Monthly Archives: July 2012

REVIEW: Mark of the Dragon Queen by Katie W. Stewart

Kira has led a sheltered life, brought up by her widowed father, whom she adores. When he is arrested and imprisoned for a murder he allegedly committed 18 years before, she is devastated. So when she overhears an ex-student of her father’s planning to visit the prison, Kira decides to go, too. However, the student – Arun – is not who she thinks he is, and she soon learns that her father has not always been the man of integrity she has known for fifteen years.

Caught in a rebellion against the Lord High Councillor who would return the country to Wizard Rule, Kira finds that there is one more lesson she has to learn – about herself. Success depends on her, but is she willing to make the sacrifice it will require?

A book for Young Adults, but suitable for all ages.

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Mark of the Dragon Queen is a highly riveting and original novel. It follows a young girl named Kira as she discovers many hidden secrets her father and others have been keeping over the years. These family secrets drive Kira to embark on a dangerous journey filled with dragons, prophecies and enemies that force these dark family secrets to bubble to the surface.  This book is full of action and a real nail biter. Many twists and turns keep you guessing and fearful for the lives of these characters as they learn more about themselves in the present, their pasts that are not what they seemed and coming to terms with their futures and what they must do.

Katie Stewart develops many original and unique concepts in the book. In this fantastical world a crystal grows for each wizard as they come into their magic. A crystal reader can tell when each person has used magic and what they have done which is how Kira’s father, Ifor gets in trouble many years before this book takes place. I found this idea of wizards having crystals tied to their magic to be highly unique and would have loved to read more about how the concept works. I think this is a standalone book but I feel like more stories could be told centered in this world.

This is a very well written novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it and could hardly put it down, once I picked it up. The excitement starts on page one and doesn’t stop until the last page.

Available on Amazon:Mark of the Dragon Queen

For more about the author visit: www.katiewstewart.com

Book received from author in exchange for an honest review.

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REVIEW: The 5th Realm (New Orleans Voodoo Chronicles) by Constance Gillam

Lisette Beaulieu’s private school classmates have always made the 15-year-old Creole orphan feel like a freak. But Lisette never believed them until she accidentally raised the dead in a cemetery late one night. When she discovers that her mother’s family is alive and practicing Voodoo in the bayou, her world spins farther out of control. Her best friend Scooter is about to make his own deal with the devil to keep his brother out of jail; and her classmate, Eric, has a talent with swords and saving her life. That talent will be needed when Lisette learns that an ancestor promised her to a demon overlord in exchange for greater Voodoo power.

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This book was a little bit slow to start but after a few chapters in it was a very exciting read. Some parts of the book were highly predictable but even so it still kept my attention and once I really got into it I didn’t want to put it down until I was finished. The author does a good job of switching between the main characters of Lisette and Eric so you get the full picture of what’s going on, rather than being kept in the dark until certain events take place. I also really enjoyed the authors writing style. It was very easy to read and be involved in the story, allowing for easy attachment and empathy for Lisette and Eric. I also really enjoyed that this book was not actually a romance, while it did have romantic elements that is not what the story revolved around, which seems almost rare to find these days.

The book doesn’t end on a cliffhanger per say but it’s pretty close to one. If the next book in the series was already out, I probably would have been compelled to go buy it and immediately start reading to see how things get wrapped up in the next book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I did have my reservations since I’ve never read a book centered around voodoo before, but I can safely say even though this book is centered around the idea of voodoo it doesn’t get all technical and wordy with it which is nice.

Available on Amazon:The 5th Realm (New Orleans Voodoo Chronicles)

Available on Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-5th-realm-constance-gillam/1111414521?ean=2940014755481

For more about the author: www.constancegillam.com

Book received from author in exchange for an honest review.

REVIEW: Wings of Shadow (The Underground Trilogy) by Anna Kyss

In the struggle for survival…

Meghan’s graduation gift is one that any eighteen-year-old would dream of: traveling abroad to England. Her journey turns into more adventure than expected when Meghan meets the mysterious Kiernan and is introduced to a strange society hidden beneath the streets of London.

The fittest win out at the expense of their rivals…

When Meghan’s life is threatened, she flees the city and seeks sanctuary in a distant village–a place unseen by human eyes for over one hundred years. Not knowing if anyone can be trusted, Meghan tries to determine who is friend, who is foe… and who has captured her heart. Meanwhile, a battle for survival brews all around her.

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When I first saw the cover of this book I just knew I had to read it. It was so pretty and mysterious looking and coupled with the blurb I was already hooked before I even started reading the book. This book had an excellent plot which was highly unique and original, coupled with amazing characters that provided the story with a lot of depth. Once I started I didn’t want to put it down until I was done.

Meghan’s date with Kiernan takes her on a crazy adventure into hidden parts of London’s underground tunnels where she meets lots of people wearing wings made from items ranging from metal to bike tires. The descriptions given of Meghan’s first encounter with these “winged” people is just amazing, it would make a stunning scene in a movie or even a supremely intriguing drawing. No explanation is given for their strange attire but shortly after she is held prisoner by Kiernan’s father where things only get weirder. I thought this book was going in one direction with the type of fantastic creatures involved but I was 100% wrong and couldn’t even have begun to guess where the book would end up. I’d love to tell you more, but I don’t want to give anything away.

If you love a good mystery/romance/magic and fantasy creatures then this book is a must read. There is also a touch of Darwinian science spoken about which I must say also fascinated me. Usually fantasy stories glaze over things and attribute everything to magic or a “just because they can” type of attitude, yet this story had real world science as a background for the “why” certain things were happening which in my opinion just makes for an even better story (but for those who hate science it was really only a small part of the book and it’s written in a way that makes it very easy to understand). I absolutely loved it and cannot wait for the next book in the series. My mind is already trying to figure out what direction the next book will take.

Available on Amazon: Wings of Shadow (The Underground Trilogy)

For more about the author visit: www.annakyss.com

Book received from author in exchange for an honest review.

REVIEW: She Speaks to Angels by Ami Blackwelder

Book 1 in the AngelFire Chronicles:
1-SHE SPEAKS TO ANGELS
2-FALLING ANGELS
3-ANGEL CODES

Summary:

“I tried not to sound hysterical, but it’s not every day you find out the paranormal is hunting you.”

What if everything you believed was a lie?

A Suicide

Seventeen year old Allison Maney attends Millennium High School in Manhattan. Nothing out of the ordinary, unless you consider the occasional suicides at the school. At least that is what everyone is told, what everyone believes. But Tommy Bachelor was a popular football player; why would he jump off the roof of the school?

Dangerous Liaisons

When Dameon pays attention to Ali, she couldn’t be more excited, because for the past three months he was all she could think about. But now that Dameon is finally pining for her affections, she is becoming more and more wrapped up in a clique of three who, as new transfers to the school, are proving to be trouble. But at least Dameon loves her, doesn’t he?

A Soul Purpose

The underworld of angels and demons have one thing on their mind: Earth. Demons want to do what they want. Angels want to protect humans from these rogue angels, AKA: Demons

A Suspenseful Romance

Caught between Dameon and Kian, the suicide and the clique of three, Ali won’t know who to trust…or who to love, because for Allison Maney, everything i not exactly what it seems.

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This book started off with Ali and her friends investigating a suicide that they felt was really a murder and ends up getting Ali caught smack in the middle of a war between Angels and Demons. The murder investigation takes up a good quarter to one third of the book before any paranormal involvement really occurs. The investigation is interesting and does draw you in but still feels a bit slow. The book really begins to pick up once Ali discovers the paranormal involvement and gets drawn into the world of Angels and Demons.

This book has a very well developed plot that reminded me a lot of Twlight only with Angles instead of vampires and werewolves. The book itself is very well written, however, with some of the dialogue it seems like the author was trying too hard to make it sound like it was coming from a high school girl. Then again if I was in fact a high school girl reading this then I might not feel this way, seeing as I am not a teenager from my perspective it seemed a bit forced and like it didn’t fit that well with the rest of the writing.

Seeing as this is the first book in a series, the author did a good job setting it up for a sequel and leaves the reader wondering what will happen next and really wanting more of the story, both the Angel and Demon war aspects as well as the love story between Ali and Kian. Overall, this was an OK read and I think would really be enjoyed by a teenage girl looking for a good paranormal romance.

Available at Amazon: She Speaks to Angels: YA Angel Thriller (AngelFire Chronicles Bk #1)

For more about the author visit: amiblackwelder.blogspot.com

Book received from author in exchange for an honest review.

Author Interview with Ami Blackwelder

Ami Blackwelder is participating in the
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1.   Tell us a little bit about your current book(s).
My last novel was She Speaks to Angels. MY current projects are novellas. Midnight 1-3 and Zombified 1-3. Midnight is a twist on the vampire story and zombified is a collection of zombie housewives, zombie cowboys and zombie models novellas. Due August 2012. Afterward I will work on She Speaks to Angels novel 2: Falling Angels and 2 demon novellas based on a demon character from the angel stories. Due in 2012.

2.   Are you currently working on any projects? If so please tell us a little about them. 
See above

3.   What do you enjoy about writing fantasy vs. other genres?
I write in paranormal and scifi-paranormal primarily. Occasionally I do historical. I always have elements of thrillers, steampunk, or dystopia in many of my novels and overall I could be called a romantic suspense author. I love to write it and read it.

4.   What is your favorite fantasy series (book, tv show and/or movie)?
Star Wars, Twilight Zone.

5. If you could have any fantastical creature as a pet what would it be and why?  
 As a pet and so by that I take it to mean it obeys me…LOL. I would like like to have my wolf shifter Brendan as a pet. He would be cool to have on my side.


For more about Ami Blackwelder stop by her blog: http://amiblackwelder.blogspot.com/