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review 2019-01-14 22:55
THE QUEST FOR THE TRUTH BEGINS - epic fantasy

 

 

THE QUEST: Book two of Illusional Reality 
Karina Kantas
Series: Illusional Reality (Book 2)
Paperback: 239 pages
Publisher: Asteri Press (December 31, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1912996049
ISBN-13: 978-1912996049
 
 
Reviewed by Dr. Wesley Britton

While it first appeared in 2016, it was only last fall when I read Illusional Reality, volume one of Karina Kantas’s then in progress “duology.” Now, volume two, The Quest, is here and I’m more on target in terms of timing.

First, I freely admit I liked The Quest much more than its predecessor. It carries on the story of Princess Thya of the magical land called Tsinia. Like book one, the story opens with the princess living on our earth using the name Haty. This time around, she knows prophecy says her people will reach out for her again, asking her to return to their realm as their defender and protector.  Now, Thya thinks her main sacrifice may be leaving Alex, her son back on earth and taking the reluctant throne of her people without him.

After this setup, the story is very different from the plot of Illusional Reality. Thya remains a stubborn, willful, strong-minded—often to the extreme—heroine who sets out with a small company of companions to take on the dark forces of evil. Sound a bit like Tolkein’s Ring series? Part of their journey takes the party through a harsh desert populated by sandworms. Sound a bit like Frank Herbert’s Arrakis? Well, only for a few passages. 

Thya and her companions encounter a series of vividly described obstacles, monsters, alien species, and Thya’s strange, double-edged powers that seem to wax and wane as she tries to control a dark side to them. In short, there’s a lot going on in the journey to save Thya’s people, a populace currently living in caves after being chased from their homes while their Princess lived peacefully in England.

Fortunately, readers don’t need to have read Illusional Reality to jump into and fully understand what’s going on in The Quest. In the first chapters of the fast-paced yarn, Kantas fully lays out what happened in her first book for new readers. More fantasy than sci-fi—by miles—The Quest should appeal to readers who like their settings and characters vividly described with well-developed flaws and motivations. 

Readers who like strong female protagonist should especially like meeting the complex and often conflicted Princess Thya. In addition, The Quest seems a perfect YA novel as I often found myself thinking back to the L. Sprague De Camp and Andre Norton adventures I enjoyed when I was YA myself.
Nothing profound here, nothing preachy. Lots of the fantasy tropes young readers enjoy these days with a nice layer of romance to boot.


This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on Jan. 12, 2019:
https://waa.ai/ox0X


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review 2019-01-08 14:08
ARC REVIEW Forever Broken by Carrie Anne Ryan
Forever Broken (Talon Pack, #9)Talon Pack #9, The final book of the series! This makes me sad even though I know she's not done with this world and she plans to come back at some future point this was the genre I fell in love with her writing way back in the beginning with The Redwood Pack. So it is sad for me to see the characters go I'm happy they all have HEAs at least for the time being.

Cheyenne Liles is the last of her friends to get something more than Friend of the Pack status. She was ready to move on with her life move away and start again somewhere new until the bastard Alpha Leader of the Aspen Pack kidnaps her and starts torturing her. After he leaves her for dead something happens that leads up to a chain of events that changes everything.

Max was broken, not the same shifter he once was, no longer the happy one always ready with a joke not letting the packs horrible past get to him. No one comes away from an epic battle without some damage and due to the events in the last story arc Max was forever changed. He never thought he could find his mate and be a good mate and it never even registered that his attraction to Cheyenne might be something more until her life was on the line and then suddenly the bond was there. With Cheyenne surviving they had some clue as to what their enemy was up to but nothing prepared them for him actually doing it.
 
Overall, this was one hell of a conclusion and one I didn't expect. I kept distracting myself at the end of the book because I was delaying the inevitable, I really did not want this to end. It was an emotional and freaking HOT romance Max and Cheyenne finding out how they fit together and how together they fit with the pack. I love how CAR writes a battle scene how it's total chaos but her writing isn't it just portrays the chaos and the violence, it's edge of your seat, holding your breath, and reading as fast as you can action.       
 
 


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review 2018-12-28 21:21
Review: Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3) by Cassandra Clare
The Queen of Air and Darkness - Cassandra Clare

What if damnation is the price of true love?

Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the blight that is destroying the race of warlocks.

Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.

This book was so awesome, everything I thought it be and more. 

In the last book we were left with a heartbreaking cliffhanger and we start right back up where we left. And I mean everything, the sorrow and shock and everything that comes with it. I think I was a sobbing mess within the first 50 pages. Cassandra Clare sure knows how to break out hearts over and over again.

There is not much to say without spoiling this book or series other than go and get them and read them. They are amazing and I think her best work yet.

I really loved Emma in this book, her strength came through but also her weaknesses, which made me love her so much more. Jules. I loved him but really a big part of the book I wanted to beat him senseless, well maybe sensefull since her really seemed to have lost his marbles. But man, he was just so tortured in this book and I couldn’t help but feel bad for him.

Someone else who was beaten and tortured in a different way was Ty. By the Angel did I feel bad for that poor kid. I just wanted to hug him over and over again and tell him it will be okay someday. I loved that he had Kit and it was there for him more or less (can’t say too much ;))  Kit was great in this book not just with Ty but just being him, we learn a great deal more about him and his history and a big twist … I can’t wait to read more about him and Ty also in a few years, I just wish I could speed up the time.

Kieran, I wasn’t sure about him last book, but he really proofed himself to me in this book. I really enjoyed him.

Speaking of enjoyed …. Love triangles are not my thing but the way Clare did it here. I LOVED IT. And I shipped it 100 % YAAASS. All the way.

To make it short I loved the Blackthorns , all of them and all their friends and lovers and everything in between.

Of course we had some big fights and wars, and the end result will change how the shadowhunters run things…. It for sure will be interesting to see how that will all turn out. Not just for them but also for the downworlders, and such.  There are not only big changes in the shadowhunter world but also the Fae, which I’m also looking forward to.

For a big part of the book I was nervous, for Emma and Jules , but also the warlocks . There were also some parts I wasn’t so sure about or its purpose ( Thule) but it all made sense once I read the epilogue.

Which pretty much promises us more… more of the world.

We also see some familiar faces and while I never was a huge Jace and Clary, I loved seeing them again, not sure why but I always forget how funny Jace is. We also run into Simon and Izzy and of course lets not forget Alec and Magnus, who are laying a big party of this book. Last but not least Jem… I love Jem and Tessa. Overall I love how all the books come together  

Overall I loved this book with all its up and downs, I cried, I laughed and was nervous for everyone involved … I was happy how it all ended for everyone. I thought she done a good job wrapping this story up. There were a few things left open but I know they will be addressed in future books. 

I know I will miss the Blackthorns but I have high hopes I will see them again in future books.

I rate it full 5★ not just for the book but the entire trilogy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available NOW 

 

 

Amazon ***  B&N *** Kobo 

 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/index.php/2018/12/28/review-queen-of-air-and-darkness-the-dark-artifices-3-by-cassandra-clare
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review 2018-12-26 19:06
Review: Iron and Magic (The Iron Covenant #1) by Ilona Andrews
Iron and Magic - Ilona Andrews

 

No day is ordinary in a world where Technology and Magic compete for supremacy…But no matter which force is winning, in the apocalypse, a sword will always work. Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh is a shadow of the warrior he was, but when he learns that the Iron Dogs, soldiers who would follow him anywhere, are being hunted down and murdered, he must make a choice: to fade away or to be the leader he was born to be. Hugh knows he must carve a new place for himself and his people, but they have no money, no shelter, and no food, and the necromancers are coming. Fast. Elara Harper is a creature who should not exist. Her enemies call her Abomination; her people call her White Lady. Tasked with their protection, she's trapped between the magical heavyweights about to collide and plunge the state of Kentucky into a war that humans have no power to stop. Desperate to shield her people and their simple way of life, she would accept help from the devil himself—and Hugh d’Ambray might qualify. Hugh needs a base, Elara needs soldiers. Both are infamous for betraying their allies, so how can they create a believable alliance to meet the challenge of their enemies? As the prophet says: “It is better to marry than to burn.” Hugh and Elara may do both.

 

 

 

 

I love the Ilona Andrews team and I love the Kate Daniels series but to be honest when I heard about this book first and Hugh being a “good” guy I was not convinced. That being said…… I should admit that I was wrong and I really, really loved it. I don’t know how they do it (and maybe it is magic), but they just a have a way to suck you into their world and make you love it. This book is a sort of add on to the Kate Daniels series/ world but even if you have not read the Kate Daniels books, you can read it. But of course it helps to know the world and some characters from that world, plus they super fun to read. When we first meet Hugh in this book he is pretty much broken and has given up on life. The only thing that keeps him going are his men, if even that. He is just a shell of a man we know and hated so much. He makes a deal to marry Elara for the alliance they offer each other in hope of defeating a common enemy. I never thought I would like him or could easily relate to him but damn it he is one charming bastard with a wicked and pretty sad past. Things to get to him but he just never really showed it. The more we learn about him and his way the more I liked him. Didn’t help that he is pretty sexy and he knew it , but most if all I liked his snark. Best coupled up with Elara . Speaking of Elara, I really loved her form the beginning, she didn’t legt Hugh get the better of her and stood her ground…. For the most part. She matched him in a lot of things. We learn pretty early on that there is more to her and she also is kind of haunted by something in her past and she feels cursed. Her true powers are sort of a big mystery… all the way to the end when we get what I think a pretty good glimpse of her and her coven. I really enjoyed the snark between Hugh and Elara and I laughed out loud many times. Of course they have some wicked chemistry together that will drive you crazy. This book is crazy fun and full of action, humor and surprises. Of course we get some smexy times like in most of their books. Some things were not a huge surprise to me since I stupidly read Magic Triumphs first but I still loved it and it still had some pretty big twists. Overal super fun book and I can’t wait for the next one.

I rate it 5 ★

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available NOW 

 

 

Amazon *** B&N *** Kobo 

 

 

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review 2018-12-24 02:17
Midnight Magic
Midnight Magic: Paranormal Romance - Ann Gimpel,Angela Kelly,Fiona Jayde

I have mixed emotions about this one, mainly because of Cassie (Cassionetta). On one hand I sympathize with her, because I could see how easy it would be to fall for a guy when one has some self-esteem issues and that person only shows a certain side. On the other hand, I wanted her to buck up and take action, even when it meant asking for help and admitting her mistake. She does, but I found her hard to like. I also would have liked Jeremy to declare his feelings sooner than he did.
And this:

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