different plan of action needs to be put in play, one where Task’s loyalty to his master would be put in question. This soon entails a road trip of sorts between the two. One I have to say I really liked, it was just one question after another from Alasbast so Task get ready to have your ears talked off.

An interesting character throughout, one that created a lot of questions for me, was Lady Auger aka Baroness Frayne aka Ellia. Seriously love what bloody side are you on and who the hell are you. What is a zealot because I think that plays a part in who/what she is? Does she truly work for the Treyarch or have her own agenda for the good of people and land or herself? She clearly wants revenge for something and is using the war as a means to put a plan in motion to get the result she wants. You won’t get your answers about her true agenda until the end so keep reading.

Seems the story comes full circle as the ending has a lot to do with how the story starts. Its not so much about a world of people double crossing others but creating a spiders web of lies for one purpose. When people are good at lies it’s the truths that will give them away. Truths Lesky, Task and Alabast seem to slowly be figuring out.


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: ‘Tompkin’s School: For the Dearly Departed’ by Tabi Slick

Title: Tompkin’s School: For the Dearly Departed (Tompkin’s School Trilogy Book Two)

Published: 2nd August 2017

Publisher: Crane & Company Press

Author: Tabi Slick

Facebook: www.facebook.com/tabislick

Twitter: @tabislick

 

Synopsis:

Visions of the past, powers beyond belief, and a school that has been waiting for them for over a hundred years. Kain and Izara’s abilities have advanced far greater than they ever imagined possible and it’s all due to their new friend that has joined them…or is it?

This year will bring the Torvik twins closer to solving the mystery of who they are, why they have these powers, and even closer to unveiling the school’s most haunting secret.

I shivered at the sight of the wolf-man killing one of the intruders that night they had chained Bart to the ground.
“Destiny of beings is about to come to fruition,” the voice of the being’s human companion rang in my ear.
The scene turned to liquid and then I saw Izzy standing in front of me.
“You know his face,” a voice that didn’t belong to my sister bellowed from within her.
I will return…. I will return to my children.

My whole body writhed in pain as the voice filled my head.

 

Review:

Intriguing characters that grab your attention quickly with the curse and powers that have fallen upon them. Ones they do not want. The pull of the moon is strong but the pull of powers once untied is stronger. Lets see how they all cope with continually having to feed on their prey. The choice of these victims it seems is out of their control. When they become the monster they lose a bit of themselves.

The Torvik twins, Izara ‘Izzy’ and Kain, seem to be cursed with the monsters they become. They have no control over them at first but that seems to be changing. The pressures of just being in school can be hard enough but when you throw in what they do when the moon comes out you can see their lives getting turned upside down. They have certain ideas of what they get up to when they no longer have control but when people start to hunt them down for what they are they know they need to be more careful. Everything seems to be interlinked from the past and present with what has happened and what will be. They are developing with their powers and soon getting ready for more craziness to appear. It seems that Tompkin’s School has a mystery of its own, one linked to everything.

Choyce seems to be a key link for the twins as he is the only one who knows what they are going through with being the same. His past plays a part in the future. You can see him getting closer to Izara and you are never quite sure what his motives are going to be but it seems its others that they need to worry about. Chaos is surely going to continue with many people playing a key part. Lee being one of them I feel. He is going to go a bit dark in the next one so will be interesting to see how he copes, or doesn’t as the case may be.

Structure and pacing was good and even though I haven’t read the first book I didn’t feel lost. Mainly because you get a few recaps with the visions and dreams Izzy and Kain have. Will be interesting to see how their powers develop further, whether they discover the mystery surrounding their school and how they are going to deal with what’s coming their way.

4 out of 5 stars

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

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