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#UrbanFantasy #BookReview of Fallen by Benedict Jacka via #NetGalley

 

Review

Fallen by Benedict Jacka Cover

Fallen

Alex Verus #10

by Benedict Jacka

Release date: September 24th, 2019

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Fallen (Alex Verus #10) by Benedict Jacka from NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group/ Penguin Random House in order to read and give an honest review.

… is a brilliant, page-turner which is perhaps my favourite in the series…

I am a huge fan of Benedict Jacka and was so I was thrilled for the opportunity to read and review the tenth instalment in his Alex Verus series. I really enjoy this series, it’s such a unique, fast-paced urban fantasy, filled with magic, mystery and mayhem.    

Definitely not a stand-alone, Fallen picks up with the fallout from San Vittore as witnessed in his last book Marked.  So much has happened to Mage Alex Verus and his friends and in this book, we see Alex face a whole new set of challenges. The council becomes a huge issue and we see a significant departure from the normal Alex we’ve followed through the previous books. In Fallen, we see the “normal’ good guy Verus, change into a more ruthless and cut-throat Alex.  Sadly, we also say goodbye (hopefully, not permanently) to a main and much-beloved character and Alex’s old life as he knew it. This book has the usual cast of characters, Anne, Luna Varium, Arachne, the quirky air elemental, Starbreeze and some of the ones we love to hate. Dark mage Richard, Rachel/Deleo, Onyx and Cinder all reappear to make this perhaps one of the more action-packed books in the series to date.

As always, Jacka does an amazing job and putting Alex in almost inescapable situations where he’s damned if he does or damned if he doesn’t and Fallen is no exception. The Council decides to put a warrant out for both Anne and Alex their life is changed forever. On the run, and using stones to jump through gate after gate, they also have to contend with another problem. When Richard hatches a plan that involves capturing Anne and forcing her to do his bidding Versus must fight for her even if it means his death.

Without giving away much more this is such a brilliant, page-turner and I have to say is perhaps my favourite in the series! I would highly recommend it!

#BookReview of The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow #SciFi #Fantasy #Portals #NetGalley

 

Review

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

by Alix E. Harrow

Release date: September 10th, 2019

Ten Thousand Doors of January Cover

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Ten Thousand Doors of January
by Alix E. Harrow from NetGalley and Redhook Books in order to read and give an honest review.

Since tales of Narnia and Oz, stories about secret portals to other worlds have been embraced by readers young and old.  The idea of quickly transporting to new and exciting locations always seems to thrill us and the Ten Thousand Doors of January is no exception.  Author Alix E. Harrow beautifully crafts her debut novel to appeal to those who love to escape into the written word.  

The author introduces us to a young January Scaller who is intelligent, well-read and inquisitive.  Her father a treasure hunter of sorts has left January in the care of his employer a rather wealthy and well-respected collector, Mr Locke, after her mother’s disappearance. Being of mixed race at the turn of the century, January has always felt out of place in Mr Locke’s social circle but Mr Locke and his money have always provided her with more than she needs. Well educated, well cared for and lavished with gifts, January has it all but is still unhappy. Her father Julian is always away hunting down artefacts for Mr Locke, leaving January alone much of the time. Although lonely and missing her father she has one friend, the local grocer’s son, Samuel who gives her a pup called Bad (Sinbad) so she never feels alone, cements their friendship which will endure time and the trials which lie ahead.  

January discovers a strange door, which, at the time she doesn’t realize, will change the course of her life forever. When a mysterious friend of her father, Jane, comes to assist Mr Locke in January’s care she gets the friendship of another woman. When she receives a mysterious book on her seventeenth birthday which delves into mysterious doors to new worlds and the intriguing adventures of Adelaid Lee Larson, she discovers much more than she bargained for.   When Mr Locke begins realizing that January is close to discovering a secret, a secret that he has kept at all costs, her kindly old guardian and his friends become her worse nightmare come true. Isolated from her friends and facing insurmountable odds, she realizes what true friendship is when her friends’ rally around her and begin an adventure that will change their lives forever. 

Without giving too much away Ms Harrow has crafted an incredible novel that is full of intelligence, beauty, whimsy, tragedy and just pure entertainment.  Well-written, with unique multi-faceted characters and imaginative plotlines, this is perhaps one of my favourite reads of the year and I highly recommend it!  

Autumn is Upon Us🍂🍁🍃 ~ #amwriting #studying #revisions #bookreviews #creating

“Don’t be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Sept

Time seems to fly by…it’s hard to believe the summer is over and autumn is on its way, replete with, warm blankets, pumpkin spice lattes (yes, I’m a pumpkin person…don’t judge😉 ) and cuddling up in the cosiness reading a book and writing.

Moving forward I have a few months full of studying, working on multiple projects, revising and researching.  Looks like I will be kept extremely busy in the months ahead, as a result, I will be taking a hiatus from my coaching practice at IgniteYourCreativity.net and returning with new programs and classes in Winter of 2020.

Over at Professor Owl’s Book Corner, we recently published our Back-to-School Newsletter. This month features some great book recommendations, literacy tutoring and creative writing inspiration for our young writers. 

On August 30th, we celebrated our twenty-seventh instalment of the “We Are The World Blogfest” #WATWB.  We have been going strong and send a huge thank you to everyone who has been participating.  Our next post is on September 27th, 2019!

Wondering what #WATWB is all about? The #WATWB was inspired by a simple conversation about how all the negativity on social media was weighing on us. Wanting to make a difference we decided to try to do our part to infuse social media with all the good stories that are out there. We hope to share the stories that show kindness, compassion, hope, overcoming challenges and in general, the impressive resilience of the human spirit. For every dark, negative story out there, there is a positive, heartwarming story that will add some light and lift the human spirit. The last Friday of every month bloggers will share their positive stories led by five co-hosts. If you are interested in learning more about this or to join us please click here for details. 

Wishing everyone a successful September…wherever you may be in your day or evening, I hope you are making your fondest dreams a reality!

Live, laugh & love! ❤

“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

#amwriting #revisions #rewrites #researching #urbanfantasy #alchemy #mystery #historicalfiction #learning #studying #archaeology #forensicanthropology #manuscriptstudies #palaeography  #codicology #history #art #WATWB #bookreviews #art #volunteering #transcribing #amreading #photography #blogging #authorinterviews #journaling

My Spotify Playlist ~#AmWriting #UrbanFantasy #HistoricalFiction #Archaeological #Mystery~ Secret of Living

#BookReview Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay via #NetGalley #Fantasy #YA

Review

Ever Alice

by H.J. Ramsay

 

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Ever Alice Cover

Published: August 1st, 2019


I received a complimentary ARC copy of Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay from NetGalley and Red Rogue Press

…a wonderfully whimsical and fun story inspired by Alice and Wonderland …

The author has created a brilliant and unique take on Lewis Carroll’s, Alice in Wonderland. A unique plotline, quirky characters and an interesting interpretation of the characters Carroll is famous for. Ramsay creates a humourous story about 15-year-old Alice whose parents are concerned with her rantings about her friend “the white rabbit”. Her parents fear that after a near-drowning, the trauma has caused her to lose her mind and as a result commit her to an insane asylum for treatment.  Alice endures the asylum and after a while, when just on the verge of being released home, a nasty nurse exposes Alice by sharing her journal filled with rants about the white rabbit and a place called Wonderland. At a loss, the asylum staff decide to take her to see a doctor famous for curing individuals with a surgical procedure.  After seeing other patients Alice realizes this procedure isn’t going to be as easy as she is told, luckily at the direst moment, her friend the “white rabbit” appears and whisks her away to Wonderland where her adventure begins.

Filled with humour, this is a wonderfully whimsical and fun story inspired by Alice in Wonderland and although a YA novel  I would recommend to young and old alike.

#NetGalley #BookReview The Book Knights, An Arthurian Fantasy by J.G. McKenney (@jgmckenney) #Fantasy #YA

Review

The Book Knights

An Arthurian Fantasy

by J.G. McKenney

The Book Knights Cover

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Published: July 5th 2017


I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Book Knights by J.G. McKenney from NetGalley and Victory Editing NetGalley Co-Op.

…a wonderfully unique plotline, compelling characters and an interesting and terrifying (reading and books are outlawed *shudders*) world! …

I absolutely loved this book! The author has created a brilliant and unique take on Arthurian legend. Filled with a wonderfully unique plotline, compelling characters and an interesting and terrifying world (where reading & books are outlawed *shudders*😲)!

The story begins with Arti, our protagonist, on the run after her parents are arrested for being readers and having a hidden library brimming with books in their home.   A neighbour has reported them and their home is raided. Hiding behind a shelf Arti barely escapes the destruction of her home and is on the run for her freedom.  Morgan Fay, the head of “The Corporation” is an acting government of sorts and has banned reading and books throughout the land. Arti is being hunted by The Flames (Fay’s enforcement officers) who will stop at nothing until they bring readers to justice. Scared, lost and on the run Arti meets a young street smart girl named Gal who helps her navigate her new life on the run.  Gal unable to read is moved and they bond when Arti introduces her to the beauty of reading.

With her world in danger and at risk of having any readers annihilated, Arti teams up with some interesting characters along the way.  She meets Merl at an abandoned Garage called “Camel-Lot” when they stumble upon his motor home hidden in one of the Bays.  Peeking in the window they notice him reading an ancient looking tome. Arti knowing he is one of “them” decides to talk to him and their lives change forever.  Merl who has been looking for the “chosen one” who can read the hidden text in the tome and is elated when he realizes there is hope for the world. One by one her knights are drawn to her. Along with Merl, Gal and Arti, Lance and Gwen join them on a crusade to restore reading to their world.

A fun fast-paced and interesting take on a classic story that I would highly recommend for young and old alike.

#NetGalley #BookReview of Romanov by Nadine Brandes #Teens #YA #Historical #Fantasy

Review

Romanov

by Nadine Brandes

Romanov Cover

Release date: May 7th, 2019

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Romanov
by Nadine Brandes from NetGalley and Thomas Nelson–FICTION in order to read and give an honest review.

“…Well crafted, emotional, heartbreaking and at times comical, Brandes shapes a touching story with magical fantasy and young romance…”

New to author Nadine Brandes’s work, I have to say I really enjoyed it. Taking the historical story of the Romanovs, the tale about their demise at the hands of the Bolsheviks and the rumours that initially the bodies of the youngest two were never found. Brandes tells an alternate history of their lives and pulls an author’s favourite trick…asking “what if” Brandes posits that the two managed to survive and tells the story of the events that followed.

The story follows the exile of Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Tsarina Alexandra and their five children Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Alexei. In this story, they are not painted as the family of tyrants but as a loving, patriotic family who believes in the power of forgiveness and showing kindness to all, even your enemies. Romanticized the story is told from the POV of the spirited and mischievous daughter, Anastasia Romanov who struggles to be brave and find forgiveness.

Well crafted, emotional, heartbreaking and at times comical, Brandes shapes a touching story with magical fantasy and young romance weaved in. Although not as accurate as some may like, to me this was definitely fiction, a story inspired by the facts. I think it takes talent and creativity to take a story down a different path away from what is and into what may have been.  I loved it and would definitely recommend it to anyone who craves something a bit different.

#NetGalley #Review of Middlegame by Seanan McGuire #SciFi #UrbanFantasy #Alchemy #Books

 

Review

Middlegame

by Seanan McGuire

Release date: May 7th, 2019

Middlegame Cover

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Middlegame by Seanan McGuire from NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge in order to read and give an honest review.

Being an avid fan of Seanan McGuire already, I have to say she has definitely outdone herself. McGuire’s books have it all, perfect prose, brilliant plots, engaging worlds and multi-faceted characters and the same is true for her new book, Middlegame.

As always this dark and whimsical story like most of her work is so well written and incredibly intelligent that it fully engages you with topics that challenge you on all levels.

James Reed an alchemist and apprentice to the once great Asphodel Baker who created him. Reed becomes convinced that he can create and control a diety that would give him control and power.  He decides to create twins, each an important half of a whole, but to keep them together in the past has not produced the results he’s desired.  Enter his middle set of twins, Roger Middleton and Dodger Cheswich. Each perfect prodigies in their own areas. Roger, awkward and shy excels in languages, reading and making sense and meaning from words but struggles with mathematics.  Dodger is his opposite a passionate math genius who is isolated yet bold but struggles with English and reading. Even though placed on opposite sides of the country Roger in Massachusetts and Dodger in California one day she finds a way to open her mind and step inside of Rogers mind seeing the world through his eyes. Their quantum entanglement begins with them helping each other with homework but leads them to a friendship like no other.  Both become incredibly reliant on each other’s friendship but they are separated when the powers that be feel they are getting too close. The story unfolds complete with near-death experiences, chance encounters, murder, mayhem and time resets creating a brilliantly compelling and twisted plot that will keep you turning pages.

So unique this is a story unlike anything I have read and it definitely challenges the reader to step outside their comfort zone. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for something clever, exciting and brilliantly crafted.