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Living the Good Death, by Scott Baron:

Scott Baron is a master storyteller.

Never a dull moment. He has re-kindled my love of literature.

Living the Good Death, by Scott Baron is a fantasy novel unlike any other. Imagine being Death, but having been robbed of your supernatural abilities. The girl who thinks she is death (AKA Dorothy) finds herself stranded in the world of the living with no power, money, and no way to return to the realm of the dead. There’s only one thing for it- she must die!

I found myself drawn in from the start with the idea of this young, waif like girl being Death, reaper of souls. I didn’t know how to feel at first: part of me wanted to laugh at the irony and another part felt terrified for this poor, lost girl. Without a real name for a good half of the book, our heroine was lent an air of mystery tat I found most intriguing.

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At first, our protagonist appeared rather rude and hasty in her interactions with others, but this soon calmed as she spent more time in the company of others. After several failed suicide attempts, young Death / Dorothy, or however you would like to refer to her, begins to form some unique human attachments. We see her blossom into a determined and somewhat unlikely hero as she helps to shape the world into a better place.

What I loved most about the book is the relationship that formed between Dorothy, Randy (an art dealer), and Curtis (an eccentric mental patient.)

 

Find it on Goodreads, HERE:

All three interacted like old friends and formed a bond stronger than most I’ve seen in real life. Their witty banter and acceptance of each-other uplifted me, restoring some of my faith in humanity.

The only thing I found myself disliking came in the form of Doctor Vaughan, lead psychiatrist at Camview Mental Hospital, where Dorothy first meets Curtis. Vaughan’s sadistic methods of discipline and ridiculous obsession with magic make him an interesting, yet despicable villain.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Living the Good Death. It was well written, with an elegant style that held my attention. The author articulates his thoughts well and surprises us on multiple occasions with bursts of action and suspense.

Best book I’ve read this season!
Easily 5 stars.

Recommended for lovers of young adult and fantasy books.

 

 

 

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Mated to the Werewolf King (Fantasy Review)


Mated to the Werewolf King, by Alena Des:

Witches, Werewolves, and Demons Galore!

Seventeen year old Belle thought she was a member of the pack, but being hunted by The Demon King sets her on a journey she never imagined. In what appears to be a unique adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, we follow Belle, a young hybrid, and Keith, the fierce King of the Werewolves.

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Although their relationship starts as one of sheer dislike, we see Keith begin to grow on Belle, as she in turn grows on him. I must admit, although I initially hated Keith’s character with his frustrating level of arrogance and stand-offish nature, I began to warm with him as Belle did. It’s like I was experiencing her changing emotional state for myself, her feelings influencing my impression of him.

The story is told through the eyes of three separate characters: Belle, Keith, and Tannon, a one-thousand year old warlock. We are shown the remarkable depth of each character’s thoughts, with each bringing a unique perspective to the story’s events. Belle and Keith proved to be the most stubborn characters I’ve ever met, but in an almost endearing way.

See my Review for Book #2, HERE:

Find it on Amazon, HERE:

The action hooked me from the start, with a plot that continued to draw me in. This was in addition to the many surprise twists I noticed dotted throughout as I followed Belle on a journey of self-discovery and love.

I love Alena Des’ style of writing and would recommend the sequel, The Warlock’s Nemesis.

Rated 5 stars.
Recommended for lovers of Fantasy.

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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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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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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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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.

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Shadow Eyes (A YA Fantasy Review)

Iris has seen shadows for the past three years of her life and since then, her life has been one dramatic train-wreck after another.

The story starts off in a mysterious way, having the reader question why Iris hates her  own birthday. What could possibly be that bad?

15733491.jpgThe presence of light figures as well as shadows gives the reader a sense of good vs evil. While it made for an intriguing concept, I have read several books very similar to this one.

What was refreshing about Iris’ character was her unique violet eyes. I have yet to read about another character with such features (with the exception of the witches in Roald Dahl’s famous children’s classic.)

As Iris battles the growing maze of shadows in her life, we see her at war with her own emotions. Two teen boys battle for her attention, which while somewhat unoriginal, always makes for good drama.
Although I found the story interesting as a whole and couldn’t stop turning the pages, there was one thing that made me dislike Iris’ character.

The treatment of Sam’s character (though he only plays a minor role) made me want to slap her.  With Iris being a bit of an outcast herself with her abilities, you would think she’d be kinder to those that are different. Instead, her character showed a rather judgemental side that didn’t feel like her at all.

Would I recommend this book? Probably, depending on a reader’s preferences. If you enjoy Urban Fantasy with teen drama, then yes, I probably would recommend.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

 

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Broken Branches Goes LIVE

To celebrate the official release of Broken Branches, by M. Johnathan. Lee, I thought we’d take another look at the review I gave it a few months back.

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Published by the unique Hideaway Fall comes
Broken Branches, a remarkable tale of an ancient family curse. Ian Perkin’s story is told through a reliable third person perspective. As a loving husband and father, he seeks to uncover the truth of the curse that has plagued his family for generations.

Author M. Jonathan. Lee has a way with expression and imagery, drawing particular attention to the gnarled tree in Ian’s family garden, which becomes a character in its own right. It acts as a sinister metaphor throughout the novel, a symbol of the family’s curse.

Buy it HERE     |     Find it on GOODREADS

At times, Ian’s character appears vulnerable, left emotionally scarred by the loss of family members over the years. At other times, he stands as a courageous father figure, hell bent on solving the mystery of the family curse and any obstacles that may arise.

This was a dark and sinister tale that held my attention from the first page. If you enjoy stories shrouded in mystery, deeper meaning, with sudden twists and good tension building, then I would recommend Broken Branches.

Rated 5 stars.

Thank you for joining me in celebrating the official release of Broken Branches.
I honestly cannot recommend this book enough.

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The Magician’s Curse (Paranormal/Urban Fantasy- 5 Stars)

The Magician’s Curse is a fun Paranormal / Urban Fantasy mix that offers readers the experience of true love from an outside perspective, looking in. Young Herman is happy to accept a job offer from the mysterious and charming Stephen Dagmar, but does not expect to find herself falling deeply in love with a man hiding a dark secret.

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Herman and Stephen share a relationship that starts off as beautifully as one could imagine. Their sense of humour is similar and both characters bring out the best in each-other. Although I’m not a fan of instant chemistry between two main characters as soon as they meet, I actually found that it worked in this case. I loved how their relationship progresses, with each of them completely devoted to the other.

The plot was engaging and at points surprising, with a complex array of characters that I came to love, except for Nina, of-course. The author’s style is light and elegant in parts, with a fair use of drama in between. The book is easy to read and spoke to me personally, of loss and of love, as well as of the personal sacrifices we must sometimes make.

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Mystery, family history, and love at first sight are just a few themes that made this an incredible read for me. I would recommend The Magician’s Curse to lovers of the paranormal, magic, and of urban fantasy.

Rated 5 stars.

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The Witches of Ravencrest (A 5 Star Review)

From Tamara Thorne & Alistair Cross comes The Witches of Ravencrest: Books Two of an extraordinary series. I rated this 5 stars, unable to put the book down once I’d started.

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Ravencrest is far from the perfect manor house that you see from outside. One might go so far as to call it haunted.

I LOVED this book. From the onset, we are introduced to a variety of quirky characters. each with their own complicated pasts.

Belinda, having shown evidence of having unusual powers, does her best to help counsel the restless spirits of the estate, all while falling for the current master of the house, Eric. Her character is a breath of fresh air- intelligent, charming, and intuitive. Reading her story was a fun and enlightening experience.

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The story swept me along in its wake. The plot was well constructed and had me hooked more and more as I read. I liked that one of the main characters, Grant, is in an openly gay marriage. I feel that more LGBT+ friendly books are needed in the world and this book in particular had a wonderful representation.

Murder, vengeance and love, combined with ghouls, ghosts and witch-craft make this story an unforgettable read. I would recommend The Witches of Ravencrest to all lovers of fantasy, mystery, and magic.

I rate this 5/5 stars.
A good quality book, above and beyond most others I’ve read this year.

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The Impossible Creation, by Betsy Flak (Review)

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The Impossible Creation 
follows a range of supernatural creatures, beginning with a pair of vampires as they stalk their latest prey. Duncan and Adara made for an odd couple and didn’t appear to share the same goals and ideals as we may expect those of the same minority to.

Out two main heroines are Lucy, a warrior and university student, and Grace, a young high-school student that has secretly been dating her best friend’s crush. I felt that Grace’s character had a lot more personality than Lucy. You could feel every one of Grace’s emotions as they developed, but Lucy remained quite difficult to read.

While some events felt a bit disjointed from each other, rest assured that this book comes to a surprising and dramatic conclusion that makes this read worth the wait.

I would rate this 3.5 stars.
Recommended for fans of Young Adult Fantasy and Paranormal novels.

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Out of Body, by Christopher John Chater (Review)

22 year old Harley lost his parents in a car crash when he was 12, a crash that changed his life in more ways than one. We join Harley 10 years later at university as he searches for answers regarding the afterlife and the white light he saw on the night of the crash.

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Death is a key theme and helps to immediately hook the reader from the start- ‘I died that day. Twice.’ Harley’s need to uncover the truth about the afterlife leads to drama and the destruction of the life he has built for himself. His quirky style of humour had me in stitches at times and made him a rather likable character. When he succeeded in his trials, I felt as though I’d shared in that success. The same applies to Harley’s failings.

Out of Body is a dark, gripping read that talks in depth about astral projection, a unique ability whereby someone can leave their own body and have their spirit travel in the astral realm. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment and would gladly read this book again and again.

 

My rating: 5 stars.

I would recommend this to lovers of dark fantasy and thrillers.