Action and Adventure · Books · Fantasy · Review

#BookReview | BLACKWING by ED McDONALD

Blackwing (Ravens' Mark #1)
MY THOUGHTS:
This was a difficult book for me to rate, there is a huge amount of detail and also a lot of things I liked about it, but then some things that left me frustrated.  The characters on the whole were well described, my initial thoughts on the main protagonist and narrator, Galharrow, was that he was arrogant and pompous, but as the story unfolded and more was discovered my opinion changed, thinking him to be tenacious and steadfast.  The other human characters were equally hard and rugged due to the post-apocalyptic style of the setting, living on the edge of the Misery, a  desolate wasteland inhabited by a number of strange and terrifying creatures, sorcerers, wizards and god-like beings.   These creatures I found to be less well described and at times slightly confusing.  When the main defence system goes down. it is responsible for keeping the things that live in the Misery staying in there, it is then up Galharrow and his band of men / mercenaries to help try to save the city.
On the whole I enjoyed this book, but the erratic pace of it and not fully understanding some of the aspects took the edge of it for me, also the lack of description for the creatures in the Misery.  On the plus side the magic, action and human characters were well described.
I think this would appeal to readers of YA Fantasy and Adult Fantasy genres, with a little bit of a horror steam punk feel to it.  Also made me think a little of Frank Herbert and Dune.
I will be keeping my eye out for Book 2 as there were things I enjoyed.
I wish to express my thanks to Netgalley, Orion Publishing Group and Gollancz for allowing me a copy of this book for my honest and unbiased review.

SYNOPSIS:

Set on the ragged edge of a postapocalyptic frontier, Blackwing is a gritty fantasy debut about a man’s desperate battle to survive his own dark destiny…

Nothing in the Misery lasts…

Under a cracked and wailing sky, the Misery is a vast and blighted expanse, created when the Engine, the most powerful weapon in the world, was unleashed against the immortal Deep Kings. Across the wasteland, teeming with corrupted magic and malevolent wraiths, the Deep Kings and their armies are still watching—and still waiting.

Ryhalt Galharrow is no stranger to the Misery. The bounty hunter journeys to a remote outpost, armed for killing both men and monsters, and searching for a mysterious noblewoman. He finds himself in the middle of a shocking attack by the Deep Kings, one that should not be possible. Only a fearsome show of power from the very woman he is seeking saves him.

Once, long ago, he knew the woman well, and together they stumble onto a web of conspiracy that threatens to unmake everything they hold dear and end the fragile peace the Engine has provided. Galharrow is not ready for the truth about the blood he’s spilled and the gods he’s supposed to serve…

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 960 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (27 July 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English

AMAZON LINK

 

MANY THANKS FOR READING MY POST

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Blog · Books · Fantasy · Review

#BookReview | Oblivion’s Forge by @SWilliamsAuthor

Oblivion's Forge
I would like to say a big “Thank You” to Simon for bringing this book to my attention, for my honest and unbiased review.
This is the first book of Aona Series of, if the initial book is anything to go by, then I cannot wait to read the rest.
MY THOUGHTS:
This is a wonderfully written first book in a series of five.  The detail contained is huge and is a book you will want to savour and not race through.  There is a vast array of well described and developed characters , with the setting as engrossing as the characters themselves and their stories.  As I was reading this I felt myself thinking that there was a strain of Tolkien in the background.
It has an amazingly intricate and complex Good ‘v’ Evil storyline to it. To give a full review without giving away some of the plot is very difficult as it is so tightly entwined.  There are some great characters, I really liked the diversity and memorable nature of those such as Vornen, Jaana, Iyoth, Lyya and Amethyst to name a few.
If in a story you love and relish grim, gripping, addictive sorcery, portals, assassins, mysterious foul and unwholesome beings, shadows and this is only scratching the surface, then you will really want to read this.
I would highly recommend this book to readers of Dark Fantasy.  I look forward to reading the rest of this series in the future.
BOOK SYNOPSIS:
For thousands of years they have sought the world from which they were cast out. Now, at last, Aona has been found. The younger races of this world will all be swept up in a struggle for survival, as their ancient, malevolent masters, guardians of all Aona’s secrets, rise to do battle with their foes, remorseless destroyers of world after world throughout the known Existence.
BOOK DETAILS:
Paperback, 346 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Completelynovel.com
ISBN 1849141754 (ISBN13: 9781849141758)
Edition Language English
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Simon Williams is an author of dark fantasy with elements of science fiction and horror, and a rather shapeless male of indeterminate age who seems intent on writing about himself in the third person.

If you’re especially lucky you may see him half-shambling, half-rolling along the street in his home town of Trumpton. You’ll catch the best view from the other side of the road, which is probably where you’ll be anyway. Small children will point excitedly and turn to their parents to exclaim, “It must have been *one hell of a* spade to do that!”

He is the author of the Aona series (five books in all, and the series is complete) and Summer’s Dark Waters, which is a fantasy / sci-fi adventure aimed more at children and teens although judging by the reviews a lot of adults seem to like it too.

Action and Adventure · Blog Tour · Books · Fantasy · YA

#BlogTour Discoucia:A Victorianish Fairytale by Nicholas Lovelock @gilbster1000 @Authoright

NicholasLovelock_Banner.jpgNick Lovelock eBook Cover Final 30.5.17.jpg

I am pleased to take part in the Blog Tour for this book on the 12th July for Discoucia by Nicholas Lovelock, published by Clink Street Publishing.

I would like to thank Rachel Gilbey  @Authoright for allowing me a spot on this tour.

MY REVIEW:

This book is like keeping up with road runner on a jet propelled rocket, (in a good way).  It is very fast paced with a huge amount of stories within a story.  This was an enjoyable read, if at times a little confusing due to the huge amount of detail in it.  It has a steam punk style feel to it in places.  A book that will definitely appeal to readers of Teen Fantasy, also enjoyed by an adult reader (me).

Sir Arthur Pageon is a renowned spy, adventurer and explorer, resident of Discoucia and owner of the ship Nostradamus, with only one member of crew Corky.  The High King has asked them to go on a mission that threatens the world of Alavonia, and to take with them his daughter Princess Josephine.  Not your normal princess, she is a member if the Discoucian Secret Service.

The journey will take them across this fantastical world, a world full of mysterious islands, people, monsters and magicians.  Then there is Archie.  The mysterious Archie seems to know what the gang will be doing next, where they will be going and is actually a help, even though she can be a little cryptic.

SYNOPSIS:

Discoucia: A Victorianish Fairytale

Revolution, romance and technological wonders are all in a day’s work for the decorated hero of Alavonia, Sir Arthur Pageon.

An acclaimed explorer and inventor, Sir Arthur Pageon takes his unofficial role as defender of the realm of Alavonia very seriously. A fantastical world, Alavonia is home to the Discoucian Monarchy, as well as monstrous creatures and secretive academies for the highly gifted.
Upon returning from his most recent exploits aboard on his personal flying galleon The Nostradamus, Pageon is treated to a hero’s welcome and celebratory procession through the streets of Alavonia’s capital, Evermore. Little does Pageon know he’s being followed by a mysterious group known as the Purple Guard, whose devious leader is his estranged sister, Queen Lily Pageon of Harrha Island. Fiercely intelligent, Lily specialises in dastardly technological inventions with the aim of bringing down the Discoucian Monarchy so that she may reign as its dictator. However, the heir to the throne is one Princess Josephine Olandine, whose youth and royal position masks her role in the Discoucian Secret Service.

Joining forces, Princess Josephine and Sir Arthur’s adventures will take them across the whole of Alavonia — from the fog-bound shores of Karga, to the secret underground shanty town beneath the frozen prison of Icester, south to the verdant city of Proceur and from there to the affluent Starfall Academy — in their quest to foil Lily’s revolutionary plans.

Purchase from Amazon UK – CLICK HERE FOR AMAZON LINK

 

About the author:

Based in a small village in Oxfordshire Nicholas Lovelock is the author of the Alavonia series. As well as a passion for history, Nick holds a keen interest in Numismatics —the study and collection of coins, banknotes and medals— counting a 200 year-old 1826 half-crown and coinage of monarchs like Queen Anne, Elizabeth the First and Henry the Eighth as part of his collection.

 

Thank you for reading my blog.

Books · Fantasy · Review

The Homecoming by Tammy Tate

33870186

MY REVIEW: 3.5*

Sydney lives on a ranch and is half human and half shifter.  Her father is human, her mother a wolf shifter who had died in a car accident some years before.  As the time approaches for the first ever transformation into her wolf form, Sydney goes off to her Aunt Susan at Bayou Fontaine.  Here she will learn what she needs to know about the process and also what to expect after, if she survives that is.  On arrival she meets Kyle, she already is aware of him from recurring dreams she has had about him, he has had similar dreams, yet this is the first time that have met.  It is obvious from this first meeting that they have a bond, but as with most things, their path to happiness will not be a smooth one.

This book is set at a good pace, with some well described characters.  Even though it appears to have quite a simple story line, there are enough twists to keep the pages turning.  It is a reasonably quick read and quite enjoyable.  There are some sexual references in this book, but nothing overly detailed.

This is a book suited for readers of Paranormal Fantasy, Romantic Fantasy and those who like escapism.

Thank you Tammy Tate for sending me a copy of this e-book via Readers House.

My review is my honest and unbiased opinion.

THE BLURB:

Sydney is half human, half wolf, and has fallen in love with Kyle, a full-fledged shifter who for the last six months has been appearing in her dreams.

The next full moon, Sydney makes her first shift from human to wolf. The transformation won’t be easy. Thanks to her human genes, it could leave her disfigured. Or, worse. Dead.

Edward knows he can’t rush Sydney to the hospital if something goes terribly wrong, so he sends his only daughter to live with his late wife’s wolf clan deep in Louisiana’s alligator infested bayou. Despite holding Edward responsible for her sister’s death, Susan agrees to help.

Sydney learns Kyle is in Bayou Fontaine. But, for the sake of the pack, the council has already chosen Emily, as his mate. The relentless she-wolf will stop at nothing to claim what is rightfully hers and teams up with Kyle’s twin brother, Justin, who’s hell bent on revenge.

The clock is ticking…

BOOK DETAILS:

Kindle Edition, 282 pages
Published January 14th 2017
ASIN B01N4OJD6J
Edition Language English
Books · Fantasy · Netgalley · Review · YA

Darien: Empire of Salt by C. F. Iggulden

33245839

Expected publication: July 13th 2017 by Michael Joseph

MY REVIEW: 4*

Darien is a city in the new fantasy series by Conn Iggulden.  He is more known for his historical fiction books.  This is his first journey into fantasy and is aimed at Teen and YA readers, but also works very well for adult audiences as well.

Darien is ruled over by Twelve families, with overall control lying with the King.  He is only a weak figurehead, with all the decisions being made behind the scenes by the Families.  The main characters are Elias Post from the village of Wyburn, he is the main food hunter of the village.  When the plague arrives he decides that he needs medicine for his family, along with Vic Deeds they make their way to the city.  Vic Deeds has his own reasons for accompanying Elias.  Daw and Nancy are associates of sorts, their own paths meet and events occur that require a special kind of partnership.  Tellius and his group of ragged boys, who work their own trade for the benefit of Tellius and their group, he is a very likeable Fagin type character.  Then there is Arthur, a boy who does not speak.  They all have their own reason for being in the city.  There are a couple of the characters who have an ability, or a knack.  This becomes more apparent as the story unfolds.

The author has created some great characters, as well as the ones previously mentioned, there are also ones who I feel will make themselves known more in future books.  The emphasis for this book seems to be more on the characters than on the setting.  With this being the first in a series, the foundations have been set,  I would like to think more detail about the history of this world will be explored in future books.  The writing is a bit disjointed at times with character changes mid chapter, but not so much as to lose track of the story.  Once the stories of the individuals start to merge, towards the latter half of the book, it really does becomes a brilliant, imaginative and action packed read.

I will be keeping my eye out for further books in this series and will definitely be reading more.

I would recommend this book to more mature YA readers as well as Adult fantasy readers.

I would like to thank Netgalley, Penguin UK – Michael Joseph and also C.F.Iggulden for my ARC of this book, for my honest and unbiased opinion

THE BLURB:

From acclaimed historical novelist Conn Iggulden, DARIEN is an epic new fantasy series of spellbinding imagination.

TWELVE FAMILIES. ONE THRONE. WELCOME TO THE EMPIRE OF SALT.

Twelve Families. One Throne. Welcome to the Empire of Salt.

The city of Darien stands at the weary end of a golden age. Twelve families keep order with soldiers and artefacts, spies and memories, clinging to a peace that shifts and crumbles. The people of the city endure what they cannot change.

Here, amongst old feuds, a plot is hatched to kill a king. It will summon strangers to the city – Elias Post, a hunter, Tellius, an old swordsman banished from his home, Arthur, a boy who cannot speak, Daw Threefold, a chancer and gambler, Vic Deeds, who feels no guilt – and Nancy, a girl whose talent might be the undoing of them all.

Their arrival inside the walls as the sun sets will set off a series of explosive events. Before the sun returns, five destinies will have been made – and lost – in Darien.

BOOK DETAILS:

Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: July 13th 2017 by Michael Joseph
ISBN 071818646X (ISBN13: 9780718186463)
Edition Language English

 

Books · Fantasy · Review · YA

Necrobloods by Lauren Stock and Robert Stock

29327256

MY REVIEW: I give this book a 4*

This is set in Salem Massachusetts, great setting for a group of friends who have special powers.  The “normal” residents have no idea what is going on around them, they are shielded.  Celeste and her best friend Gena have powers, they can summon the wind and use nature as an ally.  When they are being normal 16 year olds they have the usual discussions regarding boys, sweet sixteen parties and their basketball games.  Outside of this they learn more about the battle of the millenia. A battle between Elementals and Spirituals, with an Adjudicator overseeing.  But Celeste starts to have very odd vision like dreams.  A new boy starts the school and is attracted to Celeste, a new girl starts and hates Celeste for no apparent reason.

Overall this is a good book, it is aimed at YA readers.  The characters are well presented, though I did feel that at times they were very stereotyped.  The plot was very good, easy to keep up with, with a few good twists included.

I would recommend this to YA readers aged around the 14-16 ages.  Though as an adult, I did enjoy it.  My initial thoughts were that it had a Twilight feel to it, I by the way enjoyed those books a lot.  The book kept me engrossed right the way through and had a very satisfactory ending.

I read this book for Readers Review Room my review is my own, my opinion is honest and unbiased.  http://www.readersreviewroom.com/

THE BLURB:

16 year old Celeste Boyd casts Elemental magic. With the great battle coming, she and her best friend Gena are learning more about their abilities. Even more pressing, though, are the basketball finals and the mysterious new boy in school, Carter Wells. Celeste now has to choose between her crush and Carter, who is showing quite the interest. And then there are the crazy dreams with the huge dragon eye…

BOOK DETAILS:

Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 10th 2015 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN 1523678712 (ISBN13: 9781523678716)

 

 

Books · Fantasy · Netgalley · Review

Godblind by Anna Stephens.

32072924

 

I would like to thank Netgalley and Talos Press for my ARC copy of this book for my honest and unbiased opinion.

MY REVIEW: 4*

This is a classic good versus evil, light verses dark book.  The Red Gods had been exiled to the cold bitter Gilgoras Mountains nearly a thousand years ago. They dwell behind a veil, a shield. Their strength is gained through their followers and through blood sacrifices.

The Gods of Light, Dancer and her son The Fox live in the warmer lush lands below the mountains.  Through the priestess and calestar , or seer,  these Gods guide rather than command as the Red Gods do.  Only a small select few can hear the words of their Gods.

The Dark Lady of the Red Gods sends her command via Lanta, a priestess.  She wants to set in motion a war that will bring down the veil and allow them to once again enter the world.

This is a well laid out story and well written.  It has lots of memorable and unique characters.  There is a lot of bloodshed, gore action, treachery treason, conspiracy and sacrifice.  Each chapter is titled with the character most prominently featured, these chapters are quick, and helps keep the story moving.  There are a lot of subplots and back histories for the main characters.  There are surprises along the way, and it is not always obvious who is good or evil, which side they are on or if they are out for their own gain.

This is a book I would recommend to Dark Fantasyreaders. It ends on a cliff hanger and left me wanting more, cannot wait to read more in this series.

THE BLURB:

For fans of Joe Abercrombie, Scott Lynch, and Mark Lawrence comes a brutal grimdark fantasy debut of dark gods and violent warriors.

The Mireces worship the bloodthirsty Red Gods. Exiled from Rilpor a thousand years ago, and left to suffer a harsh life in the cold mountains, a new Mireces king now plots an invasion of Rilpor’s thriving cities and fertile earth.

Dom Templeson is a Watcher, a civilian warrior guarding Rilpor’s border. He is also the most powerful seer in generations, plagued with visions and prophecies. His people are devoted followers of the god of light and life, but Dom harbors deep secrets, which threaten to be exposed when Rillirin, an escaped Mireces slave, stumbles broken and bleeding into his village.

Meanwhile, more and more of Rilpor’s most powerful figures are turning to the dark rituals and bloody sacrifices of the Red Gods, including the prince, who plots to wrest the throne from his dying father in the heart of the kingdom. Can Rillirin, with her inside knowledge of the Red Gods and her shocking ties to the Mireces King, help Rilpor win the coming war?

BOOK DETAILS:

Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: June 20th 2017 by Talos
ISBN 1940456932 (ISBN13: 9781940456935)
Blog · Books · Fantasy · Netgalley · Review

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

33590076

I would like to thank Netgalley and Canongate books for this ARC for my honest and unbiased opinion.

My Review:

I give this a 5*

How would you feel if you lived longer than anyone else ? Not just a few years older, but, centuries older.  This is what has happened to Tom Hazard.  He has a genetic condition that causes him to age slower than most people.  He is over 400 years old yet looks 41.  He has only loved one person in his life, apart from his mother, and that is Rose.

This story follows Tom as he re-lives, through flashbacks and memories,  his childhood, growing up and falling in love with Rose, his hunt for the elusive Marion, his role within a secret society up to present day.  We soon learn that Tom is not alone with this condition, there are several others and some older than Tom.

Tom has lived through wars, the plague, loss, betrayal and new beginnings many times.  He is not allowed to fall in love, that is the number one rule the secret society has placed on him.  He is not allowed to make his condition known, another rule.  While he is with the society they will protect him, they will help him start a new life, in a different place.  He starts a new life often because as people around him age, it would become suspicious if he didn’t.

This is a great book that makes you think about not taking time for granted.  There are several things I have taken from this book.  It is a book that makes you think.   The characters have been well written, and the main story line, I think, is a great idea.  So many times when we are given centuries old persons, they are then linked with vampires and the like.  This story is so far away from that type of plot, it makes it a refreshing read.  I would recommend this book to readers of historical as well general fiction.

Time is what you make of it.  You cannot live in the past, though you can learn from it.  Once you realise time is what it is and that you have no control over it, then it no longer rules you.  The future is what you make it.

THE BLURB:

I am old. That is the first thing to tell you. The thing you are least likely to believe. If you saw me you would probably think I was about forty, but you would be very wrong.

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret.

He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen a lot, and now craves an ordinary life. Always changing his identity to stay alive, Tom has the perfect cover – working as a history teacher at a London comprehensive. Here he can teach the kids about wars and witch hunts as if he’d never witnessed them first-hand. He can try and tame the past that is fast catching up with him.

The only thing Tom mustn’t do is fall in love.

How to Stop Time is a wild and bittersweet story about losing and finding yourself, about the certainty of change and about the lifetimes it can take to really learn how to live.

BOOK DETAILS:

Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: July 6th 2017 by Canongate Books
Original Title How to Stop Time
ISBN1782118616 (ISBN13: 9781782118619)
Edition LanguageEnglish