blog tour, Book reviews, Fantasy

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.

But when the three Eastwood sisters join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote – and perhaps not even to live – the sisters must delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.

There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.

MY REVIEW

Set in 1893, in the town of New Salem,

Women are fighting for the right to vote and suffragist rallies are being arranged.

Three sisters, Juniper, Agnes and Beatrice find themselves meeting up in New Salem. Drawn together after many years apart. Here they see a dark tower appear with strange symbols on the door. It seems witching has disappeared after all.

The Once and Future Witches is a feminist tale about the fight for equality, it’s also about diversity, acceptance and family all set in a marvellously witching world. Part historical fiction and part fantasy, with great characters and a clever, witchy plot. Compelling from start to finish. 

Thank you to Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of The Once And Future Witches.

Book reviews, Fantasy

Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of The Faun by Guillermo del Toro and Cornelia Funke – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A thrillingly dark novel that shows the rare magic that can happen when two dazzlingly original imaginations come together to make a book. Bestselling author Cornelia Funke has written a novel inspired by Guillermo del Toro’s captivating 2006 film. Beautiful, haunting, visceral, gutsy, it’s a vastly inventive, grown-up modern fairytale, pulsing with power of stories to shape lives, hearts and minds.

Ofelia has been sent to stay with her new stepfather, a ruthless captain of the Spanish army. For him, the dark and eerie forest in which they live is a cage, serving only to hide resistance fighters in the drawn-out and bloody civil war – those he has made it his aim to destroy.

But with her mother bedridden, Ofelia is left unchecked and becomes enchanted by their magical home. Obsessed with fairytales, she is drawn deeper and deeper into a mythical world which is both cruel and kind, benign and deadly. For Ofelia, too, must endure violence if she is to complete the tasks that will win her place at the centre of the labyrinth: the palace of the Faun…

MY REVIEW 

Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun is a fairy tale for adults. It’s a dark, gothic fantasy that draws you into a magical world.

Here, Ophelia discovers the labyrinth and fairies help and support her as she meets Pan himself. He tells her a secret, her birthright that she must fight to reclaim….

Full of war, magic and marvellously dark beasts and monsters as Ophelia begins her fight. Beautifully written, almost poetic at times, with a creepy atmosphere throughout. A perfect Halloween read.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for for an eARC of Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of The Faun.

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Fantasy

The End Of The Line by Gray Williams – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A fast-paced thriller set on the streets of a London rife with undercover magic.

Abras, as they are known, can harness these illegal powers, but for con-artist Amanda Coleman – whose father was a powerful and abusive practitioner – magic is anathema.

When her criminal crew decide to hire an Abra to help with their heists, they don’t expect to raise a demon, or to quickly lose control of it. Now Coleman and her crew must travel across Siberia to a remote stone circle in order to kill this murderous creature, who has destroyed everything they hold dear.

But as the demon’s power grows, a battle of wills commences. Coleman must fight to survive, facing demons both in chains and within herself.

This dark and chilling thriller is perfect for fans of Lauren Beukes and James Oswald.

MY REVIEW 

The End Of The Line is a mix of crime fiction and fantasy, with plenty of action and magic.

There are quite a few characters and the timeline jumps between the past and present as the story unfolds. Mainly set in a small train carriage, a demon had been summoned and somehow escapes only to go on a rampage, so the story is around their travels to Russia to find it.

This has a clever plot, but I found it quite confusing, especially the first half,  as the story gradually comes together. It has a tense, almost claustrophobic atmosphere overall and is an entertaining read.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for an eARC of The End Of The Line.

blog tour, Book reviews, Extract, Fantasy

*EXTRACT* from Whispers In The Mist by Darcy Coates

Hello and welcome to The Bookwormery.

Today I am sharing an extract from Whispers in the Mist by Darcy Coates…but first a little about the book….

PUBLISHERS BLURB

Clare and Dorran may still be alive against all odds, but relief is only temporary. Dorran is sick, and rapidly worsening. Clare fears the only way to save him lies in the mysterious Evandale Research Station, supposedly one of the few remaining human refuges. But the station is three days’ journey away, and Clare isn’t certain their small group can endure that long. 

Because the danger they’re facing comes not only from the ravenous hollow ones… but from each other. 

This terrible new world has left scars, and only some of them are physical. As Clare fights to protect the most precious people in her life, she begins to realize a horrible truth: Not everyone can be saved. And sometimes the worst monsters wear a human smile..


and here is the extract…

Chapter 1

Clare clung to her seat as the minibus rocked through the city. Abandoned cars littered the streets like the fallen on a battlefield. A path had been carved through them using brute force, but it was irregular, weaving in sharp angles and often forcing them to rise onto the curb.

Every time the bus jolted over some obstacle, Dorran’s shoulder bumped hers. Clare felt pure elation rush through her. They had gotten out of Helexis Tower and away from the scientist who had created the thanites that destroyed humanity. Dorran was with her. Dorran was safe.

She looked up at him, grinning. He tried to return the expression. Clare’s heart sank.

They might be free, but Dorran hadn’t escaped the tower unscathed. Even though he matched her smile, it was obvious that it took him effort. He braced one hand on the seat ahead to absorb the shocks. The fingers trembled. His skin was ashen, his dark eyes had lost their familiar brightness, and every jostle seemed to drain more of his strength. Black hair, slightly too long, was damp with sweat.

He needs rest. A few days of good food and sleep, and he’ll start to heal. She wanted to believe the idea. She was desperate to. It seemed too cruel to escape the tower—to escape Ezra and his experiment—only to lose Dorran.

She took his free hand and pressed it gently. He threaded his fingers between hers. His thumb grazed over the ring he’d given her.

Hold on a little longer, Dorran. I’ll do whatever it takes to make this right.

Two rows ahead of then, Beth sat in the driver’s seat, navigating the congested roads. It felt like a dream. Clare had clung to hope for her sister longer than any rational part of her could justify. She had travelled across the country only to lose her again. To find Beth by what seemed like pure coincidence was more good luck than Clare dared trust in. But she was there, within touching distance, alive and real.

Clare swallowed, trying to find her voice. “Beth—”

“Not now,” she barked, her eyes fixed on the path ahead as the minibus screeched around a tight bend.

Ten years her senior, Beth had become a surrogate mother to Clare after their father left and their mother passed away. Beth had taken her to school programs, swimming lessons, and camps, and watched her like a hawk the entire time. There had been doctor’s visits over mild

coughs. No swimming in pools unless both Beth and a lifeguard were present. No sleepovers unless Beth empirically trusted the families.

The old Beth, naturally cautious, had never sped in her life. She’d once told Clare,

driving is one of the most dangerous things a person can do, second only to eating undercooked meat.

But the new world had changed Beth. Even with the road choked, she was over the speed limit. The minibus scraped half the cars it passed. She drove aggressively, but efficiently. The chattering screams from the hollow ones pursuing them were already fading.

That wasn’t the only part of Beth that had changed. Her fine, wavy blonde hair had grown out a little since Clare had last seen her, and grazed over her shoulders. Her face looked harder. Leaner. Fresh scars marked her delicate features.

Clare leaned forward to try to see her sister more clearly. If Beth was aware of the scrutiny, she didn’t acknowledge it. They rose onto another curb and clipped a light post, and Clare dropped back into her seat to avoid being rattled any more than she already was.

The scars were fresh. One ran across Beth’s nose, starting near her eye and arcing down onto her cheek. Another mottled patch stood just above her temple. Three small marks showed where something had sliced into her jaw.

They were recent, but already sealed over. Clare knew the thanites would be responsible for that. Airborne, nano-particle-sized machines designed to heal the human body, but gone terribly, horrifically wrong. Like Clare, Beth would have been spared a full dose. She’d had her bunker, an airtight fortress that had saved her from being converted into one of the twisted, mindless creatures during the hours the thanites had been active.

The bunker would have limited Beth’s exposure to the thanites, but not eliminated them entirely. And now the tiny machines were inhabiting her body, healing her injuries. It was one of the reasons Clare had survived so long. Poison, bloodloss, and infection were all being repaired by the same creations that had grown out of control and mutated most of humanity.

Beth wrenched the wheel to navigate a tight angle. Clare hit Dorran’s side, and he hit the window. The bus rose onto one side of wheels, and for a moment, Clare was afraid they were about to tip. Then the bus lurched back down, sending shockwaves through them as it reconnected with the road.

This reckless, energetic Beth was a sharp contrast to the woman Clare knew. Her

wardrobe had changed, too. All black swaddled her from the scarf around her neck to her boots. If she wore a mask, there wouldn’t be a scrap of skin visible. Covering skin was a defence against the hollows, but it still left Clare disconcerted. She’d never seen Beth wear black before. It was as though all of Beth’s soft sides had been sharpened into angles.

Clare supposed it was hard to stay static in the new world. She wondered how much she had changed in the past weeks.

The minibus’s windows had been covered with plyboard. Narrow gaps existed around the boards’ edges. When Clare was close to them, she could see the businesses and vehicles they passed. She caught sight of movement inside many of the cars. Hollows, trapped, pressed their hands against the closed windows and hissed in frustration. Each nightmarish face was only visible for a split second, but the images haunted Clare. Deformed mouths. Missing teeth. Bulging eyes. Sparse hair.

She tried to imagine what their lives would have been like before the stillness. People on their way to their jobs, parents dropping their children off at daycare, an elderly couple driving to an early-morning breakfast date. Those were the monsters that now surrounded them.

Stop. Focus on what’s good. Because there’s a lot of good to be found today.

Dorran was safe. Hurt, but still alive. Clare tightened her hand around his. Against all odds, they had found Beth. Or, rather, Beth had found them. She’d gotten them out of Helexis Tower. And now they were leaving the city. The high-rise buildings were being replaced by homes and wider roads as they entered the outer suburbs. The country wasn’t far off.

The tyres screeched as Beth pulled off the road. It wasn’t the first time she’d taken a shortcut across a parking lot, but this time, she didn’t floor the accelerator. She let the minibus rock to a halt, pulled the handbrake, and jumped out of her driver’s seat.

“What the hell were you doing in the city?” She stood in the aisle, her face made of sharp angles and her eyes doused with fire. Then the expression softened, her jaw unclenching and her eyebrows rising, and she reached towards Clare. “Thank goodness you’re okay.”

Clare crossed to her in two quick steps. Beth’s hug was fierce as she was half cried, half laughed into Clare’s wet hair.

“I didn’t think I’d get to see you again,” Clare managed.

“Neither did I.” Beth leaned back far enough to see Clare’s face and used her fingertips to brush wet hair off her cheek. “You’re not hurt, are you?”

“I’m not, but—”

Clare turned to look at Dorran. He stood a few steps behind them, one hand braced on the back of a chair for support, watching cautiously. He was trying not to look intimidating, Clare knew, but that was hard to avoid when his head grazed the ceiling.

Beth’s eyes fixed on Dorran. The hand on Clare’s shoulder tightened a fraction. “This is the man you’ve been staying with?”

“Yes.” Clare reached towards him. “I’m really glad you get to meet him. Dorran, this is Beth. Beth, Dorran.”

He dipped his head in a respectful nod, his eyes not quite meeting hers and his voice subdued. “A pleasure.”

“Mm.” Beth’s lips pressed into a tight line as her eyes ran over him, from his black hair, to his broad shoulders, across the muddied lab coat he’d borrowed from Ezra, down to the boots. Clare wished she would be more subtle about it.

“He figured out how to repair my car.” Clare spoke too fast as she tried to soften some of Beth’s hostility. “I’d never have gotten this far without him—”

“Outside,” Beth said, abruptly, and tugged on her arm.

“Ah—what?”

“Come on. We’ll talk outside.”

Clare stared at the windshield. Light reflected off the water flowing over the surface. “It’s

raining.”

“You’re already drenched.” Beth hit a button and the door hissed open, letting the steady

drum of rain inside, along with the faint scent of smoke, oil, and hollows. “Come on. I want to talk in private.”

Clare sent Dorran an apologetic glance as she was dragged out of the bus. He looked conflicted, one hand reaching towards her, and Clare mouthed don’t worry. Then the door creaked closed behind her, sealing him inside the bus.

Beth kept her hold on Clare’s arm as she dragged her away from the vehicle. The rain, vicious in its intensity at Helexis Tower, had reduced to a drizzle in the outer suburbs.

Clare blinked at the space, surprised. Beth had stopped the minibus in the centre of a shopping mall’s parking lot. They were well-lit as gigantic bulbs washed the area with cold white light. Clare didn’t know how the lights could still be running four weeks into the stillness. Even

if the centre had a generator—and she guessed it must have for emergencies—it would need to be refuelled. The area seemed deserted except for their vehicle.

“Beth?” Clare was already wet from the run out of Helexis tower, but the new wash of rain drained another layer of warmth. Her sneakers sank into a puddle two inches deep and she shivered. Beth stopped a dozen paces away from the bus, facing the deserted shopping mall, arms crossed. Clare hunched her shoulders. “Is everything okay?”

Beth dragged her hands over her hair, plastering it back, and then turned towards Clare. “I don’t like the way he looks.”

She’d been expecting wariness towards Dorran. “He’s a good man. He’s kind, and patient, and he saved my life. Multiple times. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I owe him.”

Beth paced across the asphalt, arms folded, expression tense. When she turned back to Clare there was fresh suspicion in her eyes. “He looks sick.”

“He…” She could tell Beth exactly what had happened: about how Dorran had been coerced into becoming part of Ezra’s experiment to destroy the thanites, and how they didn’t know what the consequences might be. But the way Beth was talking about Dorran—like he was an unwanted liability—made Clare swallow the story. She couldn’t afford to give Beth any more reasons to mistrust him. Instead, she opted for a half-truth. “It’s been a weird couple of days. He didn’t sleep last night.”

“Uh-huh.” Beth’s eyes narrowed in the way they did when she was sceptical. Her jaw worked as she stared towards the bus, chewing something over. Then she took a deep breath. “We’ll drop him off with some other survivors then get back on the road.”

“What?” Clare blinked water out of her eyes.

“Don’t worry. I know some groups that would take him in.”

“No.” Clare took a step back, her heart thundering. “We’re not going to abandon him.

We’re a team.”

“He’s a stranger.”

“To you.” She hated how defensive she sounded, but she couldn’t stop. “He’s my best friend.”

Beth’s lips twisted. “Oh, really? After knowing him for, what? A couple of weeks?” “After having to rely on him for my survival, repeatedly, through some of the worst

moments of my life, yeah. And I think I’m a good enough judge of character to say I trust him. Why can’t you believe that?”

“Oh, I don’t know.” Beth’s voice rose, and a harsh note entered it. “Maybe because I can’t even trust you to follow basic instructions.”

It took Clare a second to catch the implication. “Are you angry because I came looking for you?”

“What did I tell you the last time we spoke?” Beth lifted her eyebrows to arrest Clare with one of the sharpest looks she’d ever experienced. “Stay where you are.”

“Your generator died. Was I supposed to just leave you there to suffocate?”

“Yes.” Beth held her hands out to the sides, her open palms catching the rain. “It would have been better than traipsing across the country just to find my bunker was empty. And if that weren’t bad enough… what the hell were you doing in the city? The single most dangerous place in this part of the country.”

Clare was used to her share of lectures from Beth. She’d hated them as a teen, but as she grew older and moved into her own home, she’d learned to see them for what they really were: an expression of love. Beth cared about her, therefore Beth worried about her, therefore Beth lectured her.

But this felt different. There wasn’t any concerned tilt to her sister’s eyes or pleading note in her voice. This Beth, the Beth that had been hardened and sharpened by the still world, was full of fire and wrath. Clare took a half step back.

“We—” Were lost. Became trapped. Ran out of options. None of them sounded good. She swallowed. “We found the tower by pure luck and recognised the address, so we took a chance on it.”

“And how were you planning to get out?” Beth’s piercing blue eyes were relentless. “You ran through the hoard with no weapons. No protection. Not even a mask. If I hadn’t been there, what would you have done to escape the hollows?”

The rain drenched Clare’s skin. Her hair stuck to her face. But, for all the external cold she felt, it was nothing compared to the lump of ice that was forming deep in her stomach.

She’d been desperate to reunite with Beth. She’d taken risks she shouldn’t have just for the hope of finding her. But Beth was furious. And, unlike a normal lecture, she didn’t know how to stop this new anger.

Beth took her silence for the answer it was. “You had no way to get out of that tower, did you? You’re only alive right now because of pure, miserable luck.”

Angry tears were building, and she was grateful that the rain would stop Beth from seeing them.

“I told you all of this so clearly.” Beth’s voice dropped until it was almost inaudible through the rain. “Don’t take risks. People who gamble on the odds eventually lose. And what did you do?”

“Whatever it took to try to find my sister.”

Beth’s face stayed hard for all of a second, then the expression crumpled. She exhaled, head drooping and shoulders bowing. For a moment, they stood together, letting the rain beat on their backs and drip off their chins. Then Beth lifted her head, her expression soft again.

“That was really dumb, Clare.” “Okay.”

“But thank you, anyway.” “Yeah.”

Her sister’s arms wrapped around her again. Beth’s jacket was thick and cold, but her body was warm. She squeezed Clare tightly, swaying with her like she’d used to when Clare was a child.

“I’m happy to have you with me again,” she murmured. “I didn’t think I’d ever get the chance.”

“I missed you, Beth.”

“Mm.” She pulled back, blinking rapidly. “Me too.”

Thunder crackled in the distance. Clare turned to look behind them, towards the minibus.

Its windows were blacked out, but she could imagine Dorran sitting inside, anxious and uncertain, alone in the dark as he waited for them to return. Her heart ached for him. “I’m not letting you kick Dorran out.”

Beth chewed on her lip for a second, then sighed. “He can stay. For now. But, if he wants to split up, we let him go, okay?”

Clare still didn’t like her sister’s tone, but she nodded. It was probably the best concession she could get. And she already knew Dorran would stay.

Beth squinted up at the sky as lightning arced above them. “Rain’s nasty today. Come on. 

Let’s get dry. We shouldn’t linger here, anyway. The hollows are growing impatient.”

Wow, what a start…..

Thank you to Amber at Midas PR for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material s extract from Whispers In The Dark. 

blog tour, Book reviews, Fantasy

Sword In The Storm by David Gemmell – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Born in the storm that doomed his father, Connavar grows to manhood among the mist-covered mountains of Caer Druagh, where the Rigante tribe dwell in harmony with the land and its gods. But beyond the border, across the water, an evil force is gathering strength, an unstoppable force that will change the world beyond all recognition.

MY REVIEW 


#1 in the Rigante Series.

Sword In The Storm is an heroic fantasy tale. The hero is Connavar, a young man who earns his reputation as a great warrior.

He travels widely and,  as humans do, makes good and bad decisions that lead to a variety of events and battles as Connava strives to save the Rigante tribe.

There’s magic, fairies and other creatures, with the incredible world building that makes this an action packed, fast paced classic fantasy and a thoroughly entertaining read.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and a copy of Sword In The Storm. This is my honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

David Andrew Gemmell was a bestselling British author of heroic fantasy. A former journalist and newspaper editor, Gemmell had his first work of fiction published in 1984. He went on to write over thirty novels. Best known for his debut, Legend, Gemmell’s works display violence, yet also explores themes in honour, loyalty and redemption. With over one million copies sold, his work continues to sell worldwide.

blog tour, Book reviews, Fantasy

Orfeia by Joanne M. Harris – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

When you can find me an acre of land, Every sage grows merry in time, Between the ocean and the sand

Then will you be united again.

So begins a beautiful and tragic quest as a heartbroken mother sets out to save her lost daughter, through the realms of the real, of dream, and even into the underworld itself.

But determination alone is not enough. For to save something precious, she must give up something precious, be it a song, a memory, or her freedom itself . . .

MY REVIEW 

Fay is a widow, she is also grieving the death of her daughter, Daisy. Not a minute goes by that Daisy is not on her mind. So, she runs the streets of London at night, until she is exhausted.

One night all the lights go out, she can see the stars and in a bright crack in the pavement she thinks she sees her daughter, sleeping. The magic begins.

Orfeia is so beautifully written, you get lost in this alternate world with Fay, it’s so full of emotion and magic it’s almost dreamlike. The wonderfully illustrations add to that ethereal and otherworldly feel. 

It is incredibly moving in its portrait of grief, that it’s all encompassing to the point life becomes existing rather than living, but it’s also full of love, memories and beauty. A modern day fairytale that is stunning, beautiful and unique. This book just reinforces why I read, it’s perfect and pure escapism. One to treasure.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Orfeia. This is my honest and unbiased review.

Purchase link: https://amzn.to/3iJfyp2

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French writer, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories. Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction,mythology and fantasy. In 2000, her 1999 novel CHOCOLAT was adapted for the screen, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. CHOCOLAT hassold over a million copies in the UK alone and was a global bestseller. She is an Honorary Fellow of St Catherine’s College, Cambridge, and in 2013 was awarded an MBE by the Queen. Her hobbies are listed in Who’s Who as’mooching, lounging, strutting, strumming, priest-baiting and quiet subversion’. She plays bass guitar in a band first formed when she was 16 and runs the musical storytelling show Storytime. Joanne lives with her husband in Yorkshire, about 15 miles from the place she was born. Find out more at http://www.joanne-harris.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @Joannechocolat

Book reviews, Fantasy

The Summoned Ones: Book One Flight To Bericea by Darryl A. Woods – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The Bericean army was in Malabrim for the ninth straight fighting season. Over the past 9 years, Zybaro, the leader of a small band of unknowns, had evolved from his days as a minor usurper of a tiny kingdom. Now, almost the entire country of Malabrim was under Zybaro’s control, and his army was large enough to easily challenge Bericea’s army. Still, Bericea continued its raids into Malabrim, hoping to stem Zybaro’s methodical progress and thwart his tyrannical means of control. Zybaro had seized village after village, forcing anyone capable of joining his army and enslaving all who remained in deplorable working conditions to supply his army.

This latest conflict with Zybaro had pushed General Darnon to a decision, one he had resisted making for over a year. Though he still held grave reservations about the Prophecies, he was willing to support the clerics who would attempt the summoning. The details of the ritual had recently been discovered in an ancient tome. The clerics were confident they could bring forth the Summoned Ones of Prophecy, those mysterious beings who would aid Bericea in its time of greatest need.

Darnon also had concerns about the location of the summoning. It would have to take place farther into Malabrim than they had ventured in many years. And even if the ritual was effective, it would be a great challenge to get the Summoned Ones safely back to Bericea, in addition to the soldiers sent to protect them. However, Darnon felt that morale was so low, if they survived this battle, he owed his troops the hope the summoning ritual could bring.

Join the soldiers of Bericea and the Summoned Ones through a life-or-death struggle. The Summoned Ones was made up of a small college aged group of friends from a small Kentucky town near the Daniel Boone National Forrest, who find themselves somehow brought to a chaotic world through magic. Their epic journey will push the Summoned beyond the limits of their endurance. This unlikely group will discover many truths about themselves and experience another world beyond their imagination.

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MY REVIEW 

The Summoned Ones is Narnia for adults.

When eight friends enter a cave to lay the ashes of a friend, they are transported to war ravaged Bericea. The people of this world believe the friends to be the mythical Summoned Ones……their saviours.

This marvellous tale is a character led fantasy, with such well developed characters that add to the sense of reality albeit in another, very different world. The various creatures and of course some magic, give this an otherworldly atmosphere.

An epic fantasy that’s a real adventure and I can thoroughly recommend it.

Thank you to Darryl A. Woods for an eARC of The Summoned Ones. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

PURCHASE LINKhttps://amzn.to/30Xdlys

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Darryl Woods is a storyteller who hones his craft entertaining coworkers. He also enjoys regaling family and friends with stories of his upbringing in rural Ohio, of the motorized contraptions his father fabricated, and of the timber cutting and sawmill work he did with his father-in-law. With an appetite for reading fantasy, it was inevitable he would choose to write about an epic journey in a world dominated by magic and sword fighting.

 

For more information please visit my website.

Darrylawoods.com

 

Book reviews, Fantasy, YA fiction

Harbinger by Olga Gibbs – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

“I am Uriel: The Harbinger of Chaos, The Keeper of the Gates, The Begetter of Life, The Dam of The Ends, and I’m coming to take what is mine!”

The clash with Baza and his angels had demonstrated to Ariel that Earth (Apkallu) is not the safe heaven she hoped it would be, and it is only a matter of time before she is hunted and dead.

The only way to survive is to accept her destiny and to fight back.

But upon her return to Uras, Ariel is rejected in her own domain and has to suppress the revolt against her reign. The angels refuse her and her lead, abandoning her and Uras in favour of another ruler.

She knows that without an army of followers she won’t stand a chance against Baza or Mik’hael, so now she needs to go into the most unexpected places to find it.

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MY REVIEW 

#3 in the Celestial Creatures series and yes it can be read as a stand-alone but you will miss out on a great YA fantasy series.

Ariel is back and looking after her sister, Jess. All the while she is getting ready for a battle with the evil angels.

Rafe is by her side as always, but they bicker and Ariel doesn’t always list to the advice she is given.

They end up in terrible trouble, but can the feisty, determined and stubborn Ariel be able to get everyone to safety or are they destined to remain in Hell?

Wow, the world building by Olga Gibbs is phenomenal, it feels so real. With some great characters, new and old to get acquainted with and a twisty plot really has you hooked from start to finish.

Thank you to Melanie at Fraser’s Fun House for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Harbinger. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Harbinger purchase link: https://books2read.com/u/bx8n1l

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Olga Gibbs lives in a leafy-green town, nestled amongst the green fields of West Sussex, England. She lives with her husband and their two daughters.

She was writing from the age of fifteen, mainly short stories and novellas and was a guest columnist for a local newspaper. When she is not dreaming up new adventures for her imaginary friends, she does outreach work with teenagers.

The “Celestial creatures” series is now complete!

Please visit author website http://www.OlgaGibbs.com for more information on upcoming books.

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Book reviews, Fantasy

Venators : Promises Forged by Devri Walls – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

It has been mere days in the world of Eon, where Rune Jenkins, her twin brother Ryker, and their friend Grey have been trapped, fighting for their lives. After discovering the truth of their ancestry, the three are far from home, and far from anything resembling their mundane lives of the past. 

While Ryker is still held captive by the eerily beautiful Zio and her goblins, Grey falls into the clutches of Feena, the Fae queen. She begins to drain his soul bit by bit to feed her dark underground garden, and Grey has no hope of escaping on his own. 

It is now up to Rune to save Grey, as his precious time slips away inexorably. But the Council has denied her permission to embark on a rescue mission, until she can harness her Venator gifts and prove herself capable of venturing into the Fae queen’s territory. 

As Rune discovers that promises in Eon are forged with life-or-death consequences, she realizes that she must act quickly, or else be swallowed – and Grey along with her – by the dangers of Eon

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MY REVIEW 

Promises Forged is #2 in the Venators series. After reading Magic Unleashed I was looking forward to catching up with Rune and the marvellous mix of characters again, I wasn’t disappointed.

In Promises Forged, Grey has ended up in Feena’s court, So Rune and the others plan to get in and rescue him…..so the adventure begins.

Full of fantasy new creatures, incredible world building and a twisty, dark and immersive plot all make this a completely engrossing read. Pure escapism.

Thank you to The Write Read for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Book reviews, Fantasy

The Girl And The Stars by Mark Lawrence – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

East of the Black Rock, out on the ice, lies a hole down which broken children are thrown.

On the vastness of the ice there is no room for individuals. No one survives alone.

To resist the cold, to endure the months of night when even the air itself begins to freeze, requires a special breed. Variation is dangerous, difference is fatal. And Yaz is different.

Torn from her family, from the boy she thought she would spend her life with, Yaz has to carve a new path for herself in a world whose existence she never suspected. A world full of danger.

Beneath the ice, Yaz will learn that Abeth is older and stranger than she had ever imagined.

She will learn that her weaknesses are another kind of strength. And she will learn to challenge the cruel arithmetic of survival that has always governed her people.

Only when it’s darkest can you see the stars.

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MY REVIEW 

Set in the same universe as The Book Of The Ancestor series (Red Sister being one of my favourite fantasy novels), this is the tale of Yaz.

Yaz is a broken child, at 16 she is headed for the gathering and is expecting to be thrown into the pit with the other broken children. But, when her brother, Zeen is thrown down and she is spared, she jumps after him……

Here she finds another world, with survivors of the drop, a society that has been there for years. But Zeen is nowhere to be found……..so she sets out to find her little brother..

This is a tale of ice and cold, of magic, of stars in the darkness. 

It has cannibals, black ice that taints others, of corruption and power, but it’s also about a young girl accepting her ability to tap into the river is not a weakness, but strength. Can she save Zeen?

I love this book. Yaz is a great character, full of doubts but also determination to do what’s right. I loved being back on Abeth, with mentions of the places from Red Sister, but also very different as this is life on the ice and below it. For me it had a sense of wonder and atmosphere that reminded me of when I read The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula Le Guin many years ago…..but this is very different, with fantastic world building, great characters and a wonderful plot…..and that end!!! Utterly brilliant.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/3bNEGaT 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Mark Lawrence was born in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, but moved to the UK at the age of one. He went back to the US after taking a PhD in mathematics at Imperial College to work on a variety of research projects including the ‘Star Wars’ missile defence programme. Returning to the UK, he has worked mainly on image processing and decision/reasoning theory. His first trilogy, The Broken Empire, has been universally acclaimed as a ground-breaking work of fantasy, and both The Liar’s Key and The Wheel of Osheim have won the Gemmell Legend award for best fantasy novel. Mark is married, with four children, and lives in Brist

Book reviews, Fantasy

The Heron Kings By Eric Lewis – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

After a warlord slaughters her patients, Sister Alessia quits the cloister and strikes out on her own to heal the victims of a brutal dynastic conflict. Her roaming forest camp unwittingly becomes the center of a vengeful peasant insurgency, raiding the forces of both sides to survive. Alessia struggles to temper their fury as well as tend wounds, consenting to ever greater violence to keep her new charges safe. When they uncover proof of a foreign conspiracy prolonging the bloodshed, Alessia risks the very lives she’s saved to expose the truth and bring the war to an end.
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MY REVIEW 

Alessia, a novice in the temple of Polytheon, treats all those injured in the War that is raging. But a Lord enters the temple and slaughters all those deemed on the other side. As a result Mother Tanusia decrees only those fighting o. The side of this Lord will be treated, leaving anyone else to die at the gates.

Alessia decides to leave and do her physic-ing without restriction. Travelling alone she eventually meets Ulnoth, whose family had been killed by soldiers and is hell bent on revenge.

Gradually they meet others and become a small band of survivors with no allegiance to any and call themselves The Heron Kings.

When they find plans of a conspiracy they decide to join the war with them aim of ending it once and for all.

A well paced tale with great characters, Alessia being my personal favourite, lots of scheming, violence, blood and gore in a clever plot that makes this a gripping read from start to finish.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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By day Eric Lewis is a PhD research chemist weathering the latest rounds of mergers and layoffs and still trying to remember how to be a person again long after surviving grad school. In addition to subjecting his writing to one rejection after another, he can be found gathering to himself

as many different sharp and pointies as possible and searching for the perfect hiking trail, archery range of single malt Scotch. Don’t ask where, because he’s never lived anywhere for longer than five years.

His short fiction has been published in Nature, Electric Spec, Allegory, Bards and Sages Quarterly, the anthologies Into Darkness Peering, Best Indie Speculative Fiction Vol. 1 and Crash Code, as well as other venues detailed at ericlewis.ink. THE HERON KINGS is his first novel. 

 

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices. 

Book reviews, Fantasy, Horror

The Wrongful Death by Kenneth B. Andersen – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

An unfortunate chain of events makes Philip responsible for the untimely death of the school bully Sam—the Devil’s original choice for an heir. Philip must return to Hell to find Sam and bring him back to life, so that fate can be restored. But trouble is stirring in Lucifer’s kingdom and not even Philip can imagine the strange and dark journey that awaits him. A journey that will take him through ancient underworlds and all the way to Paradise. 

The Wrong Death is volume 3 of The Great Devil War series.

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MY REVIEW 

In The Wrongful Death, Philip is now settled with his role in Hell, but now is able to come and go.

But when Sam (who Philip had been mistaken for in Book 1 and is the reason he is now Satan’s right hand man) accidentally arrives in Hell the mayhem begins.

Satan is busy with Hell’s ‘issues’ and wants Philip to find Sam……

There’s mystery, intrigue, betrayal and even a visit to Heaven. With humour and great characters this is another great read from Kenneth B. Andersen and I’m already looking forward to Book 4.

Thank you to The Write Reads for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a free ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Book reviews, Fantasy, Gothic horror

The Die Of Death by Kenneth B. Andersen – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Philip’s adventures as the Devil’s apprentice have changed him—in a good way. Although he misses his friends in Hell, he has made new friends in life. 

But when the future of the underworld is threatened once again, Philip’s help is needed. Death’s Die has been stolen and immortality is spreading across the globe. 

Philip throws himself into the search—and discovers a horrible truth about his own life along the way.

The Die of Death is volume 2 in The Great Devil War-series and winner of the ORLA-Award.

The Great Devil War-series is a humorous and gripping tale about good and evil, filled with biblical and historical characters, such as Judas, Goliath, and Pontius Pilate, as well as modern figures such as Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, and many more. 

The Great Devil War-series is a Danish bestseller, topping library and school reading lists among teens and young adults. The books have been published in more than ten countries and have won numerous awards.
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MY REVIEW 

Set in Hell, this is the tale of Philip, a young boy who is learning to be the Devil’s successor. He had been taken by mistake, but the Devil decided he’d do.

When Death’s die goes missing ( How can Death decide who’s time it is to die without it?) So, the Devil tasks Philip with finding it….

This is such a fun read, it has everything. There’s menace, fear, the macabre and humour all in a marvellously dark world. I loved it and can’t wait for book 3.

Thank you to The Write Reads for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Kenneth B. Andersen (1976) is an award-winning Danish writer. He has published more than forty books for children and young adults, including both fantasy, horror, and science fiction. 

His books have been translated into more than 15 languages and his hit-series about the superhero Antboy has been turned into three movies. A musical adaptation of The Devil’s Apprentice, the first book in The Great Devil War series, opened in the fall 2018 and film rights for the series have been optioned.

Kenneth lives in Copenhagen with his wife, two boys, a dog named Milo, and spiders in the basement.

 

 

Website http://www.kennethbandersen.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WriterKennethBAndersen/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kenneth_b_andersen/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/K_B_Andersen

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kenneth-b-andersen

 

Book reviews, Dystopian fiction, Fantasy, post-apocalyptic, YA fiction

Cynetic Wolf by Matt Ward – Book Review

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It’s 2096, sixty years after ninety percent died from a man-made Bioplague. Humanity has splintered into four unequal subspecies: immortals, cyborgs, enhancers, and subservient half-human, half-animal hybrids. 

The world is anything but equal. Hybrids everywhere are suffering, but sixteen-year-old Raek Mekorian, a wolfish with a nose for trouble, doesn’t see an alternative. Except the Resistance, who don’t stand a chance against the world government. His mom always said, “Keep your head down.”

And he does, until his sister is murdered by a pair of cyborgs. Overnight, his simple life is shattered, fracturing the rigid governmental caste as he is thrust into the dangerous world of superhuman hit squads, Resistance uprisings, and secrets better left unsaid.

With only built-in blasters and the advice of a mysterious professor, Raek must navigate crushing betrayal, self-doubt, and a limitless enemy whose evil knows no bounds.

Can Raek unify his people and free them from tyranny? The fate of mankind may rest in his hands.

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MY REVIEW

Cynetic Wolf is #1 of the Wolfish series. 

Set in 2096, this is a post apocalyptic YA fantasy tale in which Raek,16 and a wolf hybrid lives a quiet life.

But then his sister is murdered and his parents are abducted,

People are now routinely a mix of human and animal genes and the world is a very different place to live.

This is a coming of age fantasy tale as Raek has to grow up quickly and deal with life and its many challenges. The pressure on him is immense. Can he rise to the challenge and help save the world?

This is action packed and so fast paced it will leave you breathless. A fantastic mix of characters, creatures and even cyborgs. Brilliantly entertaining.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

I’m an entrepreneur, blogger, startup advisor and futurist (actually ranked #24 worldwide), and I run Disruptors.FM, a podcast on exponential tech and where we’re headed. I wrote this book because I see humanity diverging in the coming years as genetic engineering and self-enhancement change our very essence and hope to safeguard against the big challenges I see facing all of us.

 

My website is mattwardwrites.com. You can also find me on Twitter @mattwardwrites and Instagram @mattwardwrites

 

Book reviews, Fantasy

VENATORS: Magic Unleashed by Devri Walls – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Welcome to Eon. An alternate dimension where fantasy and paranormal is reality, and humans sit at the bottom of the food chain. In this world of unadulterated power and ability, the innocent suffer greatly. The ruling council of Eon has selected two humans, born of the Venator bloodline, and brought them through the gate—wishing to manipulate their strength and special abilities for the council’s corrupt purposes. But, Grey and Rune have very different ideas.

When their college dorm is infiltrated by creatures from another realm, Rune Jenkins, her twin brother Ryker, and old friend Grey Malteer are thrown into unexpected, twisted chaos. While Rune and Gray are able to escape, Ryker is kidnapped away to Eon, the alternate world from whence these dark beings came.
With the help of a supernatural guide, Rune and Gray must now travel to Eon to save Ryker, and discover the illuminating truth about their ancestry.

In this new world of fae, vampires, werewolves, and wizards, power is abundant and always in flux. Rune and Grey are being set up as pawns in a very dangerous game and must find their way through – and out of – Eon before it consumes them.

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MY REVIEW 

Grey and Rune are seemingly typical college students, but they have powers they keep relatively hidden.

They are pulled through a portal and enter a very different world. A world of magic and chaos, of vampire, werewolves and so much more.

With a large cast of characters, great world building and an exciting plot, this fast paced fantasy tale is enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining.

Thank you to The Write Reads for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a free ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Devri Walls is a US and international bestselling author. Having released five novels to date, she specializes in all things fantasy and paranormal. She is best known for her uncanny world- building skills and her intricate storylines, and her ability to present this all in an easy-to-digest voice. Now gearing up for her first national release,  Devri is excited to introduce her sixth novel, book one in the Venators series. She loves to engage with her loyal following through social media and online sessions she organizes for her readers. Devri lives in Meridian, Idaho with her husband and two kids. When not writing she can be found teaching voice lessons, reading, cooking or binge watching whatever show catches her fancy.

 

Book reviews, Fantasy

The Goblets Immortal by Beth Overmyer – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In a land where magic’s feared, a magical kind exists: the Blest, products of the Goblets Immortal and Aidan’s one of them and on the run. Whispers of a new fear take shape in Meraude, a mage who hates all magic-kind. When she appears in Aidan’s dreams offering a bargain for the return of his family, he needs to make the most difficult decision.

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MY REVIEW 

This is a tale of magic and fantasy. Aiden has a talent for making things disappear and reappear, including himself. When a friend betrays him he uses this to escape. He meets a gang of Roma, who try to poison him but in recompense he is given a goblet. He then is drawn to four Elves, who want the goblet in exchange for their ‘slave’, Slàine.

But, he decides to leave taking Slàine with him and he ends up having to throw the goblet to the Elves to escape.

Aiden begins to have dreams where an evil mage, Meraude wants him to recover all of the Goblets Immortal and she will return his family to him. Can this mage be trusted? 

There’s a fight with Goblins, capture by Nymphs and a mage in his dreams, all of which want the goblets…

I feel this will become an epic fantasy and this is just the beginning. With great, likeable characters in Aiden and Slàine and fantastic world building I’m totally hooked and can’t wait for the next book.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/2SHRjgc

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Beth Overmyer has authored several books—In a Pickle, a middle grade novella, and Circus in a Shot Glass, a women’s fiction novel, being among them. She’s in love with the fantasy genre, mysteries—especially when there’s tea and/or a quirky sleuth involved—, and wouldn’t say no to readingand writing in every genre but hardcore horror and erotica. Influencers to her writing include J.R.R. Tolkien and Brandon Sanderson, though Douglas Adams may be lurking in there somewhere.

Love of writing and reading has led to her leading a creative writing group at her local public library, where she once was a pupil. But she doesn’t see herself as a teacher: she’s more of a facilitator and encourager when needed. Every other week during the school year, they meet and perform various writing exercises, which each individual’s encouraged to then share.

When she’s not writing, reading, editing, drinking tea, or facilitating creative writing meetings, Beth enjoys hanging out with her writing pals for fellowship, brainstorming, and great company. You can visit Beth’s website at http://bethovermyer.com.

 

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched recently in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

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Book reviews, Crime thriller, Fantasy, Science fiction

Spirit Of Prophecy by Jill Hughes – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A fast-paced mystery featuring psychic detective Rosetta Barrett, as she unpicks the clues of the crime, a deeper prophecy emerges dating back to an atrocity which happened on Apache lands some time ago, and the race to solve more than one karmic mystery begins.

A gifted psychic but an emotional wreck, Rosetta Barrett is much more than a Criminal Investigation Detective seconded to a sleepy, rural English constabulary. She’s also a high-ranking member of EPIS (Elite Paranormal Intelligence Services) a super-secret, Inter-Governmental, global organization.

When Juliet Jermaine’s Olympic Champion horse, Gothic, and his teenage stable-hand rider, are callously murdered in what appears to be a terrorist-inspired incident, Detective Barrett immediately knows there is more to this than meets the eye.

 Juliet, and Rosetta must unravel the karmic connection to an unknown past to catch the present-day criminals before another cycle of revenge and retribution is unleashed. Can they stop the death count inexorably rising?

 

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MY REVIEW 

Spirit Of Prophecy is an unusual mix of sci-fi, crime thriller and the paranormal.

Rosetta is a psychic detective, she has a nightmare that she feels is a message, a puzzle to solve. But the reader is privy to information she doesn’t have so you can start to solve the mystery as you read.

Rosetta is determined to solve a recent hit and run incident that may have been murder. Can she put an end to the relentless cycle of revenge?

She is a complex character with her personal life a mess, which makes her more relatable and likeable.

An interesting and twisty plot that makes this an engaging and entertaining read.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Jill Hughes was born in Cottingley, West Yorkshire, home of the famous Cottingley Fairies. She studied English/American Literature with Film Studies at the University of East Anglia, before becoming an investment banker. After leaving banking she trained as a Life Coach, and went on to co-author the No 1 Best Selling Spiritual self-help book, Inspired by the Passion Test.

She has also successfully campaigned for a reprieve for historical heritage site The Red House, the 2nd most famous Bronte site in the country, which was up for imminent sale by auction. Benefactors and patrons needed to ensure an asset tranfer from Kirklees Council back to benefit the community!

Jill Hughes is a bestselling Author-preneur. She is passionate about horses, the paranormal, New Thought spirituality, self-help, self-development and is available for interview.

A wonderful gift for any reader who is interested in horses and equestrian sports, crime, retribution, aliens and UFOs, ancient mysteries and spiritual development.

 

Spirit of Prophecy is available at all good bookshops and online outlets in paperback (978-1999586799, £9.99) and eBook (£3.25). More information can be found at: https://www.moneymagnet.global/jillhughes

 

Book reviews, Fantasy

The Unlikely Escape Of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

For his entire life, Charley Sutherland has concealed a magical ability he can’t quite control: he can bring characters from books into the real world. His older brother, Rob – a young lawyer with an utterly normal life – hopes that this strange family secret will disappear with disuse, and he will be discharged from his duty of protecting Charley and the real world from each other.

But then, literary characters start causing trouble in their city, making threats about destroying the world, and for once, it isn’t Charley’s doing. There’s someone else out there who shares his powers and it’s up to Charley and a reluctant Rob to stop them – before anyone gets to The End.

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MY REVIEW 

Charley was a gifted child,  talking at 8 months old and reading soon after. When his mother found him sat with Dr Seuss’ Cat In The Hat, they realise he has a talent. A talent that enables him to bring characters from literature alive and into the real world….

At 26 years old, he has moved to New Zealand and lives close to his brother Rob. One night Rob receives a call…..Uriah Heep has escaped.

Uriah is eventually returned to David Copperfield, but he had been talking of a New World…..and so the adventure begins.

Someone else has Charley’s talent and Rob and Charley need to put an end to nefarious plans and get various characters back in their books…

Along the way we meet Dorian Grey, Sherlock and so many more characters from classic literature. I loved their interactions and it really appealed to the book nerd in me.

This is a fun romp through literature, a real boys own adventure. At its heart is a tale of two brothers and their relationship in a totally unique and so thoroughly entertaining read. I love it.

Thank you to Tracy and Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

H.G. Parry has a PhD in English literature and teaches at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. She has published a number of short stories; The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep is her debut novel.

 

Book reviews, Fantasy, Psychlogical thriller, Science fiction

A User’s Guide To Make-Believe by Jane Alexander – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A compelling read with an engaging but flawed heroine, exploring a near future with an all-too-plausible Black Mirror slant on reality and fantasy. Taps into cautionary tale fiction or ‘near dystopias’ in the wake of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Whatever your fantasy, live it with Make-BelieveTM. The only limit is you.

Cassie worked at Imagen, the tech giant behind the cutting-edge virtual reality Make- BelieveTM, and she got to know the product well. Too well. But Cassie has been barred from her escape from the real world, and legally gagged by the company.

Her dream job now seems to be part of a larger nightmare, and Imagen is not done with her yet.

With Imagen holding all the cards, and personal and publicity freedoms at stake, how far will Cassie go to end the deception?

Immerse yourself in a near-future world with an all-too-plausible slant on reality and fantasy for our ‘connected’ times.

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MY REVIEW 

Imagine a day dream brought to life. A fantasy VR world that feels real. That’s what Make-Believe offers…but at what cost?

Cassie is an ex-employee of Imagen, the developers of Make-Believe, she found a glitch that allowed her to stay in Make-Believe beyond the 2 hour limit. When Imagen found out she was dismissed and barred from Make-Believe…

As she investigates further she finds disturbing information and plans to fight….but can she win?

This is set in the near future and is so very scary in its plausibility. In this troubled world who wouldn’t want to escape into a fantasy world of your own building? 

A mix of San Junipero (Black Mirror) and Total Recall, the lines blur between dreams and reality. A thought provoking and utterly terrifying thriller. Just fantastic.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here:  https://amzn.to/2TX9Iad

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Jane Alexander has completed a PhD in creative writing and teaches at the University of Edinburgh and the Open University. For several years she ran creative writing workshops for people in recovery from substance abuse. Her first novel was The Last Treasure Hunt (Saraband 2015).

 

 Twitter: @DrJaneAlexander

Book reviews, Fantasy

Wizard Ring by Clare Blanchard – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 
 

I knew nothing about the alchemist John Dee until one winter’s night in Prague when I met the ghost of a barber.

My name is Sylvia. I was just a burnt-out teacher with a subversive sense of humour. Then my mother gave me a magic ring made in the Prague workshop of John Dee.

I’ve never been the same since.

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MY REVIEW 

Sylvia is given a ring by her mother. It had been made in Prague and purportedly, has the power to influence those around it, not always in a positive way.

A story of magic and history. There’s plenty of historical facts relating to Prague and the story often jumps back to old events and moments. This helps build the atmosphere and the complex plot.

It is a beautifully descriptive, magical read that will have you engrossed. Does the ring have real power? Well you’ll have to read this to find out….maybe! 

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review. 

 

 

About Clare Blanchard:

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Originally from the North Yorkshire coast in England, Clare Blanchard spent half her lifetime in Czechia in Central Europe, where her books are mainly set. Inspired by noir fiction, her settings are often like another character in the plot. She writes crime mysteries and dark urban fantasy with a historical twist.

 Clare loves beautiful landscapes and architecture, cross-country skiing, the wine of South Moravia, and of course Czech beer. When she’s not being literary she knits funky socks.

http://www.clareblanchard.com        

http://www.clareblanchard.com

 

 

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CBcrime

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ClareBlanchardBooks/

Website: http://www.clareblanchard.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/clareblanchardbooks/

 

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wizard-Ring-darkness-light-Wizards-ebook/dp/B07X1B9DZW/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=clare+blanchard&qid=1578949804&s=books&sr=1-3

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Wizard-Ring-darkness-light-Wizards-ebook/dp/B07X1B9DZW/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=wizard+ring+claire+blanchard&qid=1578950178&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wizard-ring-clare-blanchard/1132543853

 

 

Publishing Information:

Published in ebook format on 24th August 2019.