Book Reviews

Book Review: What the Dead Fear by Lea Ryan

What the Dead Fear by Lea Ryan 3.5/5

Juniper Townsend died of carbon monoxide poisoning at the ripe, old age of 22.
However, death isn’t the end. In Limbo, she finds a foggy wasteland and strange creatures. She also discovers that during night hours, she can walk among the living. But there are rules. Never influence destiny. Never interfere, because the consequences are dire.
Will she sacrifice eternal freedom to save the innocent?

Review:

An interesting take on the afterlife, or at least a part of the afterlife. Ryan adds characters with interesting dynamics in their personalities. Good and bad are blurred in some respects.

This short story is followed up by a sequel. Some intriguing narrative points are laid in place that should result in a sequel with potential. I just wished this book was a little longer to establish the relationships between the characters a little more fully.


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

Book Review: Virus the Unknown by Larry Finhouse

Virus the Unknown by Larry Finhouse 3/5


Brody had always wanted to live like the rich kids did, with their hot meals and shiny cell phones. Unfortunately, life had other plans for him and his sister Pippa. Struggling to pick up the pieces after their father’s mysterious death and coping with their mother’s drug use and her abominable new boyfriend, the children felt even more removed from hope. In this thrilling debut novella, Brody and Pippa are about to learn to rely on a completely different set of survival mechanisms — a set that would keep them alive while horror, a virus that slowly poisons the human brain, tears apart their small town. Amid the outbreak, tales of fright breed and people begin using the word zombie — something Brody, even though young, thinks is foolish.

Review:

The author plays on the fact that the readers are aware that this is a zombie book. On many occasions he builds the scene for us to believe that the zombie virus will present itself to the kids, but no. In fact, we don’t know/hear much about any infection until much later in the book. The main chunk of story is backstory. Brody and Pippa’s sibling relationship is the driving force.

The narrative doesn’t hold back in brutality and abuse, and it’s shown to us through the eyes of a child and his sister which makes it that much more awful to witness.

I’m not a fan of free books that leave you on a massive cliffhanger to encourage you to then buy the 2nd. This book did just that. At least conclude the narrative to an extent, and trust that your writing ability will spur me on to book 2, not a lack of conclusion.


The 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

Book Review: Write What Sells by Alex Foster

Write What Sells by Alex Foster 3/5

A beginner’s guide to book writing helping you write in categories that sell while finding niche topics that stand out. Focused mainly on nonfiction, many of the tips are valuable for fiction titles, as well. Learn how to:

  • Find categories that are profitable for self-publishers.
  • Research the potential of a book before you commit to writing it.
  • Find niches that will stand out from the competition.
  • Find great ideas to write great books.
  • Publish and use marketing and promotion effectively.

Review:

The title made me shudder a little because I am a true believer of ‘write what you’re passionate about’. Writing to sell books to me is a big no no, and your book will reflect that.

Upon reading, I discovered this book mostly targets non-fiction writers who want to make money selling content based books, mostly of the informative, instructive kind.

If you are one such writer, there are tips and advice for you about categories, niches, and marketing. And… its free.

This is an informative book, just not what I can benefit from.


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

Book Review: How to Make Money Blogging by Bob Lotich

How to Make Money Blogging by Bob Lotich 3/5

Bob Lotich founded ChristianPF.com back in 2007 and after getting laid off in 2008 he took the leap into full-time blogging. Less than a year later he was earning more from his blog than his previous day-job.
While his results are not typical, this book covers all the steps he took to make money from his blog over that two-year period.

Review:

There isn’t anything wrong with this book, it just didn’t offer me anything personally. It covers the basics thoroughly, so if you don’t know the basics, then this is great. I know the basics, and although I blog as a platform for my books and to review, rather than to make my blog my business, I was hoping for some new, innovative ways to grow, even if just a tad.

Basically, time and hard work grows a blog, and eventually, can lead to income, but I’m already aware of that.

However, like I said, this is a good freebie for beginners.


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, Books and Me

ARC Review: Taste the Dark by Nicola Rose

Taste the Dark by Nicola Rose 4/5

39317106Jess

I killed my parents. I didn’t mean to, I don’t think. I can’t really remember.

I can’t remember much from the years that followed either, other than an endless stream of bad decisions, generally involving alcohol, drugs and bad boys. My new job in a new town signified a turning point – time to sort myself out.

What I hadn’t anticipated was the 6ft package of brooding, inked-up perfection who started stalking me. And don’t even mention the equally hot brother crawling under my skin…

They radiate danger, it flows around them like a seductive spell; and danger is my favourite word.

Zac

I was doing a pretty good job at balancing on the fine line between light and dark, blurring the edges and living in the grey. But then dead vampires started piling up around me and the Bael gave me a ticking countdown to fix it.

Now she’s arrived. Four seconds – the moment I saw her – that’s how long it took to know that she’d simultaneously bring heaven and hell to my door. I don’t even know what she is, but I know I crave her.

Falling for a human girl has left me teetering on the verge of collapse. This could be just the ammo my brother needs to nudge me over the edge and into oblivion.

Taste the Dark is out 30-4-18! Preorder your copy here.

Review:

After reading Rose’s novella, Breaking the Gladiator, I had no fears about my liking this novel. The effortless writing style, steamy and dark scenes, and captivating narrative made this book a quick, enthralling read. The paranormal elements were handled with the right dose of darkness and believability.  Vampires have been overdone on the indie scene of late, but a fresh, exciting take on the mythical creatures is always a great find.

I can’t say I particularly liked Jess’ character at first, but her extroverted ways complimented the narrative and made her choices believeable. The love triangle was intriguing for sure. There is a Vampire Diaries vibe to this aspect of the story. It was a case of how dark is too dark in your chosen love interest. Well, I know whose team I’m on.

This is a lengthy read and a little slow moving, but the story is just as important as the romance.

Book two is out soon, so there is no need to twiddle our thumbs waiting for more from Jess and Zac.


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 Hawkweed Prophecy by Irena Brignull

 

The Hawkweed Prophecy by Irena Brignull 3/5

13451099_1200272576690824_694634852_nThe babies were born as the clock struck twelve. A bat fell from the air mid-flight. A silver salmon floated dead to the surface of the river. Snails withered in their shells, moths turned to dust on the night breeze and an owl ate its young. The spell had been cast.

Poppy Hooper has managed to deceive her father into believing that there is nothing mysterious or unnatural about her. He ignores the cats that find her wherever she goes, the spiders that weave beautiful lacy patterns for her, even her eyes – one blue, one green with an extra black dot orbiting the pupil.

Ember Hawkweed is a pitiful excuse for a witch. When the other girls in her coven brew vile potions, Ember makes soap and perfume. Fair and pretty, Ember is more like a chaff than a witch. One of the Hawkweeds will be queen of the witches – but everyone knows it won’t be Ember.

When the two girls meet, Poppy discovers her powers, and finds out the truth. Bound by their unlikely friendship and the boy they both love, the girls try and find their place in the world. But the time of the prophecy draws nearer – and the witches won’t give up the throne without a fight.

Thanks go to Hachette Children’s Group and Netgalley for giving me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Hawkweed Prophecy is due for release on June 16th 2016.

Review:

Poppy and Ember are very different girls, but alike in their loneliness and feeling of isolation within the worlds they grew up in. There is a big secret as to how they happen upon each other, and why they are uncomfortable in their own skins, and that is the basis of the story. This is definitely a teen book that doesn’t quite transend the age range like some great YA/ teen books can do, but Brignull captures teen angst and indentity issues whilst interweaving a tale of witches, spells, and Queens.

Sometimes, the narrative felt a little rushed, and what should have been huge developments are sprung upon the reader. Other times, what I felt to be unimportant aspects were stretched out thin.  Leo’s relationship with both girls was awkward, and there were developments between him and Ember that, as a reader, we discover before the narrative even delves into the story. I can appreciate that Poppy ‘just knows these things’ due to a huge change in her circumstance, but it felt like a lightening bolt to me.

I enjoyed the dysfunctional relationships between the girls and their parents, and the underlying competition between the Hawkweed sisters- Raven especially. The huge secret that Raven has kept for years to benefit her own child, that has now come back to haunt her, was an interesting concept. I did guess the outcome very early on, but it didn’t put me off reading. Perhaps the prologue was a little too revealing.

A good book for young teens that touches on issues of teen angst, family troubles, identity issues, jealousy, relationships, and loneliness, mixed with a hearty dose of believable fantasy.


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: 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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