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Esper Files 3: The Chimera Formula (Steampunk Fantasy Review)

Esper Files 3: The Chimera Formula, by Eagan Brass:

Eagan Brass has done it again.

 

From an author I have quickly come to adore, Eagan Brass presents his third book in the Esper Files series, The Chimera Formula. Set within the Victorian Age, this Steampunk Fantasy novel proved just as thrilling as the first two instalments. The author knows exactly how to deliver action in a way that had me glued to my seat.

When grotesque creatures begin to plague Victorian London, the general public are quick to blame the Esper community. It is up to Nathan and his fellow Espers to save the day and prove their innocence.

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As usual, you can expect an articulate, well thought out story that is jam-packed with action from start to finish. Eagan’s style is instantly distinguishable from that of other authors: it’s as if it possesses a type of logical reasoning that you can feel deep in your bones.

I found this particular instalment to be refreshingly modern with the inclusion of a lesbian relationship that develops between the plucky Freya and newcomer Reyna. Eagan shows a non-judgemental viewpoint on the matter of sexuality, pointing out that love comes in many forms.

Find it on Goodreads, HERE:
Get it on Amazon, HERE:

Another bond that I have always related strongly to is the one that has continued to strengthen between Nathan and young Freya. As orphans, both Espers prove to be extremely resilient to change and pain, in addition to being courageous and daring beyond measure. I love the witty banter that the pair share, a trademark personality trade of Nathan’s. Reading through such delightfully comic moments lights me up from within and never fails to put a smile on my face.

With themes of destruction, camaraderie, revenge, and love, I see The Chimera Formula as the best book in the series so far.

Easily rated 5 stars.

Recommended to lovers of Fantasy, Sci-fi, and Steampunk novels.

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Black & White (A 5 Star Sci-Fi Review)

Black and White, by Nick Wilford:

Two worlds- one pure, where even your tears vaporise before
they can drop, the other a filthy, disease-ridden wasteland.

Black and White is a Science Fiction novel set between two very different lands. On the one hand we have Whitopolis (Harmonia), pure white and sterile as its name suggests. On the other we have Loretania, where dirt and disease run ragged. These two lands instantly reminded me of our own world, with Whitopolis like our first world countries with decent healthcare and a wealth of opportunity, and Loretania mimicking the third world countries, where the death toll is high and life unfair. When a young, dirt-clad boy materializes in the centre of Whitopolis, the local government become enraged.

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I honestly loved the premise behind this book. The idea of a world without dirt or disease seems peculiar, yet is also as fascinating as it is troubling. I began to wonder how such a land as Whitopolis could function for so long in such an immaculate state.

Certain aspects of this sparkling white land intrigued me, such as their use of synthesized food and their lack of plant and animal life. The unique sport of Gravball was just another of many interesting concepts and had rules which were easy enough to follow.

Find it on Goodreads:

In addition to the features of Whitopolis’ culture, I myself myself particularly fond of main characters Wellesbury and Ezmerelda, two youths with curious and agile minds. Ezmerelda’s sense of humour stood out to me as a great coping mechanism against an otherwise apathetic society. Both her and Wellesbury’s determination made me proud to root for them from start to finish.

We see only a little of Loretania and in that brief time, I can safely say that I would never want to go there, let alone live there. Faeces and a severe lack of food were two of the biggest problems I observed. It makes me feel for those who are still suffering in a world such as ours. I find myself appreciating all the little things I take for granted, such as technology, a good education, close friends, and the support of a loving family.

The one dislike I had was of the corrupt government system, which draws a parallel to our own here in England. I can personally identify with Wellesbury’s feeling out of place within such a polished society. Black and White is a story I won’t soon forget. The words flowed beautifully, moving me in a way that had me questioning our modern way of life.

A brilliant read.

Rated 5 stars.
Recommended for lovers of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

 

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Sons of Trillion (EPIC Fantasy Review)

Sons of Trillion, by David. J. Khan:

Set in Talos, where the bearing of children is rare, new father Trillion is forced to make an impossible decision in order to save the life of his son, Caliga.

This novel intrigued me from the start with the idea of its three magical casting trees, in addition to the light well, which shows which tree an individual will come to harness magical power from in the future.

Trillion and son, Caliga are contrasting characters with opposite views of the world, its people, and the concept of justice. I liked Trillion for his bravery and dedication in raising a difficult child alone, but found Caliga to be more headstrong and rebellious. Caliga appears to act as the darkness to the light and innocence of young Valora, a girl whom Caliga swiftly develops an obsession for.

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Find Sons of Trillion on Amazon, HERE:

My favourite moment was the ending scene where Caliga must rescue Valora for a second time. An action packed sequence ensues, building up to the novel’s climax.My only dislikes were the consistent mixing of past and present tense, as well as the unfair way in which Caliga’s character was treated by the council, even as a child.

With key themes of loss, love, and betrayal, Sons of Trillion made for a good read, but could do with some minor alteration regarding the tenses used.

I would rate this book 4/5 stars.

A gripping novel fuelled by a clever magical system.
Recommended for lovers of Epic and General Fantasy.

 

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Solaris Seethes (Sci-Fi Review)

Solaris Seethes, by Janet McNulty:

 

Solaris Seethes by Janet McNulty is a Sci-Fi novel quite unlike any other I’ve read. When Rynah (a lab worker from the planet of Lanyr) is betrayed by one of her own kind, she is forced to flee her dying planet in a ship built by her grandfather. A character in itself, Solaris (name of the ship as well as its artificial intelligence counterpart) boasts a sassy attitude as they guide Rynah on a perilous journey to right things on her home world.

There is a lot of travelling between alien planets, with non-stop action that had me wondering if the heroes would survive their ordeals. I found this book to be incredibly enjoyable and was curious to explore Rynah’s perspective. From Rynah’s determination to restore her planet to its former glory, to the range of quirky personalities that Solaris allows to dwell within her, there is never a dull moment.

23754778.jpgMy greatest love for this story comes with Brie’s character, a timid human girl with a big heart. Although she starts off as a somewhat shy and clumsy individual, we see her develop dramatically over the course of the novel, becoming a strong fighter who manages to prove her own self-worth to leader Rynah, as well as to the other three individuals mentioned in an ancient prophecy.

Although I liked many things about this book, there were a few areas that I found lacking, such as the amount of description that was given in some scenes. At times it came across as info-dumping and did little to enhance my experience as a reader.

I also thought that the inclusion of illustrations was unnecessary and did nothing to improve the book’s layout or the reader experience.

Find it on Goodreads:

Some scenes were not realistic, for instance, the first scene where Rynah is fleeing her home planet. In a near-death situation, for some reason she focuses on the exterior of Solaris (the spaceship) instead of running for her life. Another such example comes when the four humans first appear inside of Solaris. In a situation like this, I would expect the characters to panic as they would have no idea of their location or of how they had gotten there, or to ask questions, but no. They appeared to be oddly unphased.

Solaris Seethes is a remarkable read that held my attention from start to end, with characters that I quickly came to adore.

I would rate this book as 4/5 stars and would recommend it to lovers of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

 

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Harkworth Hall (YA Mystery Review)


Harkworth Hall, by L. S. Johnson:

Harkworth Hall, set in England of 1752, is a young adult mystery novel that follows Caroline Daniels, the daughter of a long-standing widow. While her father expects her to marry, as is expected of all fine ladies, Caroline’s brash attitude and boyish curiosity lead her down a different path.

35510328This was a book I just could not put down. The writer had me hooked from start to finish, with quirky characters I came to love. My favourites were Caroline and the mysterious Mr Chase. While I adored Caroline’s refusal to obey society’s protocols for women and her level of determination and bravery, Mr Chase took this concept to a whole new level. They had a natural chemistry with Miss Daniel’s and appeared devoted to her from their first meeting. As a dark plot develops and blood is spilled, Mr Chase stops at nothing to warn Caroline of the dangers that lurk around Harkworth Hall.

Find it on Goodreads HERE:

The novel was written beautifully. It possessed an effortless grace when it came to the flow of the words, with non-stop action that keeps the blood pumping. The words themselves sing, the word choice perfect for evoking emotion within each and every scene.

I would recommend this book to both mystery and young adult book lovers. It was a true gem to read and I am thankful that the book was brought to my attention.

Easily rated 5 stars.

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The Warlock’s Nemesis (A Fantasy Review)

The Warlock’s Nemesis, by Alena Des:

Betrayal, Magic, Undying Love.

The Warlock’s Nemesis is a rare jewel of a book.’

 

In The Warlock’s Nemesis, a fantasy novel, we follow young Alice through a series of unexpected and truly remarkable events. The novel begins with a mysterious conversation, followed by a virus which spreads through the human population like wildfire. It’s a good thing there are witches and warlocks to heal them…for now.

As a healer herself, Alice is an invaluable asset when it comes to tackling the virus head on. I found her progressing relationship with 1,100 year old warlock Tannon to be sweet, yet sensual- a true love affair. Their story moves swiftly, promising demons, magic, and much more.

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There is a beautiful contrast between light and darkness as a war wages between the leaders of each driving force. I was shocked to learn of Alice’s true nature (no spoilers, don’t fret) and found her to be a most admirable heroine. The goodness that lies within her heart knows no bounds.

Besides Alice, I had two other favourite characters, Riley and Tannon. Riley’s dark sense of humour and mischievous personality always brought a smile to my face. I found him to be an intense character that charmed his way through all situations.

Find it on Goodreads HERE

As for Tannon, his magical ability intrigued me from the start, but so too did his natural habits, e.g. his talking extensively to himself. This happens to be a natural habit of both myself and my partner so I find it easy to relate to his character. Talking to oneself often helps to get unwanted thoughts out of your head, allowing you to seek your own counsel, as it were.

I loved every moment of this book and could not put it down. I would recommend it to fantasy and supernatural lovers alike as it was a genuine delight to read.

My rating for this novel is 5 stars.

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30th Century Escape (A Sci-Fi Review)


30
th Century Escape, by Mark Kingston Levin:

From Mark Kingston Levin comes a sci-fi novel that not only inspires, but warms the heart. When Jennifer Hero (resident of the thirtieth century and fierce leader) sends her team back to the twenty-

 

seventh century to save all naturals, she is instead drawn back to the twenty-first century, where a multitude of secrets await.

 

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Centred around the islands of Hawaii and Tahiti, Jennifer finds herself shipwrecked and is lucky to be rescued by a group of friendly natives. From there on, she begins to suspect that she’s been here in the twenty-first century before. As a character, I found her to be beyond sweet, hard working, intelligent, brave, and with an inquisitive nature that I adored. She proves herself to be a true leader and handles new situations with grace and courage. Her relationship with Marty (a twenty-first century native man) is one that warmed my heart every step of the way.

Find it on Goodreads HERE:

We follow Jennifer on a journey of exploration and self-discovery, both regarding her ancestry and her sexuality. I would recommend that only those over the age of eighteen read this book due to the number of mature sexual scenes involved.

The more of Jennifer’s tale we read, the more we are drawn into a world where time travel is possible. This is a concept I’ve always been fascinated by and I believe the author did an amazing job at infusing the story with such scientific ideas.

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It is Jennifer’s self-determination that sees time travel become a reality. She proves herself to be a resourceful heroine as her surname suggests and through time travel, she is able to uncover a series of long forgotten secrets, each aiding our understanding of her past.


One f
eature I disliked about the novel was the inclusion of tiny, seemingly irrelevant photos. These made the book appear tacky and I would personally have removed them so that the work could speak for itself. I also thought that the plot began to lose its way after the first half, branching into near-constant (and graphic) sex scenes, which involve several instances of group sex. I found myself wondering where on earth the plot was going.

I would give this book 3 out of 4 stars as it did hook me and involved childhood passions of mine such as time travel and archaeology. Our heroine is an incredible and talented individual that will stop at nothing to help her fellow man. However, I felt that the upheaval of the plot was a major point that I could not overlook.

Thank you for reading my review of 30th Century Escape. If you enjoyed this review, be sure to check out my other blog posts and sign up for my weekly newsletter.

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Sleep Savannah Sleep, by Alistair Cross (Pre-Release Review)

When Jason and his two children move to Shadow Springs for a fresh start, their world begins to change for the worse. With strange, seductive neighbours and missing persons, the town seems less than welcoming.

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I found the foreshadowing of coming events to be well constructed and adored Jason as a character. He appears to be a kind and loyal man that will stop at nothing until justice is served.

I got a spooky vibe from the story to begin with, which isn’t all that surprising once you get into the novel. It’s steady pace and high level of tension make for an eerie, yet gripping read that I would recommend to lovers of mystery and the supernatural.

Rated 4/5 stars.

Pre-Order the book HERE

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Rotten Magic (Fantasy Review)


Rotten Magic, by Jeffrey Bardwell:

In the year 491, young Devin dreams of becoming a Journeyman, but fate has something-else in store.

Throughout the book, we’re presented with two voices in Devin’s head, viewed as entirely separate entities. These are ‘The Mage’ and ‘The Artificer.’ While one voice appears to encourage magical antics, the other is strongly opposed to such sorcery.

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Devin is an intriguing character. He enjoys time alone, no doubt due to childhood bullying and seems to be socially awkward- something I find it easy to relate to.

As for the story, it progressed steadily without any dull moments. I loved Devin’s interior-monologue; it was interesting to be privy to such deep and thought-provoking discussions.

The language used was easy to understand and remained that way throughout. I felt that the author possessed a genuine gift for expression and could readily imagine the scenes they were painting.

Overall, a short and compelling read.

Rated 4/5 stars.

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Breaking Free, by Caleb Monroe (Fantasy Review)

This was a story I found myself able to relate to straight away. What few people may know about me is that I used to be an agoraphobic and didn’t leave the house for close to three straight years, except on very rare occasions when accompanied by someone close to me.

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In Breaking Free, Jacob (an agoraphobic man) encounters a strange mythical beast known as a Griffin, which he soon befriends. I found Jacob’s second person narration to be well constructed and unique. The book was full of action and moved quickly, with dramatic peaks that had me glued to the page.

Jacob’s bond with young Griffin, Shadow is that of best friends. The love and understanding that passes between them is nothing short of extraordinary. When it came to the ending, I wasn’t too sure what to think. It went on a strange tangent and although tangents don’t normally phase me, the way this particular ending was crafted had me rather confused.

Buy it HERE

This was a heartfelt tale with many dramatic twists that I feel fans of mythology and fantasy will love.

I give this a rating of 3.5 stars as the formatting of the e-book was rather poor and did make it quite difficult to read. Overall, a short, sweet yet dramatic tale about overcoming past trauma and fighting for what is right.

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The Boy Who Lit Up the Sky: The Two Moons of Rehnor, by J. NAOMI. AY


The Story of a Powerful Outcast

The Boy Who Lit up the Sky is a Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel that follows the life of half Mishnese, half Karupatani crown-Prince, Senya. With strange silvery eyes and behaviour that leaves much to be desired, Senya soon begins to gain the attention of both moons of Rehnor.

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Our main protagonists are Senya and (though she is introduced half-way through) a human girl named Katie. Katie’s innocence and trusting nature made her a sharp contrast to Senya’s more rough and tumble attitude, with his strong survival skills and knowledge of both the streets and royal life. Both characters were likeable and I found myself hoping they would get to meet sooner than later. Senya changes so much over the course of the novel, going from a silent, unruly street urchin that would sooner stab than speak to you, to a wise and compassionate leader in the making.

The story moved swiftly and was full of emotion. The use of language was good, though there were a few typos (nothing major.) The storyline was dramatic and held my attention at every point, though I feel that a sequel would work to tie up any loose ends.

Quote: ‘The Devil could have given him those weird powers, blind silver eyes, and fangs.’

I loved this book more than words can say, although the people’s initial treatment of Senya was harsh and made me pity him. As indicated in the quote above, many viewed him as a monster, some unholy demon come to plague them. I quickly identified with Senya’s character as I have also experienced what it’s like to be an outcast, struggling to fit in even though you don’t wish to. His mysterious eyes, aloof personality made him ever-more intriguing.

‘Senya’s eyes flashed like a laser and then, so help me, he was gone.’

I do feel that the book could have been partitioned better in order to properly separate different character perspectives from one-another, but overall this was an enjoyable read that I think will bring readers hours of entertainment. I experienced a world like no other I’d read about before and I’m hoping that upon reading this, others will think twice before starting to judge someone.

I rate this book 5 stars.

Find more book reviews on our Novel Blogs Site:

https://daccarib93.novelblogs.com/the-boy-who-lit-up-the-sky-the-two-moons-of-rehnor-by-j-naomi-ay/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Boy-who-Moons-Rehnor-Book-ebook/dp/B007B77U8A/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17729764-the-boy-who-lit-up-the-sky

Other Books by J. Naomi. Ay:
https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/mike-v2-0-a-firesetter-prequel-short-story
https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/a-thread-of-time-1

 

 

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Awakening Alexa, by Racheal Lachman:

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This short but compelling tale sees devoted wife Alexa questioning her marriage. From the very start, the reader must ask themselves why her marriage is at risk. I myself was intrigued by the potential answer.

Although this story was no more than 70-80 pages, it really did pack a hefty emotional punch. The narration was intelligent, with the perfect choice of wording to hook the reader into the story.

A strange series of dreams plague Alexa and lead to an ending I did not expect. I’m hoping that the author is planning a sequel as I would like to learn more about Alexa and her world.

 

Find it on Amazon HERE

I would happily rate this book as 4/5 stars.

I read it in one sitting and loved every moment. There were some examples of incorrect word usage, making the odd sentence hard to understand, but this is a minor nuisance and didn’t distract from the story as a whole.