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

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

Blog Tour: Resurrection by Brianna West

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Today, I am happy to host Brianna West on Writerly Bookish Stuff as part of the blog tour for her upcoming, April 28th release of Resurrection. Resurrection is the fourth and final book in the Promiscus Guardians series and is available to pre-order from Amazon. If you are a paranormal romance fan, then this is the series for you.

51y23vyVFNL._SY346_Izzy is back again after managing to survive villain after villain, and now she’s got her eyes on the prize—Mother Dearest. But her world takes a turn when she discovers something that might make her think twice about her usual reckless guns-blazing style.

And when a new evil villain joins forces with Mother Dearest, Izzy and Lucas are forced to partner with someone quite unlikely and a little too close to the villain they’re after.

With the final battle looming and a host of new problems, will Izzy and Lucas find a way to survive, or will the odds be too much and overcome them?

Find out in Izzy’s final kick-ass fight against the Dark, Resurrection.

Brianna West has given us a conclusion to Izzy and Lucas’ story, and what a conclusion it is. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Resurrection. I devoured it much like the rest of the series. Find my review here.

So, without further ado, let me tease you a little…

Resurrection Teaser_1_1

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Release Event and Giveaways Link: Facebook Event

Buy Links:

Amazon US: Preorder here!

Amazon UK: Preorder here!

Find more ARC reviews here: Goodreads

Good luck with the upcoming release, Brianna!


71zctz9teal-_ux250_Find Brianna:

 


For use of Resurrection related content, please contact the author, Brianna West.

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Indie Book Advent #8

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Day 8 of my Indie Book Advent features L.M. Bryski’s Book of Birds.

41fslX0OMeL.jpgIn post-war Canada during the late 1940s, Elly McGuinty and her younger sister, Dot, are newly orphaned. The girls are sent to live with their grandparents in a small prairie town. Still grieving the loss of her parents, Elly chafes at the responsibility of helping care for Dot and struggles to find a place for herself in her new life. When a travelling circus comes to town, Elly’s desire for new experiences leads her, Dot, and new friend Stammer – a shy boy mocked for his halting voice – down a path where lives are altered forever.

Where to Find Bryski and her book:

Amazon

Goodreads

Twitter

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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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Review: Pretty Dead by Francesca Lia Block

Pretty Dead by Francesca Lia Block 4/5

Blurb:

People pity me, but mostly they feel envy. I have all the luxury and freedom a girl my age could want.

Something is happening to Charlotte Emerson. Like the fires that are ravaging the hills of Los Angeles, it consumes her from the inside out. But whether it is her eternal loneliness, the memory of her brother, the return of her first love, or the brooding, magnetic Jared—she cannot say. What if it’s something more . . .

Something to do with the sudden tear in her perfect nails. The heat she feels when she’s with Jared. The blood rushing once again to her cheeks and throughout her veins.

For Charlotte is a vampire, witness to almost a century’s worth of death and destruction. But not since she was a human girl has mortality touched her.

In what way will you be transformed?

Until now.

Review:

‘Not another Vampire book,‘ I hear you cry. Well, yes and no: It is another vampire book, but minus the boring, unoriginal romance, damsel in need of saving, and blood hungry action. I was pleasantly surprised when I started this book. The narrative was from the perspective of Charlotte- beautiful vamp, wishing she was mortal. Charlotte was believable as a character, and expressed true concerns, lusts, and needs.

The main characters: Charlotte and Jared had an intriguing romance, built on unstable foundations, yet I rooted for the pair of them. Block writes engaging, dysfunctional, beautifully flawed characters. I loved how the relationship played out. The ending was perfectly unperfect. (That won’t make sense until you read it).

Back story played an important part in this story, and added to Charlotte’s wish for mortality. Her maker, her brother, and her best friend whether dead or alive, play vital roles in her desire to die, or at least live an ordinary, finite, human life.

The writing was elegant and mesmerising. Such beautiful prose from a talented writer. There wasn’t big action scenes, nor did the narrative require it. The wonderful descriptions and the well developed character arcs kept the pages turning. It was Charlotte’s personal story and remained true to her until the end.


 

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 Three Title & Cover Reveal

The time has come to reveal the title for my third and final book in the EVO Nation Series. This title came to me much easier than the last two. Deep down, I always knew it would be called this, but I didn’t want to set it in stone until I was 100%. I had a moment whilst writing, when the title linked in beautifully with the narrative, and I couldn’t avoid it any longer.

First, there was EVO Nation:

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Then, there was EVO Shift:

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Now, there is… *drumroll*…

EVO Ghost

EVOGHOST

The third and final installment has a name! It is much nicer to reference an actual title than saying ‘book three’. Those of you who have read EVO Shift will understand the importance of this title by the ending of book two.


Images and written works are the property of K.J.Chapman

EVO Shift Editing Update #3

giphyphewIt has been three days of hard slogging, but the second read through has been a success. The changes made in stage #1 of editing flow well and tie up all the loose ends. I am more than a little relieved. There was quite a bit of tying off that needed to be done and I kept all apendages crossed that it wouldn’t affect the narrative in an adverse way, but I’m happy to say- phew!

Stage #2 consisted of polishing narrative, and more importantly adding a few scenes to flesh out certain plot points. Those scenes have been added, and edited, and are sitting pretty.

6tag_290116-140120As you can just about see in the picture, I changed the font and colour to give myself a fresh perspective. I went for a red this time, and highlighted with a dark blue. It really helped me see it through new eyes. I would suggest trying this if you edit on screen and find you’re missing mistakes etc.

So, what are my processes for Stage #3?

Stage #3 is… yep, you guessed it, the third read through. This read through is to catch anything I may have missed. I have already sent a copy to my friend/ proof reader for any glaring mistakes that they may see.

Again, I will change the font and colour. I will reiterate how well this works for me. Once I am happy with stage #3 and have feedback from my proof-reader, then I will send out my advanced reader copies. This shouldn’t be long at all.

Stage #4= formatting. This is tedious, and time consuming, and makes me go cross-eyed, but it is a necessity for ebooks. I will go into this in a little more detail once Stage #3 is completed.

I shall leave you with another excerpt because I’m in a sharing mood:

The tantrum was fruitless. It did nothing other than tire me, and leave my knuckles swollen and split. I pace. It’s all I can do to stop me going insane. I’ve run over every possible escape scenario, but I can’t pull anything off with the cuff on my wrist. I scream in frustration as I move from the window to the door from the window to the door.


GIF sourced from GIPHY.COM

Image & written works are the property of K.J.Chapman

 

 

My Favourite Page in My Favourite Book

I have many, many, many favourite books, and many, many, many favourite sentences, chapters, descriptions, dialogues etc, but there is one that affects me every time I read it.

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For some reason, I have three copies of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, but I won’t give them away just in case something terrible happens to my go to copy. I think I would palpitate if I didn’t have a copy at hand, so three it is. I have read Jane Eyre more times than I can count, and each time I get a giddy feeling when I know I’m about to reach my favourite page. In my go to copy, it is page 302.

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Read it for yourself and tell me it isn’t the perfect surmise of love:

“Because,” he said, “I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you – especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous Channel, and two hundred miles or so of land come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I’ve a nervous notion I shall take to bleeding inwardly. As for you- you’d forget me.”

“That I never should, sir: you know-” Impossible to proceed.

Does that not give you a fizzy tummy? I’ve come over all goose-pimpled again; the sign of a brilliant book and author.

I just wanted to share one last thing with you- my Christmas pressie from a few years ago that was handmade by my best friend. She rescued a copy of Jane Eyre from the rubbish bin, and put it to amazing use.

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Now, isn’t that a beauty to behold? All the most poignant lines, and my favourite paragraph is included in this, and it is made all the better knowing that I can still get joy out of a book that would have otherwise ended up in the bin.

Do you have a favourite book, or line of dialogue, chapter, paragraph etc? I would like to hear your stories.


 

All images are the property of K.J.Chapman

What’s Your Name? Letter A

writing-exercise

Yesterday, I posted about a new blog post idea that shall last for the next 26 weeks. A writing exercise using one randomly picked name from the first page of each letter in my tatty, but much loved naming book. I shall use the name meaning to spur a story into life.

The first name I chose from the first page of the A section of my naming book is… Abbie.

Abbie is a diminutive form of Abigail. Abigail means ‘my father’s joy’ or ‘hand maid’ in Hebrew.

Abbie

My first memory is of my Dad. There is snow, there is my Dad’s smiling face, my hands ache from the cold, and there is a shadow of a woman stretching out over our snow angels. That shadow was my mother’s. Dad told me that was the day before she left us. I have no memory of her face. I’ve seen pictures, but pictures are not the same as a true recollection. I became motherless at three years old, but I gained much more in my relationship with my father. He was my hero, and I was his pride and joy.

My second memory is of waffles. The day after my mother left, Dad made a mountain of the things. Every year on the anniversary of her abandonment, he’d make waffles. Possibly an attempt to lessen the blow. After a few years, it wasn’t about her anymore, and became our Sunday ritual.

When Dad died I was eighteen. Everyone has a moment in their life when the bottom falls out of their world. That was my moment. I was torn between needing him with me and wanting him to be at peace and free from pain. I went on with my half life as an orphan, not letting anyone in, not wanting another ‘moment’ ever again.

Then she turned up. Geri. A rapping on the door woke me in the early hours. I didn’t recognise the tanned, cropped haired woman stood in skinny jeans and a leather jacket. Fancy having to introduce yourself to your own child?

“I’m your Mum,” she said.

“My mother is dead.”

She half smiles. “Is that what he told you?”

“No, that’s what I told myself. Get the hell off of my property and slither back under the rock you crawled out from. You are a ghost.” I slammed the door in her face, climbed back into bed, and slept soundly for the rest of the night.

The next morning she was back again, only this time she had brought me something- a child.  A waif of a girl with long, blonde hair, blue eyes, and scuffed knees. She looked just like I did as a child. The girl had nothing but a backpack and a scared look on her face.

“This is your sister,”she said, pulling the girl forward. The girl looked at me through a gap in her fringe. “Well, say hello,” Geri snapped at her.

“Hello,” said a tiny, vulnerable voice.

“I’m Lucy. What’s your name?”

“Abbie.”

“Okay, Abbie, do you want to go inside for a minute while I speak to your Mum in private?” Abbie warily stepped through the door and disappeared down the hall.

I turned to Geri with venom on my tongue. “What is all this about?” She was already getting back in her car. “Hey, I’m talking to you. Where the hell do you think you are going?”

“I know you won’t let her get sucked into the system. There are forms in her bag, and here’s the number for my solicitor, so you can apply for custodial rights.” She chucked a card out of the window and it landed in the dirt at my feet. “I know you’ll do the right thing.”

I watched her speed off down the street, a sweat trickling down my spine. What do I do? I’m too young to raise a child. Will Geri be back? A million thoughts ran through my head in a millisecond.

Abbie appeared beside me. “Is she gone?”

At least when Geri left me I had Dad. Abbie had no one. Correction- she had me. I wouldn’t let Geri scar my sister anymore than she had already. “Yes, Sweetie, but I promise to look after you, okay?”

Abbie’s solemn face cracked into a smile. “Pinky promise?”

I link my baby finger with hers. “Pinky promise. Right, you look hungry.” She nods. “How about waffles?”


All written works are the property of K.J.Chapman

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