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review 2018-08-16 21:03
Audio/Book Review of The Pirates of Pacta Servanda (Pillars of Reality Book 4) by Jack Campbell
The Pirates of Pacta Servanda - Jack Campbell

"The world feels oddly strained, like a line pulled too taunt and apt to snap, smashing everything in its path."

 

Master Mechanic Mari and Mage Alain have survived every attempt to stop them, but their enemies are determined to kill Mari, the only one who can save her world from a storm of destruction. As armies begin to gather and cities seethe with tension, Mari, Alain, and their friends must prepare to confront the storm in the place it first appeared: the broken kingdom of Tiae.

 

The dangers facing them demand perilous raids, tough battles, and more than a little piracy. Beating the Mechanics Guild and the Mage Guild that have controlled the world of Dematr for centuries will require an unprecedented alliance under Mari's command of rebellious Mechanics, Mages, and common folk who know that together they can change the world, but separately they will all lose.

 

Review 5*

 

This story is the fourth book in a fantastic epic fantasy series called The Pillars of Reality. I absolutely loved it!

 

Mari is a fantastic character. I liked her immediately when I met her in the first book. I love her determination to do the right thing, even at the cost of her own life. A Master Mechanic, Mari has faced many threats to her life from the Guild Masters on the world of Dematr and survived. Mari has been foreseen by Mages to be 'The Daughter of Jules' and fated to free the world of Dematr from the tyranny of both the Guilds - Mechanics and Mages - and to unite the Mechanics, Mages and Commons against said Guilds. This time, she finds herself on a dangerous mission on the sea in an attempt to reach the broken kingdom of Tay and walking in the footsteps of the legendary Jules of Pacta Servanda. Together with her friends, and Alain, she will have to dig deep to survive the oncoming storm.

 

Mage Alain is also a fantastic character. I liked him a lot from the start. He was one of the youngest Acolytes to achieve Mage status at the age of seventeen. He has been taught from a young age not to show or feel any emotions and that the world he lives in is an illusion, where nothing is real. I love how this character has grown as the series has progressed. He tries to show more emotion, even though his Guild had virtually beaten it out of him. He hides a dry wit under that emotionless mask.

 

I listened to this story in audio format, rather than read it. MacLeod Andrews once again narrates the story. He does a fantastic job of bringing the story to life. Even Alain, who's voice is meant to be flat and emotionless comes across with subtle hints. You would think that Alain's voice would be monotonous, but it's not so. I love the way he brings all the characters to life with different accents, inflexions and tones. He even makes the women's voices sound perfect for each character. As for his narration, he read the story clearly and concisely, and his pacing was perfect. I would definitely listen to more books read by this narrator.

 

The story continues from the end of The Assassins of Altis and sees Mari and Alain joining with several new characters as the action heats up. Mechanic Caylou (not sure of spelling as I listened to the story so have no reference and have spelt it phonetically - it could be Kayloo or another variation) makes another appearance. He is one of Mari's friends from the Mechanics Guild, along with his girlfriend, Ally, who also makes an appearance this time. Mage Asha also makes another appearance, but there are also several other new characters that are now integral to the plot. There is Mage Dov, who is Asha's uncle, and Mechanic Dov (no relation) whose relative had once lived in Marandur. Sien, a princess of Tay, plays a significant role in this story, too. There are a few more characters added, but it would take me too long to mention them all.

 

I love the world building in this series. It is familiar though strange at the same time. It has a mix of steampunk and modern day technology, but this is due to the way the Guilds restricted people from creating new things. The story is full of action, adventure, and danger and I found myself an emotional wreck at times. In this story, the characters travel to the Sea of Backer, where pirates, traders and Imperials rule the waves and danger threatens on all fronts. The action is ramping up as the storyline reaches towards the climax. Have you ever read or listened to a story and felt utterly emersed in it? It happened to me as I listened to this book. These characters have come to life for me and have become my friends. This book ends with a slight cliffhanger, which had me eager to listen to the next story in the series, The Servants of the Storm, as soon as possible.

 

Jack Campbell has written a fantastic science fiction series. I have added him to my favourite author's list, as he's found a fan in me. I love his writing style, which is fast-paced and descriptive, and the flow of the story is good too.

 

Although there is now some mention of scenes of a sexual nature, it’s not shown. I do not, however, recommend this book to younger readers under the age of 15 due to some violence. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love dark or epic fantasy, steampunk or action/adventure and supernatural/paranormal romance genres. - Lynn Worton

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review 2018-08-07 10:00
Release Week Review! Shadow's Bane (Dorina Basarab #4) Karen Chance!
Shadow's Bane - Karen Chance

 

 

Half-human, half-vampire Dorina Basarab is back–and facing her biggest challenge yet in the next urban fantasy in the New York Times bestselling series.

 

Dorina Basarab is a dhampir–half-human, half-vampire. As one of the Vampire Senate’s newest members, Dory already has a lot on her plate. But then a relative of one of Dory’s fey friends goes missing. They fear he’s been sold to a slaver who arranges fights–sometimes to the death–between different types of fey.

 

As Dory investigates, she and her friends learn the slavers are into something much bigger than a fight club. With the Vampire Senate gearing up for war with Faerie, it’ll take everything she has to defeat the slavers–and deal with the entirely too attractive master vampire Louis-Cesare….

 


Dorina has a lot on her plate being one of the Vampire Senate’s newest members but when a relative of one of her friends goes missing, Dory investigates a slaver and it’ll take everything she has to defeat them and deal with Louis-Cesare.

 

The “Dorina Basarab” series is a well-developed and fascinating world full of strong, charismatic characters that readers are easily drawn to and certainly can’t get enough of. Each and every story is fast paced with thrilling and daring battles, intriguing events, magical weaponry that sparks the imagination and plots that keeps readers hanging on to every word and that’s not to mention that witty dialogue that produces chuckles even as the kick a** heroine puts enemies in their place. Dorina is one tough chick but she also has a vulnerable side and readers can easily connect with her while enjoying her adventures.


There is never a dull moment to be found in the fourth book – “Shadow’s Bane” as one thrilling event after another takes place during this fast paced plot which is also interspersed with emotional turbulent scenes that ensures the readers get a well-rounded view of Dory and the multiple issues taking place throughout the story including her romance with Louis-Cesare and her relationship with her father. Her and her friends not only have to deal with the slavers which is much more complicated than they originally thought, but Dory is faced with tons of houseguests, the coming war with the Fae, Mircea’s past and her inner struggle with her “twin”.

 

The plot is a bit complex and is so full of twists and turns that readers will need to pay attention in order to keep up but the plot plays out so that it adds to the anxious atmosphere of the story which really keeps readers glued to the pages and I can’t wait to find out what happens next in Dorina’s world.

 

 

Shadow’s Bane

 

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24104482-shadow-s-bane

 

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/books/shadow-s-bane-by-karen-chance

 


is the 4th book in the Doriana Basarab series

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/series/45661-dorina-basarab

 

Which includes
.1 Zombie’s Bite
.3 Dragon’s Claw
.5 Buying Trouble
1 Midnight’s Daughter
2 Death’s Mistress
2.1 In Vino Veritas
3 Fury’s Kiss
3.5 Lover’s Knot
4 Shadow’s Bane

 

& is connected to the Cassandra Palmer series.

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/series/49237-cassandra-palmer

 


This timeline gives the reading order for both the Cassandra Palmer and Dorina Basarab series. It also shows the reading order for the novellas and shorts connected with the books.


http://karenchance.com/timeline.html

 


Shadow’s Bane is available in print & ebook at:

 

Penguin - http://www.penguin.com/book/shadows-bane-by-karen-chance/9780451419064

 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0451419065?tag=randohouseinc7986-20

 

B&N - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shadows-bane-karen-chance/1127456869?ean=9780451419064

 

BaM - http://www.booksamillion.com/p/9780451419064?AID=10876509&PID=8373827&SID=PRHEFFDF5A7F1--9780451419064

 

Hudson - https://www.hudsonbooksellers.com/book/9780451419064

 

IndieBound - http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780451419064?aff=penguinrandom

 

Powells - http://www.powells.com/book/-9780451419064

 

iBooks - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1312463723

 

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/shadow-s-bane

 

GPlay - https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Karen_Chance_Shadow_s_Bane?id=Jzk-DwAAQBAJ

 

 

Karen Chance is the author of two New York Times bestselling series, plus a number of novellas and short stories, all set in the Cassandra Palmer universe. A full-time writer since 2008, she was previously a university history teacher, which comes in handy when writing the time-travel aspect of Cassie’s crazy adventures. She loves Las Vegas, the main setting for her novels, but currently lives in Florida near her family home.

 

Website - http://karenchance.com/

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/38066.Karen_Chance

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/authors/karen-chance

 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/#!/KarenChanceBooks

 

Twitter - https://twitter.com/CasPalmerSeries

 

 

 

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review 2018-07-15 23:01
Audio/Book Review of The Assassins of Altis by Jack Campbell
The Assassins of Altis - Jack Campbell

Trapped within the dead city of Marandur, Master Mechanic Mari and Mage Alain must escape both merciless barbarians and the pitiless Imperial Legion. Beyond those dangers lie the mightiest and most unforgiving powers in the world of Dematr: the Great Guilds that rule the world with iron fists.

 

Mari's Mechanics Guild and Alain's Mage Guild have always been enemies, but they are united in wanting to kill their rogue members before Mari can fulfill the ancient prophecy of being the one who will finally overthrow their power. Mari and Alain must risk those dangers because halfway across their world lies a place where truth has long been hidden. A place that could explain why their world's history begins abruptly, with no hints of what came before. A place where they might learn how the Mechanics Guild came to control all technology and how the Mages manage to alter reality temporarily. A place that might tell them how to achieve a task that appears to be impossible.

 

Never before have a Mage and a Mechanic worked together, and their combined talents offer their only hope. But she and Alain must first survive the deadly and implacable Assassins of Altis.

 

Review 5*

 

This story is the third book in a fantastic epic fantasy series called The Pillars of Reality. I absolutely loved it!

 

Mari is a fantastic character, and I liked her from the moment she was introduced. I love her determination to do the right thing, even at the cost of her own life. She is now a nineteen-year-old Master Mechanic, though her guild is determined to take her life as she poses a threat to their hold on the world of Dematr. Mari has been foreseen by Mages to be 'The Daughter of Jules' and fated to free the world of Dematr from the tyranny of both the Guilds - Mechanics and Mages - and to unite the Mechanics, Mages and Commons against said Guilds. As she tries to accept her role, she finds herself on another dangerous mission while trying to avoid death at the hands of assassins.

 

Mage Alain is also a fantastic character. I liked him a lot from the start. He was one of the youngest Acolytes to achieve Mage status at the age of seventeen. He has been taught from a young age not to show or feel any emotions and that the world he lives in is an illusion, where nothing is real. I love how this character has grown as the series has progressed. He tries to show more emotion, even though his Guild had virtually beaten it out of him. He hides a dry wit under that emotionless mask.

 

I listened to this story in audio format, rather than read it. The story is once again narrated by MacLeod Andrews. He does a fantastic job of bringing the story to life. Even Alain, who's voice is meant to be flat and emotionless comes across with subtle hints. You would think that Alain's voice would be monotonous, but it's not so. I love the way he brings all the characters to life with different accents, inflexions and tones. He even makes the women's voices sound perfect for each character. As for his narration, he read the story clearly and concisely, and his pacing was perfect. I would definitely listen to more books read by this narrator.

 

This book continues a few weeks after the end of the second story and sees Mari and Alain travelling to the island of Altis, where a long-hidden secret has been kept. With both the Guilds chasing them and now the Imperial Legions for their incursion into Marandur, Mari and Alain face many dangers, including a deadly snow storm. However, what they find on Altis will change everything.

 

This story introduces a couple of new characters into the series. One is Mechanic Caylou (not sure of spelling as I listened to the story so have no reference and have spelt it phonetically - it could be Kayloo or another variation). He is one of Mari's friends from the Mechanics Guild, along with his girlfriend, Ally (who is mentioned in book two but not introduced). Another character introduced is, Mage Asha; this is a character who is hard to explain without giving spoilers. Suffice it to say, she was a friend of Alain's from their early acolyte days, before all the emotion was beaten out of them.

 

I love the world building in this series. It is familiar though strange at the same time. The reason for this becomes apparent as this story unfolds. The story is full of action, adventure, and danger and I found myself an emotional wreck at times. Have you ever read or listened to a story and felt completely emersed in it? This happened to me as I listened to this book. These characters have come to life for me and have become my friends. This book ends with a slight cliffhanger, and the audio version has a preview of the next book in the series, which I am now looking forward to reading/listening to. I will be listening to The Pirates of Pacta Servanda as soon as I can.

 

Jack Campbell has written a fantastic science fiction series. I have added him to my favourite author's list, as he's found a fan in me. I love his writing style, which is fast-paced and descriptive, and the flow of the story is good too.

 

Although there is now some mention of scenes of a sexual nature, it’s not shown. I do not, however, recommend this book to younger readers under the age of 15 due to some violence. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love dark or epic fantasy, steampunk or action/adventure and supernatural/paranormal romance genres. - Lynn Worton

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review 2018-05-10 10:00
Review! Hunt the Darkness (Order of the Blade #11) Stephanie Rowe!
Hunt the Darkness - Stephanie Rowe

 

 

One warrior driven by an oath he will give his life to fulfill.

Another tormented by his love for the woman he failed.

Haunted by loss, each warrior is consumed by his relentless quest for redemption. Alone, each will fail. But when Calydon warrior Gabe Watson and mage Vladimir Hawkings team up to cross over into the demon realm to hunt down those who matter most, they finally have a chance to change the past …until they encounter two bold, sensual women who hold the key to everything that matters to them…brave, independent women who want nothing to do with them. 

Sophie Flanagan has no memory of her life before she was kidnapped by demons, including how she got the wedding band that burns on her hand. Only her unbreakable friendship with half-demon healer, Maria Souvaine, has enabled her to survive. The two women are caught a desperate battle against a threat so powerful it will destroy them forever.

When two fierce, towering warriors invade the demon realm, Sophie and Maria are thrust into a chaotic spiral of lust, escalating peril, and…for the first time in centuries…hope. Will the passion and danger that ignites cause the final destruction of all that matters…or finally free them all from the deadly shadows that grip them so tightly?

 

 

Hunt the Darkness is an exciting read that keeps readers glued to the pages as they become caught up in an adventure with very strong and compelling characters. Vladimir and is way overdue for their happily ever after and readers join with Vladimir in his quest to find his Sophie who disappeared into the demon realm centuries before. This romance has lots of emotional turbulence that tugs at reader’s hearts and Vladimir and Sophie are two characters that readers can easily connect to which it makes me want to cheer them on, fight alongside them and cry with and for them as well.

 

Anticipation and suspense builds throughout the story with every exciting twist and turn which let me tell you, there are plenty because Sophie’s life becomes extremely dangerous for her and Vladimir finds himself teaming up with the Calydon Warrior Gabe Watson who finds himself falling for Sophie’s best friend Maria whose building romance has its own complications and lucky for us readers we get two romances in one that are both filled to the max with sizzling attraction and some red hot passion that heats up the pages and made me have to turn on the fans.

 

Stephanie Rowe has created a fascinating world that is full of unique and intriguing elements as well fascinating characters which she brings to vibrant life with well written words that make it easy for readers to picture each and every scene and connect with the characters. Luckily for me, the books can be read without having read all the previous books in the series because it seems I have missed a few (I will have to take care of that asap), but don’t get me wrong, just because it can be enjoyed that way, I do believe that reading the previous books would really build up the understanding of just how the Calydon world works.

 

 

 

Hunt the Darkness is the 11th book in the Order of the Blade series which includes:

 

  • Darkness Awakened
  • Darkness Seduced
  • Darkness Surrendered
  • Forever in Darkness
  • Darkness Reborn
  • Darkness Arisen
  • Darkness Unleashed
  • Inferno of Darkness
  • Darkness Revealed
  • Shadows of Darkness
  • Hunt the Darkness

 

The 12th book - Darkness Revealed – is coming soon!

 

Hunt the Darkness is available in print or ebook at:

Amazon   B&N   GPlay   iBooks   Kobo

 

 

Stephanie Rowe can be found at:

Website   Goodreads   BookBub    Facebook   Twitter   Pintrest   Instagram

 

 

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review 2018-05-07 22:11
Audio/Book Review of The Hidden Masters of Marandur (The Pillars of Reality Book 2) by Jack Campbell
The Hidden Masters of Marandur - Jack Campbell

Someone wants to kill Mari, a young Steam Mechanic in the Guild that controls all technology. She has learned that her world of Dematr is headed for a catastrophe that will destroy civilization, and that Mages really can alter reality for short periods. Someone also wants to kill Alain, a young Mage who has learned that Mechanics are not frauds as his Guild teaches, and that Mechanic Mari is the only person who can prevent the oncoming disaster.

 

Narrowly escaping death, the Mechanic and the Mage stay alive thanks to their combined skills, an alliance never before seen. But it becomes clear that both of their Guilds, the most powerful forces in the world, are trying to destroy them. Other powers, like the great Empire and a mysterious secret Order, also seek to kill or capture them, using every weapon from Imperial Legions to Mage-created trolls, dragons, and rocs.

 

Trying to survive and learn the truth about their world so they will know how to save it, Mari and Alain realize that the answers they seek may lie in the dead city of Marandur. But Marandur is guarded by the legions that have sealed it off from the rest of the world for more than a century. Mari and Alain's only hope may rest with the unseen Masters of Marandur.

 

Review 5*

 

This is the second book in a fantastic epic fantasy series called The Pillars of Reality. I absolutely loved it!

 

Mari is a fantastic character and I liked her from the moment she was introduced. I love her determination to do the right thing, even at the cost of her own life. She is an eighteen year-old Master Mechanic. She has attained it by qualifying as the youngest Lady Master Mechanic since the Guild was first formed several centuries earlier.

 

Mage Alain is also a fantastic character. I liked him a lot. He is seventeen years-old and one of the youngest Acolytes to achieve Mage status. He has been taught from a young age not to show or feel any emotions and that the world he lives in is an illusion, where nothing is real.

 

I listened to this story in audio format, rather than read it. The story is once again narrated by MacLeod Andrews. He does a fantastic job in bringing the story to life. Even Alain, who's voice is meant to be flat and emotionless comes across with subtle hints. You would think that Alain's voice would be monotonous, but it's not so. I love the way he brings all the characters to life with different accents, inflections and tones. He even makes the women's voices sound perfect for each character. As for his narration, he read the story clearly and concisely, and his pacing was perfect. I would definitely listen to more books read by this narrator.

 

This story picks up a few months after the events in Dorcastle (see Book One: The Dragons of Dorcastle). Alain has been sent by his guild on a contract to protect some common soldiers who are travelling to war. Along the way, they are attacked.The foresight Alain has developed has shown him that a storm is coming, though he has no idea what his vision means, so wishes to seek answers. Meanwhile, Mari has been sent to Tay (sorry, unsure of spelling due to only hearing it spoken and not reading the book), a region that has fallen into anarchy, by her guild. Unwilling to be a sacrificial lamb, Mari goes in search of Mage Alain. Together once more, they face several challenges and dangers. However, one of their leads takes them to Marandur, a city declared dead by the emperor one hundred and fifty years previously, where they make a startling discovery. Will they survive only to stumble at the final hurdle?

 

This story introduces us to the world of Dematr. It is a mass of contradictions. There are two great Guilds who hold all the power over the common folk - The Mechanics and The Mages. These Guilds have held power for centuries and refuse to relinquish their hold and reject change of any kind. However, this is slowly strangling the world, making it harder and harder for the Mechanics, especially as their technology is regressing. This story has a steampunk feel to it, with machinery being steam driven at times - trains for instance. Though there are some more modern items such as far-talkers (walkie-talkies to you and me), torches using batteries, and rifles and pistols that are decidedly more modern-day. Mages use energy from the land around them and some of their own energy to make spells. These spells can be used in various ways - from hiding oneself to creating a dragon.

 

This book is told through the eyes of both Mari and Alain and I found myself completely hooked from beginning to end. I loved meeting the two main protagonists once more, and watching (in my minds eye) the story unfold as I listened. The story is full of action, adventure, and danger and I found myself an emotional wreck at times. Have you ever read or listened to a story and felt completely emersed in it? This happened to me whilst listening to this book. These characters have come to life for me and have become my friends. I found myself missing them when the story finished, so I began listening to it again. I've listened to this book now at least four times. Each time I listen to it, the story and characters sweep me up and carry me away to a world that is alien and yet familiar at the same time, and makes me want to go and visit it. This book ends with a slight cliffhanger and the audio version has a preview of the next book in the series, which I am now looking forward to reading/listening to. I will be listening to The Assassins of Altis as soon as I can.

 

Jack Campbell is a new author to me. I've never read or listened to any of his other books. However, I may have to add him to my favourite authors list, as he's found a fan in me. I love his writing style, which is fast paced and descriptive, and the flow of the story is good too.

 

Although there is no mention of any scenes of a sexual nature, I do not, however, recommend this book to younger readers under the age of 15 due to some violence. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love dark or epic fantasy, steampunk or action/adventure and supernatural/paranormal romance genres. - Lynn Worton

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