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Saturday, 5 January 2019

DEADLINES AND DRYADS

Deadlines & Dryads by Rebecca Chastain
Book 0.5 of the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook


About Deadlines & Dryads:
Getting the scoop might cost Kylie and her gargoyle companion their lives...

Dryads are a reclusive, passive species — or they used to be. Overnight, the peaceful woodland creatures have turned violent, attacking travelers with crude weapons and whipping the trees of their grove into a ferocious frenzy.

When rumors of the dryads’ bizarre behavior reaches journalist Kylie Grayson, she pounces on the story, determined to unearth the reason behind the dryads’ hostile transformation. Accompanied by Quinn, her young gargoyle friend, Kylie plunges into the heart of the malevolent grove. But nothing she’s learned prepares her for the terrifying conflict she uncovers...
Source: Info in the About Deadlines & Dryads was taken from amazon at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deadlines-Dryads-Terra-Chronicles-Prequel-ebook/dp/B077ZCW1CS on 17/09/2018.

My Thoughts:
Having been hooked and addicted to Rebecca Chastain's story telling quality, of course I have to read more of her books, thus this book got bought and read. The world building has long ago been established in the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles and the goodness of it is carried over to this offshoot series. This book also have the same lovable character development which is getting to be a trademark of this author. This gargoyle image I have with this post may not be Quinn but he sure have the same mischievous grin there! Yes, lovable characters! Unfortunately though, the TSTL (too stupid to live) element also kind of carried over too. However, it is easy for me to wilfully ignore it in this book for the wonderful reading time that it gave me!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 4.5
Writing Style = 4.5
Ending = 4
World building = 5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 5
Plot = 3.5

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries


Meet The Author

About Rebecca Chastain:
Rebecca Chastain has found seven four-leaf clovers to date, won a purebred Arabian horse in a drawing, and once tamed a blackbird for a day. She has been employed as a VHS sales clerk, bookshelf straightener, government pseudo-employee, professional finder of lost sporting goods, and strategy guide wrangler in the video game industry. Dreaming up the absurd and writing stories designed to amuse and entertain has been her passion since she was eleven years old, and she’s incapable of stopping. She lives in northern California with her wonderful husband and two bossy cats. To find out about new releases, sales, and freebies, sign up for Rebecca's newsletter: http://www.rebeccachastain.com/newsletter

FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

MAGIC TRIUMPHS


Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews
Book 10 of the Kate Daniels series
Read by Renee Raudman
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook


About Magic Triumphs:
Mercenary Kate Daniels must risk all to protect everything she holds dear in this epic, can't-miss entry in the thrilling #1 New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series.

Kate has come a long way from her origins as a loner taking care of paranormal problems in post-Shift Atlanta. She's made friends and enemies. She's found love and started a family with Curran Lennart, the former Beast Lord. But her magic is too strong for the power players of the world to let her be.

Kate and her father, Roland, currently have an uneasy truce, but when he starts testing her defenses again, she knows that sooner or later, a confrontation is inevitable. The Witch Oracle has begun seeing visions of blood, fire, and human bones. And when a mysterious box is delivered to Kate's doorstep, a threat of war from the ancient enemy who nearly destroyed her family, she knows their time is up.

Kate Daniels sees no other choice but to combine forces with the unlikeliest of allies. She knows betrayal is inevitable. She knows she may not survive the coming battle. But she has to try.

For her child.

For Atlanta.

For the world.
Source: Info in the About Magic Triumphs was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17333180-magic-triumphs on 29/08/2018.

My Thoughts:
I was dreading going into this book, knowing that this is the last book in the series. I thought that beloved characters would die! Well, there was death... but the ending, though finished the story arc in the series, still left room for more stories to come and I am hopeful! Because this is really a beloved series! I want to read more of it. I am also hoping to read more of Conlan in future books in off-shoot serieses. Who doesn't want a cuddly little kitten version of Curran!! There is also an element of predictability in the story. Normality this is a downer for me. But in this book, I can totally ignore it for the wonderful reading time I get out of it!

As usual, Ilona Andrews did not disappoint! There are advantages and disadvantages to that. The advantage is, that we get a wonderful reading time! The disadvantage is that, now the post-wonderful-read depression sets in


Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 3.5
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 4
World building = 5
Cover art = 4
Pace = 5
Plot = 4
Narration = 5

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries


Meet The Author

About Ilona Andrews:
Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Oregon with their two children, three dogs and a cat. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge.


Meet The Narrator

About Renée Raudman:
Renée Raudman is a multi-award-winning audiobook narrator. She has earned a number of AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for The Last Secret by Mary McGarry Morris and Wesley the Owl by Stacey O'Brien, as well as a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award for Joe Schreiber's Chasing the Dead. She has also performed on film, TV, radio, and stage, including the recurring roles of Jordon on ABC's One Life To Live, Phyllis on NBC's Passions, and guest-starring roles on prime-time TV. She has been heard in cartoons (The Simpsons, Billy & Mandy), videogames, and on the E! channel. Her narration of Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper was selected by Library Journal as one of the best audiobooks of 2009, and her reading of Marthe Jocelyn's Would You was selected by the ALA as one of the best young adult audiobooks of 2009.



FTC Disclosure:
The ebook and audiobook copies of the book were purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

Monday, 5 November 2018

WINTER'S DEMON


Winter's Demon by Eric R. Asher
Book 3 of the Vesik series
Read by William Dufris
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audio


About Winter's Demon:
Some things can never be undone. The horrors I've defeated — or even caused — with my own hands … they are nothing compared to what’s coming. Philip Pinkerton has brought his madness upon my family, my own blood. His army of necromancers is on the move, harbingers of a great darkness. I fear the war has begun ... and damn, I don't get paid enough for this.
Source: Info in the About Winter's Demon was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22404543-winter-s-demon on 15/01/2018.

Buy Link(s):
  Audible Books

My Thoughts:
It took me a long time to finish this book despite the convenience offered by the audiobook format. It just seems like our group of heroes and heroines are just running around from fight to fight with not much of a plot... wtf?!... In the end the good guys didn't even win, they just survived. And now they are in even deeper pickle than when the book started... But here's the kicker, a beloved character died. It took me a year to mourn her before I could continue reading/listening to this book again. And that contributed much to the lagging pace of this book. On the up side, the narrative is still peppered with humour which I like. Specially when William Dufris squeaks it out to imitate a girly scream. Kudos to the narration! And from this book pans out the plot of the next four books in this series, or so I presume... there is so much plot lines hanging from here and from the titles of the rest of the books, I can guess what the next four books is all about... I hope I am wrong though because I like surprises.

In the end, I would still say that this book was an enjoyable read despite the lagging pace.


Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 3
Writing Style = 4.5
Ending = 3.5
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 4
Pace = (10 hrs & 4 mins listening time)
Plot = 3
Narration = 5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries


Books In The Vesik Series:
Book 1: DAYS GONE BAD   Book 2: WOLVES AND THE RIVER OF STONE   Book 3: WINTER'S DEMON   Book 4: THIS BROKEN WORLD   Book 5: DESTROYER RISING   Book 5.5: WHISPERS OF WAR   Book 6: RATTLE THE BONES   Book 7: WITCH QUEEN'S WAR   Book 8: (No Title Yet)


About Eric R. Asher
Eric Asher
Eric is a former bookseller, guitarist, and comic seller currently living in Saint Louis, Missouri. A lifelong enthusiast of books, music, toys, and games, he discovered a love for the written word after being dragged to the library by his parents at a young age. When he is not writing, you can usually find him reading, gaming, or buried beneath a small avalanche of Transformers.
www.daysgonebad.com | facebook | facebook author page | twitter | goodreads | pinterest | google+




FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

Friday, 19 October 2018

HATCHED


Hatched by Joanna Mazurkiewicz
Book 1 of the Draconia World series
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook


About Hatched:
When a world of magic is the only thing you know, what do you do when it’s gone?

In the dark city of Draconia, ruled by powerful mages, the only thing that matters is magic, and Fran is on the search. She’s caught the attention of some unsavory types. It doesn’t help that she has the most powerful magical object in the kingdom in her possession; an object many men have died to hold: a dragon’s egg.

Trapped down a dark alley, with the threat of death coming ever nearer, a crack forms in the wall allowing Fran a way of escape to a place she’d only heard tales of. But will it be one that she regrets? She’ll enter a whole new world, but the threat of Draconia and the mages isn’t far behind.

They want what she has, and nothing will stop them — not even a non-magical place.
Source: Info in the About Hatched was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36565336-hatched on 01/04/2018.

Avianna

My Thoughts:
This book is a kind of "coming of age" story. It may not be so surprising seeing that this is the first book in the series. This is also my first Joanna Mazurkiewicz book and I like her author's voice. Having said that, for some reason I needed little breaks from it. So it may not be as compelling as I would have liked it to be. Still I trudged through the book because I like the premise. So, I am a dragon lover and a hatched dragon egg is irresistible! ... So pace-wise, this book wasn't a very quick read for me.

Plot is not this author's forté. There isn't much of one in this book. All the main protagonist did is run around stumbling from one danger into another and saved by sheer dumb luck. On top of that, Francesca has a tendency to be too stupid to live (TSTL). That soooo did not endear this book to me! But me, being a fantasy geek, was willing to overlook that for the dragon story that this book has to offer. However, if the TSTL persists and overcomes the goodness of the dragon story further down the line, then I may stop following this series at some point... which would be a pity, because I really like the dragon story! And to top that off, the ending is a huge cliffie!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 3.5
Character development = 3.5
Story itself = 4.5
Writing Style = 3.5
Ending = 2
World building = 4
Cover art = 3.5
Pace = 2
Plot = 1.5

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 cherries


Books In The Draconia World Series:


Meet The Author

About Joanna Mazurkiewicz:
Joanna Mazurkiewicz was born in Poland. She moved to United Kingdom when she was only nineteen and just finished high school. She had aspired to be a writer upon completion of the Harry Potter series but also enjoyed reading books like ‘Gone with the Wind’, ’Animal Farm’ and ‘The doll’. She graduated from Swansea University with a bachelor degree in American Studies. While studying in the UK she made a decision to start writing fiction in English.

The “Whispers of the Sprite” is her first debut novel and she is currently working on other projects. Joanna lives in Cowbridge, a small town in South Wales near Cardiff with her boyfriend Bruce. She enjoys cycling around Welsh countryside some of which has become the settings in her first series.



FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 
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