Friday, December 15, 2017

Keepers verses Reapers


Title: Keeper Vs. Reaper
Author: Jennifer Malone Wright
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars


After the death of their father, Lucy Estmond inherits the family business even though she is the youngest.  She knew she would be the one to take over watching the souls in the graveyard and keeping them from being stolen from the Reapers.  Reapers are beings that eat souls to keep their strength.  Each despise each other and Lucy continues the age old battle.  But everything changes when Lucy finds out about a prophecy of a Chosen One..  A prophecy that she fulfills of being the  keeper to bring the end of the Reapers.  During a chance encounter at her sister's bakery Lucy meets Jack.  A gorgeous man....and a Reaper.  After their meeting the two realize they now have an attraction they cannot break.  They have a need to be together, almost like breathing.  When Lucy gets kidnapped by Jack's own mother, he joins the Estmond family to save her.  Will they be able to figure out what is behind this unnatural attraction in time?  Will Lucy discover answers to all her lingering questions?





So the premise is interesting keeper and reapers battling over souls and a chosen one to bring down the end of the other.  But it is an idea that has been done many times including the idea of the chosen one being the seventh child, born on the seventh day of the seventh month.  I've seen this 7 theme in other books (the 7th son of the 7 son will be a chosen one type of thing)  Star crossed lovers, too cliché of the Romeo and Juliet ideal. I don't want to give spoilers but several times quotes from Romeo and Juliet entered my head as I was reading this.


The pacing is super slow, it takes a long time to build up and even then the climax sort of falls short of what I was expecting and the ending made me think "that's it?"  It didn't really make eager and excited to read the next book in the series.  There were too many questions left unanswered, and readers are left wondering why the characters are doing the things that they are doing.  The language in this is fowl lots of f words and other cussing.  I understand people do this and do it often, but sometimes in novels it takes away from what the author is trying to do.  It was way overused and got old after a while. 


The characters had no depth to them, you thought they would at various points, but then their story gets dropped.  Lucy totally treats Ethan like crap, Jack is a man whore who changes his ways for Lucy.  There are so many of the siblings that sometimes you lose track of who is who and some aren't even really in the book or have side moments just as a reminder, almost like "Oh hey yea there is a sister named Steph."  The prophecy doesn't even get explained more other than Lucy is the chosen one to bring an end to the reapers.  There should be more to it at least for the readers.  It didn't seem like the Estmonds were too concerned with finding out more about the prophecy to help Lucy other than caging her into the house.


If I see the second novel available on like a free ebook day I may read it to see if there are questions answered, but I don't expect myself to read the next one.  As I always this book may not have been for me, but someone else might enjoy it, so if you enjoy paranormal fantasies and the like then sure check out this novel.


If you have any recommendations for a fantasy novel you want me to review feel free to let me know in the comments!


Happy Reading!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Novelteas

For those of you who know me personally know not only do I love books, but I love tea of all sorts.  I am always up for trying something new with tea and checking out new local tea places or things online.  The other day I stumble across a product that is perfectly right up my alley:  Novelteas.  This is a tea that comes in a tea tin that looks like a book and has a name related to that of the book it represents like Oliver Lemon Twist.  How cute is that!!


The design and artwork of the tins are all original and make them special and unique.  I love that look like classic older books with the gold inlay and everything.  The "flavors" the have include (some are available for refills as well which is really cool):


  • Don QuixoTea - Man of La ManChai
  • Oscar Wilde's - The Picture of Earl Grey
  • War and Peach by L.N. Tolstoy
  • Pride and Peppermint by Jane Austen
  • Oliver Lemon Twist by Charles Dickens
  • Matcha Do About Nothing by W. Shakespeare


  • I ordered the Picture of Earl Grey (The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde).  After getting it in the mail I will come back and let you all know what it's like.  But regardless if you like tea and like books worth a look right?  Anyway just wanted to share this with you.  :)


    Happy Reading|!

    Monday, December 11, 2017

    Biggest Bounty

    Title: The Biggest Bounty
    Author: Chris Pisano Brian Koscienski
    Genre: Science Fiction
    Rating:  4 out of 5


    Fiore is all muscle, granted it's chemically enhanced, and Zeus is more than a super genius.  Together they make the greatest bounty hunter team; in their minds.  When the famed bounty hunter "The Legend" takes their bounty from them, the duo embark on a crazy journey to track him down and get their bounty back.  Their task takes them on an interplanetary trek across the universe following leads and making new contacts....even entering into a to the death fighting match. The pair make the unlikeliest of contacts and partnerships all the while find exquisite milks from across the galaxy.  Grab a glass and prepare for a thrill ride of humor and mishaps.





    These two authors are two of my favorite people in the world.  I have had the honor of knowing both for a couple years now, and getting the chance to actually cause some mischief with them while they've been in Pittsburgh.  I started reading their books with Shatter Visage Lies and fell in love with their writing, along with themselves as authors and friends.  With these two, you never know what you are going to get, which makes reading their books a lot fun.  The Biggest Bounty is one of those books that makes you laugh while keeping you thrilled and waiting for the next thing to happen.  You find yourself wondering what hair-brained idea Fiore will come up with next or if the guys will get the bounty and the girl.  I loved Fiore and his crazy ideas that seem like really good ideas until he actually puts them into practice such as making up fight club rules.




    The story is interesting and keeps readers guessing at who is tracking these two crazy characters and why.  The readers do not get much in the way of background for Fiore and Zeus, but that's because the characters themselves don't know anything about each other.  It almost makes it feel like you are making a new friend as you find out new things about them.  Because I personally know these authors I can actually see various characteristics of both Brian and Chris in Zeus and Fiore, which made it a little more fun for me as I pictured them in those roles. Now I have myself wondering who would be Huva, Valla and some of the other characters...hmm.  The world they create is rather interesting with jump ports that allow travelers to get from on area to another quicker, almost like an intergalactic toll road. 


    These two are truly master geniuses at what they do (I'm sure that statement will go to their heads, but it's true).  I don't think you will be able to find a more unique novel than this one. I wanted to know more about each of the characters including Valla and Huva who are two kick ass bounty hunter women.  Some people have stated that the book is a combination of Alice in Wonderland and Grand Theft Auto.  I am not sure if I would make that comparison but I see why they would say that. These two are characters that I would imagine being bounty hunters in something like Guardians of the Galaxy.  I actually thought of Groot and Rocket in the beginning of the first movie looking to capture Quill for the units.


    With this book you get comedy, thrills, science fiction, sort of attempts at romance (Fiore ogling every woman and asking them out), fights....milks?  I found the various types of milk interesting almost like that was Fiore's guilty pleasure instead poker.  How many different things can you milk in this universe?  These two deliver a sort of tongue-in-cheek humor without having to include foul language, sex scenes or gruesome deaths.  They tell a good story that you will not forget anytime soon.  I would highly suggest this book for fans of science fiction, humor, thrills, or just a good ole fun story.  Check it out, you won't regret it.


    Til next time, Happy Reading!

    Thursday, December 7, 2017

    Solomon's Ring

    Title: Solomon's Ring
    AUthor: Mary Jennifer Payne
    Genre: YA Fantasy
    Rating: 2 out of 5 stars




    Jade and Jasmine are twins sisters who have finally been reunited after 5 years.  They have that special twin connection, but they are also Seers known as Daughters of Light.  Their city is being overrun by demons who are coming over through the rift, or so it seems.  While fighting a demon, Jasmine is plague with the question of why he referred to her as the chosen one.  Throughout all this she also discovers someone has stolen a powerful ring, one that could control the demons.  It has become a race against time as the Daughters of Light enter into a battle with the forces of darkness.  Will it be too late?





    The idea of this book is fantastic.  I like the idea of twin sisters feeding off of each other's strengths and weaknesses, really being a team against the forces of evil rather than a guy and girl teaming up together and the inevitable romance ensues. This is one of the main reasons why I requested it from Netgalley and the publisher for an honest review, because it seemed like something out of the ordinary in the world of YA novels. The cover features the twins with a ring with the Star of David in the middle makes me interested to see what the story had to do with Judaism.




    From the very beginning of the book the reader has to distinguish between speakers as it changes between the two sisters' viewpoints, while this isn't something that I mind, but the chapters seem rather short and the reader doesn't get enough time with one or the other to really feel a connection with her.  I understand the girls are to be Latinas, but the dialogue doesn't really suggest this other than a few random Spanish words entering into conversations...at random.  There could be a conversation in English and then boom one random Spanish word that makes it feel disconnected and out of place.  I honestly had a hard time connecting climate change terrorism with the acts of the demons and how that played a large role into the story, but I will admit I had a hard time finishing this book as well.


    The different perspective between the sisters do not seem to sync up with each other which makes it hard to pinpoint a timeline of events for the story.  The story feels very choppy and difficult to follow.  While the cover shows a ring with the Star of David the story did not show anything related to Judaism, I am not sure if it will come up later in other books.  I don't know if I would continue reading this series because of how disjoined this novel felt.  I don't think I would recommend it either.





    Friday, December 1, 2017

    Born Again

    Title: Born Again
    Author: Tom Harpur
    Genre: Non-fiction, Spiritual, Memoir
    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


    Tom Harpur is an Anglican priest, Rhodes Scholar, Professor at University of Toronto, writer and editor for Toronto Star and a published prolific author.  His previous book "The Pagan Christ" has received critical acclaim.  In this book, Harpur delves into his spiritual journey away from fundamentalism and into spiritual freedom.  He discusses his struggles and triumphs along the way to spiritual self discovery.  What Harpur brings to his audience is more than a memoir, it is something personal and gives us a glimpse into his life.





    When I seen this book on Netgalley I was interested in reading someone else's spiritual quest, but also was unsure of what to expect.  I have read a few memoirs that fell short and didn't seem as interesting as the synopsis made it seem, but this book held my attention from beginning to end.  Harpur basically opens the door to his own life for readers to experience.  He doesn't bore readers with every little detail of  his life, but pinpoints the critical points along his journey.


    He writes with a knowledgeable, sage voice and include very candid comments about things he observed throughout life which made reading the book all the more real.  He makes it personal and relatable which is something I love about his memoir as opposed to others.  I haven't been able to feel connected to my author the way I did while I was reading this book.  Harpur address some of the things I have been thinking in my own personal spiritual odyssey.


    Throughout this memoir, there is a lot of insight and revelation that leads to his personal renewal, his personal freedom from the fundamentalism of organized religion.  This book really hit home as I admit it is something I struggle with in my own personal walk.  I found it very resourceful and know I will find myself returning back to it time and time again., and I feel each time I return to it, I will find something else that will be helpful.


    I recommend this to anyone who longs for spiritual freedom, and someone who enjoys memoirs.  It is definitely one of those reads that will get you thinking about things. 



    Wednesday, November 29, 2017

    The Hollow Crown


    Title: The Hollow Crown
    Author: Jeff Wheeler
    Genre:  Fantasy
    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


    While celebrating the wedding of the new king, Tryneowy's mother discloses a vision she had had of an upcoming war, one that may devastate the kingdom.  She had grown up learning of military and political strategy.  In her heart, she knows she is to protect the country as a knight rather than a Wizr.  Tyrneowy struggles to find her own destiny within this world she studies her mother's traditions and secretly trains with the general.  An evil force now threatens the future and the kingdom.  Trynne hopes she has what it takes to help protect the kingdom, but does she have what the kingdom needs, or will she fall short?





    I have not read the beginning of the series, as I received a copy of this novel from Netgally and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.  But I do not think one needs to read the series in order, thought it would be beneficial as you will understand the kingdom and key players, and the magic that is used.  The story has a lot of background in it, a lot of build up to the climax and conclusion, which is very much important in the end.  The characters are beyond complex and filled with depth.  From the very beginning of the story, your heart aches for Tryneowy.


    The way Wheeler describes things and builds his characters, it is easy to understand them and the motives behind every action and spoken word.  He has given each one such personality, it felt like I was watching a movie rather than reading a book, I could almost see this being made into a movie and acted out.  I would love to see how Hollywood would depict the magic he creates.  I liked the idea of the main character going against what is expected of her and following her dream regardless of how she will be viewed or what her parents think, though I believe her father approved as he gave her permission to train with the sword.


    There aren't many lose ends other than those one would expect to carry over into the next novel.  I am excited to see what else Jeff Wheeler has in store for his readers, and I now have to go back to read the other books in this series.  If they are anything like this book, I will be hooked on yet another series!  I would recommend this book and potentially series to anyone who enjoys reading a good fantasy novel.  Anyone who loves to get lost in another realm and wish to never come back, then this is the book for you!  Great novel, great writing, new fan!

    Monday, November 27, 2017

    The Waking Land

    Title: The Waking Land
    Author: Callie Bates
    Genre: Fantasy
    Rating: 2 out of 5 stars


    Lady Elanna is dedicated to the man she knew like a father: the King.  When the king suddenly mysteriously dies Elanna is now the prime suspect and she runs away for her own safety.  Now that she has returned to her magical homeland she must reconcile with a father she never knew and face the truth about the powers within her and her connection to the lands.  Quickly a new threat faces her and now she has to lead a rebellion against the realm she once called home.  She struggles between her loyalties, feeling devoted and connected to both.  Will she be able to come to terms with her destiny, or will she be torn apart in the process?





    When I received this book from Netgalley, I was already interested based on the synopsis.  I love a good earth magic book and that is what I was expecting.  What I got was so much more.  First let me mention that cover! OMG how gorgeous is that!  It is what initially drew me into the blurb and captured my heart.  Great art work.  Now into the book:


    There is so much going on in this book with different kingdoms and different characters (each with their own personalities).  I understand that might deter some people but there seemed to be too many, some of which we don't meet in this novel, maybe we will in future novels, but I don't know. Elanna was interesting at first, but the more she struggles back and forth between her emotions made it difficult to follow along with the real plot of the story. It was really hard to relate to her on a level beyond struggling within yourself.  I liked the idea of being one with nature and feeling connected to nature, but to wed the land..what does that mean? How does one actually marry the land?  And don't get me started on the sex scenes, I know this is a YA novel, but the scenes included made this 35 year old woman gasp and blush!  I couldn't believe they were included in a novel meant for young adults. 


    The writing was beautifully lyrical, almost like reading poetry but it was also hard to follow and get an easy grasp on what was exactly happening, maybe because there was SO much going on.  In all honesty I don't think I could recommend this novel to others as it was difficult for myself to read it.  If Callie writes more I would consider reading it, but I hope she tones down the amount of characters/plots and make the romantic scenes not so explicit.

    Monday, October 16, 2017

    Greensmith Girls


    Rowen Greensmith is an aspiring journalist and is beyond happy to have gotten away from her family, and their reputation.  But when her aunt calls about 2 dead bodies, Rowen returns to home for the story and to help her family avoid the press. Her whole family, and Eric Richardson get pulled into the a story of supernatural intrigue.


    So this book was relatively shorter, coming in at alittle over 100 pages.  It is easy to fall in love with the idea of this family of women being pulled into a supernatural mystery.  But the idea and execution are two different things.  The writing itself was a hit and miss.  Something's were great while other things not so much.  The tone was very monotonous and hard to really get into. There is a lot of build up to what happened only for the reader to be let down with the "big reveal"  it wasn't all that big if you pay attention. 


    There is a romance in the story, and I guess almost every story needs to have a budding romance in some form or another.  The characters aren't really all that deep, nor do they grow throughout the story.  Rowen decides to quit her job after a few short days of her family  having a sort of see-saw effect of welcoming her and not welcoming her.  They didn't seem all that warm enough to quit a job.  Once the book ended I had more questions that answers.  There isn't much to the story other than Eric and Rowen just  driving around.  I would have liked a little more from the ghosts speaking or interacting with the characters more, or more aspects of the women being witches.  That part of the story seems important, but isn't used much.


    If you like a book that is incredibly easy to read and that you don't need to put a lot of effort into it, then sure pick up this book.  But if you want something with a little more meat to it, then this isn't for you.  Personally, I give this book a 2 out 5 stars.  I was not a fan of it.

    Wednesday, October 4, 2017

    Twisted

    Aoife qanted nothing more than to protect her family and care for them.  She has rejected every advance from potential suitor.  She is happy with the way her life is going, if only her father would lay off the drink.  All that changes when, in a drunken stupor, her father promises the Duke that she can turn straw into gold.  Aoife does her best to show how the Duke can change his excess straw into gold, but he takes her father's claims literally and demands she turns straw to hay.  This begins a deal with a little wizard man, one that could end up costing Aoife everything she loves dear.

    This story is a supposed retelling of Rumplestiltskin, but I feel as though I have read this story before.  It may be because I am so familiar with the tale and this book doesn't really deviate from the tale.  It is remains close to the tale we all know with a few exceptions. I admit it felt like to story progressed a little slow for me with details that are mundane.  It wasn't until Aoife began learning about the Duke and his birth that I felt like the story really picked and got interesting for me.  I didn't really feel I could relate or connect with Aoife.  I had a hard time with her loving Rumple, and despising the Duke then doing a complete 180 after she had married the Duke. 

    There are a few twists and turns as the readers discover the truth behind the connection between Rumple and the Duke.  Rumple claims to love Aoife, but denies her love and becomes somewhat controlling telling her the only way they could be together is if she sacrifices her family.  If the man knew her all these years and loved her he wouldn't make this kind of request.  I like that the book showed Aoife's struggle, but she doesn't cave to his demand.  Too often I see books where the girl gives in to whatever the guy wants simply to make him happy.  WRONG!

    I am not sure how I feel about the book.  I admit I skipped a few pages just to get past some things that didn't seem to fit in with the story.  I have mixed feelings about and not sure what kind of rating I would give this novel.

    Monday, October 2, 2017

    Dragonmark


    Illarion is a dragon, who was force to become human, and then again forced to serve those same humans as a mount during their battles.  Understandably he becomes bitter as he is separated from his dragonkin and everything he ever knew.  He then is forced into the fey realm where he looses the one woman he loved...


    Where do I begin with this one.  I couldn't give a more detailed synopsis because I honestly did not finish the book and that saddens me greatly.  I have been a fan of Kenyon since Fantasy Lover and all the way through the other Dark Hunter novels, but this...this book was shear crap and not up to the standards that I have held Kenyon.  This is probably her worst novel yet.  It is LITERALLY copy and paste from other books.  There were chapters from Dragonsbane and Son of No One.  Oh you might think those sections were rewritten with Illarion's point of view WRONG!  He was barely in his own book!  I actually pulled my copies of Son of No One and Dragonsbane from my shelf and compared the three....word for word the same info from those books in this one.  It is not an original story so to speak.  Honestly how dare Kenyon do this to her readers.


    I cannot in good conscience recommend this book to anyone.  I don't even want to rate the book, so 0 out of 5 because there was no effort in this.  Granted in the past we have seen scene from other stories in with other books like Acheron, but never has she copied and pasted verbatim.  The scenes were always rewritten from the view of Acheron or whatever hunter the book was about.  I couldn't be more disappointed in this author.  This may be the book that makes me no longer read her work.

    Thursday, September 28, 2017

    Beautiful Storm

    Alicia has always been drawn to the beauty of lightening, more so after the mysterious death of her father.  During a storm one night Alicia witnesses a fight in between the flashes of lightening.  When she gets to the scene, she finds military tags with the name Liliana Valdez on it.  After some research, she discovered this woman has been missing for two months, and takes the tags to the police.  This is a piece to a the puzzle that allows the police to begin further investigations, but Alicia decides to try and see what she can find.  She meets Michael along the way, a man who is the prime suspect in the investigation simply because he spoke to the Liliana. They work together to piece together the puzzle of Liliana's disappearance, a quest that takes them half-way across the country and into something far dangerous and sinister.  Their search begins to spark more disappearances and murders, will Alicia and Michael find out the truth before it's too late?

    This is another book I came across on BookBub (if you are an avid reader and don't use this, you should).  The story is very suspenseful and you don't know what is going to happen next.  You try to figure out who took Liliana, but when the truth is revealed you will be taken away.  I definitely was.  There was a little bit of romantic tension between the two, but it doesn't take over the story.  Freethy does a fantastic job including this into the foreground of the story, but maintains the true mystery of a missing woman.  I actually don't like when it feels like authors are pushing characters together just for the same of a romantic sub story, Freethy doesn't do this.  She develops a friendship with romantic tension mixed in. 

    The characters had depth to them, both Alicia and Michael had their own demons to tame while performing their search.  I think this gave them the feel of being...well human.  I loved the idea of lightening having paranormal attributes, and almost wanted something more from this, something more to tie it into the story other than an explanation as to why Alicia and her father were obsessed with this act of nature.  It is not a "typical" mystery with blood, gore or anything like that.  It is relatively clean, it does have a few sex scenes.  Nothing too "steamy" but sex scenes nonetheless.

    Overall this was a good enough book to read, I wouldn't say it was phenomenal or out of this world.  But it is one of those books that will draw you in and keep you interested until the very end.  I do recommend other mystery lovers to pick up a copy.  Also if you normally aren't a fan of mystery, I would say give this book a chance, you might be surprised.  I give this a 4 out of 5 star rating. 


    Wednesday, September 27, 2017

    The Watchmaker's Daughter

    India's father had just passed away, on the same day her fiancé kicks her out of the house and keeps her father's watchmaker's shop for himself.  The other shop keeps will not hire her, not because she lacks the skills, but because she is a woman.  At a lost for what to do and one who doesn't take things lying down, India goes to the shop to give Eddie a piece of her mind.  While there she runs into Matthew Glass who gives her a proposition of helping find a specific watchmaker to fix his watch.  One that is rare and carries an air of mystery around it.  While helping him find his mystery watchmaker, India begins to believe he is a wanted outlaw from America and wonders what do and how to prove her suspicions while trying to find out why the guild members are being so cold to her.  Danger seems to be lurking around every corner and India begins to discover new things about the man she is working and living with, as well as herself.  Will they be able to find the watchmaker before Glass' watch stops for good?  Will India be able to find proof of her suspicions and why she lost favor among?

    This was one of the books I stumbled upon on BookBub.  Its hard to describe how I felt about this book. It was a good read and I enjoyed the characters but it felt like it took too long to develop and that there were too many things happening in it.  Whenever something happened or revealed my reaction was "oh..that's how that's being shown."  It had its suspenseful moments but overall it seemed somewhat predictable especially the "romantic" tension between India and Glass.


    I don't feel like readers are able to feel completely connected to the characters, but they were interesting enough to finish the book. My opinion on India is like a love-hate relationship.  I liked her enough, but don't see her as a strong female lead.  I know this is the first book in a series and I have to wonder what the other books will be like and where the story will go.


    As for a rating...i give it a 3 out 5.  Much more could have been done with the story, but young fantasy readers will enjoy it as well as many other readers.  I just don't think this was a book that demands me to read it again.



    Monday, September 18, 2017

    The Cat Who Could Read Backwards

    Jim Qwilleran has his string of bad luck since leaving his job with a big city paper, not he has taken a position with the Daily Fluxion, and small town paper, doing a column he has no knowledge on...the art column.  Many of the artists in the town are hopeful that this means the replacement of the ever too critical art critic, many try to convince Qwill of how horrible of a man the art critic is while he attends art functions and does human interest articles on local artists.  Qwill decides to met this critic and ends up living in the same house on a lower level.  While the critic is away, Qwill takes care of his Siamese cat whom Qwill nick-named Koko.  This cat has extra ordinary talents of being able to read backwards and know when something is amiss.  Soon artists and others in the art community become victims of murder.  Qwill's old investigative journalist talents kick in and he begins o try and solve this murder, with the help of Koko of course.  The question is will Qwill be able to find the correct murderer and save the reputation of many artists as well as the critic? Or will he soon become the murderer's next target?


    This is a series of books that I read when I was younger and starting to really get into mysteries and longer chapter books aside from the typical baby sitters club (that's like a rite of passage for little girls).  I loved that a cat helped solve mysteries by leading Qwill to different clues and seem to pick up on subtle things the humans in the books don't pick up one.  The cat in this book, Koko reminds me of my friend's cat Artemis (pictured on the left) with his perchance of running around the room, wanting specific food and making his discontent known.  Braun gives the cat as much personality as she does her human characters, which is something you don't see in many books with animal.  Normally the animal is just that an animal whereas in these books, Koko is another personality rather than a prop so to speak. 

    I love this series even 20 some years after beginning to read the series and returning to it time and time again.  This is the perfect novel to begin with since I believe it is the beginning of the series as it introduces Qwill and Koko and how they became a dynamic duo. The writing isn't too complex and easy to understand which is one reason why it was great for a youngster as I once was.  There also isn't blood, gore, or sex in it.  Sure Swill has attractions to ladies and flirts a little, but it's all innocent and clean, another reason why it is a great starter series for young readers (and a nice break from stuff included in some books today). This is a short, cozy mystery that is easy to read within a day.  Perfect for a rainy afternoon curled up with your favorite feline. 

    I do recommend this book as well as the series to any young reader who wants to grow in their reading library.  I also would recommend this to anyone who loves a cozy mystery, easy to read book or who feels a little nostalgic.  I give the book a 4 out of 5 for a rating, it needed more Koko!

    Thursday, September 14, 2017

    Woodcutter


    A man known as The Woodcutter stumbles upon a maiden's dead body, with no trace of foul play, nor who could have caused her tragic fate.  The only thing left behind were her glass slippers.  The Woodcutter seeks to find her killer before other maidens suffer the same fate.  The Woodcutter is not your average man, he is the keeper of peace between the kingdoms of man and the realm of the faerie.  He searches the realms for clues to the mysterious events happening around the kingdoms and the forest, along with three axes blessed by the River God, he begins to find clues to lead to the truth.  Shortly into his search he discovers information that is troubling: one of Odin's hellhounds has escaped, a nefarious mansion appears and disappears and princes and princesses along with it, pixie dust being turned into a drug ring, and more young woman proceed to go missing without a trace.  The Woodcutter must find the truth to all of these before it is too late, as task proven more difficult with an evil queen lurking in the shadows intent on stopping his every effort.  Will he be able to stop the queen before she destroys the kingdoms and the fae or will it be too late?


    I love fairy tales.  Everything about them brings me back to my childhood.  I love reading retellings and other author's takes on the different stories.  When I picked this book up I expected it to be along the lines of the woodcutter in Snow White or Red Riding Hood, but was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be something completely different.  I love the idea of a mysterious protected of the realms that no one knows his name, his name never gets revealed and leaves the read in as much a mystery as the characters.  It almost makes you as frustrated as the queen in not knowing his name.  That adds an air of mystery around this character, and at the same time the reader knowing he cannot bear children but must wait until the fates bring a child to him and his wife makes your heart break especially after he comes across young children.  You can almost feel the fatherly desire in his heart.

    Danley creates a world where the characters come to life, without specifically referring to the characters by name or tale, readers can get an idea of who is supposed to be who based off minor descriptions such as the glass slippers left behind when the maiden was killed.  Readers get the idea that someone harmed Cinderella without specifically being told.  It was also interesting that Danley incorporated some mythology in the tale with the use of Odin and the hellhounds.  That was a great touch though I wanted more from that storyline, it almost takes a backseat to the other events of the tale. This was a great story, one that I finished in a few short days.

    I highly recommend this novel if you enjoy fairy tales, fantasy, young adult, and a good story.  As for a rating I will give this a 5 out of 5, pick it up today.  You won't regret adding this to your book shelf.

    Wednesday, August 16, 2017

    TV Gods Summer Programming

    Take your favorite god from any pantheon, mash it with your favorite tv show, what would that look like?  How would the characters act differently or similar to the original characters?  For example how would Guilligan's Island be different if Posideon was involved? Or would Raj from Big Bang Theory act around the Fates differently than he would around normal women? Interesting ideas, interesting concepts, this is exactly what happens in T.V Gods Summer Programming, the sequel to Fortress Publishing's Tv Gods.  There are many different stories in this collection that are entertaining, humorous and makes one wonder how would their favorite show be different if a god was involved.

    I picked this book up at Confluence a few weeks ago because I have the first book and well...Fortress Publishing are some of my favorite people.  There is something endearing about reading stories by people you know personally, it adds a certain touch to the tales.

    Wednesday, August 9, 2017

    The Rogue Mountain

    A creature hidden in the mountains, lurking, watching, waiting.  Down below a town living to survive with hellish beings living in their backyard, learning to protect themselves from the creatures of the mountains.  Three teenagers long for a life away from wood devils and hell cats.  A woman doing everything she can do to survive while another lives in a perpetual nightmare.  A monster hunter comes on a mission to cleanse the area of the beasts, only to bring unwanted attention from the witch on the mountain.  Secrets rise to the surface and a town finds out the truth behind their fears.  Welcome to the Rogue Mountains where nothing is ever what it seems.


    I will start the disclaimer that this book is not available yet, it is set to release in October, October 3rd I believe.  But I had the honor of sort of beta reading this book for an author dear to me.  This is the debut novel for Joshua Tarquinio.  The book is a mix of supernatural/post-apocalyptic thriller, horror, fantasy, self-realization, with a touch of questioning theology.  The story centers around a small town outside of Pittsburgh after an apocalyptic event that opens the doors to the supernatural.   Now this town learns to survive with various beings attacking them, and the knowledge that there is a witch hidden in the mountains that no one has ever been able to go near. Three teens are the only entertainment in town, but long for something more.  Everyone basically lives their lives one day at a time hoping to survive, hoping to one day be free of the beings that prowl their woods and mountains.  Then a monster hunter, Del Ballatine rolls into town with the intent of ridding them of these creatures.  He and naïve Nigel venture out to the woods and happen upon a hell hound, which they take down.  But this gains the attention of the witch in the mountain and all hell breaks lose, literally.  Secrets are revealed and the state of the village changes forever.


    The novel does start out a little slow with a great deal of background on the characters, and takes a little bit of time to build up to the climax.  But those details are necessary in understanding the characters and why they act and react the way the do in situations that arise further into the book, also this gives you an understanding of the town functions together, how they arise to the mob mentality so to speak.  Through this part you form a connection with the characters and town in general.  It helps with the wow factor and the twists that's happen throughout the novel.  Tarquinio does a fantastic job dragging his readers into his world, and holds them under a spell, much like the cave worm in his story.  One of my favorite elements in the story was a being known as a nightmare, one that attaches itself to a person and causes them to live in a state of a living nightmare.  It preys on the happy memories and changes them into nightmares.  It is literally the stuff of nightmares and almost makes your skin crawl.  The creatures he creates in this book are not only characters, but become apart of the atmosphere as they lurk in the shadows.


    There are times in the novel when some of the characters question the existence of God in that the book takes place 20 years after the Biblical apocalypse takes place and well the world didn't end.  So characters wonder where is God, did he ever exist, is there such as thing as intrinsically evil or can a supposed evil being redeem itself.  A couple points in the story I found myself audibly whispering "no" when something happen.

    I am excited to see what else Tarquinio has in store for readers with sequels, prequels or other stories unrelated to this one.  He has a knack for bringing the thrill of the unknown to the surface and his readers.  I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy supernatural thrillers, horror, fantasy, adventure.  Because I am a little bias for the fact the Josh is a dear friend of mine and my opinion of the book reflects my friendship, I will not rate the book the way I normally do.  But will simply say definitely keep your eyes out in October for when the book is release.