Book Review: Derailed (A Prequel Novella) by Genevieve Iseult Eldredge

Title: Derailed (A Prequel Novella)
Author: Genevieve Iseult Eldredge
Genre: Young Adult, LGBT, Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Syl Skye. Rouen Rivoche. Star-crossed lovers who should be mortal enemies. This is the story of how they met.

A nightly excursion to DC. A goth-rock show. One innocent train ride. That’s all it takes for high school sophomore Syl Skye’s perfectly normal world to come crashing down.

Because unbeknownst to her, she’s a sleeper-princess of the fair Fae—a vessel of Fae power that has yet to Awaken—and there are dark Fae who want her dead, dead, dead.

Rouen Rivoche is one of those dark Fae. Bound to Agravaine the dark Fae Huntsman who is dedicated to wiping out all sleeper-princesses, Rouen has no choice but to hunt Syl down and spill her blood.

But a chance meeting in a nightclub, a brush of their hands, a lingering look… Despite herself, Rouen is attracted to Syl. And when she lets Syl get away…that’s when their troubles really begin.

After all, every couple has their issues, right?

Find out how Syl and Rouen met in this new prequel novella to MORIBUND, Book 1 of The Circuit Fae…

The world author Genevieve Iseult Eldredge establishes in “Derailed”, and the Circuit Fae series, is simply phenomenal.

In this prequel novella, Syl Skye’s life is turned upside down after a nightly excursion to DC. Turns out that Syl is a sleeper-princess of the Fae, and several dark Fae want her dead.

Rouen Rivoche is one of the dark Fae, and she has no choice but to hunt Syl down and kill her… Except that, despite herself, Rouen is attracted to Syl. Will that attraction stop her from killing the sleeper-princess?

This prequel is amazing. It sets the stage well for the first book in the series, establishes the romance and the connection between both main characters, and keeps readers on the edge of their seat from start to end. An excellent start to the Circuit Fae series!

Book Review: Crowned (Beholder #4) by Christina Bauer

Title: Crowned (Beholder #4)
Author: Christina Bauer
Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Young Adult
Rating: 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Trust Christina Bauer to deliver a super bad-ass heroine and majorly page-turning plot line. This series is definitely a must read for you guys who love paranormal romance or urban fantasy.” – The Four Eyed Cat Reviews

At last, Elea has found the love of her life. Unfortunately, the evil Tsar Viktor is about to unleash an army of twisted mages bent on killing everyone Elea cares about… including the man who’s stolen her heart.

So what’s a powerful witch to do? Why, fight back, of course!

Elea goes on a mission to find the Sword of Theodora, the only weapon that can destroy Viktor. That’s challenge enough, but on the eve of battle, Elea realizes that her true enemies may be far more powerful than even Viktor: The deities Oni and Yuri could be out to destroy her as well. With major battles brewing on two fronts, Elea’s not sure that she’ll win, but with true love to inspire her, she’s certainly ready to fight.

In the last installment in Christina Bauer’s ‘Beholder’ series, Crowned, main character Elea is on a quest to find the one item that can destroy her nemesis, Viktor: the Sword of Theodora.

As the final battle draws closer, Elea discovers that her real enemies might be far more powerful than Viktor, and with enemies stalking her from both sides, the stakes are higher than ever before.

In this action-filled, intriguing fantasy story, with unique and complicated characters, and a rich fantasy setting, the core of the story is still romance; and what an epic romance it is. Elea and Rowan have a really strong connection that can’t be broken by anything, and an enormous amount of chemistry between them.

Fans of fantasy series simply can’t pass on the Beholder series – it’s a must read.

 

Book Review and Giveaway: Noble Magic by Joni Parker

Title: Noble Magic: The Chronicles of Eledon Book Four
Author: Joni Parker
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Lady Alexin (Alex) battles a band of mortal wizards known as the Octagon, discovers the mysteries of the five legendary diamond eggs, and finally comes into her true powers gifted to her by her conquests and the gifts of her Titan ancestors. Tasked with the seemingly impossible, Alex must find a way to restore the entry points to Seaward Isle or see its inhabitants face certain destruction as the grid holding Eledon together threatens to fall apart.

I’m a huge fan of the Chronicles of Eledon series. I reviewed the second book, The Blue Witch, back in October 2016, and the third book, Gossamer, in June 2017, so I was really looking forward to the fourth book. Well, I can say one thing for sure, Noble Magic, the fourth and final installment in the Chronicles of Eledon series, certainly didn’t dissapoint.

I don’t want to give out too many spoilers because a lot of things happened prior to this book’s events. Technically, you could probably read it without having read the previous three books, since the author does offer sufficient explanation and background story, but I wouldn’t recommend it; you would be missing out on a lot. What intrigued me the most about this final installment is how far Alex has come. She’s changed and grown a lot since the first book, and it’s intriguing to see that process.

The plot moves along swiftly. I’ve gotten used to that from the other books, but it’s a nice change from the usual fantasy tomes where sometimes progress seems to drag on for ages before anything actually changes.

If you’re a fan of higth fantasy, with wizards, elves, and magical diamond eggs, I wholeheartedly recommend this series.

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Book Review: The Imaginarium of the Innocent by H.A. Betancourt

Title: The Imaginarium of the Innocent
Author: H.A. Betancourt
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

While young Wendy and her brothers were taken to Neverland by Peter Pan, Alice fell through a rabbit hole and the Pevensie siblings crossed over to Narnia, another boy was taken to another fantastic place: his own heart.

Great losses crumble the worlds of even the steadiest individuals. In The Imaginarium of the Innocent, ten-year-old Tobias Young’s sense of home is torn from him in one night of wartime devastation in Belgium. Instead of security, love and peace, Toby now faces deep despair and cold numbness. In the aftermath of the destruction of his soul, he is crippled and orphaned in London.Not only does Toby struggle to accept his handicap, he battles the will to be happy. With the help of a magical soaring eagle, Eoloswing, Toby enters the endangered Imaginarium as the Nightingale—a young man destined to save his newfound friends from the evil of the Hopeslayer. As Toby searches for answers and happiness—with his new roommate and his sister—in both the orphanage and the gorgeous and captivating floating island of dreams, he must learn to address his own heart and remember to retain his own Spark of Elan.

In The Imaginarium of the Innocent, ten-year-old Tobias Young loses his home, innocence and family in one horrible night during the war. As his parents die in front of him, Toby is left with nothing but despair and numbness as he struggles to survive, his soul shattered, his world forever destroyed. In the aftermath of that horrible, devastating night, he finds himself in London, crippled and now an orphan.

Not only does he now have to learn to live with a handicap, but he also has to come to terms with his horrible loss, and learn to be happy again, although he seems to have lost the will for that. But happiness and magic tend to find their way, even when you least expect it.

With the help of a magical eagle, Eoloswing, Toby becomes the Nightingale in the world of the Imaginarium – a young man destined to save his friends.

This is a captivating book that is both devastating and haunting, yet also carries with it a message of hope and of salvation. The first few chapters were horrible to read because they meant such tragedy for Toby, and they showed the true horrors of war. Toby is a strong young man, a brave one too, and his strength really shows as the book progresses. However, the book isn’t all doom and gloom, it also shows a magical world where hope overcomes all terrors, and where one boy learns to be happy again.

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Book Review: Killers, Traitors & Runaways (Outcasts of the World II)

Title: Killers, Traitors & Runaways (Outcasts of the World II)
Author: Lucas Aubrey Paynter
Genre: Cosmic Fantasy
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

As reality nears its final days, worlds fall to ruin. A benevolent god is shackled, and when freed, will create a new one … allowing only the pure of heart. A company of seven have united on a bloody quest to stop him, but have little hope of emerging victorious.

The outcasts are adrift—they have a mission but no means to fulfill it. Airia Rousow, the fallen goddess who set them on their path, is gone. Guardian Poe, her intended successor, believes deification will absolve him of his sins and his remorse alike. And Zella Renivar, daughter of the Living God, is still hunted by her father’s agents, drawing danger on them all.

Trapped in this storm, Flynn is able to find and open the ways between worlds, but cannot discern which path is the right one. Since losing the trust of his closest friend, the temptation to fall back on his former, deceitful ways grows with every crisis he faces.

These are heroes not of virtue, but of circumstance—and it will fall on Flynn to keep them all together.

About three years ago, I reviewed Outcasts of the Worlds, the first book in this scifi fantasy series by author Lucas Aubrey Paynter. I rated that book 4,5 stars, and remember really enjoying it although, since it’s been several years, I had forgotten a great many details of what happened during the book. However, once I started reading the sequel, Killers, Traitors & Runaways, it didn’t take that long for those details to come back to me.

The heroes in this book are truly the most unlikely band of heroes you’ll ever meet. The “outcasts” as they’re called, are still on a mission, but it’s become impossible for them to fulfill their task. Flynn is still my favorite chracter, same as he was in the first book, although he’s struggling a lot thrughout this book. Flynn has the ability to find and open paths between worlds, but finding the right path is the real difficulty, especially now he can no longer rely on his best friend. With every step they take, Flynn leans closer and closer to the deceitful ways he’d often utilized in the past, and to returning to the man he swore he would never become again.

The world-building, pretty much like in the first book, is still extraordinary. This is one of the best cosmic fantasy series I’ve had the pleasure of reading, and the way all the tiny plotlines and side plots tie into a much larger, much grander plot is pretty amazing. I can only hope that Lucas Aubrey Paynter finishes his next book, soon.

Book Review: The Five Shields: The Lost Souls

Title: The Five Shields: The Lost Souls
Author: Ilan Dvir
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Rating: 3,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Imagine discovering a baby with a mysterious gem on your doorstep!

A sharp knock in the middle of the night awakens Henri and Aline. They discover on their doorstep a swaddled baby with only a mysterious ring wrapped in her blankets. They decide to keep their find a secret and tell the world she is theirs, not knowing that every secret comes at a price. They name her Rose.

Five teens from across the world discover shared hidden powers and a deadly mission

On their thirteen birthdays, Rose and four other teenagers from across the globe discover that they are The Five Shields, tasked with protecting the world’s fate and the balance of good and evil. All they have in common is a mysterious, powerful gem. On a life-changing journey, they discover untold powers hidden within them.

Can the Five Shields save a world threatened by total darkness?

The Five Shields must fight to free the lost souls before it is too late. But first they must defeat sinister, dark forces hell-bent on their total destruction. If the Shields succeed, light will triumph; if they fail, darkness will reign. Who will prevail?

In The Five Shields: The Lost Souls, Henri and Aline discover a swaddled baby on their doorstep with a mysterious ring wrapped in her blankets. They decide to pretend the baby is theirs, and name her Rose. On her thirteenth birthday, Rose realizes she’s one of the Five Shields, tasked with protectin the balance of good and evil. Along with four others, she has to save the world.

The plot is very fast-paced and although not that original (in parts similar to a variety of other young hero / chosen ones stories out there) it is entertaining, and we dive into the action right away. It’s ideal for middle graders and young adults, but even adults will enjoy the imaginative tale.

Book Review: Young Harry: The Scroll of Spera (Refuge City Book 2)

Title: Young Harry: The Scroll of Spera (Refuge City Book 2)
Author: Amos Castel el Halili
Genre: Historical Fixction, Psychological, Fantasy
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Can the brave able women — Mary, Zilpa, Constanze, Ayse and Spera — overcome desperate circumstances, bigotry, potentates and the conspiracies of privileged tycoons’?

In this thrilling psychological-historical suspense fantasy American, Ottoman, Armenian, Arab, and Jewish heroes are entangled in a web attempting to create an alternate reality. Can America overcome the Oil-Nordic-supremacy conspiracy? Can the USA sustain its leading position in high speed rail-based mobility? Can ex-southerners, Mary and Zilpa (an emancipated slave) manage to maintain “refugee integration hamlets” for women surviving persecution?

Will Young Harry, “salvage the house of Jacob?”

Mary’s bright son, a tormented soul, is crushed by his distant deviant father and elated by his African-American “brother.” The reader is captured in the continuous effort to search, discover, and reconcile the heroes’ unresolved, deviant identities. While Armenians and Christians are jihadised, Kurds and Arabs oppressed, and Jews banned from entering their ancestral land, will moderates survive to transform an Islam-centric empire into an egalitarian “United Ottoman States?”

Can endangered Armenians and Jews be saved in exterritorial refuge cities?

Spera, a Jewish teen, struggles to survive a soul-wrecking encounter with the ghost of her sister, raped and murdered by nationalist hoodlums, in a “prelude to the Holocaust” that took place during the Russian Civil War.

In this unique book about heroes from several different countries and cultures, an alternate reality is created, that is different from our own yet eerily similar. Wars, immigration, revoloution, racism, genocide, it’s all still there yet in a different setting, facing different people now.

The story is imaginative yet also filled with critique on the current world view and the way the world works nowadays, what it means to be brave, and some of the courageous decisions these people have to make.

A complex, unique yet compelling story about survival and courage.

 
 
Bewaren

Book Review: Lakota Honor (Branded Trilogy #1) by Kat Flannery

Title: Lakota Honor (Branded Trilogy #1)
Author: Kat Flannery
Genre: Historical / Western / Paranormal Romance
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Fate has brought them together, but will a promise tear them apart?

In the small town of Willow Creek, Colorado, Nora Rushton spends most of her days locked up in her home with a father who resents her and fighting off unwanted marriage proposals from the wealthy Elwood Calhoun. Marked as a witch, Nora must hide her healing powers from those who wish to destroy all the witkowin—crazy women. What she doesn’t know is that a bounty hunter is hot on her trail.

Lakota native Otakatay has an obligation to fulfill. He has been hired to kill the witkowin. In a time when race and difference are a threat and innocence holds no ground, courage, love and honor will bring Nora and Otakatay together as they fight for their freedom. Will the desire to fulfill his promise drive Otakatay to kill Nora? Or will the kindness he sees in her blue eyes push him to be the man he once was?

In Lakota Honor, Nora Rushton lives in the small town of Willow Creek in a historical setting. Nora spends most of her time hidden away in her home. The reason she can’t go outside? Her healing powers that often tend to generate accusations of witchcraft. And her father does his best to protect her, yet at the same time he also resents her, making for a toxic combination.

Nora comes across Lakota native while wandering through the nearby forest. His name is Otakatav and he’s a bounty hunter who, as it turns out, has been hired to kill any people with healing powers – like Nora. Will he be able to fulfill this quest?

Nora has a strong personality and her love for others shines through and makes her come across as very sympathetic. She’s willing to risk herself to put others first, and she has a very admirable personality. I really liked her, and I also really enjoyed the book. It was a fast read, and once I started, I didn’t want to finish.

 

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Book Review: The Peacock Door by Wanda Kay Knight

Title: The Peacock Door
Author: Wanda Kay Knight
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Age Group: Middle Grade
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon

In a magical tale of adventure, eight cousins sneak through forbidden treehouse doors, only to find themselves separated from each other and lost in strange worlds. In their quests to return home, they must unravel mysteries, escape snares and villains, find one another, and search for the elusive Oracle. The Peacock Door is a rich story of camaraderie, loyalty, love, and determination with a bit whimsy sprinkled throughout.

The Peacock Door is a magical, imaginative adventure about eight cousins who find themselves lost in strange worlds, and who have to rely on their own wit, intelligence and determination to return home. Each of the cousins is unique and different and although eight characters is a lot to keep track of, I could easily keep them apart. The story reminded me of the classics I loved to read back when I was a kid, like The Neverending Story or The Wizard of Oz.

The scenes are so vivid they seem to come to live, and the writing is on par for the targeted age group, yet adults will be able to enjoy it too. I also really loved the cover, it fit the book well. I enjoyed getting to know the characters, and I hope the author makes a series out of this.

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Book Review: Ariella’s Escape by Carolee Croft

Title: Ariella’s Escape
Author: Carolee Croft
Genre: Epic Fantasy Romance
Age Group: Adult (18+)
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Ariella had always believed that the life of a warrior should include indulging in wine and men whenever they were on offer… And in Chaldea, the capital of the old empire, they certainly were.

Especially the man she finds in her bedchamber, a slave provided by her hosts to entertain her in any way she wishes.

But when betrayed and surrounded by enemies in a strange land, there is only one man she can trust—the slave who was meant only for her pleasure but is much more than he seems.

Demetrius had been captured in a battle at the age of fifteen, and slavery was all he had known in his adult life. When his chance for freedom comes along, his fate is bound to the noble warrior maiden whose voice and body he cannot resist. Duty calls him to return to his kingdom, but the journey will take him places that will change him forever.

Together, they make their way through a den of thieves and an enchanted elf forest, but the biggest danger of all may be their fiery attraction to each other and the secret that will draw a dividing line between them.

In Ariella’s Escape, Ariella is a female warrior who knows what she wants, and is willing to do whatever it takes to get what she desires. She’s not afraid to enjoy the finer things of life (such as sex – beware, this is an erotic fantasy novel, and definitely NOT for young adults, strictly for adults, I’m afraid), she drinks extraordinary amounts of alcohol, and she also enjoys a good fight. In fact, she’s very skilled at fighting and she’s powerful and knows her own strengths and weaknesses.

Demetrius is a slave Ariella is introduced to early in the story. He’s love interest, and when they first meet, he’s a slave provided by Ariella’s hosts to entertain her during her stay… In any way she wishes. You can guess what that means.

But when Ariella is betrayed, Demetrius is the only one she can trust, and together, they must find a way to survive and to resist the fiery attraction between them, for it might put them in grave danger.

While the main plot was pretty good, it’s the sub stories that really made this book shine for me. They were original and imaginative, and brought forward characters I would love to get to know better. Like the scenes in the elf ofrest, I really liked those.

Recommended to adult fans of high fantasy with heavy doses of romance.

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