#Review: The Wind Singer by William Nicholson @WB_Nicholson

Description

“I hate school! I hate ratings! I won’t reach higher! I won’t strive harder! I won’t make tomorrow better than today!” In the walled city-state of Aramanth, rules are everything. When Kestrel Hath dares to rebel, the Chief Examiner humiliates her father and sentences the whole family to the harshest punishment. Desperate to save them, Kestrel learns the secret of the wind singer, and she and her twin brother, Bowman, set out on a terrifying journey to the true source of evil that grips Aramanth . . .

Review

“You like fantasy don’t you? I’ve got a set of books you’ll like they’re the only books I’ve ever read” says a friend to me before handing over his set of The Wind of Fire trilogy a YA Fantasy series putting me in an awkward position because as we know, I don’t do YA. Deciding to make an exception this once because this friend was so enthusiastic about these books and some other fellow bloggers online showed similar enthusiasm I decided to give them a go and now having finished the first one I’m starting to see why the rave reviews.

Living in a dystopian world where everything is determined by the rank your family has as a result of how well they perform in school, work, and examinations. I just kept thinking of the poor people with dyslexia I mean horrific! Anyway Kestrel has enough and has a bit of a breakdown which is unheard of getting herself and her family into a whole heap of hot water. What she also does is stumble onto a quest to save the whole city from this awful way of life and with her brother, Bowman and a classmate, Mumpo she sets out to find what has to be found and bring it back to save them all.

This is a great quest based fantasy, with danger lurking on every page, lots of interesting characters, some good some bad. Plenty of character development, especially on Mumpo’s part, it’s fair to say I could happily have pushed his stalker like self off a cliff for about two-thirds of the book.

The ideas in this book were quite refreshing and the pace was quick without too much hanging around anywhere. Lots happens in this book there is a lot to take in and there isn’t much down time between different scenes. While it was enjoyable as an adult I imagine kids will get immense enjoyment from everything it has to offer.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleThe Wind Singer
Series: Wind on Fire #1
Author: William Nicholson
Genre: Fantasy | Young Adult
Publisher: Egmont Books
Publication Date: 1 June 2001
Review Format: Paperback
Other FormatseBook | Hardcover | Audio
Pages: 352
Buy books2read.com/u/baz6ex

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#Review: Harleigh by Nikki Landis @landisnikkiauth

Description

She’s a little too much like her idol – sexy, dangerous, edgy, bitchy, and a femme fatale – and maybe a little crazy too. Leigh’s got a dark past and plenty of skeletons in her closet which she’d rather keep buried. When her secrets come back to haunt her, she’s forced to confront the darkness she fought so hard to leave behind. With her life hanging in the balance, will Leigh become the villain, the hero . . . or the Volatile Vixenlurking inside?

Review

Harleigh - Nikki LandisHoly Moly, Nikki Landis has well and truly outdone herself with Harleigh. This book is dripping perfection from the very first words through to the last. There is nothing about this book not to like, especially not our villainous heroine.

Harleigh is a twenty-five-year-old woman who has more than a passing obsession with her name-sake Harley Quinn. She dresses like her, she acts like her she wants to find men like hers, and surprisingly nobody ever matches up. Her best friend Ivey is about the only person who gets her and her crazy ways.

During the course of this book, we discover Harleigh is in danger and being hunted, her brother and the rather dishy Derek take up the mantle protecting her and she is left figuring out how to save her own ass and is Derek someone she could have a future with. His batman like qualities certainly put him in the running but Harleigh is still obsessed with finding her Joker.

There are characters in this book I liked and some I loved immensely one of those was Harleigh, another was a character called Viktor who was one of the more evil characters and yet he still won my heart. I can’t wait to see how others respond to him because he was by far my favourite character.

This wasn’t always an easy book to read, Nikki Landis takes it to some risque and uncomfortable places, but it needs to go to those places for the story to work the way it does and it’s such a strong story I can’t imagine it would have the clout it does without such darkness.

I’ve read this book twice now and it didn’t disappoint either time and I will definitely be reading it again. An outstanding, page-turning, read.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleHarleigh
Series: Volatile Vixens #1
Author: Nikki Landis
Genre: Paranormal Romance | Supernatural | Villain | Fantasy
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 14 June 2018
Review Format: eBook
Other FormatsN/A
Pages: 152
Buy: Books2Read Universal Link

#Interview Elizabeth Corrigan – Oracle of Philadelphia @ERCorrigan @RAPublishing

Like most bloggers I get a whole host of review requests, with the state of my TBR *insert crying face here* I tend to politely turn them down. But occasionally I receive one that makes me stop and consider it more closely. The email I received from Elizabeth Corrigan was one of those. The blurb for Oracle of Philadelphia was right up my street, and while I don’t have time to read it right now, it went straight onto my Kindle wish list so that I can buy it when I have more time and I asked if Elizabeth would like a guest spot on the blog. We agreed on an interview and I’m pleased to share the interview with you today.

Description

Carrie works at a diner in South Philadelphia, dispensing advice to humans and angels wise enough to seek her counsel. But there are some problems that even the best advice can’t solve.

Her latest supplicant, Sebastian, is unique among those who have sought her aid. He sold his soul to a demon in exchange for his sister’s life, but his heart remains pure.

Carrie has lived for millennia with the knowledge that her immortality is due to the suffering of others, and she cannot bear to see another good man damned when it is within her power to prevent it.

In order to renegotiate his contract, Carrie must travel into the depths of hell and parley with the demons that control its pathways. As the cost of her journey rises, Carrie must determine how much she is willing to sacrifice to save one good soul.

Interview

Hi Elizabeth, Thanks for joining me on my blog today, I’m so pleased to have you and hope you enjoy answering these questions.

Tell us a bit about Oracle of Philadelphia

Oracle of Philadelphia is about an immortal girl named Carrie who can read minds. She owns a crappy diner in Philadelphia and has angel and demon friends. One day, she meets a man who has sold his soul to a demon, but she knows that he is a good person, so she decides to travel into Hell to negotiate with the archdemons for his soul.

Who is Carrie? What makes her tick?

Carrie has lived for 8,000 years with the weight of knowing everyone’s thoughts—and knowing that her village sold their souls to a demon in order to give her immortal life. She tends to be rather sad, both because of this and because of the continual loss of the people she knows. She has two true friends, the demon Bedlam and the angel Gabriel, and she lives for her interactions with them.

Where did Carrie come from? What made you write her?

This one is a little embarrassing. I actually got the idea from the television show Supernatural. At the end of season 2, one of the characters sells his soul to a demon (#spoilers!), and while waiting for season 3 to start, I pondered what would happen next. I came up with the concept of an oracle who would want to save him. The story now bears little resemblance to Supernatural, but it takes place in a crappy diner because in Supernatural, I feel the all-powerful oracle would work in a crappy diner.

How did you come up with the concept for the series Earthbound Angels?

I answered this a bit above, but that only explains where I got the plot for the first book. I decided I wanted to write a series because I got interested in all the surrounding characters I was writing about. At first I thought I would write a book about Carrie, then one each about Bedlam and Gabriel. But the story stretched even beyond that and included even more characters.

The cover art for Oracle of Philadelphia is vivid and intriguing, tell us how it came about.

My publisher’s cover artist, Glendon Haddix of Streetlight Graphics, came up with the cover. He incorporated the symbol of the flaming sword, the oracle, and the city of Philadelphia in what I, at least, think is a beautiful cover. He’s also great to work with! I use him for all my self-published covers as well, and I recommend him to any author looking for a cover artist.

Which song(s) would be the soundtrack for Oracle of Philadelphia?

Oh, so many, and a lot of them are mentioned in the book. Carrie’s theme song is “Human” by Christina Perri, Gabriel’s is “Halo” by Beyonce, and Bedlam’s is “Flagpole Sitta” by Harvey Danger. Some other songs on the soundtrack would be “Hero” by Chad Kroger, “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics, and “Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones.

Tell us five unusual facts about Elizabeth Corrigan.

a.) I’m pathologically afraid of bees.

b.) I do a lot of tabletop gaming, to include role-playing games and cooperative board games.

c.) I’m trying to give up Diet Coke, but I miss the caffeine.

d.) I drive a SmartCar (but I might trade it in for an SUV soon-ish).

e.) I have two cats named Mookie and Tiara.

What is your writing process? Are you a planner or a pantser?

I’m somewhere in between? I do a lot of planning in my head before I ever start writing, but I have to write down a basic outline to get my plot sketched out. And when I say basic, I mean really basic. I just write down the chapter title and less than a sentence about what happens in that chapter. For the last book I worked on, I actually had 5 pages of notes, and it was the most I had ever outlined. Which was funny because my friend Mary Fan, who is usually a planner, was writing a book at the same time, and she felt like she was pantsing because she only had 5 pages of notes.

What have been your most memorable reviews?

I try to let the reviews, good and bad, roll off me as much as possible, but there are a few that stand out. My favorite review quote from Oracle was from Random Musings of a Curious Mind: “… filled with laugh-out-loud moments and scenes that will break your heart.” I thought that was such a nice thing to say. Other reviews that stand out are ones where a reviewer whom you never met seems to really get your book. Just a few of those make the whole writing experience worthwhile.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

For my day job, I’m a government contractor who does quality assurance work on data about behavioral health issues. In my spare time, I play a lot of tabletop games, both role-playing games and cooperative board games.

Has writing taught you anything about yourself?

Writing has taught me so much about myself. I learned pretty quickly when I started editing that I am not at all a visual person, which means I don’t generally describe anything. My editor’s notes tend to include things like, “Describe anything” and “Scroll through the senses.” I’ve gotten a lot better at doing this on my own, but it’s still not instinctive to me. Over the long-haul, I’ve come to learn that I really am writing for myself more than anyone else. I used to dream of being famous and successful—and of course, I still hope for that—but I’ve learned that I’m happy just being a little indie writer, and writing to that goal is more satisfying to me in the long-run.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer the questions and hanging out with me for a while.

Book & Buy Links

TitleOracle of Philadelphia
SeriesEarthbound Angels #1
Author: Elizabeth Corrigan
Genre: Fantasy | Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Publication Date: 20 March 2013
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook | Paperback
Pages: 222
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon USBook DepositoryWordery

#Review: Clockwork City by Paul Crilley @paulcrilley @HodderBooks

This is book two in the Delphic Division series if you missed my review of book one, follow the link to read it now. Poison City.

Description

Cop. Drunkard. Low-grade magic user. My name is Gideon Tau, but most people just call me London. (Because that’s where I’m from. Get it? Hilarious.)

Three years ago, someone killed my daughter. I sacrificed everything (the human race included) to learn his name – and then had to allow that knowledge to be erased from my mind in order to save the world I’d doomed. Fantastic.

Now I have to start over from scratch, and who do I have to help me find my daughter’s killer? The reanimated corpse of my boss, a low-rent P.I. who’s heavily into conspiracy theories, and my alcoholic, foul-mouthed demonic sidekick dog.

Our journey will take us from Durban, South Africa to London, England, where we’ll have to contend with Fae gangs fighting for territory, the murder-suicide of two Delphic agents and the seven deadly sins.

Oh, and did I mention planning a heist to break into the most secure bank in Faerie? Because that’s on the agenda too. And if we fail? An ancient horned god will destroy London. (The city, not me. Although, to be fair, I don’t think I’ll survive either

Review

Gideon Tao, nicknamed London because that’s where he comes from is on a mission, he needs to know what happened to his daughter, to take down the monster, literally, responsible for taking her and countless other children.

This time his investigations take him and his spirit guide, the alcoholic smartarse dog, back to London where he has to investigate what happened to two of his Delphic Division agents who were murdered and he somehow gets caught up in a fae bank heist.

It was wonderful to be back in the world of Gideon and Dog. Their relationship lightens the mood when things get serious. Dog is hilarious and while he should be a great reassurance to Gideon he often opts for the easy way out as his first choice and is instead dragged into danger by Gideon.

Gideon hates his situation, he hates that he is running headlong into danger, but he needs answers and will die before giving up on his search, his desire to know what happened to his daughter means he makes some terrible decisions and acts like he is invincible at times. But he also gets shit done and somehow he manages to get answers, even if he does come across as desperate…well, he is, so…!

This is a superb book, as expected. I love how this ended, untied story arc’s that lead me to hope there will be a third book, I’m so not done with these characters yet.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleClockwork City
SeriesDelphic Division #2
Author: Paul Crilley
Genre: Fantasy | Urban Fantasy | Magic
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 14 December 2017
Review Format: Hardcover
Other Formats: eBook | Paperback | Audio
Pages: 320
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | SpeedyHen | Wordery | Audible

#Review: Spirited by C.M. Stunich @CMStunich

Description

Brynn of Haversey is a spirit whisperer—a person blessed with the ability to see and speak to the dead. In the country of Amerin, she’s one of a select few with magical gifts known as whisperers.

Every year, the Royal College accepts a small number of new students, all magically inclined, all whisperers. Competition is brutal and the classes, nearly impossible to pass for a half-breed angel with two left feet and a massive pair of black feathered wings.

Oh, and especially if she brings her six ghostly boyfriends with her to the academy (including the recently deceased crown prince, a master thief hanged for his crimes, and a former student of the Royal College). What kind of spirit whisperer is Brynn of Haversey if she can’t exorcise her own soulmates? But Brynn isn’t attending the most prestigious academy in the world to become a better exorcist—she’s searching for a way to bring her lovers back to life …

SPIRITED is a full-length (300+ page) reverse harem romance with a (slightly) clumsy but still kick-butt angel heroine and her six boyfriends who just happen to be ghosts. This book includes foul language, violence, and sexual situations.

Review

Oh I guess it had to happen one day, that a C.M. Stunich book would come along that just didn’t hit the spot for me. I mean, it was good, but it just didn’t bowl me over in the way I’ve come to expect from a Stunich novel.

Spirited features Brynn a spirit whisperer who is determined to make it into the Royal College, she’s also crazy mad in love with the Crown Prince, Air, her best friend since forever. As the book progresses, she meets various spirits who become attached to her, we don’t learn how this happens and she has no clue. All the spirits are male and they all fancy the britches off of her.

She’s set on a mission which if she succeeds would mean she could bring the spirits back to life. This mission had me questioning whether these men liked her for genuine reasons or because of what they could potentially get out of her (yeah sue me, I’m a cynic).

Despite my cynicsm I liked the guys, they had opposing personalities, that grated on each other in most cases. It made for funny conversations and some awkward moments. I also liked how only spirit whisperers could see the spirits unless they had a spirit charm meaning some odd moments happened when the spirits were around and those who couldn’t see them walked in on conversations/sat on them etc.

The fight scenes were wonderful, fluid and graphic. Very reminiscent of some of the epic fantasy novels I read and I thoroughly enjoyed them. There is a lot of death in this book, and honestly as a fan of grimdark I’m never going to complain at lots of death!

My issue though was with Brynn, I couldn’t warm to her, she’s head over heels in love with Air, this I have no issue with, and I’ve seen this trope in reverse harem before but the inclusion of additional men has worked really well regardles. But I just didn’t believe it here. She is so friggin’ obsessed with Air that I just didn’t buy it that she was attracted to anybody else. So when she did connect to other men in the group it just pissed me off. The irony being I preferred some of those guys but I just felt they could do better than Brynn.

I’m hoping that the story progressing in book two will help me get over this hurdle, I love Stunich’s writing and I’m always normally totally convinced by everything she wants us to believe in the story so I’m not going to give up on this story and have the next installment pre-ordered ready to dive back in.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleSpirited
Series: The Academy of Spirits and Shadows #1
Author: C.M. Stunich
Genre: Paranormal Romance | Reverse Harem | Magic | Fantasy
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 20 January 2018
Review Format: eBook
Other FormatsN/A
Pages: TBA
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

#Review: Blunt Force Magic by Lawrence Davis @LawrenceEdmund5 @WildBluePressA

Description

Janzen Robinson is a man torn between two worlds. Five years removed from a life as an apprentice to a group of do-gooding heroes who championed the fight against supernatural evils, the once-promising student is now a package courier going through the daily grind, passing time at a hole-in-the-wall bar and living in a tiny, run-down apartment on the south side of Cleveland, Ohio.

Then fate (or a case of bad timing) brings him face to face with a door that’s got his old life written all over it. From the ancient recesses of unyielding darkness known as the Abyss, a creature has been summoned: a Stalker, a predator whose real name is forbidden to be spoken aloud. It’s a bastardization of the natural order, a formidable blend of dark magic and primal tenacity. Its single-minded mission? Ending the life of a fiery, emerging young witch.

Thrust into the role of protector, a role once reserved for those he’d lost years ago, the out-of-practice “Artificer” not only has to return to a life he’d left behind, but must relive that painful past while facing down the greatest threat to come to our world in a century. Janzen will have to journey through the magical underbelly of the city and not only stay one step ahead of an unstoppable monster hellbent on destruction but try and figure out why it’s been brought to our world in the first place. Past wounds are reopened as Janzen looks to old friends, a quiet stranger, and his own questionable wits to see them all to the other side of this nightmare that may cost him his life and, quite possibly, the world itself.

Review

Books occasionally sneak up on you and take you by surprise. I took this book on at a time when I am literally refusing every single request I get, and I said yes to this for a few reasons. I share a name with the name character, my maiden name is Robinson, had to be fate right! There’s a mental health slant with elements of PTSD written into the story. And that blurb just hooked me, man, how could I say no after reading that?

I didn’t think I would get to this for a while, but it was eating away at me so I just picked it up and got on with it and boy am I glad that I did. Blown away doesn’t even seem close enough to cover how strongly this book hit the mark.

An urban fantasy, Blunt Force Magic follows Janzen Robinson, a parcel delivery guy who stumbles into a supernatural situation which is about to go nuclear. A Stalker from another realm has landed and wants blood, the blood of Maria a young, I guess you would call her a witch. Now Janzen isn’t a normal parcel delivery guy, he’s kind of been hiding for the last few years since his trainer and all their buddies got killed while out on a job. See, he was training to be an artificer which is kind of like a modern day war mage.

The magic in this book is cleverly done, Janzen doesn’t possess magic as such, he can’t cast a spell, wave a wand etc and have things happen, everything has to be carefully planned out, he has to carve runes into objects to weaponise them. Very clever and almost steampunk in design…I liked it a lot. Restricted just how powerful he could be, and put him in a lot of danger much of the time when up against monsters with limitless power.

The people/creatures/supernaturals he turns to for help and advice were brilliant, there were those who made me laugh, some who were just plain weird and others who had me screaming for him to run away sure they were going to double-cross any moment. The world is carefully and clearly developed using these characters and their homes/businesses as anchors and you get a good feel for what this supernatural Cleveland is like.

Janzen is the perfect anti-hero. He’s a cocky guy full of snark and sarcasm (totally on my level), he is also insecure and absolutely doesn’t want to be doing this saving the world bullshit. But there he is doing it anyway. Then he ends up unwillingly partnered with the epitome of a hero in Grove, a badass veteran who could shoot every last zombie in a horde with both arms tied behind his back, and the fact he’s a stud really seems to piss Janzen off!

This is a book full of dark humour that had me laughing at very inappropriate times, between Janzen’s witty comebacks and the general tone of the book even the very dark direction the book takes at time doesn’t drag you too far into the pits of despair because something happens or is said that soon has you laughing your way out of it.

I can’t say much more, this book was absolutely brilliant. I am so glad it’s the first in a series because Janzen and Grove were superb characters who I definitely want to read more of. I can’t recommend this highly enough it was just such a bloody pleasure to read.

I have to thank Lawrence Davis for the eARC so that I could read and provide my honest opinion.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleBlunt Force Magic
Series: The Monsters & Men Trilogy #1
Author: Lawrence Davis
Genre: Fantasy | Urban Fantasy | Magic | Mental Health | Military
Publisher: Wild Blue Press
Publication Date: 10 January 2018
Review Format: eBook
Other FormatsPaperback
Pages: 232
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

#BlogTour: Joshua N’Gon: Last Prince of Alkebulahn by Anthony Hewitt @NeverlandBT #Review #Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the Joshua N’Gon: Last Prince of Alkebulahn blog tour, this is a MG/YA Sci Fi/Urban Fantasy. Huge thanks to Anthony Hewitt and Jenny from Neverland Blog Tours for having me.

Description

Joshua N’Gon is a Fourteen year old foster child from Africa. He has grown up in a loving home in north London and for all intents and purposes he was an ordinary teenager. The reality though could not be further from the truth. Joshua is a mystery wrapped up in an enigma and he is beginning to understand he has a destiny that is far beyond what he could ever have imagined.

On his tenth birthday he receives a mysterious package from his birth parents. He is given articles of technology that even his young mind realized were so far beyond what he knew and understood that they were almost magical. Joshua straps on a tribal hierloom of obvious alien origin – a miraculous multi-tool he calls his RCT– Real Cool Tool that bonds with his arm and is irremovable. And so begin his physical changes too, the headaches, the flashes of genius, the visions and the amnesia.

With his friends Brick and Mina they slowly help him to unravel the mystery of who he is. In the meantime dark corporate forces are gathering in the horizon as Joshua’s talents and his interest in finding his family has piqued the curiosity of powerful people. Soon as his life and the life of those he loves are threatened he must come to grips with his gifts and the miraculous alien technology that founded his people.

Last Prince of Alkebulahn - Tour Banner

Review

Joshua N’Gon is a good kid, he goes to a good school although he’s not academically astute, he has a good moral compass, he has good friends, and he knows how to have fun, mostly with his real cool tool a bracelet like device that sits on his arm and turns his life into a real life computer game. He isn’t any normal kid though and as he starts to unravel his past with the help of his friends the dangers he faces become very real.

For me, this book wasn’t a good fit, I just didn’t gel with the story right from the beginning and gave up mid-way through…but…the reason I went ahead with the review was because the writing was fantastic, the story was even fantastic. I just think I was completely the wrong target audience for it, it kept running through my head when I was reading it that if was 13-16 I would probably have sped through the book in record time. But I’m not, I’m almost 40 and it just wasn’t hitting the spot for me.

I have absolutely no doubt that those reading MG/YA novels who love SciFi/Fantasy/Gaming will eat this up. It has so much in terms of the elements these kids are looking for, Hewitt’s writing is is enjoyable and easy to follow. I definitely recommend it for those of you with teens who need a new book for their kindles.

Sending huge thanks to Anthony Hewitt, and Neverland Blog Tours for the eARC so that I could read and honestly review this novel.

Rating

Joshua N'Gon - Tour Schedule

About Anthony Hewitt

Anthony has been writing for over 15 years.  Mainly writing for mature readers, his genre of choice has always been speculative fiction. The YA category is such an exciting category that he wanted to include a diverse set of character with a different cultural perspective.  He’s enjoyed himself so much he intends to keep creating fantastic new stories for a 12+ audience.

Book website: www.thelastprince.co.uk

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36222715-joshua-n-gon?ac=1&from_search=true

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0956266010/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738

Giveaway

2x hardback copies of the book

  • 1 UK winner
  • 1 International winner

Click Here.

(Tour-Wide Giveaway)

Book & Buy Links

TitleJoshua N’Gon: Last Prince of Alkebulahn
Series: N/A
Author: Anthony Hewitt
Genre: Young Adult | Middle Grade | Science Fiction | Urban Fantasy | Fantasy
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 5 June 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback
Pages: 461
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US