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review 2019-03-04 11:08
Book Review - Dark Touch, by Elle Lewis
Dark Touch (Glass Star Trilogy #1) - Elle Lewis

The way I see it, Dark Touch fits perfectly into the paranormal and urban fantasy genre. What I liked most about it, apart from being my favorite genre, was its original mythology. The market is saturated with stories about vampires, werewolves, and witches (which I love and write about it, too). Therefore, a story that brings in new supernatural creatures is like a breath of fresh air!

Dark Touch is not epic fantasy, so don’t expect intricate world-building, just enough for the plot to make sense. The characters, on the other hand, are intriguing and the fast pace of the story is engaging till the last page. By the way, if you’re planning to read it, arm yourself with patience, because it ends with a cliff hanger! But you’ll get some sort of closure, so it’s not that bad, just leaves you wanting for more!

Sloan, the main character is touched by a supernatural creature and is supposed to die instantly. When she doesn’t, she attracts the attention of both the being who tried to kill her and others who want to protect her. A tug-of-war ensues. Sloan finds herself hunted both in the real world and in her dreams.

 

Read the full review here: https://www.summonfantasy.com/book-reviews/book-review-dark-touch-by-elle-lewis

Source: www.summonfantasy.com/book-reviews/book-review-dark-touch-by-elle-lewis
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review 2019-02-22 08:23
Book Review - The Chronicles of Luxaar Part 1: Luxaar & The Stolen Princess
Luxaar & The Stolen Princess (The Chronicles of Luxaar #1) - Prometheus Silver

I loved reading this dark fantasy story and I’m looking forward to the next installment of the Luxaar Chronicles. It was packed with action and wtf moments, set in a world where magic is a common occurrence. While reading it there was no dull moment!

The story is written in first person point of view and follows Luxaar through his misadventures with a touch of magic and mischief. Luxaar is by no means an honorable man, he’s a thief on a quest. Most books (at least the ones I read) have one of the main characters as a hero. The Chronicles of Luxaar is not most books. If anything, Luxaar is the anti-hero of his world. The way Luxaar is portrayed reminded me quite a bit of Riddick (for those who aren’t familiar with the character, Vin Diesel played Richard B. Riddick in Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick). He’s no gentleman if anything Luxaar is a highly skilled predator and an extreme survivalist. He’s ruthless, morally flexible and doesn’t think twice about killing what stands between him and his quest. Although this isn’t a particularly gory story, it’s not for the faint of heart either. There are several passages you might want to skip if you’re squeamish about graphic descriptions of blood and death. Such as this:

“I drew my bow and fired. The arrow went straight through the door guards throat, causing blood to bubble and spurt around the wound.”

This reminded me again of Riddick talking about his favorite killing method (about the voices in his head “The ones telling me to go for the sweet spot just to the left of the spine, fourth lumbar down, the abdominal aorta. It’s a metallic taste, human blood. Copperish. If you cut it with peppermint schnapps, that goes–”)

But back to the book at hand, Luxaar is not a hero. So when during a heist he finds a beautiful princess tied to a pole and kept prisoner, his first reaction is not to save her but to leave her behind.  

“She was young, beautiful and not my concern.”

After many pleas from his sidekick, The Rat, and the promise that her people would pay a hefty reward for her safe return, he reluctantly concedes to free her:

“Fine, free her. But let her know that if she gets in our way or can’t keep up, she is on her own. And if it turns out she is lying to us, I will sell her to the whore houses down in the Swarni district.”

One thing that I loved about this story is that it’s fast-paced, full of action and doesn’t waste time with unnecessary descriptions. The flow of the story is excellent and keeps you on your toes. Perhaps I’m biased, but knowing it was written by a man I expected a lot of action, not a lot of love and maybe some gore. Let me tell you something; it did not disappoint!

Something that makes this story stand out from other books in the genre is its lack of predictability. Just when you think you’ve figured it out, you realize that nothing is what it seems. It keeps you guessing until the very end and leaves you wanting for more! 

Source: www.summonfantasy.com/book-reviews/book-review-the-chronicles-of-luxaar-part-1-luxaar-the-stolen-princess
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review 2019-02-15 19:59
In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire Audiobook Review
In an Absent Dream - Seanan McGuire

In An Absent Dream is a prequel to a series of books I have not read so I’m walking in cold here.

 

The tale begins when a young girl spots a tree where previously there wasn’t one. The tree does some twists and contortions and a little door appears. On that door it says only, “Be Sure”. Katherine is pretty sure she wants to step through that door so she does. Who could resist?! As you can guess, there are wonders on the other side of that door. Centaurs, cow people and girls who look almost human and the tastiest of pies! It’s a wonderland of freedom and choices and glorious sights free from the prying eyes of pesky parents and their expectations to form you into a proper wife. But then there are the rules. And the rules cannot be ignored. To ignore a rule is to lose a wee bit of what you makes you human and that is all I’m going to say about that.

 

This tale begins a little like a skewed Alice in Wonderland and it is completely enchanting. I loved Lundy. Young Lundy learned at the tender age of six that books are often better company than people and she wasn’t wrong, haha. She lives in a world that doesn’t value smarts in a girl and there are a lot of things written here worth chewing on.

 

“He shouldn’t have treated her like she didn’t matter. He shouldn’t have treated her like his idea of a girl.”

 

I loved watching Lundy grow and mature into a thoughtful and caring young lady. She faces some very tough choices and this book has some dark edges when the incorrect choice is made. I was a bit worried, as I always am when dipping my toe into the fantasy/YA world, that a boy would arrive and become the focus of the plot but it doesn’t happen here. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike romance but I get testy when it is shoe horned into a story where it doesn’t belong. This story stays focused on friendship and family and obligation and there isn’t a wisp of forced romance no matter how hard you look.

 

I listened to this book as an audiobook narrated by Cynthia Hawkins. She does fine with all of the voices and changes her tone enough so you easily differentiate between the characters but her pace was just a wee bit slow for my liking and my player wouldn’t allow me to speed it up. Had I been able to pace it at 1.25 or maybe even 1.5 I think it would’ve been perfect.

 

If you enjoy a beautifully written modern day fairytale, this one is for you!

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review 2019-01-30 22:33
Book Review of Blanket of Snow (After the Storm Book 1) by Dianna Hardy
Blanket of Snow - Dianna Hardy

 

An Eye of the Storm Novelette

 

Four months have passed since the night of the fatal storm, and "peace on earth" has never felt so good despite the pack's sorrow at the loss of family and dear friends; sorrow that cut deeply over Christmas, and during last week’s wedding.

 

Mated to three, and now married into the Gunvald lineage, Lydia has taken comfort and security in her she-wolf, the animal's strength and wisdom taking her deep into the still-uncharted territory of Lawrence's wooded home – now her wooded home.

But storms come in many guises, and as the January snow clouds gather overhead, Lydia's finally forced to confront the secret she's been keeping from everyone, including herself.

 

Publisher's Notes: After the Storm is a series of novelettes that take place at relevant points in the immediate months and years after Eye of the Storm. They concentrate on the healing our characters need to go through after everything that happened. They all stand on their own and do not need to be read in any order, nor do they need to be read to understand any of the other series set in this world - they are additional reads for fans. And for anyone who doesn't wish to read them, the healing simply takes place off-stage.

 

Review 5*

 

Blanket of Snow is a novelette in a new series called After the Storm and is an off-shoot of the Eye of the Storm series.

 

Lydia and her three mates, Lawrence, Ryan, and Taylor, have weathered the storm that threatened to tear them apart. In this novelette, Lydia is hiding a secret and worried about it being exposed, and what her mates would think about it. She flees into the woods and stumbles onto a mystery - a deserted house with a terrible history. As snow begins to fall, Lydia must find the courage to face the future while dealing with the tragic past.

 

I've been wanting to read more about the mated four, so when I heard that this novelette was in the works, I was excited. It is hard to write a review to this book without giving out spoilers, so all I will say is that I loved this story. Told through Lydia's POV, it was a pleasure meeting the four wolves once more. I was a little disappointed that this story is only a novelette but glad that the author decided to write it to show a little more closure for the characters, as the two spin-off series continues without them (much). I am looking forward to reading the next novelette in the series - I think it's from Taylor's POV and I can't wait!

 

Dianna Hardy is one of my favourite romance authors (she writes both paranormal/urban fantasy and contemporary romance), she has a way of expressing so much emotion through her written words - they're incredibly moving. I love her writing style, which is fast paced and exciting. The flow is fantastic too. Reading her books are a joy, and I will continue to read them for as long as she keeps writing them.

 

Unlike other books by this author, this book doesn't have any romantic scenes of explicit content, though what scenes there are, aren't as detailed as other series written by her. I highly recommend this book (and series) if you love contemporary or paranormal romances, dark fantasy and urban fantasy genres. - Lynn Worton

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text 2019-01-21 02:48
The Monster Amongst Us
Attack of the Fiend by Joseph Delaney Unabridged Playaway Audiobook (The Last Apprentice) - Joseph Delaney,Christopher Evan Welch

I finished writing this review and it got eaten by the computer gremlins. Oh well, here it goes again. I listened to this on audiobook while I was packing up the house this summer, and it greatly improved what was a tedious task. The narration is well done. This series is pretty darn spooky, no pun intended. It's downright scary at times. The narrator lends well to the atmosphere. There's a feeling of the monster lurking in the dark behind every closed door, a sense of paranoia and an urgency not to trust anyone. The storyline enhances that feeling because the monsters lurk in human form. More of the witches storyline in this one, and further development of the relationship between Tom and Alice. Definitely worth a read.

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