Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Promo Post: Tenderfoot by Abby Drinen

Tenderfoot (Enova #1)
by Abby Drinen
Genre: YA Sci-fi
Release Date: June 25th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

“No lights, no sound. But my skin knows this isn’t home. Why aren’t I afraid?”

Orphaned teenagers, Linnea, Sammy, Logan, and Daisy, have never met until they’re drawn into the fabric between worlds, crossing over from Earth to a place called Enova. Leaving behind lives filled with pain and loss they find hope in this new place. Adopted by caring, Enovan families they begin to settle in, but an assassination attempt on their lives changes everything. These four strangers must now band together and unravel the mysteries behind their purpose in Enova if they want to survive.


Chapter 13


LOGAN is even more spectacularly fine with his eyes open. And I was expecting Sammy to look meaner. Our empty shells in those weird tube-beds in the hospital don’t tell the full story, I guess.
After we introduce ourselves, the four of us go strangely quiet. Even I can’t come up with something to say. Actually, I have too many things to say, too many things to ask them. That’s the problem. I prioritize my thoughts and form a single question.
“What’s up with Club Depression over there?” I point at Zaren and the others.
Logan fills us in on everything they know. He tells us that we aren’t in another Deep Sleep, but have been poisoned. I stop his story there.
“Poison? Are you sure?” I ask
“That’s what they said.” Logan flips his bangs out of his face, just like I imagined he would do.
“It would make more sense from what we saw in the hospital,” Linnea says to me. 
“You guys were at the hospital? When?” Sammy asks.
“We just left there,” I say.
“And all of us were still . . .” Sammy trails off.

“Alive? Yeah, everyone was still pink and breathing. But just barely.” I look directly at Logan. I heard something about his kidneys failing before we left.
Logan swallows hard and shakes his head before he continues. He says the Guardians are searching for something on the rocks up here to make an antidote for the poison. But they can’t find any. And they can’t call for help because their Chatty is out of juice. And the next place to find the stuff is too far away to get it back to us in time.
“So basically, we’re worm food,” Logan says. Then he laughs, a loud, forced noise that makes me sick. How can he be that flippant?
Linnea lets out a shocked cry. I put an arm around her and glare at Logan. But my expression only encourages him to be awful.
“Yep, R.I.P. Kick the bucket. Dirt Nap. The Big Sleep. Ha, ha! The Big DEEP Sleep, get it? Get it?” He sneers at her. Why is he being so mean? 
Linnea rotates out from under my arm and takes off, choking on her fear. I purse my lips and frown.
“You’re a five-year-old,” I say to him. 
I chase after Linnea and we grab seats on a clump of grass and I take her hand.
“He’s just scared,” I say. “Like we are.”
She bobs her head as tears splash her cheeks. I bite the inside of my lip in an effort to hold it together. I squeeze her hand, and then drop it to wrap both of my arms around her. Linnea stiffens at my touch so I don’t hold her too tight. She sobs for a few minutes and then looks up. Her face has transitioned from sad to something else. She has an idea.
“I’m going,” she says, in a voice as faint as watercolors.
“No, stay with us. You shouldn’t be alone.”
“I want my grandfather,” she shifts, and then vanishes.
Sammy runs over. “Where did she go?”
“That idiot freaked her out.” I stand up and shake my head.
“She’s gone to a scene with her grandfather. Not that I blame her.” I hug my waist.
“A memory with loved ones sounds good,” he tells the clouds. “I might go too.”
“Go where, man?” Logan saunters up like we’re all just hanging out at the mall on a Saturday afternoon. 
I charge him and land my palms in the middle of his chest. Tiny-me actually knocks huge-him backward a little. That’s how mad I am.
“Hey, hey there, little girl. Calm down.” He’s still wearing part of a smile. I might slap it off his face.
“What is wrong with you? Why would you target her like that?” I ask. “Don’t you get it? We’re all dying, not just you!” I yell and then swear at him for being so rude. He doesn’t respond so I keep going and totally cuss him out. I use every filthy put down from Earth World that I can remember. I take it way over-the-top, but I don’t care. I unload all of my fear and frustration about this Mentalink and dying from poison onto this beefy guy. He can handle it. 
I launch an insult, one about his mother, and his smirk evaporates; his face turns to iron. Seems I’ve gone too far. He jumps closer and proceeds to cuss me out now. The names he calls me I haven’t heard since waking up in Enova. I really haven’t missed being called those names. Especially the female dog one. 
He pauses to take a break and a breath and bends down to meets me dead in the eye. Our foreheads touch. I can feel the moisture from his breath. “Now, get your ugly ass outta here before I throw you off the cliff,” he says through clenched teeth.
I don’t want to admit it, but I’m more scared of him than the poison right now. My thigh muscles contract as I pull back my leg and prepare to knee him in the Charlies. I hope this has the same effect in the Mentalink that it does in the real world. But Logan is yanked away from me before I can attack. He didn’t Menta-blink out to another scene, Sammy has him by the collar and is dragging him away. When he lets him go, Logan starts toward me again, but Sammy throws a meaty paw onto his chest and stops the boy in his tracks. Chin tilted to his collarbone, Logan stares at me through narrow, beastly eyes. He’s practically snarling. Staring at me like I’m his prey, his next meal. He’s looking at me like an animal, like a wolf.
“That’s enough Logan! Leave her alone!” Sammy locks his elbow of the arm holding the animal at bay.
“Leave her alone? She came after me first!” he argues.
“Still, you must show respect to a lady,” Sammy says.
“Lady? Did you hear some of the words that came outta her? She ain’t no lady.” He spits in my direction and throws me a familiar hand gesture.
“You better put that finger down boy, or I’ll bite it off,” I square my shoulders.
“Come and get me, Red!” he growls and crouches to spring forward.
My hackles raise, and my heart pounds. Logan’s gone savage. He’s going to tear me apart. I ready myself for a brawl with a much larger, stronger opponent when Sammy rescues me again. Sculpted arms loop around Logan’s middle and pick him up like he weighs nothing. He carries him an even safer distance away from me, then drops him to the ground. Sammy punches Logan twice in the chest, and once in the jaw.
“Stay away from her,” he shouts. 
Logan doesn’t move, shocked into submission by Sammy’s fists. I know they startled me. I halfway expect Sammy to come after me next. 
Breathless, I study the ground, counting the pebbles. That Wolf was right about one thing; my behavior wasn’t ladylike at all. What would Mama say? Or Ayelet? Both of my mothers, Earther and Enovan, would be ashamed of me. I gnaw the inside of my cheek.
When I look up, Logan is gone and Sammy is walking back 
over to me.
“Now, where did he go?” I swallow.
“I don’t know. A memory scene? Are you all right?” 
“No.” I totally lie.
“Are you sure?”
“Yep.” I jut out my chin and stand taller. I’m about to tell him what he did for me wasn’t necessary. That I can fight my own battles in the future. 
A future . . . do I still have one of those? 
My head droops, and my shoulders fall. This isn’t the time to show how hard I am. What good is earning a rep with this guy if I’m going to be dead soon anyway? I want my last hours to be honest.
“Thank you, Sammy.” I drop my gaze and blink tears away.
“Anytime, Daisy. I am your friend,” he says. 
I investigate his chocolate brown eyes. He’s telling the truth, and I get the sense that he always does. I go for another slice of his honesty.
“Sammy, so do you think there’s really no hope for us?” 
He shrugs. My limbs feel too heavy to move. I stand there, like my feet are stuck in cement and let my vision blur. 
“It’s time to go,” someone calls out. I turn to look at the speaker. It’s Kimimela. That wickedly pretty girl from the library at the Grand Hall.
“I agree,” I say to Sammy. “It is time to go for me, too.” 
He whips me up into a hug, and I return the affection like we’ve known each other our whole lives. He holds me this way for several seconds, my feet almost dangling off the ground. After he releases me and steps back, a blush appears on his dark cheeks. 
“It was nice meeting you, Daisy of the Philippines,” he whispers, his eyes glued to his feet.
“I think we would have been great friends.” I pull him down by the elbow and kiss the blush on his face. “Thanks for everything, pal.” 

I leave him and enter a memory of a party for me in my tiny house in a fishing village in the Philippines. I was given a doll. It’s the last time I had a birthday when both my Earth parents were alive.

Buy Link: Amazon

About the Author:
I call Northern California home and share my hearth with my husband, three kids, and a red Rottweiler named Paco. I like to write about real characters in unreal worlds. The question I ask myself when I sit down at the keyboard is: how can I make this next scene a whole lot of fun to read?
Email: (I LOVE to hear from readers!)
Pinterest: (lots of pictures of Enova, plus characters, and other extras!) 
Wattpad: (rough drafts of my novellas)
Movellas: (rough drafts of my other stories & novellas)

Author Links:

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Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Book Review: A Clearing in the Forest by Kim Love Stump

A Clearing in the Forest – Kim Love Stump

*Warning – may contain spoilers*

Author: Kim Love Stump
Publisher: Foxcroft Publishing
First published: 2016
Edition: pdf eBook
Pages: 330

Blurb:    (Taken from Goodreads)
Princess Adriana is about to leave the Kingdom of Ayrden on the Journey of her sixteenth year.

If she is ever to ascend to the throne, Adriana must go—alone and unarmed—into the unknown. She’s been trained and gifted for the journey, just like all the royals who preceded her—even the ones who never returned.

Adriana leaves Ayrden on her brother’s black stallion the day after her birthday celebration, with bravery in her heart and hopes for a quick return. When three paths emerge, one of grass, one of gold, and one of gemstones, she chooses the pragmatic path of grass. Although it seems safe, and the landscape familiar, she soon finds she will have to overcome nearly impossible challenges. Ultimately, an unexpected friendship not only changes Adriana, but the very kingdom she someday hopes to rule. The question is, will the friendship turn into everlasting love?

History of my copy: I received a free copy of A Clearing in the Forest through YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. Find my stop on the blog tour here.

I opted to partake in this review as the book striked me as a run-of-the-mill YA fantasy, and that was exactly what I got.

Plot: We follow Princess Adriana of Ayrden as she takes her Journey at 16 years old, a compulsory quest to be allowed to take the throne. As the eldest child of the royal family, she is the first of her generation to embark on a Journey and thus will one day be Queen if she returns.
         Her journey begins at a clearing, the namesake of the book, where she finds three different paths.
         The first leads to Chehalem where she is ‘reunited’ with her uncle for many months, then she meets the wonderful Corrigan in Shahar, who turns out to have a dark secret. Finally, she takes the path to Berrylios where she spends many months befriending Elissa and Theo and saving their world form the dragon, Zimley.
         Eventually she finds her way home, thus completing her journey.

Setting: The four lands of A Clearing in the Forest are uniquely wonderful. Stump has a real talent at describing the setting, creating a picture full of vivid imagery from the beachy paradise of Shahar to the underground haven of Berrylios.

Characters: One disappointment is with Princess Adriana herself. She is just your typical lead female and feels a little flat.
               A character that does intrigue me, however, is Corrigan. He was a very interesting character that I would love to read more about. It would be nice to learn how he developed as a character and how he ended up with his lifestyle.

To read or not to read: Read. Overall, A Clearing in the Forest is a typical YA fantasy. Although nothing outstanding, the plot is still unique and interesting and setting superb, so it is definitely worth a read.

Monday, 29 August 2016

A Clearing in the Forest by Kim Love Stump

A Clearing in the Forest
by Kim Love Stump
Genre: YA Fantasy


Princess Adriana is about to leave the Kingdom of Ayrden on the Journey of her sixteenth year.
If she is ever to ascend to the throne, Adriana must go—alone and unarmed—into the unknown. She’s been trained and gifted for the journey, just like all the royals who preceded her—even the ones who never returned.
Adriana leaves Ayrden on her brother’s black stallion the day after her birthday celebration, with bravery in her heart and hopes for a quick return. When three paths emerge, one of grass, one of gold, and one of gemstones, she chooses the pragmatic path of grass. Although it seems safe, and the landscape familiar, she soon finds she will have to overcome nearly impossible challenges. Ultimately, an unexpected friendship not only changes Adriana, but the very kingdom she someday hopes to rule. The question is, will the friendship turn into everlasting love?

Find my review here

About the Author:
Kim Love Stump has loved to read and write ever since she can remember. Whether it was writing a story in third grade called I am a Date, or curling up in her swinging chair reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, fiction in all its forms has always been the fastest way for her to transport herself somewhere else. Now, as an author, Kim strives to transport others in that very same way. She and her husband of more than 30 years make their home in Charlotte, NC.

Author Links:

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Promo Post: The Reader by M.K. Harkins

The Reader
by M.K. Harkins
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: August 25th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

Preorder is live! .99 cents for a limited time :) 

Hunted, shot, and without her memory, eighteen-year-old Ann Baker wakes in shallow water on a deserted Pacific Northwest island. She is soon approached by two young men claiming to be her friends. Something isn’t right, but when gunshots sound, Ann is left with little choice but to allow Devon and Archer to help her escape. Soon she finds herself in their North Bend mountain compound, where the higher evolved humans claim to be mind-readers. While Ann heals, she realizes they believe her to be one of the last and most powerful of all – The Lost One.

She’s welcomed by most with opened arms, but not everyone is happy about her arrival. A jealous adversary has plans for Ann, which spirals the entire Reader community into chaos.

As lies, murder, and betrayal threaten to rip apart the once harmonious mountain dwellers, Ann is thrust into making a decision that could save or devastate not only The Readers, but all of mankind. But there’s just one glitch: by doing so it may require her to make the ultimate sacrifice.  

Add to Goodreads

I reached up and cupped his cheek. I needed a moment to look at him. So handsome, with eyes so dark and intense. It was more than that though. His beauty went right to his soul. One more kiss. I stood on tiptoes to reach his soft, full lips. His arms wrapped around me in desperation, his lips fused on mine, unrelenting. My mission became murky. I was losing myself. I couldn’t leave him.

About the Author:
MK has always been a voracious reader. After hitting a dry spell of reading material, she decided to write the kind of book she'd like to read. This resulted in the creation of her debut novel, Intentional. (Award for Best Sweet Romance - eFestival of Words- August 2014)

Unintentional, her second book, is based on the life of one of the characters in Intentional. Unintentional was written as a stand-alone book.

Breaking Braydon and Taking Tiffany have both been released. Available on Amazon.

The Reader is MK's latest project, due out 2016.

When she's not writing novels, she likes to spend her free time traveling the world, splashing in mud puddles (She lives in Seattle, what can she say?), watching movies and reading (!)

MK also runs her own business in her current hometown of Mercer Island, Washington.

Author Links:

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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Promo Post: Static by S.K. Anthony

Static (The Luminaries #2)
by S.K. Anthony
Genre: NA Urban Fantasy
Release Date: September 20th 2015

Summary from Goodreads:

Kevin Pierce is a teleporter, a ladies’ man, and a loyal friend. Or so he thought.

As a genetically altered Luminary, he helps the government bring down some of the most dangerous criminals. Not very challenging if you have his special abilities. But when a group of rebel Luminaries attacks his Organization the fight for survival begins.

One shattering event after another tests the depth of his relationships, his sanity, and his powers. Emotionally torn, Kevin must choose carefully where his loyalty lies. In the middle of all the unexpected chaos he gets the biggest shock of his life when he’s faced by a betrayal he never saw coming. Angry, injured, and ready to even the score, Kevin goes Static . . . 

I changed Jack’s diaper early on Sunday morning and let his tired parents sleep in. After giving him his bottle, he went back to la-la-land. I then made coffee and sat outside drinking it while texting Ryan. Our training session had been canceled because Derek wanted to see us at the Org at ten in the morning. 
I heard a noise inside and went back through the kitchen door to find my tiny sister-in-law trying to reach coffee mugs from the cabinet above her. She was getting on a small step I’d given her years ago as a present.
“Why do you insist on keeping things so high up when your head is hardly past the counter?” I asked as I reached around her to get the mug and set it down. I should have known better. As soon as I did that, her elbow connected with my rib and had me wincing.
“Stop making fun of me or I’ll break a bone next time,” Annie said.
“But you are perfect for it, Anniewee. You’re already fun-sized,” I said, grabbing a cup for her.
“Whatever. It's up there because it’s Nick’s job. Obviously.”
“Go sit down, I’ll mix your cup. Where is he?”
“Sleeping. It was his turn for night duty.”
“Technically you can fix that by hitting him with some energy.” I personally loved when she transferred her energy to me. It was perfect for those all-nighters I was so fond of.
Annie had this ongoing Kinetic energy that could give the rest of us an extra boost to our own powers. It could also give me a certain oomph that kept me energized enough to last me a week or so. Sadly, I no longer got the chance to enjoy the benefits of her powers. I enjoyed Ryan’s instead. 
I met Ryan in my last year in training. She’s a sensor and an amplifier. As a sensor, she could tell Luminaries apart from ordinary people, and because she was in tune with other people’s emotions she could tell if they were lying. As an amplifier, she couldn’t do much for herself, but she helped expand everyone else’s powers, times five. 
With Annie, it was different: our energies would last a while and we’d keep going. But with Ryan, it was in the moment. She was a drug to us all. The strange thing was that she and Annie couldn’t do anything for each other. They were too evenly powerful in an unbalanced way. It didn’t matter, though; they never went on assignments together. 
Annie and Nick were now partners with Derek, and they helped run the Org. But their idea of managing was turning Derek down whenever he brought up something they didn’t agree with. Before they had the baby, they went on assignments frequently and left Derek to run his own show. Adrenaline junkies was what they were.
I looked at her. “I’m telling you, Annie. You two should stop trying to deal with a baby like normal people.” 
“No,” she said, taking a sip while the cup was still in my hand.
“Well that’s stupid; you are Luminaries. Take advantage.” I put my empty cup in the sink and smiled. “Speaking of, would you be a doll and charge up my new babe for me?”
She crinkled her nose. “That doesn’t sound like something I want to do.” 
“Relax. As a birthday present to myself, I turned in my Prius for a Tesla S . . . S for sexy hybrid car. I can’t believe I forgot to show you guys. She’s like my bride, beautiful in white.”
“You and your hybrids. You could have just plugged in your car the whole time you were here. There’s a reason you installed a charge port in my garage.”
“Come on! Please?”
“If you want to be so environmental you should just teleport everywhere. You know, take advantage of being a Luminary yourself, instead of using me for your shenanigans.”
 “First, Ryan is the environmental one. I would never hear the end of her yapping away if I didn’t get hybrids. Second, I have to keep up appearances that I’m normal for those who don’t know our secrets. How would you explain to your nosy neighbors why I was sitting outside if I didn’t walk or drive here?”
“Stop going outside where they can see you.” 
I shook my head. “But I needed fresh air.”
“Uh huh, in February?” She raised her eyebrow. “Like I don’t know you were checking out their daughter?”
“Look at me. I run on heat. February air does nothing to me. And she just happened to be out there wiping snow off her car, that’s all. I even helped.”
“How, exactly?” Annie asked, putting both hands on her hips.
“When she wasn’t looking, a big chunk suddenly slid off. It was discreet, I promise.”
 She sighed. “Fine, but this is the last time I charge it. And only because I’m curious to see your new car. Stop smiling.”
“You know your special touch will make it last for double the time, right? Your touch, Annie, is the key.” I ducked right on time to avoid her punch.
Footsteps behind me alerted me that Nick was up. “My wife’s touch is the key to what now? Keep flirting with her and I’ll make sure you’re unable to wake up next to girls for at least a month.”
“Whoa, hey, hey. No harm done,” I said, then teleported next to Annie to give her a kiss on the cheek.
“Dunno what’s the use of being a teleporter if you’re going to be driving around,” Nick said.
“I love to drive.”
“You love to speed.”
“What’s the difference?” I asked him.

“Stop it, you two. Let’s go charge your car up,” Annie said, pulling me toward the front door.

Buy here: Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Createspace  ~ Amazon CA ~ Amazon UK

About the Author:
S. K. Anthony is a writer, a reader and a make-stuff-up-er who lives in New York with her husband and toddler twins. She is a wine connoisseur, which just really means she knows she loves it, and a caffeine addict. When she isn’t busy with her family she finds herself being transported into the world of imagination. Well, either that or running away from spiders…she is convinced they are out to get her!

Author Links:

One (1) $25 Amazon Gift Card — for reviews only. (links to Amazon review to be entered in giveaway by 9/30/16)
One (1) $10 Amazon Gift Card
One (1) Set of Signed Copies of KINETIC & STATIC + notebook, pen, & bookmark
Two (2) Static Notebooks
One (1) Set of KINETIC & STATIC e-books
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Monday, 22 August 2016

Book Review: Okehampton Castle by Alan Endacott

Okehampton Castle – Alan Endacott

Author: Alan Endacott
Publisher: English Heritage
First published: 2003
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 36

Blurb:    For five hundred years after its Norman beginnings, Okehampton Castle served as a dramatic symbol of the power of its owners. The impressive castle ruins, high on their spur overlooking the valley of the River Okement, include extensive remains of the Norman keep; the medieval guest lodgings - some of the most luxurious of their time; the chapel and priest's lodging; the huge kitchens with ovens built into the base of the motte, and the great hall.

This handbook offers a detailed tour of the buildings including an account of their architectural development alongside the story of the owners, particularly the colourful Courtenay family. It also puts the castle in the context of the story of the locality as well as the wider history of England.

History of my copy: Last Tuesday (16th August), my family and I went out to some castles for the day as we’re English Heritage members. We went to Launceston, Okehampton and Lydford as well as Blackbury Camp. At Okehampton, I bought the book.

I actually own loads of the English Heritage books from the times we visit them, but this is the first one I’ve completely read. They’re all sat on my shelf just waiting to be picked up!
The first part of the book is a guide of the castle ruins, so ideally should be read when actually on site. However, due to the pictures (and my own memory), I kept up with it. The little facts about what things were and what they are used for were really interesting!
Also included is a history of the castle, mentioning who the main owners were, their relationship to the royalty at the time, and any developments that were made to the castle. There is also a brief section about the ghost of Lady Howard.

To read or not to read: Read. This book is a short but informative companion to a visit to Okehampton Castle itself. It covers the basic history of the site, but keeps it manageable and full of photographs related to the topics discussed.

Promo Post: Intertwined by Jenn Marie

by Jenn Marie
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Release Date: July 3rd 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

Quiet seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Parker is looking forward to another mellow summer with her goofy relatives: sun tanning at the beach and staying out of trouble. Which is why the thought of her younger cousin participating in what is, clearly, a setup disguised as an initiation, worries her to the point of intervention.

One that backfires … big time …

Mistaken for her cousin, Elizabeth finds herself transported to an abandoned plantation, a place deeply haunted with unresolved mystery and where horror reigns every summer between July 20 and August 13.

It is there, locked in the pitch dark, where she finds herself paired with the strange and mysterious Adam Hunt—an unexpected trespasser with his own agenda. Together, they find a list of instructions—follow the clues to various possessions in the house, store them in the backpack provided, and find the key that will grant escape.

Having snuck in to document the haunting, Adam offers to help her find the key so long as she helps him record paranormal activity along the way. But as they make their way through the house, they soon discover unexplained anomalies …

For the first time in the plantation's recorded history, the haunting deviates from its known cycle of events, thrusting Elizabeth and Adam in a series of perilous circumstances that ensue long after the night is over.

As the last day of the haunting draws nearer, and as forces beyond their control ignite their growing attraction, Elizabeth and Adam must work together to uncover the plantations mysterious past before its too late.

Or die trying.

Warning: Occasional coarse language. Intended for Mature Young Adult audience.

Buy Links:

About the Author:
Jenn Marie currently lives in sunny California with her wonderful husband and their runt kitty, Chloe. When she's not writing Young Adult Fiction, she can be found reading, plotting or spending time with her crazy, lovable family. Current obsessions include the movie, Frozen, the New Girl series, Arcade Fire's latest album, and avocados. Seriously, she can't get enough of it! Writing, for her, is a passion that refuses to be under prioritized. No matter what's going on in her life, whether good or bad, writing is always there to lift her spirits.

Author Links:
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Sunday, 21 August 2016

Book Review: Dispocalypse by Michael A. Rothman

Dispocalypse – Michael A. Rothman

*Warning – may contain spoilers*

Author: Michael A Rothman
Publisher: M&S Publishing
First published: 2016
Edition: eBook, with such a beautiful cover
Blurb:    (Taken from goodreads)
In a post-apocalyptic world ruled by a Governor who is both feared and worshipped, Willow is a seventeen-year-old girl who is just trying to get through her last year of studies. But when her father dies, she experiences strange dreams that change everything about how she looks at the world and at herself. 

Haunted by the tragedy, Willow begins pushing herself beyond anything she could have imagined she was capable of. It’s only when she catches the attention of some of the Governor’s minions that her world is turned upside-down.

History of my copy: I received a free copy from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

I know, I know, I recently said that I hardly ever DNF a book but Dispocalypse was another one I just couldn’t read. Honestly, if I read ‘Oh no he’s a Vanden-Plas! I can’t trust him! Oh but he’s pretty so I guess I can!’ one more time, I’m going to shoot my own brains out. Ugh.

Plot: I’m not sure there was one?? Basically Willow goes to school and has this idea of getting fit by using these fighting moves that she now knows after having this weird dream thing where she goes to an alternate universe. That’s all I gathered. Oh and the Vanden-Plas is evil and Willow has to be different and be a soldier rather than a merchant.

Setting: The setting is all over the place and makes little sense. There’s the evil forest-y area, the school, where she lives and then the alternate world place.

Characters: At first, I was like ‘Great! A female lead who’s actually alright and is actually described as being chubby. That’s rare!’ and then she went on this weird health craze to make herself super skinny. Okay. Then there’s her brothers, who are her only family because of course, she’s orphaned. Then her friend who is the exact opposite of her. And the love interest, Tristan, who’s possibly the only character more 2D than Willow herself.

To read or not to read: No, don’t read. Honestly, this book was terrible! I gave up, I just couldn’t take it anymore. Which was really disappointing because the cover is gorgeous and made me super excited for a kick-ass fantasy. It was all over the place and made no sense. Like I said, I don’t even think there’s a plot to it. Save yourself and give it a miss. Or try it and see if you can make it to the end and see if it actually ends up going anywhere.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Book Review: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands – Alwyn Hamilton

*Warning – may contain spoilers*

Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Publisher: Faber and Faber Limited
First published: 2016
Edition: Paperback. The cover is gorgeous!
Pages: 358

Blurb:    Tell me how you want your story to go, he says, and we’ll write it straight across the sand.
Dustwalk is an unforgiving dead-end town. It’s not the place to be poor or orphaned or female. And yet Amani Al’Hiza must call it ‘home’.
               Amani wants to escape and see the world she’s heard about in campfire stories.
               Then a foreigner with no name turns up and with him she has the chance to run.
But the desert plains are full of dangerous magic. The Sultan’s army is on the rise and Amani is soon caught at the heart of a fearless rebellion…

History of my copy: I picked up Rebel of the Sands with my book haul back in May. It was a cover buy accompanied with the fact that bookstagram loves it.

Rebel of the Sands was the kind of book that didn’t keep me up at night needing to finish it, but was gripping enough for me to read only that when I could.

Plot: In Rebel of the Sands, we follow Amani as she makes her plan to leave the dead-end town of Dustwalk. However, when things certainly don’t go to plan, she ends up escaping with a foreigner, who we later discover is called Jin. Together they journey across the perilous desert, but Amani soon becomes caught up in the rebellion, a fight much bigger than what she is used to. Will she, along with many other rebels, be able to save themselves and win their fight?

Setting: For such a dull setting as a desert, I really must congratulate Hamilton’s skill of capturing our attention with it. Without putting us through lengthy paragraphs, she crafts a wonderful world full of magic that weaves together wonderfully. At first, the fantasy element took me by surprise, but soon you’re so wrapped up in Amani’s world that you just fall in love with it.

Characters: Whilst the characters of Rebel of the Sands felt pretty average for a YA book, that doesn’t mean I didn’t like them. Amani was clearly a very strong lead female and, for once, there was reasoning behind that which didn’t feel fake or forced. Jin was also a great character, especially as his mysterious background was actually a pretty cool twist to the story. I was expecting him to be the lost prince, but thankfully he wasn’t! (That would’ve been so cliché. The truth is much better!) In addition to this, the twist of who Amani is was also a really unexpected twist too!
               Furthermore, I truly have to praise Hamilton for creating such a natural relationship between Amani and Jin. It just worked so well, and didn’t distract from the plot. In fact, I’d go so far to say that they were one of the most natural relationships I have ever had the joy of reading, and that certainly added an improvement to the book, taking it away from being a pretty typical YA fantasy/adventure.

To read or not to read: Read. Whilst Rebel of the Sands never hit me with the massive wow factor that many claimed to feel, it certainly got better towards the end and is definitely a very decent book. I look forward to seeing Hamilton develop as a writer!