Review + Giveaway: Knightfall by R. Jackson-Lawrence


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Lord of the Rings for the Call of Duty generation.

When his world changing experiment is sabotaged, fifteen year old genius Benjamin Knight is cast into another world where an uneasy peace hangs in the balance. Saved from near death by a band of traders, he joins the Road Trains on their journey north as he struggles to understand what’s happened to him.

However, Ben soon realises that everyone has their secrets and that no one is safe, especially when one man has the power to realise his ambitions.

Friends are lost, plots revealed and battles fought as the unlikely companions seek to prevent war.

Will appeal to fans of Anthony Horowitz, Suzanne Collins, Michael Grant, Garth Nix etc

Rating:

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Review:

I was very skeptical going into this book because I had read a string of really good books and I was sure this book was going to suck because I’m never that lucky.

But turns out Lady Luck was on my side this time because this was a fascinating read. I was hooked into the story right at the beginning when an explosion happens in the lab where Ben works. At first, it seemed like pure sci/fi to me, but as I read more, it sort of evolved into a dystopian/fantasy/sci-fi kind of book. I’ve never read sci/fi before, but I can say this – this book seriously worked. I loved reading about the intense new world the author had created. I felt that it was believable and real. The future (or it might be an alternate universe) that Ben gets transported into is a dangerous world where warfare can happen at the blink of an eye. And I loved reading about the Road Trains and the people on it – they were all likeable characters I could really relate to.

I have very few complaints about the book. One of them is the POVs. At first, it seemed like the story was told from Ben’s POV. It continued to be so for a few dozen pages. Then, it started switching to different people instead of just Ben. I realize when a book is written in third person, the author has the liberty to switch POVs. But it’s just that when I started reading the book, the prose was so well written that I felt like it was written in first person. So, when it switched POVs, it was a bit jarring for me. I don’t know to how many people this makes sense. Maybe it’s just me.

Also, I expected a lot of action from the way the story began, but the action started only about half-way into the book. The non-action parts were not dragging or anything. They were interesting parts – about the people in the Road Trains, about the Regent and more about the dystopian world. But I would have liked the book more if there had been more action.

So, if you like dystopian or sci-fi or fantasy, I would definitely recommend this book to you. A brilliant start to a series. 🙂

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Knightfall-Chronicle-Benjamin-Knight-ebook/dp/B00C5RWRDE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376427381&sr=8-1&keywords=knightfall+robert

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

When he lost his job in 2012, Robert resurrected a novel he had last touched in the 1990’s and finally brought his vision to reality.  With this new series, he hopes to draw attention away from teen vampires, and bring action and adventure to anyone from ages 9 to 90 in an entirely new setting.

Robert Jackson-Lawrence lives in Lincoln with his two children.  He would really like a dog, but so far his wife won’t let him!

Author links:

Website: http://www.jackson-lawrence.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/R-Jackson-Lawrence/430581967031802

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RJLbooks

**GIVEAWAY**

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/6da88e10/

Review + Author Interview: Cassie Scot: (Para)Normal Detective by Christine Amsden


https://i1.wp.com/d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1360012911l/15813209.jpgCassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.

Rating:

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Review:

Alright, so here’s a fact about me: I rarely give 5 stars to a book. A book should have to thoroughly impress, entertain and delight me in order for me to give it 5 stars. So, you might wonder what is so great about this book that I rated it so highly. Let me tell you what.

First of all, this book is freaking fantastic. I enjoyed the world building so much that after finishing the book, it took me some to realize it was all fantasy and not real. Second of all, the protagonist Cassie Scot? She kicks butt. She is strong and independent and fierce and not at all, obsessing over the guy every few pages. I loved that about her. Also, she cares a lot about her family and her family plays a huge part in this book, which is not something you see in many paranormal books.

For some reason, before I started this book, I was of the impression that Cassie Scot was a YA book. Well, it’s not. I was initially a bit disappointed because pulling off a fantasy plot in an adult or let’s say, New Adult world is kinda difficult. But Christine Amsden did pull it off. The words flowed smoothly without any glitches and the plot is smooth as well. There are no unnecessary scenes in the middle that distract the reader from the very interesting mystery happening in the story.

Now, romance is a major part of the book, but so is the male lead Evan. He plays an important role in the plot and I loved the ending. I LOVED Evan. He was smoking! And that kiss at the end of the book! I had to surreptitiously check that no one was watching me because I didn’t want anyone to see me drooling all over my e-reader.

One thing I didn’t expect from this book was the gore and the scares. It isn’t “horror movie” gory, but there were some scenes that sort of gave me the chills. I had expected it to be a fun, fluffy read, but it was so much more than that. Another thing I loved about Cassie Scot was the fact that there are hardly any cliches involved. This are no hero-pining heroines. The hero doesn’t pop up every time the heroine is in trouble. The hero doesn’t stalk the heroine, meaning he has a life. It was refreshing to read a book that didn’t follow any of the regular paranormal tropes.

Now, if there is one thing that bothers me about this book, it is the fact that I really, really, REALLY want to get my hands on the sequel to the book which is called Secrets & Lies! Like I would kill to read the next book in the series. If the author is reading this, I just want to congratulate her for being such an awesome story teller and to keep up the amazing work in Book 2.

Ooh, and one more thing. This book has got a fabulous murder mystery going. If that doesn’t want to make you pick up the book, I don’t know what will. 😛 🙂 Also, I think the cover looks super-cute. Don’t you?

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

What was the most difficult part for you when writing CASSIE SCOT?

This rough draft of this book came very easily to me. More easily than any other, I think. But then I had to let parts of it go. That was the tough part. For example, there was a chapter between the current chapters one and two in which Cassie stops by the diner to chat with her friends. The only reason it was there in the first place was that I was exploring the world as I went along, but once it was in place it was tough to let it go, even knowing how boring it would be for readers to wade through an entire chapter of girl talk before getting to the dead body! There were a few other moments like that.

What was the easiest part?

Cassie’s character. She came to me all in a rush one day and I could barely contain her. In fact, I had to write all four books back to back because I couldn’t get her out of my head!

What is your favorite scene or was your favorite to write? Don’t forget to tell us why. J

My favorite scene comes near the end, after Cassie kisses Evan for the first time. There’s a lot going on in this book and in the series, but the romance was my special favorite part and that scene really kicks it off. Plus, Evan is a really good kisser.

The sequel is SECRETS & LIES. Can you tell us a little about what’s to come?

Secrets and Lies picks up where Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective leaves off. Without spoiling the end of the first book for you, I can tell you that Cassie is struggling at the beginning of the Secrets and Lies. She’s trying to live on her own for the first time and not having an easy time of it. Her family is falling apart around her, her two best friends are having issues of their own, and then there’s Evan. Cassie owes Evan a debt in Secrets and Lies, making it difficult for her to refuse him anything she knows he wants. And he wants her.

Is there anything in CASSIE SCOT you hope readers take away after reading, or something you want to point out you don’t want readers to miss?

I hope the book speaks for itself! More than anything else, though, I hope readers love Cassie. Her character arc is the point of the series, so if you’re not into her in the first book, you’re not going to be into the series. If you like her, though… I’ve got a lot in store for her. It’s going to be a bumpy road for her and for the people in her life. But trust me. I’ve not only got a plan, but I’ve got the whole series written. (I’m actually super eager for the whole thing to be out so I don’t have to keep biting my tongue about what’s coming!)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning author Christine Amsden has written stories since she was eight, always with a touch of the strange or unusual. She became a “serious” writer in 2003, after attending a boot camp with Orson Scott Card. She finished Touch of Fate shortly afterward, then penned The Immortality Virus, which won two awards. Expect many more titles by this up-and-coming author.

Author Social Media Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christine-Amsden-Author-Page/127673027288664

Twitter – @ChristineAmsden ; https://twitter.com/ChristineAmsden

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1030664.Christine_Amsden

If you want to visit the rest of the tour stops, here’s the link:

http://atomrbookblogtours.com/2013/07/04/tour-cassie-scot-paranormal-detective-by-christine-amsden/

Review + Giveaway: Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian


I’m really sorry I haven’t updated my blog in quite a while, but I broke my laptop a week back and now it’s display is shattered to smithereens. Hopefully, it will be back in good condition by next week in which case I will be able to post more often. In the meantime, I’ll be using my friend’s laptop, so please go easy on me if the posts are sporadic.

So, anyway, today I bring to you a book that will appeal to all fantasy fans. Plus, there are TWO awesome giveaways. The first is blog specific and is for five ebook copies of Cobweb Bride. And the other giveaway is for paperback and hardback copies of the same.

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Release Date: July 15, 2013

Publisher: Norilana Books 

Imprint: Leda 

Trade Hardcover
(First Edition)
ISBN-13: 978-1-60762-112-6
ISBN-10: 1-60762-112-6

$24.95 US / 20.00 UK

Trade Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1-60762-113-3
ISBN-10: 1-60762-113-4

$14.95 US / 12.00 UK 

Ebook (multi-format)
ISBN-13: 978-1-60762-114-0
ISBN-10: 1-60762-114-2

$5.99

Many are called…
She alone can save the world and become Death’s bride.

Cobweb Bride is a history-flavored fantasy novel with romantic elements of the Persephone myth, about Death’s ultimatum to the world.

What if you killed someone and then fell in love with them?

In an alternate Renaissance world, somewhere in an imaginary “pocket” of Europe called the Kingdom of Lethe, Death comes, in the form of a grim Spaniard, to claim his Bride. Until she is found, in a single time-stopping moment all dying stops. There is no relief for the mortally wounded and the terminally ill….

Covered in white cobwebs of a thousand snow spiders she lies in the darkness… Her skin is cold as snow… Her eyes frozen… Her gaze, fiercely alive…

While kings and emperors send expeditions to search for a suitable Bride for Death, armies of the undead wage an endless war… A black knight roams the forest at the command of his undead father … Spies and political treacheries abound at the imperial Silver Court…. Murdered lovers find themselves locked in the realm of the living…

Look closer — through the cobweb filaments of her hair and along each strand shine stars…

And one small village girl, Percy—an unwanted, ungainly middle daughter—is faced with the responsibility of granting her dying grandmother the desperate release she needs.

As a result, Percy joins the crowds of other young women of the land in a desperate quest to Death’s own mysterious holding in the deepest forests of the North…

And everyone is trying to stop her.

Rating:

four-stars

Review:

I received a free copy of this book from Fiction Addiction Blog Tours and I’m so glad I did.

I have read many books to date but none like this. The best word I can think of to describe this book is unique. Everything about this book is unique – the story telling, the characters, the plot, everything. When I first started this book, the language seemed a little too flowery for my taste but as I delved deeper, I realized the language was just setting the tone for the book. The story is every bit as beautiful as the language in which it is written. The characters are far from flat. They jump out of the pages. They are very, very real. They are neither good, neither bad. They are gray, as are all humans. The descriptions and world building are important elements of the story as they add the necessary magical touch to the book. Plus, unlike many books that are coming out now, romance is kept on the backseat while plot develops at a slow but steady pace. If you are looking for a good fantasy book with awesome characters and close to no cliches, I would definitely recommend this book for you.

As for cons, the only thing that bothered me about this book was the pace. In some parts, I wished the story would move a little fatser but that didn’t make me lose interest in the story in any way.

Giveaway #1

Giveaway #2

Book Review: That Ghoul Ava and The Queen of Zombies by T. W. Brown


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Ava Birch killed herself and woke up a ghoul with an attitude and a hunger for the dead. With no manual and very little help coming from the supernatural community, Ava offers her services to the regional psychic. Her newest job? Apparently zombies have been spotted in a small town nearby. Ava wades in thinking that this job will be a piece of cake…or at least as tasty. Navigating meddling vampires, bothersome witches, and a peculiar case of memory loss…and now her best friend and human companion has up and walked out. Things go from bad to worse when Ava discovers that there is a force behind these recent zombie sightings that may date back to the time of the Black Plague. Sometimes a ghoul would just rather stay in bed…or at least her sound proof basement where nobody can hear you scream.

Rating:

four-stars(4 stars)

Review:

Now, I’ve never read a ghoul book before. I’ll admit I didn’t even know what a ghoul did (or ate) before this book. So, in many ways, this book was refreshing to read. But that said, it took me some time to get into its whole vibe. There was just something about That Ghoul Ava and the Queen of Zombies that left me wishing that there had been a bit more. Maybe it was the fact that Ava was a bit too smart-alecky for my liking. Don’t get me wrong, I love snarkiness in a girl, but Ava was just… I don’t know, immature maybe? But that doesn’t mean that the book wasn’t enjoyable. I found myself laughing out loud at a lot of parts. The author has a very lively way of writing that grabs your attention instantly. The thing I loved about the book was the description of the creatures, even the way Ava talked about her preferred food. Also, there is a tiny bit of romance in the book, and might I add that it is not the corny type of romance either, so that was good. On the cons side, the characters were a little two-dimensional, but I guess, this is the kind of book where you look for plot rather than characterization. I found the ending to be a bit abrupt, but then again, as Ava would say, not everything has to end in violence, right? All in all, this was a short but enjoyable read, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it is not my type of book. This book didn’t make me want to pick up more books dealing with ghouls. Maybe ghouls and I are just not meant to be. But if you’re into zombies or ghouls, you should definitely give this book a try. It is laugh-out-loud funny without being cheesy.

Book Review: Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi


WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.

DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.

Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she’s never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He’s searching for someone too. He’s also wild – a savage – but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other’s best hope for finding answers.

Rating:

3stars

Review:

I’m usually a very fast reader if the book is good. I finish it by two days tops. I started this book six days ago and I only finished it last night. Yes, I was busy because college started and I had a lot of stuff to do, but if a book is good, nothing can stop me from reading it through to the end. Not college, not lab reports, not exams. What I’m trying to say here is this book didn’t manage to hold my interest at all.

When I was about ten pages into this book, I was so happy. It was such an interesting premise with the Dwellers and the Outsiders and the domes and the Aether storms. But then it turned into another mushy YA love story. I mean, Veronica Rossi did an amazing job with the world building that it’s almost a shame that she limited herself to writing a love story instead of, I don’t know, an adventure/survival maybe. Granted the writing is good, but the question is, is that enough? I like romance, I really do, but when that’s all there is to a story, it kind of becomes boring. Also, nothing much happened in this book. Perry and the girl – who was it? – Aria just went about running from this place to that place, chased by one evil group of people after another. It was EXHAUSTING. It is clear that when Veronica Rossi wrote this book, she had no outline of a plot in her mind. It seems like she kept writing scene after scene with “Perry, Aria and the sexual tension” in the beginning and then, “Perry, Aria and their lovey-dovey-ness” in the latter part of the book. God, I’m so frustrated right now that I can’t even type properly. I’m just a huge mass of disappointment now. Shame. This book had so much potential. And the ending! That is just such an atrocious ending. I expected a cliffhanger because that’s what most YA books with sequels seem to have, but it wasn’t a cliffhanger. It wasn’t even an ending. I felt like a few pages were missing at the end. It was as if the book had ended at a random scene. Sigh. Such potential.

Cons:

  • Lack of sexual tension (Their romance just didn’t do it for me. Somewhere in the middle, I started wishing Perry and Aria would just break up and move on with their lives.)
  • Romance, romance and nothing but romance
  • No plot
  • Flat secondary characters

Pros:

  • Good writing
  • Brilliant world building
  • Good depth in the primary characters (Perry and Aria)

Verdict:

I’m so not picking up the sequel. Unless I hear it has a plot, that is. 🙂

So, what did you guys think of this book? Is it your cup of tea?