Friday, July 29, 2016

Confluence 2016

This weekend is the annual Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Conference in Pittsburgh.  Unfortunately I  am  unable to attend all weekend, but I was able to come out on Friday afternoon and enjoyed some quality time with authors Chris Paisano and Brian Koscienski.

Once at the convention, the dealers room area was my first stop which was filled with glorious book deals and amazing authors.  I have some pictures and memories.  I had the honor to listen in on a couple readings from the duo as well as Kari Maaren whose book is set to release next year and a few other interesting authors.  I need to make note of these authors and their books, everything  sounds so interesting and entertaining.

I am sure the rest of the convention will be just as fun and exciting,especially the panel on HP Lovecraft which was fun last year.  I  look forward to exciting activities through the rest of the night and next year's convention.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Silevethiel by Andi O'Connor

Troubled by the death of her father and fearful of her own safety, Princess Irewen escapes her home to seek refuge in an elven city.  On the journey there she is attacked, poisoned and left for dead.  If it wasn’t for Prince Laegon and his Guardian Bregan she would have died.  The duo rescues Irewen and Laegon nurses her back to health in the safety  of a cave.  There are elements of Irewen that makes Laegon not only love her but suspect that she is the woman mentioned in a centuries old prophecy.  As he nurses her back to health, Irewen discovers secrets about herself and her cousin, secrets that scare her to the core.  Together the plan a journey to the other Elven kingdoms to discover the truth to her ancestory and a way to defeat her cousin and his army of spirit warriors.  Can Irewen find the strength and courage need to embrace her role in this war, and defeat a man she trusted her whole life?

This is the third book by Andi O’Connor that I have read and completely adored.  Right off the bat readers are thrown in to the action with the death of the king.  There are points when the story gets slow and drags on.  This leaves the reader feeling anxious to find out where the story is going and when it will pick back up again.  I was very interested in the abilities that are specific to the different Elven kingdoms, I was expecting to see the last two revealed in the next book, not towards the end.  It almost seemed like a lot of information was thrown in at the end to try and tie up some loose ends before going into the next book.  Holding off on the last two abilities would have made readers want to read the next book to see how else the other elven blood would present itself, but I can sort of understand why O’Connor did the reveal in the way she did.  This scene towards the end of the book almost begins the set the stage for the second book of the series, which I am patiently awaiting Andi (hint hint).

Overall it was a well written book.  O’Connor was able to me into the story from the beginning and me care about what happened to the characters.  The relationship aspect between Irewen and Laegon does not deter from the story, but seems to enhance it as O’Connor does not use that as a focus every time the two interact. The battle scenes were clean and not gory, but readers still get the sense of a horrific battle occurring.  This is a good book for young readers beginning to delve into the fantasy world, though as with anything, parents such use their discretion before allowing young teens (12-13) to read this book.

I give this book a rating of 4 out 5 rating.  I cannot wait to see what else Andi has in store for her readers.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Treason by S.M Boyce

Treason is the second book in Boyce's Grimoire Saga. It picks up where Litchgates leaves off.  Kara and Braeden are preparing to attend the gala in Ethos with the Bloods and others around Ourea.  Kara needs to impress the royal families if she wants them to unite with her and fight for peace.  Carden attacks the gala, and Braeden is almost forced to show his true form, which insights a riot among the Bloods.  Now he must prove his allegiance with the Bloods and against Carden, even if that means risking his own life.  Kara needs to learn whom she can trust and who is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and learns what true weakness is.  She discovers something new and surprising about herself that could change the course of her campaign.  What is the next step in this war against Carden?  Will Ourea know peace?

 

This installment of the series is packed full of surprises that will keep readers guessing.  Kara develops into a stronger character and not only struggles with what the first Vagabond wants, but also what she feels is morally right.  She is slowly becoming the leader she needs to be, but she still relies heavily on other people, mainly Braeden.  Their love for each can at times cloud their judgement and I haven’t decided if that is a good thing or not for this war against Carden.  I have to wonder what kind of ruler Braeden would be and whether or not his own people would accept him as a leader should Carden fall.  There is still a mystery that revolves some of the other bloods and their motives for things

While a lot happened in this novel, there are still a lot of questions, especially with the muses, isen and different aspects of the races.  It seems some characters are discovering new things that no one knew before which makes me wonder what will happen in the next novel with these discoveries.  Boyce wraps the story around reader’s minds and drags them down into Ourea.  You become attached to certain characters even if it is not Kara or Braeden (for me it is the muses).  We saw a lot from Gavin and Aislynn, but not the other bloods and I have to wonder if we will see them more in the future novels.  I am very intrigued with them and want more from them and their cities.  It is evenly paced, fast read.  Even though there is a lot happening in the novel, it seems to fly past because you simply can’t pull  yourself away from the pages.

 

I would recommend this series for young adults and adults a like.  So far it is a great series and I look forward to see what is in store for readers in the next book, I give this a 3.5 out of 5 rating.  Good job S.M

Friday, July 15, 2016

Wicked Thing by Kim Cormack

I have said previously that Kim Cormack is quickly becoming one of my new favorite authors, and that statement remains true with her new book due to release July 17th.  Since the beginning of the series, Cormack has captivated her audiences with tales about the Children of Ankh, a sort of immortal warrior if you will.  First we learned the story of Kayn and her abilities and trials she needed to overcome to be the woman she is.  Now we are learning the story of Lexy, the powerful dragon of the series and everything she overcame to become the fierce woman she is.  In the portion about Kayn, I fell in love with Lexy and wanted more about her and Grey, and my wish has been granted!

In Wild Thing, we get a background on Lexy.  We witness the horrors she had to experience and overcome that made her into the dragon, the events that made her shut off all her emotions.  Wicked Thing we see her struggling with her feelings for Grey and the reality that they can never be together.  She must figure out what she needs to do in order to overcome her feelings for her handler even if it means addressing a moment that occurred between her and Tiberius.  Lexy begins to search within herself to discover the woman behind the dragon.

I cannot begin or rather continue to say how amazing of a writer Kim is.  She draws her readers into the story with the very first word, or sentence.  She creates this world that her readers long to be a part of, I know I do.  It is hard not to want to be a part of the clan and learn more about them or even the other clans (possible addition to series hmmm?)  She makes the world she created almost tangible for her readers in a way no other author has done (at least not for me).  I cannot begin to say how many times I lost sleep because I could not put the book down even if it was 3 o'clock in the morning.

Kim has a way with writing that almost makes you wonder at your own sanity.  There are so many moments when you laugh and then wonder if you should be laughing at that.  "Seriously are we drawing happy faces with people's blood now? You really need to find a new hobby, I mean something other than murder."  How can you not laugh at that quote?? It is one of my favorites and just a small snippet of what makes this series so amazing.  I believe I am starting to run out of ways to say how great Kim Cormack's writing is.  I could see this series becoming the next big movie franchise, how can we make that a reality?

Release date is July 17th, pre-order now! If not pre-order, then buy it when it comes out.  You will not regret the decision.