#BlogTour : Joshua N’Gon Last Prince of Alkebulahn by Anthony Hewitt @Antonmarks : @rararesources : #BookReview

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Today I have a YA book to share with you “Joshua N’Gon : Last Prince of Alkbulahn” by Anthony Hewitt as part of the blog tour.  My thanks to Anthony for my copy of the book and also Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the tour. You can get a copy from Amazon UK and it is available in paperback or eBook format.

Synopsis:

When a secret world of ancient alien kingdoms and evil corporation’s clashes with adolescents, school, and homework. You won’t be able to put down this wild adventure of discovery, friendship, and coming of age!

What would you do if you discovered you were descended from ancient alien African royalty and you could hold the key to save your friends, family, and the world from evil destructive forces?
Joshua N’Gon seemed like an ordinary boy. Raised in a loving foster home in north London and a gifted student at the St Augustine private school. But as he grew older, a thirst for meaning and true purpose began to grow greater and greater…

With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility

On Joshua’s tenth birthday he received mysterious packages from his birth parents. Parents who had left him as a baby under mysterious circumstances. Opening the packages, he would find gifts that would forever change him both mentally and physically. Magical technology unlike anything he had ever seen and the best part, only he could use it. But his secrets would not stay that way for long. Evil forces were gathering and they would stop at nothing to acquire the powerful science behind his amazing inventions

With the help of his two best friends, Brick and Mina, Joshua sets out to develop his abilities, find his real parents and stop the Technology Billionaire Kanu Umbekwi from subjugating the planet.

Buckle up and get ready to go on an exciting thrill ride, full of suspense, mystery, and alien technology with Joshua N’Gon:The Last Prince of Alkebulahn.

My Thoughts:

Joshua N’Gom is an average student, is loyal to his small group of friends and generally a good kid. One thing is a little different about him though, he has an ability to build advanced technological objects. When I say advanced, I really mean advanced!

This is aimed at a 12-16 age group and is extremely fast paced and non stop action. Quick chapters with occasional timeline changes keep the action moving as well as giving some much-needed back-stories to a couple of the characters.

There are quite a few characters to get your head around so it does take a while to remember them but, as the story continues they do become recognisable. The plot is one that gradually unveils itself as the story unfolds, it would have been helpful if I had read the synopsis before reading the book. Yeah I’m one of those who read the synopsis when I am first approached for a tour and then that’s it.

This is a sci-fi fiction read and it’s audience is definitely a young teen that will be more used to gamer language and references. As i am definitely not in this age range I did find some of the terminology confusing. Although I didn’t understand it all I do recognise the part it plays in this story and it adds an authenticity to it.

This is the first in a series of books and it is an enjoyable read, it does have that first in a series feel to it as the scene is set for what is to come. I do think this will be a series that the target audience will really enjoy and would find it exciting. So for the age range and the subject I would say this is a book I would recommend.

About the Author:

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Anton Marks is a self-published author based in London.  His self-styled Urban Fantastic genre is speculative fiction using crime, action adventure, horror, sword and soul and sci-fi to highlight the black experience through the lens of the extraordinary. At present, he has eight books in the Amazon Kindle store, Dancehall, Bushman, Bad II the Bone, In the Days of Dread, 69, Messiah, Chauffeur and a Young Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel called Joshua N’Gon: The Last Prince of Alkebulahn written as Anthony Hewitt. The second in his Bad II the Bone Series Good II be Bad is due in 2018.

Join him on his journey at http://www.urban-fantastic.com.

Social Media Links –  Pintrest –  Facebook – Twitter – Goodreads

See what other Book Bloggers think by following the tour

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Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

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#BlogTour | #GlimmerOfHope by Steve McHugh @StevejMcHugh |#GuestPost #BookReview @annecater

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I am delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for “Glimmer of Hope” by Steve McHugh, the first in The Avalon Chronicles.  Available in various formats and you can get a copy HERE. I am over the moon to have a Guest Post by Steve, he discusses his “Getting published” experiences, I wasn’t sure if I would have time to read the book in time for the tour, I should have a little more faith in myself as I can also share my thoughts on the book I did have time to read 🙂 xx Thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the tour x

Synopsis:

From Steve McHugh, the bestselling author of The Hellequin Chronicles, comes a new urban fantasy series packed with mystery, action, and, above all, magic.
Layla Cassidy has always wanted a normal life, and the chance to put her father’s brutal legacy behind her. And in her final year of university she’s finally found it. Or so she thinks.
But when Layla accidentally activates an ancient scroll, she is bestowed with an incredible, inhuman power. She plunges into a dangerous new world, full of mythical creatures and menace—all while a group of fanatics will stop at nothing to turn her abilities to their cause.
To protect those she loves most, Layla must take control of her new powers…before they destroy her. All is not yet lost—there is a light shining, but Layla must survive long enough to see it.

Guest Post by Steve:

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Getting Published. 

Every author you ever speak to about how they became published has a different story. This is mine. 

I was 25 back in 2004 when my first child was about to be born, and I figured I should actually try this whole writing thing seriously. Turns out writing a book is hard. Who knew? 

It took me several years to get to a place where I had written something I actually thought worthy of publication, it was my second completed book, and was called Crimes Against Magic (spoilers, it did get published). 

I wanted to go the traditional publishing route. I just wanted to see my book in shops. I had no illusions about being a best-seller, or the next [Insert name of famous author here] I just wanted to write the best story I could, and get it out there. 

I sent query letters and synopsis to agents, making sure that I actually gave them what they asked for, and received quite a bit of useful feedback about why the book isn’t for them, but good luck. 

By 2011, I was beginning to feel a little downhearted. I’d spent the better part of a year trying to get the book published, I’d been writing other things in the meantime, and wondered whether or not Crimes was actually worthy of publishing. 

Several self-published friends of mine at the time spoke to me about how they’d been able to do well through self-publishing and that maybe I should look into it. 

Well, first I decided to send the book into the Amazon Breakthrough Novelist Award, and it ended up in the semi-finals (last 200 out of several thousand, I think). I found the whole process rejuvenated my thoughts that the book was worthwhile. I set about the self-publishing route. 

It took me a year or so to get the book properly edited, a good cover, and reading up on how to get your book noticed before I clicked upload and it was on Amazon. 

Then things got a bit unexpected. People started buying it. Quite a lot of people. 

By the end of the year, I’d published book 2, Born of Hatred, and by the January of the following year had 2 books that together had sold in the tens of thousands of copies. I was over the moon. 

Then things got even more unexpected. 

A publisher by the name of 47North (part of Amazon publishing’s own imprint) contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in working with them on relaunching the 2 Hellequin books, and also writing several more for them. I said yes. 

After the third book came out a year later, I also got an agent in the form of Paul Lucas at Janklow and Nesbit. 

So, in the end I did get my books in stores, and I did get an agent, and publisher, but I sort of took a detour to get there. And none of it might have happened if I’d never taken the chance on self-publishing the book. 

After 6 years of being published, by the end of 2018 I’ll have had 10 published books and 1 novella. It’s a staggering thing to consider that I’ve come all this way in such a short period of time, and that my journey from aspiring author to best-selling author was one with so many twists and turns, with so many lows and highs. But sometimes you have to take that chance, and sometimes it doesn’t pay off, but when it does, it can change everything in ways you can’t even imagine.

Follow Steve on Twitter ~ Blog ~ Facebook Author Page

My Thoughts:

This is my first experience with this author and what an absolutely brilliant introduction I had via Glimmer of Hope.  Layla is the main character in this book, a woman who has problems trusting and accepting people in her life.  She has a history and a story that is best kept secret, but she does have two good friends and she will need them as she discovers what this world and life holds in store for her.

Oh this book was a great read that hit all the right spots for me.  An Urban Fantasy with a whole range of legendary, mythological and folk-lore characters and above all magic, spirits and demons.  As Layla learns that there is more to her life than what she first imagined, she has hidden her past from others, but then others have also hidden parts of Layla’s past from her to protect her. She will discover that she does have a place and a role in life and believe when I say you don’t want to mess with her. The author has created a great mix of characters and has given enough details for the reader to see his “other” characters.

This is a fast paced, kick ass, saving the world, urban fantasy novel.  I did think it had a bit of a feel of being aimed at a YA audience. I am looking forward to continuing this journey  and read future books from The Avalon Chronicles, and also to start to read the Hellequin books. A great read that I would definitely recommend to those who like Urban Fantasy, Action and Fantasy genres, or a great start for those who want a bit of escapism.

If you want to see what others thought of this book, check out the dates and below

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Many thanks for reading my post, a share would be great if you liked it.  Get your own copy of this book HERE 🙂 xx

#BlogTour : #HemlockJones & The Angel of Death by Justin Carroll @WriterJustinC @annecater #BookReview

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I am absolutely over the moon to have had the opportunity to read “hemlock Jones & The Angel Of Death” by Justin Carroll.  My thanks to Justin and Anne at Random Things Tours for a copy of the book and also a spot on the tour. Get your own copy from Amazon UK

Synopsis:

Ten doors down from the home of a world famous ‘consulting detective’ lives twelve-year-old Hemlock Jones, and her recently arrived housemate and unwitting companion, Edward Whitlow. Hired to ‘demystify’ the mystery of a man’s murder by a terrifying angelic spectre, Hemlock and Edward’s investigations will lead them all over Victorian London, uncovering bizarre and deadly foes, figures from Hemlock’s hidden past, and a plot to take over the city… Hemlock Jones & The Angel of Death is the first of the Hemlock Jones Chronicles, a series of detective adventures for children and adults, set in Victorian London.

My Thoughts:

Hemlock Jones lives at 211B Baker Street with landlady Mrs. Figgins.  Hemlock is a “demystifier“, she takes the mystery out of a problem and works to solve it.  Edward Whitlow discovers Hemlock’s demystifying talents when he comes to lodge at the same house. When Hemlock takes on a case Edward becomes her unwitting side kick.

This is an absolutely brilliant read.  References are made to the other more well-known “Consulting Detective” and the Doctor just down the road, (I dare not mention their names as it would result in a rather serious scowl or a telling off from Hemlock). In a similar style to the previously mentioned but with twists and turns, Hemlock and Whitlow (12 years old), are determined in their own crime busting escapades.  The fearless Hemlock is undeterred in her quest, with the somewhat quite sweet and willing  Whitlow, they manage to get involved in a rather intriguing investigation.  It is exciting and fast paced,  with steam punk elements in a Victorian London setting, what is there not to love.  It has all the essential ingredients, good goodies, good baddies, deductions, suspense and it is all wrapped around a wonderful story line with characters that are engaging and fun. It had me hooked right from the out set and kept me hooked till the end.

Now I know this is aimed at children from around 8 years and up, and they will love it, but you know what, never mind the children, this grown up loved it loads 🙂  This is a book I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND to younger readers and for big kids (adults) too.  A fun-filled Victorian action adventure packed, steam punk, sleuthing, deductive, murder and mystery.  I really am looking forward to reading more in what I think will be a really exciting series and I am really impatient now for the next instalment.

About the Author:

Justin Carroll

  Ever since he stopped wanting to be a dinosaur, Justin Carroll wanted to be a writer. He graduated with a degree in English Literature and Language from King’s College, London in 2004 and now, in between writing and moonlighting in marketing for a multinational financial services company, he fritters away his time on all manner of geeky things. Shortlisted for several international short story competitions, Justin was a finalist in the 2010 British Fantasy Awards.  Follow Justin on his Website or on Twitter.

See the thoughts of other book bloggers on the tour

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Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give a share or two.  Or go and grab yourself a copy of this wonderful book, I am positive that you will not be disappointed 🙂 xx

#BookReview : The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert @mimi_albert @penguinrandom @NetGalley #PublicationDay

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I am so delighted to be bringing you my thoughts on “The Hazel Wood” by Melissa Albert, it is due for publication today and available in various formats.  Published by Penguin it can be purchased from Amazon UK

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the strange bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate – the Hazel Wood – Alice learns how bad her luck can really get. Her mother is stolen away – by a figure who claims to come from the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: STAY AWAY FROM THE HAZEL WOOD.

To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began . . .

My Thoughts:

When you think of fairy tales it is often woods, wolves, castles, princes and princesses with a happy ever after.  The Hazel Wood is nothing like that, it contains fairy tales but they are darker with an underlying feeling of dread to them.  The reclusive and mysterious author Althea Prosperine published her only novel Tales of the Hinterland.  Her granddaughter Ella has never met Althea, never read the book, but is aware of it.  In fact not many have met Althea or even have a copy of the book.  Ella and her mum Alice have to move around a lot, they keep their heads down, always try to keep ahead of the bad luck that seems to shadow them.  This story is how Ella and the reader learns about The Hazel Wood, the book and the bad luck.

This is a brilliantly woven story using the basic premise of a fairy tales.  Twisting them into a dark and brooding journey for the reader.  As we follow Ella and Alice there are things that are seen out of the corner of an eye that gives feeling of the supernatural that have mysterious darker undertones, shadows that linger, people that don’t quite fit in, this all adds to a feeling of tense suspense.  As the story unfolds there are several twists that I didn’t expect, they are clever and make this an extremely addictive read. There are several characters in this story and they are easily remembered and play their parts well, they have good backstories, and while I didn’t like all the characters I found them intriguing.

Once I started this story I could not put it down, the descriptions give a vivid and imaginative picture.  I loved the style of the writing, at times it had the fairy tale feel you would expect, but also a darker much more intense feel that was far removed from fairy tales.  I would like to see follow on from this book as there were several characters that I would like to know more about, and some that left me with questions. But overall it has been beautifully put together and is one I would absolutely recommend.

So if you like a dark and twisty fantasy read that has some roots in magical fairy tales then this is a book for you.  It is a young adult read, that an older adult loved.

I would like to thank NetGalley and the publishers for my eARC of this wonderful book, my thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

You can visit the author in Twitter and also find all the links to purchase the books HERE

 

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give it a share.  Or go and grab yourself a copy of this brilliant book 🙂 xx

#BookReview : The Book of Dust – Volume One – La Belle Sauvage by Phillip Pullman

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This is a book I have been looking forward to reading for a while now.  I decided it was going to be my New Years Eve read.  Phillip Pullman’s “The Book of Dust” volume #1 La Belle Sauvage, published by Penguin Random House and David Fickling Books.  It is avaialble in a variety of formats,

Book Details:

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Random House Children’s and David Fickling Books; 01 edition (19 Oct. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385604416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385604413

Synopsis:

Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them; a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua . . .

 

My Thoughts:

It was an absolute delight to be going back to Pullman’s version of Oxford, to a time before His Dark Materials trilogy.  This book begins when Lyra and her daemon Pan are babies and how Malcolm and his daemon Astra meet Lyra and Pan for the first time.

Beginning in Oxford; we meet Malcolm and Astra, he is the son of The Trout Inn owners.  He helps out there and also at the nearby priory of Godstow doing odd jobs and chores for the nuns.  It is also when the authorities start to show themselves. There are several secret organisations that have their own motives and Malcolm is soon caught up in the middle of them.  A surprising the change in the weather leads to some dangerous and surprising twists that will take us on a journey down the Thames.

This is a book that I was eager to read and I wasn’t disappointed.  It was one of those books I knew I was going to love even before I started it.  It starts slowly as the story is set and the various backstories and introductions to the characters are made, then it gradually speeds up as the plot is unravelled and unveiled.  The characters are a real mixed bag of the good, bad and ugly, new characters mingled in with some old ones and the villains are indeed villainous.  Pullman has retained the air of mystery around the intentions of characters, you never know who is to be truly trusted and I love this aspect. The plot has, as you would expect, been very well-developed and has a good amount of twists that I am sure will continue into the next book and beyond.

So did this book live up to my prior expectations? Hell yes and then some, it is Phillip Pullman, it is part of Lyra’s story so what is not to love.  Now comes the agonising wait for the next book 😦

If you have read His Dark Materials you will love this book.  It is a highly recommended read from me xx

I have a hardback copy of this book, I always take off the dust jacket when I read one so I don’t damage it.  Look was hidden underneath it

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About the Author:

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Philip Pullman was born in Norwich on 19th October 1946. The early part of his life was spent travelling all over the world, because his father and then his stepfather were both in the Royal Air Force. He spent part of his childhood in Australia, where he first met the wonders of comics, and grew to love Superman and Batman in particular. From the age of 11, he lived in North Wales, having moved back to Britain. It was a time when children were allowed to roam anywhere, to play in the streets, to wander over the hills, and he took full advantage of it. His English teacher, Miss Enid Jones, was a big influence on him, and he still sends her copies of his books.

After he left school he went to Exeter College, Oxford, to read English. He did a number of odd jobs for a while, and then moved back to Oxford to become a teacher. He taught at various middle schools for twelve years, and then moved to Westminster College, Oxford, to be a part-time lecturer. He taught courses on the Victorian novel and on the folk tale, and also a course examining how words and pictures fit together. He eventually left teaching in order to write full-time.

His first published novel was for adults, but he began writing for children when he was a teacher. Some of his novels were based on plays he wrote for his school pupils, such as The Ruby In The Smoke. He is best known for the award winning His Dark Materials series, consisting of Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it please give it a share, also go and buy yourself a copy of this fabulous book 🙂 xx

#Review: Crazy House by James Patterson

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MY REVIEW AND THOUGHTS:

I gave this book a 4 star.

Becca and Cassie are twins, they live in a small town, known as a cell.  It is controlled by a Provost, it has curfews, barbed wire on the boundaries, the children have no choice in school lessons or their career path.

When Becca goes missing, Cassie is rightfully concerned, she is now the 9th person to have disappeared.  When Cassie approaches the authorities, she is told,her sister is an enemy of the state, an “Outsider”.  An outsider is one who does not conform to the rules, a blanket label for anyone who is trouble.  With no-one to help her, Cassie, the reliable miss goody two shoes, breaks the rules to go and seek out the truth about her sister’s disappearance.

She finds help from a surprising source, she is shocked at what actually happens to those who have disappeared.  They are sent to prison, a maximum security prison, where they are on Death Row.  The treatment is cruel and barbaric, but the sisters are a force to be reckoned with, they will not go quietly or without a fight.

This is a great paced story with some quite descriptive scenes.  The characters are well described and developed.  The overall story has a Hunger Games feel with a twist of 1984 added to it. The setting for the story has a very austere and bleak feel to it, down to the great writing.  There is a short history for the girls and a mention of how they were raised, but not a lot of information on the other characters, just brief mentions.

I would recommend this book to readers of YA Fantasy, dystopian.  It is gritty and quite brutal in places where fight scenes take place also some scenes of punishment.

 

 

SYNOPSIS:

There were no charges. There was no trial. There will be no escape.
Seventeen-year-old Becca Greenfield was snatched from her small hometown. She was thrown into a maximum-security prison and put on Death Row with other kids her age. Until her execution, Becca’s told to fit in and shut her mouth… but Becca’s never been very good at either. Her sister Cassie was always the perfect twin.
Becca’s only hope is that her twin sister will find her. That perfect little priss Cassie will stop following the rules and start breaking them, before it’s too late. Because her jailers made a mistake that could get them both killed:
They took the wrong twin.
Crazy House is a non-stop, summer blockbuster by James Patterson, the #1 bestselling author of Maximum Ride, Witch and Wizard, and Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life.
BOOK DETAILS:
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2559 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1784758515
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (18 May 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01N9C6G7V

AMAZON LINK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

James Patterson is one of the best-known and biggest-selling writers of all time. He is the author of some of the most popular series of the past decade: the Women’s Murder Club, the Alex Cross novels and Maximum Ride, and he has written many other number one bestsellers including romance novels and stand-alone thrillers. James is passionate about encouraging both adults and children alike to read. This has led to him forming a partnership with the National Literacy Trust, an independent, UK-based charity that changes lives through literacy. He lives in Florida with his wife and son.

James Patterson website.

James Patterson on Twitter

 

Thank you for reading by blog.

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

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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.

Darien: Empire of Salt by C. F. Iggulden

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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

 

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)

 

 

My Soul To Keep by Jackie Sonnenberg

30279403

MY REVIEW:  3*

This story tells the tale of Sky, since the death of her father she has struggled.  Her mother enrolls her into Applewhite Preparatory Boarding School.  It is there that she is introduced to the Guardians of Light.

At first she feels this group can help her fit in, it boasts being an inspirational group, with a non religious message of bring light and peace to people.  Sky feels that she needs to find peace and it is one of the reasons for joining.  There are regular meetings and activities.  Over time she becomes more involved with the group and her room-mate Deanna notices her drifting away from dormitory activities.  Sky feels she is being shunned, but actually she is being isolated and more reliant on the Guardians.

As December 21st 2012 approaches the warnings of the end of the world are being banded around.  The more time she spends with the Guardians, the more she is sucked into their beliefs.  How the earth will end, and how, as a group they will need to be prepared and get ready for the afterlife.

This is an interesting read, and not a genre I usually choose to read from.  It was insightful to how easy it can be for vulnerable people to be coerced into a dangerous group. I did feel that is was stretched out in many places, and at times the countless mentions of yet another meditation session could have been shortened.  That being said it is well written, and is set at a good pace.  Ideal read for young paranormal readers.

I would like to thank Jackie for sending me an eARC copy of this book for my honest and unbiased opinion.

THE BLURB:

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, If I shall die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take… When thirteen-year-old Sky Monroe arrives at her new boarding school, all she can think about is death and connecting with the afterlife. Soon she discovers her school’s spirituality group called Guardians of Light-and they have a secret. The Guardians of Light can speak with the dead… When Mitchell Brooks, the teacher and leader of the group, reveals this unnerving secret to Sky-though this is exactly what she believed she wanted-she learns the organization is rapidly becoming a cult. Now she’s concerned she and her friend Damien will not be permitted to walk away. Danger and death lurk around every corner… The campus house, where Sky resides, is haunted, and the spirits have their own agenda. December 21, 2012 threatens the end of the world, and Mitchell and the spirits have special plans in store. They just might bring Sky closer to the afterlife-and possibly beyond-than she ever imagined. Sky is looking for a connection to the afterlife, but what she finds may be more than she bargained for…because what lies after life is death.

BOOK DETAILS:

Paperback, 404 pages
Published May 19th 2016 by Limitless Publishing, LLC (first published 2016)
ISBN 1680586327 (ISBN13: 9781680586329)