Saturday, April 14, 2018

Tales of Mentara: The Portal (Book #1) by Ashley Uzzell


39836110This review was written by: C
Received: ARC from Author
Publication Date of Book: April 13, 2018
Stars: 4/5
 

Official Summary:

Five children find themselves stuck in a beautiful jungle on a strange planet. But all is not as peaceful as it first appears.

Twelve-year-old Charlotte has been different all her life. It isn’t just that her father left when she was a child, or her mother ignores her. What really makes her an outsider is the fact that she has strange abilities that she can’t explain and struggles to control. Everything changes in the summer of 1993 when she feels drawn to a certain spot outside of town. Unfortunately, she isn’t alone when things go sideways.

When the children realize they are definitely not on Earth anymore, they have to learn not only how to fend for themselves, but how to get along. The problem is, even Charlotte has no idea how to get off the alien planet. And, perhaps, she doesn’t want to.


It doesn’t take long for the five to realize they aren’t alone in this strange land and that life here is more dangerous than they could have imagined.

My Thoughts:

First and foremost, I was truly fascinated when I found out that this story was inspired by Peter Pan and Neverland. I have always loved this tale, its lore, and the good and the evil found within a boy that will never grow up. Uzzell provides a short explanation at the beginning regarding how The Tales of Mentara came to be, and I thoroughly enjoyed how she tells of taking a beloved story, that impacted her while growing up, and using it as inspiration for her own work. As someone who also grew up watching Peter Pan films and eating up any form of Peter Pan literature that I could get my hands on, I was pumped for this story from the very beginning and couldn't wait to see how Uzzell was influenced by such a story to create her own form of writing magic. Now, without further adieu, let's get into it!



Charlotte and her friends enter a world unlike any other and are faced with many obstacles and dangers. They have to deal with the distrust of a native tribe, a possible war, and the struggles of trying to cooperate and improve their situation. Ultimately, they have to get past  any hardships or setbacks, come together, and survive.

Along this journey, Uzzell deals with many different characters, and I appreciate her ability to maintain them all. When there are more than two individuals who are focal points in a story, more often than not some characters fall to the wayside or evoke a sense of boring and uneventful blah:


However, Uzzell was more than capable of taking five kids and not letting a single one feel as if they did not belong in the story -- they all had vital roles to play. Additionally, even though the novel was just under 200 pages, it was more than enough for meaningful character development to occur.

I also feel that the story carried some important weight regarding race and being able to coexist with people who are different from yourself be it due to speaking different languages, having varying skin colors, possessing different cultural backgrounds, or, you know, belonging to a different planet. I feel that the book brought to the table a vital message that empathy between everyone is possible even though differences exist.

Lastly, the raw emotion was stupendous. I felt everything that Charlotte, Mindy, Lena, Daniel, and Fred experienced. The stress and homesickness that they endured emanated from the page. Plus, they're stuck in the middle of an impending war. Who wouldn't be emotional?


Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Uzzell's most recent work, and I look forward to seeing what she does next!


If you enjoyed this book, you may also like:

35710735    214856     


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Down to Oath by Tyrolin Puxty

35710735This review was written by: B
Received: Ebook from Publisher
Publication Date of Book: April 3, 2018
Pages: 116
Stars: 4/5


Official Summary:
You have to find yourself before you can leave.

Codi lives in the exceptionally drab town of Oath; a settlement without colour, children or personality.

When a child manifests in the library and introduces Codi to parallel towns that contain aggressive, manic versions of herself, she must decide between saving Oath...and saving herself.


After all, how much can you truly trust yourself?





My Thoughts:
There aren't that many books where I don't want to spew everything that happened in it in a mini summary before I head into more intensive thoughts.  (I'm a compulsive spoiler who cannot be tamed!)  But there is something about this book that I want to keep from everyone out of a fear of genuinely ruining the whole story.  (What's happening to me?!)  The wonderful thing of Puxty's novel is the execution and reveals, which, much like thrillers, give off the sense that you should go in as blind as possible.

So, to be as descriptive as possible without giving too much away: I love how this book was fast-paced right out of the gate and rarely slows down.  You jump right in and never look back, which is a style I never complain about!  To put it simply, the book's creativity is ever-present, and the overall subject matter and themes are extremely thought-provoking.

The beginning of Down to Oath hits you with mystery, and the setting reminded me of some of my favorite books like The Giver, which I loved.  The main character Codi is everything the rest of her peers are not; she's inquisitive and imaginative, constantly in search of knowledge and self-expression.  Also, she loves libraries and believes in the power of stories, winning my bookish heart!!!!  

The story explores a great deal of concepts that I think can be enjoyed by a wide audience, but my favorite is how Puxty highlighted discovering who you are and your intricacies.  Additionally, her writing style fits the tone of the book perfectly, but it might be important to point out that the writing is simplistic in some respects.  For me, this was not a problem but rather worked well with the story, but I might see older readers being hesitant about this.  However, this book is so intriguing that I would definitely recommend it.  



Friday, April 6, 2018

Release Day: Bad Reputation by Lily Luchesi




She's a mercenary on a mission.

Bree Carson is an Undead assassin who makes her living using her supernatural abilities to kill criminals of all kinds, protecting humanity. But Chicago's new mayor wants her and all other paranormals either jailed or killed, and Bree's bad reputation has her at the top of the list.

When she's arrested one night, she's confronted by the mayor...but not for an execution. Ilona wants to hire Bree for a very specific mission that will prove to be personal and potentially harmful to them both.

Can they put their differences aside in order to save a life?









Thursday, April 5, 2018

Blog Tour: Down to Oath by Tyrolin Puxty

The blog tour for Down to Oath begins today!!! Look for our review early next week!


Official Summary:

You have to find yourself before you can leave.

Codi lives in the exceptionally drab town of Oath; a settlement without colour, children or personality.

When a child manifests in the library and introduces Codi to parallel towns that contain aggressive, manic versions of herself, she must decide between saving Oath...and saving herself.

After all, how much can you truly trust yourself?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

A Flight of Arrows (The Pathfinders #2) by Lori Benton

28246434This review was written by: B
Received: Blogging for Books
Publication Date of Book: April 2016
Pages: 400
Stars: 4.25/5


Official Summary:
It is said that what a man sows he will reap -- and for such a harvest there is no set season.  No one connected to Reginald Aubrey is untouched by the crime he committed twenty years ago.

Not William, the Oneida child Reginald stole and raised as his own.  Identity shattered, enlisted in the British army, William trains with Loyalist refugees eager to annihilate the rebels who forced them into exile.  Coming to terms with who and what he is proves impossible, but if he breaks his Loyalist oath, he'll be no better than the man who constructed his life of lies.

Not Anna, Reginald's adopted daughter, nor Two Hawks, William's twin, both who long for Reginald to accept their love despite the challenges they will face, building a marriage that bridges two cultures.

Not Good Voice and Stone Thrower, freed of bitterness by a courageous act of forgiveness, but still yearning for their firstborn son and fearful for the future of their Oneida people.

As the British prepare to attack frontier New York and Patriot regiments rally to defend it, two families separated by culture, united by love, will do all in their power to reclaim the son marching toward them in the ranks of their enemies.

My Thoughts:
I never would have thought in a million years that I would highly anticipate a historical fiction novel.  In fact, I would have bet a billion dollars against it.  (And thank goodness I didn't because I would be so far in debt right now that it wouldn't even be funny!)   I can't even begin to explain to you guys how I would literally cross the street in the busiest of traffic to avoid any manifestation whatsoever of historical fiction, big or small.  I originally thought it radiated the horrific essence of boredom itself, neatly wrapped up in a tiny page bound package.  Lori Benton has thankfully made me a changed reader, though, seeing as The Wood's Edge blew my book-obsessed mind away with its passionate, tender characters and intricately woven story line.  I have more than the author to thank for setting me on this new path, though, because, even as I hate to admit it, I wanted to read The Wood's Edge because of its glorious cover design.  (Who ever said I couldn't judge a book by its cover?!)

After finishing the first book to The Pathfinders series, I obsessively pondered over how A Flight of Arrows would play out, particularly with William's story.  As you most likely know, The Woods Edge had a cliffhanger ending that left you wondering what was going to happen on multiple fronts, and when I finally decided to pick up its sequel I was highly hesitant.  I'm one of those readers that will go over a million different scenarios in their head, making tiny alterations each time, just for the sake of imagining how I wish one scene would play out.  (Is that sad? It makes it sound like I don't have anything better to do.)  As a result, there were so many expectations I'd placed on this book that I was scared it would leave me disappointed, but I guess I should have known better since Lori Benton was behind it all.  Also, as I usually have the unfortunate tendency to do, I read some hinted at spoilers online from GoodReads reviews (I know, I'm cursing myself even now for doing it), and I was still not completely prepared for one of the ending sequences.

William is a character that burrowed deep into my heart to the point where the character truly influenced my emotions.  He's so conflicted and confused, and all I wanted was for him to find peace and happiness.  What I thought was going to happen with his storyline was flipped on its head, and I just on the edge of my seat waiting to see how his narrative would play out.  I thought I was going to have a heart attack! I cannot say that I was completely satisfied with the ending of the story, but it was still one that warms the heart.

This was one of the most beautifully written books I have read in awhile.  The depth of the characters, the complex interweaving scenes, and the emotional depth that explored forgiveness, guilt, acceptance, and family.  This is just a warning that the feels may be coming at you if you pick up this book!  I have every intention of picking up the rest of this author's books.

Please note that I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Additional Informationhttps://waterbrookmultnomah.com/books/246618/a-flight-of-arrows-by-lori-benton/

Author Informationhttps://waterbrookmultnomah.com/authors/163736/lori-benton/





Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Coven Princess by Lily Luchesi

37785303
This review was written by: B and C
Received: Ebook from Author 
Date of Publication: March 2018
Stars: 4.5/5

Official Synopsis: 

Your blood does not define you.

Harley Torrance's parents were killed in a home invasion when she was three.  Adopted by a nice couple, Harley begins to develop strange powers.  At fourteen she brews a potion so strong it gains the attention of the Coven King, and changes her world forever.

She's not human, she's a witch.

Now a part of the magical community, Harley must learn to control her powers lest the Darkness already in her blood overcome her.  Can she dampen her lust for power in order to stop the Dark from taking over the Coven and killing everyone in their way?

Review:

As avid fans of Luchesi's adult works, we were ecstatic to find that she was entering the world of YA, our favorite genre!  There was no doubt in our minds that The Coven Princess would be yet another amazing work with a kickass female and complex, real characters.  And oh did this book deliver!  We loved how the beginning possessed the classic


moment.  (However, Harley's a girl and a witch, but you get what we mean!).  And we were like


Give us those Harry Potter vibes, please!!!!!!!!!!!!  What we really loved, though, was how this book was original but at the same time gave nostalgic vibes for other series.  There was a low-key Harry Potter undertone, and the beginning made us reminisce about The School for Good and Evil for some reason, which we were all for.  At the same time, though, this book was original with the classic Luchesi voice shining through.  It never ceases to amaze us what Luchesi can churn onto the page, gracing us with new, wonderful, and emotional stories each time.

We had no idea that this took place in the same world as her adult Paranormal Detective series (cue the squeals), which will make the story even more meaningful for returning readers and will be an excellent segue for young adults if they want to take an even bigger bite out of Luchesi's earlier works (which we totally recommend!).  It was like finding Easter eggs on Sunday.

The Coven Princess explores the story of fighting for what you believe in and for others, which was done beautifully and with thought-provoking care.  It elaborates on choosing your own path due to your history and other's expectations, following Harley as she was deciding how to own who she was.  We believe these topics to be extremely important, especially for young adults.  Thus, the audience is sure to connect with Harley and follow this exciting, fast-paced story eagerly.



Release Day: The Coven Princess by Lily Luchesi








Now available from USA Today bestselling author Lily Luchesi and Vamptasy Publishing:

The Coven Princess


Your blood does not define you.
Harley Torrance's parents were killed in a home invasion when she was three. Adopted by a nice couple, Harley begins to develop strange powers. At fourteen she brews a potion so strong it gains the attention of the Coven King, and changes her world forever.
She's not human, she's a witch.
Now a part of the magical community, Harley must learn to control her powers lest the Darkness already in her blood overcomes her. Can she dampen her lust for power in order to stop the Dark from taking over the Coven and killing everyone in their way?




About the author:


Lily Luchesi is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of the Paranormal Detectives Series, published by Vamptasy Publishing. She also has short stories included in multiple bestselling anthologies, and a successful dark erotica retelling of Dracula.
She is also the editor, curator and contributing author of Vamptasy Publishing's Damsels of Distress anthology, which celebrates strong female characters in horror and paranormal fiction.

She was born in Chicago, Illinois, and now resides in Los Angeles, California. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things "dark". At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle. She is also an out member of the LGBT+ community. When she's not writing, she's going to rock concerts, getting tattooed, watching the CW, or reading manga. And drinking copious amounts of coffee.