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Book Review: ‘Spellcaster’ by George Bachman

Title: Spellcaster

Published: 3rd April 2017

Publisher: Sublime Ltd

Author: George Bachman

Facebook: www.facebook.com/OfficialBachman

Twitter: @OfficialBachman

 

Synopsis:

In a turn-of-the century England steeped in steampunk and magic, Christine learns her life-threatening illness stems from her paranormal visions. During the London Season, Allie, her beloved sister and the family heir, seeks a noble match while she searches the occult underground for answers. But the only witch who can help will not do so unless Allie marries her beau, an impoverished aristocrat, so that the illicit pair can share Allie’s wealth.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book involving time travel. Well in a way it does as you have reincarnated souls needing to travel back to their past lives to finish a quest they were on to stop a great evil.

Christine has always felt different, mainly with the things she can do – a witch’s craft growing perhaps? Right from the start she feels the need to search for two people – Rodham and Valerie – though she doesn’t really know why, just that she needs to. She keeps calling on different spirits to help her quest, each stronger than the last, to try to find them. Seems in a way she is also connected to someone Rodham knows. Spirits reincarnates perhaps? So whom have they really gone into? Seems this is where Sir Thomas comes into play – her past life. Seems these past lives have merged with the present ones and might even be able to manipulate them into doing things to help their cause – no matter the trouble it causes.

She also seems to get weird feelings about certain people or situations but doesn’t really know what to do about them when they come about. Could this really be her or is it more to do with Sir Thomas? In his time magic is around more openly and this could be what she is drawing her feelings from. Could bad feelings be because the people she meets have past souls she, or more precisely Sir Thomas, knew.

One of the things that might be more her past self’s doing than her own is helping Lord Serton woo her close friend Allie. The reason isn’t for true love but more to do with what Lady Kinloss can gain and help her with if the match is set. From this moment on Christine has almost been charged with seeing all those close to her wed by her friends and Allie’s sisters. A job she may wish she never agreed to help with. Might get a lot of matches but are they happy ones? Allie’s it seems might not be. Whether she can find a way out of it though only time will tell.

This is where the story becomes a two in one, with reincarnation playing a part and time going forward and back. I found at times though that I was never quite sure whose head I was in. So it might have benefited with names at the top of chapters so you could understand quicker whether you were inside Christine’s head or Sir Thomas’s. The story shifts to focus more on Sir Thomas near the end than Christine. She was almost a means to an end to get him back to where it all started so he could defeat a great evil.

The great evil to be defeated in the past before the future is lost is Hane, a Spellcaster who seems to be ruling by an evil hand. His actions saw a turn of events lead those around into a darker future. His followers seem to have gone into their future selves to try to stop Sir Thomas – aka Christine – and Rodham – aka Edmund – from getting the key back to their time along with an urn. Both needed in taking the spellcaster and his followers down. Once the master fails his kingdom soon crumbles. Let’s see if our time travelling souls can get the job done.

I found this book a bit hard to get into to begin with. Mainly due to the amount of characters being introduced that surrounded Christine. Just when you think the story is going one way it changes course. Now this is actually where the story picked up a bit better. When you go back to the past lives and see how they fair in their quest. Can they save the day to take down an evil ruler? Only time will tell. I feel it could have been split into two books with the first half being closed off a bit better when the stories focus shifts. One had closure but the other is left open. Seems once a mind has merged it’s hard to break completely as they are still plague by what they had to do to get the job done.

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 Magicians Workshop Volume One’ by Christopher Hansen and J.R. Fehr

Title: The Magicians Workshop Volume One

Published: 8th November 2016

Authors: Christopher Hansen and J.R. Fehr

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Magiciansworkshop

Twitter: @HansenFehr

 

Synopsis:

Everyone in the islands of O’Ceea has a magical ability: whatever they imagine can be brought into existence. Whoever becomes a master over these powers is granted the title of magician and is given fame, power, riches, and glory. This volume of books follows the journey of a group of kids as they strive to rise to the top and become members of the Magician’s Workshop.

Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible, savage monsters. For years she has tried to hide her creations, but when her power is at last discovered by a great magician, she realizes that what she’s tried to hide might actually be of tremendous value.

Kai just wants to use his powers to have fun and play with his friends. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on his island sees him as a bad influence, so he’s forced to meet them in secret. When one of the creatures they create gets out of control and starts flinging fireballs at their town, Kai is tempted to believe that he is as nefarious as people say. However, his prospects change when two mysterious visitors arrive, praising his ability and making extraordinary promises about his future.

Follow the adventures of Kai, Layauna, and a boatload of other characters as they struggle to grow up well in this fantastical world.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with a number in the title. Seems some have gifts stronger than others but if you don’t have a colour pulled at the ceremony it will be for nothing. Each tale is different from the last but you know that eventually all players will be pulled into the same place. To what end is unclear, only time will tell.

We start with Layauna, a young magician coming into her very powerful powers. Hers seem to be haunting monstrous projection spells though, ones she can’t control yet. It’s a good thing that her grandfather, a very powerful magician, is taking her to the magician’s workshop to train then. Takes a while before we come back to her story and when we do it seems she’s in a loop of how she started, a dome that creates it. Trying to change what happened and control what she creates instead of them being too powerful after she’s created them. With how things pan out it’s not going too well to begin with and she’s been at it a while. Seems her creations might be able to become solid. A dream gift to others but a nightmare to her with what they can do. Nightmare is right; as that’s the kind of things she creates. Just needs longer to control them.

We then start to follow Kai and his friends Talia, Snap, Weston and Luge. Something that draws Kia apart from his friends is that he has a finger of a flame on his hand that won’t ever go out. They all seem to be good at projection spells with knowing what they want to create and being able to control them. Well to a point anyway. Creating a monster for a game is one thing but when it gets out of hand trouble is on its way. Could it affect his flame? People on the island think he’s trouble and after a game gone wrong, could they be right? Seems punishment was cast all round with a projection that got out of hand. Shouldn’t punish too harshly though as it seems the island is suffering due to a lack of a magician and these kids might be the future. So lets see if these creative kids have some colours on the day.

Thought Snaps dad Limmick was a right laugh. His reaction to the kids projecting something they shouldn’t have isn’t anger its ore, as he is so impressed with what they can do. Jade, Kai’s grandmother was interesting too. The fall of her husband and son, Kai’s father, put a dark mark on the family. Kai knows if he doesn’t become a magician he can’t pull them out of their misfortune. Something tourists pay good money to see so silver lining in a little way until time changes their fate.

Kaso has magic inside him too but because he’s an orphan he can’t take part in the colour ceremony until he’s 19, 3 years away. He has the ability to create warmth, which seems handy when the cold comes in. He has a younger brother he longs to protect, Coby. If he goes to region 2 he can go in the ceremony where everyone is already convinced he will have a colour and become a magician. Should he really trust strangers to get him and his brother there though? Eccentric poozers they may be but lets hope they keep their word.

Kalaya and her boyfriend Jaremon seem to be in training mode for her. He’s a mage already, his colour being green. She’s about to go to the ceremony to see the puller. Now she may be able to create things its just the colour of them that’s causing her trouble. Funny thing is that none of them really touch anyone else. You may project the feeling of touch but not many do and to physically touch is unheard of. Join later to see her in the testing stages to receive coins. More coins you have the more freedom you have to practice projections. Also helps with chances at the ceremony with getting a colour.

Let the ceremony begin. Looks like a lot of interesting young characters are about to start training at the magicians’ workshop. Time for a new era of magicians it seems. Emotions seem to play a part in what these kids can do when the time comes to test at 16. An interesting read that does draw you in but there are quite a few main and side characters to try to follow. Maybe when more are linked together it will be a little easier to follow where they might be going and how their lives are going to change forever after the colour ceremony starts. Volume 2 it seems holds all the clues.

4 out of 5 stars

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

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Book Review: ‘Cotton Candy and Tangerines’ by MR Chevalier

Title: Cotton Candy and Tangerines

Published: 7th December 2016

Publisher: Cyber Rose Design

Author: MR Chevalier

 

Synopsis:

The great lover, Casanova, once remarked that he loved a multitude of women, not for the experience alone, but in a genuine effort to find the one woman who was truly worth loving.

Pierre White’s primary desire had always been to embark on a quest to find an intelligent, passionate woman to love and adore, a soul mate, a Guinevere. His very own Guinevere, even if it meant that Pierre would have to search the entire world for her.

From the elegant restaurants of Soho to the glittering hotels lining the Rive Gauche, Pierre searches for the one thing that will make his life complete. His soul mate. Life doesn’t hand him that wish, but instead gives him the opportunity to search for it. His travels take him from the arms of one beautiful woman to the next. Will he find himself looking into a lover’s eyes and seeing forever in their depths or will the search continue, one exquisite passionate exploration at a time?

This book is intended for mature audiences.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with food in the title. Come meet Pierre, the Casanova of the skies with being a first officer pilot. He may be looking for the one but that doesn’t mean he isn’t having fun along the way. Here we follow his sexual escapades, though a pattern is soon seen.

Emotions and passions are flying high when Pierre meets Kirsten for the first time. Just when he thinks he has missed his chance with a beautiful stranger she all but lands in his path twice in one day. He thinks it’s a happy coincidence that she is a flight attendant on his plane. Could she be someone for keeps or for fun? As she’s the first you know it won’t go smoothly. A chance encounter puts the breaks on this hot fling. Could it have been more? Time will tell. The one he really wanted but a random meet with a stranger puts a stop to that.

Seems our Pierre likes a woman in uniform and a Navy one ticks a lot of boxes. Lust at first sight seems to be more of his style. This crazy connection is leading to hot sex and a fabulous five-day holiday. He knows how to spoil a girl. He just thinks he needs a little fun after his disaster of a ‘would be’ romance with Kirsten.

After a Navy uniform he just wants to go back to what he knows best – flight attendants and perhaps even a pilot. He does like dipping his toe in the office ink so to speak. Get ready for a string of them and each with a slightly different reaction to the last. Some might be more but others just want to have fun.

A spark of attraction for some but again Pierre may see too much into what is in front of him. Some appear to be looking for a night of fun, nothing more. You then have one bold enough to bring him a drink to his hotel room on their layover, getting a nice reward for doing so. Could the reason for doing so be really what it seems? Even crazy flights don’t seem to put a dampener on his style with his layovers ending in the same way.

A chance encounter at his hotel sees him bumping into Jessica, someone in the business but this time corporate flight attendant instead. He might be offering to show her around Harrods to be a nice guy but you know he wants something more. She resists him for a while but a late night knock on the door changes it all. Could this one be ‘the one’? They both seem to be falling for each other this time and he could really help her out career wise. A spanking good time for both it seems, but will it last?

Seems he then wants to go up in the world – pun I know – this time with setting his sights on the Captain of a flight. She may be older but he doesn’t seem to mind. It doesn’t stop his lightning fast attraction he seems to get with most women he meets. This time his wayward thoughts might be all he’s going to get. He gets quite creative with his thoughts, which wouldn’t be so bad, if he wasn’t flying a plane when having them. Spacing out is not a good idea.

He likes to play with fire and closer to the end just kind of comes off as a womanizer and a bit of a hypocrite who doesn’t really care other than getting himself off. He does tend to think with his dick no matter how many times he says he’s looking for love. Seems to be that his heart was lost a while ago to someone he shouldn’t have let go of. Can another chance meeting put him back with her or will he just play the field forever?

Funny how he always seems to miss or mess up the first chance meeting with someone new but second times always the charm. His luck or fate might be holding. Is it love or lust at first sight? When it repeats over and over he may need to rethink his views on finding the one. Just because a woman sleeps with him shouldn’t mean he goes a hundred miles per hour in thinking on what their life could be. Some of these women are relationship material while others just want fun. He is a bit of a Casanova but longs to find his forever girl. With the amount of sex he’s been having he’s not very concerned with contraception though. It seems to slip his mind or not even register until after the fact. It’s a wonder accidents haven’t happened.

Interesting fun read but did get a little repetitive with his antics with any attractive woman he sees. Namely on his flights so he has someone to be with on his layovers. A few relationships along the way but you always knew which one he really wanted to be with. Whether he can keep her is another thing entirely.

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: ‘Shadow Eyes’ by Dusty Crabtree

Title: Shadow Eyes (Book 1)

Published: 2nd September 2016

Author: Dusty Crabtree

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dustycrabtreeauthor

Twitter: @dustycrabtree

 

Synopsis:

Iris thought she could ignore the shadows…until they came after everyone she loved.

Seventeen-year-old Iris Kohl has been able to see both dark and light figures ever since a tragic incident three years ago. The problem is, no one else seems to see them, and even worse…the dark figures terrorize humans, but Iris is powerless to stop them.

Although she’s learned to deal with watching shadows harass everyone around her, Iris is soon forced to question everything she thinks she knows about her world and herself. Her sanity, strength, and will power are tested to the limits by not only the shadows, but also a handsome new teacher whose presence scares away shadows, a new friend with an awe-inspiriting aura, and a mysterious, alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend. As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, Iris must ultimately accept the guidance of an angel to revisit the most horrific event of her life and become the hero she was meant to be.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book about angels. You, along with Iris, might not know they are there to begin with as dark shadows are what she sees first but there has to be balance to everything so light is on its way.

Iris has struggled with a gift that was awoken within her at a dark time in her past. From the moment she opened her eyes the first time to see shadows lurking around those she loved she was scared. She has been afraid of them ever since and has no real clue as it what they are, just that she knows they aren’t good. For three years she has hidden this secret, along with a darker tale from her past. One we don’t learn of until she is ready to face it head on. Now with seeing shadows everywhere, most around people but some flouting close by, she would naturally be drawn to someone who has none or better yet seems to flow lightness from them instead.

From the onset we see a close friendship with Nicole and Lexi but sometimes friends can be fickle when guys are involved. She never really noticed much of the guys in school but slowly and surely the shy advances of Josh get to her. With him comes a group that connects with her friends too. Date night with a crowd of six it seems with some pairings happier than others – Iris and Josh, Nicole and Tyler and Lexi and Sam, though really Lexi has no interest in him at all. Starting something new and exciting with Josh is one thing but when a mysterious stranger comes on the scene it soon causes her to doubt her feelings. Patrick is someone very sure of himself, a classic flirt, so she can never be sure if he is playing or does want to get close. Not that it should matter when she starts dating Josh but the shadows seem to like playing games and he could be in their sights.

So Patrick is appealing due to not having shadows round him and with Josh getting more you can see where it might lead. He’s a master at flirting but do his actions ring true or are things not as they seem? With the new group broken it tears the girls apart but true friends are ever close at hand with Lexi and their new friend Kyra. Iris knows there is something different about her with the fact that she seems to emit light so bright it pushes back the shadows. You can tell she wants answers but perhaps isn’t ready to ask the right questions. Kyra has a calming feel about her and Iris knows she can trust her from the first moment they meet. Just happens to be in the class with her new teacher Mr. Delany. Another enigma it seems as he too, sometimes just with a look, can push the shadows back.

The shadows seem to have a game plan and Iris is at the centre of it, she just doesn’t know she’s playing. Strange things are happening around her to those she cares for and she feels helpless to prevent them. You know she suffers from anxiety but don’t know its source at first. Something happened on her 14th birthday and it forever changed her. Its not just darkness in her life she has to cope with but her families too. The more they seem to struggle the bigger the shadows become. Darkness surrounds them and until she finds her inner light she is powerless to stop them down the dark paths they are on – not their choosing but have they been pushed to go a certain way. Manipulation and whispers seem to be a key part to the shadows. Ones you need to stay clear of.

Side characters I liked were Lexi, Kyra and Hanna, Iris’ sister. They seemed to always be able to bring light and happiness back into the room. Kyra seems to be a bit of a ninja in disguise with some skills that come in handy when Iris needs them most. Her other sister was a bit harsh to her regardless of what she had gone through, especially when you know everything. Is it really her though or the shadows whispers causing her to act a certain way? The same goes for others really. Can they find their own way back? Do they even want to?

It’s an interesting supernatural mix with the everyday worries of teenage angst. Who to trust and who to push away? The line is never clear. You need to look deeper to see to someone’s soul to find the real them trying to get out. Family drama, crushes gone wrong, friendships tested and a fight between light and dark, good and evil. Which way will she be pulled and can she find the correct path to go forward? Only time will tell.

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: ‘Monarchy’ by Laura Pritchard

Title: Monarchy (The Monarchy Trilogy Book 1)

Published: 26th April 2017

Author: Laura Pritchard

 

Synopsis:

In the times after the reformation, the leaders of the new world have created the perfect society. There is no exaggerated wealth or famishing poverty. There is no starvation or crime or disease. The citizens of the sectors are secure and well nourished, forever protected by the life the Monarchy have so gracefully afforded.

No one mentions the things that are lacking. Constance thinks about it often.

At the age of sixteen, Constance is snatched from her family in a twisted ceremony called ‘Removal.’ Forced to reside in the Citadel, the fortress of the Monarchy, she faces a brutal induction to evolve into a soldier of the Brigade; sworn peace keepers of the sectors. While she grapples with the feeling of revolution that rage in her mind, Constance is trained by Calloway, the guard with an elusive past who shadows her every move.

Remaining peaceful, however, is the last thing on the minds of the inhabitants of sector six. Uprisings and rebellions are common place with her own kinsfolk being injured and killed as a consequence. When the time comes, Constance must decide which side she will choose in a battle that will determine her future. It is a choice that she should never have to face; weighing her own life against the lives of those that she loves.

 

Review:

Think Hunger Games and Divergent mixed together to give you a starting point to how the world of Monarchy has been created and where things might go.

So as the eldest child in the family on her sixteenth year Constance is required to join the Brigade for the Monarchy as part of the Removal. She needs to be strong and not let them break her, something her father is adamant she does, first bit of advice he’s given her in years. She is to go to the Citadel to train to either become a peacekeeper, warrior, or another role within the Brigade if they aren’t strong enough, for the Monarchy and society. When taken from Sector 6 she is not alone, Annabeth is taken with her. At first she sees her as nothing more than weak from how she acted when the guards took them away. The longer she is with her though the more she sees that appearances can be deceiving as to be smart is as good a skill as being strong. Mental and physical strength is needed to survive but the whole idea of training is to break the new recruits so they can be molded into just the right way to be the perfect weapons of choice when or if the need arises.

The Monarchy felt the need to create the Brigade seemingly for the good of all people, not just themselves. The time before the reformation was bleak but now there is no poor/ wealth divide, no one going hungry, all are equal with what they have. Crime, disease and hunger plagued their society but things have changed. Nothing is ever quite as it seems though. They might not have those things but you just don’t want to mention what you don’t have – true freedom being on of those things.

When taken to the Citadel the training begins and it’s just as bad as they had been told. Their trainer Lex being the demon from hell, a complete hardass but needs to be so he can break them so they can become the soldiers he needs them to be. Each new recruit gets a guard (another Brigadier) to watch over their every move. They are your shadow, watching your every move, meant to intimidate you with barely a look. Everything they do is to break you, so to truly survive you need to be strong. But how much can you handle before your resolve snaps? New recruits need to stick together and they do (to start with anyway). That way they need to break the group of 15 not just one. Makes the Brigadiers job harder and your inner strength stronger. Not long before peoples characters start to change and they start to think of themselves alone.

Though Constance thinks of herself as alone, even with the others going through the same training, she feels a connection to her brigadier; one I think he feels too. She passes the training to become an armed guard, along with two others Daisy and Theo. It’s her brigadier who is now going to show them the ropes and she finally finds out his name, Cal. What they just went through was induction, now the real training begins and it only gets harder.

It seems Sector 3 (where Theo is from) and Sector 6 are starting to cause trouble for the Monarchy. The Brigade is soon going to be called in to stop it. Seems a rebellion is in the making and the new recruits are about to be thrown right into the middle of it.

Constance goes through a variety of emotions towards what she has had to become. Starts out hating the Monarchy with forcing her to become a member of the Brigade. Her views change as she starts to be viewed as a leader within the training programme. She wants to rebel but needs to learn what battles to push and when to hold her tongue as she may cause more trouble than help those that need it. They are made to believe that the Monarchy help to keep everyone alive but the more you learn you more you feel it’s more about control and experiments to play God. She needs to be careful of how many emotions she shows as dangers will soon find her. She may break and start to follow the rules but the more she learns about her new world the more she comes to resent it in different ways. She is made to do things she didn’t think she would be able too but needs to protect her friends. Theo, Daisy, Cal and her have created a unit, one that they strive to keep together but soon to be pulled apart.

You do get vibes from Hunger Games and Divergent within the story a bit but it’s still a good read with interesting characters that draw you into the world they are a part of.

4 out of 5 stars

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

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