Posts Tagged ‘Fantasy’

Lichgates: Book One of the Grimoire Saga by SM Boyce

August 18, 2017 - 6:48 am No Comments

Lichgates: Book One of the Grimoire Saga by SM Boyce

Published 15th October 2011

402 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

 

To help with grief Kara loved to hike, but a strange gazebo in the middle of the forest takes her to another world. Ending up in Ourea, she unintentionally becomes involved in the politics of the world, but can she bring peace. To do this she needs to master the Grimoire and learn who to trust.

Kara was a bit of a loner, this has always helped her avoid uncomfortable issues, especially after her mom died. However, once in Ourea, she was thrown in to situations that she had to had no control over and had to learn to fight or die. Not knowing who to trust made her vulnerable but it also made her stronger.  Teaming up with Braedon helped her in a lot of ways and even when she knew his secret she wanted him around and was willing to take him into her confidence. My only moan was that I felt that Kara took to it so easy and it was only at the start that she freaked out. However, throughout this story she does rely a lot on Braedon and others to get the results she needs.

With a large world like Ourea and with 4 major houses in charge, there are quite a few characters. However, this is not confusing story to read, as the author concentrates on each ruling family separately. This also helps you understand the bigger task that Kara must accomplish. As this is a fantasy story there are a lot of weird and exotic creatures and whilst some are familiar, there are others that I had not heard of. This is the start of an epic fantasy journey and you find that much of the story is setting the scene to what is to come. Throughout this story you have the feeling that something big is going to happen and the author has a way of building up the suspense.    With this book being the 1st in the series of four, you know that Kara’s task will not be easy. As a new author to me, I enjoyed this book and will read the rest of Kara’s story.

The Guardians (The Tempest Isle Series Book 1) by SC Storm and Rena Martin

August 10, 2017 - 6:51 pm No Comments

The Guardians (The Tempest Isle Series Book 1) by SC Storm and Rena Martin

Published by Zombie Cupcake Press on 29th July 2017

256 Pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Living on the Tempest Isles are the Guardians are a group of supernatural creatures, born to protect the supernatural and human world from the reapers, but times are getting harder and it falls to a small number of people to save them. The guardians of each race need to ascend to ensure their race survives.

From the start of this book, you notice that the story does not just revolve around one character. Vampires, wolves or witches, each supernatural race had their main characters and their stories were intertwined to tell a story that fantasy lovers will enjoy. All the races appear to live in harmony, but as the story progress you find out that a small group are out for revenge and as more reapers appear, their plan seems to be working.

With so many character, you would think that this story would be difficult to follow, but that is not an issue as the story was written in the 3rd person. The style of writing made it a quick read and it was not till I wrote this review that I realised that it was written by two authors. Whether you are a vampire or a werewolf fan, you will definitely find your favourite character. This story had action, revenge, betrayal and romance. Ending on a cliff-hanger which involves a lot of blood, I hope that it is not long before book 2 is out

The Vanishing Throne (Falconer 2) Elizabeth May

August 4, 2017 - 6:36 pm No Comments

The Vanishing Throne (The Falconer Trilogy: Book 2)
Author: Elizabeth May
Publisher: Gollancz
Page count: 362pp
Release date: 18th Nov 2015
(The third book The Fallen Lingdom was released 15th June 2017) Grab it now!


The first book in this series ‘The Falconer’ introduced us to a post-Regency world of early polite 19th Century society in Edinburgh, where Lady Alieana Kameron plays the game of ‘lady’ whilst tinkering with inventions.
On meeting pixie Derrick and Fae Kiaran, she discovers she is the ‘Falconer’ – the one who is strong enough to fight the fae – who wish to destroy the human world. There is much more to the first book (death, betrayal, love, passion, magic) but – spoilers darling!
Now, in the second book, having failed to save the world in a very Buffy-like manner – she is half dead and prisoner of Lonnrach – a baobhan sith – a vampire-like fae who holds Alieana in the faerie realm sucking her memories dry to find the information he needs to take a throne. The Vanishing Throne.
Time moves at a different pace in the Sith-bhruth – a week there can be months in the world of humans. But every day in her faerie prison is a day of torture – Lonnrach’s bite leaving physical and emotional scars, as his venom runs through her veins. But it is the guilt that consumes her, as much as the need to escape – she is shown visions of a desolate Edinburgh and knows she failed to save it.
Thankfully help comes in the form of Kiaran’s sister Aithinne.
There’s a nice little nod to The Princess Bride in here as Alieana escapes through the forests and rocks with Aithinne.
Though the imprisonment and escape is tense, emotional and intriguing, it was great to move on into Alieana’s normal world to see her reaction, and to see some old favourite characters.
Derrick the tiny winged pixie is particularly funny, as is Aithinne’s jubilant use of ‘normal’ swear words (implied at and stopped at just the right moment rather than expressed) and her sibling rivalry with Kiaran. Never mind Alieana’s love for Kiaran- a powerful fae she is only just getting to know.
When Derrick is drunk on honey he is very productive and at one point makes new clothes for Alieana- who huffs – to which Derrick replies “so just because the world ends you can’t dress fancy anymore?” Point made! I can almost feel Joss Whedon’s influence here, in reflect of sparkling dialogue at the least.
As for Kiaran, he has taught himself not to feel compassion after centuries in faerie, but seeing Alieana again stirs something deep inside, and when she is hurt at one point by another character his anger is cold. Bound from killing humans he still points out, “It’s incredible what the human body can endure without dying.” He’s your ‘Angel’ to Alieana’s Buffy; sexy, brooding, stalwart, strong – and lethal.
As a team, our heroes are formidable adversaries for Lonnrach, each character having different attributes to bring to the party; carrying on with the Buffy analogy – the ‘Scooby Gang’, each one valuable in their own right, with believable personalities to match.
With the gang and the surviving humans forming a truce with the pixies, we see an extraordinary underground city; glittering quartz domes, bee hive shaped houses, obsidian buildings, and food from everywhere in the world, which the pixies can create from nothing. But the sparkling fae disturb Alieana who still bears the scars of her torture.
However, for the reader, the city is awesome; you can smell, taste and feel this place. Stunning. Yet for Alieana there’s something missing that the real world has. Yet that real world is shattered and can’t be returned to right now. That won’t stop Alieana from trying to save the world that exists now – with a fairy killing gun (a blunderbus of her own design) her own innate powers and her team as back up.
This is a hero I can get on with. And here’s why;
“No – I don’t want balls (now now trader! not that type), or parties, or dresses again. No elevenhours or fourhours or being forced into marriage.
Those things all kept me caged …”
This is an awesome blend of Austen-era bad-assery heroines, magical steampunk, fae legend and urban fantasy.

Dalysian Hope by Jamie Summer

July 28, 2017 - 9:27 pm No Comments

Dalysian Hope by Jamie Summer

Published 20th March 2016

421 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

What would you do if you started hearing strange noises and get awaken by mysteries creatures trying to kill. This is the dilemma that Sophia Evans has, all she has been told was to follow her instincts and she will know who to trust. Fleeing for her life she is drawn in to a magical world that will see her fight for her life and is she the one to save a race.

As a 17 year old, Sophia was very independent and I think that was due to the fact that she had lived by herself for quite a few years. When she met Ren and Ash she was like every hormonal teenager and I was shocked that she did not scream when they appeared in her bedroom. As her powers were revealed she handled it very well, as  the stronger she got and as more of her purpose was revealed, she was even more determined to do her best. The two men in her life were completely different. Ren was all serious and had a sadistic feel to him whilst Ash was all flirty and fun loving, Despite their differences, when Sophia was in danger they both were there to protect her.

I loved that no-one would give Sophia the complete story, only snippets of what she need to know and as a teenager you could feel Sophia’s frustration, from a reader’s perspective this added mystery to the story as I was always second guessing the author and did not know what to expect. The story flowed easily and the suspension was building to the final scene. With more of her history explained at the end it leads nicely into book 2. This is perfect for young teenager and adults alike. A good start to a fantasy series with a difference

The Spawn of Lilith – Dana Fredsti

July 26, 2017 - 8:56 pm No Comments

The Spawn of Lilith
Author: Dana Fredsti
Publisher: Titan Books
Page count: 400pp
Release date: 20th June 2017
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

 

Lee Striga is a stunt woman at the top of her game, working with the legendary Katz crew; the equivalent of stunt person royalty. Her crew is going great until someone places her landing air bag in slightly the wrong position, during a routine high fall.
Lee does the drop, and wakes up in hospital with recent memories eradicated and her body in pretty bad shape. But as she heals, she longs to get back into the business; a business where shifters, fae, goblin and all sorts of supernatural creatures work in Hollywood.
On the road to recovery, Lee gets the chance to work on a film with a semi-decent budget as a stunt worker for annoying pain in-the arse actress Portia. But of course, things dont go quite as smoothly as they should, and pretty soon, people on the set are dropping dead, torn to pieces by god-knows-what sort of being.
Fredsti nails the cheap ‘bad’ film experience complete with ‘script’ excerpts with predictably villainous dialogue from – well – the villain. Think Ming the Merciless on a budget. As for attitude towards females in the industry, never mind the so-called ‘concubines’ in the film Lee is working on, she sees herself as curvy, which is fine but she’s regarded as too big to be a leading actress at a size 8, bearing in mind that’s USA ‘8’ which equates to a ‘6’ in the U.K. The sad thing is that Lee’s observations on the industry are based on Fredsti’s many years as an actual stunt woman. As Lee puts it, when being fit for a costume, “eight wasn’t exactly the gargantuan size she was implying.”
There’s a refreshing honesty here.
Axel the horny demon (literally) makes for great comic relief, but also, unfortunately, an indication of how some men in the industry treat women. Thankfully, all of the men aren’t shallow has-beens; Ben being an example of a solid actor and downright nice guy.
On a set later in the book, past the halfway mark, there’s some great banter between Lee and the producer Dobell about low budget SF/horror movies and being a lover of those films, I instantly recognised the kind of films and could guess the studio she is on about when gems such as “Crocksnake” and “Arachnogator” are mentioned – you might say, the well known low budget studio is kind of a “refuge” for B-Movie actors. There are so many pop culture references and ‘in jokes’ about LA and the movies but the kind a reader will easily get, because they are based around some accepted stereotypes. Which, by the way is when this book gets scary, because Fredsti actually worked in the industry meaning a lot of the arseholes she’s talking about? Yeah, they’re probably real. Sheesh.
As for Lee’s ‘voice’ – well – it hits 10 on the sarcasm Richter scale and I literally snorted my coffee out a couple of times through laughter. You’ll see what I mean when she describes actress ‘Portia’.
In a world where parking meter gods get bribed with Hershey Kisses, burly red-headed bar tenders hide secrets and creatures hide in the dark, Fredsti offers a brand new take on the Urban Fantasy genre.
I adored this book; the humour, the mayhem, the characters and the underpinning mystery.
This is a million shades of movie madness awesome. 5/5