Posts Tagged ‘Fantasy’

Flying Away (The Flykeeper Chronicles Book1) by Caroline Gill

March 16, 2017 - 9:21 pm No Comments

Flying Away (The Flykeeper Chronicles Book1) by Caroline Gill

Published 12th January 2016

204 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

After losing her parents Iolani moved in with her cousins and her grandparents. From the outside, they were your typical family but Eleanor and Iolani were special. Eleanor was a happy child but she glowed until one terrifying night at the lake, Iolani with the help of her buzzing friends tried to save her but Eleanor lost her sparkle. Trying to make it right, Iolani stumbles across something far worse and knows that to help her cousin she need to fight against a force that is strong, bigger and more powerful than her.  With her horse and a comatose Eleanor, she treks through the country to find her only true friend, an old-school friend who she knows will help her.

At the beginning of this book I was so confused, I had not a clue what was going on, but this got me intrigued to read more. The author had a knack of telling a story, every bit that was confusing at the beginning was explained throughout, making this an addictive read. Iolani was very family orientated and knew what she had to do, even if it meant putting her own life in danger.  The use of flies as the magical beings to help Iolani was unique and I loved the way she got the flies to work with her, protect or even save her. With near death experiences, kidnapping, and an epic journey across the countryside and desert made this action packed and a fast read. The back story of the loss of her parents was moving and you could feel Iolani’s grief and pain, but I think this made her a stronger girl and her being 15 made it more exciting especially when she came across someone bigger and stronger than her.

Book 2 and 3 are already out and I hope I get to find out more about Iolani’s gift and what has happened to Mr Chong and the green lanterns.

I never judge a book by its cover, however I think this cover is gorgeous and shows just how talented the author is, as she designed this herself. If you want a fantasy book with a difference then read this, you will not be disappointed.

The Grendel Affair SPI Files 1

March 7, 2017 - 10:32 am No Comments

The Grendel Affair
SPI Files Book 1
Author: Lisa Shearin
Publisher: Ace Fantasy (A Penguin Random House Company)
Page count: 292pp
Release date: 31st Dec 2013
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

online: www.lisashearin.com, @lisashearin

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Grendel-Affair-SPI-Files-Novel-ebook/dp/B00CS74W7K/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488882450&sr=1-1&keywords=the+grendel+affair

When Makenna (Mac) Fraser moved from her small home town of Weird Sisters, she intended to use her seer powers of identifying supernatural creatures, (which everyone else couldn’t see) into a brilliant journalistic career. Still, those rare skills came in handy working for a trashy New York tabloid. However, she never expected to be head-hunted (in a good way) by the SPI, a Supernatural equivalent of the FBI, a secret government agency set up to protect all species from dangerous cryptids and bring them to justice, whilst looking after the everyday supernatural inhabitants of NY.
Of course, not battle trained, she became their seer, the much needed eyes of the agents who would go out on combat missions.
The first in the series starts with Agent Mac Fraser doing a job off the books, for antiquity dealer Ollie, late at night at his shop. He’s being tormented by a nacht gnome, dangerous little buggers that can be contained by knocking them out with liquor. So, armed with bottles of Jack Daniels she is spotted by stuck-in-the-mud partner Ian Byrne. He catches her roaming the streets with tequila filled water pistol (she’d been banned from live ammunition after an ‘incident’) and insists on going with her. Which is a good job considering they find a mutilated body at the shop.
Between a hidden bunker full of monster body parts underneath a crypt, to mysterious letters addressed to the ‘Dragon Lady’ boss, Agent Mac and her partner Ian are going to have to put aside their differences to battle a nemesis threatening to let loose a myriad of monsters in Times Square NYE. The aim? To let the world know that Supernatural creatures exist, cause chaos, fear and death.
As the only seer in the NY office, with monsters on the loose, Mac is the only one who can see, identify and mark the danger. So, fighting his own fears, partner Ian has to accept that Mac needs to be trained as a field operative. And if anyone is going to train her, it’s him. What appears to be a gruff, slightly cold exterior on Ian Byrne, is a form of protective shielding he uses to keep his feelings for Mac locked in tight. And as they work together to combat evil that has a personal grudge against their boss, they become even closer.
There are some great characters in this novel, from Ollie, the human artifact dealer, ‘Dragon Lady’ boss who hides a tough exterior in her petite form, über Geek Kenji, Yasha the ‘cuddly’ Russian werewolf and the Scandinavian gang of agents, there are loads of relationships to enjoy here. But it’s Mac and Ian who take centre-stage; Mac with her honest, yet somehow naive opinions, and regular mishaps, which remind me slightly of Laura Resnick’s Esther Diamond, though less accident prone, and Ian Byrne, with his ‘Agent’ exterior which really hides a heart of gold. Think Mulder and Scully but reversed.
Add in some brilliant one-liners, monster-mashing fun, blood and gore, high-octane action and a fast pace, and what you have is a series that starts on a high. I was addicted within a few pages – okay, let’s be honest, I was addicted by page four, and here’s why.
As Mac puts it, whilst talking about her previous work for seedy tabloid ‘The Informer’, “where only stories like ‘Donald Trump is a Werewolf Love Child’ had any hope of making it to the front page. … ‘That particular headline had been an obvious lie – at least it’d been obvious to me. No self-respecting werewolf would have hair like that.”
See, with snort-worthy narrative from Mac’s point-of-view such as that, you’re in for an hilarious ride. This is truly great first-person snark, as C E Murphy would have it. To add even more enjoyment, Shearin is adept at using relevant pop culture references. As for the combat and fight scenes plus military style masouvers, these are handled deftly, and it’s clear Shearin has done her homework, building up the tension at the right time.
If I could find anything more to say to recommend this I would, but it’s possibly just as easy to say, the end rounds off, but leaves teasers for the future. There are so many more creatures the SPI could explore, and we haven’t even nearly dealt with the complex dichotomy between Ian and Mac.
So, I suggest you stay on for the long haul. I know I will be.
5/5

Suspended: Vagabond Circus: Book 1 by Sarah Noffke

February 22, 2017 - 11:23 pm No Comments

Suspended: Vagabond Circus: Book 1 by Sarah Noffke

Published 15th January 2016

245 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

The Vagabond Circus is run by Dream Travellers, a band of magical people that want to give the audience back their belief in magic again. The circus is run by ex-psychologist, Dr Dave Raydon, who has his own mental health problems, overcomes them to put on the greatest show on earth. Using each Dream Traveller’s abilities Dr Raydon places them in their ideal role for the show.  After Finley joins the team, it starts a chain reaction which involves love, mystery and murder.

Although the circus is run by a big team of people, the author introduces us to just a handful.  Zuma, Jack, Jasmine and Finley are the acrobatics, the stars in the circus, working close together they each need to trust other, but with Finley keeping secrets trust is hard to give. Titus is the creative director, working closely with Dr Raydon, the circus is his life.  One of my favourite characters was Sunshine, an empath, who had an air of sadness around her, she was not afraid to speak her mind.

The more you read this story the more you know about the character’s lives except Finley, just like his character, his life story and mission is a mystery, it is not till the end of the book do we actually find out why he is at the circus. This kept the story interested as throughout the author teased us with why he was there. The connection with Zuma and Finley and their love/hate relationship kept you guessing whether or not they could pull of the show.

Whilst reading the scenes of the show it reminded me of the Cirque du Soleil as they also have a magical feel to them.

With book 2 and 3 out, I can continue following the adventures of Finley

Kinship: The Uncertain Life of a Vampire Hunter by Caroline A Gill

February 22, 2017 - 9:44 pm No Comments

Kinship: The Uncertain Life of a Vampire Hunter by Caroline A Gill

Published by St Helena Press on 26th October 2016

174 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Valen is a vampire hunter, going from city to city, clearing the nests of vampires. As the battles with the vampires become more and more difficult, Valen knows that he is losing the war. With other hunters keeping secrets and a mysterious light source at one scene, Valen does not know who to trust, but when he came across an enigmatic woman playing darts, he knew that he had to put his faith in someone.

The way the author describes Valen, you can sense he is a man on a mission, but that it took its toll. He took every death and every failure to heart.

As this is a story about vampire hunters you can expect action from the moment you start reading. At the start of this book, I did feel sorry for Valen as he had no one to watch his back or to talk to when he was feeling really depressed.  However, after he joined up with a partner his whole demure changed and he did start to feel more confident with himself and his actions.

Running through the story is the mysterious light source and whilst some fact about it come out, I hope more is explained in book 2.

This book is different to others that I have read about vampire hunters as this shows the loneliness of a vampire hunter. A good read full of vampire kills

 

 

The Keeper of Dragons: The Prince Returns by JA Culican

January 22, 2017 - 9:29 pm No Comments

The Keeper of Dragons: The Prince Returns by JA Culican

Published 21st June 2016

284 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Colt was your average Joe, liked to keep himself to himself, but just before his 18th birthday, his parents tell him something that would change his life for ever. Not only was he adopted but his real parents were coming to take him away. Meeting his biological parents were scary enough but to find out that they are both dragons and King and Queen of Ochana, and that he was as a dragon as well was nothing like he imagined.  However, when he landed in Ochana he was in for a bigger shock, he was the keeper of dragons and they needed him to save their race.

Everything that Colt had gone through, I was really surprised how quickly he accepted it all, and although he kept doubting himself, he did take his role serious. The involvement of his best friend, helped with his confidence and I hope to learn more about her life in future books.

If you love dragons, your imagination can go wild with this story. The way Ochana was described, I could picture the place especially the scenes in the market. The detail description of each dragon fraction helped explain the country’s history. With the addition of other fantasy creatures made this an enjoyable read. With the action building throughout the story, it was a quick read as I wanted to know if they survived. Although not finishing on a cliff-hanger, it did leave it open for further books