Sunday, December 30, 2018

Salvage Title (The Salvage Title Trilogy Book 1) by Kevin Steverson, narrator KC Johnston

Good start to a new series- lots of potential…Salvage Title (The Salvage Title Trilogy Book 1) by Kevin Steverson, narrated by KC Johnston, was a fun, light listen. 5 stars for narration (I would give it more if it was allowed- for reals) and 4 stars for the story. (Full review below)


First I’d like to say how fantastic the narrator, KC Johnston, is! He truly has a gift. He is in my top three narrators (Bahni Tuprin and Adam Verner are the other two, in no particular order). 

What’s the book about? The description sums it up fairly well. A group of people are on their ship Salvage Title, from there, the adventures begin. There is a good amount of strategy talk. AI (would love to see this expanded in the next book) and some humor. Planets and different life forms. If you like space operas, give this one a listen. 

What I didn’t care for: some parts were a little too slow for me (took a long time to get the ship, but then the action picked up). There is lack of character development, which I hope is remedied in the next book. I will definitely be checking out the second book to see how it progresses (once on audible). 

Overall I would recommend- it’s a light, fun listen. There is certainly potential for this series to flourish. 

Parental warnings/trigger advisory: I do not recall any swearing. A kiss between a man and woman. There is death and fighting, but not in graphic detail. Weapons, such as missiles or like items. It would be a good read/listen for young adults. *Note I may have missed some items due to being sick with a nasty head cold, so I do apologize if I did. 

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Thank you for allowing me to listen and review the book!

Where to purchase the book:

Where to find the author:

Where to find the narrator: KC Johnston

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Woodcastle: The Courts Divided Book One by Kell Inkston


Woodcastle: The Courts Divided Book One by Kell Inkston is a brilliant fantasy series. A must read/listen!

Every once in a while you come across an author who has that special flair and you know is going to make it big some day. Today, that author is Kell Inkston. I highly recommend this book.
Full review below...

Woodcastle: The Courts Divided Book One by Kell Inkston was a refreshing take on the fantasy genre. Initially I wasn’t sure if I was going to get into it, but it didn’t take long to realize this is a fantastic book. The story flows nicely in all the right ways.

What to expect: a unique blend of humor, swords and other weapons, kingdoms, magic, spells, realmancy, war, and a nice variety of characters that range from dragon-kin, necromancer, minions, fairies, humans, overlords, dwarves, elves, and more. There is enough action intertwined with the humor that you won’t get bored. The ending contained a nice twist. You may want to consider listening/reading the appendix first as it explains a bit about the omniverse (Chapter 41). 

I loved how some of the characters names are cleverly used in the story (“rid the world of Order”, “Chaos holds the absolute advantage, not only does he decide when to appear, he is also free to not appear at all”). There are also life lessons if you choose to notice: “We must give freely without expecting anything in return.” 

The narrator, A. W. Dickson, was awesome! Used a variety of voices and all were wonderful. Would listen A. W.’s other narrations. 

This book will be a repeat listen/read book for me. I also purchased this book for a friend. 

Overall, I recommend, especially if you are into fantasy with a blend of humor. 

A little note about the books progress: The author states this book has had two previous titles, has been in development the past four years, and was almost shelved at one point. Extremely happy this was not shelved! 

Parental warnings/trigger advisory: some occasional swear words and then there are the times when they are beeped out, death, and war. It’s possible I am forgetting some things. 

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Thank you for allowing me to listen and review the book! 

Where to purchase:

Where to find the author: Kell Inkston
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My personal thoughts:
I am so happy this book was not shelved. It would have been a waste of clear talent. I enjoyed the word play, probably more than I should have. Still trying to figure out why Kell's work hasn't exploded...any publishers reading this?

Monday, December 24, 2018

Mishegas: A Concrete Tale of Family Quicksand by Harley Dresner

I recently listened to Mishegas: A Concrete Tale of Family Quicksand by Harley Dresner. This is great book to listen to if you're having a bad day or need a laugh. Regardless of your background, upbringing, religious views, etc. there is sure to be a story in the book that will have you laughing out loud. Full review below...




Stories everyone can relate & laugh out loud to!

Mishegas: A Concrete Tale of Family Quicksand by Harley Dresner is a fun, laugh out loud, don’t eat or drink when listening kind of book. 4 ½ solid stars. The book contains stories everyone can relate to or at least can say “I know someone like that” (and if you find yourself saying I don’t have someone like that in my family, it just might be you).

The book is filled with various stories told from Harley’s point of view on outings or dealings with his parents, Gerry and Sydelle, and his uncle Bern. There is a good variety, ranging from his younger days to adult days. By the end, you’re left wanting a little more (in a good way) and it’s bittersweet.
The narrator has potential and was easy to listen to with only a couple hiccups throughout the book. I would listen to another one of his narrations no problem.

Some of quotes I enjoyed:
(In reference to Bern) "I never tired of hearing them. His stories were repeated often but they never got old. I miss those stories terribly. I would give anything to hear them one more time." Bern is someone everyone should have in their lives. His stories helped to make the book as great as it is, especially “The Gouche” incidents. If the author decides to write another book, I hope it is on Bern.
"Mishegas may change, but it never goes away."

The things I didn’t care for: At times, a couple of the stories were long-winded. The narrator use a few voices I could’ve went without (two very small parts). These things did not ruin the book by any means, but were enough for me to deduct a half a star. 

Overall, I recommend the book. Do yourself a favor and listen to this book, especially if you’re having a bad day. 

Parental warnings/trigger advisory: a couple words such as bastard or slurs due to religion or ethnicity (dirty Jew, no good drunk Irishman, etc.- told during two of the Bern stories), two fights resulting from the slurs, cancer, death, brief mention of Korean War (Bern served), the author siding with doctors, and upper nudity of male at doctor’s office. 

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Thank you for allowing me to listen and review the book!

Where to purchase:
Audible
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
IndieBound


More personal thoughts on the book not included in review:
The author says "Mishegas may change, but it never goes away." I couldn't help but think how it changes with each generation, yet the stories will be told to the new generations and live on (especially if you are into genealogy). We all need mishegas in our lives and don't realize how much until it's gone.

I feel for Sydelle (I hope I'm spelling her name correctly- I apologize if I didn't) and her Raynaud’s- it’s a horrible disease. I may have to try her trick of heating up apples.

A little note for the author: it’s easy to side with other medical providers until you have experienced what it’s like to be a patient on the other end, then it’s a life-changing experience and not in a good way generally (speaking from experience). I recall hearing patients horror stories, but you never fully understand until it happens to you. For those wondering why I put author siding with doctors as a trigger warning, this is why. I will not say more other than having a bad doctor or multiple bad visits can be a traumatic experience.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Strain of Resistance (Bixby Series Book #1) by Michelle Bryan

I recently listened to Strain of Resistance (Bixby Series Book #1) by Michelle Bryan. I really wanted to like this one, but had a difficult time doing so. The cover and description is what drew me in. Full review below...


Still trying to figure out how Strain of Resistance (Bixby Series Book 1) by Michelle Bryan received such great reviews. There are things I liked, but more so things I didn’t…just as the book was starting to pick up, the epilogue begins...seriously?! I purchased this book as it came up in a search for dark fantasy- there is a darkness to it, but not as dark as I had hoped. The beginning started great and I thought yes, this is going to be a good book, but it failed to materialize.

Minimal spoilers below...
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Reviews stated the main character, Bixby, was strong, kick-a**, etc.- and she was fairly strong, unfortunately there’s an annoyance to her that over powers any kick-a** traits, combined with too many insecurities, the character fails. You can be damaged and strong without the annoying parts and it’s a bummer the author didn’t go that route. As for character development- you get a brief scene of Bixby admitting she’s scared and staying with her lover for the night, but that’s all. You will find yourself asking “who were the characters again?”. Then there’s the dialogue- if you enjoy childish jokes you would have heard in elementary/junior high school, this book might be for you. If you are looking for a dark, adult series, look elsewhere.


The good? There’s an underlying story that has potential if the author rids the book of the flaws listed above. Honestly it’s a bummer because this book could be fantastic. The narrator was wonderful.


Overall, I can’t recommend in it’s current form. I really wanted to like this one but felt I wasted my money.


Need a little more info? Aliens (called leeches) have taken over. A group of people are trying to survive while the aliens are showing signs of increased intelligence, ravagers (cannibals) complicate matters, throw in Bixby’s relationship with Luke, and that about sums it up.


Parental guidance/trigger warnings: swearing (lots of it), words such as ‘tards, cripples, oldies, bimbos, or like-words are used fairly frequently, father is abusive to child and mother, killing, guns, a scene where a ravager grabs the main characters breast, multiple sex scenes, knives, death of loved ones, and probably more I’m missing. This is not for those who are easily offended or kids.

Where to purchase (Why post this if I didn't recommend the book? As I've stated before, just because I don't care for a book, doesn't mean someone else will feel the same):
Audible


Where to find the author:
Facebook
Goodreads

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful by Arwen Elys Dayton

Unique stories tied together that will have you thinking and not wanting to put the book down...
Stronger, Fast, and More Beautiful by Arwen Elys Dayton is an intriguing read. It will leave you wondering how far we can and will take genetic engineering/human modification. Just because we can, does it mean we should?

Remainder of review and my personal thoughts below...



The book consists of six parts containing different stories that are related to the main idea (genetic engineering/modification). The beginning started a little slow for my taste but as the stories continued, I found I could not put the book down. Each story was unique. If you enjoy Sci-Fi stories that are focused on genetics or thought-provoking books, you will enjoy this one.

You will find yourself asking questions throughout the book such as: Do our genetic defects makes us who we are? Without modern medicine, how many of us would be here? Should we be prolonging life? Modification/genetic engineering is already happening, but at what point will it stop? Who says what is ethical in medicine and where the line is drawn? How will humans ruin this?

I hope there is a follow up book. This would make a wonderful TV mini-series/movie (if done right- meaning The Wachowski’s)

Trigger warnings/parental advisory: swearing, some sexual situations (making out, touching, pairing up to mate), religion (a reverend is tied in with the stories), death, some violent situations (accidents, slaves, killing).

Overall, I give the book 4 ½ stars and recommend it.

* I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this.

#StrongerFasterAndMoreBeautiful #NetGalley #SciFi #Ethics #YoungAdult

Where to purchase:

Where to find the author: Arwen Elys Dayton

This book hit me a little more deeply than most books I've read. As I read it, I couldn't help but wonder how long until my autoimmune disease, or the health problems my family members have, will be cured. I doubt it will happen in my lifetime, but maybe, just maybe, my niece's epilepsy will be cured in her lifetime. Or the rare blood disease my dad's cousin died from this year can be fixed and won't keep being handed down to each generation. But am I selfish or a horrible person for wanting these things to end for people? What if we finally cure cancer? Should we be fixing/curing these things? Will the genetic engineering/modification ever stop once we've begun curing diseases? Cue the vaccines and eradication of smallpox talk. This book will definitely have you thinking...

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Chasing American Monster, 251 Creatures, Cryptids, and Hairy Beasts by Jason Offutt

Chasing American Monster, 251 Creatures, Cryptids, and Hairy Beasts by Jason Offutt was a fun book to read. It appeals to your inner monster and is perfect for lounging next to the fireplace in your PJ's. (full review below)


Chasing American Monster, 251 Creatures, Cryptids, and Hairy Beasts by Jason Offutt gives you a brief, fun and sometimes scary look into the stories of cryptozoology, monsters, and the folklore in the United States of America. This would be an excellent book for a coffee shop, an on-the-go read, or sitting next to the fireplace in your PJ’s.

What to expect: The about the author/foreword, I enjoyed more than I probably should have (oh Gary, I have two like you at home). The introduction does a nice job explaining our fascination with monsters, the history (ex. Luigi Galvani, H. G. Wells), and why we need monsters. I’m glad to see the author mentions the Okapi, giant panda, coelacanth, megamouth shark, and more (research if you don't know why this is important).

The main part of the book contains monsters from each state in alphabetical order. The author gives a brief description of each state (terrain, famous people, and events), followed by monsters (multiple per state, nice variety).

The conclusion consists of the author’s personal thoughts about monsters. He leaves you with the question of whether or not monsters exist.

The meh of the book (for me): Some of the descriptions are rather short, leaving you wanting more. I'd rather more detail in a couple than a bunch of small falling short, but could just be my personal taste.

Whether you are a skeptic, a believer, or some where in-between, this book will appeal to your inner curiosity. Overall I would recommend and I plan to purchase this book for my nephews.

Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

#ChasingAmericanMonsters #NetGalley #Monsters #Folklore #Cryptozoology #Llewellyn #JasonOffutt #UnitedStates #AmReading #Books

Where to purchase:
Llewellyn
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound

Where to find the author: Jason Offutt

Ghosts and Grudges: a Japanese-inspired Urban Fantasy (The Shaman Queen Saga Book 1) by Jasmine Walt

A fast-paced action book full of Japanese folklore...A must read for urban fantasy lovers!

Ghosts and Grudges: a Japanese-inspired Urban Fantasy (The Shaman Queen Saga Book 1) by Jasmine Walt is now the perfect urban fantasy book! For those who read the first book (by Jasmine Walt and J. A. Cipriano) and weren’t too keen on it, I’d highly recommend reading this version instead. The flow and story are better all around. (full review below)






Minimal spoilers below…
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Aika is a medical student who has taken to running her mother’s restaurant as her mother is ill. While at work one evening, she learns she is a rare kind of shaman (one that hasn’t been seen in centuries) and all the stories told to her as a young child are indeed true. Enter Raiden and Shota, cousins who are from the Takaoka Shaman Clan. Kai, an ancient shaman who is possessed by the god of chaos, has kidnapped Aika’s mother. While making their way to rescue her, Aika, Raiden, and Shota meet unique creatures (The Sea Dragon King, mermaids, talking crabs) while battling others (The Monkey King). During this time, Aika learns more about her powers and the shaman world. There are plenty of adventures, creatures and folklore (even an occasional joke/snarkasm), but trying to keep spoilers to a minimum.

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the lore in this book and it’s even more exceptional with this edition. I will be purchasing future books and can’t wait to see the story unfold. I see another reviewer mentions it would be good as an anime series- I fully agree with this- it would be fantastic!

Parental advisory/trigger warnings: a couple curse words scattered throughout (s-word, dammit, bastard), death, love not ending in a fairy tale ending, warring clans, mermaid breasts, mother sick with cancer, kidnapping, and weapons.

Where to purchase:
Amazon




Thursday, November 22, 2018

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Wow! Only put it down b/c I had to go to bed...

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland is in the top three books I've listened to this year. I couldn't put it down and only did when it was bedtime (reluctantly). Even got guff from my family that I was listening to a book vs. talking with them. So yes, this book is fantastic and you should be listening/reading it. This would make one brilliant kick-butt TV series or movie if done right. Full review below...


Where to purchase:
Audible
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Indie Bound

Where to find the author:
Justina Ireland

I do no usually read any war related or slavery books, but thought I'd give it a chance since it had zombies (aka shamblers) in it. The book takes place at what should have been the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War, however, instead of that battle transpiring, dead soldiers turn to zombies and the fight is on. The book's main characters is Jane, a strong-willed young lady who has her own ways of dealing with the problems in the world. I'm not going to say anything more than this as I do not want to spoil the surprises.

I would love more books in the series, but there's also that part of me that says "This book is perfect how it is". I will certainly be checking out Justina's other books, along with the narrator. Bahni Tuprin is in my top three narrators. Do yourself a favor and listen to this book.

Parental guidance/Trigger warnings: This book is set to the time around the Civil War. Not going into specifics other than racism, sexism, slavery, killing, use of weapons, and like-things happening. There is one brutal descriptive scene of a lashing and a woman's breasts are exposed to the public. Minimal romance/talk of relationships (more along the lines of having a crush on a guy, mentions of loving a guy/being in a relationship in the past but no sex or sex talk from what I recall).

Monday, November 12, 2018

Bettie Page: The Lost Years: An Intimate Look at the Queen of Pinups, through her Private Letters & Never-Published Photos

I had the chance to check out the new Bettie Page book not long ago and loved it. This book is for the die hard fans, those new to her and the ones in-between. For those looking for racy photos only, this book is not for you. With this book you get a sense of who she was personally, how she connected with her family, and learn more about her sister Goldie. (more details in review below)


Where to purchase:

What a great book! This is a book for those new to Bettie Page, the die hard fans, and those in-between.

The book is full of awesome photos, ranging from her modeling days to family times, and handwritten letters to her sister Goldie (aka Gloria). The authors do an excellent job at describing the letters and then stating what was happening in Bettie’s life at the time. At no point was I bored with this book, despite having watched documentaries and read about Bettie over the years. This book gives a look into how normal of a person Bettie was and how ahead of her times she was. I think we tend to put her on this pedestal and forget she’s not just the legendary pin-up queen. She is someone’s sister, daughter, aunt, etc. and the letters show that. You’ll get a good idea about Bettie’s personality and humor throughout the book. At the end of the book, you will learn more about her sister, Goldie, and her nephew, Ron. Why Goldie didn’t become as famous as Bettie, I don’t know...when you see Goldie’s photo’s, you’ll wonder the same thing.

This book would make an excellent gift or if you’re a Bettie fan, it’s a must have. I will be purchasing this for myself and one for a friend who loves Bettie. Overall, I recommend the book and can’t say anything bad about it.

For those who need a little more info about the book layout: foreword by Tempest Storm, introduction, followed by four parts (The Early Years, The Pinup Years, The Lost Years, Meet Goldie Jane), then epilogue and acknowledgments.

While reading this book, I couldn’t help but wonder what mental illness and health problems did she really have? Was it what they said or something else (we’ve come a long way with medical advances/learning about diseases/illness since she was diagnosed)? How did she maintain such a positive attitude despite everything that happened in her life? The authors mentions the body positive movement (I thought the same thing at multiple times throughout the book), and wonder how Bettie would feel now about her photo being taken as she aged.

Parental Advisory/Trigger Warnings: talks of Bettie’s time in psychiatric hospitals due to her threatening others with knives/injuring them, lots of body image talk (dieting, indulging in food, gaining/losing weight, growing old and dislike for it), talk of suicide if she ends up in a wheelchair or bed-ridden, gambling, marriages and divorces, religion, sexual assaults (briefly mentioned, not detailed).

Thank you to the authors, publishers, and Netgalley for allowing me an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

#BettiePageTheLostYears #NetGalley #Reading #Books #QueenOfPinups #BettiePage #Vintage

Thursday, October 25, 2018

J. D. Horn's new series- perfect for Halloween time!

Are you looking for a Halloween book? J. D. Horn's new series The Witches of New Orleans is it. This series is for adults. It's a three book series, with the final book set to be released June 2019. These books have a certain creep factor to them. If you find yourself struggling with the first book due to the large amount of characters, I'd highly recommend the audio book and sticking with the series through the second- the second book contains a character list in the front of the book.
If you're looking for something a little lighter, I'd recommend his Witching Savannah series (The 4th book, Jilo, was my favorite)

Where to find J. D. Horn: Click here

Book #1: The King Bones & Ashes (Witches of New Orleans, Book 1)


Where to purchase:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
IndieBound
Target

My review:
This book has a slow, steady pace. While I enjoyed the story, I can see how it might be a turn off for those who aren’t expecting it. With that being said, the story itself is a combo of fantasy mixed with real world authenticity- magic, witches, clairvoyant, New Orleans life style, young lovers, old lovers, betrayal, mystery, and more! The details are phenomenal. It has a darker tone and a certain creep factor to it (it’s a good thing).

The only problem I had with the book was the many characters. Perhaps it’s because I listened to the audio book vs. reading? I plan to listen to the story again as I know I missed some things in the beginning- the book is full of details, big and small, so pay attention. The story is told through the different viewpoints of the characters. The narrator for the audio book was great- easy to listen to voice.

This series has a more serious tone than his Witching Savannah series, so if you’re looking for something similar to that, you might be disappointed. This is not a book for the kiddos or faint of heart- contains violence and death.

I will be reading/listening to the next book in the series as this series is full of potential that I hope will unfold in the second book. I would recommend this book if you are into dark fantasy.


Book #2: The Book of the Unwinding (Witches of New Orleans, Book 2)

Where to purchase:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
IndieBound
Target

My review:
Sometimes there are those books that you don’t read alone in the dark...this is one of those books (or if you have an overactive imagination like me you don’t read it when you’re home alone at nighttime because every noise you hear...). There is a creep factor to it and it’s awesome! Would recommend to those who enjoy dark fantasy mixed with real world authenticity.

As with the first book in the series, there is a lot of information and stories happening via different characters viewpoints. The author has helped remedy any confusion in the story by placing a character list in the beginning of the book- use it, it’s your friend. This book was easier to follow than the first and faster-paced in some parts (in my opinion).

Minimal spoilers below……..
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Similar to the first book: the story is a combo of fantasy mixed with real world authenticity, magic, witches, clairvoyant, New Orleans life style, young lovers, old lovers, betrayal, mystery.

Things that are new: Magic is disappearing from the world, while the witches of New Orleans are trying to keep it but are still scrambling from the previous events. The seven gates to the underworld are said to be located in New Orleans. Yes, there is more, but I’m not giving all the spoilers away. It’s hard to pick a favorite character because they each bring something unique to the story, but I look forward to seeing how Nathalie and Alice’s stories play out.

The details are once again phenomenal. The series has a darker tone and I would not recommend for those who are not into dark fantasy, faint of heart, or children.

I highly recommend the audio book. I started listening to the audio book, tried numerous times to switch over to reading and ended up going back to the audio book. The audio book adds to the story as the narrator did a brilliant job. I find myself reading the not so good reviews and saying “if only they would have listened to the audio book”...

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Dragon Riders of Elantia series...


This post is about all the books available in the Dragon Riders of Elantia series by Jessica Drake. Her newest book, the fourth in the series, was released today. It's called War of the Dragon.
I recommend this series if you are a fan of dragons or fantasy books with magic. This is a series for adults due to language and adult situations. Not recommended for kids.
My reviews of the series, starting with book one, are below.

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Call of the Dragon: a Dragon Fantasy Adventure (Dragon Riders of Elantia Book 1) by Jessica Drake is a book for dragon lovers and good luck putting it down- I read it straight through. This is a series where it’s going to be difficult waiting for the next book because you want to read it now. I don’t think you will be disappointed with this book at all.

Brief summary/minimal spoilers below…..
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Zara Kenrook is a treasure hunter who co-owns an antique shop on the ground. Her lineage is unknown as she was raised in an orphanage. Events occur that result in her becoming bonded with a dragonling, Lessie. This catapults her into an unknown way of living and new adventures in the cities in the sky/dragon academy. Other things you can expect:

Dragon wars/history, magic, dragon god, bad guys, floating islands that people live on, the dragon academy (some snotty people/some nice, classes, dragon riding, etc.), upper class vs. lower class (upper city vs. ground-dwellers), gangs who run the street/crime on the ground, romance, friendships (old and new), twists and turn that you may or may not see coming, and more!
I would highly recommend this book if you are into dragons, fantasy, magic, or fast-paced books.

Parental advisory/trigger warnings: some swearing, stealing, war talk, talk of mating between dragons, mention of casual sex (once) and more adult relationship themes although minimal (kissing, mention of breasts once), flirting, killing, weapons.

Where to purchase:
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Flight of the Dragon (Dragon Riders of Elantia, Book 2) by Jessica Drake is an excellent second book to the series! I read it in less than two days- it was a quick and easy read...4 1/2 stars. Would recommend for those who are looking for a dragon fantasy, new fantasy series, love magic/adventure, or like a strong female lead. There are many adventures in this book- pretty much a constant stream, which makes it difficult to put the book down.

Minimal spoilers below…
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Zara is continuing her training with Lessie, her dragon, at Tavarian’s secret estate. War is on the brink and begins as the book progresses. Forced to begin active duty in Elantia’s military, Zara struggles on many levels. Salcombe is up to his nefarious ways throughout the book. Other things to expect: magic, airships, relationships gains and strains, dragon riding, humans bonding with their dragons, use of Zara’s ability, letter writing (technology isn’t like it is today), weapons, dragon god occultists, and surprises regarding Tavarian.

You could probably read this book without reading the first, but I wouldn’t recommend it as you will miss some key details about how things came to be. This book’s ending is meant to continue into the third book so if you are not a fan of waiting for a series/expecting closure, this isn’t for you.

The only thing I didn’t care for is Jallis and Zara’s romantic relationship. I might be in the minority on this, but it just doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t ruin the book by any means (romantic scenes are minimal). I was hoping as the series continued the awkwardness would go, but it didn’t.

Overall, I recommend this series, especially if you enjoy fantasy books with dragons.

Parental advisory/trigger warnings: Some swearing (S-word a couple of times), stealing, death, war talk and actions, cannons (that injure dragons), kidnapping, drugs that are used to drug other people, brief talk of semi-nude male body and sleeping with guys (one sentence).

Where to purchase:
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Might of the Dragon (Dragon Riders of Elantia, Book 3) was a quick, easy read...recommend for dragon fantasy lovers. The only problem with this book series is I need more! Might of the Dragon (Dragon Riders of Elantia Book #3) is the best in the series so far. I read it in under 24 hours.

I would recommend this series if you are looking for a new fantasy or dragon series.

Minimal spoilers below……..
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Zara and Lessie are back and trying to evade the bad people that are coming at them from all angles. This book is fast-paced and has a lot of action.

Some things to expect: dragons, new love interest, war with bordering lands, noble court events, ongoing nefarious plans, and more.

This book is part of an ongoing series. If you are looking for closure at the end, you will not get it yet. I wouldn’t recommend starting with this book as you will miss key information from the previous books.

Parental advisory/trigger warnings: a couple swear words, drugs that are used to drug other people, death, war, stealing, and a kiss.

Where to purchase:

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Overall, War of the Dragon (Dragon Riders of Elantia, Book 4) by Jessica Drake was a good addition to the series. I had a hard time getting into this book- it wasn’t until around 12% that it picked up enough for me to want to keep reading (which has not been normal for this series- I’ve not wanted to put the previous books down). This book waxed and waned with adventures- it was either fast-paced action or lots of talk about war & strategies, etc./thoughts about Tavarian. The ending and a specific new character were great- these help to redeem any part I felt was too slow. I did enjoy the adventures and Lessie’s snark. I would recommend reading this series- from the beginning.

For those who need a little more info, minimal spoilers below…
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This book is more so about the adventures of Zara, Lessie, and Tavarian. They are trying to find the missing dragons and riders, who have been taken by the Zallabarians. A God enters the story and hangs around- I won’t say anymore than it makes the book entertaining. New and old characters make appearances/problems. As stated above, lots of war talk/strategies/etc. Also a good amount of romance/feelings on Tavarian.

Parental warning/Trigger warnings: a swear word or words such as “dragon’s balls”, severed heads, fawning over a guy (quite a few times), drinking in a bar, killing of animals for purpose of feeding dragon, sex- not detailed “made love” “pushed each other toward an endless wave of bliss”, war (talk, dead humans and dragons, strategies, rape of a woman- not detailed, a mention of it to Zara).


#Dragons #AmReading #Fantasy #JessicaDrake #WarOfTheDragon #DragonRidersofElantia #books


Where to purchase:
Amazon

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*I received an ARC in exchange for my honest reviews of this series*

Where to find Jessica:
Goodreads
Facebook

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Iron Garland (Harbinger, Book 3) by Jeff Wheeler

Rarely is a there a series I read twice, but this is one of them. I can't say enough good things about Jeff's new series. If you haven't tried it yet, please do. Full review below.




~ Where to purchase ~



A series that you won’t want to miss- fantasy aficionados must read!

Just when I think Jeff Wheeler can’t outdo himself, he has! Iron Garland (Harbinger, Book 3) is just as phenomenal as the previous book, dare I say even better? Yes, I will. 5 stars easily. Highly recommend the series for anyone looking for a new fantasy series. If you haven’t jumped on the Jeff Wheeler bandwagon, it’s time to do so.

This book jumps three years into the future with Cettie and Sera as the main characters like in the previous books. Jeff handles the time jumps wonderfully and it certainly adds to the success of the story. The plot continues with twists and turns, so you never quite know what to expect.

Warning, minimal spoilers below…
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Cettie and Sera are back, this time Cettie is the keeper of Fog Willows, while Sera is biding her time waiting to get out of Lady Corrine’s grasp. War with Kingfountain complicates matters. Cettie and Sera learn more about themselves and become strong in their own rights. The mysteries and magic continue to unfold. We learn more about Kingfountain’s way of life. Steven’s privilege shows and creates problems. Political maneuvers continue throughout the book. New and old characters add mystery and mayhem. Cettie’s mother becomes known in this book (nope, not telling you, read the book 😊).

This line stuck out to me (oh how true)- “She thought it strange how the past had its own form of magic that could play chords on the heart.” And this one gave me a chuckle- “That was when Raj Sarin humbled him the Bhikhu way.”

When you read this, you will be reminded that even when times are tough you must continue on and to never give up. The author’s note at the end is interesting- he tells of how Lady Corrine’s character came to be.

As I read this book, I couldn’t help but think how what transpires can be related to things happening in the real world today (specifically the prejudice of those who do not share our own viewpoints and how to make it work).

As stated with the previous book reviews, I would recommend this series for those who love fantasy with elements of steampunk and good life lessons. There is a reason Jeff’s books get great ratings, so go on and give this series a read (or listen).


Parental advisory/trigger warnings: war, death from war or nefarious characters (murder via push and gunshot), fighting with body parts and attempted drowning, weapons, stealing, difference of religious beliefs, hugging, marriage proposals, mention of a guys arm against a lady’s bosom during a dance, drug addiction (poppy extracts for a soldier due to his injuries). There is no swearing.

*I received an advanced copy of this book from 47North via NetGally/the author, in exchange for my honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review the book, it was awesome!



#IronGarland #NetGalley #Fantasy #SciFi #Reading #LifeLessons #Books #JeffWheeler #MustRead #Magic #Teens #YoungAdult #AmReading











Thursday, October 4, 2018

Harbinger Book series by Jeff Wheeler (Storm Glass & Mirror Gate)

My first review(s) will be on Jeff Wheeler's new Harbinger Series, book 1 (Storm Glass) and book 2 (Mirror Gate). I have recently started reading Jeff's books and cannot speak highly enough about them. Beware, once you start this series, you will have a difficult time putting it down.


Book #1:

Brilliant book, everyone should be reading this one! 5 stars easily...   

What to say that others haven’t? Not sure, but I’ll give it a shot. Storm Glass (Harbinger Book 1) by Jeff Wheeler was phenomenal! For reals...it kept me wondering what would happen next and did surprise me several times (a rare thing in a book). Would recommend for those who love fantasy with some elements of steampunk and good life lessons.

There are two main characters with different stories that merge together, Cettie and Sera. Cettie is from the Fells (the ground, lower class), while Sera is from the upper class and born a princess (floating island). Both are destined to change their world. The supporting characters are fantastic (good and evil ones). There will be at least one character you can relate to in this book. It feels a bit steampunkish with certain elements (note it is not full steampunk).
Things to expect: life lessons, friendships, enemies, ghosts, science, mysteries, magic, and great world building.

Overall I would recommend this book and can’t wait for the second!

Audiobook was easy to listen to and would recommend it.

Parental advisory/trigger warnings: stabbing of two teenagers with knife, talk of marriages failing due to affairs, mistreatment/bullying of children (but the adults in charge do the right thing and help- good life lessons in the story). I do not recall any swearing or sex talk. I would have no problem letting my younger teen/tween read this book due to the life lessons involved (treat people right, do the right thing even if people tell you otherwise/look down on you for it, everyone has the ability to become/do something with their life).

*I read one review that said this book is like The Hunger Games- I disagree with this comment. Only thing close is there is an upper class and lower class.

#Fantasy #Reading #Books #JeffWheeler #MustRead


~ Where to purchase ~
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
IndieBound
iTunes


Book #2

Another fantastic book in the Harbinger Series- a must read for fantasy lovers!

Mirror Gate (Harbinger Book 2) by Jeff Wheeler is a phenomenal second book! This is one of those series you savor because you don’t want it to end.

So far this series has not disappointed. You can expect twists and turns (not all are predictable), great world building that brings you into the story, and not being able to put the book down.
Warning, minimal spoilers below…
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Cettie and Sera are back, this time a friendship has formed while they are roommates at Muirwood Abbey. Each navigate their lives the best they can during the awkward teen years and what destiny has in store for them. There are big gains and losses this time around. New characters add mystique.
New weapons and magic create trouble. There is revealing of some of the mysteries, knowledge, and history related to the world (Yay!). Expect lots of action and more political moves.

While you read this, you will be reminded that anything is possible, we can be our own worst enemy at times, even when times are tough you must continue on, and similar life lessons. Read the author’s note at the end, you can see how it influenced this series.

This book is not meant to be a stand-alone, so start from the beginning or you will miss key details. The book switches between Cettie and Sera’s viewpoints, but it does not confuse the reader and is beautifully done.

I look forward to listening to the audiobook when released. Also looking forward to the third book being released this year (Iron Garland November 13, 2018). This is going to be a repeat read series for me, which is a rare thing.

I would recommend this series for those who love fantasy with elements of steampunk and good life lessons. If you enjoyed the first one, you will enjoy this one.

Parental advisory/trigger warnings: war, death from war or nefarious characters, weapons such as an arquebus, abductions or attempted abductions (can’t go into specifics without giving major spoilers away), demons/ghosts possessing bodies. The main characters are older teens in this book- there is some mild flirting/pursuing/interest of others. There is no swearing.
As with the first book, I would have no problem letting my younger teen/tween read this book due to the life lessons involved.

*I received an advanced copy of this book from 47North via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review the book!

#MirrorGate #NetGalley #Fantasy #SciFi #Steampunk #Reading #LifeLessons #Books #JeffWheeler #MustRead #Magic #Teens #YoungAdult



~ Where to purchase ~
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
IndieBound
iTunes


Jeff's website