Wednesday, July 27, 2016

‘Inception’ (The Marked #1) by Bianca Scardoni

5 supernatural stars!

After her father is killed by a vampire, right in front of her, Jemma Blackburn’s life gets a little chaotic.  She’s placed in a psychiatric facility and then relocated to live with her mysterious uncle and attend a posh prep school in Hollow Hills.  Slowly, she discovers that she’s not crazy, vampires *are* real, and that there are more supernatural beings in Hollow Hills than she could have ever imagined.

Jemma learns that there are a few different hierarchies of angels, demons, vampires, witches, and shifters.  She also learns her family’s role in this hidden, supernatural world.  These explanations are easy to follow, and the characters are quite likable, even with their healthy amount of high school drama.

Author Bianca Scardoni is an incredibly skilled wordsmith.  Both ‘Inception’ and its sequel, ‘Invidious’ are narrated by high school student Jemma Blackburn, but her thoughts never border on immature or whiny.  Scardoni has a wonderful ability to transform words into vivid images, allowing readers to visualize the strange and beautiful new settings Jemma finds herself in.

‘Inception’ is an addictive must-read for all vampire, shifter, angel/demon, witch, and supernatural romance lovers, as well as ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ fans.

Inception’ and ‘Invidious’ are currently available as part of the Kindle Unlimited program.

Monday, July 18, 2016

‘The Tower Must Fall’ by S.E. Bennett

5 magical stars!

With ‘The Tower Must Fall,’ author S.E. Bennett has brilliantly blended re-tellings of several fairy tales with a semi-coming of age story centered around main character, Marek.  The tale is told from alternating points of view of both Marek and leading lady Enyo, and follows their journey through several of the former-fairy-tale kingdoms, as they run from king’s guards, join other Cryptids - magic wielding non-mortals - such as themselves, and join bloody battles.

Though the plot and history is heavily influenced and interwoven with fairy tales, this tale contains heavy violence at times.  This is not a simple retelling of charming princes against wicked witches.

This is a very well-written spin on traditional fairy tales and magic, incorporating adult themes of prejudice, and diversity.  There is an entire race of people, Cryptids, who want a safe place to raise children, where magic use is acceptable instead of a crime punishable by death.

‘The Tower Must Fall’ is an enchanting must-read for all mature YA readers and sci-fi and fairy tale fans.

Currently available as part of the Kindle Unlimited program.

'Time Trial #1' (The CHRONOS Files) by Rysa Walker

5 stars!

An excellent start to a visually stimulating tale of time travel, set within Rysa Walker's 'Timebound' universe.  Clio Dunne tries her hand at being an illustrator, when a figure from her parents' past shows up and forces her to travel in time.  Tune in to discover more!

Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

'Time Trial #1' will be available on July 20th!

Monday, July 11, 2016

‘Crystal Crowned’ (Air Awakens #5) by Elise Kova

5 magical stars!

‘Crystal Crowned’ is the gripping conclusion to talented author Elise Kova’s elemental magic series, ‘Air Awakens.’  Readers have watched Vhalla Yarl develop magic abilities, form a bond with secretive Prince Aldrik, become a symbol for soldiers to believe in and fight for, and then face the biggest betrayal of her life.

‘Crystal Crowned’ begins just after the action ends in ‘Water’s Wrath.’  We follow Aldrik, Vhalla, Jax, Elecia, and Fritz (two firebarers, one groundbreaker, one waterrunner, and a windwalker) on their journey through Solaris to rescue their kingdom from a malicious, power hungry tyrant.

As with the other entries in the ‘Air Awakens’ series, there are battle scenes, there are moving scenes of caring and friendship, and even love.  We get to see more of Jax and Elecia’s backstories, and watch all our favorite characters further develop and mature. 

The epilogue beautifully wraps up Vhalla and Aldrik’s story.

Thanks to author Elise Kova for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Grab 'Crystal Crowned' here!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

‘Savage Steel’ (Heartblaze #2) by Shay Roberts

5 stars!

(Read my review of ‘Heartblaze’ and snag it for free here!)

Excellent second entry in Shay Roberts’ historical fiction ‘Heartblaze’ series.  New characters are introduced, minor characters from 'Secret Society' are given elaboration and development, and we experience another one of Emma Rue's exciting past lives.

Author Shay Roberts’ style of narrating from several different points of view works exceedingly well to provide the reader with clarity through the many characters and time periods.  ‘Savage Steel’ presents a bigger picture than the first book, and more fully develops the villain’s motivation and methods.

Once again, the ‘Heartblaze’ world is a historical fantasy with many supernatural beings; vampires, were wolves, were bears, witches, faeries, ghosts, and more.  Soul mates share a special and powerful connection that can span centuries.  While the plot has a large and developed focus, one of the main points is the connection between soul mates Emma Rue/Cassandra and Julian.  This book pulled my heartstrings a bit.

An excellent choice for fans of fantasy, supernatural, or historical fiction.

Thanks to author Shay Roberts for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Currently available from your favorite booksellers!