Book Reviews

Review: White Sand (A Graphic Novel) by Brandon Sanderson

White Sand (Book One) by Brandon Sanderson 4/5

13319000_1189258764458872_1307598477_nA brand new saga of magic and adventure by #1 New York Times best-selling author Brandon Sanderson. On the planet of Taldain, the legendary Sand Masters harness arcane powers to manipulate sand in spectacular ways. But when they are slaughtered in a sinister conspiracy, the weakest of their number, Kenton, believes himself to be the only survivor. With enemies closing in on all sides, Kenton forges an unlikely partnership with Khriss — a mysterious Darksider who hides secrets of her own. White Sand brings to life a crucial, unpublished part of Brandon Sanderson’s sprawling Cosmere universe. The story has been adapted by Rik Hoskin (Mercy Thompson), with art by Julius Gopez and colors by Ross Campbell. Employing powerful imagery and Sanderson’s celebrated approach to magical systems, White Sand is a spectacular new saga for lovers of fantasy and adventure.

Review:

Thanks go to Diamond Book Distributers and Netgalley for offering me a free copy of this graphic novel in exchange for my honest opinion.

I didn’t not like this book. That is a weird start to a review, right? But I’ve never picked up a graphic novel before, and I had many people telling me that it wouldn’t be my thing, and that it is a niche audience- blah blah blah. Well, my review just goes to show that story always prevails. I’m glad this was my first taste of a graphic novel, otherwise I may not have been open to reading any more.

I’m a HUGE fan of Brandon Sanderson, and yet again his world building skills, inventive story lines, and imaginative creation of fantasy/ sci-fi races, creatures, powers has me in awe. I’m doubley impressed with the fact that he can create a detailed, engaging story in such few words.

It did take me a while to find my swing when reading, but once I got into the story and the imagery, and learnt how things progressed, I finished the entire thing in mere hours. I’d recommend this to fantasy fans, and/or Brandon Sanderson fans who may not have thought to pick up a graphic novel.


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.

Book Reviews

Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho 3/5

6tag_090516-103939Blurb: Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.

Review:

I went into this read with high expectations. Many people have recommended it to me, but I was also aware of the many who detested it. I think that’s part and parcel of a bestseller, right? I like to judge for myself, so I got myself a copy.

What side am I on? Well… I liked it. It was well written, the prose beautiful, but the story was slow. I know, I know, the narrative is full of statement, life lessons, and an overriding message to ‘follow your dreams/destiny’, but it was preachy.

I wasn’t interested in the religious side of the narrative, but liked that Coelho managed to write it like a long fable, quoting tales and adding metaphors to get his point across. The morals could be applied whether you are religious, spiritual, or other.

The ending was rounded, and Santiago had travelled full circle with his personality and wisdom following suit. I would have liked to have seen him reunited with Fatima, but the narrative suggests all along that if he follows his heart he’ll get to where he needs to be.


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.

Book Reviews

Review: Girl of Myth and Legend by Giselle Simlett

Girl of Myth and Legend by Giselle Simlett 3.5/5

6tag_090516-164018Blurb: Leonie Woodville wants to live an unremarkable life. She wants routine, she wants repetition, she wants predictability. So when she explodes in a blaze of light one morning on the way to her college, it’s enough to put a real crimp in her day.

And things only get weirder…

Leonie learns from her father that she is last of the Pulsar, a phenomenally powerful member of a magical species called the Chosen. It will be her sole duty to protect the Imperium, a governing hierarchy, from all enemies, and to exceed the reputation of the Pulsar before her. So – no pressure there, then.

Leonie is swept away from her rigorous normality and taken to a world of magic. There, she is forced into a ceremony to join her soul to a guardian, Korren, who is both incredibly handsome and intensely troubled, a relationship for which ‘it’s complicated’ just really doesn’t cut it.

But Leonie is soon to learn that this ancient world is no paradise. With violent dissidents intent to overthrow the Imperium, and dark entities with their own agenda, she and Korren find themselves caught in a war where they will have to overcome their differences if they are to survive.

Dare to dream. Dare to hope. Dare to be a legend.

Review:

Thanks go to WWS Publishing Limited and Netgalley for offering me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Okay, so the ‘chosen one’ YA trope is pretty much the basis of the story, but did I like the concept? Yes! I was drawn in to the world building, magic, and the relationship between Leonie, a newly awakened Pulsar, the first to be born in many years, and Korren, a Kytaen who is soul-bound to Leonie as her protector.

The narrative was captivating, and understanding the politics, landscape, and magic of Duwyn was fun. Simlett describes people, religions, and the land itself in detail, and I fully grasped at Duwyn being in a different realm from Earth.

The dialogue, however, felt a little stilted, and sometimes unnecessary. I like dialogue heavy novels, but if I ‘notice’ the dialogue, it feels wrong to me. Also, the relationship between Leonie and her Dad was a little strange to say the least. Backstory is offered, but the sarcastic, sometimes rude girl from the beginning of the story contradicted the caring girl with words beyond her years throughout the rest.

Korren’s character developed well, and stayed true to self, only changing when something of significance spurred the said change. I find his character is what makes me want to read book two, and I’m so glad the POV switched between Leoni and Korren, so we knew what both were thinking.


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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Book Reviews

Review: Diary of Anna the Girl Witch by Max Candee

Diary of Anna the Girl Witch by Max Candee 4/5

6tag_100516-120113Blurb: What do you do when you discover you’re a witch… And that using your new powers destroys your soul a little each time?

Set in the Swiss countryside, this story blends ancient folklore with a coming of age tale about a young witch on the brink of womanhood. Anna Sophia has always known she was different. She didn’t know just how different until now.

On the eve of her 13th birthday — in the orphanage where she’s spent most of her childhood — Anna wonders about her past. She never knew her parents, doesn’t even know where she came from. All she has to go by is an unbelievable fairy tale her uncle used to tell: that she was found as a baby, tucked among a pack of bear cubs in the wilds of Russia.

To make matters even more complex, Anna has discovered that she can see and do things that no one else can. So far, she’s kept her powers a secret, and they remain strange and frightening even to her.

It’s only when Anna receives a letter from her mother — a mother she will never meet — that she discovers some of the truths about her past, and begins to uncover the possibilities in her future. As Anna continues to learn more about her secret abilities, she finds out that her neighbors are hiding something of their own: a plot to harm Anna and her friends.

Can Anna Sophia use her newfound supernatural powers to stop them? Can she fight back, without endangering her own soul? And maybe, just maybe, is her own secret tied up with theirs?

Through a story of otherworldly magic, Anna Sophia finds a sense of real-world belonging. With its cast of strong characters, inventive setting, and engaging storyline, this fantasy adventure is a relevant novel for middle grade children or young adults.

Review:

With thanks to Helvetic House and Netgalley for offering me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

This is the first children’s book I have reviewed on my blog, and I was pleasantly surprised with how the narrative drew me in. I had to keep in mind that the book was aimed at children/ young teens, but that being said, it was an innovative tale that I’m sure many parents would be happy to read to their children- that is if their kids don’t think storytime is uncool *hehe*.

The narrative has dark undertones and impresses morals upon the reader. Anna Sophia learns that she is a witch, and that her magic has two sides- light and dark. If she uses her magic to harm or for ‘bad’, then she loses a little bit of her soul. She has to use initiative to ensure she only uses good magic, or she may start becoming like an evil relative she has only recently learnt existed.

There are dark chapters and incredibly sinister adults, even wicked policemen, but good always triumphs over evil, and that’s an important ethic woven into the narrative. Anna Sophia’s character is typical for a thirteen year old girl, and I feel the author had her face her trials and hardship in a relatable way for children and young teens.

Squire was a funny little character- a hand that becomes animated when heated by flames. I couldn’t help but think of Thing from the Addams Family. I’m showing my age now, but I like that Thing has had a bit of an upgrade for the younger generations.

My own daughter is a little too young to appreciate this book, but I won’t hesitate to recommmend it to her when she’s older. The ending is open for a second book, and is set to be a good one.


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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100% K.J Chapman, Book Reviews, Books and Me, EVO Ghost, EVO Shift, Writing and Me

Getting Those Reviews

4evo-shift-jpegOver the last three days, I have been corresponding with book bloggers, reviewers, and book tubers in regards to my eBooks: EVO Nation and EVO Shift. I’ve had a great response, and have been emailing out PDF copies all morning! Thank you to those who have requested copies of one or both books, and I hope you enjoy the read.

I’m still sending out copies in exchange for blog/ goodreads reviews, so holler if you’re interested.

 

5 Reasons Why You Should Send Out Free Copies:

  1. People love a freebie, and if you’re asking for something in exchange, ie a review, it’s common curtesy to offer a copy for free.
  2. Reviews sell books. It’s a catch 22. To sell books you need reviews, but to get reviews you have to sell books. Offering free copies boosts your reviews and recognition.
  3. Your book gets more visibility on various social media/ blog platforms.
  4. Readers listen to book bloggers, booktubers, and influencial reviewers. It is what it is. Some readers will only scour blogs and review sites for their next read. If you get your book featured, then your book is on the radar.
  5. Networking. You can build up a rapport with some bloggers/ reviewers and have a large contact list for future releases.

Nine times out of ten, the reviewers are cheerleaders, encouragers, and great supporters. It’s great fun to get to know everybody in the reading and writing field.

Book Reviews

Review: The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs by Damon Galgut

The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs by Damon Galgut 3.5/5

Blurb: A year ago Patrick Winter was in Namibia completing his military service. Now, during the first free elections, Patrick has returned to the country he defended; the place where he fell in love for the first and only time. With the country poised to change forever, Patrick is forced to revisit his past and scale the wall that he has built around his painful memories of love and war, and loss.

Review:

Patrick is a white South African who had been drafted into the South African army to fight at the border of Namibia in the 1980’s; a war he never believed in. He had a breakdown after a soldier he loved was killed in combat, and now, after an honourable discharge, he has to start his life again with sexual orientation confusion, a promiscuous mother, and her Namibian, SWAPO activist lover. The narrative shows Patrick’s struggle with his identity, whilst highlighting an important historical moment in Africa.

The story starts with Patrick and his mother heading to Namibia for the first democratic elections, and jumps from present time to his time in the war. The writing is beautiful and controlled. I was continuously in awe of Galgut’s simplistic, yet impactual descriptions and prose.

‘Maybe somewhere in space light has preserved the image of that moment, suspended and infinite.’

The dialogue was on point throughout the whole novel, recounted in Patrick’s slightly detached POV.

“Have you ever been in love?”

“Yes. Once. I think so. I’m not sure.”

“You never told me about it.”

“I don’t think I knew at the time.”

The ending was anti-climatic, and kind of just…was an end, if that makes sense. I was hoping for more of a climax or pivotal moment for Patrick, but that didn’t take away from the story.


 

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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