Review: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E.Schwab

book-review

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab 4.5/5

6tag_070917-204220It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift–back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games–an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries–a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

Review:

Book two surpassed book one and left me wanting more. Once again, Schwab’s world building and character development is spot on. Building on the foundations laid in book one, this book took us deeper into the life of the Antari, the royals, and the magic.

The relationships in this book are subtle yet solid, heartfelt yet not fluffy. The anticipation of Kell and Lila meeting again was almost too much for me. I was pretty happy with the outcome. *No spoilers*.

The Essen Tasch was brilliantly flamboyant. It made me think of the Triwizard Tournament and the Quidditch World Cup rolled into one. The performance, the fights, and the parties are effortlessly written and incredibly visual.

My only niggle was the slow pace at the beginning. I had the same issue with book one. However, when it picked up, it took off like a rocket and I didn’t want to put the book down.


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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K.J Chapman – Fangirl and Geek

Had the pleasure of doing an author interview over at Melanie Mole Books. Read on for insight into KJ and my books.

Today I am pleased to introduce author K.J Chapman to my blog. Welcome K.J!

Thank you for hosting me today.

So, K.J, in your own words you are a self-proclaimed fan girl and geek; a lover of everything science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal. Have you always liked those genres?

As a reader, I have found myself drawn to those genres, so it was only natural to want to write what I like to read. I enjoy the scope of writing in the science fiction and fantasy genres and letting my imagination loose.

You have written three books now, which is great. How long does it take you to write each book, and where do you get the ideas from?

Writing the first draft and editing takes me an average of ten months to a year. Zombie Playlist is a 25k word novella, but as I was writing it alongside other…

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Book Review: EVO Shift (EVO Nation Series: book 2); by K. J. Chapman

Always lovely to see a shining review for one of my book babies. There is even a link to the EVO Nation review within this post.

Stealing Shade

Book Review: EVO Shift by: K. J. Chapman

She killed him, but did it make a difference?

Her kind has been exposed, abused, and segregated, and now Teddie Leason is top of Britain’s most wanted list at just nineteen. Teddie has to decide whose side she is on, what she fights for, and whether it’s worth her life.

How can she protect the man she adores, the Uncle who has taken her under his wing, and her unfaltering friends, when she can barely take care of herself? Dealing with new power and a history that has long since been forgotten, has rendered the world’s most powerful EVO vulnerable and at risk.

When will she be dealt a winning hand? Could a clandestine, renegade group of EVO change not only her fate, but that of everyone affected by this unprecedented war? And how does Teddie fit in a world bracing for…

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Review: A Shining in the Shadows by Beverley Lee

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A Shining in the Shadows (Gabriel Davenport #2) by Beverley Lee 5/5

6tag_130817-200747Gabriel Davenport has been remade from darkness. Now, he must adapt to survive .

In a small seaside town, Gabriel’s maker unwittingly takes his wards into the throes of a deadly new game. There are rumblings on The Bloodvyne, the mental web of linked vampire consciousness. Whispers about a cleansing, about the ruling council hunting vampires with impure blood.

Gabriel finds himself thrust into a new nightmare, where the hunter becomes the hunted. When his maker is taken, he must battle to untangle the mystifying clues laid out in an uncovered labyrinth to find the only creature strong enough to fight against those that hunt his new-found family.

Gaze long into the darkness, and you’ll find old vampire foes out for revenge, new ones with their own agenda, and a witch who holds the key. But just who is the monster in the middle?

Review:

Another masterpiece from Lee. After relishing Lee’s effortless writing style in book one, I was yet again sucked into Gabriel’s world and led like a sleepwalker through the pages and plot twists with ease. Lee makes writing seem easy. The pacing, narrative, and character development has a superb flow, and as a reader, you wake up at the end wondering where you are and how you got there. Book hangover!

Some points that I have to mention:

  1. The relationship dynamics are on fire. There are some curve balls, and then relationships that blossom organically, despite initial thoughts.
  2.  Plot twists are subtley woven into the narrative. The ending is a weaving together of story pieces. Writing tapestry.
  3. Character development is a huge part of my reading experience. When you’re rooting for anti-heroes of sorts, you know the writer has got it right.

In summary, this is a vampire read that isn’t cliche. The characters and relationships are well crafted, and the story is littered with breadcrumbs that tie up effortlessly at the end. I highly recommend this series.


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

Thoughts On: Zombie Playlist by K.J. Chapman

Thank you to Rebecca for taking the time to read and review an ARC of Zombie Playlist…

REBECCA HOWIE BOOKS

Minor spoilers ahead.


My second ever ARC read, Zombie Playlist completely lived up to what I’d been expecting after reading K.J. Chapman’s entries for the #FICTFBFEB17 challenge on Instagram, and from what I’ve seen, the rest of her ARC readers agree that this is one indie novella you don’t want to miss this year.


Zombie Playlist: A Novella by [Chapman, K.J. ]
Title: Zombie Playlist

Author: K.J. Chapman

Published: 2017

Genres: Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic, Short stories.

Buy from:Amazon


Blurb:  Dagger has survived the zombie apocalypse with nothing save a metal bat, blades, and assholery. With the company of an IPOD she attained courtesy of Dead-Dude, and King, the Bunker-Boy straggler she somehow acquired on her journey, she travels to the coast, putting down zombies, blowing up high-grade assholes, and teaching King how to ditch his pre-apocalypse conscience and keep his yellow ass alive.
Thoughts On :

Premise: ***

I’m going to be honest here and admit I’m…

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Picture Prompt

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Here is another of my Instagram picture prompts for you to get creative with. I invite you to have a go at writing a sentence/paragraph/short story to accompany the picture. Remember to link your post back to me, so I can read your creations and spotlight them in the next picture prompt post.

You can find me on Instagram by following this link.

Picture Prompt:

K.J. CHAPMAN.png

“Is that it? Is that all we fucking get?” Caine shouts into the air. Tears leave streaks through his muddy cheeks as he pummels the wall. “We have been trapped inside that maze for seventeen months, and that pathetic exit is all we get?”

“What were you expecting?” I ask. The sense of claustrophobia that I have lived with for nearly a year and a half melts away from me and I starfish in the grass.

“A fucking fan fair! I don’t know…I just thought it was all for something bigger, something greater. Freddie died in there, and for what? Nothing!”

He’s bloodying his knuckles up, much like he did when Freddie died. If he’s not careful he’ll get another infection. Throwing my arms around him, I drag him away from the wall. “Stop, Caine! We’re out. It’s okay, we’ve made it.” He sags against me and weeps.

“No, you haven’t,” says a voice behind us. Both of us spin around, drawing our knives. A tall, skinny man wearing only a loin cloth and holey running shoes approaches. He is  accompanied by at least ten others, all in a similar state of dress; dirty, bedraggled, and famished. I thought we were filthy, but these guys look positively feral. “That was just part one.” He hands me a pair of muddy binoculars. “Just look.”

Caine snatches them from my hands and scours the horizon. He staggers backward, grasping at me to ground him. “There are more walls. No! No! Seventeen months! We’ve been in there seventeen months!”

The man hangs the binoculars around his neck. “We’ve been here ten years. No one has made it through part two.”


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

 

 

 

Guest Post: Naming Characters

Brianna Merritt has kindly hosted me on her wonderful blog. Pop over to gain insight into my process for naming characters. And while you’re there, why not click that follow button. You won’t be disappointed.

Brianna Merritt Writing

kayleigh-chapman



Today I have a fabulous treat for you! I’ve asked the wonderful writer Kayleigh to share her insights and inspiration on finding the perfect name for any character. 

Thank you to Brianna for having me guest post on her wonderful blog. When Brianna asked me what I might be interested in writing about, I had just been questioned by a fellow writer about how I choose character names. The timing was great, and I hope this post is helpful in some small way.

Many moons ago, I put together a check list of eight important factors to consider before naming a character. The following tried and tested steps have not failed me, yet.

Gut instinct: Always and foremost go with what feels right. A perfect name is only perfect because it feels that way to the author, and hopefully, the reader.

Google it: Run all possible name combinations through…

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Update 19/2/17

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It has been nearly five weeks since my last update. Oopps! I have been working on both EVO Ghost and Zombie Playlist since the last update, so working out the word count is going to be interesting. I haven’t thought to do a word count in these last five weeks, and I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.

Word Count:

On the 13/1/17 my EVO Ghost word count was 27k. I am now at 38.5k. I didn’t check my word count for Zombie Playlist in January, but I am at 12.5k now, so I’d hazard a guess that I have written about 4k in five weeks. EVO Ghost steals more of my attention, so 4k isn’t too bad.

Researching and Note-Taking:

I may not have written more than about 15k in five weeks, but I have been researching various subjects for EVO Ghost and filling my notebook like you would not believe. As I have said before, I don’t write well if I plan too much, but recapping on the first two books, and mapping out chapters I have already written, has been useful.

I rarely make notes for Zombie Playlist. The notebook that I use is mini, and I only seem to use it when I’m on the go and can’t get to my laptop. I write long hand to type up at a later date. I’m sure more note taking will occur, but EVO Ghost takes priority. Sorry, Dagger, but you have to wait your turn!

Busy Bee:

This week has been a particularly bad writing week. I say week, more like ten days. I’ve had a lot on: school craft afternoons, half-term holiday, three parties, family visits, a wedding, a gardening day… It has been never ending. If I really wanted to, I could have written between six and seven in the mornings when my daughter eats breakfast and watches TV, or for a few hours in the evenings once she was in bed, but I simply didn’t want to. I’ve had a nice week reading and watching Netflix and Amazon. I’m catching up on Black Sails, and have now entered the last season of Breaking Bad. Yes, I’m late to hop on the band wagon, but I’m here now. Oh, and I also watched all of Santa Clarita Diet.. and season three of The 100. Not forgetting, I’m up to season two of Peaky Blinders and episode three of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice series. Okay, okay, I’ve watched a lot of TV.

March is the Month:

I have told myself to treat March as a deadline month. I don’t actually have a deadline, or set one for myself, but I would like to write at least 1k words a day, making the most of those early morning hours and evenings where possible. I’m not too fussed if I fall short on the 1k daily goal, as long as I’m actively writing every day. I shall let you know how I get on when I remember to post another update.

Excerpt:

My excerpts shall be short to avoid spoilers.

Zombie Playlist

“There’s a car. Does that mean someone lives here?” King whispers.

“How do I know? I can’t see through bloody walls.”

“Then, we knock.”

I look to him in disbelief. “Season yourself up first. It’s only right if you’re going to serve yourself up as a zombie snack.”

“So, we’re going to break into someone’s house?”

“What are they going to do? Call the police? If you want, you can stay here, and I’ll scout the place.”

He doesn’t take much convincing. His knuckles turn white from gripping the bat, and he sinks further into the grass. “Don’t kill anyone who is alive. Please, Dagger, I mean it.”

“As long as they’re not trying to kill me,” I say, climbing the fence and sprinting to the side of the building with my gun raised.

EVO Ghost

I can’t ask people to fight, Teddie, because I am a sheep in wolf’s clothing. All I can do is try to provide safety- that is my service.”

“Do what you’ve got to do. You’re the one who has to live with yourself and your choices, just don’t judge me on what I have to do, because I have to live with myself too.”

“Although I now see that my campaign was futile, I’m intrigued as to what has changed with you? You would not allow me use your name to further my cause.”

“I’ve found a leader to believe in.”

Grayson lowers his eyes. “Ah, yes, I believe you have. I had to look that man in the eyes today, after betraying him all those years ago. I saw no hate.”

“Rafe isn’t fuelled by hate, but by what’s right.”


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Thrown To The Blue. My review

A huge thanks goes out to Phil Price for his review of Thrown to The Blue. It has made my day. Head on over to check out Phil’s blog and click that little follow button…

Author Phil Price

I started this book last year. However, Christmas and life got in the way for a few weeks. This is my first book review of 2017. And what a way to kick start the year.

Review:

I’d previously read another of the author’s books, curious to see how she would switch genres. I was amazed. KJ Chapman has created a fantasy world on a par with Game of Thrones, intricately detailed. The main protagonists , Ezra and Reed are thrown together by murder and betrayal. Reed is a great character. The shadowy archer who saves Ezra, only to fall for her.

The story moves along easily, moving from land to land. Covens and murky sects litter their pathway, leaving the reader wondering who to trust.
The detail at which the story unfolds is staggering. It’s not just the characters that are described, Chapman has created legends and history from her…

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Resolution Time

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It’s that time of year again. Resolution time. I did this same post last New Year, and I haven’t glanced back on it once, so I decided to have a little gander at my achievements… or fails. And, to be honest, I haven’t done too badly.

Here is my post from 2016. As you can see, I did finish EVO Shift, but rather than finish book three, I wrote and published Thrown to The Blue instead. My Prompt Me side project also came to fruition. Not forgetting, I have over double the amount of lovely blog followers. *Waves hello to new followers and my trusted oldies.*

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However, the bungalow extension is a different story. It is still on going. It started in the spring, then there were all sorts of problems that presented themselves during the build. Work practically stopped for three months, and now we’re back all guns blazing. I never thought we’d be in a building site at Christmas and New Year, but hey ho. What can I do?

snape-shrug

I’ve decided on a much smaller resolutions list this year:

  1. Finish and publish EVO Ghost.

  2. Finish and publish book two in the Indigo Flames series.

  3. Work on my novella.

  4. Complete my Goodreads Reading Challenge.

I’m already well on the way to completing number one and three, so I’m optimistic, and not burdening myself down with too much other stuff is quite refreshing.

What are your goals for 2017? I wish you all the best of luck in your endeavours, and thank you for sticking with me through 2016.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

GIF sourced from giphy.com