July Reads Rounds Up

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The Hollows Part #1 (Graphic Novel) by Amanda Hocking & Tony Lee

6tag_020717-165755Full Review: The Hollows 1 of 10.

I gave this book 3/5. True to the original story, and offers more insight into the early days of the zombie apocalypse. A little too short for my liking, so character development suffered. I would have prefered graphics in colour.

 

Alive at Sunset by Kayla Krantz

6tag_060717-064253Full Review: Alive at Sunset.

I gave this book 3/5. A killer with a knack of getting away with everything and worming his way into Luna’s life. A few inconsistencies, but a nightmare inducing tale.

 

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

6tag_170717-072014Full Review: DNF

I stuck with this book until 50%. I found the opening chapters promising, but the narrative plodded along and didn’t keep my interest.

 

 

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

6tag_160717-063147Full Review: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

I gave this book 4/5. I knew the story, but shamefully, I had never read the book. A surprisingly refreshing read that clearly stands the test of time. Great character development, and a curious look into identity and good vs evil.

 

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

6tag_210717-204649Full Review: Review.

I gave this book 4/5. Character development was spot on as usual for Jay Kristoff. The first part of the book was a little weighed down with description, but the world building was epic. Plough through the first 100 pages and you won’t be disappointed.

 

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A Sea Change by Veronica Henry

Full Review: A Sea Change.

I gave this book 3/5. A sweet short with a happy, predictable ending. A little too much description is places: list of ice cream flavours and toppings, or grocery lists. An open ending that could lead on to a sequel, or could be left to the readers to assume what way Jenna’s and Craig’s relationship went.

Love is Blind by

Full Review: Love is Blind.

I gave this book 2.5/5. The start of the story was a little ridiculous, and the sisters fought for pages. I didn’t find either relatable. The story picked up in Australia, and the ending was what I hoped. I would have liked this better if the author didn’t pile it with insults.

After the Love: Victor by Brianna West (FREE newsletter subscription short story)

Full Review: After the Love: Victor

I gave this book 5/5. Great insight into Victor and Lilly’s relationship after the initial meeting of hearts. It was steamy, sexy, and fun. A jealous Victor was an interesting read. Poor Lilly didn’t stand a chance… not that she wanted to.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

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Review: Short Stories

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A Sea Change by Veronica Henry 3/5

I was hoping for a bit more romance, but the story was sweet with a happy ending. Jenna is skint, about to be made homeless, and doesn’t want to go back to living with her alcoholic mother. Out of desperation, she goes to the beach to steal enough money to pay her rent. Craig is a police officer on his holidays at said beach. He catches Jenna in the act and has a heart to heart with her.

It felt a little unbelievable, even though the situations Jenna faced are very real in everyday life. There was also a lot of unnecessary description: a long list of the ice cream flavours she sold, and everything in Craig’s grocery shop.

I wonder if there is/ will be a sequel to this short, as the situation between Craig and Jenna is left open for readers to assume the outcome.

After the Love: Guardian’s in Love (Newsletter Exclusive Short) by Brianna West 5/5

This short is exclusive to West’s newsletter. Sign up here: Subscribe.

I’m already a huge fan of West’s Promiscus Guardians, and have read Victor’s personal love story. This short carries on from that story, and gives a steamy, sexy glimpse in Victor’s relationship with Lilly, and shows how Victor deals with his jealousy. I loved it. I can’t wait for more.

Love is Blind by Kathy Lette 2.5/5

I wasn’t sure what to make of this story. It started off a little ridiculous, and the two sisters argued for pages. Neither seemed like relatable people- or good people for that matter. As the story continued, and Anthea went to meet Jane in Australia, it picked up a little. I think I would have preferred it more if the author didn’t fill it with every insult that she thought was remotely funny.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Review: Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

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Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff 4/5

6tag_210717-204649Arashitoras are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shõgun, they fear that their lives are over – everyone knows what happens to those who fail the Lord of the Shima Isles. But the mission proves less impossible and more deadly than anyone expects. Soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled arashitora for company. Although she can hear his thoughts, and saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her. Yet trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and the beast soon discover a bond that neither of them expected.

Meanwhile, the country around them verges on collapse. A toxic fuel is choking the land, the machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure, and the Shõgun cares for nothing but his own dominion. Authority has always made Yukiko, but her world changes when she meets Kin, a young man with secrets, and the rebel Kagé cabal. She learns the horrifying extent of the Shõgun’s crimes, both against her country and her family.

Returning to the city, Yukiko is determined to make the Shõgun pay – but what can one girl and a flightless arashitora do against the might of an empire?

Review:

I went into this book with an open mind. I had read 5*, glowing reviews, and 1*/2* slating ones. Most of the 1*/ 2* reviews are based on what the readers felt was a lack of thorough research into the Japanese culture, or stereotyping of the same. I haven’t much knowledge on Japanese culture, and decided to read this book knowing it is a fantasy novel, and not actually in set Japan, but Shima, a fictional location.

Another thoroughly enjoyable read from Jay Kristoff with characters to love. Yukiko and Buruu’s relationship was well crafted and had me giggling at times. The sub-characters were all perfectly flawed, and added to the narrative.

I found the beginning a little hard going, but one advantage of lots of description and  slow, world-building is an indepth, immersive read. Seriously, it is worth ploughing on. Steam-punk twinned with Japanese elements was an interesting mix, and the two worked well together to create a vivid world.

The ending was worth the journey: surprises, shocks, and oh, my poor heart. I have book two, Kinslayer, to read, and I doubt it will be long before I have to return to Yukiko’s world. The title makes me a little worried, though. Kinslayer… Kin-slayer…. I hope I’m thinking on it too much.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

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CampNaNoWriMo July 17

Camp-2017-Winner-Facebook-Cover

I am a CampNanoWriMo winner, and with eleven days to spare. Although my planned project was editing 50 pages of Zombie Playlist, I also wrote 10k of The Red Archer.

My experience of CampNaNo this month was a little different than previous ones. Not because I was editing instead of drafting, but because I opted to be placed in a public cabin. For every other CampNaNo, I have joined or created a cabin of writer buddies; writers who are already in my networking circle via social media. The chat forum and encouragement was what kept me motivated and made the experience what it was. I purposely joined a public cabin to meet new people and discover other like minded writers. Yeah, well, it fell a little flat. On the whole, my cabin was a quiet one. Days went by without a response to one of my comments. In the end, I would check weekly for any updates. I shan’t be checking in now I have completed. That is the first and last time I join a public cabin if I can help it.

What are your experiences with public cabins? I’m sure many are lively and fun, and I’m sure the writers in my cabin were just busy meeting their word count goals, but I like a good chat. I sound like a pestering nag, I know.

talk to me

Anyhoo, I thought I’d share some of the music I have been listening to during the editing process of Zombie Playlist. I kept the editing music separate from the actual playlist in hopes of keeping it fresh.

Shall I share an excerpt from The Red Archer? Okay, you twisted my arm.

“Kin, sing us a song,” calls Cray from the far side of the room. Stave and Imma drink with him, discussing trades and stashes.

There is a chorus of agreement, and I jump on the table, the room spinning a little as I do so. “The Girl of the Ocean,” I bellow to the lute player, raising my tankard into the air. This one always gets them singing.

Did you participate in CampNaNo this month? I hope you had a productive month.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

Review: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

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The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson 4/5

6tag_160717-063147In this harrowing tale of good and evil, the mild-mannered Dr. Jekyll develops a potion that unleashes his secret, inner persona—the loathsome, twisted Mr. Hyde.

Review:

Dr Jekyll’s friends are worried about him. Should he die or vanish, the civilised doctor has bequeathed his entire fortune to a man who oozes evil, Mr Hyde. How are the two men acquainted, and how can they make Jekyll see sense?

Let me first state that I know this story, but I have never actually read the book until now. Various retellings, shows/films etc ensure that no one can grow up without at least hearing of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and the narrative basics. It’s bizarre to start a story knowing the story. Does that sound as weird to you as it does to me?

I was pleasantly surprised to feel as though the story was fresh to me. This book explores the different sides to identity, and how both good and evil are intertwined in us all, but if you allow it, the evil in us will win.

Despite the fact that this book is short, and nearly the entirety of the book is told from the friend’s perspectives, Stevenson does a brilliant job at character development for both Jekyll and Hyde. Jekyll’s statement at the end is brutally honest and logical, and although he realises the mistakes he made, he isn’t entirely remorseful. It is a chilling ending to a chilling read.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Update 12/07/17

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Much has been happening in the writing cave of KJ. I finished drafting EVO Ghost in June, and since then, it has been a month jam packed with editing. I am using CampNaNoWriMo to get through the beta edits of Zombie Playlist. Yes, my first ever zombie novella is in the hands of my beta readers. As it is just 25k words, the process is moving quicker than it has done for my novels. The next step, after the beta edits have been added, is for my proof reader to glance her beady eye over it.

Did you catch the cover and blurb reveal for Zombie Playlist?

 

 

How about for EVO Ghost?

 

 

What else is in the pipeline?

As soon as Zombie Playlist is with the ARC reviewers in August, I shall start the mammoth task of editing EVO Ghost. At the moment, the draft stands at 104k words. There are characters to be scrubbed out, scenes to be deleted, and stuff to be added. A redraft will kick start the whole process and help me streamline.

I’m also writing The Red Archer. This WIP won’t receive my sole attention due to the editing, but I am already 10k words in and loving where the narrative is going. Watch this space for more updates on this. *There is a cheeky excerpt at the end of this post.*

ARC Reviewers Required

ARC copies of Zombie Playlist will be sent on August 4th. If Zombie Playlist sounds like your kind of read, and you can get through it in time for the release on September 4th, contact me with your email and preferred format, and I will add you to the email list.

Excerpt from The Red Archer:

As this shall be the only thing I’m writing whilst editing the other two WIPs, I shall share excerpts sporadically.

Your tales are pretty and fanciful, Imma, but the truth is much uglier. I was born into the ugly, stop pretending I’m some delicate secret, hidden like a cache of fashda gems. I am a foretold, orphan Queen who is a better smuggler than she is a lady.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

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Review: Alive at Sunset by Kayla Krantz

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Alive at Sunset (Rituals of the Night #2) by Kayla Krantz 3/5

6tag_060717-064253Revenge can become an obsession of its own. After her high school experience, Luna Ketz moved on. She’s in college, studying to be a doctor and living an hour away from her old home in Lima, Ohio—where the worst of her memories lie. Three years have passed since her friend Violet’s death and the thought of that day in the woods hasn’t left her mind once. Every week, she visits the hospital where Chance Welfrey remains in a coma. She tries to move on…wants to move on…until once again she receives a phone call from Max Cazmea warning her that things may not be over just yet.

Chance, recovered from his recent coma, shows up on her doorstep. He has found a way into Luna’s life that she cannot escape—he’s dating her roommate, Amanda Grey. Back in her life once more, Chance has a list, and everyone on it ends up dead. As things escalate, Luna finds herself in a dangerous game of cat and mouse that will take all of her wits to survive.

Review:

Luna is trying to get her life back together after the terrible events of high school. The memory of Chance’s sick obsession with her still hangs over her head, and she visits the hospital every week to ensure that he has not woken up. They say, even if he does wake, he’ll have no recollection of his old life. How do they know for sure?

Krantz’s books always scare me. I think it’s Chance’s mindset that gives me the heebie jeebies. He is irratic, hell bent on revenge, and just a psycho. You never know what he is going to do. A killer you can’t escape, even in your dreams, is nightmare inducing.

Luna has the right doses of denial, fear, and anger. Her homelife- especially in regards to her parents- felt a little unbelievable, but it made sense to the narrative for Luna to distance herself from her past. Certain aspects felt out of place/ included to progress narrative. Surely Max would not have interrupted the funeral to talk to her? Wouldn’t her best friend go to the funeral and not get ready for a date?

There were a few inconsistencies, but yet again, Chance comes across as the invincible serial killer, adamant to get to Luna by any means necessary. He is a character you love to hate.

I have received an e-copy of book three in exchange for my honest opinion. I need to know how this trilogy plays out.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Review: The Beginning of the End (The Hollows Graphic Novel Part 1) by Amanda Hocking and Tony Lee

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The Beginning of the End: The Hollows Part 1 of 10 (Graphic Novel) by Amanda Hocking and Tony Lee. Graphics by Steve Uy 3/5

6tag_020717-165755Welcome to the world of Amanda Hocking’s best selling novel HOLLOWLAND as never seen before – adapted and enhanced by #1 New York Times bestseller Tony Lee (X-Men Unlimited, Doctor Who), with superb artwork by Steve Uy (Avengers Initiative, JSA Classified).

It’s Day One as a new pandemic sweeps the globe, and all over the world people are turning into mindless zombies. But for five people – siblings Remy and Max King, med student Blue Adams, rockstar Lazlo Durante and teenager Harlow Smith – it’s the start of a journey that they can never return from! Learn for the first time how the characters of HOLLOWLAND started their journeys as we go back to the very beginning of the story! Dynamite Entertainment proudly presents Amanda Hocking’s The Hollows: A Hollowland graphic novel.

Review:

I have only read book one of The Hollows series by Hocking, but when I saw that it had been adapted into a graphic novel series, and the first installment was free, I had to take a peek. It appears to stay true to the book, and it started a little bit before the Hollowland novel, showing how the characters initially ended up in their situations after the start of the zombie apocalypse. This was an introduction more than anything.

The story follows Remy, Max, Lazlo, Ripley, and Blue, and introducing that many characters into a 26 page graphic novel didn’t allow for much story development. The installments are a little too short for me.

Although the graphics were good, I would have liked colour. That is just personal preference. I definitely won’t read the rest of the graphic novels installments until I have finished the series, but if you prefer a graphic novel, and enjoy a good zombie apocalypse tale, then this is the one for you. Try this installment for free from Amazon.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Blurb Reveal: EVO Ghost

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Did you catch yesterday’s cover reveal? Don’t worry if you missed it. I shall share it again…

copy-of-evo

Today’s reveal is the blurb. I spent more time on this blurb than any other book I have written. Blurbs are the work of Satan. I mean, we can write a 100k word novel, but a blurb is like pulling teeth. Well, it is for me.

EVO GHOST

This is it, folks. The  big finale. I hope I’ve done Teddie and her story justice. Only time will tell.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

EVO Ghost Cover Reveal

 

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It is time for the cover reveal of EVO Ghost. I can’t believe that I’m at this stage and it is a little daunting. All of a sudden, I have realised how close I am to completing my first series and saying goodbye to characters who have been with me for years. *Sob*

Okay, enough with the sentiment. Let’s crack on with the reveal. First, I shall remind you of the covers for EVO Nation and EVO Shift:

 

Now, for the BIG reveal…

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I feel that this cover completes the trio with a minimalistic image, colours, and font. I am excited to see the whole series together on my book shelf. The next big reveal shall be the blurb for EVO Ghost. Oh my, I’m getting all emotional again.


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman