Showing posts with label fantasy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fantasy. Show all posts
January 5, 2014

Audiobook review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane



The Ocean at the End of the Lane
By
Neil Gaiman
Narrated by Neil Gaiman
Publisher: HarperAudio
Pub. Date: June 18, 2013
ISBN: 978-0062263032
Duration:  5:48 hours
Genre:
Fantasy
Source:
public library
Goodreads: Goodreads Choice winner for Fantasy (2013)
Reading Challenge
Buy Link

Review:

Apart from a cute children’s book, Chu’s Day, I had never read anything by Neil Gaiman, so I seized the occasion when I saw I could listen to it through my library audio book service.
I very rarely read fantasy, I can’t even recall what was the last fantasy book I read, but I got caught in the story right away through Gaiman’s voice. His narration is dreamy, hauntingly beautiful and irresistible, a bit like some of his dreadful characters, although in a positive sense!
November 13, 2013

Review - A Cast of Stones

A Cast Of Stones
The Staff & The Sword, Book 1
By Patrick W. Carr
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: February 1, 2013
ISBN: 0764210432
Pages: 432

Review:

I'm not the biggest fan of fantasy novels, but after becoming addicted to Game of Thrones, I now have an open mind when it comes to the genre, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to review A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr. Sadly, this is one of several books that got shoved aside and collected dust for months until I finally got around to reading it last month.

Desperate for money, the orphan Errol Stone takes on an mission assigned to him by a church messenger. Over the years, he has found a liking to ale, which helps him forget the deaths of his family. The money being offered to him could keep him drunk for at least a week, so he eagerly accepts the mission, which he presumes to be a simple task. He leaves the blackwater village of Callowford, and goes on a mysterious quest alongside the priest Martin, Luis and a couple of warriors from a nearby village.

King Rodran is in a lot of trouble as he has no heir to take the thrown; therefore the church is taking up the responsibility of selecting the next king, but a dark force begins killing the church readers, they are the ones with the ability to look into a piece of stone or wood and see the future.

November 12, 2013

Review - The Prodigals: Giants in the Land, Book Two

The Prodigals: Giants in the Land, Book Two
By Clark Rich Burbidge
Illustrated By Karl C. Hepworth
Publisher: WinePress Publishing
Pub. Date: October 23, 2013
ISBN: 978-1606152416
Pages: 248

Review:

Author Clark Rich Burbidge returns with book two in the Giants in the Land series, which is set in a world where villagers relied on Giants to help them dig canals for irrigation, lifted heavy stones for foundations and the Giants built and took care of the levees. Basically, the Giants helped the people with day-to-day living that is until the Giants suddenly vanished, leaving everyone to defend for themselves.

In book one The Way of Things, a young father named Thomas volunteered to look for the Giants by venturing to the forest, which he had to leave his family behind and everything he knew. Throughout his journey, his faith and courage is tested until he finally learns the true meaning of being a Giant.

Seventeen years have went by since Thomas has become the Land's Forest Ward, occasionally over the years he would venture out to visit his daughter, Hope, who now has two children of her own, seventeen-year-old Tommy and thirteen-year-old, Rose.

Times have changed across the land as a ruthless band of raiders invade the villages and take anything of valuable. These raiders attacked Tommy's father and Uncle Samuel and they kidnapped his sister, Rose. It seems the raiders consider humans as valuables too, putting them into slavery for their leader, Big John, who works for The Leader.

August 17, 2013

Review - A Summoner's Tale


A Summoner's Tale
Order of the Black Swan, Book 3
By Victoria Danann
Publisher: 7th House 
Pub. Date: February 12, 2013
ISBN: 978-1933320809
ASIN: B00BC1SYKE
Buy Links: Paperback, Kindle 

DESCRIPTION: 

A secret society, a witch, a psychic, vampires, modern day knights, heroes, elves, fae, assassins from another dimension, and fairytales come together where emotions intersect. Two souls, joined by a mystical bond, separated by distance, must simultaneously struggle through pain and darkness in an ultimate confrontation with character and an ultimate struggle for life proving that true love waits patiently through lifetimes and finds courage to survive. Even in the strangest places. Even when you're least expecting it. Even when you're far, far from home.

Review:

Due to family crises, personal issues, and falling behind on my reading, my review for the third book in the Order of the Black Swan series got delayed and delayed. I apologize to the author for the review's lateness.

August 8, 2013

Review - The Art of Steampunk, Revised Second Edition

The Art of Steampunk
Revised Second Edition
B Art Donovan
Forward by Dr. Jim Bennett
Publisher: Fox Chapel Publishing
Pub. Date: July 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-56523-785-8
Retail: $19.99
Pages: 168

Review:

The steampunk genre is becoming more and more popular every year thanks to recent books, television series, movies, and video games; all blending modern & futuristic technology with the 19th Century Victorian era or the American Wild West, creating steam power technology.

Artists have jumped into the steampunk genre by making original art pieces that look like they literally jumped off of the pages of a book and into reality. Author and artist Art Donovan has complied some of the most beautiful and unique pieces from authors such as Ann Pedro, Anna Dabrowska, Camryn Forrest, Evelyn Kriete, Filip Sawezuk, Jessica Joslin, Mikhail Smolyanov, Sam Van Olffen, Amanda Scrivener, Thomas Willeford, Cliff Overton, Daniel Proulx, Eric Freitas, Haruo Suekichi, Ian Crichton, James Richardson-Brown, Jesse Newhouse, Joey Marsocci, Jos De Vink, Kris Kuksi, Molly Friedrich, Richard Nagy, Stephane Halleux, Tom Banwell, and Vianney Halter.

Caravan Assault Apparatus, 2009, by Kris Kuksi

May 9, 2013

ARC Review - L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume XXIX

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume XXIX
Publisher: Galaxy Press
Pub. Date: June 22, 2013
ISBN: 978-1619862005
ASIN: B00CE2CC30
Pages: 586

Buy Links: 


Review:

The Writers of the Future contest has been helping new writers and illustrators publish their stories and illustrations in the annual anthology that was founded by the late author L. Ron Hubbard. Galaxy Press sent me an advanced copy of Volume XXIX, which contains of thirteen stories from the 2012 quarterly contests along with illustrations for each story, free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

This volume has an introduction by Dave Wolverton, a writing essay by Nnedi Okorafor, an essay on illustrating by Larry Elmore, and an essay titled "The Manuscript Factory" by L. Ron Hubbard.

The thirteen stories are:

March 25, 2013

Review - Lords of Prophecy




Lords of Prophecy
By Michael A. Rothman
Publisher: M&S Publishing, L.L.C.
Pub. Date: March 3, 2013
ISBN: 9780989089401
ASIN: B00BOELL4K
Pages: 450
Buy Link: Amazon

Blurb:

The Riverton brothers have completed their training, and despite their own personal skills, they worry about the forces arrayed against them. Knowing the barrier that's kept the people of Trimoria safe for over five centuries is weakening, the brothers ready their ragtag army of humans, dwarves, and elves for battle.

In the meantime, on the other side of the ancient barrier, a growing army of demons have readied themselves for the final battle against the people of Trimoria.

As the barrier weakens, Ryan is struck by bouts of debilitating madness. As the barrier crumbles, so does the hope of Trimoria's citizens. 

Review: 

I've never cared much for the fantasy genre until I watched Game of Thrones on HBO and now I have taken an interest in reading fantasy books, which is one of the reasons why I signed up to review Lords of Prophecy courtesy of the author and Goddess Fish book tours.

February 11, 2013

Review - A Hero's Throne

A Hero's Throne
The Ancient Earth Trilogy
By Ross Lawhead
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: January 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-1595549105
ASIN: B00AE9I1OE
Pages: 336

Review:

I read anywhere between 100 to 250 books in any given year and only a few standout for me. One of those books happens to be the fantasy adventure The Realms Thereunder by Ross Lawhead released in 2011, so I was excited about reviewing the sequel A Hero's Throne, courtesy of Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review.

The sequel finds Daniel and Freya on the quest to save the hidden land of Nioergeard by stopping the dark forces from opening the portal and entering into our world. The land rests under the streets of England and only a few know that it exists. Eight years ago, Daniel and Freya stumbled upon the gateway, where they found the stone city and the sleeping knights.

The future of both worlds is in jeopardy. Daniel and Freya must rely on a Scottish police officer and ancient knight to help them return to Nioergeard and awaken the sleeping knights before the dark forces take over forever.
January 22, 2013

Review - Hallowed Circle

Hallowed Circle
By Linda Robertson
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pub. Date: December 29, 2009
ISBN: 978-1439156780
ASIN: B002WLCKEO
Pages: 384

Review: 

Picking up shortly after the events of Vicious Circle, Persephone Alcmedi (or as everyone calls her, Seph) now has guardianship of her late friend's daughter, Beverly, while at the same time dealing with her Nana, who is also living with her. She spends her days reading Tarot cards, writing a syndicated newspaper column, and what ever she can do to pay the bills, she even has a werewolf kennel in her basement. And there is also the known fact that she is a witch.

Out of the blue, Seph is talked into competing for the position of High Priestess of the Cleveland coven. The former priestess, Vivian Diamond, has disappeared without a trace, well that is what everyone else things, but Seph knows what happened to Vivian. That is one of the secrets, along with the fact that she is connected to the vampire-wizard Menessos, that Seph is trying to keep from the other witches, especially Hunter Hopewell.

December 23, 2012

Review - Vicious Circle

Vicious Circle
By Linda Robertson
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pub. Date: June 30, 2009
ISBN: 978-1439154281
ASIN: B002CT0TS0
Pages: 384

Review:  

I had a limited knowledge of what fantasy/paranormal books were out in the market. I grew up reading a few Anne Rice books and I was addicted to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer tie-in novels, but I only began reading paranormal a few years ago starting with the Southern Vampire Mysteries. When Pocket Books offered me to review the Persephone Alcmedi series by Linda Robertson, I eagerly accepted.

Vampires, werewolves, faeries and witches have already been outed out in Vicious Circle. The main heroine is Persephone Alcmedi (or as her friends call her, Seph), whom pays her bills by writing a syndicated newspaper column under an alias, reading Tarot cards, and running a werewolves' kenneling service in her basement on full moons. Her life is busy and it becomes even busier when her Nana moves in with her. Oh, I forgot to mention that she also practices witchcraft.

In this world, vampires are the higher ups in society, faeries keep to themselves and werewolves are treated as second class, which is one of the reasons Persephone has taken an interest in helping them.
October 14, 2012

Review - The Witch's Dream


The Witch’s Dream 
The Order of the Black Swan #2 
By Victoria Danann 
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Paranormal Adult Fantasy / Urban Fantasy 
Publisher: 7th House 
Date of Publication: October 14, 2012 
ISBN: 978-1-933320-56-4 
ASIN: B009LXOKQW
Pages: 260 (5×7 book) 
Word Count: 97,000 
Purchase Links: Amazon  Smashwords 

Book Description: 

He was left behind when Elora Laiken made her choice. Now he’s had it with love, but a transplanted witch who happens to be the world’s best tracker hopes she can change his mind.

The Witch’s Dream begins with B Team on loan for temporary assignment to Black Swan headquarters in Edinburgh where they are supposed to fill in for stretched-thin resources and assist with a werewolf issue. They’ve been given permission to stop in Ireland for a few days and help Ram and Elora celebrate their handfasting at the palace in Derry.

When they reach Edinburgh, the afterglow of an elftale wedding quickly turns all business. A simple werewolf sanction becomes a diplomatic issue requiring the one thing Elora doesn’t have – finesse. A missing person report turns into a demon abduction. From New York to Ireland to Edinburgh to Siena to the Texas Hill Country to Napa Valley. From promises to rages to hunts to epiphanies.

This is a story that proves that love can find you when you’re least expecting it – even when you’re far, far from home.

Review:

Sometimes sequels can be a bit of a disappointment, but Victoria Danann has written an intriguing sequel that surpasses My Familiar Stranger. In this sequel, Elora Laiken is planning on marrying the elf Rammel Hawking (who are both part of The Order of the Black Swan) in Ireland. She may think that life is going to be easy for them, but situations occur, the paranormal kind, that changes her plans as it seems that werewolves are howling about.

The B Team (I guess the A-Team are busy. lol!) are assigned to eliminate the problem, but it isn't as easy as they hoped it would be. Poor Storm is still pining over losing Elora to Rammel for the first half of the book, but then he meets a lovely witch named Lithia. Here's a shocker, Lithia's father just happens to be an incubus!

October 1, 2012

Review - Troll Hunters

Troll Hunters
By Michael Dahl
Illustrated By Ben Kovar
Publisher: Stone Arch Books
ISBN: 978-1434245908
Pub. Date: August 1, 2012
Pages: 320
Buy Link: Troll Hunters

Review:  

Set in the outskirts of a small community, a group of teens, Pablo, Zak, Thora, and Bryce, head out to the quarry to watch the Draconid meteor shower, but something strange occurs as if something came out from the depths of the quarry's water. Giant troll creatures are unleashed.

The kids take refuge at Dr. Hoo's mansion that was hidden in the woods. He is one of the few people that have known that the trolls, whom are afraid of light, were going to take over the world. The bad trolls call themselves the Gathool, whereas the good trolls go by the name Drakhool.

August 27, 2012

ARC Review - The Lost Prince


The Lost Prince
By: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 978-0373210572
Pub Date: October 30, 2012
Pages: 400

Ethan Chase lives a life full of fear. His sister, Meghan Chase, is now the Iron Queen, and he is about to start classes at a new school, in which he dreads. You see, just like his sister, he can see Faeries and if these creatures find out that he can see him, then his life would be over.

He keeps to himself as he doesn't want to attract attention, but a teenage girl, Kenzie St. James, takes an interest in him, despite his resistance. Then he meets another schoolmate, Todd Wyndham, who he recognizes is a half-faerie. Todd thinks someone or something is after him.

Mysterious ghost like faeries appear and soon Todd disappears without a trace. Todd's parents and the police have no clue where the boy could have gone, but Ethan knows what happened to him. Those ghostly faeries took him and the faeries now have eyes on Ethan.

August 14, 2012

Review - Pasadagavra by Marta Stahlfeld

Pasadagavra
Book 2 of The Darkwoods Series
By: Marta Stahlfeld
Publisher: Book Publishers Network
ISBN: 978-1937454371
Pub Date: June 27, 2012
Pages: 240

Picking up after the events of the Darkwoods, the wraith mice Princess Zuryzel has a lot of responsibility as she leads an army against the Darkwoods Foxes, who outnumber and out power them. Zuryzel is growing up to be an independent adult mouse who must journey to unseen places to find out whom really started the war.

Her invisibility may not be able to help her as she stumbles into a world of betrayal that leads her to the Stone Tribe city of Pasadagavra. Secrets are revealed as she is confronted with a deadly pirate, who may or may not be responsible for the war. To make matter worse, the mice and their squirrel allies may not be able to defend the city from the Foxes.
August 13, 2012

Review - White Raven: The Sword of Northern Ancestors


White Raven: The Sword of Northern Ancestors
Written By Irina Lopatina
Publisher: Light Messages Publishing
ISBN: 978-1611530247
Pub. Date: July 30, 2012
Pages: 378

In this fantasy adventure set in the magical land of Areya, a prince, known as some as the White Raven, named Vraigo spends most his days in the forest with the druids and other magical creatures instead of defending his kingdom. Some may think of him as weak, but to him not fighting is his choice to make. Eventually, demons from a parallel world invade his home in which the kingdom's army will be defeated unless Areys uses a magical sword known as Urart against the demons. But there is one little problem, the Urart has been stolen!

To save his kingdom, Vraigo must journey to the 21st Century to retrieve the sword, but there are many dangers that lay before him.

August 2, 2012

Audio Review - Danger in the Dark

Danger in the Dark
Written by: L. Ron Hubbard
Publisher: Galaxy Press
ISBN: 978-1-59212-240-0
Pub Date: January 19, 2009
Running Time: Approx 2 hours


Danger in the Dark is the fourth audiobook I have reviewed from Galaxy Press's Stories from the Golden Age. In which all their titles are by L. Ron Hubbard. Many may have different opinions about him because he was the founder of the religion Scientology, but many forget that he was a talented writer. He wrote more than 150 stories during the 1930s and 1940s, mainly being published in Pulp fiction magazines of the time. He published a wide variety of short stories, such as air adventure, sea adventure, far-flung adventure, mysteries, and tales from the orient, science fiction, fantasies, and westerns.

The audiobook consists of three stories, Danger in the Dark, The Room, and He Didn't Like Cats," on 2 discs.

The main character in Danger in the Dark, which was first published in the May 1939 issue of Unknown, is Billy Newman who becomes rich when he strikes gold while mining in the Philippines. He may be rich, but he likes a good bargain as anyone else does. He buys a South Seas island for a low price. Billy believes that he is the luckiest person alive, but the island comes with another price. Soon the crops start dying and the local natives become ill. The tribal chiefs tell Billy that he has angered the island's 75-foot god Tadamona because he bought the island, as the island can not be owned by anyone. The only way to stop the Tadamona is a sacrifice of a young girl. Billy tells them not to go to that extreme and to give him 24 hours to cure their ill ones. Now Billy doesn't actually believe in the god, and dares the god to show himself, but to Billy's surprise Tadamona does exist.

July 29, 2012

Review - Moonblood

Moonblood
By: Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764207815
Pub Date: 2012 
Pages: 373

In book three of the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, Prince Lionheart must regain the trust of his people, in doing so he must banish one of his most trusted allies, his servant Rose Red. He sends her out into the deadly realm of Arpair, where her own father, King Vahe, who is an evil goblin, kidnaps her.

The Prince is heartbroken of what he had to do to his servant and vows to bring her back. He heads out into the strange Goldstone Wood to find Rose Red, but there are many dangers and trials that he must face, including goblins, a tiger, and even a unicorn.
July 25, 2012

Audio Review - If I Were You


If I Were You
Written by: L. Ron Hubbard
Published by: Galaxy Press  
Pub Date: September 8, 2008
ISBN: 978-1592122905
Running Time: Approx. 2 hours

    Some of the best writing came out of the 1930s and 1940s, or known as the golden age, in which writers would publish their works in Pulp magazines, which was the opposite of the glossy magazines at the time. A few of these great authors were H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Rice Buroughs, Robert E. Howard, Max Brand, Elmore Lenard, L. Ron Hubbard, and Ray Bradbury. The economy was tough back then, well it still is today, and these provided a much-needed income for the writers.

Recently I had a chance to work with Galaxy Press who publishes a line of audiobooks from the stories by L. Ron Hubbard called Stories from the Golden Age. Galaxy Press sent me a few audiobooks in exchange for an honest review.

If I Were You originally appeared in the February 1940, issue of Five-Novels Monthly and is about 90-minutes, in which the main character is a midget named Little Tom Little or otherwise known as The King of the Midgets. Tom hates being a little person and a sideshow freak. He has a wonderful attitude toward everyone else, except for the ringmaster Herman Schmidt, who is a terrible human being and treats Tom like dirt.

July 22, 2012

Promo Spot - Spirit Binder by Meghan Ciana Doidge


Spirit Binder
Book One of the Cascadian Chronicles

Genre: Fantasy: Paranormal, Epic, Historic

Description: 

Spirit Binder is a fantasy set a thousand years after spirit (aka magic) rises to take back the world in an apocalyptic event. It is book one of the Cascadian Chronicles.The first book of the Spirit Bound young adult series, TIME WALKER, will be released in the fall of 2012.

Blurb:

Theo woke severely injured, covered in blood, and missing ten years of her life. Just to complicate matters further, Theo was born under a prophecy; one that has rabid followers with three different interpretations, all of whom are willing to sacrifice her in order to fulfill it. 

Not knowing if she can trust the stranger she’s betrothed to, the warrior visiting her dreams, or even her own mother, Theo tries to piece together her past only to find that her present is far more dangerous. It’s the power of her own blood that scares her most of all. This is a responsibility Theo never wanted, and a destiny she cannot deny, “All because of a prophecy she was trying not to believe in, but kept fulfilling.”

July 17, 2012

Audio Review - The Crossroads by L. Ron Hubbard



The Crossroads
By L. Ron Hubbard
Published by: Galaxy Press
ISBN: 978-1-59212-241-7
Release Date: June 28, 2010


    I recently had the opportunity to review some audio books, courtesy of Stories from the Golden Age in exchange for a few reviews. I’ve written book reviews and DVD reviews, but never an audio review, so I was intrigued and agreed to review a few of the titles. Within a week, I received a box with five audios (each on two Cds), a free copy of the ASI Magazine, and a small calendar.

    The Crossroads was originally published in the February 1941 issue of Unknown magazine. The story involves a farmer Eben Smith, who was told by the government to destroy his crop’s surplus to help stabilize the failing economy. He is tired of the government controlling everything while people are starving. He loads his wagon with fruits and vegetables and heads for the city. His plans come to halt when he comes upon a bizarre crossroads, consisting of four odd roads. Each of these roads takes Eden to different realities, where he comes across soldiers and strange beings. Just because he cannot reach the big city does not mean Eben cannot barter his goods.

Giveaways

Rating System

AMAZING!!! Go get this book right now!!

Great! Highly Recommend

It's ok. Borrow from a friend material.

Not that good but at least read the blurb.

Leave it on the shelf!

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