Throwback Thursday: July 19th, 2018

I’ve decided to do Throwback Thursday but blog style. I am going to select a book I have read before and see if I would still read it.

This week’s Throwback Thursday is a fantasy

Stardust

Click on picture for Amazon link

Life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall—named after the imposing stone barrier which separates the town from a grassy meadow. Here, young Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the beautiful Victoria Forester and for the coveted prize of her hand, Tristran vows to retrieve a fallen star and deliver it to his beloved. It is an oath that sends him over the ancient wall and into a world that is dangerous and strange beyond imagining…

Other places you can find Stardust: Barnes and Noble


Did I like Stardust when I first read it: Yes. I had finished Neverwhere and was on the hunt for more Neil Gaiman’s books. Saw Stardust at Barnes and Noble, picked it up and the rest is history.

Age I first read StardustI was in my mid 20’s, I think.

Would I read Stardust now: Yes. I am a huge Neil Gaiman fan and love all of his books. But, I will say this…I refuse to watch the movie. My experience, the book is always better than the movie.

How many stars did I give Stardust back then: 4

How many stars would I give Stardust now: 4

Have you read Stardust?

Did you like it?

Let me know!!

Snow (The Black Ice Trilogy: Book 1) by Mikayla Elliot

Snow (The Black Ice Trilogy, #1)

3.5 Stars

Publisher: Independent Book Publishers Association, Member’s’ Titles

Date of publication: July 31st, 2017

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult, New Adult

Where you can find Snow: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Series: Black Ice Trilogy

Snow – Book 1

Blizzard – Book 2

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Taken from all she has ever known and loved, Neva finds herself swept into a world of vampires where she learns she will determine their future. Yet she quickly discovers she is the target of a vampire, Zachariah, seeking to stop her from altering the vampire lineage. She must decide which path she will take while trying to protect the family she left behind and discovering a past she cannot escape.

My review:

When I started reading this book, I thought that it was going to be a vampire Snow White type of book. I don’t know why I thought that, but I did. If I paid more attention to the blurb, I would have seen that.  Oh well.

I don’t understand how Snow was labeled as a young adult novel. Neva, the main character, was married. If I were to guess at her age, I would put her in her early to mid 20’s. I thought that his book was better suited for the NA genre than YA. But that’s me. Someone else could have a different take on it. Which is the wonderful thing about writing reviews. No one’s opinions are wrong. Unless you didn’t read the book and give your opinion, then I don’t pay attention to the review.

I liked the plot of Snow. I thought that it was original. Neva is brought into the vampire world when her life was almost taken in an attack. She is thrust into the middle of a conspiracy that will leave everyone reeling. Can Neva bring Zachariah to his knees and save the vampire lineage? Or will she become a pawn in an ancient war?

I liked Neva but I found her whiny for most of the book. Yes, she had a terrible shock when she was turned. It would have been a huge shock for anyone. Even after Thedryk explained why she was turned and who she was, she still whined about it. She didn’t understand the danger she was in. For an adult, she didn’t act like one. I did like that she wised up during the last half of the book. Seeing what happened to her family shocked her into wising up.

I didn’t think that Zachariah wasn’t that bad of a guy for most of the book. Yes, he didn’t like Neva and yes, he was only with Eliza because he cared about the power. The author showed a 100% different side to him when he was interacting with his adopted daughter. He cared for them. I honestly don’t think that he is going to be as bad as he was made out to be. I do think it is awful what he did in the last half of the book. But it didn’t go with what the author showed. I wonder if there is more to his story and if it will be revealed in book 2.

I loved what the author did with the vampires in this book. While these vampires need human blood, they don’t need it that often. They can eat regular food but it doesn’t do anything for them. Not everyone can be turned into a vampire, though. The author explained that the people can be turned into vampires have a special aura. The vampires can see it but can only turn if they have permission from the Council. If someone is turned who doesn’t have the special aura, they become something out of a nightmare. The author also had the vampires have a special gift. Some are stronger than others but everyone has it.

There is even a science fiction angle of Snow. There is a vampire that can open portals into different dimensions. It is explained more thoroughly in the book. I found it fascinating and wished that it has been added sooner in the book.

The end of Snow was action packed and moved very fast. What happened to Zachariah, he deserved it. But it was the end of the book that made me go what. First with the introduction of a famous fictional character. Then it was who was introduced in the very last pages of the book. It is that revelation that makes me excited to read the next book in the series.

What I liked about Snow:

A) How the vampires were portrayed

B) Neva’s storyline

C) The science fiction angle

What I disliked about Snow:

A) Neva. She was a whine bag for most of the book

B) Zachariah. I was on the fence with him for most of the book. But the ending events turned me

C) What happened to Neva’s family

I would give Snow an Older Teen rating. There is no sex or sexual situations. There is violence. There is no language.

I would reread Snow. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank Independent Book Publisher’s Association, Member’s Titles, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Snow.

All opinions stated in this review of Snow are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

The Remnant by Channing Whitaker

The Remnant

4 Stars

Publisher: Off Speed Press

Date of publication: May 21st, 2018

Genre: Fantasy

Where you can find The Remnant: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

In this suspense-filled, neo-monster, horror novelette, a writer named Gene Winfield discovers an ominous, handwritten book among the belongings of his late, adventurer aunt. As Gene reads, he becomes captivated with the volume’s account of a savage, unearthly creature. In spite of the book’s warning, with his writing career failing, Gene can’t resist the inspiration. Near the roaring fire in his aunt’s otherwise cold, empty manor, Gene begins a story of his own, but will he unleash more than his imagination…

My Review:

Horror stories have always been hit or miss for me. I either love them or hate them. No middle ground. Same goes for short stories. Either they are fantastic or they aren’t. With The Remnant, it fell into the first categories. I loved the book and thought it was fantastic.

I am going to keep this review super short. Why? Because if I gave my usual in-depth review, there would be spoilers. There is no way of writing my usual review without revealing something from The Remnant.

I thought the plot was original. Gene was a writer whose aunt dies. When he goes to her house to clean up, he finds a book in the embers of a fire with a warning to him. Ignoring the warning on the inside cover/first page, Gene reads the book. What happens afterward, well you need to read the book to find out. Let’s say that it was scary and kept me glued to the pages.

The author did a great job at keeping me up after I read this book. A fantastic job. I don’t scare easy, so you know that if this book scared me enough to keep me up at night then it is good.

The ending of The Remnant was eerie. I did an “Oh no” when I realized what happened and what was going to happen. I will say this. I am excited to read more by this author!!

I am not going to do a like/dislike section. Only because of how short the book was and I could let some spoilers out by accident.

I would give The Remnant an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is explicit violence. There is language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Remnant and I plan on reading more books by the author. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review The Remnant.

All opinions stated in this review of The Remnant are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

Throwback Thursday: July 12th, 2018

I’ve decided to do Throwback Thursday but blog style. I am going to select a book I have read before and see if I would still read it.

This week’s Throwback Thursday is a fantasy

Demon Lord (Demon Lord, #1)

When the dark god Arkonen discovers the key to escaping the prison he has languished in for aeons, he steals a pregnant woman from the Overworld and rips the infant from her womb, making him a mortal god. Thus Bane, the Demon Lord, is born. No spirit god may pass through the seven blue wards that trap Arkonen below, but a mortal god is not bound by the wards… 

Bane is raised in the Underworld by demons and droges, unaware of his true origins. Elder Mother Ellese, a seeress from the gentle order of healers, foresees Bane’s coming and sets in motion a plan she hopes will prevent him from unleashing his master upon the Overworld. A girl child is born amongst them who possesses the power of the light, and whom the darkness cannot touch. 

After twenty years of torturous training, Bane emerges through the World Gate and sets out to conquer the Overworld and break the wards with the aid of a dark army that gathers around him. Mirra is placed in his path, and, when he is unable to kill her, he takes her with him on his bloody rampage, forcing her to witness the atrocities he and his army commit. 

Mirra only knows that Bane suffers from wielding the dark power, which is killing him, and she longs to help him… She must turn him from his savage path of bloodshed and destruction, but her love is pitted against fierce loyalty and a false blood bond as well. 

Mirra’s fragile and misunderstood hold on Bane’s heart forces him to cling to his mortality, but the Overworld is doomed unless she can turn him to the Light …

Where you can find Demon Lord: Amazon | Barnes and Noble


Did I like Demon Lord when I first read it: Yes. I thought that it was an interesting read.

Age I first read Demon Lord: I shelved the book in 2013, so I was in my mid 30’s.

Would I read Demon Lord now: Honestly, I don’t know. From what I remember about this book, it was super violent. There were some scenes that looking back, I found distasteful. Bane and Mirra’s relationship was abusive and dysfunctional. If I had to give a concrete answer, I would have to say no.

How many stars did I give Demon Lord back then: 5

How many stars would I give Demon Lord now: 2

Have you read Demon Lord?

Did you like it?

Let me know!!

Moon Blood (The First Blood Son Series: Book 2) by Carol McKibben

Moon Blood (Book 2)

3 Star

Publisher: Troll River Publication

Date of publication: May 1st, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal

Series: The First Blood Son Series

Moon Blood – Book 1

Moon Blood – Book 2

Where you can find Moon Blood: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Two vampires battle against the werewolf nation

Hybrid-wolf “Moon” and her human vampire master, Kane, fight for their lives against a stalking shifter network out to destroy them. Each battle may be their last as vampires and werewolves edge ever closer to war.

While Kane and Moon work to unravel the looming threat, more and more questions surface. But one thing is for sure; the real motives behind the werewolves’ plot against them include destroying the vampire race.

Only an act of bravery and trust will stop the werewolf species from destroying what Kane and Moon love the most. Vampire teeth flash and wolf claws clash as supernatural beings fight for life, love, and family.

My review:

Image result for confused book gif

I liked this book, even if I felt confused during the first few chapters of the book. Why was I confused? Because it is the 2nd book in the First Blood Son Series. There were references to the first book that made me go “Ok“.

The plot of Moon Blood is simple. Moon and Kane head to Italy to battle werewolves after getting word that the werewolves are mounting an attack against the vampires. While there, Kane meets a beautiful woman who is the direct descendant of the first werewolf. She, more than anything, wants peace. But she realizes that sometimes you have to fight for what you want. Even if that means fighting against your own kind.

Image result for white wolf hybrid with blue eyes

I liked that the book was told from Moon’s perspective. She was an interesting narrator. I did like her ability to shift but didn’t understand how she got that ability. Because she wasn’t a werewolf. I have a feeling that it had something to do with Kane and that it was explained in the first book.

Image result for twilight fight scene gif

The big battle scene between the vampires and werewolves gave me a Twilight flashback.

I am not going to go into the end of the book because I will give away some major spoilers. Let’s say that I thought Moon was an interesting narrator and that her abilities were pretty awesome!!

What I liked about Moon Blood:

A) Moon.

B) Moon’s abilities

C) The lore. Loved it

What I disliked about Moon Blood:

A) Not a stand-alone book

B) The Twilight feel to the book

C) Not knowing how Moon got her abilities

I would give Moon Blood an Adult rating. There is sex. Nothing graphic but it is there. There is explicit violence. There is language.

There are no trigger warnings in Moon Blood.

I am on the fence if I would reread Moon Blood. I am also on the fence if I would recommend it to family and friends.

 

I would live to thank Troll River Publications for allowing me to read and review Moon Blood.

All opinions stated in this review of Moon Blood are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

Visionaries (Mud, Rocks & Trees: Book 5) by R.A. Denny

Visionaries (Mud, Rocks and Trees, #5)

5 Stars

Publisher: Self Published

Date of publication: January 15th, 2018

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Mud, Rocks, and Trees

Refugees – Book 1 (review here)

Seekers – Book 2 (review here)

Captives – Book 3 (review here)

Warriors – Book 4 (review here)

Visionaries – Book 5

Where you can find Visionaries: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

“The only thing keeping that seal around his neck is his head. Heads are easily removed.”

Time is running out. Tzoladia is under siege. Heads will roll.

As the prophecy unfolds, young people dream and old men see visions. Emperor Zoltov’s forces move to exterminate the “Subhumans.” Risky alliances are formed as Metlan’s ambition propels him into places of mystery and murder. Brina and Amanki sail through a sea filled with enchantment and betrayal. Moshoi is dazzled by treasure as he faces the horrors of an evil empire. All forces converge on Tzoladia. Time for a showdown. Will mud, rocks, and trees come together at last?

Who will lose their heads?

My review:

The plot of Visionaries was excellent. Tzoladia is under siege. Brina and Amanki are sailing on a sea of myth. What they find while sailing will change everything. Moshoi has been pushed aside by his father so that Tuka can take credit for everything. Jealousy is consuming him. Will he let it get the better of him? Metlan is on shaky ground with several people that he wants alliances with. But, can he rise to the occasion when called upon? What will happen when Brina, Amanki, and Moshoi meet? Will they be able to recover the missing seals and fulfill the prophecy?

I don’t know where to begin with this review. So much happened in this book. I don’t want to get into too much because there are some serious spoilers. So, I will gloss over everything.

Brina came into her own in this book. If she had any doubt, she did a great job of not showing it. I do like how she was willing to follow Amanki anywhere and when his ship got taken, she did. Speaking of that, her budding romance with Amanki was adorable. But it is going to turn into a triangle because she still has feelings for Metlan.

Amanki got crapped on in this book. I felt bad for him. He ended up in situations that had me shaking my head and wondering if he would come out of them alive. Somehow he did. It was through those trials that I got a good feeling about why Baskrod chose him as the leader. I am looking forward to seeing how he fits into that role in the next book. I am also looking forward to seeing where his romance with Brina goes.

I felt awful for Moshoi. He was thrust into the background by his abusive father and forced to watch as Tuka becomes the figurehead of a revolution. His relationship with Tuka suffered because of that. On the other hand, he did become involved in a plot that changes the entire book. I was shocked when I realized what was happening. Then I did a fist pump because he was involved in ends up helping people.

I was a bit iffy with Metlan. While I understood why he was doing what he was doing, I felt that he was underhanded about things. I did admire when he took charge of the refugees from the Mesmeringa Forest. But, I was sickened at him not doing anything. He knew that Amanki was his twin and he sat there. I understand that a rescue was going to happen but still. I also couldn’t tell what he felt for Brina or if he had any feelings for her.

The Christian angle of the book was wonderfully written. It wasn’t heavy-handed. Unlike some Christian books. You knew that it was there but it wasn’t shoved in your face every other sentence. Which made it a very pleasurable read for me.

I enjoyed how the plotline unrolled. The intensity from the other books did not slow down in this one. Instead, this book kept up and added to the fast pace. I am certain that book 6 will be explosive. There are twists in the plotline that definitely took me by surprise. The Island of the Dolls and who Amanki and Brina rescued from there is a huge one. That person is going to be a big part of the next book.

The fantasy angle of the book was superbly written too. I couldn’t get enough of the different races that appeared in the book. The world building that the author did was superb. This world was like an onion. When one layer was peeled back, another appeared. Loved it!!!

I very rarely don’t find anything that I do not like when I am reading books. This is one such case. I could not find anything that bothered or annoyed me. So, that makes this book a keeper in my eyes.

The end of the book was a cliffhanger. Normally, I don’t like cliffhangers. I think that they ruin the book. But, in this case, it didn’t. It only pumped me up to read book 6.

What I liked about Visionaries:

A) The storylines.

B) Brina coming into her own in the book

C) The entire book

What I disliked about Visionaries:

A) Nothing!!!

I would give Visionaries an Older Teen rating. There is no sex or sexual situations. There is violence. There is also no language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

There are no trigger warnings in Visionaries.

I would reread Visionaries. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review Visionaries.

All opinions stated in this review of Visionaries are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest by Antony Gregwood

Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow's Quest

4 Stars

Publisher: Self-published

Date of publication: October 16th, 2017

Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade

Trigger Warning: Child Abuse

Where you can find Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

When twelve-year-old orphan Matthew injured his ankle on a school trip, little did he know that taking shelter in a cave would lead him to a strange land, drawn by a blinding light, where nothing was familiar. 
Taken in by a farming family, Matthew slowly adjusted to their peculiar ways and their strange customs and he set out on a quest to discover the truth of where he was and how he’d got there. 
As he struggled to understand the mysteries of this new land, Matthew had to face his fears and strive on through a journey of hope, danger, and adventure and he finds an important sense of loyalty to the family that took him in. 
This would become a journey that would ultimately change his life….forever. 

My review:

Image result for meme of medieval england

Matthew was an orphan who was depressed over the deaths of his parents 3 years earlier. His life at the orphanage was awful and it carried over to school. So, when he was paired up with two of his classmates, he knew that he would be ignored. What he wasn’t expecting was to be left behind when he sprained his ankle. When a storm comes through, Matthew takes shelter in a cave that is off the path. The cave ends up caving in and he is sucked into a white light. He ends up coming out of the white light in a forest. Going through the forest, he sees a farm in the distance. It is when he is caught stealing, that he realizes that he is not on Earth. Finding a home with these people, Matthew goes through many trials and tribulations. But he starts to see his own worth and he started to realize that people like him/value him. But will his peace and happiness last? Will he be able to become the man that everyone in his adopted family thinks he will become? Or will he fail?

There are a few characters in The Shadow’s Quest. So, I will keep to the main ones. Otherwise, this part of the review will be super long and a tad boring

Matthew is the main character. I felt awful for him. His life before meeting Jabo and his family was one of depression and grief. I thought that The Light taking him was one of the best things to happen to him in the book. His character growth in the book was awesome to read. He went from this insecure, shy boy to a confident, brave young man. He rose above every trial that was set before him. It was fantastic to read!!!

Jabo and family. I was very thankful that ended up with them. From the beginning, they were, for the most part, welcoming. They accepted him into their household. They stood by him when he was accused of some very awful crimes. They came to love him. For the most part, I liked Jabo and his family. The only person that I didn’t like was Azzan. I could not stand him. Every bad thing that happened to Matthew was because of him. His apology, later in the book, didn’t feel real. Put it this way: I wanted to smack him upside the head a few times.

Rammon and family. I disliked them a tad bit more than Azzan. They were at the root of every bad thing that happened to Jabo, his family, and Matthew. They deserved every bad thing that happened to them. What made me dislike them the most is that they had Azzan under their spell for 90% of the book.

Elasi. I didn’t know what I thought about him at first. I did think he spoke in riddles and came into the story at the weirdest times. When it was revealed exactly who he was, I wasn’t surprised. I also wasn’t surprised at his role at the end of the book. I wonder if he will take a bigger role in the next book.

Remash, the villain. OK, so I didn’t see the villain part coming from this guy. When he was introduced at the beginning of the book, he came across as an alright guy. So when it was revealed that he was the bad guy mid-book, I was surprised. By the end of the book, with everything he had done, I wasn’t surprised anymore. He was truly an evil man!!

The world Matthew falls into resembles medieval England in some ways. There is no electricity, they rode horses. Elasi explained it to Matthew at some point in the book. This world is the shadow of the dimension that Matthew came from. People resemble each other but that’s it. While Matthew’s dimension evolved, that world stayed the way it was.

Image result for gif white horses

Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest is a fantasy. There is magic but it is not in your face magic. It is more subtle. I liked that the author left that part up to our imagination.

The other genre that I would place Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest is Young Adult. Matthew is 12. Now, I know his age would put this book into middle grade. But there are some violent things that happen to Matthew during the course of the book. Matthew is beaten. He also single handly kills people who are holding Azzan, Temah and Elian hostage. Because of those scenes, I wouldn’t think that this book would be right for younger readers.

I actually liked Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest. I was caught from the beginning when Matthew was in that depressing orphanage. My attention did wander towards the middle of the book. But the author did a great job of getting it back by introducing new plotlines and characters.

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This is a long book, 570 pages. So be ready to be involved in this book for the long haul. I don’t know about you all, but I like long books. The author gives more detail to the world and characters than your typical 200-300 page books. And the author delivered those in spades in this book. The character building was excellent, as was the world building.

The end of the book was interesting. Some storylines were wrapped up and other’s were not. But, what got me, was the huge cliffhanger at the end of the book. I cannot stand cliffhangers. Can. Not. Stand. Them. I wanted to bang my head off of something hard when I saw that it ended that way. Seeing that it is giving a hint to a book 2, I hope the author delivers soon!!

I also want to discuss something that I had seen in another review. I had only a few instances with the formatting of the book. For a couple of lines, the book would

b

e

l

i

k

e

t

h

i

s

and then it would go back to normal paragraphs. While that is annoying, it was fixed except for a few spots.

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What I liked about Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest:

A) Engaging plotline

B) Matthew’s character growth

C) Great world building

What I disliked about Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest

A) Matthew’s backstory

B) Azzan. He was a jerk almost the entire book to Matthew

C) Violent scenes. They kept me from giving this a Middle-Grade rating.

I would give Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest a Young Teen rating. There is no sex (actually nothing sexual at all in the book). There is violence. There is no language. There are a couple of scenes that would scare younger readers. I would suggest that no one under the age of 13 read this book.

There are trigger warnings in Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest. They would be child abuse.

I would reread Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest. I would also reread this book.

I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest.

All opinions stated in this review of Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**