Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: Crescent Moon by James Fahy

book review

Crescent Moon (Phoebe Harkness #2) by James Fahy 5/5

30628688What do you do when your world is turned upside down? When you discover your father had a direct hand in the genocide of much of the world’s human population?

Phoebe Harkness’ life has changed forever. Thirty years after a cataclysmic world war that eviscerated one third of the human population, a new sub-species of vampire-like drones has set its teeth to the survivors of humanity. They’re not the only ones: ‘Genetic Others’ such as vampires, werewolves and more roam the streets of New Oxford, trying – and sometimes failing – to live peacefully amongst humankind.

But that is all about to change.

A spate of serial killings have occurred, rocking the already fragile ecosystem of New Oxford. Brutal murders and mutilation are now commonplace.

Phoebe must get to work. She is named as liaison between the Genetic Others and the Cabal, the ruling order of the walled city. She must negotiate with the Tribals, a subset of werewolves cast aside by the cultural hegemony of the Cabal. But before she can make any progress with the Tribal leader, Kane, she learns of more murders – and three missing students. And Kane’s daughter is among the missing…

One of the victims leaves a message in blood: ‘Crescent Moon’.

Now Phoebe must act urgently with the help of Kane and her former paramour, vampire Allesandro to track down the culprit of these horrific killings. But who is conducting all of these strange happenings behind the scenes? And what does it have to do with the Crescent Moon…?

Review:

Now, I have some decisions to make. Whose team am I on? After book one, I declared I was a Helsing, but what is the equivalent for Tribals? Alessandro or Kane, hmmmm? Do I even have to choose.

Okay, back to the review.

Crescent Moon certainly lived up to Hell’s Teeth. The characters and relationships that were already established in book one, grow in depth in book two. The introduction of Kane and the Tribals offered a whole other dynamic to Phoebe’s world in New Oxford.

Phoebe is still out of her depth and thrust into life threatening situations by Cabal despite her ‘condition’ that is growing worse by the day. I’m glad to see she still has her sense of humour. My new favourite character is Chase Pargate. I loved his distinctive voice. Finding out who he was/ how he was kept the pages turning. In fact, all the subplots and back story are excellently woven into the main narrative to keep us guessing until the end.

As many questions are posed as are answered. I shall just sit here eagerly awaiting book three.


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, Books and Me

Review: Awaken by G.R. Thomas

book review

Awaken by G.R. Thomas 4/5

27822669.jpgSOME PEOPLE AREN’T DESTINED TO BE ORDINARY.
With a special gift held close to her heart, it was always going to be hard for Sophia Woodville to live an ordinary life.
As a 20 year old nursing grad, she thought she had her future all sorted.
However, destiny was about to intervene.
Her secret was not so secret. The gift she possessed was just a hint of something far beyond her wildest imagination.
Sophia will be pulled, kicking and screaming, into an unseen, ancient world that challenges all that she thought to be true of herself, her family and the origins of humanity.
Original sin, forbidden love and her life in constant danger.
Will Sophia survive this dark twist of fate?
Will the devil be her saviour?
Will an Angel be her downfall?

Review:

This book definitely has a lot of religious and mythical subtext, but Thomas has taken these elements and worked them into a unique, fantasy story of angels, satans, and higher beings. Don’t worry if you shy away from books with religious tones, as this is definitely a fantasy. However, Sophia’s story really does make you question what is out there.

There is a wealth of interesting characters and beings, and the world building is well researched and woven into the narrative. Sophia is a relatable character, thrust into a strange world where she is of most importance. A few times, I did question Sophia’s naivety and the way she didn’t want to hear the truth at first. I guess that’s because I’m the opposite character and wouldn’t be satisfied until I knew everything and anything of relevance as soon as the need arose.

The book felt very lengthy and this is partly down to the slow pace at the beginning laced with lots of info dumps, but once you are into the story, the narrative flows faster and the action picks up.


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

Author Interviews, Books and Me, new release

Blog Tour: Wardens of Archos by Sarina Langer

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Today, Sarina Langer is stopping by Writerly Bookish Stuff on her blog tour for her new release, Wardens of Archos. I had the pleasure of reading an ARC of book two in the Relics of Ar’Zac series, and what a sequel it was! There is also a HUGE announcement in this post. SQUEEE! I’m thrilled to be able to share it with you on Writerly Bookish Stuff!

36184683Once a despised street rat, now the reigning queen of Rifarne, Rachael is at the centre of everyone’s attention. All she wants is a few peaceful moments to herself—

but her kingdom has other plans.

The Tramuran ambassador unnerves her.

The Krymistian lady is hiding something.

A Mist Woman brings her a gift, and a warning: Aeron’s death has released the Dark One’s shades into the world. And Rachael, as the only living seer in existence, is the only one who can stop him before he destroys everything she’s beginning to cherish. But can Rachael trust the Mist Woman, or is Kaida just another sorceress playing with her life?

There’s a chance that answers are hidden beneath the ancient Krymistian ruins of Archos.

If only she could be sure that her nightmares of Cephy are just that, and not something darker…

Rachael is running out of time. The shadows are coming, and their claws are reaching for her.

Get your copy here: Amazon

Check it out on Goodreads here: Goodreads

I wanted to know a little more about Sarina’s journey from book one to book two, and I’m sure you do too. Guess what? I threw some questions Sarina’s way, and she is here to answer them today.

Congratulations on the release of book two in the Relics of Ar’Zac series. How does it feel to have two books out in the wild?

Pretty good, Kay. Pretty good.
I’m excited and nervous and scared to see what the first reviews made of it, so I’m feeling all the things, but it feels even stranger that I’ll be writing Book 3 in this trilogy next month. This time next year this whole trilogy might be over! I’m so relieved to have reached this point with Wardens – there was a point during the second monster edit where the work seemed never-ending – but that my first trilogy might well be over in another year is what really awes me. I’ll have written and published a whole trilogy. Me! A WHOLE TRILOGY!

You hear writers speak of ‘second book syndrome’. Did you experience this at all? Was the sequel harder to write than book one?

The opposite was true for this one, actually! I had no idea what I was doing when I wrote Sparrows (I expect this will still be true to some extent when I die aged 120 on some beautiful distant planet (science in the future is advanced, okay?) but I learned so much doing it, and I put all that new knowledge into Wardens. By the time I edited Wardens, I’d written the first draft of Darkened Light which I think is my strongest one yet, so everything I learned doing that went into editing Wardens. I’ve put a lot into it and I already knew a few things that needed to happen from Book 1, like advancing Cale and Rachael’s relationship.

What has been the best experience during your Wardens of Archos journey?

Hmmm, this is difficult. I’d say the #bookstagram community has been the most enjoyable part for me, I swoon every time I see a picture of my book. That’s closely followed by the feedback my critique partners and editor gave me during the developmental round. Edits are tough, all the more so on your own books, but their feedback made me realise that I had something good, and they helped me shape it further. It wouldn’t be the same book without them.

Will you share a teaser from book two, Wardens of Archos?

Gladly! This is one of my favourite scenes. Kaida explains the Midokan creation myth to Rachael:

  “Legend claims that, a long time ago when the world was new, magic was in all things. But there was an abundance of it, and it leaked out of nature, for the world could not hold it. This leak created beings strong enough to hold that much power, and it gave them wings so they could watch over the world like no other.”

   Rachael frowned. “You believe in dragons?”

   “Of course not. Dragons went extinct a long time ago, but this is only a legend, remember? Who can say how much truth it holds.”

   Rachael doubted it held any, but didn’t want to interrupt further. Ridiculous as the legend sounded, she became more interested in it the more Kaida told her.

   “The leak supplied the dragons with too much power, and some became greedy. They sucked the magic out of all things until there was nothing left, and nature shrivelled and died. But not all dragons craved more. They fought those who did, and a fierce battle raged for many years. Many dragons died. Those who were content with what they had outnumbered those who wanted more, and finally, after seven hundred years, the last greedy dragon was slaughtered.

   “Their magic leaked out of their bodies once more, and returned to the world. Where the soil had dried up before rivers now ran clear, and where the ground had died new life sprang forth. Eventually, people evolved from the magic that had returned to the world, and therefore everyone holds at least a small amount of the gift inside them. While not all wish to use it, or know how to, magic is in all of us. The dragons fought for peace, and equality. That is what we believe and what we wish to achieve.”

What do you have in store for the future? Is book three in the pipeline?

Book 3 will be a NaNo baby. I participated for the first time last year and loved it so much I had to come back! I’m even hosting prep sessions on my blog this month! I’m hoping to have the first draft finished by the time I go on a long, tea-filled break in December. Then in January, I’ll be writing the prequel novella. There’s just so much history I can’t explain in the trilogy, like why the old sorcerers destroyed their home and all knowledge with it. I’m hoping to publish both late 2018, but at some point before that I’ll be writing the sequel to Darkened Light. And of course I’ll be publishing Darkened Light in Spring.

I haven’t shared this with anyone yet, but since I’ll need to name my NaNo project soon anyway, there’s really no need to keep it a secret – Book 3 will be called (drum roll, please, if you would)…

drumroll1

Blood of the Dragon

Thank you so much for having me, Kay! It’s always a pleasure to stop by.

It is always a pleasure to have you. A huge congratulations on the release of Wardens of Archos, and I shall be seeing you again tomorrow for your guest post on bullet journals. I can’t wait!


Author PictureSarina is the author of the Relics of Ar’Zac trilogy. The first book in the series, Rise of the Sparrows, was released in late May 2016. She’s currently working on the sequel and a new fantasy duology.

She’s obsessed with books and all things stationery, has a proud collection of over twenty notebooks, and squees every time she buys a new notebook, pens (hmmm, fountain pens <3) or highlighters.

In her free time she reads fantasy and sci-fi novels, plays video games, and researches human sacrifice traditions and the end of the universe.

Where to find Sarina & her books:

Website & Blog

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

LinkedIn

Goodreads

Pinterest

Newsletter


For use of content in this post, permissio0n must be sought from the author, Sarina Langer

 

 

 

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Book Reviews, Books and Me

ARC Review: Wardens of Archos by Sarina Langer

book-review

Wardens of Archos (Relics of Ar’Zac #2)  by Sarina Langer 4.5/5

6tag_081017-065905Once a despised street rat, now the reigning queen of Rifarne, Rachael is at the centre of everyone’s attention. All she wants is a few peaceful moments to herself—

but her kingdom has other plans.

The Tramuran ambassador unnerves her.

The Krymistian lady is hiding something.

A Mist Woman brings her a gift, and a warning: Aeron’s death has released the Dark One’s shades into the world. And Rachael, as the only living seer in existence, is the only one who can stop him before he destroys everything she’s beginning to cherish. But can Rachael trust the Mist Woman, or is Kaida just another sorceress playing with her life?

There’s a chance that answers are hidden beneath the ancient Krymistian ruins of Archos.

If only she could be sure that her nightmares of Cephy are just that, and not something darker…

Rachael is running out of time. The shadows are coming, and their claws are reaching for her.

Thank you to the author for providing me with an ARC copy.

Review:

Langer is back with a bang. I have been patiently anticipating book two after devouring book one. Rachael finds herself dealing with her new role as queen, assassins, prophecy, dark magic, and awkwardness with Cale. I loved the awkwardness, it only heightened my need for them to grow and strengthen their relationship in the long run. I was a sucker for their relationship dynamic in book one, and book two played on that beautifully.

The world building is brilliant, and Langer’s writing style is incredibly visual. I could easily picture battles, the differing Kingdoms, and most importantly, those relentless Mothers. I was not left wanting in all things fantastical.

The relationship dynamics between Rachael and the sub characters were fresh and raw. Not knowing who to trust, following her gut, and developing friendships despite her self-doubt added more depth to the narrative. Kaida was a fast favourite of mine, despite Rachael’s frequent misgivings. I’m also intrigued by Reeve. More from him in book three, please.

There was a little repetition toward the start of the book, but I understand the purpose was to bring elements of book one forward to refresh the reader’s memory. The ending was brilliantly paced, and I was highly impressed with the revelation that I didn’t see coming, but upon looking back, I realised the clues were there all along.


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

EVO Nation: Book One, Thrown to The Blue

Giveaway!!!

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I am currently holding a giveaway on my Facebook page. Three winners will win ecopies, sent direct to their Kindles, of both EVO Nation and Thrown to The Blue. That’s right! THREE winners!

You can find the giveaway and entry terms here.

Check out some reviews:

EVO Nation: Goodreads Reviews.

Thrown to The Blue: Goodreads Reviews.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

book-review

The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3) by Brandon Sanderson 5/5

16780461_1433774133340666_2063343453_nTricked into releasing the evil spirit Ruin while attempting to close the Well of Ascension, new emperor Elend Venture and his wife, the assassin Vin, are now hard-pressed to save the world.This adventure brings the Mistborn epic fantasy trilogy to a dramatic and surprising climax as Sanderson’s saga offers complex characters and a compelling plot, asking hard questions about loyalty, faith and responsibility.

Review:

By now, you all know what I think of Sanderson- master storyteller and narrative God! Yet, again he hasn’t failed to disappoint. What a conclusion. What a gut wrenching, heart breaking, euphoric, awe inspiring, way to end a series. Damn you, Sanderson. You both enthrall me and break my heart. There were times when I wanted to put the book in the freezer. We’ve all been there.

I can’t talk about this book without reviewing it as a whole in regards to the trilogy. Everything has finality, I felt satisfied with the conclusion, and I am glad that my husband encouraged me to start this series. Small characters in book one, naturally develop into important characters by book three. Don’t get me started on the amazing character development throughout. Of course, Vin and Elend are legendary to me, but Sazed, Spook, Marsh. As a writer, I have serious character envy. As a reader, I love them all.

At about 95%, one sentence made up of six words had me sobbing like a baby. Just a pre-warning.

I always rave about Sanderson’s world building because it is fully submersive. It envelops you in a reading bubble that is hard to pop, even when you have finished the book. I can’t wait to read book four. Book four is based on different characters in the same world, and although my heart hurts a little at the prospect of reading on without my much loved characters, I know I can’t miss out on Sanderson’s newbies.

The Mistborn series is not to be missed. Just telling you about it doesn’t do it justice.


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

 

Thrown to The Blue

First Chapter Excerpt: Thrown to The Blue

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As it is Christmas, I thought I’d get in the giving spirit and give those who haven’t read Thrown to The Blue a teaser excerpt from the first chapter. Don’t say I don’t give you anything. Ha!

1Foretellings have no place for goodness, only greatness. Princess Ezrahli is far from good, but she is a great woman in a conventional Kingdom, followed by whispers and scorn. However, across the waters is un-convention, magic, and fable. Her existence has been foretold in the battle against dark magic, and destiny shall weave itself into her life because darkness cannot be fought with goodness, only greatness.

Smuggling and sorcery leads to adventure, and adventure leads to destiny. Reed is a prince of the streets, but what he lacks in title, he makes up for in skill; a skill that sets him on a path already written in fate. Can he be more than what is expected? Can he enable greatness in another and survive the process?

Vengeance is a motivator, but it can never be your friend. In the end, it will ask for sacrifice, and only the great will pay the fare.

Chapter One Excerpt:

There is about five litres of blood in the average human body and that amount covers good ground. The pool of claret stretches across the marble floor, over my bare feet, and runs down the stairs. Father was an obese man, I am unsure if fat men hold more blood than most, but I am utterly mesmerised.

I have been witness to a slaughter before now. The cow is stunned, and then the animal is cut open with the heart still beating. A waterfall of red gushes out of the beast along with a ghastly smell. It is quick, humane some may say, and effective. Father’s heart was still beating when his throat was cut, much like that animal’s, only, I felt sympathy for the cow.

I drop the knife into the sticky mess at my feet and lift my nightdress before it is spoiled. It is my favourite; hand embroidered lace imported from Jansani- a shame to ruin with that man’s blood.

Brenneth and his guards enter the vestibule below. Father’s drained body is a welcome sight for him. Although the guards look taken aback by the scene, as soon as Brenneth nods, they set to cleaning the mess; he is their King now, after all.

Their mustard coloured uniforms contrast vividly with the red. I reach out to touch the closest guard’s tunic and he springs away from me like a cat on hot coals. A show of strength is what keeps people obedient, fearful. There is nothing stronger than killing the King of Ye’Sande, one’s own father.

“Goodnight, Brother,” I say, stepping over Father and heading toward my quarters, leaving bloody footprints behind me.

“Beautiful dreams, Ezrahli,” Brenneth replies.


Thrown to The Blue is available from Amazon.

Find Thrown to The Blue on Goodreads.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

Thrown to The Blue

Thrown to The Blue Update

Book Review(2)

What a hectic ten days! I have been listening to the comments from my beta readers, choosing what to apply and what to ignore, and editing my eyeballs right out of my head. This morning, I sent the ARCs to my ARC reviewers and I feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief.

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Thrown to The Blue is due for release on Nov 11th, so in just ONE MONTH! Eeekk. You can pre-order copies from Amazon Kindle now. I will probably do one more run through of editing beetween now and then, and my proof-reader will also be proofing my amendments. At least I have two weeks to complete this run through before I have to upload the final copy to Amazon to make good on my pre-orders. I can turn the burners down a little and go snail speed.

Now, what’s on my agenda?

Planning my daughter’s 6th birthday party. Yep, it is the day after release day, and 40 children will be attending. Why do I do these things to myself? It’ll be fine… I think.

Thank you to everyone for your continuing support. If you would like to receive an ARC copy for review, I’m happy to send more out.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

GIFs sourced from Giphy.com

100% K.J Chapman, Writing and Me

Thankfully, I Keep Notes!

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About ten years ago, I had an idea for a children’s book. My love of YA/ NA/ adult science fiction and fantasy won out, and I put my children’s book idea on the back burner, but yesterday I started thinking about a particular character. I say ‘starting thinking’, when I actually mean that I couldn’t shake them from my mind for the whole day. This led to me trying to remember other characters, creatures, narrative ideas, and I knew that I have to persue this.

I never started drafting, but I remember taking extensive notes. I got myself in a bit of a panic, wondering if I could remember any of the details, certain that I got rid of the notes, but then I did some digging and rooting, and guess what? Not only did I save my notes, I had kept them in great condition, and was meticulous in writing my descriptions and explanations.

Thankfully, I keep notes and I do it well!

relief

A ten year old idea is now blazing in my mind with new concepts, characters, and a fresh perspective. I’m more than a little excited to crack on with this, but will do so when I find time alongside EVO Ghost because finishing the series takes precident.

I’m up for the challenge of writing children’s literature, and will definitely try the traditional publishing route for this one. Self published, children’s ebooks are even harder to market than YA and adult!


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

GIF sourced from GIPHY.com