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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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

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

June Reads Round Up

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ARC Unsanctioned Eyes by Brianna Merritt

unsanctionedeyes-ebookFull Review: Unsanctioned Eyes.

I gave this book 5/5. Quinn is an anti-heroine to root for. Her development over the course of the narrative makes the book what it is. The sub characters are effortlessly woven into her story, and the world building is immersive. Well written thriller with a strong female protag.

ARC The Phoenix Cycle by Bob Collopy

35148208Full Review: The Phoenix Cycle.

I gave this book 3/5. An imaginative, dystopian world that has a Hunger Games vibe about it. The narrative felt a little skittish and would benefit from being streamlined.

 

The King’s General by Daphne Du Maurier

6tag_130617-191352Full Review: The King’s General.

I gave this book 4/5. Du Maurier weaves an atmospheric tale of love, war, misery, and mystery. I cannot fault the writing or the character development, but my lost star is for my dislike of Richard Grenvile. I needed more from him to be able to root for the man.

 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah. J. Maas

6tag_160617-214625.jpgFull Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses.

I gave this book 5/5. Amazing! Why did I not read this sooner. I loved everything about this book: characters, story, background, worldbuilding. Just read it, folks. My review won’t do it justice.

 

Bernie by Brianna West

6tag_190617-110004Full Review: Bernie.

I gave this book 5/5. The loveable cowboy got his own spin off. Whoop! Another great addition to the Guardian’s world. Steamy romance, strong female heroine, and of course, cheeky Bernie. He has always been ‘laugh out loud’ funny, and continues to be in this book.

 

Hell’s Teeth by James Fahy

6tag_130617-135051Full Review: Hell’s Teeth.

I gave this book 5/5. A vampire book that leaves all the stereotypes, cliches, and tropes at the title page. Excellent world building of a dystopian world where Vamps, GOs, and humans live side by side. A humourous MC, and well crafted sub-characters. This could be a TV series. No, seriously, it totally could.

 


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

 

Review: Hell’s Teeth by James Fahy

book-review

Hell’s Teeth by James Fahy 5/5

6tag_130617-135051New Oxford.

A third of the human population has been lost.

The wars came, and they created a monster. The Pale, a subhuman, vampire-like drone. Then they lost control.

In the thirty years that followed, humankind sought to rebuild itself within the walls of New Oxford.

But society had become fractured – humans now lived incongruously among Genetic Others, themselves a group of many subspecies.

The most dangerous of them all: the vampires.

Somehow, these groups have managed a peaceful co-existence under the controlling government influence of the Cabal. But that is all about to change…

When Phoebe Harkness receives a phone call in the middle of the night, things take a turn to the horrifying. Her supervisor at Blue Lab One, a high-security research facility, has gone missing.

And all that is left behind: her teeth.

Dr Harkness now finds herself in a race against time to stop further bloodshed and uncover the mystery behind the victims of this horrific crime. She must navigate the dark underworld of the vampire community, without becoming someone’s prey herself…

But she is not alone – on her side, against all odds, is another vampire. Together they must fight for answers before it’s too late…

Review:

I’m not a huge vampire book fan because it has been done to death. That being said, there is always room to find a book that brings a breath of fresh air to a crowded genre, and for me, Hell’s Teeth was just that. The worldbuilding was brilliantly subtle, even though the dystopian society in which Dr Phoebe Harkness lives is totally out of the norm. The way Fahy sets up the society for Vamps, GO’s and humans to live side by side (kind of) is fascinating and well executed.

The overall tone of the book is what captured me. There’s humour and normality to a post-apocalyptic world that is not typical of the genre. This would make a brilliant TV series… just putting it out there.

Dr Harkness is no swooning damsel, and a level headed, intelligent protag was refreshing to read. Basically, all the stereotypes, cliches, and tropes were left at the title page, and this book took me on a believable adventure into Phoebe Harkness’ world that spins into the dark recesses of New Oxford.

End note: All the Helsings in the house put your hands up. *WAVES FANATICALLY*


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: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah. J. Maas

book-review

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah. J. Maas 5/5

6tag_160617-214625Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

Review:

She hunts to feed her impoverished family, and her skill sees her kill a wolf like no other. Captured by a faerie for the debt she owes for taking a fae life, she is taken to the realm of the fae to spend the rest of her days with her captor. Little does she know why she is really there, why she is treated kindly despite killing a member of the Spring Court, and why her changing feelings toward her captor will see her fighting for her own life and freedom and that of the Spring Court.

Why have I not read this sooner? Seriously, this isn’t just one of my favourite reads this year, but of all time. Big praise, right? The world building is spectacular. I fully believed in Prythian and the fae. The way the land is governed, the animosity with the human realm, and the various creatures, curses, and festivals make for a thrilling read.

The plot was indepth and well written, and the flawed Feyre made for a brilliant heroine. The sub-characters all had vital roles in the narrative, and you root for them as much as you do Feyre. The blossoming relationship was just devine.

Team Tamlin? Team Lucien? Team Rhysand?… Depends what day of the week it is, right? I’m right!

When you’re both excited and scared to read the final one hundred pages it is testament to the story, and I have to admit, my tummy was somersaulting reading the last few chapters. It is glorious to find a book that can do that.

I picked up this book in my library, but now I have to buy all three. If there is one good thing about joining the hype train a little late in the game, it is that the whole series is ready and waiting.

Read this book, folks!


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

ARC Review: Bernie by Brianna West

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Bernie by Brianna West 5/5

6tag_190617-110004Nyla, born and raised in the In-Between realm as the princess of the Spiritum Bellatorum, has been betrothed from birth and forced to conceal the true personality within in order to project herself as nothing but the perfect princess she was taught to be.

When her brother betrays their kind, Nyla acquires an unprecedented mission to find and convince him to come home. Teaming up with the Promiscus Guardians to locate her runaway brother in the mortal realm, Nyla is introduced to the resident comedian and self-proclaimed cowboy Guardian, Bernie.

He is everything she wishes she could be outwardly and she’s instantly intrigued by his happy, easy-going nature. But, like Nyla, Bernie is keeping a part of himself tightly locked away.

What will happen when their barriers start to come down? Will they be able to overcome so many obstacles laid out before them, or will their relationship be torn apart before they have a chance to find something deeper?

Thanks go to the author for giving me an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Review:

I think this might be my new favourite Guardian’s in Love book! After the fabulous Victor and Pavel, I did not think I’d be saying that, but there is something about the cheeky cowboy that draws you in. Bernie’s character has remained true to form throughout the Promiscus Guardians series and the spin offs, and has continued to do so in his own spin off. If anything, Bernie’s endearing side is heightened, and you quickly learn that there is more to the loveable rogue and that Nyla is an extremely lucky girl.

Nyla is the new love interest, but she is so much more: kick-ass Princess who knows what she wants and how to keep Bernie on his toes. West has a knack for writing feminine characters who embrace who they are and stand toe to toe with the brooding hunks.

It’s hard to delve into the story without spoilers, especially if you haven’t read the rest of the series. My advice for paranormal romance fans is to get your copy of Awakening (book one in the Promiscus Guardians series), and work your way through to Bernie’s story. It has to be done!


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 King’s General by Daphne Du Maurier

book-review

The King’s General by Daphne Du Maurier 4/5

6tag_130617-191352Honor Harris is only 18 when she first meets Richard Grenvile, proud, reckless – and utterly captivating. But following a riding accident, Honor must reconcile herself to a life alone. As Richard rises through the ranks of the army, marries and makes enemies, Honor remains true to him, and finally discovers the secret of Menabilly.

 

Review:

Honor Harris looks back on her life from her teens, through the English Civil War, and after. Through her truthful recount of the man who stole her heart, Richard Grenvile, and her life in a wheelchair, she tells a tale of love, mystery, war, and misery.

Du Maurier never fails to create an atmospheric experience for the reader.  I was transported to Cornwall in the 1600’s, and through the eyes of Honor, I had a raw, real recount of the English Civil War.

Once again, the characters are brilliantly constructed. Their lives link beautifully with each other’s, and their personalities are expertly woven in the words. My reason for not rating this 5* is because of my dislike for Richard. Despite his affection toward Honor, I couldn’t find anything to like about the man. He remained true to character, but I like to have a least a small nugget of something worth rooting for. He was rude, arrogant, and had a huge sense of superiority. At least Honor was aware of his flaws and never tried to excuse them.

Another reason for my missing star is that at times the narrative was bogged down with the war and strategies etc. Yes, that was the main narrative running through the book, and yes, the title is The King’s General, but there were chapters that I skimmed because it was mere recount, and not vital to Honor’s story.

In summary, a solid read from Du Maurier with brilliantly written characters, engaging world building, and a glimpse into life for the Cornish during the English Civil War. If you don’t mind an obnoxious character or two, this is the read for you.


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

ARC Review: The Phoenix Cycle by Bob Collopy

book-review

The Phoenix Cycle: The Best Shall Rise by Bob Collopy 3/5

35148208New San Francisco is the last city standing on a world ravaged by storms of ash and debris. The city survived by putting the ideals of the American dream on steroids and inspiring its people to persevere, though they have become ruthless in the process. Its citizens are ruled by the General, who has made sure that his people understand that gentleness and pity have become weaknesses that nature no longer tolerates.

Now Steve and Leslie must choose whether they will apply for the General’s once in a lifetime opportunity to “Rise from the Ashes” and join the Inner Circle that rules the city. If they don’t, they will be damned to spend the rest of their lives in the ghettos of Edingburg, a place where virtual reality has become a government-subsidized addiction.

For Steve, the choice is easy. His loyalties lie with the IRA, a revolutionary army led by a voice only known as “Mom.” They are trying to overthrow the General and free the people of New San Francisco from the cruelties of the City Guard. Steve’s mission is to broadcast a recording of a speech that a famous philosopher died to tell. Many thousands have and will perish to get this message out, but is anyone willing to listen?

Thank you to the author who gave me an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

This book is due for release on 23rd June 2017. 

Review:

An imaginative, dystopian novel that doesn’t shy away from the brutality of a post apocalyptic world, and clings to the us and them concept.

The narrative could have been streamlined a little more. There were times when my brain was playing catch up, although the pace wasn’t that fast. The male protag had motivation and led an intriguing life that kept the pages turning. I would have liked more character development, but the flitting between Steve’s POV, broadcasts, and the journal entries took away from that little. However, there were characters to root for.

Fans who liked the Hunger Games trilogy would probably enjoy this novel. The Inner Circle and the Phoenix Cyclers idea lends itself to the eat or be eaten concept.


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